The Genius Guide to the Dracomancer (PFRPG) PDF

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The Dracomancer is a new base class, designed for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It is a spontaneous arcane spellcasting class that draws upon the themes and abilities of dragons, and has a draconic companion that acts as guard, ally, and advisor. Dracomancers are similar to sorcerers in that they have a deep connection to a source of magic power, but in the case of the dracomancer, the power source is the mystic energy all dragons draw upon rather than the mystic inheritance of an inhuman bloodline. Additionally, since the stats for draconic companions and dragon steeds (from The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider) are interchangeable, the nearly 30 draconic companions presented in The Genius Guide to the Dracomancer can be used as new steeds for the dragonrider, expanding dragon steed options to include all the imperial, outer, and primal dragons!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This genius guide clocks in at a massive 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial/SRD, leaving us with 33 (!!!) pages of content - ridiculously much, but can it stand up quality-wise to RGG's usual standard?

After general introduction of what dracomancers are and how they work and interact with a given world, we are introduced to the class. Dracomancers receive 1/2 BAB-progression, all good saves (though the 20th level sports a glitch - fort-save should be +12, not drop-down to +6 from +11), d8 HD, 4+Int mod skills per level, spontaneous spellcasting via cha of arcane spells of up to 6th level, proficiency with simple weapons, light armor and shields. dracomancers draw their spells from the list of both magus and summoner and receive bonus spells depending on the draconic companion chosen, but more on the single most defining class feature later. The bonus spells take the form of a sorcerous bloodline, clerical domain/subdomain or druidic animal or terrain domain, but receives ONLY the spells, not the additional benefits like arcana et al. Got that?

Starting at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter (i.e. 5th, 8th etc.), the dracomancer receives a draconic talents with which she can enhance herself - unless I have miscounted, a total of 18 such talents are provided and range from auras of elemental energy to receiving her draconic companion's form of movement, gaining natural attacks, sharing cha-mods for intimidation purposes, changing energy resistance or sacrificing prepared spells for draconic breath weapon-like effects (or wyvern poison in the case of wyverns) or receiving aforementioned arcana/domain abilities etc. Thankfully, the latter retains progression-standards and has a caveat that prevents gaining abilities before their intended level - nice catch!

Beyond these tricks, low-light vision, energy resistance, instant summoning of the companion a limited amount of times per day, scent and scaling form of the dragon up to a total of 4. This means that a 19th level dracomancer could assume form of the dragon III and I each once per day, or 4 times form of the dragon I or once form of the dragon II and twice FotD I on a given day...you get the idea. At 12th level, unassisted flight becomes possible (thankfully with maneuverability-ratings) and at high levels, blindsense/sight and energy immunity become available, to culminate finally in an apotheosis capstone that is essentially a version of form of the dragon III on steroids.

Now I've mentioned the draconic companion - and chances are, you read this review because you want to know about this dragon-pet-class. At 1st level, a given dracomancer has bonded with a dragon - and, in the time-honored tradition of many a fantasy novel, both life-forces are bonded, tying the dragon's power to the growth of the dracomancer. The logic-bug becomes immediately obvious - why bond with a feeble human? The reason is obvious - faster power-gain. While the bond between dragon and dracomancer neuters some of their abilities, it is also a fast and convenient way to gain power and increase in size, making it valid not only for self-sacrificing noble dragons, but also for power-hungry evil beasts. I *really* liked this rationale. It makes sense in-game and does not make dragons subject to Mcguffins or other dumb tricks that take away from their threat. Death of both dragon and dracomancer are covered - and yes, the interaction has the potential to spark storylines. (No, you may NOT resurrect my erstwhile master! *evil dragon chuckles as he takes off with your ally's corpse while screaming "FREE, MUAHAHA!!"*) Additionally, each dragon (or draco-form) has an associated bloodline, domain or subdomain, as mentioned above.

Draconic companions scale from 2 HD up to 16 (also mirrored by the BAB), receive 1/2-save-progression, up to 64 skills, 8 feats, natural armor bonus of 3/4-scaling, up to +7 str/con bonus, up to 6 int/cha-bonus and breath weapon scales up to x9 dice, x5 range...of what? Well breath weapons either have a line or cone as base-shape and each base companion stat that has one, does list it. It should be noted that this table lacks the plusses on BAB, saves, etc. - an obvious glitch that could have easily been caught. The respective attribute increases of the dragon are subject to the player's choice and draconic companions receive share spells, link, at higher levels evasion etc.

Now how is this balanced? Via the so-called focus. Dragons, even the most beneficent, are not used to fighting with puny little mammals. To avoid a dragon's intellect and dracomancer clashing, dracomancer must initiate a so-called focus -this can range from a standard action to a free action. Draconic Companions share the initiative of their dracomancer. Without an established focus, a dragon will only spend a single move action and appropriate, non-combat interfering free actions or guards unconscious dracomancers. To establish a focus, a dracomancer has to be within close range of the dragon and the action has to be taken EVERY round. This is the central balancing mechanism of the dracomancer and translates to a simple equation - the more powerful the draconic companion, the higher the action-tax. Note that e.g. the wyvern's 16th level advancement lowers this to one free action for 2 rounds. The pdf provides a vast array of sample draconic companions that range from dracolisks to void dragons, faerie dragons, drakes etc. - all with different starting stats and two advancement steps - one at 8th level and one at 16th level. A level 2 spell completely eliminates this option for 1/round per level, though, allowing for a kind-of-nova. Personally, I'm not a big fan of this spell, in spite of the dracomancer's very limited amount of spells known. Not necessarily from a balance point of view, but because it is a vital component of the playing experience of the class.

