View Full Version : Dracolyte (prestige class)

2008-03-25, 11:18 PM
Good? Bad? Critiques? Applause? Suggestions?


Unlike half-dragons and draconic creatures, dracolytes are not merely born with some draconic blood in them from their history. Dracolytes can be either mortals that ascend to dragonhood or dragons who died long ago and were reincarnated as mortals who must reawaken their ancient powers. Most dragons hold a lot more respect for dracolytes than standard humanoids, though they still see themselves as somewhat superior (except for epic dracolytes which are respected on equal standards to any dragon).

DRACOLYTE (dragon acolyte)
Hit Die: d12.
To qualify to become a dracolyte, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Race: Any nondragon (cannot already be a half-dragon).
Base Attack Bonus: +4.
Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks.
Languages: Draconic.
Special: The character must have had a friendly conversation with a dragon.
Class Skills
The dracolyte’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Search (Int), and Spot (Wis).
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Level| BAB| Fort| Ref| Will| Special| Breath| Claw/Bite| Nat. Armor
1st| +1| +2| +2| +2| Draconic heritage, ability boost (+2 Str), natural armor, sorcery| —| 1d2/1d2| +1
2nd| +2| +3| +3| +3| Ability boost (+2 Con), energy resistance| —| 1d2/1d3| +1
3rd| +3| +3| +3| +3| Breath weapon, bite and claws| 1d6| 1d2/1d3| +1
4th| +4| +4| +4| +4| Ability boost (+2 Str)| 2d6| 1d3/1d3| +2
5th| +5| +4| +4| +4| Ability boost (+2 Int)| 3d6| 1d3/1d3| +2
6th| +6| +5| +5| +5| Keen senses, blindsense| 4d6| 1d3/1d4| +2
7th| +7| +5| +5| +5| Ability boost (+2 Str)| 5d6| 1d3/1d4| +3
8th| +8| +6| +6| +6| Ability boost (+2 Cha)| 6d6| 1d4/1d4| +3
9th| +9| +6| +6| +6| Wings| 7d6| 1d4/1d4| +3
10th| +10| +7| +7| +7| Draconic ascension, ability boost (+2 Str)| 8d6| 1d4/1d6| +4

Class Features
All of the following are Class Features of the dracolyte prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dracolytes gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor although they are proficient with all natural weapons granted by this class.
Draconic Heritage: At 1st level a dracolyte selects one dragon species to be their draconic heritage just as a half-dragon does. A dracolyte adds all the racial skills of their chosen dragon type to the dracolyte class skills listed above and determines their breath weapon and energy resistance based on their selection (see Half-dragon).
Sorcery: Although a dracolyte gains no actual spells, a dracolyte’s class levels stack with sorcerer and bard levels when determining a character’s effective caster level. Also, a dracolyte's natural weapons are treated as magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Blindsense (Ex): At 6th level dracolytes become able to pinpoint creatures within 60 feet. Opponents the dracolyte can’t see still have total concealment.
Natural Armor Increase (Ex): At 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th level, a dracolyte gains an increase to the character’s existing natural armor (if any), as indicated on Table: The Dracolyte (the numbers represent the total increase gained to that point). As his skin thickens, a dracolyte takes on more and more of his progenitor’s physical aspect.
Bite and Claw: At 3rd level dracolytes gain a bite and two claw attacks. A medium-sized dracolyte’s damage with these attacks are d6 (bite) and d4 (claw). Small-sized dracolytes reduce this damage by one dice size while Large-sized dracolyte increase this damage by one dice size.
Ability Boost (Ex): As a dracolyte gains levels in this prestige class, his ability scores increase as noted on Table: The Dracolyte.
These increases stack and are gained as if through level advancement.
Energy Resistance (Ex): As a dracolyte gains levels in this prestige class, he gains an increasing energy resistance against the energy of his chosen dragon’s breath weapon equal to 5 x his dracolyte level.
Breath Weapon (Su): At 3rd level dracolytes may use a breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action. The Reflex save DC for half damage against a dracolyte’s breath weapon is 15 + 1/2 dracolyte class level + dracolyte’s Constitution modifier. See page 69 of the Monster Manual for more details. A dracolyte has the same types of breaths weapons as the wyrmling version of their dragon type though the damage is listed on Table: The Dracolyte.
A line-shaped breath weapon is 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 60 feet long. A cone-shaped breath weapon is 30 feet long.
{table="head"]Dragon Variety*| Breath Weapon
Black| Line of acid
Blue| Line of lightning
Green| Cone of corrosive gas (acid)
Red | Cone of fire
White| Cone of cold
Brass | Line of fire
Bronze | Line of lightning
Copper| Line of acid
Gold | Cone of fire
Silver | Cone of cold[/table]
* Other varieties of dracolyte are possible, using other dragon varieties as ancestors.
Keen Senses (Ex): At 6th level a dracolyte gains superior low-light vision and darkvision out to 120 feet.
Wings (Ex): At 9th level a dracolyte grows draconic wings granting them a fly speed equal to twice their base land speed with average maneuverability.
Draconic Ascension (Ex): At 10th level, a dracolyte forevermore treats his creature type as dragon, gains the immunity to the energy type of their breath weapons, their lifespan increases as if they'd gained the Extended Life Span feat, and they gain one additional ability based on their dragon type:
Black: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the waterbreathing spell.
Blue: Character can use create/destroy water as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + Charisma modifier. Caster level equals dracolyte level.
Green: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the waterbreathing spell.
Red: Character can use locate object as a spell-like ability a number of times per week equal to 3 + Intelligence modifier. Caster level equals dracolyte level.
White: Character takes no penalties for moving at normal speed on slippery surfaces such as ice and becomes immune to the grease spell and similar effects.
Brass: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the speak with animals spell.
Bronze: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the speak with animals spell.
Copper: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the spiderclimb spell.
Gold: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the waterbreathing spell.
Silver: Character acts as if permanently under the effects of the airwalk spell.


