Excerpts 09/06/2003


Miniatures Handbook
By Jonathan Tweet and Bruce R. Cordell



Dragon Samurai(New prestige class)

Dragon samurai are dedicated warriors, members of a special, self-selected class who revere dragonkind and emulate dragons' ferocious martial abilities to the point of taking on some draconic traits. Unlike noble samurai, who are born to their role and into a system of allegiance, dragon samurai are made, not born. Sometimes, orthodox samurai fall out of the system and find their way into a dragon clan (see below), but more often, those previously unfettered with allegiance swear fealty to a chosen dragon clan. It is then that they begin their training in the arts of draconic warfare and discipline.

Each dragon samurai is bound to a single dragon clan, of which there are ten. Five good dragon clans are each devoted to a kind of metallic dragon, and five evil dragon clans are each devoted to a kind of chromatic dragon.

Dragon samurai adhere to their own unique bushido (a samurai's code of honor). However, they swear loyalty and obedience to a clan, not to a lord. If a dragon samurai remains true to her bushido, in time the fires of the dragon awaken within her.

Martial classes of all types can apply for membership in dragon clans. Basically, anyone with an abiding interest in or reverence for dragons may eventually qualify for clan membership. If the dragon's roar is as a song to one's ears, she should consider becoming a dragon samurai.

NPC dragon samurai are solid, stalwart warriors of their clans. They advance the clan's secret agendas, which can be as simple as a quick commission or as grand as an all-consuming crusade.

Hit Die: d10.

Requirements

To qualify to become a dragon samurai, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Depends on the color of the dragon samurai's clan, as follows.

  • Black, Red, or White: Chaotic neutral, neutral evil, or chaotic evil.
  • Blue or Green: Lawful neutral, lawful evil, or neutral evil.
  • Brass or Copper: Neutral good, chaotic good, or chaotic neutral.
  • Bronze, Gold, or Silver: Lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 2 ranks.

Special: The character must have no experience as a dragon samurai of a different clan.

Class Skills

A dragon samurai's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table 1-8: The Dragon Samurai

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Dragon breath, resistance to energy 5
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Dragon friend
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Immune to dragon fear
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Elemental weapon +1d6
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Resistance to energy 10
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Dragon ride
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Resistance to energy 15
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Blind-Fight
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Elemental weapon +2d6
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Resistance to energy 20

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dragon samurai prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragon samurai gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Dragon Breath (Su): A dragon samurai can use a breath weapon once per day as a standard action. The type of breath weapon depends on the color of the dragon samurai's clan, as noted below. The breath weapon deals 1d8 points of damage per class level. The Reflex save DC for the breath weapon is 10 + the dragon samurai's class level + the dragon samurai's Con modifier.

If a dragon samurai already has a breath weapon of the same type, the damage stacks. For example, if a half-dragon character has a breath weapon dealing 6d8 points of damage once per day, and gains a breath weapon of the same type that deals 2d8 points of damage for being a 2nd-level dragon samurai, her damage increases to 8d8. She still gets to use her breath weapon only once per day.

Color Energy Breath Weapon*
Black acid 60-ft. line of acid
Blue electricity 60-ft. line of lightning
Green acid 30-ft. cone of corrosive (acid) gas
Red fire 30-ft. cone of fire
White cold 30-ft. cone of cold
Brass fire 60-ft. line of fire
Bronze electricity 60-ft. line of lightning
Copper acid 60-ft. line of acid
Gold fire 30-ft. cone of fire
Silver cold 30-ft. cone of cold

*Breath weapon sizes given here are for Medium creatures. For creatures of other sizes, see the Dragon Breath Weapons table on page 69 of the Monster Manual.

Energy Resistance (Su): A dragon samurai gains resistance 5 against attacks involving the same energy type as the character's breath weapon (for example, acid for a green dragon samurai). At 5th level, the resistance improves to 10. At 7th level it improves to 15, and at 10th level it becomes 20.

Dragon Friend (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a dragon samurai gets a +4 circumstance bonus on all Charisma-based checks when dealing with dragons of his clan's color.

Immune to Dragon Fear (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a dragon samurai is immune to fear effects from a dragon of her clan's color.

Elemental Weapon (Su): Starting at 4th level, a dragon samurai can endow a melee weapon with elemental energy while she wields it in battle. This energy is of the same type as her breath weapon. Causing a weapon or weapons to gain this feature is a free action. At 4th level, the melee weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of energy damage, and this extra damage increases to 2d6 at 9th level. This extra damage doesn't stack with any energy damage the weapon may already deal.

Dragon Ride (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a dragon samurai gets a +4 bonus on all Ride checks while riding a dragon.

Blind-Fight: At 8th level, a dragon samurai gains Blind-Fight as a bonus feat. If the character already has the feat, she can choose a different one.

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