How do you encourage players to use Level Adjusted races?

greywulf

First Post
I'm sure this has been done to death before, but I've just cast Resurrection. Again.

IMC, we use this House Rule for Level Adjustment which works very well for us.

In brief:

: Each “Level Adjustment” costs the PC one of their free feats. So, a +1 LA race doesn’t get a feat at first level; a +2 LA race doesn’t get feats at 1st or 3rd. Level Adjustment has no other effect whatsoever. It doesn’t count toward your levels, doesn’t affect your XP or anything else at all. Racial Hit Dice apply as normal.

The advantage is that a 1st level fighter is a 1st level fighter is a 1st level fighter with none of this mucking about with ECLs and whatnot. It gives players incentive to actually use the funkier races without feeling cheated out of a whole level (or having to "buy it back" later). The LA +2 races might be a bit overpowered until 3rd level, but that's soon enough not to matter too much.

In effect, "being a Tiefling" (or whatever) is their 1st level feat. As I said, it's a powerful incentive.

But I'm interested in how you do it? Do you play with LAs as they are, allow/disallow, or what?

I'm just curious to know.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't disallow them, but I don't do anythign to encourage them, either. The world I work in doesn't have the cities swarming with strange beings, so I don't feel a need to encourage them.
 

Thanee

First Post
How do you encourage players to use Level Adjusted races?

I don't.

Your house rule seems interesting for low level adjustments, but for high level adjustments, it probably won't work all too well.

Bye
Thanee
 


smootrk

First Post
I make sure they understand the Unearthed Arcana rules for 'buying off' the Level Adjustment. I also tend to grant special considerations to first level (or starting) characters; these considerations can be traded towards LA's as well to effectively make the LA go away.

For instance, there is a character in our campaign who has a Drow mime Bard, but this bard is mute, which I justified as comparable to a LA (and some houserules to account for his 'playing' the auditory portion of spellcasting). The other LA was 'bought off' in lieu of some last minute stat adjustment I made at the table on first day of play (the used 25 point-buy for creation otherwise)... effectively +0 LA afterwords.

Other than the Houserules we used, the UA is really a great way to deal with a few LA's (up to a certain point).... especially since the XP rules allow lower level character to equalize their total XP over time - leveling the playing field for characters who had to 'buy off' their LA.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
The silly gents use them anyway -- I don't need to encourage squat. :)

We all recognize that LA'ed races aren't that great power-wise, but they love the flavor of some of them, and play them even with the tremendous disadvantages that these glass-jawed characters allow. One guy, who played a Half-Dragon Monk in one game, was the character with the award of "most times unconscious or dead" in the party.

Heck, I'm playing an Aasimar in a near-future game myself.
 

arwink

Clockwork Golem
Henry said:
The silly gents use them anyway -- I don't need to encourage squat. :)

My group's with Henry's, although recently there's been a trend towards using Prestige Classes to get the same effects (via Dragon Desciple, Fey-Druid homebrews, etc). But there's still at least one player whose only played kobolds and gnolls for nearly four years now.
 

greywulf

First Post
Thanee said:
Your house rule seems interesting for low level adjustments, but for high level adjustments, it probably won't work all too well.

That's true, unless the game itself is also high level. I've only allowed a maximum of LA +2 so far, though I'd consider LA +3 (for new characters) when the adventurers reach around the 8th level mark. By then the 3 feat loss should be acceptable.

Interestingly, it does make werewolves possible to play - lose three feats, gain lycanthropy. Simple :)
 


Thanee

First Post
greywulf said:
That's true, unless the game itself is also high level. I've only allowed a maximum of LA +2 so far, ...

Yeah, I figured, that you would use mostly or even exclusively low level adjustments.

That's alright, a rule that works well with some and not so well with others is surely superior to a rule that works only decent but with everything, if you only really use the 'some' part.

Bye
Thanee
 

Thanee

First Post
And thinking about it, there actually is something I did to lessen the impact of LA... when starting the game, I would allow characters with LA to start a level higher (i.e. +2 LA with one class level less or +1 LA with equal class levels), and the characters would simply gain less XP then (as usual for higher level characters). This somewhat mitigrates the initial disadvantage the LA races have compared to no LA characters; gives them a decent start, and the true disadvantages only kick in a while later.

Bye
Thanee
 

greywulf

First Post
Thanee said:
... when starting the game, I would allow characters with LA to start a level higher (i.e. +2 LA with one class level less or +1 LA with equal class levels), and the characters would simply gain less XP then (as usual for higher level characters).

Yep, that works too :)

Thanks for sharing.

