“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, eons pass, and even gods wither and die, but dragons remain. Mortal 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 a 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 the 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 is the class 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.
Making a Dragon ShamanEdit
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, breathe fire or another type of energy, and soar on dragon wings—and that barely scratches the surface of the powers at your command.
Abilities: 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: 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: Attaining the abilities of a true dragon requires a deep understanding of the chosen kind of dragon. An aspiring 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 dragon 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 (see Ex-Dragon Shamans, below). 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.
Hit Die: d10
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Draconic aura +1, totem dragon||3|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+4||Breath weapon (2d6; 15-ft. cone or 30-ft. line), draconic resolve||4|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Draconic aura +2||5|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+5||Breath weapon (3d6), touch of vitality (heal wounds)||5|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+5||Natural Armor +1||6|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+6||Breath weapon (4d6), Skill Focus||6|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+7||Breath weapon (5d6), draconic aura +3||7|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+7||Touch of vitality (remove conditions)||7|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+8||Breath weapon (6d6; 30-ft. cone or 60-ft. line), natural armor +2||7|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+8||Draconic adaptation (share with allies)||7|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+4||+9||Breath weapon (7d6), commune with dragon spirit||7|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+9||Draconic aura +4||7|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+10||Breath weapon (8d6), Skill Focus||7|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Natural armor +3||7|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Breath weapon (9d6)||7|
|20th||+20/+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 per level, ×4 at 1st level): Climb, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Search (plus others depending on the chosen totem dragon).
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
Starting Age: As druid (PH 109).
|Totem Dragon||Acceptable Alignment||Class Skills||Breath Weapon Energy Type|
|Black||NE, CE, CN||Perception*, Stealth, Swim||Line of Acid|
|Blue||NE, LE, LN||Bluff, Stealth, Spellcraft||Line of Electricity|
|Brass||NG, CG, CN||Bluff, Diplomacy, Survival||Line of Fire|
|Bronze||NG, LG, LN||Disguise, Survival, Swim||Line of Electricity|
|Copper||NG, CG, CN||Acrobatics, Bluff, Stealth||Line of Acid|
|Gold||NG, LG, LN||Disguise, Heal, Swim||Cone of Fire|
|Green||NE, LE, LN||Bluff, Diplomacy*, Stealth||Cone of Acid|
|Red||NE, CE, CN||Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff||Cone of Fire|
|Silver||NG, LG, LN||Acrobatics, Bluff, Disguise||Cone of Cold|
|White||NE, CE, CN||Perception*, Stealth, Swim||Cone of Cold|
As a dragon shaman, you function most effectively on the front lines of any combat. Your class abilities allow you to boost your combat effectiveness and that of your party, and the touch of vitality ability provides you with the power to heal others and remove negative conditions that affect them, giving you more reason to take the fight to your foes and stay close to those melee-oriented allies most likely to need your aid.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon shamans are proficient with simple weapons, with light 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 mighty 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 free 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 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 oddnumbered 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 (see below).
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 × your aura bonus.
Senses: Bonus on Listen and Spot checks, as well as on initiative checks, equal to your aura bonus.
Toughness: DR 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 appearing in the Monster Manual (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.
Skill Focus: At 2nd level, you gain Skill Focus as a bonus feat. You must apply the feat to one of the 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 again at 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 of the skills associated with your totem dragon, you gain Skill Focus in any other dragon shaman class skill.
Draconic 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 spelllike 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 breathe underwater
indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities
underwater (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): You can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities underwater (always active).
Copper—Spider Climb (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will).
Gold—Water Breathing (Ex): You can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities underwater (always active).
Green—Water Breathing (Ex): You can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities underwater (always active).
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 walk across icy surfaces without reducing your speed or making Balance checks (always active).
At 13th level, you can choose as a swift action (see page 4) to share the effect of your draconic adaptation 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 a limited duration) the effect ends, whichever 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 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 Con modifier. Just like a true dragon, once you breathe 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 × 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 equivalent 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.