Dragon Shaman

Dragon Shaman


"I possess a dragon's power. Beware lest you awaken that dragon's wrath."
— Kalia, last and greatest dragon shaman of the Blackspear tribe.

Empires crumble, eons pass, and even gods wither and die, but dragons remain. Mortal but eternal, the races of true dragons weather the roll of the ages because of their unsurpassed might. Few creatures can match a dragon in its full fury, whether in a combat of arms or battle of wits. Dragon shamans recognize this fact and see true dragons as more than powerful beings. To a dragon shaman, the passing shadow of a dragon flying overhead isn't a sign that invokes fear; it's a blessing that reveals you to be in the presence of greatness.

Dragon shamans respect true dragons as power incarnate. Some worship dragons, but most simply aspire to gain dragon powers for themselves. In assuming the abilities and the likeness of a dragon, a dragon shaman seeks to emulate that might and embody that power within himself.

If you gaze at dragons with awe and aspire to share their power and majesty, then the dragon shaman is the class for you. By choosing a totem dragon, you partake of a true dragon's power and take on aspects of a particular kind of dragon.

Game Rule Information

As a dragon shaman, you primarily act as a melee combatant, but your class features also allow you to grant benefits to those fighting around you. In a standard group of adventurers, you can stand in for the fighter or the cleric. Your combat prowess isn't quite as great as a fighter's, but you can employ special attacks and special defenses a fighter can't access. Although you lack many of the cleric's specialized spells, you do possess the ability to heal and remove negative conditions. As a dragon shaman, you can grow tough scales, breathe fire or another type of energy, and soar on dragon wings—and that barely scratches the surface of the powers at your command.

Abilities: As with any melee-oriented class, Strength is a key ability for dragon shamans. Constitution provides you with increased hit points as usual, and it also increases the save DC of your breath weapon. If you want to make good use of the dragon shaman's ability to heal and remove negative conditions, you'll need a high Charisma.

Races: Although humans make up the majority of dragon shamans, any community of people with a close connection to true dragons can produce dragon shamans. Typically, dragon shamans come from savage societies that live near the lairs of dragons, but even highly civilized populations can produce dragon shamans. In any race or society, dragon shamans tend to dedicate themselves to the dragons native to the area. Thus, elf dragon shamans from a forest nation often aspire to the qualities of a green dragon, whereas the dwarf dragon shamans of a high mountain citadel would seek to gain the qualities of a silver dragon.

Alignment: Attaining the abilities of a true dragon requires a deep understanding of the chosen kind of dragon. An aspiring dragon shaman must make a study of the dragon's typical mindset and emotions; adopting these for himself opens the door to the dragon's power. Thus, dragon shamans align their morals to suit the outlook of the color of true dragon to which they dedicate themselves. Each kind of metallic or chromatic dragon has a particular alignment with which it is associated. A dragon shaman who turns away from the alignment of his chosen dragon type loses many of his powers unless he can successfully adopt another dragon type as his chosen dragon (see Ex-Dragon Shamans, below). Neutral individuals with no preference for law, chaos, good, or evil cannot properly attain the outlook of a true dragon and therefore cannot become dragon shamans.

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills: Climb, Intimidate, Knowledge (Nature), Profession, Search, plus others depending on the chosen totem dragon.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) ×4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).

Starting Age: As druid.

Class Features

As a dragon shaman, you function most effectively on the front lines of any combat. Your class abilities allow you to boost your combat effectiveness and that of your party, and the touch of vitality ability provides you with the power to heal others and remove negative conditions that affect them, giving you more reason to take the fight to your foes and stay close to those melee-oriented allies most likely to need your aid.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon shamans are proficient with simple weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Bonus Languages: A dragon shaman's bonus language options include Draconic.

Draconic Aura (Su): You can channel the mighty powers of dragonkind to project an aura that grants you and nearby allies a special benefit.

Projecting an aura is a swift action, and you can only project one draconic aura at a time. An aura remains in effect until you use a free action to dismiss it or you activate another aura in its place. You can have a draconic aura active continually; thus, an aura can be in effect at the start of an encounter even before you take your first turn.

Unless otherwise noted, your draconic aura affects all allies within 30 feet (including yourself) with line of effect to you. Your aura is dismissed if you become unconscious or are slain, but otherwise it remains in effect even if you are incapable of acting.

The bonus granted by your aura begins at +1 and increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level. As a 1st-level dragon shaman, you know how to project three auras chosen from the list below. At every oddnumbered level after that, you learn one additional draconic aura of your choice, until all seven auras are known at 9th level. Each time you activate a draconic aura, you can choose from any of the auras that you know.

