Races of the Dragon provides D&D players and Dungeon Masters with an in-depth look at races descended from or related to dragons. In addition to exploring the fan-favorite kobold race, Races of the Dragon introduces two new races, dragonborn and spellscales, and provides information on half-dragons. The dragonborn are a transitive race, an exciting new concept that allows players to transform from their initial race into a new one. This book also includes a wealth of cultural information and new prestige classes, feats, equipment, spells, and magic items. The excerpts below include the disciple of the eye prestige class, sample racial substitution levels, some psionic powers, and draconic grafts.
Many of the dragon-descended are born of a union between a dragon in humanoid form and a true humanoid. A few creatures take matters into their own hands, however, controlling draconic bloodlines with amazing results. These beings capture the living eggs of dragons and experiment on the unborn wyrmlings, whether to enhance their own or others' abilities, create new forms of life, or bring "salvation" from evil. These individuals are known as wyrmgrafters.
Many wyrmgrafters have some magical aptitude, although such talent is not a requirement for being able to create a graft. The "weird science" of draconic grafts appeals to anyone who specializes in secret knowledge. Many wyrmgrafters have a draconic bloodline, but they can come from any race and culture. Some are idealists (or zealots) who believe their work can turn an evil dragon from its otherwise doomed existence.
Wyrmgrafters are a strange lot, each not generally aware of others following this pursuit. Each has her own way of going about research and experimenting on candidate creatures. Despite the lack of an overarching organization, the all-consuming desire for esoteric knowledge does bring wyrmgrafters into contact with one another from time to time. Occasionally a wyrmgrafter sponsors a gathering of like-minded individuals, a weeklong event held at the sponsor's base of operations or at a nearby hall or inn. These events typically have lectures and hands-on demonstrations interspersed with leisure activities.
Creating a graft involves taking a portion of an existing creature and transplanting it into or onto the body of another living creature. Grafting is essentially an alternative method of item creation, and its benefits are many. Bearers gain the benefits of magic items without actually wearing the items. Many grafts are difficult to spot under casual observation, allowing their bearer an unseen advantage when other potent items are unavailable. Some players find that grafts are more flavorful and interesting than traditional magic items -- while wearing a pair of magic gloves is somewhat mundane, actually transforming your hands with draconic claws makes a real statement.
The draconic grafts in this book have the following rules in common. (These follow the revised graft rules presented in Magic of Eberron.)
Draconic grafts can be created and applied only by someone with the Wyrmgrafter feat. While the creation and application of a graft is similar in theory to the principles involved in the creation of wondrous items, grafts involve the magical manipulation of biological processes and structures. The grafter must be able to manipulate draconic life energy on a minute scale. More information on creating grafts is presented below. The Wyrmgrafter feat is described on page 101 of this book.
An individual can have a total of five grafts on his body, and all grafts must be of the same kind. A single body can support only so many growths before it is overwhelmed with competing biomagical signals, resulting in death or, as is more often the case, utter madness. No portion of the body (head, skin, flesh, legs, and arms) can have more than one graft. Furthermore, no character can have more than one type of graft -- for instance, both a draconic graft and an undead graft (described on page 70 of Libris Mortis or page 214 of Fiend Folio). Rumors of attempts to bypass these biological limits abound, but such monstrosities -- for that is what such creatures become -- rarely live long.
A graft requires a sacrifice from the host. The draconic grafts presented here take a toll on a creature's body. In most cases, a graft simply applies a permanent reduction to the character's hit point total. This is not damage and can't be healed. In others, a graft might cause a permanent reduction in an ability score or a permanent penalty on certain checks or saves. A creature with a graft cannot get rid of the penalties or other costs of a graft unless the graft is removed. The specific extra cost of a graft is provided with each graft's description under the Sacrifice entry.
All draconic grafts are grown from tissues taken from one or more creatures. Typically, this involves removing a sample of flesh from an unhatched wyrmling and growing it onto a living creature. Each graft has a Donor entry, which describes where the graft originates from. If taken from a donor creature, the graft tissues must be no more than 7 days old when creation of the graft begins. The donation typically does not harm the donor creature, though some wyrmgrafters prefer to take donations from dead donors for their own safety.
Grafts are difficult to remove. Grafts have no statistics of their own and can't be attacked or damaged separately from the creature to which they are grafted. A character with the Wyrmgrafter feat can remove a draconic graft safely from a living creature; this requires 8 hours of work in a quiet setting (similar to creating a graft). A graft that has been safely removed can be applied to another character, though this application must take place within 24 hours of its removal and deals 4d6 points of Constitution damage to the receiving character. Without the proper feat, a graft can be removed only if the body part to which it is grafted is removed (a grisly task to be sure); even then, the graft tissue instantly dies and can't be reused.
