Thane and Iskara, Dragon Shamans

"I possess a dragon's power. Beware lest you awaken that dragon's wrath."

---Kalia, last and greatest dragon shaman of the Blackspear tribe

Empires crumble, eonns pass, and even gods wither and die, but dragons remain. Moral but eternal, the races of true dragons weather the roll of the ages because of their unsurpassed might. Few creatures can match a dragon in its full fury, whether in combat of arms or battle of wits. Dragon shamans recognize this fact and see true dragons as more than powerful beings. To a dragon shaman, the passing shadow of a dragon flying overhead isn't a sign that invokes fear; it's a blessing that reveals you to be in the presence of greatness.

Dragon shamans respect true dragons as power incarnate. Some worship dragons, but most simply aspire to gain dragon powers for themselves. In assuming the abilities and likeness of a dragon, a dragon shaman seeks to emulate that might and embody that power within himself.

If you gaze at dragons with awe and aspire to share their power and majesty, then the dragon shaman class is for you. By choosing a totem dragon, you partake of a true dragon's power and take on aspects of a particular kind of dragon.

Hit Die: D10

Alignment: See Text

Making a Dragon Shaman[edit | edit source]

As a dragon shaman, you primarily act as a melee combatant, but your class features also allow you to grant benefits to those fighting around you. In a standard group of adventurers, you can stand in for the fighter or the cleric. Your combat prowess isn't quite as great as a fighter's, but you can employ special attacks and special defenses a fighter can't access. Although you lack many of the cleric's specialized spells, you do possess the ability to heal and remove negative conditions. As a dragon shaman, you can grow tough scales, breath fire or another type of energy, and soar on dragon wings--and that barely scratches the surface of the powers at your command.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

As with any melee-oriented class, Strength is a key ability for dragon shamans. Constitution provides you with increased hit points as usual, and it also increases the save DC of your breath weapon. If you want to make good use of the dragon shaman's ability to heal and remove negative conditions, you'll need a high Charisma.

Races[edit | edit source]

Although humans make up the majority of dragon shamans, any community of people with a close connection to true dragons can produce dragon shamans. Typically, dragon shamans come from savage societies that live near the lairs of dragons, but even highly civilized populations can produce dragon shamans. In any race or society, dragon shamans tend to dedicate themselves to the dragons native to the area. Thus, elf dragon shamans from a forest nation often aspire to the qualities of a green dragon, whereas the dwarf dragon shamans of a high mountain citadel would seek to gain the qualities of a silver dragon.

Alignment[edit | edit source]

Attaining the abilities of a true dragon requires a deep understanding of the chosen kind of dragon. An aspireing dragon shaman must make a study of the dragon's typical mindset and emotions; adopting these for himself opens the door to the dragon's power. Thus dragon shamans align their morals to suit the outlook of the color of true dragons to which they dedicate themselves. Each kind of metallic or chromatic dragon has a particular alignment with which it is associated. A dragon shaman who turns away from the alignment of his chosen dragon type loses many of his powers unless he can successfully adopt another dragon type as his chosen dragon. Neutral individuals with no preference for law, chaos, good, or evil, cannot properly attain the outlook of a true dragon and therefore cannot become dragon shamans.

Starting Gold[edit | edit source]

4d4x10 gp (100 gp)

Starting Age[edit | edit source]

As druid

Class Features[edit | edit source]

Level Base Attack Bonus Fortitude Reflex Will Special Draconic Auras Known
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Draconic Aura +1, totem dragon 3
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Skill Focus 3
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Draconic Adaption 4
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Breath Weapon (2d6; 15-ft cone or 30-ft line), draconic resolve 4
5th  +3 +4 +1 +4 Draconic aura +2 5
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Breath weapon (3d6), touh of vitality (heal wounds) 5
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Natural armor +1 6
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Breath weapon (4d6), skill focus 6
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Energy immuity 7
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Breath weapon (5d6), draconic aura +3 7
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Touch of vitality (remove conditions) 7
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Breath weapon (6d6; 30-ft cone or 60-ft line), natural armor +2 7
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Draconic adaption (share with allies) 7
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Breath weapon (7d6), commune with dragon spirit 7
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Draconic aura +4 7
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Breath weapon (8d6), Skill Focus 7
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Natural armor +3 7
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Breath weapon (9d6) 7
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Draconic wings 7
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Breath weapon (10d6; 60-ft cone or 120-ft line, draconic aura +5 7

Class Skills:  (2 + Int modifier)x4 at 1st level

Class skills are climb, craft, intimidate, knowledge (nature), search, and others depending on the shaman's totem dragon.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon Shamans are  proficient with simple weapons, with lights and medium armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Bonus Languages: A dragon shaman's bonus language options include Draconic.

