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View Full Version : For the Varden!-- On Dragons and their Riders



scout penguin
2010-03-20, 10:29 PM
Ok, heres the deal. My Uncle and I have been working on a Dragon Rider base class for some time now. The rider would be based on those seen in the Inheritance Cycle books Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr. In addition, I would like to extend this into a setting for my own and others use.

Quite frankly, this class is the back bone of the setting, the Iconic thing its known for. And we are struggling with it. Thats where you all come in, we need help. Any ideas will be considered, but my uncle will have the final say so, I want this to be somthing I can play in one of his games.

Thanks in advance!

Here are the ideas I have so far, more tomarrow if I have time:

-Due to thier various areas of trianing and responsibilitys (Spending time with/ training thier dragon, weapon play, and spell casting, Riders have average BAB, as there is only so much time to parctice. This is also why, in game, Riders are limited in casting.

-Saves, Rider: Ref: Good, Fort: Poor and Will: Good. Dragon Ref: poor, Fort: good, Will: Good.

-Dragons stats are generated same as char. stats, with a +4 to STR, +2 to WIS, and -6 to DEX.

-The Dragon and Rider can heal each other at a 2:1 rate. For every 2 HP spent the other gains 1 HP.

-Skill points can be aloted to eather the Rider or Dragon, a class ability letting them try to use one the others skill(s) for a short time. Should Skill points be generated using the Riders Int., or to seperate 'Pools'? One for the Dragon and One for the Rider?

-Casting is spontaneous, and dragons can help fuel thier riders spell by expending HP (Bying off Metamagic?).

-A class ability alowing a Dragon and Rider to act on each others turn a limited number of times per day.

-If one member of the pair is knoked unconscious or otherwise is helpless, the other must do everything they can to help them, unless told not to by the other beforehand.

-Every so often a the pair gets a bounse "Dragon Feat", allowing the dragon to do various draconic things. For example the dragon could gain Frightful Presesnce, or learn to use their breath in a cone or line (Much as Saphira did in Eldest).

Geiger Counter
2010-03-20, 10:43 PM
I seen eragon, a world where dragons are really just basically intelligent magic items for worthless humans.

Okay first I would definitely have the dragon have good reflex saves, when your flying and another dragon uses it's breath weapon you would use your mount's reflex save.

Of corse your skills should be separate pools.

scout penguin
2010-03-21, 08:33 AM
Not to be rude, but the moive is quite different from the book... The book treats the Dragon/Rider pair as two seperate body's, but as they grow closer thier soul starts to meld in to one. They are a team, and I detest Eragons line of "I'm the Rider, what I say goes." (or Some such) in the moive.

Thanks for the input, however.

I'll post more later, right now I have places to be!

CTLC
2010-03-21, 09:40 AM
yeahhh, dragons in the inheritance trilogy arent dnd dragons. they are much faster, more dexterous, and are much better flyers. Check out the wordmaster and word wizard on dungeons.wikia in the homebrew, might help with the casting aspect.

IcarusWings
2010-03-21, 12:06 PM
Not to be rude, but the moive is quite different from the book... The book treats the Dragon/Rider pair as two seperate body's, but as they grow closer thier soul starts to mend in to one. They are a team, and I detest Eragons line of "I'm the Rider, what I say goes." (or Some such) in the moive.

Thanks for the input, however.

I'll post more later, right now I have places to be!

I agree. The film was... a disappointment

scout penguin
2010-03-21, 03:10 PM
THE DRAGON RIDER

Level | BAB |Ref |Fort |Will |other
1| +0|+2|+0|+2|Egg,
2| +1|+3|+0|+3|
3| +2|+3|+1|+3|Empathy 20ft, Protector
4| +3|+4|+1|+4|My Life for Yours
5| +3|+4|+1|+4|Empathy 30ft
6| +4|+5|+2|+5|
7| +5|+5|+2|+5|Shared Knowledge, Emp/Telepathy 40ft
8| +6/+1|+6|+2|+6|
9|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Emp/Telepathy 50ft
10|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|We Are One 1/day
11|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|Ride-by-attack
12|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|
13|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|We Are One 2/day
14|+10/+5|+9|+4|+8|Keep living
15|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+8|
16|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Dragon Feat, Flight 150ft, Breath 3D6
17|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|We Are One 3/day
18|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Spirited Charge
19|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|
20|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|

HD-D8
Weapon and armor proficiencyís- Riders are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and all shields except tower shields. Dragons are proficient with light and medium armor, and their natural weapons.

Skill points at first level: (4 + Int mod) X 4
Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int mod

Skill list: Balance (Dex), Clime (Str), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Spellcraft (Int), Knowledge (Int) (Arcana, History, Nobility and royalty, and Geography), Bluff (Cha), Appraise (Int), and Ride (Dex)

Skills are figured and allotted to both the Dragon and Rider

Empathy/Telepathy- Upon Bonding to its Rider a Dragon and Rider gain a empathetic link, with a range equal to that on the chart. At 5th level this increases to include telepathy. At this time the Dragon learns any one language the rider knows, plus any additional languages due to intelligence. This link is so strong that if one dies so too will the other.

