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Oterisk's Guide to the Dragon Disciple


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Wassum, There are some good feats available, I discuss them in my guide. The ones that I would recommend for any primarily melee build is the dimensional dervish feats.

Dragonborn3, that looks like a great setup for a Dragon Disciple. That sidestep secret will probably end up saving your life someday. :) Thanks for posting.

Mercurial, that looks like a great build and a great attitude about your build. The versatility and the flavor of the Prestige class are unmatched in my Opinion, one of the few that are worth it. Your appreciation is appreciated.

Shadow Lodge

No problem! Sidestep Secret save money too, because I won't need a Belt to bump my AC later on.

My friends and I are about to start our first AP(The drow one) and I've read oterisk's guide to the DD now I just need some help polishing the final build and a lot of advice on feats. Don't worry about build points we roll stats(I know that makes us bad people, but I need help anyway)
human CB abyssal black dragon sor.

1st level sor then 1 or 2 levels in a melee class(prob fighter, but if a compelling argument is made I'll go barbarian or pick up 2 levels in ranger(no paladin builds the DM says that it wont work with the first AP) followed by 10 levels in DD and then go back to pick up sor levels.
Plan to fight with my natural claws and switch hit as a beast caster.

1. arcane strike
iron will(make up for CB minus to will)
2. combat feat if fighter level is taken
3 sor bloodstrike
5 arcane armor armor training(?)
7 improve natural attack and bloodline feat
9 elemental spell or rending claws
10 bloodline feat
13 arcane blast(?) bloodline feat empower spell
15 death from above(?)
18 quicken spell
now onto the real questions would this build make vital strike relevant
is it worth taking feral combat training and using a combat style is so which one would you recommend.

The rest of the party is an archery ranger, a two handed fighter, an inquisitor or a flame oracle, and a wizard that'll probably become either a EK or a cypher mage

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Greetings, fellow traveller.

Just a quick remark: if you really want to rely on your natural weapons, you should definitely consider two levels in ranger (unarmed) and get the feat Aspect of the Beast from the APG and go for the claws.
Otherwise having access to your natural weapons as a DD for CHA bonus +3 rounds/day always seem to be way to less rounds. And rolling stats can turn out to be really great (Hey, another 18!...) or really bad (Yikes, I got another 8...).

Just to remind you: Arcane Armor Training uses up your swift action for that round and I consider it a waste of a feat.

You can't take Arcane Blast at level 13. It requires CL 10 (may be wrong here). It's certainly cool, and damage is ok. You look at 8d6 damage (untyped, 'tis true) at maximum.


was going to take magical knack trait, but it appears my computer ate it. I was kinda on the fence about those two feats. I played a lot of 3.5 and pathfinder when it came out so while I own shiny copies of all the ultimates I'm still unfamiliar with the new feats and how they work. Thanks

Thinking of going with 2 paladin/4 sorcerer/10 dragon Demon spawn Tiefling. 16th level is max as this PC is for Kingmaker campaign. For traits I'm thinking Magical knack and brigand and the 1st feat Fiendish Hertiage. That might change with Blood of Fiends. Any other feats or suggestions for this build? Thanks.

It sounds like a good start, are you planning to start with Paladin or Sorcerer for your first class?

I figure I'd start with paladin. Reflecting his time with the gold dragon and for him trying to forgive his sins. He starts out Chaotic Evil but a failed attempt on the dragons lair and a certain helmet changes him forever. I'd do 2 paladin first then 3 sorcerer then the 10 DD and finally one of sorcerer for the win.

Well, if you go with Paladin first, you will probably be using a weapon for a while. If you have a good one, feel free to put that fourth level of sorcerer after your first four levels of DD. You will increase your BAB and gain another spell level, of which you would do neither with level 5 of DD. But if you want to rush getting the dragon form, forget it. It just might be a slightly better option for weapon users as opposed to those who focus on natural weapons.

Otherwise, your story looks well thought out. I wish you all the best.

Osterisk. Do you still recommend doing the Eldritch Heritage - Abyssal and the improved one?

Hi all, I was wondering since this is all about the DD PrC. What build is most efficient in being a melee character for a group? Thanks :)Because the guide kind of confuses me on which route would be the best.

I'd go with either Paladin 4/Bard 1 or Barbarian 4/Bard 1.

