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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Question Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Creatures with innate casting ignore material components including costly ones. This rule is repeated in the Draconomicon.
    Where does it say this? I must be missing the relevant rule in the MM, all I can find is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by MM1 p.315
    A spellcasting creature that lacks hands or arms can provide any somatic component a spell might require by moving its body. Such a creature also does need material components for its spells.
    Which is not what Draconomicon says:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr p.24
    As noted in the Monster Manual, creatures with innate spellcasting abilities, such as dragons, do not require material components to cast their spells.
    Unless the MM entry was fixed in errata, or my printing has an error, the MM rules is at odds from Draconomicon. It feels like the writers of Draconomicon thought the MM section had a "not" in there...
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-05-14 at 09:06 PM.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    It's not iron clad. The spell description starts off saying "you give the subject an additional pair of arms. Each of its arms - old and new - ends in a clawed hand" which makes it very clear that you do not grow two additional pairs of arms, or have two sets of claws on each of your new arms.

    Then later it says "the creature gains four claw attacks". You could argue that as this sentence is not itself qualified by saying "assuming it already had two arms" that by RAW that means it somehow gains four claw attacks even if it only gains two sets of claws, even though creatures with four sets of claws only gain four claw attacks, but that's a pretty nonsensical reading given what it says in the first paragraph.
    Like you said the 4 claw attacks are not conditional upon anything. The spell goes through the trouble of mentioning worms getting 2 arms but it doesn't mention whether such a creature would gain less claw attacks as a result. Since the rules don't say you get less, you don't get less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Where does it say this? I must be missing the relevant rule in the MM, all I can find is this:
    I have no clue. Draconomicon says this rule exists in MM so I assumed it did.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Creatures with innate casting ignore material components including costly ones. This rule is repeated in the Draconomicon.
    The SRD begs to differ:
    "A spellcasting creature that lacks hands or arms can provide any somatic component a spell might require by moving its body. Such a creature also does need material components for its spells. The creature can cast the spell by either touching the required component (but not if the component is in another creature’s possession) or having the required component on its person. Sometimes spellcasting creatures utilize the Eschew Materials feat to avoid fussing with noncostly components."

    The Draconomicon on page 24 contradicts this, but its wording is a bit funny:
    "As noted in the Monster Manual, creatures with innate spellcasting abilities, such as dragons, do not require material components to cast their spells."

    It looks like the writer of that sidebar completely misread what the Monster Manual has to say about it, as the 3.5 Monster Manual has the same verbiage as the SRD. Thus it's entirely up to a given DM whether they take the Draconomicon's misreading of the plain text, or stick with the core rules/primary source that is the Monster Manual.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    Just discovered something that apparently we both missed: creatures without hands or arms don't need material components for their innate spellcasting abilities (MM p.315, under "Spells". That this applies to Dragons is confirmed in the Draconomicon, p.24. They do need a focus if the spell requires it, but there's the Embed Spell Focus feat in the Draconomicon which enables them to use those too.)
    That's actually mildly disfunctional. MM pg 315 says they do require material components. And then RAI confirms this, as it explains if the material component is "on its person" it is good enough. MM is the primary source for monsters, so that's the general rule. Then the Draconomicon says they don't require them.

    Draconomicon is the book for dragons, so yes all dragons effectively have ignore materials (epic feat) because it says they do. This can be a concern for things like Apocalypse from the Sky's artifact material component. This is true for the epic feat Ignore Materials as well though, which many dragons can simply take. Honestly I doubt many DM's track NPC material components in any way, so I'm starting to think I'm guilty of splitting hairs.

    Edit: Biffoniacus_Furiou beat me to it, it looks like we're stating the same argument.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Where does it say this? I must be missing the relevant rule in the MM, all I can find is this:



    Which is not what Draconomicon says:



    Unless the MM entry was fixed in errata, or my printing has an error, the MM rules is at odds from Draconomicon. It feels like the writers of Draconomicon thought the MM section had a "not" in there...
    ...well, dang. I checked the section in the MM after I read the part that referred to it in the Draconomicon, and apparently I mentally inserted the word "not" into it because I was expecting to see it.

    Boy, do I feel like an idiot now.

    As Covenant says, Draconomicon is the book for Dragons, so arguably specific trumps general, but it seems pretty clear that the writers of the Draconomicon misread the MM text.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Read everyone's suggestions and updated the first post. If you disagree with a spell, or feel strongly about a spell that wasn't included, please voice your opinion. I will do the cleric version after I finish with this list.

