It's a Warforged Bard Half-dragon. What's that look for?

Quote Originally Posted by Sam
The Grand tale of an adventuring bard!
Spoiler
Show
On a day, not too long ago, a very special Warforged was created. Initially he was nothing special, nothing extraordinary, but he differed from the hundreds others made that day in that he had a slight defect, two small bumps on his back where wings might be on a different creature. This Warforged was named Sam.

Initially Sam thought nothing of these, but as he was trained for battle like so many others he realized none of the other Warforged looked like him, they were all the same. Not Sam though, Sam was different, and though he did have a talent for battle, more so than most Warforged it was not his true calling.

He heard this calling in a tavern while walking with his regiment. It was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard, though in truth he had only heard shouted orders before. He had to investigate, but what about his fellow soldiers he wondered, they would be fine without him he decided and so he went off to investigate.

He sat by the bard and listened to tales for hours, everything from the Dancing Owlbear to the Dessert Which Ate the Table. He was entranced, and once everyone had gone to bed he asked the bard to teach him all that he knew. He was warned that he would never be treated the same because of his appearance but he didn’t mind so long as his stories could inspire and educate.

So he travelled the lands, no longer a warrior but a storyteller. No matter where he went and who he asked however he could never discover why he was different. That is until he met a dragon who seemed to have the same intensity towards stories as he did. It was then he realized that the only way to truly inspire people was to aspire to be this dragon.

So he made himself more like a dragon. He shaped his hands and mouth like that of a dragon, honed his senses, and eventually believed so heavily that he became able to fly with just the little stubs on his back. He also learned to shout so loud that buildings shook, and evildoers ran in fear. He truly was the most dragony of all his fellows, something he liked to remind them whenever they met.

Once he had become as dragony as the dragon he so admired he decided he should inspire others to be like him. He sought armies and leaders and showed them his prowess. He lead them in battles against evils great and small, eventually helping even the highest forces of good, angels. He is still around to this day, helping good wherever he can.


Picture
Spoiler
Show


Note, does not actually own a lute


Sam, Half-BattleDM Dragon Warforged
NG
Bard 5/Dragon Disciple 10/War Chanter 5

Initial Stats: 16 Str, 10 Dex, 16 Con, 12 Int, 6 Wis, 14 Cha
Stats with Vow of Poverty and levels and Dragon Disciple: 32 Str (2 level boosts), 10 Dex, 22 Con, 23 Int (1 level boost), 6 wis, 20 Cha (2 level boosts)

The Build
Note: Vow of Poverty bonuses are included under class features
Spoiler
Show

{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

1st|Bard 1|
+0
|
+0
|
+2
|
+2
|Perform (Oratory) 4 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Gather Information 4 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (History) 1 rank, Knowledge (Local) 1 rank, Knowledge (Religion) 1 rank, Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank, Spellcraft 4 ranks|Sacred Vow|Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Spellbreaker SongCM, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1

2nd|Bard 2|
+1
|
+0
|
+3
|
+3
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (5), Bluff 1 rank (5), Diplomacy 1 rank (5), Gather Information 1 rank (5), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (5), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (2), Spellcraft 1 rank (5)|-|-

3rd|Bard 3|
+2
|
+1
|
+3
|
+3
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (6), Bluff 1 rank (6), Diplomacy 1 rank (6), Gather Information 1 rank (6), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (6), Knowledge (Religion) 1 rank (2), Spellcraft 1 rank (6)|Vow of Poverty|+5 Armor Bonus, Inspire Competence, Endure Elements

4th|Bard 4|
+3
|
+1
|
+4
|
+4
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (7), Bluff 1 rank (7), Diplomacy 1 rank (7), Gather Information 1 rank (7), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (7), Knowledge (History) 1 rank (2), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) 1 rank (1), Spellcraft 1 rank (7)|Nymph’s Kiss|Exalted Strike +1 (Magic)

5th|Bard 5|
+3
|
+1
|
+4
|
+4
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (8), Bluff 1 rank (8), Diplomacy 1 rank (8), Gather Information 1 rank (8), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (8), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (3), Knowledge (History) 1 rank (4), Spellcraft 1 rank (8)|-|-

6th|Dragon Disciple 1|
+3
|
+3
|
+4
|
+6
|Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (9), Diplomacy 1 rank (9), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (9)|Song of the Heart, Touch of Golden Ice|Natural Armor Increase +1, AC Bonus +6

7th|Dragon Disciple 2|
+4
|
+4
|
+4
|
+7
|Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (10), Diplomacy 1 rank (10), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (10), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (4)|-|Saves +1, Bite and Claws, +2 Str, +2 Int

