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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    The Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Spoiler: The why and how
    Show
    This is an adaptation of the Sardiorian epic prestige class that I made for the Disciple of the gem base class.

    Since the original was dependant on the existence (and features) of the disciple of the gem class, I figured I'd use the adaption rules I already laid out to make a DnD 3.x compatible class. (Both so it is more useful and to generate more response/feedback.)

    This specific version is tailored to the warlock class, but as I mentioned in the original's adaptation part, it should also be suitable to (for example) the monk class with only minor alterations.


    Dragonhearted
    Most men fear dragons, many men hate dragons, some men are descendant from dragons, but almost none have never dreamed of being a dragon.
    The dragonhearted are men and women with a link to the dragons, either through blood, magic or through desire. But to the dragonhearted that is not enough, they aspire to become true dragons themselves. This desire is so strong that they are willing to cut out their own hearts to fulfill it.
    Hit Die: d12


    Requirements
    To qualify to become a dragonhearted, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

    Race: Any corporeal, living non-dragon that possesses a heart.
    Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 13 ranks, Concentration 6 ranks, Heal 6 ranks.
    Class Feature: Must be able to use lesser invocations
    Class feature: Eldritch blast 5d6 OR Breath weapon 5d6.
    Special: The player chooses a draconic exemplar when taking the first level in this prestige class, you must have either an eldritch essence or a breath effect which matches the breath weapon of your draconic exemplar.
    Special: When first taking a level of dragonhearted, the dragonhearted must perform a ritual in which he cuts out his own heart and replaces it with a gem containing the essence of a true dragon (described below).


    Class Skills
    The dragonhearted's class skills (and the key ability in each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Geography, Nature, Psionics, Religion and The planes; taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Use magic device (Cha).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.


    Saves
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Invoking
    1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Draconic exemplar, draconic features, draconic ability, draconic immunities -
    2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Draconic breath, draconic resistance +1 level of existing invoking class
    3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Draconic perception -
    4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 level of existing invoking class
    5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Improved heart gem -
    6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Draconic armor +1 level of existing invoking class
    7th +5 +5 +2 +5 -
    8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Draconic special +1 level of existing invoking class
    9th +6/+1 +7 +3 +7 -
    10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Draconic rebirth, alternate form +1 level of existing invoking class


    Class Features
    All the following are class features of the dragonhearted prestige class.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragonhearted gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.


    Invoking: At every even level, you gain new invocations known, breath effects known, increased damage with eldritch blast, increased damage with (a dragonfire adepts) breath weapon and an increase in invoker level as if you had also gained a level in your previous invoking class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.


    Draconic exemplar: When taking his first level, the dragonhearted must choose which type of dragon he aims to become. This will affect a number of class features. See the "draconic exemplar" section below for the details on the most common dragon types (metallic, chromatic and gem dragons).

    The dragonhearted and his dragonic exemplar must have the same alignment with respect to the good/evil axis. Later shifts in alignment won't prevent him from progressing in the dragonhearted class though.

    A dragonhearted with the warlock class feature "Energy resistance" (or a dragonhearted who later gains said ability), must have energy resistance to the type of energy that his dragon exemplar will gain immunity to. Similarly, in the case of exemplars with the cold or fire subtype, he can't have energy resistance to the type of energy his exemplar is weak to.


    Draconic features: While working his way to his draconic rebirth, the dragonhearted gains a number of draconic features.

    at 1st level, the dragonhearted gains the ability to fly. He gains "draconic flight" as a bonus invocation. If the dragonhearted already possesses (or later gains) the "draconic flight" or "fell flight" invocations, the effects of those invocation is increased to be similar to "greater draconic flight".

    At 4th level, the dragonhearted gains the ability to manifest claws which he can use to attack. He gains "Eldritch claws" as a bonus feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. For a dragonhearted who doesn't have the eldritch blast class feature, use the damage of his breath weapon instead (but he cannot add breath effects as eldritch essences).

    At 7th level, the dragonhearted grows more comfortable with his wings and learns how to use them in a wing slam. This can be done while flying and deals 1d4 damage (for a medium dragonhearted). The wing slam is always a secondary natural weapon.


    Draconic ability: As the dragonhearted draws closer to his draconic rebirth, he starts gaining the strength and durability of his draconic exemplar. At the same time his mind changes, growing more astute and flexible. This translates to the following class abilities.

    At 1st level, the dragonhearted's strength increases by 2.

    At 2nd level, the dragonhearted's constitution increases by 2.

    At 3rd level, the dragonhearted's intelligence increases by 2.

    At 4th level, the dragonhearted's strength increases by an additional 2, making the total increase to the dragonhearted's strength +4.

    At 5th level, the dragonhearted's constitution increases by an additional 2, making the total increase to the dragonhearted's constitution +4.

    At 6th level, the dragonhearted's wisdom increases by 2.

    At 7th level, the dragonhearted's strength increases by an additional 2, making the total increase to the dragonhearted's strength +6.

    The change at 8th level is dependent on the dragonhearted's dragon exemplar type. Sapphire dragonhearted gain an increase of +2 to their dexterity. While all the other dragonhearted gain an additional increase of 2 to their constitution (for a total of +6).

    At 9th level, the dragonhearted's charisma increases by 2.


    Draconic immunities: The dragonhearted's new heart grants him immunity to sleep effects.

    At 5th level, as his new heart becomes more integrated with his body, he also gains immunity to paralysis effects.


    Draconic breath: At 2nd level, the dragonhearted gains a breath weapon. For a dragonhearted who was a warlock before entering this class, this means he gains the blast shape invocation "dragon breath" (which is a line or cone (players choice) of the appropriate size). For the dragonhearted that was a dragonfire adept before entering this class, it means he gains an additional breath effect that he meets the requirement for. For both, use d8's for damage (instead of d6's) when using your breath weapon.

    At 4th level, the dragonhearted gains a +1d8 bonus to his damage when using his breath weapon.This bonus damage only applies when he uses his breath weapon.

    The dragonhearted gains an additional increase of +1d8 damage at level 6 and again at level 8.

    At 10th level, when the dragonhearted is reborn as a dragon, he gains full mastery of his breath weapon. He gains an additional +2d8 damage when using his breath weapon. And he learns a new type of breath weapon (for the warlock this equals a bonus eldritch essence, for the dragonfire adept a bonus breath effect).

    The size of the breath weapon is based on the size of the dragonhearted, similar to how it works for dragons (MM, page 69).

    The DC of the dragonhearted's breath weapon is equal to 10 + 1/2 invoking class levels + 1/2 dragonhearted levels + con modifier.


    Draconic resistance: From 2nd level onwards, the dragonhearted starts gaining the resistances of his draconic exemplar. For the energy type the draconic exemplar has immunity to, the dragonhearted gains resistance 10.

    This resistance increases to 15 at 5th level, 20 at 8th. At the time of the dragonhearted's draconic rebirth (10th level) he gains immunity to this energy type.

    Exception: Amethyst dragonhearted have a different progression. They gain poison immunity at 2nd level. They also gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against force effects at 5th level, which increases to +3 at 8 level and to +4 at 10th level.


    Draconic perception: From 3rd level on, the dragonhearted's eyes become more like the eyes of a dragon. Over the levels his pupil changes shape and his eyes change color. At 10th level his eyes are identical to the eyes of his draconic exemplar, even in human form.

    At 3rd level he gains low-light vision (allowing him to see twice as far in shadow illumination). This increases to three times as far at 5th level and to four times as far at level 7.

    At 4th level he can now see twice as far in normal light conditions.

    At 6th level he gains darkvision 60ft (or increases his existing darkvision by 60ft). This increases to 120ft at level 10.

    At 8th level he gains Blindsight, 5-ft. Radius as a bonus feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.


    Improved heart gem: At 5th level, the dragonhearted has fully integrated his heart gem into his body.

    He can now enchant his heart gem. While this essentially uses the gem as a slot less item, only 1.5 times the normal costs for the enchantment are paid. The gem can be enchanted with properties normally associated with rings, amulets, third eyes, ioun stones and belts.


    Draconic armor: At 6th level, the dragonhearted's skin starts hardening, slowly becoming more dragon hide like. He adds half his dragonhearted level to his natural armor. This ability stacks with the dragonfire adept class feature "scales".


    Draconic special: At 8th level, the dragonhearted gains a special ability based on his dragon exemplar. See the draconic exemplar section below for the special abilities for some of the more common dragon types.


    Draconic rebirth: At 10th level, the dragonhearted transforms into a true dragon. This transformation is trigged when the dragonhearted meditates, which causes his entire body to crystallize. Over the next day his crystallized body slowly folds into an egg shape. After another 1d6 days he is reborn as a dragon, hatching from this crystal egg.

    His physical form changes into a the type of his draconic exemplar (For the age category see the "draconic exemplar" section below). His type changes to dragon and he gains the sub-type of his draconic exemplar (and the augmented sub-type associated with his former race - he retains the ability to use items that are only useable by his former race).

    The dragonhearted has the has the natural attacks, movement types, frightful presence, spell resistance and damage reduction of his exemplar's type and age category. He also gains blindsense 60ft.

    He does not gain his exemplar's spell like abilities or spellcasting ability. He does not need to take any (additional) racial hit dice, nor does he gain level adjustment that his exemplar possesses.

    A dragonhearted’s physical ability scores (in dragon form) improve according to its kind. These adjustments are equal to the dragon's normal ability scores –10 or –11. These ability score increases override the physical ability score increases gained through the draconic ability class feature. The dragonhearted does not gain these increased ability scores in his alternate form.

    In dragon form, the dragonhearted's draconic armor increases from half his class level to half his character level. This stacks with the dragonfire adept class feature "scales", however these two sources of natural armor together can't exceed the natural armor of a normal dragon of the dragonhearted's type and age category.

    The dragonhearted increases all future Hit Dice to d12s. And all racial hit dice that the dragonhearted possesses are turned into dragon hit dice, with all the changes to saves, skills and BaB that entails.

    As a true dragon, the dragonhearted can from this moment on progress by aging. For details on how to handle this, see the segment on "How to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories" below.

