Dragon Shaman

A halfling struggles to pull herself up a jagged cliff face. Above her, the wind howls, but she pushes on. Once at the top she pauses, as if awe-struck by the heavy, rhythmic breathing issuing from a cavern opening in the mountainside. Gathering herself, she withdraws a beautiful gem from her bag and carefully makes her way inside.

A goliath opens his arms wide and takes the blow from an orc’s greatsword. The sword pierces through metal and leather, but rebounds against hard scales hidden beneath the armor. The goliath smiles, then belches forth a stream of dragon fire from his open mouth.

As a horde of skeletons descend upon a group of adventurers, the human among them raises his sword to the sky and shouts out a battlecry. His companions feel a surge of empowering energy and shake off their fear, then rush forward with renewed vigor.

To some, the passing shadow of a dragon overhead isn't a sign that invokes fear; it's a blessing that reveals you to be in the presence of greatness. Those who become Dragon Shamans respect dragons as power incarnate. Some worship dragons, but most simply aspire to gain dragon powers for themselves. In assuming the abilities and the likeness of a dragon, one seeks to emulate that might and embody that power within themselves.

Power for Power’s Sake

Power is the ultimate goal for any dragon shaman; it allows one to effect their will in the world, whether that be to the benefit of others or for malicious purposes. Dragons, with their might and size, are the ultimate embodiment of power and the will to use it, and thus natural targets of emulation for those with the same drive.

While dragons gain power naturally by living and aging, a dragon shaman must constantly seek it out. Every quest a dragon shaman takes underlies the desire to grow stronger and prove their worth. Many gather followers or allies, and leading is in itself a display of power.

Over time, the dragon shaman’s body will become more dragon-like. Hard scales grow out from beneath their skin, and they learn how to use a breath weapon much like their totem dragon’s. With time the dragon shaman will even gain large leathery wings, allowing them to soar in the sky as any true dragon should.

Draconic Influence

Every dragon shaman has a totem dragon. This may be a living dragon that interacted with the dragon shaman in the past, the lingering spirit of a dragon, or even the manifestation of some part of the dragon shaman's own psyche, hidden within their soul and only now realized.
Dragon shamans are similar to warlocks in some respects, but where warlocks receive power directly from their patron, dragon shamans are capable of gathering power without ever interacting with a dragon.

Most dragon shamans worship dragons in the abstract, honoring them in much the same way a cleric might honor light as a symbol of purity. For many, dragons are simply awe-inspiring, though they do not apply any special treatment do them. Other dragon shamans worship dragons directly, from the race as a whole to a specific individual.

Creating a Dragon Shaman

When creating a dragon shaman character, think about your character's connection to dragons. What set them on this path of draconic influence? What relatinship do they have with dragons? Are the habits and mannerisms of the dragon they are attempting to emulate reflected in their personality?

Quick Build

You can make a dragon shaman quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Constitution your highest ability score, followed by Charisma or Strength. Second, choose the outlander background.

Class Features

As a dragon shaman, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points


  • Hit Dice: 1d10 per dragon shaman level
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
  • Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per dragon shaman level after 1st

Proficiencies


  • Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
  • Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
  • Tools: None

  • Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
  • Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, Persuasion, and Survival

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two melee weapons
  • (a) two handaxes or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
  • An explorer's pack

Dragon Lore

Your fascination with dragons has pushed you to understand everything you can about them. You have advantage on Intelligence checks made to recall information about dragons, and advantage on Charisma checks made while interacting with dragons.

In addition, you can speak, read, and write Draconic in addition to your other languages.