I sure do recommend the Eldrich Heritage feats. Abyssal gives you more uses of the Claws ability and likely more uses of the Bite ability, but that's probably something you want to talk to your GM about. You won't max out on your Str bonus until level 19 (15 with a proper robe of Arcane heritage), but you should be okay.

The guide isn't supposed to tell you what is best, just what is better than other options. Azten's option isn't bad. Bard has some good buffs, but no enlarge person, which is probably your best level 1 buff. It does get the ability to heal, which is nice, but you won't be getting that in combat. I think Summoner is a better option because you get a wand monkey, enlarge person and early entry to haste. Hence the fact that Summoner is Blue and Bard is Green.

The best build according to the guide is the Beast Caster build, which you aren't going for. No wonder it was a little difficult and confusing for you. If you have any specific ideas on how to improve the guide, I am interested. It likely won't be my only guide and I will take it under future consideration.

Hey, just saw your guide... Overall, great work!


1) You REALLY need to insert at least a caveat about the DD advancing BOTH Bloodlines from Crossblooded as 'potentially controversial reading that doesn't go over with every GM'.

2) I liked your mentioning the benefits of CON and INT boosts... That's effectively 1d12+1 hit points per level, and an extra maxed skill is definitely nice to have (ESPECIALLY when you have to spread your stats across both melee and cast stat, while trying to have a non-crappy WIS score for Will Saves, AND have semi-decent number of Skills)

3) I really liked your 'houserule': I am of the opinion that whenever you use your bloodline powers to grow your dragon form that you also gain this type of bite with your transformation. This really makes it a useful class quality all the way through.
I would LOVE if Paizo made that official Errata, it would deal with low number of rounds/day problem re: Claws/Bites... And coincidentally, help out your favorite 'Archetype' the Beast Caster :-)

4) re: Blindsense and Bonus Feat: Blind-Fighting, I think you undersell the combo. If you can get Blind-Fight for free, I think Improved Blind-Fight is definitely a justifiable Feat: that negates Partial Concealment Miss Chance completely (from B-F's 4%, not much difference), but reduces normal Concealment from 25% (with B-F) to 4%, which is a big deal. Greater B-F only reduces that last one from 4% to zero, which obviously isn't worth it, but Improved B-F can be VERY worthwhile IMHO.

5) Good idea pointing out Dragon Form issues with Eschew Materials if you DON'T use Sorceror as the base casting class, but go with Bard or Summoner instead.

6) I would upgrade Dwarf from Red to Orange, solely based on Beast build and Barbarian. Extra Rage Rounds are CRUCIAL for them if they plan on going deep into DD (8 levels), and having rocking Saves (Raging or not Raging) means this combo is in league with the Paladin-DD in that department. I can't see how Gnome is better than Dwarf. Dwarven War-Axe is great for Enlarge Junkies, and comboes well with Bite and Claw (if you choose to 1-hand the weapon to gain an extra Claw attack).

7) What is the Inevitable reference?

8) Your take on 2-Handed Weapons seems to miss several things.

You don't have to drop a reach weapon to use your Natural Weapons: wielding a 2-handed weapon interferes with Claws, but not Bites, so you can threaten at Reach and normal with both a Pole-Arm and Bite.

Your whole reference point on the Natural Weapons vs. Weapons issue seems to ignore that Manufactured Weapons CAN have vastly superior Crit stats if you choose appropriate weapons. So either 2-handing a Scimitar/Falchion + Bite or 1-handing it + Bite + Claw are going to compete well AT HIGH LEVEL with all Natural Attacks because of the Crit Factor. Check out the DPS Olympics thread, people have made an automated spreadsheet that you can plug your own stats into and compare vs. average ACs for a given level/CR. I'm not sure whether not normal weapons would be usable while in Dragon Form, I would lean to 'NO', but having high-Crit weapons is a good reason not to always use Dragon Form in melee, AS WELL AS Reach Weapons (which can have great Crit Ranges as well). I would say that many Natural Attacks (ala Dragon Form) do have the advantage in situations where your enemy is Crit Immune (or has high Fortification), and even heavy High Crit Weapon users will want to be aware of that and switch to Natural Weapons in those cases.