Similarly, a graft on a creature that is killed also dies instantly and can't be harvested and reused. Among other effects, this means that an NPC's graft probably can't be recovered as treasure. For tips on dealing with this in the game, the DM should consult the Draconic Grafts as Treasure sidebar (see page 129). A graft should, however, be treated as part of a creature for the purpose of being brought back from the dead, so a character who is killed and resurrected returns with her grafts intact.
A graft is not a magic item. It does not radiate a magical aura once completed, and it does not take up space on the body as a magic item would. A graft can't be suppressed with dispel magic, nor is it affected by an antimagic field or similar effect.
Multiple draconic grafts bestow a cumulative benefit upon their host. A character with at least two draconic grafts gains damage reduction x/magic, where x equals the number of draconic grafts he has minus one (DR 1/magic for two draconic grafts, DR 2/magic for three, and so on). In addition, if the character has at least two draconic grafts, his natural attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Creating a Draconic Graft
The creation of a draconic graft must be done in a quiet and comfortable setting and requires a supply of materials, including the donated tissue sample or body part (see below). The cost of the materials is subsumed in the cost of creating the graft. Creating a graft otherwise works like crafting a wondrous item, including the cost to create, time required, preparation of spells required, and expenditure of components, focuses, or XP required by the spells (except as noted below). If a graft incurs extra costs in material components or XP, as noted in its description, these costs are in addition to those derived from the graft's base price.
Unlike with creating normal magic items, draconic grafts need not be crafted over consecutive days. A wyrmgrafter can spend a day here and there tending to a growing graft. It is not functional until the total time necessary to complete the graft is spent. However, he cannot skip more than 7 days during his work on an incomplete graft; doing so means the incomplete graft dies, and he loses a portion of the gp involved in the graft's creation equal to the amount of time spent working on it. No XP is lost until the graft is completed. A wyrmgrafter must devote 8 hours to the task on any day when he works on a graft. Failure to do so means the day's work is wasted, and no gp or XP are spent.
The recipient of a draconic graft doesn't incur any of the costs involved with acquiring a graft until it is attached during the second phase of the procedure. A completed graft can be attached to a recipient in a procedure that takes 8 hours, during which time both the grafter and the recipient must be present. If a graft is not attached to a recipient within 1 day of when it is completed, the graft requires 1 hour of care from the wyrmgrafter each day thereafter to keep it from dying.
|| 8,000 gp
|| 9,000 gp
|| 10,000 gp
|| 12,000 gp
|| 28,000 gp
|| 30,000 gp
|| 34,000 gp
|| 56,000 gp
|| 70,000 gp
|| 100,000 gp
Your arms sprout veined membranes, granting you the power of flight and allowing you to strike your enemies.
Description: Each of your arms sprouts rays of cartilage supporting fins (if from a metallic dragon) or long bone projections connected by taut flesh (if from a chromatic dragon). The membranes of your buffeting wings fold down when not in use. You can still wear and benefit from clothing and armor, though wearing a shield limits your wings' effectiveness (see below).
Activation: Using buffeting wings to fly requires a move action, as normal for any move. Using a wing to make a slam attack is an attack action, or part of a full attack action if you are using both wings or additional natural weapons.
Effect: You gain a fly speed equal to your base land speed with average maneuverability. You can't carry aloft more than a light load. If you already have wings, this benefit replaces your original fly speed and maneuverability. You can't use your buffeting wings to fly if you are wearing a shield (other than a buckler).
You can also use buffeting wings to make up to two secondary slam attacks, but only while standing on the ground. Each attack deals damage as a wing attack made by dragon of your size (1d4 points for a Medium creature). You cannot attack with weapons held in your hands during the same round that you use buffeting wings (though you can use other natural attacks), and you can't use a wing to attack if that arm wears a shield (other than a buckler).
In addition to the hit point cost, these wings reduce your overall agility, resulting in a permanent -2 penalty to Dexterity.
Construction: Wyrmgrafter, overland flight or flight of the dragon*, 50,000 gp, 4,000 XP, 100 days.
*Spell described in Draconomicon, page 113.
Donor: A tissue sample from an unhatched wyrmling.
Sacrifice: 8 hp, -2 Dexterity.
Price: 100,000 gp.