Guide to Templates

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Guide to Templates

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Index:

Level Adjustment
Theory
Templates
Links



Templates are quite common in any d&d format you play, even in core. But can they really take your character to the next level? With the introduction of the level adjustment buyoff in unearthed arcana, optimization is possible. This is a general guide to templates and classes that benefit most from them.

Note: This is under construction. Help me out with links, builds, strategies and anything you can think of that would prove useful.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
Level Adjustment:

Certain monsters can used as the basis for interesting, viable player characters. These creatures have a level
adjustment entry, which is a number that is added to the creature’s total Hit Dice to arrive at its effective character level. A creature with multiple special abilities is more powerful as a player character than its Hit Dice alone would indicate. For example, a drow elf has spell resistance, bonuses to its ability scores, and spell-like abilities. Its level adjustment of +2 indicates that a 1st-level drow wizard is the equivalent of a 3rd-level character.
Level adjustment is not the same thing as an adjustment to a creature’s Challenge Rating because of some special qualities it possesses. Challenge Rating reflects how difficult an opponent is to fight in a limited number of encounters. Level adjustment shows how powerful a creature is as a player character or cohort in campaign play. For instance, a drow receives a +1 adjustment to its Challenge Rating to account for its special abilities, indicating that it’s tougher in a fight than its Hit Dice would suggest, but its level adjustment is +2 to balance its abilities over long-term play.

Reducing Level Adjustment:

When a character with a level adjustment advances in experience, the level adjustment he started with becomes more and more of a burden. Eventually, the benefits of the creature type may come to be eclipsed by those of his class features, and the player may regret his choice of race. Under this variant system, the character can pay an XP cost at certain intervals to decrease the burden of his level adjustment.
Once the total of a character's class levels (not including any Hit Dice from his creature type or his level adjustment) reaches three times his level adjustment, his level adjustment is eligible to be decreased by 1.
For instance, a gnoll's level adjustment is +1. When a gnoll character gains his third class level (remember, the gnoll's 2 starting Hit Dice don't count), he can pay an XP cost to reduce his level adjustment to +0.
If the level adjustment is greater than +1, this process repeats until the creature's level adjustment reaches +0. Each time, use the creature's current level adjustment to determine the point at which the level adjustment can go down by 1. For example, a drow (level adjustment +2) may drop to level adjustment +1 after gaining her sixth class level, and then to +0 after gaining an additional three class levels.

Experience Point Cost:

Each time a character's level adjustment is eligible to be reduced, the character may pay an XP cost to take advantage of the reduction. The character must pay an amount of XP equal to (his current ECL -1)
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
Experience is a river thread introduced a great way to abuse experience mechanics by nearly any character in the d&d world.
The Unearthed Arcana supplement introduced the mechanics of level adjustment buyoff, the option to pay XP to reduce your level adjustment.

Why is Level Adjustment Bad?
  • It doesn't protect you from effects related to hit dice (like dictum, holy word).
  • You don't gain hit points for having level adjustment and some templates/races even reduce your hit point total (those that reduce your constitution score).
  • You don't gain any skill points, BAB, saves, feats and everything related to HD.

With level adjustment buyoff however, i would say that taking a template or race with level adjustment is mandatory. That is, as presented in the experience is a river thread above, because you are eventually going to catch up in levels (and staying behind in level is invaluable for an item crafter).
At this point you should note that i am not suggesting pilling ridiculous amount of LA, just the usual one or two and rarely those with three.

This is an example of a +1 level adjustment buyoff. See how quickly you recover from the lost XP:

IMAGE(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/4609/graphexpxo5.jpg)

Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

Shameless copy from Surreal's Handy Links for CO Work.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
The dread necromancer handbookhas a few to help charisma, this has some good ideas for casters with +2 LA linky, besides that the only semi helpfull thing is Polymorph any object to get templates for a small cost can be put under LA section though it is highly cheasy. I only personnaly know two DMs who would let me do it with out calling on the wrath of the gods.

Oh yeah and thanks for making this Hand Book I don't think it has ever been done before and will be very usefull.
You definitely need a link to the crystalkeep template page ...

Draconic is very nice for LA +1. Three stat bonuses plus various other benefits. Magic-Blooded (3.0) gives +2 cha, -2 wis, various other benefits, all for +0 LA. Half-Pixie is of course strong.

