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I have a player who wants to play an intelligent gelatinous creature.

After lots of searching I determined this was posible but the easiest/least cheesy way to do it would be to apply both the gelatinous creature template (Savage species 117) and the sentry ooze template (dungeonscape 114).

The gelatinous creature template has a CR +2 adn the sentry ooze template has a CR +2.

In regards to level adjustment the gelatinous creature template states that "Gelatinous creatures lack the Intelligence to be playable characters, so they have no level adjustment."

However, the sentry ooze template can be combined with intelligence boosting items to generate an intelligence score that IS playable.

So the question is... is there any way to determine a level adjustment for this type of build based on the CR increases or something else?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about an intelligent ooze PC does the player find attractive? Is it some specific immunity that the player's after for his PC, a role-playing opportunity, just an I'm-a-nutty-dude kind of thing, or something else? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 18 '18 at 15:37
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There's no mechanical way to convert CR to level adjustment. The DM has to adjudicate it. Level adjustment is rarely lower than challenge rating. In general, abilities which remain valuable at high level are worth a lot more than abilities which will be obsolete later on.

Gelatinous creature is actually quite low-powered. Its abilities are weak, and it has several drawbacks, like half speed and reduced ability scores. Many of its benefits (d10 hit dice) don't apply to player characters with levels, and some dangers like sneak attack and polymorph are more rarely used against PCs. The acid slam attack is no more powerful than a sword. I can't go into specific detail without effectively reproducing the entire creature template, but in the hands of PCs this is overall a weak template.

Sentry ooze mainly gives spell resistance (very powerful, worth at least a level on its own) and big ability score bonuses.

Combined, you have a race with Str +0, Dex +2, Con +6, Int 3, Wis +6, Cha +6. These ability score bonuses are very high: compare it to Half-Celestial, which has +4 level adjustment. That template also has spell resistance, a +4 bonus to specific saves. However, Half-Celestial also gains elemental resistances and damage reduction, flight, and some useful spell-like abilities.

Using Half-Celestial as a rough benchmark, we can very approximately place your combined ooze's level adjustment no higher than +4, and no lower than +3 (it's considerably better than drow, which is +2 and has spell resistance and minor ability score bonuses). As the DM, you have the final say here.

Personally, I'd suggest inventing your own ooze template or race closer to +1 or +2, to avoid lumbering your player with a high level penalty just because he wanted to play an ooze. You don't really need Spell Resistance and +6 Wisdom to represent an ooze; you really just need a Dexterity bonus, acidic touch, acid resistance, a racial bonus to Escape Artist checks, and a unique ability to squeeze through openings smaller than your head. That could easily be done within a +1 or +2 level adjustment.

There's also the Oozemaster prestige class in Masters of the Wild, although it's quite weak, as you have to be at least a 5th level spellcaster and you lose half your spellcasting progression.

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There is no way to estimate LA based on CR.

To tell the LA of a creature with no listed LA, use Estimating Level Adjustments on page 10-24 of Savage Species.

For Geletanus Creature:

Natural armor penalty: -1

Slam: +1 for dealing more damage than 1h weapon, +1 for also being able to weapon attack in same turn.

Blindsight: +1

Resilient: ad hoc +2

Unbalanced (negatively) ability scores -1

Move at half speed: -1

Total: +3

That wasn’t too hard, was it? Of course not. I did all the work :)

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There is a simpler method, and one which was officially approved!

I am going to sidestep your initial question, and approach the answer from a different angle.

Enter the Gelatinous Cube Monk! (appropriate fanfare)

To quote the article: "This highly improbable creature is the result of taking the rules to the very limit."

Note that the Gelatinous Cube has 10 levels of Monk (legally), and is considered a CR 12. I believe that this official CR will provide you with an adequate measuring stick with which to resolve your original question regarding what CR/LA to assign to your player's character, even if I don't directly answer LA versus CR and templates.


Also note, that CR and LA are very, very different things.

CR is what level a group of 4 characters should be to find the given creature challenging (ie: able to force said party of four to expend 1/13th of their resources) in an encounter.

Whereas, LA is the adjustment to level (ie: penalty) assigned to a PC in order to counter balance innate abilities which make them more powerful than the average character of there level.

Not really a whole lot of crossover between the two concepts, other than the inherent acknowledgement that the characters of 'x' level are going to trash the monster of matching 'x' CR.

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