Dragon Player Characters


Thanks for the feedback! I actually have a newer version that addresses some of these questions. Thank you for reminding me to post it! Honestly I just forgot.

Anyway to address your specific questions:

1. In the new version you can change spells, but only when you take that evolution again. I made it 1/day for a couple of reasons. First, it more closely matches the way dragon Innate Spellcasting works in the MM. Second, it's more easily balanced against other classes' abilities, many of which are basically "spell 1/day." In a way it's like getting a spell slot, but less flexible. Third, it provides a really easy baseline to balance other evolutions via the spell level (although it's still pretty tricky).

2. The tail attack is also useful for making Opportunity Attacks out to 15 feet, and also for if you want to make bludgeoning attacks. This also reflects the MM, where the tail is largely useless except as legendary actions. It's not even present on the stat block for dragons without legendary actions, but I felt it made more sense to include it (I think it's fine to include class abilities that are flavorful but useless). Making a tail attack instead of a bite attack is certainly balanced if you want to allow that. (But note that v2.4 weakens the multiattack at 11th level by restricting it to claw/claw, which I feel is better balanced in the context of Draconic Might, Elemental Bite and Razor Claws.)

3. I added back in the ASI, and reduced the potency of Draconic Might, and rearranged a few other things. Level 13 now brings a proficiency increase, a breath weapon increase, and a natural armor increase. That may not spark much excitement, but I think that it's fine to have "dead levels" -- trying to force every class to have a special ability at every level can lead to some really scattered and overcomplicated class design. That said, I did try to spread the dragon's abilities so that in general there would be 1 new thing per level.

4. That's definitely by design. Most class abilities that lead to a damage increase for spells are roughly +AbilityMod to damage. Many clerics get +Wis to cantrips, draconic sorcerers get +Cha to spells of one energy type, and when a sorcerer uses Empowered Spell it's effectively the same as +Cha to damage. Since the breath weapon is most like a spell, this feels about right. On a more philosophical note, I'm always hesitant to include a class feature that makes you just plain better at a major feature of the class. For example, if there was a class feature for rogues that made their sneak attacks better, lots of people, craving DPS, would feel "obligated" to take it. With Intense Breath, the damage increase is so marginal that it's easier to justify taking a more interesting power, like a species-specific breath weapon. Of course if a build is focused on breath weapon and wants to eke out every bit of damage it can, Intense Breath can be a good option.

Please let me know how your campaign goes! I think serving as a mount is a super cool angle. My main balance concern is that at low levels, the flight speed and burrow speed might be too strong, but if other party members can ride around on you, that is largely mitigated. ;}


No problem! I see that you are going more for the flavor than mechanical balance, so we'll see what happens. Myself, I am somewhat mechanically optimizing player, hence the feedback. The latest version of the class seemed to fix a few things, but

1. We discussed with the DM, and we'll try the spells as once per short rest slots, as well as being able to switch spells on level up rather than second evolution. If it appears too strong, we'll try and figure it out.

2. Bludgeoning Damage I did realise, but the opportunity attacks are a good point.

3. This version of ASI-Draconic Might seems more balanced and flavorful: it would be kind of weird if a dragon got less ASIs than, say, a Wizard. Rearrangement of class features seems to have cut the dead levels out, now you'll be getting something exciting for every level :)

4. I see where you're coming from but the mechanical balance doesn't seem to be there. A dragon is limited to 2 (or 3) breath weapons per short rest, while a Cleric can cast numerous cantrips in that time. How about making this in-par with Agonizing Blast? For example:

Intense Breath
When you roll damage for your breath weapon, add your Charisma bonus to the roll.
This ability's damage increases by additional Cha bonus when you reach 5th level (2x Cha bonus), 11th level (3x Cha bonus), and 17th level (4x Cha bonus).

This wouldn't break the breath weapon, would still be flavorful and yet relevant in the later levels.

Anyhow, I'll try and playtest the class in other campaigns as well, as long as I'll find another DM willing to let me try it out.

Edit: An afterthought, how about if Intense Breath said: "When you roll damage for your breath weapon, used d8s instead of d6s."?
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The hero you deserve
Does Beast Shapes not have a usage limit? I recognize the opportunity cost in giving a martially oriented class a shapechange ability, as opposed to a moon druid, but this is still flat out better than what a moon druid can do, and being unlimited makes it equivalent to the druid capstone.
DragonPlayerCharactersV2.5 is very interesting but the innate spell casting is very weird seems like it writes more like warlock spell casting than normal sorcerer spell casting yet it could be interpenetrated both ways more clarification is needed


Thanks for your interest!

What do you feel needs clarification about the spellcasting? It's not like warlock spell casting or like sorcerer spell casting, it's its own thing.

Dragons learn spells off the sorcerer list, cast them using Charisma, and get their spell slots back per long rest (NOT short rest like warlocks). However instead of a normal progression of spell slots (like a sorcerer or half-caster or third-caster), all their slots increase in level with the dragon's level. This was done to balance the Innate Spellcasting evolution against other evolutions, most notably Extra Breath and Persistent Breath because the breath weapon is very much like a spell in its damage and effects. I don't want someone to take Innate Spellcasting at low levels and have it become useless by the time they reach high levels.


I have just uploaded Dragon Player Characters to the downloads area.

Racial traits and a 20-level class for playing a dragon as a PC in 5th Edition.

100% totally un-playtested! Use at your own risk. And then please report back how it went. ;}

You can find the file here in the downloads section. Please use this thread for comments.
HI! I came across this and it seems to have great feedback but the download is no longer there. Could you send it to me? I'm homebrewing my own dragon rider class that can be played by two people and am looking for dragon stats and race features


awesome! I've been homebrewing my own Dragon rider class so hopefully I can snag some stuff from this it sounds great!