Psion Prestige Class : Diamond Dragon
"Let me show you a little trick I picked up from 'a friend'" - Morvek Thar
Not all draconic secrets are about magic. In addition to the well-known chromatic and metallic true dragons, there are the gem dragons. Clinging more closely to neutrality, these beasts of crystal and thought are masters of the powers of the mind, rather than of arcane forces. Much as sages believe the better-known dragons were the first to harness arcane magic, psionic scholars think the gem dragons were the first to unlock the vast potential of the mind. The boldest of them study the link between gem dragons and psionics, learning to tap into what they refer to as the "draconic psionic collective." They see themselves as drawing power from psionic dragon energy and call themselves diamond dragons, after the rarest of gemstones.
Diamond dragons normally arise from the ranks of psions and wilders who seek a more martial path for their training. The physical rigors required to understand how gem dragons think force psions to bulk up considerably, while the unconventional path of dragon-based psionics appeals to the wilders' less disciplined nature. Fewer psychic warriors walk the path of the diamond dragon, lacking the power points necessary to make best use of the abilities learned. However, their naturally combative power selection matches well with dragon psionics, so those with a method of boosting their power points make very effective diamond dragons.
To qualify to become a Diamond Dragon, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, or neutral.
- Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 3 ranks.
- Base Attack Bonus: +3
- Manifesting: Ability to manifest 3rd-level psionic powers.
- Languages: Draconic
The diamond dragon's class skills are Autohypnosis, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (psionics), Profession, Psicraft, Ride, Search, Swim, and Use Psionic Device.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Diamond dragons learn to channel the powers of dragons through their psionics, duplicating the abilities and physical features that true dragons take for granted. Doing this requires them to spend somewhat less energy on traditional psionic studies, though they continue to learn nondraconic psionic powers only slightly more slowly than their traditional brethren. The payoff for this reduction in standard psionic power is the ability to fight, fly, and even cow foes as dragons do.
Manifesting: At every level except 1st and 6th, you gain new power points per day, access to new powers, and an increase in manifester level as if you had also attained a level in a manifesting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one manifesting class before becoming a diamond dragon, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining maximum power level, manifester level, and new power access.
Dragon Augmentation (Ex): learning to think the way dragons think is more than a matter of mental training. Dragons are extremely fit creatures, and a psionic character must begin to match that fitness as part of learning their mental habits. At 1st level, as a result of such study and physical training, you gain a +1 bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (your choice). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. At 5th level and again at 10th level, you have the choice of increasing the same ability score by another +1, or adding a +1 bonus to a different physical ability score.
Sleep/Paralysis Neutralization (Su): Starting at 1st level, you are capable of overcoming magical sleep and paralysis effects by drawing on the mental powers of gem dragons. As an immediate action, when you would magically be put to sleep or paralyzed, you can expend 1 power point to neutralize the effect.
Channel Dragon Claws (Su): Starting at 2nd level, you can channel the power of the gem dragons to form claws made of psionic energy. They appear as shimmering, clear crystal claws that form around your own fingers. Manifesting the claws takes one standard action and 1 power point. The claws last for 1 minute per manifester level and deal 1d6 points of slashing damage (assuming you are Medium) plus your Strength bonus. You can attack with one claw as a standard action or both claws as a full-round action. In addition, in any round in which you take a standard action to manifest a psionic power, you can make a single claw attack as a swift action.
For every 2 additional power points you spend to manifest your dragon claws, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls with the claws (maximum +5). You can spend a number of power points on this ability equal to or less than your manifester level.
Breath Weapon (Su): At 4th level, you can manifest a breath weapon attack, similar to those of various dragons. Doing this costs 5 power points and deals cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage (chosen at the time of manifestation; see below for details); a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + class level + your Int modifier) halves the damage. Each of the damage types acts slightly differently, as detailed below.
- Cold: This 30-foot-long, cone-shaped breath weapon deals 5d8 points of cold damage and allows a Fortitude save (not a Reflex save) for half damage.
- Electricity: This 60-foot-long, line-shaped breath weapon deals 5d6 points of electricity damage and adds 2 to the save DC.
- Fire: This 30-foot-long, cone-shaped breath weapon deals 5d8 points of fire damage.
- Sonic: This 30-foot-long, cone-shaped breath weapon deals 5d4 points of sonic damage and ignores objects' hardness.