Now you're still probably somewhat skeptical about the spell-lists, so let me reiterate one fact - the summoner spells that only affect eidolons have a talent-tax imposed on them - to cast the eidolon-specific buffs on them, the dracomancer needs to spend one of the few talents - which can btw. NOT be increased via feats. It should be noted that Metallic and chromatic dragons are NOT covered in here - you have to get the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider for that.

Conclusion:
editing and formatting are still good, though not as refined as I'm used to by RGG. I guess at one point, this huge class got so work-intense that eyes just glazed over. Still, more glitches than I'm used to. Layout adheres to RGG's printer-friendly two-column standard and sports several nice pieces of stock art. the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

I'll be honest. I don't think dragons should be PC-companions. Perhaps it's due to me never liking Dragonlance and 3.X's late over-saturation with pseudo-draconians, half-dragons etc. - but I want my dragons as the "OMG, RUN!!!"-apex predators. I'm also pretty sick and tired of the numerous "I receive kind of draconic abilities 111eleven!!"-class features, racial traits etc. What I'm trying to convey is: I'm not the audience of this class. BUT, one of my readers asked and so I took to taking this thing apart, playtesting it - the whole shenanigans.

So consider me a skeptic. This did not improve with the spell-lists, though the limitations worked rather well there. Heck, even the breath weapon has a proper cap, preventing the spamming of it. I'm not 100% sold on the end of a particular implicit cap on unassisted flight, since dracomancer could spend a talent to borrow that from their dragon at 2nd level, when usually the cap is a bit higher. Assisted flight is possible sooner (see the legendary, must-own book "Companions of the Firmament" for a break-down of that AND various takes of flight/aerial combat you'll probably need when introducing this book) and, depending on your campaign, that might be a problem.

So, how did the dracomancer fare in playtest? Well, I'm not gonna lie - this is a strong class - even with its action-tax (which all but vanishes at higher levels), the draconic companion has the potential to steal the spotlight of quite a few classes, especially at the lowest levels - but that's an issue that holds true for similar pets of e.g. the summoner, the Kobold Press-shaman etc. and not something I'd punish the pdf for. So, how do I consider this class's balance over all? Hard to say - it is a powerful pet-class indeed and its impact on a campaign can be "just another class with some damn cool tools" or "utter game-breaker", very much depending on the style of your campaign. This class is not intended for subdued or low fantasy and definitely something you'd want to limit to a high fantasy game with an appropriate power-level. in such a game, though, it works surprisingly (or rather unsurprisingly - this was made by Owen K.C. Stephens, after all!) well. Can it be broken? Yes, though not in as many ways as an eidolon. Is it for every campaign? No. But does it potentially promote a fun playing experience? after trying it out, I can answer that with "yes."

Now while I won't use this class in any low level contexts or low fantasy, gritty games, the achievement of this pdf is not only its mechanics, but its actual justification for why any dragon would agree to the demeaning task of serving mammals. And the pdf keeps the dragon's alignment, potentially sparking hilarious conflicts between dracomancer and dragon (though the latter can't act against the dracomancer's wishes...) -so no, this does not break in-game logic, it does not make dragons wimps and, to be honest, in spite of myself, if I'm honest...I kind of like this pdf. It gave me ideas for organizations, orders etc. and some nice narrative tools. So even if you don't want players with dragons..what about NPCs? Hehehe...

But I'm rambling. The dracomancer is strong and if you're using a lot of spell-books, be sure to check these thoroughly before allowing them for the dracomancer. Synergy like that can't be held against the class either, though. To cut a long ramble short - even though I'm somewhat opposed to the very concept of this class, I have to admit to liking it. If the thought of a draconic companion conjures forth stars in your eyes, if your campaign is rather high powered fantasy - then get this, you'll love it. For you, this is quite probably a 5 star-file. Those of you preferring things to be more down to earth (ouch, I know, sucky wordplay here), this still has something to offer fluff-wise and re-balancing this class is rather easy - just increase the focus action by one step and suddenly, these guys are much less versatile. For you, even if you hate the very concept, this still can clock in at 3 stars. My final rating will be in-between, at 4 stars; Why not 4.5 - look at that superb bang-for-buck-ratio? Because there quite frankly are a tad bit more minor glitches than I like to see.

Endzeitgeist out.


Worth the wait

5/5

So, waaay back in 2009 Super Genius games release the Genious guide to the dragon rider. I quite like the class and have used it several times in my games, and have a player use one as a pc in the first pathfinder campaign I ran.

At the time Owen hinted at a more castery version that was in the works. Now, 5 years later, here it is, the Dracomancer. And in my humble opinion, it was worth the wait.

Now mind you, if you dont like the idea of a pc in your game having a dragon buddy follow him around, this class isnt going to work for you. Though there are some less obtrusive options (some of the dragon options are actually tiny sized in this product), many of the best choices for dragons are going to eventually be rather big.

If dracomancers and dragon riders arent actually a part of your campagin world, this is going to be a rather significant issue when the dracomancer rides into down on the back of a huge dragon. In my game world we made some allowances, adding them to the lore of the world, including several countries that favor dragon riders and dracomancers for the benefits of what amounts to an air force in their military. So at least in my world, its no more outrageous or problematic then say a druid with a tiger companion walking into town. Not a normal day, but not unheard of either.

As for the class itself, its nearly perfect in my mind. 6 level casting, a combined summoner and magus spell list, and a potentially powerful companion makes for alot of choices. The thing is, they are generally choices. The more powerful dragons, which have animal companion like stat blocks and progresion, require actions by the dracomancer (starting at standard actions) in order to do more then take a move action on their turn. So if you put that along side say a druid with a combat focused companion, the druid is significanty more capable, since both he and his companion can act in the same turn.

There are also some of the smaller dragons which are really just walking breath weapons x times per day for the dracomancer to use when appropriate.

This makes for a very flexible class. With the spell list you have access to as well as the spells granted by your specific dragon choice, you can be a potent spell caster, though still operating with 6 level spell slots. Or you can focus on the dragon and its combat prowess, effectively alternating between casting spells and laying the hurt with your big dragony buddy.