Energy Shield: Any creature striking you or your ally with a natural attack or a nonreach melee weapon is dealt 2 points of energy damage for each point of your aura bonus. The energy type is that of your totem dragon's damage-dealing breath weapon (see below).

Power: Bonus on melee damage rolls equal to your aura bonus.

Presence: Bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks equal to your aura bonus.

Resistance: Resistance to your totem dragon's energy type equal to 5 × your aura bonus.

Senses: Bonus on Listen and Spot checks, as well as on initiative checks, equal to your aura bonus.

Toughness: DR 1/magic for each point of your aura bonus (up to 5/magic at 20th level).

Vigor: Fast healing 1 for each point of your aura bonus, but only affects characters at or below one-half their full normal hit points.

Totem Dragon: You must choose a totem dragon from among the list of dragons below. You must choose a dragon whose list of acceptable alignments includes yours. You gain additional class skills and a particular sort of breath weapon based on the dragon you select as your totem.

Skill Focus: At 2nd level, you gain Skill Focus as a bonus feat. You must apply the feat to one of the three class skills granted by your chosen totem dragon. For example, a blue dragon shaman can select Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Hide), or Skill Focus (Spellcraft).

At 8th level, and again at 16th level, you gain Skill Focus in another of the class skills granted by your chosen totem dragon. If you already have Skill Focus in all three of the skills associated with your totem dragon, you gain Skill Focus in any other dragon shaman class skill.

Draconic Adaptation (Ex or Sp): At 3rd level, you take on an aspect of your totem dragon. Some adaptations are extraordinary abilities that are always active; others are spelllike abilities that you can activate at will. Spell-like abilities have a caster level equal to your class level and a save DC equal to 10 + spell level + Cha modifier.

At 13th level, you can choose as a swift action to share the effect of your draconic adaptation with any or all allies within 30 feet. In the case of spell-like abilities, you must make this decision when you activate the ability. The benefit lasts until you spend a free action to rescind it or (if the effect has a limited duration) the effect ends, whichever comes first.

Breath Weapon (Su): At 4th level, you gain a breath weapon corresponding to your totem dragon. Regardless of the area one affects or the type of energy damage it deals, all breath weapons deal 2d6 points of damage, plus an extra 1d6 points of damage for every two additional class levels (3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 8th level, and so forth). A successful Reflex save halves the damage dealt; the save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 your dragon shaman level + your Con modifier. Just like a true dragon, once you breathe you must wait 1d4 rounds before you can use your breath weapon again.

Cone-shaped breath weapons extend out to 15 feet at 4th level, increasing to 30 feet at 12th level and to 60 feet at 20th level. Line-shaped breath weapons are 30 feet long at 4th level, increasing to 60 feet at 12th level and to 120 feet at 20th level.

Draconic Resolve (Ex): At 4th level, you gain immunity to paralysis and sleep effects. You also become immune to the frightful presence of dragons.

Touch of Vitality (Su): At 6th level, you can heal the wounds of living creatures (your own or those of others) by touch. Each day you can heal a number of points of damage equal to twice your class level × your Charisma bonus. For example, a 7th-level dragon shaman with a Charisma score of 14 (+2 bonus) can heal 28 points of damage. You can choose to divide your healing among multiple recipients, and you don't have to use it all at once. Using your touch of vitality is a standard action. It has no effect on undead.

Beginning at 11th level, you can choose to spend some of the healing bestowed by your touch of vitality to remove other harmful conditions affecting the target.

  • For every 5 points of your healing ability you expend, you can cure 1 point of ability damage or remove the dazed, fatigued, or sickened condition from one individual.
  • For every 10 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove the exhausted, nauseated, poisoned, or stunned condition from one individual.
  • For every 20 points of your healing ability you expend, you can remove a negative level or the blinded, deafened, or diseased condition from one individual.

You can remove a condition (or more than one condition) and heal damage with the same touch, so long as you expend the required number of points. For example, if you wanted to heal 12 points of damage and remove the blinded and exhausted conditions from a target, you would have to expend 42 points (12 hit points restored plus 20 points for blinded plus 10 points for exhausted).

Natural Armor (Ex): At 7th level, your skin thickens, developing faint scales. Your natural armor bonus improves by 1. At 12th level, this improvement increases to +2, and at 17th level to +3.

