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Sciran
2011-03-16, 02:01 AM
This is a prestige class created for a Pathfinder high fantasy campaign with a very high amount of Draconic lore and involvement. This was originally created as a martial counterpoint to the "Red Dragon Disciple", but eventually grew to warranting a mage version of its own (which we're still building).

The flavor texts aren't quite finished yet, but it requires a bit of DM involvement in that the concept of a Dragon Knight is that they have requested patronage and therefore a scale from a dragon whom they then champion the cause of/for.

Table 1-1: The Dragon Knight
{table]Lvl|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Form Pool|Special
1|+1|+1|+0|+0|3|Dragon Shift (Half-Dragon, point cost 1), Patron's Favor
2|+2|+1|+1|+1|6|Dragon Shift (Wyrmling, point cost 3)
3|+3|+2|+1|+1|9|Hover
4|+4|+2|+1|+1|12|Dragon Shift (Very Young, point cost 5)
5|+5|+3|+2|+2|15|Dedication
6|+6|+3|+2|+2|18|Dragon Shift (Young, point cost 7)
7|+7|+4|+2|+2|21|Flyby Attack
8|+8|+4|+3|+3|24|Dragon Shift (Juvenile, point cost 9)
9|+9|+5|+3|+3|27|Dragons Endurance
10|+10|+5|+3|+3|30|Dragon Shift (Young Adult, point cost 11)[/table]

Table 1-2: Dragon Shift Modifiers
{table]Size|Str|Dex|Con
Tiny|-2|+8|+0
Small|+0|+4|+0
Medium|+4|+0|+2
Large|+8|+0|+6
Huge|+12|-4|+10
Gargantuan|+16|-8|+14[/table]

Hit Dice: d12

Requirements
To qualify to become a dragon knight, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Must reflect the alignment of their chosen patron.
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (dragons) 4 ranks.
Feats: Great Fortitude or Toughness.
Special: Must survive the Trial of Binding (see below).

Class Skills
The dragon knight's class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the dragon knight prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon knights gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Form Pool: A dragon knight's ability to take his draconic form is limited by the form points he has available. His base daily allotment of form points is given on table 1-1: The Dragon Knight. In addition, he receives an increase to his form pool equal to his Charisma modifier. His race may also provide an increase to his form pool, as may certain feats and items. Temporary increases to ability scores, such as those gained from Dragon Shift and spells like Eagle's Splendor, do not count towards qualifying for an ascension. The total amount of form points a dragon knight has in his form pool is renewed after resting for 8 hours, though these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Dragon Shift (Su): Starting at first level, a dragon knight can spend one of his form points to assume the form of a half dragon of their patrons type for one minute per level of dragon knight. A dragon knight can shift as a standard action. At level 2 and every even level thereafter, a dragon knight may choose to take a stronger form as indicated by table 1-1 by spending the form point cost associated with that form. The total number of times he can shift in a day is limited only by his daily form pool. In other words, a 4th-level dragon knight (with a total form pool of 12) could take half-dragon form costing 1 form point 12 times in one day, wyrmling form costing 3 form points 4 times in one day, or any combination of form point costs that does not exceed 12 form points in total.
While shifted, a dragon knight gains all attacks, additional speeds, spells, and abilities of a dragon of their patron's type and the age category chosen when he shifts, including damage reduction and spell resistance. While in dragon form, a dragon knight's abilities are adjusted based on their new size as indicated on table 1-2. If he shifts to half dragon, the half-dragon template is applied instead.
If a dragon knight has enough form points remaining in his form pool when the duration expires, he may spend additional form points as a free action to remain in his current form as though he had reactivated this ability. This means that a level 2 dragon knight can spend 3 form points to remain in his wyrmling form after his normal 2 minute limit, provided he has the points remaining in his form pool. Form points spent in this manner add to the save DC against being exhausted once the dragon knight returns to his normal form.
A dragon knight can end his Dragon Shift as a free action and must immediately make a Fortitude save (DC is HD + number of form points spent in shift) or become exhausted for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent shifted. This exhaustion can only be cured by miracle, wish, or an ability of similar power. A dragon knight who succeeds on his save is only fatigued. A dragon knight cannot enter a new Dragon Shift while fatigued or exhausted but otherwise can Dragon Shift multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a dragon knight falls unconscious his shift immediately ends, possibly placing him in peril of death.
This ability functions as a Transmutation (Polymorph) effect.

