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Dragon Disciple: How to make this work?


Advice

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I'm playing in a friend's Serpent's Skull game soon and I was on the fence about what to play until I remembered the Dragon Disciple still exists. My girlfriend and I always rant about how all of the prestige classes suck, but I feel like building and playing a character that's just cool instead of building a character that looks great on paper.

So, dragon disciple.

For 20-point-buy, here are my stats:

Human fighter 1

7 STR 15
5 DEX 14
3 CON 13
0 INT 10
-2 WIS 8
7 CHA 15+2

Have to go for the skill point every level. Favored class: sorceror. Knowledge: Arcana, Perception and Acrobatics.

Still considering if I want to go sorceror for the first level. It all comes down to if I want the extra 4 HP or not.

Not sure what to take as feats. I know I'm going to suck at melee, but once I get 2nd and 3rd level spells I can take power attack. Was thinking Improved Initiative, but unsure on the other. Maybe dodge?

Anyways, please advise me on how to make this character a non-joke.


Right, so this is a groovy idea, because I'm a fan of the dragon disciple. But there's a tiny catch when it comes to the DD: it's not actually that great of a prestige class for sorcerers. It only has medium BAB, which means that when paired with a sorcerer (crap BAB) it ends with a BAB of 12 at level 20. Seriously, you're coming into your third attack 2-5 levels after the effing rogue. Yuck.

There's also the problem that sorcerers are made of paper and almost completely dependent on their spells to be useful in combat. As the spells dwindle and your melee abilities remain subpar you quickly become the useless addition to the party that exists mostly for cool points. Yuck again.

...or you could do the honorable thing and start off with the only martially inclined arcanist available to you: the bard.

Bards are an excellent choice for the Dragon Disciple. At 20th level they're rocking a BAB of 14, which is just 1 less than a rogue. Their spells/performances can be tailored to boosting your melee capabilities, and they can wear light armors and shields without any fear of hurting their spellcasting. On top of that they also have more HP, better saves, a lower reliance on the charisma stat (so you can spend more on strength), great party buffs, and they still get access to their highest and greatest spells after taking all the levels of the prestige class.

Bards are amazing dragon disciples. My suggestion is to go bard.

Unless you're a hater.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Right, so this is a groovy idea, because I'm a fan of the dragon disciple. But there's a tiny catch when it comes to the DD: it's not actually that great of a prestige class for sorcerers. It only has medium BAB, which means that when paired with a sorcerer (crap BAB) it ends with a BAB of 12 at level 20. Seriously, you're coming into your third attack 2-5 levels after the effing rogue. Yuck.

There's also the problem that sorcerers are made of paper and almost completely dependent on their spells to be useful in combat. As the spells dwindle and your melee abilities remain subpar you quickly become the useless addition to the party that exists mostly for cool points. Yuck again.

...or you could do the honorable thing and start off with the only martially inclined arcanist available to you: the bard.

Bards are an excellent choice for the Dragon Disciple. At 20th level they're rocking a BAB of 14, which is just 1 less than a rogue. Their spells/performances can be tailored to boosting your melee capabilities, and they can wear light armors and shields without any fear of hurting their spellcasting. On top of that they also have more HP, better saves, a lower reliance on the charisma stat (so you can spend more on strength), great party buffs, and they still get access to their highest and greatest spells after taking all the levels of the prestige class.

Bards are amazing dragon disciples. My suggestion is to go bard.

Unless you're a hater.

I was really wanting to try to emulate the role of the Eldritch Knight in this, wearing armor, casting buff spells on myself, that kind of thing. I was also considering taking a level of fighter just to use a greatsword. Now I might have to take the heirloom weapon trait... hm.

Good suggestion though. I think Serpent's Skull goes to 16, which is where I'm aiming at with most of my abilities.

EDIT: I put out my level spread and I ended up Sorc 4/Fighter 2/DD 10 with 11/6/1 BAB at 16, casting 5th level spells. That's not too bad, but I know I could be better.


Right, so to actually offer some suggestions past simply choosing the Bard, here I go:

Lay your stats out something like this: STR 14+2, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 15. Bump your charisma at level 16 and you'll be fine. The rest of your stat bumps are to be thrown directly into strength for a very respectable score by the time you're done with your prestige class.

Now, lucky for you, your saves are going to be quite well-rounded since you chose to go bard. Reflex is usually a crap save for your standard sorcerer/DD, but you'll end up with base saves looking something like this: Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +12. Not too shabby. You'll get 3 bloodline feats, and your best bets are going to be Toughness, Power Attack, and Improved Initiative. If you simply cannot wait until level seven (assuming you entered with bard 5) to take power attack, Blind Fight and Great Fortitude (your lower save) are both decent options. The rest, simply put, are crap for a bard.

Skills are easy. You mention that you want 3 skills (know: arcana, perception, & acrobatics) which is easily covered during your levels as a dragon disciple. I recommend spreading some points into the other knowledge skills (1 each, precisely) to take advantage of the class skill bonus and your bardic knowledge class ability. Also, don't drop ranks into acrobatics, but instead Perform: Dance. This also gives you excellent synergy, since you can take versatile performance as early as level 2 to give you ranks in dance & fly. You'll be doing a lot of flying. Use magic device is a great choice for bard levels, as well as after your 8th level of dragon disciple when your intelligence raises. Diplomacy, Bluff, & Intimidate are great choices as well.

Other feats of interest include improved critical, cleave (for skirmishing), arcane strike (you won't be casting quickened spells without rods), vital strike (for skirmishing), fly-by attack (if your DM allows), dazzling display/shatter defenses (phenomenal once you hit bard 8), sickening critical, and the chain of feats leading up to whirlwind attack to really cope with your lower BAB but groovy strength. I mean, you *become* the fireball.

EDIT: Ok, you seem to have posted while I was typing up this whole suggestion thing. Sorry it took so long- I was digging through the rulebooks. It'd be easy to pass off the bard as something other than a trouncy lute-player. Something like a dragon aspirant who uses intimidation, awe, and an awesome understanding of world lore to mimic the dragons and proclaim his own heritage to inspiring & terrifying heights.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
A ton of good stuff

You seem to be selling me on this. Just to clarify: I need know: arcana to qualify for Dragon Disciple, which is why it was one of the few skills I would get to take. This route seems a lot simpler in that regard.


Ice Titan wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
A ton of good stuff
You seem to be selling me on this. Just to clarify: I need know: arcana to qualify for Dragon Disciple, which is why it was one of the few skills I would get to take. This route seems a lot simpler in that regard.

Right, which is easy to achieve with your bard levels. Once you actually get into dragon disciple you don't really need to continue pursuing it, but you easily can. In fact, during DD levels you can spend your 3 skill points on Knowledge: Arcana, Perception, and Perform: Dance. This actually nets you with 4 useful skills (acrobatics & fly).


If allowed, and if you are willing to give up the spell known the battle sorcerer(unearthed arcana) should fit well with it.


wraithstrike wrote:
If allowed, and if you are willing to give up the spell known the battle sorcerer(unearthed arcana) should fit well with it.

Beat me by two hours and 5 minutes, wraithstrike.

Yeah, the battle sorcerer is on page 56 of Unearthed Arcana. If you don't have the book, Ice Titan, here's the write up:

Spoiler:
Battle Sorcerer
Hit Die: d8
BAB: same as cleric
Class Skills: remove Bluff
Weapon & Armor: gain proficiency with any one light or one-handed martial weapon, gain proficiency with light armor
Spellcasting: Sorcerer spells may be cast in light armor without chance of spell failure.