    Spoiler: Dragons with the cold or fire subtype
    Show
    Exception: Those dragonhearted who gain either the cold or fire subtype are penalized somewhat compared to their cousins. They gain a minor bonus to balance this out.

    Gold and red dragonhearted have higher stats in their dragon forms (due to their age category) and gain an additional +2 strength in their alternate form.

    Brass, obsidian, ruby and white dragonhearted gain a stronger breath weapon, dealing 10d10 damage instead of 10d8.

    Sliver dragonhearted gain immunity to acid, similar to normal silver dragons.



    Alternate form (Su): While the dragonhearted's body is now that of a dragon, he is capable of transforming back into his old form.

    This functions like the alternate form of other dragons (for example: silver dragons), but the dragonhearted is limited in that he can only transform into his old form.

    In his alternate form, the dragonhearted does not gain the increased physical stats, movement forms or draconic armor granted by the draconic rebirth class feature.


    Heart gem
    Spoiler: Details on heart gems
    Show
    A heart gem is made when you infuse a specially prepared gem with the essence of a dragon. Preparing the heart gem requires the creator to have the "craft wondrous item" feat. While in practice any (sufficiently big/expensive) gem can be used as a heart gem, most dragonhearted use a gem with relation to the type of dragon they strive to become (e.g.: A giant onyx for a black dragon and a large granade or ruby for a red dragon). Preparing the gem requires that the dragonhearted carves a series of marking into the gem. These markings are then "painted in" with a mixture of the dragonhearted's blood and a number of magical reagents, this attunes the gem to the dragonhearted. The gem must be worth at least 10k gp and the materials and tools required to prepare it to hold the essence costs another 10k gp.

    Adaptation: The carving of the markings can be a (repeatable if failed) DC 10 craft check and drawing the blood required to paint the markings could do 3d8 damage.

    Infusing the gem with the essence of a dragon can be done in a number of ways:

    • Killing a dragon and inserting the gem into the dragon's chest (within 5 minutes of the dragon's death) and leaving it there for 24 hours.
    • Having a dying dragon will his essence into the gem. It should be noted that you'll have to very convincing to have a dragon help you in this fashion (for example: the completion of a major quest, being bound to fulfill the dragon's dying wishes, you being the prophesized savior of X). When the dragon is done infusing the gem with its essence it instantly dies.
    • It is also possible to for a dragonhearted's dragon ancestor(s) to infuse his heart gem with draconic essence. This is very taxing on those ancestors and will only be granted once a century per group of ancestors. In most cases this requires the settling of a blood debt, recovery of a family relic or some other quest related to the dragonhearted's family and/or draconic bloodline.
    • One of the draconic gods can infuse your heart gem the necessary charge (Again this requires you to be either in very high standing with said god or the god must have a vested interest in your actions).

    Note: The essence of a dragon is not its soul. Thus, the use of a dragon's essence to "charge" a heart gem will not prevent that dragon's journey into the afterlife.

    Adaptation: As an alternate rule, the type of dragon that supplied the essence for your heart gem can determine your draconic exemplar. In the case of a draconic god charging the gem, the dragonhearted can either choose from all the dragons associated with that god or the god can set the type of exemplar.

    (Personally, I like leaving options open, so this is an alternate rule instead of the standard one. Plus, having to kill (or find a dying) gold dragon if you wish to be one of the "good" dragons is kind of tiresome.)


    Implanting the heart gem
    Spoiler: Details on implating the heart gem
    Show
    To replace his own heart with a heart gem, the dragonhearted needs a completed heart gem (as described above) and he must then complete the following steps:

    Preparing for the ritual. To prepare for the removal of his original heart, the dragonhearted must cast (or have someone cast for him) a magic circle (this can be any of the magic circle spells, as long as it doesn't clash with the dragonhearted's or dragon exemplar's alignment).

    On this magic circle the following spells must be cast:
    • Gentle repose
    • Death ward
    • Healing circle OR each turn a casting of Cure critical or serious wounds

    Remove his own heart. This does 1d8 constitution damage to himself. This damage can be reduced by 2 (to a minimum of 2) for each of the following checks the dragonhearted succeeds on: a DC 25 heal check and a DC 20 fortitude save. The constitution damage is then doubled if the dragonhearted fails a DC 30 concentration check.

    Replace his heart with the heart gem. To put in the heart gem, the dragonhearted must (in the following round) succeed on a DC 40 heal check. If he fails, he must make a saving throw as if he was drowning (failure = death). The next round he can try again. Before each subsequent retry, he can attempt a DC 20 concentration check, which will lower the DC of the heal check by 4 for each time it is successful.

    After a successful implantation of the heart gem, the dragonhearted will pass-out and not wake until 24 hours have passed (no matter what is attempted to wake him, baring high level magic such as wishes).

    Note: The dragonhearted must perform the ritual himself, because letting a surgeon do it interferes with the bonding between his body and his new heart. Should the heart gem be implanted by someone else, the dragonhearted will die (of heart failure, among other things) 1d4 weeks after the ritual.

    However, it's possible for other to aid him during the ritual through aid another. Also, certain tools can make the ritual easier to perform (for example: a mirror can give a circumstance bonus to the heal checks (as he can now see what he is doing) and certain herbs can improve the dragonhearted's concentration).

    Exception: When a dragon is willing to imbue the dragonhearted's heart gem with its essence, it can also help him with the implantation. The dragon will nurture the dragonhearted's life with its own and its magical nature will shield the dragonhearted during the ritual, thus no spells need to be cast to prepare for the ritual.

    In this case, the removal of the heart does 1d6 constitution damage, which is doubled if the dragonhearted fails a DC 25 concentration check. Replacing the heart with the heart gem takes the dragon 1d4 + 1 turns (requiring the dragonhearted to make the necessary saving throws to prevent death each turn).

    Whether the ritual is successful or not, the dragon dies at the end and its mortal form dissolves during the next 24 hours (if the ritual fails, the heart gem is still infused with its essence).


    Draconic exemplars
    Spoiler: Exemplar table
    Show
    Metallic dragons
    Type Breath weapons Immunity Special Rebirth
    Brass Line of Fire or Cone of Sleep Fire Improved fire damage Adult
    Bronze Line of Lightning or Cone of Repulsion Electricity Improved swimmer Young adult
    Copper Line of Acid or Cone of Slow Acid Spider climb Adult
    Gold Cone of Fire or Cone of Weakening Fire Improved swimmer Juvenile
    Silver Cone of Cold or Cone of Paralyzing Cold Cloudwalking Young adult
    Chromatic dragons
    Type Breath weapons Immunity Special Rebirth
    Black Line of Acid Acid Improved swimmer Adult
    Blue Line of Lightning Electricity Spider climb Young adult
    Green Cone of Acid Acid Improved swimmer Young adult
    Red Cone of Fire Fire Improved fire damage Juvenile
    White Cone of Cold Cold Icewalking Adult
    Gem dragons
    Type Breath weapons Immunity Special Rebirth
    Amethyst Line of Force Force + Poison Spider climb Young adult
    Crystal Cone of Light Cold Improved maneuverability Young adult
    Emerald Cone of Sonic Sonic Improved maneuverability Young adult
    Obsidian Cone of Fire Fire Improved fire damage Young adult
    Ruby As Amethyst, Crystal or Obsidian Fire Extra breath weapon Young adult
    Sapphire Cone of Sonic Electricity Spider climb Young adult
    Topaz Cone of Dehydration Cold Improved swimmer Young adult

    Spoiler: Explenation of the exemplar table
    Show
    Breath weapons: The breath weapons available to the draconic exemplar.

    Immunity: The elements to which the draconic exemplar has immunity.

    Rebirth: This is the age category that the dragonhearted will transform into when he reaches draconic rebirth (level 10). This determines his size in dragon form (always large), his movement speeds and the increases in his physical statistics.

    Special: The special ability gained by the dragonhearted at level 8. The specific specials are described below.

    Cloudwalking: The silver dragonhearted can tread on clouds or fog as though on solid ground. This functions similarly to the ability gained by silver dragons.

    Extra breath weapon: The ruby dragonhearted gains access to another of the ruby dragon breath weapons. He gains either an bonus eldritch blast essence or bonus breath effect that matches up with one of the ruby dragon's breath weapons.

    Icewalking: The white dragonhearted can climb icy surfaces. This ability functions like the spider climb spell, but the surface the dragonhearted climbs must be icy. This ability is always active.

    Improved fire damage: All fire damage done by a brass, red or obsidian dragonhearted (including his breath weapon) is increased by 50%.

    Improved maneuverability: Crystal and emerald dragonhearted increase their maneuverability while flying (both with the wings grown by the draconic growth class feature and in his dragon form after reaching level 10) by 1 step.

    Improved swimmer: Black, bronze, Green, gold and topaz dragonhearted gain a swim speed of 30 and the water breathing ability. If they already possess a swim speed (from race or class features) this increases their swim speed by 30. This does not increases their swim speed in their dragon form (after reaching level 10).

    Spider climb: An amethyst, blue, copper or sapphire dragonhearted can climb on stone surfaces as though using the spider climb spell. This ability is always active.


    How to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories
    Spoiler: How to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories
    Show
    Coming soon, I hope.