There is also a fairly unique and entertaining roleplay opportunity here. While the dragon's actions are bound to the will of the dracomancer, and it will act to support him, its words are not. In my game I have taken on the role of the dragon (as the dm) and it has become a fairly enteraining relationship with the players at the table as this intelligent and charismatic creature comments on the actions of the party and the situations they are in. I have definately enjoyed that interaction in my game.

All in all, I really like this product. But again, you have to be comfortable with the general concept. Basically, if a caster riding a dragon that isnt grossly overpowered and actually works as pc class is something that sounds awesome to you, you will like this class. If a caster with a dragon buddy (possibly a tiny dragon) seems like a fun way to inject a little extra roleplay into your campaign, then again, I strongly recommend the Genius Guide to the Dracomancer.


A book of Dragons and (wo)men

4/5

The Genius Guide to the Dracomancer is a followup product to the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider that offers both a new base class and additional class options to the original work. In essence the product is both new and supplemental, providing options for previously released material while providing something new in the process.

The book clocks in at 34 pages of content with full color artwork. The remaining pages are devoted to the cover and licence/copyright information.

The product starts off with some fluff providing detail into the nature of the Dracomancer/Dragon relationship, then moves into the class details.

The core class feature takes up an entire page, noting how it should function and spelling out what restrictions (few) there are. It then moves onto spellcasting. The Dracomancer follows the 6th level spellcasting model like the Summoner, but can draw its spells know from the Magus and Summoner lists.

This is a good design move, as it permits future spells put on these lists to be added to the class. I wish more 3rd party publishers would follow this trend, as a custom spell list often locks a class into what is printed as support for those classes is not at the level of major pathfinder publications. The lists provide the Dracomancer with a mix of offensive, utility, and buffing spells without providing access to all arcane magic like the Wizard/Sorcerer would have access to. This decision was a big positive when I looked at the class. Locking a base class into non-expanding options is always something that should be avoided if possible.

The Dracomancer uses an option list of talents as class features, with each talent providing a useful benefit and outlining its restrictions. This approach allows each Dracomancer to be personalized by the PC playing the character or by the DM creating a memorable NPC.

The book then goes into description of the Dragon Companion, outlines how alignment disparity functions (player freedom in selection is supported by this rules/fluff combo, a big plus). Each companion follows a table of advancement and stats are provided for many dragon types, excepting those provided in the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider (but they may be used, providing cross book synergy to both classes).

The one area of this that needs cleaned up is the description of the focus class feature, operating like the Dragonrider feature of the same name. It seems some of this text was lifted from that class but references were not entirely updated, there are several mentions of "rider" when it should refer to the Dracomancer instead. The rules are still clear, it is just the wording used in this section that needs to be cleaned up.

The class makes a fine addition to the Pathfinder RPG, and if used alongside with the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider provides additional content for that older product as well.

I would have liked to see a sample NPC build at 1st, 8th, and 16th level (indeed I would like to see this for all base classes) but understand that adding it would remove page count or delay a product.

The class is usable alongside other classes, even companion classes and at first reading seems like it can hold it's own weight in a party (this just as important as a class being too powerful, if it is too weak no one will play it).

The few errors in the book do not detract from understanding the text. The content is presented in a two column layout that affords easy reading on an electronic device or for hard copy printing if the owner would like that.

Access to the Magus and Summoner spell lists provides future support for the class by releases from Paizo, or any allowed 3rd party content in a game.

I rate this product as 4 stars. I couldn't help but look at the Summoner and looked back and forth from that class to this one when reading. The Summoner has a few big advantages like the plug and play Eidolon options, a better base attack bonus, and the ability to cast in light armor. The Dracomancer has access to talents that offer customization, access to the Magus spell list, three good saves, two more skill points per lvl, and a companion that is always present (unless the Dracomancer deems to no have the companion around). I'm unsure if the Dracomancer gave up some benefits for the sake of "Cool" factor, Pathfinder is a game of fantasy, but its rules tend to dictate what is used at the table. Class features that give the character something cool, but don't provide real rules benefit need to be looked at, and while it is possible that I am over-reacting, it was something that stood out in my mind as I read the product.

You will like this product as a player or GM if you enjoy dragons and their like taking center stage in the party or setting. I would certainly recommend this product to anyone looking for an alternative to the Summoner or to any group that likes to have fun with dragons, friend or foe.


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Now available!


Thanks, Liz!


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In 2009 The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider was released, the first in the very long and popular line of Pathfinder-compatible pdfs. The book offered rules for dragon steeds that included all the chromatic and metallic dragons and it was suggested that another class, the spellcasting Dracomancer, would soon follow.
The Genius Guide to the Dracomancer is now FINALLY available!

(Better late than never!)

The Dracomancer is a new base class, designed for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It is a spontaneous arcane spellcasting class that draws upon the themes and abilities of dragons, and has a draconic companion that acts as guard, ally, and advisor. Dracomancers are similar to sorcerers in that they have a deep connection to a source of magic power, but in the case of the dracomancer the power source is the mystic energy all dragons draw upon rather than the mystic inheritance of an inhuman bloodline.

Additionally since the stats for draconic companions and dragon steeds (from the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider) are interchangeable , the nearly 30 draconic companions presented in The Genius Guide to the Dracomancer can be used as new steeds for the dragonrider, expanding dragon steed options to include all the imperial, outer, and primal dragons!

Liberty's Edge

I've been chomping at the bits for this!!! The Dragonrider has been a favorite at my table and I love the work of the Genius folks. The idea of new dragons... YES!!!

Keep up the good work!


Seeing this made my day, expect review soon(tm)!


Too much cool stuff coming out this month!


