Looking at the D&D dragon disciple, I always wondered what this class is even supposed to be. Browsing the internet for some insights, nobody really knew and it was considered a waste of levels by all sane beings. Even when viewed from a fluff perspective, it never really offered much atmosphere. Even worse, the standard NWN implementation does not even offer the same amount of features as the SRD variant would normally offer and limits players to the red dragon variant.

It was time to fix this class

Knowing that pathfinder always knows how to fix D&D issues, it was my first source in getting some insights how they approached the dragon disciple. In the pathfinder world, the dragon disciple clearly is a melee combat oriented class with a continuing arcane caster level progression. It has the best hit die possible (d12), extra combat feats and a powerful breath weapon (1d10 per level, 1 use/level). Even better, he can transform into a dragon later on! Great concept!

So what changes make sense for our dragon disciple?

First of all, the dragon disciple is a melee combat oriented class, so I removed the staged d6, d8 and d10 hit die that made no sense at all and replaced it with a d12, just like dragons. I also replaced the breath weapon with the pathfinder variant. The NWN breath weapon had a static DC of 19, worked only once per day and had an underwhelming damage that was no danger to any character or monster of the same level. The damage is now changed to 1d10/level, usage is 1 per level and the DC is 10 + level + CON modifier (same as dragons). So now the dragon disciple has a serious weapon at his disposal that exceeds even the damage of a fireball!

Second, I added the feats from the pathfinder draconic bloodline extra feat list. Blind sense with blind fighting is now easily possible.

The third was to compensate the missing arcane caster progression. This is something not done well in NWN and so I scrapped the whole requirement to be a spontaneous caster. To compensate even more, I increased the skill points from 2 to 4. Also, the whole immunity thing comes too abrupt in D&D and the other 9 levels, the dragon disciple does not even get a small resistance so I decided to change the immunity too. A dragon disciple now receives a percentual damage immunity, 10% per level, resulting in a 100% energy immunity at level 10. 


The most annoying thing with the NWN dragon disciple was, that it was actually only a red dragon disciple. There was no option to be a silver, black or blue dragon disciple. The new implementation will allow this. The player has to decide what bloodline the disciple belongs to which then in turn determines the energy type and immunity. This is a tricky one because NWN does not allow feats to be chosen only once. A feat gets available and stays there, for the rest of the character's progression which is not what we want since this would mean a character can choose multiple bloodlines. So the actual decision for the bloodline has to be made outside the character progression screen via scripting.

What about dragon shape?

Pathfinder gives a dragon disciple the ability to change into a dragon for a certain time. Will this come next? Maybe, this is not decided yet but will be after a first evaluation how the new dragon disciple fares.

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