Character Classes


Whether they are bold champions defending the weak and downtrodden, or merciless raiders seeking might and riches, dragonfire adepts are imposing figures who command the magic of dragonkind. Able to call upon a dragon's fiery breath and augment themselves with spell-like abilities, dragonfire adepts have access to powers normally beyond the reach of humanoids.

Dragonfire adepts have no arcane or divine magic, nor are they masters of martial prowess. Instead, they draw upon a direct link with the nature of draconic existence, infusing their soul with the raw magic of dragons. The most obvious incarnation of this link is their breath weapon, but as they gain experience, dragonfire adepts learn powerful invocations that allow them to access different draconic abilities. Cunning, hearty, and learned, dragonfire adepts can be warleaders or sages with equal ease.

A dragonfire adept is a student devoted to understanding the ways of dragons and emulating them. Evil dragonfire adepts are cruel tyrants who impose their will on others, seeking to control land, build strongholds, and amass vast treasures. Good dragonfire adepts are champions of justice and freedom, using their powers to aid others. Like a sorcerer, a dragonfire adept gains new powers automatically as she rises in level, tapping ever deeper into the draconic magic in her soul. Unlike a sorcerer, however, a dragonfire adept manifests this magic not in the form of spells, but as invocations that emulate draconic powers.


A dragonfire adept is a flexible character, able to provide support in combat and aid her allies directly or indirectly. While she lacks the capacity of a fighter or wizard for dealing damage, she is more resistant to magical effects and can use her abilities to make her comrades more effective.

Constitution is critical to a dragonfire adept; it makes her more resilient and affects how well targets can resist her breath weapon attacks. Charisma, her second most important ability, impacts the effectiveness of her invocations. Of course, Dexterity is useful for any character in combat, but this is especially true for a dragonfire adept. She lacks skill with heavy armor, and her magic focuses on offense over defense. Worse, a dragonfire adept has limited range with her breath weapon attacks, forcing her to move closer to combat than a typical arcane spellcaster. A high Dexterity helps mitigate these various defensive drawbacks.

Most dragonfire adepts are humans, elves, or halfelves, since the study of dragonkind is not unlike the study of arcane magic. A surprising number of half-orcs also become dragonfire adepts, seeking either to find a place for themselves or to create one through force. Dwarves are rarely dragonfire adepts because of their ancient enmity with dragonkind. Most halflings and gnomes lack the burning drive needed to take this class.

A dragonfire adept can be of any alignment, though her choice has a strong impact on which dragons she can associate with. Dragonfire adepts often act similarly to dragons of the same alignment; for example, chaotic evil adepts are rapacious hunters of treasure and power, and lawful good adepts are noble defenders of a selected group or territory. Alignment can also influence a dragonfire adept's choice of affinity when taking the Draconic Heritage feat, though no game rule restricts this choice. For example, a lawful good dragonfire adept can select red dragons when taking this feat. Neutral dragonfire adepts are rare, but evil, good, lawful, and chaotic representatives are equally common. The urge to delve into the mysteries of draconic energies comes more easily to those who have strong beliefs and wish to actively pursue them.


You are a student of what is arguably the oldest and most powerful force any mortal can manipulate - the fiery breath of dragons. Remember the nobility and grace of the forces you seek to understand, and act in all ways as you would expect a dragon to act. You are fierce as a friend, terrible as a foe, and confident in all actions. You see the value of treasure, but refuse to be defined or slowed down by what you own. The only improvement worth your time is self-improvement, and you take any opportunity to test yourself against the challenges of the world. You are steadfast in your goals, never allowing your quest for dragonlike powers to eclipse what you want to do with those powers. Your goals are both simple and grand, requiring years or even a lifetime of work - eliminating one entire race of foes, ruling your own kingdom, founding your own school or community, righting an ancient wrong, being acknowledged by true dragons as one of their kind, and so on. Nothing less is worthy of your time.

Most likely, you don't pay much attention to religion, focusing more on dragons than deities. If you do have religious tendencies, you're drawn to the same gods as sorcerers: Wee Jas, Vecna, and Boccob. Dragon deities, including Bahamut and Tiamat, are also popular choices, and you're willing to worship them even in lands where few others do so.

You value study, discipline, and raw power. You get along well with spellcasters of all kinds, especially bards and druids, whom you see as delving into the essence of music or nature much as you delve into the essence of breath weapons. You're similarly impressed with the skill shown by monks and fighters, who have devoted themselves to mastering styles of combat and self-improvement. In fact, you're tolerant of all classes, as long as members of those classes show you respect and have compatible alignments.

You are best served by hitting your foes first and keeping your distance from them. More resilient than a sorcerer, you still lack the defensive power of spellcasters or the armor of fighters, making you vulnerable (especially in melee). However, you need not move close to a foe to deal damage, and you can often catch multiple targets in a breath weapon attack. You are a heavy hitter in your party, but you depend on allies to keep foes from closing with you or focusing on you with ranged attacks.

