Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Dragonborn for your Old School Tastes.

Well, haven't been creating for a bit. After the winter 'break' of entertaining myself during flight cancellations, I started a new job. While still burned out from the last one. So it's been an adjustment, retooling myself to a different clientele and returning to a business sector I haven't worked in for a few years. And having to commute more than 20 feet. The Horror.

So my brain has not been in a creative space. I owe a review, and I have a couple of notebook pages of a mini-adventure outlined out. But that's all that's been rattling around up there, mostly.

Ok, get to work, you. 

Character class revisions and reinterpretations are always fun. So let's return to the Dragonborn. I previously ginned one up for The Black Hack, but realized that I hadn't modded up the race for the B/X-OSE rulesets. An obvious oversight.


Daniel of Bandit's Keep allowed a dragonborn into a recent B/X one-shot - essentially a retooled elf that could cast "spells" via their breath.  A creative, quick-and-dirty reskin. Always appropriate.

And I know that the race has turned up in other old-school character class works and blogs. But where's the fun in using someone else's interpretation, when I can cobble something together out of my own feeble brain?

Ok. The obvious stuff - natural armor, and the breath weapon. Old-school dragons get three uses a day, so does our scaly fellow. Like the Black Hack version, I kept it to six colors, selectable by a d6. Breath ranges are about a third (+/-) of an 'actual' dragon (but somewhat greater than their 5e counterpart). Damage is modest, similar to a missile or melee weapon, but it slowly scales with level. 

A couple of "color" details for the race - I interpreted them as tough, rather than strong, adding a minimum CON. Their appearance and aura gives them the ability to boost the morale of allies, and harm that of foes (a nod to the CHA bonus of the Newer Edition). And a little touch from the standard dragon monster listings - all the colors have at least a chance to cast spells, so our B/X dragonborn gets a random 1st level spell.

And they can talk to dragons. Duh.


And for consistency's sake, my interpretation for the 1e/OSRIC/Advanced Fantasy variant. The general mechanics are as per the Basic version above. Classes are fighter, of course, as well as magic-use and cleric, to keep the theme of the dragonborns' connection to a magical heritage. And let's give them the paladin, as well, since the idea of an honorable (but hopefully not lawful-stupid) warrior from some distant land is a good fit.


Ok, that's it for now - more to come. Be well, all.


  1. 3x a day is pretty strong. I like it a lot tho! I'll probs just make the breath weapon a little more "incidental vestigial ability" and less "Dragon Breath yo." Then again I like my campaigns a lil more gritty with awesome magic thrown in.

    1. Thanks for taking a look. Yeah, most of these creations are thought experiments in fitting other classes/species to the B/X mold. And always open to reinterpretations.