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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Gnomes2169's Avatar

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    Default Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    So it isn't too much of a secret that the Dragonborn in 5e is pretty much a strictly inferior version of the half dragon, and that its breath weapon isn't exactly... Useful. Not past level 5, at least. So I've decided to maybe give it a little rework. Note, all of this is brought on by my current play of a 4e dragonborn, which is far less derptastic (in my opinion) with the implementation of the breath weapon. So here we go.

    Breath weapon Change the base recharge time to "If you do not have the use of your breath weapon when you roll for initiative, you regain the use of your breath weapon."

    Additionally, the damage increases come at levels 5, 11 and 17, and change one of the following:
    Breath weapon becomes a bonus action, and base damage becomes 1d6, allowing it to be used by martials and casters alike without removing their (typically) much, much better attack action or spell action.

    Or

    Damage increases by 2d6 each bump, giving you 2d6 at level 1-4, 4d6 at level 5-10, 6d6 at level 11-16 and 8d6 at level 17-20. This makes it a bit better for martials (a bit less disparity between the breath and the attack action), and a decent AOE for casters if they need it.

    Finally, I also have two new feats in mind for the dragonborn.

    Feats

    Empowered breath
    Requirements: Dragonborn, breath weapon racial trait, Constitution 13
    Your experience with the more violent and magical energies of the world have hardened your innate magical breath, increasing its potency.
    • Increase the damage die of your breath weapon from a d6 to a d8.
    • Your breath weapon doubles its range in all dimensions.
    • You may select a second damage type from your original breath weapon choice list. When you use your breath weapon, you may choose which breath weapon damage type you use.


    Senses of the dragon
    Requirements: Dragonborn, Charisma 13
    Your draconic ancestry sharpens your senses, granting you an edge when it comes to finding and identifying those things hidden in the darker corners of the world.
    • You gain darkvision out to 60 feet.
    • You have advantage on Wisdom (perception) checks to spot hidden treasures and traps, and on Wisdom (perception) checks to listen to distant or hidden noises.
    • You have advantage on Wisdom and Intelligence checks made to identify the properties of items.
    • You are more acutely aware of the scents and tastes that deviate from the norm than a normal creature.
    Last edited by Gnomes2169; 2015-12-09 at 07:10 AM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Dragonborn tweaks?! Oh a joyous day!

    Empowered breath
    Requirements: Dragonborn, breath weapon racial trait, Con 13
    Your experience with the more violent and magical energies of the world have hardened your innate magical breath, increasing its potency.
    Increase the damage die of your breath weapon from a d6 to a d8.
    Your breath weapon doubles its range in all dimensions.
    You may select a second damage type from your original breath weapon choice list. When you use your breath weapon, you may choose which breath weapon damage type you use.
    The only thing I'm not sure of with this is that it makes dragon breath a magical ability. I don't have the book on me so I am not sure if they call it magical already, but I was under the impression it was non-magical. I used this to my advantage recently when faced with a cage that absorbed magic attacks. Ice breath FTW.

    Senses of the dragon
    Requirements: Dragonborn
    Your draconic ancestry sharpens your senses, granting you an edge when it comes to finding and identifying those things hidden in the darker corners of the world.
    You gain darkvision out to 60 feet.
    You have advantage on Wisdom (perception) checks to spot hidden treasures and traps, and on Wisdom (perception) checks to listen to distant or hidden noises.
    You have advantage on Wisdom and Intelligence checks made to identify the properties of items.
    You are more acutely aware of the scents and tastes that deviate from the norm than a normal creature.
    This...you should make a requirement beyond racial man. This feels really powerful. Maybe a wisdom requirement?

    I think the recharge ability makes more sense. They are not directly descended from dragons (as far as I know) so they're breath attack would be weaker than someone who's parent is an actual dragon. It makes as much sense as everything else in fantasy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    "Just because the DM lets you break the game, doesn't mean the game is broken."
    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    "My Patron is Steven Spielberg"
    Quote Originally Posted by CNagy View Post
    For some reason this feels really fitting; I got a mental image of a bunch of psions setting up a LAN party.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Gnomes2169's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralanr View Post
    Dragonborn tweaks?! Oh a joyous day!