The gear melding with Polymorph is a good point, but it just requires certain approaches to deal with... Either have 2 sets of different sized gear, or I believe there is a Weapon Enhancement that magically resizes the weapon to fit the wielder. There is also the Barbarian Titan Mauler Archetype which lets you use a weapon sized for your larger Polymorph form while in your smaller non-Polymorphed body.

9) I might mention Bucklers in regards to S&B, since they don't interfere with using that limb for Claw attacks.

10) Good rating on Magician Bard, I might even discuss how/when they might 'dip back into' Bard and how the Magician bonus off-list spells work out with the spell levels they have access to at the time.

11) Good recommend on Arcane Bloodline and Sage as well...

12) I think you need to explain more in Serpentine (and other locations where you mention it) what you mean by other sources of Claws/Bites 'not stacking' with DD. I understand that you mean whether or not the stacking elemental damage applies to those other sources (and/or uses the larger DD damage dice with the round/day from the other sources), but that probably isn't clear to an 'average reader'.

13) Good take on Classes over all, I think your take on Samurai is tainted by your approach to weapon usage (covered above in 2h weapons). As for Eldritch Knight, I think you should also mention it in the context of somebody taking DD only to 6th or 8th level, as a finisher.

14) I would mention that about the ASF% of Armor, which you really want if you are a Beast/Melee Focus because it helps your AC, is that you can/will deal with a non-zero ASF%. If you are not casting focused, you likely will not have that many spells that you will cast in combat, or at least once you have closed to melee, you will use your lesser number of spells for buff, utility, etc, which out of combat you can deal with one spell not going off.

15) I would mention that you can get Skill Focus from Sorceror bonus Feats, which CAN be a Pre-Req for Eldritch Heritage of another Bloodline.

16) I would mention the Bard spell that negates Fatigue (forget the name, sorry) as a combo with a Barbarian based DD, to enable Rage Cycling/ Casting + Raging combos.

@Quandry, where were you two months ago? :P Seriously, thanks for the critique.

1. I went ahead and put a sentence in there. It is true, there are a few. I still don't think its as big a deal as many make it into, but even if it doesn't progress both bloodlines, the added benefit of the other bloodline Arcana or early level powers can still be useful.

2. Thanks!

3. I think a case could be made for the rule as written, but not everyone shares my opinions. I'm glad you like it though!

4. I must have missed the Improved Blind-Fight in my initial pass through the Feats. I will make a note.

5. If you do go with Bard or Summoner, and intend to do a fair bit of casting in dragon form, you might want to invest in the feat. That's true.

6. I chose the Gnome to be better than the Dwarf for one main reason. The Primary stats for a DD are Strength and Charisma. The Dwarf has a penalty to one and no boost to the other. The Gnome has a penalty to one and a boost to the other. That's why it won out. The extra rage from one class still isn't enough to bump it to orange for me, but that doesn't mean you can't roll with it. It isn't like I haven't played with a red option before, just ask my Gnome Monk.

7. Well, it just seemed like a good word to use for the three classes you had to dip into in order to become a DD. It's also a word I could see a dragon use while it TPK's your party.

8. You aren't the first to mention the benefits of Two Handed Weapons to me, and so I will consider switching things up. I know a bunch of those DPR threads don't go up to the point of getting 6 attacks through Dragon Form II, which you would get at 15th level. But up until then, its quite possible that Two Handed is the way to go.

9. You would need to drop a feat on a buckler to be able to use the thing and attack and still get your shield bonus though, and after your transformation, I don't think you would still get your shield bonus. But I can at least put that in there.

10. I had figured it was a moot point, as mostly the guide wants people to go into 10 levels of DD, but I do mention later levels for the sorcerer, so it makes sense to put that in there.

11. Thank you, Thank you

12. I added some clarification in the Serpentine bloodine, but couldn't find other references on my first pass through the guide again. If you find any other places, let me know were they are.

13. I added a blue mention of the Sword Saint, which should make sense to you. The primary reason for Green is the mount, which the class is balanced around but is useless after a few levels. It's not like I made it orange or anything...

The guide is for people who take 8-10 levels of Dragon Disciple. I do mention Eldrich Knight in the Chassis section, but as it is only useful for weapon based beast builds in my opinion, I didn't give it a big amount of space. If someone wanted to make a guide on the Eldrich Knight and wanted to put a sizable section in there on how cool the Dragon Disciple was as an augment to their choice, I could endorse that. :P

14. I added a little more clarification to the equipment section, I just don't think that it is a good choice because when you transform, you lose your armor bonus anyway, and when you aren't you lose your swift actions when casting.

