Dragon Shaman (3.5e Class)
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- 1 Dragon Shaman
Dragons are, after deities, some of the oldest and most powerful creatures ever to exist. Most creatures feel instinctive fear when faced with the idea of meeting one. However, a small few feel not fear, but want. These few become dragon shamans. Dragon shamans emulate dragons to gain those dragons' power but only some worship dragons. Others just see the gaining of power as the greatest career and believe dragons are the greatest source of power. But whether for good or for ill, dragon shamans gain and use the might of dragons.
Making a Dragon Shaman
A dragon shaman is at his most useful on the front lines with other melee combatants. He uses passive auras to boost the effectiveness of his allies. With good health and natural attacks, he can also take part in the melee as well. A dragon shaman is not useless outside of a fight but is limited to using his auras to further amplify the effect of his other more skilled allies. His auras are not to be laughed off, however. The myriad effects a dragon shaman can potentially use can be the deciding factor in a battle. Together with his breath weapon and other draconic special abilities, a dragon shaman's auras help him stay versatile. He may not have the same combat power as a fighter, but an adventuring party would find them both equally wanted.
Abilities: A high Strength will let a dragon shaman make the most of his natural weapons. Constitution is also important; Health is always important for a melee combatant and it affects the Difficulty Class of the dragon shaman's breath weapon.
Races: Humans, dwarves, and orcs or half-orcs make the majority of dragon shamans but dragon shamans can come from any race. Most dragon shamans come from savage societies that hold power in the highest esteem and that have a nearby dragon lair. However, even "civilized" societies occasionally have dragon shamans come from their cities to seek power and adventure. In any society, dragon shamans usually dedicate themselves to native dragons; desert nomad dragon shamans would choose a Blue Dragon and a forest nation would have more green dragon shamans than any other kind.
Alignment: A dragon shaman must have an alignment at most one away from his chosen totem dragon. Also, because dragon shamans change their personal habits and philosophy to be closer to their totem dragon and because dragon shamans must be strong-willed, dragon shamans cannot be of True Neutral unless the dragon is also True Neutral.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Auras Known (Range)||Breath Weapon||Natural Armor Bonus|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Totem Dragon, Draconic Aura(Su)(+1), Draconic Breath Weapon (Su), Draconic Senses(Ex)||3 (30)||1d6||+0|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+3||Skill Focus, Scales(Ex)||3 (30)||1d6||+1|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Draconic Resolve(Ex)||4 (30)||2d6||+1|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Draconic Bite(Ex)||4 (40)||2d6||+1|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||1st Draconic Ability, Draconic Aura (+2)||4 (40)||3d6||+1|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Bonus Metabreath Feat||5 (40)||3d6||+1|
|7th||+5||+5||+2||+5||Draconic Claws(Ex)||5 (50)||4d6||+2|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+2||+6||Skill Focus, Improved Breath Range||5 (50)||4d6||+2|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||Energy Immunity(Ex), 2nd Draconic Ability, Draconic Aura (+3)||6 (50)||5d6||+2|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+3||+7||Bonus Metabreath Feat, Draconic Tail(Ex)||6 (60)||5d6||+2|
|11th||+8/+3||+7||+3||+7||Double Draconic Aura||6 (60)||6d6||+2|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||1st Draconic Ability Share||7 (60)||6d6||+3|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Draconic Wings(Ex), Draconic Aura (+4)||7 (70)||7d6||+3|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+4||+9||Bonus Metabreath Feat||7 (70)||7d6||+3|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||3rd Draconic Ability||8 (70)||8d6||+3|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Skill Focus, Superior Breath Range||8 (80)||8d6||+3|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||2nd Draconic Ability Share, Draconic Aura (+5)||8 (80)||9d6||+4|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Bonus Metabreath Feat||9 (80)||9d6||+4|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+11||Triple Draconic Aura||9 (90)||10d6||+4|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Draconic Ascension||9 (90)||10d6||+4|
A dragon shaman's abilities are drawn from dragons. It shows in his body, mind and soul. All of the following are class features of the dragon shaman.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon shamans are proficient with simple weapons. They are also proficient with light and medium armors, as well as shields (but not tower shields).