    The only thing I'm not sure of with this is that it makes dragon breath a magical ability. I don't have the book on me so I am not sure if they call it magical already, but I was under the impression it was non-magical. I used this to my advantage recently when faced with a cage that absorbed magic attacks. Ice breath FTW.
    Dragon's breath (and most breath weapons in general) has typically been magical in most editions of D&D, and is usually called out as part of a dragon's magic (along with their size, and their general resiliency). To use your example of cold breath (which I agree is awesome), it's not exactly natural for a creature to breathe out air that's so cold that it legitimately freezes enemies to death. Same with a creature that can shoot out fire breath all day long (there ain't nobody with that much igniter fluid in their glands!) So I decided to go with dragon magic to explain how it becomes more powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralanr View Post
    This...you should make a requirement beyond racial man. This feels really powerful. Maybe a wisdom requirement?
    Hmmm... Perhaps make it require a 13 charisma, given it's the dragony person doing dragony stuff to be more dragon, and dragons are associated with Str, Con and Cha?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralanr View Post
    I think the recharge ability makes more sense. They are not directly descended from dragons (as far as I know) so they're breath attack would be weaker than someone who's parent is an actual dragon. It makes as much sense as everything else in fantasy.
    I think as of 4e dragonborn are something like the great, great, great, great, great, great grandsires of dragons or something, while half dragons are more directly descended (typically the sons/ daughters/ grand children of dragons). Though I know in 3.5 that they were created instead, and I think they left both options open for 5e dragonborn origin stories.

    Anyway, any opinion on the other tweaks to the breath weapon? Those are really what I was most worried about.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Speaking from what I like: Bonus action all the damn way.

    Speaking from a balance perspective: I have no idea if that's healthy. Maybe upgrade it to bonus action at a certain level or is that making it too complicated?

    On the feat I still say wisdom. Not because it's what is closer to dragons but because it feels like the dragonborn is unlocking these aspects from inward. These all feel more active than charisma as a stat feels. Charisma feels more likely to connect with the dragonfear power in 4e.
    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    "Just because the DM lets you break the game, doesn't mean the game is broken."
    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    "My Patron is Steven Spielberg"
    Quote Originally Posted by CNagy View Post
    For some reason this feels really fitting; I got a mental image of a bunch of psions setting up a LAN party.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomes2169 View Post
    I think as of 4e dragonborn are something like the great, great, great, great, great, great grandsires of dragons or something, while half dragons are more directly descended (typically the sons/ daughters/ grand children of dragons). Though I know in 3.5 that they were created instead, and I think they left both options open for 5e dragonborn origin stories.
    I believe in 5e they are both a true race, and more rarely, hatch out of dragon eggs that were not blessed by Bahamut or Tiamat.

    EDIT: I could be wrong, AFB

    Overall, I really like this fix. The "on initiative" breath weapon fixes most of my issues with the breath weapon. Personally, the Dragonborn my favorite 5e race (my first ever D&D character was a Dragonborn Draconic Sorcerer), even though they are on the weaker side of things when you run the numbers. I'm glad to see that they're getting some love here.
    Last edited by DracoKnight; 2015-10-15 at 05:25 PM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    I believe in 5e they are both a true race, and more rarely, hatch out of dragon eggs that were not blessed by Bahamut or Tiamat.

    EDIT: I could be wrong, AFB

    Overall, I really like this fix. The "on initiative" breath weapon fixes most of my issues with the breath weapon. Personally, the Dragonborn my favorite 5e race (my first ever D&D character was a Dragonborn Draconic Sorcerer), even though they are on the weaker side of things when you run the numbers. I'm glad to see that they're getting some love here.
    Hello fellow dragonborn fan! Mine was a white dragonborn barbarian. He's still alive!
    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    "Just because the DM lets you break the game, doesn't mean the game is broken."
    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    "My Patron is Steven Spielberg"
    Quote Originally Posted by CNagy View Post
    For some reason this feels really fitting; I got a mental image of a bunch of psions setting up a LAN party.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralanr View Post
    Hello fellow dragonborn fan! Mine was a white dragonborn barbarian. He's still alive!
    Mine was red! We played a few sessions of HotDQ, and then my DM switched to a homebrew campaign. After he made the switch, we built new characters and I played a silver Dragonborn Fighter, who is the character my group still remembers me for (that campaign got put on hold, as my DM had to choose between preparing stuff or studying for classes, so now we're back to HotDQ)

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    I very much like where this thread is going. My cousin is playing a dragonborn sorc currently and couldn't be more underwhelmed. Thank you!
    Last edited by Satyrnine; 2015-10-16 at 05:57 AM.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyrnine View Post
    I very much like where this thread is going. My cousin is playing a dragonborn sorc currently and couldn't be more underwhelmed. Thank you!
    That's the sad thing: Dragonborn are a great race conceptually, but mechanically they're the weakest :/

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    we built new characters and I played a silver Dragonborn Fighter
    Which is where my name on the forum comes from.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    That's the sad thing: Dragonborn are a great race conceptually, but mechanically they're the weakest :/
    A lot of people say they aren't much of a good race conceptually. Personally I see them as a blank canvas, they have traits and we can improve upon them as story tellers in our settings. In my DM's campaign (my group likes to collaborate in world building. DM has most stuff set out, we get to add things with her permission) I've been trying to segregate the dragonborn clans based on color, with each clan type (because multiple clans of the same color makes sense) taking on an aspect of their dragon color that makes sense for their environment.

