PC Breath Weapons


Advice


I have built a half-dragon but I don't know how to make his breath weapon rechargeable like other monsters (I've seen 1/day, 2/day/ 3/day and once every 1d4 rounds). What I want is a way to get my PC to have the breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds but I can't find any way to do this. Anything is useable including 3.5e material due to it being easily convertible.

My GM and I are ignoring the racial HD requirement because that is a stupid rule. Seriously, who wants to play a half-dragon but miss out on the most iconic dragon power.


Half-Dragon, the +2CR Template?

If you are using the template, what racial HD requirements are you talking about?

The breathe weapon is usable 1/day, you can use the spell Recharge Innate Magic to restore it... if you have access to said spell.

I get that it's an acquired template, but it's something that I would assume is acquired at character creation... so your racial HD should be the majority of your character HD.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Half-Dragon, the +2CR Template?

If you are using the template, what racial HD requirements are you talking about?

The breathe weapon is usable 1/day, you can use the spell Recharge Innate Magic to restore it... if you have access to said spell.

I get that it's an acquired template, but it's something that I would assume is acquired at character creation... so your racial HD should be the majority of your character HD.

I did not even know about that spell. While that is nice to know for other builds, it would not work on breath weapons as they are a Su ability and not an SP ability. Also, "the breath weapon deals 1d6 hit points of damage per racial HD possessed by the half-dragon" so technically according to the rules, a non-monstrous PC would have a breath weapon but it would deal no damage. That is why my group ignores this and says all HD.


8 levels of Unchained Monk will let you pick up Dragon's Breath as a qinggong power. This is different than what you really want, but it is close.


The Dragon Shaman class from 3.5 gets a breath weapon every 1d4 rounds.


Valandil Ancalime wrote:

The Dragon Shaman class from 3.5 gets a breath weapon every 1d4 rounds.

Thanks. This actually fits what I was trying to do quite well though I am curious what else out there dose also gives a rechargeable breath weapon because f*** the half-dragon template for not giving a reliable breath weapon and some GMs will not be as lenient as mine.


There's monks who can recover ki and so can use dragon's breath repeatedly.

But basically PF doesn't trust PCs with unlimited use abilities for the most part. There's 3rd party products (e.g. spheres of power) and D&D 3.x stuff which do, but you'd be better asking about those on forums dedicated to them.


Wouldn't it be every HD you have after acquiring the template?

Since most people acquire the template at character creation, then the majority of your overall HD will contribute to the breathe weapon, right?

Unless you somehow become a half-dragon later than the beginning... which seems unlikely, at best.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Wouldn't it be every HD you have after acquiring the template?

Since most people acquire the template at character creation, then the majority of your overall HD will contribute to the breathe weapon, right?

Unless you somehow become a half-dragon later than the beginning... which seems unlikely, at best.

The interpretation I keep hearing labels HD into two categories. Racial (typically a part of a monster race or other bestiary entry) and class (whenever you take a level in any class outside of racial classes)


avr wrote:

There's monks who can recover ki and so can use dragon's breath repeatedly.

But basically PF doesn't trust PCs with unlimited use abilities for the most part. There's 3rd party products (e.g. spheres of power) and D&D 3.x stuff which do, but you'd be better asking about those on forums dedicated to them.

That's a real shame as there could be some really cool builds if they did. The mutant template is the only one that I know that gives at will high-level spells (telekinesis) but it still requires a good amount of strategy to pull it off and has a set weight limit.

Shadow Lodge

There is always reflavoring Kineticist but that is a hoop you shouldn't have to jump through. I highly suggest Spheres of Power/Might for character concepts if possible, because a LOT more is possible.


Always annoyed me that monsters got 1d4 round recharge with no limit otherwise, but player races and classes got x times/day limit.

The Exchange

Be an Alchemist, and at 6th level take the Discovery “Breath Weapon Bomb*” - ...


The Alchemist archetype Dragonblood Chymist gets it at level one...


So many things for Spheres of Power. Looks fun.


Looking around for feats and found something I missed. Dreamscarred Press has a feat known as Ancestor's Breath>

Ancestor’s Breath (Heritage)
You can tap into your ancestor’s elemental energy to breath that same energy upon your enemies

Prerequisite: Aberration, dragon, magical beast, ooze, or undead type, and/or cold or fire subtype

Benefit: Choose acid, cold, fire, electricity, negative energy, or sonic, then 30-ft. cone or 60-ft. line. You gain a breath weapon usable once every 2 rounds that deals 1d6/level damage of the chosen type. A successful reflex save (DC 10+ 1/2 your Hit Die + your Constitution modifier) halves this damage


One feat that gives a PC twice as much access to a breathe weapon as a dragon?

