PDA

View Full Version : Improving Breath Weapon



Kesnit
2008-10-29, 06:20 AM
My LVL 16 Hexblade has a Hell Hound as her familiar. Equiped with good armor and collar, he's a pretty good combatant. However, the Reflex save of his breath weapon is only 14 and only does 2d6 damage.

I know there are feats that improve either the DC or the damage of breath weapons, but I have no idea what books they are in. I would appriciate it if I could get pointed in the right direction.

My DM has allowed just about any Faerun book.

BobVosh
2008-10-29, 06:24 AM
Have you checked the dragon books? Races of dragon, draconomicon, and dragon magic?

I know some spells would help from there, not really sure about feats.

only1doug
2008-10-29, 06:33 AM
Dragon spirit cincture (item, MIC) improves breath weapon by 1 die.
if the melee attack of the creature is fire based then it also increases the save DC by 1.

I don't recall seeing any feats that also increase damage or DC other than the metabreath feats from dragonomicon.
Metabreath feats have an effect (empower, maximise, widen, etc) in exchange for a longer recharge time.

there are some breath related feats that are worth taking, they have effects such as using breath weapon to grant immunity to allies, use breath weapon to create entangling field that deals ongoing damage, use breath weapon to create barrier.

of them all entangling breath is the best as anyone who takes any damage is caught up. (so only evasion will allow them to escape)

Starbuck_II
2008-10-29, 06:52 AM
My LVL 16 Hexblade has a Hell Hound as her familiar. Equiped with good armor and collar, he's a pretty good combatant. However, the Reflex save of his breath weapon is only 14 and only does 2d6 damage.

I know there are feats that improve either the DC or the damage of breath weapons, but I have no idea what books they are in. I would appriciate it if I could get pointed in the right direction.

My DM has allowed just about any Faerun book.

Ability Focus from Monster Manual increases DC by 2.

Kesnit
2008-10-29, 07:04 AM
Have you checked the dragon books? Races of dragon, draconomicon, and dragon magic?

I know some spells would help from there, not really sure about feats.

Neither I nor my DM has any of the books. I can track them down, but being pointed in the right direction so I don't waste time chasing down a book that wouldn't help. :smallsmile:

BigPapaSmurf
2008-10-29, 07:34 AM
Probably not what you are looking for but...you could use physics to improve a breath weapon.

Example, Mr. Red Dragon has a custom lair, in his main chamber are some strange holes in the walls. He gives one of the holes a full breath attack, the hole becomes smaller as it deepens, increasing the pressure and thus the speed of the flames, inside the hole are smaller holes which when triggered push oxygen into the flow of fire as well as an accelerant (I suggest powdered magnesium) The PC's are one level above and they notice a small hole in the wall at the end of a 1000' tunnel, just pryor to being vaporized by a 1000' stream of super heated gas which shoots the entire length of the tunnel. People in nearby areas are also knocked out when the oxygen is pulled from their lungs to feed the fire.

Hows that.

Edit: As for your Hell hound, put a conical muzzle on him with a hose on the end, he does breath attack and you hold the hose and direct it where needed.

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-29, 08:00 AM
Hows that?


You like killing catgirls, now don't ya? :smalltongue:

Burley
2008-10-29, 09:17 AM
Well, the save seems low already, doesn't it? So, a breath weapon's DC is 10+(1/2 hit dice)+ Con Modifier. A familiar (improved or otherwise) uses the Master's number of hit dice, or the creatures base, whichever is higher.
So, given that you're level 16, and the Con score is the normal 13 for a lesser Hell Hound, that'd make the DC 19 (10+ 8 (half HD)+ 1 (Con Mod)). If the Con score is higher than 13, then adjust accordingly, now that you know the formula.
Also, if you have access to the book Dragon Magic, there is an alternate Familiar feature that trades the deliver touch attacks for a breath weapon, which has a damage scale on it, I believe. Talk to your DM about taking that, if the damage ever becomes better than 2d6 (which, honestly, isn't that bad, except that it's fire damage... see if you can take familiar feats for an energy substitution on the breath weapon... Force or something...)

Hope that helps.

Sinfire Titan
2008-10-29, 09:18 AM
Probably not what you are looking for but...you could use physics to improve a breath weapon.

Example, Mr. Red Dragon has a custom lair, in his main chamber are some strange holes in the walls. He gives one of the holes a full breath attack, the hole becomes smaller as it deepens, increasing the pressure and thus the speed of the flames, inside the hole are smaller holes which when triggered push oxygen into the flow of fire as well as an accelerant (I suggest powdered magnesium) The PC's are one level above and they notice a small hole in the wall at the end of a 1000' tunnel, just pryor to being vaporized by a 1000' stream of super heated gas which shoots the entire length of the tunnel. People in nearby areas are also knocked out when the oxygen is pulled from their lungs to feed the fire.

Hows that.

Edit: As for your Hell hound, put a conical muzzle on him with a hose on the end, he does breath attack and you hold the hose and direct it where needed.

That's so low-calibur that I can't even begin to describe how weak that is. CO's been able to make a DFA have Breath Weapon attacks as a free action with no limit on the uses/round, and make a single DFA capable of SETTING THE PLANE HE'S LIVING IN ON FIRE!