Energy Immunity (Ex): At 9th level, you gain immunity to the energy type of the breath weapon you gained at 4th level.

Commune with Dragon Spirit (Sp): At 14th level, you gain the ability to contact your dragon totem directly to ask questions of it. This is the equivalent of casting a commune spell, except that it has no material component, focus, or XP cost and allows only one question per three class levels. After using this ability, you cannot use it again for seven days.

Draconic Wings (Ex): At 19th level, you grow a pair of wings that resemble those of your totem dragon. They allow flight at a speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You can even fly while carrying a medium load, though your fly speed drops to 40 feet in this case. If you already have wings, you can choose whether these draconic wings replace your own.

Totem Dragons

Each dragon shaman chooses a totem dragon from the following list. The totem dragon determines additional class skills, and the types of draconic adaption and breath weapon the dragon shaman receives.

Chromatic Dragons

Totem Dragon Acceptable Alignments Class Skills Draconic Adaption Breath Weapon
Black NE, CE, CN Hide, Move Silently, Swim Water Breathing Line of acid
Blue NE, LE, LN Bluff, Hide, Spellcraft Ventriloquism Line of electricity
Brown LE, NE, CE Bluff, Hide, Survival Endure Elements Line of acid
Green NE, LE, LN Bluff, Hide, Move Silently Water Breathing Cone of acid
Rainbow LE, NE, CE Appraise, Bluff, Spellcraft Resist Energy Line of light (untyped damage) 1
Red NE, CE, CN Appraise, Bluff, Jump Treasure Seeker Cone of fire
White NE, CE, CN Hide, Move Silently, Swim Icewalker Cone of cold
Yellow CN, NE, CE Bluff, Spot, Survival Endure Elements Cone of scorching air (fire)

Metallic Dragons

Totem Dragon Acceptable Alignments Class Skills Draconic Adaption Breath Weapon
Brass NG, CG, CN Bluff, Gather Information, Survival Endure Elements Line of fire
Bronze NG, LG, LN Disguise, Survival, Swim Water Breathing Line of electricity
Copper NG, CG, CN Bluff, Hide, Jump Spider Climb Line of acid
Gold NG, LG, LN Disguise, Heal, Swim Water Breathing Cone of fire
Mercury NG, CG, CN Bluff, Disguise, Survival Protected Sight Line of light (fire)
Silver NG, LG, LN Bluff, Disguise, Jump Feather Fall Cone of cold
Steel LG, NG, LN Bluff, Disguise, Profession Poison Resistance Line of acid

Gem Dragons

Totem Dragon Acceptable Alignments Class Skills Draconic Adaption Breath Weapon
Amber NG, LN, N, CN, NE Jump, Spot, Survival Hunter Cone of superheated sap 3, 1
Amethyst NG, LN, N, CN, NE Bluff, Hide, Move Silently Body Equilibrium Line of force (Use d4 damage dice)
Crystal CG, CN, CE Gather Information, Jump, Swim Resilient Mind Cone of light 2
Emerald LG, LN, LE Gather Information, Hide, Swim Defensive Precognition Cone of sonic energy
Obsidian LE, NE, CE Appraise, Psicraft, Survival Inertial Armor Cone of fire
Sapphire LG, LN, LE Jump, Knowledge (History), Move Silently Wall Walker Cone of sonic energy
Topaz CG, CN, CE Hide, Survival, Swim Water Breathing Cone of dehydration 2

1: Associated resistance and immunity are to fire.
2: Associated resistance and immunity are to cold.
3: Use d4 damage dice for fire damage; in addition, anyone failing the Ref save is entangled as the spell for 1d4 rounds. DC to break out of the sap is the breath weapon DC.

Body Equilibrium (Ps): As the psionic power (at will).
Defensive Precognition (Ps): As the psionic power (at will).
Endure Elements (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will).
Feather Fall (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will).
Hunter (Ex): You gain Track as a bonus feat. Always active.
Icewalker (Ex): You can walk across icy surfaces without reducing your speed or making Balance checks (always active).
Inertial Armor (Ps): As the psionic power, except not augmentable (at will).
Poison Resistance (Ex): You gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saving throws against poison.
Protected Sight (Ex): You are immune to blindness and dazzling, and you gain a +3 bonus to saving throws against light or pattern effects.
Resilient Mind (Ex): You gain a +2 bonus on saves vs enchantment effects (including psionic powers from the telepathy discipline) (always active).
Resist Energy (Sp): As the spell, except you cannot gain resistance to sonic energy and can target yourself only (at will).
Spider Climb (Sp): As the spell, except you can only target yourself (at will).
Treasure Seeker (Ex): You gain a +5 competence bonus on Appraise and Search checks (always active).
Ventriloquism (Sp): As the spell (at will).
Wall Walker (Ps): As the psionic power (at will).
Water Breathing (Ex): You can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use spells and other abilities underwater (always active).

