Dragons+Sorcerer stack?


Rules Questions


Bestiary 1 says as fallows
"A dragon knows and casts arcane spells as a
sorcerer of the level indicated in its specific description.
Its caster level depends on its age, as shown for each type."

So my question is this, if a Dragon were to gain levels in Sorcerer, would the spell level stack allowing the dragon to access higher level magic then one of its age category would normally have, and if yes, then does that mean Archetypes that use Sorcerer Bloodlines (such as Eldritch Scion Magus, or Blood Arcanist), could also stack?


a dragon that rises it's level as a sorcerer (which need a gm to do, since the xp should be more then just rising above his sorcerer level) should stack with his caster level. although other sorcerer abilities would only count his sorcerer level. (like bloodline abilities and bloodline feats etc).

if the said archtype specifically call out to increase his sorcerer level, or at least his sorcerer casting abilities, then yes. i would let it stack as well.

so an X year old red dragon that can cast spells as a Y level sorcerer and then gain z levels of sorcerer somehow (Again GM fiat needed here) would cast spells as a sorcerer of level Y+Z and have other sorcerer abilities of level Z sorcerer.

think of his dragon's sorcerer casting abilities like the +1 to level of casting abilities from a prestige class where only the casting ability is increased but not the other class abilities.


Spells: A dragon knows and casts arcane spells as a sorcerer of the level indicated in its specific description. Its caster level depends on its age, as shown for each type.

One thing to keep in mind is that dragons do not gain any other class feature of a sorcerer except spells. They do not have a bloodline including the draconic bloodline. Archetypes that use sorcerer bloodlines have no effect on a dragon unless that dragon actually has levels in sorcerer or a class with a bloodline.

For a dragon to actually become a sorcerer is going to be incredibly rare and difficult. Becoming a sorcerer is a matter of having been born with the ability, not something you are taught. If you don’t have the required ability no amount of training will help. The most common cause of a sorcerer is because one of the sorcerer’s ancestors was a magic creature. Dragons can mate with other creatures but that results in a half dragon, not a true dragon. This is the source of a lot of draconic bloodline sorcerers. Dragons mating with each other will not produce a draconic bloodline sorcerer or all dragons would be sorcerers.

RAW a dragon that did have levels in sorcerer would not stack with the innate spell casting of a dragon.


Faerie Dragons can add levels in Sorcerer to increase their magic ability, but it’s not clear how that works mechanically; I would assume whatever way it worked, the ‘levels in sorcerer’ would stack with their baseline sorcerer casting. So kind of a precedent, albeit an unhelpful one on the rules side.


Lelomenia wrote:
"Faerie Dragons can add levels in Sorcerer to increase their magic ability"

Could you tell me where this came from please?


The description specifically state that they typically gain sorcerer levels. That is more of an exception than the rule.


False Front wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
"Faerie Dragons can add levels in Sorcerer to increase their magic ability"
Could you tell me where this came from please?
Bestiary 3 pg. 91 wrote:
Unlike true dragons, faerie dragons do not grow larger with age, but their scales do change color, starting with red and moving through the rainbow to reach dark violet at old age. Faerie dragons grow in power as spellcasters as they age (typically gaining levels in sorcerer), learning more powerful spells to complement their innate abilities.

it’s left to the reader as to how that works mechanically.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
False Front wrote:
So my question is this, if a Dragon were to gain levels in Sorcerer, would the spell level stack allowing the dragon to access higher level magic then one of its age category would normally have, and if yes, then does that mean Archetypes that use Sorcerer Bloodlines (such as Eldritch Scion Magus, or Blood Arcanist), could also stack?

Using the Monster Advancement rules, yes; with some limitations. For CL, spell slots, and spells known, sorcerer levels stack with the dragon's racial spellcasting. However, any class abilities (such as bloodline power[s], bonus bloodline spells known, bloodline feats) are only gained based on sorcerer levels. Also, each level of sorcerer increases the dragon's CR by one (as a "key" class; dragons fall in both the combat and spell role).

Any spellcasting class other than sorcerer does not advance a dragon's "racial" sorcerer spellcasting. So arcanists and magi levels instead add separate spell slots and CL.


since he only has spellcasting as a sorcerer of X level I think the easiest way to increase it without too many hiccups would be not to take levels in a sorcerer (or archtype that increase that) rather to take levels in a prestige class that increase existing caster level by +1 per level.
he can apply to any that require arcane caster or general spell caster of a level he has as he cast spells rather then spell like abilities. (except dragon disciple which call out to have a 'not dragon' entry requirement)


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Using the Monster Advancement rules, yes; with some limitations.

Of coarse the Bestiary would have the rules I seek, Thanks Dragonchess.

zza ni wrote:
since he only has spellcasting as a sorcerer of X level I think the easiest way to increase it without too many hiccups would be not to take levels in a sorcerer (or archtype that increase that) rather to take levels in a prestige class that increase existing caster level by +1 per level.

Good idea zza ni, I will have to take a look at Prestige classes.


The dragon in charge of Shadow-plane Absalom (while unstatted) is stated to be a Sorcerer 5 Great Wyrm Umbral Dragon. I believe she would be a draconic bloodline, but there's nothing that says one way or another (which is what leads me to believe it would be draconic as it'd be noteworthy otherwise). Now she might have sorcerer levels because there's nowhere else up for the dragon to go aging wise, but I think it could also just represent even in younger dragons an emphasized study in magic above and beyond a normal dragon for their age category.


AwesomenessDog wrote:
The dragon in charge of Shadow-plane Absalom (while unstatted) is stated to be a Sorcerer 5 Great Wyrm Umbral Dragon. I believe she would be a draconic bloodline, but there's nothing that says one way or another (which is what leads me to believe it would be draconic as it'd be noteworthy otherwise). Now she might have sorcerer levels because there's nowhere else up for the dragon to go aging wise, but I think it could also just represent even in younger dragons an emphasized study in magic above and beyond a normal dragon for their age category.

