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Level Adjustments suck, but rather than having to deal with the level loss you could simply add racial hit dice, even to a template. Doing this would make the level adjusting abilities "class abilities" for these hit dice. This follows the balance of traditional level ups via class levels much more closely than merely adding a level adjustment to a character. To do this follow the steps below:
- Look at the race or template level adjustment and type.
- Add an amount of racial hit dice equal to twice the level adjustment according to the type.
- When you start adding the level adjustment at character creation, begin with 1 racial hit dice and only the most basic abilities of the level adjusted race or template (such as darkvision, low-light vision and other things that you might find in non-adjusted races).
- At every level thereafter you gain a racial hit dice and one or two abilities from the race or template (ask your Game master to rule what amount would be equivalent to one "level" of power)
- Continue doing this until you have all your race or template's abilities and racial hit dice.
Congratulations, you've transformed your level adjustment into actual levels.
Example: Half-Dragon Edit
The half-dragon template changes the creature type to dragon and is a level adjustment +3. Therefore, it would instead just be 6 racial hit dice of dragon.
Hit Die: d12
|Saving Throws||Special||Breath Weapon|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||+2 Strength, +1 Natural Armor, Breath Weapon, Energy Resistance, Darkvision 60ft., Low-light vision||1d8|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, Natural Weapons||2d8|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+3||+2 Charisma, +2 Natural Armor||3d8|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||+2 Strength, +2 Intelligence||4d8|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||+2 Strength, +3 Natural Armor, Immunities||5d8|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+5||Energy Immunity, Wings, +4 Natural Armor||6d8|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Half-Dragon
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Half-Dragon gains no armor or weapon proficiencies but it is proficient with its natural weapons.
Breath Weapon (Su): Half-dragons have a breath weapon dealing damage of their selected energy type according to the table. Their breath weapon can be a 60ft. line or 30ft. cone. They may use this breath weapon once per day. The DC to resist a half-dragon's breath weapon is equal to 10 + 1/2 its hit dice + its Constitution modifier.
Energy Resistance: At 1st level a Half-Dragon selects one energy type. They have a resistance to this energy type equal to 5 x their Half-Dragon level. This improves to Energy Immunity at 6th level.
Natural Armor: A Half-Dragon gains natural armor according to the table. The bonus listed at each level is the total acquired from this class.
Natural Weapons: At 2nd level a Half-Dragon gains a bite and two claw attacks dealing damage according to their size. A medium-sized half-dragon's claws deal 1d4 damage plus their Strength modifier while their bite attacks deal 1d6 damage plus their Strength modifier.
Immunities: At 5th level a Half-Dragon becomes immune to sleep and paralysis effects.
Ability Boost: The Half-Dragon gains ability boosts according to the table. Note that skill points gained from racial modifiers to intelligence must be retroactive in order to remain true to the Same Game policy.
Wings: At 6th level the Half-Dragon gains a fly speed equal to twice its racial base land speed.
Note: Normally the half-dragon template only adds the wings to large or larger creatures, but due to the fact that the racial hit dice already put the half-dragon on par with large creatures it would apply to smaller creatures as well.