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Flickerdart
2010-06-06, 05:24 PM
Fact: Dragons are awesome.
Fact: Dragons have lots of HD so the players don't kill them immediately.
Fact: Dragons have lots of LA because they're so awesome.
Fact: This makes Dragons unplayable.

What age categories of what dragons balance the awesomeness and the LA/RHD? The lowest ECL dragon (White Wyrmling, ECL5) sucks horribly compared to even an LA0 PC race, never mind a 5th level character, but it does get three different movement modes which is cool.

Are there any better playable Dragons?

Saph
2010-06-06, 05:26 PM
Several people on these boards have worked up playable Dragon monster classes, I believe.

RelentlessImp
2010-06-06, 05:31 PM
Dragonwrought Kobolds and Spellscales are great LA+0 Dragons. So are Dragonborn, now that I think about it.

But if you want an ACTUAL dragon... a wyrmling gold dragon isn't TOO bad.

Flickerdart
2010-06-06, 05:31 PM
I don't like resorting to homebrew (I can homebrew up my own dragon class if I need to) unless the system doesn't support anything at all that's similar to what I want. Wyrmling Gold is ECL12 for some stat boosts and not much else.

Octopus Jack
2010-06-06, 05:33 PM
Dragonwrought Kobold Dragonfire Adept...

Saph
2010-06-06, 05:34 PM
The problem is that Dragons were never designed as playable characters. The fact that they advance by aging rather than by XP is a bit of a hint in that respect.

So most of the effective ways to play a Dragon tend to involve cheating, somehow. For example, playing a spellcaster and then Wild Shaping or Polymorphing yourself into one.

Jair Barik
2010-06-06, 05:36 PM
Working with your DM to maybe remove the LA a Very young Shadow dragon could work, perhaps as scouty type/skill monkey/sneaky person. Breathe weapon bestows a negative level, counts as complete concealment in anything other than full on daylight and all of its mental stats are pretty good. Immunity to energy drain, small size and a +10 NA.

Greenish
2010-06-06, 05:40 PM
Dragonwrought Kobolds and Spellscales are great LA+0 Dragons. So are Dragonborn, now that I think about it.

But if you want an ACTUAL dragon... a wyrmling gold dragon isn't TOO bad.Dragonborn and spellscales are merely dragon-blooded humanoids, like silverbrow humans (& Co). Dragonwrought kobolds are at least dragons.

The_Snark
2010-06-06, 05:40 PM
The Abyssal Drake (found in the Draconomicon) is not technically a true dragonóI believe it's actually a blend of wyvern, red dragon, and demonóbut it's the closest you'll get to playing a dragon as a huge, terrifying beast. It's ECL 15, so it's not for low levels, but you get impressive stat boosts, Huge size, flight, a bevy of natural attacks, a breath weapon, frightful presence... all the usual dragon stuff, minus spellcasting. It actually makes for a pretty solid melee character.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-06, 05:43 PM
Fact: Dragons are awesome.
Fact: Dragons have lots of HD so the players don't kill them immediately.
Fact: Dragons have lots of LA because they're so awesome.
Fact: This makes Dragons unplayable.

What age categories of what dragons balance the awesomeness and the LA/RHD? The lowest ECL dragon (White Wyrmling, ECL5) sucks horribly compared to even an LA0 PC race, never mind a 5th level character, but it does get three different movement modes which is cool.

Are there any better playable Dragons?

Sand Dragon?
ECL 5 for Wyrmling (HD 3)
ECL 8 Very young (HD 6)

Flaywind is untyped damage (sand).

You could just play a Dragonborn (Insert Race here).

Shadow Dragon (abilities are good but LA sucks)
ECL 7 for Wyrmling (HD 4)
ECL 10 Very young (HD 7)
Negative levels (Reflex for 1/2)

Pyroclastic Dragon (abilities are good but LA sucks)
ECL 11 for Wyrmling (HD 7)
ECL 15 Very young (HD 10)
Disintegrating breath or 1/2 fire + 12 Sonic breath.

arguskos
2010-06-06, 05:45 PM
The monster progressions in Dragon #332 are pretty decent. Only the Chromatic five exist, but it'd be fairly straightforward to get the Metallics if you so wished (goes off to work out progressions for the Orange and Purple).