G
 

DonTadow

First Post
greywulf said:
I'm sure this has been done to death before, but I've just cast Resurrection. Again.

IMC, we use this House Rule for Level Adjustment which works very well for us.

In brief:

: Each “Level Adjustment” costs the PC one of their free feats. So, a +1 LA race doesn’t get a feat at first level; a +2 LA race doesn’t get feats at 1st or 3rd. Level Adjustment has no other effect whatsoever. It doesn’t count toward your levels, doesn’t affect your XP or anything else at all. Racial Hit Dice apply as normal.

The advantage is that a 1st level fighter is a 1st level fighter is a 1st level fighter with none of this mucking about with ECLs and whatnot. It gives players incentive to actually use the funkier races without feeling cheated out of a whole level (or having to "buy it back" later). The LA +2 races might be a bit overpowered until 3rd level, but that's soon enough not to matter too much.

In effect, "being a Tiefling" (or whatever) is their 1st level feat. As I said, it's a powerful incentive.

But I'm interested in how you do it? Do you play with LAs as they are, allow/disallow, or what?

I'm just curious to know.
When I had open races I still disallowed them. It is just too many variables when you throw in LA races (or for that matter open up a campaign world to any and all races.). A lot of the time you come up with far off reasons as to why a blink dog is traveling with the party. It really jeopardizes the consistency of your world.

The LA races are usually more powerful than the non la races (with LA), despite the supposed balance. I've never seen it work quite right. Even when I played in partys with tieflings, constructs, blinkdogs, githyankis and beholders, those games were my beer and pretzels than serious campaigns.
 

HeapThaumaturgist

First Post
Myself, I rework the LA races into LA +0 races. The reason many have LAs seems to be large ability score adjustments ... but "monsters" have large ability score adjustments because they start with 10,10,10,11,11,11, so a "strong" monster type might get +4 or +6 Str.

I lower all ability score adjustments to +/- 2. I strip out monstrous hit dice as well. That removes most of the problems ... then some races have strong abilities, which I try to reduce. For instance, Drow are mostly the Spell Resistance, which I change to a +4 Racial bonus to all saves vs. Spells and SLAs.

In the end I have a collection of common monsters, goblins and hobgoblins and the like, that don't have an LA. (I also do this in the other direction for poor racial choices ... Goblins and Kobolds. Kobolds get a free racial feat and Goblins all get "Bolt" as a racial feat at 1st level).

--fje
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Oh, also, I should note -

With Unearthed Arcana came the concept of racial levels, which I do use. If the players is okay with starting with LA+0 power, and pickign up racial powers as they desire by taking levels in the substitution class, I'm quite happy to help make that work for them. The one player I have that wanted a race with notable LA race liked this option.
 

the Jester

Legend
I don't encourage them. I'll allow them, and I will allow LA buy-off (per Unearthed Arcana), but I don't especially want the pcs to be weird races.
 

Sejs

First Post
greywulf said:
Interestingly, it does make werewolves possible to play - lose three feats, gain lycanthropy. Simple :)

What about racial hit dice?

You'd still have to take the wolf's two animal hit dice even if the LA was traded out for feat-loss.
 

GoodKingJayIII

First Post
I like the racial levels myself. I could see why it might be considered a bizarre mechanic, but I think it meshes with established mechanics really well. I tend to prefer my players starting at +0 LA for an even footing. Plus, with racial levels I have the option of adding a generic (usually 1d8) HD, which keeps HP on par with the rest of the party.
 

Brimshack

First Post
What I have done in the past is to limit class levels at the outset of a campaign while giving layers the option of taking extra ECL in monster levels. This way the players can trade off the eventual slow down for a slight boost at the beginning of a campaign.

Example: You get 7 ECL to begin with, but class levels above 1st count double toward that. Monster hit dice and level adjustments count normal. Thus a player could play a Centaur Ranger (4HD+2LA+1R) or a 4th level Human Ranger. ...His call.

Of course I also like to run multi-character campaigns with variable starting hit dice. So, I'm more likely to do something like this:

You have 12 Hit Dice to work with (Class levels above 1st count double), and you can roll up 2 characters. How you distribute things is your call, but you must keep 2 viable characters in the campaign. (No sand bagging a 1st level character so you can get your 12 ECL monster into play and then let his flunky die in the first game.) So, one player could roll up an Drider with a level in Cleric (6HD+4la+1Cl) and a Rogue (level 1) while another rolls up 2 human characters in the range of 3rd to 4th.

One key to making variable levels work is actually using variable x.p. for different levels of teh party. If you average the party level before calculating x.p., then the low level characters never really do close the gap.
 

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