Tuesday, August 27, 2019

5e Modifications: Dragonborn

I thoroughly redid Tieflings, Cambions, and Dragonborn.  They are no longer usable by players.  Instead, they serve as a type of very powerful NPC race with many different abilities.  They make for great allies, and even worse enemies.  Enjoy!


Dragonborn are the offspring of a female adult or older Dragon who was shapeshifted into human or demihuman form and who had sex with a male of that human or demihuman race.  Only metallic or chromatic type dragons can do this, and it is a blessing of their God for faithful services rendered.  They are born in hatch broods, numbering between 50-100.  They can be male or female, and all are natural true shape shifters, which is non-magical.  In their monstrous form they look like the Dragonborn of the PHB, except they have wings. They are generally the alignment of their draconic parent, though there are rare exceptions who choose to be any alignment.  Their primary goal is to serve either Tiamat or Bahamut, accordingly, then their Dragon mother, and then their Dragon mother’s Dragon offspring, then members of their hatch brood, and members of other hatch broods of their Dragon mother, then everything else, in that order.  Half Dragons do not exist as a race or class

Ability Score Increases:  All scores +3, no cap of 20.
Base AC:  10 in human looking form, 12 in monster looking form
Age:  Dragonborn mature quickly, reaching adulthood around age 15, and live to be approximately 500 years old.  They age well, and never appear to be older than a young fit and healthy looking age 40 or so.
Alignment: Per Draconic line, but see below on Heretics
Size: 6-7’ tall.  For every 10 levels it grows a foot in its monstrous form, but not its humanoid form.
Speed: 35, climb 20 in their monster looking form.  Can also jump a d10 + strength mod plus 20’ backward or forward from a standing position, or 40’ if running, and 10’up, when in their monster looking form.
Fly Speed:  At first level Dragonborn can use their wings to mimic the effect of feather fall.  At fifth level they can use them to glide the same distance horizontally as they are when they jump vertically, and land safely.  At 10th level they can fly at a speed of 30, at 15th 60, and at 20th 120.  Their flying ability is non-magical, and due to their wings.  Their flying ability is modified if they are wearing certain types of armor or are encumbered.  For every armor type above light, their type of movement with wings drops by 1 level of effectiveness.  It is further reduced by 1 level of effectiveness if they are encumbered, and 2 if heavily encumbered, per the variant encumbrance rules on pg 176 of the PHB.  This is regardless of if the armor is magical or not. 
Senses:  120’ Darkvision, 60’ Blindsense.
Skill Proficiencies:  Religion, History, Investigation, Arcana
Saving Throw Proficiencies:  All
Damage Resistance:  Slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning attacks but only when in monstrous form.
Damage Immunity: The breath weapon effect of their Dragon line, regardless of where it comes from, spell or otherwise.
Spellcasting ability: Wisdom for Cleric spells and racial and special abilities, Charisma for Dragonsong (Bard) spells, and the appropriate ability score for any class they are leveling up in that casts spells.  Note that starting at tenth level when in its monstrous form a Dragonborn can sing a bard spell while simultaneously making its weapon attacks.
Bonus Language: Draconic
HD: 12-sider, regardles of class.
Innate Spells Due to Race:  Identify and Detect Magic each castable 3 times per day.
Special Ability: Breath weapon type as per the PHB, dmg = 1d6 per level of Dragonborn, but once per day per level as movement action, but only while in their monstrous form.  They can breathe whatever their Dragon parent can breathe-- Underwater,etc. 
Weapon Proficiencies: All Cleric plus other class taken
Armor Proficiencies:  All Cleric plus other class taken
Attacks in Monster Looking Form:  To-hit bonus is plus 1 per hit die.  Number of attacks per round = 2 claw attacks, or one bite and one claw.  An additional claw attack per round is gained at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level.  Claw Damage 1-4 plus strength, bite 1-6 plus strength.

Reason for Being:  A Dragonborn has many goals.  The first is service, as outlined above. The type of service depends on the nature of the request from who they are serving at the time, but typically their God requires them to destroy anything related to dragons of opposite alignment.  Their parent requires them to increase their horde through adventuring, research and investigation into where lost treasure troves might be, and protecting mom’s home base.  They help mom’s other dragon offspring by way of protection only, any treasure they find still goes to mom.  They help fellow Dragonborn through mutual protection and info sharing.

Their other goal is to slay their ancestral enemies, Giants, and take their treasure for mom.

True Shape Change:  True Shape Change is non magical.  In that regard they are unlike Druids shape change or Polymorph type spells.  It is something that only True Teeing can see through.  Detect magic does not see through it, nor does any sort of spell letting you see through illusions. 

True Shapechangers basically change like the Hulk, busting out of clothing and armor.  Their body physically alters between one of two different forms, that of their non-Devil/Demon/Dragon parent, or that of the Hybrid.   Muscles shift, bones move, etc.   They can do this as many times a day as they want.  They can hold whichever shape they want indefinitely, even while sleeping, though if they are killed they revert back to their monster looking form.  Regardless of the shape they are in, their ability scores, alignment, personality, skills, saves, hp, speech ability, etc. remains the same.