Draconic Aura (Su): You can channel the might powers of dragonkind to project an aura that grants you and nearby allies a special benefit.

Projecting an aura is a swift action, and you can only project one draconic aura at a time. An aura remains in effect until you use a dree action to dismiss it or you activate another aura in its place. You can have a draconic aura active continually; thus an aura can be in effect at the start of an encounter even before you take your first turn.

Unless otherwise noted, your draconic aura affects all allies within 30 feet (including yourself) with line of effect to you. YOur aura is dismissed if you become unconscious or are slain, but otherwise it remains in effect even if you are incapable of acting.

The bonus granted by your aura begins at +1 and increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level. As a 1st-level dragon shaman, you know how to project three auras chosen from the list below. At every odd-numbered level after that, you learn one additional draconic aura of your choice, until all seven auras are known at 9th level. Each time you activate a draconic aura, you can choose from any of the auras that you know.

  • Energy Shield: ANy creature striking you or your ally with a natural attack or a nonreach melee weapon is dealt 2 points of energy damage for each point of your aura bonus. The energy type is that of your totem dragon's damage-dealing breath weapon.
  • Power: Bonus on Melee damage rolls equal to your aura bonus.
  • Presence: Bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks  equal to your aura bonus.
  • Resistance: Resistance to your totem dragon's energy type equal to 5 x your aura bonus.
  • Senses: Bonus on Listen and Spot checks, as well as on initiative checks equal to your aura bonus.
  • Toughness: Damage Reduction 1/magic for each point of your aura bonus (up to 5/magic at 20th level).
  • Vigor: Fast healing 1 for each point of your aura bonus, but only affects characters at or below one-half their full normal hit points.

Totem Dragon: You must choose a totem dragon from among the true dragons (black, blue, brass, bronze, copper, gold, green, red, silver, or white).

You must choose a dragon whose alignment is within one step of yours, as described in the following table. You gain additional class skills and a particular sort of breath weapon based on the dragon you select as your totem.

Totem Dragon Acceptable Alignents Class Skills Breath Weapon Energy Type
Black NE, CE, CN Hide, Move Silently, Swim Line of acid
Blue NE, LE, LN Bluff, Hide, Spellcraft Line of electricity
Brass NG, CG, CN Bluff, Gather Information, Survival Line of fire
Bronze NG, LG, LN Disguise, Survival, Swim Line of electrictiy
Copper NG, CG, CN Bluff, Hide, Jump Line of acid
Gold Ng, LG, LN Disguise, Heal, Swim Cone of fire
Green NE, LE. LN Bluff, Hide, Move Silently Cone of acid
Red NE, CE, CN Appraise, Bluff, Jump Cone of fire
Silver NG, LG, LN Bluff, Disguise, Jump Cone of cold
White NE, CE, CN Hide, Move Silently, Swim Cone of cold

Skill Focus: At 2nd level, you gain Skill Focus as a bonus feat. You must apply the feat to one of three class skills granted by your chosen totem dragon. For example, a blue dragon shaman can select Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Hide), or Skill Focus (Spellcraft).

At 8th level, and gain a 16th level, you gain skill focus in another of the class skills granted by your chosen totem dragon. If you already have Skill Focus in all three skills associated with your totem dragon, you gain Skill Focus in any other dragon shaman class skill.

Dragonic Adaptation (Ex or Sp): At 3rd level, you take on an aspect of your totem dragon. Some adaptations are extraordinary abilities that are always active; others are spell-like abilities that you can activate at will. Spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to your class level and a save DC equal to 10 + spell level + Cha modifier.

