Sunday, February 5, 2017

5e Crippled Dragon (Dragonborn Draconic Warlock)

This is a build for a 5e dragonborn warlock based on the idea of a character who is actually a dragon from within their first century when their level of power can fit within that of the normal PCs. Due to an extended period of torture as a wyrmling she can't take her natural form without experiencing great pain so she spends most of her time in a humanoid form. Despite the dragonborn stats, she'll appear more like a half-drow. Basically assume she tried to take a human or elven form and didn't quite get it right. I'm going with black dragon based on a character I found in a late 90s fan fic and have re-used in my own stories later.



She doesn't particularly have a pact, but her draconic instincts might cause her problem. The character I'm basing her off of is generally fairly naive and with low self-confidence. This would be more effectively be represented by low Charisma and Wisdom, but she is also very likeable and loyal, apparently having her hoarding instinct being directed toward gathering friendships rather than treasure. In the words of a friend of mine's dragon disciple: a "people hoard".

A PC dragon would be best explained within the Young age section and probably in the 20 to 40 range rather than getting close to 100 where they are considered Adult. You'd basically be playing the dragon teenager while the rest of the party plays adults of their species.

For this I am using a Draconic Warlock. The way I'm doing this is basing on the Draconic Sorcerer class abilities and tweaking them a bit for Warlock.

For alternate spell options I am going with the following:

1st Level - Chromatic Orb, Absorb Elements
2nd Level - Enhance Ability, Suggestion
3rd Level - Protection from Energy, Stinking Cloud
4th Level - Stoneskin, Greater Invisibility
5th Level - Legend Lore, Geas

Most of these represent a dragon's elemental connection, but I've also worked in some of the danger of talking to dragons present in Tolkien lore and a dragon's knowledge in the form of Legend Lore.

For features I'm looking at:

Draconic Patron - Same as per sorcerer 1st level
Draconic Resilience - Same as per sorcerer 1st level
Elemental Affinity - as Sorcerer, recover on short rest instead of use Sorcery points, 6th level
Dragon Wings - Same as sorcerer, at 10th level
Draconic Presence - Same as sorcerer, but recover on long rest instead of use Sorcery points, 14th level

I also plan to use some home-brewed Invocations:

Aquatic Gift - The Warlock may cast Water Breathing on themselves at Will.

Vitriolic Blast - The Warlock may choose to deal Acid damage instead of force damage with eldritch blast. (this is actually something that used to exist for 3.X Warlocks)

Form of Patronage - Prerequisite: 7th Level, the warlock can spend a spell slot to take the form of a creature based on their patron.

The challenge rating can be no higher than the character's levels in Warlock divided by 3, rounded down. This works as per the Druid's Wild Shape, but it cannot be used again until a long rest is completed.

Archfey - Fey creatures including Beasts changed to a Fey type.
Draconic - Dragons including Beasts changed to a Dragon type. Will match color of patron.
Fiend - Fiends including Beasts changed to a Fiend type.
Great Old One - Aberrations including Beasts changed to an Aberration type.
Undying Light - Celestials including Beasts changed to a Celestial type.
Undying - Undead including Beasts changed to an Undead type.

Form of Patronage is inspired mostly by Sculptor of Flesh which grants a use of Polymorph per long rest, but Polymorph can be used on other people and is strictly limited to Beasts while also changing the mental stats. So I went to the Druid Wild Shape and adapting the Circle of the Moon version. This is not the full capability of a Circle of Moon Druid though. For one thing they only get one use which eats a spell slot and doesn't recover until a long rest. For another thing, it requires an action rather than a bonus action. There are a few other things that leave Druids the superior shapeshifter.

Using the normal array I use of 15,14,13,12,11,10

1st Level Black Dragonborn Draconic Warlock - Folk Hero
Str: 15
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 16

HP: 11
AC: 14
Save DC: 13

Proficiency Bonus: +2

Draconic Heritage: Black
Breath Weapon: Acid, 30ft Line, Recharge Short Rest, 2d6, Dex Save DC 12

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools:Vehicles (Land), Cook's Utensils
Saving Throws: Wisdom and Charisma

Proficient Skills
Animal Handling (Folk Hero) +2
History (Warlock) +2
Nature (Warlock) +2
Survival (Folk Hero) +2

Background: Folk Hero

Otherworldly Patron: Dragon
Draconic Ancestor
Draconic Resilience
Pact Magic

Spell Slots: 1 (1st Level)

Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion
Spells: Absorb Elements, Hex

2nd to 5th Level



2nd Level - Eldritch Invocations: Vitriolic Blast, Aquatic Gift, +8 HP (19)
Spell: Comprehend Languages

