View Full Version : The Dragon Shaman - Needs help?

2007-05-16, 03:54 PM
There was a thread here a couple of days ago asking for opinions on the classes found in PH2. General consensus was that three out of four were fine, the fourth - Dragon Shaman - was not worth taking. I happen to like Dragon Shamans, and would like to hear if anyone here has suggestions to improving the class's usefulness.

Ideas off the top of my head:
*Martial Weapon Proficiency (would help the class as a melee combatant, which seems to be their primary role)
*Full BAB (same as above)
*More class skills and possibly more skill points too (but which skills? Knowledge: Arcana seems fair, since it deals with dragons. What else?)


2007-05-16, 05:52 PM
I'm the one who posted that PHB II classes thread. Based on the responses, I decided to re-work the Dragon Shaman and the much-better Dragonfire Adept into a single class (they both seemed to have similar themes, so I felt like there was no reason for both of them to exist, especially since the Dragonfire Adept is so much better). I can post the result, in the form of the amalgym Dragon Adept class, if anyone wants to see it.

Lord Tataraus
2007-05-17, 09:28 AM
Well, the Dragonfire Adept is bascilly a redesigned Dragon Shaman (IMO). i think it fits the bill perfectly. Anyway, giving the Dragon Shaman full BAB , martial weapons, and more skills is just too much. I would leave the BAB alone.

2007-05-17, 09:44 AM
I am in the camp that there really doesn't need to be any change to the Dragon Shaman. I have one in one of my campaigns, and seeing his effectiveness in the game I don't see the need for it. Then again he is a very experienced player that doesn't need much to be effective. But the Aura's are nice to have. Having an additional +1 to +5 in initative modifier, then being able to change it over to another type of damage or even damage reduction. The ability to heal damage to themselves and others, the ability to use take away status effects is not something to sneeze about. Their breath weapon might be a little weak, but still could turn out to be useful.

They make a great 5th character, I don't see the need to up them any. Again it just might be my player that is able to make it worth while.

2007-05-18, 02:14 AM
There was a thread here a couple of days ago asking for opinions on the classes found in PH2. General consensus was that three out of four were fine, the fourth - Dragon Shaman - was not worth taking. I happen to like Dragon Shamans, and would like to hear if anyone here has suggestions to improving the class's usefulness.

Ideas off the top of my head:
*Martial Weapon Proficiency (would help the class as a melee combatant, which seems to be their primary role)
*Full BAB (same as above)
*More class skills and possibly more skill points too (but which skills? Knowledge: Arcana seems fair, since it deals with dragons. What else?)


Three out of four were fine? Duskblade was not fine, any class that outclasses wizards at damage/turn is not fine.

That out of the way, your fixes seem like a pretty fair estimate, but I'd narrow it down to either more skill points or higher BAB/Martial Weapon Proficiency, as they both lead to a different class type; either a primary melee combatant or a hybrid combat/skill monkey.

2007-05-18, 02:31 AM
Three out of four were fine? Duskblade was not fine, any class that outclasses wizards at damage/turn is not fine.

Wu Jen (sometimes).

2007-05-18, 02:48 AM
Wu Jen (sometimes).
Wu Jen?

2007-05-18, 03:18 AM
Wu Jen?

They get the caster level boost for elemental spells. Extra 2d6 damage for most DD spells.

2007-05-18, 04:48 AM
They get the caster level boost for elemental spells. Extra 2d6 damage for most DD spells.

Until it caps and the two classes even out.

Outclassing the wizard for damage is fine as long as you're not outclassing the wizard at everything else the wizard does which the Duskblade can't. A Sneak attacking rogue will eventually outclass the wizard damage wise and the Complete Warrior Spellsword (as opposed to the poor Tomb and Blood version) can be as bad as the Duskblade.

2007-05-18, 04:52 AM
Until it caps and the two classes even out.

Several of the higher level spells won't cap until epic levels, when non-epic spells aren't really an issue.

2007-05-18, 11:33 AM
As a Dragn Shaman I suggest something like a few arcane spells like the Duskblade.