With one feat each.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-10-29, 09:30 AM
...

Hope that helps.

This, although it's unclear to me if the rules would / are supposed to function this way. I don't think it'd be unbalancing, though (just the opposite; if you're level 16, DC 14/2d6 is worthless). Just make the case to the DM.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 09:54 AM
If your hell hound's Constitution rises, so does the breath weapon save DC. Try bear's endurance.

Keld Denar
2008-10-29, 10:00 AM
Another thing, make sure you thoroughly Hex the crap out of your foe before your pet breaths. Hexes lower save mods, which effectively increases the DC of your puppies breath weapon.

If you only want it to breath once per encounter, you could take Heighten Breath, and jack the DC up so high that the recharge time is a few minutes. You'd only get one shot per encounter, but it would be garunteed to hit. If you are going to do that, tack on Entangling Exhalation and Clinging Breath to cause your foes to be entangled if they fail their save (which they should if you Heighten it enough), for a pretty potent debuff once per encounter. The rest of the time, he can just attack.

Talic
2008-10-29, 10:04 AM
Draconomicon, Heighten Breath:
Prerequisites: Con 13, breath weapon.
Benefit: You can increase the save DC of your breath
weapon by any number up to a maximum equal to your Constitution
bonus.
For each point by which you increase the save DC, add +1
to the number of rounds you must wait before using your
breath weapon again.

Now Con increases breath weapon saves 2 ways.

Take a 13 Con Hellhound, with a level 16 master. DC 19 Breath.
Now, add this feat. DC 20 Breath.

Now cast Bear's Endurance. DC 24 Breath. (+2 from DC Mechanics, +2 from being able to heighten higher)

Ability Focus (Breath Weapon) ? DC 26 Breath.

With this feat, every +2 Con will Provide +2 to saves.

Burley
2008-10-29, 10:11 AM
This, although it's unclear to me if the rules would / are supposed to function this way. I don't think it'd be unbalancing, though (just the opposite; if you're level 16, DC 14/2d6 is worthless). Just make the case to the DM.

You wouldn't believe the kind of research I did for my familiar with a breath weapon, though it was just a monkey with the Alt. Feature I mentioned... I learned breath weapons hard core, yo. Like... fo' reals.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 10:12 AM
You wouldn't believe the kind of research I did for my familiar with a breath weapon, though it was just a monkey with the Alt. Feature I mentioned... I learned breath weapons hard core, yo. Like... fo' reals.

Fo shizzle. You be right, yo: breath weapons work that way. Word.

Burley
2008-10-29, 10:58 AM
Fo shizzle. You be right, yo: breath weapons work that way. Word.

Oh, Day Yams! Fax be getting for... rizzie in this... hizzie? I don't really know what I'm saying. I saw that on the...uh... What're you kids calling it... Musical Telivision Network.

Anyways! Yeah, your doggie's breath weapon should be much better. Most everything you need can be found on the SRD. There are tons of things out there, though. Honestly, Breath Weapons, in my opinion, are underpowered. Dealing damage is more fun when you roll to hit, instead of them rolling to miss. Dealing consistant damage is fun, however, if you're a Dragonfire Adept and can do it every round. Doing 2d6 (and by that level it'll be half damage 75% of the time) every, what... 2d4 rounds? Not comparable to most things. Plus, it's fire, the cone is small... It's flavorful, and neat. Just not something that you'll want to rely on.
I suggest NOT spending any of your CHARACTER'S feats to enhance it. If your DM gives the familiar feats to use, then go for it... But, it's not worth wasting a PC feat on. Don't let your DM tell you otherwise.

Kesnit
2008-10-29, 10:59 AM
Well, the save seems low already, doesn't it? So, a breath weapon's DC is 10+(1/2 hit dice)+ Con Modifier. A familiar (improved or otherwise) uses the Master's number of hit dice, or the creatures base, whichever is higher.
So, given that you're level 16, and the Con score is the normal 13 for a lesser Hell Hound, that'd make the DC 19 (10+ 8 (half HD)+ 1 (Con Mod)). If the Con score is higher than 13, then adjust accordingly, now that you know the formula.

I knew there was a formula, but wasn't sure what it was. This will help a lot.


Also, if you have access to the book Dragon Magic, there is an alternate Familiar feature that trades the deliver touch attacks for a breath weapon, which has a damage scale on it, I believe. Talk to your DM about taking that, if the damage ever becomes better than 2d6 (which, honestly, isn't that bad, except that it's fire damage... see if you can take familiar feats for an energy substitution on the breath weapon... Force or something...)

Hope that helps.

I'll ask the DM about both of those. I'm not so concerned about the fire (and I'm not sure he'd let me change that since it is a Hell Hound...), but being able to scale damage would be great.


Draconomicon, Heighten Breath:


Prerequisites: Con 13, breath weapon.
Benefit: You can increase the save DC of your breath
weapon by any number up to a maximum equal to your Constitution
bonus.
For each point by which you increase the save DC, add +1
to the number of rounds you must wait before using your
breath weapon again.

