Not at low levels they aren't; I'm in a game right now where our Dragon Shaman is the only reason we're not chunky salsa. Dragon Shamans run out of gas at higher levels, and they're boring to play, but they're meant to be support and they do it. I have no real concern about extra healing, but because you can heal and dish out solid damage you run the risk of obviating other characters.To be fair, I've never seen anyone play a Bard as a real healer, and Dragon Shamans are... uh... bad.
Nothing is excessive, but you give a lot of things other classes only dream of; natural armor, Wis to AC, swift action movement, flight, retributive damage. Not all at once, of course, but you still have access to all of it. It doesn't make the class overpowered, but it is strong.By "mundane" do you mean a Fighter, a Barbarian, or a Warblade? I couldn't care less if the Fighter cries himself to sleep at night, really. What stands out as being excessive amongst the defensive abilities in particular?
Ah, crud; I forgot that only True Res doesn't cost a level. I have no qualms with this in that case; a level lost is dissuasion enough.While true, Resurrection does impose a level loss, so it's not exactly free. Also, at that level, you're basically demigods on the power scale. Stylistic differences, I suppose. The resurrection could be dropped without too much of an issue if a DM didn't like it.
I understand, but making you choose your armor like that means that if you focus on he dragonkin avatar you have big problems with the other two; nonproficiency sucks.That was the idea, yes. You could focus on one and excel with it, or be good enough with all three to be a generalist character. Is it bad that to be great with one thing you should have to specialize?
That's the thing; it doesn't really need to be toned down, as long as you're fine with scraping up against Teir 2. You can't break the world like a true caster, but you have power far in excess of the lesser classes.*nod* I can see that. Is there a particular set of ways in which you would tone it down, in your opinion?
SpoilerBy the way, Circle, I deserve a cookie. I type all this out on a smartphone in a car, surrounded by loud family.