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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Satyr's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    In the following days, I will play in a new group, which will bring the Red Hand of Doom campaign on the table. The DM is fairly new, and this is probably the first larger campaign he has ever run (but, he is talented, and the introduction adventures were pretty fun), so I act as the overall rule sage (he explicitly asked me to do this).

    We play with Gestalt rules, because it was the overall consent that it would make the campaign more interesting, and the original three players decided that it would be fun to make a martial arts campaign that focuses more on the guys with the pointy sticks than the ones with the pointy hats, so that we essentially took the Tome of Battle as a "mandatory" component.
    So, the characters are a Swordsage//Ranger/Scout, going for Swift Hunter fun in combination with two-weapon fighting maneuvers and high mobility, a Crussader//Dragon Shaman/Knight who focus on mounted combat (and wants to become a Dragon Rider), and my character, a Warbalde//Factotum/Dungeoncrasher Fighter. None of the characters is optimised to the best, but they are all half way competent, and the lack of an active spellcaster of any sorts was a deliberate choice (and the DM already mentioned that he will adjust the campaign accordingly, whatever that means).

    Now, after a short introduction adventures for every character (played in one on one sessions), we got a new player in the form of the DM's girlfriend. She is pretty new to RPGs in general and D&D in specific, so, she will come to me tomorow to build her character.

    Which brings us to the very core of this thread: She explicitly wants to play a dragon. And not any dragon, a silver dragon. That is not that much of a problem background wise, because the DM build a starting point for this character in the crusader's back story, but from the mechanical point of view, I am slightly unconfortable with this. I know that the two have found an old Dragon Magazine issue that include a dragon monster class, savage species style, so that part is mostly covered - one side of the character development will be taken by the dragon part of the character, the other side is free for some individualisation of the character (and that's why I love gestalt games).

    The problem is, I have no idea what to suggest for the other half of the character. It shouldn't be too complicated (because the player is pretty new to it), should be able to contribute to the group mentioned above without overshadowing it, and most importantly should make sense overall. According to what I know, the character is supposedly primarily a dragon and only secondarily anything else, so the build should mostly work fine with the dragon aspect. Explicitly silver dragon aspect, which means the character is definitely very lawful, and very good (sidenote: It's kind of weird to play with the alignment rules again) and alignment restrictions are enforced (it's a new DM, and he wants to stick to RAW as much as possible).

    There are only very few houserules in the game; namely a few skills were bundled into one (use rope and escape artist, disable device and open locks, search, spot and listen, and finally hide and move silently), and multiclass penalties are treated sepparately for every side of the gestalt, but that's it. There are different write-ups for the usual species as well, but that doesn't play a role for the dragon PC at all.



    So... what kind of build would you suggest? The characters are lvl6,
    almost all books are available, with the exception of Incarnum and Tome of Magic and the DM has already mentioned that there are no psionics in this setting, so they are out as well.
    ___

    tl;dr version: Dragon Gestalt character, taking a specific dragon monster class on the one side of the gestalt, need good ideas for the other side, meaning a fitting base class. Class level is six, spellcasting classes are not the best idea, psioncs and incarnum are right out.
    Last edited by Satyr; 2010-03-17 at 07:19 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    How about a kind of ready-out-of-the-box class like Warblade? (At least, that's what I've heard about the class--haven't had the opportunity to play one yet.)

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Since you already said ToB is being considered mandatory I will say you go with Crusader. It fits well with the Lawful good theme and is better than Paladin anyway.

    Edit: This paragraph was scrapped after I read the text better, not worth the time to give minor optmization suggestions.

    By the way, what are you doing about your draconic spellcasting?
    Last edited by Draken; 2010-03-17 at 07:43 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    I guess when it comes to complexity, the difficulty between a ToB class and a spellcaster is not that big; both require an extra level of action and ressource management, but yes, I think a martial artist focused on Stone Dragon or Tiger Claw would work fine.

    The idea I had was to combine Scout and thus skirmish damage with flyby attacks and the natural attacks of the dragon. Seems simple enough, and effective enough, but perhaps I oversee something here.

    By the way, what are you doing about your draconic spellcasting?
    When I see this correctly, the character would only get very basic spellcasting on higher levels, when the player already has some practice with the game. It's a step by step apprpach, I hope.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    I'd normally suggest dragonfire adept here, but you have a fair amount of overlap. Still, if your player doesn't mind losing a few class features (negligible ones really), it does enhance the breath weapon, is CON based so HP isn't a major issue, and is really simple. You breath on them, a lot, and use invocations when you feel like it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Scout, paladin or a combination of both.

    More precise list of option I suggest:

    -Full scout

    -paladin 2 (or 3 for the cool and flavorful aura.)/scout X

    -Full paladin with either the Charging Smith or the Stand Fast alternate class features.


