Fehr’s Ethnology: Dragonblood
By Thilo Graf
This installment of Perry Fehr’s Ethnology-series is 10 pages long, with a total of about 3 pages of editorial/SRD/advertisement, leaving 7 pages of content, so let’s check out the Dragonblooded, so what are they?
Dragonblooded are noble beings descendant from the dragons and they get +2 to Con and Cha, but -2 to Wis, +1 to bluff and diplomacy, +2 to caster-level checks to overcome SR and +2 to spellcraft when casting magic weapons, +2 to sunder and strength-checks to break objects, +1 natural armour and +1/2 level to saves against poisons. The pdf also includes information on how to tell regular humans, elves, half-elves etc. from dragonblooded and an extensive ecology-section, including age, height and weight tables.
The race also includes 4 race traits as well as 7 alternate racial traits to create small dragonblooded from halfling and gnome stock, orc-blooded dragonblooded and even ones that have access to some minor spell-like abilities due to their stock – none of the options felt unbalanced to me. The pdf also contains 6 new racial feats that enable dragonblooded characters to defend allies, get elemental resistances, a bonus to saves against charm, paralysis and compulsion and one that is interesting: Magic Sense lets the dragonblooded detect magic at will and use perception instead of Knowledge (arcana) and spellcraft to discern magic item properties and auras. Another feat makes you immune against magical sleep and cut down the rest you need to 4 hours per night. My favourite feat, though, would be Wallbreaker: By sundering against the DC of the wall, a dragonblooded can move half his movement and leave handholds smashed into the wall. Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Awesome!
The Dragonblooded’s approach to all classes is covered and we get favoured class options for barbarians, bards, cavaliers, fighters, oracles, rooks, sorcerers and summoners.
The pdf closes with a sample player-character, Rhyatha Scything Blade, a dragonblooded samurai. That statblock lacks the “1” in the class-levels, which also constitutes the only editing glitch I found.
Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed one glitch. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column standard and the one piece of full-colour artwork is evocative and awesome. The pdf comes with full bookmarks. Apart from the Enukae, this is by far my favourite installment of the series so far – iconic, cool, balanced the Dragonblooded not only takes an iconic concept in fantasy, it also delivers an excellent take on the concept and provides solid, balanced rules. The Wallbreaker-feat is iconic in the extreme and due to the low price, and the lack of crucial glitches/thing to complain about, I’m going to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars.
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