    Changelog:
    Spoiler: Changelog
    Show
    06/05/2014
    • Added an alignment part to the "Draconic exemplar" feature.
    • Switched around the claws and flight capabilities for "Draconic features". Mostly because the flight part won't add overly much to the dragonhearted, while the eldritch claws are quite a boost (especially for the 1st level).
    • Made part of the "Draconic immunities" (the immunity to paralysis) be gained at a later (5th) level.
    • Draconic rebirth has gotten an overhaul, including more details on how it works in game, how it works rule wise and what exactly is gained by the dragonhearted.
    • Improved the section on the creation of a heart gem. Changed the cost, added some description on how to make it and added "draconic ancestors" as a way to charge the heart gem. Also specified that "draconic essence" is not the same as the dragon's soul.
    • Added "preparing for the ritual" to the section on implanting the heart gem. And added an exception segment on having the dragon who is granting you his essence helping with the ritual.
    • Added a spoiler tag for "How to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories" - currently empty


    01/05/2014:
    • Changed the requirements for entry into the class (can't be a dragon already, must be alive and corporeal). Beyond this, you need to have an eldritch essence or breath effect that matches up with the dragon you wish to become.
    • Also change it so you can enter the class at level 11.
    • Moved the dragon exemplar feature to the requirements for the class.
    • Edited invocation increases so that it also progresses dragonfire adept features.
    • Rewrote the breath weapon class feature completely. Now keys of eldritch blast/dragonfire adept breath weapon and adds bonus damage. (now called draconic breath)
    • Rewrote the entire draconic growth (new name draconic features) class feature to be based on "eldritch claws" and "fell flight" "draconic flight".
    • Changed draconic eye a little. Darkvision is now 60ft at level 6 and 120ft at level 10 (removed 90ft at level 8). Added the 5ft blindsight feat at level 8 instead. (Also: renamed to draconic perception).
    • Specified that draconic armor combines with the dragonfire adept class feature scales (also changed things related to this in the draconic rebirth feature).
    • Draconic special for ruby dragonheart upgraded to match the new breath weapon description.


    30/04/2014:
    • Remove the +1 hp for each warlock level at level 10.


    29/04/2014:
    • Lowered the requirement for healing/concentration to 8 ranks.
    • Removed "Tumble" from class skills and limited the knowledge skills (removing all that are "civilized" and non "dragony").
    • Changed invocation progression from 2-9 to every even level.
    • Added to Draconic exemplar, so that the energy resistance (from the warlock class ability) must match up, somewhat, to his exemplar choice.
    • Breath weapon DC is now 15 + class level + CON mod (originally: double class level).
    • Draconic resistance is somewhat slower now (10/15/20/immune instead of 10/20/30/immune).
    • Draconic armour is now class dependant (1/2 class level) instead of character level dependant (1/4th character level).
    • Dialed down the HP gain from the capstone ability. Now only future HD are all d12 and you only gain 1 extra max hp per current warlock level.
    Last edited by Loek; 2014-05-07 at 02:45 AM.
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    - Eon -'s Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Male

    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Hey Loek!

    So here are my thoughts on the class!

    First, the idea of the class. I like it! (you probably guessed so since you saw my own... :p)
    It reminds me of what Ashardalon did... :D
    But the whole idea of the character doing some dark rituals to achieve their ambition of becoming a dragon is quite nice in terms of roleplay.

    hit die - yeap, d12 is the classic HD for half-dragons --> big increase to the warlock's.

    Requirements
    The skill ranks are a bit strong: 15 in a warlock class skill means that you need to wait for level 12 to take the class. And 10 in a non-warlock class skill means you either need to dip to spend some points, or you need to wait until level 17.
    The rests sounds OK to me.

    Class skills
    Why did you add all Knowledge skills? (Architecture and engineering or Nature for instance?)
    Why Move silently, Search and Tumble?
    (I'm asking because maybe you had a reason behind this, but I don't necessarily see them in the characters I picture)

    Skill points
    Why did you increase it from 2 to 4?
    I would leave it to 2.

    BAB
    Medium, as a warlock, sounds sensible

    Saves
    Strong Will and Fort, poor Ref, classic for a half-dragon. --> note that this is an increase compared to the warlock.

    Invoking
    Pretty strong invoking progression, but you need to sacrifice one level to enter the class, and one to reach the capstone. OK.
    I must admit that I don't have a huge experience in terms of warlock, so I don't know what that 2-levels sacrifice represents. If I am not mistaken, 1 level costs an invocation, but the second level is pretty much nothing in terms of sacrifice (in other words the capstone sacrifice is not a very big sacrifice).

    If we summarize what the warlock is giving up in order to be a Dragonhearted:
    • 1d6 from his Eldritch blast
    • DR 4/Cold iron
    • 4 fast regen off from the Fiendish resistance
    • Imbue item
    • 1 invocation known


    Draconic exemplar
    I like the differences you made between the dragons. I adds a bit of flavour.

    Draconic growth
    The classic half-dragon natural attacks are Bite(1d6) and Claws(1d4). That's what I would have gone fore, but I guess it's pretty similar in terms of damage (depending on strength yours might even be a bit under, since claws add half the strength damage and bite adds a full strength bonus).
    Wings at 4th level is maybe a bit soon, unless you keep the same skill ranks requirements (meaning that the character will be at least level 16 when he gets the wings).
    Wing slam, I like the idea!

    Draconic ability
    Your usual total is STR +6, DEX +0, CON +6, INT +2, WIS +2, CHA +2
    The classic half dragon template abilities increase is STR +8, DEX +0, CON +2, INT +2, WIS +2, CHA +2
    I would have sticked with the usual abilities increase.

    Draconic immunities
    Classic for a dragon, but I would give them much much later (these immunities usually come at capstones).

    Dragon breath
    It all seems OK, but the DC is very strong, too strong even. A level 10 Dragontouched has a DC of approximatively 34 (since you inluded +6 CON in your ability increases)!

    Draconic resistance
    I might have tuned it down, something like 10/15/20/immunity instead of 10/20/30/immunity.

    Draconic eye
    I would have stick to a darkvision 60 ft. (120 ft. is the one of a real dragon)

    Improved heart gem
    I like that part :) I find it original and it adds flavour.

    Draconic armor
    I would have sticked to a classic non-level dependent progression.
    The classic half-dragon ends up with +4 natural armor

    Draconic special
    I like that part too, it adds versatility and a bit of flavour.

    Draconic rebirth
    I would have actually sticked with the hald-dragon, but why not push it over the edge and follow you original idea and have a true dragon, yeah.
    Finally, the dragonhearted increases all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.
    Does this include previously gained warlock HD?
    I would remove this part though, a bit overpowered I think.

    As for the dragon form physical ability scores, how do they work exactly?
    What would a red dragonhearted have for physical ability scores for instance? (Juvenile is STR 29, DEX 10 and CON 19)

    Why do you consider fire or cold subtype penalized?

    Alternate form
    OK, sounds sensible so that the players can keep on playing among other normal human beings :p



    General:
    I would balance a few things out (those things I mentioned) but I like the overall thing!
    It might not be very far from being balanced (again, some of the things I mentioned), and maybe you could lower a few things and lower the skill ranks required (maybe add another requirement, so that the player needs to sacrifice something else, like a feat. Else you could make him sacrifice 4 levels of invoking instead of 2, then he would lose another invocation and another 1d6 on eldritch blast, which might be a bit better, considering he will probably use the breath weapon too. This might even be better than a feat sacrifice, as I don't see any feat that would be sensible asking.).

    The idea of becoming a dragon that can transform back to its old self instead of a mortal that can transform into a dragon is appealing.
    I like the story behind the class too, the warlock that goes into dark rituals to transcend his being.

    But keep in mind that I have never played nor played with a warlock, so all I know about warlocks is what I read :)
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    hit die - yeap, d12 is the classic HD for half-dragons --> big increase to the warlock's.

    Skill points
    Why did you increase it from 2 to 4?
    I would leave it to 2.

    BAB
    Medium, as a warlock, sounds sensible

    Saves
    Strong Will and Fort, poor Ref, classic for a half-dragon. --> note that this is an increase compared to the warlock.
    Yea, these are either directly from the dragon racial traits (hit die), a mix between dragon and warlock (skill points and saves) or as a warlock (BaB).

    As for play wise, the hit points is because you are slowly becoming a big bad ass monster (got to have some HP to survive those pesky adventurers). The skill points to be able to invest in some dragon-like traits (knowing a lot, as well as the more physical skills), the BaB stays the same because full BaB just seemed too much and the saves... well you become a big honking dragon (and unlike that dragon you aren't completely used to being both as big as a house and fast as... something fast)

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Requirements
    The skill ranks are a bit strong: 15 in a warlock class skill means that you need to wait for level 12 to take the class. And 10 in a non-warlock class skill means you either need to dip to spend some points, or you need to wait until level 17.
    The rests sounds OK to me.
    You know... I'm really ashamed to admit that I didn't even look at the warlock class skills. So, the non class skills will go down to 8 (still need to be quite good at it, you know, you are going to cut out your own heart), but i'll leave the others.

    Something to keep in mind: You'll need at least 16 levels of warlock (or warlock progressing classes) to get dark invocations. So level 17 is the first level you can take one level in this class anyhow. This makes the class (partially) epic anyhow (which in turn is the reason I feel that this class can be a bit better than the normal half-dragon version - dragon disciple).

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Class skills
    Why did you add all Knowledge skills? (Architecture and engineering or Nature for instance?)
    Why Move silently, Search and Tumble?
    (I'm asking because maybe you had a reason behind this, but I don't necessarily see them in the characters I picture)
    The knowledge (all) comes from the idea of dragons being incredibly knowledgeable creatures. But maybe it doesn't really fit... I'll look into it. As for the movement ones, at least move silently and search (I feel) fit with the dragon idea. Tumble... maybe a bit much again (again, I'll poke).

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Invoking
    Pretty strong invoking progression, but you need to sacrifice one level to enter the class, and one to reach the capstone. OK.
    I must admit that I don't have a huge experience in terms of warlock, so I don't know what that 2-levels sacrifice represents. If I am not mistaken, 1 level costs an invocation, but the second level is pretty much nothing in terms of sacrifice (in other words the capstone sacrifice is not a very big sacrifice).
    Hmmm, you have a point there. (especially since you'll have 20 invoker levels by level 5 in this class anyhow) I'll probably make it so you only progress invoking at uneven levels. Mostly what you lose out on CL to beat spell resistance and epic blast progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    If we summarize what the warlock is giving up in order to be a Dragonhearted:
    • 1d6 from his Eldritch blast
    • DR 4/Cold iron
    • 4 fast regen off from the Fiendish resistance
    • Imbue item
    • 1 invocation known
    Assuming you take 16 levels of straight warlock before hand (this is based on as it's now, will change the invocation increases with v1.1)
    • You have fiendish resilience 2 (instead of 5)
    • Damage reduction 4/cold iron (instead of 5)
    • Energy resistance 5 (instead of 10) (Should probably limit which resistances you might have compared to your dragon examplar...)
    • And you have gain your 2nd and 3rd dark invocation 1 level later (so 19/21 instead of 18/20)
    • Similarly your eldritch blast damage increases are 1 level behind (2 from level 10 onwards).


