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Dragonborn in the Sea of Stars, Reexamined

31 October, 2021

Silurian2With the release of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, Dragonborn have recieved a rewrite and minor improvement, mostly.  So, I have decided to give them a slight rewrite to bring them more in line with the, slightly increased, power level of the “new” dragonborn.  You can read the background of how the Dragonborn fit into the Sea of Stars here.

The update game mechanics follow, they are as presented in the SRD except for:

Age. Newly hatched dragonborn grow rapidly with an appetite to match.  They walk hours after hatching, attain the size and development of a ten-year-old human child by the age of three, and physically reach adulthood by around fourteen years but are not considered adult until they pass through some sort of coming of age ritual. They can live to be as old as one hundred and fifty years but violence often cuts this short.

Size. Dragonborn are often taller and heavier than human a human of equivalent height, though some are more sinious.  Their draconic ancestry is quite obvious.  (Size Medium.)

Languages. You can speak, read, and write the Imperial Tongue and Low Draconic.  Many take the additional time to master High Draconic as a symbol of their blood ties to the dragons.

Draconic Ancestry

Damage Type Breath Weapon
Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save) or 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Necrotic 15 ft. cone (Con. save) “enervating miasma”

Poison 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
Psychic 15 ft. cone (Wis. save) “psychotropic gas”
Radiant 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) “energy lance”
Thunder 15 ft. cone (Con. save) “thundering voice”

Draconic Ancestry. You have draconic ancestry. Choose one energy type (and form in the case of fire) .

Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation. When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 2d10 at 6th level, 3d10 at 11th level, and 4d10 at 16th level. After you use your breath weapon, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Damage Resistance. You have resistance to the damage type associated with your draconic ancestry.

Draconic Ascendancy.  At fifth level, you become closer to dragonkine, gaining one of the following abilities:

  • Elemental Armor, you gain immunity to the damage type associated with your Draconic Ancestry for one minute.  Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you have had a long rest.
  • Force of Destruction, you can use your breath weapon to wrap yourself in your elemental energy for one minute.  Durng that time all of your melee attacks inflict an addition 1d6 damage of the same type as your breath weapon and anyone making a melee attack against you suffers the same amount of damage.  The damage increase to 2d6 at 11th level and 3d6 at 16th.
  • Unfurled Wings, you grow wings, you gain resistance to falling damage when you can use them to slow your fall,  You may also gain a fly speed equal to your walking speed for one minute and can hover.  You cannot use the ability to fly again until you have had a long rest.

Notes: As I imagine Dragonborn as looking more like the Silurians from the recent Doctor Who (and from which the photo is from, owned by the BBC and used without permission but should be fair use) than the human/dragon of the official illustrations, so I have used that for my illustration here.  How do you envision the dragonborn looking?

Glad that the Dragonborn have officially been given a wider range of options for their breath weapon but I will not be allowing force damage as one of the options in my campaign, it is simply too useful and not many enemies have resistance to force damage, but many spells and effects used against player characters generate it.  Also, left the base damage for the breath weapon at 2d6 because rolling a 1 on 1d10 for damage from your signature move just is not fun (and left the maximum damage achieved at 16th rather than 17th level).

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