- Physical Description
- Racial Traits
- Class Skills
- Class Features
Perhaps the most famous and fascinating of all creatures, a legendary symbol of ultimate evil or boundless good in different cultures, dragons are rightfully considered to be Mythical creatures. Known for their deadly breath, sharp claws, great appetite, and boundless greed, dragons also possess fine minds and a deep sense of honor, making them equally likely as saviors and heroes, or malevolent villains.
Dragons look like large reptiles with broad, membranous wings. While they all have claws, fangs, scales, and wings, the actual appearance of a dragon can vary widely from one another, some having an actual reptilian body structure, while others resembling more large felines, wolves, or other animals in their build. Though only ten colors existed for a dragon’s scales in ancient times, the mating between different dragons made any single color or combination appear on their tough skin. While there are still ancient, noble families that keep themselves pureblooded by mating only with dragons of their same color, most of them are from a very complex mixed heritage that favors extreme differences between individuals. Unlike what is commonly thought, there is no actual correlation between a dragon’s scales and the elemental energy that runs through their body, and even less so with their personalities. A dragon’s magical nature allows them to grow to large sizes as they mature, being considered young adults as they reach a body length of five to eight feet – without counting the tail, which usually doubles that length – but being able to grow to be almost 70 feet long. This same magic in a dragon’s body allows them to unlock natural shapeshifting powers that allow them to disguise themselves as animals or reconfigure their bodies into a humanoid shape. When in the latter, they keep most of their draconic features, including claws, wings, fangs, tail, and their breath, but the actual extent to which they are covered in scales, or whether their head remains draconic or becomes more humanoid, varies with the dragon.
- Hit Die: a dragon uses a d12 as Hit Die at every dragon HD he or she gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: dragons are powerful beings with infinite possibilities, overall above the average in every field. They gain +2 to all ability scores.
- Size: dragons are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties coming from their size.
- Type: dragons have the dragon type. Therefore they are immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects.
- Base Speed: dragons have a base speed of 30 feet on land, and a flight speed of 40 feet with good maneuverability.
- Languages: dragons begin play speaking Common and Draconic. Dragons with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Terrain: mountains, urban.
- Saving Throws DC: Constitution-based.
- Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
- Mythical Resistance: dragons are immune to the energy type they chose with elemental mastery.
- Natural Armor: dragons gain a +6 natural armor bonus to their Armor Class.
- Greed: dragons receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks to determine the price of non-magical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
- Bite: dragons gain a natural bite attack, dealing 1d6 points of piercing damage plus 1–1/2 times their Strength The bite is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the dragon is wielding manufactured weapons.
- Claws: dragons receive two claw attacks. These are primary natural attacks that deal 1d4 points of slashing damage each.
- Darkvision: dragons can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: dragons can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
- Quadruped: dragons possess four legs, granting them a +4 racial bonus to CMD against bull rush and trip
- Elemental Mastery: each dragon is tied to one elemental energy of their choice among acid, cold, electricity, and fire. This choice is made upon creation and cannot be changed later on.
A dragon’s class skills are: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Hit Die: 6 + Int Modifier.
|Level||Hit Dice||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||1||+1||+2||+2||+2||[Feat], Dragon’s breath 1d6, dragon’s movement|
|2nd||2||+2||+3||+3||+3||Dragon’s breath 2d6, elemental affinity|
|3rd||3||+3||+3||+3||+3||[Feat], Dragon’s presence +1, dragon’s movement|
|4th||AT 1||Elemental attacks, growth spurt|
|5th||4||+4||+4||+4||+4||[Ability Score Increase], Dragon’s breath 3d6|
|6th||AT 2||Dragon’s resistance, growth spurt|
|7th||5||+5||+4||+4||+4||[Feat], Dragon’s presence +2|
|8th||AT 3||Large size|
|9th||6||+6/+1||+5||+5||+5||Dragon’s breath 4d6, dragon’s movement|
|10th||7||+7/+2||+5||+5||+5||[Feat], Dragon’s presence +3|
|11th||8||+8/+3||+6||+6||+6||[Ability score increase], Double presence, Dragon’s breath 5d6|
||Change appearance, growth spurt|
|13th||9||+9/+4||+6||+6||+6||[Feat], Dragon’s movement, dragon’s presence +4|
|14th||AT 5||Frightful presence|
|15th||10||+10/+5||+7||+7||+7||Dragon’s breath 6d6|
||Growth spurt, huge size|
|17th||11||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+7||[Feat], Dragon’s presence +5|
|18th||AT 7||Gargantuan size|
|19th||12||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+8||[Ability score increase], Dragon’s breath 7d6, dragon’s movement|
All of the following are class features of the oni.
