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PF2E True Dragon Ancestry

I am starting this out with a huge shout out to both Bandw2 (on the Paizo forms) and u/fanatic66 (on Reddit). Both of there ideas have been instrumental as baselines for this work (Bandw2 for his original draft of dragon ancestry and archetype, and u/fanatic66 for his fantastic dragonborn ancestry, now on its 8th draft), and some of the abilities that I have here have been drawn directly from their work. With that done, I would like to welcome everybody to comment and critique my first draft of a true dragon ancestry.

Dragon Base Stats

Traits: Dragon, rare

Hit Points: 8

Size: Medium

Speed: 25 feet

Ability Boosts: Free, Free

Ability Flaw: Any

Languages: Common and Draconic. Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it is positive). Choose from the list of common languages and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).

Darkvision: You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light, though your vision in darkness is in black and white.

Sleep Susceptibility: Although you have the dragon type, you are not immune to sleep effects.

Paralysis Susceptibility: Although you have the dragon type, you are not immune to the paralyzed condition.

Draconic Form: You are quadrupedal, although your foreclaws are dexterous enough that you can hold and manipulate objects as well as a humanoid hand can. You can wield weapons and hold items in your foreclaws, however you take a -10 foot penalty to your land speed while doing so.

Dragon Fangs: You have a jaws unarmed attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage, your jaws are in the brawling group and have the unarmed trait.

Draconic Element: Choose a damage type from the following list, acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic. Whenever an ability refers to your dragon damage type, you use the corresponding damage type.

Dragon Heritages
You select a heritage at 1st level from the list of options below. You can only have 1 heritage and you cannot change it later. Despite their numerous classifications, all dragons share a bond with one of the fundamental traditions of magic which powers their abilities. Your choice of heritage determines what your magical tradition is.

Arcane
You use the arcane tradition for the purposes of any spells and abilities you gain from dragon ancestry feats and archetypes. Choose one cantrip from the arcane spell list. You can cast this spell as a arcane innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You can change this cantrip to a different one on the arcane spell list once per day by meditating and stoking your inner power, this is a 10-minute activity that has the concentration trait. You gain the trained proficiency rank in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DC’s. You can choose your key spellcasting ability from amongst your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, once made this decision cannot be changed.

Divine
You use the divine tradition for the purposes of any spells and abilities you gain from dragon ancestry feats and archetypes. Choose one cantrip from the divine spell list. You can cast this spell as a divine innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You can change this cantrip to a different one on the divine spell list once per day by meditating and stoking your inner power, this is a 10-minute activity that has the concentration trait. You gain the trained proficiency rank in divine spell attack rolls and spell DC’s. You can choose your key spellcasting ability from amongst your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, once made this decision cannot be changed.

Occult
You use the occult tradition for the purposes of any spells and abilities you gain from dragon ancestry feats and archetypes. Choose one cantrip from the occult spell list. You can cast this spell as a occult innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You can change this cantrip to a different one on the occult spell list once per day by meditating and stoking your inner power, this is a 10-minute activity that has the concentration trait. You gain the trained proficiency rank in occult spell attack rolls and spell DC’s. You can choose your key spellcasting ability from amongst your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, once made this decision cannot be changed.

Primal
You use the primal tradition for the purposes of any spells and abilities you gain from dragon ancestry feats and archetypes. Choose one cantrip from the primal spell list. You can cast this spell as a primal innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You can change this cantrip to a different one on the primal spell list once per day by meditating and stoking your inner power, this is a 10-minute activity that has the concentration trait. You gain the trained proficiency rank in primal spell attack rolls and spell DC’s. You can choose your key spellcasting ability from amongst your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, once made this decision cannot be changed.


Dragon Ancestry Feats
At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). As a dragon, you select from among the following ancestry feats.

1st level

Ancestral Longevity
[dragon]
Prerequisites: You are at least 100 years old
Benefit: You have accumulated a vast array of lived knowledge over the years. During your daily preparations, you can reflect upon your life experiences to gain the trained proficiency rank in one skill of your choice. This proficiency lasts until you prepare again. Since this proficiency is temporary, you can’t use it as a prerequisite for a skill increase or a permanent character option like a feat.

