I've long loved the Dragon Shaman class from 3.5, and I've long hated how weak it is. Honestly, it just... falls so short of how cool it could be. It needed a lot to help it be stronger, like full armor and martial weapon proficiency, full BAB. Stuff a paladin has, for instance. Pathfinder even made a "Dragon Shaman"... sort of.

This is my attempt at updating a somewhat subpar class into an archetype. Since it's so different from the standard Paladin - and since they already did the Antipaladin in this way - I wrote it up as an alternate class. It also brings in some aspects of the Dragonfire Adepts and Dragonborn of Bahamut, two 3.5 things I found very thematic and cool.


DRAGON SCION [PALADIN ALTERNATE CLASS]


{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|1st Lvl|2nd Lvl|3rd Lvl|4th Lvl
1st|+1|+2|+0|+2|Aura of Presence, Detect Magic, Dragon's Might +1|-|-|-|-
2nd|+2|+3|+0|+3|Dragon Scales, Lay on Hands|-|-|-|-
3rd|+3|+3|+1|+3|Aura of Bravery, Draconic Resolve, Mercy|-|-|-|-
4th|+4|+4|+1|+4|Draconic Vigor, Dragon's Might +2|0|-|-|-
5th|+5|+4|+1|+4|Totemic Bond|1|-|-|-
6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+5|Mercy|1|-|-|-
7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+5|Dragon's Might +3|1|0|-|-
8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+6|Aura of Resistance|1|1|-|-
9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+6|Mercy|2|1|-|-
10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+7|Dragon's Might +4|2|1|0|-
11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+7|Aura of Evasion|2|1|1|-
12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+4|+8|Mercy|2|2|1|-
13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+8|Dragon's Might +5|3|2|1|0
14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+9|Aura of Negation|3|2|1|1
15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+9|Mercy|3|2|2|1
16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+10|Dragon's Might +6|3|3|2|1
17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Aura of Freedom|4|3|2|1
18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Mercy|4|3|2|2
19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|Dragon's Might +7|4|3|3|2
20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Dragon Apotheosis|4|4|3|3
[/table]

Alignment: A dragon scionís alignment must match their totem dragonís (see below).
Hit Die: d10.
Class Skills: The dragon scionís class skills are Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, Fly, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Stealth.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon Scions are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Dragon Totem: A Dragon Scion must choose a totem dragon from among the true dragons appearing in the Bestiary (black, blue, brass, bronze, copper, gold, green, red, silver, or white). A Dragon Scion must be of the same alignment as their totem dragon.

{table=head]Totem Dragon|Alignment|Energy Type|Breath Weapon Shape
Black|Chaotic Evil|Acid|Line
Blue|Lawful Evil|Electricity|Line
Green|Lawful Evil|Acid|Cone
Red|Chaotic Evil|Fire|Cone
White|Chaotic Evil|Cold|Cone
Brass|Chaotic Good|Fire|Line
Bronze|Lawful Good|Electricity|Line
Copper|Chaotic Good|Acid|Line
Gold|Lawful Good|Fire|Cone
Silver |Lawful Good|Cold|Cone
[/table]

Aura of Presence (Su): At 1st level, a Dragon Scionís link to their totem infuses them with the force of personality inherent to dragonkin. Their Dragon's Might aura (see below) grants a morale bonus equal to their aura bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks.

Detect Magic (Sp): At will, a Dragon Scion can use detect magic, as the spell. A Dragon Scion can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine its magical properties as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the Dragon Scion does not detect magic in any other object of individual within range.

Dragon's Might (Su): A Dragon Scion can channel the might of dragonkind to project an powerful aura that grants allies within 10 ft. protection and strength. As the Dragon Scion grows in power, this aura gains additional benefits and intensity. The bonus granted by this aura begins at +1. At 4th level, and at every three levels thereafter, this bonus increases by a +1, to a maximum of +7 at 19th level. This ability functions only while the Draconic Scion is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Dragon Scales (Su): At 2nd level, a Dragon Scionís skin becomes thick and scaly, matching the scales of their totem. They gain a +1 natural armor bonus to AC and DR/magic equal to Ĺ their Dragon Scion level. The natural armor bonus increases by +1 at 6th level, and every four levels thereafter, to a maximum of +5 at 18th level.

Lay On Hands (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a Dragon Scion can heal wounds (their own or those of others) by touch. Each day they can use this ability a number of times equal to Ĺ their Dragon Scion level plus their Charisma modifier. With one use of this ability, a Dragon Scion can heal 1d6 hit points of damage for every two Dragon Scion level they possess. Using this ability is a standard action, unless the Dragon Scion targets themself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, a Dragon Scion only needs one free hand to use this ability.

Alternatively, a Dragon Scion can instead use this power to deal damage to undead, dealing 1d6 points of damage for every two levels the Dragon Scion possesses. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesnít provoke an attack of opportunity. Undead do not receive a saving throw against this damage.

