View Full Version : [3.5] Coatl Descendant Bloodline

Always A Rogue
2010-09-23, 03:25 PM
One of my players really gets into his character and likes to develop unique homebrew solutions to fit particular flavours and powers he's after that aren't necessarily covered in official material. Despite it being a lot of effort to sift out what he suggests in order to ensure things stay in the realm of balance, I work with it because I like seeing someone with so much earnest investment in characters and I'd like to remain open to concepts instead of outright banning them.

Of course, this presents an issue for a DM who doesn't have a ton of high-level experience under this belt (this being me). Just last session I had to pause the game and discuss modification/banning of the Spell Compendium spell Ray of Stupidity after this single 2nd level spell dropped a high-CR advanced Tyrannosaurus meant as a challenging fight. It was argued it's only so effective against animals, but with a large leg of the coming campaign dealing with a load of wild beasties, I'd hate the campaign to regress to all the casters tossing around low level ray spells against every encounter. But I digress - I came here to discuss my player's proposed template, not problematic spells...

The character is a descendant of a tribal worshiped couatl, and part of a society of natural lycanthropes who take on the form of "land" versions of flying reptiles (deinonychus).

The player has presented me a customized "wish-list" of sorts, in the form of a bloodline Feat, although it really reads off to me like it were a prestige class. The full proposal follows:

Requirements: Descendant of Tercoatl (wereraptor), 10th level with at least L7 druid, L1 Nature’s Warrior (prestige); Knowledge: Nature 8 ranks, Concentration 8 ranks, Survival 8 ranks, Know: Planes 4 ranks.

Also requires a 6 hour ritual involving personal blood loss, a small ritual shrine, and token(s) the personally believes to be spiritual relics. This ritual also requires Perform: Dance 4 ranks.

If the ritual is acknowledged by the powers-that-be (Tercoatl himself if the demi-god still exists), the genetic bloodline of this Descendant of Tercoatl is forever changed.


- the DoT loses its regular Wild Shape druid class ability, as well as any other class-based shapeshift.

- wearing any armour except bracers or rings negates the use of druid spells, and spell-like abilities.

- wearing metal at all, that isn’t gold, silver, platinum, or electrum, will also disrupt her magic

- the druid’s animal companion must now only be a reptile.

- total CL must be 75% druid or a druid prestige, or will lose ability to use extra forms & spell-like abilities.


- Flight Form: while shapeshifted into Raptor Form, the DoT may magically enhance his feathered forearms to become full wings. She is able to fly with good maneuverability at the raptors normal land speed, for a maximum of duration of 5min + 1min per CL. This ability is usable as many times per day as she would have been able to use Wild Shape.

- Enlarge: at druid L8, or any other class level that permits shapeshift into a Large creature, the DoT can spend one full round to increase her raptor form’s size to Large for 1min/CL. This ability shares the daily usage of Flight Form.

- Glamour Plumage: at druid L12, the DoT can sacrifice 2 0-level or 1 1st level spell use to magically alter the colour of its plumage to one of 2 effects: camouflage (+10 Hide checks), or intimidate (feathers become bright red & yellow with black; gains +8 to Intimidate checks).

- Couatl Form: the height of the bloodline power, the Descendant of Tercoatl has gone beyond the favour of just Tercoatl – she has rediscovered a portion of that which Tercoatl lost from Quetzalcouatl. At CL20, she becomes a Couatl, with the following exceptions: can only cast known druids spells, Planeshift is removed from psionics list, Change Shape is removed, and gains a chain lightning breath weapon (9d6+9 electric damage to target and the two closest creatures to it; initial target cannot be more than 60’ away; usable 2x/shapechange). Note: in order for a DoT to achieve this form, she must be the Queen of her people (whether elected or has to slay old one)

- Spell-like Abilities: gains the following spell-like abilities, usable in any form, based on CL:

CL11 – Nature’s Favor or True Seeing, 2x/day,

CL13 – Summon Nature’s Ally #? (summons raptors only) or Lightning Bolt, 2x/day

CL15 – Animal Growth (can only target reptiles), 2x/day

CL17 – Ethereal Jaunt, 1x/day

CL19 – Storm Rage, 1x/day

The player thinks the tradeoffs for giving up full wildshape are at least equal to or less than that power (keeping reg Wild Shape + large + tiny + plant + elemental + huge elemental > flight + large + camouflage + coutal + spell-abilities).

I personally think that while there is a loss of flexibility in choosing various forms, the added specialization in a single form (adding flight, size, inherent skill bonus) balances it out - before tacking on any SLAs. So I'm thinking of eliminating or at least whittling down the SLA chart he's given.

I'm thinking of simply allowing Glamour Plumage without a spell sacrifice (clarifying it only functions in alternate form).

I also think the 75% druid class restriction is an unecessarily complicated restriction (and since this prestige class/feat/whatever feeds off of wildshape for much of its abilities, it isn't really so much a restriction but a dummy clause). I'm moving towards striking it from the list.

Other than that, I guess I'm just looking for a sanity check. Are there any items I'm overlooking that could be a real can of worms if left unchecked? Are these alterations a fair trade in your opinion? Does this make sense as a Bloodline Feat or would it be better as a PrC?

Thanks for your time, oh glorious board dwellers, from a long time lurker!

2010-09-23, 04:45 PM
First, I affirm all of the suspicions you list at the end of your post.

This does indeed seem like a backdoor attempt to homebrew whatever she's done with the character into a brand new class, dropping or restricting a few druid class abilities and giving her some new ones, and with all of the requirements built around things that she wanted for the character anyway. Forcing a druid to take levels in knowledge nature, survival and concentration is not really a burden. A lot of them have nothing at all to do with being a coatl-descendent, and certainly don't belong in a heritage/bloodline feat.

At the very least, the two of you might want to reshape this wish list into a 5 or 10 level prestige class for the druid, which would help to clarify what's being added and removed from the class - and, ideally, why. That also means, then, that you remove the awkwardness of having a feat's abilities dependent on Caster Level - something that can get boosted by things like a bead of karma or other magic items.

Coatl's are snake-based lawful good outsiders that cast spells. Winged serpents. Wouldn't the "land" form of a flying serpent be...a serpent?

Why wouldn't the requirement be were-serpent, not were-raptor?
Why wouldn't the requirement for an animal companion (if there were a restriction) be that it's a serpent, instead of the fleshraker, t-rex or whatever that she's probably angling for?
What's this about not being able to wear metal? Totally random, and with all the escape clauses she needs to be able to use the magic items that are most likely to drop into her lap. And as a druid lycanthrope, she's unlikely to wear armour anyway. Not a material restriction.

I would definitely clarify that the flight and enlarge abilities can't be used at the same time.

Some of what she's asking for from the flight and enlarge elements are achievable by using the Shapeshift variant of druid from the Player's Handbook 2. I like the mechanics of it, since it helps to really tone down what's already one of the most powerful classes in the game, makes book-keeping a lot easier, and can be fluffed in any of a dozen ways, including "my raptor form shrinks a little and sprouts wings."

Good luck!