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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Hi GiantITP,

    Since the SCAG came out, we have some nice variant options for the tiefling. So my thought was; why not some options for the dragonborn? :D
    The options are still a work in progress, and i would like as much feedback and ideas as possible. Here they come:

    Variant Dragonborn
    When choosing the Dragonborn race, you can forgo your breath weapon feature for one of the following options:
    Spoiler: Dragon Claws
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    You have claws on both of your hands. You can use your action to make the multiattack action, attacking once with each of your claws. These claws use your strength modifier fot the to hit roll, and deal 1d4 damage. At 6th level, you add your strength modifier to the damage rolls, at 11th level, the attacks count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage, and at 16th level the damage increases to 2d4 damage.

    Designer Notes: I wanted to make the claws possible, but not as strong as two weapon fighting (even without the fighting style) at low levels, and i wanted to let it become stronger when leveling at the same levels as the breath attack. I have no idea if this is balanced or not, or wat else i should/could with it.

    Spoiler: Dragon Wings
    Show
    You have dragon wings sprouting from your shoulder blades. You gain a flying speed of 30ft. At 11th level, this speed increases to your walking speed if it is higher. Any clothes or armor must be specifically made for you to accomodate your wings, which doubles the price of the clothes or armor.

    Designer Notes: I wanted to give the wings option, but i really think the flat 30ft speed (that the aarokocra and variant tiefling also get) at first level is too much. Level 11 is in my opinion a nice spot to gain the 30ft speed. But i could be wrong. Or right. Or wrong. I dunno... Also, with the 30ft speed the monk and barbarian are slower flying than walking, so i might want to either add increase to full speed at 16th, or change the original to half speed that increases to full speed at level 11. What are your ideas?
    EDITs: Changed it to 30ft, with increase to walking speed at 11th (so the barbarians, monks, etc gain a higher speed). Added a sentence about armor and clothes.

    Spoiler: Natural Armor
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    Your body is stronger than that of your peers, giving you an AC of 12+dexterity modifier when unarmoured. At 11th level, this increases to 13+dexterity modifier.

    Designer Notes: I didnt want to make it as strong as the Draconic Sorcerer gains right off the bat, but chose to make it better at 11th level again, to keep the increase in power fluff from the breath weapon and the other variant features

    Spoiler: Dragon Tail
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    You have a strong tail that helps you balance. You have advantage on checks for balancing (like dexterity(acrobatics)). At 6th level, the tail is strong enough to attack with. You may attack with your tail as a bonus action on your turn when you used the attack or multiattack action, dealing 1d6 bludgeoning damage with it. At 11th level, you may add your strength modifier to the damage rolls. At 16th level, the attack counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

    Designers Notes: A dragon(born) without a tail just seems wrong to me, so i wanted to give the option at least. It might be way too strong with both the BA attack and the advantage on checks to balance, but i'm not sure. That's why i chose to make the BA attack available at 6th, with increases later on. I have no idea if that makes it less or more balanced, but it is a start. Defenitaly could use some feedback here too... :P

    Spoiler: Innate Spellcasting
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    You know one sorcerer cantrip with a damage type associated with your draconic heritage. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Chromatic Orb spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell, which deals damage of the type associated with your draconic heritage. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the Levitate spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

    Designer Notes: The MM gives the variant option for spellcasting dragons, so why wouldnt I?! I specifically chose these spells to not make the breath attack a lesser option. The breath attack makes a nice AOE, which can be quite effective against lots of mooks. The cantrips from the sorcerer are almost all single target, and only one two-targeted. Chromatic Orb is also only single target, but gives a nice ranged option to otherwise melee builds i see with dragonborn. To keep it in line with the tiefling that also gains resistance and spellcasting, i had to choose a third spell. Levitate seemed the only fitting non-damaging, not-fly-spell level 2 spell option.

