Advice for dragon disciple build


Advice


Hello!

Soon I'll be playing in a new game that starts at level 6. I have a build in head with the background and RP all prepared that fits perfectly with the game setting, and I have a lot of experience with Pathfinder, yet I find myself stumped on a precise part of my build, so I would like to hear advice and opinion.

The character will go full Dragon Disciple, starting as a Paladin and Sorcerer. However, I am not sure what classes to pick for my level 4 and 5. Here's the build:

1 - Paladin
2 - Paladin
3 - Sorcerer
4 - ???
5 - ???
6 to 15 - Dragon Disciple
16 to 20 - Probably Eldritch Knight. Still get full BAB while upping my spells.

With 1 level of sorcerer I have most of my prerequisites for DD, and of course I want Paladin 2 for divine grace. But since I need Knowledge(Arcana) 5 for DD, I still have 2 levels to fill.

I want my character to be more focused on melee combat, and he will wear a full plate with the colors of his church. The spells gained from sorcerer/DD will be low-level buffing spells (shield, enlarge person, mirror image, stoneskin) that he will use before battle, before putting on his armor. He can also carry a Wand of Swift Girding for emergencies. Although I'm not certain yet of what dragon bloodline to choose, so maybe an esoteric dragon to have a few psychic spells usable in combat. Finally I will probably pick up Still Spell at some point, for emergencies when he has his armor on.

The options I thought of so far:

- 1 level of paladin: aura of courage, divine health, a mercy.
- 2 levels of paladin: a 2nd smite evil, double the healing on lay on hands.

- 2 levels of sorcerer: access to level 5 spells at DD 10, access to level 7 spells at level 20 if ED, one more bloodline feat.

- 1 level of fighter: extra combat feat.
- 2 level of fighter: another extra combat feat, bravery (or Combat Expertise since I'd go Lore Warden for more skill points).

There are probably many more options, but I'm not very good at 1 or 2 level class dips. For simplicity I'd probably go with the 2 extra paladin levels, but since I have time to complete my character I thought I'd see what other players think first. I have small variants of my background depending on if I do more paladin, more sorcerer, or fighter dip, and I'm certain I can adjust to any dip you propose.


Maybe bloodrager and advance that bloodline instead of the sorcerer, with the dragon disciple.

Grand Lodge

I dunno about the paladin/sorcerer base, but I play a Nagaji Bloodrager/Dragon Disciple in PFS and I love it. Went straight Bloodrager til 5, then switched to DD. I play him as a wannabe paladin, he swears he is descendant from gold dragons and not those vile naga. If I take him to seeker levels I was considering taking a couple levels in paladin.


Thanks, but I'm not switching out of sorcerer for bloodrager. There are 2 reasons for that, first I firmly believe that using anything other than a full caster class for a prestige class that gives extra spell levels is a waste, and second because it sadly wouldn't fit much with my character RP wise, unless he was to never rage.


If you really are more melee focused you could just take three levels of Eldritch Scion Magus. This means that you only lose one base attack and you gain spellstrike for giggles.

I'm not sure what you plan on doing with the sorcerer list and slow progression but with Eldritch Scion you can spell strike to make your melee more effective. With the fractional BAB rules you can net a BAB of 5 at 6th level (2 Paladin, 2-1/4 Magus, 3/4 Dragon Disciple).

Your standard Fighter will be at +6/+1 at 6th level which raises his damage quite a bit. You on the other hand only have one attack which means you can spellstrike. At 6th level you still have a CL of 3. With the Close Range magus arcana you can add 1d3 cold damage to your attacks but you can also use shocking grasp for an extra 3d6 of electricity damage. Spellstriking is perfectly legal for two handed weapons so you could Theoretically use a butchering axe for 3d6 + 3d6 electricity damage and just show up your party barbarian.

Edit: Just saw your newest post. A good 2 level dip would be brawler for brawler's flurry and with weapon modifications you could make greatswords close weapons and then flurry.