Seems legit. Lol.

I might let it slide if it was once a minute or even once every 8 rounds... you know, half as often as a dragon.

One single feat, with no feat or skill rank prerequisites... not at my table.


It does look like a monster feat. The type and subtype requirements would be hard for a PC to meet.

(Well, OK a wyvaran has the dragon type. I thought it required type and subtype at first glance. Still looks intended for a monster.)


There is the perfectly reasonable Paizo published Ninja Trick called Breath of the Ancestor:

2 Ki points for a breath weapon that does damage equal to your Sneak Attack damage... usable once every 4 rounds.


avr wrote:

It does look like a monster feat. The type and subtype requirements would be hard for a PC to meet.

(Well, OK a wyvaran has the dragon type. I thought it required type and subtype at first glance. Still looks intended for a monster.)

I agree it is too powerful but nothing is stopping anyone from asking a GM to allow them to take the feat (assuming they qualify) but make it once every 1d4 or 1d6 rounds. This is much more balanced in my opinion.


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If 3.5 is on the table just use Dragonfire Adept.


How often do you plan on using your breath weapon? Is it just going to be "your thing"? Why do you need such unfettered access to it?

You have the Alchemist, a 3/4 BAB, two good saves, quite useful, and totally fleshed out in every mechanic... any Alchemist can totally invest in Bombs, as can the Dragonblood Chymist... you get as much you are willing to invest.

You have the Shifter, a Full BAB, two good saves, relatively useful, and relatively fleshed out in every mechanic... the Dragonblood Shifter does as much dragon stuff as you are willing to invest.

These are totally legit.

The Ninja has access to a breathe weapon ability that is also totally legit, and usable as much as you are willing to invest.

Monks have access to a breathe weapon usable as much as you are willing to invest.

Pretty sure there is an Oracle, too, if you are willing to invest... pretty sure you can get there from Clerics and Arcanists, too.

There is Heavenly Radiance for the Aasimar that gives WAY better SLA's than a breathe weapon, even every 2 rounds with that 3rd party nonsense.

A wand of Recharge Innate Magic and Sunbeam?!

At least the Alchemist can add the fun nasties to her breath weapon, right?

What is it Boneshard Bomb, for the skeletons?

I guess you can combine Heavenly Radiance with the Dragonblood Chymist, or Shifter, or Sorcerer, or Bloodrager, or...

It shouldn't be free, it's not free for dragons...


Give a halfway decent greatsword Fighter three breath weapons a day, she is thankful... it was plenty, it was clutch, thank the dragons!

PS. Your Half-Dragon Template's breathe weapon stacks with literally everything else I mentioned...


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
If 3.5 is on the table just use Dragonfire Adept.

Looks fun. I do not think I want to go full dragon unless we get to Lv30+ (which may happen in this campaign) but for when I do, this will be there for me.


I second Dragonfire Adept over Dragon Shaman. DS was notoriously weak while Dragonfire Adept is a alternate take, less supported, take on Warlock.


DragonLordAcar wrote:
...nothing is stopping anyone from asking a GM to allow them to take the feat (assuming they qualify) but make it once every 1d4 or 1d6 rounds. This is much more balanced in my opinion.

--this is where I'm getting confused.

Why look for items/spells/class abilities/whatever and modify them when you can just modify the ability itself? Once you're changing the rules, all bets are off. It would be a whole lot simpler to change the breath weapon of the template.

What sort of ability would I be willing to grant a player every 1d4 rounds? Probably not a 30ft cone of (level)d(X) damage. That's almost the same as granting a lvl3 spell at-will.

But I honestly wouldn't knock it down in power too hard; it's still a standard action, so it needs to be a viable attack. 1d4 rounds is not at will; in some cases, it's worse than X times/day.

If my player was willing, I'd probably allow something like 1d6+ 1d6/2 levels in a 20-30ft cone, Reflex for half, as a standard action, every 1d4 rounds in exchange for a toning down of the half. dragon ability score boosts. Or maybe 1d4+ 1/level in a 40ft line as a free action every 1d4+1 rounds. Something like that.


Any reason why you can't just "Rule of Cool" it and you just get a breath weapon every 1d4 rounds?

.

Edit: TBQH, I wouldn't let one of my PC's take a breath weapon right off the bat that could be done every 1d4 rounds... that is... really powerful, especially at lower levels.

Maybe something level-based instead? (not that this isn't super-powerful either, but this can make sure there's only one breath weapon per combat encounter)

lvl1-4: Every 5d4 rounds.
lvl5-8: Every 4d4 rounds.
lvl9-12: Every 3d4 rounds.
lvl13-16: Every 2d4 rounds.
lvl17-20: Every 1d4 rounds.