Oslecamo
2010-06-06, 05:45 PM
I don't like resorting to homebrew (I can homebrew up my own dragon class if I need to) unless the system doesn't support anything at all that's similar to what I want.

Well copper and brass have the lowest LAs. I've seen the second in play and just 2 lost levels aren't that bad in return for flying, save-or-die breath, and tiny size has it's advantages.

Granted, you'll be playing a skirmish lizard and not a huge fire breathing beast.

Eeerr, wizard and draconic polymorph?:smalltongue:

Jair Barik
2010-06-06, 05:49 PM
Sand Dragon?
ECL 5 for Wyrmling (HD 3)
ECL 8 Very young (HD 6)

Flaywind is untyped damage (sand).

You could just play a Dragonborn (Insert Race here).

Shadow Dragon (abilities are good but LA sucks)
ECL 7 for Wyrmling (HD 4)
ECL 10 Very young (HD 7)

But you wouldn't really want to play a shadow dragon wyrmling. One of its best abilities it only gains as very young (shadow blend) and as the wyrmlings breath DC is only 13 its likely that even mooks will be saving against it (that said any young dragons breath weapon is likely to be ignored at higher levels as they don't scale but against mook hoards of 1 HD its ncie to force a DC 16 save or die)

Ormur
2010-06-06, 05:49 PM
Improved monster classes (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142724) by Oslecamo.

Makes dragons an other monsters playable in high powered campaigns.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-06, 05:52 PM
But you wouldn't really want to play a shadow dragon wyrmling. One of its best abilities it only gains as very young (shadow blend) and as the wyrmlings breath DC is only 13 its likely that even mooks will be saving against it (that said any young dragons breath weapon is likely to be ignored at higher levels as they don't scale but against mook hoards of 1 HD its ncie to force a DC 16 save or die)

Breath Weapon DC doesn't negate, it reduces the amount. Granted, it says round down so successful save means no negative level.

It is almost Enervation as a breath weapon.

Mystic Muse
2010-06-06, 06:09 PM
I believe all dragon breaths are based off of a specific stat and then age category so I think it does go up with level if you can boost CON.

Jack_Simth
2010-06-06, 06:22 PM
Are there any better playable Dragons?The Pseudodragon (+2 LA, 2 RHD) isn't too bad, if you're playing a stealth-centric character.

Really, though, if you want to play an actual Dragon, you're well-served to find a Gestalt game - one where the DM lets LA and RHD fill a single side of the progression, just like class levels (which gets rid of most of the disadvantages of a high-LA race).


I believe all dragon breaths are based off of a specific stat and then age category so I think it does go up with level if you can boost CON.
DC is 10+ 1/2 RHD + Con Modifier.
The damage/area is based on age category.

nekomata2
2010-06-06, 06:28 PM
Dragons of Faerun has Mercury and Steel dragons, which, for wyrmlings, have 3 and 4 RHD, and both have a LA+2, not too bad. Plus Steel dragons have the hilarious property of always smelling like wet metal in their dragon form.

AslanCross
2010-06-06, 06:51 PM
I believe all dragon breaths are based off of a specific stat and then age category so I think it does go up with level if you can boost CON.

Damage only scales by age category; the DC goes up with both age category and is modified by CON.

At high levels, a wyrmling will still be dealing wyrmling damage. Not very impressive.

Mystic Muse
2010-06-06, 06:52 PM
Damage only scales by age category; the DC goes up with both age category and is modified by CON.


The second is what I meant. Sorry if that was unclear.

Eldariel
2010-06-06, 07:31 PM
Whatever it is, Wyrmling is always] the best bet. First, Dragon HD grows faster than their power (and CR) so you'll get diminishing returns as you have to take Dragon HD as levels (which, of course, can't fit multiple HDs per level), and second, the LA grows for each age category. As such, minimizing the number of these extremely inefficient "dragon levels" you have to take is the best.