Totem Dragon: At 1st level, a dragon shaman chooses his totem dragon. This is the most important decision he will make; it will affect which skills he gets, as well as his draconic abilities and breath weapon. A dragon shaman must pick a dragon color that is within one alignment of his using Table: Totem Dragon.
Draconic Aura(Su): A dragon shaman calls on the power of dragons through the use of auras. Invoking an aura is a swift action but the aura's effects do not end until either the dragon shaman invokes a new aura or uses a free action to dispel the current one. Only allies within the aura's range get the benefit of the aura. At 1st level, a dragon shaman chooses 3 auras from Table: Auras. The bonus of the aura is +1 at first level and increases by 1 at 5th level and every four levels after that. He gets a new aura at 3rd level and every three levels after that. The range of the dragon shaman's aura is 30ft at 1st level and increases by 10ft at 4th level and every three levels after that. Auras do not stack with themselves.
Draconic Breath Weapon (Su): The first outward symbol of the dragon shaman's devotion, any dragon shaman gains the same breath weapon as his totem dragon. As a standard action,he can use this breath weapon (See Table: Totem Dragons). Like a dragon, he must wait 1d4 rounds between each use. His breath weapon does 1d6 damage at 1st level and increases 1d6 for every odd-numbered level thereafter. The line breath weapon has a range of 30ft and the cone breath weapon has a range of 15ft. The Reflex DC of his breath weapon is (10+half his level+Con).
Draconic Senses(Ex): At 1st level, the dragon shaman's eyes transform into the eyes of his totem dragon. He has Darkvision out to 60 ft (or has his existing darkvision increased by 60 ft).
Skill Focus: As the dragon shaman becomes more like his totem dragon, he improves various skills associated with it. At levels 2, 8, and 16, the dragon shaman gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat in one of his Totem Dragon's related skills. If he already has Skill Focus in those three skills, he instead gains skill focus in a different class skill.
Scales(Ex): The dragon shaman's skin becomes scaly and takes on his totem dragon's color. At 2nd level, he gets a +1 bonus to his natural armor. If he does not already have a natural armor bonus, then the natural armor of that character is +0 and still takes the bonus. This bonus increases by 1 every five levels thereafter.
Draconic Resolve (Ex): The dragon shaman's continued vigilance towards becoming a dragon bestows upon him some of the immunities dragons receive. At 3rd level, a dragon shaman is immune to paralysis and sleep effects. He is also immune to the frightful presence of dragons.
Draconic Bite (Ex): Whether naturally or artificially, a dragon shaman's teeth sharpen into powerful weapons and further change his appearance to a dragon's. At 4th level, he gains a bite natural attack that does 1d8 damage plus his full Strength modifier. If he uses a weapon in combination with his natural attack, his weapon counts as the primary attack; the bite attack gets only half of his Strength modifier and has a -5 penalty to hit.
Draconic Ability (Ex or Sp): A dragon shaman's closeness to his totem dragon qualifies him to use some of its abilities. At 5th level and at 10th and 15th level, the dragon shaman gains a special ability dependent on his totem dragon. The special abilities are found in Table: Draconic Abilities. Spell-like abilities are usable 3/day and the caster level is half of the dragon shaman's level.
Bonus Metabreath Feat:Unlike his totem dragon, a dragon shaman works towards perfecting his breath weapon by inventing new forms to use it in. At 6th level and every four levels thereafter, a dragon shaman gains a bonus Metabreath feat (from the Draconomicon).
Draconic Claws(Ex): A dragon shaman's extremities become powerful draconic talons. At 7th level, a dragon shaman gains two 1d6 claw natural attacks. A dragon shaman who uses a weapon cannot attack with both the weapon and a claw attack (or claw attacks if there are two weapons or it is a two-handed weapon).
Improved Breath Range:Like his totem dragon, the range of a dragon shaman's breath weapon improves as he becomes stronger. At 8th level and at 16th level, the dragon shaman's breath weapon increases in range. A line breath weapon has 60ft range at 8th level and 120ft range at 16th level. A cone breath weapon has 30ft range at 8th level and 60ft range at 16th level.
Energy Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, a dragon shaman's body is close enough to that of his totem dragon that he gains immunity to the energy type of his breath weapon.