    I would personally go for at lest paladin 2, if not full. even if only for the flavor of a paladin silver dragon.

    If you go hybrid then make sure level 1 is scout (to enjoy more skillpoints), and in every LA level of dragon (any level that grants no new hit die) pick either scout for skillpoints, or paladin for HP.


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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    You could always go Silver dragon class you have// this( http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=108 ) silver dragon class.

    Double silver dragon GO!

    Or a silver dragon bard, that sounds like fun.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Off the top of my head, you could try not gestalting but instead just using the Silver Dragon as written, gaining Silver Dragon HD with no Level Adjustment. So at level 5 you're a 5 HD Silver Dragon, at 8 HD you're an 8 HD Silver Dragon, etc. Very simple.

    The thing is that dragons are effectively semi-gestalt characters already, with their full BAB, all good saves, and spellcasting on the side. It's the LA that typically kills them, so if you eliminate that it might balance out OK.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by pffh View Post
    Or a silver dragon bard, that sounds like fun.
    Incompatible alignments, sadly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Off the top of my head, you could try not gestalting but instead just using the Silver Dragon as written, gaining Silver Dragon HD with no Level Adjustment. So at level 5 you're a 5 HD Silver Dragon, at 8 HD you're an 8 HD Silver Dragon, etc. Very simple.

    The thing is that dragons are effectively semi-gestalt characters already, with their full BAB, all good saves, and spellcasting on the side. It's the LA that typically kills them, so if you eliminate that it might balance out OK.
    Not as simple as you put it. The dragon still has excellent natural skills, natural armor, size increases, fat stat bonus on top of that, and special abilities on top of that. Not to mention the breath weapon doesn't scale linearly with the HD.

    My custom silver dragon classes give X HD by level X, but also balance out the stat increases, natural armor, size increases, special abilities, breath weapon and everything else. It was posted above but I'll post it again here.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2010-03-17 at 11:28 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Not as simple as you put it. The dragon still has excellent natural skills, natural armor, size increases, fat stat bonus on top of that, and special abilities on top of that. Not to mention the breath weapon doesn't scale linearly with the HD.

    My custom silver dragon classes give X HD by level X, but also balance out the stat increases, natural armor, size increases, special abilities, breath weapon and everything else. It was posted above but I'll post it again here.
    Probably better, yeah. I'm not sure how that would work with a gestalt game, though - there's no obvious class that dovetails really well. About all I can think of would be something like Rogue for skillpoints and Reflex.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Probably better, yeah. I'm not sure how that would work with a gestalt game, though - there's no obvious class that dovetails really well. About all I can think of would be something like Rogue for skillpoints and Reflex.
    Since ToB is heavily encouraged swordsage and tiger claw/desert wind would fit quite well with all the natural weapons, while handing out skill points and good reflexes.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2010-03-17 at 11:40 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Hm.

    I'd actually recommend "Bard". I know you said spellcasting classes were out, but they're pretty light on spellcasting anyway.

    Can't remember if there's an alignment restriction on bard or not, but if there is, go on and waive it.

    The Dragon half of her gestalt gives her raw power and combat worthiness, which makes up for the bard's squishiness. The bard part gives her skill points to sink into all kinds of stuff, and if she sticks to the simple spells, plenty of support for the party without overshadowing anyone. And she'll have bardic knowledge, which is a good way to represent a wise dragon's body of knowledge and lore gained from living for centuries. Plus, many of the bard abilities seem to have a good match with a dragon's flavor. Fascination, anyone? Enthrall?

    I don't think it'd be too tough for a starting player. Bards start without much on the magical front, and when they gain their spells, they get them slowly and are stuck with a limited number. Avoid the thiefy skills, and stick to the face ones, and you've got a damn persuasive social monster.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Demiurge View Post
    I'd actually recommend "Bard". I know you said spellcasting classes were out, but they're pretty light on spellcasting anyway.

    Can't remember if there's an alignment restriction on bard or not, but if there is, go on and waive it.
    Bard has to be non-lawful, the dragon is going to be very lawful, and Satyr is not the DM, so he won't be waiving anything. It's also noted in the OP that the DM will be enforcing alignment restrictions.