As you advance, you are well served to invest in breath effects and invocations that have an effect other than dealing damage. If you can't drop a foe in one or two attacks, you can use Sickening Breath, Slow Breath, the frightful presence invocation, or the like to make your opponent less dangerous in a prolonged fight.

You have spent your life trying to learn the secrets of a race older and more powerful than your own. This interest in dragons is more than academic - it has been the motivating force for years of difficult study, practice, and experimentation. Perhaps a dragon's breath weapon once destroyed your home or killed a loved one, and you vowed to gain control of the power that ruined your life. Or perhaps a good dragon used its breath weapon to eliminate an entire horde that otherwise would have raided your homeland. Whatever the case, since the day you first set foot on this path, you've worked to master a magic that is more primal than spells and more likely to provide defense than training with shields and armor.

The invocations you choose strongly shape your abilities. You are heavily invested in combat prowess as a result of the confrontational nature of breath weapons, but you have some flexibility in how you develop your power. If you choose only offensive invocations, you will have few defenses and limited versatility beyond combat, but you'll be devastating even in situations when your breath weapon is not a strong tactical choice. If you focus on other invocations, you will have more options outside a fight, but you might have only area attacks that could accidentally hurt a friend, or you might lack the elemental damage type needed to harm a particular foe.


Dragonfire adepts allow players to take the roles of dragons without eclipsing other characters. A dragonfire adept can serve as a wise sage, a heavy-hitting source of mystic damage, or a crafty ally who confuses and weakens foes with invocations and breath effects. Though its primary abilities are based on familiar game mechanics, this class gives players new options without making other classes obsolete. It also brings dragons to the fore in a campaign, which gives players and Dungeon Masters alike new opportunities.

Dragonfire adepts divide their time between practicing the power of their breath weapon, undertaking study of their arcane invocations, and working to build a strong base of allies and friends. Good-aligned dragonfire adepts defend the weak and frightened, bringing the power of dragons to the aid of those in need. Evil dragonfire adepts chase after more treasure and more power, not caring who they harm in the process. Dragonfire adepts of all alignments remain alert for new sources of draconic lore and investigate likely leads or promising instructors.

Dragonfire adepts know they are constantly struggling to become more like a race other than their own, and they revere figures in history who accomplished this to an amazing degree. Among these notables, dragonfire adepts most commonly speak of Gannon Darkheart and Vorelei Frilltips. Both rose to master the draconic arts so perfectly that they were accepted by true dragons as equals, though not without trials and setbacks.

Gannon was a human of draconic heritage, the blood of black dragons having mixed into his family generations earlier. Though born into the noble life, his avarice and wild temper made him an outcast, and he sought to become more dragonlike to punish his community for spurning him. He had no concern for good or evil and willingly allied with any creature that could help him accomplish his goal. Though not actively evil, Gannon could not be trusted to keep his word or honor any deal or agreement he struck. He focused on the most damaging invocations and breath effects, charging heedlessly into battle under the assumption that he could kill any foe before it had a chance to seriously harm him. Gannon earned his place beside true dragons after defeating the gold dragon Aghutyr in single combat and taking its lair as his own. He established a small kingdom from Aghutyr's tower, slowly changing the surrounding territory into a dread marsh.

By contrast, Vorelei Frilltips began life poor and homeless on the streets of a large elf city, but she had an innate sense of fair play and concern for those in trouble. Her bravery drew the attention of Gaulirden, a silver dragon living incognito in the city. Gaulirden took her under his wing and raised her with his older children. Constantly surrounded by dragons, Vorelei learned their ways and assumed their powers as a means of helping the less fortunate. She was responsible for destroying the Circle of Fire, a vile school for evil wizards, and she gave her life defending a town from a blackguard's army long enough for the innocent to escape. After she fell, a council of good dragons buried her as one of their own, granting her in death an honor she never asked for in life.

If dragonfire adepts are a new element of your campaign, the stories of these notables might refer to legends from the ancient past or tales of dragonfire adepts on other worlds. They could also exist as allegories - stories of fictional figures that all dragonfire adepts use to explore their philosophies and beliefs.

The reactions dragonfire adepts receive from communities are directly tied to how those cultures regard dragons and those who wish to emulate them. Residents who have suffered under the ravages of evil dragons are often fearful of - or hostile to - anyone who walks into town and lights a fireplace with a breath weapon, no matter her alignment. In places where dragons are seen as defenders, or at least neutral sages, dragonfire adepts are more likely to be received as great manipulators of magic similar to sorcerers. Kingdoms in which dragonfire adepts are common are often more savvy in their dealings with the class.