Fewer spells per day: Subtract one spell per spell level. (For example, a lvl 6 sorcerer would be able to cast 5 lvl one spells, 4 lvl two spells, and 2 lvl three spells.)

Fewer spells known: Subtract one spell known per spell level, with a minimum of one. (For example, a lvl 6 sorcerer would know 6 cantrips, 3 lvl one spells, 1 lvl two spell, and 1 lvl three spell. When he reached lvl 7 he would learn a new lvl one spell, as well as a new lvl two spell. He would not learn a new lvl three spell since two minus one is one.)

If that's too many spells given up for you to swallow, a lesser version known as the stalwart sorcerer exists in Complete Mage on page 36:

Spoiler:
Stalwart Sorcerer
Class: Level one sorcerer
Special Requirement: Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank
Replace: Reduce by one your spells known for your highest spell level, with a minimum of one. (For example at level one you would know one level 1 spell. At level three you would know 2. At level five you would gain the formerly absent level one spell, but you know only one level 2 spell.)
Benefit: You gain two extra hit points for every level in sorcerer. (For example, a level 4 sorcerer has 8 extra hit points.) You also gain the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat for a martial weapon of your choice, as well as the Weapon Focus feat for said weapon.


Chris Gunter wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If allowed, and if you are willing to give up the spell known the battle sorcerer(unearthed arcana) should fit well with it.

Beat me by two hours and 5 minutes, wraithstrike.

Yeah, the battle sorcerer is on page 56 of Unearthed Arcana. If you don't have the book, Ice Titan, here's the write up:

** spoiler omitted **

If that's too many spells given up for you to swallow, a lesser version known as the stalwart sorcerer exists in Complete Mage on page 36:

** spoiler omitted **...

Haha, I didn't suggest either of those because they're not core. However, to weigh my opinion on both:

The battle sorcerer was designed for 3.5, when the sorcerer lacked class features and a reason to stay single-classed. That said, the spells known penalty is a HUGE penalty, even with the bloodline spells in pathfinder. Personally, I find the exchange pretty palpable: medium BAB, ability to cast spells in light armor, an increased hit die (now only an increase in 1 step, not 2), and proficiency with a single one-handed martial weapon is a fair trade for 1 fewer spell known at each level. After all, the cleric gets more and gives up less- and that spell known lost will sting all the way to 20.

However, I find the stalwart sorcerer to be perhaps the most easily accessible and blatantly unbalanced material to come around at the end of 3.5. Really, it just seemed like they were begging you to stick with core sorcerer. You give up a SINGLE spell known of your highest level to gain a bunch of features. In 3.5 it was a convincing argument to stay core, especially since you'd only lose that spell the level *after* you got your new spells (since it was minimum 1). In 3.PF? It's beyond broken. You give up a single spell of your highest level at the same time you're earning your bloodline spell to gain 2 free feats and, on average, a 2 step increase to your hit die? And it stacks with toughness? You'd be downright goofy to allow it, and even more so to ignore it if it were an option in your game.


I'm not sure how superior the Bard is for a 16 level build. With 10 levels of Dragon Disciple there's only a difference of 1 in BAB (+10 vs +11), and that last iterative attack will miss a lot. Being able to sing for +2/+2 would definitely be nice. Cure spells are also pretty nice. The sorcerer would get more out of the breath weapon and probably has stronger spellcasting overall though. Assuming 20 Chr:

Bard 13
7x1st 6x2nd 5x3rd 4x4th 2x5th

Sorcerer 13
8x1st 7x2nd 7x3rd 7x4th 7x5th 4x6th

Those 6th level spells include Transformation, which grants a +6 BAB along with some other stuff. A 13th level sorcerer with the trait for +2 caster levels and draconic bloodline would also be pretty good at blowing stuff up with spells. That could be useful for those times when hitting things with a pointy stick isn't the best option, so could a 16d6 breath weapon twice per day.

All those extra spells per day could also help to close other gaps too. False Life would more than make up for the lower HP from sorcerer, for instance. Shield is a nice boost to AC if you know combat is imminent, and extended it can probably last long enough to keep on throughout entire dungeons at higher levels.

If you're willing to dump a caster level anyhow then a dip into Fighter or Barbarian could make sense. B2/S4/DD10 is still +11 BAB, and with a couple of feats he can get Extra Rage and Arcane Armor Mastery (mithral full plate maybe?). With Moment of Clarity or Roused Anger he could also mix up rage and casting pretty effectively. I'd probably stick with the caster levels and get AC from spells, but if being fairly good in melee right from level 1 is important to your concept then this guy should be decent. His casting would be a little closer to the Bard's, but I think the spell selection is superior and the improvement in bloodline powers could come in handy.


I think going Sorceror is fine, and it has a wider range of spells, but I am going to say that you only need 1 level or Sorceror, the rest of your levels to qualify for DD can be Fighter or Barbarian levels.
You need to realize that you just aren`t going to compete with a full caster in the first place, and embrace that... to the extent that you don`t need a 15 CHA at 1st level, 12 or 13 is more like it. Enough to cast your spells (and get a few bonus spell slots), but it`s not worth it splitting your stats 50/50 so that your Save DCs lag only by slightly less than Full Casters (who since they don`t have the need for melee Feats, can have many Spell Focuses as well). Just try to choose spells without Saving Throws, whether offensive or defensive/utility. I think utilities and buffs are what is most worthwhile for this type of build.

Taldor

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I think that successful DD builds are based around either Monk or Barbarian, with just enough Sorceror or Bard to qualify. The stat bonuses from DD offset the lost class benefits of Monk or Barb, and the limited casting progression you gain provides various self-buffs.

I've played a Monk 4, Sorc 1, DD X for a while, and think it's a very successful build. Alter Self, Enlarge Person, Mage Armor, & Shocking Grasp are all highly beneficial to the build (especially with the Trait to buff you effective caster level), and easily accessible even at low caster level. Not to mention, even with a limited caster level, it opens up access to various wands, scrolls, etc.


I would suggest paladin3/sorceror2/DD8/EK7. This gives you 7th level spells, base attack of 17, divine grace, which will be HUGE with a sorceror/dd's charisma, and snite evil which will do crap for damage, but give you a nice boost to hit. You'll also get almost all the dragon disciple abilities sans wings, which is really redundant once you get the fly spell, and several fighter feats including weapon specialization.


JRR wrote:
I would suggest paladin3/sorceror2/DD8/EK7. This gives you 7th level spells, base attack of 17, divine grace, which will be HUGE with a sorceror/dd's charisma, and snite evil which will do crap for damage, but give you a nice boost to hit. You'll also get almost all the dragon disciple abilities sans wings, which is really redundant once you get the fly spell, and several fighter feats including weapon specialization.

Pal 2/sorc 3/DD 4/EK 10 is also nice Gold/silver Dragon Bloodline is great flavor for a paladin DD in my mind.

Or just pal 2 or 4/sor 1/DD 10 if you want DD all the way.
Still spell lets you use full plate, a heavy shield, and a weapon and cast with no spell failure chance.


JRR and grasshopper - You have a good point with Paladins and divine grace. That could really come in handy. The build here is only 16 levels though, and instead of Still Spell I'd probably go with Arcane Armor Mastery (with mithral full plate it is only a 5% spell failure chance I think, none at all with mithral breastplate)

Quandary - I was going to suggest just taking 1 level of Sorcerer, but I realized that Barbarian 4/Sorcerer 1 is BAB +4 while Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 3 is BAB +3...not a big difference really, and Brb5/Src1/DD10 is +11 BAB while Brb2/Src4/DD10 is...also +11 BAB with better casting. I like the idea of keeping the casting reasonably strong. Honestly I'd probably do Src6/DD10 (BAB+10) and use shape shifting to cover the AC gap. Taking more full BAB levels might work out too though.

