Dragon Companion Handbook (PFRPG) PDF

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Rally draconic might to your cause with the Dragon Companion Handbook! From the designer who brought you the Pact Magic Unbound series and Guidance, the Dragon Companion Handbook gives even low-level characters the resources they need to use dragons as effective cohorts and companions. Within the Dragon Companion Handbook, you will find:

  • 25 separate 0 Hit Die subraces of dragons that are suitable to recruit as cohorts for leadership-inclined characters.
  • The dragon paragon, a new 20-level base class that allows dragon characters to gain the special powers of their kind scaled at an appropriate rate for a player character.
  • 25 new dragon companions that druids, cavaliers, and virtually any other character with an animal companion or special mount can bond with and enhance using the new Draconic Companion and Draconic Companion Mastery feats.
  • 5 pages of feats to support and enhance dragon companions and characters of any sept.
  • And much, much more!
With Everyman Gaming, innovation is never more than one purchase away!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This pdf clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 33 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

So, this is another pdf that puts dragons in the hands of players. My dislike for this very concept is by now probably widely known, so rest assured that I am not a fan of the very concept this book is based. My first thought here was simply that I did not want to do the vast amounts of math - but hey, I guess I'm pretty much a pro regarding reviews, so I swallowed my own inclinations like a man and opened the pdf. On the first page, the pdf immediately alleviated my very first concern - overlap. Rogue Genius Games has provided the Dragonrider and Dracomancer base classes, Rite Publishing the option to play a dragon as a player-race with In the Company of Dragons - all of which are excellent products ad this pdf acknowledges this and does NOT try to wilder in their areas of expertise - plus, pointing them out to potential customers is a great example of 3pp-camraderie.

A quick glance at the pdf's pages does show that the dragon race as used herein clocks in at 33 RP - and even though the RP-value from the ARG is anything but reliable, more than thrice the RP of humans should drive home the notion that yes, even small dragons are powerful and as presented herein, only should be used as PCs in the most high-powered of games.

So what, if not that, does this pdf cover? Well, dragon companions. Dragons as cohorts (including synergy with the glorious leadership handbook.). Dragons receive the following racial traits: +2 Str and Cha, 30 ft. speed, 30 ft. fly speed (average), start off as small, get darkvision and low-light vision, +2 natural armor and a bite and 2 claw attacks at 1d4 and 1d3, respectively. As a nitpick, I would have liked them to specify whether these are primary or secondary natural weapons - and yes, I am aware of the default-rulings here, but not having to look it up is always better than searching for the info. Breath weapons are either 60-ft. lines or 30 ft. cones and have a save DC of 10 + level + con-mod. Per default, the breath weapon can be used 1/day. Now why would dragons accompany those puny, squishy, scale-less murder hobos? Simple: Power-gain. The rationale is genius: Dragons doze all the time, slowly gaining power. The issue is that young dragons will have a hard to impossible time to defeat older dragons - so some opt to become "sleepless." These dragons may scorn the traditions of their ancestors (thus coming with built-in reasons for dragons to try to take the PCs and their cohorts out...) and thus accompany e.g. PCs for power and protection. Dragons, as detailed here, are organized in septs, something chosen at 1st level.

Each sept modifies the racial traits - from subtypes to movement rate modification to the breath weapon and the additional qualities, these septs provide surprisingly well-balanced ability-modifications - Brass dragon septs get, for example fire immunity...but also cold vulnerability. And yes, I could break them down, sept by sept - but know what? That would bloat this review beyond compare. Why? Because they ALL are covered. Chromatics and metallics are obviously covered - but so are brine and cloud dragons, lunar dragons, magma dragons, time dragons, vortex dragons - honestly, I had forgotten about the existence of some of the more esoteric among these. Beyond these, favored class options, including the ACG-classes, the Occultist, the superb technician (from Age of Electrotech) and e.g. the mystic from Amora's Liber Influxus Communis yes, an age, height and weight-table.

There also is a dragon racial paragon-class - which receives d12, 6+Int skills per level, no proficiencies beyond natural weapons (but do not take arcane spell failure when wearing light armor once you become proficient in it), all good saves, good BAB-progression, spontaneous sorc/wiz-spells via Cha of up to 4th level, natural armor +1 at 4th level, +1 at 9th, 13th and 18th level and, of course, attribute and size modifications throughout the levels obtained. Draconic powers not gained via the chosen sept are instead gained via the draconic heritage class feature at 1st, 3rd and every 6 levels thereafter. Frightful presence is its separate entity and need not be chosen. At 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the draconic paragon also receives a bonus-feat, one to be chosen from those with the [dragon]-descriptor. Finally, the class receives scaling DR, blindsense etc. It should be noted that the heritages themselves can be approximately likened to bloodlines, orders etc. in that they offer bonus spells, modifications of abilities and linear ability-progressions over the levels - as well as a unique capstone for each heritage, often in the guise of very powerful SPs. And yes, unique effects can be found herein - the red dragon paragon for example, learns to melt stone at 15th level - with different effects when e.g. targeting the floor or the ceiling, potentially grounding e.g. flyers hit by the lava. And yes, the complex wordings such abilities require are delivered with the trademark, almost Zen ease I have come to enjoy from Alexander Augunas' writing.

