D&D 5E Dragon PC race experiment

JEB

Legend
Experiment #1: Mind Flayer
Experiment #2: Troll

Now, Experiment #3, based on the ideas in this old blog post... dragon PCs. This was a wee bit more complicated than the first two. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

Dragon Traits

Ability Score Increase.
Your Strength score increases by 1, your Constitution score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 1. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, assign a +2 and +1 wherever you wish.]
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Bite. Your fanged maw is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Flight. You have a flying speed of 20 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing heavy armor and must not exceed your carrying capacity. Your flying speed increases to 40 feet at 6th level, 60 feet at 11th, and 80 feet at 16th level. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed, and this increases to twice your walking speed at 11th level.]

Draconic Ancestry. Choose what type of dragon you are; this determines the damage and area of your breath weapon.

DragonDamage TypeBreath Weapon
BlackAcid5 by 20 ft. line (Dex. save)
BlueLightning5 by 20 ft. line (Dex. save)
BrassFire5 by 20 ft. line (Dex. save)
BronzeLightning5 by 20 ft. line (Dex. save)
CopperAcid5 by 20 ft. line (Dex. save)
GoldFire15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
GreenPoison15 ft. cone (Con. save)
RedFire15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
SilverCold15 ft. cone (Con. save)
WhiteCold15 ft. cone (Con. save)

Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. It deals damage in an area according to your Draconic Ancestry. When you use your breath weapon, all creatures in the area must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your ancestry. The DC of this saving throw is 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d4 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increase to 3d4 at 6th level, 4d4 at 11th, and 5d4 at 16th level. After using your breath weapon, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, the damage is 1d6 at 1st level, 2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 11th level, and 4d6 at 17th level. In addition, the breath weapon replaces one of your attacks, rather than requiring a full action.]