Shadow Lodge

Smite is great here because it bypasses DR... if you have claws/ bite or are using dragon shape that's a huge benefit. The DR bypass is much more important than the trivial +3 damage it will give you. Think about 4 levels of paladin if you go that route to get the extra smite/ day. That is a lot of caster levels to lose though.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
[...]Bards are amazing dragon disciples. My suggestion is to go bard.

+1.

Ice Titan do you want all 10 levels or just a taste of it.
My suggestion pick 4 levels DD or maximum 8 levels.

or as Treantmonk put it in his guide to bards:

"Dragon Disciple: Much improved from 3.5. 10 levels gets you 7 spellcasting levels, continues your moderate BAB and gives 2 fast save progressions. A nice HP boost is coming with a d12 per level. You get the Sorcerer "Draconic" bloodline powers at level 1 (not great, but OK), your natural armor will begin to improve from level 1, you get some nice ability boosts to Str, Con and Int - very nice. 3 bonus feats over the first 8 levels, a bite attack (which is pretty decent with a good str), a breath weapon at level 3, blindsense at level 5 (a very nice power), form of the dragon as a spell like ability, and eventually wings. Strongly consider breaking out at level 8, as the last 2 levels offer less than the first 8, and it will save you a caster level loss at level 9."

I would pick at least 8 levels bard. Reason? Bardic Performance.
The key is 8th level, when you can start Bardic Performance as a move action and then 13th level, when you can engage it as a swift action.

So here are some options:
Bard 13 + DD 7
Bard 8 + DD 10 + Paladin 2
Bard 11 + DD 7 + Paladin 2
Bard 11 + DD 5 + Paladin 4 (or Bard 13 + DD 5 + Paladin 2)
Bard 12 + DD 4 + Paladin 4

Since your a caster you really want level 8. Dirge of doom will help you a lot. Playing a DD/bard let you cast spells in medium armor (Celestial armor or elven chain).
Remember now in pathfinder Good Hope and inspire courage stack.

A level 13 Bard can start Dirge of doom as a move action + cast spell + end Dirge of doom as a free action + start Inspire Courage (and boost your party) as a swift action. All on your turn.

A level 8 bard, can:
round 1) start Dirge of Doom as a move action + cast spell

round 2) maintain Dirge of Doom as a free action + cast spell as a
standard action + switch to Inspire Courage as a move action.

or

round 2) maintain Dirge of Doom as a free action + cast spell as a
swift action (using a rod) + switch to Inspire Courage as a standard action + move

Dirge of Doom is great if you cast spells. So if you get a Rod of Quicken Metamagic, Lesser, you can actually use your move action to perform the Dirge of Doom, then use your Swift for a quickened spell (like Slow) and cast regularly (perhaps Glitterdust?) - all with -2 to save DC's, all for one round of Bardic Perform.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm considering DD build that's more fighter that Spell caster. Basically fighter with flavor. It won't be as good a fighter but definitely can keep up and the extra powers make up for what it loses in terms of BAB but damage wise I can equal a fighter for the most part. I have it worked out as F6, S2, DD8, EK4. Favored Class being Fighter.

Stats with 20 PT Build would

STR 18 (+2 human) 10pt
DEX 14 5pt
Con 12 2pt
Int 12 2pt
Wis 8 -2pt
ChR 13 3pt


Devilkiller wrote:

JRR and grasshopper - You have a good point with Paladins and divine grace. That could really come in handy. The build here is only 16 levels though, and instead of Still Spell I'd probably go with Arcane Armor Mastery (with mithral full plate it is only a 5% spell failure chance I think, none at all with mithral breastplate)

Quandary - I was going to suggest just taking 1 level of Sorcerer, but I realized that Barbarian 4/Sorcerer 1 is BAB +4 while Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 3 is BAB +3...not a big difference really, and Brb5/Src1/DD10 is +11 BAB while Brb2/Src4/DD10 is...also +11 BAB with better casting. I like the idea of keeping the casting reasonably strong. Honestly I'd probably do Src6/DD10 (BAB+10) and use shape shifting to cover the AC gap. Taking more full BAB levels might work out too though.

I'm considering Src6/Brb2/DD8 right now. I'm really trying to balance my melee effectiveness with the spells I get to maximize my combat ability while keeping my out of combat utility strong.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I played a DD that was sorceror 5/DD X got to a 5/5 split. Strength was my primary ability, and i focused on buff and non-save spells with casting. Basically I just created a roundabout way to have a powerful meleer (when buffed he was badass). There was however one notable houserule and that there wasnt a per day limit on the claws (and thus the bite) ability. That coupled with an eventual ungodly (or godly depending on how you look at it) strength, meant he was a solit combatant with 3 attacks doing bucketloads of damage.

I like going as much straight soceror as you can because in my opinion the gains from progression in the dragon bloodline abilities are significant. That and i always try to keep as many of those casting levels as i can, because no matter what you cut it with, magic is awesome. He was however pretty squishy early on. Getting toughness asap is a good idea. As is things like Dodge, and or arcane armor training.


Ice Titan wrote:
I'm considering Src6/Brb2/DD8 right now. I'm really trying to balance my melee effectiveness with the spells I get to maximize my combat ability while keeping my out of combat utility strong.

As long as your haveing fun. Go with it, but you can't cast spells when you rage. I would choose Paldin. Two levels Paladin will give you:

Detect evil at will, smite evil 1/day, Divine grace, lay on hands and you can use wands with all Paladin spells.
Another option might be Ranger. They have medium armor prof. just like the Barbarian. Lots of skills, good fort and reflex saves nice spell list if you want to get som wands, etc.


Zark wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:
I'm considering Src6/Brb2/DD8 right now. I'm really trying to balance my melee effectiveness with the spells I get to maximize my combat ability while keeping my out of combat utility strong.

As long as your haveing fun. Go with it, but you can't cast spells when you rage. I would choose Paldin. Two levels Paladin will give you:

Detect evil at will, smite evil 1/day, Divine grace, lay on hands and you can use wands with all Paladin spells.
Another option might be Ranger. They have medium armor prof. just like the Barbarian. Lots of skills, good fort and reflex saves nice spell list if you want to get som wands, etc.

I'm seeing a lot of potential for the DD is the "nova" effect where they burn their dragon transformation and their buff spells and then use transformation all while going absolutely berserk. They can do this once a day or so for maybe one minute. It feels a lot like Ultraman.

Moment of Clarity would be my must-have rage power so I can stop, cast, and then keep going berserk. And nothing stops me from just ending rage if I need to. I think someone is playing a paladin in the group, so I should be covered there for fatigue if I need it.

I'm wary of paladin since I've played two in the last three or so months. Been playing a lot of paladins. Want to branch out.


Devilkiller wrote:
Quandary - I was going to suggest just taking 1 level of Sorcerer, but I realized that Barbarian 4/Sorcerer 1 is BAB +4 while Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 3 is BAB +3...not a big difference really, and Brb5/Src1/DD10 is +11 BAB while Brb2/Src4/DD10 is...also +11 BAB with better casting.

BAB is not really the main thing I`m talking about here... It isn`t even a Pre-Req to enter DD. Class Abilities, like Rage Powers/scaling, Paladin abilities, or Fighter Armor Training and Feats is what I`m talking about. The problem with Barbarian is that Rage conflicts with Spellcasting, though that just means choosing spells is easier because you aren`t planning to cast them in combat :-) Monk can also be very nice, and if you want to Grapple 1 level of it makes alot of sense.