Want to know what's even cooler? These heritages double as bloodlines for the purposes of qualifying for certain abilities, PRCs, feats, etc. - but only, obviously, for the draconic bloodline. As a drawback, a heritage locks you out of certain options - like non-dragon bloodlines. So this massive section covers the cohort option - but this is, after all, the COMPANION handbook - and as such, the handbook also provides a companion-like treatment - with level-based advancement stats for every one of the huge amount of dragons provided, including, of course, the massive 20-level table for your convenience's sake. Now a handy table explaining subtypes is nice - a table that handles aging and even age regression and the effects on dragons? That is one-step-beyond level of care.

Now I have already talked about there being a significant array of (dragon)-feats to modify your draconic companion. Speaking of which - how do you get one? Easy, via a concisely defined feat that acts as a tax for the obviously superior power of a dragon companion over a non-dragon companion - and before you ask: Yes, the feat has a rank-based limit that prevents a character from achieving easy dragon-based flight at 1st level - as mentioned in the beginning, there are classes for that and sticking to its guns is pretty smart for the book, as it allows for a proper balancing that e.g. dragonrider etc. achieve via other means. Now, if you are playing e.g. a kobold or a dragon sans the paragon class and still want to benefit from a heritage, that s covered as well. Faster movement rates, breath weapons, camouflage - the feats are numerous and provide ample of choices. Wanna go dragons...in SPACE? There's a feat for that. Petrifying foes dropped to 0 hp? Superb ambush predator tricks? Yup, all there.

Conclusion:

editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches apart from e.g. a Special-line not bolded and similar cosmetic hiccups - those are few and far in-between, though. Layout adheres to a beautiful two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The original pieces of art by Jacob Blackmon are beautiful, with especially the dragonrider battling cthulhoid creatures IN SPACE being fantastic.

Alexander Augunas' Dragon Companion Handbook is one of those pdfs I dread - so much math, so many numbers. Making such a book must have been capital "W" work - and yet, this book breathes a very fresh and light spirit - surprisingly, this book feels very much easy to use, easy to grasp and balanced in an almost uncanny way. The companions herein work, mainly because they do not claim to be anything else - The dragonrider and dracomancer balanced the dragon via action economy; In the company of dragons did so via essentially radically redesigning the whole concept. Both succeeded in interesting ways. The Dragon Companion Handbook also succeeds in this endeavor by focusing on its design-goal. And yes, the book goes a step beyond and theoretically does allow for the full-blown super-high-power gameplay of these as characters, if that's the campaign you are going for; heck, even for low-level games, the linear codification of draconic abilities may allow for a finer grained way of balancing draconic adversaries to make them viable adversaries when vanilla bestiary dragons would be too much; one could conceivably even use the rules herein to create dragon/class/race-hybrids for adversaries.

Let me state that flat-out - I can't find fault with this book. For me, as a person, this book is 4 stars due to the reason that I just can't get myself to like the very concept this book caters to - dragons, to me, are the big, bad movers and shakers, not the adventuring pets, no matter how good or organic the rationale may be. As a reviewer, though, I have to admit the elegance of the design herein, the smooth flow of...everything and of course, the fact that this book triumphantly succeeds at what it sets out to do, including taking the intangible, non-math benefits into account, which I elaborated upon in "In the Company of Dragons"'s review. Which brings me to the point - the synergy is the final, shining star here, the last viable means of complaint I could have offered - and it is eliminated on the very first page. As a reviewer, I have to rate this 5 stars -and even if you're like me and loathe the concept, the scavenging of mechanics still renders this an excellent purchase, well-worth of your hard-earned bucks.

Endzeitgeist out.


Get your dragons here!

5/5

The Dragon Companion Handbook is one of the best PDFs I've seen in a long time. The intent of it is to allow PCs to get dragons as cohorts/companions or even as PCs if they want. They do point out that these rather powerful dragons are meant more for use as cohorts and companions, and list Rite Publishing's In the Company of Dragons as am alternative source for draconic PCs. That said I'd say they do a good job of it!

The PDF proper is 36 pages lone, with one page for the cover, one for credits, one for the contents and preface, and one for the OGL. This leaves 32 pages for the dragons themselves, and they are pages well used.

The first section briefly covers the dragon 'race', both the crunch elements of stats and abilities and the fluff of how their society works as well as why a dragon would work with puny mortals anyway. The answer is, because that way they can try to develop their powers and abilities much more swiftly then if they took the more common route of 'a year active, ten years snoring on the hoard'. It allows younger and more ambitious dragons to try and outmaneuver the older and more potent dragons. A good reason and one that opens the way for many roleplaying opportunities -- what do you do when a group of angry elder wyrms comes after your cohort to teach them a lesson in respect for 'degrading the race' by associating with noxious bipeds (not to mention, trying to get one up on them)? I feel that cohorts and intelligent companions should have reasons for working with PCs beyond 'I just like you', and that reason is a doozy.

The dragons also get differing racial traits depending on which sept they belong to. This can be any of the main 'types' like red, black, silver, gold, etc., or any of the dragon kinds found in other Bestiaries. There is a total of 25 different septs, covering every breed of true dragon in the game, so you should be able to find something you like here. They also provide favored class options for every class in the game and some 3rd party ones as well like the Occultist and Technician. You can't say that you don't get options here.

We also get brief sections covering how to use these dragons as PCs if you must and how to balance them out with other starting PCs of more mundane races. We also get guidelines on how to use them as cohorts, both with the usual Pathfinder leadership feat and the versions given in the also-excellent Leadership Handbook.