Patron's Favor (Ex): A dragon knight gains the Dragon Senses ability, extraordinary abilities, and the immunities of their patron, regardless of their form. The dragon knight can also detect all dragons whose alignment opposes at least one component of theirs a lawful good dragon knight can detect chaotic and evil dragons (any dragon whose alignment includes chaos or evil) within 1 mile. A dragon knight's creature type changes to match their patrons creature type, including subtype (if any). Do not recalculate HD, BAB, or saves. Additionally, the dragon knight is able to select from a variety of upgrades known as ascensions (see below).

Hover: A dragon knight gains Hover as a bonus feat.

Dedication (Ex): At 5th level a dragon knight begins to grow in strength as they carry out their duty. Upon slaying an opposing dragon or dragon knight (as defined by their Patron's Favor) their form pool increases permanently by one point. The maximum benefit any dragon knight can receive from this ability is equal to their class levels in dragon knight.

Flyby Attack: A dragon knight gains Flyby Attack as a bonus feat.

Dragons Endurance (Ex): A 9th level dragon knight gains damage reduction 2/. This stacks with any damage reduction he may have from other sources. Damage reduction cannot reduce damage below 0.

The Trial of Binding
{table]Round|Save (DC)|Damage
1 The Tuning|Will (18)|2d6 Wisdom
2 The Opening|Fortitude (20)|2d6 Constitution
3 The Bonding|Reflex (22)|2d6 Dexterity
4 The Fusion|Fortitude (24)|3d8 Damage
5 The Binding|Fortitude (26)|1d4 to all abilities[/table]

To become a dragon knight, a character must undergo a grueling test of endurance as a scale of their patron is implanted into their chest. This ritual takes place over five rounds and must be performed by the selected patron or another dragon knight. If the trial is interrupted in any way, such as the prospective knight falling unconscious, being attacked, or being targeted by a spell or ability, the trial ends in failure and the character must attempt anew.
Each step of the trial requires a different saving throw as listed on the table above for half damage except for the final step, in which a character who makes his saving throw takes no damage. A character who fails the Trial of the Binding for any reason cannot attempt the trial again for one week.

Ex-Dragon Knights
A dragon knight who's alignment shifts from that of their patron, who willfully acts against their patron or aids a dragon of the opposing alignment, or who slays a dragon of same type as their patron loses all dragon knight abilities and class features (including ascensions). Additionally, the dragon knight is revisited by the pains of the Trial of Binding, instantly taking each step of the trials damage (no save) as the scale removes itself from him. Despite this harsh punishment, rare occurrences of dragon knights returning to service are possible. Such a returning knight must retake the Trial of Binding, however all damage taken from the trial is doubled.

Ascensions
A dragon knight can permanently reduce his form pool to give his dragon shift new abilities, powers, and other upgrades. These options, called ascensions, can be selected whenever a dragon knight gains a new level, but thereafter cannot be changed. A dragon knight can have a maximum of one ascension per class level and may only select any ascension once.
To qualify for an ascension, a dragon knight must be of the required dragon knight level. Some ascensions require another ascension be taken first. Should a dragon knight no longer qualify for an ascension he has already selected, he loses the benefit of that ascension until the requirements are again met.
Ascensions are grouped by their cost in form points. All form point costs from ascensions reduce the maximum form pool count, they are not paid to activate or acquire the ability. For example, a level 8 dragon knight (with a total form pool of 24) who selects ascensions with a total cost of 6 form points would thereafter have a maximum form pool of 18 to spend on his Dragon Shift each day. If a dragon knight reduces his form pool to a maximum lower than the cost of a dragon form, he is no longer capable of taking that form.

Enlarge Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 2.
Form Point Cost: 1 point.
Benefit: The length of your breath weapon increases by 50% (round down to the nearest multiple of 5). For example, an old silver dragon breathing an enlarged cone of cold produces a 90-foot cone instead of a 60-foot cone. Cone shaped breath weapons get wider when they get longer, but line-shaped breath weapons do not.
When you use this ascension, add +1 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.

Heighten Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 1.
Form Point Cost: 1 point.
Benefit: You can increase the save DC of your breath attack by any number up to a maximum equal to your Constitution modifier.
For each point by which you increase the save DC, add +1 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath attack again.

Improved Speed
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 3.
Form Point Cost: 1 point.
Benefit: Your fly speed improves by 20 feet. All other speeds you have improve by 10 feet.

Rapid Shift
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 1.
Form Point Cost: 1 point.
Benefit: You can take a move action to activate your Dragon Shift.
Normal: A dragon knight without this ascension must take a standard action to activate Dragon Shift.