15. Boggles. Um, okay, but I'm not tracking them all down.

16. Added Invigorate to the recommended spells for Bard and a mention of it elsewhere.

It has been a while since I have gone through the guide with that fine-toothed a comb, but it was good. I even found a couple of spelling errors that I could fix. Thanks for all the good input, Quandary!

Scarab Sages

I'd like to go ahead and bump Dwarf up to Green for a single proposed build:

Monk (Master of Many Styles/Monk of the Sacred Mountain/Quinggong Monk) 4/ Sorcerer (Crossblooded: Sage/Draconic)1/ DD X.

It's not GREAT, but here's what you get:

BAB: It's not great, but it's not horrible either. You're stuck with ~Cleric BAB, but have self buffs and a +4 to Str., which helps.

Stances: There are a number of great stances to choose from, and even with only 4 levels of Monk you can get a variety of excellent choices. If you decide not to focus on unarmed strikes, you get other bonuses that can apply if you're using Manufactured or Natural weapons.

Synergy: Sages and Monks are both based on Wisdom. Dwarf gives a bonus to wisdom, great saving throw bonuses (which the monk also gets), and a Con. bonus, which is nice. Oh, and you get to add your Wisdom Bonus to AC, which is NICE.

Monk of the Sacred Mountain gets you extra Natural Armor, toughness as a bonus feat (or evasion, if you wanna go that route), and quinggong can get you... well, admittedly, not much unless you take 5 more levels in monk (if you go full DD), but there's no reason NOT to take it anyways. Oh, and Bastion Stance can be handy when you full attack and don't need to move.

Admittedly, this is all kind of speculatory, but it seems like it'd be feasible.

Scarab Sages


Davor wrote:

I'd like to go ahead and bump Dwarf up to Green for a single proposed build:

Monk (Master of Many Styles/Monk of the Sacred Mountain/Quinggong Monk) 4/ Sorcerer (Crossblooded: Sage/Draconic)1/ DD X.


I will make a note on various builds, but as they are I can't really change my colors. Thanks for your input.

Empyrial sorcerer, not sage. The sage sorcerer uses INT.

Scarab Sages

leo1925 wrote:
Empyrial sorcerer, not sage. The sage sorcerer uses INT.

ROFL. My bad. Thanks XD

@Oterisk: Yeah, I had SEEN the thread a while back, but didn't have time to actually read the guide... Moving to Hawaii and all that :-)

I like that your guide was thorough enough to cover many approaches to DD.
Personally, the melee-focused Beast (probably with only 1 real caster level) is my favorite BTW.
Actually, that reminds me: ESPECIALLY for melee, and probably for Bards as well, CLASS FEATURES play a big part in effectiveness, apart from attack bonus and HP. Since you likelier than not will enter DD with 5 levels in one class, I think it's valid to mention the option of dipping back into the class before finishing DD (not necessarily in conflict with finishing DD, although it delays it).

Specifically, if you can hit higher 'real' class levels you can either directly gain new Class Abilities, or qualify for Class Level based Feats - Barbarian Rage Powers hit another tier at 8th level, and that's a big one IMHO. For Barbarians, dipping back in also helps out with the Rage Round issue.

IMHO, if you worry about comparative effectiveness with full-Melee builds, getting those 8th-level tier Powers around 12th level or so is fairly important... After all, Full Barbs get big STR and can get Bite/Claw/Gore attack routines as well. I don't think DD is weak over-all, but there is a range of levels where your character kind of will lag, so optimizing to minimize that is reasonable IMHO.

I think I will ask James Jacobs about Dragons using Weapons with their hands/fore-claws. :-)

Other than that, great job again... I hope you already have this listed on the d20pfsrd list of Guides?

Oh yeah... I might recommend comparing the wording in DD with that in Rage Prophet,
re: whether or not you can advance ANY arcane casting class with DD (and not just spontaneous ones).
Rage Prophet has wording that more specifically allows that, I'm not sure if DD is 'enough' or not... /shrug

Liberty's Edge

Am I missing something regarding Inherent Bonuses stacking?