2007-05-18, 11:40 AM
I think the Dragon shamon needs fixing because it is so bloody boring. You can breath fire, and you get wins, and what else? Now much, just a guy who can turn dragon like and gets a breath weapon. Sure he can fight, but he is pretty damn boring to play

2007-05-18, 12:05 PM
Three out of four were fine? Duskblade was not fine, any class that outclasses wizards at damage/turn is not fine.

Wizards do not do damage, Wizards disable you, restrict what you can do (battlefield control) or force you to do something else.

Wizards do not do damage. Other classes do damage. Wizards are meant to stop your enemies from doing damage by preventively disabling them.

2007-05-18, 12:46 PM
I think either full BAB or more skill points would give some much needed diversity to the Dragon Shaman: as is, its too much of a one trick pony. Either that or scale the breath as the Dragonfire Adept is supposed to.

I'd like to see that combined Dragon Shaman / Adept class that you have, Harkone.

Dragonfire Adept was too good, Dragon Shaman (feels) too weak... I haven't playtested the DSham yet, though.

2007-05-18, 01:43 PM
I think the Dragon shamon needs fixing because it is so bloody boring. You can breath fire, and you get wins, and what else? Now much, just a guy who can turn dragon like and gets a breath weapon. Sure he can fight, but he is pretty damn boring to play

Here, here; I couldn't agree more. The PHB II Dragon Shaman might occasionally be useful, but they don't really do much that's particularly fun or interesting.

Here's that hybrid Dragon Shaman/Dragonfire Adept class; I welcome commentary:

The Dragon Adept

HD: d6 Base Attack Bonus: +1/2 Favored Saving Throws: Fortitude and Will

Class Skills (4+Int): Appraise, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (all), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Use Magic Device (plus others depending on totem dragon).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient in simple weapons; not proficient in any armor or shield.

1st: Least Invocations, Totem Dragon, Breath Weapon 1d6, Dragontouched
(1 invocation known)
2nd: Scales +2
3rd: Breath Weapon 2d6, Damage Reduction 1/magic
(2 invocations known)
4th: Dragonkin
5th: Breath Weapon 3d6
6th: Damage Reduction 2/magic, Lesser Invocations
(3 invocations known)
7th: Breath Weapon 4d6, Scales +3
8th: Draconic Resolve
(4 invocations known)
9th: Breath Weapon 5d6, Damage Reduction 3/magic
10th: Breath Weapon range doubles
11th: Breath Weapon 6d6, Greater Invocations
(5 invocations known)
12th: Damage Reduction 4/magic, Scales +4
13th: Breath Weapon 7d6
(6 invocations known)
14th: Energy Immunity
15th: Breath Weapon 8d6, Damage Reduction 5/magic
16th: Dark Invocations
(7 invocations known)
17th: Breath Weapon 9d6, Scales +5
(8 invocations known)
19th: Breath Weapon 10d6
20th: Breath Weapon range doubles

Totem Dragons
Black: NE, CE, CN; Hide, Move Silently, Swim; Line of Acid
Blue: NE, LE, LN; Bluff, Hide, Survival; Line of Electricity
Brass: NG, CG, CN; Bluff Gather Information, Survival; Line of Fire
Bronze: NG, LG, LN; Disguise, Survival, Swim; Line of Electricity
Copper: NG, CG, CN; Bluff, Hide, Jump; Line of Acid
Gold: NG, LG, LN; Disguise, Heal, Swim; Cone of Fire
Green: NE, LE, LN; Bluff, Hide, Move Silently; Cone of Acid
Red: NE, CE, CN; Bluff, Jump, Survival; Cone of Fire
Silver: NG, LG, LN; Bluff, Disguise, Jump; Cone of Cold
White: NE, CE, CN; Hide, Move Silently, Swim; Cone of Cold

Invocations: A dragon adept has a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and other abilities known as draconic invocations, which allow her to focus the draconic energy that suffuses her soul. A dragonfire adept can use any invocation she knows at will.

A dragon adept's invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. To avoid provoking such attacks, a dragon adept can use an invocation defensively by making a successful Concentration check. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. If a dragon adept is hit by an attack while invoking, she is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use the invocation, just as a spellcaster would be. Her invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. A dragon adept's caster level with her invocations is equal to her class level. She can dismiss any invocation as a standard action, just as a wizard can dismiss a spell.