Dragon Breath [two actions]
[dragon, evocation]
Benefit: You channel your power into a gout of energy that manifests as a 30-foot line or 15-foot cone (your choice when you use this ability), dealing 1d4 damage of your draconic element type. Each creature in the area must attempt a basic reflex saving throw against the higher of your class DC or spell DC. You can’t use this ability again for 1d4 rounds.
At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the damage dealt by your breath increases by 1d4. This ability has the trait associated with the damage type that it deals, as well as the tradition trait matching your heritage.

Dragon Lore
[dragon]
Benefit: You learned much about the ways of dragons, either from other dragons or on your own surviving where others could not. You gain the trained proficiency in survival and a skill based upon your heritage (arcane gains Arcana, divine gain Religion, occult gains Occultism, and primal gain Nature). If you would automatically become trained in one of those skills (from your background or class, for example), you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. You also become trained in Dragon Lore.

Draconic Resilience
[dragon]
Benefit: You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to saves against sleep effects and effects that would make you paralyzed.

Draconic Weaponry
[dragon]
Benefit: Choose one of the following options.
You gain a claw unarmed attack that deals 1d4 slashing damage and has the agile and finesse traits.
You gain a tail unarmed attack that deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage and has the sweep trait.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times, but you must select a different option each time.

Elemental Affinity
[dragon]
Benefit: You gain resistance to your draconic element type equal to half your level (minimum 1).

Hoard Collector
[dragon]
Benefit: You have a +2 circumstance bonus to Perception checks to notice precious metals. If you aren’t using the Seek action or searching, the GM automatically rolls a secret check for you to notice hidden treasure anyway. This check doesn’t gain the circumstance bonus.


5th level

Ageless Patience
[dragon]
Benefit: You work at a pace born from longevity that enhances your thoroughness. You can voluntarily spend twice as much time as normal on a Perception check or skill check to gain a +2 circumstance bonus to that check. You also don’t treat a natural 1 as worse than usual on these checks; you get a critical failure only if your result is 10 lower than the DC. For example, you could get these benefits if you spent 2 actions to Seek, which normally takes 1 action. You can get these benefits during exploration by taking twice as long exploring as normal, or in downtime by spending twice as much downtime.
The GM might determine a situation doesn’t grant you a benefit if a delay would be directly counterproductive to your success, such as a tense negotiation with an impatient creature.

Draconic Movement
[dragon]
Benefit: Choose one of the following options
You gain a 10-foot swim speed.
You gain a 10-foot burrow speed.
You gain a 10-foot climb speed.
You increase one of the above speeds by 10-feet.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times, but you must select a different option each time.

Draconic Senses
[dragon]
Benefit: You gain imprecise scent with a range of 30 feet.

Dragon Scale Armor
[dragon]
Benefit: Your scales themselves can stop the piercing of arrows and the slashing of swords. When you are unarmored, your scales give you a +4 status bonus to AC with a Dexterity cap of +0.

Energized Font [one action]
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Focus pool. Your dragon heritage shares a tradition with at least one of your focus spells.
Frequency: Once per day
Benefit: The magic within you provides increased energy you can use to focus. You regain 1 Focus Point, up to your usual maximum.

Humanoid Shape
[dragon]
Benefit: You can cast humanoid form as an innate spell at will. The spells tradition changes to match your dragon ancestry tradition, and the spells duration is permanent until dismissed.

Natural Weapon Expertise
[dragon]
Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with a bite or an unarmed attack you gained from a dragon ancestry feat, you apply the brawling critical specialization effect.


9th level

Arcane Hide
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Draconic Resilience
Benefit: You gain a +1 status bonus to saves against magical effects.

Draconic Pride [free action]
[dragon]
Frequency: Once per day
Trigger: You attempt a check using a skill you are trained in.
Benefit: Your prideful nature pushes you to impress others with your talents. Gain a +4 circumstance bonus to the triggering skill check.