The build that has Orc Bloodline through Crossblooded and Abyssal Bloodline through Eldritch Heritage...why would the +6 Inherent bonus to Strength from each bloodline stack?

I understand that the stat gains from Dragon Disciple would stack, since they're untyped, but why the two bloodlines?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Heymitch wrote:

Am I missing something regarding Inherent Bonuses stacking?

The build that has Orc Bloodline through Crossblooded and Abyssal Bloodline through Eldritch Heritage...why would the +6 Inherent bonus to Strength from each bloodline stack?

I understand that the stat gains from Dragon Disciple would stack, since they're untyped, but why the two bloodlines?

You are correct, they wouldn't stack. I'm not sure why it's suggested here... I thought at first the two arcana would both be useful for spell damage, but Abyssal doesn't help with that.

@Quandary- I think I did mention dipping back into sorcerer after the first 4 levels of DD, but I really didn't do any of the others. For the melee focused builds, it's not that bad. It is really hard to hit all of the possibilities of every build because there are so many possibilities. I did put in that any strength melee focused character could do well with a 1 level dip in sorcerer and a 4 level dip in DD, and for some I suppose that would be enough. But for people who want even more dragon flavor, I think my guide is pretty good. I could put in a little section called "How to be a half dragon", but I'd rather not.

I also don't really deal with the other casters other than the Inevitables, so its no big deal to me if other arcane casters can use it to progress their classes too. If it is ruled that it can't happen, I will be sure to eliminate the prospect from the guide

and enjoy Hawaii!

@ Heymitch- I fully admit that they don't stack, I just don't think it would be terribly unbalancing to do so. If you can point out where I said that, because I am having trouble locating it in my guide, that would be helpful. I should amend the language there because I realize I am in quite the minority with my view of that language.

Liberty's Edge

Orc and Pit-Touched would stack, if you want a hit point machine...

@Oterisk - You didn't state it in your guide. Someone just posted a build with it.

Ah, thanks. No wonder I didn't find it in my guide! :P

I think using plate mail is by far the best choice for brute. Just accept the spell failure (don't use feats to negate it) and cast spells only before the combat (to buff). In the combat you can use wands, if you really need something simple.

Also I think while the invulnerable rager is a great archetype for a full barbarian, it just doesn't work so well with DD. The DR is better the more you get it. 2/- isn't going to be great for very long (almost immediatly useless the second you leave barbarian behind). Basically I think characters should usually rely on AC or DR for physical protection and because of the natural armor DD is clearly an AC guy.

I really don't think DD advances both bloodlines. A"dragon" disciple only advances the Draconic bloodline in my mind. Until I see errata, which I admit I never looked, I wouldn't allow it

I would qualify Riku's statement by saying that taking MORE than the base ASF% reducing Feat is a bit too much if you plan on being melee centric (if you are caster-centric and want to take both to get it to zero, OK, casters don't need feats quite as much), but the single base feat is (painfully) manageable/justifiable. With the single base feat, mithril breast plate has something like 5% chance. You CAN play without Full Plate - Shield is going to be a near-required spell if you are only in Breastplate, but Full Plate is definitely a strong choice. As a DD, you will likely have access to Mirror Image (+Invisibility, Darkness, etc) which give you another Tier of defense vs. attacks besides just AC. + Remember that some spells don't have Somatic components, and so can be pulled off reliably no matter what you are wearing.

Monk should also be mentioned, since when wearing NO armor you can apply WIS to AC, which if you don't want to wear armor (because you want ASF%-free casting and don't want to waste feats) is a nice bonus to get - in the context of DD, it effectively lets you split your stat build points (and stat increases) between DEX and WIS to get the highest AC boost possible for said investment, while simultaneously getting a decent Will Save bonus out of the deal.

I don't think it was mentioned explicitly, but kind of the whole deal of DD is that almost no matter what you do, you will get a pretty decent Will Save, although due to stat-splitting it may not be SUPER high (unless you Cross Blood Dracon/Celestial to use WIS instead of CHA for castinng). Using Paladin makes this especially true, Barbarians get a bonus while Raging, and Caster-heavy builds are also good of course.