Those are what I've got off the top of my head.
nice thread to get on board with



:D
to help out..try these:


Phrenic Template +2LA
Phrenic Template from SRD:“Phrenic” is an inherited template that can be added to any nonmindless creature that does not already have the psionic subtype (referred to hereafter as the “base creature”). A phrenic creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The creature’s type does not change, unless it is an animal (in which case it becomes a magical beast [augmented animal]). It gains the psionic subtype.
Psi-Like Abilities (Sp): A phrenic creature possesses the psi-like abilities indicated below, depending on its Hit Dice. The abilities are cumulative. Unless otherwise noted, an ability is usable once per day. Manifester level is equal to the creature’s HD. The save DCs for a phrenic creature’s psi-like abilities are Charisma-based.
HD Abilities
[indent]1–2 3/day—defensive precognition; 1/day—force screen
3–4 3/day—empty mind, mind thrust
5–6 1/day—body adjustment, brain lock
7–8 1/day—aversion, blast
9–10 3/day—intellect fortress; 1/day—psychic crush
11–12 1/day—psionic dominate
13–14 1/day—energy current, tower of iron will
15–16 3/day—psionic teleport
17–18 1/day—fission
19–20 1/day—ultrablast[/indent]
Special Qualities: A phrenic creature has all the special qualities of the base creature, plus the following special qualities.
Naturally Psionic: A phrenic creature gains 1 bonus power point.
Power Resistance (Ex): A phrenic creature has power resistance equal to its Hit Dice +10.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Int +2 (if Int is 3 or greater), Wis +2, Cha +4.
Feats: A phrenic creature can take psionic feats, if it meets the prerequisites for such feats.
Challenge Rating: Up to 5 HD, same as base creature +1; 6–10 HD, same as base creature +2; 11+ HD, same as base creature +3.
Level Adjustment: Same as base creature +2.

The 1/2 Fey Template,+2LA

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ff_gallery/50112.jpg)



The Half-Fey

Half-fey are the spawn of powerful fey creatures and the mortals they find so intriguing. Often confused by the ignorant with half-fiends, some half-fey grow up tormented by their peers, but a few use their gifts to win over others and become quite popular.

"Half-fey" is usually an inherited template, but it could be acquired through other means as well. Certain mortals who are obsessed with the fey study fey magic and dwell in sylvan places in hopes of gaining power, and a few actually do manage to acquire the half-fey template.

Attribute bonuses Dex +2, Con -2, Wis +2, Cha +4



Fey Type: She becomes vulnerable to spells and effects that work on creatures of the fey type but is immune to effects that target her original type. For example, a half-fey/half-human would be subject to the extra damage from a fey bane sword, but she is immune to hold person because that spell affects only humanoids.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): the half-fey gains low-light vision.

Saving Throw Bonuses (Ex): a half-fey gains a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the Enchantment school.

Spell-Like Abilities: Starting at 1st level, a half-fey with an Intelligence or Wisdom score of 8 or better gains spell-like abilities. The exact abilities gained depend on the half-fey's character level and level in the template class, according to the following table. In each case, the caster level equals the half-fey's character level. Save DCs, where applicable, are Charisma-based (10 + spell level + half-fey's Cha modifier).

[indent]Level Spell-Like Abilities Gained
1st Charm person at will, hypnotism 1/day
1st Faerie fire or glitterdust 1/day
3rd Detect law 3/day
3rd Enthrall or sleep 1/day
5th Protection from law 3/day
7th Confusion or emotion 1/day
9th Eyebite or lesser geas 1/day
11th Dominate person or hold monster 1/day
13th Mass invisibility 1/day
15th Geas/quest or mass suggestion 1/day
17th Insanity or mass charm 1/day
19th Otto's irresistible dance 1/day[/indent]

The character gains each spell-like ability as soon as she meets both qualifications for it. Spell-like abilities are cumulative, so a half-fey whose character level is 3rd has charm person at will, detect law 3/day, enthrall or sleep 1/day, faerie fire or glitterdust 1/day, hypnotism 1/day.

Immunity to Enchantments (Ex): a half-fey becomes immune to all spells and effects from the Enchantment school. This ability replaces the saving throw bonus against these effects included in the half-fey's base racial features.

Wings (Ex): a half-fey grows insectlike wings (usually similar to those of a butterfly) and may use them to fly at up to twice her base land speed with good maneuverability.

