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by Rodger Burns

A dragonchild's appearance is much like that of a lizardman, but somewhat shorter and with a wiry rather than a bulky strength. Their faces are thin enough to allow full binocular vision forwards as well as monocular vision to either side. Dragonchildren of both genders sport distinctive, brightly-colored frills running along the sides and backs of their heads - males generally sport shades of red and purple, while females display yellow and blue-green. Each dragonchild has a different pattern of frills (shape, size and arrangement of colors) and the marking of the pattern is the main cue used by outsiders to tell one dragonchild from another. A full-grown dragonchild is generally between 5 1/2' and 6' tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Dragonchildren are capable and ferocious fighters, and can instinctively call upon ancestral spirits to use clerical magic. This power is best used to enhance the dragonchild's own stamina and combat abilities, though - a dragonchild who attempts to invoke the ancestral spirits to aid an ally or strike directly at an enemy will find the power flowing only reluctantly. Most dragonchildren hold themselves to a stern code of honor and personal conduct, from which they will unbend only reluctantly. They are not fools, though, and do not put their honor above their life or important events. Indeed, a dragonchild who has decided that a particular goal is more important than honor can be an incredibly swift-acting, relentless and dangerous opponent.

Dragonchildren have no Clans, settlements or culture of their own. They are raised individually by humans or other adoptive parents, often at no small cost, to serve as bodyguards, wardens or similar valued retainers. It's not clear whether adult dragonchildren have an outright taboo against raising their own young or simply don't feel competent to do so, but every viable dragonchild egg is surrendered into the care of a human family or similar adoptive parent. To be fair, a young dragonchild is difficult, often savage and unconstrained by moral principles; it's only as adulthood is achieved and the bond with the ancestral spirits realized that reason fully dominates. The extent to which the dragonchild life cycle is encouraged by noble human families - who benefit from continued dragonchild dependence and the raising-up of capable retainers - is unknown.

Though most dragonchildren are raised by noble human households and serve as retainers, a few independent adventurers exist. Such a case usually happens when a dragonchild escapes from a particularly cruel or vindictive household, is thrown out after committing some unforgivable disgrace, or is the last survivor of a war between noble houses or similar catastrophe. Whatever the cause, these adventurers have no particular support from their former human

A dragonchild can only advance to 12th level. This is balanced by their spellcasting capabilities, natural armor and other fighting talents. An experienced dragonchild is likely the equal of any human warrior.

Class Details

Prime Requisite: A dragonchild has two prime requisites: Strength and Wisdom. If a dragonchild has a score of 13 or more in both ability scores, he gains a 5% bonus to experience points earned. If his Strength score is 16-18 and his Wisdom is 13 or more, the bonus is 10%.
Minimum Scores: A dragonchild must have a score of 9 or greater in both Wisdom and Constitution.
Hit Dice: Roll an 8-sided die (1d8) to determine a dragonchild's hit points. A dragonchild starts with 1d8 (1-8) hit points (plus Constitution bonus, if any) and gains 1d8 more hit points (plus bonus) with each level of experience.
Armor: A dragonchild may not wear armor of any type, but may use a shield. A dragonchild's scales are naturally tough, however, and strengthen further with experience.
Weapons: A dragonchild may use any melee weapon or thrown weapon. They may not use missile weapons, including bows, slings and blowguns.

Dragonchild Experience Table

Level XP Atk Rnk Armor Class 1 2 3 4 5
1 0   5 - - - - -
2 2,200   4 1 - - - -
3 4,400   3 2 - - - -
4 8,800   2 2 1 - - -
5 17,000   2 2 2 - - -
6 35,000   2 2 2 1 - -
7 70,000   1 3 2 2 - -
8 140,000   1 3 3 2 - -
9 280,000   1 4 3 2 1 -
10 440,000   0 4 3 3 2 -
11 600,000   0 5 4 3 2 1
12 770,000* C 0 5 4 4 3 2
  990,000 D -1          
  1,210,000 E -1          
  1,430,000^ F -1          
  1,650,000 G -2          
  1,870,000 H -2          
  2,090,000 J -2          
  2,310,000** K -3          
  2,530,000 L -3          
  2,750,000 M -3          

Special Abilities

Special Attacks: A dragonchild may use the Lance Attack and Set Spear vs. Charge maneuvers, like fighters.
Fighter Combat Options: When the character's experience point total reaches 770,000, the character receives access to most of the Fighter Combat Options. For the multiple attacks option, two attacks are possible at 800,000 experience points, and three attacks at 2,400,000 experience points. The dragonchild may use the smash and disarm options, but may not attempt to parry; the purely defensive aspects of such a combat style are too unlike his own fighting instincts.
Natural Armor: A dragonchild's hard, sturdy scales provide protection as good as a suit of chain mail, and strengthen even further as experience is gained. Refer to the experience table to determine natural armor class at a given level.
Special Defenses: An experienced dragonchild gains special resistance to breath weapons, as an elf. This ability is gained at 1,430,000 experience points.
Infravision: A dragonchild has infravision, similar to that of an elf or a dwarf.
Improved Senses: A dragonchild's improved field of vision and other senses reduces its chance of being surprised - its side is only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d6 (rather than a 1 or 2). If the advantage of the dragonchild's improved sight is removed (by blindness, invisible enemies or an attack from ambush) normal chances for surprise apply.
Spells: A dragonchild can learn and cast clerical spells, though he receives fewer and lower-level spells than a human cleric. These spells come from ancestral spirits and the dragonchild's racial heritage, not any Immortal patron or Sphere of power, and are intended for the dragonchild's own self-improvement. As a result, the dragonchild can target other beings with his spells only with difficulty - the spell is cast as usual, but will be held in abeyance and not take effect until 1d4 combat rounds after first cast (a dispel magic cast on the subject during this time will affect the dragonchild's spell normally). This limitation doesn't apply to spells centered on the dragonchild and also affecting allies (such as resist cold) or spells that only affect inanimate objects (such as light cast on a lamp or stone).

Dragonchild Saving Throws Table

Levels 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12
Death Ray/Poison 8 6 4 2
Magic Wands 9 7 5 3
Paralysis/Turn to Stone 11 9 7 4
Breath Attack 12 9 6 3
Rod/Staff/Spell 12 10 7 4

Higher Experience Levels

A dragonchild who reaches Name (9th) level is known as an elder dragonchild. At this point in his career, an adventuring dragonchild may choose to reconcile with his human birth family or seek out a new patron to serve as a retainer. The family is likely to allow the dragonchild to continue adventuring independently for the most part, but may offer assistance if needed or ask for the dragonchild's aid in times of great peril.

A dragonchild may normally not build a stronghold, hold land or acquire a title of nobility in his own name. If he has a strong relationship with a human family, however, he may be named as a 'mentor and protector' to a young (NPC) human scion, and then build a stronghold and exercise noble authority on the scion's behalf. The scion has the title and owns the stronghold according to local law, but the dragonchild mentor is the one with the real authority; he may act as he wishes, so long as the fiction that the human scion is the real power is preserved.