Dwarves are extremely suspicious of dragonfire adepts, viewing them as two-legged versions of the greedy, treasure-loving monsters that often raid their settlements. They are especially doubtful of dwarf dragonfire adepts, who are seen as traitors to their own race.

Sorcerers are drawn strongly to dragonfire adepts because the two classes share a primal link to dragonkind. Monks, however, are often puzzled, branding dragonfire adepts as fools who seek to become something that is at best freakish and at worst monstrous.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research dragonfire adepts to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Dragonfire adepts are manipulators of arcane power who focus on breath weapon abilities.

DC 15: Dragonfire adepts access draconic magic not through the mystic spells of sorcerers but through invocations that give them dragonlike power. Despite this strong connection to magic, they are not spellcasters.

DC 20: Dragonfire adepts can do things with breath weapons that even dragons can't match, allowing them to harm, hamper, or demoralize foes with a range of line and cone effects.


As bottomless sources of arcane damage, dragonfire adepts serve roles similar to those of sorcerers and fighters, though they duplicate the abilities of neither. They also contribute to overall party support, as do bards and clerics, though this is not their primary role. The class should suit players who dislike the bookkeeping that comes with spellcasters but still want to experiment with arcane options and work with other characters to bring down particularly formidable foes.

Though the dragonfire adept class is not more powerful than other standard classes, it allows characters to forge a close connection to one of the most popular elements of the game - dragons. Even if a dragonfire adept never faces other draconic foes, the player gets to call on dragonlike abilities often enough to feel important and special. The DM should make sure that NPCs occasionally react to a character who commands the breath weapon of a dragon with the respect and awe the player is likely to expect.

Generally, dragonfire adepts act similarly to dragons of the same alignment, but they often display the concerns and biases of their own race as well. An elf dragonfire adept can be found defending the forest home of his ancestors, or a half-orc dragonfire adept leading a raiding party into human territories. Rather than devote their lives purely to the draconic, they add their desire to prove their dragonlike nature on top of more typical concerns.

With some work, it's possible to link dragonfire adepts to other powerful mythic creatures instead. Any beast with a breath weapon and a tie to arcane magic can replace the dragon, allowing for winter wolf adepts or similar variants. The class can also be adapted to elemental powers, making them closely related to genies or elemental outsiders.

Dragonfire adept NPCs can take the place of fighters or true dragons in any encounter. At first, the player characters should know them only as leaders and commanders, not rank-and-file flunkies or hirelings. If the class becomes more commonplace in the campaign, the DM can begin adding them to the background of larger groups.

EL 5: Tatiana Flameworthy(LG female human dragonfire adept 5) is a devoted champion of the weak and downtrodden who actively pursues evildoers. A strong believer in vengeance, she is tracking a band of marauding raiders who pose as adventurers. In this quest, she comes upon the PCs, whom she suspects of being the criminals she seeks. Knowing that she is a better bluffer and diplomat than a judge of character, she tries to draw the PCs into a discussion of their goals and recent activities. If they convince her of their innocence, she asks their aid in hunting down the group responsible for the crimes.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The dragonfire adept's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (none), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Dragonfire Adept

Level Base
Special Draconic
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Breath weapon 1d6, Dragontouched, least invocations 1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Breath effect, scales +2 1
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Breath weapon 2d6 2
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Dragonkin 2
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Breath weapon 3d6, breath effect 2
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Damage reduction 2/magic, lesser invocations 3
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Breath weapon 4d6 3
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Scales +3 4
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Breath weapon 5d6 4
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Breath weapon range doubles, breath effect 4
11th +5 +7 +3 +7 Breath weapon 6d6, greater invocations 5
12th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Breath effect 5
13th +6/+1 +8 +4 +8 Scales +4 6
14th +7/+2 +9 +4 +9 Breath weapon 7d6 6
15th +7/+2 +9 +5 +9 Breath effect 6
16th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Damage reduction 5/magic, dark invocations 7
17th +8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Breath weapon 8d6 7
18th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Scales +5 8
19th +9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Immunities 8
20th +10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Breath weapon 9d6, breath effect 8

Table: Dragonfire Adept Breath Effects

Minimum Level Breath Effect Benefit
2nd Frost Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon deals cold damage
2nd Lightning Breath Line-shaped breath weapon deals electricity damage
2nd Sickening Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon sickens creatures
5th Acid Breath Breath weapon deals acid damage
5th Shaped Breath Create safe zones in your breath weapon's area
5th Slow Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon slows creatures
5th Weakening Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon imposes -6 penalty to Strength
10th Cloud Breath Breath weapon can take form of 20-foot radius cloud
10th Enduring Breath Breath weapon deals damage over 2 rounds
10th Sleep Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon puts weak creatures to sleep
10th Thunder Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon deals sonic damage
15th Discorporating Breath of Bahamut Line-shaped breath weapon deals double damage, disintegrates creatures
15th Force Breath Line-shaped breath weapon deals force damage
15th Paralyzing Breath Cone-shaped breath weapon paralyzes creatures for 1 round
15th Fivefold Breath of Tiamat Breathe five different breath weapons simultaneously
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dragonfire adept.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragonfire adepts are proficient with simple weapons, but not with armor or shields. Like arcane spellcasters, a dragonfire adept wearing armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure (all invocations have somatic components).