Akaneko wrote:
Thanks, but I'm not switching out of sorcerer for bloodrager. There are 2 reasons for that, first I firmly believe that using anything other than a full caster class for a prestige class that gives extra spell levels is a waste, and second because it sadly wouldn't fit much with my character RP wise, unless he was to never rage.

Following the first half of that line of thinking it'd be a waste to take anything but sorcerer for those 4th-5th character levels. PF prestige classes don't kick in at those levels by design, and nothing else will advance that sorcerer spellcasting.

Grand Lodge

Well, if you are planning on being a melee character, I would stick with something that gives you full BAB and more HP. More levels of Paladin for some self heals and a little bit of divine magic could be helpful, or if you are planning on going for a feat heavy build, fighter is always a solid choice.

If you are going for natural weapons to take advantage of the DD's claws and such, 2 levels in White Haired Witch will get you an extra natural weapon attack.

Any more details on what your plans are, might help point the advice in a more defined direction.


avr wrote:
Akaneko wrote:
Thanks, but I'm not switching out of sorcerer for bloodrager. There are 2 reasons for that, first I firmly believe that using anything other than a full caster class for a prestige class that gives extra spell levels is a waste, and second because it sadly wouldn't fit much with my character RP wise, unless he was to never rage.
Following the first half of that line of thinking it'd be a waste to take anything but sorcerer for those 4th-5th character levels. PF prestige classes don't kick in at those levels by design, and nothing else will advance that sorcerer spellcasting.

What I mean by that is that out of the 10 levels of DD, I get 3,5 new spell levels if I'm a sorcerer and only 2,33 if I'm an eldritch scion or a bloodrager. I also get less spells per day. Essentially, the specific ability called "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class" of the DD is weaker if I'm a bloodrager vs if I'm a sorcerer, making the class as a whole that much weaker. The same is true for any other prestige class, be it eldritch knight or hell knight signifier.

However, for the 2 basic levels I need to fill, the same is not true; yes, if I get 2 levels of sorcerer I get more spells, but I also get weaker BAB, less hp, etc. while with a fighter I "replace" those spells with bonus feats and hp. Unlike the DD thing, it's an "equal exchange".


Thunderlord wrote:
A good 2 level dip would be brawler for brawler's flurry and with weapon modifications you could make greatswords close weapons and then flurry.

That's very interesting. I'm not sure my DM will accept since even if it's RAW if it doesn't make sense game wise he won't allow it, but if he does it's probably the best option I've seen so far.


Slyme wrote:
Any more details on what your plans are, might help point the advice in a more defined direction.

Not much more to say except for the race and the background. It'll be 20 points buy but I'm fine doing my stats, no problems there. Doesn't even have a god yet since I don't know what exact pantheon it'll be, but it will be Pelor or Sarenrae or a similar god from whatever pantheon it'll be.

As for the race, something with "tainted" blood. Most likely demon-spawn tiefling, but if there's too many tieflings in the group and/or depending on what exact city we begin in, I might switch to half-orc or drow-blooded half-elf.

To summarize the background, he was born to a loving family with minor physical sign of the "evil" tiefling (or other) blood. Evil blood (and physical appearance) got stronger at puberty, coming with rage, evil urges and bad instinct. Didn't want to hurt friends and family, so he went to a cloistered church. At first, he was only there to control the bad blood (which took many years), but his fervor eventually got him on the path to become a paladin. After he left on adventure, the danger of combat awoken another dormant power in his blood, that of a chromatic (or other evil) dragon (first level of sorcerer). He went back to his church for guidance on his new problem.