I would like to add a suggestion for races:

If you want to focus on natural attacks (What with the claws and all), half Orc gives you access to a bite attack: Either by taking a trait or by replacing Orc Ferocity with Toothy.

Alternatively, you can be a human who takes the racial Heritage as his bonus feat, then pick up the Tusked trait at level 1. So even though you are a human and everything, you still count as an orc (or half orc i guess) with a bite attack, which fits with the flavor of taking the Eldritch Heritage feat for Orc bloodline.

Yes, that would be good to note parallel with the mention of the 2 level Ranger dip to get permanent Claws.

I forgot: The big deal with getting wings is not that they are superior to magical flying (except vs. dispels, etc), but that it can let you qualify for Feats like Fly-By Attack and so forth. But those Feats are normally 'Monster' Feats, and may not be allowable in all settings... like PFS. If you can't use those Feats, I think DD does lose out somewhat.

Oterisk wrote:
Davor wrote:

I'd like to go ahead and bump Dwarf up to Green for a single proposed build:

Monk (Master of Many Styles/Monk of the Sacred Mountain/Quinggong Monk) 4/ Sorcerer (Crossblooded: Sage/Draconic)1/ DD X.


I will make a note on various builds, but as they are I can't really change my colors. Thanks for your input.

I'm trying to make a Dwarven DD right now, and I've been seriously considering this build.

However, the NA bonus from MotSM would stack with the NA increase from DD, but it wouldn't stack with the NA bonus granted by Draconic Bloodline. So unless you really like the Stalwart Defender type ability that MotSM gets at 4th, I'd definitely skip it and keep evasion.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Crossblooded works only cause you still have the draconic bloodline, and in the blood of dragons ability it states "A dragon disciple adds his level to his sorcerer levels when determining the powers gained from his bloodline."

Now I just came across this guide and it is alright, certainly agree with most of it... though the build I was making does seem to flow against it at times, I think I made it work. For instance, two weapon fighting, yes I buffed my dex up just for the first one. But because of the monk level, I can twf with unarmed strikes still adding my full str to all my attacks, and with dragon style gets better.

My current build I was looking into for is so far pretty interesting lol

Starting Abilities: Str 17, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 7, Cha 14

I use lore-warden fighter, master of many styles monk, and crossblooded orc/draconic sorcerer for the first 5 levels (L->S->M->L->M)

That order gets me a nice array of feats,
1- two weapon fighting(since I lack flurry),dodge, intimidating prowess
3-crane style, crane wing, improved unarmed combat,stunning fist
4-dragon style, combat expertise
5-dragon ferocity,crane riposte

Beyond there still figuring out what to do with feats though for the bloodline ones I am thinking blind-fight and toughness(may be power attack instead). I was thinking of going the shatter defenses route, just to get an area debuff that is basically free, and with my intimidate bonus almost guaranteed. Note: only building to 12 currently

Basically planning to fight unarmed with this, using the two styles I get to add x2 my strength mod on the first attack and x1.5 on the rest thanks to dragon, as well as extra defense other than spells using crane. I found a trait that reduces the penalty for combat expertise by one so it is free at first, and stays nicer. Lore Warden cause I am not using armor anyway, extra skills and combat expertise instead of bravery. Overall I think this is gonna work out well, once in DD I start adding buff spells and touch spells of whatever element I choose for draconic (thinking electric only cause a shocking grasp of 5d6 + 10 damage is nice, and staggering from elemental touch)

Nice job Oterisk

With alchemist I recommend mentioning giving yourself extra arms (and then a way to give them claws as well.)

Sporge- That looks like a fun build, have fun with it. I sometimes go away from my own recommendations because I have a particular idea I just like. The main point of the guide is to promote the DD and show some of the options I was able to find or come up with.

Cpt Jason- Thanks!

A.S.- I didn't do that for a couple reasons, but mostly because of two reasons. First, the threads on that, the intent of the developers is that you shouldn't use the vestigial arms for extra attacks. Not to say that you couldn't get permission from your GM or something like that, but the fact that you lose your form when you take Dragon Form makes them a significant investment for not so much pay off.

To be honest, I haven't updated it in a while, so the whole Opportunistic Gambler trait and Touch of Rage combo didn't make it in there.

Oterisk, good work on a useful guide. It offers a lot of informative choices without telling the player to just maximize in one strict way.