Level Progression

Level Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Auras Known
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Draconic Aura +1; Totem Dragon 3
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Skill Focus 3
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Draconic Adaptation 4
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Breath Weapon (2d6; 15-ft. cone or 30-ft. line); Draconic Resolve 4
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Draconic Aura +2 5
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Breath Weapon (3d6); Touch Of Vitality (heal wounds) 5
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Natural Armor +1 6
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Breath Weapon (4d6); Skill Focus 6
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Energy Immunity 7
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Breath Weapon (5d6); Draconic Aura +3 7
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Touch Of Vitality (remove conditions) 7
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Breath Weapon (6d6; 30-ft. cone or 60-ft. line); Natural Armor +2 7
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Draconic Adaptation (share with allies) 7
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Breath Weapon (7d6); Commune With Dragon Spirit 7
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Draconic Aura +4 7
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Breath Weapon (8d6); Skill Focus 7
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Natural Armor +3 7
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Breath Weapon (9d6) 7
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Draconic Wings 7
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Breath Weapon (10d6; 60-ft. cone or 120-ft. line); Draconic Aura +5 7

Playing A Dragon Shaman

As a dragon shaman, you believe the acquisition of power is a worthy end in itself. By having power, you can effect your will in the world, be it beneficent or malign. Those who have or seek power deserve your respect, while those who have power but fail to use it earn your derision.

Your strength comes from devoting yourself to dragons, the primal embodiment of the principle of power, but you worship dragons in the abstract, honoring them much as a cleric might honor light as a symbol of purity and goodness. Dragons gather power to themselves simply by living and aging, but you must actively seek the influence and might you desire. As a dragon hungers for flesh to feed itself or for treasure to enlarge its hoard, so you hunger for power.

You adventure out of a desire to test yourself and prove your worth; whatever the specific inducement, the urge to gain more power underlies every quest. Drawn by your power, others follow your lead, and you are happy to command them. Being a great leader is just one of the many ways you can manifest your power.

Religion: Dragon shamans can worship any deity, but most worship divine powers that encourage their worshipers to be proactive in pursuit of the deity's goals. Dragon shamans often worship Erythnul, Gruumsh, Heironeous, Hextor, Kord, or St. Cuthbert, as well as dragon deities such as Bahamut and Tiamat. They rarely find much to admire in more passive or protective deities such as Boccob, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, and Yondalla.

Dragon shamans from more primitive societies sometimes worship true dragons. These savage dragon shamans might worship all true dragons, assigning each color or metallic hue its own place in a crude pantheon of totemic spirits. Or they might worship a single color or metal as the best among all the true dragons, finding it the most representative of pure power. In rare cases, a dragon shaman worships and serves a particular true dragon. How the dragon reacts to such worship depends on that individual dragon; even good dragons might take advantage of a dragon shaman's worship to achieve their own aims.

Other Classes: You work well with melee-oriented allies such as fighters, duskblades, barbarians, rogues, and even druids. Those characters value the benefits a dragon shaman can grant them and rarely make an issue of their source. Clerics, paladins, knights, and monks are often suspicious of your moral outlook unless you have dedicated yourself to a kind of dragon that associates itself with a code of ethics similar to their own. Wizards, bards, and beguilers view you indifferently, whereas sorcerers might seek you out to learn more of the source of your power and your connection to dragons. Rangers might or might not take issue with your abilities; a ranger whose favored enemy is dragons might attack you on sight.

Combat: Dragon shamans lead from the front, rather than directing battles from a safe position behind others. Keep as many allies as possible within the range of your draconic aura, but focus on those in melee with your foes. Pick a draconic aura that grants your allies the best benefit for the situation, and don't hesitate to switch it during the fight should conditions change and another aura prove more useful. Outside combat, employ the senses or presence aspects of your draconic aura. If you have a cleric or other healer in your group, save your touch of vitality for removing conditions or for emergency healing. If no other healer is present, use it to heal yourself and your allies after combat.

