Saturday, June 4, 2011

Updated Myconid Monster Class

So, looking back on my myconid monster class, it really looks like the level adjustment given by WotC is preposterously high. Let's recalculate it from scratch and come up with a new, more reasonable monster class.

Consider this ECL calculator. It seems acceptable, so let's use it.


I don't know if this calculator automatically applies Type traits, but as it asks for Type, we can only assume it does. Except it pretty clearly doesn't. Plant traits are pretty awesome, and it only partially accounts for that when it takes into account how much a plant HD is worth. You get awesome immunities for being a plant even if you don't have any plant HD. But then, their immunities aren't really much more than warforged get at (the high end of) +0LA, so maybe it's cool anyway.

I count two minor weaknesses common to all myconids - inability to speak without rapport spores or Drow Sign Language, and weird body shape that makes armor more expensive.

The only special good things myconids get are their various spores and the Sovereign's potion making:

Distress and reproduction spores effectively do nothing for a PC, and should have no effect on ECL.

Rapport spores are a telepathy effect as a single target ranged touch or area effect. Expanded Psionics Handbook offers the level 1 power mindlink, which is similar but single-target only and unlimited in range. Call it the equivalent of a minor spell-like ability.

Pacification spores are a single-target ranged touch slightly-less-bad-than-dazed for 10 rounds. daze, daze monster, and psionic daze are level 0 and 2 spells and a level 1 power, respectively, but only last for 1 round. Call this the equivalent of a level 2 spell-like ability, so medium.

Hallucination spores are a single-target ranged touch confusion spell for 1 hour. Confusion is a level 3 or 4 spell, which lasts for 1 round/level. Hallucination spores last an order of magnitude longer than confusion does, so let's call that the equivalent of at least a level 5 spell-like ability, qualifying as a major power.

Animation spores are a free zombie-only animate dead (a level 3 spell) which takes 1d4 days to take effect, and the zombies last only 1d6 weeks, but with no limit to creatures commanded. Let's call it roughly equivalent to animate dead. The sovereign already gets the hallucination spores, though, so it still has major powers.

Potion making is a little weird. I'm not sure why I counted it as "not a bonus feat" the first time 'round, given that a 6HD creature gets 3 feats, the Myconid Sovereign has 4, and "Brew Potion" clearly has a (B) next to it. This is obviously a bonus feat, so we should count it as such.


So, plugging in the numbers, we get the following results:

Myconid : ECL : LA
Junior Worker : 1.1 : +0.1
Average Worker : 1.4 : -0.6
Elder Worker : 2.2 : -0.8
Guard : 3.3 : -0.7
Circle Leader : 5.4 : +0.4
Sovereign : 6.4 : +0.4

Which is to say, for most of its progression, the myconid is slightly weaker than a creature with class levels instead of racial hit dice, and even those levels where it's stronger, it's only very slightly stronger. Myconids are weak enough that they should have no level adjustment at all. Yes, even at level 6, with a combined +30 to stats.

...huh. I find this peculiar, and this estimate is probably low by a level or two. But I'll go with it anyway.

A pretty good stepping-stone into any melee class, particularly a tanky one: 6 levels for +8 str, +2 dex, +6 con, 2 slam attacks, and Large size. Not as good a stepping-stone into cleric, druid, or sorcerer, sacrificing 6 caster levels for a mere +6 wis and cha. A terrible stepping-stone into wizard, sacrificing 6 caster levels for +2 int.

I'm okay with that.

So let's monster class up the joint.

This is actually really easy. There are no more empty LA-levels. Each level of the myconid monster class simply advances you to the next kind of myconid.


Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Age Range Special
1 0 2 0 0 4-8 tiny, slam 1d3, distress spores
2 1 3 0 0 8-12 +2 str, +2 con, +2 int, small, slam 1d4, reproduction spores
3 2 3 1 1 12-16 +2 str, -2 dex, +2 wis, +2 cha, +1 natural armor, medium, slam 1d6, rapport spores
4 3 4 1 1 16-20 +2 str, +2 con, pacification spores
5 3 4 1 1 20-24 +2 str, +2 con, +2 wis, natural armor +2, large, slam 1d6, hallucination spores
6 4 5 2 2 24+ +2 str, +2 int, +2 cha, animation spores, potion making

HD: d8
Skill Points: 2+INT (x4 at first level)
Class Skills: Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Move Silently, Profession (farmer), Profession (herbalist), Sense Motive, Spot, Survival.

Racial Traits:
Tiny Plant
Land speed 20 feet.

Plant Traits:
Low-Light vision.
Immunity to all mand-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning.
Not subject to critical hits.
Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep.