Aura of Bravery (Su): At 3rd level, a Dragon Scion becomes immune to the frightful presence of dragons. Their aura grants a morale bonus equal to twice their aura bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

Draconic Resolve (Ex): At 3rd level, a Dragon Scion is immune to paralysis and sleep effects.

Mercy (Su): At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a Dragon Scion can select one mercy. Each mercy adds an effect to the Dragon Scionís lay on hands ability. Whenever the Dragon Scion uses lay on hands to heal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effects from all of the mercies possessed by the Dragon Scion. A mercy can remove a condition caused by a curse, disease, or poison without curing the affliction. Such conditions returned after 1 hour unless the mercy actually removes the affliction that causes the condition.

At 3rd level, the Dragon Scion can select from the following initial mercies.
* Fatigued: The target is no longer fatigued.
* Shaken: The target is no longer shaken.
* Sickened: The target is no longer sickened.

At 6th level, a Dragon Scion adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
* Dazed: The target is no longer dazed.
* Diseased: The Dragon Scionís lay on hands ability also acts as remove disease, using the Dragon Scionís level as the caster level.
* Staggered: The target is no longer staggered, unless the target is at exactly 0 hit points.

At 9th level, a Dragon Scion adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
* Cursed: The Dragon Scionís lay on hands ability also acts as remove curse, using the Dragon Scionís level as the caster level.
* Exhausted: The target is no longer exhausted. The Dragon Scion must have the fatigue mercy before selecting this mercy.
* Frightened: The target is no longer frightened. The Dragon Scion must have the shaken mercy before selecting this mercy.
* Nauseated: The target is no longer nauseated. The Dragon Scion must have the sickened mercy before selecting this mercy.
* Poisoned: The Dragon Scionís lay on hands ability also acts as neutralize poison, using the Dragon Scionís level as the caster level.

At 12th level, a Dragon Scion adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
* Blinded: The target is no longer blinded.
* Deafened: The target is no longer deafened.
* Paralyzed: The target is no longer paralyzed.
* Stunned: The target is no longer stunned.

These abilities are cumulative. For example, a 12th-level Dragon Scionís lay on hands ability heals 6d6 points of damage and might also cure fatigued and exhausted conditions as well as removing diseases and neutralizing poisons. Once a condition or spell effect is chosen, it canít be changed.

Draconic Vigor (Su): At 4th level, a Dragon Scion may add healing energies to their draconic aura as a swift action. Using this ability consumes two uses of their lay on hands ability. Their aura grants fast healing equal to their aura bonus. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to their level.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a Dragon Scion gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from antipaladin spell list if evil or the paladin spell list if good. A Dragon Scion must choose and prepare their spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a spell, a Dragon Scion must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The DC for a saving throw against a Dragon Scionís spell is 10 + the spell level + the Dragon Scionís Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Dragon Scion can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Charisma score.
A Dragon Scion must spend 1 hour each day in quiet prayer and meditation to regain their daily allotment of spells. A Dragon Scion may prepare and cast any spell on their spell list, provided they can cast spells of that level, but they must choose which spells to prepare during their daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a Dragon Scion has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, their caster level is equal to their Dragon Scion level - 3.

Totemic Bond: Upon reaching 5th level, a Dragon Scion forms a bond with their totem. This bond can take one of three forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed.

The first type of bond is the dragonís heart. This bond allows the Dragon Scion to use a breath weapon of a dragon as a standard action once every 1d4 rounds. At 5th level, this breath weapon deals 5d8 points in either a 30-ft. cone or 60-ft. line. Those caught in the area of the breath receive a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + Ĺ the Dragon Scionís level + their Charisma modifier. The shape and energy type of the breath weapon depend on their dragon totem. At 7th level, and at every two levels thereafter, this bonus increases by a 1d8, to a maximum of 12d8 at 19th level. In addition, their aura causes any creature striking them or allies within the aura with a natural attack or a non-reach melee weapon to be dealt 2 points of damage of their totem dragonís energy type for each point of their aura bonus.

At 9th level, when using their breath weapon a Dragon Scion may choose a number of targets in the area of their breath weapon up to their Charisma modifier. These targets are not affected by their breath weapon. At 13th level, the area of the breath weapon doubles. At 17th level, the Dragon Scion gains the Frightful Presence special ability, causing any opponent in the area of their breath weapon to become frightened for a number of rounds equal to their aura bonus. An affected opponent can resist the effects with a successful Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ the Dragon Scionís level + their Charisma modifier). Opponents with more Hit Dice than the Dragon Scion are shaken instead. An opponent that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Dragon Scionís frightful presence for 24 hours.

The second type of bond is the dragonís mind. This bond grants the Dragon Scion improved senses of a dragon. At 5th level, the Dragon Scion gains a racial bonus on Perception checks equal to half their level, low-light vision, and darkvision out to 30 feet. They pick one 1st-level spell from the sorcerer spell list to add to their spell list as a 1st-level Dragon Scion spell. In addition, their aura grants a morale bonus equal to their aura bonus to Initiative checks.