First off, I would like to mention a note about the Robes of Arcane Heritage. You made a comment about gaining the strength bonuses early, and I don't believe that is possible.

The SRD states wrote:
These elegant, dark purple and royal blue robes are usually decorated with gold stitching depicting a sorcerer bloodline, though some indicate a family tree. The stitching changes to match the sorcerer bloodline of the wearer. The wearer treats her sorcerer level as 4 higher than normal for the purpose of determining what bloodline powers she can use and their effects.

The ability boosts are a trait of the Dragon Disciple, and are not a part of the bloodline powers. They are not subject to the robes.

Also, I had a DD I was working on! I was wondering if you could offer advice in this thread. I would like to mention that your guide is also referenced from there.

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My Dragon Disciple, the ultimate Tank-Mage:

Half-Orc Paladin 2 (Sacred Shield) / Sorcerer 10 (Draconic Bloddline) / Dragon Disciple 8

Magical Knack
Opportunistic Gambler
Sacred Tattoo (racial alternative trait)

STR 17 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th, +2 at 7th, 9th, 11th, 15th and 17th)
DEX 12
CON 14 (+2 at 11th)
INT 10 (+2 at 13th)
CHA 15 (+1 at 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th)

1st (P1) Skill Focus: Survival
2nd (P2)
3rd (S1) Arcane Strike, Eschew Materials
4th (S2)
5th (S3) Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline: Touch of Rage)
6th (DD1)
7th (DD2) Power Attack*, Furious Focus
8th (DD3)
9th (DD4) Arcane Armor Training
10th (DD5) Improved Initiative *
11th (DD6) Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline: Strength of the Beast)
12th (DD7)
13th (DD8) Improved Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline: Fearless), Toughness*
14th (S4)
15th (S5) Arcane Armor Mastery
16th (S6)
17th (S7) Greater Eldritch Heritage (Orc Bloodline: Power of Giants), Quicken Spell*
18th (S8)
19th (S9) Dazing Spell
20th (S10)

* signifies bloodline feat

He's a pretty potent spell-caster, but when he wades into melee he's devastating. At 17th level with just Power of Giants working and Transformation cast, he has a Strength of 40, a Dexterity of 12, a Constitution 24 and +17 to natural armor, +5 Fort on top of already enhanced saves, Reach and a BAB of +17/+12/+7/+2. And that's BEFORE any magical equipment gets factored in. Add in a Belt of Physical Perfection and, well...

GrenMeera wrote:

Oterisk, good work on a useful guide. It offers a lot of informative choices without telling the player to just maximize in one strict way.

First off, I would like to mention a note about the Robes of Arcane Heritage. You made a comment about gaining the strength bonuses early, and I don't believe that is possible.


The strength bonuses I mentioned getting early were intended to be from the Orc or Abyssal Bloodlines, not from the actual DD PrC. I might see if I can make that more clear though, thanks for the tip.

I will go read your thread now. It might take me a while to formulate my opinion on it, since weekends are usually really busy for me.

@ Mercurial

That looks like a fun build. +11 BAB and 16th level casting isn't bad, That opportunistic gambler trait is pretty boss with the Orc bloodline. Are you going with the THF or the Natural style with this?

Oterisk wrote:
The strength bonuses I mentioned getting early were intended to be from the Orc or Abyssal Bloodlines, not from the actual DD PrC.

Ah, that makes a lot more sense. I completely missed the intention on that one.

Thanks for taking a look!

Ok, I made some calculationsn for different builds. If you add the bite (with its limited uses pee day) the THF-damage is always (against all AC's from 20 to 60) better.

Without the bite there are some AC's where the natural weapons are ahead (assuming GMF).

I will post the results when Im back home from vacations.


small section on Traits
some talk about touch spells in blasting section
slight revision in recommended spell lists
added color coding to Chassis section
removed Under Construction signs
added formatting to Build Section

Oterisk wrote:


some talk about touch spells in blasting section

Oh wow, you even mentioned me by name in the guide! I appreciate that level of thoughtfulness.

Have you looked at guilds in Inner Sea Magic guide? Joining a guild gives you access to +1 spellcasting level(yes spells and all not just caster level) at fame 5 to +3 in one class and +1 in another at fame 40(easily reachable by levels 10-12).