The following section covers the new base class of Dragon Paragon, a class for dragons -- and kobolds, if you want to give the 'little dragons' something new. Be warned, this is a potent class -- you get d12 for hit points, full BAB, stat bonuses, limited spellcasting, and other special powers as you or your dragon rise in level. Then again, it's meant for dragons only. You've been warned.

You also get powers and bonus spells depending on your heritage -- black dragons get ones that revolves around acid, their swampy homes, control of reptiles, etc. It's the same for the other two dozen heritages/septs included.

The next section covers draconic companions. You need to take feats for this. One for the basic scaly buddy, and another for 'mastery' that makes your draconic ally bigger, stronger, grants new movement types, and gives some ability like frightful presence. Again, these are strong companions to have, but it seems to scale in such a way that they won't be stronger than the rest of the group.

Oh, and there's also a list of how your dragon companion improves for all 20 levels, which is appreciated.

At the end is a list of new draconic feats. Two of them (Draconic Companion and Draconic Companion Mastery) are meant for non-dragons who want to use the rules listed in part three. The rest are for dragons who want to improve their racial abilities, expand their arsenal with wing buffets, or gain some of the unique traits of their sept. They seem to cover it all here, and provide an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

It has to be stated, this isn't a PDF for anyone who wants to make a dragon their PC, that's the Rite Games PDF listed above, or start playing with one as a sidekick. That's Genius Guide to the Dragonrider from Rogue Genius Games, also mentioned in the PDF. This is for making some VERY powerful allies for your players, and it might not be for everyone. That said if you don't mind high-powered gaming (though these dragons will by no means make PC victories certain) and if you just have to have a dragon for a cohort or companion, you could do a lot worse than to use this PDF.


Amazing Content!

5/5

This PDF is amazing.

It is very well formatted, with no obvious spelling or grammar errors. The art style is consistent and great quality, and maintains it's own style that looks just as good as the core books released by Paizo.

Content-wise, I greatly enjoyed how this book has types for far more types of dragon than the base few that are discussed in the Player's Guide. More than just the common chromatic and metallic dragons, they have other kinds like Vortex, Sky, and even Time dragons! Speaking of different kinds, there is no lack of great options and content for someone who wanted a dragon companion or cohort. Pretty much any type of dragon is touched upon in this book.

On top of this the content, while intended for a character's companion, also can be applied to making your own Dragon Player Character! There's rules for playing a dragon race (Admittedly, a little highly powered compared to the core races, but... hello, what did you expect for a dragon?). This is actually balanced enough that there are sidebars that discuss the differences between gaining class levels and gaining HD because of age. There's even a mechanic that lets a dragon 'trade in' their class levels for their age HD once they've gotten old enough. Is it worth it? I'm not sure, but having the option sure is great.

There's a plethora of extra feats to go with the new dragon content, and an expanded Draconic Bloodline 'heritages' that makes a Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer never lack for options.

One last thing I liked about this book is that the fluff is great, it doesn't cloud up the mechanical crunch and the beginning of chapter exerpts are definitely amusing.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to have more to do with dragons or even play a dragon.

Downsides? Well I guess the biggest drawback I can think of is that the Dragon race and all these options can be a little on the high end of the power spectrum. Are they amazingly broken? No, not really, but they do push at that ceiling. Overall I didn't have any complaints.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This book sounds amazing. In cart!


So I've been a big fan of stuff from Everyman Gaming that I've purchased, and this sounds appealing, but as someone who owns SGG/RGG's Dragon Rider and Dracomancer classes, as well as RP's In the Company of Dragons, I'd like either the man himself or someone who picks it up to sell me on what this has to offer; I see a lot of parallels between those products and this.

I'll still probably buy this, but make me feel better about my purchase. :-)

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
White Unggoy wrote:

So I've been a big fan of stuff from Everyman Gaming that I've purchased, and this sounds appealing, but as someone who owns SGG/RGG's Dragon Rider and Dracomancer classes, as well as RP's In the Company of Dragons, I'd like either the man himself or someone who picks it up to sell me on what this has to offer; I see a lot of parallels between those products and this.

I'll still probably buy this, but make me feel better about my purchase. :-)

Yes, there are parallels between this product and the products you mentioned. Particularly In the Company of Dragons and Genius Guide to the Dragon Rider. I picked up both of those products not only to check to make sure that I wasn't inadvertently stepping on Stephen or Steve's toes, but also to make sure that I covered all my bases in terms of which options I offered to GMs and players.

This is the side bar that is on the Table of Contents page of the Dragon Companion Handbook. I hope it answers your questions.

Dragon Companion Handbook wrote:


Using This Product
The idea of using dragons as PC options is not a revolutionary one. Many source books published over the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game’s history that give PCs ways to interact with dragons; some of these options predate the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game itself. With all of the excellent supplements that are available, one might ask one’s self, “Why should I consider this one?”

Kept simply, the Dragon Companion Handbook is designed to give players access to dragons. Not otherworldly creatures that look similar to dragons. Not dragons with plenty of leashes and restrictions attached. Dragons. In some cases, this design goal has left the options in the Dragon Companion Handbook unable to fulfill some of the niches carved out by other Pathfinder compatible products; that’s perfectly alright. The Dragon Companion Handbook wasn’t designed to make the products of other companies obsolete. It was designed to fulfill a niche of its own: providing dragons to players with minimal strings attached. Below are several popular products that are compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as well as a brief synopsis of their respective niches. It is our hope that you choose the best Pathfinder RPG compatible supplement to fulfill whatever job you are looking to fill in your campaign setting and beyond.