3rd Level - Pact Boon: Blade (Longsword), +8 HP (27)
Spell: Suggestion

4th Level - Ability Score Improvement, Gourmand, +8 HP (35)
Cantrip: Thunderclap
Spell: Enhance Ability

5th Level - Proficiency Bonus +3, Beguiling Influence, +8 HP (43)
Spell: Counterspell

Reasoning: Vitriolic Blast and Aquatic Gift are there to reproduce Black Dragon abilities, basically assume that her Vitiolic Blast is exhaled rather than coming from the palm. Suggestion and Beguiling Influence is in there based on the idea that she has lived with a human populace without revealing herself to be a dragon for extended period of time. Gourmand is not really the best choice but it's just fun to have in. Yes, this particular black dragon is an exceptional cook. The Blade pact boon would be represented by growing claws. A successful disarm would mean that the combination of pain and the shock from the blow cause her to lose the minor shape-shift. Binding a different magic weapon would mean basically absorbing the weapon into herself to empower her shape-shifting to create claws.

5th Level Statistics

5th Level Black Dragonborn Draconic Warlock - Folk Hero
Str: 15
Dex: 12
Con: 15
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 16

HP: 43
AC: 14
Save DC: 14

Proficiency Bonus: +3

Draconic Heritage: Black
Breath Weapon: Acid, 30ft Line, Recharge Short Rest, 2d6, Dex Save DC 13

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools:Vehicles (Land), Cook's Utensils
Saving Throws: Wisdom and Charisma

Proficient Skills
Animal Handling (Folk Hero) +3
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +6
History (Warlock) +3
Nature (Warlock) +3
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +6
Survival (Folk Hero) +3

Feats: Gourmand

Background: Folk Hero

Otherworldly Patron: Dragon
Draconic Ancestor
Draconic Resilience
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations: Aquatic Gift, Vitriolic Blast, Beguiling Influence
Pact Boon: Blade

Spell Slots: 2 (3rd Level)

Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Thunderclap
Spells: Absorb Elements, Comprehend Languages, Counterspell, Enhance Ability, Hex, Suggestion

6th to 10th Level



6th Level - Elemental Affinity, +8 HP (51)
Spell: Tongues

7th Level - Form of Patronage, +8 HP (59)
Spell: Stoneskin

8th Level - Ability Score Improvement: +2 Cha, +8 HP (67)
Spell: Greater Invisibility

9th Level - Proficiency Bonus +4, Thirsting Blade, +8 HP (75)
Spell: Gaseous Form

10th Level - Dragon Wings, +8 HP (83)
Cantrip: Prestidigitation

Reasoning: The character this is based on is more interested in avoiding battle due to her low self-confidence, though she would step up and fight to protect her "people hoard".  As such I gave her mostly defensive spells but also did finally give her the Thirsting Blade so now she can make two attacks per round. Form of Inheritance will allow her to take her natural form. To start this would be a Black Dragon Wyrmling. Later this could be things like dinosaurs with a draconic appearance, but it would probably be better to step up the wyrmling's stats. The character will never quite get to the stats of an average Young Black Dragon (CR: 7 would require level 21) so again, that makes the idea that the character is a 20-40 year old dragon on front half of the Young bracket works best.

10th Level Statistics

10th Level Black Dragonborn Draconic Warlock - Folk Hero
Str: 15
Dex: 12
Con: 15
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 18

HP: 83
AC: 14
Save DC: 16

Proficiency Bonus: +4

Draconic Heritage: Black
Breath Weapon: Acid, 30ft Line, Recharge Short Rest, 4d6, Dex Save DC 14

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools:Vehicles (Land), Cook's Utensils
Saving Throws: Wisdom and Charisma

Proficient Skills
Animal Handling (Folk Hero) +4
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +8
History (Warlock) +4
Nature (Warlock) +4
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +8
Survival (Folk Hero) +4

Feats: Gourmand

Background: Folk Hero

Otherworldly Patron: Dragon
Draconic Ancestor
Draconic Resilience
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations: Aquatic Gift, Vitriolic Blast, Beguiling Influence, Form of Patronage, Thirsting Blade
Pact Boon: Blade
Elemental Affinity
Dragon Wings

Spell Slots: 2 (5th Level)

Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Thunderclap
Spells: Absorb Elements, Comprehend Languages, Counterspell, Enhance Ability, Gaseous Form, Greater Invisibility, Hex, Stoneskin, Suggestion, Tongues

11th to 15th Level


11th Level - Mystic Arcanum: True-Seeing, +8 HP (91)
Spell: Protection from Energy

12th Level - Ability Score Improvement: +2 Cha, Devil's Sight, +8 HP (99)

13th Level - Proficiency Bonus +5, Mystic Arcanum: Etherealness, +8 HP (107)
Spell: Darkness

14th Level - Draconic Presence, +8 HP (115)


15th Level - Mystic Arcanum: Demiplane, Master of Myriad Forms, +8 HP (123)
Spell: Fear

Reasoning: Still focusing on defensive abilities, now that she has Devil's Sight, this includes the Darkness spell. There aren't really any good arcanums to represent a black dragon at 7th or 8th, so I continued with her attitude of avoiding battle and conflict. True-seeing befits a dragon quite well, however. Master of Myriad Forms means she's finally worked out how to look like something other than not quite a drow.