Expert Longevity
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Ancestral Longevity
Benefit: You’ve continued to refine the knowledge and skills you’ve gained through your life. When you choose a skill in which to become trained with Ancestral Longevity, you can also choose a skill in which you are already trained and become an expert in that skill. This lasts until your Ancestral Longevity expires.
When the effects of Ancestral Longevity and Expert Longevity expire, you can retrain one of your skill increases. The skill increase you gain from this retraining must either make you trained in the skill you chose with Ancestral Longevity or make you an expert in the skill you chose with Expert Longevity.

Fury of Dragons [reaction]
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Access to the cast a spell activity
Frequency: Once per day
Trigger: A creature critically succeeds on a saving throw against a spell you cast with an energy type matching your draconic element
Benefit: Your affinity to your element lets you bend magic. The enemy treats their critical success as a success.

Improved Dragon Breath
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Dragon Breath
Benefit: When you use dragon breath, you can increase the damage dice to d8s and increase the area to 60 feet for a line breath weapon or 30 feet for a cone. If you do so, you can’t use dragon breath again for 1 hour.

Partial Flight
[dragon]
Benefit: You gain a fly speed equal to your land speed or 20 feet, whichever is greater. You can only fly for up to 5 minutes each day, and each round in which you use your fly speed takes up 1 round of this duration. If you are still flying when you run out of minutes, you float to the ground as if under the effect of a feather fall spell.


13th level

Elemental Mastery
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Elemental Affinity
Benefit: Your resistance from elemental affinity increases to 5 + half your level, and you can cast 4th-level heightened resist element as an innate spell once per day. The spell only grants resistance to your draconic element energy type, but you can target up to three creatures. The magical tradition for the spell is the same as your heritage tradition.

Frightful Roar [two actions]
[auditory, dragon, emotion, fear, mental]
Frequency: Once per hour
Benefit: You attempt Intimidate checks to demoralize each enemy within 30 feet.

Inspiring Roar [one action]
[auditory, dragon]
Frequency: Once per hour
Benefit: You let out a triumphant roar that pushes your allies to fight harder. You and all allies in a 30-foot emanation gain a +1 status bonus to checks, saving throws, and armor class until the end of your next turn.

Universal Longevity [one action]
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Expert Longevity
Frequency: Once per day
Benefit: You’ve perfected your ability to keep up with all the skills you’ve learned over your long life, so you’re almost never truly untrained at a skill. You reflect on your life experiences, changing the skills you selected with Ancestral Longevity and Expert Longevity.


17th level

True Flight
[dragon]
Prerequisites: Partial Flight
Benefit: The amount of time you can fly each day increases to 24 hours, in effect granting you permanent flight.
 

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LotsOfLore

Villager
I applaud your effort. However, I don't understand what it is. You call it "ancestry", but it grants feats that are decidedly more in line with class or archetype feats. So as it is I don't think it could be safely added to the game, even if slapping a "rare" keyword to it.
Also, personally, I don't like the heritage classification based on magical tradition. I think dragon types would make more sense (chromatic, metal, primal).

If I may offer some advice, when you want to create an ancestry do this first:
1) take an existing ancestry and simply re-skin it, re-flavour it.
2) proceed swapping elements like feats and basic properties to suit your idea, using existing feats and properties from other places and only slightly modifying them as needed.
3) finally modify what's left that still doesn't fully represent your vision with your material. This is the most delicate step as you will be tempted to overcharge stuff and add more than what's necessary.

That's it, this should help get to a usable product. The basic principle is that it should be unique, and "cool", while being in line and consistent with everything else power-wise.
 
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Much of what is in here IS consistent with what is already available to existing ancestries. The base features, natural attacks, flight, heritages, longevity feats, ageless patience, breath weapon, lore...is all taken either directly from existing ancestries or slightly modified from that base.

Now there are many abilities that are not taken directly from ancestries, and those are the ones that almost certainly need tweaking. As Paizo releases more ancestries that have similar abilities to what I have in mind, I will update and modify this as appropriate to fall more in line with those.

As for the heritages...I was originally going to do a split based off of dragon type (chromatic, metallic, imperial, primal, outer, occult, planar...ect) but I could not think of good ways to differentiate those types outside of what magical tradition they were connected to (as dragons cover all four of the traditions overall). So I decided to make you choose a magical tradition, as it simplified things greatly from a design standpoint.

Thank you for your feedback!
 

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