:D
Here's a good list of a lot of templates by ECL.
wow.... i love that thread ... didnt even know about it

thanks for the link Nanshork


:D
Tigurius did Symbiotic Creature Template - Handbook
@ http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=12400610


Gotta love the HIVE being a LA +1 template.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

I've always been a fan of Goliaths. Nice boosts to Str, Con, Powerful Build, and access to some nice Goliath-only feats, all of that for LA +1, quite easy to buy back.
I've always been a fan of Goliaths. Nice boosts to Str, Con, Powerful Build, and access to some nice Goliath-only feats, all of that for LA +1, quite easy to buy back.

That is a race, not a template.
That is a race, not a template.

...you are, indeed, correct. For some reason I confused 'Template' with 'Level Adjustment'. Must've been the talk about Drow in the first post.
Dragonborn is a great +0 LA Template...but it re-writes the Racial Abilities.... and gives lots of nice stuff that scales with Levels

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/rodragon_gallery/94116.jpg)


Dragonborn
Humanoid(Dragonblood)
+2 Con, -2 Dex
+2 Dodge vs Dragon type
Immune to frightful Presence
Draconic Aspect:pick one:
[indent]Mind:
[indent]Immune to Paralysis,Magic Sleep Effects
Darkvision 30'
low Light vision
+2 Racial to Spot, Search, listen
@6HD..Darkvision 60'
@9HD .. Darkvision 90' and 3x lowlight vision
@12HD .. Darkvision 120' and 4x lowlight vision
@15HD .. Blindsense 30'[/indent]

Heart:
[indent]
Breath Weapon... range 5'/HD(Max 20HD=100'), 1d8+1d8/3HD, use every 1d4 rounds[/indent]
Wings:
[indent]Glide
@6HD ... Fly 30'(Average) short Duration
@12HD .. constant flight possible[/indent][/indent]


not too bad for a 0-LA Template.... i usually always pick Mind aspect

:D
wow.... i love that thread ... didnt even know about it

thanks for the link Nanshork


:D

Not a problem, almost all of my subscriptions are to randomly helpful threads like that one. :D
Updates :D
I decided to devote a post to each template and link them to the third post, so i'll probably bump this a lot.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/storm_gallery/90747.jpg)


  • Inherited Template
  • Base: Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid.
  • Type: Aquatic subtype.
  • Size: Unchanged.
  • Abilities: -2 Dex.
  • LA: +0.

Useful template if you are going to adventure by sea. The drawback isn't great and many classes can mini-dump the dexterity attribute in favor of breathing underwater and a swim speed. This is obviously a bad choice for spellcasters, as spells can easily emulate the features this template offers. Remember that water breathing can affect multiple creatures and you divide the spell's duration among them, so having a spellcaster in your party waives the need for this.
It's flavorful for an aquatic scout or ranger, even though dexterity is important for both classes (feat requirements, keyed skills, etc). A scout with this and the PHB II variant can have three movement modes.
Party synergy aside, it's great for characters that are going to spend most of their time in heavy armor, such as knights and paladins.
It's also an easy way to gain the aquatic subtype with most of the playable races, most probably to fulfill requirements for prestige classes or feats.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/libris_gallery/84763.jpg)


  • Acquired Template
  • Base: Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid.
  • Type: Type changes to Undead. Augmented subtype.
  • Size: Unchanged.
  • Hit Dice: Increase to d12.
  • Abilities: Same as the base creature, no constitution score.
  • LA: +0.

Necropolitan is the best known way of getting the undead type. You actually have no level adjustment for this class, but you do lose a level from dying, but from all the experience analysis you should already know that this is a good thing and you will quickly recover.
The undead type offers great bonuses, but has its drawbacks. You gain immunities to many effects, such as to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease and death effects, to damage to your physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Also not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain.
This template is great for characters with low constitution score, as undead do not have one. You recalculate your hit points with d12 hit dice, which on average give you 6.5 hit points per level. Assuming that your character's (hit die + 1)/2 + con score is lower than 6.5, you won't lose any hit points upon your transformation. For example a cleric with a +2 con modifier has pretty much the same HP with a necropolitan cleric of the same level. If your constitution modifier is greater than +3, this template is probably not worth getting.
Note that Undead use their charisma modifier instead of constitution on concentration checks, which is helpful for charisma based spellcasting classes, such as sorcerers, clerics and favored souls.
There are classes that benefit from constitution modifier for effects other than just constitution saves and hit points. Do not consider this template in conjunction with Dragonfire Adepts or incarnum characters (there are exceptions though for the last example).