15th Level Statistics

15th Level Black Dragonborn Draconic Warlock - Folk Hero
Str: 15
Dex: 12
Con: 15
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 20

HP: 123
AC: 14
Save DC: 18

Proficiency Bonus: +5

Draconic Heritage: Black
Breath Weapon: Acid, 30ft Line, Recharge Short Rest, 5d6, Dex Save DC 15

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools:Vehicles (Land), Cook's Utensils
Saving Throws: Wisdom and Charisma

Proficient Skills
Animal Handling (Folk Hero) +5
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +10
History (Warlock) +5
Nature (Warlock) +5
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +10
Survival (Folk Hero) +5

Feats: Gourmand

Background: Folk Hero

Otherworldly Patron: Dragon
Draconic Ancestor
Draconic Resilience
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations: Aquatic Gift, Vitriolic Blast, Beguiling Influence, Form of Patronage, Thirsting Blade, Devil's Sight, Master of Myriad Forms
Pact Boon: Blade
Elemental Affinity
Dragon Wings
Draconic Presence
Mystic Arcanum: True-Seeing, Etherealness, Demiplane

Spell Slots: 3 (5th Level)

Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Thunderclap
Spells: Absorb Elements, Comprehend Languages, Counterspell, Darkness, Enhance Ability, Fear, Gaseous Form, Greater Invisibility, Hex, Protection from Energy, Stoneskin, Suggestion, Tongues

16th to 20th Level


16th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Resilience: Constitution, +24 HP (147)


17th Level -Mystic Arcanum: True Polymorph, Proficiency Bonus +6, +9 HP (156)
Spell: Remove Curse

18th Level - Otherworldly Leap, +9 HP (165)

19th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Tough, +47 HP (212)
Spell: Elemental Bane

20th Level - Eldritch Master, +11 HP (223)

Reasoning: With Charisma maxed out, I start to address her Constitution and then give her Tough for even more HP. Her AC isn't quite high enough to be tanky, however, and I considered an early level of Barbarian just to add Constitution to the AC, but decided against it for this theoretical build. There weren't many compelling, to theme Invocations left, with the Vitriolic Blast and Elemental Affinity I already had ability to add Charisma to the damage of Eldritich Blast and she doesn't have much else in the way of direct damage. The spell selections were likewise a matter of nothing being particularly too theme. Though True Polymorph is a decent draconic ability for an arcanum.

20th Level Statistics

 

20th Level Black Dragonborn Draconic Warlock - Folk Hero
Str: 15
Dex: 12
Con: 16
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 20

HP: 223
AC: 14
Save DC: 19

Proficiency Bonus: +6

Draconic Heritage: Black
Breath Weapon: Acid, 30ft Line, Recharge Short Rest, 6d6, Dex Save DC 16

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools:Vehicles (Land), Cook's Utensils
Saving Throws: Constitution,Wisdom and Charisma

Proficient Skills
Animal Handling (Folk Hero) +6
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +11
History (Warlock) +6
Nature (Warlock) +6
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +11
Survival (Folk Hero) +6

Feats: Gourmand, Tough, Resilience: Constitution

Background: Folk Hero

Otherworldly Patron: Dragon
Draconic Ancestor
Draconic Resilience
Pact Magic
Eldritch Invocations: Aquatic Gift, Vitriolic Blast, Beguiling Influence, Form of Patronage, Thirsting Blade, Devil's Sight, Master of Myriad Forms, Otherworldly Leap
Pact Boon: Blade
Elemental Affinity
Dragon Wings
Draconic Presence
Mystic Arcanum: True-Seeing, Etherealness, Demiplane, True Polymorph
Eldritch Master

Spell Slots: 4 (5th Level)

Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Thunderclap
Spells: Absorb Elements, Comprehend Languages, Counterspell, Darkness, Elemental Bane, Enhance Ability, Fear, Gaseous Form, Greater Invisibility, Hex, Protection from Energy, Remove Curse, Stoneskin, Suggestion, Tongues

Some 5e Builds


 

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