View Full Version : Lesser Dragon (3.5 race/class)

2009-10-09, 10:14 AM
As a monster race/class, naturally you need to take all levels of the lesser dragon before you are allowed to multiclass.

Lesser Dragon
Lesser dragons, as their name suggest, are lesser version of the true dragons. yet not to be underestimated, while they lack the size, power, and magical affinity that the true dragons possess, they are far more versatile, and while their "short" lives (only a few hundreds of years) might be a hindrance, it allows them to better focus on "here and now", often getting them out of trouble that the true dragon cannot even understand.

True Dragons versus Lesser Dragons
Amusing as it might be, a lesser dragon is stronger then a true dragon of equal ECL, the thing that makes them "lesser", it their limited growth, and that most of their abilities reach a given cap and cannot further improve.
Do notice, a lesser dragon does not gain all abilities of a true dragon, even some gained at birth such as blindsense are not learned by a lesser dragon of any growth level.

Things to think about before playing
Playing a lesser dragon have both advantages and disadvantages over playing a true dragon, but it is generally a better option for a PC to play a lesser dragon. as he is not stuck forever in growing it, nor is he being underpowered due to many "LA" levels where you don't even gain HD. a lesser dragon is constantly growing, and gaining new options or improving old ones at every level.
While playing a lesser dragon you need to think ahead on what you will do after you finish growing, your abilities will remain the same as they are, so you want to choose abilities that will remain relevant at higher levels too.
Think of your size, it changes rapidly, you cannot afford feats or skills to be chosen at low levels to take advantage of being tiny, as at tenth level you are large already, on the same coin you can't take feats or skills that large creatures will appreciate at low levels, as you are still small.

A good place to look for feats and items is the Draconomicon, as you face the same limitations, and you meet the dragon requirements of these feats.

Please notice you might need to consult the dragon entry often, as many of the lesser dragon's abilities are being shorted to "as a dragon of equal size"

Lesser Dragon Racial Traits
-Starting ability scores: a lesser dragon has no bonuses or penalties to ability scores.
-Dragon: Darkvision out to 60 feet and low-light vision, Immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis effects. Dragons eat, sleep, and breathe.
-Speed as indicated at the class table
-Natural Attacks: the lesser dragon has the natural attacks of a dragon of equal size. (magically changes size may grant/remove them.)
-Size Changing: unlike normal, a lesser dragon's ability scores does not change as he changes sizes from gaining levels as lesser dragon.
-Lesser racial HD: a lesser dragon gains only a d10 HD despite being a dragon, this counts as dragon HD for all means. racial HD gained by means other then the lesser dragon class are also only d10, the lesser dragon also have 3/4 of racial HD BAB, instead of full BAB.
-If a feat/spell/ability ETC asks for a dragon's "Age catagory", they you are a wyrmling at first level, a very young at third level, a young at sixth level and a young adult at ninth level.

Skills (6+int per level, x4 at first) Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (all, taken separately), Listen, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, Use Magic Device.

A lesser dragon if proficient with is natural weapons only. (he can gain further proficiencies from other classes/ feats)

Breath (Su)
A lesser dragon has a breath weapon, he must choose either acid, cold, fire or lightning as his energy and either line or cone as his shape. it deals damage of the chosen energy equal to the table, and the distance of the breath is as a true dragon of the same size and shape.
Using a breath weapon is a standard action. Once a lesser dragon breathes, it canít breathe again until 1d4 rounds later. A blast from a breath weapon always starts at any intersection adjacent to the lesser dragon and extends in a direction of the lesser dragonís choice, with an area as noted on the table below. Creatures caught in the area can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage, The save DC against a breath weapon is 10 + Ĺ lesser dragonís total HD + lesser dragonís Con modifier.

Hover (Ex)
Very young lesser dragons have yet to master flying, yet can use the wings they have to a lesser extend, take damage from fall as tough as they fell 30 ft. less. this counts as slow fall for the purpose of feat or class requirements.

Elemental Immunity (Ex)
A second level less dragon becomes immune to the type of energy of his breath.

Magic Infusion
At forth level the connection between the lesser dragon and magic beings to take shape, he may choose a first level spell to cast once per day, or a 0 level spell to cast at will. the spell chosen cannot have an energy descriptor of acid, cold, fire or lightning unless that is his breath type.

Ability Improvement
At 6th level a lesser dragon chooses a single mental ability and a single physical ability, he gains +2 racial bonus to both.