    I'd go with Swordsage too. If MoI was available I'd be rooting for Totemist though. Can't have too many natural weapons.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    How about a Dragonborn (Wings) Dragonfire Adept//ToB Class? She'd look like a dragon, fly like a dragon, have a breath weapon like a dragon, and know Kung Fu(or whatever Crusaders do). Seems like it would fit with the theme of the campaign well enough. Just fluff it as always having been a dragon instead of the ritual.
    Last edited by Alex112524; 2010-03-17 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    The dragon part is actually quite straightforward (I just got the Dragon issue with the stats); it starts as a small hatchlingwithout any really special abilities and slightly grows; I actually think it is not tat strong, to be honest. On level 20, the dragon would have 14 HD, thanks to delayed Level adjustments, the spellcasting abilities of a 3rd level sorcerer (ooooh... scary); otherwise it is a brute (or better, a schoolyard bully, because it doesn't get any further than being young, and medium sized) with flight and a bad alibi for a breath attack. Seriously, the breath is worse than that of a dragon wannabe shaman, but it also got an innate Slow breath attack, which is slightly more useful (if it hadn't such a bad Safe DC, that is).
    There isn't much complicated in the class, really. It is basically a really good fighter. Little options but good when it comes to beating up people, and it is quite tough and all, but basically nothing what needs much thought.
    You can't even do much wrong with it, if you take the appropriate monster feats (flyby attack, mostly and wingover to cope with the poor maneuverability). It is a surprising good choice for a new player: You cannot make that many mistakes with it, it can do some cool stuff (well, mostly flying) and their skill list include UMD, so even when you don't want to go teeth and claw on someone's hide, you still can do something.

    The bard idea was my first choice as well, but as already was mentioned, it doesn't work due to alignment limitations. The player is the GM's girlfirend, so perhaps she can wrestle his arm about it, but by RAW, there is no such thing as a Silver Dragon Bard (which is pityful because it would be a very nice combo if you ask me. And everybody knows that dragons love ska).
    Rogue is a strange option, but it is an option. Dragons are usually not that associated with stealth, but actually a "face" rogue would work really well, thanks to the Silver Dragon's ability to shift into a human. Why a rogue is a possible option alignment-wise and the bard is not, is beyond me, but then I never claimed to understand the alignment system, so...
    Paladin is perhaps the most flavorful option, no question. It is only... a bit stiff. And would need an alternative class feature, because a dragon with a cermonial horse is weird.
    Fighter would be the extra simple choice, but adds nothing but feats. Both Fighter and Paladin would help to compensate the delayed LA, with the full BAB and relatively good HD, so that's not completely innane. Besides, it adds armor proficiency, so the dragon could wear barding without problems. Just to show off.
    I cant figur out right now, what a monk's abilities would do in combination with the innate attacks (if I understand it correctly, the monk's unarmed attacks would work in addition to the innate attacks, which would offer a lot of attacks and the question with what exactly the dragon does the unarmed attack; the chance to hit would pretty bad, but hey, lots of attacks mean that one will eventually hit), but I find kung-fu dragon to be a strangely appealing combination.
    Scout is probably the most powerful option, when you combine flyby attacks with this, especially improved flyby (avoids AoO's) you could play the funny game of "I touch you, you don't touch me" again , and again, and again... and even deals something like real damage, too.
    Ranger doesn't work. I have admittedly never really thought about it, but I guess that natural weapons don't count as extra weapons for TWF, so that falls out (and a dragon with two swords just doesn't cut it), and a dragon with a bow is even more ridiculous.
    I think that the ToB classes aren't really much simpler than spellcasters, so they could be a bit too difficult in this case.
    Now which class have I forgotten?
    Last edited by Satyr; 2010-03-17 at 05:15 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Dragonfire Adept is still a good option imo, despite the loss of a few class abilities.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    I think that Dragonfire doesn't work so well with Silver Dragons, for whom fire is pretty much the one achilles heel.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    I think that Dragonfire doesn't work so well with Silver Dragons, for whom fire is pretty much the one achilles heel.
    One thing about the DFA, is that they are immune to the effects of their own breath weapon. Just their breath weapon, however, and not any other fire effects.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    I think that Dragonfire doesn't work so well with Silver Dragons, for whom fire is pretty much the one achilles heel.
    Meh, just call it a Dragonbreath Adept, and let her use blasts of cold. It basically gives her better versions of her own racial abilities, and is quite fun and simple. I recommend it.
    Last edited by Tinydwarfman; 2010-03-17 at 06:44 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A silver dragon PC

    So, the character is done, and it's a silverdragon paladin, using about any "I don't want to manage ressources" mods for the class we could find. So, our silver dragon heroin might not be able to cast Paladin spells, or Turn Undead, but she has a second aura that protects against compulsion (because a dragon's majesty doesn't cope that well with being controlled by a pesky mage), she got Bonus Feats, and the Dungeonomicon spirit helper instead of a horse. As fas as I can tell, the character is solid, easy to play and is actually quite novice friendly; now all she needs is a pretty prestige class...
    Last edited by Satyr; 2010-03-19 at 02:45 AM.

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