Recover Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 1.
Form Point Cost: 1 point.
Benefit: You reduce the interval between uses of your breath weapon. You wait 1 round less than usual before breathing again, but always at least 1 round. This ascension stacks with all other ascensions, reducing the total time you must wait to use your breath weapon again by 1 round.

Clinging Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 4.
Form Point Cost: 2 points.
Benefit: Your breath weapon has its normal effect, but also clings to anything caught in its area. A clinging breath attack lasts for one round. In the round after you breathe, the clinging breath deals half of the damage it dealt in the previous round. Creatures that avoid damage from the breath weapon (such as creatures with the evasion ability or incorporeal creatures) do not take the extra damage.
A foe can take a full round action to attempt to remove the clinging breath before taking any additional damage. It takes a successful Reflex saving throw (same DC as your normal breath weapon) to remove the effect. Clinging breath cannot be removed by jumping into water. Clinging breath can be magically dispelled.
When you use this ascension, add +1 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.

Draconic Shroud
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 6.
Form Point Cost: 2 points.
Benefit: You gain innate spell resistance equal to your level in dragon knight + 10.
Special: If you have this ascension and you also have (or later gain) spell resistance from your Dragon Shift, use the higher value with a +4 bonus.

Frightful Form
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 5.
Form Point Cost: 2 points.
Benefit: You gain the frightful presence special ability with a radius in feet of 5 X 1/2 your dragon knight level. This ability takes effect automatically whenever you attack, charge, or fly overhead. Creatures within the radius are subject to the effect if they can see you and have fewer Hit Dice than your level in dragon knight (DC 10 + 1/2 level in dragon knight + Cha modifier).
Special: If you have this ascension and you have (or later gain) the frightful presence ability, your frightful presence radius either increases by 50% or increases to 5 feet X 1/2 your level in dragon knight, whichever figure is higher. The save DC of your frightful presence also increases by 2.

Improved Maneuverability
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 4.
Form Point Cost: 2 points.
Benefit: Your maneuverability improves by one category, from clumsy to poor, poor to average, or average to good.

Smite Opposition
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 7.
Form Point Cost: 2 points.
Benefit: Once per day, the dragon knight can call on the powers of his patron to aid him in his struggle against opposing dragons. As a swift action, the dragon knight chooses one dragon within sight to smite. If this targets alignment opposes at least one component of the dragon knights, he adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to attack rolls and adds twice his dragon knight level to all damage rolls made against the target of his smite. All attacks made by the dragon knight against the target of the smite bypass any DR the dragon might possess.
In addition, while Smite Opposition is in effect, the dragon knight gains a deflection bonus equal to his Charisma modifier (if any) to his AC against attacks made by the target of the smite. If the dragon knight targets a dragon whose alignment does not oppose at least one component of the dragon knights, the smite is wasted with no effect.
The Smite Opposition effect remains until the target is dead or the next time the dragon knight rests and regains his form points.

Lingering Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 8, Clinging Breath.
Form Point Cost: 3 points.
Benefit: Your breath weapon has its normal effects, but also remains as a lingering cloud of the same shape and size as the original breath weapon. This cloud lasts 1 round.
Foes caught in the breath weapon's area when you breathe take no additional damage from the lingering breath weapon, provided they leave the cloud by the shortest available route on their next turn. Otherwise, anyone who touches or enters the cloud while it lasts takes one-half of the breath weapon's normal effects; any saving throw the breath weapon normally normally allows still applies. Damaging breath weapons deal one-half their normal damage, and breath weapons with effects that have durations last for half the normal time. If a creature is affected by the same non-damaging breath weapon twice, the effects do not stack.
When you use this ascension, add +2 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.
Special: You can use this ascension with a breath weapon attack along with Clinging Breath, but the resulting breath clings only to foes caught in the initial breath.

Patron's Bond
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 7.
Form Point Cost: 3 points.
Benefit: By drawing on his patrons larger life force, the dragon knight gains fast healing 2, or your existing fast healing improves by 2.

Quicken Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 3.
Form Point Cost: 3 points.
Benefit: Using your breath weapon is a free action. When you use this ascension, add +4 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.
Special: You may not use this ascension and the Maximize Breath ascension on the same breath attack at the same time.

Shape Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 2.
Form Point Cost: 3 points.
Benefit: If you have a line-shaped breath weapon, you can opt to shape it as a cone. Likewise, if you have a cone-shaped breath weapon, you can shape it into a line.
When you use this ascension, add +1 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.

