Converting True Dragons


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Shade

Monster Junkie
It looks like all gem dragons have an elemental subtype: 2 have Earth, 2 Air, 1 Fire, and 1 Water. It appears those that hang around on the Plane of Earth (like our crystal drakes) have the Earth subtype, so let's go with that.

Updated.

We'll need to figure out this...
A crystal drake manifests powers as if it were a psion with x as its primary discipline.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Their culture is nomadic, which suggests psychoportation. But they tend towards either illusion or divine spells in the original version, which feels kind of like psychometabolism or metacreativity. I guess I could go for any of those, but psychoportation maybe is a little better. Not sure, what does everyone else think?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Their culture is nomadic, which suggests psychoportation. But they tend towards either illusion or divine spells in the original version, which feels kind of like psychometabolism or metacreativity. I guess I could go for any of those, but psychoportation maybe is a little better. Not sure, what does everyone else think?

You know, looking at the powers they get from gems I'm wondering whether Psychic Warrior may not be a better match than Psion/Wilder for their psionic powers. There are a lot of personal enhancement abilities there.

Failing that, I guess I'll go for Egoist.

Also, the original can use spells of 4 different casters - Cleric, Druid, Illusionist and Wizard, so are we going to translate that by having them cast spells as a sorcerer, with the ability to cast some divine spells as arcane spells, like some true dragons can?

Something like:
Spells (Sp): A crystal drake knows and casts arcane spells as a sorcerer of the level indicated in its age category, gaining bonus spells for a high Charisma score. It can cast spells from the cleric or druid lists as arcane spells.​
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Amethyst and sapphire dragons have the Earth subtype.

Planar Travel at ancient then. If they can freely go to the Plane of Fire they must have an adaptation like the Fire Resistance 15 of gem dragons.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I believe that we're going for pure manifestation rather than any casting. Egoist is ok by me.

RavinRay, does it say somewhere they travel to the plane of fire? If so, I missed it. They do travel to Earth, but I don't think we need fire resistance.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
I believe Steve Winter added the Fire Resistance 30 (later reduced to 15) in Monster Manual II to enable all gem dragons of any variety to travel to Fire, even topaz. If we restrict the crystal drake to just Earth then it wouldn't need the resistance.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Let's stick with psion over psychic warrior, to better fit with the other gem dragons.

If we do make a non-psionic alternative, I think Cleon's spellcasting suggestions should work.

Based on RavinRay's explanation, I think we can drop the fire resistance.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Let's stick with psion over psychic warrior, to better fit with the other gem dragons.

If we do make a non-psionic alternative, I think Cleon's spellcasting suggestions should work.

Based on RavinRay's explanation, I think we can drop the fire resistance

OK, I'll leave the details of the Psion powers up to you lot, I don't use psionics much in my games.

I see no reason to give them Fire Resistance.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Updated.

What do do with this?

Crystal drakes are very fond of jewels, gems, and crystals. They each have two cheek pouches, much like hamsters, in which they can store up to four gems. Their senses of smell and taste are very keen, and they can actually sense the presence of precious stones within 10’. Indeed, crystals, gems, and jewels are a necessary part of a crystal drake’s diet. Each drake must consume at least 5 gp of gems per week, or its hide loses its crystalline sheen and the powers associated with it. A crystal drake loses one point of armor class per week without the diet of gems, down to a minimum of AC 5. Once its proper diet is reestablished, it gains its armor class back at the same rate. For each week without a gem diet, there is a cumulative 25% chance that its spellreflecting power will not function. After one month without eating the required amount of gemstones, the crystal drake’s immunity to the spells given above is lost, and its hide becomes a dull gray. Even if the specific spell immunity is lost, the crystal drake still retains its natural resistance to magic.

Ingesting certain gemstones has strange effects upon crystal drakes. They are aware of these effects and often carry some of these gems in their mouth pouches for emergencies. For a gemstone to affect a crystal drake, a minimum amount of that particular gem must be consumed. These gems and effects are given in Table 3. Only one of these gem effects can be in effect at one time. If a new gem is ingested before the effects of the last gem is over, the prior effects are lost.