Zark`s point about Bard/DD being really great with alot of Bard levels (8) is what makes me not like it as much... You`re moving out of Bard and into a more melee-focused half-caster build at the pont where spell-casting/other is over-taking melee in effectiveness... I`d rather just invest in a Wand of Form of Dragon and go Bard all the way for similar effect, while getting all the Bard abilities and not just advancing their casting at 2/3 speed.

Andoran

I've been playing a kobold Bard 8/Dragon Disciple for a while now and it's a lot of fun! 3/4 BAB throughout and when you combine power attack, an amulet of mighty fists and inspire courage, those claws and bite really leave a mark!

Shadow Lodge

Quandary wrote:
Zark`s point about Bard/DD being really great with alot of Bard levels (8) is what makes me not like it as much... You`re moving out of Bard and into a more melee-focused half-caster build at the pont where spell-casting/other is over-taking melee in effectiveness... I`d rather just invest in a Wand of Form of Dragon and go Bard all the way for similar effect, while getting all the Bard abilities and not just advancing their casting at 2/3 speed.

Assuming your GM let it fly that would be an expensive wand.


0gre wrote:
Assuming your GM let it fly that would be an expensive wand.

Sure, I was mostly just pointing out that Full BAB vs. 3/4 is marginal to the value of going heavy Fighter/Barb/Paladin. Probably a uses/day item replicating Form of Dragon would be more efficient than a wand (start out at 1/day and upgrade the usages and Spell Level when you can afford it) - Enlarge Person really gets the job done most of the time anyways, i.e. Reach+Falchion.

I could also see items or Feats which allow all Arcane Caster Class Levels to stack for purposes of Draconic Bloodline Class features, i.e. take Bard5/DragonDisciple1/BardX with that Feat/item and your Bard levels could count toward Bloodline Ability progression while fully advancing Bard abilities (well, -1 for the DD level). You wouldn´t get all the stat bonuses of real DD levels, along with other stuff, but that approach (vs. more melee class levels) is clearly more about casting and bard abilities than pure melee punch...
Otherwise, *for me*, taking Bard to 8+ trying to fill the melee-ist role just doesn´t add up... Sure, you can activate your Bard abilities more easily/simultaneously, but a full Bard can make use of that much better than a wanna-be melee-ist. Not to mention the issue of splitting stats between STR/DEX/CON and CHA, while for most of your career you don´t really have the class abilities to make the most of S/D/C yet the abilities you do have have CHA-determined DC´s.

Anyhow, short story is PRPG Dragon Disciple is now plenty of fun however you want to do it!

Andoran

Heres what I did for a PFRPG Dragon Disciple
Half-Orc Fighter/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple
Trait: Mathematical Prodigy (Knowledge Arcana becomes a class skill)
Level 1: Fighter feats: Weapon Focus (Halberd), Toughness
Level 2: Fighter feat: Dodge
Level 3: Fighter feat: Combat Expertise
Level 4: Fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Halberd)
Level 5: Sorcerer feat: Improved Disarm
Level 6-15: Dragon Disciple feats (in order): Cleave, Arcane Armor Training, Greater Disarm, Arcane Armor Mastery, Practiced Spellcaster*
Level 16-20: Fighter feats: Combat Reflexes, Greater Trip

Focus on 'buff' spells and other self-help spells instead of typical sorcerer big-bang spell that rely on a saving throw. The Dragon Disciple ability bonuses really help to make a combat monster, with some awesome spell backup.

*-If you aren't allowed to select this feat there is a trait that kinda does the same thing for ya (I can't think of the name of it right now)
Dragon Disciples rock for PFRPG (bonus caster levels instead of crappy bonus spells in 3.5)

Taldor

Quandary wrote:
Otherwise, *for me*, taking Bard to 8+ trying to fill the melee-ist role just doesn´t add up... Sure, you can activate your Bard abilities more easily/simultaneously, but a full Bard can make use of that much better than a wanna-be melee-ist. Not to mention the issue of splitting stats between STR/DEX/CON and CHA, while for most of your career you don´t really have the class abilities to make the most of S/D/C yet the abilities you do have have CHA-determined DC´s.

Personally, I always considered the DD to be another version of the EK gish. With EKs being the more wizardy (i.e. practiced, tutored, educated, trained) and DD being the more sorcerery (i.e. more innate, inherited, spontaneous, etc.). The best DD builds I seen, like the better EK builds, focus on melee capabilities that use their casting for self-buffs or utility.

Because of this view, I think Bards, in particular, really suffer when going into DD. You have to delay entry into the PrC in order to pick up essential abilities like starting a performance as a move, and you end up never really progressing out of the +2 or +3 buff bot that the bard is stuck being at low levels. That said, dipping into Bard instead of Sorc to qualify offers a lot of extra flavor, if a less beneficial spell list, while still granting 90% of the bloodline crunch of the sorcerer (kinda like taking Barb or Pally to get into EK and still getting fighter feats).

The best mechanically sound pure Bard DD (though I know pure mechanics isn't the only guiding premise here), would likely be a version of Treantmonk's controller bard (the Str buffs from DD will sync nicely with the trip attacks). Further, I would likely push entering DD out until picking up Dirge (which is a big part of the build). But, if I were to roll up a pure bard DD, I don't know if I could stop myself being a Kobald and singing "Doom do do dooom, doomity doom" at the table. :-)


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Just to weigh in on the bard as a DD.

IF you want a melee heavy bard with the DD I would suggest the following:

Bard 5, DD 1, Bard 2, DD 7, Bard

With the following stats before racial adjustment:

Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 13 (20 point buy!)

Racial adjustments and level adjustments should increase strength.

My trait (if available) would be the armor training one, and my feats would be the following:

Arcane Strike, Toughness, Power Attack, Extra bardic performance, Nimble Moves, Weapon Focus(long spear), Combat Casting, Improved Initiative

With my favored class bonus probably going to HP. If you want more dex then I would drop wisdom to 8 and Cha to 12 to boost Dex to 14.

Please note that while you don't have the rage or what not you will have good hope, and bardic music, in addition to Arcane strike with more muscle being provided by the DD levels. I would end in mithral breastplate (not worrying about the proficiency since I have the armor training trait which reduces my ACP by 1 leaving it at 0) and might pick up a buckler. Due to the fact I have light armor in addition to more natural armor than the "fighter" types will have I'll still end up in the same general AC range as the other tanks with the same amount of monetary expenditure on my behalf.

Due to the slight increase to Con from the DD and the average hit dice combined with the top hit dice from DD I'll generally be in the same HP range as the fighter as well.

Unlike most other Gishes I wouldn't require more than a round of buffing past level 8 (only one level later than a "normal" bard). The natural weapons will be used on occasion honestly since I'll get full power attack with them and more importantly they are all Full BAB, and I'll probably use Items to keep my Cha to the point that I can cast my spells.


I had to add that I´m heavily interested in what a ¨Magus¨ - Dragon Disciple might look like.
Though that depends on the Magus being a Spontaneous Caster. But if they can better combine magic + melee beginning at low levels (or by, say, 5th-8th level) that could be an interesting base to build a Dragon Disciple on top of.