    Sadly the only ones I have really set in stone are the white dragonborn clans. They take the ferocity of the white dragons, but they are pragmatic in their way of living in frozen wastelands. It all goes into four rules for their honor code.

    1. Family comes first.
    2. A duel is between two warriors.
    3. Do not fight an opponent that is unable to fight.
    4. Know when to follow and when to not.

    I love the second and fourth rules the most because they emphasize pragmatic thinking. The second rule doesn't specify what a warrior is and what isn't a warrior, it just says that a duel is between two of them. In their culture, anyone is a warrior and anything is allowed in a duel as long as it is between two people. The moment another enters it is no longer a duel. Beyond that? Anything goes.

    I like to imagine that a white dragonborn will answer a duel challenge by straight up attacking. "You asked for a duel, this is how my people duel"
    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    "Just because the DM lets you break the game, doesn't mean the game is broken."
    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    "My Patron is Steven Spielberg"
    Quote Originally Posted by CNagy View Post
    For some reason this feels really fitting; I got a mental image of a bunch of psions setting up a LAN party.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralanr View Post
    I like to imagine that a white dragonborn will answer a duel challenge by straight up attacking. "You asked for a duel, this is how my people duel"
    Personally, that's how I see any (martial) Dragonborn answering a duel :D

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    I use the action and buff by 2d6 version. Also give Dragonborn's Darkvision - I can't believe they of all races didn't have it.

    Houserules:
    Houserule (Buff): Dragonborn gain Darkvision.
    Houserule (Buff): Breath weapon changes: Slightly increased damage progression (2/4/6/8 instead of 2/3/4/5), and slightly different levels (1/5/11/17 instead of 1/6/11/16). New text should read “The damage increases to 4d6 at 5th level, 6d6 at 11th level, and 8d6 at 17th level.” Thread.
    Last edited by Kryx; 2015-10-16 at 02:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Personally, I feel they need more than just a dragonbreath. Back in 4e, it was only one part of their race, now here it's pretty much all they have. This idea improves their breath, but then makes you get a feat to get things that probably should have been there from the start.

    4e, you had the following...
    +2 STR or CON, +2 CHA
    +2 History, +2 Intimidate
    +1 attack when bloodied (hitpoints at 1/2 or less of max)
    +CON bonus to healing surges
    Dragonbreath of, well... I'll link it. http://dnd4.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_breath

    In 5e, you have...
    +2 STR, +1 CHA
    Dragonbreath based on draconic heritage
    Resistance to element of dragonbreath.


    ...gee, that's a big lack of stuff between versions, huh? I feel like 5e misses the point of the dragonborn. You aren't just a guy who can breathe fire, you're an unstoppable force of draconic might who can scare his adversaries if you so wish. Then sit down and teach your children, who you were so rudely interrupted from, about your clan.
    A stronger breath, unfortunately, doesn't fix that issue.

    I'd like to propose trying to bring them back to that proud, fierce, yet knowledgeable warrior type that they once were. Though, not too sure on how to go about that, as is.
    Apologies for any poor wording, my brain is always broken
    Thanks for making me best axolotl avatar 2015, smuchmuch!

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Maybe you could do some tweaks + feats for the Draconians of Dragonlance (the original Dragonborn)? Maybe resistance to elements, better ACs, maybe even flight in the case of some of the higher ranking Draconians?

    They had playable Draconians in the 3rd edition setting for Dragonlance, but the level adjustments made them pretty awful as playable races.
    Last edited by M Placeholder; 2015-10-16 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    @Soda: All races have been reduced from their 4e point. That's the 5e paradigm.

    Agreed that darkvision needs to be there automatically as I mentioned above as well.

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    @Kryx
    I know, but this makes them into one-trick ponies. No other race in the PHB is so.
    Apologies for any poor wording, my brain is always broken
    Thanks for making me best axolotl avatar 2015, smuchmuch!

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    Default Re: Dragonborn "tweaks" + feats

    Quote Originally Posted by SodaDarwin View Post
    I know, but this makes them into one-trick ponies. No other race in the PHB is so.
    I don't find that to be true. Tiefling and all classes built like them have some low tier spells. Buffed Dragon's breath is entirely competitive with those options.

    Lets take Half-Orc for example. They get
    • Darkvision
    • Intimidation
    • Drop to 1 instead of 0 1/encounter
    • Extra weapon on crit


    Buffed Dragonborn get:
    • Darkvision
    • Breath Weapon
    • Damage Resistance to one element



    While they have less things their things are far more commonly used than Half-Orc.

    Tieflings get:
    • Darkvision
    • Fire Resistance
    • non-combat cantrip, hellish rebuke, and darkness



    Buffed Dragonborn are entirely in line with the 5e paradigm. What you're arguing for is a 3.X or 4e paradigm.

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