Q: Dear Sage,
I desperately need your help! I need to know two things: whether a warforged can become a dragonborn of Bahamut (Races of the Dragon), and if so what are the racial traits I keep from the warforged list?
A: Matt, the Sage is here to help.
Despite the misleading entry in the dragonborn racial traits that suggests that all dragonborn are humanoids, the only prerequisites for being reborn in this manner are a non-evil alignment and an Intelligence of 3 or better. Thus, there’s nothing stopping a warforged from undergoing this ritual and dedicating himself to the service of Bahamut.
A warforged who becomes a dragonborn would be a construct with the living construct and dragonblood subtypes. He’d retain his warforged ability score modifiers and favored class.
He’d also retain all traits derived from the living construct subtype, including immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, and energy drain; inability to heal damage naturally; vulnerability to certain metal- or wood-affecting spells; and half effect from healing spells. He’d still become inert at –1 to –9 hp, and he still wouldn’t need to eat, sleep, or breathe.
However, he would lose his composite plating, light fortification, and slam attack.
The next logical question, of course, is whether the dragonborn warforged can select feats that would improve his now-absent composite plating. Technically, these feats don’t list composite plating as a prerequisite, so it appears the answer would be yes.
The Unarmored Body feat (Races of Eberron pg. 120) supports this ruling, as it indicates that other feats that adjust the character’s armor bonus could be selected later, even though he technically doesn’t have the composite plating’s armor bonus any more.
About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China. Debate continues as to whether he is truly a bear or more related to the raccoon rather than the bear, or perhaps in a family of his own. When not eating bamboo and answering rules questions, he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins as an RPG developer in Wizards of the Coast R&D, where his development credits include Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, and the Player's Handbook v.3.5. He can be easily recognized by his large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on his rotund body.