For a small investment and a couple rolls/level (RAW) you can turn DD into +10 caster level class.

I actually don't have access to that guide, but thank you for mentioning it to those people who do.

What do you guys think of this Build:

Barbarian 3/ Martial Artist 1/Sorceror 1/ Dragon Disciple 10/ Whatever

You take Crossblooded Empyreal/Draconic so you use your Wisdom as your caster stat and as your main source of Defense. You rely on Flurry and unarmed strikes, but can take the feat to flurry with claws and bites if you think you need it in Dragon Form. Add in Dragon Style and Dragon Wing and you get your impressive Strength times 1.5 on all your attacks and you get quite a few. Then you can add Arcane Strike in for more fun. The spells are a bit set back for me, as i would use mainly defensive and utility spells like vanish and Mirror Image. But since you can get +7 NA by level 15 from Dragon Disciple and Sorceror alone and Resistance to 1 (or perhaps 3 forms if you advance both with crossblooded) form of magic you are pretty defensive oriented as well, so not the worst glass cannon :)
By Level 15 you have 5 Attacks without haste, every attack with 1.5 your strength, can charge through friends and through rough terrain.
Your AC is 10+7(NA)+Wis+4(Mage Armor)+Dex, so something in the 20's without any money at all, with a bit money you can reach 30, not hot, but better than most glass cannons i know :) And you don't need a high dex score for the Two Weapon Fighting. You even get a bonus feat as monk. If you wanted you could go monk 2 for evasion and another bonus feat.

Ok, anything i missed in this build or that could be made better? I mean as usual you need 3 high scores (Str/Wis/Con) but since this is DD usual i don't think i have to work it extra.



So for a 20 point buy game I am planning a level 12 sorcerer/8 Dragon disciple character.

Stats would be Str 15(+2) Int 10 Wis 10 Dex 12 Con 14 Cha 15 The 15 Cha worries me as I am relying on a +5 tome to bring me up to an eventual Cha 28 and thus a bonus 9th level spell.

Trait: Magical Knack and Optimistic Gambler

Feats 14 total

4 Bloodline: Power Attack,improved Init, Quicken Spell, Toughness

4/5 into Eldritch Heritage: Skill Focus, Quicken SLA, EH1 EH2 Eh3 (?) I m thinking Orc Bloodline here as the level 1 attack/Damage bonus in Dragon form would be scary and make up for a potential strength of 46
Also the 4/5 number relates to a Half Elven/Human racial selection.

Remaining feats: Arcane Strike , Augment Summoning and Spell focus Conjuration, Dazing Spell, intensify Spell and ?? Blind Fight??

I would consider a CrossBlooded Draconic/Abyssal character to draw on the level 15 abyssal bloodline power of additional summons. I realise that this would leave my toon without wings...

Would this character be better as a Human (+1 skills) or a Half elf? How do people prefer their bloodline powers with such a character? Would it be effective? This character would likely be used inthe Shackles AP. Thanks for any input!

A thought..... A level 11 wizard/ 1 Sorcerer (crossblooded)/8 DD would get bloodline powers up to 9, could advance wizrd spells to level 17 and thus get 9th level spells and avoid the spell loss drawback of the crossblooded type.... A transmuter could get +3 strength! feats with selection of eschew materials would be the same and a familiar would be available.

Nordlander wrote:
A thought..... A level 11 wizard/ 1 Sorcerer (crossblooded)/8 DD would get bloodline powers up to 9, could advance wizrd spells to level 17 and thus get 9th level spells and avoid the spell loss drawback of the crossblooded type.... A transmuter could get +3 strength! feats with selection of eschew materials would be the same and a familiar would be available.

along the same thinking as you, I was thinking of winter witch as my main spellcasting class, with one sorceror level, crossblood DD with Primal/White dragon, and shooting some nasty nasty rays (scorching ray and burning hands learned as ice spells with the primal bonus spells so you can get around the "no fire spells" limitation of the winter witch). If I understand all the wording correctly (which I could possibly not), the bonus spells from the sorcerer bloodline would get added to whatever arcane spell list you have of appropriate level. And if that doesn't work you could use eldricht heritage for Arcane and then eventually add more wizard spells to your list. I know wiz/sorc have better spell lists but the role I'm currently playing in my game is arcane healer so It's more for flavor then optimization.

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