    I'm not sure about using BFC spells as they'll most likely be irrelevant against a competent party. So probably only gonna use walls for BFC.

    I'm on the fence about using spells that drop out of usefulness like dispelling breath.

    Oh btw I use disjunction liberally in my games. Since my game is 99% RAW with all 1st party cross-setting content allowed, I offset the lategame powerhouse of my PCs by destroying their magic items. Even naked they usually curbstomp Balors.

    I'm probably not gonna use any ToB stuff as I haven't learned the system yet and I have no intention to do so anytime soon.

    edit: Also probably won't be using Metabreaths as I want to breath fire every round because some dragons like Pyroclastic Dragons have absolutely devastating breath weapons. Unless I'm wrong and breath weapons suck. Looking at the numbers, some dragons' breath weapons are craptastic.
    Last edited by gogogome; 2019-05-14 at 10:29 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Again, I do recommend Blood Wind [Spell Compendium]. It's one of the few good 1st level spells, and it's really, really good for Dragons in particular.

    And yeah, some dragon breath weapons do suck. Such as White Dragons'. Their casting sucks too. All they've got going for them is a set of movement modes, some nice innate spell-likes (Freezing Fog is pretty solid), and their physical prowess. That's why the White Dragon I listed for instance just has Quicken Breath and Entangling Exhalation: it's going to do its stuff with its physical attacks most of the time and as the breath isn't gonna do meaningful damage anyways, so might as well turn it into an extra source of crowd control that does some incidental damage.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Again, I do recommend Blood Wind [Spell Compendium]. It's one of the few good 1st level spells, and it's really, really good for Dragons in particular.

    And yeah, some dragon breath weapons do suck. Such as White Dragons'. Their casting sucks too. All they've got going for them is a set of movement modes, some nice innate spell-likes (Freezing Fog is pretty solid), and their physical prowess. That's why the White Dragon I listed for instance just has Quicken Breath and Entangling Exhalation: it's going to do its stuff with its physical attacks most of the time and as the breath isn't gonna do meaningful damage anyways, so might as well turn it into an extra source of crowd control that does some incidental damage.
    I can't believe I missed that one. Yeah definitely adding Blood WInd.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Tell me if this is a bad idea. I'm going to make this build a jack of all trades.

    In the beginning the dragons will be breath focused. Then once they gain more attacks they will be melee and breath focused. Then once the dragon's spellcasting gets decent they will go mailman, throwing an ungodly amount of twinned maximized repeating orbs of force and lesser acid through arcane spellsurge and arcane fusions.

    For Spellcasting the dragon will have Maximize Spell, Twin Spell, Searing Spell, Arcane Thesis:Orb of Fire, Arcane Thesis: Lesser Orb of Fire, Improved Metamagic x3

    For Breath the dragon will have Quicken Spell, Rapid Breath, and Recover Breath.

    For Melee the dragon will have Multiattack and Improved Multiattack

    For movement the dragon will only have improved flight.

    And possibly Far Shot and Distant Shot epic feats if there is room.

    Thoughts?

    edit:Is AMF any good on a dragon? Seems like invincibility since you really can't hurt a dragon without buffs and magic items.
    Last edited by gogogome; 2019-05-15 at 01:57 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Tell me if this is a bad idea. I'm going to make this build a jack of all trades.

    In the beginning the dragons will be breath focused. Then once they gain more attacks they will be melee and breath focused. Then once the dragon's spellcasting gets decent they will go mailman, throwing an ungodly amount of twinned maximized repeating orbs of force and lesser acid through arcane spellsurge and arcane fusions.

    For Spellcasting the dragon will have Maximize Spell, Twin Spell, Searing Spell, Arcane Thesis:Orb of Fire, Arcane Thesis: Lesser Orb of Fire, Improved Metamagic x3

    For Breath the dragon will have Quicken Spell, Rapid Breath, and Recover Breath.

    For Melee the dragon will have Multiattack and Improved Multiattack

    For movement the dragon will only have improved flight.

    And possibly Far Shot and Distant Shot epic feats if there is room.

    Thoughts?
    I think Hover is more important than Improved Flight; bigger Dragons (with few exceptions such as Mercury Dragons) have Clumsy flight, and poor isn't much to write home about. You need Improved Flight x 3 to get the hover ability (or 2x Improved Flight and Wings of Air [Spell Compendium]). I'd also try and make room for Flyby Attack for more efficient breath/casting strafing. Improved Multiattack is just +2 to secondary attacks so it isn't that important; I'd do away with that. If the Dragon wants to hit, it can just cast Wraithstrike instead. Hell, Power Attack is also pretty nice in conjunction with all the other stuff even though Dragons lack the 2-for-1 returns.