Special Qualities:
  • Resist Control (Ex): Necropolitans have a +2 profane bonus on their Will saving throws to resist the effect of a control undead spell. Well some of the drawbacks of being undead are the wide range of spells that you are vulnerable to.
  • Turn Resistance (Ex): A necropolitan has +2 turn resistance. Every little bit helps, as you are already down a level and it's pretty risky at start.
  • Unnatural Resilience (Ex): Necropolitans automatically heal hit point damage and ability damage at the same rate as a living creature. The Heal skill has no effect on necropolitans; however,
  • negative energy (such as an inflict spell) heals them.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ToMagic_Gallery/96100.jpg)


  • Inherited Template
  • Base: Any.
  • Type: Unchanged. Gain the extraplanar subtype when away from the Plane of Shadow.
  • Size: Unchanged.
  • LA: +1.

A simple template that benefits most sneaky characters. It's the simplest way for a character to gain Hide in Plain Sight and big bonuses to the related skills. Rogues, monks, rangers, ninjas and scouts will probably benefit most from this template.
Note that the bonus to movement affects all your movement modes, so the more you have the better.

Special Qualities:
  • +10ft to all movement modes.
  • Darkvision 60ft.
  • Hide in Plain Sight (Ex).
  • Resistance to cold 10.
  • Superior low-light vision.
  • +8 to hide and +6 to move silently checks.

Suggested Classes:
  • Ninja
  • Scout
  • Spellthief
  • Factotum
  • Swashbuckler
  • Soulknife
  • Bard
  • Monk
  • Ranger
  • Rogue
  • Beguiler
  • Swordsage
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
Here's a short description of one of my favourite +1 templates:

Draconic Creature

  • Inherited Template (can be acquired via the Dragon Devotee PrC)
  • Base: any corporeal living creature except a dragon
  • Type: animals change to magical beasts; adds the dragonblood subtype, otherwise unchanged
  • Size: unchanged
  • Abilities: +2 to Strength, Constitution and Charisma
  • Armor class: Natural Armor improves by +1
  • Damage: the draconic creature gains two claw attack, depending on its size (damage is equal to unarmed damage - 1d3 for medium creatures), or keeps its natural claw attacks if they have greater damage
  • Special Qualities: same as the base creature, with darkvision up to 60 feet and low-light vision even if the base creature does not have them
  • Saves: a draconic creature gains a +4 racial bonus to saves vs sleep and paralysis
  • Skills: a draconic creature gains a +2 racial bonus to intimidate and spot checks
  • LA: +1


Description: Draconic creatures are similar to half-dragons in that they have draconic ancestry, though with draconic creatures this ancestry is several steps removed. While they lack abilities directly related to their draconic ancestor, draconic creatures are still noticeably different from their core race and can sometimes be mistaken for half-dragons.

Opinion: I myself favor this template for its all-around usefulness. Mechanically, the draconic template is a solid option for any melee character. Even prior to the introduction of the dragonblood subtype in Races of the Dragon, its ability modifiers and features made it a good option for any warriors, as it improved two of the most useful stats for such characters - strength and constitution - and provided a useful bonus to a third ability score which, at the very least, allowed further optimization in point-buy generation. The strength bonus and the extra HP/level mean that your character will likely be more efficient in combat than without the template - a rare feature where LA races/templates are allowed. While the templare isn't as alluring for casters, bards and battle sorcerers can consider the ability modifiers an asset as well as they both improve their hit points total and the ability that fuels their spellcasting. The improvements to the character's natural armor (as a racial bonus, this stacks with any enhancement bonus to natural armor from spell or item), saves, and skills serve to round out this template as a model +1. If you have RotD, the template will also allow you to access the dragonblood-limited material (such as dragon wings, giving you flight speed at the cost of two feats) without having to choose a custom race.

- Recommended for classes: any warrior (esp. paladin), bard, battle sorcerer, warmage, dread necromancer, dragon shaman, dragonfire adept (possibly). Basically, if you can spare 1 level of abilities, chances are you might be interestedi in it. If LA buyoff is allowed, the template is subsumed in the first level of the half-dragon progression.

- Recommended for races: any; humans/azurin (default, extra feat at 1st level can allow for dragonblood feat) and wood elves (fixing the constitution penalty of an otherwise impressive warrior race, and making it still better) would be my first choices.