I think it would be a little absurd to have a level 1-4 character running around doing two, possibly even 3 breath weapons in a single encounter.
I mean seriously, I cast Summon DM Nightmare and then cast DM Flips Table next round.


Is this meant to be the go-to attack with your character?

Just constantly belching on the enemy, over and over again?

Why do you need such unfettered access to a breathe weapon?

Once per encounter is understandable, maybe even twice per encounter.

5/day should be plenty before it starts getting absurd.

It could be a cool thing to add flavor to your character, might even be useful every once in a while...

Or it can be an obnoxious abuse of power, which is precisely why it is so restricted.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Is this meant to be the go-to attack with your character?

Just constantly belching on the enemy, over and over again?

Why do you need such unfettered access to a breathe weapon?

Once per encounter is understandable, maybe even twice per encounter.

5/day should be plenty before it starts getting absurd.

It could be a cool thing to add flavor to your character, might even be useful every once in a while...

Or it can be an obnoxious abuse of power, which is precisely why it is so restricted.

I wanted it for a bit of flavor and so I have an AOE attack so that I do not have to invest two feats into cleave and great cleave. I also think that realistically, if you are a half-dragon you should be able to have a breath weapon more than just 1/day. Once every few rounds just feels right to me.

The Exchange

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Ok, I can no longer resist making this suggestion...

As a Dwarf and an Alchemist, I regularly brew beers... and the following one from the Alchemy Manual (pg.13)

Wyrm's Breath Bitter: price 30 gp.

(skipping "flavor text")...wyrm's breath biter causes the drinker to become sickened for 1d6 minutes (Fort DC 12 negates), dwarves gain a +5 racial bonus on this saving throw. After drinking a dose of wyrm's breath bitter, the drinker can, as a move action, unleash a thunderous and noxious belch in either a 5-foot-radius spread or a 10-foot cone. Creatures in the area are deafened and sickened for 1 round (Fort DC12 negates). The drinker must wait 1d4 rounds before belching again, but can belch as often as desired for up to 10 minutes after drinking a wyrm's breath bitter.

As an Alchemist, I can brew this for 10 gp. a bottle. Yes, it is a MOVE action to use it. I feel that calling the "5-foot-radius spread" version of this a "noxious belch" is not correct... the 10-foot cone is clearly a belch, but the spread? Clearly a different bodily function...

SO, anyway - here ya go. Drink a bottle of this and for 10 minutes you'll have a breath weapon that you can "Fire Off" ever 1d4 rounds.


DragonLordAcar wrote:
I wanted it for a bit of flavor and so I have an AOE attack so that I do not have to invest two feats into cleave and great cleave. I also think that realistically, if you are a half-dragon you should be able to have a breath weapon more than just 1/day. Once every few rounds just feels right to me.

Okay, I'm starting to get a better picture, here. This is less about system balance or a particular build, but more about the principles behind what does and doesn't make sense. I get that. We've all run into those situations where things just don't *feel* right, and it gets under our skin.

If you can find a way to balance the idea, mechanically, I'd say go for it. If not though, forget it. Scratching that "it doesn't make sense" itch is far less important than system harmony. Learning to live with that itch is a useful ability for any gamer.

But like I said earlier, I see no reason you can't ask the GM to rewrite the template so you can use your breath more often. On one hand, it could be extremely powerful. On the other, every gout of fire is a round you weren't rolling attack and damage with your main weapon.


Quixote wrote:
DragonLordAcar wrote:
I wanted it for a bit of flavor and so I have an AOE attack so that I do not have to invest two feats into cleave and great cleave. I also think that realistically, if you are a half-dragon you should be able to have a breath weapon more than just 1/day. Once every few rounds just feels right to me.

Okay, I'm starting to get a better picture, here. This is less about system balance or a particular build, but more about the principles behind what does and doesn't make sense. I get that. We've all run into those situations where things just don't *feel* right, and it gets under our skin.

If you can find a way to balance the idea, mechanically, I'd say go for it. If not though, forget it. Scratching that "it doesn't make sense" itch is far less important than system harmony. Learning to live with that itch is a useful ability for any gamer.

But like I said earlier, I see no reason you can't ask the GM to rewrite the template so you can use your breath more often. On one hand, it could be extremely powerful. On the other, every gout of fire is a round you weren't rolling attack and damage with your main weapon.

I agree with you there, however, I like writing stories. The thing about a writer's personality (at least anyone with decent writing) is that things have to make sense or we lose sleep over it. So yes, game balance is important, but immersion should be just as important. Even if this requires some more homebrew (and I am trying to avoid that as not all GM's are fine with or are able t deal with that), I am more than fine with the number of damage dice being halved just so I can have things make just a bit more sense. At the very least, there should be a way to sack spell slots for more breath attacks without needing to take the dragon's breath spell. I mean, I can already do that attack innately.