J-Bone wrote:

I've been chomping at the bits for this!!! The Dragonrider has been a favorite at my table and I love the work of the Genius folks. The idea of new dragons... YES!!!

Keep up the good work!

Thanks!


Lohan wrote:
Seeing this made my day, expect review soon(tm)!

I look forward to it!


Review is up. I am glad that the Dragonrider got some expanded options along with this class being released. The review does do some comparison to the Summoner (indeed the product itself does this) and I think I hit the major points I wanted to when I read the book.

This is a solid addition to the Genius line, and gets an inclusion pass at my table.


Thanks for the review Lohan!

I think comparing the Dracomancer to the Summoner is both fair and a reasonable basis for comparison. As for giving up too much compared to the summoner, I think it's worth noting that on top of having a wider range of spells to select from, the dracomancer gets three good saves rather than one, twice as many skill points, and three more class skills (though not UMD, so that may be a wash).

I'm glad to hear it'll be allowed at your table!


Owen KC Stephens wrote:

Thanks for the review Lohan!

I think comparing the Dracomancer to the Summoner is both fair and a reasonable basis for comparison. As for giving up too much compared to the summoner, I think it's worth noting that on top of having a wider range of spells to select from, the dracomancer gets three good saves rather than one, twice as many skill points, and three more class skills (though not UMD, so that may be a wash).

I'm glad to hear it'll be allowed at your table!

I updated the review to reflect the saves and skills, I had already pointed out the access to the Magus spell list.

That said, while I might have been a critical of this one aspect, I stand by this product. It is a solid addition to the PFRPG, more so if your table is also using the Dragonrider product. There are things that this class does that should be mirrored in other classes that 3rd party publishers are producing.

Seriously, pick this thing up already (Dragonrider too)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I snagged this and dragonrider this afternoon because of Lohan's recommendation. Can't wait to dig in :D


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Lohan wrote:
There are things that this class does that should be mirrored in other classes that 3rd party publishers are producing.

That's among the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. :)


Laurial wrote:
I snagged this and dragonrider this afternoon because of Lohan's recommendation. Can't wait to dig in :D

I'm interested to know what character concepts you think of while reading them, it never hurts to have ideas cooking.


Hey Owen, quick question. I noticed that the Chronal dragon did not make an appearance. Is that something that may come later?


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It seemed weird to have our chronal dragon in the same pdf as the official paizo time dragon, so I opted not to include it.

I AM thinking of doing some dragonrider/dracomancer archetypes, and if I do a Dragon Age Master dracomancer, that would include the chronal dragon.


That would be awesome!


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Owen KC Stephens wrote:

It seemed weird to have our chronal dragon in the same pdf as the official paizo time dragon, so I opted not to include it.

I AM thinking of doing some dragonrider/dracomancer archetypes, and if I do a Dragon Age Master dracomancer, that would include the chronal dragon.

I'd be interested in that. The Paizo Time Dragon is fairly paint-by-numbers, while the RGG Chronal Dragon is one of the best blendings of mechanics with flavour I've seen in the entire game system.


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I notch it a step higher n my list.

My end-goal is to finish The Genius Guide to Dragon Magic, then do companion/steed rules for every remaining official creature of the dragon type, then some archetypes, and then release a compiled and with some kind of print option Genius Guide to the Dragon Lords that includes all of that.

But that'll be a bit. Getting the Dracomancer out was a major push towards this goal, but it turns out I have a LOT of other game design and development on my plate these days. :)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I have been on vacation, and though I managed to purchase and download this from the wifi available at the airport, I didnt really get a chance to dig into this, until now.

First and foremost, I love it. I've been waiting for this basically since the dragonrider came out. I like the dragonrider a lot but it wasnt quite what I was looking for. I generally like castery classes more then martial ones, particularly multirole castery types. No to mention I prefer charismatic characters, because I find it fun to be a charming hero as opposed to gruff understated loner #2534234.

I also like Dragons. And despite being based on a game were 1 of the 2 words in the title (besides 'and') was Dragons, dragons appear relatively infrequently in pathfinder in terms of character options. You have the creatures themselves, you have 1 sorceror and 1 blood rager bloodline, and one prestige class. There are comparatively few dragon themed spells in pathfinder, Kobolds and their draconic heritage are more or less lost in the crowd of other low level enemies, and dont function well as opponents after the first adventure of a typical game. Heck the so called 'dragon shaman' druid archetype doesnt actually involve dragons. It's really the lizard shaman.

It always seemed to me like there wasnt enough coverage. A few years ago super genius games came out with the dragon rider, and I was like woohoo, heres some serious dragon flavor. Not to mention (in my mind) Owen delivered both a balanced class (so long as you actually read and understand the rules and limitation) as well as a plausible explanation for why nearly immortal, powerful beings would bond themselves to lowly adventurers. Since then 3 seperate player characters have been dragon riders in games I've played in, and they have appeared as npcs on a few occassions.

But something was still missing. After all dragons are intimately associated with magic in the heritage of the game. The summoner offered something close to what I wanted if I simply shaped the eidolon to be a dragon, but that class has its own problems, and was missing certain spells that I thought were needed for a master of dragons.

Enter the dragonmancer. Its pretty much everything I could have hoped for and more. I am not sure how, but somehow I am going to play one at my next opportunity. And since I am running Iron Gods starting in 2 weeks, my players are totally fighting a techno dragonmancer riding a cybernetic dragon with lazerbeamss on its head. I dont know HOW i am doing that yet, maybe a homebrew archetype, but its happening.

Anyway, thank you Owen, and while we wait for the Genius Guide to Dragonmagic, maybe we could get a bullet point or two? Summon Dragon Spells seem like a necessity for a 'dragonmancer' to me.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

By the way, owen, any chance of us seeing favored class options for the dragonmancer? I think most of the options for the dragonrider work for the dragonmancer since they were all related to the mount, but it would be nice to have something from the source on the subject.