Genius Guide to the Dragonrider, Rogue Genius Games: This product is designed to give players the ability to play as dragon riders from the very beginning of their careers as adventurers. It gives players a dragon steed from 1st level and mechanics to balance the power of the dragon for a 1st level character. Unlike the Genius Guide to the Dragonrider, Dragon Companion Handbook focuses more on the dragon as opposed to its rider, and while options exist for any character capable of taking an animal companion or special mount to gain a dragon companion, the earliest one can do so using the Dragon Companion Handbook is 4th level. Players looking to be dragonriders primarily are advised to use Rogue Genius Games’ product while those looking to add dragons to existing classes will be better served by the Dragon Companion Handbook.

In the Company of Dragons, Rite Publishing: This product is designed to create a new player race and accompanying base classes and archetypes to allow players to play dragon characters. While very similar to the premise of the Dragon Companion Handbook, In the Company of Dragons introduces a new subrace of dragons specifically designed to act as a player race while the Dragon Companion Handbook draws its inspiration from the true dragon septs that have already been introduced to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As a result, the races found in the Dragon Companion Handbook are roughly 10 race points stronger than the race that is presented in Rite Publishing’s In the Company of Dragons, and are therefore less suited to acting as player races. As a matter of fact, the Dragon Companion Handbook assumes that you are using the Leadership Handbook (also by Everyman Gaming, LLC) to recruit these dragons as cohorts rather than play them as PCs. The racial options provided by Rite Publishing are better served as PCs while those described in the Dragon Companion Handbook make better cohorts.

Contributor

Updated with a pretty new cover!


I recently picked up this PDF. I haven't had time for thorough read through, but I like what I've seen so far. I really like the idea that there is an actual mechanical reason for why a dragon wouldn't want to go out and gain class levels in normal circumstances. The choice between gaining lots of power slowly or some power quickly makes things a lot more believable when you have to explain why only a few dragons go out and adventure. It also helps explain why adventuring dragons have a very different (and weaker) set of stats.

I'll have to do a more in depth reading before I decide what parts I would let my players use, but it is looking good!

Also, Alex you keep on making these great pdfs which cover the exact subjects I would write if I got off my butt and started writing third party material! And you're probably writting them better than I could too! Stop it! ;)

Contributor

Matrix Dragon wrote:

I recently picked up this PDF. I haven't had time for thorough read through, but I like what I've seen so far. I really like the idea that there is an actual mechanical reason for why a dragon wouldn't want to go out and gain class levels in normal circumstances. The choice between gaining lots of power slowly or some power quickly makes things a lot more believable when you have to explain why only a few dragons go out and adventure. It also helps explain why adventuring dragons have a very different (and weaker) set of stats.

I'll have to do a more in depth reading before I decide what parts I would let my players use, but it is looking good!

Thanks!

Quote:
Also, Alex you keep on making these great pdfs which cover the exact subjects I would write if I got off my butt and started writing third party material! And you're probably writting them better than I could too! Stop it! ;)

OURS IS THE INFINITE! THE TYRANNY OF OUR PATHFINDER RPG PRODUCTS WILL SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE GALAXY! WE CANNOT BE STOPPED!


D: D:

Luckily for me I think I have a good method of balancing out dragon player characters in my games. I use houserules for replacing about half of a player's magical items with a feat-like subsystem. I'll simply take away a good number of a dragon character's abilities (with some sort of explanation of course) and require him to buy them back at the cost of a number of his picks from the subsystem. I might also give them a wisdom penalty since they're young by dragon standards ;)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matrix Dragon wrote:

D: D:

Luckily for me I think I have a good method of balancing out dragon player characters in my games. I use houserules for replacing about half of a player's magical items with a feat-like subsystem. I'll simply take away a good number of a dragon character's abilities (with some sort of explanation of course) and require him to buy them back at the cost of a number of his picks from the subsystem. I might also give them a wisdom penalty since they're young by dragon standards ;)

The alternative that you could do is to allow your players to grab more racial traits themselves. Giving them each an extra +2 to two different ability scores as well as a bonus feat would bring every core race up to about 25 - 26 rp.

Of course, +2 to two different ability scores and a bonus feat are MUCH better than what dragons receive as racial traits, but that's my subjective opinion.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

D: D:

Luckily for me I think I have a good method of balancing out dragon player characters in my games. I use houserules for replacing about half of a player's magical items with a feat-like subsystem. I'll simply take away a good number of a dragon character's abilities (with some sort of explanation of course) and require him to buy them back at the cost of a number of his picks from the subsystem. I might also give them a wisdom penalty since they're young by dragon standards ;)

The alternative that you could do is to allow your players to grab more racial traits themselves. Giving them each an extra +2 to two different ability scores as well as a bonus feat would bring every core race up to about 25 - 26 rp.

Of course, +2 to two different ability scores and a bonus feat are MUCH better than what dragons receive as racial traits, but that's my subjective opinion.

Hmmm, yea, another feat and two +2 bonuses is very powerful when you calculate in how they interact with a character's build. Maybe another method would be to give the other characters free racial feats? 2-3 bonus racial feats so strengthen the traits of their race compared to everything the dragon has. Flavorful without being immediately useful for someone's build (usually).

Contributor

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Hmmm, yea, another feat and two +2 bonuses is very powerful when you calculate in how they interact with a character's build. Maybe another method would be to give the other characters free racial feats? 2-3 bonus racial feats so strengthen the traits of their race compared to everything the dragon has. Flavorful without being immediately useful for someone's build (usually).