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The Dragon Shaman
Level Proficiency Bonus Features Auras Known
1st +2 Dragon Lore, Totem Dragon -
2nd +2 Draconic Aura, Draconic Breath (2d6) 3
3rd +2 Touch of Vitality 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 4
6th +3 Totem Dragon feature, Draconic Breath improvement (3d6) 4
7th +3 Dragon Scales 4
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4
9th +4 Draconic Resolve 5
10th +4 Energy Resistance, Totem Dragon feature 5
11th +4 Share Draconic Adaptation, Draconic Breath improvement (4d6) 5
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5
13th +5 Commune with Dragon Spirit 6
14th +5 Dragon Wings, Totem Dragon feature 6
15th +5 Draconic Breath improvement (5d6) 6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 6
17th +6 Dual Aura 7
18th +6 Aura improvement 7
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 7
20th +6 Draconic Mastery, Draconic Breath improvement (6d6) 7

Totem Dragon

You choose a type of true dragon to emulate. Choose the Chromatic Totem Dragon or Metallic Totem Dragon, both detailed at the end of this class description. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level. Those features include skill proficiencies and the Draconic Adaptation feature.

Draconic Aura

Starting at 2nd level, you can channel the mighty powers of dragonkind, projecting an aura that grants you and nearby allies a special benefit. You gain three auras of your choice, which are detailed at the end of this class description.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can project one of your known auras. Your aura ends only when you are knocked unconscious, you use a bonus action on your turn to end your aura, or you activate another aura in its place. You can only have one aura active at a time.

While projecting an aura, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you gain the benefits of the aura. Unless the aura says otherwise, the benefits of an aura fade from an ally as soon as they leave this area.

You learn an additional aura at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. Each time you learn a new aura, you can also replace one aura you know with a different one.

At 18th level, the range of your aura increases to 30 feet.

Draconic Breath

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to exhale destructive energy. The size, shape, and damage type of your draconic breath are determined by your chosen totem dragon, as shown in the Draconic Breath table.

When you use your draconic breath, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your totem dragon. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, 5d6 at 15th level, and 6d6 at 20th level.

Once you use your draconic breath, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Draconic Breath
Dragon Damage Type Draconic Breath
Black Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Blue Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Brass Fire 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Bronze Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Copper Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Gold Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
Green Poison 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
Red Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
Silver Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
White Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)

Touch of Vitality

At 3rd level, your touch can heal wounds. You have a pool of healing power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore a total number of hit points equal to your dragon shaman level x 5.

As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool. Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons with a single use of Touch of Vitality, expending hit points separately for each one.

This feature has no effect on undead and constructs.

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Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Dragon Scales

At 7th level, your skin begins to thicken and develop faint scales the same color as your chosen totem dragon. You gain a +1 bonus to your AC while wearing armor. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier.

Draconic Resolve

Beginning at 9th level, you cannot be charmed or frightened.

Energy Resistance

At 10th level, you have resistance to the damage type associated with your chosen totem dragon.

Share Draconic Adaptation

At 11th level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to share the Draconic Adaptation you gained from your chosen totem dragon with any number of creatures you can see within 30 feet of you. The affected creatures retain the adaptation for 1 hour.

Commune with Dragon Spirit

At 13th level, you gain the ability to contact your Totem Dragon directly to ask questions of it. You can cast the commune spell as a ritual without spending material components, using the spell to speak with your Totem Dragon. After using this feature, you can't do so again for 7 days.

Dragon Wings

At 14th level, you gain the ability to sprout a pair of dragon wings resembling your Totem Dragon's from your back, gaining a flying speed equal to your current speed. You can create these wings as a bonus action on your turn. They last until you dismiss them as a bonus action on your turn.

You can't manifest your wings while wearing armor unless the armor is made to accommodate them, and clothing not made to accommodate your wings might be destroyed when you manifest them.

Dual Aura

Starting at 17th level, you gain the ability to project two of your draconic auras at a time instead of just one. You can only activate or change one aura at a time with your bonus action, but can choose to end both auras at once with a single bonus action.

Draconic Mastery

At 20th level, you gain even greater control over your powers. After you use your Draconic Breath, you may roll a d6 at the start of each of your turns. You regain the use of your Draconic Breath if the result is a 5 or a 6.