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It's actually kind of looking like a short dracomancer follow-up might appear, with favored class bonuses, a few archetypes, and the fco info. I'm not sure yet, but it's possible.


Rogue Genius Games wrote:
It's actually kind of looking like a short dracomancer follow-up might appear, with favored class bonuses, a few archetypes, and the fco info. I'm not sure yet, but it's possible.

Nice. Here's hoping.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
strongblade wrote:
Rogue Genius Games wrote:
It's actually kind of looking like a short dracomancer follow-up might appear, with favored class bonuses, a few archetypes, and the fco info. I'm not sure yet, but it's possible.
Nice. Here's hoping.

I'd love to see it, one downside of the genius classes is a lack of favored class bonuses. Even the ones that have them from the old FCO products dont have them for ARG races, and the ones released since dont have any. Its not a dealbreaker by any means. But its generally nice to have.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I just noticed something and am wondering if this was intentional or accidental. The armor profficiency section of the dracomancer doesnt have the usual language about being able to cast spells in light armor without penalty. Should dracomancers have to deal with arcane spell failure when wearing light armor/using sheilds?


No, dracomancers should be free to cast dracomancer spells in light armor with no ASF. I'll make a note. :)


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So I picked this up on a whim and have to say that it's an excellent class. Very flavorful and most likely a blast to play.:) However, while reading the document I just could not get the idea of an armored drake companion out of my head (mostly due to this pic of an armored dragon).

The rules prevent a drake companion from obtaining armor proficiency so I thought that an archetype would make for an effective method of overcoming this restriction. After a couple of hours of feverish writing I finally managed to cobble together a passable archetype (I think). If you're interested I have included it below just because sharing is caring.:p

The Warguard Dracomancer:
Armored Hide
Through a highly specialized form of armor smithing the dracomancer can forge a suit of protective plates for his drake companion. The armor grants a +1 bonus to AC at level one which increases by an additional +1 bonus to AC every 6 levels.

The drake is more interested in the visceral glory of melee combat and the improvement of its martial capabilities. This focus impedes the drake's ability to develope and improve it's other draconic powers. The dracomancer's level is divided by two when determining his drake companions breath weapon advancement.

Battleshift
Knowing that their size can impede them in certain fights the warguard drake can, through their bond with their partner, alter their size. The drake is able to decrease their size category by one beginning at 3rd level. At 9th level they can decrease their size category by two and by level 15 they are able to decrease it by 3 size categories. This decrease changes the creature's size category to the next smaller one. The drake gains a +2 size bonus to Dexterity, a -2 size penalty to Strength (to a minimum of 1), and a +1 bonus on attack rolls and AC for each reduction in size category. This ability can by used for one minute per level. These minutes need not be consecutive. Activating this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Deactivating this ability is a swift action.

Reduce the drake's breath weapon by one step. For instance, if the breath weapon inflicted 1d8 points of damage, it now inflicts 1d6 points instead.

Primal Combatant
At levels 5, 16 and the warguard drake can improve the damage of one of its natural attacks by one step (a different natural attack must be chosen each time this ability is gained). This ability stacks with all other such improvements.

This ability replaces the feats that the drake would normally receive at level 5 and 16.

Visceral Glory
The drake's natural attacks leave ragged wounds which bleed profusely. A target struck by one of the drake's natural attacks inflicts 1 additional point of damage each round for each successful natural attack. Bleeding creatures take that amount of damage every round at the start of their turn. The bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or the application of any effect that heals hit point damage.

Special: Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself (the drake can inflict a maximum amount of bleed equal to it's number of natural attacks, 1 point for each natural attack). Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess.

This ability replaces the feat normally obtained at level 10.

Warbeast
At 16th level the drake's armor plating and battle prowess grant it exceptional protection. It now has a 50% chance to negate any critical hit or sneak attack made against it.

This ability replaces Improved Evasion.

Cheers
Volf


First, that's an awesome illustration. I see why it inspired you!

Second, I think it's very cool that you were so inspired by the class that you wrote stuff for it. I love seeing people work with the things I create. Thanks for sharing!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volvogg wrote:

So I picked this up on a whim and have to say that it's an excellent class. Very flavorful and most likely a blast to play.:) However, while reading the document I just could not get the idea of an armored drake companion out of my head (mostly due to this pic of an armored dragon).

The rules prevent a drake companion from obtaining armor proficiency so I thought that an archetype would make for an effective method of overcoming this restriction. After a couple of hours of feverish writing I finally managed to cobble together a passable archetype (I think). If you're interested I have included it below just because sharing is caring.:p

** spoiler omitted **...

Not sure how i feel about all the shifting abilities, but I guess, because magic right? But in terms of the armor bonus, you have it listed as untyped. It should have a type, I assume it should be an armor bonus or a natural armor bonus.

hmmm... now I want to create an archetype for my idea for mixing the technology guide and the dracomancer...


Kolokotroni wrote:
Volvogg wrote:

So I picked this up on a whim and have to say that it's an excellent class. Very flavorful and most likely a blast to play.:) However, while reading the document I just could not get the idea of an armored drake companion out of my head (mostly due to this pic of an armored dragon).

The rules prevent a drake companion from obtaining armor proficiency so I thought that an archetype would make for an effective method of overcoming this restriction. After a couple of hours of feverish writing I finally managed to cobble together a passable archetype (I think). If you're interested I have included it below just because sharing is caring.:p

** spoiler omitted **...

Not sure how i feel about all the shifting abilities, but I guess, because magic right? But in terms of the armor bonus, you have it listed as untyped. It should have a type, I assume it should be an armor bonus or a natural armor bonus.

You are correct, the bonus to AC is an armor bonus. I thought this would have been implied by the ability description, my apologies for not making it more clear.

