Saturday, March 3, 2012

B&T Lost Classes: The Dragon Disciple

I love classes. Since I picked up my first Dragon ages ago and discovered the concept of the "NPC class" (like we weren't going to try to play them), I've loved classes. I've posted quite a few on this blog. When it came to Blood & Treasure, I wanted to stick to the classes in the SRD - i.e. the classic classes of AD&D plus the sorcerer. I decided, to make Blood & Treasure a little different, I would throw in one more, in this case converting the Duelist prestige class into a class of its own. That gave me 13 classes, which I somewhat doubled by giving examples of variant classes one could create with a little reassembly of existing parts.

All along, though, there were a few other classes I wanted to throw in. The psychic (my version) was one of them, but I decided with four dedicated spell casters in the game already (cleric, druid, magic-user and sorcerer), one more was overkill. From the SRD, three other classes caught my eye. The first was the soulknife, and it nearly made it in. The other two, both prestige classes, were the shadowdancer and dragon disciple. I'm calling these three the "lost classes" of Blood & Treasure, and I'm posting them here, starting with the dragon disciple.

And yeah, I know, I'm posting "lost classes" from a book that hasn't been published yet. So sue me.

Dragon disciples are men and women who enter into secret dragon societies with the object of harnessing the powers of dragons and eventually transforming themselves into dragons. All of them have the mystic blood of dragons flowing through their veins, and by energizing their chakras, they can become dragons themselves.

Requirements: Dragon disciples must have intelligence, constitution and charisma scores of 13 or higher.

Hit Dice: d10 (+3 hit points per level from 10th to 20th).

Armor: None.

Shield: No.

Weapons: Club, crossbow (any), dagger, hand axe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, punching dagger, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, sling and spear.

Skills: Escape, find secret doors and listen at doors (see Heroic Tasks below).

Dragon disciples are scholars as much as they are warriors, and have the abilities of a sage (see Henchmen).

At 1st, 4th, and 7th level, a dragon disciple gains a +1 bonus to their existing natural armor. As his skin thickens, a dragon disciple takes on more and more of his progenitor’s physical aspect.

At 2nd level, a dragon disciple gains claw and bite attacks if he does not already have them. Medium-sized dragon disciples deal 1d6 points of damage with bite attacks and 1d4 points of damage with claw attacks. Smaller dragon disciples reduce these values by one dice size, while larger dragon disciples increase these values by one dice size.

As a dragon disciple gains levels, his ability scores increase as follows:

Level | Boost
2nd | Str +1
4th | Str +1
6th | Con +1
8th | Int +1

At 3rd level, a dragon disciple gains a minor breath weapon. The type and shape depend on the dragon variety whose heritage he enjoys (see below). Regardless of the ancestor, the breath weapon deals 2d6 points of damage of the appropriate energy type.

Dragon Variety |  Breath Weapon
Black |  Line of acid
Blue |  Line of lightning
Green | Cone of corrosive gas (acid)
Red |  Cone of fire
White | Cone of cold
Brass |  Line of fire
Bronze | Line of lightning
Copper |  Line of acid
Gold |  Cone of fire
Silver |  Cone of cold

At 7th level, the damage of the breath weapon increases to 4d6, and when a disciple attains dragon apotheosis at 10th level it reaches its full power at 6d6. Regardless of its strength, the breath weapon can be used only once per day. A line-shaped breath weapon is 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 60 feet long. A cone-shaped breath weapon is 30 feet long.

At 5th level, the dragon disciple can use nonvisual senses to notice things it cannot see. He usually does not need to make checks to notice and pinpoint the location of creatures within 60 feet, provided that he has line of effect to that creature.

Any opponent the dragon disciple cannot see still has a tactical advantage against him.

At 9th level, a dragon disciple grows a set of draconic wings. He may now fly at a speed equal to his normal land speed.

At 12th level, a dragon disciple takes on the half-dragon template. His breath weapon reaches full strength (as noted above), and he gains +2 to strength and +1 to charisma. His natural armor bonus increases to +4, and he acquires the low-light vision of elves, darkvision to a range of 60-ft, immunity to sleep and paralysis effects and immunity to the energy type used by his breath weapon.


  1. One thing you should always do before committing to specific fantasy names is try to figure out how your players will pronounce (or mispronounce) them. If they can easily be made into a joke, you probably don’t want to use them, for you immediately push the players out of character. Instead of a band of adventurers on some great quest, you end up with a bunch of folks joking around at a table.

    1. And looking closer, I suspect I missed an intentional joke there...

    2. Not entirely intentional. And hey, if they make fun of the longwang, he can just breath fire on them.


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