PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] For Whom Would Dragon Disciple be a good class?



Mark Hall
2008-10-06, 12:55 AM
So, I'm playing NWN with a Sorcerer/Paladin/Dragon Disciple, and thinking about the Dragon Disciple in 3.5. I like the concept, but I'm trying to figure out for whom the class would be well-suited.

So, the high points of the class are d12 HD, 3/4 BAB, and Good Ref/Fort saves, backed by 2+Int skill points. Their bennies are stat bonuses, bonus spell slots, natural armor and weapons, breath weapons, and an eventual type change.

Who would benefit from being a Dragon Disciple? (Not "Who sucks so much that even DD would be better" but "Who would find the class useful in its mechanical goals")

monty
2008-10-06, 12:58 AM
I'm not entirely sure. There are better prestige classes for a fighter-type, and it sucks for casters.

BardicDuelist
2008-10-06, 01:02 AM
So, I'm playing NWN with a Sorcerer/Paladin/Dragon Disciple, and thinking about the Dragon Disciple in 3.5. I like the concept, but I'm trying to figure out for whom the class would be well-suited.

So, the high points of the class are d12 HD, 3/4 BAB, and Good Ref/Fort saves, backed by 2+Int skill points. Their bennies are stat bonuses, bonus spell slots, natural armor and weapons, breath weapons, and an eventual type change.

Who would benefit from being a Dragon Disciple? (Not "Who sucks so much that even DD would be better" but "Who would find the class useful in its mechanical goals")

Go with Sorc. then Barbarian until you can somehow qualify?

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 01:09 AM
Warrior1/Bard4 or Duskblade5 or Hexblade5 are the usual suspects for entry to DD. You can insert any full BAB class for the Warrior level in the first build.

But even those optimal choices won't result in a great overall build, merely a decent one. DD is a "flavor" PrC rather than a "power" PrC.

Mark Hall
2008-10-06, 01:15 AM
I'm wondering if a Hexblade might work.

A DD represents no loss in skills, and an improvement in HD. While there's a reduction in BAB, it's compensated for by Strength increases. Their spellcasting isn't a major part of the class, so bonus slots are just bonus. By 5th level (the level at which they fulfill requirements), they've got most of the basic features of a Hexblade... the only thing they're missing out on is Aura of Unluck and improvements on the features given. Charisma improvements in the DD will also help their Hexblade's Curse.

A 10/10 Hexblade/DD wouldn't be OMG teh uber, but they would be reasonably competent gishes.

Anyone think of something else?

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 01:19 AM
IAnyone think of something else?

I'm fairly certain that the ones I posted above are the most optimized choices for entry to DD. It's just not a very strong PrC.

Thurbane
2008-10-06, 01:22 AM
I've been contemplating a Human Sorcerer 1/Fighter 4/Dragon Disciple X as a melee character, who slings a lot of Wizard Wands...

Crow
2008-10-06, 01:59 AM
Bards work pretty well.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-06, 02:38 AM
Someone on another thread mentioned Ur-Priests due to the DD granting extra spells. I think the best build would be Duskblade 5 (Using the Apprentice feat to have Bluff as a class skill)/Ur-Priest 10/DD from then on. I suppose 1 level of Beguiller or Rogue could be useful for getting the Bluff ranks as well.

Tokiko Mima
2008-10-06, 02:49 AM
Chameleons would be good, if you took a level of Duskblade in order to qualify early (you can't use the chameleon's own spellcasting to qualify.) They have pretty low saves, low HD, and can further boost their stats dynamically to gain maximum benefit from their role.

Also, the bonus spells would be quite awesome, since chameleons can pillage arcane/divine spell lists to obtain spells at the lowest possible level, but don't have as many spells/day as a typical caster. It also helps that Chameleons get 20 caster levels in 10 levels, making up for the DD's loss of caster levels.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-10-06, 03:00 AM
Any spontaneous caster would benefit from up to four levels of it in the epic levels with Practiced Spellcaster. Especially if they get Improved Spell Capacity at least once, as they'd get additional 10th+ level spells.

I've seen some builds try using it with Reaping Mauler, since it gives such a large Str boost. In most cases though, you'd be better off just taking the Half Dragon Savage Progression (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sp/20030912a), since you can choose when to take (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sp/20030824a) the next level in it, rather than being forced to take them consecutively like the Savage Species versions.

Hallavast
2008-10-06, 03:35 AM
My friend built a sorcerer/monk and took DD for the natural attacks. He ended up getting like 6 or 7 attacks at lvl 9 with that build. It had to do with 2 claws, bite, tail, snapkick (feat from ToB), and flurry, I think. He also used a template and bought off the level adjustment. I wish I could give you the specifics, but I don't have access to his notes, and the best I could do is try to reproduce it... which I don't feel like doing.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-06, 04:57 AM
Which race was he using if you can remember? I'm curious due to the LA comment.