11th: +2 Con, breath weapon 9d6
12th: Breath weapon 10d6
13th: +2 Str, breath weapon 11d6, +5 natural armor
14th: +2 Int, breath weapon 12d6
15th: Breath weapon 13d6
16th: +2 Str, breath weapon 14d6, +6 natural armor
17th: +2 Cha, breath weapon 15d6
18th: Breath weapon 16d6
19th: +2 Str, breath weapon 17d6, +7 natural armor
20th: +2 Con, breath weapon 18d6, size increase, alternate forms, extended lifespan
Epic Ability Boosts (Ex): A dracolyte gains a +2 bonus to Strength at 13th level and every three levels thereafter, +2 bonus to Constitution at 11th level and every nine levels thereafter, +2 bonus to Intelligence at 14th level and every nine levels thereafter, and +2 bonus to Charisma at 17th level and every nine levels thereafter.
Breath Weapon: Damage increases by 1d6 at every level.
Natural Armor: Increases by 1 at 13th level and every three levels thereafter.
Size increase (Ex): At 20th level a dracolyte's natural size increases by one size category gaining all the normal benefits and drawbacks of increased size (except for ability score and natural armor adjustments). The dracolyte's body structure also becomes quadrupedal (gaining the normal benefits of this form) as they now look completely draconic with little to no traces of their original appearance left. Natural weapon damage increases accordingly. A dracolyte continues to grow by one size category every twenty levels thereafter (40th, 60th, 80th, etc.).
Alternate Forms (Su): At 20th level a dracolyte gains the ability to shapeshift at will, as a standard action between any one of three forms as if by the polymorph spell:
-Their true form, now fully dragon (retaining all normal statistics)
-Their original form and size before attaining levels in dracolyte (losing all draconic natural weapons, wings, and appearance, and shrinking to their original size with normal size change alterations and become bipedal)
-A hybrid form between their original form and draconic features (retaining all normal statistics except at their original size with normal size change alterations and become bipedal)
Extended Lifespan: At 20th level and every ten levels thereafter (30th, 40th, 50th, etc.) a dracolyte gains the Extended Lifespan feat as a bonus feat without having to meet the prerequisites.

2008-03-26, 01:03 PM
Ever played Fireborn, from Fantasy Flight? that's what thisv reminded me of.

Is this like an improved Dragon Disciple? It sure looks like it. My first impression is that it's a bit weak...

2008-03-26, 04:50 PM
I never played Fantasy Flight. Is that about dragon riders?

This class is actually meant to be a replacement of dragon disciple, which I felt was poorly crafted.

Weak? Really? I was worried people would find it overpowered. I gave them everything a dragon disicple gets except I traded in their bonus spells for infinite uses of their breath weapon and extended lifespan as well as a bonus draconic trait at 10th level (which in itself isn't very powerful).