Now Con increases breath weapon saves 2 ways.

Take a 13 Con Hellhound, with a level 16 master. DC 19 Breath.
Now, add this feat. DC 20 Breath.

Now cast Bear's Endurance. DC 24 Breath. (+2 from DC Mechanics, +2 from being able to heighten higher)

Ability Focus (Breath Weapon) ? DC 26 Breath.

With this feat, every +2 Con will Provide +2 to saves.

This will help a lot, too. Given that the HH can only breathe every 2d4 rounds anyway, chances are I'd only be using it once per encounter anyway. (He's a great melee combatant since he uses my BAB and attacks - 4/round - so breath weapons is mostly for "softening up" targets.)

only1doug
2008-10-29, 11:37 AM
Another thing, make sure you thoroughly Hex the crap out of your foe before your pet breaths. Hexes lower save mods, which effectively increases the DC of your puppies breath weapon.

If you only want it to breath once per encounter, you could take Heighten Breath, and jack the DC up so high that the recharge time is a few minutes. You'd only get one shot per encounter, but it would be garunteed to hit. If you are going to do that, tack on Entangling Exhalation and Clinging Breath to cause your foes to be entangled if they fail pass their save (which they should if you Heighten it enough), for a pretty potent debuff once per encounter. The rest of the time, he can just attack.

Fixed that for you.

anyone taking damage is affected by entangling exhilation, they need either energy resistance or evasion or they will be entangled, thats what makes entangling exhilation the best breath weapon feat available.

BigPapaSmurf
2008-10-29, 12:37 PM
That's so low-calibur that I can't even begin to describe how weak that is. CO's been able to make a DFA have Breath Weapon attacks as a free action with no limit on the uses/round, and make a single DFA capable of SETTING THE PLANE HE'S LIVING IN ON FIRE!

With one feat each.

I'm confused, WTF are you talking about and what does it have to do with my post?

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 12:39 PM
I'm confused, WTF are you talking about and what does it have to do with my post?

Ignore him, he's just posturing his e-penis.

Burley
2008-10-29, 12:43 PM
I'll ask the DM about both of those. I'm not so concerned about the fire (and I'm not sure he'd let me change that since it is a Hell Hound...), but being able to scale damage would be great.

Well, look at all the demons and devils that are of Non-Fire junk. There's no reason you can't teach your Hell Hound to channel into the Hellrhime for [cold] damage, or into the wails of tortured souls for some [sonic] damage. If there is a feat that lets you do that, there is a way to fluff it. It's hell, they've got everything except good deeds.

Kesnit
2008-10-29, 01:54 PM
Well, look at all the demons and devils that are of Non-Fire junk. There's no reason you can't teach your Hell Hound to channel into the Hellrhime for [cold] damage, or into the wails of tortured souls for some [sonic] damage. If there is a feat that lets you do that, there is a way to fluff it. It's hell, they've got everything except good deeds.

(chuckle) Very true... I'll ask. Worst he can say is no. :smallsmile:

Person_Man
2008-10-29, 02:03 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that unlike Animal Companions, Familiars don't gain HD, and thus don't gain feats as you gain levels. So it's pretty much a moot point.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 02:06 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that unlike Animal Companions, Familiars don't gain HD, and thus don't gain feats as you gain levels. So it's pretty much a moot point.

They use your HD for determining effects.


Familiar Basics

Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiarís kind, but make the following changes:
Hit Dice

For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the masterís character level or the familiarís normal HD total, whichever is higher.

The Hellhound's breath weapon, then, would be 10 + 1/2 master's level + its Con modifier.

Person_Man
2008-10-29, 02:08 PM
They use your HD for determining effects.

The Hellhound's breath weapon, then, would be 10 + 1/2 master's level + its Con modifier.

That's correct. But beyond that, the Familiar couldn't take Entangling Exhalation or Clinging Breath or whatever, because it never gains new feats. It just starts with the feats that are typical for an animal or whatever of that type.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 02:14 PM
Oh, yeah. Um.

...can retraining rules apply to familiars?

Gorbash
2008-10-29, 02:19 PM
Person_man's right, familiar uses master's HD only if he's targeted with an effect related to the number of HD (sleep etc), and that's it. He doesn't get actual HD, therefore his DC will always be 12+con modifier.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-29, 02:26 PM
Person_man's right, familiar uses master's HD only if he's targeted with an effect related to the number of HD (sleep etc), and that's it. He doesn't get actual HD, therefore his DC will always be 12+con modifier.

Nope. Breath weapon DC is an "effect related to HD", and therefore counts. What Person_Man's talking about is that familiars don't get feats based on HD.

Animefunkmaster
2008-10-29, 02:28 PM
Depending on how lenient the dm is, there is always feat retraining.

Also try this on for size:

Drakken Familiar (Dragon Magic pg 12)
You give up the ability to deliver touch spells to your familiar. Gains a breath weapon usable per hour, 15ft cone, damage 1d6 + twice your class level, dc 10 + 1/2 your class level.

Request from your dm if you can take the Dragon Breath feat from races of the dragon. Its themed toward half dragons mind you. This lets you do the breath weapon every 1d4 rounds.