You could. That also comes with the problem of "not all racial feats are created equally," however. For instance humans have some pretty tamed feats aimed at flexibility and versatility. Halflings have Risky Striker, which is basically Power Attack but it reduces your AC instead of your attack bonus.

Also depending on the race you're playing your character might not have many racial feats available to her. The core races all have at least seven, but most of the featured races have only one.

ANOTHER option that you could try is letting your players pick additional alternate racial traits from their race's list for free to make up the difference.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:
Hmmm, yea, another feat and two +2 bonuses is very powerful when you calculate in how they interact with a character's build. Maybe another method would be to give the other characters free racial feats? 2-3 bonus racial feats so strengthen the traits of their race compared to everything the dragon has. Flavorful without being immediately useful for someone's build (usually).

You could. That also comes with the problem of "not all racial feats are created equally," however. For instance humans have some pretty tamed feats aimed at flexibility and versatility. Halflings have Risky Striker, which is basically Power Attack but it reduces your AC instead of your attack bonus.

Also depending on the race you're playing your character might not have many racial feats available to her. The core races all have at least seven, but most of the featured races have only one.

ANOTHER option that you could try is letting your players pick additional alternate racial traits from their race's list for free to make up the difference.

Yea, giving out the alternative racial traits could be a good option. Though not all races actually have a good selection of those either. I'd probably have to use some sort of combination.

I've read over the dragon 'animal companion' section. I like the idea and general execution of it, though the OCD part of me is bothered by the fact that the dragon don't have dragon hit dice (they don't have full bab). I guess it is hard to work that in while keeping things balanced though XD


I have to say though, I am very impressed by how you went out of your way to make sure that *every single type of true dragon* was covered. Writing entries for everything for chromatic, metalic, planar, imperial, outer dragons and probably more that I forgot three times over (for races, the class, and animal companions) must have been mind numbing XD


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

I recently picked up this PDF. I haven't had time for thorough read through, but I like what I've seen so far. I really like the idea that there is an actual mechanical reason for why a dragon wouldn't want to go out and gain class levels in normal circumstances. The choice between gaining lots of power slowly or some power quickly makes things a lot more believable when you have to explain why only a few dragons go out and adventure. It also helps explain why adventuring dragons have a very different (and weaker) set of stats.

I'll have to do a more in depth reading before I decide what parts I would let my players use, but it is looking good!

Thanks!

Quote:
Also, Alex you keep on making these great pdfs which cover the exact subjects I would write if I got off my butt and started writing third party material! And you're probably writting them better than I could too! Stop it! ;)
OURS IS THE INFINITE! THE TYRANNY OF OUR PATHFINDER RPG PRODUCTS WILL SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE GALAXY! WE CANNOT BE STOPPED!

Speaking of cannot be stopped... How does one get INTO producing third party content for pathfinder? I've had a fair hand at designing content and would not mind looking for potential job opportunities. :)

P.S. I'm buying this book. Like, right now. *click*

Contributor

rungok wrote:

Speaking of cannot be stopped... How does one get INTO producing third party content for pathfinder? I've had a fair hand at designing content and would not mind looking for potential job opportunities. :)

P.S. I'm buying this book. Like, right now. *click*

Equal parts skill, practice, and luck. Instead of retelling my whole story here, I'm going to redirect you to my blog on KnowDirectionPodcast.com, where I tell the story much better here.

One of the most important ways to get good at designing, however, is learning to shift your perception of new game material from a consumer's eye to a designer's eye. Its sort of like the difference between watching a movie for fun and watching a movie as a critic; you gotta learn how to get inside of a creator's head, see how he did something and why, and learn from those choices.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

gotta I love this guide, it overs a way for players to get a dragon companion without it being op and offers very detailed spec and directions.


Quick question on draconic companions, In the companion handbook it says "All special qualities noted in the dragon companion's description function as the dragon character trait of the same name." Could you clarify that for me.

Like for example under the gold dragon description under special qualities it lists: dragon traits, luck.

1. Does that mean the draconic companions get all the dragon racial traits listed under the draconic characters section, like the +2 Strength +2 Charisma, immunity to sleep and paralysis, + 2 armor bonus to AC, etc.

2. Or does it only apply to sept dragon racial traits, like gold dragon racial traits only.

3. Or only refers to the trait specifically mentioned, like the gold dragons luck trait.

Any clarification would be gladly appreciated.

Contributor

swordfalcon wrote:

Quick question on draconic companions, In the companion handbook it says "All special qualities noted in the dragon companion's description function as the dragon character trait of the same name." Could you clarify that for me.

Like for example under the gold dragon description under special qualities it lists: dragon traits, luck.

1. Does that mean the draconic companions get all the dragon racial traits listed under the draconic characters section, like the +2 Strength +2 Charisma, immunity to sleep and paralysis, + 2 armor bonus to AC, etc.

2. Or does it only apply to sept dragon racial traits, like gold dragon racial traits only.

3. Or only refers to the trait specifically mentioned, like the gold dragons luck trait.

Any clarification would be gladly appreciated.

You get whatever abilities are listed, and dragon traits refers to this specific line in the race's entry: "Dragon characters possess the dragon type. Dragons are immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects."

So your companion is of the dragon type and is immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects. Plus you get whatever special quality is listed by the draconic companion ability itself. You don't get any other ability associated with the dragon character; in most cases, those racial traits are baked into the provided stat blocks for the dragon companion.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
swordfalcon wrote:

Quick question on draconic companions, In the companion handbook it says "All special qualities noted in the dragon companion's description function as the dragon character trait of the same name." Could you clarify that for me.