Does any body know if the Magus is supposed to be prepared or spontaneous?
Or if there´s any chance that name could be changed to... ANYTHING ELSE, preferably at least marginally evocative of a hybrid melee/arcanist rather than something that sounds like a cheesy title for a full caster?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
overdark wrote:

Heres what I did for a PFRPG Dragon Disciple

Half-Orc Fighter/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple
Trait: Mathematical Prodigy (Knowledge Arcana becomes a class skill)
Level 1: Fighter feats: Weapon Focus (Halberd), Toughness
Level 2: Fighter feat: Dodge
Level 3: Fighter feat: Combat Expertise
Level 4: Fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Halberd)
Level 5: Sorcerer feat: Improved Disarm
Level 6-15: Dragon Disciple feats (in order): Cleave, Arcane Armor Training, Greater Disarm, Arcane Armor Mastery, Practiced Spellcaster*
Level 16-20: Fighter feats: Combat Reflexes, Greater Trip

Focus on 'buff' spells and other self-help spells instead of typical sorcerer big-bang spell that rely on a saving throw. The Dragon Disciple ability bonuses really help to make a combat monster, with some awesome spell backup.

*-If you aren't allowed to select this feat there is a trait that kinda does the same thing for ya (I can't think of the name of it right now)
Dragon Disciples rock for PFRPG (bonus caster levels instead of crappy bonus spells in 3.5)

Why would you take a trait to give you Knowledge Arcana as class skill when as soon as you become that level one sorcerer you get it as class skill? Just for the +1?

Now what would make fighter DD really cool is if the Combat Feats for the fighter are swappable at every 4th level not every 4th fighter level. Then when you get the chance to pick toughness you can swap it out combat feat at 8th level for an new feat allowing you to take toughness at 1st level. I allow this as house rule in my game because the combat feat swap is pretty useless for straight fighter otherwise but it work great if you multiclass where you get feats you want later for free. There have been arguments made that because it just at level 4 and every 4th level that rules allow it already but I think because it's under the fighter class it's means fighter level not character level.


I see a lot of recommendations for the Arcane Armor feats, and one person recommending Still Spell...

I guess the question I have here, folks, is what's worse: using two feats to lose your swift actions anytime you cast a spell and being limited to 20% failure armors, or using one feat and having to full-round cast anything and having all your spells take up a higher slot?

I mean, Still Spell lets you effectively dump Dex down to that wonderful optimized 12, but full-round casting really REALLY sucks. Meanwhile if you go Arcane Armor, you need a decent dex, 'cause the best armor you're wearing realistically is a chain shirt (I mean, seriously, do you guys have DMs that actually let you get your hands on Mithral Full Plate that easily?)

I would say if you can get your hands on a Quicken Rod or two, Still Spell is better.


Well quicken doesn't get rid of the ASF.

And for sorcerers the arcane armor training is the better choice (since any spell that you metamagic barring quicken spell takes a full round action), while wizards can *generally* use still spell to better effect.

Bards are the best choice for dragon disciple precisely because they *don't* have this problem -- they can wear that armor without problems (in general) in addition to everything else that makes them a good idea (more hp, better BAB, better self buffs, faster buffing, weapon proficiencies etc).


If you do end up going bard/X OP, consider taking Battle Caster feat(CArcane or Mage), means you can wear medium armour whilst casting.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Well quicken doesn't get rid of the ASF.

No, but Still Spell does, it just raises the spell by a level, and for spontaneous casters, makes it take the whole round. So if you quicken a still spell with a rod, you have a swift action spell which...

...which even as I type this I realize is still using a swift action like Arcane Armor. I fail.


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Well quicken doesn't get rid of the ASF.

No, but Still Spell does, it just raises the spell by a level, and for spontaneous casters, makes it take the whole round. So if you quicken a still spell with a rod, you have a swift action spell which...

...which even as I type this I realize is still using a swift action like Arcane Armor. I fail.

:D happens to the best of us. I generally delete and close the tab before I post such things though.

All in all Bard is *generally* the best fit for the DD. Wizard (and witch once it comes out -- in fact Witch more so than Wizard even) fits the eldritch knight best.

Funny enough sorcerer meshes well with the arcane archer, and evenly with the wizard (depending on bloodline) for arcane trickster (which both bard and witch are horrible at).


Here's a DD build I've been kicking around:

Rogue3/sorceror1/Paladin2/DD4/Arcane Trickster6/EK4

Base attack 14
Caster Level 13
5d6 sneak attack
Divine Grace
Smite Evil

And most importantly - "Tricky Spells (Su): Starting at 5th level, an arcane trickster can cast her spells without their somatic or
verbal components, as if using the Still Spell and Silent
Spell feats. Spells cast using this ability do not increase in
spell level or casting time. She can use this ability 3 times
per day at 5th level..."


I still think that having more caster levels would be very helpful. With the "nova" potential Ice Titan mentioned you might want to reserve your ability to flip out and completely massacre everything for just the right times. If the time isn't right or you've already fired all your big guns you can hang back doing reasonable damage with 16d6 breath weapons and decent spellcasting ability.

The suggestion for Arcane Armor Mastery is based on the premise that the OP wants a guy with armor and a sword for RP reasons. If you're not going for that look then mage armor (later bracers of armor) and various polymorph spells and abilities should provide sufficient AC without sucking up feats or gold. At least that's how I imagine it playing out. I haven't played a DD since 3.5, when they weren't nearly as cool though that PC did pretty well actually and is still (in)famous for "wrestling a balor".

In any event, I think the sorcerer DD would far outshine the bard's casting and draconic bloodline abilities. The bard would be able to use bardic music though, and that's nice (your party would probably thank you at least)

Andoran

voska66 wrote:
overdark wrote:

Heres what I did for a PFRPG Dragon Disciple

Half-Orc Fighter/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple
Trait: Mathematical Prodigy (Knowledge Arcana becomes a class skill)
Level 1: Fighter feats: Weapon Focus (Halberd), Toughness
Level 2: Fighter feat: Dodge
Level 3: Fighter feat: Combat Expertise
Level 4: Fighter feat: Weapon Specialization (Halberd)
Level 5: Sorcerer feat: Improved Disarm
Level 6-15: Dragon Disciple feats (in order): Cleave, Arcane Armor Training, Greater Disarm, Arcane Armor Mastery, Practiced Spellcaster*
Level 16-20: Fighter feats: Combat Reflexes, Greater Trip

Focus on 'buff' spells and other self-help spells instead of typical sorcerer big-bang spell that rely on a saving throw. The Dragon Disciple ability bonuses really help to make a combat monster, with some awesome spell backup.

*-If you aren't allowed to select this feat there is a trait that kinda does the same thing for ya (I can't think of the name of it right now)
Dragon Disciples rock for PFRPG (bonus caster levels instead of crappy bonus spells in 3.5)

Why would you take a trait to give you Knowledge Arcana as class skill when as soon as you become that level one sorcerer you get it as class skill? Just for the +1?

Now what would make fighter DD really cool is if the Combat Feats for the fighter are swappable at every 4th level not every 4th fighter level. Then when you get the chance to pick toughness you can swap it out combat feat at 8th level for an new feat allowing you to take toughness at 1st level. I allow this as house rule in my game because the combat feat swap is pretty useless for straight fighter otherwise but it work great if you multiclass where you get feats you want later for free. There have been arguments made that because it just at level 4 and every 4th level that rules allow it already but I think because it's under the fighter class it's means fighter level not character level.

I took the Mathematical Prodigy trait because I only take the 1 level of Sorcerer to qualify for the prestige class so I need Knowledge (arcana) as a class skill for my Fighter levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
overdark wrote:
voska66 wrote:

Why would you take a trait to give you Knowledge Arcana as class skill when as soon as you become that level one sorcerer you get it as class skill? Just for the +1?

Now what would make fighter DD really cool is if the Combat Feats for the fighter are swappable at every 4th level not every 4th fighter level. Then when you get the chance to pick toughness you can swap it out combat feat at 8th level for an new feat allowing you to take toughness at 1st level. I allow this as house rule in my game because the combat feat swap is pretty useless for straight fighter otherwise but it work great if you multiclass where you get feats you want later for free. There have been arguments made that because it just at level 4 and every 4th level that rules allow it already but I think because it's under the fighter class it's means fighter level not character level.