    But as I said, I will lower the invocation increases of this class.

    Plus can't forget the whole "get the heart gem" (probably high level quest(reward)) and the "open heart surgery"... by an amateur... with a blunt knife... needed to get into the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic growth
    The classic half-dragon natural attacks are Bite(1d6) and Claws(1d4). That's what I would have gone fore, but I guess it's pretty similar in terms of damage (depending on strength yours might even be a bit under, since claws add half the strength damage and bite adds a full strength bonus).
    Wings at 4th level is maybe a bit soon, unless you keep the same skill ranks requirements (meaning that the character will be at least level 16 when he gets the wings).
    Wing slam, I like the idea!
    Since you'll be taking your first level (at the earliest) at level 17, you'll get wings at level 20, which is quite late when you think of it. Plus warlocks have plenty of long term flying stuff in their bag of invocations anyhow, so I'm not really worried about the wings. Also, on the bite... the whole "mouth full of razor sharp teeth" and "I'll bite you to death!" thing never really fit with humanoid bodies for me. Especially people that talk, eat normal food and don't have massive CHA penalties and intimidate bonuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic ability
    Your usual total is STR +6, DEX +0, CON +6, INT +2, WIS +2, CHA +2
    The classic half dragon template abilities increase is STR +8, DEX +0, CON +2, INT +2, WIS +2, CHA +2
    I would have sticked with the usual abilities increase.
    The idea I had was that you basically gain a (sort of, bit weird) version of half dragon over your class levels, but it should be so that on each physical ability you should increase at least a little when you go full dragon form. And after that a +2 per level seemed sort of logical. Maybe I should toss a +2 strength at level 10 for the alternate form...

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic immunities
    Classic for a dragon, but I would give them much much later (these immunities usually come at capstones).

    Dragon breath
    It all seems OK, but the DC is very strong, too strong even. A level 10 Dragontouched has a DC of approximatively 34 (since you inluded +6 CON in your ability increases)!

    Draconic resistance
    I might have tuned it down, something like 10/15/20/immunity instead of 10/20/30/immunity.
    For all three of these, remember that this class is only available at quite high levels (most of them at epic level only).

    Draconic immunities: Yea, normally a capstone, but in this case, I see them as the effect of the heart gem.

    Dracon breath: Hadn't kept the CON increases in mind (point to you), but beyond that, remember the high level (so it's 17+CON mod at first level - which is character level 17, or more)... maybe make it 15+level+CON, as you are right about this character having quite a bit of constitution.

    Draconic resistance: Not one 100% sure, but you are probably right on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic eye
    I would have stick to a darkvision 60 ft. (120 ft. is the one of a real dragon)
    And at the time he gets that, he is a dragon. This one had me stumped for a bit, but I decided to treat it as a dragons alternate form ability. In other words, in human form he should be able to see as well as in dragon form.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic armor
    I would have sticked to a classic non-level dependent progression.
    The classic half-dragon ends up with +4 natural armor
    This one I'm really iffy about. On the one hand you are absolutely right (though I might use a higher value in this class). Maybe make it half class levels (and in dragon form I'll keep it half character levels in order to keep up with normal dragons to some degree).

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic rebirthDoes this include previously gained warlock HD?
    I would remove this part though, a bit overpowered I think.
    Powerful, yes (I really should have kept the warlock class next to me the whole time I was writing this, shouldn't I?). However, what went through my mind was "how does it keep up with actual dragons". Have to think on this one... maybe something along "all future HD are d12's" and "for every warlock HD you gain 1 extra hit point" or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    As for the dragon form physical ability scores, how do they work exactly?
    What would a red dragonhearted have for physical ability scores for instance? (Juvenile is STR 29, DEX 10 and CON 19)
    In dragon form he'd have:
    His characters physical abilities (without the increases granted by Draconic ability)
    And on top of that you'd add +18 STR, +0 Dex, +8 CON (Similar to how the lycanthrope transformation works).

    In human form he'd have:
    His character physical abilities (with the increases from Draconic ability - which are: +6 STR, +0 Dex, +6 CON)
    And on top of that you'd add the +2 STR from the fire/cold sub type balancing.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Why do you consider fire or cold subtype penalized?
    Because they are the only (dragon related) sub types which have a direct downside next to the immunity (which they and all dragonhearted already gain anyhow). Fire gets 50% weakness to cold, cold gets 50% weakness to fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Alternate form
    OK, sounds sensible so that the players can keep on playing among other normal human beings :p
    Which is the main reason. And on top of that it's an ability that a number of dragons possess anyhow, so hey, it fits.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    General:
    I would balance a few things out (those things I mentioned) but I like the overall thing!
    It might not be very far from being balanced (again, some of the things I mentioned), and maybe you could lower a few things and lower the skill ranks required (maybe add another requirement, so that the player needs to sacrifice something else, like a feat. Else you could make him sacrifice 4 levels of invoking instead of 2, then he would lose another invocation and another 1d6 on eldritch blast, which might be a bit better, considering he will probably use the breath weapon too. This might even be better than a feat sacrifice, as I don't see any feat that would be sensible asking.).

    The idea of becoming a dragon that can transform back to its old self instead of a mortal that can transform into a dragon is appealing.
    I like the story behind the class too, the warlock that goes into dark rituals to transcend his being.

    But keep in mind that I have never played nor played with a warlock, so all I know about warlocks is what I read :)
    Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I'll change some minor things (as mentioned above) and I'll ponder a few other things. After the changes are made, I'll go poke you again.



    [EDIT]Final list of changes made:
    • Lowered the requirement for healing/concentration to 8 ranks.
    • Removed "Tumble" from class skills and limited the knowledge skills (removing all that are "civilized" and non "dragony").
    • Changed invocation progression from 2-9 to every even level.
    • Added to Draconic exemplar, so that the energy resistance (from the warlock class ability) must match up, somewhat, to his exemplar choice.
    • Breath weapon DC is now 15 + class level + CON mod (originally: double class level).
    • Draconic resistance is somewhat slower now (10/15/20/immune instead of 10/20/30/immune).
    • Draconic armour is now class dependant (1/2 class level) instead of character level dependant (1/4th character level).
    • Dialed down the HP gain from the capstone ability. Now only future HD are all d12 and you only gain 1 extra max hp per current warlock level.


    Draconic armor remains a question mark to some degree, might listen to you and just make it a flat number.
    Last edited by Loek; 2014-04-29 at 06:20 AM.
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Skill points
    would still have gone to 2 instead of 4, but OK I see your point.

    Requirements
    Hmmm you are right!
    Didn't pay attention to that little line with the dark invocation!
    This changes things a bit, because yeah, the character has at least 6 epic levels in it.
    And you could let the Heal at 8 ranks with this, because it does not penalize the warlock more in terms of level requirement (it is just that she needs to increase Heal at every level). Or leave it at 8, it's fine.

    Skills
    OK, new skills list seems to fit.

    Invoking
    OK, seems nice. It means that a Warlock (16) / Dragonhearted (10) will end up with a 10d6 blast and the number of invocations of a level 20 warlock (epic warlock don't get new invocations), but again, sounds normal since you already spent 16 levels in it.

    Draconic growth
    Agreed on the wings with the new prerequisite.
    Agreed on the bite as well :p

    Draconic ability
    Dragons are not necessarily very wise... :p well, it depends on what dragon to be honnest ^^
    As for the Constitution, I would pick one between the +6 increase and the HD increase at the end. (this +6 is already +3 hp every level, retroactively)

    Draconic immunities
    With the requirement that I forgot, it now sounds OK.
    Usual prestige classes can be obtained at level 6, which makes them reach the capstone at 15, so it seems in line.

    Breath weapon
    15 + Class Level + CON modifier still seems a bit high, would have gone for 10 + Class level + CON modifier, but then maybe you should stick to 15 for the epic aspect of the class.
    For instance, if the Dragonhearted (10) / Warlock (16) were to resist her own breath weapon, she would have to beat an average of DC 29 (taking a base CON score of 12, before Draconic growth) with her average +11 to Reflex saves (I took a DEX score of 14). This provides her with a 15% chance success. A 26th level rogue with 22 DEX would have 65% chance.
    Nerfing it to 10 + ... transforms those stats into 40% and 90%, which might, in turn, be a bit weak.
    This is pretty much your choice, either go for a strong breath, or an average one.

    Draconic eye
    Would have sticked to 60 ft. while in human form, but then this is purely up to you to decide. Are her senses as good while she is in human form as in dragon form?

    Draconic armor
    Yeah, tough one :D

    Draconic rebirth
    Hmmm would still dial down the HP, even after your modification (and as said, not add both the +6 CON and thos HP gained). But then we are talking about a level 26+ character, so she's got time before it happens, and I have little experience in terms of level 26+ play :p

    OK for your explanation.
    Another question: does she retain her invocation/eldritch blast in dragon form?
    I'm asking because I like the idea of maybe posing a dilemma :p "OK, do I want to be in human form or dragon form? In dragon form I gain (...) but then in human form I could do (...)".
    If she can do all she wants in dragon form, no reason to go back to human form.
    But on the other hand, it would be logical that she keeps her warlock powers in dragon form, since it is her new true form...

    Dragons weaknesses
    OK yeah I remember now you are right :p



    Overall
    On the overall, it is pretty nice. Those changes I suggest are only tweaks and my opinion
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    This sounds awesome. Realy well made too.