    On higher levels, Dragons actually get some nice mileage out of Persistent Spell: Persistent Blood Wind and Wraithstrike are nice action economy-wise (though of course still dispellable) and you only need 7th and 8th level slots for those. I'm not sure focusing on damage spells that hard is really worth it when Dragon has comparable attack options that take no effort such as full attack with Blood Wind and obviously the breath weapon. This build feels casting focused so I think I'd instead focus on casting that enhances the Dragon's buff/utility spells: Quicken Spell, Extend Spell, Persistent Spell and perhaps the Improved Metamagics (it can be fun to Persist stuff like Blinding and Dispelling Breath, or even Enervating Breath and Breath Weapon Admixture). Twin Spell is also natural if the Dragon has Celerity and Arcane Fusions anyways but I don't think Arcane Thesis really adds much overall. It's just another way to pummel things to ground. Instead, I might consider Quick Recovery to make Celerity-use not require daze immunity.


    But yeah, dragon can easily go all-rounder, so I'm all for that.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2019-05-15 at 02:19 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Tell me if this is a bad idea. I'm going to make this build a jack of all trades.
    I mean, it is a monster (usually). Whether it is a jack of all trades won't really change the fact that the players will either need to kill it or interact with it in some way. So branching out and making them Jacks of All trades is fine. Dragons also get 6+int modifier per HD so they can also be very socially skilled as well, or just general know it all's if you'd like.

    As for feats, if your dragons are stationary, or staying in the same place for a long period of time, and they are at least interested in spellcasting, why not use the Node Spellcasting feat line? And they (usually) cast spontaneously so even if they are forced to leave their Node, they aren't entirely doomed. Same goes for Sanctum Spell letting them take advantage of their stationary status.


    Decided to take a crack at Eldariel's format
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    CE Large dragon (Fire); CR 10
    Juvenile Fortune's Fang Red Dragon
    HD 16d12+64, hp 168; Init +0; Spd 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor);
    Armor Class: 24, touch 9, flat-footed 24;
    Base Atk: +16;Grp +29; Atk +24 melee (2d6+9, bite); Full Atk +24 melee (2d6+9, bite), +20 melee (1d8+4, 2 claws), +19 melee (1d6+4,2 wings), +19 melee (1d8+13, tail slap);

    Space/Reach 10 ft./5ft. (10 ft. with bite);

    Special abilities: breath weapon (8d10; fire; Reflex DC22 half), spell-like abilities,spells;
    Special Qualities: blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., immunity to fire, magic sleep effects,and paralysis, low-light vision, vulnerability to cold;

    Saves: Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +12;
    Ability Scores: Str 29, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14.
    Skills: Bluff +10, Concentration +15, Disguise +7 Diplomacy +14, Hide –4, Intimidate +16, Jump +24, Knowledge (arcana)+12, Knowledge (History) +8, Listen +15, Move Silently +8 Search +14, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +11, Spot +21;
    Skill Tricks: Assume Quirk, Second Impression, Never Outnumbered, Collector of Stories

    Feats:
    1st-12th: Irrelevant for intent of build. Apply whatever you'd like here.
    15th: Alternate Form


    Spell-Like Abilities: 4/day—locate object.
    Spells (Sorcerer CL 3)
    0th- Erase, Mending, Amanuensis, Prestidigitation
    1st- Strength of the True Form, Blood Wind, Nerveskitter


    I decided to approach this dragon as a mastermind rather than as a brute combat type individual. Their spell list is designed for very low grade espionage: erase an important document, duplicate an important document, repair the seal of an important document, turn the important document purple, you never know. Earlier leveled feats might bank on improving their breath weapon, or their fly speed, or even give them the option to fight in different forms. The idea behind Alternate Form is that they can assume the form of anyone really (an animal following them, a bartender serving them, or even someone they know). Idk. I like the concept of that rat familiar that always followed the Necromancer around suddenly turning into a Big Red Dragon on them and adding more complexity to the encounter lol.
    Last edited by Afghanistan; 2019-05-15 at 02:42 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I think Hover is more important than Improved Flight; bigger Dragons (with few exceptions such as Mercury Dragons) have Clumsy flight, and poor isn't much to write home about. You need Improved Flight x 3 to get the hover ability (or 2x Improved Flight and Wings of Air [Spell Compendium]). I'd also try and make room for Flyby Attack for more efficient breath/casting strafing. Improved Multiattack is just +2 to secondary attacks so it isn't that important; I'd do away with that. If the Dragon wants to hit, it can just cast Wraithstrike instead. Hell, Power Attack is also pretty nice in conjunction with all the other stuff even though Dragons lack the 2-for-1 returns.