- Note: the template is made available through the 5-level dragon devotee PrC in Races of the Dragon, free of any LA. The PrC may be interesing for both martial and stealth characters: while it gives only medium BAB (which means the 5th level will set you another point of BAB back), this way you get 2 bonus feats or 2 dice of SA/SS/skirmish (if you have such precision damage already, mind you), as well 2 levels of sorcerer spellcasting (even if you don't have sorcerer levels) without ASF for lvl 0 and 1 spells.The latter may be particularly interesting for any characters who want to enter PrCs that advance arcane spellcasting.
Can you post the other LA graphs on how long it takes to catch up with LA buyoff. (LA 2, LA 3, LA 4)

also while +4 LA still hurts a lot, make mention of the Half Fiend variants located here. 4 LA is still alot but no one seems to know about these templates
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060630a

The Half Succubi is nice for gestalt if you do LA on one side for the Str, +2, Dex +2, Int +4, and Cha +8, flight, sp, etc
[thread=847462]Symbiotic Creature Template - Handbook[/thread] - (by Tigurius)

I noticed that you linked to the Symbiotic template page, what do you think about using the template backwards? As opposed to having some tiny creature join you, you could join a large creature to benefit from its HD/physical stats. That way you can make an effective caster since you only need mental stats while joined with the "Host". Oh, and if you are symbiotic, would you get to be dominant since your brain is the one that matters?
Here's a short description of one of my favourite +1 templates:

hey thanks :D i hope you don't mind reposting it, to add stuff and/or edit if need so.

Can you post the other LA graphs on how long it takes to catch up with LA buyoff. (LA 2, LA 3, LA 4)

also while +4 LA still hurts a lot, make mention of the Half Fiend variants located here. 4 LA is still alot but no one seems to know about these templates
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060630a

The Half Succubi is nice for gestalt if you do LA on one side for the Str, +2, Dex +2, Int +4, and Cha +8, flight, sp, etc

i'll work on the graphs.

I noticed that you linked to the Symbiotic template page, what do you think about using the template backwards? As opposed to having some tiny creature join you, you could join a large creature to benefit from its HD/physical stats. That way you can make an effective caster since you only need mental stats while joined with the "Host". Oh, and if you are symbiotic, would you get to be dominant since your brain is the one that matters?

i haven't really read the template, so i can't help. Maybe take a look at the handbook.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/mm2_gallery/88268_620_133.jpg)


  • Acquired Template
  • Base: Corporeal Undead with wisdom score of 10+.
  • LA: +0.

Spellstitched is a powerful tool for undead characters. It's an acquired template that can be created by arcane casters with the craft wondrous item feat. The creation of the template requires lost of XP, but the materials cost just 1000 gp. There are lots of ways to bypass or lower the XP cost if you can't cast arcane spells yourself:
  • Thought Bottle (though sage has mentioned that it doesn't work. Also boringly broken).
  • Darkcraft Experience.
  • Leadership (assuming that your cohort can craft it for you).
  • Artisan feats.
  • Pay for services.

Assuming max benefits (19 wisdom score) you need 9500 XP to acquire the template. Since XP = (1/25)*gp when crafting, the cost in gp is 237.500 gp (double that for market price) for a grand total of 475.000 gp plus 1000 gp for materials. That's too much money to spend on a template, but the effects are worth it. Remember that spell-like abilities bypass material and experience costs.

Special Qualities:
  • Damage Reduction (Ex): When you hit 12 HD this is worth it.
  • Spell Resistance (Ex): Unless your charisma modifier is crazy buffed, the amount of resistance you get is crappy.
  • Turn Resistance (Ex): Every little bit helps.
  • Saves: +2 profane bonus on all saving throws. Great, since it won't interfere with other bonuses.

Wisdom-based characters, such as clerics and druids get great benefits for being spellstitched, assuming that they are already undead, as they become sort of mini-dual casters. Necromancers receive great benefits for getting animate dead as a spell-like ability, by spell stitching themselves or their familiar (possibly by getting the stitched spell familiar feat). Similarly, the best spells are those that have some sort of expensive material or experience component.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
I would also include links to the necromancy handbooks in the spellstiched section. (On what are goods spell like abilities to get)
No too young to die.
Bravo !!!!