If an invocation allows a saving throw, its DC is 10 + the equivalent spell level + the dragon adept's CHA modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not spells, a dragon adept cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat or from draconic feats that let her convert or spend an arcane spell slot to produce some other effect. She can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat (MM 303), as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities.

The four grades of draconic invocations, in order of their relative power, are Least, Lesser, Greater, and Dark. A 1st-level dragon adept begins with knowledge of one least invocation, gaining access to more invocations and higher grades as she attains levels. At any level when a dragon adept learns a new invocation, she can also replace an invocation she already knows with another invocation of the same or lower grade.
See Draconic Invocations, below, for a list of available invocations.

Unlike other spell-like abilities, draconic invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance.

Finally, just like warlocks (see Complete Arcane), dragon adepts can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters.

Totem Dragon: You must choose a totem dragon from among the true dragons appearing in the Monster Manual (black, blue, brass, bronze, copper, gold, green, red, silver, or white). You must choose a dragon whose alignment is within one step of yours (see Table). Your totem dragon determines the sort of breath weapon you have, as well as grants you additional class.

Breath Weapon (Su): At 1st level, you gain a breath weapon corresponding to your totem dragon. You can use this ability at will as a standard action. The energy type and shape of the weapon are determined by your totem dragon. Cones start at 15 long; lines 30 long. This breath weapon deals 1d6 points of damage; a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your CON modifier) halves the damage. As you gain levels, your breath weapon's damage increases, as shown on the Table.

You are immune to the effect of your own breath weapon (but not to other breath weapons that produce similar effects, even those of other dragon adepts).

At 10th level, your cone-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 30 feet or your line-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 60 feet. At 20th level, your cone-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 60 feet or your line-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 120 feet.

Dragontouched: At 1st level, you gain Dragontouched as a bonus feat.

Scales (Ex): At 2nd level, your skin becomes thick and scaly, granting you a +2 bonus to your natural armor. The scales are of a draconic hue that matches your totem dragon. This bonus improves to +3 at 7th level, to +4 at 12th level, and to +5 at 17th level. If you already have a natural armor bonus, use the higher of the two values.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain damage reduction 1/magic. This increases by +1 per 3 levels, until it reaches damage reduction 5/magic at 15th level.

Dragonkin (Ex): At 4th level, you gain a +4 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks made to influence the attitude of dragons or creatures of the dragonblood subtype. You are treated as a dragon for the purpose of determining whether frightful presence can affect you.

Draconic Resolve (Ex): At 8th level, you become immune to paralysis and sleep effects.

Energy Immunity (Ex): At 14th level, you gain immunity to the energy type of your breath weapon.

DRACONIC INVOCATIONS: Each draconic invocation falls into one of four grades: least, lesser, greater, or dark. These invocations are briefly described below.

Least Invocations
Aquatic Adaptation: Breathe and use breath weapon underwater; gain swim speed.
Beguiling Influence: Gain a bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks.
Breath of the Night: Create a fog cloud as the spell.
Darkness: Create darkness as the spell.
Deafening Roar: Cone of sound deafens creatures.
Draconic Knowledge: Gain bonus on Knowledge and Spellcraft checks.
Endure Exposure: Use endure elements as the spell; target gains immunity to your breath weapon.
Magic Insight: Detect magical auras; identify magic items.
Scalding Gust: Use gust of wind as the spell; any creature in area takes fire damage equal to your level.
See the Unseen: Gain darkvision; gain see invisibility as the spell.

Lesser Invocations
Charm: Cause a single creature to regard you as a friend.
Draconic Flight: Sprout wings and fly at good maneuverability; fly longer overland.
Energize Breath Weapon: You may substitute one type of energy for your usual breath weapon energy type.
Energy Resistance: Gain resistance 10 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage.
Enthralling Voice: Enthrall nearby creatures.
Frightful Presence: Make nearby creatures shaken.
Humanoid Shape: Take the form of any humanoid creature.
Voidsense: Gain blindsense 30 feet.
Voracious Dispelling: Use dispel magic as the spell, dealing damage to creatures whose effects are dispelled.
Walk Unseen: Use invisibility (self only) as the spell.