Table 3
Crystal Drakes. Special Gem Powers
Gemstone type Min. gp value consumed Effect and duration
Alexandrite 100 Adds +2 to saving throws for one turn
Amber 100 Grants immunity to disease for 3 rounds, or cures same
Amethyst 100 Grants immunity to paralysis and poison for 1 turn, or cures same
Beryl 100 Improves armor class by two steps for 1 turn
Carbuncle 100 Allows use of polymorph self into dragon form 10 X larger in size, once per week
Chrysoprase 100 Grants improved invisibility (as per the illusionist spell) for 2-8 rounds
Coral 100 Grants immunity to insanity for 10 turns, or cures same
Hematite 10 Heals 1-4 hp damage, up to four times per day
Jacinth 250 Grants a + 1 on all saving throws and armor class for 2-8 hours
Jasper 50 Grants +4 to saving throws vs. poison for 1 turn, or allows for a new saving throw at + 4 if consumed after eater was poisoned
Lapis lazuli 50 Adds + 1 to to-hit scores for 1 turn
Peridot 250 Adds +4 to all saving throws for 1 turn
Ruby 100 Adds + 2 to saving throws, and acts as a luckstone, for 1 turn
Sapphire 250 Allows the casting of known spells only as if one level higher, only once per day
Topaz 250 Creates a minor globe of invulnerability around the eater for 1 turn
Note: See the 1st Edition Dungeon Masters Guide, pages 26-27, for the possible effects of other consumed gems.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I really don't know. This is extremely complicated.

Well, the first part isn't so bad. First off, we need to decide if we're giving them some reflective spell immunity (per original text) or something simplified. Then not eating enough gems could just negate that (and maybe unearthly grace) until they eat (or we could even go for negative levels).

As for specific gem effects: perhaps we can simplify a bit. Or, if people really want, just mostly copy that table.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
We might make it mechanically similar to potions, because it involves ingesting something. (BTW for the purposes of psionics-magic transparency, potions are equivalent to psionic tattoos.)

Activation

Drinking a potion or applying an oil requires no special skill. The user merely removes the stopper and swallows the potion or smears on the oil. The following rules govern potion and oil use.

Drinking a potion or using an oil on an item of gear is a standard action. The potion or oil takes effect immediately. Using a potion or oil provokes attacks of opportunity. A successful attack (including grappling attacks) against the character forces a Concentration check (as for casting a spell). If the character fails this check, she cannot drink the potion. An enemy may direct an attack of opportunity against the potion or oil container rather than against the character. A successful attack of this sort can destroy the container.

A creature must be able to swallow a potion or smear on an oil. Because of this, incorporeal creatures cannot use potions or oils.

Any corporeal creature can imbibe a potion. The potion must be swallowed. Any corporeal creature can use an oil.

A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature’s throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.
Assuming that the drake already has the said gems in its cheek pouches, would it really take a standard action to swallow it, or could it be just a free action?
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Adventurer
Updated.

What do do with this?

Crystal drakes are very fond of jewels, gems, and crystals.

*SNIP*

Ingesting certain gemstones has strange effects upon crystal drakes.

Wince and back away slowly?

I'm tempted to drop the "strange effects" bit and just have them need to eat gemstones to keep in trim.

If you want the strange effects bit, an easy solution is to say they can make potion-like ingested magic items out of gems which only work on dragons with the Earth subtype (or any creature with the Earth subtype?). Only specific psionic powers can be put in a particular gem, and they can use the gems value to offset the creation cost.

Maybe make it a Feat, which the older drakes learn?
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
That could work.

Alternatively, rather than give them SLAs at various levels like most dragons, perhaps we can give them a "digest gem" power that grants specific benefits at certain age categories, regardless of the type of gems consumed?

For example, an old crystal drake could consume 100 gp in gems to apply the Empower Power metapsionic feat to the next power it manifests. An adult crystal drake could consume 50 gp in gems to manifest the expansion power on itself. And so on...
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That could work.

Alternatively, rather than give them SLAs at various levels like most dragons, perhaps we can give them a "digest gem" power that grants specific benefits at certain age categories, regardless of the type of gems consumed?

For example, an old crystal drake could consume 100 gp in gems to apply the Empower Power metapsionic feat to the next power it manifests. An adult crystal drake could consume 50 gp in gems to manifest the expansion power on itself. And so on...
Now that I like!

Also keep the minimum 5 gp per week to keep AC up? And where do we stand on the reflective spell immunity?
 

RavinRay

Explorer
I'm all for giving it this unusual diet for the AC, just like the beljuril dragon has that seismic metabolism. For the light effects reflection, do you want to still use that 25% cumulative chance of not reflecting by rolling a d% or d20 (though if its SR succeeds, it becomes immune to the effect without reflecting it)? That works for me.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think I missed the % chance in the text. I'd kind of like to use Reflective Spell Resistance like the Aoa (anything resisted gets targeted at the caster), but limiting to certain spells.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I agree. That's an odd mix of spells that can be reflected, though.

Maybe limit it to rays and magic missiles?
 


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