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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Would have sticked to 60 ft. while in human form, but then this is purely up to you to decide. Are her senses as good while she is in human form as in dragon form?
    With the exception of the blindsense (60ft) which is dragon form only and whatever skills are affected by ability score changes, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Draconic rebirth
    Hmmm would still dial down the HP, even after your modification (and as said, not add both the +6 CON and thos HP gained). But then we are talking about a level 26+ character, so she's got time before it happens, and I have little experience in terms of level 26+ play :p
    Don't have experience at that level either, but you are probably right. I keep forgetting those CON increases and their effects. Say bye bye to the +1 hp on warlock levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    Another question: does she retain her invocation/eldritch blast in dragon form?
    I'm asking because I like the idea of maybe posing a dilemma :p "OK, do I want to be in human form or dragon form? In dragon form I gain (...) but then in human form I could do (...)".
    If she can do all she wants in dragon form, no reason to go back to human form.
    But on the other hand, it would be logical that she keeps her warlock powers in dragon form, since it is her new true form...
    Yup, invocation/eldritch blasting is available in both forms. Think of it as the spellcasting that normal dragons gain.

    As for the "which form to wear today", it should mostly be based on social reasons. Can't walk into town to go shopping in dragon form (well in most towns). Plus the size of the dragon form can also be a hindrance (try fitting through doors).

    So the reasons for "down" shifting are mostly role-play related and/or "ease of use" related. Similar to how dragons use the ability to socialize/spy/hide/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    On the overall, it is pretty nice. Those changes I suggest are only tweaks and my opinion
    You win on the HP issue ;). For the rest, thanks again for your time.
    Last edited by Loek; 2014-04-30 at 07:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    I'm loving the class flavor, not to mention the name and the way to achieve true dragonhood! It shows that you've put some real effort into it!

    Some points though, if I may:

    1) I'm a little torn on the subject of this being an epic-reaching PrC. I can understand that this is a very powerful class, most likely more powerful than any available for warlocks. On the other hand, however, so few campaigns reach epic levels that I don't see its capstone getting much play. I propose a mental exercise: think about what a 20th level character is able to achieve, preferably one moderately, but not very, optimized. Do you feel like "becoming a (merely Large) true dragon" is too much for a character of that level? Myself, I tend to think it isn't (heck, a Telepath Psion 17 can do that just fine by using true mind switch), and as such I'd probably shuffle things up to make this fit a 11-20 PrC mold (I wouldn't even tone it down much, only making it conform to the "regular" half-dragon attribute bonuses as suggested by Eon). Of course, this is just my opinion on the subject.

    2) Another thing that also doesn't sit very well with me is this being a Warlock-focused PrC. Heck, going by the flavor, it would make much more sense to gear it towards the other invocation-using class, that is, the Dragonfire Adept. I'd drop the need for eldritch essence invocations so Dragonfire Adepts can also qualify, and (or at least) let a Heart Gem be made by striking a deal with the spirit of a long-dead dragon.

    3) You mention in the intro that this class "should also be suitable to (for example) the monk class with only minor alterations". I don't see how to do it easily, however, and it certainly isn't something exactly minor. How about in including a "class adaptation" section showcasing how to do that?

    4) I don't know if I got the flavor right, but it seems to me that these guys are aiming higher than merely becoming a true dragon: they are aiming at becoming the true dragon, that is, attaining the essence of the true dragon they mean to become (and I'm using the philosophical concept here). In other words, these guys want to be paragons of their future kind (something that is struck home even farther by using the word "exemplar"). And even though true dragons are not physical manifestations of an alignment (those would be Outsiders), most can be seen as the closest one can get to that while still being mortal, that is, many are true champions of causes aligned to their usual alignment. As such, I don't think an alignment restriction would be out of place here. Want to become a Gold Dragonhearted? Then strive to be LG (or at least LN/NG)! Want to become an actual Gold dragon? Then be a champion for the forces of Lawful Goodness! Only then can you achieve the essence of a true Gold dragon. Myself, I'd say that you need to be at most one alignment step removed from your future form's (a la Cleric), that you can't progress in the class if you go further than that (though you don't lose the class features already obtained), and that at 10th level, you necessarily become the alignment of your (now actual) form's (in case you weren't already). Of course, this alignment restriction could be relaxed if the campaign calls for it (Eberron, for example).

    5) Minor quibble: I'd clarify in Draconic Rebirth that you gain the augmented subtype of your previous type. For example, a human Gold Dragonhearted that reaches 10th level in the class would become dragon (fire, augmented humanoid, human).

    6) This one is important: what actually happens when you become a true dragon? Do you gain the listed age's RHD? What about LA? I don't blame you for having missed this, Dragon Disciple is an official class and they missed it too (though in the Dragonhearted's case this is further aggravated due to the RHD). If you want some ideas, I'd say that you don't gain the form's RHD, but all your previous HD are changed to d12s when in dragon form. Furthermore, the BAB from those HD are good (i.e.: as a fighter's), also only in dragon form. All future HD, be they racial or from class, are normal (as with a true dragon that gains class levels). Lastly, I'd just ignore LA.

    7) Another thing that needs some clarification: do you gain access to your forms special abilities, like frightful presence, SLAs, DR, etc? More importantly, do you gain its spellcasting/manifesting? If the answer to some or all of this is no, what happens if you gain RHD?

    8) You talk a lot of the repercussion of the metamorphosis in mechanics, but your descriptions are a little shallow. How do those retractable claws look? I suppose they must be hard and opaque. By level 7, have the wings' sinews hardened or is the Dragonhearted merely more confident in its use? What about those draconic eyes? Are they the color of the final form's? Do they have slit pupils like the younger dragons or are they reflective pools like the wyrms'? When they gain the draconic armor, do their skin become scaled like a dragon's? All of these are answers that will be evocative in their own right.

    9) Seeing as the Dragonhearted's appearance might change a lot during the course of his path to dragonhood, it might be interesting to give him Alternate Form at level 1, or as soon as his appearance begins to change. This form would be that of the regular humanoid (or any other type) he originally was, with all its physical weaknessess. When he attains true dragonhood, this ability could improve, allowing him to change into his original form or into his final humanoid form.

    10) It might be interesting to give Blindsight, 5 ft. Radius as a bonus feat somewhere.

    11) I find it interesting that most attainable forms are in the 10-12 CR range (at least chromatics and metallics, don't have MM2 at hand to check out gems). Copper and Silver, however, are the exception to the norm. A young adult Silver is CR 13, while an adult Copper clocks at 14. I'd downgrade Silver to juvenile (10) and Copper to young adult (11). I'd also consider downgrading Brass to young adult (12->10).

    12) Once you're a true dragon, can you advance by age? If that's the case, I'd set some rules. I'd refer to Draconomicon's rules for class advancement + age advancement. I'd also say that you have to attain your final form's normal age before advancing further (for example, a 25-year old human who becomes a young adult Bronze dragon has to reach 100 before turning adult).

    13) I think I don't care too much for the "trap the essence" bit of the Heart Gem. You could go by something more philosophical here. The essence could be anything from the "trapped soul of a slain Red dragon" to the "ultimate blessing from a dying Gold dragon", which is somewhat close to what you said already but fundamentally different as it doesn't necessarily involve "necromance-y" stuff. That Gold dragon is passing on to his afterlife, but his powerful blessing, his "imparting of essence", is still powerful enough to endow your Heart Gem. Both approaches should be equally difficult (as you already pointed out), but tweaking it so will make the class more appealing to good-aligned characters (i.e.: you won't be preventing a paragon of Good from reaching his much deserved rest). Of course, that dying dragon should be able to empower only a single Heart Gem.

    14) Another minor quibble, but the description of the Heart Gem itself could be a little more evocative too. "The gem must be worth at least 25k gp and the materials required to prepare it to hold the essence costs another 25k gp" doesn't give me much to go by. Is the gem somehow tied to the final form? Maybe a perfectly round onyx for a Black dragon, a masterfully cut imperial topaz for a Topaz dragon and a finely sculpted heart made of pure gold (getting in the "Heart Jewel" territory here) for a Gold dragon? (Useful list) How hard (in DCs) should it be to craft such a thing? What are the materials required to hold the essence? Some kind of gigantic bezel setting? Lastly, does it require some magical components, maybe Craft Wondrous Item + magic jar or trap the soul?

    15) Some kind of ritual should be undertaken to even survive taking your heart out. And I'm talking in addition to the checks you already listed. It breaks all suspension of disbelief if you can tear your heart out and still survive a few seconds to implant a new one without some kind of magical handwave. Maybe something having to do with suspend life, temporal stasis, regenerate, astral projection or sequester, or even stuff as simple as gentle repose, sepia snake sigil or raise dead. And what if the surgery could be performed by the imparting dying dragon?

    16) Just wanted to point out that White dragons are fairly stupid, and the Intelligence bonus the class gives will actually leave the character more intelligent than the final form's average. I wouldn't change anything in relation to this, though.

    17) Lastly, it should be pointed out if the claws given by draconic grow are primary or secondary attacks.

    PHEW! That was quite a wall of text. I hope any of this can be of use!
    Metal Perfection - a template for creatures born on Mirrodin.
    True Ferocity - a simple fix for Orcs and Half-Orcs.
    Monastic Magus - a spiritual successor to the Unarmed Swordsage.
    Pathfinder-ish Synthesist - a simple fix making Synthesist Summoners follow polymorph rules.
    Sword & Sorcery for Sneaky Scoundrels - rogue archetypes/fixes that aim to turn the rogue into a warrior/caster.

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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    OK Loek seems fine :)

    Larkas raised some interesting points too :p
    1) I also saw it as a 20th level capstone reach when first viewing it.
    2) That's pretty much up to you
    3) true, would need quite some adaptation. But so would any other class.
    4) I didn't see it like this. The way I pictured it, they tried to attain dragonform, but not necessarily be better than true dragons themselves.
    5) I'll let Loek check but as I understood, you actually become a dragon (so no longer human)
    6-7) Best might be to provide an example to illustrate how it works
    8) -
    9) -
    10) -
    11) -
    12) Was wondering too. I guessed "yes", since you are not immune to aging
    13) -
    14) -
    15) -
    16) -
    17) I assumed it was primary.
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    3) true, would need quite some adaptation. But so would any other class.
    Indeed! It's just that he mentioned monks specifically, and now I'm curious about how such an adaptation would go.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    4) I didn't see it like this. The way I pictured it, they tried to attain dragonform, but not necessarily be better than true dragons themselves.
    Not necessarily better, just... True. A true exemplar of its (new) kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    5) I'll let Loek check but as I understood, you actually become a dragon (so no longer human)
    I guess I mixed up things. This would be the case if you applied a template that changes type, not if you actually changed species. Savage Species is silent on this in the chapter "Becoming a Monster" too... Hmmm... Really, it's up to Loek.