Greater Invocations
Alter Breath Weapon: Changes the shape of your breath weapon from line to cone, or vice versa
Aura of Flame: Aura deals fire damage to creatures that strike you.
Baleful Geas: A single creature becomes your servant, but slowly sickens and dies.
Chilling Fog: Create solid fog that deals cold damage.
Devour Magic: Use targeted greater dispel magic with a touch and gain temporary hit points based on the level of the spell successfully dispelled.
Draconic Toughness: Gain temporary hit points equal to your level.
Terrifying Roar: Use fear as the spell; creatures shaken by effect can't attack you.
Wingstorm: Create powerful gusts of wind with your invocation-granted wings.

Dark Invocations
Draconic Flight, Greater: Sprout wings and fly at perfect maneuverability; gain overland speed.
Energy Immunity: Gain immunity to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage.
Instill Vulnerability: Make target creature vulnerable to specified energy type.
Perilous Veil: Use veil as the spell; anyone succeeding on Will save to negate the illusion takes damage.

(plus maybe some invocations from the Complete Mage, once I take a look at it)

2007-05-18, 01:53 PM
No Auras? It seems you just slightly tweaked the Dragonfire Adept if you don't have auras. It is barely related to the Dragon Shaman

2007-05-18, 02:13 PM
That was exactly the idea. the Dragon Shaman was a lame class, so I just borrowed some ideas from it and applied them to the Dragonfire Adept. I liked the idea of the being tied to a specific dragon type in particular, which you don't have with the Dragonfire Adept.

2007-05-18, 02:17 PM
It isn't a combo class that combines both features in my mind, it is just a slight retooling of the adept class. But whatever works for you.

2007-05-18, 02:29 PM
Well, my problem was that I liked the concept of the Dragon Shaman but not the powers they got or the role they played. The Dragonfire Adept was great, but too specific with its fire breath. Hence, the Dragon Adept was created.

I'm wondering, though, is it too powerful? Especially compared to the next closest class: The Warlock?

2007-05-19, 10:12 AM
I don't believe the Dragon Shaman needs help... it is perfect for someone who likes Dragons. What may seem like a boring class with only a breath weapon and wings to most people is the next best thing to being a great wyrm to dragon lovers. (I think.)

2007-05-19, 11:55 AM
I thought it to be a good class. I'm playing one now and he is doing quite well. Throw on a fighter level or 2, a couple metabreath feats and you have a solid second line warrior with some limited healing (that can do much more than you think), some buffs and great defense for the casters. What is the bad here? He does do a lot, and it is one of the few classes that do many things well. He may not be the best one for optimizers, though.

2007-05-20, 03:57 PM
Wait, so you're arguing that it's too weak? :smallconfused:

It's amazing how much the culture can change from one forum to another.

2007-05-20, 04:26 PM
IMO he should be able to get his breath weapon damage as bonus damage on his unarmed strikes.

2007-05-20, 08:03 PM
It's a decent dip for Vigor Aura; one character spends one level, and, in exchange, the rest of the party gets to waste HP when on endurance runs (those days where the DM makes up for some rest cycles having just one or two encounters by making the PCs fight through eight before resting), since they're at half HP or better after every fight.

Mixes best with ToB stuff, to maintain a constant level of power over the course of the adventure. Casters will have to not cast good spells in a good number of those fights.

Since I like to do the occasional (frequent) long day, I've seen the group's Dragon Shaman be pretty useful. Of course, that's because it's in a situation built knowing that it'll be there.

I still wouldn't take more than two levels in it, though, and I'd only take the second since I'm gaining an initiator level either way; I think that the general idea, and the first level of the class, are fine; the rest need improvement, though.

It needs to be made more interesting. Its auras are nice (but not worth more than one level), but projecting auras is boring and it doesn't do anything else very well (this is also why Marshal is a dip class); it needs another party niche. It's not a (very effective) healer; it's not a damage dealer, and it's not a battlefield controller (either in the Fighter-with-a-spiked chain style or the Wizard style). It's certainly not a skillmonkey, and they don't tank very well.