For every additional power point you spend on your breath weapon, you deal an extra die of damage. You can spend a number of power points on this ability equal to or less than your manifester level.
Channel Dragon Wings (Su): Starting at 6th level, you can form wings made of psionic energy. The wings form without damaging or being hampered by any armor or clothing worn. Manifesting the wings costs 7 power points. The wings grant you a fly speed of 30 feet with perfect maneuverability and last for 1 minute per manifester level. You cannot fly if you are carrying a heavy load. Flying with the wings takes only as much concentration as walking, leaving you free to fight or manifest psionic powers.
For every 2 additional power points you spend, your fly speed increases by 5 feet. You can spend a number of power points on this ability equal to or less than your manifester level.
Channel Dragon Tail (Su): Starting at 8th level, you can form a long dragon tail made of psionic energy. The tail appears to be a shimmering, clear, crystal appendage that grows from your own spine. Manifesting the tail costs 9 power points, and it lasts for 1 minute per level. The tail has twice your normal reach (thus, it has a reach of 10 feet if you are human but 20 feet if you are an ogre), and you can make a melee attack with it as a standard action, dealing 1d8 points of bludgeoning damage (assuming you are Medium) plus 1-1/2 x your Strength bonus. If you also have claws from your channel dragon claws ability, you can attack with the tail and both claws as a full-round action (treat the claws as secondary natural weapons for the purpose of your attack rolls). Your psychic tail can't make attacks of opportunity.
For every 2 additional power points you spend on your dragon tail, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls with the tail (max +5). You can spend a number of power points on this ability equal to or less than your manifester level.
Frightful Presence Aura (Su): At 10th level, you gain the ability to project a frightful presence aura similar to that of a dragon. Activating your frightful presence costs 11 power points; once activated, it remains active for 5 rounds. The frightful presence functions in a 60-foot radius. Any enemy within this area must make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + your Int modifier) or be shaken for the remainder of the frightful presence's duration. Creatures with fewer than half your Hit Dice are frightened rather than shaken.
For every additional power point you spend on your frightful presence aura, the duration increases by 1 round. You can spend a number of power points on this ability equal to or less than your manifester level.
|Diamond Draqon||Hit Die: d8|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Dragon augmentation, sleep/paralysis neutralization||-|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Channel dragon claws||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||-||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Breath weapon||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Dragon augmentation||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Channel dragon wings||-|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||-||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+6||Channel dragon tail||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+6||-||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+7||Dragon augmentation, frightful presence aura||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
Playing a Diamond Dragon
You have learned to tap into the energies of the minds of dragons, drawing forth pure psionic powers that others cannot access. Much like a sorcerer with draconic feats or a dragonfire adept, you have elevated yourself above others of your race, becoming more like a dragon than a humanoid. You're proud of this accomplishment, and it shows. Knowing you're better able to survive a fight gives you the confidence to be open about your superiority. You don't need to be smug or overbearing, but you do exude a quiet sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment.
You are better able to engage in close combat than typical psions or wilders. In addition to being more physically fit, you can employ your channeled claws or tail to strike at foes in melee without giving up psionic attacks. Your cone-shaped breath weapon can catch numerous foes in it near the front line, while your line-shaped breath weapon allows you to strike at enemies who hold back, such as spellcasters and masterminds. However, you are not as resilient as a true fighter and still depend on armor or defensive psionic powers for safety. You should be ready to retreat (possibly by flying away) if you run low on power points.
There are many ways to find the path of the diamond dragon. You might have been driven to understand psionic dragons, naturally developing a closer understanding of them through study and mediation. You might have actually met such a creature, perhaps many years ago when you first learned psionics, and found yourself moving toward a form that's more in keeping with that teacher. Or perhaps you simply had visions or dreams about using psionic energy in dragon form and followed them to create a training program that made you what you are today.
Now that you've begun to see real benefits from your study into dragon psionics, a long and clear course of study lies before you. You gain some draconic power at nearly every level and can augment your abilities with careful selection of your other psionic powers. You can become more dragonlike and expand your mental studies long after you've mastered the secrets of this prestige class.
As a diamond dragon, you have greater freedom than other psionic characters when selecting psionic powers, because you know that as you progress through your new career, you'll automatically gain melee and ranged attack powers and mobility, though all at a cost in power points. When selecting your other psionic powers, focus on those that increase your defense, healing ability, or general utility. Since you'll burn through power points faster than most psionic characters, you would benefit from taking the Psionic Talent feat as many times as you can manage. In addition, your greater physical abilities makes Body Fuel an attractive choice.