    On higher levels, Dragons actually get some nice mileage out of Persistent Spell: Persistent Blood Wind and Wraithstrike are nice action economy-wise (though of course still dispellable) and you only need 7th and 8th level slots for those. I'm not sure focusing on damage spells that hard is really worth it when Dragon has comparable attack options that take no effort such as full attack with Blood Wind and obviously the breath weapon. This build feels casting focused so I think I'd instead focus on casting that enhances the Dragon's buff/utility spells: Quicken Spell, Extend Spell, Persistent Spell and perhaps the Improved Metamagics (it can be fun to Persist stuff like Blinding and Dispelling Breath, or even Enervating Breath and Breath Weapon Admixture). Twin Spell is also natural if the Dragon has Celerity and Arcane Fusions anyways but I don't think Arcane Thesis really adds much overall. It's just another way to pummel things to ground. Instead, I might consider Quick Recovery to make Celerity-use not require daze immunity.


    But yeah, dragon can easily go all-rounder, so I'm all for that.
    Someone pointed out Improved Flight + Greater Wings of Air gives hover for the clumsy dragons.

    Blood Wind cannot be persisted. Persisted Wraithstrike on the other hand...

    My biggest fear with breath weapons is that it drops out especially because of the reflex for half or Energy Immunity.

    But... yeah, I cannot see a hole in the persistent wraithstrike blood wind Dragon with distant shot killing PCs from a mile away with maxed out power attack. But then, I have lots of feats left over and nowhere to spend it.

    So many options.... which is best....

    Ultimately Mailman is the strongest by far. 80 + 180 + 180 + 180 = 620 x 2 = 1240 damage a round.

    I'll add Persistent Spell but not Power Attack since Heroics gives that. I might grab hover. And whatever feats left I'll go mailman since I got tons of feats to spare and the epic damage is what epic dragons should be doing.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    IMO a "cookie cutter" Dragon build needs a dangerous breath weapon, strong melee, and spellcasting that doesn't overshadow all that but instead complements and improves it. That means spells like Blood Wind, or defensive spells like Scintillating Scales or Wings of Cover.

    And IMO it's best to simply open combat with a Maximised Heightened (Quickened) Enlarged Clinging Lingering Breath and accept the fact that you won't be using it again this fight, adding in a metabreath spell like Dispelling Breath if possible. Then use a battlefield control spell, and finish any survivors with fang and claw !

    I like the Beast Strike feat, which makes Draconic melee truly absurd. Power Attack + Shock Trooper + Leap Attack are also good, if you have the feats for it and have Pounce. No matter which Dragon focus you're taking, some access to Pounce or Travel Devotion should be mandatory. A Dragon has excellent melee, and he should be able to use it !
    Being able to swoop down on the Sorcerer and utterly obliterate him is an important part of being a Dragon :D

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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    For spells, I'd recommend

    1. Strength of the True Form. Dragons can change shape so doing this while keeping max{new,old} Str/Dex/Con/NA/DR is great.
    2. Wraith Touch instead of Cat's Grace.
    2. Glitterdust instead of Bull's Strength. AoE Will-or-suck that is SR:No, so you can get it off. The dragon can really use some multi-target spells like this because it's often outnumbered.
    3. Anticipate Teleportation instead of Spider Skin or Girallon's Blessing. This shuts down Scry-or-Die tactics and tactical teleportation, which seems great against multiple opponents.
    3. Cloak of Khyber instead of the other one. Defeats True Seeing!
    4. Wall of Sand instead of Wings of Air. More BFC.
    4. Friendly Fire instead of Investiture of the Steel Devil. Immunity to ranged attacks is fantastic.
    5. Draconic Polymorph instead of Greater Dimension Door. You already have decent tactical movement.
    6. Antimagic Field! Dragons are the best users of it.
    6. Contingency instead of Greater Heroism. Use Contingency[Arcane Fusion] and trigger it on casting Nerveskitter which has special rules to get extra spells/actions/escape at the beginning of every combat.
    7. Greater teleport instead of Forcecage? I'd go with the SRD rules instead of Draconomicon rules.
    8. Mindblank. Dragons should not be mind-controlled.
    8. Greater Planeshift. Go anywhere
    9. Shapechange instead of Disjunction. Dragons like treasure, not trinkets.
    9. Gate.

