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D&D 3E
Monster classes 3.5 
3rd-Jun-2007 08:55 am
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
My group is getting ready to switch DMs and campaigns and I have decided that I really want to play a grig (sprite) cleric in this next campaign. Long story, but I'm really excited about it. We're starting at level 1 and I realize there are some challenges with playing a monster class with level adjustments from the beginning, but I've never had a chance to use Savage Species and I'm looking forward to playing through the grig class. I know that SS came out as a 3.0 book, but I was under the impression that they didn't update it because it was so close to their release of 3.5 that there were no changes. Which brings me to my problem.

In the MM 3.5, the grig has a level adjustment of 3, with no monster HD for character players. That means to me that at 4th level, I'd be a 1st level grig cleric. Yet in the Savage Species progressions, it has the grig as a four level monster class. Was that changed in 3.5? And if so, does anyone know where I can get the new level progressions for that monster class?

(Having looked, there are one or two other differences between the grig in the savage species and the grig in MM 3.5.)
3rd-Jun-2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
As far as a new progression, I don't believe that it was ever changed. They sort of dropped SS like a hot potato and don't really mention it anymore, as if it were a VERY bad idea.
(Deleted comment)
3rd-Jun-2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm looking at the cloistered cleric from the unearthed arcana. And any attacks she makes will be ranged. She'll be primarily a healer/knowledge gatherer, and her curiosity will be her achille's heel, especially when added to the spunky sprite-like personality.
3rd-Jun-2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
It's quite possible that the LA for the grig changed between 3.0 and 3.5. You could always check the 3.0 SRD to make sure.

In any case, you have a few options available to you:
1) Use the 3.0 Grig class as written--you're playing a "3.0 grig" instead of a normal grig
2) In collaboration with your DM, write up a new Savage Progression for the 3.5 grig, using the one in SS as a base (for the record, this is probably what I'd recommend doing. I'm a huge fan of the Savage Progressions, at least in theory, and think they are a neat way to play a monster race from early levels).
3) There is another option printed in a web enhancement for a forgotten realms book which suggests that you can counter small level adjustments by basically having your character take a negative level, which they then work off by gaining XP. You can find that option here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040215a&page=2. Note that while this seems fine to me for small level adjustments (like +1), I'm not sure how it will work out for a +3 LA.
(Deleted comment)
3rd-Jun-2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
That is LA buyoff, and is something different. That system allows you to reduce your LA gradually as you gain levels: The benefits of a Level Adjustment become relatively weaker as you get to higher levels, so this allows you to spend XP to remove some of the level adjustment (and allow yout to gain actual class levels in its place). So with that system, you could plan to still have a level 20 Grig Cleric pre-epic, rather than being forced to only get to level 17 pre-epic.

That system does nothing to help with playing a LA character from level 1, which is what the original poster was asking about.
(Deleted comment)
3rd-Jun-2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
It's all good :) LA buyoff would still be a good idea for the grig character as she gains levels--she should talk to her DM about it.
3rd-Jun-2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Simply put, I would use the stats in the SS instead of the MM, regardless of whether either is 3.0 or 3.5. The SS was made (at least the section you'll be using) for players to bring flavor to the game (not that any other races/classes don't or can't have flavor). The MM is for use by DM's, and I feel the stats present there are also due to other 'hidden' features that a particular race may have that is not described in the SS book.
Ok, that made sense before I typed it all out.
In a nutshell use the SS book. It's neat.
4th-Jun-2007 03:59 am (UTC)
I can't stand by savage species. I made a Succubus in a friend's game... it was, I think, a 13 level prestige class. By level 8 I think I had a charisma of 36 (partially because of a +2 cloak of charisma or something) I could charm at will, and did. No simple NPC could resist my save of something like 27 or so, so I could pretty much do what I wanted. It was hot. Of course, it totally destroyed any game balance there could have been...
4th-Jun-2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
I've found that anything with an ECL of more than +3 or +4 can be extremely unbalancing unless you're really careful, SS or no. "Monsters" are often cool ideas, but as spacemeat pointed out, they are designed for the DM, not the PC. SS is definitely quite flawed, but I think it did a good job at trying.

I've played a few monsters as PCs. What I usually do is ask myself what it would take to boil down a creature to its basic elements and then see what it would take class/PrCl-wise to get them to the "standard". Similar to the succubus, I played an incubus once. He started out as +3 ECL with only minimal shape-shifting, minimal CHA bonuses, minor spell-like abilities, and small weak wings. I then did a slightly modified (with DM's approval) psionic Telepath class. I also used the concept of Paragon classes from UA so that my character got a little more fiendish around level 6 or 7. It took more work, but in the end was rewarding and not too unbalancing. He wasn't very much like the MM, but he still felt like an incubus.
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