Like for example under the gold dragon description under special qualities it lists: dragon traits, luck.

1. Does that mean the draconic companions get all the dragon racial traits listed under the draconic characters section, like the +2 Strength +2 Charisma, immunity to sleep and paralysis, + 2 armor bonus to AC, etc.

2. Or does it only apply to sept dragon racial traits, like gold dragon racial traits only.

3. Or only refers to the trait specifically mentioned, like the gold dragons luck trait.

Any clarification would be gladly appreciated.

You get whatever abilities are listed, and dragon traits refers to this specific line in the race's entry: "Dragon characters possess the dragon type. Dragons are immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects."

So your companion is of the dragon type and is immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects. Plus you get whatever special quality is listed by the draconic companion ability itself. You don't get any other ability associated with the dragon character; in most cases, those racial traits are baked into the provided stat blocks for the dragon companion.

Alright so anything stat wise is already baked into the dragon companion. Do dragons get any kind of dark or low light vision. From what I was seeing in the regular animal companion section on paizo most animal companions get one or the other along with things like scent and other unique qualities dependent on the animal in question. Also languages, the dragon's companion starting languages isn't listed in the draconic companion section, since it is a very intelligent being and also has a class skill in linguistics. I initially thought these were included under the racial traits section, but after your answer to my early questions I am not so sure.

Contributor

swordfalcon wrote:
Alright so anything stat wise is already baked into the dragon companion. Do dragons get any kind of dark or low light vision. From what I was seeing in the regular animal companion section on paizo most animal companions get one or the other along with things like scent and other unique qualities dependent on the animal in question. Also languages, the dragon's companion starting languages isn't listed in the draconic companion section, since it is a very intelligent being and also has a class skill in linguistics. I initially thought these were included under the racial traits section, but...

Dragons are able to speak and gain the languages associated with their languages racial traits, similar to how an improved familiar is able to speak any language in its stat block.

If the dragons don't have low-light vision or dark vision, that's a bug that I'll look into after I get home from work.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
swordfalcon wrote:
Alright so anything stat wise is already baked into the dragon companion. Do dragons get any kind of dark or low light vision. From what I was seeing in the regular animal companion section on paizo most animal companions get one or the other along with things like scent and other unique qualities dependent on the animal in question. Also languages, the dragon's companion starting languages isn't listed in the draconic companion section, since it is a very intelligent being and also has a class skill in linguistics. I initially thought these were included under the racial traits section, but...

Dragons are able to speak and gain the languages associated with their languages racial traits, similar to how an improved familiar is able to speak any language in its stat block.

If the dragons don't have low-light vision or dark vision, that's a bug that I'll look into after I get home from work.

Darkvision and Low-Light Vision are part of their racial traits, at least in my copy of the PDF.


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
swordfalcon wrote:
Alright so anything stat wise is already baked into the dragon companion. Do dragons get any kind of dark or low light vision. From what I was seeing in the regular animal companion section on paizo most animal companions get one or the other along with things like scent and other unique qualities dependent on the animal in question. Also languages, the dragon's companion starting languages isn't listed in the draconic companion section, since it is a very intelligent being and also has a class skill in linguistics. I initially thought these were included under the racial traits section, but...

Dragons are able to speak and gain the languages associated with their languages racial traits, similar to how an improved familiar is able to speak any language in its stat block.

If the dragons don't have low-light vision or dark vision, that's a bug that I'll look into after I get home from work.

Darkvision and Low-Light Vision are part of their racial traits, at least in my copy of the PDF.

Ok sorry for the confusion I am causing I just want to make sure I am following the guide correctly.

Stuff like dark and low-light vision as well as languages is included in the Dragon Racial Traits under the draconic characters section, but when Alexander Augunas answered my first question of how "dragon traits" are defined and applied under Special Qualities in the Dragon Companion Descriptions segment this is the answer I got from him.

Alexander Augunas wrote:

You get whatever abilities are listed, and dragon traits refers to this specific line in the race's entry: "Dragon characters possess the dragon type. Dragons are immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects."

So your companion is of the dragon type and is immune to magical sleep and paralysis effects. Plus you get whatever special quality is listed by the draconic companion ability itself. You don't get any other ability associated with the dragon character; in most cases, those racial traits are baked into the provided stat blocks for the dragon companion.

This in turn made me come to the conclusion that all the other stuff mentioned in the Dragon Racial Traits section does not apply hence my additional questions.

Contributor

I went back and checked my notes on the subject and I made a mistake this morning. 'Dragon Traits' refers to the dragon traits entry in Bestiary 1 under the Dragon Creature Type. All this jazz:

Bestiary 1 wrote:


Traits: A dragon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

  • Darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.
  • Immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis effects.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons only unless humanoid in form (or capable of assuming humanoid form), in which case proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with no armor.
  • Dragons breathe, eat, and sleep.
  • So dark vision and low-light vision weren't listed because that category traits thing was designed to be inclusive of them. If it becomes a frequently asked question, I might go back and add that language to the PDF, but at the moment I'm gearing up for the Pact Magic Unbound: Grimoire of Lost Souls Kickstarter and don't really have the time to be doing that.


    Hello again, love the dragon companion handbook. I am using the draconic companion feats to get myself a dragon mount. My class is a paladin and I will be using the divine bond to get and mount and have an effective druid lvl.