    For feats, definitely pick up Persistent Spell.

    I generally prefer Arcane Thesis[Arcane Fusion] + Arcane Thesis[Greater Arcane Fusion] since it effectively gives you arcane thesis for many spells.

    Having power attack natively may be important since it's the key to inflicting serious damage and dragon spells are easily dispelled.

    Versatile Spellcaster is super handy as well.

    Dire Charge also seems good and it's prerequisite (Improved Initiative) is good.
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    For spells, I'd recommend

    1. Strength of the True Form. Dragons can change shape so doing this while keeping max{new,old} Str/Dex/Con/NA/DR is great.
    2. Wraith Touch instead of Cat's Grace.
    2. Glitterdust instead of Bull's Strength. AoE Will-or-suck that is SR:No, so you can get it off. The dragon can really use some multi-target spells like this because it's often outnumbered.
    3. Anticipate Teleportation instead of Spider Skin or Girallon's Blessing. This shuts down Scry-or-Die tactics and tactical teleportation, which seems great against multiple opponents.
    3. Cloak of Khyber instead of the other one. Defeats True Seeing!
    4. Wall of Sand instead of Wings of Air. More BFC.
    4. Friendly Fire instead of Investiture of the Steel Devil. Immunity to ranged attacks is fantastic.
    5. Draconic Polymorph instead of Greater Dimension Door. You already have decent tactical movement.
    6. Antimagic Field! Dragons are the best users of it.
    6. Contingency instead of Greater Heroism. Use Contingency[Arcane Fusion] and trigger it on casting Nerveskitter which has special rules to get extra spells/actions/escape at the beginning of every combat.
    7. Greater teleport instead of Forcecage? I'd go with the SRD rules instead of Draconomicon rules.
    8. Mindblank. Dragons should not be mind-controlled.
    8. Greater Planeshift. Go anywhere
    9. Shapechange instead of Disjunction. Dragons like treasure, not trinkets.
    9. Gate.

    For feats, definitely pick up Persistent Spell.

    I generally prefer Arcane Thesis[Arcane Fusion] + Arcane Thesis[Greater Arcane Fusion] since it effectively gives you arcane thesis for many spells.

    Having power attack natively may be important since it's the key to inflicting serious damage and dragon spells are easily dispelled.

    Versatile Spellcaster is super handy as well.

    Dire Charge also seems good and it's prerequisite (Improved Initiative) is good.
    How would a dragon use Shapechange? Seems like their dragon form is better than everything. Lets use a Red Dragon as the base.

    No Gate as it requires XP.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Just for thematics, something like Suggestion (3rd level), Miser's Envy (3rd level, SpC) or Entice Gift (2nd level, SpC) ought to be on there. Dragons have overwhelming personalities and can plant ideas and greed into anyone who listens to them for too long (think Smaug getting Bilbo to doubt the Dwarves and almost give away who he is). Something low-level like Alarm (1st level) for noticing anyone sneaking around their treasure pile. or higher-level like Guards and Wards (6th level) for guarding larger complexes. True Seeing (Clr 5, Sor/Wiz 6) to ferret out any pesky Rings of Invisibility.

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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    For spells, I'd recommend

    1. Strength of the True Form. Dragons can change shape so doing this while keeping max{new,old} Str/Dex/Con/NA/DR is great.
    2. Wraith Touch instead of Cat's Grace.
    2. Glitterdust instead of Bull's Strength. AoE Will-or-suck that is SR:No, so you can get it off. The dragon can really use some multi-target spells like this because it's often outnumbered.
    3. Anticipate Teleportation instead of Spider Skin or Girallon's Blessing. This shuts down Scry-or-Die tactics and tactical teleportation, which seems great against multiple opponents.
    3. Cloak of Khyber instead of the other one. Defeats True Seeing!
    4. Wall of Sand instead of Wings of Air. More BFC.
    4. Friendly Fire instead of Investiture of the Steel Devil. Immunity to ranged attacks is fantastic.
    5. Draconic Polymorph instead of Greater Dimension Door. You already have decent tactical movement.
    6. Antimagic Field! Dragons are the best users of it.
    6. Contingency instead of Greater Heroism. Use Contingency[Arcane Fusion] and trigger it on casting Nerveskitter which has special rules to get extra spells/actions/escape at the beginning of every combat.
    7. Greater teleport instead of Forcecage? I'd go with the SRD rules instead of Draconomicon rules.
    8. Mindblank. Dragons should not be mind-controlled.
    8. Greater Planeshift. Go anywhere
    9. Shapechange instead of Disjunction. Dragons like treasure, not trinkets.
    9. Gate.