Saph
2008-10-06, 06:33 AM
I tried to do this about a year ago. Let's see, where was the thread . . .

Here it is. Finding a Use for the Dragon Disciple (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60222).

My solution was to go Duskblade 3 / Wolf Totem Barbarian 2 / Dragon Disciple 10. Tripper tank with Arcane Channeling and spell options. I think that makes the most of what it can do.

- Saph

monty
2008-10-06, 10:24 AM
Warrior1/Bard4 or Duskblade5 or Hexblade5 are the usual suspects for entry to DD. You can insert any full BAB class for the Warrior level in the first build.

But even those optimal choices won't result in a great overall build, merely a decent one. DD is a "flavor" PrC rather than a "power" PrC.

Did you just say "warrior"? I'm curious, why not a PC class?

Magnor Criol
2008-10-06, 10:56 AM
Did you just say "warrior"? I'm curious, why not a PC class?

I'm pretty sure it's a placeholder - any full BAB class will suffice in that slot. He just put in the most generic one possible to avert confusion.

Glimbur
2008-10-06, 11:17 AM
Well, the str bonuses and lack of CL progression suggest that one should use this class to beef up a fightin' type.

So, Warrior 4/Bard 1/DD is quite legit, and doesn't require a really good int to get all the requirements in one level of bard. But you get a pile of cantrip slots.

Warrior4/Duskblade1/DD makes better use of the bonus spell slots, but actually meeting the requirements could be tough.

I'm trying to think of a way to get more natural attacks so you can synergize with the claws and bite. Perhaps levels in Warshaper or some wonky class that gives natural attacks like Totemist or some such. But you don't want more claws, you already have some... it's a conundrum.

Eldariel
2008-10-06, 02:35 PM
Epic casters get a bunch of 10+th level slots from it (you can apply those slots to any level you can cast - only class that gives you extra slots on Epic) - it's handy there.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-06, 03:41 PM
Epic casters get a bunch of 10+th level slots from it (you can apply those slots to any level you can cast - only class that gives you extra slots on Epic) - it's handy there.

Awesome useage. But only Bards, Beguilers, Warmages, Sorcerors, and Duskblades (and some others) can get it.

But that does sound like a good deal.

Person_Man
2008-10-06, 03:50 PM
I would say that at ECL 15 exactly, a Barbarian 1/Hexblade 4/Dragon Disciple 10 with a focus on Fear and a special attack (Grapple, Trip, Bull Rush) would be a respectable choice. Good Saves, AC, immunities, blindsense, wings, a tankish familiar, Pounce and 3 extra natural attacks, an ok breath weapon, and excellent stats.

But before and after that point, you're pretty weak, as many have pointed out.

Flickerdart
2008-10-06, 03:53 PM
Wouldn't Epic casters be better off taking Epic caster levels?

Eldariel
2008-10-06, 04:08 PM
Wouldn't Epic casters be better off taking Epic caster levels?

They might, yes, but epic casters frankly get bonus feats quite rarely, so it's not automatic (although epic bonus feats are almost always better than that...)

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 04:16 PM
Did you just say "warrior"? I'm curious, why not a PC class?


I'm pretty sure it's a placeholder - any full BAB class will suffice in that slot. He just put in the most generic one possible to avert confusion.

Yep, that's exactly it Magnor. Thanks.

dspeyer
2008-10-06, 10:11 PM
Dragon Disciple makes a handy defensive gestalt for a sorcerer. Use Ranger or Barbarian on the other side for the first five levels, then enjoy d12 hd, natural armor and con bonus to keep you alive. The spells are a handy bonus. The strength's mostly wasted, though (except for Aeshkrau Illumians, who get more bonus spells).

For non-gestalt, the best I can think of is a heavy melee (barbarian, or maybe fighter) with a one level dip in beguiler. A first level beguiler has some breadth of options (unlike a 1st-level sorcerer), even if they're not very powerful, and the bonus spells mean he won't run out too quickly. Also, a beguiler can probably cover the knowledge(arcana) in one level, so you don't need to take it cross-class.

Leon
2008-10-06, 10:15 PM
Full BAB class 5/Dragon Devotee 3/Dragon Disciple X

with a full progression of Devotee and Disciple the end result for Abilitiy increases is as follows:
+4 CHA
+4 CON
+2 INT
+10 STR

in addition:
+5 Natural Armour
2 Bonus Feats
2 Levels of Sorcerer spell casting w/seven bonus spells

If you were to complete the Devotee class prior to starting the Disciple does Draconic stack with Half Dragon?

The Glyphstone
2008-10-06, 10:34 PM
Draconic creatures have the Dragon type I think. Completing DDevotee would make you ineligible for DDisciple if you hadn't already started it.

monty
2008-10-06, 10:43 PM
Draconic creatures have the Dragon type I think. Completing DDevotee would make you ineligible for DDisciple if you hadn't already started it.