    Under the divine bond description it states at 11th level, the mount gains the celestial template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.

    And in the hand book it states that dragon companion are creatures of the dragon type for the purpose of determining which spells can affect them and their type cannot be changed by feats or class features that alter an animal companion's type, such as the paladin's bonded mount class feature.

    Well by the way I am reading it my dragon companion does not become a magical beast and stays a dragon type, but what about the celestial template. Can I still gain it or does that get dropped as well. I read up on the celestial template, but still can't determine if I can still apply it or not.

    Contributor

    swordfalcon wrote:

    Hello again, love the dragon companion handbook. I am using the draconic companion feats to get myself a dragon mount. My class is a paladin and I will be using the divine bond to get and mount and have an effective druid lvl.

    Under the divine bond description it states at 11th level, the mount gains the celestial template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.

    And in the hand book it states that dragon companion are creatures of the dragon type for the purpose of determining which spells can affect them and their type cannot be changed by feats or class features that alter an animal companion's type, such as the paladin's bonded mount class feature.

    Well by the way I am reading it my dragon companion does not become a magical beast and stays a dragon type, but what about the celestial template. Can I still gain it or does that get dropped as well. I read up on the celestial template, but still can't determine if I can still apply it or not.

    Your draconic companion's type doesn't change, but it gains the celestial template as usual for a paladin.


    What is a "dragon subrace?" This product sounds fantastic and I'm curious to know more.

    Contributor

    RJGrady wrote:
    What is a "dragon subrace?" This product sounds fantastic and I'm curious to know more.

    Have you seen 5th Edition?

    If you have, dragons work similarly to elves, dwarves, and halflings in 5th Edition. When you build a dragon character (not an animal companion, but an NPC or PC) there's a default list of racial traits that all dragons have. In addition, all dragons have a racial trait called "draconic sept" where you select one specific type of true dragon, such as gold, red, magma, sovereign, or lunar. Each type of true dragon has a small list of racial traits that are specific to that kind of true dragon.

    Those subcategories, the 25 draconic septs that correspond to the 25 different kinds of true dragon in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, are basically subraces.


    Question. In the description for the abilities of dragon companions, the 'spell resistance' ability is listed as gained at level 11.
    Yet, in the table with the bonuses per level, it appears as a level 15 bonus. Which one is the correct one?
    Quoting from my copy of thne pdf, obtained last weekend.

    Spell Resistance: If the druid is 11th level or higher, a dragon companion gains spell resistance equal to the druid’s level + 5. To affect the dragon companion with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the dragon companion’s spell resistance.

    And the table:
    15th 12 +9 +8 72 6 +10 +5 Spell resistance

    Thanks

    Contributor

    leonardo monetti wrote:

    Question. In the description for the abilities of dragon companions, the 'spell resistance' ability is listed as gained at level 11.

    Yet, in the table with the bonuses per level, it appears as a level 15 bonus. Which one is the correct one?
    Quoting from my copy of thne pdf, obtained last weekend.

    Spell Resistance: If the druid is 11th level or higher, a dragon companion gains spell resistance equal to the druid’s level + 5. To affect the dragon companion with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the dragon companion’s spell resistance.

    And the table:
    15th 12 +9 +8 72 6 +10 +5 Spell resistance

    Thanks

    The table's right. It should be 15th level.

    I'll see if I can update the product soon; I'm in the middle of my Pact Magic Kickstarter at the moment, so things are busy!


    another question, which feats does the dragon compaion actually qualify for? (I mean from the new feats in the book, how many can the companion take?). Also, I see a few that mention 'or dragon companion' btu they don't seem to be aimed at the companion, does that mean the character can take them?

    Like draconic heritage? (since having that high a charisma it is unlikely a companion can take it...) does it mean say a human whatever with a dragon companion can take that feat? Can a silver dragon compaion take the first heritage feat, since it has 14 charisma?

    In the same way, I take that the spell resistance feats are meant to be taken by players (dragon race) rather than compainos, right?. Sorry for the many dumb questions, simply curious, since many of the feats include the 'draconic companion' as a requisite,a nd trying to figure out which ones are valid for the 'bonus dragon feats' for it.

    Contributor

    leonardo monetti wrote:

    another question, which feats does the dragon compaion actually qualify for? (I mean from the new feats in the book, how many can the companion take?). Also, I see a few that mention 'or dragon companion' btu they don't seem to be aimed at the companion, does that mean the character can take them?

    Like draconic heritage? (since having that high a charisma it is unlikely a companion can take it...) does it mean say a human whatever with a dragon companion can take that feat? Can a silver dragon compaion take the first heritage feat, since it has 14 charisma?

    In the same way, I take that the spell resistance feats are meant to be taken by players (dragon race) rather than compainos, right?. Sorry for the many dumb questions, simply curious, since many of the feats include the 'draconic companion' as a requisite,a nd trying to figure out which ones are valid for the 'bonus dragon feats' for it.

    A "dragon feat" is any feat with the word "Dragon" in its name in parenthesis, just like "combat feats" have the word "combat" in its name in parenthesis, or style or panache.

    The Draconic Heritage feat is a dragon feat, but it also states that you can't have levels in a class with the heritage class feature. Therefore, a dragon that decided to be a fighter or sorcerer could take the feat, as could a draconic companion, but a dragon with levels in the draconic exemplar class could not take it as a bonus dragon feat because the draconic exemplar class grants the heritage class feature.