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/draco_gallery/75627.jpg)


  • Inherited Template
  • Base: living, corporeal creature except a dragon.
  • Type: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain the dragonblood subtype.
  • Size: Unchanged.
  • LA: +1.

A great template for nearly every character due to the attribute bonuses it provides. It has virtually no drawback. Melee characters such as paladins and hexblades receive a direct boost to their most important scores, while receiving other minor bonuses, such as natural armor bonus, natural weapons, darkvision, low-light vision and bonuses to saves and skills. Charisma based casters receive extra constitution and charisma. Charisma bonuses are difficult to come by with races while keeping your constitution at decent levels. Another interesting feature of this template is the dragonblood subtype it provides. It isn't very impressive, but it grants you access to feats with the [dragonblood] prerequisite, such as accelerate metamagic, dragon wings, practical metamagic and the various breath-channeling feats (the feats are located in races of the dragon). Finally, if you are a knight, paladin, sorcerer or hexblade you get great flavor, as these classes are well-suited and even adopted by dragons.

Abilities:
  • +1 Natural Armor.
  • Two claw attacks.
  • Darkvision 60ft
  • Low-Light Vision
  • +4 racial bonus on saves against magic sleep and paralysis.
  • +2 racial bonus on intimidate and spot checks.

Suggested Classes:
  • Spellthief
  • Warmage
  • Warlock
  • Favored Soul
  • Hexblade
  • Samurai
  • Dragonfire Adept
  • Artificer
  • Wilder
  • Dread Necromancer
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Sorcerer
  • Beguiler
  • Dragon Shaman
  • Knight
  • Crusader
  • Binder
  • Marshal

A description of this template by The_Shaman, is here.
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
Quick, get this into Some handy links for CO work :D

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ue_gallery/49891.jpg)


  • Acquired Template
  • Base: Any humanoid.
  • Type: Unchanged (no reference).
  • Size: Unchanged (no reference).
  • LA: +1.

A template that you can acquire in a weird way. You need to bathe in a mix of blood created by an arcane spellcaster with the brew potion. There are some material components included, but the cost is mild. Also you must undergo the transformation only as a young creature. The template grants bonuses to strength and constitution, but bestows a penalty to intelligence. This makes it worthy for martial classes that don't really depend on skill points, like fighters and paladins. The amount of punishment you can receive with the +4 con bonus is enormus; any character that is able to tank can make good use of this template. A unique feature of this template is that it grants you a free combat reflexes feat, which obviously requires a high dexterity to be effective, but it also helps requirements and feat chains.

Abilities:
  • +2 Natural Armor.
  • War Cry (Ex): Gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage for some rounds, as do all blooded ones within 30ft. It is nice for low levels, but quickly becomes bad.
  • Abilities: Strength +2, Constitution +4, Intelligence -2.
  • Gain free Combat Reflexes feat.

Suggested Classes:
  • Warlock
  • Favored Soul
  • Hexblade
  • Samurai
  • Dragonfire Adept
  • Psychic Warrior
  • Dread Necromancer
  • Barbarian
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Sorcerer
  • Dragon Shaman
  • Knight
  • Crusader
  • Warblade
  • Binder
  • Marshal
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ss_gallery/49121.jpg)


  • Inherited Template.
  • Base: Corporeal Humanoid or Monstrous Humanoid.
  • Size: Unchanged.
  • Type: Change to Monstrous Humanoid.
  • Hit Dice: Change to d10.
  • Speed: +10ft to land speed only.
  • AC: +6 Natural Armor.
  • Attacks: Gain two claw attacks. Damage is size-dependent.
  • +4 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, -4 Int (minimum 2), +2 Wis.
  • LA: +1.

Feral is a template best known pre-complete champion for the pounce ability it nets you. If you want to play a charging warrior that doesn't care about his skill points much, this is an option for you. Aside pounce however, this template offers various effects that can benefit many different characters, such as the hit die change, the natural armor bonus or even the land speed increase. Remember that barbarians actually lose hit points by taking this template, even though it generally offers some good abilities that have synergy with their class.

Abilities:
  • Improved Grab (Ex): Useful ability if you are going to be using your natural weapons.
  • Pounce (Ex): Awesome, this template is usually adopted by players for this ability alone. Whatever your fighting style, this ability will net you more damage, but note that this works only in the first round of combat.
  • Rake (Ex): If you get a hold of the creature you can get two attacks with your legs. Assuming that by holding means grappling your opponents, this is great for grapplers. You can use this ability if you pounce, too.
  • Rend (Ex): Deal double damage if you hit with both claw attacks.
  • Darkvision: Gain a scaling darkvision based on your HD.
  • Fast Healing: Awesome ability. Even at 1 HD you get fast healing 2, getting you back to full hit points in a matter of rounds. Again, the amount of fast healing you get is based on your HD, capping at 5.
  • Favored Class:Barbarian.