  • Black--Water Breathing (Ex): You can breath underwater indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities under water (Always active)
  • Blue--Ventriloquism (Sp): As the spell (at will)
  • Brass--Endure Elements (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will).
  • Bronze--Water Breathing (Ex)
  • Copper--Spider Climb (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will)
  • Gold--Water Breathing (Ex)
  • Green--Water Breathing (Ex)
  • Red--Treasure Seeker (Ex): You gain a +5 competence bonus on Appraise and Search checks (always active).
  • Silver--Feather Fall (Sp): As the spell , except you can only target yourself (at will).
  • White--Icewalker (Ex): You can wak across icy surfaces without reducing your speed or making Balance checks (always active).

At 13th level, you can choose a swift action to share the effect of your draconic adaptaion with any or all allies within 30 feet. In the case of spell like abilities, you must make this decision when you activate the ability. The benefit lasts until you spend a free action to rescind it or (if the effect has limited duration) the effect ends, which ever comes first.

Breath Weapon (Su): At 4th level, you gain a breath weapon corresponding to your totem dragon. Regardless of the area one affects or the or the type of energy damage it deals, all breath weapons deal 2d6 points of damage, plus an extra 1d6 points of damage for every two additional class levels (3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 8th level, and so forth). A successful reflex save halves the damage dealt; the save DC is equal to 10 +1/2 your dragon shaman level + your Constitution modifier. Just like a true dragon, once you breath you must wait 1d4 rounds before you can use your breath weapon again.

Cone-shaped breath weapons extend out to 15 feet at 4th level, increasing to 30 feet at 12th level and to 60 feet at 20th level. Line-shaped breath weapons are 30 feet long at 4th level, increasing to 60 feet at 12th level and to 120 feet at 20th level.

Draconic Resolve (Ex): At 4th level, you gain immunity to paralysis and sleep effects. You also become immune to the frightful presence of dragons.

Touch of Vitality (Su): At 6th level you can heal the wounds of living creatures (your own or those of others) by touch. Each day you can heal a number of points of damage equal to twice your class level x Your Charisma bonus. For example, a 7th level dragon shaman with a Charisma Score of 14 (+2 bonus) can heal 28 points of damage. You can choose to divide your healing among multiple recipients, and you don't have to use it all at once. Using your touch of vitality is a standard action. It has no effect on undead.

Beginning at 11th level, you can choose to spend some of the healing bestowed by your touch of vitality to remove other harmful conditions affecting the target.

For every 5 points of your healing ability you expend, you can cure 1 point of ability damage or remove the dazed, fatigued, or sickened condition from one individual.

For every 10 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove the exhausted,  nauseated, poisoned, or stunned condition from one individual.

For every 20 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove a negative level or the blinded, deafened, or diseased condition from one individual.

You can remove a condition (or more than one condition) and heal damage with the same touch, so long as you expend the required number of points. For example, if you wanted to heal 12 points of damage and remove the blinded and exhausted conditions from a target you would have to expend 42 points (12 hit points restored plus 20 points for blinded plus 10 points for exhausted).

Natural Armor (Ex): At 7th level, your skin thickens, developing faint scales. Your natural armor bonus improves by 1. At 12th level, this improvement increases to +2, and at 17th level to +3.

Energy Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, you gain immunity to the energy type of the breath weapon you gained at 4th level.

Commune with Dragon Spirit (Sp): At 14th level, you gain the ability to contact your dragon totem directly to ask questions  of it. This is the equivilant of casting a commune spell, except that it has no material component, focus, or XP cost and allows only one question per three class levels. After using this ability, you cannot use it again for seven days.

Draconic Wings (Ex): At 19th level, you grow a pair of wings that resemble those of your totem dragon. They allow flight at a speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You can even fly while carrying a medium load, though your fly speed drops to 40 feet in this case. If you already have wings, you can choose whether these draconic wings replace your own.

Playing a Dragon Shaman[edit | edit source]

As a dragon shaman, you believe the acuisition of power is a worthy end in itself. By having power, you can effect your will in the world, be it beneficent or malign. Those who have or seek power deserve your respect, while those who have power but fail to use it earn your derision.

Your strength comes from devoting yourself to dragons, the primal embodiment of the principle of power, but you worship dragons in the abstract, honoring them much as a cleric might honor light as a symbol of purity and goodness. Dragons gather power to themselves simply by living and aging, but you must actively seek the influence and might you desire. As a dragon hungers for flesh to feed itself or for treasure to enlarge its hoard, so you hunger for power.