I took the Mathematical Prodigy trait because I only take the 1 level of Sorcerer to qualify for the prestige class so I need Knowledge (arcana) as a class skill for my Fighter levels.

Pathfinder RPG eliminated the "2-for-1" on cross-class skills. Skill Ranks count 1-for-1 with all skills; class skills just gain a +3 check modifier. As long as you assign 1 Skill Rank to Knowledge (Arcana) with each character level, qualifying for dragon disciple is pretty easy (as long as you have at least 1 level in bard or sorcerer).

Andoran

Quote:
Pathfinder RPG eliminated the "2-for-1" on cross-class skills. Skill Ranks count 1-for-1 with all skills; class skills just gain a +3 check modifier. As long as you assign 1 Skill Rank to Knowledge (Arcana) with each character level, qualifying for dragon disciple is pretty easy (as long as you have at least 1 level in bard or sorcerer).

Yeah, thanks for that I totally spaced on that rules change for PFRPG. Now I can totally select a different trait for this character when (if ever) I actually run it.


Kolokotroni wrote:
I like going as much straight soceror as you can because in my opinion the gains from progression in the dragon bloodline abilities are significant.

+1 on this point, IMO. The sorcerer bloodline for dragon is POTENT, IMO, and if you combine it with the effects of DD it's even MORE paramount, IMO, to stick to sorcerer to milk that "I'm a descendant of dragons" stuff.

Just saying - bards work for bab and some on the buff, but with spell selection, you can out-buff the bard, IMO (maybe hyperbole here - but I'm looking at spell selection and restrictions mostly as I type this). But with the stat boons and bloodline traits - DD is just getting a LOT to help in melee-specific circumstances. If you're *really* worried about that, too, though (melee junk) you can always end your buffing (or later on, just open up with) Tenser's Transformation and instantly get BAB = to your caster level (or whatever it does). So ... yeah. There's a LOT of power there in sticking to sorcerer as a power path, too.


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I like going as much straight soceror as you can because in my opinion the gains from progression in the dragon bloodline abilities are significant.

+1 on this point, IMO. The sorcerer bloodline for dragon is POTENT, IMO, and if you combine it with the effects of DD it's even MORE paramount, IMO, to stick to sorcerer to milk that "I'm a descendant of dragons" stuff.

Just saying - bards work for bab and some on the buff, but with spell selection, you can out-buff the bard, IMO (maybe hyperbole here - but I'm looking at spell selection and restrictions mostly as I type this). But with the stat boons and bloodline traits - DD is just getting a LOT to help in melee-specific circumstances. If you're *really* worried about that, too, though (melee junk) you can always end your buffing (or later on, just open up with) Tenser's Transformation and instantly get BAB = to your caster level (or whatever it does). So ... yeah. There's a LOT of power there in sticking to sorcerer as a power path, too.

Yeah the out buffing part is Hyperbole buddy!

DD is nice -- but all it does for a sorcerer is slow down his spell progression and makes him think he might be able to get into combat without dying. Honestly with the spells he has access too with the number of times per day he can do them a sorcerer is nuts to go into melee -- not because he "can't do it" but because he has so many better options than simply swinging a sword (not that swinging a sword is a bad option -- for a fighter, bard, paladin or someone like that) -- even with the DD's boosts the sorcerer isn't going to get decent damage out of a melee attack, and he's not going to control the battlefield with that attack, he's not going to prevent damage with that attack, or any other of the millions of things he could do really really well with spells.

Now the DD sorcerer can melee -- he can even be decent to middling good at it -- however he gives up a LOT for stuff that, honestly, he's going to get anyways. Yes it might come later but everything but the stat boosts (I do consider the BAB and HD increases as stat boosts) are something the sorcerer is going to get access to just staying in class.

The Bard on the other hand when going into this class does gain a lot of abilities and boosts that play to his strengths and that he normally couldn't get at all (not saying that DD is the only way to Bard because it really isn't).


It may be a *little* hyperbole, but only depending on what you want the buffing to do. Others - bard is better. Self - full casters rule. You need only go as far as the whole wizards/sorcerers can out-fight fighters and such and that's where you end up.

Sure, there *more* useful stuff out there for them, but hey - if they *want* to fight things, they'll fight the HELL out of 'em way better than the melee types.

Throw on displacements, greater invisibility, and so on, it just gets gross.

I'm not thinking that the OP, or those drawn to the DD PrC in general *care* about sorcerer's options to control the field. I think they're more about trying to make their "magic-dragon" themed character be all kinds of diesel in melee.

Yes - sorceres can be *better* than a mere melee, but that misses the point of what people go into it looking for, IMO.

As for the damage junk - I don't know - I'm not particularly inclined towards long drawn out math stuff, but off hand here's stuff a dragon-blooded sorcerer DD can manage: bulls strength - focus on str-boosting ability stuff, drop investment into Cha only as much as granting casting, take spells that really aren't about saves (like self-buffing, protections, etc), and they're going to mop up big time. Cast "touch" spells and add that to the combat routine will hurt a bit, too, IMO. go w/the natural attack of the claw/claw/bite and then add in the iteratives and this son-of-a-gun can hurt even w/out his lower bab values. Tack on a Transformation for good measure and it's brutal, IMO. Layer on some stoneskin, etc - I mean, seriously they can get crazy-powerful in melee terms in melee conditions in ways that melee-types can't approach.

Is it the *best* use of sorcerer/magic stuff? No. Does it do what most are after? Probably ... just sayin' - it's an option, and a pretty good one for staying w/the bloodline powers.


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:

It may be a *little* hyperbole, but only depending on what you want the buffing to do. Others - bard is better. Self - full casters rule. You need only go as far as the whole wizards/sorcerers can out-fight fighters and such and that's where you end up.

Sure, there *more* useful stuff out there for them, but hey - if they *want* to fight things, they'll fight the HELL out of 'em way better than the melee types.

Throw on displacements, greater invisibility, and so on, it just gets gross.

I'm not thinking that the OP, or those drawn to the DD PrC in general *care* about sorcerer's options to control the field. I think they're more about trying to make their "magic-dragon" themed character be all kinds of diesel in melee.

Yes - sorceres can be *better* than a mere melee, but that misses the point of what people go into it looking for, IMO.

As for the damage junk - I don't know - I'm not particularly inclined towards long drawn out math stuff, but off hand here's stuff a dragon-blooded sorcerer DD can manage: bulls strength - focus on str-boosting ability stuff, drop investment into Cha only as much as granting casting, take spells that really aren't about saves (like self-buffing, protections, etc), and they're going to mop up big time. Cast "touch" spells and add that to the combat routine will hurt a bit, too, IMO. go w/the natural attack of the claw/claw/bite and then add in the iteratives and this son-of-a-gun can hurt even w/out his lower bab values. Tack on a Transformation for good measure and it's brutal, IMO. Layer on some stoneskin, etc - I mean, seriously they can get crazy-powerful in melee terms in melee conditions in ways that melee-types can't approach.

Is it the *best* use of sorcerer/magic stuff? No. Does it do what most are after? Probably ... just sayin' - it's an option, and a pretty good one for staying w/the bloodline powers.

I'm just going to state -- flatly -- that a sorcerer will not out melee a fighter. The only time it becomes a remote possibility is in a situation specifically designed to screw the fighter (i.e. the fighter has no wealth, the enemy has an infinite amount of space in which to fly/move/whatever, the sorcerer has 3 minutes to buff before the fight, etc).