I could see it being made into a healer by allowing it to gain back a certain amount of its healing pool by being in combat, and by getting Touch of Vitality earlier. It could become a damage dealer by getting a better breath weapon or other high-damage abilities. Fighter-style battlefield control (that is, AoO monster) doesn't make a whole lot of sense for them unless they do it the same way as the Fighter does, and that's feat intensive. Wizard-style battlefield control takes spells; cripple your enemies.

The tank/damage dealer fix that I would do goes something like this:
-Give them draconic natural weapons at some point (claws early on, then a bite; probably vestigial wings only good for beating things with well before flight, and maybe a tail, too). Possibly start them off with claws at level 1.
-Give them bonus damage with natural weapons against any targets that have been adjacent to them since the last round without having hit them. Possibly something on the order of +1 per two (or even three) class levels.
-Give them the ability to enlarge themselves a few times per day. Possibly a number of times per day equal to their Aura bonus -1. Maybe make this into a fuller transformation, with their neck lengthening to make their bite attack into a reach attack, but denying them speech.

Those are nice, draconic-themed abilities (well, dragons don't have the bonus damage). Another tank-ish ability would allow them to make AoOs against things that attack allies near them.

The healer fix, on the other hand, would look more like this:
Move Touch of Vitality (HP) to level 1.
Give them one or more of the following options:
1) Once per round, when damage is taken, may recover points to the Touch of Vitality pool. This recovers a number of points equal to the amount of damage taken - the Shaman's class level, to a maximum of the Dragon Shaman's class level (A level 10 shaman recovers nothing for 10 or less damage, damage-10 for 11-20 damage, and 10 points for 21+ damage).

Additionally, they may also declare on their turn that they wish to absorb all attacks. Any attacks that hit for at least two points of damage (counting only damage actually taken) before the Dragon Shaman's next action restore one point to Touch of Vitality, to a maximum number of points equal to the Shaman's class level. If this ability is used, the Dragon Shaman may not use the previous ability until its next turn.

2) The Shaman may declare an attack to recover healing. This attack, if it hits an enemy that the Shaman would recieve EXP for defeating*, restores one point of Touch of Vitality per Dragon Shaman class level. The Dragon Shaman must wait 1d4 rounds before using this ability again.

3) Using a breath weapon in earnest replenishes the energy of the Dragon Shaman. Whenever the Dragon Shaman's breath weapon damages a creature that the Dragon Shaman would recieve EXP for defeating*, the Dragon Shaman recovers one point of Touch of Vitality per Dragon Shaman class level.

*Note that if circumstances would render a creature worthless, the Dragon Shaman cannot recover Touch of Vitality from it. For example, a bound orc is worth nothing.

Touch of Vitality cannot be recovered above maximum.

This fix increases the endurance of the Touch of Vitality (already objectively better than the Paladin's Lay on Hands); a badly wounded Dragon Shaman with option (1) would be able to take damage below half health to replenish Touch of Vitality slightly, then use Vigor Aura to negate the HP lost. I might actually consider making the recovery there more efficient (than a max efficiency of 50% of damage taken).

On another note, Dragon Shamans like their battles long, slow, and drawn-out, so that, even with a weak Vigor Aura, they can recover health. If they had a way to slow down battles on their own (incapacitate a few enemies for a time, or set up a barrier to buy both sides a bit of buffing time, for instance), that'd improve them.

Frightful Presence would also be a nice possible touch.

Also, I'd upgrade the damage reduction from Toughness Aura. 1/magic is fine at first level, but infinity/magic sucks at 20th; at some point it should switch to something else, possibly aligned (either way opposed to dragon, so Chaotic or Evil for a Gold shaman, Lawful or Good for a Red Shaman, Chaotic or Good for a Green, and so on), then eventually go to adamantine. Yes, Dragons have /magic. Dragon DR is designed as mook repellant. Dragon Shamans don't fight swarms of mooks, and 1/magic doesn't help anyway.

2007-05-20, 08:26 PM
If I may,

The general consensus my group and I came to was that PHB2 classes were just fine on their own but should not be used in addition to core materials unless some serious counterbalances were put into place. The Dragon Shaman in particular exemplified a great idea that got way out of hand.