Kolokotroni wrote:
hmmm... now I want to create an archetype for my idea for mixing the technology guide and the dracomancer...

I say ... go for it! I would also like to mention SKR's product: The Robomancer. It might offer some inspiration for your idea.:)

Cheers
Volf


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volvogg wrote:


You are correct, the bonus to AC is an armor bonus. I thought this would have been implied by the ability description, my apologies for not making it more clear.

Its not about making it clear. In game terms, if you dont say it, its an untyped bonus, even if its called armor. Untyped bonuses arent treated the same.

Also, yea here is a rough Draft, name is still pending

The Cyberdraco Mage:

Some dracomancers are not satisfied with the raw magical might of their Draconic companions. Many of these dracomancers turn to advanced technology as a means to augment the already considerble magic and physical abilities of their Dragon Companions. In the process they create something entirely new, a melding of dragon and machine, that not only alters the dragon, but also the bond the Cyberdraco Mage has with his companion. As the Dracomancer delves into the technological arts, he learns secrets of technology and it's power, the dragon's own magic fueling it's discovery. Most True Dragons do not look fondly upon Cyberdraco Mages, considering the modifications of their draconic companions a horrific mutiliation and an abomination. But a few, see the value in this power, and might even seak out a mage knowledgable in the technic arts to bond with. Others are simply bound by the Cyberdraco Mage's will, whether they knew their fate when entering into the bond or not.

Class Skills
The dracomancer’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Cyberdraco Mage is proficient in all simple weapons and light armor. He is not profficient with sheilds of any kind

Bonus Spells:
A Cyberdraco Mage does not gain bonus spells according to the type of dracon he has bonded with. Instead he gains the following spells when he gains spell slots of the appropritate level: Technomancy (1st), Recharge (2nd), Discharge (3rd), Remove Radioactivity (4th), Destroy Robot (5th), Antitech Field (6th)

Magically Assisted Research:
A Cyberdraco Mage may add his charisma bonus in place of his intelligence bonus when making Craft Mechanical checks to create technological items or when making Knowledge Engineering checks in regards to Technological subjects.

Technologist: The Cyberdraco Mage gains the Technologist feat at 3rd level as a bonus feat.

Draconic Cybernetics(Ex):
At 10th level the Cyberdraco Mage gains the Craft Cybernetics Feat as a bonus feat. In addition, he may construct and install cybernetic upgrades in his draconic companion without the need for a cybernetics lab. He must still meet other prerequisites and pay for the cost of the materials required to install the cybernetics. These cybernetics may not exceed a combined gp value equal to 2000gp x his Cyberdraco Mage level. Enhancements installed in this fashion take half the normal time. Each time he gains a level he may add additional cybernetics to his dragon, or wait for a later level to allow for more expensive enhancements as he improves his knowledge and experience with cybernetics. If cybernetics are removed from the dragon, they no longer count towards this total. This ability replaces Dragonsurge.

Additional Dracomancer Talents

Draconic Charge(Sp): A Cyberdraco Mage is adept at channeling his companions magic into technology. As such he can expend one use of the dragons breath weapon to recharge a technological item. The item gains a number of charges equal to the number of dice the dragons breath weapon would deal. If this exceeds the number of charges the item is missing those extra charges are lost.

Recondition (Su): A Cyberdraco Mage is skilled at keeping timeworn technology functioning. This functions as the Technomancer's Recondition abilities except it only ever applies to a single technological item. A Cyberdraco Mage must be at least 8th level to take this talent.


I notice an error on Table 1: The Dracomancer in my PDF.

At level 19 the bonus for Fort Save is + 11, the value of a good save.
At level 20 the bonus drops down to +6, the value for a bad save.
It looks like it's intended for all saves to be good saves, but that last save value should probably be adjusted.


Kolokotroni wrote:

Also, yea here is a rough Draft, name is still pending

** spoiler omitted **...

One word ... Mechagodzilla!:) Also, it just needs one more ability:

Quote:

Dragon Cannon (Su): By expending 5 uses of its breath weapon the drake can unleash a super potent cybernetically enhanced beam of energy (from its mouth). This beam is a 300' long and deals damage to all creatures within its area. The damage inflicted by this ability is equal to the drake's normal breath weapon damage. However, damage is calculated as if the attack were augmented by the Maximize and Empowered metamagic feats.

The dragon cannon sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in its path. It can melt metals with a low melting point, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, or bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the blast may continue beyond the barrier if the beam's range permits; otherwise, it stops at the barrier.

This ability can be used once per day.

Cheers

Volf


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volvogg wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

Also, yea here is a rough Draft, name is still pending

** spoiler omitted **...

One word ... Mechagodzilla!:) Also, it just needs one more ability:

Quote:

Dragon Cannon (Su): By expending 5 uses of its breath weapon the drake can unleash a super potent cybernetically enhanced beam of energy (from its mouth). This beam is a 300' long and deals damage to all creatures within its area. The damage inflicted by this ability is equal to the drake's normal breath weapon damage. However, damage is calculated as if the attack were augmented by the Maximize and Empowered metamagic feats.

The dragon cannon sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in its path. It can melt metals with a low melting point, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, or bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the blast may continue beyond the barrier if the beam's range permits; otherwise, it stops at the barrier.

This ability can be used once per day.

Cheers

Volf

Well the idea here is a cyborg not a robot, but still... this does give me an idea for another talent:

Cybernetic Weaponry:
Your dragonic companion has become accustomed to using the the technological weapons you implant him with. He is considered proficient with any implanted weaponry regardless of whether he normally has profficiency with that weapon. In addition if your dragonic companion is Large size or larger you may implant two-handed ranged weapons into the dragons body. These are still sized for medium creatures despite being used by a large or larger creature, however the dragon does not take any penalties for using a weapon not made for a creature of his size. These weapons occupy either the body or shoulder slot and have an implantation value of 3. Otherwise they follow the rules of normal implanted weaponry.