A dragon can unleash his deadly breath as a standard action once every 1d4+1 rounds. The breath hits either as a cone long twice the dragon’s reach, or as a line four time his reach, and inflicts damage of the same energy type as the dragon’s chosen energy. All creatures caught in the breath’s area can make a Reflex save to halve the damage. The base damage for the breath is 1d6 at 1st Hit Die, which increases by 1d6 at each even-numbered Hit Die, up to 7d6 at 12th Hit Die.
At 1st Hit Die, and again at 3rd Hit Die and every 3 Hit Dice thereafter (6th, 9th, and 12th) a dragon chooses one of the following movement types. Each one can be chosen several times, adding to the total speed as indicated:
Ground: the dragon’s land speed increases by 10 feet each time this type is selected.
Air: the dragon’s fly speed increases by 10 feet, and his maneuverability improves by 1 step (maximum good) each time this type is selected.
Climb: the dragon gains a climb speed of 30 feet. If he already has a climb speed, it increases by 10 feet each time this type is selected.
Burrow: the dragon gains a burrow speed of 30 feet. If he already has a burrow speed, it increases by 10 feet each time this type is selected.
Swim: the dragon gains a swim speed of 30 feet. If he already has a swim speed, it improves by 10 feet each time this type is selected.
A dragon of 2nd Hit Die or higher gains a bonus equal to half his Hit Dice (rounded down) to attack and damage rolls against creatures with the same energy subtype as his chosen element.
A dragon’s mere presence can bolster his allies or arouse dread into its foes. Activating a presence is a swift action, and each presence can be maintained for as long as the dragon wishes (granted he’s conscious), or doesn’t decide to dismiss or change it (another swift action). The aura of the dragon’s presence extends for 10 feet beyond his natural reach and affects all allies (or enemies) within it. At 3rd Hit Die, the dragon chooses two effects to learn. At 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th Hit Die, the dragon learns one additional effect. A dragon can only have a single effect active at any time.
Alertness: the aura grants a bonus to Perception and initiative checks.
Elemental Power: the aura grants a bonus to the save DC of effects which energy type matches the dragon’s chosen energy type.
Elemental Resilience: the aura grants resistance 5 times the dragon’s presence bonus against the dragon’s energy type.
Elemental Retribution: each enemy using non-reach melee attacks against the dragon or any of his allies in the area, sustains 1d6 plus twice the dragon’s presence bonus points of energy damage (matching the dragon’s chosen energy) after every successful hit.
Might: the aura grants a bonus to weapon damage rolls.
Steadiness: the aura grants a bonus to concentration checks and saves against fear, paralysis, and sleep effects.
Sturdiness: the aura grants a bonus to Constitution checks and Fortitude Saves.
Toughness: the aura grants a damage reduction /– equal to the dragon’s presence bonus. This DR doesn’t stack with similar damage reductions (such as a barbarian’s DR /–), only the higher one applies.
Vigor: the aura grants fast healing equal to the dragon’s presence bonus, as long as the affected creature is below one half (rounded down) of its maximum hit points.
A dragon becomes a more powerful creature as it matures, gaining several bonuses at his 1st Advancement Tier, and again at every even-numbered advancement tier up to 6th.
One of the dragon’s physical ability scores, and one of his mental ability scores, increase by 1.
Furthermore, his natural armor increases by 2, the DC of his breath increases by 1, or he gains a weapon-specific feat (such as Weapon Focus) on one of his natural attacks.
Finally, the damage from his breath weapon increases by 1d6, one of his natural attacks inflicts more damage as per the Improved Natural Attack feat (only once per natural attack), or the range of his presence increases by 10 feet.
The dragon can choose different bonuses each time he gains this ability.
The natural attacks of a dragon of 1st Advancement Tier or higher deal an extra 1d6 points of damage from his chosen energy type, this effect can be activated or turned off as per a flaming weapon. Also, his natural attacks count as magical weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reductions.
A dragon of 2nd Advancement Tier or higher gains a spell resistance equal to 10 + his Hit Dice, and damage reduction /magic equal to 1/3 his Hit Dice (rounded down).