    Spoiler: Frightful Presence
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    You can channel your draconic presence, striking fear to those around you. As an action, you can attempt to frighten all creatures in a 30ft radius around you. Each hostile creature in that radius must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8+ proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier) or be frightened until the end of your next turn. You can use this feature once per long rest. At 6th level, the radius increases to 45ft. At 11th level, each creature that fails the saving throw is frightened for 1 minute, and must make a Wisdom saving throw on the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. At 16th level, the radius increases to 60ft, and you can use the feature once per short or long rest.

    This one is probably too strong. Maybe take out the radius increases? I do wish to keep the increase to once per short or long rest at some point, and the increase to a longer duration too... but if it will still be too strong with those, i may exclude them.

    Spoiler: Dragon Senses
    Show
    Your senses are more as a dragon than those of your kin. You gain darkvision (you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray). Additionally, you gain proficiency in Perception.

    Thanks to Dark Sun Gnome, i saw all ancient dragons in the MM had darkvision 120ft and expertise in perception, so i made a weaker option for the dragonborn combining them.


    Any ideas of additional options are welcome. I am thinking of a once per long rest use of a smaller Intimidating Presence, but am still working on it so it isn't here yet ;) -> added the option above!

    I also made a racial feat for Dragonborn, so they could grow more dragon-like if they wish.
    Spoiler: Dragonborn Racial Feat
    Show
    Prerequisite: Dragonborn RaceYou explore the racial benefits from your draconic heritage, gaining additional features. Choose one of the following options:
    • Your breath attack increases by an additional 1d6 at levels 6th, 11th, and 16th, and you gain one of the variant options of the Dragonborn race.
    • You gain two of the variant options of the Dragonborn race
    • You gain the breath attack feature and one variant option of the Dragonborn race.



    Please give me all your throughts and opinions, break them down if you must! I will probably give my opinions on any suggestions or reactions, but that is only to discuss things, so i can be sure that changing it is for the better! (this is for a future campain of mine, so i want to be sure of the balance of everything ^^)

    EDIT 4-2-2016: Changed the Dragon Wings option a bit, and added the Frightful Presence and Dragon Senses options.
    EDIT 5-2-2016: Added a sentence about clothes and armor to the Dragon Wings option.
    Last edited by RakiReborn; 2016-02-05 at 08:55 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Fly speed could be 10ft. Later more ending up 40ft. Now it is perfect too tho

    The tail is too strong. Nobody has to take polearm master. Just high level gratsword/greatsword/tail. Could make best dmg possible for characters as fighters. Make the attack more like the claws or just put it aside

    The feat is too boring and they won't become more dragon like :/

    Overall very nice. I really like it. Good job :D
    Last edited by PoeticDwarf; 2016-02-01 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Just want to point out: the aarakocra has fly speed of 50 at level 1.

    30 ft. of flying is fine. It's about the only racial they're getting.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by EnderDwarf View Post
    Fly speed could be 10ft. Later more ending up 40ft. Now it is perfect too tho

    The tail is too strong. Nobody has to take polearm master. Just high level gratsword/greatsword/tail. Could make best dmg possible for characters as fighters. Make the attack more like the claws or just put it aside

    The feat is too boring and they won't become more dragon like :/

    Overall very nice. I really like it. Good job :D
    Thanks for the quick response! ^^
    10ft fly seems a bit too weak for the beginning. A STR10 character can easily jump that far with a running jump, and with 10ft i personally do not see much options apart from using it to jump over stuff within 10ft of your starting position, but i am probably missing (a lot) of things.
    The tail might indeed be too strong, but polearm master is still a lot stronger. As far as i recall it doesnt get bonusses from spells that apply to weapons, or other things that give weapons bonusses (like magic weapons). So it can do 1d6+str at maximum. A nice polarm can be a staff of power, or even 'just' a +3 spear, which are more powerful. Even the flame tongue could be refluffed as a glaive (sword on a stick), which would give you quite some more damage.
    While i do not think the Polearm Master feat would be obsolete, i still think this might be too strong. Giving it its own action (as the claws) would make it too weak i think. One option on my mind is to just make it defensive, like a limited uncanny dodge or evasion as the rogue features.
    Lastly, could you elaborate your opinion about the feat? My personal opinion is that more dragon-like features makes you more dragon-like. Or at least lets you feel more like a dragon :P
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    [QUOTE=EnderDwarf;20370916

    The feat is too boring and they won't become more dragon like :/

    [/QUOTE]

    Err....they gain at least one of the variant options that were laid out in the original post and all give features that are characteristic of most D&D dragons. So its impossible to take the feat and not become more dragonlike.