Totem Dragons

The relationship between a dragon shaman and their totem dragon is often determined by the nature of the dragon itself. Good-aligned metallic dragons, like gold or silver dragons, may have a positive relationship with the dragon shaman, offering aid or patronage onto their beneficiary. Evil chromatic dragons, like red or black dragons, are less likely to tolerate the desires of a mortal. However, even the most evil of dragons may humor a mortal who seeks to emulate a small fraction of their power.

Chromatic Totem Dragon

Greedy, malicious, and hungering for the dominion of others, chromatic dragons are rightly feared. All chromatics are united by the belief that they are superior to all other creatures. Their vanity is not without reason; few creatures (save for another dragon) can stand up to a fully grown chromatic and live to tell the tale.

Some dragon shamans who aspire to gain the strength of a chromatic dragon are themselves evil, but this is not a strict requirement. Even good-aligned individuals can emulate a chromatic dragon's power without adhering to evil ideals.

Chromatic Dragon

When you choose this Totem Dragon at 1st level, you pick a true dragon to emulate. Your choice determines the damage type associated with your totem dragon and some of the features you gain at later levels.

Chromatic Dragon Type
Dragon Damage Type Skill Proficiencies
Black Acid Intimidation, Stealth
Blue Lightning Athletics, Perception
Green Poison Deception, Insight
Red Fire Intimidation, Perception
White Cold Athletics, Stealth

Skill Proficiencies

At 1st level, you gain proficiency in two skills determined by the dragon you've chosen to emulate. If you are already proficient in either of these skills, your proficiency bonus for that skill is instead doubled.

Draconic Adaptation

At 6th level, you take on an aspect of your chosen dragon. These adaptations are always active, unless otherwise stated.

In addition, you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet if you don't already have it. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.

  • Black -- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water. Additionally, you gain a swim speed equal to your current speed.
  • Blue -- Desert Dweller. You are considered naturally adapted to hot climates. Additionally, you gain a burrowing speed equal to your current speed.
  • Green -- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water. Additionally, you gain a swim speed equal to your current speed.

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  • Red -- Strong Climber. You gain the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving your hands free. You also gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.
  • White -- Ice Walker. You can move across and climb icy surfaces without needing to make an ability check, and difficult terrain composed of ice or snow doesn’t cost you extra movement.

Frightful Presence

At 10th level, as an action on your turn you can use your draconic presence to strike fear into your enemies. Each creature of your choice within 30 feet of you and aware of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. The DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. On a failed save the creature is frightened of you for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to your Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Bloodied Breath

Starting at 14th level, when you are reduced to half of your hit points or less you regain the use of your Draconic Breath if you've already expended it. You can then immediately use your reaction to use your Draconic Breath. Once you use this feature, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Metallic Totem Dragon

Metallic dragons are generally noble, and altruistic. Wise beyond most other creatures, they acknowledge their own strength as one powerful race among the many races that have a place in the world. They fight for justice, defending and protecting those creatures unable to do so themselves.

Metallic Dragon

When you choose this Totem Dragon at 1st level, you pick a true dragon to emulate. Your choice determines the damage type associated with your totem dragon and some of the features you gain at later levels.

Metallic Dragon Type
Dragon Damage Type Skill Proficiencies
Brass Fire History, Perception
Bronze Lightning Insight, Stealth
Copper Acid Perception, Stealth
Gold Fire Insight, Persuasion
Silver Cold Arcana, History

Skill Proficiencies

At 1st level, you gain proficiency in two skills determined by the dragon you've chosen to emulate. If you are already proficient in either of these skills, your proficiency bonus for that skill is instead doubled.


Draconic Adaptation

At 6th level, you take on an aspect of your chosen dragon. These adaptations are always active, unless otherwise stated.

In addition, you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet if you don't already have it. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.