Protector- If either the dragon or rider is knocked unconscious or otherwise helpless, the other must do everything they can to try to save them, also gaining a bonus equal to half their level in this class to any relevant check.

My life for yours- A Dragon/Rider pair can expend hp to heal each other at a 2:1 rate. For every 2 hp spent the other gains 1 hp.

Shared Knowledge- A Dragon or Rider can make a Concentration (DC= 10+ desired skill bonus) check to give themselves a bonus lasting for one round per Dragon Rider level equal to the bounus chosen. The bonus canít exceed the number of ranks the other has in this skill.

Ride-by-attack- at 11th level a Rider is treated as having the Ride-By-Attack feat when riding their bonded Dragon, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

We Are One- Starting at 10th level a Rider and Dragon can choose to act on one or the otherís initiative for a number of rounds equal to half their level in this class, rounded down. This will also include talking and moving at the same time, even if out of combat, and can creep people out at first.

Keep living- at 14th level, if the Dragon or rider dies, the surviving member can try to make a DC 30 Will check to survive, dropping to -1 hp, unstable. The death of their Dragon/Rider will affect them deeply, however.

Spirited Charge- At 18th level a Rider is treated as having the Spirited Charge feat when riding their bonded Dragon, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

scout penguin
2010-03-21, 04:41 PM
Riders Dragons

When a character reaches 3rd level in the Dragon Rider class, their dragon hatches.

Rider Level | BAB |Ref |Fort |Will |other
1| +0|+2|+0|+2|Egg
2| +1|+3|+0|+3|None
3| +2|+3|+1|+3|Empathy 20ft, Protector, small size, very young
4| +3|+4|+1|+4|
5| +3|+4|+1|+4| Flight 50 feet (poor), Empathy 30ft, Medium Size, juvenile, +2 STR, +2 WIS, +2 AC
6| +4|+5+2|+5|
7| +5|+5|+2|+5| Emp/Telepathy 40ft, large size, young adult, +2 STR
8| +6/+1|+6|+2|+6|Dragon Feat, Breath 1D6 30ft line
9|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Emp/Telepathy 50ft
10|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|
11|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7| large size, adult
12|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Dragon feat, Breath 2D6, flight 100ft
13|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|
14|+10/+5|+9|+4|+8|
15|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+8|
16|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Dragon Feat, Flight 150ft, Breath 3D6
17|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|
18|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|
19|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|
20|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Dragon Feat, Breath 4D6


A riders Dragon has a flight speed and can carry a Medium load aloft.

Riders Dragons gain a +2 to strength, wisdom, and armour class at 5th level. They gain an additional +2 to strength, wisdom, and dexterity at seventh level. Dragons are naturally strong and wise, have thick scales, and are quite agile for their size.

Breath weapon- At 5th level a the Dragon gains a breath weapon. This weapon can be of any energy type, excluding force, but is normally fire. The energy type is chosen when this ability is gained and can't be changed except through magic or metabreath feats. This ability can be used Once every 1D4 rounds.

Dragon feat- Each time you gain this ability you chose a feat from the following list, your dragon must meet the prerequisites and is considered a "True Dragon" for prerequisites. The feats are: Awaken frightful presence, Draconic Knowledge, Endue Blows, Improved maneuverability, power climb, power dive, shape breath, improved speed, Hover, Wingover, clinging breath, quicken breath, power attack, shock wave,Enlarge breath, split breath, Recover breath, and Flyby attack.

All Riders Dragons have D10 Hit Dice.

Riders Dragons are not immune to sleep or paralysis.

Riders Dragons have low light vision.

A Riders Dragonís claw and bite attacks deal 1D4 damage. this increases to 1D6 at 5th level (Medium size), 1D8 at 7th (Large size).

scout penguin
2010-03-21, 09:30 PM
First, thanks for the help everyone. You all are some :cool: folks.

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? Is the Riders Dragon to powerful? Are there any key parts I'm missing?

I also need some ideas for a capstone ability, and spells that should be on the spell list. Post 'em if you got 'em!

As soon as this is done I'll be starting on Alagaesia as a setting, including alternate spell casting, storing power in gems, Wild Dragons, and Shades.

Geiger Counter
2010-03-21, 10:05 PM
Okay first I would put this on word to check for spelling errors.

Why do they get all the knowledge skills?

"Protector- If either the dragon or rider is knocked unconscious or otherwise helpless, the other must do everything they can to try to save them, also gaining a bonus equal to their level in this class to any relevant check or attack roll."

Well that's ridiculously overpowered., at level 20 this class feature provides a bonus to attack rolls higher than your BAB.

"A riders Dragon has a flight speed and can carry a light load aloft."

Make that at least a medium load, this thing was born to carry stuff.

"Shared Knowledge- A Dragon or Rider can make a Concentration (DC= 10+ desiered Ranks in skill) check to add a number of temporary ranks to their own skill. These ranks last for one round per level."

That is just a weird ability, don't they already have the same class skills?
It needs rewording at the least.