    Quote Originally Posted by - Eon - View Post
    17) I assumed it was primary.
    Doh, you're right. It can only be secondary if you're a noncombative herbivore animal. Otherwise, if you have only one attack, it's always primary. Might need some clarification in case the character has more native attacks, though (does it become primary then, or is it secondary and the original character's primary?).

    ---

    Anyways, another thing I thought about:

    18) The class should probably have some restriction regarding qualifying creatures. Probably only living beings (removes constructs and undead) possessing a heart (removes plants, oozes and some aberrations) that are not already true dragons themselves.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    Might need some clarification in case the character has more native attacks, though (does it become primary then, or is it secondary and the original character's primary?).
    True !
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    18) The class should probably have some restriction regarding qualifying creatures. Probably only living beings (removes constructs and undead) possessing a heart (removes plants, oozes and some aberrations) that are not already true dragons themselves.
    True as well (seems obvious when reading through, but you know... Just in case)!
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Yay! More responses :D

    Spoiler: 1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    1) I'm a little torn on the subject of this being an epic-reaching PrC. I can understand that this is a very powerful class, most likely more powerful than any available for warlocks. On the other hand, however, so few campaigns reach epic levels that I don't see its capstone getting much play. I propose a mental exercise: think about what a 20th level character is able to achieve, preferably one moderately, but not very, optimized. Do you feel like "becoming a (merely Large) true dragon" is too much for a character of that level? Myself, I tend to think it isn't (heck, a Telepath Psion 17 can do that just fine by using true mind switch), and as such I'd probably shuffle things up to make this fit a 11-20 PrC mold (I wouldn't even tone it down much, only making it conform to the "regular" half-dragon attribute bonuses as suggested by Eon). Of course, this is just my opinion on the subject.

    I suppose I should start by saying that I never (try) to look at tier 1 or 2 when I'm balancing anything (so the "telepath psion can do it" is meh). Beyond that, yea I know that epic progression is quite rare, which is kind of a waste of this class (originally it was worse - it started life as a purely epic class).

    Think of it (if you don't go that high in your campaign) as something that a hero of old did (maybe that very dragon that's sending you on a merry chase around the land to find that artifact). Or something that the main bad guy is up to (why else is he wiping out the local dragon population?). Or even something that your PCs are striving for (even if they never finish the class) and next campaign (100's of in game years later) the new characters can see the result.

    Spoiler: 2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    2) Another thing that also doesn't sit very well with me is this being a Warlock-focused PrC. Heck, going by the flavor, it would make much more sense to gear it towards the other invocation-using class, that is, the Dragonfire Adept. I'd drop the need for eldritch essence invocations so Dragonfire Adepts can also qualify, and (or at least) let a Heart Gem be made by striking a deal with the spirit of a long-dead dragon. .

    You are absolutely right, however, I have about 0 experience with the dragonfire adept, but I'll take a peak and make an "OR" statement in the requirement so both can qualify.

    Spoiler: 3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    3) You mention in the intro that this class "should also be suitable to (for example) the monk class with only minor alterations". I don't see how to do it easily, however, and it certainly isn't something exactly minor. How about in including a "class adaptation" section showcasing how to do that? .

    Basically, there are two requirements that are aimed at warlocks (dark invocations and 2 essences) and one class feature (progressing invocations) that are related to warlocks.

    Quite simply you'd switch those out. (For example: require a monk AC bonus of +3 and improved evasion (or maybe ki strike (x)) - And having the class (all levels) stack with monk levels for unarmed damage, AC and speed.) In fact due to the monks relative strength, it might actually be balanced to give it to them from level 11 to 20. (Make the requirement ki-strike lawful, requiring 10 levels of plain monk beforehand?).

    Anyhow, you are right and I'll write up a adaptation bit.

    Spoiler: 4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    4) I don't know if I got the flavor right, but it seems to me that these guys are aiming higher than merely becoming a true dragon: they are aiming at becoming the true dragon, that is, attaining the essence of the true dragon they mean to become (and I'm using the philosophical concept here). In other words, these guys want to be paragons of their future kind (something that is struck home even farther by using the word "exemplar"). And even though true dragons are not physical manifestations of an alignment (those would be Outsiders), most can be seen as the closest one can get to that while still being mortal, that is, many are true champions of causes aligned to their usual alignment. As such, I don't think an alignment restriction would be out of place here. Want to become a Gold Dragonhearted? Then strive to be LG (or at least LN/NG)! Want to become an actual Gold dragon? Then be a champion for the forces of Lawful Goodness! Only then can you achieve the essence of a true Gold dragon. Myself, I'd say that you need to be at most one alignment step removed from your future form's (a la Cleric), that you can't progress in the class if you go further than that (though you don't lose the class features already obtained), and that at 10th level, you necessarily become the alignment of your (now actual) form's (in case you weren't already). Of course, this alignment restriction could be relaxed if the campaign calls for it (Eberron, for example). .

    This one is sort of iffy for me. Personally, I detest alignment restrictions in all but the most logical places (clerics in relation to their gods for example is fine - Undead being evil = boringly unimaginative).

    Not sure if I agree on the "closest a mortal being can be to a physical manifestation of an alignment" bit. I always found it silly that most PC races can "choose" to act as they see fit, but the ancient dragon that's been scheming, plotting and living for millennia has no way to break out of his species predetermined behavior.

    I'll probably write up something about how alignments would function, but make it clear that it's an optional rule depending on campaign setting.

    Also, on the use of the word "exemplar". It doesn't refer to the dragonhearted, it refers to the dragon he is modeling himself after.

    Spoiler: 5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    5) Minor quibble: I'd clarify in Draconic Rebirth that you gain the augmented subtype of your previous type. For example, a human Gold Dragonhearted that reaches 10th level in the class would become dragon (fire, augmented humanoid, human). .

    This one of those things that the people over at Wizards often fail to do themselves. Something which also has almost no (or even absolutely no) effect on game play. It seems to be more about remember what this thing used to be than anything else.

    Personally, if I use it, it's to refer back to what form the creature has under its templates and such. In this case he becomes a dragon all the way, so it is only relevant for the alternate class feature.

    Spoiler: 6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    6) This one is important: what actually happens when you become a true dragon? Do you gain the listed age's RHD? What about LA? I don't blame you for having missed this, Dragon Disciple is an official class and they missed it too (though in the Dragonhearted's case this is further aggravated due to the RHD). If you want some ideas, I'd say that you don't gain the form's RHD, but all your previous HD are changed to d12s when in dragon form. Furthermore, the BAB from those HD are good (i.e.: as a fighter's), also only in dragon form. All future HD, be they racial or from class, are normal (as with a true dragon that gains class levels). Lastly, I'd just ignore LA. .

    Hmm, yea, I'll clarify which abilities you gain and such.

    My original idea is that this class is partially like the RHD (and as such you don't gain any). Any RHD you already have should probably be upgraded to dragon HD, with all the increases that entails (will add that), but I don't think I'll mess with previous class levels. All future HD will be d12's, but BaB will be class related (and epic, so nobody cares), as will saves. LA is ignored.

    Spoiler: 7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    7) Another thing that needs some clarification: do you gain access to your forms special abilities, like frightful presence, SLAs, DR, etc? More importantly, do you gain its spellcasting/manifesting? If the answer to some or all of this is no, what happens if you gain RHD? .

    More clarification needed, you are right.

    First idea: Frightful presence (probably yes); Caster level (no, you get invoking instead); Spell resistance (probably yes), spell like abilities (most likely no), DR (need to look at it more closely, but probably yes).

    As for more RHD, will increase abilities and values as normal, except where the dragonhearted has a different value than the dragon. In those case, instead of taking the dragon's value, look at the increase. (example: breath weapon DC goes from 23 to 26, so increase the dragonhearted DC by 3 (both increases include the increase in CON associated with the increase in age)). The problem will be the NA, which I would keep level related and increase as with the breath weapon DC, up to the maximum of a normal dragon of his age category (eventually you'd catch up).

    Will need a to add a separate spoiler at the end "how to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories".

    Spoiler: 8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    8) You talk a lot of the repercussion of the metamorphosis in mechanics, but your descriptions are a little shallow. How do those retractable claws look? I suppose they must be hard and opaque. By level 7, have the wings' sinews hardened or is the Dragonhearted merely more confident in its use? What about those draconic eyes? Are they the color of the final form's? Do they have slit pupils like the younger dragons or are they reflective pools like the wyrms'? When they gain the draconic armor, do their skin become scaled like a dragon's? All of these are answers that will be evocative in their own right. .

    Yup, now that most of the mechanical stuff is, it's time to pile on the fluff :D.

    Spoiler: 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    9) Seeing as the Dragonhearted's appearance might change a lot during the course of his path to dragonhood, it might be interesting to give him Alternate Form at level 1, or as soon as his appearance begins to change. This form would be that of the regular humanoid (or any other type) he originally was, with all its physical weaknessess. When he attains true dragonhood, this ability could improve, allowing him to change into his original form or into his final humanoid form. .

    Thought about this one. Social role-playing wise, this would help a lot. Power/fluff wise I'm not entirely sure... maybe give him a +x on disguise skills purely to hide his increasing dragon like features... Have to ponder this one.

    Spoiler: 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    10) It might be interesting to give Blindsight, 5 ft. Radius as a bonus feat somewhere. .

    Might be interesting indeed... But where, when, why... will poke and see what falls out.

    Spoiler: 11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    11) I find it interesting that most attainable forms are in the 10-12 CR range (at least chromatics and metallics, don't have MM2 at hand to check out gems). Copper and Silver, however, are the exception to the norm. A young adult Silver is CR 13, while an adult Copper clocks at 14. I'd downgrade Silver to juvenile (10) and Copper to young adult (11). I'd also consider downgrading Brass to young adult (12->10). .