8th|Dragon Disciple 3|
+5
|
+4
|
+5
|
+7
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (11), Diplomacy 1 rank (11), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (11), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (5)|Words of Creation| Breath Weapon (2d8), Mind Shielding, Natural Armor +1

9th|Dragon Disciple 4|
+6/+1
|
+5
|
+5
|
+8
|Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (12), Diplomacy 1 rank (12), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (12), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (6)|Weapon Focus (Slam)|Strength +2, Natural Armor +2, AC Bonus +7

10th|Dragon Disciple 5|
+6/+1
|
+5
|
+5
|
+8
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (13), Diplomacy 1 rank (13), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (13), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (7)|Sanctify Natural Attack|Blindsense 30 ft., Exalted Strike +2 (Good), DR 5/Magic

11th|Dragon Disciple 6|
+7/+2
|
+6
|
+6
|
+9
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (14), Diplomacy 1 rank (14), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (14), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (8), Spellcraft 1 rank (9)|-|Con +2, Int +2, Str +2

12th|Dragon Disciple 7|
+8/+3
|
+6
|
+6
|
+9
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (15), Diplomacy 1 rank (15), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (15), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (9), Spellcraft 1 rank (10)|Sanctify Martial Strike (Slam), Combat Expertise|Breath Weapon 4d8, Natural Armor +3, AC Bonus +8, Deflection +2

13th|Dragon Disciple 8|
+9/+4
|
+7
|
+6
|
+10
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (16), Diplomacy 1 rank (16), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (16), Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (9), Spellcraft 1 rank (10), Gather Information 1 rank (9)|-|Int +2, Saves +2, Energy Resistance 5

14th|Dragon Disciple 9|
+9/+4
|
+7
|
+7
|
+10
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (17), Diplomacy 1 rank (17), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (17) Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (10), Spellcraft 1 rank (11), Gather Information 1 rank (10)|Nimbus of Light|Wings, Exalted Strike +3, Freedom of Movement

15th|Dragon Disciple 10|
+10/+5
|
+8
|
+7
|
+11
| Perform (Oratory) 2 ˝ ranks (18), Diplomacy 1 rank (18), Knowledge (Arcana) 1 rank (18) Knowledge (The Planes) 1 rank (11), Spellcraft 1 rank (12), Gather Information 1 rank (11), Knowledge (Local) 1 rank (2)|Dragonfire Inspiration|Dragon Apothesis, Blindsense 60 ft., AC Bonus +9, +2 Int, +2 Str, +2 Con, DR 5/Evil

16th|Warchanter 1|
+11/+6/+1
|
+10
|
+7
|
+11
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (19), Dipomacy 1 rank (19), Gather Information 8 ranks (19)|Holy Radiance|Inspire Tougness, Natural Armor +2

17th|Warchanter 2|
+12/+7/+2
|
+11
|
+7
|
+11
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (20), Diplomacy 1 rank (20), Gather Information 1 rank (20), Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ˝ ranks (20), Spellcraft 2 ˝ ranks (13), Intimidate 1 rank (1)|-|Exalted Strike +4, Saves +3, Regeneration

18th|Warchanter 3|
+13/+8/+3
|
+11
|
+8
|
+12
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (21), Diplomacy 1 rank (21), Gather Information 1 rank (21), Knowledge (Arcana) 2 1/2 ranks (21), Intimidate 5 ranks (6)|Servant of the Heavens, Second Slam|Inspire Recklessness, AC Bonus +10, True Seeing, Deflection +3

19th|Warcanter 4|
+14/+9/+4
|
+12
|
+8
|
+12
|Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (22), Diplomacy 1 rank (22), Gather Information 1 rank (22), Knowledge (Arcana) 2 ˝ ranks (22), Intimidate 5 ranks (11)|-|Str +2, Int +2, Con +2, Cha +2, DR 10/Evil

20th|Warchanter 5|
+15/+10/+5
|
+12
|
+8
|
+12
| Perform (Oratory) 1 rank (23), Diplomacy 1 rank (23), Gather Information 1 rank (23), Knowledge (Arcana) 2 ˝ ranks (23), Intimidate 5 ranks (16)|Vow of Purity|Combine Songs, Exalted Strike +5, Energy Resistance 15[/table]


Spells
Spoiler
Show

Per day
Spoiler
Show
Spells per day/Spells Known
{table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd|3|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

3rd|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

4th|3|2|0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

5th|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

6th|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

7th|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

8th|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

9th|3|3|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

10th|3|3|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

11th|3|3|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

12th|3|3|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

13th|3|3|6|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

14th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

15th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

16th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

17th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

18th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

19th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

20th|3|3|7|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]

Known
Spoiler
Show

Spells Known
{table=head]Level|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd|5|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

3rd|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

4th|6|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

5th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

6th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

7th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

8th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

9th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

10th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

11th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

12th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

13th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

14th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

15th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

16th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

17th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

18th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

19th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

20th|6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]
Spells Known suggestions: 0th Level- Prestidigitation
1st-Inspirational Boost, Grease, Silent Image, Invisibility, Swift
2nd- Invisibility, Glitterdust



Level breakdowns
Spoiler
Show

The sweet spots
Spoiler
Show
At 7th level we have a solid attack routine with a slam, two claws and a bite coupled with a good inspire courage bonus because of spells and song of the heart, coupled with the fact that against evil creatures we’re dropping dex damage all over the place and we’ve got a capable melee combatant. We also had decent intelligence and charisma so will be able to talk his way out a variety of situations, especially with maxed diplomacy.