    Non-dragon characters can take Draconic Heritage, but the feat is harder to qualify for. This is what the feat says:

    Quote:
    Prerequisites: No levels in a class that has the heritage class feature; Cha 13; Eldritch Heritage (draconic), dragon character, dragon companion, or kobold;3 Hit Dice.

    Note the semicolons; the feat is literally telling you that you need:

    1) No levels in a class that has the heritage class feature
    2) Charisma 13
    3) One of the following: Eldritch Heritage (draconic), dragon character, dragon companion, or kobold
    4) 3 Hit Dice

    So, this means that if you're a kobold, a draconic character, or a dragon companion, you qualify for the feat. If you're not one of those things, you need Eldritch Heritage (draconic). So a human (or any other non-kobold PC) could take Draconic Heritage, but she would need that feat first.

    As a general rule, any time it says "draconic companion," that is referring to BEING that creature. If it was saying that the master had to take the feat, it would list the feat's name as a prerequisite instead.

    Draconic heritage was literally designed so the companion could take it. It requires some investment, but its doable.

    But no, the prerequisite is "draconic companion," which isn't a feat.


    I was asking, since several feats mention either character level, or HD, I assume it means the character that owns the dragon, when it mentions character level, and the dragon's HD when it mentions HD?

    Contributor

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    leonardo monetti wrote:
    I was asking, since several feats mention either character level, or HD, I assume it means the character that owns the dragon, when it mentions character level, and the dragon's HD when it mentions HD?

    This is sort of a confusing question, so I'll do my best to answer it.

    The only feats that the "character that owns the dragon" can take are the Draconic Companion and Draconic Companion Mastery feats. A character can't take Draconic Heritage, for example, to give the benefits to his draconic companion. The character who takes the feat gets the benefit, after all.

    So if a feat says something like, "YOUR draconic companion gains A, B, and C," then yeah, its a feat that the "master" has to take. (I use master because that's how the animal companion rules phrase it.) But if the feat says that YOU gain the benefits, then your draconic companion would have to take it as one of its feats rather than the character invest in it for his companion.

    I hope that makes sense. Basically, the dragon feats are just like any other, save that both dragon characters and draconic companions can qualify by virtue of being dragons.


    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.

    That's one heck of a review, EZG!

    Contributor

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Eric Hinkle wrote:
    That's one heck of a review, EZG!

    Indeed it is!

    Thanks, EZG!


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    You're welcome - and Alex: Not many designers manage to get 5 stars for topics where I sit in front of it and can't connect to what makes a product cool; seriously, pat yourself on the back, this one was exceedingly impressive!


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I can see that I need to get this book...

    The Exchange

    Few months late, but do the dragon companions get 1-1/2 str to their bite attack like their larger cousins? This wasn't explicitly stated or not stated.

    Contributor

    Jericho Graves wrote:
    Few months late, but do the dragon companions get 1-1/2 str to their bite attack like their larger cousins? This wasn't explicitly stated or not stated.

    No, they do not.

    The Exchange

    Thanks for the fast reply Alexander :D


    I'm curious about dragon companions. If I have to take the draconic companion feat at 4th level, and the companions advance at 4th level, doesn't that mean you never use the base stats? I feel like I'm missing something.

    Contributor

    powerdemon wrote:
    I'm curious about dragon companions. If I have to take the draconic companion feat at 4th level, and the companions advance at 4th level, doesn't that mean you never use the base stats? I feel like I'm missing something.

    Using the feat, yeah.

    I built it in parallel to the Ranger animal companion rules so I could build archetypes that gave you a dragon at 1st level if I wanted to. I haven't done that yet, but it doesn't mean I never will! ;-)


    Dwagons! Dwagons evwewhere!


    Is there any chance of getting a cheap product or free web supplement, or something with septs and whatnot for the esoteric dragons in Bestiary 5? Or do you not have plans to support future true dragons at this time?

    (I'm not saying this to sound insistent/impatient/whatever; I say it as someone who loved this book and loves the esoteric dragons)

    Contributor

    El Ronza wrote:

    Is there any chance of getting a cheap product or free web supplement, or something with septs and whatnot for the esoteric dragons in Bestiary 5? Or do you not have plans to support future true dragons at this time?

    (I'm not saying this to sound insistent/impatient/whatever; I say it as someone who loved this book and loves the esoteric dragons)

    Its not in the cards just yet, but its also not impossible. I have my next few months of art orders and freelancer payments and whatnot booked because of the Dynastic Races Compendium.


    Alexander Augunas wrote:
    El Ronza wrote:

    Is there any chance of getting a cheap product or free web supplement, or something with septs and whatnot for the esoteric dragons in Bestiary 5? Or do you not have plans to support future true dragons at this time?

    (I'm not saying this to sound insistent/impatient/whatever; I say it as someone who loved this book and loves the esoteric dragons)

    Its not in the cards just yet, but its also not impossible. I have my next few months of art orders and freelancer payments and whatnot booked because of the Dynastic Races Compendium.

    "Don't hold your breath, but don't give up hope," huh? I'll take it!

    Contributor

    El Ronza wrote:
    "Don't hold your breath, but don't give up hope," huh? I'll take it!

    If you follow the Everyman Gaming Facebook group and keep an eye out for the stuff I'll be putting out over the next few months, I think you'll find that you don't need to hold your breath. It'll just take time.


    I have a question about damage. I don't see anything that says the natural attacks increase in damage as the dragon increases in size with the paragon class. Is that an oversight or intentional?

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