    My original aim was CR10 and large sized. So that is where I started my search. The 3 dragon types you mentioned are actually chosen this way for a very simple reason: when you transform you ignore quite a few features that make up for their higher CR. (Things you ignore: NA, breath weapon damage, breath weapon DC, mental ability scores, spell like abilities)

    The main thing that copper and silver dragons have over the others in the list is high mental ability scores, which just aren't an issue with Draconic rebirth. In fact, you'll find that almost all the dragons (at their listed age category) have 23, 10, 19 as their physical scores.

    While I'm not aiming to make all dragons equal, I am trying to make each choice of dragon exemplar type be somewhat close together in terms of usefulness/strengths. The largest difference will probably be in movement speeds and SR.

    Spoiler: 13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    12) Once you're a true dragon, can you advance by age? If that's the case, I'd set some rules. I'd refer to Draconomicon's rules for class advancement + age advancement. I'd also say that you have to attain your final form's normal age before advancing further (for example, a 25-year old human who becomes a young adult Bronze dragon has to reach 100 before turning adult). .

    My idea is yes. And indeed the draconomicon would be the book I'd grab to figure it out. As for the ages, I think I'd say that the moment of your rebirth you have a "virtual draconic age" of the minimum of your dragon age category (to prevent the whole ancient elf rapidly progressing through the age categories - well as rapidly as anything at epic levels goes).

    Picture it as a dragon that has just grown to its new age category (which you basically are, a dragon that just grew to that age category), so you'll take the maximum time to grow to the next one.

    So a juvenile form would have a virtual age of 26, a young adult 51 and an adult 101.

    Spoiler: 13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    13) I think I don't care too much for the "trap the essence" bit of the Heart Gem. You could go by something more philosophical here. The essence could be anything from the "trapped soul of a slain Red dragon" to the "ultimate blessing from a dying Gold dragon", which is somewhat close to what you said already but fundamentally different as it doesn't necessarily involve "necromance-y" stuff. That Gold dragon is passing on to his afterlife, but his powerful blessing, his "imparting of essence", is still powerful enough to endow your Heart Gem. Both approaches should be equally difficult (as you already pointed out), but tweaking it so will make the class more appealing to good-aligned characters (i.e.: you won't be preventing a paragon of Good from reaching his much deserved rest). Of course, that dying dragon should be able to empower only a single Heart Gem. .

    Agreed, will change

    Spoiler: 14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    14) Another minor quibble, but the description of the Heart Gem itself could be a little more evocative too. "The gem must be worth at least 25k gp and the materials required to prepare it to hold the essence costs another 25k gp" doesn't give me much to go by. Is the gem somehow tied to the final form? Maybe a perfectly round onyx for a Black dragon, a masterfully cut imperial topaz for a Topaz dragon and a finely sculpted heart made of pure gold (getting in the "Heart Jewel" territory here) for a Gold dragon? (Useful list) How hard (in DCs) should it be to craft such a thing? What are the materials required to hold the essence? Some kind of gigantic bezel setting? Lastly, does it require some magical components, maybe Craft Wondrous Item + magic jar or trap the soul? .

    Descriptions (and maybe some specifics, yea) coming up. As for needing specific feats/spells... originally I didn't include this to keep it (somewhat) simpler. But yea, probably going to look at lich phylacteries and see how they do it, and take it from there. (forgot that warlocks can fake spells for item creation just like artificers)

    Spoiler: 15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    15) Some kind of ritual should be undertaken to even survive taking your heart out. And I'm talking in addition to the checks you already listed. It breaks all suspension of disbelief if you can tear your heart out and still survive a few seconds to implant a new one without some kind of magical handwave. Maybe something having to do with suspend life, temporal stasis, regenerate, astral projection or sequester, or even stuff as simple as gentle repose, sepia snake sigil or raise dead. And what if the surgery could be performed by the imparting dying dragon? .

    You are absolutely right. Probably going to steal some of your ideas there.

    As for the dragon implanting it, brilliant. You'd probably still need to make concentration checks (to keep from moving), but the rest could be done by the dragon (assuming maximum ranks in the appropriate skill, for this purpose only - or just auto succeed after x rounds or something like that).

    Spoiler: 16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    16) Just wanted to point out that White dragons are fairly stupid, and the Intelligence bonus the class gives will actually leave the character more intelligent than the final form's average. I wouldn't change anything in relation to this, though. .

    Yea, one of the best reasons to go white dragon, so you can be the smartest of the bunch ;)

    Most of this class' intent is about reaching a similar level physically, mentally you can be either smarter or dumber depending on who you were before you started.

    Spoiler: 17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    17) Lastly, it should be pointed out if the claws given by draconic grow are primary or secondary attacks. .

    (You two already mentioned it) but yea, primary attack (unless you use a weapon in the same attack action... blah blah blah, I'll steal the text from some other creature when I update it).


    ps: stop writing new things before I'm done responding to the old ones :P

    Spoiler: 18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    18) The class should probably have some restriction regarding qualifying creatures. Probably only living beings (removes constructs and undead) possessing a heart (removes plants, oozes and some aberrations) that are not already true dragons themselves

    Should be (somewhat) evident, but yea, I'll add something along these lines.
    In the adaption part I'll probably poke at possible variations for undead (dracolich), constructs (warforged/clockwork dragon) other such weirder combinations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkas View Post
    PHEW! That was quite a wall of text. I hope any of this can be of use!
    I specialize in walls of text and it was most helpful, thank you. Will try to update some stuff tomorrow (focussing on mechanics and wording first), otherwise it'll be next week somewhere.
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Spoiler: 1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    I suppose I should start by saying that I never (try) to look at tier 1 or 2 when I'm balancing anything (so the "telepath psion can do it" is meh). Beyond that, yea I know that epic progression is quite rare, which is kind of a waste of this class (originally it was worse - it started life as a purely epic class).

    Think of it (if you don't go that high in your campaign) as something that a hero of old did (maybe that very dragon that's sending you on a merry chase around the land to find that artifact). Or something that the main bad guy is up to (why else is he wiping out the local dragon population?). Or even something that your PCs are striving for (even if they never finish the class) and next campaign (100's of in game years later) the new characters can see the result.


    I hear you on not looking at T1/2 classes for design cues, and I think you're absolutely right. I'd argue that a moderately optimized T3 like a Bard or a Dread Necromancer are capable of equally preposterous feats, but I'll respect your decision. The "hero of old" angle pleases me much, in any case. I'll push another idea regarding this, however: how about a "mid-capstone"? It would be nice if by level 4 (I'd say 5 and push the qualification back to 15, but then I'm a sucker for round numbers ) the character got something worthy of 20th level!

    Spoiler: 3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    Basically, there are two requirements that are aimed at warlocks (dark invocations and 2 essences) and one class feature (progressing invocations) that are related to warlocks.

    Quite simply you'd switch those out. (For example: require a monk AC bonus of +3 and improved evasion (or maybe ki strike (x)) - And having the class (all levels) stack with monk levels for unarmed damage, AC and speed.) In fact due to the monks relative strength, it might actually be balanced to give it to them from level 11 to 20. (Make the requirement ki-strike lawful, requiring 10 levels of plain monk beforehand?).

    Anyhow, you are right and I'll write up a adaptation bit.


    Hmmmm, makes sense!

    Spoiler: 4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    This one is sort of iffy for me. Personally, I detest alignment restrictions in all but the most logical places (clerics in relation to their gods for example is fine - Undead being evil = boringly unimaginative).

    Not sure if I agree on the "closest a mortal being can be to a physical manifestation of an alignment" bit. I always found it silly that most PC races can "choose" to act as they see fit, but the ancient dragon that's been scheming, plotting and living for millennia has no way to break out of his species predetermined behavior.

    I'll probably write up something about how alignments would function, but make it clear that it's an optional rule depending on campaign setting.

    Also, on the use of the word "exemplar". It doesn't refer to the dragonhearted, it refers to the dragon he is modeling himself after.


    I'm not too keen on alignment restrictions either (specially one as stiff as a Paladin's, for example), but keep in mind that, in this case, it wouldn't be a hard restriction: want to play a Dragonhearted but you're too CE to qualify for Gold dragon? No problem! You can still qualify for Red! In a sense, it's a restriction not unlike a Cleric's: if you want to play a Cleric of a given alignment, I'm sure you can find a fitting god to follow.

    Regarding the "physical manifestation" bit, please note the reducing determiners (all - Outsiders, most - perception of dragons, many - true champions)! I don't think true dragons should be shackled to their alignments any more than any mortal, it's just that this seems to be the in-world perception of them, mostly because many act that way. Many only means a "big part of the population", in this case, and it doesn't even have to be the majority (i.e.: 25% of a population can be seen as "many"). But again, I'll defer to your judgement.

    Spoiler: 5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    This one of those things that the people over at Wizards often fail to do themselves. Something which also has almost no (or even absolutely no) effect on game play. It seems to be more about remember what this thing used to be than anything else.

    Personally, if I use it, it's to refer back to what form the creature has under its templates and such. In this case he becomes a dragon all the way, so it is only relevant for the alternate class feature.


    Agreed. I mentioned it mostly because, for example, an elf-based Dragonhearted 10 ceases to be able to use heirloom items that require elven blood. I'm not too sure this is a bad thing, really, as you are giving up your old race's heritage.

    Spoiler: 11
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    My original aim was CR10 and large sized. So that is where I started my search. The 3 dragon types you mentioned are actually chosen this way for a very simple reason: when you transform you ignore quite a few features that make up for their higher CR. (Things you ignore: NA, breath weapon damage, breath weapon DC, mental ability scores, spell like abilities)

    The main thing that copper and silver dragons have over the others in the list is high mental ability scores, which just aren't an issue with Draconic rebirth. In fact, you'll find that almost all the dragons (at their listed age category) have 23, 10, 19 as their physical scores.