I'm pretty sure they just get the [dragonblooded] subtype, but I could be wrong.

The Glyphstone
2008-10-06, 10:49 PM
Just checked, and nope, you are right. So I guess you would end up as a Dragon (dragonblooded) at the end of both, somehow. Super-concentrated dragoniness?

Just remember you don't actually get the Half-Dragon template on top of your stat bonuses from Disciple, nor the Draconic template on top of Devotee - they have the template bonuses included in their class levels.

AslanCross
2008-10-06, 11:19 PM
One of my NWN2 characters was a Barbarian/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple/Frenzied Berserker.

He was inspired by this guy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Badguy)

Needless to say he tore up a lot of stuff on his own. So yeah, the stat boosts are better for melee characters than casters.

ocato
2008-10-07, 12:12 AM
Would a Monk/Sorcerer with Ascetic Mage work going into this class? You could stick with a tripping build via the Passive Way Alternate monk, which gives Combat Expertise and Improved Trip at 1st and 2nd level. If you grab 6th level, you get Improved Feint and a +4 to trips if your opponent is flat-footed (which you can do via feint). Actually, a quick second look shows that you have to grab Skill Focus Bluff to get that, but to be honest a +4 to trips might be worth a feat if you're feeling saucy.

You also get some low-grade Sorcerer casting, but a decent amount of it (with good monk spells to boot: true strike, enlarge person, shocking grasp, and chill touch all come to mind). Enlarge Person, a massive strength bonus, Improved Trip, and +4 if you feint might seem like Trip overkill, but you'd be a contender to trip anything just about (especially thanks to the large size). The addition of wings opens the opportunity to trip flying creatures, which might be a whole 'nother can of worms altogether. Also, if nothing else, Feinting regularly might make the party rogue fall madly in love with you. (:haley: Score!)

Now, if your goal is to maximize your unique attacks per round and the average potency of each attack in the levels leading up to 20, it would seem that avoiding Dragon Disciple would be wise. A L16 monk is going to attack more often with a higher base attack. If your goal is to use a standard Decisive Blow (monk variant replacement for Flurry) Quarterstaff Power Attack, the Monk 16 will also have a slightly higher base attack (which, due to true strike, is where most of your damage will probably come from).

However, if your goal is to accumulate the means to create a well defended combatant; the Dragon Disciple build at L20 has 10 levels of superior hit dice (from the Monk's d8 to the Dragon Disciple's d12), +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma (which translates directly into Armor class due to the Ascetic Mage feat), and +4 Natural armor as opposed to the L16 Monk, who earns 2 unnamed armor class from his monk levels. Of course this all begs the question of why the monk wouldn't take a different Prestige Class instead of no prestige class, but that's an entirely different can of worms altogether.

It's strength would not come from being the most powerful melee combatant in play or the best caster. Instead, you would simply be the biggest obstacle for your enemies to face. Your magically induced large size and strength would result in a powerful and mobile tripper. While not a Pouncing Barbarian ChargeMonkey, you would have access to the ability to Decisively Strike Power Attack with True Strike up, lending you the ability to trip someone, make them waste their time getting up while you cast a spell on yourself, and then striking them with significant force (extra points if you have Knockdown and can put them back down with the strike).

While not epic, the whole thing rather reminds me of Garr from Breath of Fire 3.

Temp.
2008-10-07, 01:38 AM
It's not a bad class for Core-only Fighters and Paladins. The benefits of Enlarge Person and Protection from Evil a few times a day can pay off; especially combined with type-less ability boosts, good saves and HP, natural armor increases and Flight.

But with other options available (read:Abjurant Champion; Spellsword), the class becomes much less appealing.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-07, 05:55 AM
It's not a bad class for Core-only Fighters and Paladins. The benefits of Enlarge Person and Protection from Evil a few times a day can pay off; especially combined with type-less ability boosts, good saves and HP, natural armor increases and Flight.

But with other options available (read:Abjurant Champion; Spellsword), the class becomes much less appealing.

Enlarge person doesn't weork on non-humaniods.

Ponce
2008-10-07, 03:44 PM
Ur-Priest! Extra 9th level spells!

Temp.
2008-10-07, 03:49 PM
Enlarge person doesn't weork on non-humaniods. It's a sort-of-okay class until level 10, then? Or until Polymorphs start flying around*?

*Which would make the whole class obscelete, but that's just a minor detail surely.

Glimbur
2008-10-09, 12:47 PM
Ur-Priest! Extra 9th level spells!

...actually, that does work. It doesn't specify that it has to be an arcane class that gets the bonus spells. And if you're going Savage Bard into Ur-Priest, you have a spont arcane casting class anyway...