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    Default Dragonborn Boosting

    Dragonborn are a little disappointing as a race. They don't really hold up next to the others, which get things like bonus cantrips, level-advancement-based spell access, ritual spells as fully-active abilities, and even bonus feats. I know it's common to gripe that the races without darkvision are outnumbered by those who are, as well, so having dragonborn not add to that seems like a nice thing...but they're supposedly related to DRAGONS.

    Yes, they get a breath weapon once per short rest; this is actually pretty nice. However, its damage progresses more slowly than any cantrip, and its once/short rest utility holds it back from being character-making. Now, it also can't be spammable like a cantrip, due to its area of effect. I propose the following additions.

    Dragonborn Additions
    Senses: Dragonborn share in their draconic ancestors' acute vision have darkvision out to 60 ft.
    Secondary Breath Weapon: Dragonborn may breathe a targeted version of their breath weapon as their action. This affects only one creature within 30 ft., rather than an area, and has the same damage and saving throw effects.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    ...but they're supposedly related to DRAGONS....
    -snip-

    ...Dragonborn Additions
    Senses: Dragonborn share in their draconic ancestors' acute vision have darkvision out to 60 ft...
    Works for some settings like Eberron (where they are descended from dragons), not so much for forgotten realms (where dragonborn are not decended from dragons).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Works for some settings like Eberron (where they are descended from dragons), not so much for forgotten realms (where dragonborn are not decended from dragons).
    Even there, they're created by grafting draconic aspect onto existing races.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Darkvision is absolutely a fine addition.

    The targeted breath weapon feels odd, and not particularly useful actually.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Darkvision is absolutely a fine addition.

    The targeted breath weapon feels odd, and not particularly useful actually.
    I think the idea is to make it an at-will option. Which is reasonable, but feels a bit off. How about if instead of "one creature within 30ft," it's "a 5ft radius burst, adjacent to you?" That puts it in line with stuff like Thunderclap while feeling more like a point-blank AoE.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I think the idea is to make it an at-will option. Which is reasonable, but feels a bit off. How about if instead of "one creature within 30ft," it's "a 5ft radius burst, adjacent to you?" That puts it in line with stuff like Thunderclap while feeling more like a point-blank AoE.
    That feels a bit better, yeah.

    But if I were to do that, I'd make it just have normal cantrip scaling. (Maybe 2d4 or 1d10 per tier-considering what little else Dragonborn get, I think it can stand to be a reasonably powerful option.)
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I think the idea is to make it an at-will option. Which is reasonable, but feels a bit off. How about if instead of "one creature within 30ft," it's "a 5ft radius burst, adjacent to you?" That puts it in line with stuff like Thunderclap while feeling more like a point-blank AoE.
    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    That feels a bit better, yeah.

    But if I were to do that, I'd make it just have normal cantrip scaling. (Maybe 2d4 or 1d10 per tier-considering what little else Dragonborn get, I think it can stand to be a reasonably powerful option.)
    The idea was, indeed, to add an effective cantrip to the race, while keeping the once-per-short-rest AoE as well.

    The existing damage lags a little behind cantrips at level 5 and beyond, but is made up for by the AoE nature. The AoE is actually too good to make it at-will.

    I also considered, instead of making an at-will sub-variant, just giving it a recharge, the way dragon breath weapons work. Maybe on a 6.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    AoE cantrips do exist-- Thunderclap, Sword Burst, Word of Radiance, even Acid Splash, sort of. "Very short range, hitting 1-3 targets" is valid.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    How's this sound, then? (In addition to the extant breath weapon.)

    Shallow Breath: As an action on your turn, you may exhale a limited form of your breath weapon. It deals damage and offers saving throws as normal, but only affects three squares which must be adjacent to you and at least one of the other affected squares.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Sounds great.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I was just thinking about dragonborn, and ways to make them more interesting. I have been looking into giving them movement options from their dragon ancestor that would help differentiate them (like making black dragonborn amphibious or red dragonborn ignore the reduced movement speed from climbing)

    I like the idea of them having, in a sense, a breath cantrip.
    quick math firebolt 1st: 1d10 5.5 5th: 2d10 11 11: 3d10 15.5 17th: 4d10 22
    vs breath 1st: 2d6+2 9 6th 3d6+3 13.5 11: 4d6+4 18 16th: 5d6+5 22.5 17th 5d6 + 6 23.5
    It seems like that a breath cantrip would slightly edge out fire bolt in terms of damage at most levels, I think it would be fine given its short range and cantrip damage is not something you want to be doing as your game plan. I think it highlights how bad the standard breath weapon is though.