You adventure out of a desire to test yourself and prove your worth; whatever the specific inducement, the urge to gain more power underlies every quest. Drawn by your power, others follow your lead, and you are happy to command them. Being a great leader is just one of the many ways you can manifest your power.

Religion[edit | edit source]

Dragon shamans can worship any deity, but most worship divine powers that encourage their worshipers to be proactive in pursuit of the deity's goals. Dragon shamans often worship Erythnul, Gruumsh, Heironeous, Hextor, Kord, or St. Cuthbert, as well as dragon deities such as Bahamut and Tiamat. They rarely find much to admire in more passive or protective deities such as Boccob, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, and Yondolla.

Dragon Shamans from more primitive societies sometimes worship true dragons. These savage dragon shamans might worship all true dragons, assigning each color or metallic hue its own place in a crude pantheon of totemic spirits. Or they might worship a single color or metal as the best among all the true dragons, finding it the most representative of pure power. In rare cases, a dragon shaman worships and serves a particular true dragon. How the dragon reacts to such worship depends on that individual dragon; even good dragons might take advantage of a draon shaman's worship to achieve their own aims.

Other Classes[edit | edit source]

You work well with melee-oriented allies such as fighters, duskblades, barbarians, rogues, and even druids. Those characters value the benefits a dragon shaman can grant them and rarely make an issue of their source. Clerics, paladins, monks, and knights are often suspicious of your moral outlook unless you have dedicated yourself to a kind of dragon that associates itself with a code of ethics similar to their own. Wizards, bardsm and beguilers view you indifferently, whereas sorcerers might seek you out to learn more of the source of your power and your connection to dragons. Rangers might or might not take issue with your abilities; a ranger whose favored enemy is dragons might attack you on sight.

Combat[edit | edit source]

Dragon shamans lead from the front, rather than directing battles from a safe position behind others. Keep as many allies as possible within the range of your draconic aura, but focus on those in melee with your foes. Pick a draconic aura that grants your allies the best benefit for the situation, and don't hesitate to switch it during the fight should conditions change and another aura prove more useful. Outside combat, employ the senses or presence aspects of your draconic aura. If you have a cleric or other healer in your group, save your touch of vitality for removing conditions or for emergency healing. If no other healer is present, use it to heal yourself and your allies after combat.

Advancement[edit | edit source]

You profit most from remaining a dragon shaman throughout your advancement, so that your breath weapon and draconic aura continue to improve as you gain levels. If you do multiclass, a level of barbarian is an excellent choice; the benefits it grants help you in combat regardless of when you take the first level. Alternatively, you might consider beginning your career as a 1st-level barbarian for the greater hitpoints and skill points that option offers, then multiclassing into the dragon shaman class at 2nd level. The fighter class might seem like a strong second choice, but unless you need a fighter bonus feat for a particular kind of character, you'll see better long-term advantages from the barbarian class. The bard class can be an interesting muticlass option since the benefits provided by bardic music stack with those provided by your draconic aura.

Ex-Dragon Shamans[edit | edit source]

Dragon shamans who change alignment could lose their powers. If a dragon shaman changes to an alignment still appropriate to the dragon to which he is already dedicated, nothing happens. However, if the dragon shaman changes to an alignment inappropriate for his chosen dragon, he immediately loses all abilities granted by the dragon shaman class and becomes an ex-dragon shaman.

An ex-dragon shaman can choose a new color or metallic hue of true dragon to emulate and thus regain the powers granted by the class. To switch to a new dragon totem dragon, he must find a dragon shaman of higher level who is dedicated to that dragon type. The higher-level dragon shaman must willingly expend all her tough of vitality on the ex dragon shaman each day for a week. At the end of the week, the ex-dragon shaman gains the class features of a dragon shaman dedicated to the newly chosen totem dragon, including exchanging the focus of any class-granted Skill Focus feats. Most dragon shamans who are asked to perform this service demand payment in the form of some great deed. This deed might be a demand that the ex-dragon shaman retrieve magic items that will add to his sponsor's power or simply a short quest to prove the ex-dragon shaman's worth.

Dragon Shamans can go through the same process to switch chosen totem dragons even if they don't change alignement. If a dragon shaman has an allignment appropriate for a different true dragon color or hue, the shaman can switch to that kind of dragon through a process identical to the one described above for ex-dragon shamans.

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