    For feats, definitely pick up Persistent Spell.

    I generally prefer Arcane Thesis[Arcane Fusion] + Arcane Thesis[Greater Arcane Fusion] since it effectively gives you arcane thesis for many spells.

    Having power attack natively may be important since it's the key to inflicting serious damage and dragon spells are easily dispelled.

    Versatile Spellcaster is super handy as well.

    Dire Charge also seems good and it's prerequisite (Improved Initiative) is good.
    Most of this is great, but I dislike taking Draconic Polymorph or Shapechange. Dragons shouldn't be Polymorphing in combat!

    And if you remove Shapechange's combat applications, then there are many better level 9 spells. Not just the obvious ones (Time Stop, Gate) but also Cleric spells like Miracle or End to Strife (most Dragons can access these spells, and End to Strife is amazing when outnumbered and you have Mind Blank to be unaffected).
    I'm also a huge fan of Maw of Chaos : it deals a lot of damage to many targets at once AND it's excellent battlefield control.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    How would a dragon use Shapechange? Seems like their dragon form is better than everything. Lets use a Red Dragon as the base.
    Quote Originally Posted by TalonOfAnathrax View Post
    Most of this is great, but I dislike taking Draconic Polymorph or Shapechange. Dragons shouldn't be Polymorphing in combat!

    And if you remove Shapechange's combat applications, then there are many better level 9 spells. Not just the obvious ones (Time Stop, Gate) but also Cleric spells like Miracle or End to Strife (most Dragons can access these spells, and End to Strife is amazing when outnumbered and you have Mind Blank to be unaffected).
    I'm also a huge fan of Maw of Chaos : it deals a lot of damage to many targets at once AND it's excellent battlefield control.
    First, not all dragon lends are of the Smaug variety---many of them identify more as elementals/spirits which can be anywhere. Polymorph/Shapechange gives a way to do that. Polymorph + Shapechange provides a few more tricks than either alone, although the primary reason to take both is so that lower CR dragons can take advantage of polymorph.

    Second, the many Ex/Su abilities available through Shapechange seem to provide quite a bit of utility. This also applies to combat since Su/Ex abilites are not subject to SR and Dragons have excellent stats for generating difficult saves.

    Third, the combination of Strength of the True Form + form alteration makes many forms which are not otherwise particularly compelling pretty good. For example, consider Shapechange[Jovoc] followed by Polymorph[<else>] with persistent Strength of the True Form and Cloak of Khyber active. You appear to be whatever <else> is but the Str/Con/Int/Wis/Cha/NA/DR of a Dragon + more. A party engaging you in close combat simply kills itself with no action on your part.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    First, not all dragon lends are of the Smaug variety---many of them identify more as elementals/spirits which can be anywhere. Polymorph/Shapechange gives a way to do that. Polymorph + Shapechange provides a few more tricks than either alone, although the primary reason to take both is so that lower CR dragons can take advantage of polymorph.

    Second, the many Ex/Su abilities available through Shapechange seem to provide quite a bit of utility. This also applies to combat since Su/Ex abilites are not subject to SR and Dragons have excellent stats for generating difficult saves.

    Third, the combination of Strength of the True Form + form alteration makes many forms which are not otherwise particularly compelling pretty good. For example, consider Shapechange[Jovoc] followed by Polymorph[<else>] with persistent Strength of the True Form and Cloak of Khyber active. You appear to be whatever <else> is but the Str/Con/Int/Wis/Cha/NA/DR of a Dragon + more. A party engaging you in close combat simply kills itself with no action on your part.
    No dragon magazine so no cloak of khyber.

    I will consider shapechange. On one hand I want dragons to fight like dragons and the reason for this list is because I'm feeling lazy and studying up on all the polymorph forms that could kill the party is a lot of work and a dispel magic will end the entire combo. On the other hand strength of the true form is a powerful advantage probably unique to dragons and my party is really high op.

    Probably gonna be no.
    Last edited by gogogome; 2019-05-15 at 05:02 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Cookie Cutter Dragon build?

    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    No dragon magazine so no cloak of khyber.
    I believe it was republished in an Eberron book, although I'm not sure which one.

    Edit: The internet says it's in "City of Stormreach" on page 59.
    Last edited by Anthrowhale; 2019-05-15 at 06:24 PM.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

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