Here the background changes a bit depending on the class choices:
- More sorcerer: his mentor was fully confident in his capacity at controlling his new powers as he did for his tiefling blood, and said the magic would even help him serve Pelor better.
- More paladin: he tried to repress the evil blood and get on his path of righteousness, until he met another chromatic dragon disciple who showed him that it's not the power itself that is evil or good, it's the usage you make of it. He stopped repressing, and the dragon blood surged stronger (DD level).
- Fighter/Brawler: Struggling between his faith and his draconic instincts, and feeling he had failed Pelor, he instead focused on his martial training to keep his mind off things and to keep helping others, until something happened that he interpreted as a sign from his god to let the dragon blood surge and to use the powers to help others.
- Other: I can still quite easily adjust the background for other classes, tho most would fit in one of the 3 endings up here. I can even mix them if I take 1 level of something and 1 level of another.

The bloodrager rage doesn't fit because he would never let the evil blood take over, whether it's the tiefling blood or the dragon blood. Even when he accepts the power and becomes a DD, he stays wary of the draconic blood and always makes sure he is the one controlling the magic and not the other way around. Raging, especially a bloodrage, is out of the question. He will even be extremely reluctant to use Dragon Form, using it only as a last ditch effort.

So yeah, I want to stick to my roleplay and background, but I also want my character to be the strongest he can be. If I was roleplay only I'd get more paladin levels, but there's something for sure somewhere that is both RP and power-gaming.


For a race you might consider Ganzi. You could be the first generation that mutates from a normal human.

And I'd recommend 2 extra levels of sorcerer, so you can pick up a second bloodline ability.

If you plan on being a natural weapon expert, then you want the first draconinc bloodline ability. If you plan on using a weapon (and why wouldn't you?) ditch the claws for Blood Havoc. The +1 to damage with spells will do more for you than claws you don't intend to use.

Keep the natural armor. Dragon Disciple will give you more to stack up.

Though..if you plan on wearing armor you might want to go 4 levels of paladin. Since you need to deal with the arcane spell failure somehow you probably shouldn't depend on spells.


Meirril wrote:


Though..if you plan on wearing armor you might want to go 4 levels of paladin. Since you need to deal with the arcane spell failure somehow you probably shouldn't depend on spells.

I think wearing a robe of arcane heritage is better than wearing armor as a DD


Meirril wrote:

For a race you might consider Ganzi. You could be the first generation that mutates from a normal human.

And I'd recommend 2 extra levels of sorcerer, so you can pick up a second bloodline ability.

The Blood of Dragon DD ability makes it that DD levels stack with sorcerer levels to determine what bloodline powers you get. So even with only 1 level of sorcerer, you reach "level 11" of the bloodline, meaning you still get the resistances and breath weapon. Getting 2 more levels of sorcerer only gives in regard to the bloodline an extra bloodline feat.

Ganzi is very interesting, thanks for the suggestion, I'll probably go with that.


Patol wrote:
Meirril wrote:


Though..if you plan on wearing armor you might want to go 4 levels of paladin. Since you need to deal with the arcane spell failure somehow you probably shouldn't depend on spells.
I think wearing a robe of arcane heritage is better than wearing armor as a DD

Actually, not that useful for my build, since I won't get more than 1 or 3 levels of sorcerer, that means even with the robe I still only reach "level" 15 or 17 of the bloodline, so the only things I'd get is faster fly, and +2 natural armor. Losing the natural armor is bad, but for only 2000 more I can get a ring of protection +3.

If I still want the robe eventually, I can probably make it a Vest or a Cape of Arcane Heritage to wear on top of the armor, since the DM accepts that we make items on different slots as long as it makes sense, and we will have an arcane crafter for sure.

Finally, to deal with arcane spell failure, as I pointed out in my first post, I'll cast buff spells before battle then put on my armor with a Wand of Swift Girding, or at higher levels use Still Spell.


I'm going to throw a crazy idea out there for you. Be human take the heritage feat to be considered a kobold. Then take scaled diciple. Go oradin with DD. For your qualifying levels you do 2 paladin 3 Oracle. This reduces your BAB loss by 1 over sorceror, and let's you cast in armor. All for the cost of 2 feats.

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