Proficiencies: Myconids are proficient with their slam attack only. They are not proficient with any armor (and armor they wear is more expensive due to their unusual shape - a myconid is nonhumanoid).

Ability Scores: A myconid begins with racial ability modifiers of -2 Str, +4 Dex, -2 Int, +2 Wis, and +2 Cha.
A myconid's strength increases by +2 at level 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Its dexterity is reduced by -2 at level 3.
Its constitution increases by +2 at levels 2, 4, and 5.
Its wisdom increases by +2 at levels 3 and 5.
Its charisma increases by +2 at levels 3 and 6.

Slam Attack: At 1st level, a myconid has two slam attacks which deal 1d3 damage. This damage increases to 1d4 at 2nd level, 1d6 at 3rd level, and 1d8 at 5th level.

Size: At 1st level, a myconid is Tiny, with a space/reach of 2.5/2.5, a size bonus of +2 to attacks and AC, a size bonus of +8 to Hide checks, and a penalty of -8 to bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts.
At 2nd level, the myconid grows to Small. Its space/reach increases to 5/5, its size bonus to attacks and AC drops to +1, its size bonus to Hide checks drops to +4, and its penalty to bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts drops to -4.
At 3rd level, the myconid grows to Medium. Its size bonuses to attacks and AC, Hide checks, and penalty to bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts are all reduced to 0.
At 5th level, the myconid grows to Large. Its space/reach increases to 10/10, it gains a size bonus of +4 to bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip attempts, a penalty of -1 to attack and AC, and a penalty of -4 to Hide checks.

Natural Armor: A myconid gains a +1 natural armor bonus to AC at level 3. This bonus increases to +2 at level 5.

Spores: As a standard action, a myconid of 2nd level or higher can release a cloud of spores. Every level, a myconid gains a new variety of spore but does not lose access to the previous varieties. Each type of spore can be used a number of times per day equal to the myconid’s total Hit Dice (including class levels). A level 6 myconid, for example, has the first three spores (distress, reproduction, and rapport), and it can use each variety three times per day. The DC for saves to resist the effect of spores is equal to 10 + the myconid’s wisdom modifier.
Spores can be released either in a 120-foot spread or as a 40-foot ranged touch attack against a single target, as noted in the individual descriptions.
Distress: These spores alert all other myconids within the area that danger is near. They are released in a 120-foot spread.
Reproduction: These spores eventually germinate into new infant myconids. They are released as a 120-foot spread and have no detrimental effects on nonmyconids. A dying myconid of 2nd level or higher will automatically release reproduction spores.
Rapport: Myconids do not speak, but these spores enable them to establish telepathic communication with each other and with outsiders. A successful Fortitude saving throw negates the effect, but it is harmless. Rapport last for 30 to 60 minutes with outsiders, but for 8 hours with other myconids. Rapport spores can be released as either a 120-foot spread or a 40-foot ranged touch attack. Regardless of the release area, communication range is 120 feet once rapport is established.
Pacification: These spores are released as a 40-foot ranged touch attack. The target must make a Fortitude saving throw or become passive for 1 minute. Being passive is similar to being dazed, except that the target can take partial actions that don’t involve attacking. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect.
Hallucination: These spores are released as a 40-foot ray. The target must make a Fortitude saving throw or suffer powerful hallucinations that duplicate the effects of a confusion spell for 1 hour.
Animation: When released over a dead body, animation spores begin a process that covers the corpse with purple fungus. After 1d4 days, the corpse reanimates as a servant under the control of the myconid. A servant has all the characteristics of a zombie of the same size, except that it retains its previous creature type and it cannot be turned or otherwise affected as an undead. Over the course of 1d6 weeks a myconid-animated corpse slowly decays. At the end of that period it simply disintegrates into dust.

Potion Making: A myconid of 6th level gains Brew Potion as a bonus feat. It can duplicate the following effects as a cleric or druid once per day (but only for the purpose of brewing potions): bull’s strength, cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds, delay poison, endurance, endure elements, greater magic fang, invisibility to animals, lesser restoration, magic fang, negative energy protection, neutralize poison, protection from elements, remove blindness/deafness, remove disease, remove paralysis, resist elements.

Age Range: Myconids are unlike other monster classes in that they advance through hit dice by age.
If a character’s age is below the lower age limit for a level in the myconid monster class, they may not take that level, and must take a player class level instead.
If a character’s age is over the upper age limit for their current myconid level, they may not take levels in any class other than the myconid class.

Automatic languages: none.
Bonus languages: common, terran, undercommon, drow sign language.
Myconids communicate with one another using rapport spores. They have no mouths and so cannot speak any language that requires speech, but they can understand, read, and write any language they know. Some take the time to learn drow sign language, to communicate with outsiders without using rapport spores.

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