    I still don't understand why they didn't give dragonborn dark vision already. That should be a thing.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    I still don't understand why they didn't give dragonborn dark vision already. That should be a thing.
    If it were my decision and I was defending it, I'd probably say "because darkvision is so classically elf and dwarf that giving darkvision to everyone would make those races less Tolkien."

    With that as a lead-in, if we're talking about upgrading dragonborn senses, does it have to be vision? Could it be hearing, smell, or touch ok not touch, they have thick leathery skin, doesn't make sense. But dragons are feared (rightly so) for their ability to destroy invisibility and stealth advantages. Darkvision doesn't do that, but half the animals in the MM have Advantage on smell or hearing.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I have always found it weird that dragonborn don't have darkvision.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I think Darkvision, have breath improve at tier levels (I think itís off tier right now) and have it be a bonus action at 5+.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Id put bonus action and they can do it a number of times equal to charisma modifier per long rest instead of short.
    + darkvision.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I think it could be interesting to give a race with like 10 ft. blindsight or something like that. Fits Dragonborn while doing something different than the usual darkvision, and they really don't have much else, so they're not going to become worldbeaters just from that. Sure, it allows them to render invisibility irrelevant if they can get into melee range, but by the time you're encountering significant numbers of invisible enemies, you're breath weapon's probably no longer all that relevant. I think the only issue is that you'd probably need to define Blindsight a little better for player use, but that's not too hard, just have to specify that like solid objects still block it or something.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-06-27 at 12:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    For Metallic dragonborn, how about gaining access to the secondary breath weapons their bigger brothers possess at some level threshold (Sleep gas, slow gas, etc.)?

    For Chromatic, how about being able to evolve your breath weapon at certain levels by consuming enough of a specific substance over a period of time? I read a story about a black dragonborn who, despite being resistant to acid, was somehow always getting hit with acid damage, so the DM gave him a ring that made him fully immune to acid. This resulted in him EATING a gelatinous cube that attacked the party. After a moment of stunned silence, the DM ruled that it worked, and henceforth augmented his breath weapon for having consumed so much unique acidic matter. Not only that, there are spells in the Spell Compendium expressly designed for use by creatures with breath weapons (For example: Dispelling Breath).

    For example:
    Consuming enough undead flesh causes your breath weapon to inflict a negative level on struck enemies (Although, of course, you'd have lots of Con checks to make to avoid being horribly afflicted...)

    Consuming enough acidic materia allows an acidic breath weapon to add +2d6 extra damage and any auxiliary effects the consumed acid has (For example, paralysis as in the Gelatinous Cube example, or armor dissolution in the case of a Black Pudding).

    Consuming enough flammable material (such as alcohol - good way to roleplay an alcoholic character!) adds +2d6 damage to a fiery breath weapon, and causes the affected area and creatures to continue burning as if in oil (5 flat damage) for 2 more rounds (Unless the fire is put out).

    Surviving a long period of metal poisoning causes your breath weapon to be infused with a storm of metal shards, dealing +2d6 slashing and bleeding for 1 point of damage per dice of your breath weapon (on a failed save) until a medicine check (dc 13) is administered.

    Consuming a liquified gas causes a cold-based breath to gain +2d6 damage, freeze any liquids that fail a save, and slow for 2 rounds any creature that fails a save.

    Etc. It would be pretty cool to reward surviving what would otherwise be a dumb idea. Obviously, you only get one such augment, perhaps two (at very high levels). Or perhaps these would be racial feats.

    As an aside, I know they're not really liked by anyone, but it would be pretty cool if there were dragonborn for the gem dragons as well (MM2).
    Last edited by Phhase; 2019-06-29 at 05:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    This is a subject I have found to be of interest for a while, and thus have some ideas to offer. I created my own additions to the Dragonborn, though I think it might be a bit too much on the powerful side.

    1. The range of the Dragonborn breath weapon range increases by 5 ft. (if it is a cone), or 10 ft. (if it is a line) each time the breath weapon's damage improves.

    2. At 3rd level Dragonborn may add their Con Mod to their breath weapon damage, (because Con Mod is what is used in their DC).

    3. At 5th level the breath weapon will cause penalties (depending on the damage type) to those who fail their saves against the breath weapon.
    Fire: Targets will take 1d6 fire damage at the start of each of their turns until they or an ally within 5 ft. uses an action and succeeds a DC 10 Dex save.
    Cold: Target's speed is halved for 1 minute.
    Poison: Targets are poisoned until they succeed a Con save at the end of their turn.
    Lightning: Targets are stunned until they make a Con save at the beginning of their turn.
    Acid: Targets AC decreases by 1 until they repair their armor (if they have any), or they take a long rest (if they don't have armor).
    The DCs for the Poison and Lightning would be your breath weapon DC.