Draconic Tail (Ex): At 10th level, a dragon shaman gains a scaly tail. He now has a tail natural attack that does 1d8 damage.
Double Draconic Aura (Ex): A dragon shaman seeks to improve his versatility in order to gain more power. As such, he learns to use multiple draconic auras at once. At 11th level, a dragon shaman can use two auras at the same time. This increases to three auras at level 19. This stacks with the feat "Double Draconic Aura."
: At 12th level, a dragon shaman can choose to give all allies within the range of his auras the benefits of his first draconic ability when he uses it. At 17th level, he can choose to give all allies within range the benefits of his second draconic ability when he uses it.
Draconic Wings (Ex): At 13th level, a dragon shaman gains leathery wings large enough to lift him off the ground and strong enough to propel him at running speed. He has a flight speed of 60 ft with good maneuverability if he is in light or no armor and carrying a light or no load. He has a flight speed of 30 ft with average maneuverability if he is in medium armor or carrying a medium load. If he is in heavy armor or carrying a heavy load, he can only fly for (1+Con) rounds with a speed of 15 ft and poor maneuverability. He can also use his wings to bludgeon enemies when not flying; these secondary natural attacks deal 1d4 damage.
Draconic Ascension: At 20th level, the draconic energy that has built up within the dragon shaman explodes outward and fuels the dragon shaman's transformation into a dragon. He is forever more treated as Dragon rather than a humanoid for purposes of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the dragon shaman has the ability to increase his size by one step (up to a maximum of Huge) at will; this is done as if he had naturally increased his size and with all relevant changes. For Medium Dragon Shamans increasing their size to Large, this is +8 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, +2 natural armor, and -1 AC/attack modifier.
A dragon shaman who change to an alignment different than what his totem dragon allows can no longer take levels as a dragon shaman and loses the ability to use a breath weapon and any auras that he has gained from being a dragon shaman. He also loses the energy immunity, the skill focuses, the skill list, and the draconic abilities of his totem dragon. The dragon shaman does not lose any other abilities. If the dragon shaman has the feat "Double Draconic Aura" as well as extra auras, he can still use those extra auras. To return to being a dragon shaman, he must search out for a dragon of at most one alignment away from his. After having peaceful contact with the dragon, he must complete a task given by the dragon (as if under the effects of geas/quest). Once the task is completed, the dragon shaman's totem dragon changes to the color of dragon that gave him the task (allowing him to continue as a dragon shaman}.
Epic Dragon Shaman
|Level||Special||Auras Known (Range)||Breath Weapon||Natural Armor Bonus|
|21st||Draconic Aura (+6)||10(90)||11d6||+4|
|22nd||Improved Draconic Senses||10(100)||11d6||+5|
|23rd||Bonus Metabreath Feat||10(100)||12d6||+5|
|25th||Draconic Aura (+7)||11(110)||13d6||+5|
|27th||Bonus Metabreath Feat||12(110)||14d6||+6|
|29th||Draconic Aura (+8)||12(120)||15d6||+6|
|30th||Draconic Aging, Bonus Metabreath Feat||13(120)||15d6||+6|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Draconic Aura: An epic dragon shaman can lend his power to an entire company of soldiers, creating a nearly unstoppable army. The epic dragon shaman's draconic aura bonus increases by four levels as normal. He also gains a new aura at levels 21 and every three levels thereafter. His aura range increases by 10 ft at 22nd level and every three levels thereafter.
Draconic Breath Weapon: At level twenty one, as he progresses into higher levels of power as a full dragon, the epic dragon shaman's breath weapon moves up a die class to d6s. It increases by 1d6 every odd level thereafter.
Improved Draconic Senses: The dragon shaman's senses are as finely tuned as his eyes and even invisible foes cannot hide from him. He gains Blindsense to a range of 60-ft.
Bonus Metabreath Feat: Even at his level of power, the dragon shaman diligently works to improve his breath weapon. At 23rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the dragon shaman chooses a bonus Metabreath feat.
Scales: The epic dragon shaman's natural armor bonus increases +1 at 22nd level, and every five levels thereafter.
Quadruple Aura: At 26th level, The epic dragon shaman can use four auras simultaneously. The number of auras he can use simultaneously goes up by one every seven levels thereafter.