Just one other point. Many 1/day powers are like that because they are powerful or have great utility and are meant only to be used in the best moments. The problem is that it becomes an "only use in the direst times" and then never gets used. Even if it is one more time, the power will get used more and will once again become the cornerstone of the class or template again.

Shadow Lodge

And the we get the Kineticist and suddenly at will powerful attacks become commonplace. Yes, they have their drawbacks, but the class itself mitigates those immensely to the point of non-existence, so... Yeah, I'd be fine with a scaling breath weapon. Heck, I love Spheres of Power and there are two easy ways to get one at level 1. They have the wait 1d4 rounds clause and once needs concentration to maintain the dragon form while the other is stuck as a fire attack.

In theory some abilities are strong. In practice some show they aren't. With AoE abilities you have, maybe, one chance a combat to freely use it before you have to start worrying about allies getting caught it. Giving them resistance can help, but that is additional resources spent on one ability that probably still has a timer on uses.


DragonLordAcar wrote:
I agree with you there, however, I like writing stories. The thing about a writer's personality (at least anyone with decent writing) is that things have to make sense or we lose sleep over it.

...sure, but in a collaborative storytelling environment, sometimes the best thing you can do is broaden or skew your perception of what it is to "make sense".

And even if it is just you, there's a point where you stand for what you believe and there's a point where you make concessions for what will work. Kill your darlings and all that.

DragonLordAcar wrote:
So yes, game balance is important, but immersion should be just as important.

That's a slippery path to walk down. "Immersion" is a term that all too often gets tossed about in order to justify a host of bad design choices, both mechanical and narrative.

DragonLordAcar wrote:
Even if this requires some more homebrew

As a GM that custom-built 95% of the monsters and 100% of the magic items in his last game, I understand.

And it's like I said before: a more frequently used breath weapon isn't really that powerful, necessarily. A lvl6 fighter with Str16, a +1 greatsword, Power Attack and Great Cleave is dishing out an average of 18 damage per hit. Even a 30ft cone of 4d6 fire will be a poorer choice in many, many situations.


Quixote wrote:
DragonLordAcar wrote:
I agree with you there, however, I like writing stories. The thing about a writer's personality (at least anyone with decent writing) is that things have to make sense or we lose sleep over it.

...sure, but in a collaborative storytelling environment, sometimes the best thing you can do is broaden or skew your perception of what it is to "make sense".

And even if it is just you, there's a point where you stand for what you believe and there's a point where you make concessions for what will work. Kill your darlings and all that.

DragonLordAcar wrote:
So yes, game balance is important, but immersion should be just as important.

That's a slippery path to walk down. "Immersion" is a term that all too often gets tossed about in order to justify a host of bad design choices, both mechanical and narrative.

DragonLordAcar wrote:
Even if this requires some more homebrew

As a GM that custom-built 95% of the monsters and 100% of the magic items in his last game, I understand.

And it's like I said before: a more frequently used breath weapon isn't really that powerful, necessarily. A lvl6 fighter with Str16, a +1 greatsword, Power Attack and Great Cleave is dishing out an average of 18 damage per hit. Even a 30ft cone of 4d6 fire will be a poorer choice in many, many situations.

I understand. For a bit of clarification, my definition of immersion is how real something feels or how well it makes sense given the setting. True I have to make some compromises like how armor and fall damage will never quite make sense as written even with variant rules, but it is good enough that you can visualize what happens.

I will also say again that I want the breath weapon on occasion for flavor and dealing with hoards of minions as I want some room for other feats than cleave and greater cleave. Don't get me wrong. They are very useful feats but my vision does not give me the room to take those as I am going for the big and monstrous character who others fear (lots of free intimidate thanks to cornugon smash) but is actually a nice guy who will literally give an arm and leg for his family. This is usually what happens to my characters. I have a crazy idea but the way I want it implemented is not exactly the most rules friendly.

I left it out earlier as it would be distractive but my character is a mutant minotaur (yes I took level adjustment and am fine with that) with a huge mix of interspecies crossbreeding combined with radiation giving him the mutant template and is feared as the monster he would have been had he been left on that roadside next to his dying tiefling mother. His new adoptive parents are an elf father, aasimar mother, and their biological daughter also an aasimar. To summerise, my GM loves me and my creativity but hates how I will often go too far and infringe on their creativity until I get talked back a bit. This should be a good explanation of why I tried to ask within rules so I do not change too much of my GM's world by accadent.

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