    4. Dragonborn have +1 any unarmored defense value.

    I also like the idea of a 10 ft. blindsight.

    Obviously, this needs to be toned down a bit, I made it for a game where I was increasing the power of every race, but the Dragonborn needed it more than others. The reason I like these is because they don't directly change the damage of the breath weapon or make it able to be used more often then already stated. I also always felt that its range was to short, and I always like it when certain damage types can cause related conditions. Finally it adds slightly more variety between the different 'ancestries?'. Sorry for the long winded message, I will be considering ways to tone this down, but that's all for now.
    Last edited by Maxidion; 2019-07-01 at 01:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I've noticed a lot of people commenting about giving dragonborn darkvision, and someone even asked why they didn't get it to start with. The main reason WotC didn't give it to them is because in 4e they had plenty of other goodies, to the point where they needed to short-change them somewhere to keep them from feeling overpowered, compared to the rest of the basic races. In classic WotC fashion, they paid less attention to the transition between editions than they should have. As a result, the 5e dragonborn basically just gets resistance to one type of damage, and a cantrip once per rest.

    In my estimation, give the breath weapon a recharge on 6, or toning down the damage and making it at-will (1d8 per tier, maybe?), and adding darkvision and/or blindsight 10' should bring them up to par.
    Last edited by Skyrender; 2019-07-01 at 08:45 PM. Reason: I hate autocorrect.
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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyrender View Post
    I've noticed a lot of people commenting about giving dragonborn darkvision, and someone even asked why they didn't get it to start with. The main reason WotC didn't give it to them is because in 4e they had plenty of other goodies, to the point where they needed to short-change them somewhere to keep them from feeling overpowered, compared to the rest of the basic races. In classic WotC fashion, they paid less attention to the transition between editions than they should have. As a result, the 5e dragonborn basically just gets resistance to one type of damage, and a cantrip once per rest.
    Ah, did not know the 4e history. What did they get in 4e that they don't in 5e?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyrender View Post
    In my estimation, give the breath weapon a recharge on 6, or toning down the damage and making it at-will (1d8 per tier, maybe?), and adding darkvision and/or blindsight 10' should bring them up to par.
    This was roughly my idea. The trouble with making their breath weapon just scale and be at will is its AOE, so I gave them a "secondary" breath weapon that does scale appropriately for an at-will cantrip and had a smaller one.

    And added Darkvision, because come on.

    I agree that the fact that only humans and halflings LACK it is a problem, but Dragonborn are the wrong race to try to redress that with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Ah, did not know the 4e history. What did they get in 4e that they don't in 5e?
    They got a bonus to attacking when bloodied, a small bonus to healing surges, and their breath weapon was a minor action. Was a fair bit less damage, but Minor action meant it was almost always applicable.

    What really set them apart, though, was that they got a lot of Feat and other stuff support. Enough that you could fill up your Feats (of which you got 18) with those that just altered/improved your Dragon Breath. They and Tieflings were also the only two races that got dedicated racial expansion supplements (though, admittedly that was mostly just compilations of stuff from elsewhere - primarily Dragon magazine).

    Probably didn't help that there were only 8 distinct races to start, so there was more focus on them and Tieflings being distinct newcomers.

    They were a very solid race in 4e (and had a lot of great fluff that 5e excised), though I never found them overpowered. Other people could probably comment on that more, though.

    What I do find funny is that they actually had a Heroic-tier Feat that could let them get Low-Light vision (which is what Elves and Dwarves got), while most races couldn't even get that. Yet they're one of the few that don't get it in 5e.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I gave them a "secondary" breath weapon that does scale appropriately for an at-will cantrip and had a smaller one.
    I find the idea of the targeted breath weapon interesting, but I think giving them a freely usable weapon, even if weak, and especially if the damage isn't fully avoidable is too much.


    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Secondary Breath Weapon: Dragonborn may breathe a targeted version of their breath weapon as their action. This affects only one creature within 30 ft., rather than an area, and has the same damage and saving throw effects.
    If it indeed has the same damage and saving throw effects, it does damage on a failed save. No cantrip in the game does damage even on a failed saving throw. With this, any unarmed and untrained dragonborn could still be threatening. I was going to argue that it would be almost as powerful as a warlock's eldritch blast with its invocations, but I suppose the shorter range offsets that. In my opinion, whatever is done to the breath weapon, it should stay limited use.


