Monster Prestige Class : Dragon - Dragon Ascendant
Easily the most powerful creatures native to the Material Plane, dragons hold a unique position in relation to the powers beyond that plane. Those who become dragon ascendants quest to transcend the limitations of material existence, rising above all other dragons to become nothing less than deities themselves. Their progress through the levels of this class represents their advancement toward their ultimate goal, and they become increasingly godlike as they advance.
Most dragon ascendants have not previously gained class levels, but all are dragons of considerable age and power. A few dragon clerics, paladins, and blackguards move into the dragon ascendant prestige class when they reach sufficient levels of power. Members of other divine prestige classes (the dispassionwatcher of Chronepsis, the sacred warder of Bahamut, and the unholy ravager of Tiamat) sometimes also choose the path of divine ascension to become more perfect servants of their deities.
Dragon ascendants are proud and typically aloof. They view travel along the path toward divine ascension as a race, and do not choose to share the road with others on the same course. On the other hand, they often have followers and allies who support them on their quest, and they work more freely with lesser dragons and non-dragons than other dragons do.
To qualify to become a Dragon Ascendant, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Any true dragon
- Feats: Draconic Knowledge, Fast Healing, Great Fortitude, Improved Speed, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes.
- Base Attack Bonus: +30.
- Special: Consume Hoard: A would-be dragon ascendant must eat its hoard to begin the process of divine ascension. Its hoard must have a value of at least 100,000 gp, but the dragon cannot choose to eat just 100,000 gp and leave the rest alone - it must consume its entire hoard.
The dragon ascendant's class skills are Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Spot.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are class feature of the dragon ascendant prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A dragon ascendant gains no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.
Awesome Aura (Ex): A dragon ascendant loses its innate frightful presence, replacing it with a special fear aura. This aura surrounds the dragon at any radius it chooses up to the extent of its frightful presence (30 feet x the dragon's age category), and is always active unless the dragon chooses to deactivate it. The dragon can choose to exclude its own allies from the effect of its aura. Creatures within the aura must make a Will save (DC equal to the dragon's frightful presence DC plus 1/2 its dragon ascendant levels). Creatures that fail their saving throws are shaken, while those that succeed are immune to the effect of that dragon's aura for 24 hours. If the dragon attacks or charges, shaken creatures must attempt a second Will save (same DC) or become frightened.
When a dragon ascendant reaches 5th level, it can choose to modify its aura to inspire resolve in its allies and dread in its enemies. All allies of the dragon within the radius of its aura receive a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and checks. The dragon's foes must succeed on a Will saving throw or take a -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks.
When a dragon ascendant reaches 10th level, it gains a third option for its aura. The dragon can cause affected creatures to become dazed, simply staring at the dragon in fascinated awe, if they fail their Will saves. As with the fear aspect of the aura, the dragon can choose to exclude its allies from the effects of the aura.
All uses of a dragon's awesome aura are mind-affecting effects.
Hit Point Increase (Ex): At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, a dragon ascendant gains 1 hit point per Hit Die it possesses, including all its dragon Hit Dice and those gained from class levels. This benefit can never increase a dragon's hit points above the maximum for its Hit Dice and Constitution bonus.
At 12th level, a dragon ascendant's hit points are equal to the maximum for its Hit Dice and Constitution bonus. Transmutation Immunity (Ex): At 3rd level, a dragon ascendant gains immunity to polymorphing, petrification, and any other attack that would alter its form. Any shape-altering powers or spells the dragon has work normally on itself.
Increased Damage Reduction (Su): At 4th level, a dragon ascendant's damage reduction can be overcome only by epic weapons. At 8th level, the amount of the dragon's damage reduction (the number before the slash) is increased by 5. For example, an ancient black dragon/8th-level dragon ascendant has damage reduction 20/epic.
Lifewarding (Ex): At 6th level, a dragon ascendant is no longer vulnerable to attacks that cause energy drain, ability drain, or ability damage.
Deflection Bonus (Su): At 7th level, a dragon ascendant gains a deflection bonus to its Armor Class equal to its Charisma bonus, if any.
Iron Mind (Ex): At 9th level, a dragon ascendant becomes immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Resistance to Fire (Ex): At 11th level, a dragon ascendant gains resistance to fire 20, if it does not already possess immunity to fire.
Spell Resistance (Ex): At 11th level, a dragon ascendant's spell resistance increases to 33.
Immortality (Ex): A 12th-level dragon ascendant is actually a quasi-deity and can no longer die from natural causes. It does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe. It can still be slain in physical or magical combat, and it is still subject to death from massive damage.
Code of Conduct: A dragon ascendant must be absolutely true to the principles of its alignment, whatever they may be. A dragon ascendant loses its awesome aura if it ever willingly commits an act opposed to its alignment (and it does not regain its frightful presence), and it cannot gain more levels as a dragon ascendant. The dragon can regain its awesome aura and once more advance in the dragon ascendant prestige class if it atones for its violations (see the atonement spell), as appropriate.
|Dragon Ascendant||Hit Die: d12|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Awesome aura (fear)|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Hit point increase|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Hit point increase, increased damage reduction|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||Awesome aura (resolve)|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+5||Hit point increase, lifewarding|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+6||Hit point increase, increased damage reduction|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+7||Awesome aura (daze), hit point increase|
|11th||+11||+7||+7||+7||Resistance to fire, spell resistance|
|12th||+12||+8||+8||+8||Hit point increase, immortality|