Advancement: You profit most from remaining a dragon shaman throughout your advancement, so that your breath weapon and draconic aura continue to improve as you gain levels. If you do multiclass, a level of barbarian is an excellent choice; the benefits it grants help you in combat regardless of when you take that 1st level. Alternatively, you might consider beginning your career as a 1stlevel barbarian for the greater hit points and skill points that option offers, then multiclassing into the dragon shaman class at 2nd level. The fighter class might seem like a strong second choice, but unless you need a fighter bonus feat for a particular kind of character, you'll see better long-term advantages from the barbarian class. The bard class can be an interesting multiclass option, since the benefits provided by bardic music stack with those provided by your draconic aura.

Starting Packages

Package 1: The Defender (Gold)
Race: Dwarf
Ability Scores: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 13.
Skills: Heal.
Feat: Shield Specialization (heavy)*.
Weapons: Morningstar (1d8), five javelins (1d6, 30 ft.).
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC), heavy wooden shield (+3 AC [includes Shield Specialization]).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 15 gp.

Package 2: The Destroyer (Red)
Race: Half-Orc
Ability Scores: Str 16, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 13.
Skills: Intimidate.
Feat: Power Attack.
Weapons: Morningstar (1d8), five javelins (1d6, 30 ft.).
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC), heavy wooden shield (+2 AC).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 10 gp.

Package 3: The Second-Rank Warrior (Copper)
Race: Human
Ability Scores: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 13.
Skills: Hide, Jump.
Feat: Combat Reflexes, Power Attack.
Weapons: Longspear (1d8/×3), light crossbow with 20 bolts (1d6/×3, 60 ft.).
Armor: Studded leather (+3 AC).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 8 gp.

Dragon Shamans In The World

"There are differences from one to another, based on the dragon each shaman honors, but the main thing to remember is this: The whole lot of them are mad for power."
— Durven Ironscale, a dwarf sorcerer instructing the young of the Ironscale clan.

Dragon shamans put the power and appeal of dragons in players' hands while providing DMs with a new way to put dragons in the D&D game. The class provides an uncomplicated way to have a new play experience, and each NPC dragon shaman could provide the nucleus for an interesting cult or villainous organization the PCs must face.

Daily Life: A dragon shaman remains ever ready to face the challenges of a new day. Without the need to rest, study, or pray for their powers, dragon shamans can leap up in pursuit of power whenever they desire. This capability causes most dragon shamans to be decisive and swift to act. Chaotic dragon shamans are often impetuous and energetic, while lawful dragon shamans tend to be more ready to improvise and less rigid in their thinking than some might expect. Dragon shamans desire power and constantly seek the means to gain it. To dragon shamans, life and adventure are one and the same.

Dragon shamans often possess the charisma and takecharge attitude required of great leaders, but many suffer from an inability to empathize with those they lead. Dragon shamans respect the pursuit of might and its use, and they often minimize the value of those who adhere to other philosophies. Even among themselves, dragon shamans tend to be contentious, and a single dragon shaman rarely takes a leadership role over a group of his fellows for any length of time. Although dragon shamans give great respect to one another, each is always trying to outdo the others in all pursuits. The most powerful dragon shaman leaders arise among savage tribes that worship dragons, where a single dragon shaman relies on his forceful personality and impressive powers to win the hearts of comrades.

Notables: The pursuit of power garners notoriety for a dragon shaman, but it also can bring about his death or force him into exile. A powerful dragon shaman warlord might suddenly arise and terrorize an area for a time, only to fall from power as swiftly as he appeared. A case in point would be the history of a barbaric human named Kalia. Under her leadership, her tribe of red dragon worshipers raided and razed hundreds of elf and human towns on the border between two nations. Then she vanished, and soon afterward her leaderless tribe was caught in an ambush and exterminated. Some say she died in a squabble with a fellow dragon shaman, but other believe she left her tribe to directly serve a red dragon wyrm that laired in distant mountains.

Organizations: Dragon shamans rarely work together for long unless they are led by a dragon of the type to which all the shamans present have dedicated themselves. In such cases, the dragon is either worshiped or leads because the dragon shamans see it as the embodiment of all they seek; thus, obeying the dragon's edicts presents the swiftest path to that desired goal. Rank and privilege rarely have much meaning in such groups. Instead, the dragon decides each shaman's duties according to his or her merit, changing such assignments as necessary. Such a group exists among the Ironscale clan. Tied to a long-dead silver dragon by blood, the dwarf clan fosters sorcerers and is led by a half-dragon. Despite these firm ties to dragonkind, the clan views its dragon shaman members with some suspicion, since they follow the orders of an unrelated silver dragon that lairs near the clan home.