The major concerns regarding the Dragon Shaman's weaknesses should be addressed in this way:

-Bad Skills: The Dragon Shaman receives only 2 SP per level and his skill selection leaves something to be desired. Though this may be true the class was not designed to do everything and skills are about the only thing it doesn't have.

-Low BAB: Shares the Druid/Cleric BAB. Let us not forget that this only slightly falls short of Fighter BAB and there is nothing wrong with that. Especially when you have powers to supplement.

-Low AC?: Some people have said that because of the Dragon Shaman's limited armor proficiency he doesn't fair well in melee combat. They apparently didn't see the natural armor bonus he receives, at 7th level no less. That in combination with 10-sided HP makes him just as capable if not more so than any cleric in combat and he can heal himself as well. (I don't see anyone complaining about the Druid's lack of armor)

-Limited weapon selection: Fair enough. He won't be able to fight as well as a fighter for lack of a good weapon. This is easily solved by simply taking Martial Weapon Proficiency or even pick an exotic weapon and roll with it. Oh, and he has a breath weapon...he breathes damage, literally. If I could breath fire the only thing I would worry about is having my d6/d6 quarterstaff catch on fire.

-Reflex save: Give me a break.

-Alignment Restrictions: Pick your alignment, then pick a dragon. You win. Try playing Druid. At least the Dragon Shaman can use metal more often than not.

-Spells: Alright, this is a good one. He gets no spells at all. This is a serious detriment to this kind of character as it seriously limits his versatility. I player who really wanted to play a Dragon Shaman however should realize this and take the appropriate counter measures. Don't play a Dragon Shaman like a Cleric just like you wouldn't play a Wizard like one though for different reasons.

Also, I have had some people say that he requires too many high stats to function efficiently. Cha for ToV. Dex for lack of armor. Con, lack of armor. Str to improve combat effectiveness. I would say that any Dragon Shaman with a decent Dex and Cha is good to go. I mean look at what it takes to make a Monk work.

However I have just compared the Dragon Shaman to all the core classes. I suppose when pit against the PHB2 classes he could very well fall a little shy of the mark. Which makes me wonder, are the other PHB2 classes perhaps a little overpowered? or is the Dragon Shaman just broken no matter how you look at it?

2007-05-20, 08:53 PM
I do not think there is a bad Dragon Shaman build. I went with the following. He is built to absorb damage, and deal it back in kind. Keep in mind that we are running an epic level campaign and we can use LA buyout rules from Unearthed Arcana:

Evolved Human Dragon Shaman 16 / Fighter 2 / Constitution Evolved (Monte' Cooks Transcendence) 5

Starting Base Stats: STR 18 , INT 13 , WIS 14 , DEX 16 , CON 18 , CHA 14

Ok, so I rolled well. Big deal. Current stats (after equipment, level increases, and etc.) STR 26 , INT 15 , WIS 14 , DEX 18 , CON 38 , CHA 18

Primary weapon is Crimson Ruination legacy item.
Backup Weapon is a +4 Collision Impact Maul
8d6 45' Cone of Cold Breath Weapon, DC 28 (CON based)
Amulet of Retribution
Ring of Freedom of Movement

Base attacks are +32/+32/+27/+22/+17 (Hasted)

HP: 478
AC is a little weak at 33.

1: (Class) Improved Toughness, (Fighter) Weapon Focus (Greatsword) (Evolved) Improved Initiative, (Evolved) Sturdy
2: (Fighter) Power Attack
3: Cleave
6: Clinging Breath
9: Raptor School
12: Double Draconic Aura
15: Quicken Breath
18: Lingering Breath
21: (Epic) Dire Charge (there is a better feat that I could have taken at the time, but he normally wins Initiative)

2007-05-20, 09:42 PM
The fixes that people are suggesting are interesting to me, since I've always thought of the Dragon Shaman as a weaker barbarian that switches out class features. IMO, the best way to balance a dragon shaman would be to give it BAB and skills as the barbarian (and stop using the stupid skills by dragon type; it limits you too much) and then balance the class features against each other. Even with full BAB and 4 skills/level, a dragon shaman's class features fall far short of a barbarian's.