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I'm designing a new, NPC race for my campaign. The idea is that these… 
5th-Sep-2006 08:21 pm
I'm designing a new, NPC race for my campaign. The idea is that these creatures are descended (in some fashion) from dragons, and are currently the most powerful society in the world. They live on flying islands above everyone else and basically seek to control everything for their own profit and amusement. Dragons are also seen as the source of arcane magic in the world (as in they invented it--I've tweaked the idea of dragons quite a bit), and so these creatures are the holders of very powerful magic.

I'm curious about what people think it's ECL should be (so what should I make the LA?), as well as what the CR of encountering one of these would be. Also, do most of the abilities seem of about equal level (or does one thing stand out as more/less powerful)? Since they are intended to take class levels, do you think I should give them an over-all lowering of power (so that most of their strength come from class levels)? Any ideas of other special things they should have?

Draconian (I'm willing to change the name if someone has a better suggestion)
* Type: Dragon
* +2 Dexterity, +6 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, +4 Charisma
* Medium size.
* A draconian's base land speed is 30'. A draconian can also use its wings to fly at a speed of 30' (average manueverability)
* Darkvision out to 60' and low-light vision
* Immunity to magical sleep and paralysis
* Racial Hit Dice: A draconian begins with 5 levels of dragon, which provides 5d12 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +5, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +4, Ref +4, and Will +4.
* Racial Skills: A draconian's dragon levels give it skill points equal to 8 x (6 + Int modifier). It's class skills are: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
* Racial Feats: A draconian's dragon levels give it 2 feats.
* +4 natural armor bonus
* Natural weapons: Bite (1d6) and two claws (1d4)
* Spell-like abilities: detect magic (at will)
* Spells: A draconian casts spells as a 5th level wizard [Note: in my campaign "wizards" basically are sorcerers, except intelligence based]. If the character takes additional levels of wizard these levels stack with the draconian’s base spellcasting ability for spells per day and other effects dependent on caster level. A draconian character likewise uses the sum of its racial spellcasting levels and class levels to determine the abilities of its familiar.
* Magical affinity: Draconians begin play with an extra 10 spell points, and gain an extra 2 spell points per level. [Note: I'm using a translation of the psionic point-based system instead of normal magic].
* Automatic Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus Languages: Any.
* Favored Class: Wizard.
* Level adjustment: ???.
* CR: ???

Thanks for your help :)
6th-Sep-2006 02:46 am (UTC)
I only have a quick suggestion for the name (as Draconian is DragonLance)...
Or suggestions, rather:
Drake-kin, Drakin, Wyrmblood, Wyrmkin, Dragonians (hehe)... or, just put a bunch of letters together and say that's their name in their tounge or something (ie Vasxoniac D'raas)... hey, it works sometimes.

6th-Sep-2006 04:15 am (UTC)
A buddy of mine had a race called the drakken in his homebrewed world, and yep, you guessed it, they were dragon-people.

I personally prefer the idea of making up a word and saying it is the name of the race, whether it translates into "sons and daughters of the great wyrm" or "the people" or nothing at all. It always irked me that halflings didn't have an actual name for their race, just a derogatory term.
6th-Sep-2006 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with you wholeheartedly here.

For my campaign world, races have their own names and what others of different races and locales call them.

And yeah, 'halfling' was always a silly term, imnso.
6th-Sep-2006 04:22 am (UTC)
Halfling was something that other races called Hobbits. It was a derogatory term.

One of the things I like about the Eberron setting is that half-elves and half-orcs have an actual name for their kind. It also helps that they are a breedable bloodline and not just the offspring of a human and something else.
6th-Sep-2006 04:33 am (UTC)
Names are very important to me as far a s acampaign setting go... That's why I went nuts with the names in my campaign world... and it's also why I dig the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting.

(and yeah, I like Eberron for the reasons you mention, too)
6th-Sep-2006 04:35 am (UTC)
If I remember right (it's been many years so bear with me) halflings were originally called Hobbits in the very, very, very first edition (pre-AD&D) but some grumbling from the Tolkien estate made TSR change the name to halfling.
6th-Sep-2006 04:43 am (UTC)
I remember reading about that, yeah. I just never understood why hobbits were nixed and orcs were okay. Both were taken from Old English. I suppose hobbit was a much more identifiable name, especially at that time. Oh, well.
6th-Sep-2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
To reply at the bottom of the thread:

I usually use that words like "elf" and "orc" are the names the races call themselves. Thus they are what humans call themselves.

I think I will give them a name for themselves though. "Draconian" was my placeholder name when I was designing to the world and so it's stuck around. Though that might just be what the rest of the world calls them (because they don't really know that much about them).
8th-Sep-2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
I think Hobbit was created by Tolkien, but Orc is from Old English. What's odd, though, is that the old SPI game company had a RPG with a race called Hobbits, and no mention was given to Tolkien. This was in the early '80s.
8th-Sep-2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
Hobbit was taken from an Old English word, or a combination of words, which meant "hole digger" or "hole dweller." I forget which. But the fact that Hobbits were the main characters in the books, not to mention the name of the first book, it makes sense that they would be more touchy about its use than orc.
6th-Sep-2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Problem with making a dominate race ("most powerful society") on the world you create is that it seems implausible that this should be an NPC only class. But if you make them less powerful so they are playable, then its less plausible that they would be the most powerful society.

Powerful creatures in minute numbers - believable. But if this is the world leading superpower, how can you justify players being unable to play.

Just thinking out loud.
6th-Sep-2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
Well, in part because I'm thinking these guys have an ECL of around 10. Thus most parties in the world would have to be pretty high level in order to be adventuring with one of these. And since I usually start my games at level 1, then it would take a very long time for these to be available to be played as a PC.

On the same note: dragons are considered some of the most powerful creatures in the standard world, yet they aren't (normally) open to be a PC race. Same with most outsiders. Or what about the various breeds of Giants (storm, ice, fire, etc)--these have their own civilizations and societies, but aren't available as PC races.

I wasn't planning on there being a whole lot of them. It's not like you find these guys in every town. You have to go to their world (which requires flying) to really run into one. Unless a single one comes after you (in proper BBEG style, which is what I'm kind of planning).
6th-Sep-2006 04:31 am (UTC)
It's interesting that they start off with levels of wizard, since that's commonly thought of as a class that requires a lot of study and training, as opposed to sorcerer which is innate.

This assumes a draconian starts out with a wizard's spellbook, arcane material components, and such before ever taking any class levels. Every single one of them, no exception.

This reminds me of araneas. They have 3 Hit Dice, and act as 3rd level sorcerers, along with several other abilities (poison, web, change shape), but they have a climb speed instead of flight. They are LA +4, draconians are probably in that neighborhood.

I'm not too sure about CR, but I'd guess around CR 5, since this is a somewhat tougher wizard.
6th-Sep-2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
I've actually rewritten the "wizard" class as to be a combination of wizard/sorcerer (using the psionic point system). I left it that way so people wouldn't complain about an intelligence bonus and favored class:sorcerer ;p

Thanks for the link about the araneas. I'd been using Rakshasas and half-dragons as a kind of base, as well as the DL versions of draconians. The LA+4 was actually around what I was expecting.
6th-Sep-2006 04:48 am (UTC)
Just my two cents:

- I would change the +2 Dex for +2 Str. Dragons have never been known for their agility.

- I've never seen any monster cast spells as a wizard (except perhaps the Spellweaver, but I don't have my book on me). Strictly speaking, inate spell-casting ability is the realm (and concept) of the Sorcerer. Wizards need to devote themselves to study to gain their power. Having a favored class of Wizard is perfectly fine, in this case, but for their natural spells I'd make 'em cast as Sorcies. :]

-A generic member of this race, without any class levels, would be at least a CR 6, by itself. That's my thought, anyway.

-I'm not certain about the LA. :\ It's a pretty heft thing to have two natural weapons, natural spell casting, and natural armor. Admittedly, the natural armor and weapons are easier to mitigate, but the spell casting is el gigante.

xD I'm sure I haven't helped, but at least I got to type for a little bit.
6th-Sep-2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
- I thought about that. I didn't necessarily want them to be much more physically powerful, but I figured the Dex bonus fitted in with the flight ability.

- See my comment above. The flavor for wizard has been changed to basically make them sorcerers :) (I'll edit the main post)
6th-Sep-2006 08:32 am (UTC)
These feel heavily like a Spellscale only beefed up (like a half-dragon spellscale). And I second Ryukiri, drop wizard, sorc all the way, that's the draconic angle.
6th-Sep-2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
Except for flavor, in many way's that's what I was going for.
6th-Sep-2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
Flavor is always up to you if you're the DM.
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