NPC Reactions: Dragon shamans who don't show aspects of their affiliation with dragons rarely elicit an unusual reaction from others. To most they seem like simple warriors or perhaps barbarians. Those who know of their pursuit of draconic power or who see evidence of it, such as scales or a dragon shaman's breath weapon, react depending on their attitude toward the dragon shaman's totem dragon. This reaction is one step closer to hostile if the dragon is of a kind feared or hated by that individual. The reaction is one step closer to friendly if that individual is directly associated with a dragon of that kind. Clerics, paladins, and others who are deeply entrenched in a particular moral outlook view the dragon shaman's devotion with suspicion, and their reaction is one step closer to hostile regardless of the dragon shaman's totem dragon.

Dragon Shaman Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research dragon shamans to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Dragon shamans devote themselves to dragons and aspire to their power.
DC 15: A dragon shaman devotes himself to a particular kind of true dragon and gains powers based on the dragon chosen. He can use the dragon's breath weapon and grow dragonlike scales. Very powerful dragon shamans can grow dragon wings and fly.
DC 20: In addition to the details above, this result allows the PC to know that a dragon shaman projects an aura that can bolster himself and his allies in a number of ways and can heal damage or remove negative conditions somewhat like a paladin.

Dragon Shamans In The Game

Dragon shamans fit easily into any ongoing campaign because true dragons are a cornerstone of nearly every DUNGEON & DRAGONS game. The PCs might first learn of dragon shamans by encountering a cult of dragon worshipers near a dragon's lair. Alternatively, a more civilized group of dragon shamans might serve a dragon who rules a city. A lone dragon shaman makes an excellent new villain, a powerful temporary ally, or an eager participant in an ongoing plot because his focused pursuit of power can get him involved in anyone's scheme to gain it.

Dragon shaman PCs should present no more difficulty than introducing a monk or cleric of a lesser-known deity. Although the character's abilities might be somewhat foreign, the idea that an individual is so dedicated to one philosophy that it grants him powers should be easily understood. The player of a dragon shaman usually finds the character's association with dragons to be the most entertaining part of the class. Before featuring adventures that deal with dragons, ask that player about her character's philosophy concerning dragons. Does the character admire dragons in the abstract, worship them as living gods, or hold to a philosophy between these extremes? The answer should inform your adventure planning and inspire new adventure ideas. Be careful about using the PC's dedication to dragons to manipulate the character's actions: Occasional use of this idea might provoke some interesting roleplaying, but the player won't enjoy your game if a dragon shows up every session to boss her PC around.

Adaptation: You can alter the dragon shaman to suit your game in a number of ways. You could decide that all dragon shamans are barbaric, or that all them are civilized and sophisticated disciples of dragons who prefer to work behind the scenes through such agents. You might decide that only good dragons are available to your players for their totem dragons, or that a particular organization fosters dragon shamans devoted to a single kind of dragon. If you feature other dragons prominently in your game, such as the gem dragons from Monster Manual II or the deep dragon and the shadow dragon from Monsters of Faerûn, you might consider changing the class's features to allow a dragon shaman to follow other kinds of dragons as well.

Ex-Dragon Shamans

Dragon shamans who change alignment could lose their powers. If a dragon shaman changes to an alignment still appropriate to the dragon to which he is already dedicated, nothing happens. However, if the dragon shaman changes to an alignment inappropriate for his chosen dragon, he immediately loses all abilities granted by the dragon shaman class and becomes an ex-dragon shaman.

An ex-dragon shaman can choose a new color or metallic hue of true dragon to emulate and thus regain the powers granted by the class. To switch to a new totem dragon, he must find a dragon shaman of higher level who is dedicated to that dragon type. The higher-level dragon shaman must willingly expend all her touch of vitality on the ex-dragon shaman each day for a week. At the end of the week, the ex-dragon shaman gains the class features of a dragon shaman dedicated to the newly chosen totem dragon, including exchanging the focus of any class-granted Skill Focus feats. Most dragon shamans who are asked to perform this service demand payment in the form of some great deed. This deed might be a demand that the ex-dragon shaman retrieve magic items that will add to his sponsor's power or simply a short quest to prove the ex-dragon shaman's worth.

Dragon shamans can go through the same process to switch chosen totem dragons even if they don't change alignment. If a dragon shaman has an alignment appropriate for a different true dragon color or hue, the shaman can switch to that kind of dragon through a process identical to the one described above for ex-dragon shamans.

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