"Breath weapon- At 5th level a the Dragon gains a breath weapon. This weapon can be of any element, but is normally fire. The element is chosen when this ability is gained and can't be changed except through magic or metabreath feats. This ability can be used Once every 1D4 rounds."

You mean energy type, unless you mean I can choose to have rock breath.
You should probably exclude force though.

You need to make two different character progressions, one for you and one for your dragon to avoid this very confusing wording. To make things easy just treat it as a paladin's mount.

scout penguin
2010-03-21, 10:27 PM
On the Knowledge skills, I'll fix that. It was because the Riders, in addition to being skilled combatants, were very, well, knowledgeable. What ones do you think they should have? Looking back, I'm thinking Arcana, History, Nobility and royalty, and geography

On Protector, typo on my part, it was supposed to be 1/2 your level, rounded down. It will also be changed to exclude attack rolls, as that is ridiculous, thanks for catching that.

Flight load will be changed to medium.

Yes, they have the same class skills, but these skills can be set up in different ways, not to mention cross class skills, and skills gained before becoming a Rider. Wording will be worked on.

Yes, I meant energy type, my bad, don't play 3.5 very often. Again, wording will be worked on.

Edit: Skills and spelling amended, as well as (I hope) the wording of Shared Knowledge. Two seperate charts to come at a later time.

Edit 2 : Protector changed

Zexion
2010-03-21, 10:31 PM
I suppose it works. Don't base it off of the movie, it was nothing like the book. Dragon's shouldn't have a penalty to Dexterity, they should have a bonus.

Mulletmanalive
2010-03-22, 05:53 AM
I'd suggest not trying to use "D&D standard" dragons for this, given that, to my second hand understanding of the books, the dragons couldn't use magic so much as helped their rider do so.

I'd go for a 3 HD Drakken Steed at first level as a base and work up from there [having no abilities at first or second levels is just not fair on someone who wants to play the campaign pivotal role.

Beyond that, it would advance rather like an Animal Companion, advancing to be only marginally superior to the rider, barring the massive strength bonus, at level 20.

You'd probably also want to advance to Huge on the dragon around 12th-15th level, simply because the dragons in both sources, by description are borderline between the two size categories.

Second, the dragon could happily have their own spell lineup that mirrors the rider's somewhat [perhaps +2 spells on any level he can cast]. In such a case, while mounted, the rider could use those slots to boost his [i think there's a feat in Dragon Magic that allows you to convert slots to metamagic effects...] or the dragon could use them to power its "breath weapon." In this scheme, the rider could similarly devote his slots to adding Metabreath effects to the dragon's breath attack.

Oh, and you could replicate the "truenaming" bit by just stating that the rider's spells have no somatic or material components when within 20ft of his dragon.

scout penguin
2010-03-22, 09:04 PM
Changed some things, added more feats to the Dragon Feat list, and gave the dragon a table. Rider still needs a capstone, however. Any Ideas on that one? Also what would you say the highest level spell they should get is, and when should they start casting?

Also, this is not supposed to necessarily be "Campaign pivotal" (Even in Alagaesia. Eragon had help, after all.) , and I'm trying to balance it with the PHB base class'.

Mulletmanalive,I love that last idea! It will defiantly be added after I puzzle out where to put spell casting.

Ranger Mattos
2010-03-22, 09:10 PM
Also, this is not supposed to necessarily be "Campaign pivotal" (Even in Alagaesia. Eragon had help, after all.) , and I'm trying to balance it with the PHB base class'.

Which classes? Wizards and other main casters are generally far more powerful than classes such as Monk and Fighter. I would probably aim for around Rogue-level power if you wanted to keep it balanced.

scout penguin
2010-03-22, 09:18 PM
Hmm, I was thinking about equal to a Paladin, actually, but rogue could work to.

scout penguin
2010-03-28, 07:57 PM
Bump.

Anyone have any ideas on the max spell level they should get? Spells per day, ect.? I've never played a caster before and really need the help.

Apropos
2010-03-28, 08:19 PM
Someone made a really interesting casting mechanic that you might find useful for your purposes... now let me see if I can't dig it up...

Ahah! Here it is! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145012)

Barring that, you could also use Fax's d20r sorcerer mechanic (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103250). Though obviously (as with the Magus Primal) you'd have to probably give them a lesser extent of power with it.

Another option would be to use psionics. Perhaps just modify the psychic warrior a bit. Take out a bunch of their feats and stuff and give them a dragon instead. Yeah, psionics definitely matches the feel of Eragon's magic better, though the other two systems would not be a bad read.

EDIT: Yeah... I'm also going to go with what the other people said by this being very confusing and that you should definitely write the dragon up as a Drakkensteed (Dragon Magic), like a paladin's mount or druid's animal companion. Also, your breath weapon progression is very slow. You do realize that 1d6 damage that can be halved on a reflex save and can only be used once per 1d4 rounds is already worthless at 1st level right? You might want to up it to 1d6 per hd. It's not super amazing, especially since you'll have to wait at least one round in between and your dragon will have less HD than you.