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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GrayDeath's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    GTrue, the initial massive adantage in HP, Attack Bnus and Damage looks to be the only problem for me.

    However sinc ethe only other Meleeist is highly optimzied AND played by the most skilled player, it should be doable.

    So about 10% of WBL to use until we reach Level 16-17 and around 50% from then on sound good?


    Also, he positively squeeled when I gave him the gist of this version, so you made a player very very happy today. Thanks. :)
    Last edited by GrayDeath; 2018-01-01 at 06:54 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    Awesomesauce.

    Yeah that could be close enough for adult gold dragon.

    For an adult dragon of a different metal you could do ~0% WBL to start, then around 50% treasure right from the start until level ~18. Then if the campaign isn't over declare his hoard pretty good after that and let him keep more treasure. Assuming advancement by class levels. Or adjust from that ballpark if you think the power is too low/high.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2018-01-01 at 07:01 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    Most dragons are strictly mediocre for their HD, which is why their CR is almost universally lower (and why the level adjustment assignment thread assigns them LA "Minus zero", as in "This is zero but if negative level adjustment existed this would have one." With 10 hit dice, a breath weapon that went out of fashion four levels ago, a +10 strength, +6 constitution and +2 to each mental ability score and +9 natural armour (at the expense of not being able to wear full plate +1, for example), the very young red is neck-and-neck with the very young gold (+6 to those mentals instead, one more natural armour, and a superfluously faster but still not combat viable fly speed all for one extra hit die probably gives the gold an edge) for "Least awful Large dragon". Of course, both red and gold also reach huge pre-epic.

    Now, dragon hit dice aren't necessarily awful (What do you get if you take the best BAB, saves and HD size and add the second-best number of skill points? A dragon!) and with your strength, bite-claw-claw-wing-wing-tail might actually do enough damage to make you, uh, relevant at your own job (27+STR*3.5 could be 62 if you max out strength and hit with everything, which is... not enough to take out monsters with CR equal to your level (like dragons who are twice your CR for example.)) But it is enough to make a dent, at least

    Diagnosis: mediocre. Your player will be fine doing dragon things as a dragon. They'll have some skills too. But mostly they'll just hit things and only even be okay at it.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    How about a steel (Dragons of Faerűn) wyrmling of war (Dragons of Eberron) warblade 1/sorcerer 1/jade phoenix mage 6 with LA buyoff (at 9 and 12) and age cursing or size increases for however many categories is appropriate?

    Without age cursing or size increases, you're a Small dragon. You get Firebird Stance straight away, you're a Jade Phoenix Reborn Dragon Master straight away, you have 6th-level casting, full base attack, and a decent selection of maneuvers. Between Tiger Claw and Jade Phoenix Mage, you are very predatory and fiery, which is just what a dragon needs. Plus you're a true dragon with racial casting, SR, Alternate Form--the works. The only problem is: you're still Small, and that looks a bit funny.

    Of the three ways to get bigger, one is cheesy and absurdly powerful (age cursing), one is homebrew (size increases), and one involves simply picking a bigger dragon, which I'm not talking about in this post (it's a decent option with steels, but you get only 2/3 casting and no class features).

    With a single-category age curse, you're still Small, but now with three extra base attack and two levels of sorcerer casting, and you get Minor Arcane Shield, taking your SR up to 28 for low-level spells (1st- and 2nd-level, I guess--it's on the table, but only Moderate Arcane Shield is in the text, and that works against spells up to 4th level). This is probably a bit too strong, since you're actually getting +15 base attack at ECL 12, but it's quite reasonable at higher levels (+19 base attack at ECL 16+ is fine), when spells become more and more powerful.

    With a two-category age curse, you're Medium, with Moderate Arcane Shield, +18 base attack, and 10th-level sorcerer casting. I think that's probably too strong, even at ECL 16+.

    A single-category size increase would also take you to Medium, with +4 strength, -2 dexterity, and +2 constitution, making for a fairly nice gish stat loadout (+4/-2/+4/+0/+0/+2). You can do this without really affecting balance; with the lost +1 to-hit and +1 AC, this probably isn't even worth any LA on its own.

    A two-category size increase would take you to Large, with +12 strength, -4 dexterity, and +6 constitution. That's already a lot closer to being a full dragon. You can assign this +1 LA, which would affect the buyoff scheme above, and change the build to wyrmling 4/warblade 1/sorcerer 1/JPM 4/LA 2 with one LA already bought off and the next buyoff at ECL 15 and 18.


    On balance, I'd recommend the two-category size increase, with or without LA. It's not too powerful, and provides the real draconic feeling of Large Strong Predator + Fiery Flying Lizard + Jump On Things To Make Them Die.
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    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    Another fun thing is that many dragon abilities are tied into their size. This makes a dragon Psiwar with expansion fun. You get more natural weapons the bigger you get.

    If your player wants to fit into small spaces the AAEG has a collar that will turn any creature small without changing their stats. You expressly keep your high strength. Fun for the great wyrm gold dragpm who likes to pretend he is a wyrmling.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Most dragons are strictly mediocre for their HD, which is why their CR is almost universally lower (and why the level adjustment assignment thread assigns them LA "Minus zero", as in "This is zero but if negative level adjustment existed this would have one."
    Yeah, CR is part of how I estimated ECL when taking away the dragon's PC WBL & stats, plus a little lower due to fellow PC optimization. With PC WBL, ECL is quite a bit higher.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2018-01-02 at 03:30 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Hello Y`all!


    An old friend, but new D&D (and almost ceompletely new RPG) player, has decided to join an upcoming higher Level game.

    He is at the moment absolutely fascinated with Dragons and really REALLY wants to play one. Since he is very much not an optimizer (heck he played once or twice at most^^) and I am the DM, we decided to allow it, IF we can get it done within the following limits (and since I expect it: No, transforming into a Dragon or being a Halfdragon are declined^^):


    Achieve "useful and powerful feeling" play without too much handwaving/homebrewing
    Allow them all to be more or less "equal" (the Druid Player is the least optimizing) within the expected Range until the end of the game at level 19-20ish
    Not make the Dragon complicated to play.
    Have fun.


    Party is at Level 12-13 when he joins (using medium to slightly above OP, consists of a Druid, a Bard (with some extra goodies and Sublime Chord) and a Paladin/Warblade Gestalt).



    I have so far found no even remotely RAW way to do this. I am open to Homebrewing/modifications as long as they fulfill the above and are not COMPLETELY out of whack.

    Now my thoughts, if going homebrew/mod-heavy at the moment where kicking any LA and allowing him to play an adult or so that starts without casting and would gain that within the next few levels, but even that would need lots of work.....


    Thanks in advance for your help.
    I have done this before: no class levels, advances by dragon HD and then ages up when the HD matches the next age. The dragon gets bigger and more dragonlike over time, and is a tier 3 character.

    We justified it by having dragon powet be based on their hoard, so their magic items and money literally make them stronger.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Titan in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making a "big" Dragon playable

    It's a little above your starting level, but the abyssal drake is a monster found in Draconomicon that can be played at ECL 15. It's actually closer to a wyvern, which might bug some people... but it's still a Huge-sized flying monster with a breath weapon, which is pretty good. It won't be especially optimized next to a spellcaster of that level, but it holds up pretty well as a smashy-type.
    Avatar by GryffonDurime. Thanks!

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