Dragon Feats

Dragon Wyrmling

Prerequisite: Dragon
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • After using your Breath Weapon trait, you can now use it again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use it a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
  • You have resistance to the damage type associated with your Draconic Ancestry.
  • You gain the Natural Armor trait. While you aren't wearing armor, you can calculate your AC as 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Draconic Focus
Prerequisite: Dragon
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain blindsight within 10 feet.
  • You gain proficiency in the Perception skill and the Stealth skill. If you already had proficiency in Perception, you gain expertise with Perception, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it.
  • You also also gain one of the following benefits, determined by your Draconic Ancestry:
    • Black: You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Blue: You gain a burrowing speed of 15 feet through sand. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to half your walking speed.]
    • Brass: You gain a burrowing speed of 15 feet through sand. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to half your walking speed.]
    • Bronze: You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Copper: You gain a climbing speed of 15 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to half your walking speed.]
    • Gold: You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Green: You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Red: You gain a climbing speed of 15 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to half your walking speed.]
    • Silver: You can wear heavy armor and still use your flying speed.
    • White: You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
Dragon Fledgling
Prerequisite: 8th Level, Dragon, Dragon Wyrmling feat
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • The damage die for your breath weapon becomes a d6. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes d8.]
  • You gain the Draconic Warding trait. As an action, you can become immune for 1 minute. Once you use this trait, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.
  • You also also gain one of the following benefits, determined by your Draconic Ancestry:
    • Black: Add 1d4 acid damage to your Bite trait.
    • Blue: Add 1d4 lightning damage to your Bite trait.
    • Brass: You gain a second breath weapon, a Sleep Breath. When you use your Breath Weapon trait, you can exhale sleep gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area of the Sleep Breath must make a Constitution saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus or fall unconscious for 1 minute. This effect ends for a creature if the creature takes damage or someone uses an action to wake it. Once you use your Sleep Breath, you can't use your Breath Weapon trait again until you finish a long rest.
    • Bronze: You gain a second breath weapon, a Repulsion Breath. When you use your Breath Weapon trait, you can exhale repulsion energy in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area of the Repulsion Breath must make a Strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature is pushed 30 feet away from you on a failed save. Once you use your Repulsion Breath, you can't use your Breath Weapon trait again until you finish a long rest.
    • Copper: You gain a second breath weapon, a Slowing Breath. When you use your Breath Weapon trait, you can exhale slowing gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area of the Slowing Breath must make a Constitution saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, a creature can't use reactions, its speed is halved, and it can't make more than one attack on its turn. In addition, a creature can use either an action or a bonus action on its turn, but not both. These effects last for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Once you use your Slowing Breath, you can't use your Breath Weapon trait again until you finish a long rest.
    • Gold: You gain a second breath weapon, a Weakening Breath. When you use your Breath Weapon trait, you can exhale weakening gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area of the Weakening Breath must make a Strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, a creature has disadvantage on Strength-based attack rolls, Strength checks, and Strength saving throws for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Once you use your Weakening Breath, you can't use your Breath Weapon trait again until you finish a long rest.
    • Green: Add 1d4 poison damage to your Bite trait.
    • Red: Add 1d4 fire damage to your Bite trait.
    • Silver: You gain a second breath weapon, a Paralyzing Breath. When you use your Breath Weapon trait, you can exhale paralyzing gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area of the Paralyzing Breath must make a Constitution saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus or be paralyzed for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Once you use your Paralyzing Breath, you can't use your Breath Weapon trait again until you finish a long rest.
    • White: Add 1d4 cold damage to your Bite trait.
Dragon Juvenile
Prerequisite: 12th Level, Dragon, Dragon Fledgling feat
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • When you gain this feat, roll 3d4. You grow a number of inches in height equal to the roll.
  • You gain the Powerful Build trait. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
  • Increase the damage inflicted by your Bite trait to 1d8 + your Strength modifier. You also gain the Claws trait. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your claws, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
  • Increase your Natural Armor to AC 16 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • After using your Draconic Warding trait, you can now use it again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use it a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
Greater Draconic Focus
Prerequisite: 12 Level, Dragon, Draconic Focus feat
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • Your blindsight increases to 30 feet.
  • Your darkvision increases to 120 feet.
  • You also also gain one of the following benefits, determined by your Draconic Ancestry:
    • Black: You gain the Amphibious trait. You can breathe air and water.
    • Blue: You can use your burrowing speed through any substance other than solid rock.
    • Green: You gain the Amphibious trait. You can breathe air and water.
    • Brass: You can use your burrowing speed through any substance other than solid rock.
    • Bronze: You gain the Amphibious trait. You can breathe air and water.
    • Copper: Your climbing speed increases to 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Gold: You gain the Amphibious trait. You can breathe air and water.
    • Red: Your climbing speed increases to 30 feet. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to your walking speed.]
    • Silver: Until you exceed twice your carrying capacity, you can still use your flying speed.
    • White: You gain a burrowing speed of 15 feet through ice. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes equal to half your walking speed.]
Dragon Youth
Prerequisite: 16th Level, Dragon, Dragon Juvenile feat
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • The damage die for your breath weapon becomes a d8. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, it becomes d10.]
  • Your Draconic Warding trait is replaced by the Draconic Immunity trait. You are immune to the damage type associated with your Draconic Ancestry.
  • You also also gain one of the following benefits, determined by your Draconic Ancestry:
    • Black: Increase the acid damage added to your Bite trait to 1d8.
    • Blue: Increase the lightning damage added to your Bite trait to 1d8.
    • Brass: Once you use your Sleep Breath, you can now use your Breath Weapon again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use your Breath Weapon trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
    • Bronze: Once you use your Repulsion Breath, you can now use your Breath Weapon again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use your Breath Weapon trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
    • Copper: Once you use your Slowing Breath, you can now use your Breath Weapon again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use your Breath Weapon trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
    • Gold: Once you use your Weakening Breath, you can now use your Breath Weapon again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use your Breath Weapon trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
    • Green: Increase the poison damage added to your Bite trait to 1d8.
    • Red: Increase the fire damage added to your Bite trait to 1d8.
    • Silver: Once you use your Paralyzing Breath, you can now use your Breath Weapon again after you complete a short or long rest. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, you may use your Breath Weapon trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.]
    • White: Increase the cold damage added to your Bite trait to 1d8.
True Dragon
Prerequisite: 19th Level, Dragon, Dragon Youth feat
  • Increase your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
  • When you gain this feat, roll 2d4. You grow a number of feet in height equal to the roll.
  • Your Powerful Build trait is replaced by the Large Stature trait. Your size is Large. (See the sidebar on Large Player Characters.)
  • Your base walking speed increases to 40 feet. If you have the Greater Draconic Focus feat, increase any swimming or climbing speed to 40 feet, and any burrowing speed to 20 feet.
  • Increase the damage inflicted by your Bite trait to 2d8 + your Strength modifier, and the damage inflicted by your Claws trait to 2d4 + your Strength modifier.
  • Increase the damage inflicted by your breath weapon to 10d8. If the area for your breath weapon was a 5 by 20 foot line, increase it to a 5 by 40 foot line. If the area for your breath weapon was a 15 foot cone, increase it to a 30 foot cone. [If you are using post-Tasha's guidelines, the damage increases to 8d10.]