Draconic Aging: Seeking power has accelerated the normal aging process for the epic dragon shaman. At 30th level, the epic dragon shaman can use his sizechanging ability to increase his size by one or two steps at will (with a maximum of colossal) as if naturally. Every ten levels thereafter, the ability can be used to increase his size by one more step.
Bonus Feats: The epic dragon shaman gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dragon shaman bonus feats) every four levels after 20th.
Epic Dragon Shaman Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Diehard, Dire Charge, Endurance, Epic Endurance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reputation, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing (Feat), Great Fortitude, Improved Flight, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Multiattack, Multiattack, Perfect Health, Run, Stand Still, Superior Initiative, Wingover
Half-Orc Gold Dragon Shaman Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
Gear: Scale Mail, tent, caltrops, waterskin, 10 days rations.
Gold: 31 gp.
Playing a Dragon Shaman
Religion: Most dragon shamans worship gods that urge their worshippers to actively pursue the god's goals, like Gruumsh, Kord, or St. Cuthbert. It is rare to find a dragon shaman that worship passive deities like Yondalla or Boccob. Dragon shamans from primitive societies might worship dragons themselves as gods, either all dragons equally or one color of dragon in particular.
Other Classes: Melee-oriented classes like fighters, barbarians, or duskblades are the most at ease around a dragon shaman; his abilities are more valuable and his source is rarely an issue. Clerics, paladins, and monks are suspicious of dragon shamans and their source of power unless that source is a dragon that has the same general philosophy. Rangers with dragons as their favored enemy might attempt to kill a dragon shaman on sight as well.
Combat: A dragon shaman fits best in the middle of melee combat; this is where the other melee class party members will be and thus where his auras are the most useful. If you feel a need to change which aura is in use, feel free to do so. Out of combat, a dragon shaman should have either his senses or presence aura in place. If there is a healer in the group, the dragon shaman's Vigor aura should be used first out of combat to lighten the healer's load. In combat, vigor is not going to replace a healer.
Advancement: A dragon shaman profits most from taking more levels in dragon shaman so that his auras and breath weapon continue improving. If you are multiclassing, even a single level of Barbarian works wonders no matter when it is taken. Fighter levels are good if you need a particular feat, but otherwise are unnecessary. Multiclassing to Bard presents a interesting option because the bardic music and draconic auras stack with each other.
Dragon Shamans in the World
|“||Power is like treasure; If you want it, go out and work for it.||”|
|—Tyric, half-elf dragon shaman|
Dragon shamans allows players to have the inspiring power of dragons and allows DMs to create NPCs that are the nucleus of villainous organizations.
Daily Life: Because they don't require rest or study each day for their powers, dragon shamans are always ready to spring into action. Thus, dragon shamans are usually decisive and quick to act. All dragon shamans lust for power. Adventure is as essential to life as food and drink to a dragon shaman.
Because of their decisive nature and take-charge attitude, dragon shamans have the potential to be great leaders. However, their pursuit of power leaves them unappreciative of other people's opinions and beliefs. Dragon shamans cannot even govern themselves as they constantly strive to outdo each other in everything. Most powerful dragon shaman leaders therefore arise in savage bands of peoples that worship dragons; alone, the dragon shamans forceful personality can win over the hearts of his comrades.
Notables: General Gringo Rock-Face, male goblin green dragon shaman: led the goblin army's western front in the early Goblin-Dwarf wars. After the rest of the army was defeated due to the Dwarf-Human Alliance, him and his troops took over a small mountain range and continued fighting on their own for five more years.
"Rainbow" Jonas Pride, a male human dragon shaman: First dragon shaman to have had every color of dragon as his totem dragon at one time or another.
Carato Nobji, a female gnome silver dragon shaman: She ruled the governments of several countries from the shadows. It is said that instead of tinkering with machines made of gears and cogs, her favorite pastime was tinkering with machines made of politicians and nobles.
Organizations: Dragon shamans rarely form organizations with each other as all of them strive to be the leader of any organization. Dragon shamans in organizations are always extremely ambitious but not necessarily treacherous. Because of this, Dragon Shamans are frequently in high positions or trying to be.