To me the shadow or umbral bloodline would make more sense.

Shadow Lodge

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

I would point to the last boss of the original kingmaker AP who had levels in Sorcerer and then added levels of mystic theurge using it's inherent caster levels. It follows that these things do stack although as mentioned above class abilities will use the actual levels in the class and not caster level.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
The dragon in charge of Shadow-plane Absalom (while unstatted) is stated to be a Sorcerer 5 Great Wyrm Umbral Dragon. I believe she would be a draconic bloodline, but there's nothing that says one way or another (which is what leads me to believe it would be draconic as it'd be noteworthy otherwise). Now she might have sorcerer levels because there's nowhere else up for the dragon to go aging wise, but I think it could also just represent even in younger dragons an emphasized study in magic above and beyond a normal dragon for their age category.
To me the shadow or umbral bloodline would make more sense.

Perhaps for this case since she's attached to a special plane of existence, and bloodlines (at least for PCs) are very open to interpretation for how you got yours, but given the hard lining of draconic bloodlines in many other regards, I would assume dragons (without a strong reason otherwise) would be locked into draconic bloodline. My 2cp anyway.


My take: being a sorcerer is being different or special. Do human sorcerers default to the "human" bloodline? So I would say a dragon with sorcerer levels (not just the natural spell casting) should have a non-draconic bloodline.


A sorcerer’s bloodline is usually the result of some magical event that happened to the creature or their ancestor, including being descendant from a magical creature. All dragons develop spell casting ability if they live long enough. A dragon gaining actual levels as a sorcerer is extremely rare and is probably due to a very powerful magical event. If interacting with a dragon was enough to create a dragon sorcerer all dragons should be dragon sorcerers, but that is clearly not the case. I can see a dragon that bonds to another plane developing an appropriate bloodline. A dragon with a deity level creature as an ancestor could also be a reason for it to gain levels as a sorcerer.


Thanks everyone for the help, this made things a lot easier to sort through.

Christopher Van Horn wrote:


I would point to the last boss of the original kingmaker AP who had levels in Sorcerer and then added levels of mystic theurge using it's inherent caster levels. It follows that these things do stack although as mentioned above class abilities will use the actual levels in the class and not caster level.

Looking at one of the few stated dragons with class levels in Pathfinder, specifically Kazayon, a Great Wyrm Blue Dragon Fighter 1/Eldritch Knight 4, plus Nyrissa (last boss of og Kingmaker) Prestige Classes defiantly stack with inherent caster levels.

On the subject of sorcerer bloodline origins, sometimes it is not that an ancestor was exposed to something, so much as "you," were exposed to something (either long term or sheer potency). Undead with sorcerer levels generally fall under that reasoning to my knowledge.

Dark Archive

Java Man wrote:
My take: being a sorcerer is being different or special. Do human sorcerers default to the "human" bloodline? So I would say a dragon with sorcerer levels (not just the natural spell casting) should have a non-draconic bloodline.

Agreed. Sure, a red dragon (for example) *could* have the (red) Draconic bloodline, but the Elemental (fire) or Efreeti bloodlines would make just as much sense, or even the Infernal or Abyssal bloodlines, if they've got reason to be affected / influenced by fiendish forces / energies / pacts. (A young fiendish red dragon called from Hell to serve the forces of Cheliax, or one that had been slumbering in it's lair near where the Worldwound formed and been affected by it's energies. Stuff like that.)

Similarly, a white dragon makes thematic sense to take levels in Elemental (water) or Boreal bloodlines, but could also have a bloodline based entirely around regional or situational themes, like one from Irrisen who has been tainted by the winter fey, and has the Fey bloodline, or who has gorged on the bodies of the dead in the burial cairns of Linnorm Kings it has plundered and been tainted with the Undead bloodline.

The thing about the Draconic bloodline is that it's really not particularly optimal for a *dragon* to take, since many of it's class abilities, granting limited access to draconic features like claws, breath weapon or wings, or resistances to things that dragons are already immune to, are kind of a total waste, for a dragon that already has better versions of those things.

And I would definitely allow any race that has innate sorcerer spellcasting ability (naga, nymph, rakshasa, aranea) to also take actual class levels in Sorcerer, in which case, they'd be an X level Sorcerer, who has X+ levels in sorcerer spellcasting. So a dark naga who casts as a 7th level sorcerer could take 3 levels in (Umbral) sorcerer, and have the class abilities of a 3rd level sorcerer, but cast as a 10th level sorcerer.


My two penn'orth: RAW seems pretty clear - they can take sorcerer levels, and the casting stacks, any other sorcerer features are based solely on the class levels. (There is some GM fiat involved one way or another, because all NPC advancement is fiat-based, while a certain amount of GM largess is required for dragon PCs to exist in the first place. But once the character exists and has a sorcerer level, the casting definitely stacks).

Thematically, I think that both dragon bloodlines and non-dragon bloodlines makes sense. Obviously, the dragon is descended from dragons and gets power from it! But that does not preclude some other influence being mixed in there - if for example humans can be fey-line sorcerers, then so can dragons.

Mechanically, it makes zero sense to be a dragon-bloodline sorcerer if you are already a dragon - the only things you get for that are worse versions of things you already have.

I think that is a shame. I have toyed in the past with making a "self-blooded" bloodline or archetype for dragons (and nagas, etc) who want to boost their casting a bit without bringing a different bloodline into the mix, but I have never quite figured out exactly what it should do!


I appreciate everyone weighing in on this, it has helped a lot, thanks.

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