At 9th level, the Dragon Scionís darkvision extends to 60 feet, their low-light vision allows them to see four times as far as a human in shadowy illumination. They pick one 2nd-level spell from the sorcerer spell list to add to their spell list as a 2nd-level Dragon Scion spell. At 13th level, they gain blindsense out to 30 feet and can use commune as a spell-like ability once per week. They pick one 3rd-level spell from the sorcerer spell list to add to their spell list as a 3rd-level Dragon Scion spell. At 17th level, their darkvision extends to 120 feet, their blindsense extends out to 60 feet. They pick one 4th-level spell from the sorcerer spell list to add to their spell list as a 4th-level Dragon Scion spell.

The third type of bond is the dragonís body. This bond changes the Dragon Scionís form to be like that of a mighty dragon. At 5th level, the Dragon Scion grows claws and fangs, granting them two claw attacks (1d4 damage for a medium sized creature) and a bite attack (1d6 damage for a medium sized creature). They gain Multiattack as a bonus feat. In addition, their aura grants a morale bonus equal to their aura bonus on weapon damage.

At 9th level, they grow wings and a tail, granting them a +4 racial bonus on acrobatics checks and a fly speed of 30 feet with average maneuverability. In addition, the Dragon Scionís natural weapons are considered magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 13th level, they gain two wing buffet attacks (1d4 damage for a medium sized creature) and a tail slap attack (1d6 damage for a medium creature). In addition, the Dragon Scionís natural weapons deal +1d6 points of damage of their totem dragonís energy type. At 17th level, their fly speed improves to 60 feet with perfect maneuverability, and they gain the pounce special ability, allowing them to make a full attack at the end of a charge. In addition, the Dragon Scionís natural attacks are treated as aligned (good for metallic Dragon Scions and evil for chromatic Dragon Scions) for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and deal X3 damage on a critical hit.

Aura of Resistance (Su): At 8th level, a Dragon Scion gains immunity to the energy type of their totem dragonís energy type. Their aura grants energy resistance to this energy type equal to 5 X their aura bonus.

Aura of Evasion (Su): At 11th level, a Dragon Scion gains evasion, but only against the breath weapons of creatures with the dragon type. Their aura grants a bonus equal to their aura bonus on saving throws against dragonsí breath weapons.

Aura of Negation (Su): At 14th level, a Dragon Scion gains spell resistance equal to 10 + their level. Their aura grants a bonus equal to their aura bonus on saving throws against dragonsí spells and spell-like abilities. The Dragon Scion may voluntarily suppress this ability as an immediate action.

Aura of Freedom (Su): At 17th level, a Dragon Scion gains continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell of the same name. Their aura grants a morale bonus against effects that usually impede movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. This bonus also applies to Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin and to CMD to resist grapple checks.

Dragon Apotheosis (Su): At 20th level, a Dragon Scion becomes a true figure of draconic might. They are forevermore treated as a dragon rather than as a humanoid (or whatever their creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. They no longer take penalties to their ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Their DR improves to 10/epic, and their aura increases to 20 feet. In addition, whenever they use lay on hands to heal a creature, they heal the maximum possible amount.


Notes:
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This is supposed to be a fairly even transposition of dragon theme, dragon shaman mechanics, and dragonborn of bahamut fluff over a paladin shell.

Why Paladin?
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In 3.5, I would have Dragon Shaman and Paladin gestalt characters play with other normal classes because of how well they fit together. They're supposed to be "melee" classes with emphasis on Charisma and a lot of flavor. Paladin is also the "aura" class in Pathfinder, and the Lay on Hands and Mercy abilities fit what the Dragon Shaman already did.


Auras:
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The aura mechanics of the 3.5 dragon shaman are fun, but they tended to lose usefulness as time went on. Removing the options for the most part makes it a bit less potent, but a paladin's (limited) spell list should help with this.

Presence, Bravery, Vigor, Resistance, and all the Totemic auras are all shaman abilities. Evasion is something a paladin Oath grants. Negation is to represent a dragon's SR. Freedom is... well, honestly, I wanted something powerful but ran out of normal dragon stuff, so FoM is from the Linnorms. Of all the Auras, Freedom is the one I'm least happy with.


Totemic Bond:
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The big thing I wanted to do with this class is to use the Divine Bond / Fiendish Boon ability to replicate becoming a dragon in the way Dragonborn did and emphasize 3 facets. Heart gets the breathweapon, energy shield, and fearsome presence to be control-y and energy focused. I expanded on Mind to incorporate senses, initiative, and spellcasting to make it a bit more competent in scounting and support. Body gets natural attacks and wings to be especially good at combat.


Class Abilities:
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Everything is augmented to fit dragon's more than holy warriors. Class skills are closer to that of a dragon type. Detect Magic over Detect Evil/Good. Natural armor and damage reduction instead of saves bonus. Immunity to paralysis and sleep instead of diseases.