Invocations: A dragonfire adept has a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and other abilities known as draconic invocations, which allow her to focus the draconic energy that suffuses her soul. A dragonfire adept can use any invocation she knows at will.

A dragonfire adept's invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. To avoid provoking such attacks, a dragonfire adept can use an invocation defensively by making a successful Concentration check. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. If a dragonfire adept is hit by an attack while invoking, she is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use the invocation, just as a spellcaster would be. Her invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. A dragonfire adept's caster level with her invocations is equal to her class level. She can dismiss any invocation as a standard action, just as a wizard can dismiss a spell.

If an invocation allows a saving throw, its DC is 10 + the equivalent spell level + the dragonfire adept's Cha modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not spells, a dragonfire adept cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat or from draconic feats that let her convert or spend an arcane spell slot to produce some other effect. She can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat, as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities.

The four grades of draconic invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A 1st-level dragonfire adept begins with knowledge of one least invocation, gaining access to more invocations and higher grades as she attains levels. At any level when a dragonfire adept learns a new invocation, she can also replace an invocation she already knows with another invocation of the same or lower grade. See Draconic Invocations, below, for a list of available invocations.

Unlike other spell-like abilities, draconic invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency, above.

Finally, just like warlocks, dragonfire adepts can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters. For details, see the Dragonfire Adepts and Prestige Classes sidebar.

Breath Weapon (Su): At 1st level, you gain a breath weapon that you can use at will as a standard action. Each time you use your breath weapon, you can choose whether it takes the form of a 15-foot cone or a 30-foot line. This breath weapon deals 1d6 points of fire damage; a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Con modifier) halves the damage. As you gain levels, your breath weapon's damage increases, as shown on Table: The Dragonfire Adept.

You are immune to the effect of your own breath weapon (but not to other breath weapons that produce similar effects, even those of other dragonfire adepts).

At 10th level, your cone-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 30 feet, and your line-shaped breath weapon's range doubles to 60 feet.

Dragontouched: At 1st level, you gain Dragontouched as a bonus feat.

Breath Effect: At 2nd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 15th, and 20th level, you can select one of the breath effects in Table: Dragonfire Adept Breath Effects for which you meet the minimum level prerequisite. These breath effects can alter your breath weapon's damage type or area, or apply a condition to targets in place of damage. Each time you use your breath weapon, you can choose to apply any one breath effect that you know. The chosen effect either replaces the normal fire damage dealt by your breath weapon or replaces the standard area of your breath weapon. Some effects can be applied only to a cone-shaped breath weapon, and others only to a line-shaped breath weapon. You can't apply more than one breath effect to your breath weapon unless the effect specifically states otherwise. Also, you can't apply the same breath effect to your breath weapon in two consecutive rounds (though you still can use your normal fire breath weapon every round).

Scales (Ex): At 2nd level, your skin becomes thick and scaly, granting you a +2 bonus to your natural armor. The scales can be of any color or metallic hue; they are often (but not always) of a draconic hue that matches your outlook and alignment. This bonus improves to +3 at 8th level, to +4 at 13th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

If you already have a natural armor bonus, use the higher of the two values.

Dragonkin (Ex): At 4th level, you gain a +4 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks made to influence the attitude of dragons or creatures of the dragonblood subtype. You are treated as a dragon for the purpose of determining whether frightful presence can affect you.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 6th level, you gain damage reduction 2/magic. At 16th level, this improves to damage reduction 5/magic.

Immunities (Ex): At 19th level, you gain immunity to paralysis and sleep.


Dragonfire adepts benefit in a specific way from prestige classes that have a level advancement benefit of "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class" or "+1 level of existing spellcasting class." A dragonfire adept taking levels in such a prestige class does not gain any other benefits of that level increase, but she does gain an increased caster level when using her invocations and increased damage with her breath weapon. Levels of prestige classes that provide +1 level of spellcasting effectively stack with the dragonfire adept's level to determine her breath weapon damage and save DC. She also gains new invocations at each prestige class level as though she had risen a level in the dragonfire adept class.

A dragonfire adept cannot qualify for prestige classes (or other game options) with spellcasting level requirements, because she never actually learns to cast spells. However, prestige classes with caster level requirements are allowed - her caster level for her invocations fulfills this requirement. Her spell-like abilities do meet requirements for specific spell knowledge if they mimic the required spell.