    As for the improvements, Darkvision should be one of the options - 60ft as standard and one of the other options, or 120ft darkvision on its own. I would maybe have a feature relating to the behaviour of dragons - proficiency in persuasion for copper, deception for blue, and options or features relating to perception and stealth.

    Overall, this is pretty good.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by RakiReborn View Post
    Thanks for the quick response! ^^
    10ft fly seems a bit too weak for the beginning. A STR10 character can easily jump that far with a running jump, and with 10ft i personally do not see much options apart from using it to jump over stuff within 10ft of your starting position, but i am probably missing (a lot) of things.
    The tail might indeed be too strong, but polearm master is still a lot stronger. As far as i recall it doesnt get bonusses from spells that apply to weapons, or other things that give weapons bonusses (like magic weapons). So it can do 1d6+str at maximum. A nice polarm can be a staff of power, or even 'just' a +3 spear, which are more powerful. Even the flame tongue could be refluffed as a glaive (sword on a stick), which would give you quite some more damage.
    While i do not think the Polearm Master feat would be obsolete, i still think this might be too strong. Giving it its own action (as the claws) would make it too weak i think. One option on my mind is to just make it defensive, like a limited uncanny dodge or evasion as the rogue features.
    Lastly, could you elaborate your opinion about the feat? My personal opinion is that more dragon-like features makes you more dragon-like. Or at least lets you feel more like a dragon :P
    Polearm master doesn't work if you use a greatsword or something. And not in all campaigns there are magic items. I really think it is too strong this way but defensive could work

    With 10ft fly speed you can do way more (I can give examples if you want) but this way it is nice too, it was more a personal thing but this is perfectly fine

    The feat is normal, but I think it is a little bit boring too just get an extra option, sounds more as a racial option or class option than, well, a feat. This can be just my opinion too. Responding to Dark Sun Gnome, I think I worded it wrong, I didn't mean more dragon like in that way.
    Last edited by PoeticDwarf; 2016-02-04 at 12:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    Just want to point out: the aarakocra has fly speed of 50 at level 1.

    30 ft. of flying is fine. It's about the only racial they're getting.
    Hmmm did not see that... I think i will make it 30ft then, and at 11th level increase to base speed (for the quicker fellas as Barbarian and Monk)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Sun Gnome View Post
    Err....they gain at least one of the variant options that were laid out in the original post and all give features that are characteristic of most D&D dragons. So its impossible to take the feat and not become more dragonlike.

    As for the improvements, Darkvision should be one of the options - 60ft as standard and one of the other options, or 120ft darkvision on its own. I would maybe have a feature relating to the behaviour of dragons - proficiency in persuasion for copper, deception for blue, and options or features relating to perception and stealth.

    Overall, this is pretty good.
    Thanks for the compliment :) I don't have any knowledge about the behaviour of dragons, but i did see that all dragons have expertise in perception, and 120ft darkvision. I have made a new feature for that part: Dragon Senses, and will add it in the OP after this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by EnderDwarf View Post
    Polearm master doesn't work if you use a greatsword or something. And not in all campaigns there are magic items. I really think it is too strong this way but defensive could work

    With 10ft fly speed you can do way more (I can give examples if you want) but this way it is nice too, it was more a personal thing but this is perfectly fine

    The feat is normal, but I think it is a little bit boring too just get an extra option, sounds more as a racial option or class option than, well, a feat. This can be just my opinion too. Responding to Dark Sun Gnome, I think I worded it wrong, I didn't mean more dragon like in that way.
    It is part of the feats i want to give my future player to give them options to enhance the racial part of their char (by increasing its power or giving additional options). Feats were the most logical place to give them this in my opinion, as i didnt want to just give it to everyone (only those that want their race to play a bigger role).