The claw/claw/bite routine will suffer tremendously if you dump Cha down to only getting new spell levels since the number of rounds you can use it is Cha Mod + 3. Casting all those spells takes a LOT of time -- and a LOT of castings, and a LOT of spells known -- all of which really hurts the sorcerer in battle. The bard can get off Bardic music (at +2 easily) haste and good hope all in the first round of combat -- he doesn't need mage armor since he has a mithral breastplate, he doesn't need shield since he has a buckler, he doesn't need transformation since he's already getting +5 to hit, +4 to damage and an extra attack from his higher BAB than the sorcerer. He'll gain more benefit from arcane strike since his BAB means he'll hit more ofte (especially with his buffs) -- he doesn't need bull's strength since he'll be using a belt of giant's strength instead (all day long all day strong!) plus he has most of the important defense buffs still (mirror image, displacement, blink, etc).

Basically in the situation offered the bard is going to make better use of what is given.

Finally this all assumes the sorcerer has his magic going -- anti magic field or some dispels and he's back to being a commoner. The bard at least comes out to the expert level (and of course in such a situation the fighter fares the best -- but that's to be expected) and still has his armor/weapons/shield/etc that are actual items (even if reduced to only being masterwork).

Now I've rambled again -- my major points (to sum up) are:

1. The bard can make better use of what the DD gives out.

2. The sorcerer can still use what the DD gives -- but it doesn't play to the class's strengths and gives little of actual value while eating up 3 caster levels and the associated spell levels (ouch!).

3. The fighter isn't going to be out damaged especially in melee by a simple sorcerer or a DD sorcerer unless everything is stacked against him.


Actually, awhile ago I designed a very interesting character that would end up being very interesting both on paper and in play. Sorcerer/Barbarian/Dragon Disciple. Now this is just to give you can idea, but with some slight mods you could easily change this around for what your looking for. Make her human, give her arcane armor mastery and training instead of craft feats and she does get an extra one being human. I had her have below average int; simply because she was a pawn for the great worm red dragon that her bloodline was based off of. Just grab yourself some mithril full plate with the acrane armor feats and you suffer no spell failure chances.

As for tatics, if i wanted to go into melee a common tatic was to quicken a true strike spell. Your attacks aren't so bad, and brillent energy passes through no living matter making them easier to hit. your not going to out damage the fighter, but your certianly going to have fun playing it. Enjoy, hope it helps

Female Half Elf Barbarian 3/Sorcerer 6/ Dragon Disciple 10
CN Medium Humaniod
Init +10 Senses low-light vision; Perception +13
================================================================
Defense
================================================================
AC 32, touch 32, flat-footed 26 (+10 +8 armor, +6 Dex, +7 natural, +1 insight)
hp 230 (11d12 + 6d6+ 138) 266 (while raging)
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +14
================================================================
Offense
================================================================
Speed: 40 ft. Fly Speed 90 ft.
Melee: Scythe +26/+26/+21/+16 (2d4+16/x4) and +21 (Bite 1d6 +1d6fire +13)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Qualities : Rage 21 Rounds (+4str, +4con +2will save -2 AC), Rage Power: Moment of Clerity, Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense +1, Breath Weapon 2/day (12d6 DC:22), Resistance to Fire 10, Blindsense 30 ft., Imune to magic sleep
================================================================
Statistics
================================================================
Str 29, Dex 22, Con 24, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 23
Base Atk: +12; CMB: +21; CMD: +37
Feats: Weapon Focus (Sycthe), Extra Rage, Arcane Strike, Vitial Strike, Craft Arms & Armor, Skill Focus (Fly), Extend Spell, Improved Vitial Strike, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell, Blind Fight
Skills: +15 Fly, +8 Intimidate, +14 Perception, +5 Spellcraft
Languages: Common, Elven, Dragonic
================================================================
Spells
================================================================
DC: 16 + Spell Level, Spells per day 6/6/6/6/5/3
0 - Detect Magic, Read Magic, Resistance, Message, Mending, Light, Flare, Detect Posion, Bleed
1st - True Strike, Magic Missle, Identify, Shield, Enlarge Person, Feather Fall, Ray of Enfeeblement, Mage Armor
2nd - Invisibility, Darkness, See Invisibility, Protection from Arrows, Web, Touch of Idiocy, Acid Arrow, Resist Energy
3rd - Fireball, Keen Edge, Greater Magic Weapon (Rod of Extend)*, Dispel Magic, Slow, Fly
4th - Dimension Door, Wall of Fire, Bestow Curse, Black Tentacles, Fear
5th - Teleport, Feeblemind, Cone of Cold, Spell Resistance
6th - Disintergrate, Globe of Invulnerability, Form of the Dragon 1
================================================================
Treasure
================================================================
+1 Adamantium Brillent Energy Scythe, Boots of Speed, Belt of Physical Perfection +6, Headband of Mental Prowess +6, Ring of Protection +5, Rod of Metagmagic Extend, Dusty Rose Ioun Stone, Pale Green Ioun Stone, Clear Ioun Stone, +3 Manual of Exercise (already read) Bracers of Armor +8


:shrugs:

Yet ... we have an OP wanting to play a DD with precisely what I described above. (ie: the melee-heavy DD)

It's not a char-op thing, IMO, but more a matter of style.

Don't gyp the sorc/dd on the equipment either as he'll probably want as much as the other character for melee-boosting if that's the point of the concept. (ie: belt of giant str on both, with a sorcerer using str as like primary stat, because he WANTS to be in melee).

Forget Mage Armor, too - he'll probably have armor anyway - with a feat spent maybe to get it w/no problems, mythril as well (lessening problems), and he's going to have a MUCH higher natural armor anyway than everyone else ...

sorc/dd brings things to the table, too - just saying, and making that point.

EDIT: Oh ... oh, man! I just noticed this, DD to 8th and the full rest in sorcerer ==> full 20 level BLOODLINE powers and status for the sorcerer.

The *only* thing lost this way from DD is Wings - but that shows up as a bloodline power ANYWAY. (stacking w/DD just ups the speed - nice, but unnecessary really). That's also a no-spell progression level, which means this track actually only gives up 2 caster levels and actually has access to 9th level spells now (or 1 - whatever it has).

Blindsense to 60' is a DD power for 10th, but you get that anyway at full progression for the bloodline (ie: even w/out the DD 10 you get it from the bloodline stacking).

They also don't get automatic "Form of the Dragon II" 2/day. They *do* however have higher spell level access and 1/day "Form of the Dragon I" to play around with.

So by dropping out of DD at 8th, they GAIN a caster level allowing 9th level max spells, and still get both abilities granted from levels 9 and 10 of the PrC w/out a loss of power BECAUSE it's using the sorcerer as the only other mix-in concept.

Man ... getting full 20th level bloodline class-features w/only 12th level "true" class is a hell of a thing itself. Immunity to the energy type, paralysis, sleep and the blind sense to boot ... what's *not* to like about sorcerer 12/ DD 8!?!?!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With a combat-focused arcane caster, the primary consideration is always BAB vs. spell progression; the bloodline abilities are also a concern with a sorcerer, but IMO secondary to actual spells.

A sorcerer 12/dragon disciple 8 has some nice stuff, but only brings a +12 BAB to the table with the spell progression of a sorcerer 18. Effectively, you trade 2 levels of spell progression for +2 to BAB; not necessarily a bad trade, but not IMO enough to make the sorcerer an effective combatant, either.