A dragon grows to Large size upon achieving his 3rd Advancement Tier, and gains 2 secondary wing buffet attacks that deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage. He gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, a –2 penalty to Dexterity and a +2 bonus to his natural armor. The size change also gives the dragon a –1 penalty to AC and attack rolls, a +1 bonus to his CMB and CMD, a –2 penalty on Fly checks, and a –4 penalty on Stealth checks. The dragon’s bite attack gains a reach of 10 feet. The dragon’s bite attack now deals 1d8 damage and his claws deal 1d6 damage. The dragon’s maneuverability becomes one step worse (to a minimum of poor).
A dragon of at least 8th Hit Die can initiate a second presence effect while maintaining a previously activated one. To activate the second presence he must use another swift action, and two presences can be active at once for a maximum number of rounds per day equal to the dragon’s Hit Dice + his Constitution modifier, after which only one presence can be kept active at a time. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
A dragon of 4th advancement tier or higher can, as a full-round action, change his appearance to that of a smaller dragon, an animal, or a humanoid creature of his size. The dragon may maintain this alternate shape for any amount of time. Returning to his basic shape is a standard action.
When turning into a humanoid, a dragon maintains all of his features (like creature type, claws, fangs, wings, scales, and so on), but he can manipulate items more easily. A dragon in humanoid form can use weapons and armor if he is proficient in their use. While humanoid, a dragon loses the benefits from the quadruped racial trait, and is unable to fly (although he may still use his wing buffet attacks if his size enables him to). While in humanoid form, the dragon’s natural reach with all attacks is the same as his reach with his bite attack.
When turning into a smaller dragon, he changes his size to any category smaller than his current one, to a minimum of Medium, losing all the benefits and penalties derived from the bigger sizes (including natural attacks not available at that size).
In any circumstance, don’t recalculate hit points.
Enemies within range of the presence of a fighting dragon of 5th Advancement Tier can become frightened by his menacing figure. Any opponent with a number of Hit Dice up to the dragon’s +5 that are within the area of dragon’s presence when he attacks, charges, or uses his breath, must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the dragon’s Hit Dice + his Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 5d6 rounds (or panicked if the creature’s Hit Dice are equal or lower than the dragon’s). Success makes the creature immune to that dragon’s frightful presence for the following 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.
A dragon grows to Huge size at his 6th Advancement Tier, gaining a tail slap attack which inflicts 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage + 1–1/2 the dragon’s Strength modifier; tail slap attacks are made at the bite/claw attack bonus –10. He gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, and a +3 bonus to natural armor. The change in size also brings the penalty to AC and attack rolls at –2, to Fly at –4 and to Stealth at –8, and increases the bonus to CMB and CMD to +2. Furthermore, the dragon gains a 15-foot reach with his bite and a 10-foot reach with his other natural attacks. His bite attack deals 2d6 points of damage, his claw attacks deal 1d8 points of damage, and his wing buffet attacks deal 1d8 points of damage. The dragon’s maneuverability becomes lower by one step (to a minimum of poor).
A dragon grows to Gargantuan size upon achieving his 7th advancement tier, and his breath deals damage with d8s rather than d6s. He gains a +8 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +4 bonus to natural armor. The change in size also brings the penalty to AC and attack rolls at –4, to Fly at –6, and to Stealth at –12, and increases the bonus to CMB and CMD to +4. Furthermore, the dragon gains a 20-foot reach with his bite and a 15-foot reach with his other attacks. His bite attack deals 2d8 points of damage, his claw attacks deal 2d6 points of damage, his wing buffet attacks deal 2d6 points of damage, and his tail slap attack deals 2d8 points of damage. His maneuverability worsens by one step (to a minimum of clumsy).
Upon reaching his 8th Advancement Tier, a dragon reaches his final shape and unlocks his true potential. He can reallocate all the bonuses gained through the growth spurt ability, as well as gaining the following:
He gains 4 more bonuses to increase his ability scores (two for his physical scores and two for his mental ones).
He gains 3 more bonuses for his AC, breath DC, and weapon-specific feats.
He gains 4 more bonuses for his breath damage, natural weapon damage, and presence range. Furthermore, he can use this third type of bonus to increase his spell resistance by 2 or his damage reduction /magic by 1 (if he so chooses, he can also reallocate the bonuses gained through previous growth spurts to increase his spell resistance and/or damage reduction).
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera