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D&D 3E
[[a little help??]] 
21st-May-2004 07:33 am
Hello out there. I was just curious if I could get a little help with a problem. In one of my two games, I have a GM that at times, is overly strict on what he will and won't allow.
I have a concept for a character I would really like to play using the Dragonspawn template from the Dragonlance Campaign Setting. The backstory on the character itself gives it a reason to be outside of the setting and the setup of the character.
The hardest part I have is that, in contrast to the Half Dragon template, the DM calls the dragonaspawn template "broken." His main standing is that spawn get death throes and a breath weapon every 2d4 rounds, as opposed to once/day, as with the Half-Dragon template. I've tried pointing out that while this is true, spawn also have other variances from the half dragon, such as normal hit die.
Does anyone (whos is familiar with both) else feel the template is broken? (If you aren't familiar, I can post the template in an edit.) The colour I'm using for the character would be the Blue Dragonspawn template.
I'm still kinda new to the game, and I just thought I'd ask for a little help barganning and rules-lawyering to get my DM to lighten up. (I've almost quit playing because of his excessive limitations already once.)
Thanks in advance.
21st-May-2004 05:54 am (UTC)

You're not going to like this. Sorry.

I'm not familiar with the template.

Stop arguing with the DM. Please.

Helpful players create characters which work seemlessly with the world the DM has created. If you're allowed a weird character, especially one which uses a template the DM doesn't like, then everyone else will want one too.

Personaly, I think if you start comparing characters based on their mechanics - the amount of damage they can do and how often - you need to take a step back and think about what you hope to get out of the game.
21st-May-2004 06:01 am (UTC)
That's the thing. I haven't been arguing with the DM. I've asked him once to look at the template without even telling him I was thinking of using it. I at first thought it was an interesting template when I first got the book. Since then, I thought up the character when bored one day.

As for characters with "weird templates" I am DEFINETLY not the first to have such.

Furthermore, I have a problem with the DM allowing his brother to get away with a lot in the game (including putting a adamantine arm on one character) while being overly strict with other players.

I wasn't asking for tips on how to be an argumentive, trouble player, just if I was overlooking points I could bring up to justify that the template is balanced.

But I thank you for your input.
21st-May-2004 06:22 am (UTC) - You miss his point.
He's not trying to be a problem/powergamer player.

He's asking for a second opinion about something. Sheesh.
21st-May-2004 08:01 am (UTC)
Post the template too please. I'm interested enough; I wonder though, would you be bothered if the GM had just said "no I don't want that in the campaign", rather than coming up with a reason you don't agree with?
21st-May-2004 08:39 am (UTC) - Have fun!
I am familiar with both..... so here we go.
  • +7 natural armor contrary to +5 for the .5 dragon
  • lower bite damage (by 1 die), same claw (d3 for small, d4 for medium, d6 for large (and the template is only applicable to small, medium, & large creatures)
  • the thing about death theroes is THAT YOU HAVE TO DIE! So i don't really take that under too much consideration as a PC. Breath weapon fro blue equals out though, and DC is based off your con, rather then set in stone.
  • DV 30 feet contray to 60)
  • Str is only +6 contrary to +8 and they get a +2 to Wis, still +4 chr, and a +4 con
  • lvl adj = +3
  • fly speed, 2X movement, avagre manuverability
  • They also don't be come a 'dragon' subtype, but a monstrious humaniod subtype with the focus in their respective color, fire for red, water for black, etc.
  • They can cast spells as a 1st lvl sorcerer, or if sorc then your caster lvl and spells and stuff increase by +1
  • And for the masses I'll post the brath weapon/death theros:
    • Breath WeaponLine of lightning - 4d8 - (DC = 10+.5 total HD + Con Mod)reuseable every 2d4
    • Death Theroseffects everyone within 10 feet with reflex dc = to breath weapon and that is 2d8 electrical damage

The stats are VERY different for each color. And I would agree. I like this template better. It makes the differences between the colors more pronounced and indeed cooler. But to balance the ecl is different. Also they ALL get flying speeds no matter their size, I like that as well. I don'tm like the sorcerer thing, but it makes sense given the setting; but I
d allow your GM to toss it. Otherwise its not that bad of a template balancewise, espeically with a +3 ECL. The other thing about these death theroes, is that their bvad for mooks, but any decent person with a decent HP, its not that much.

Also with the 1/2 dragon you only get the +1 HD for racial HD, NOT class HD. So a wizard srill rolls a d4, but those ogre lvls roll a d10. Is it any better the .5 dragon? meh, its a varient, but cool.
21st-May-2004 10:00 am (UTC) - Re: Have fun!
whoa. ALL THAT for a +3 ecl? Both templates are broken imo, but the dragonspawn template seems overbalanced for its +3 ecl

Perhaps watter down the breath weapon to 3 times a day. Death throws are fine just the way they are with the DM realizing YOU HAVE TO DIE.

Since dragonspawn cannot procreate, I would almost argue that when you DIE, you're dead unless a true resurection/wish spell is used to bring you back.

Also, I would argue that your natural armor should be inline with the half dragon template. +5 seems reasonable. +3 would make it more likely for the DM to agree with it.
21st-May-2004 10:03 am (UTC) - Re: Have fun!
Dragon spawn, are basically .5 dragons except that they were created from a bas ecreature and a dragon, rather the procreated.

I would agree with the armor. Maybe getting rid of their sorc level would be fair as well. Also their ability stuffs are slightly worse then the .5 dragon.

Although I never understoof why only 1/day. That never made sense to me.
23rd-May-2004 08:26 am (UTC) - Re: Have fun!
I don't see a whole lot of problems with the template. I agree with reducing the natural armor to +5. The Sorcerer spellcaster level is debatable. I'd probably drop it. The death throws don't really matter unless you have a cleric around that can cast 9th level spells (for True Res).

I'm currently running a Savage Species-like campaign, so templates and weird stuff is the *intention*. But I can also understand a DM's reluctance to allowing it. In my campaigns, whether I am DM or am a player, we follow the general guideline of: If you can justify it and balance it, we'll allow it. One thing we require is that there are clear and intentional downsides. Another thing we require is that there are at least two people (preferably the player and the DM) review it. I personally like to make the player come up with their own penalties and limitations. We also require group consensus. If someone comes up with an idea and wants to try it, we play with the rules and then ask the group if it is ok. If everyone is ok with it, we allow it.

Another thing to consider is the role-playing aspects of the new creature. Some groups minimize RP or simply don't care about it. Consider the Dragonspawn in a typical setting (Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, etc.) If you have a party of the "normal" races and then there's this "dragon-thing", how are people going to react to that? If you're the town guard, are you going to let a chromatic dragon (typically evil) derivative enter your city?! Probably not. Also consider the somewhat mundane but important mechanics. Will normal armor fit your creature? What about rings or helmets? I'm not saying you shouldn't use the template, but consider the other limitations. You can also point them out to the DM to help your case.

As for the creation of any template or class, it is important to ask: What would a normal character obtain for the same number of levels? Basically, do I get the same amount of "stuff" as a normal character advancing a level? This can be tricky, but also helpful. For example, gaining +2 Str is sort of like a fighter gaining a +1 BAB. Yes there are other benefits, but it isn't too far off. Now if the template type is Outsider *and* they gain a HD as well as +2 Str, that is unfair because they'd get +1 BAB, save bonuses, skill points, HP, etc.
23rd-May-2004 11:15 am (UTC) - Re: Have fun!
That is by far one the best reasoning and rationales for ECL, templates, and weirdos I have seen on this forum.

On a side note Usually when Hit Dice are added aaditional levels are added as well.
21st-May-2004 09:02 am (UTC) - More info needed
What's the Level Adjustment for the Dragonspawn template?

Is your DM running 3.0 or 3.5?

How much damage does the breath weapon do?

What's the sum of the template's ability score adjustments?

You can feel free to tell your DM that I consider the half-dragon template "broken." It'd be much better with a lower damage for the breath weapon and keeping the 1d4+1 rounds to use the weapon again, just like dragons.
21st-May-2004 10:15 am (UTC)
Ok, here's the thing. As a player, I can understand your disappointment at not being allowed to play a really cool character you came up with. I totally understand being upset if your DM really is allowing his brother to get away with a lot and heavily restricting the rest of you. What I'd recommend there is talking to the rest of your group - do the others feel the same way, and can you come up with specific examples? If so, it might -MIGHT- work to talk to the DM, reasonably and in a non-accusatory way, and saying that it's frustrating for the rest of you, and it's not that you want him to clamp down on his brother...you'd just like all of your characters to have equal amounts of leeway - his choice whether he eases up on the rest of you, or restricts his brother a bit more.

As a DM, I have to say that I don't think I'd allow either template in my campaign. For one thing, I really haven't been DMing all that long, and I just don't want to deal with the additional complexity of ECLs and all that just yet. For another, I think a lot of stuff like this really can unbalance a game more easily than you think - it can be really hard to come up with encounters that challenge the toughest character without wiping out the rest of the party...and frankly, I don't want to kill PCs...unless they do something dumb enough to REALLY deserve it (i.e., "no, really, I kick the dragon in the..."). By the way, my campaign is set in the Forgotten Realms, and I don't allow Drow PCs, either - so your DM isn't the only one who's restrictive.

I'd start by asking your DM about his reasons - if his concerns are fairly simple, maybe you can address them. If not, maybe at least his reasons will be understandable, even if you still end up disappointed.
21st-May-2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
It's not the worst restriction I've heard of; maybe offer to work on it with him to make it more suitable/less powerful?
25th-May-2004 01:24 am (UTC) - Thanx everyone
I wasn't trying to say that I was trying to be a power gamer. (They make the game less fun for everyone by taking center stage and killing everything off waaaay too quick. blegh.) I mainly was asking, in everyone who knew's opinon, what was the most unbalancing parts of the template. I'm trying to come up wih a way to reason with my DM. I guess I kinda worded my original post wrong.
But again, thank you all for wonderous ideas, and hopefully my dragonspawn character will see some play sometime.
And to those who were commenting on the prescence of such an "abomination," we already have one half dragon, and throughout the game had multiple "weird" creatures throughout the game.
I just thought it would be fun to play a human that suddenly had a new form bestowed upon her against her will, and the steps she took in fighting not only the influence the dragon's magic had on her personality, (Spawn usually take on the alignment of their creator, although some have retained their free will) but how others will view her now as well. Everything from shying away from human contact to travelling in robes and a cloak, wrapped in cloth to hide the scales (think how draconians travelled in Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
I'm currently writing up a backstory for the character.
Again, I thank everyone for their thoughts on the matter.
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