First time building a dragon disciple


Advice


I'm reading Oterisk's guide, and he seems to favor what I would think it's a good build strategy: the beast caster.

I haven’t decided on the race yet (probably human or angel blooded aasimar or pitborn tiefling), I’m more focused on the class combination I’ll take. The straightforward route is 5 levels of sorcerer then DD, straight on til level 16.

There are also other options though, such as dipping a level of martial class, such as barbarian, fighter, blood ranger, etc.

Any thoughts on class combinations, or if it’s worth it at all?

J

Silver Crusade

I played a high strength Half-Orc Bard 8/Dragon Disciple. It worked out well for me.


The spell specialist arcanist can qualify, if you want to try something a little different. But you’ll need to ask your GM how blood of dragons mixes with the bloodline development exploit in his games.

The prestigious spellcaster feat is almost required for any caster build.

The bloodrager can officially qualify for the dragon disciple if you want to try a much more martial build.


Thanks, I had no idea about prestigious spellcaster!

How does cross-blooded sorcerer sound?

J


Crossblooded is normally terrible and would be especially so on a polymorpher. I can go into why if you're interested.

Some common entries besides sorc 5 are paladin 2 / sorcerer 3 for those who like good saves and smiting evil occasionally, but who aren't as fussed about spellcasting power; {barbarian or bloodrager 1} / sorcerer 4 for pinch-hitting melee power; or bard 5 for a more sustainable approach to melee ability. Only the second really works for a polymorpher, true.


Taking 2 level of Paladin/Antipaladin is a common dip for a dragon disciple. Getting CHA to saves is the main reason, but you also get Lay on Hands and Smite evil/good. Smite may not seem that good because your damage bonus is limited, but it still gives you CHA to hit and AC, and more importantly bypasses any DR.


One thing to note is that Oterisk's guide predates the arrival of the Prestigious Spellcaster feat, which allows you to buy back the dead spellcasting levels on the Dragon Disciple prestige class with feats. Since spellcasting ability is generally better than what feats will get you, this is an amazing deal.

Bloodrager is a good dip choice, as you can use the Mad Magic feat to easily cast while in a bloodrage. Using bloodrager as a single class qualification is less attractive, as you want to progress Sorcerer spellcasting. Paladin/Antipaladin has obvious charisma synergy with Sorcerer. Aside from that you can always go with the Fighter if you're starved for feats.

Shadow Lodge

Scaled Disciple Monk allows you to add Charisma to your Armor Class and CMD instead os Wisdom, so it can be a useful dip too.


Lot of dip possibilities here. I had no idea about Mad Magic, it sounds nice. So far I like the idea of 1 level of bloodrager, 4 levels of Sorc, and going into DD.

I'm looking at playing a human (heart of the fields), with the following stats at lvl 1:
Str 14, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 18 (racial bonus)

I wanted a Con of 15 to get Raging Vitality, but I'm also wanting the Extra Rage feat since I am only taking one level of Bloodrager. I also want Mad Magic. If I go that way, that means lvl 5 I'll have to take Favored Prestige Class so I can take Prestigious Spellcaster at lvl 7. That's a lot of feats. Maybe I could drop RV, I won't be up front all the time as a spell caster?

Not sure which breed of Dragon, but I'm thinking Copper since I get Spider Climb. Gold would also be good: they get a cone instead of a line of damage, resist fire.

Once I become a caster it looks like blasting and buffing are the ways to go?

J


JDawg75 wrote:
Once I become a caster it looks like blasting and buffing are the ways to go?

Blasting is optional on a Dragon Disciple. It's certainly doable, but if you go that route then you'll need the spell focus (evocation) and blood havoc to boost your damage. In addition, if you aren't blasting then you don't necessarily need a high charisma score, freeing points to invest elsewhere. I'm a bit hesitant to have a dexterity score of 10 on a Dragon Disciple, as with its bonus to strength you will often want to be in melee and will appreciate a few extra points of AC.


I honestly don't plan on being up front that much, but being more of a spell-caster in the back. I can come up front if needed, but primarily I will be a spellcaster: buffing, controlling, and evocation-type spells. If martial opponents come after me, I fly and use spells and breath weapon to destroy them. If they come after me with spells, I charge in and tear them apart. That's why I want a high Charisma, and a decent strength, which will increase as I gain levels anyway.

J

Silver Crusade

First of all, 8 Int on a 2 + Int skill points class is a waste. Either you put 7, which will net you the same skill ranks per level as 8, or 10.

That being said, I really don't get the idea behind this build. Dragon Disciple gives you essentially Strength bonuses and a more poweful Bite attack, nothing more. Strength and the Bite are good when going melee. But you say you do not want to go melee, as you want to be primarily a caster. Casters need caster levels, which Dragon Disciple loses; true, you can buy them backs with feats, but they are still 4 feats pretty much wasted.

Essentially you are going into a PrC which gives you things you do not want, and removes things you want...Honestly, if your idea is to be a caster, then just be full Sorcerer, put more points into Dex and buy an Amulet of Mighty Fists [Agile].