    Apart from the Dragon Senses option, i also made a Frightful Presence option. That one is probably too strong, so please give me your opinions, thoughts and solutions ^^ I will edit them in the OP now!
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Sorry to necro your thread, but I think I'll use some of this in my campaign, with some minor tweaks. It's good work. I'll probably lessen the impact of some of it by reducing the level based improvements. Most of the races have pretty static bonuses. While Dragonborn deviate from that template a bit with the Breath Weapon, I think it's best to keep players focused on the class progression rather than splitting their focus between class and race, at least as much as possible. Still, it's tough to give decent racial abilities that make a difference at high levels if they're not inherently powerful or letting them scale some.

    So, here's what I'm thinking, and I'd be happy to hear your (and anyone else's) thoughts on the matter.

    Spoiler: Dragon Claws
    Show
    Dragon Claws

    You have claws on both of your hands that are strong and sharp enough that you can make attacks with them. You are proficient with your claws and can make a weapon attack with them. This attack uses either Strength or Dexterity, your choice. On a hit, it deals 1d4 + Strength or Dexterity piercing damage. Starting at 11th level, you can make one claw attack as a bonus action.

    Notes: This makes it better than two weapon fighting without a feat or a fighting style, but once one of those are added, two weapon fighting becomes more advantageous. Removing the bit about ignoring magical resistances means that it doesn't encroach too much into the monk space, which was a problem in my book. Sure it suffers later, but that's in-line with most other natural attacks that I see, and I didn't want to deviate too far and make this too powerful. By 11th level, a character should have plenty of options to use a bonus action, but having a reliable extra attack can be mighty handy.


    Spoiler: Dragon Wings
    Show
    Dragon Wings

    You have dragon wings sprouting from your shoulder blades. You gain a Fly speed of 30 feet. At 11th level, you may choose to have a Fly speed equal to your walking speed. Any clothes or armor must be specifically made for you to accommodate your wings, which doubles the price of the clothes or armor.

    Notes: In case something is negatively affecting your walking speed, I didn't want it to also affect the base of your Fly speed. I just felt that this wording is more clear, at least for my players.


    Spoiler: Draconic Natural Armor
    Show
    Draconic Natural Armor

    The natural scales and plating on your body make you more difficult to harm than your peers. You gain a +1 to your AC.

    Notes: I used the Warforged as a template for this. It's powerful for sure, but I think it's a fair bonus without making the race too unbalanced. Also, I wanted to avoid issues with Sorcerer, Monk, Barbarian, and Mage Armor. And after all, from a lore perspective, I would think that dragon scale is at least as tough as Warforged plating.


    Spoiler: Dragon Tail
    Show
    Dragon Tail

    You have a powerful tail that can be used to attack. Once per turn you can substitute one weapon attack with a tail attack as part of your attack action. You have proficiency with your tail, and this attack uses your Strength modifier. The attack deals 1d8 + Strength bludgeoning damage. Additionally, if you hit with a tail attack, you may choose to cause the target to go prone. Once you have chosen to make a target go prone, you may only use this part of the attack again after you complete a short rest.

    Notes: I thought that advantage, even in narrow circumstances, seemed a bit far when sizing things up against other racial options. Making this an attack option (as in "using the Attack action") and giving it the Strength modifier makes it no more powerful than a longsword. In fact, restricting it to one attack per Attack action, despite the number of Attacks you can make during an Attack action, means that it should be strictly less attractive. Additionally, it requires the use of an Attack action rather than a bonus action, which means that it can be used in conjunction with other Attack action options (martial classes = attack twice per Attack action, or more) and doesn't overly clutter the bonus action options. Giving it a once per short rest rider means that it will likely see some use for battlefield control and DPR builds. This will become especially true for those casters that can't typically use d8 weapons.