Those are pretty creative, folks!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I've had ideas for modern and sci fi pathfinder kicking around in my head since the attempt at p20modern. The technology guide just gave me a foundation to put those ideas into pathfinder. I am running iron gods starting next weekend, and I keep thinking hey that would be cool with more laser guns...


Owen KC Stephens wrote:
No, dracomancers should be free to cast dracomancer spells in light armor with no ASF. I'll make a note. :)

Let me know when this is revised and I'll update my review.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a couple more questions on the dracomancer.

First the straight forward ones
1. What kind of damage does the Shadow Drakes Breath Weapon deal?

Quote:


Special Attacks: stygian breath weapon (2d6, 20 ft.);

Note: The shadow drake’s breath weapon is black ball of lightning that explodes into a cloud of frigid mist with a 5-ft-radius spread, allowing a Reflex save for 1/2 damage. It also acts as a dispel magic for any spells with the light descriptor (using the dracomancer’s class level as the caster level).

Is it electricity? Cold? Both? Untyped? I am honestly not sure.

2. The desert drakes sandstorm breath deals both 1d6 electricity and 1d6 slashing at 1st and second level. How much damage does it deal at 3rd (when you get x2 dice)? Is it 2d6 electricity and 1d6 slashing? Or is it 2d6 and 2d6? The breath weapon entry seems to imply the slashing is 'extra' damage, which normally wouldnt scale with multipliers. But the descriptive text says they deal equal damage, which makes me think that both might scale.

Quote:


Special Attacks: sandstorm breath weapon (1d6
electricity plus 1d6 slashing, 20 ft. range)

Note: The desert drake’s breath weapon is a ball
of electrically charged sand that bursts into a
sandstorm. Its area is a 15 ft. radius spread dealing
equal amounts of slashing and electricity damage,
allowing a Reflex save for 1/2 damage.

Then the slightly less straight forward questions:

3. Would you see any issue with allowing dragon rider options for the dragonmancer? Specifically the bullet point dragon rider feats, and the favored class options for the dragon rider in various products. All of them refer to the draconic steed instead of draconic companion, so by raw a dracomancer cant take them, but it seems to me an easy way to allow in some extra options specific to the concept. Thoughts?

4. Assuming the answer to 3 is you would allow them, since multiple dice breath weapons (Desert Drake and shadow drake) are unique to the dracomancer, I wonder how would you handle favored class options that add dice? For isntance, a gnome using the favored class bonus for the dragon rider with either a shadow drake or a desert drake, how would you apply that?

5. I noticed there isnt really much mention of the dragon rider in this product thematically and its connection or lack there of with the dracomancer. Any insight you can provide on their relationship would be useful, but more specifically, since you call out that metallic and chromatic dragons are rarely bonded with dracomancers, does that mean that the other draconic companion types rarely bond with dragonriders? My first instinct was to allow dragon riders to choose freely from the expanded list, but having thought about it again, I wonder if I should limit it? This is less of a player option issue and more of a world building concern.

To give some context years ago, in my first pathfinder campaign, a player in my game wanted to play a dragon rider. So I incorporated the concept of dragonriders into my campaign world, making them fairly commmon in specific regions and sporadic in others. Many militaries actively sought out those who had bonded with these powerful flying steeds for both their combative might, but also the usefulness in communication, scouting, and a number of other advantages that comes from what amounts to an air-force.

In my current campaign a player is now playing a dracomancer, we had the first session in that game this past weekend, and when certain world based questions came up I realized I wasn't certain how to fit in some of this new material.

Edit:
One more question, also related to breath weapons with multiple dice. The Dragon Spell talent. It says

Quote:

The breath weapon

has the same range, area, and damage type or effect
as if her companion has created it, but is treated as
dealing a number of dice equal to the level of spell
slot sacrificed to create it.

Shadow Drake, 2nd level spell slot, how many dice of damage does the effect do? 2 or 4?

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Kolokotroni wrote:
1. What kind of damage does the Shadow Drakes Breath Weapon deal?

Cold, just like its Bestiary entry. Added to errata.

Kolokotroni wrote:
2. The desert drakes sandstorm breath deals both 1d6 electricity and 1d6 slashing at 1st and second level. How much damage does it deal at 3rd (when you get x2 dice)? Is it 2d6 electricity and 1d6 slashing? Or is it 2d6 and 2d6?

2d6 and 2d6. The multiplier applies to all the dice.

Kolokotroni wrote:
3. Would you see any issue with allowing dragon rider options for the dragonmancer? Specifically the bullet point dragon rider feats, and the favored class options for the dragon rider in various products. All of them refer to the draconic steed instead of draconic companion, so by raw a dracomancer cant take them, but it seems to me an easy way to allow in some extra options specific to the concept. Thoughts?

They should be fine, though they weren't playtested.

Kolokotroni wrote:
4. Assuming the answer to 3 is you would allow them, since multiple dice breath weapons (Desert Drake and shadow drake) are unique to the dracomancer, I wonder how would you handle favored class options that add dice? For isntance, a gnome using the favored class bonus for the dragon rider with either a shadow drake or a desert drake, how would you apply that?

Add a single die to whichever damage type the player prefers, but you have to add +1 die to both types before you can add a second die to either.

Kolokotroni wrote:
5. I noticed there isnt really much mention of the dragon rider in this product thematically and its connection or lack there of with the dracomancer. Any insight you can provide on their relationship would be useful, but more specifically, since you call out that metallic and chromatic dragons are rarely bonded with dracomancers, does that mean that the other draconic companion types rarely bond with dragonriders? My first instinct was to allow dragon riders to choose freely from the expanded list, but having thought about it again, I wonder if I should limit it? This is less of a player option issue and more of a world building concern.

