Player Characters as Half-Dragons (5e Variant Rule)
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Player characters as Half-Dragons
Rebalancing the Half-Dragon template to be used with a player character, while also giving some extra ideas to gain this “curse” and explaining some of the already-existing ones.
When a dragon in polymorphed form mates with another creature, the union sometimes produces half-dragon offspring. A creature might also transform into a half-dragon as a result of a mad wizard's spell or a ritual bath in dragon's blood. In all these cases, the result is a creature that combines the essence of a dragon with the form of its original race. Regardless of their origins, all half-dragons have similar features and appearance, gaining special senses, resistance to destructive energy, and a breath weapon.
Draconic Nature. Half-dragons are incapable of having natural born offspring. Those that wish to propagate must find other ways to do so, almost always involving magic. By way of compensation, half-dragons are blessed with long life. Barring unforeseen misfortune, a typical half-dragon's life expectancy is twice that of its nondraconic line, so that a half-dragon human might live more than a century and a half.
Half-dragons inherit personality traits common to their draconic heritage, so that half-gold dragons are often shy and secretive, while half-copper dragons are impish and playful. Half-green dragons are deceitful, while half-white dragons are often dim-witted brutes. These traits are tempered by a half-dragon's other lineage, but greed, arrogance, and paranoia are qualities that even good-aligned half-dragons often possess.
Becoming a Half-Dragon
The easiest way to become a half-dragon is by taking a 1 hour bath in dragon blood. You’ll need at least 40 gallons dragon blood to make a decent sized bath. Immediately after you are fully immersed in the pool of blood, dragon scales will grow originating from the spot where you first touched the blood. They expand over your body in the course of 45 minutes, covering your whole body in soft scales. Your feet also turn into those of a dragon, growing claws and losing two toes while gaining one at the back of your feet, although your hands stay relatively the same, only turning to the color of the dragon. After 45 minutes, your head starts to shape into that of a dragon, finishing at the end of the hour.
If you for some reason step out of the pool, the characteristics will fade away in one day. Additionally, a draconic creature is immune to the effects of such a bath.
There are other ways to transform a creature into a half-dragon, but you’ll need to decide with your DM what that may be.
Draconic. You are considered to be a draconic creature, meaning you are resistant to the effects of another bath in dragon blood. You are also unable to have natural born offspring. By way of compensation, you are blessed with long life, doubling your max age.
Resistances. You gain resistance to a type of damage based on its color.
Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy like a Dragonborn. The type of dragon blood you bathed in determines the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation.
When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level.
After you use your breath weapon, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
|Dragon||Damage Type||Breath Weapon|
|Black||Acid||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Blue||Lightning||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Brass||Fire||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Bronze||Lightning||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Copper||Acid||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Gold||Fire||15 ft. cone (Dex. save)|
|Green||Poison||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
|Red||Fire||15 ft. cone (Dex. save)|
|Silver||Cold||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
|White||Cold||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
Languages The player can understand Draconic, but needs to study it like any other language to be able to speak it.