NPC Reactions: As the dragon shaman's appearance changes more and more into that of a dragon, the first impression a person has of him is dependent on the dragon shaman's totem dragon. A village of orcs that worship red dragons might bestow the same worship on a red dragon shaman, for example, while a paladin might try to kill the red dragon shaman on sight.
Dragon Shaman Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research dragon shamans to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Dragon shamans dedicate themselves to dragons. The color of dragon defines the dragon shaman.|
|15||Dragon shamans gain special abilities from their dedication. All dragon shamans are mad for power. Characters who get this result can know the names of truly legendary dragon shamans and a vague idea of where their location was.|
|20||The power of dragon shamans comes in two ways: auras that benefit their allies and a draconic form. Some dragon shamans even have the wings of a dragon or even become true dragons. What kind of special abilities a dragon shaman has depends on the color of dragon he follows. Characters who get this result can know the specific location of a legendary dragon shaman and a vague idea on any items related to that legendary dragon shaman. They can also know the names and vague locations of recent powerful dragon shamans. Finally, they can know the effects of some auras.|
|30||Characters who get this result can know any specific item related to a legendary dragon shaman, the specific location of a powerful dragon shaman and a vague idea of items related to him, the name and vague location of other dragon shamans, and the effects of any aura.|
Dragon Shamans in the Game
Because of the huge influence of dragons make in most games, it is sensible to believe there are individuals that worship dragons and gain power from their worship like clerics. Dragon shamans could be introduced through a dangerous cult of Tiamat. If a dragon is the ruler of a city, there might be some dragon shamans among his hierarchy. A single dragon shaman could play a vital role as a mentor; helping the PCs is all part of his plan for greater power. PC dragon shamans can be introduced easily. They are similar to a cleric or a monk, gaining power through dedication to a philosophy.
Adaptation: You should decide at the outset whether all dragon shamans are evil in their pursuit of power or not. Dragon shamans could all be barbaric. If there are PC dragon shamans, you may decide that they can only follow good dragons. If a type of dragon not featured here (like a force dragon) feature in your adventure, you could decide to include them as totem dragons. Other powerful magical creatures, while not dragons, could be included as well.
Sample Encounter: Dragon shamans can be combined with half-dragons, dragon cultists, and other dragon-like creatures and artifacts for a great themed campaign. A potential dragon shaman ally could provide friction in the party or become a future enemy. Other kinds of dragon shamans may go against the party because of an item in the party's possession or a competition for power with the party.
EL 7: Growing up as the pampered son of a noble, Sebastian rarely had to work to obtain anything. This all changed when the ruling dictatorship was overthrown by the neighboring king. In full view of the entire aristocracy and Sebastion, the gold dragon Boreas single-handedly killed the tyrant and claimed the nation as his. From that moment on, Sebastion has worked to emulate the power he witnessed. He keeps track of all his goals mentally and is quick to action. He likes the finer things in life and still acts in a refined manner. However, he is no stranger to eating cold rations on hard, cold ground.
|Male Human Dragon Shaman 7|
|LG Medium Humanoid (Human)|
|Init/Senses||+1/Listen -1, Spot -1|
|AC|| 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19|
(+6 armor, +1 Dex, +3 natural armor)
|hp||52 (7 HD)|
|Speed||30 ft. (6 squares)|
|Melee||bite +8 (1d8+2) or claw +8 (1d6+1) or|
|Melee||bite +8 (1d8+2) and 2 claws +3 (1d6+1)|
|Special Actions||Draconic Auras (Insight, Power, Presence, Senses, Vigor), Breath Weapon 3d6(Fire) (Cone or Burst on Self)|
|Abilities||Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12|
|SQ||Draconic Senses, Scales +2, Draconic Resolve, Draconic Bite, Water-Breathing, Draconic Claws|
|Feats||Double Draconic Aura, Multiattack, Power Attack, Improved Natural Armor|
|Skills||Intimidate +10, Knowledge(arcana) +7, Heal +3|
|Possessions||+1 Mithral Breastplate, Boots of Dragonstriding, 500 gp|
Sebastian has the Senses and the Presence aura on if he is not in battle. His modified stats are: Init +5, Listen +3, Spot +3, Intimidate +14, Diplomacy +4, Bluff +4