However, if you are set on the full-caster + Dragon Disciple, why not specialising in natural attacks and polymorph? It still requires full caster levels to unlock the best shapes as soon as possible, and at the same time you will still be able to cast your best buffs or offensive spells when needed, but also makes use of the free Strength bonuses from the PrC and Bite/Claw/Claw.

Ditch the Bloodrager and actually dip into Scaled Fist Monk (which is also dragon-oriented), which gives you Charisma to AC, flurry and Dragon Style. For the Draconic Bloodline, pick Esoteric. Since you are not specialising into blasting (if you were, you would not be going into DD in the first place), the base Draconic Bloodline Arcana is not very useful on you. The Esoteric Bloodline Arcana enables you to expand your spells portfolio with Psychic spells. This will be very useful later on when you will be able to select Phantom Limb.

I suggest these stats and this class/feat progression:

14 12 14 10 8 16, Human's +2 on Cha or Str depending on you.

1 Scaled Fist: Favoured Prestige Class, Weapon Focus [Claws], Dragon Style
2 Sorcerer
3 Sorcerer: Feral Combat Training [Claws]
4 Sorcerer
5 Sorcerer: Dragon Ferocity
6 Dragon Disciple
7 Dragon Disciple: Prestigious Spellcaster, Power Attack
8 Dragon Disciple
9 Dragon Disciple: Prestigious Spellcaster
10 Dragon Disciple: Toughness

The 1st Scaled Fist level will help you greatly at low levels, when spells are weak and scarce: grab a [monk] weapon and simply bash people in the head with flurry.

With this build you will be able to be a full-caster, but also (mainly) estremely good in melee. The Strength bonuses from Dragon Disciple and polymorph spells stack well with the Dragon Disciple's Bite, Dragon Style feats and Feral Combat Training.

Consider the 4-armed Gargoyle shape you will be able to assume when you get 4th level spells: while using your Bloodline claws, you will be able to add 2xStr on the first Claw attack (+1.5xPower Attack), 1.5xStr on the Bite and the remaining 3 Claw attacks (+1.5xPower Attack), and finally 1xStr on the Gore attack (+1xPower Attack). If you do not have any more uses of your Bloodline claws, fear not, as you will still have plenty of natural attacks via polymorph spells: you would simply add just 1xStr on your Bite instead of 1.5xStr.

Meanwhile, if while flying in Gargoyle shape you realise you would really fancy a Fireball in the middle of the enemy army, then you are free to do it, since Monstrous Humanoid shapes do not interfere with spellcasting!


That's a provocative build you've offered GW, I think I can see the potential of it. My problem is I've never played a DD before, so I don't know how they can best be played. For the monk level, does it matter if he is chained or unchained? Also, an 8 in Wisdom will further kill my Will save, and would almost necessitate Iron Will I'd think?

J

Silver Crusade

Scaled Fist is an archetype for Unchained Monk, which is good news for you, since it starts with BAB 1 instead of 0, 10 HPs instead of 8, and does not have that ugly mess that is chained flurry: with Unchained Monk, you just whack twice at no penalty.

Your Will save is fine. It's a fast-progression save for both Sorcerer and Dragon Disciple, so a negative Wis is not going to affect it too much since you will recover the penalty very soon. If you are really worried about it and you are willing to lose 1 skill point per level, then you can go with these stats:

15+2 12 14 7 10 16

You'd still have 3 skill points per level instead of 4 (if you put the Favourite Class Bonus into them), no negative Wis, and an odd Str score that you can even out at 4th level.


Alright, I won't worry about the Will save then, I checked and you're right, they have fast Will progression. The only question is whether I can take WF Claws at first level when I don't actually have any claws yet. I don't think you can because he can't be proficient in something he doesn't have yet? I suppose I could take Sorcerer at level 1, UC Monk at 2nd.

J

Silver Crusade

JDawg75 wrote:
Alright, I won't worry about the Will save then, I checked and you're right, they have fast Will progression. The only question is whether I can take WF Claws at first level when I don't actually have any claws yet. I don't think you can because he can't be proficient in something he doesn't have yet? I suppose I could take Sorcerer at level 1, UC Monk at 2nd. J

I mean, it's not like the Sorcerer actually has claws either, they appear only for, like, 36 seconds per day. I do not think this is a problem: to me it is like saying that you cannot pick Weapon Focus (Repeating Crossbow) at 1st level because you do not have enough money to have an actual Repeating Crossbow, or that you cannot pick Weapon Focus (Ray) because you do not have any ray spell yet.

The only prerequisites for Weapon Focus are BAB 1 (which Unchained Monk has, but not Sorcerer, so you need to actually start with UMonk) and proficiency in the weapon, and Natural Weapons do not require proficiency.

Rules aside, we are still talking about a Dragon-flavoured Monk. I would argue that his Unarmed Strikes are the closest thing to Claws after Claws themselves.


Fair enough. Would the trait Magical Knack help? I'm thinking taking the level in Monk would necessitate it to keep my caster level up. Between that and Prestigious Spellcaster I shouldn't be losing much.

J

Silver Crusade

Nah, it's just one caster level, you would be using only half a trait. If it also acted as full Sorcerer levels for the purposes of spells access, then yes, but as it is I do not think it's worth a trait in your case. Although, it's up to you and what other traits you want: if you can't find anything better, then sure.

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