  • Brass -- Desert Dweller. You are considered naturally adapted to hot climates. Additionally, you gain a burrowing speed equal to your current speed.
  • Bronze -- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water. Additionally, you gain a swim speed equal to your current speed.
  • Copper -- Strong Climber. You gain the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving your hands free. You also gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.
  • Gold -- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water. Additionally, you gain a swim speed equal to your current speed.
  • Silver -- Slow Fall. When you fall, you can choose to make your rate of descent 60 feet per round. If you land while slow-falling in this way, you take no falling damage and can land on your feet

Alter Appearance

Starting at 10th level, you can magically change your appearance. You can cast the alter self spell on yourself at will with this feature, using only the spell's change appearance option.

Second Draconic Breath

At 14th level, you gain a second Draconic Breath determined by your chosen dragon. You can only use one of your Draconic Breaths during each rest, and regaining the use of your Draconic Breath allows you to use either of them.

  • Brass -- Sleep Breath. You exhale sleep gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Constitution saving throw versus your Draconic Breath DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute. This effect ends for a creature if the creature takes damage or someone uses an action to wake it.
  • Bronze -- Repulsion Breath. You exhale repulsion energy in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Constitution saving throw versus your Draconic Breath DC or be pushed 30 feet away from you.
  • Copper -- Slowing Breath. You exhale slowing gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Constitution saving throw versus your Draconic Breath DC. On a failed save the creature can't use reactions, its speed is halved, and it can't make more than one attack on its turn. In addition, the creature can use either an action or a bonus action on its turn, but not both. These effects last for one minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effects on itself with a successful save.

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  • Gold -- Weakening Breath. You exhale a strength-sapping gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Strength saving throw versus your Draconic Breath DC. On a failed save the creature has disadvantage on Strength-based attack rolls, Strength checks, and Strength saving throws. These effects last for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effects on itself with a successful save.
  • Silver -- Paralyzing Breath. You exhale paralyzing gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Constitution saving throw versus your Draconic Breath DC. On a failed save the creature is paralyzed for one minute, but a creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the paralysis with a successful save.

Draconic Auras

These auras are presented in alphabetical order.


Energy Shield. Whenever a creature hits you or an ally with a melee attack, your aura erupts with energy. The attacker takes damage equal to your Charisma modifier, the type of which is determined by your Totem Dragon.


Fortune. You and your allies gain a bonus to saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier.


Magic Resistance. When you and your allies suffer damage from a spell or other magical effect, the damage is reduced by an amount equal to your Charisma modifier.


Power. You and your allies gain a bonus to melee damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier.


Presence. You and your allies gain a bonus to Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion checks equal to your Charisma modifier.


Resistance. You and your allies have resistance to your Totem Dragon’s damage type.


Resolve. You and your allies cannot be frightened. If you or an ally are frightened when activating or entering the aura, the effect is suspended for the duration of the aura and while the ally remains within it.


Senses. You and your allies gain a bonus to Perception checks and Initiative equal to your Charisma modifier.


Toughness. When you and your allies suffer nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, the damage is reduced by an amount equal to your Charisma modifier.


Vigor. Allied creatures (including yourself) gain temporary hitpoints equal to your Charisma modifier at the start of their turn or the first time they enter the aura on their turn. These temporary hit points last until they’re depleted or you finish a long rest.


Alternate Starting Equipment

When you create a Dragon Shaman, you receive equipment based on a combination of those available to Dragon Shamans (as detailed at the beginning of this class description) and your background. Alternatively, you can start with a number of gold pieces, shown below, and spend them on items from the lists in Chapter 5 of the Player's Handbook.

Starting Wealth for Dragon Shamans
Funds
3d4 x 10 gp

Multiclassing

When you advance in level, and at your DM's discretion, you may take the option to multiclass into a Dragon Shaman. You must meet the following prerequisites to qualify for a Dragon Shaman.

Multiclassing Prerequisites
Ability Score Minimum
Strength 13 and Charisma 13
Proficiences

When you first multiclass into Dragon Shaman, you gain only some of the class's starting proficiences as shown below.

Proficiences Gained
Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons, one skill from the class's skill list

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Special thanks to my friend Tucker for first introducing me to the dragon shaman class way back in 3.5, and

to Rebecca Read of Pixabay for her designs, which were used in this document.








































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