All diamond dragons share a sense of kinship that binds them together, even if they end up on opposite sides of an issue. You can count on polite treatment from diamond dragons who oppose you and warm hospitality from those who do not. Having taken the mantle of being a dragon, you are expected to be self-sufficient, but you could ask for a meal and a safe place to sleep without violating that expectation. A few colleges of diamond dragons exist, welcoming all who come to them in peace. Many of these colleges have one or two gem dragons that teach and maintain order. At these places, you can attend classes or find a quiet place to mediate, but you cannot recruit armies to march off to war.
Diamond Dragons in the World
"I thought we had him -before he hit me with that blasted tail and flew off!" - Tordek, dwarf fighter.
Diamond dragons fit well in any game that includes both psionics and a higher concentration of dragons. Though based on psionic gem dragons, diamond dragons can operate even if neutral dragons are not common in the campaign. A diamond dragon might have learned draconic powers from an ancient tome of lore, a senior diamond dragon, or a rare lone gem dragon sitting atop a distant mountain. Most members of this prestige class wander and test their new abilities against the threats of the world, making them excellent choices for adventurers.
Diamond dragons spend little time in the cloistered schools where psionics are taught. At a typical psionics school, they are treated as venerated outsiders, asked to speak about their unique view of psionics and their experiences as a draconic thinker, but they are not expected to stay for any great length of time. A diamond dragon who wishes to remain at a particular school for a few weeks or months could teach classes or perform difficult chores in exchange for a small cell and simple fare, but the character's radical path prevents him from attaining a position of power there.
Less commonly, a diamond dragon might establish his own school upon retirement, creating a place that teaches only the draconic version of psionics. In these colleges, wandering diamond dragons and true gem dragons can stay as long as they wish, and students handle all chores. The more draconic powers a diamond dragon can demonstrate, the greater authority he enjoys.
Diamond dragons are too rare for most groups to have formed any particular opinions about them. Most communities treat diamond dragons as they would any psionic characters -or as psychic warriors, if the community recognizes a difference between the manifesting classes. Sorcerers and dragonfire adepts often see diamond dragons as kindred spirits, though this attitude does not automatically lead to a friendly reaction. Gem dragons are friendly toward diamond dragons, whom they consider younger cousins. Should a diamond dragon violate a gem dragon's hospitality and goodwill, however, the creature's attitude becomes hostile very quickly.
Diamond Dragon Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can research diamond dragons to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.
- DC 10: Diamond dragons are psionic characters with dragonlike abilities.
- DC 15: Diamond dragons channel the power of psionic gem dragons, gaining claws, wings, tails, and similar powers.
- DC 20: By learning draconic powers, psionic diamond dragons grow physically tougher and gain new attack options - including a breath weapon.
- DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about a specific notable diamond dragon, the areas where he operates, and the kinds of activities he undertakes.
Most diamond dragons travel constantly, making them difficult to find. If a diamond dragon school operates in an area, it's possible to set up a meeting with a junior faculty member in a day or two, or a senior member in no less than a week. It's traditional (but not mandatory) to bring gifts to such a teacher to show respect.
Diamond Dragons in the Game
Because they are wanderers, diamond dragons fit well in campaigns where psionic characters are normally found only in far-off lands. A single diamond dragon can exist without requiring a whole network of psionic characters to have taught and trained him. If gem dragons exist in the campaign, they can become the source of all diamond dragons, training a single student every few centuries.
Diamond dragons appeal to players who like psions and wilders but find them too fragile. This prestige class might not be martial enough for players who like psychic warriors, though some will enjoy it. The class is strongly rooted in the psionics system and requires more bookkeeping than a typical psionic character, so it's best reserved for players who have experience with that kind of character.
If the campaign doesn't include gem dragons, the Dungeon Master can easily transform diamond dragons into more generic psionic characters who use their mental powers to emulate dragonlike features, rather than channeling them from a conceptual collective. In a campaign with no psionics at all, the DM could turn diamond dragons into an arcane prestige class, allowing them to fuel their special abilities by spontaneously sacrificing existing spells rather than spending power points. Treat a sacrificed spell as having a number of power points equal to twice its spell level minus 1. Thus, a diamond dragon could sacrifice a 3rd-level spell to power his breath weapon class feature.
Source: Dragon Magic