If the player wants a more combat effective sorcerer, then I'd recommend looking at a minimal investment in dragon disciple (4 levels to gain the +4 Str and +2 natural armor) and then going to eldritch knight. One possible character:

Human Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 3 (20-Point Buy)
16 Str (15 +1 level), 14 Dex, 14 Con, 12 Int, 8 Wis, 15 Cha (13 +2 race)
B1- Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Falchion)
B2- Rage Power (Animal Fury)
S1- Arcane Strike, Eschew Materials
S3- Arcane Armor Training
Skills: Climb 2 (+7), Intimidate 2 (+7), Knowledge (Arcana) 5 (+9), Knowledge (Nature) 2 (+6), Perception 4 (+6), Spellcraft 3 (+7), Stealth 2 (+4), Survival 2 (+4), Use Magic Device 2 (+7)
Spells (CL 3): 1st-6
Spells Known: "fire-finger" (as ray of frost, but fire damage), detect magic. flare, mage hand, read magic; enlarge person, identify, mage armor (bloodline), true strike

Identify and true strike are your first spell choices; identify because you (usually) can take the time remove your armor before casting it and true strike because it doesn't have a somatic component (no risk of arcane spell failure). Flare also doesn't have a somatic component (although its effect isn't much). At sorcerer 3, you can take Arcane Armor Training; hopefully you can acquire either a +1 mithral chain shirt (2100 gp; 10% ASF) or a mithral breastplate (4200 gp; 15% ASF) for a better AC than mage armor. Enlarge person is a good buff to put on yourself before raging (22 Str total, large size) if you want to do a lot of damage.

Knowledge (Arcana) has been brought up to maximum to qualify for dragon disciple. Taking just four levels of dragon disciple gives the character +4 Str, +2 to Natural Armor (+3 total), Dragon Bite, and Breath Weapon. Very attractive for a combat character, even though they "only" gain +3 BAB and three levels of spell progression. The bonuses for the next four levels (Blindsense 30 ft, +2 Con, +2 Int, Dragon Form 1x/day, etc.) are IMO not worth the loss in BAB and total possible spell progression; taking all 10 levels of eldritch knight and 1 more level of sorcerer (barbarian 2/sorcerer 4/dragon disciple 4/eldritch knight 10) gives BAB +17 and spell progression as a sorcerer 16 (8th level spells). At 10th level, the character may look similar to this:

Spoiler:
Human Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 3/Dragon Disciple 4/Eldritch Knight 1
24 Str (15 +1 level +4 class +4 belt), 14 Dex, 14 Con, 12 Int, 8 Wis, 18 Cha (13 +2 race +1 level +2 headband)
Racial Traits: +2 to any one Ability Score (Cha); Medium Size; Speed 30 ft; Extra feat at 1st level; Skilled (+1 Skill Rank per level)
Class Features: Fast Movement (+10 ft), Rage (8 rounds/day; +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 Will saves, -2 AC), Rage Power (Animal Fury- 1d4 + 0.5 Str bonus bite attack at -5), Uncanny Dodge; Bloodline-Brass Dragon (Perception is class skill; +1 damage per die w/fire spells; Powers- Claws (1d6 + Str bonus, considered magic) 7 rounds/day, Dragon Resistances (Acid Resistance 5, +1 Natural Armor increase); Spells- mage armor, resist energy, fly), Cantrips, Eschew Materials; Blood of Dragons, Natural Armor Increase (+2), Ability Boost (+4 Str), Bloodline Feat (1), Dragon Bite (additional attack with claws, 1d6 + 1.5 Str bonus), Extra Spellcasting (+3 Sorcerer), Breath Weapon (7d6 fire, 60 ft line, DC 17) 1x/day; Bonus Feat (1), Diverse Training
Skills*: Climb 2 (+7/+9), Intimidate 5 (+19/+21), Knowledge (Arcana) 5 (+9/+11), Knowledge (Nature) 2 (+6/+8), Perception 6 (+8/+10), Spellcraft 8 (+12/+14), Stealth 2 (+3/+5), Survival 2 (+4/+6), Use Magic Device 7 (+14/+16)
Feats: Arcane Armor Mastery, Arcane Armor Training, Arcane Strike, Dazzling Display (Falchion), Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Falchion)
Spells (CL 6)*: 1st-7, 2nd-6 (5), 3rd-4 (3)
Spells Known: "fire-finger", detect magic. flare, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic, touch of fatigue; enlarge person, identify, mage armor, magic missile, true strike; false life, resist energy, scorching ray; fly, heroism
Gear: +2 mithral breastplate (+8 AC, +5 Max Dex, -1 Armor Check; 8,200 gp), +1 composite longbow (+7 Str bonus) (3,100 gp), +1 keen falchion (8,375 gp), ring of protection +2 (8,000 gp), amulet of natural armor +2 (8,000 gp), belt of giant strength +4 (16,000 gp), cloak of resistance +2 (4,000 gp), handy haversack (2,000 gp), headband of alluring charisma +2 (4,000 gp), 325 gp of miscellaneous gear

Combat*: AC 27 (touch 14, flat-footed 25), 82.5 (94) avg. hp, +16/+11 (+18/+13) falchion (2d4+11 damage, 15-20/x2) or +10/+5 (+12/+7) longbow (1d8+8 damage, 20/x3), Fort +11 (+13), Ref +6 (+8), Will +6 (+8), Init +6, CMB +14, CMD 26
*- second values include the effects of false life (6 hour duration; 1d10+6 temporary hp, average 11.5) and heroism (60 min duration; +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, skill checks, and saves)

Melee Combat Tactics: If given advance warning, casts enlarge person (6 min duration; +2 Str, -2 Dex, large size) on self before combat. Round 1- casts true strike (+20 on next attack roll, ignore concealment miss chance) as a standard action (using Arcane Armor Mastery as a swift action) and moves 40 ft while drawing the falchion as a move action; Round 2- activates Arcane Strike (weapon gains +2 untyped bonus to damage) as a swift action, enters Rage (+4 Str, +4 Con, +2 Will saves, -2 AC) as a free action, moves toward opponent(s) at 40 ft and Power Attacks (-2 on attack roll, +6 on damage rolls), Round 3+- continues Rage and Power Attacks with a full-attack action; alternately, may use Dazzling Display as a full-attack action with +25 (+26 if enlarge person is active, +30 vs. medium size or smaller foes) on the Intimidate check. This can occur approximately 2 times per day for combats lasting 5 rounds on average (Rage); enlarge person and true strike can be cast up to 3 times per day in combination (7 1st level spell slots); Arcane Strike and Power Attack are unlimited.

AC 23 (touch 12, flat-footed 22), 114 avg. hp, +18/+13 (+38 with true strike) falchion (2d6+24 damage, 15-20/x2) and +12 bite (1d6+8 damage, 20/x2), Fort +15, Ref +7, Will +10, CMB +18, CMD 30
OR
AC 25 (touch 12, flat-footed 23), 114 avg. hp, +18/+13 (+38 with true strike) falchion (2d4+22 damage, 15-20/x2) and +12 bite (1d4+7 damage, 20/x2), Fort +15, Will +10, CMB +16, CMD 28

Paladin 3/sorcerer 4/dragon disciple 8/eldritch knight 5 is also a possibility, with +16 BAB and spell progression as a sorcerer 14. You're giving up +1 BAB and 2 levels of spell progression from the character above for Aura of Courage, Divine Health, and more bloodline abilities. Alternately, you can just use the same level strategy above with paladin in place of barbarian (you'll probably want to change skills, feats, spells).

It all depends on what the player wants out of the character and the trade-offs they are willing to accept.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If 3rd party material is allowed i'd throw in spellblade/DD. the spell blade has full base atack bonus and better combat abilities than a bard.
the spellblade is from tome of secrets.


While it's not a official class, has anyone tried the Weirbrand in a DD build?

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