Some Wyrmlings are quite playable. If you use the various draconic templates and company (Dragons of Eberron & Draconomicon-stuff), you should be fine. Frankly, the best Dragon you could get though is getting one as Mount/Leadership Cohort/Animal Companion. It's pretty standard for Supermount which gains insane amounts of HD, and it just so happens Dragon HD doesn't suck, so it's pretty useful overall. You can get a Young one this way, with ~50-odd HD.

Glimbur
2010-06-06, 08:15 PM
The Ambush Drake (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060728a) racial class isn't terribad... 7 ECL for 7 HD. Their breath weapon is kind of funky but they are dragons.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-06, 08:21 PM
Ambush Drakes have LA -, not 0 in Monster Manual 3.
Breath Weapon: 30 ft cone, Slows, 7 rd, DC 17 Will negate.

That link is just CR.

Sadly, they aren't playable.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-06-06, 08:34 PM
Ambush Drakes have LA -, not 0 in Monster Manual 3.
Breath Weapon: 30 ft cone, Slows, 7 rd, DC 17 Will negate.

That link is just CR.

Sadly, they aren't playable.

Check the errata. That or the wizards site, as there may have been a promo for MM3 where they threw up the racial class.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-06, 08:46 PM
Nope. Check errata, it skips them. Goes right to Arcane ooze.

This is Website:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20040905a

This site is adding levels not at level 4:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060728a

Look at Level 4? It has 11 HD, CR 9 and 4 Scout Classes.

The Fight club was not for players but WotC staff to fight against each other.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-06-06, 08:48 PM
Nope. Check errata, it skips them. Goes right to Arcane ooze.

This is Website:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20040905a

This site is adding levels not at level 4:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060728a

Look at Level 4? It has 11 HD, CR 9 and 4 Scout Classes.

The Fight club was not for players but WotC staff to fight against each other.

Well, I'll be damned. Looks like it actually doesn't have a valid LA to it. Shame, too. Eh, there's always Kobolds then.

Darrin
2010-06-06, 10:59 PM
The monster progressions in Dragon #332 are pretty decent. Only the Chromatic five exist, but it'd be fairly straightforward to get the Metallics if you so wished (goes off to work out progressions for the Orange and Purple).

The metallic dragons were actually published first in Dragon #320. The gold dragon is the most playable: medium size for levels 1-15, and at level 4 they get Alternate Form (Su), which allows them to change into any animal or humanoid form. This would allow them to masquerade as another character, maybe pretending to be a fighter or some other mundane class. Silver dragons also get Alternate Form (Su) at level 8, but start out small for levels 1-13.

Mark Hall
2010-06-07, 04:28 PM
The Pseudodragon (+2 LA, 2 RHD) isn't too bad, if you're playing a stealth-centric character.

Seventeen posts for someone to mention the most awesome of dragon races? For SHAME, GitP Boards! For SHAME!

arguskos
2010-06-07, 04:29 PM
The metallic dragons were actually published first in Dragon #320. The gold dragon is the most playable: medium size for levels 1-15, and at level 4 they get Alternate Form (Su), which allows them to change into any animal or humanoid form. This would allow them to masquerade as another character, maybe pretending to be a fighter or some other mundane class. Silver dragons also get Alternate Form (Su) at level 8, but start out small for levels 1-13.
Really? I don't have 320, need to go find a copy somewhere. *goes hunting online for a print copy* Thanks for the heads-up.

Tytalus
2010-06-07, 05:16 PM
Wyrmling steel dragons are quite nice (use Wyrm of War archetype for a decent ToB build), as are wyrmling mercury dragons for their incredible maneuverability.


The Pseudodragon (+2 LA, 2 RHD) isn't too bad, if you're playing a stealth-centric character.


That wouldn't be too bad, but the LA is actually +3.

Vizzerdrix
2010-06-07, 05:39 PM
What about the Ambush Drake (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060728a)?

And on a side note, could other smaller dragons be turned into savage progressions?

Starbuck_II
2010-06-07, 06:38 PM
What about the Ambush Drake (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060728a)?

And on a side note, could other smaller dragons be turned into savage progressions?

We just went through this.
They still have a LA of Nil. Not zero but Nil.