Suggested Classes:
  • Favored Soul
  • Spirit Shaman
  • Ardent
  • Hexblade
  • Samurai
  • Psychic Warrior
  • Soulborn
  • Totemist
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Dragon Shaman
  • Knight
  • Crusader
  • Binder
  • Marshal
Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks - My personal Character Optimization blog. 
Nerdy Meeples - A blog about reviewing and providing strategies on boardgames. 
In another thread in the Character Optimization forum, someone mentioned to me that LA buyoff worked differently than I had thought.

Say you have 1 LA from the draconic template.
When you hit level 3, you can pay 3000 exp and buy off your first LA. You are now at LA 0.
You can then aquire another LA +1 template (say, blooded one). Gain 3000 exp. Your LA is +1 at level 3, so you can buy it off (now 6000 exp down from the rest of your party).

The problem with this intepretation is how it works at higher levels on the unearthed Arcana Chart. A character at level 12, buying off LA +4 for 12000 exp, would then have LA +3, and be eligible to buy it off, since they are greater than level 9, for another 12000 exp. Then LA +2, buy off for another 12000 exp, then LA +1, buy off for another 12000 exp.

I am just wondering if there is anything in the rules to indicate that this intepretation is incorrect? Otherwise, this with a thought-bottle would make for some powerful win.
In another thread in the Character Optimization forum, someone mentioned to me that LA buyoff worked differently than I had thought.

Say you have 1 LA from the draconic template.
When you hit level 3, you can pay 3000 exp and buy off your first LA. You are now at LA 0.
You can then aquire another LA +1 template (say, blooded one). Gain 3000 exp. Your LA is +1 at level 3, so you can buy it off (now 6000 exp down from the rest of your party).

The problem with this intepretation is how it works at higher levels on the unearthed Arcana Chart. A character at level 12, buying off LA +4 for 12000 exp, would then have LA +3, and be eligible to buy it off, since they are greater than level 9, for another 12000 exp. Then LA +2, buy off for another 12000 exp, then LA +1, buy off for another 12000 exp.

I am just wondering if there is anything in the rules to indicate that this intepretation is incorrect? Otherwise, this with a thought-bottle would make for some powerful win.

Your first example might work, but the 2nd example is explained in UA and the OP.
Low LAs which are really worth it (ECL < 7, LA < 3)

From that thread, but not in OP:

Lolth-Touched, in MM4.
+6 Str & Con, some misc skill bonuses and immunity to fear, all for LA+1.
Lolth-Touched, in MM4.
+6 Str & Con, some misc skill bonuses and immunity to fear, all for LA+1.

is there something similar for other deities? can the lolth-touched be applied to other deities, like lets say, the kord-touched?
cause the god-blooded templates from MM5 really suck!
Not officially as far as I know, but maybe a (very) lenient DM will let you adapt the fluff (and thereby pro'ly your new alignment as well)?

That's the best I can think of.
I would personally allow it, but then again, I'm quite flexible in what I allow in my games ;)

Bowen
Ok so I have a problem I hope someone can help me out with. I was playing a +2 LA race (petal) I died. I can come back as another one if I want but the problem is this, we come back at the base exp 1 level lower than party average. We stopped for the night and the group jsut got to lvl 6 so I would come back at base 5. Would taking the petal and being 1 level lower knock me down too far so when 20th lvl came around everyone else got it and I didn't? We are using the LA buy-off rules from UA and exp by ECL if you need to know that.

I would appreciate it if someone could help me out here, I got confused by the experience is a river thread and since his example only goes to +1LA I am not sure I can make up the difference or how far behind I would be.

My fear is that the party will hit epic alot sooner than I will and an epic game is not a good palce for non-epic guys.
Thanks again for the help!
Can anyone tell me the losest LA that gets a good SR without being undead?
I've found +3 LA but I'm looking for a +1 or +2
Phrenic, template, SPH, LA+2
Bauriar, race, Planar Handbook, LA+1
Karsite, race, Tome of Magic, LA+2
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