Greater magic Infusion
At eight level the connection between the lesser dragon and magic becomes powerful, he may choose a second level spell to cast once per day, two first level spell to cast 1/day (he may choose the same spell twice, and the same spell he chose at forth level.) or two 0 level spells to cast at will. the spell chosen cannot have an energy descriptor of acid, cold, fire or lightning unless that is his breath type.

Frightful Presence (Ex)
A 10th level lesser dragon can unsettle foes with its mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the lesser dragon attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 30 feet ◊ the dragonís age category are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the dragon. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 15 + lesser dragonís Cha modifier) remains immune to that lesser dragonís frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons, and lesser dragons are included.

2009-10-09, 10:44 AM
if a feat asks for your "Age catagory", they you are a wyrmling at first,, a very young at third level, a young at sixth level and a young adult at ninth level.

This probably needs to be mentioned in the table.

2009-10-09, 10:55 AM
This probably needs to be mentioned in the table.

True enough, added it to the base racial abilities.

Any other words of comment?

2009-10-10, 01:33 PM
The save DC against a breath weapon is 10 + Ĺ lesser dragonís level + lesser dragonís Con modifier.
Make it clear that this is total levels, not racial class level, or the DC will end up weak after they to about 12th level total.

2009-10-11, 12:15 AM
Good one.

Fixed that.

More comments? fluffy-wise? (although there is little fluff) Crunchy wise?

2009-10-11, 12:33 AM
Well, it certainly is very clever, but it's a tad weak. I'd give it sorceror casting (maybe 1st level at 2nd, 2nd at 5th, 3rd at 8th and 4 at 10th) and up the power of the breath weapon a bit- at least to d6s.
I'd also make a 20 level progression for those who want to play something more potent.
Good concept, though.:smallsmile:

2009-10-11, 12:42 AM
Dragonborn are a racial template that gets a (1 + 1/3HD)d8 breath weapon, at (1/2HD)d4, this breath weapon should be HD based too(It'd still be weaker than a Dragonborn's breath weapon, but not as bad, comparing 3d4 versus 2d8 over every 6HD past the first 6).

2009-10-11, 11:59 PM
A touch monk-ish still, i fear. The breath weapon is good, but only available about twice an encounter and caps at 5d4; the AC can get pretty crazy when combined with fullplate barding, ring of shielding, and other natural armor bonuses.

The main concern though is whether it can use manufactured weapons. If so, then great (a little hard to visualise, but it would work). Otherwise 3/4 BAB, 1xpower attack and strength modifiers and no enhancement bonuses are going to make your natural attacks fairly weak unless you become dependant on amulets of natural attack.

Getting pounce would help, but technically only at small and medium size.

Basically just a powered up monk, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Heck, it's a monk fix

2009-10-12, 07:57 AM
I'd personally second the previous comments about the Breath weapon. It could use being more powerful and/or clearer as it's the core combat method of this class.

Bumping it to 1d6 or 1d8 per level would probably be ok. I'd also say that it would be worth putting the range of the attack, at least for Cone [doubling for line] in the table: there's really no reason that this NEEDs to be omitted and it would make everything look tidier.

I'd also comment that you've included sonic damage in the breath weapon lineup. If you're going to do this, it would probably be worth modeling the breath on the Psionic powers that deal energy damage, as they do a decent job of balancing the native superiority of sonic damage [i think it's blindness for Acid, +1 damage per dice for Cold and Fire, -1 per dice for Sonic and save or dazed for Lightning, but don't quote me on that]. If you do, d6s would be the prefered dice.

If you want to keep the breath weapon as is, i'd suggest removing the Sonic option and increasing the BAB to 1/1 as otherwise, you'd be better off taking a Dragonfire Channeller

2009-10-12, 07:50 PM
Reading it more carefully, it's actually not as bad as I thought; it's obviously not supposed to be a melee monster; a shifter druid would probably work better, but there's a few issues:

-Change the name of 'Hover' to something that isn't a feat; the ability doesn't even replicate the feat, so 'slow fall' may be more appropriate.

-Does it have the dragon type?

-What happens when it uses weapons? Is it capable of wielding a great-axe when it becomes proficient?

-Bipedal or quadrupedal? I'm guessing the latter, but it isn't spelled out and it would make a huge difference, particularly in terms of range, but also carrying capacity and armor usage.

-Can you take a second level spell from any list? I can see some major exploits there. Not that the dragon would take anything except wraithstrike as their level 2 :smalltongue:

2009-10-12, 07:59 PM
I'd rather grab a steel dragon wyrmling and buy off the LA. You get a whole lot more in 4 hd/2 la that catchs the dragon "feel" than you do with this in 10.