That link is for DMs and Wotc staff to duel them.

dspeyer
2010-06-07, 08:19 PM
Apart from wyrmling brass and [very] young gold that have already been mentioned, the elemental drakes in draconomicon are worth looking at. They're all LA 3 with strength > 18, so their natively attack bonus is greater than their ecl. They're also large. It's a good start for serious melee.

JaronK
2010-06-07, 08:24 PM
Dragonwrought Dragonborn Kobolds are A) Dragons, two or three times over and B) awesome. Also, they worship how awesome dragons are, so they basically can run around telling everyone how cool they are. Best part of this: they're actually truly awesome. And hey, as a Dragonborn you can even have wings and everything. If anyone complains that you're not really a dragon, Alter Self into the dragon of your choice why screaming "WHERE IS YOUR GOD NON DRAGON NOW!?"

And then you can Loredrake...

JaronK

The Rabbler
2010-06-07, 08:36 PM
And then you can Loredrake...


and War Wyrm for melee.

JaronK
2010-06-07, 08:37 PM
Well, "or" War Wyrm. Can't do both. But yeah, War Wyrm is the one to go for if you're not going to be a Sorcerer.

JaronK

The Rabbler
2010-06-07, 09:27 PM
Well, "or" War Wyrm. Can't do both. But yeah, War Wyrm is the one to go for if you're not going to be a Sorcerer.


I meant it that War Wyrm is another option, but no harm done.

Thurbane
2010-06-07, 09:40 PM
Pseudodragon is ECL 5 6 at 1st level...is there any tasty +0 templates for true dragons? I think maybe Eberron has a couple of broken-good ones?

Blindsense and Telepathy are pretty cool abilities, too...

STR -4, DEX +4, CON +2, WIS +2

Error in basic maths

JaronK
2010-06-08, 01:03 AM
I meant it that War Wyrm is another option, but no harm done.

Thought you might have, but it was best to clarify. WoW is great for Clerics too.

JaronK

Thurbane
2010-06-08, 02:06 AM
...speaking of Pseudodragons, if I was making a Pseudodragon Rogue 7, and had 4 feats to burn (excluding the bonus feat of Weapon Finesse), are there any good "Dragon-only" type feats to benefit a tiny draconic rogue, or that have Blindsense or Telepathy as a prerequisite?

Dexam
2010-06-08, 02:25 AM
...speaking of Pseudodragons, if I was making a Pseudodragon Rogue 7, and had 4 feats to burn (excluding the bonus feat of Weapon Finesse), are there any good "Dragon-only" type feats to benefit a tiny draconic rogue, or that have Blindsense or Telepathy as a prerequisite?

Mindsight, from Lords of Madness. Automatically sense all creatures with an Int greater than "-" within 100'? Yes please!

I wouldn't mind playing a Faerie Dragon (from Draconomicon: 8 RHD, +2 LA) PC at one point, just to see how it plays.

Tytalus
2010-06-08, 03:19 AM
Pseudodragon is ECL 5 at 1st level...

At ECL 5, you aren't first level. With your first character level, you are looking at ECL 6 (LA+3, 2 RHD, 1 level), as pointed out before.

Keld Denar
2010-06-08, 03:25 AM
If you are using Savage Progressions, thats not necessarily true.

Ossian
2010-06-08, 03:33 AM
Wyrmling and very young dragons settle at approx +3 LA. Give them a class and advance in class levels. Age is your ally here, not your enemy, as the dragon advances way more slowly (as a Dragon) than the average campaign pace seems to suggest.

Category Age (Years)
Wyrmling 0-5
Very young 6-15
Young 16-25
Juvenile 26-50
Young adult 51-100
Adult 101-200

By the time you level up (as a dragon) from Wyrmling to Young 16 years in game time will have passed. Time to change character anyway.

:)

The Cat Goddess
2010-06-08, 08:48 PM
I think Dragon works best in Gestalt.

With Monk-2 (for Wis-to-AC & Evasion) & Mantled Psychic Warrior ACF-2 (with Tashalatora & for Feats/eventually Expansion). Then, assuming that class levels with BAB line up with ECL levels, get Fist of the Forest (for Con-to-AC). Add more levels of Psychic Warrior and season to taste. :D

Brass & Bronze dragons both get Survival as a class skill, which saves 4 skill points in the Preq. for FotF.