Big and Bad
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 9.
Form Point Cost: 4 points.
Benefit: Your size category in all forms of Dragon Shift are increased by one step.

Dragon Shift Mastery
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 8.
Form Point Cost: 4 points.
Benefit: The duration of your Dragon Shift becomes 2 minutes per level of dragon knight.
Normal: A character's Dragon Shift without this ascension has a duration of 1 minute per level of dragon knight.

Maximize Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 5.
Form Point Cost: 4 points.
Benefit: If you use your breath weapon as a full-round action, all variable, numeric effects of the attack are maximized. A maximized breath attack deals maximum damage, lasts for the maximum time, or the like.
The DC's for saving throws against your breath weapon are unaffected.
When you use this ascension, add +3 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again.
Special: You may not use this ascension and the Quicken Breath ascension on the same breath attack at the same time.

True Breath
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 6.
Form Point Cost: 4 points.
Benefit: In half-dragon form, you may reuse your breath weapon after 1d4+1 rounds.
Normal: A dragon knight without this ascension in half-dragon form may only use his breath weapon once per shift.

Patron's Paragon
Prerequisites: Dragon knight 10.
Form Point Cost: 7 points.
Benefit: Upon selecting this ascension, the dragon knight gains a permanent +4 bonus to all ability scores.
Special: Unlike other ascensions, these bonuses apply even while the Dragon Shift ability is not in use.

Dumbledore lives
2011-03-16, 02:43 AM
The only problem I see is there is no limit on the dragons you can take, and epic dragons like the force or prismatic would theoretically be on the table. This means that at level 6 a dragon knight could be huge size, with a similarly big damage reduction and spell resistance.

I'd suggest maybe a limit of 2 or 3 x Dragon Knight level in HD to prevent this kind of abuse.

Elfstone
2011-03-16, 06:00 AM
Bolding the abilities and feat names would be awesome. It looks like a druids wildshape, with bonuses. Not a bad idea.

Sciran
2011-03-16, 01:56 PM
Abilities and Ascensions bolded for ease of reading. Sorry 'bout that.

And it is true that the text alone allows for unusual dragons - in case a DM has any unique ones. However, Epic Dragons should be off the table unless it's an Epic character taking the class. Will work a wording of that in there somewhere.

super dark33
2011-03-17, 08:57 AM
A paladin golden dragon knight is probebly very powerfull.

Fizban
2011-03-18, 02:01 AM
Looks good. Scaling shapeshifting with ability mods based on it's own table instead of pulling them from the creatures themselves, which is usually asking for trouble. I don't see the point of bringing up Epic dragons, because no DM would let you do something like that pre-epic, and as homebrew the RAW flag has no business being waved. Obviously it needs to be calibrated based on the most powerful options, Red and Gold dragons. However, you've already regulated the ability adjustments, so why not also regulate the breath weapon strength? That would let people choose the weaker dragons for fun without losing anything other than size.

Even with good charisma you won't be able to take your most powerful form more than 3/day, and that's only huge size with a 10d10 breath weapon. It should be pretty powerful if you can qualify at 5th, though for "most" games you probably shouldn't be able to qualify until 7th. Forcing them to wait until 10th would leave most of their forms pretty weak for most of the game.
Pre-post edit:
Oh hey look, entry requirements. That does feel a little early for most prestige classes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if I checked the CRs for Red/Gold dragons, they'd line up perfectly with the character levels when you get those forms.

On the flip side, focusing on taking ascensions and spamming Half-Dragon form basically means you end up with the Half-Dragon template and some bonus feats, most of which are equivalent to metabreath feats that half that diminishing returns quality to them. Either way, I think it's strong enough to look cool next to the wizard, and obviously more powerful than a fighter, but not too strong to use in a game.

I like it. Someone did a homebrew of a sort of dragon-knight from some old SNES games and I liked that it's big deal was actually turning into a dragon. The sad part was being limited to once per day. This class does not have that limit. Being able to choose how big you need to be, and thus giving people the option of preferring Half-Dragon, smaller, or larger sizes, is great. Using your own "form points" mechanics is excellent, it really helps get the class out from under the druid's wild shape monopoly on shapeshifting. One note on the fluff: you might want to put some more disclaimers in the Trial of Binding- there's nothing stopping people from buffing up with various spells to increase ability scores, saves, or ignore ability damage beforehand. I don't know if that was intended or not, but it's worth noting.