Monday, June 12, 2017

The Dragonborn of Lakeport

So this is another expansion of the work i have been doing on my lakeport setting.  Today i’m going to talk about the Dragonborn of this world, and some of the roles they play in it.  There are  companion pieces about the three Dragon deities, and the dragons themselves.  There will also be an article about Kobolds (since they are playable) and eventually we’ll put together a Monster Manual article on the Drakkenghul.  This group of articles should do a fairly solid job of putting these together and give you a wealth of information on who they are and what they do.  Let’s dig into the Dragonborn.

The History of the Dragonborn

Born in the fire and bloodshed of Haderack’s assault on the young Wyrms, Dragonborn came into a world dominated by violence, bloodshed, and magic.  Spawned in the mingled blood of the Celestial Wyrm and the Abyssal Wyrm, the first Dragonborn emerged fully formed and ready for war.  Shaken by the trauma of that birthing event, most of the Dragonborn scattered to the winds and ran from that ancient nesting site.

In hidden places the Dragonborn created tightly knit clans born of several individuals who escaped together.  Some of these communities also featured kobolds, who escaped with their larger Dragonborn cousins.  Within a few generations, these clans were growing in strength and starting to develop their own cultures based on a symbiotic relationship between Dragonborn and Kobolds.  When the dragons came for them, most communities embraced and welcomed their cousins into the fold, and the children of the Dragons lived in harmony.  Some communities rejected the Dragons, and others struck out to find their own path and way in the world.  Some communities were missed completely by the Dragons, and grew up without the influence of the Dragons in their lives.  
Given the circumstances of their birth, Dragonborn are a race with a powerful aptitude for sorcery, and the force of their charisma has made many powerful clerics, sorcerers and warlocks.  Dragonborn are a race of deep emotions and their passion is a trait that moves them to great deeds worthy of song.  It also leads them to make hasty decisions in the moment that they can end up regretting later on.    

The Fey War

Dragonborn (unlike their gods and their cousins the dragons) were active participants in the Fey War and many brave deeds were performed by them during the war.  Clans that fought in the war sing great tales of their elder heroes, and their halls are filled with banners of great victories.  There is also a chamber in the High Temple of the Mother of Dragons where the banners of fallen clans hang in testimony to their honored dead.  

Modern Dragonborn

Dragonborn are standoffish towards most others, excepting only the Kobolds that they share territory with.  This is for a variety of reasons, but Dragonborn are a people that wear their emotions on their scales and are prone to rash actions and often are considered to have short tempers.  They are also well known for the tendency to forgive and forget, and while they are quick to anger, they are also incapable of holding grudges for any length of time.  This dichotomy has led most folks to give the big dragons a fairly wide berth, but they are often the first people that are found when trouble breaks out.  


Dragonborn have the multihued scales of their larger cousins.  A specific clan will often share a scale coloration pattern and similar horns, crests and other key features.  They are taller and more powerfully built than humans, often standing a head taller than most humans.  


Dragonborn are creatures of emotion and passion.  They love with their whole hearts, grieve with their whole minds, and feel anger with their whole souls.  Quick to anger and even quicker to calm, they are emotional whirlwinds that blow hot, cold and everywhere in between.  They have a soft spot in their hearts for smallfolk, and will often redirect their emotions away from small creatures, unless directly provoked by said small creature.  


Dragonborn maintain the tightly knit clans they established in their flight from the Ancestral Nest.  The clans have expanded outward and spread to cover fairly large regions that they inhabit, but they don’t claim dominion over their regions.  In regions with Dragons, the Dragons are the titular head of a given clan, even if they’ve never been anywhere near any of that clan’s holdings.  There is a complicated web of relations, favors, and social niceties that determine how dragons and Dragonborn interact when they do meet.  


Dragonborn are called to explore the world around them.  Something in their character drives them to wander and push the boundaries as they explore.  Dragonborn are passionate spellcasters and their blood connection with dragons gives them powerful arcane magic.  Most Dragonborn who end up spending time with adventurers of other races eventually realize that not everyone is stirred by their blood the same way that Dragonborn are.  


Dragonborn typically worship one of their two draconic ancestors.  There are rumors of cults that worship Haderack, but that’s a terrible heresy among the Dragonborn.  The Dragonborn that were never rediscovered by the Wyrms follow any god of their choosing as their hearts dictate.  They are devout worshippers who put their headstrong zeal into their religious pursuits.  

Rules addendums

Dragonborn from this setting have the following changes:

Ability Scores:

Dragonborn have a +1 Strength and +2 Charisma.  This replaces the Dragonborn racial ability score bonuses.  
Draconic Ancestry:  The Dragonborn chooses a type of dragon listed on the chart in the PHB but their abilities work a little differently. The primary aspect of this choice is a Dragonborn’s primary scale coloration.  
Breath Weapon:  Regardless of the Draconic Ancestry selected, a Dragonborn’s Breath Weapon deals untyped Magic Damage.  The saving throw, shape, and apparent energy type is as selected by the Draconic Ancestry.  
Magically Resilient:  Dragonborn have advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.  This replaces Damage Resistance.  

Amendment 6/13/17

Upon tinkering with the mechanics a little more, Magically Resilient is changed as follows:

"As a reaction, the Dragonborn can make a saving throw against a spell or magical effect with advantage.  The Dragonborn can do this a number of times equal to their proficiency before they need to recharge the ability on a short or long rest." 

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