    While I'm not aiming to make all dragons equal, I am trying to make each choice of dragon exemplar type be somewhat close together in terms of usefulness/strengths. The largest difference will probably be in movement speeds and SR.


    Oooh, gotcha.

    Spoiler: 13
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    My idea is yes. And indeed the draconomicon would be the book I'd grab to figure it out. As for the ages, I think I'd say that the moment of your rebirth you have a "virtual draconic age" of the minimum of your dragon age category (to prevent the whole ancient elf rapidly progressing through the age categories - well as rapidly as anything at epic levels goes).

    Picture it as a dragon that has just grown to its new age category (which you basically are, a dragon that just grew to that age category), so you'll take the maximum time to grow to the next one.

    So a juvenile form would have a virtual age of 26, a young adult 51 and an adult 101.


    This works too!

    Spoiler: 18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    Should be (somewhat) evident, but yea, I'll add something along these lines.
    In the adaption part I'll probably poke at possible variations for undead (dracolich), constructs (warforged/clockwork dragon) other such weirder combinations.


    Ooooh, that's tasty! Great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loek View Post
    I specialize in walls of text and it was most helpful, thank you. Will try to update some stuff tomorrow (focussing on mechanics and wording first), otherwise it'll be next week somewhere.
    I'm glad I could be of help!
    Metal Perfection - a template for creatures born on Mirrodin.
    True Ferocity - a simple fix for Orcs and Half-Orcs.
    Monastic Magus - a spiritual successor to the Unarmed Swordsage.
    Pathfinder-ish Synthesist - a simple fix making Synthesist Summoners follow polymorph rules.
    Sword & Sorcery for Sneaky Scoundrels - rogue archetypes/fixes that aim to turn the rogue into a warrior/caster.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    I hate to say this...

    But the capstone is too weak for a class that goes into Epic. Far too weak.

    I mean, you don't get it until 26th level at the earliest, and then... you get a relatively small boost to your physical ability scores, and a minor boost to some numbers.

    This is at the point where Warlocks can take a feat that lets them use any Conjuration spell of 8th level or lower at-will. Or perfect planeshifting at will. Or use Summon Monster at will. Or eat souls.

    Note those are feats, which are usually weaker than class features. Getting the benefits for a Wyrm, using the same mechanics, would be appropriate at those levels.

    I also don't feel any connection to Warlocks or Dragonfire Adepts in the class itself; you don't have a reason to have Eldritch Essences (you can't apply them to a breath weapon); besides, a 10d8 Breath Weapon is really poor (it deals 55 damage on average. Monsters will tend to have HP above 500 at those levels, at the very least.) In fact, if it didn't progress Invocations, there'd be no reason to believe this was a Warlock PrC!

    If you want it to be more of a Warlock PrC, it should take Warlock features and expand them; don't give them a straight breath weapon, give them a Blast Shape that turns their Edritch Blast into a breath weapon along with an Edritch Essence that relates it to the Dragon they are trying to become!

    Don't give them (embarassingly late) flight (come on, you can get Flight that's as good or better at 6th level. As any character class. Heck, Warlocks get Fell Flight, which lets them fly really well all day long... at 6th level.), enhance Fell Flight!

    And so on and so forth. Right now, all the class features don't mesh with a Warlock's play-style. Why would I ever use the claws or wing-buffet you give me when I can just use Eldritch Glaive?

    Why would I use the breath weapon when my Eldritch Blast does so much more damage, has a greater range, and can be used more than once every 1d4 rounds?

    Why should I care about the Energy Resistance you give me when I can grab Ignore the Pyre and get Resistance equal to my CL against any energy type I please?

    At this point... this class is not something I, personally, would ever take a level in; the whole thing is just really boring and doesn't feel like it should be Epic. Heck, if I was GMing, I'd cut the prereqs down a tad and let people take it starting 6th level, because that's the level this kind of thing feels appropriate.

    If I were to do this kind of class for this high a level, I'd have them turning into a Dragon as a Supernatural ability at level 1. Then, they gradually grow until the Capstone flips which form is their "real" one (so their Dragon form is their true form) and at that point, they should have the physical stats of a Wyrm, at the least (I'd even feel a Great Wyrm would be appropriate.)

    Because if I'm going to be turning into a dragon, I don't want to be turning into a lizard roughly the size of a big horse. I want to tower over houses! I want to cast a massive shadow over the land as I fly overhead! I want to inspire fear by my very presence!

    Your class doesn't even give out Frightful Presence. Dragons without terrifying auras just aren't the same.

    I'd suggest either making everything a lot more badass, or reducing the prereqs so you can get in at a much lower level. And doing something so that it actually meshes with the Warlock in any way more than just "it progresses invocations".




    I apologize if this comes off as harsh, but "I turn into a dragon" is a class concept that is extremely common; as such, you need to make your class really cool or else people will just go ahead and pick up another PrC or class that does the same thing but gives you cooler abilities.

    Cool doesn't mean overpowered. It doesn't mean that the class features should be broken.

    It just means that you need to make it feel badass. After all, if you are aiming towards being an exemplar amongst dragons, you need to be an exemplar amongst dragons.

    Go on, let your hair down and crank it to 11!
    Last edited by Amechra; 2014-04-30 at 08:24 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I hate to say this...

    But the capstone is too weak for a class that goes into Epic. Far too weak.

    I mean, you don't get it until 26th level at the earliest, and then... you get a relatively small boost to your physical ability scores, and a minor boost to some numbers.

    This is at the point where Warlocks can take a feat that lets them use any Conjuration spell of 8th level or lower at-will. Or perfect planeshifting at will. Or use Summon Monster at will. Or eat souls.
    Hmmm, I surrender it's now a level 11 to 20 prestige class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I also don't feel any connection to Warlocks or Dragonfire Adepts in the class itself; you don't have a reason to have Eldritch Essences (you can't apply them to a breath weapon); besides, a 10d8 Breath Weapon is really poor (it deals 55 damage on average. Monsters will tend to have HP above 500 at those levels, at the very least.) In fact, if it didn't progress Invocations, there'd be no reason to believe this was a Warlock PrC!

    If you want it to be more of a Warlock PrC, it should take Warlock features and expand them; don't give them a straight breath weapon, give them a Blast Shape that turns their Edritch Blast into a breath weapon along with an Edritch Essence that relates it to the Dragon they are trying to become!
    The problem in this was that I originally wrote this class for another (homebrew) base class. So I kept the link between requirements and class features somewhat light. But you are right, and I've made some changes to match (at least the breath weapon aspect) closer to the warlock/dragonfire adept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Don't give them (embarassingly late) flight (come on, you can get Flight that's as good or better at 6th level. As any character class. Heck, Warlocks get Fell Flight, which lets them fly really well all day long... at 6th level.), enhance Fell Flight!

    And so on and so forth. Right now, all the class features don't mesh with a Warlock's play-style. Why would I ever use the claws or wing-buffet you give me when I can just use Eldritch Glaive?
    The wings are (EX) so that helps (to some tiny degree) and also work for the dragonfire adept.
    However, I'm thinking: How about giving fell flight to the dragonhearted who doesn't have it and upgrading it for the dragonhearted who does have it? Done thinking, let's do it. Also made the claws in to the eldritch claws feat.
    As for eldritch glaive: Never been a fan of it (yes, it's powerful, but I don't like the idea/effect), so I sort of silently ignore it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Why would I use the breath weapon when my Eldritch Blast does so much more damage, has a greater range, and can be used more than once every 1d4 rounds?
    Changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Why should I care about the Energy Resistance you give me when I can grab Ignore the Pyre and get Resistance equal to my CL against any energy type I please?
    You can still do that, but now you can also chose to take some other invocation instead (or gain an even broader spectrum of resistances/immunities).

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    ...and at that point, they should have the physical stats of a Wyrm, at the least (I'd even feel a Great Wyrm would be appropriate.)
    Dialed down the required level for the class somewhat, so should be less of a power issue at the capstone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Your class doesn't even give out Frightful Presence. Dragons without terrifying auras just aren't the same.
    The draconic rebirth feature will include this once I'm done rewriting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I'd suggest either making everything a lot more badass, or reducing the prereqs so you can get in at a much lower level. And doing something so that it actually meshes with the Warlock in any way more than just "it progresses invocations".
    Check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I apologize if this comes off as harsh, but "I turn into a dragon" is a class concept that is extremely common; as such, you need to make your class really cool or else people will just go ahead and pick up another PrC or class that does the same thing but gives you cooler abilities.
    Harsh is fine (as long as you actually have a point here and there, and you do). BTW: where are these "extremely common" classes that turn me into a dragon? I want to see!

    Anyhow, made a first wave of improvements, see the changelog.

    Next up:
    • Dragon essence, dragon heart gem (cost will need to go down at the new level) & draconic rebirth.


    After that:
    • Fluff, descriptions, adaptions and cleaning up everything I did wrong this time ;)
    Last edited by Loek; 2014-05-01 at 04:17 AM.
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Off the top of my head, there are Oslecamo's Monster Classes, sirpercival's Draconic Ideals, and a bunch of Dragonfire Adept fixes.

    Huh, thought there'd be more.

    But for Dragon-y Warlock PrCs, I humbly present the Scion of Ashardalon. Take what you want from it, and apologies for the messed-up table.

    Otherwise, looking much better; I'd say you could bump Age Category for each of the Draconic Exemplars by one, but that's just me.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    Second wave of improvements done.

    Mostly a combination of the following 3 type of changes:
    • Taking into account the lowered (to level 11) starting level of the prestige class.
    • Clarifications on the draconic rebirth feature
    • Adding flavor (alignment, the heart gem and the implantation ritual)


    Would like to hear what people think (and what I've missed).

    Still to be done
    • "How to handle extra RHD and increases in age categories"
    • More fluff and descriptions for most of the features
    • Adaptation segment
    • Whatever else I've missed/forgot/think of later
    Help improve my (favorite) homebrews: The Disciple of the gem, the Dragonhearted and my Warlock fix.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonhearted (Prestige class)

    So on the gem's cost: it's about 1/2 of a PCs WBL at level 10, which means that in saving up for this class they are gonna be sorely limited in their gear.
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