But I also changed their class skills, skill points, BAB, and saves to fit the same progression as that of a real dragon so I thought people might find that overpowered. I only figured it was fair because the prerequisites required arcane casting for a class which is mostly physical so such benefits are somewhat counterbalanced.

Pie Guy
2008-03-26, 07:41 PM
I still say take out the spellcasting requirement. It has no real use, and it delays entrance into the class for several levels. Unless you count wands.:smallsmile:

EDIT: today I learned I can't spell entrance

2008-03-26, 08:42 PM
Hmmm, well I wanted to delay entrance into the class until 8th level.

A Fighter 4/Sorcerer 4 could enter this class or a Bard 8 or any spontaneous fighter/caster 8.

If I dropped the spellcasting requirement it would mean any character with high BAB could get in long before any arcane caster (who are known for having draconic connections) could. Just doesn't seem right. Does anyone have an idea for how to remove the spellcasting requirement while still enabling spontaneous arcane casters earlier entrance into it than high BAB characters?

2008-03-26, 10:13 PM
I love this class! THis class puts the DD to shame.:smallsmile:

My only problem is the amount of skills you gain. +6 plus modifier? Seems kinda high. I'd go with a +4. Also, some of the class skills don't make as much sense either, such as diplomacy, which shoudl really vary on the type of dragon itself. Use Magic Device also seems out of place. Few classes actuelly have it. If these guys get it, then it could open a door to a whole lot of trouble. And the fantastic saves seem a bit much. Consider making reflex poor.

The knowledge check should do pretty fine. Heck, even a few spellcraft ranks for requirement could do wonders. Maybe a few feats?

2008-03-26, 10:46 PM
I pulled the class stats directly from the Dragon type HD and progression and got the class skills from the Dragon racial classes in Dragon Magazine. I wanted the class to be as dragon-like as possible so I literally structured it to be exactly like Dragon Hit Dice.

My only problem is being a dragon in itself does make the character a bit overpowered, so I'm not sure what to do to knock down the power without reducing its "dragon-like" nature. The only solution I came to was knocking down the Reflex save and skill points as you suggested, but since that would make it less like the dragon type, I've been trying hard to think of something else.

A dragon has the following features.

12-sided Hit Dice.
Base attack bonus equal to total Hit Dice (as fighter).
Good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves.
Skill points equal to (6 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.

Spellcraft requirement sounds like a good idea. Any other suggestions? I really need a way to keep this class draconic without it being overpowered.

2008-03-27, 12:57 AM
You should change the capstone ability, since, you know, at the moment it sucks pretty bad. Have taken a look at the Dragon Shaman base class from PHB2. There the base class gets class feature called Draconic Adaptation, which gives them abilities not unlike the ones you've listed there. (Example: Waterbreathing (indefinite time), Icewalker, Feather Fall, etc. Plus they can share these abilities with others at 13th level.)

They also get better breathweapon at lower levels, Skill Focus to some class skills, Draconic Auras, Wings, Energy Immunity to the type of own breath weapon and Natural Armor. The only thing they don't get are the ability boosts. Oh, and they can also heal pretty well. And they get all these at very much lower levels.

So yeah, I'd say this prestige class is a tiny bit underpowered.

EDIT: To improve a bit, you could remove the spellcasting requirements, maybe give some bonus metabreath feats, stuff like that.

2008-03-27, 01:30 AM
Capstone ability is powerful not because its one good thing but a mix of several okay things: those special abilities listed, extended lifespan, treated as dragon type, and energy immunity plus they get +2 Str, +1d6 BW damage, +1 nat. armor, +1 all saves, +1 bab that level.
I'm sure a Dragon Shaman 18 vs. a ???8/Dracolyte 10 would be a fair (and interesting) fight.

Wow, I'm shocked. I really thought this was an overpowered class but most people seem to agree it's underpowered.

I'd knock off the spellcasting requirement if there were some other way to get casters in just as fast as warriors. I guess the Spellcraft and Knowledge will have to do. Edited.

Really though? This is underpowered? I mean...I know Dragon Disciple sucks, but its not totally unbalanced and this is better by comparison isn't it? Guess I'm just a little disillusioned on the helpfulness of ability boosts.

UPDATED: This look any better?

2008-03-27, 07:19 PM
You should probably change the name, the Draconomicon already has a dracolyte that works similarily to a cleric.

2008-03-27, 11:58 PM
Change it to what? Dragon acolyte is the perfect name for it but it's taken and Dragon Disciple is also already taken.

Can anyone think of better names?