    Spoiler: Frightful Presence
    Show
    Frightful Presence

    You can channel your draconic presence, striking fear to those around you. As an action, you can attempt to frighten all creatures in a 10 ft radius around you. Each hostile creature in that radius must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8+ proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier) or be frightened for until the end of your next turn. You can use this feature once per short rest. At 11th level, the radius increases to 30 ft and the duration increases to one minute. Affected target must make a Wisdom saving throw on the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

    Notes: This is more in-line with a Paladin's aura. I was initially going to make it last one minute from level 1 since the range was shortened, but thought it would probably be better to limit at lower levels.


    Spoiler: Dragon Senses
    Show
    Dragon Senses

    Your senses are more as a dragon than those of your kin. You gain darkvision (you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray). You also gain proficiency in Perception. Finally, you may cast the spell Identify once per short rest, requiring no material components.

    Notes: This seemed like a weaker option by comparison to the others. Identify as a spell is niche, but it might come in handy and it serves to solidify the idea of dragons having an innate feel for magic items.


    Spoiler: Breath Weapon
    Show
    Breath Weapon

    You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation. When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw. The type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 4d6 at 6th level. At 11th level, the distance of your breath weapon is doubled. At 16th level, the damage increases to 6d6.
    After you use your breath weapon, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

    Notes: I always thought the damage for a Breath Weapon was seriously underwhelming, especially when you consider that you're giving up an Attack Action. I'm loathe to make this a bonus action, as I've seen in some homebrews, but it still needed a boost. So, there's this. A little increased damage, but not too much considering you're not able to add any of the additional damage factors like Hex, Hunter's Mark, or even an Ability modifier. Doubling the range, I think, makes this an attractive option because you can begin to target a serious number of enemies in the right situation but limiting the damage progression makes this more of a minion clearer than a tool to be used against a boss.


    Spoiler: Damage Resistance
    Show
    Damage Resistance

    You have resistance to the damage type associated with your draconic ancestry.

    Notes: This is the once exceptionally attractive feature in the PHB, so I didn't want to do away with it.


    Ultimately, I went through the races in the PHB and the published supplements. I attempted to assign each feature a value based on its usefulness. (These are all highly subjective, so I won't be elaborating much on my process. Sorry folks.) In my estimation, the Breath Weapon is a decent option to begin with, but becomes less and less attractive as levels increase. This is because enemies with higher CR tend to have saves or other abilities that make it a virtual certainty that it will be taking half damage. If it also has resistance, which is more prevalent and varied at higher CR, then it becomes even less of a value. Strength and Charisma are wonderful Ability scores to boost, especially for Paladins. Elemental Resistance is terrific, but highly situational. With all of that in mind, Dragonborn had one of the lowest values.

    In the end, I think that Dragonborn players should be able to choose from three of the options. It offers a highly customizable character that can be tailored to fit a huge variety of character builds. I don't think that anything is particularly overpowered, even when combined with the other options. It's strictly stronger than the PHB race, but like I said, that only serves to bring it more on par with the other races.

    I'd be happy to entertain adjustments if anyone has anything to add. I'll likely post this in its own thread eventually, so as not to completely derail this one. I would have done that immediately, but I still don't have enough posts to activate links yet. (I'll be crediting RakiReborn for most of the heavy lifting, of course.)
    Last edited by AngryJesusMan; 2016-07-20 at 07:19 AM.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Actually AngryJesusMan, If I aren't mistaken your current wording of the tail allows it to be an extra attack you can make in addition to what else you have. As you state no action used.

    Once per turn you may attack with your tail
    should pprobably be changed to "Once per turn as an action you may make an attack with your tail" as that seems to be your intention. Or if it is intended to be part of an attack routine word it like: "Once per turn you can substitute one weapon attack with a tail attack as part of your attack action."
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Variants [WIP] [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by sajro View Post
    Actually AngryJesusMan, If I aren't mistaken your current wording of the tail allows it to be an extra attack you can make in addition to what else you have. As you state no action used.


    should pprobably be changed to "Once per turn as an action you may make an attack with your tail" as that seems to be your intention. Or if it is intended to be part of an attack routine word it like: "Once per turn you can substitute one weapon attack with a tail attack as part of your attack action."
    Good catch. I'll make that change. Thanks.

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