Large Player Characters
Player characters in the core rules are assumed to be Medium or Small size. Large player characters have a number of benefits and drawbacks to consider, as follows:
  • Large PCs have a space of 10 by 10 feet. Large PCs can squeeze through a space large enough for a Medium creature, but not that of a Small creature. Large PCs can move through the space of a Small or Tiny creature as difficult terrain, but can no longer move through the space of Huge creatures.
  • The listed ranges and areas for class features, spells, and so on are not adjusted to match a Large PC's size or space.
  • Large PCs can only ride Huge or larger mounts.
  • Large PCs have twice the carrying capacity of a Medium creature with the same Strength, and can push, lift, or drag twice the weight.
  • Large PCs can wield weapons sized for Large creatures without disadvantage. Large weapons do twice as many dice of damage as their normal-sized counterparts. For example, a Large mace deals 2d6 bludgeoning damage. However, a character's proficiency with the normal-sized version of a weapon does not automatically grant them proficiency with its Large counterpart, and they must acquire this proficiency through other means (such as the Weapon Master feat).
  • The equipment in the Player's Handbook is sized for Medium and Small creatures; whether or not Large PCs can buy weapons, armor, or similar equipment for their size at conventional markets is up to the DM's discretion. If the DM decides against this, a Large PC might either find someone willing to customize equipment for their size, or be able to seek out markets that cater to Large creatures (such as giants' settlements). The price for such equipment will also be proportionally higher: see the Equipment Sizes variant on page 144 of the Player's Handbook for guidelines.

Design notes
  • Base race
    • The base race was designed to combine weakened dragonborn traits (specifically their breath weapon's line area, damage, and uses) with parts from the Dragon Hide feat and the UA Dragon Wings feat. The aarakocra and lizardfolk were also used for reference, as were the variant dragonborn from Wildemount and Fizban's.
    • The idea of the base dragon is that this is a very young wyrmling at level 1, practically a hatchling, whereas a dragonborn PC is intended to be a full-grown adult at level 1. This is why it's so much weaker than the Monster Manual wyrmlings.
    • Excluding damage resistance from the base race is lore-justified by Wildemount's variant dragonborn, which replace it with darkvision and another trait.
    • No official race has scaling flight, but it seemed right. Considered holding 80 ft flight back for the final feat, but it has enough already.
  • Dragon Wyrmling
    • This feat is intended to bring them almost up to standard dragonborn traits, minus the full damage.
    • The additional AC is due to wyrmlings (and dragons generally) having a fair amount of natural armor.
  • Draconic Focus
    • Designed as an optional feat (one of two) to add in some less essential but still standard dragon traits.
    • Silver dragons posed a problem due to not having any official alternate movement options. Looking in 3E lore, I took inspiration from their cloudwalking ability, and made them lighter in the air (thus reducing baseline restrictions on their flight).
  • Dragon Fledgling
    • The name is a reference to an obscure age category from the 4E Monster Vault (and to real-life fledglings).
    • Designed to bring the dragon up to just about full Monster Manual wyrmling standards.
    • Draconic Warding is inspired by Fizban's version.
  • Dragon Juvenile
    • The name is a nod to the 3E age category.
    • Designed to represent the beginning of the transition to a young dragon.
    • Claws are admittedly more or less a ribbon, but that also made it a fairly harmless add.
  • Greater Draconic Focus
    • Designed as the second optional feat.
    • Brings in most of the rest of the standard dragon traits.
  • Dragon Youth
    • Full immunity to damage was delayed here to balance it with class features of similar level, as well as very rare magic items that grant such.
  • True Dragon
    • Designed as a capstone feat, to bring the dragon approximately to young dragon capabilities.
    • The breath weapon damage is admittedly a huge leap, but c'mon, it's level 19!
EDIT: Corrected error on Draconic Focus climbing speed.
EDIT 2: Added missing growth ribbon to Dragon Juvenile and True Dragon.
 
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JEB

Legend
Just a reminder that feedback is appreciated! This is probably the most complicated of the experiments so far (inclusive of #4, the flumph), so I guess it may take some time to take in...
 

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