Level 15 is the point where we start inspiring armies to greatness. We can fly invisible over a battlefield adding 6d6 or so sonic damage to all attacks, as well as entering the frey and tearing up with natural attacks and courage, though the touch of golden ice has lost a lot of its value, effectively only triggering on a 1, but that’s still something.


Level 5
Spoiler
Show
We’re a bard! Nothing too special at this point, we’ve got pretty good diplomacy despite our charisma and have a decent selection of spells and skills. General battle plan is inspire courage with a boost, then next turn run in and smack some dudes with a slam. We’ve got a decent chunk of hit points and AC so entering melee won’t end too bad, but it probably won’t be necessary with a +14 on Dipomacy. Spellbreaker song is also useful for taking out spellcasters, at least somewhat.


Level 10
Spoiler
Show
We’ve got some dragony stuff now as well as Words of Creation. This means +6 to hit and damage, helping allies as well as us, and with a nice 4 attack routine we’ll be doing good damage and our skills are surprising keeping up with Nymph’s Kiss and bonuses to intelligence making up for lack of base points. Also despite not having magic items blindsense will allow us to find any pesky invisible foes, and for fights where we just can’t reach them we have inspire courage to help allies anyway.


Level 15
Spoiler
Show
Rawr I’m a dragon! Our Warforged is now fully capable of flying, breathing sonic, and hoarding treasure just like a real dragon does. Except he gives his treasure away. Still we’re at pretty much our highest point now, flying invisible while inspiring courage, then dropping in himself to smash any remaining opponents. Nothing should be out of our reach now.


Level 20
Spoiler
Show
Hey we can do both inspire courages at once saving us a turn. We can also send in a regiment to kill everyone, thus leaving their bad AC irrelevant. 6d6 sonic with a great chance to hit is nothing to snear at. It might actually be 8d6 sonic depending on how kind the DM is. Also our skills have been increasing all the time so any sort of out of combat can either be dipomacied or intimidated away. We will also fly off into the sunset at the end of the day, possibly because his people need him.



Use of Secret Ingredient
Spoiler
Show
One of the main problems with Vow of Poverty is inability to fly, and true seeing comes far too late. You can solve these with spells but I find that Dragon Disciple deals with them nicely, with blindsense and wings. It also gives bonus spell slots which is nice on a bard not focused on spellcasting, because it means that you never have to worry about running out of inspirational boosts, or invisiblity.

I also realized that it was nice to have on a natural attacks focused build, granting 3 at 2nd level, and saving a Warforged a feat for a bit attack. It also does not have any prerequisite feats which is very nice in a feat starved build. The natural armor is just icing on the cake, especially since it stacks with the Vow of Poverty bonuses.

The breath weapon is useful for an alpha strike of sorts, especially because it's sonic damage which is very rarely resisted, plus it's a decent sized cone, clearing minions extremely easily. The ability scores are also helpful, as they add to the already considerable bonuses from Vow of Poverty, meaning even naked Sam is a formidable threat, and he's always naked.


Some reasonable houserules that would help this build

Spoiler
Show
Draconic Heritage is sorcerer only normally, but allowing Sam to take it would be both flavourful, if a bit weird, and also allow dragonfire inspiration at an earlier level, and perform as a class skill for Dragon Disciple.

I personally houserule it so vow of poverty doesn’t take a feat, you simply decide to give up money in exchange for the vow of poverty bonuses, which are in general weaker. The dragon disciple class largely negates some of the big downsides of VoP, mainly that it gives you flight.

Another thing to consider is using the homebrewed victory dragon which is very cool and has essentially the same abilities as the battle dragon.


Sources
Spoiler
Show
Player's Handbook: Bard, spells, a few feats
Book of Exalted Deeds: Vow of Poverty, all Exalted feats
Draconomicon: Battle Dragon
Eberron Campaign Setting: Song of the Heart, Warforged
Complete Warrior: Warchanter
Dungeon Master's Guide: Dragon Disciple
Races of Eberron: Second Slam
Complete Mage: Spellbreaker Song