They can shift wearing light or lesser armor and take no damage, but regardless of what type of clothes or armor they are wearing, they are all destroyed in the process, unless they were magical, in which case they change along with the shifter to fit their new body, as magical armor does when put on by someone for the first time.  Tails and wings are made to fit by the magic property of the armor. 

If they are wearing non-magical medium armor, when they shift the damage they take while shifting is equal to 20+ the base AC that armor gave them.  If they do it while wearing non-magical heavy armor, the damage is equal to 40+ the base AC that armor gave them.  

Shifting takes a movement action to do, during which time the elemental damage that being does crackles around it in a 15’ radius, causing the same damage as their elemental attack to all those in the area of effect.  A true shifter has the option, once per day, of using that energy to heal themselves instead of doing damage with the blast.  They can also choose to shift slowly if they want, taking a minute to do so, but this stops the energy burst from happening.

All Dragonborn can see through each others shapeshifted form at will.  They can also see through any shapeshifted or disguised Dragon or Dragonborn, and vice versa, whether the disguise or shapeshift is magic, true, or anything else.  They simply know each other by sight and/or smell at all times. In addition any Druid of 6th level or higher has a 10% chance to see through the forms of Cambions, Tieflings and Dragonborn immediately upon first sight.  This ability goes up by 10% per level after 6th.  However, if the Druid does not see through it the first time they meet, he will not get another chance to until he levels up again.  Sometimes Druids of lower levels get a weird feeling that they can’t explain if they meet someone who is a true shape shifter.  Dragonborn detect as humanoid no matter what form they are in.  A druid spell that forces something back to their true form or any other such spell has no effect as a true shape changer has no true form per se.  They are both its true form.

Creation and Leveling Up:  A Dragonborn can level in any class it chooses to except for Cleric, Druid, Bard, Warlock or Sorcerer.  In addition, for every level it gains in a class, it also gains a level as a Cleric of Tiamat or Bahamut of either the War or Knowledge domains.  They get backgrounds and can progress in classes just as any other PHB race can, except for Cleric, Druid, Bard, Warlock or Sorcerer. 

Additionally they also have access to and can cast bard spells as if they were the half that bard level, rounded down.  So at 1st-3rd level they cast as level 1st level bards.  At 4th to 5th level they cast as 2nd level bards. Etc.  The slots per level also equals the number of spells they know for each level.  Bard spells cannot be counterspelled.  Dragonborn and dragons must have the ability to speak and produce sound around themselves for Bard spells to work, even though they come from their bloodline and are innate.

They gain no other abilities of the bard class other than their spells per level, which stacks on top of all other spells they have the ability to cast.  This means that Dragonborn can possibly have access to three spell lists a once for casting purposes:  Bard, Cleric, and one other at the player is leveling in. 

They are allowed to take any feat allowable for their level from any class, race, etc. as they level as long as they meet the prerequisites.  Dragonborn also get all race bonuses and benefits from their human or demihuman’s race and sub-race if those benefits are greater than what they already have or add to it.  They get +1 to all skills, whether proficient or not.  They do not get Cleric or Bard skills, saves or proficiencies. 

Lair Action:  Every 3 levels a Dragonborn can choose one lair action from the list of their Draconic parent.  They work the same as their parent’s do, as long as they have been in a lair for 5 days, and can use them as a free action once per day each.

Death Strike:  When a Dragonborn is killed (failed 3 death saves), in that same round it reverts to its monstrous form (if not already in it) and explodes, doing the same damage as it would have done when it changes form, but in a 30’ radius.  Not much is left behind.  Also, telepathically communicated to MOM, her Draconic offspring, as well as the other living members of its mom’s brood hatches, is a telepathic “movie” showing the Dragonborn’s last hour alive from its sensory perspective. The PC’s who directly help kill it also telepathically know this was transmitted and also know that they just made the most wanted list for all those beings, though they do not know specifically who and how many enemies they just made.  They do know the name of the Dragonborn’s mommy though, as she communicates in that instant her name, calls out the PC’s by name and home city (she magically knows it),  and makes a threat to utterly destroy the PC’s and their families if it takes her the rest of her life to do it.  They see her and she see’s them in a vision.  DM’s should keep track of the PC’s enemies.  Any Dragonborn or real Dragon spawn of mom gain great respect in her eyes if they kill one or all of the PC’s.

Heretics:   Heretics are those Dragonborn who have chosen an alignment and/or a goal in life other than that of their God, dragon parent, brood, or any other draconic goal, and who have decided to go their own way.  They are hated by those whom they have betrayed and are hunted down and killed.   However, they are often welcomed by dragons and Dragonborn who were formerly their enemies, if their alignment now matches that of their former enemies.  There is no way to detect a Heretic other than by their actions.  When a Heretic is killed the “Death Vision” still goes out, except that momma dragon thanks the individuals who killed it, and mocks them if they killed a being of their own alignment due to prejudice.  They do not get cleric spells any longer if they change alignment or go against their God/Goddess, but if they convert from Tiamat to Bahamut or vice versa, they will get the spells of their new god.  That transformation will be difficult to do, however. 

XP = 500 XP per level

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