Dragonriders certainly can take any draconic companion, but note that in many cases that means the dragonrider won't be able to ride the dragon (either not at all, or not for many levels) unless you have a small, light dragonrider.

There are two basic options I see for dragonrider/dracomancer cultural interactions. The first, and what I'd generally do in my own games, if for them to both be common in the same places, and generally regarded as two aspects of the same idea. In such realms "those who bond with dragons" are seen as mages if they focus on spells (dracomancers) and warriors if they focus on fighting (dragonriders), in much the way druids and rangers are connected.

Another option is for the two groups to be common in nearby but separate cultures, and possibly not trust or respect each other. I could easily see doing a game where both dracomancers and dragonriders are from far-off lands, and locals see them as similar, but the two groups despise each other.

The rules and fluff support either option, and I intentionally wanted to give a GM enough guidance to help set these classes, without dictating how they got used.

Kolokotroni wrote:

One more question, also related to breath weapons with multiple dice. The Dragon Spell talent. It says:

The breath weapon has the same range, area, and damage type or effect as if her companion has created it, but is treated as dealing a number of dice equal to the level of spell slot sacrificed to create it.

Shadow Drake, 2nd level spell slot, how many dice of damage does the effect do? 2 or 4?

RAW, 2 dice.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always, thanks for the review! (Especially since I never expected you to review this one. :D )


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a question regarding the greater bond talent
"When the dracomancer casts a spell, rather than cast from her position, it is cast from her draconic companion’s position. The spell uses the caster level, ability scores, and magic items of the dracomancer to determine its effect. However if it requires an attack roll the spell does not take effect until the draconic companion’s next turn when, as a standard action, it can make the required attack roll with its attack bonus."

What about effects that dont require an attack roll, but instead require a touch, or something similar. For instance, if a dracomancer wanted to at a distance cast barkskin (which has a range of touch) on his draconic companion, and had this talent, how exactly would that play out?

What about personal range spells (which due to the share spells ability may be cast as range touch on the companion), like say elemental aura? Do they occur when the dracomancer acts? or does the dragon have to spend a standard action on their turn to touch themselves?

What about a non-hostile touch spell on another character? If say the dracomancer wanted to cast barkskin on the fighter standing next to the draconic companion, would that take effect when the dracomancer acted, or the dragon?


If the spell requires a touch (such as barkskin), that's a form of attack requirement (touch attack), so the dragon companion must touch itself. This applies to personal spells, as you noted. However the dragon can do this without focus (which helps with the action economy), and given there's no range limit on greater bond it's not a bad trade-off.

Shadow Lodge

I was a fan of the Dragonrider, but was disappointed that some of my favorite dragons were not in use... and now they are! After taking a look at it, I'm definitely a fan of this class. Just one question: the dracomancer's companion only gives bonus spells up to 6th level (which are the only ones able to be cast), correct? Then why are some, such as the lava drake's Ash subdomain, only granting spells above 6th level?

Shadow Lodge

Also, forgot to mention this, but the Frost Drake doesn't have an associated bonus spell list to refer to.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
I was a fan of the Dragonrider, but was disappointed that some of my favorite dragons were not in use... and now they are! After taking a look at it, I'm definitely a fan of this class. Just one question: the dracomancer's companion only gives bonus spells up to 6th level (which are the only ones able to be cast), correct? Then why are some, such as the lava drake's Ash subdomain, only granting spells above 6th level?

The ash subdomain has spells at levels 1-9, it's just that except for the level 7 and level 9 spell, they are the same as the spells from the fire domain. It still makes more thematic sense for the lava dragon to grant the ash subdomain spells, and future design decisions might make the fact it's not just given the fire domain relevant.

The lack of spell for frost drakes is an actual oversight and will need to be corrected. It gets spells from the Ice subdomain (which, like ash, means it's 1-6 spells are the same as those of the water domain).

Shadow Lodge

I wasn't looking at it like that, that's good to know, and thank you for the clarification!

Do you have plans to ever release a guide that has extra options for the Dracomancer and Dragonrider, such as omitted creatures like Rift and Spire Drakes, and the new dragons that will be present in Bestiary 5? As a side note, a Dragonrider class that gave the rider the ability to travel with Outer Dragons to space would be amazing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:

I wasn't looking at it like that, that's good to know, and thank you for the clarification!

Do you have plans to ever release a guide that has extra options for the Dracomancer and Dragonrider, such as omitted creatures like Rift and Spire Drakes, and the new dragons that will be present in Bestiary 5? As a side note, a Dragonrider class that gave the rider the ability to travel with Outer Dragons to space would be amazing.

And what does the rest of your party do while you're being reptilian Neil Armstrong? Theres a real problem with abilities that really don't work well in a party mode... unless you're all space faring dragon riders, which would be a very different kind of campaign from the norm.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Do you have plans to ever release a guide that has extra options for the Dracomancer and Dragonrider, such as omitted creatures like Rift and Spire Drakes, and the new dragons that will be present in Bestiary 5? As a side note, a Dragonrider class that gave the rider the ability to travel with Outer Dragons to space would be amazing.

I presume I'll cover them in The Genius Guide to Dragon Magic, the 3rd planned book in this line.

LazarX wrote:
And what does the rest of your party do while you're being reptilian Neil Armstrong? Theres a real problem with abilities that really don't work well in a party mode... unless you're all space faring dragon riders, which would be a very different kind of campaign from the norm.

That's a question I'd have to address when/if those dragon options get added.

One temptation is to say "You can support your whole party in space... if the conjunctions of stars are right," which is like saying "If the GM has a plot that would be helped if you do so," but that's a careful line to walk.

Dark Archive

Is it just me or does the Dracomancer just have more then the Dragonrider?

More spells, and more useful talents VS One better save and better BAB (That the dracomancer can overcome with Talents when need by in any case)

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