    P.S. I suppose a simple solutions to the secondary breath weapon could be to make it miss on a succeeded save, but at later levels it would be weaker than a normal cantrip.


    P.S.S I don't mean to sound as critical as I feel I sound, I just don't know a better way to say what I'm saying.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I'm not entirely sure that having it be stronger than a Cantrip (by virtue of save-for-half) is unwarranted, given how little else the race gets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'm not entirely sure that having it be stronger than a Cantrip (by virtue of save-for-half) is unwarranted, given how little else the race gets.
    True, I feel it needs to be improved, but an unlimited use unavoidable damage option seems too powerful. I assume that's the reason I haven't been able to find anything in the game that does that.

    If it had a reasonable limit to the amount of times it could be used, that would cancel this objection. The only complaint I would still have would simply be a matter of personal preference: that being that I feel this option is less fun than increasing the utility of the original breath weapon (this is obviously a petty argument).


    My example for a limited breath weapon: May be used a number of times = to your Con Mod (Minimum of 1) per long rest.
    Alternate Example: Same but once per short rest, catch is that you must expend one of these uses for your primary breath weapon.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Maybe at level 1 and each time their breath damage goes up they can pick some upgrades
    Maybe like..
    Quickened breath (bonus action use)
    Everlasting breath (a number of times per short rest equal to con modifier)
    Empowered breath (bonus damage)
    Alternate use (dragon fear feat / sleep spell breath, use breath damage calculation for casting sleep spell)

    Or something.. I wish they were better :(
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2019-07-03 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    Maybe at level 1 and each time their breath damage goes up they can pick some upgrades
    Maybe like..
    Quickened breath (bonus action use)
    Everlasting breath (a number of times per short rest equal to con modifier)
    Empowered breath (bonus damage)
    Alternate use (dragon fear feat / sleep spell breath, use breath damage calculation for casting sleep spell)

    Or something.. I wish they were better :(
    I think these are good ideas, but it doesn't really fit into the normal ruleset (Races don't really have anything they pick as they level up). However, if I were playing a game where I didn't mind things being quite different from the core rules, then I would probably use these ideas. (Though combining quickened breath and everlasting breath would be an incredibly powerful combo if you had a good Con Mod).
    Last edited by Maxidion; 2019-07-04 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Testing Subscription

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    It seems that people weren't interested in my ideas for the Dragonborn. No hard feelings, I just need to know if someone actually is. Because if not, there would be no point in me making a more balanced version.
    Last edited by Maxidion; 2019-07-11 at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxidion View Post
    It seems that people weren't interested in my ideas for the Dragonborn. No hard feelings, I just need to know if someone actually is. Because if not, there would be no point in me making a more balanced version.
    Acid and Lightning's knock-on effects seem way too good. Increasing range is nice, but...questionable.

    I still think the best solution is to give them more consistent effects, rather than boosting their once-per-day effect.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    I was thinking about this too, after watching MrRhexx's video on the dragonborn.

    He had some pretty cool points; like how they want to do things on their own, always want to be the best, how loyal and fierce they are and how honorbound their personality is.

    Thing is, besides their ambition, honor and "I care deeply about everything", the breath weapon seems to be the only thing that really makes a good feature. Like he described in his video, the dragonborns are so mixed, color-wise, that the colors usually don't have anything to do with a dragonborn itself.

    If I had a player who wants a beefed up dragonborn, I'd try to emphasize the role-playing aspect, and give them a sweet dragonbreath.

    Dragonborn Fury: You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
    Dragonborn Pride: When you miss with an attack or fail an ability check or saving throw, you refuse to accept your failure. You gain advantage on your next attack roll, ability check or saving throw. You regain the use of this feature at the end of a short rest.
    Dragon Breath: You know the ______________ cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the ______________ spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the ______________spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells. You also choose the damage type of your Dragon Breath: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. This choice remain throughout your characterís life and does not change the powerís other effects.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn Boosting

    Honestly, I think the solutions here are just a little bit too overthought. Dragonborn don't need much to be competitive. Look at Dwarves, who are fairly boring in their abilities but altogether still very relevant.

    My solution is just:

    Stats change to +2 Constitution, and either +2 Strength for a Chromatic dragon, or +2 Charisma for a Metallic Dragon.

    Gives a little more identity, and makes them applicable for all of the same classes you'd want them to be (between Fighters and Sorcerers).
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-07-15 at 06:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

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