Draconian

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Version 0.13: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This article covers the player species. For the monster, see Draconian (monster). For a list of all monstrous draconians, see List of draconians.

Draconians are human-dragon hybrids: humanoid in form and approximately human-sized, with wings, tails and scaly skins. Draconians start out in an immature form with brown scales, but as they grow in power they take on a variety of colours. This happens at an early stage in their career, and the colour is determined by chromosomes, not by behaviour.

Some types of Draconians have breath weapons or special resistances. Draconians cannot wear body armour and advance very slowly in levels, but are reasonably good at all skills other than missile weapons. Still, each colour has its own strengths and some have complementary weaknesses, which sometimes requires a bit of flexibility on the part of the player.

Contents

Innate Abilities

  • Draconians have an auxiliary tail-slap attack.
  • Draconians' wings and oddly-shaped heads prevent them from wearing helmets and any form of body armour.
  • Draconian scales are tough and provide AC+4 at start, with an additional +1 AC every 3rd level.
  • Draconians are cold-blooded, meaning certain cold-based attacks will slow them down.
  • Dragon Form functions differently for draconians. They have better AC, and retain their innate resistances, color, and breath weapon.

Draconians have a base Strength of 10, Intelligence of 8 and Dexterity of 6 (before Background modifiers).

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • Mature color is attained at level 7 (changing aptitudes and intrinsic characteristics). See below for more detail. Some colors get another bonus at Level 14.
  • +1 to a random stat every 4th level.
  • 10% more HP than average.
  • Average MP.
  • +3 magic resistance per level (+6 for purple Draconians).
  • +1 AC every 3rd level as scales continue to harden.

Difficulty of Play

EasyModerateHard

Draconians are a relatively easy race to play due to their useful intrinsic characteristics and above average HP. Although they cannot wear body armour, they start with +4 AC, and get an additional +1 AC every third level, for a total of +13 AC at level 27. (Grey Draconians get an additional +5 AC at level 7, giving them an innate +18 AC at level 27.) Most Draconians receive breath attacks at level 7, which provide a powerful ranged option early in the game, or, in the case of Pale Draconians, the ability to block line of sight (LOS) with steam, a very desirable power due to the fact that LOS is reciprocal in Crawl.

Draconian aptitudes are average or above average across the board, meaning that they can do well in most backgrounds, although they tend to do particularly well as backgrounds that start with a book. Certain colours will receive a somewhat poor aptitude (-2) to one elemental school; in most cases, this does not majorly affect game play.

Draconians are cold-blooded, which means that cold-based attacks can give them the slow status. Having at least one pip of cold protection (rC) will protect you from this effect.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour N/A Spellcasting -1
Short Blades 0 Dodging -1 Conjurations 0
Long Blades 0 Stealth 0 Hexes -1
Axes 0 Shields 0 Charms -1
Maces & Flails 0 Summonings 0
Polearms 0 Necromancy 0
Staves 0 Translocations 0
Unarmed Combat 0 Transmutation 0
Fire Magic 0
Throwing -1 Ice Magic 0 Invocations 1
Slings -1 Air Magic 0 Evocations 0
Bows -1 Earth Magic 0
Crossbows -1 Poison Magic 0 Experience -1

Colors

Draconians start at an immature brown with no special abilities, and reach their mature color at level 7. They receive a breath attack, resistances, and an adjustment to their aptitudes which will retroactively adjust their skill levels.

Red

  • Skills: +2 Fire Magic, -2 Ice Magic
  • Resists: rF+
  • Breath: A bolt of flame that leaves a cloud of flame at the end of its range. (Can be aimed at the ground with [.])
Red Draconians feel at home in fiery surroundings. They are bad with ice magic but very proficient with fire. Their scorchingly hot breath will leave a lingering cloud of flame.

White

  • Skills: +2 Ice Magic, -2 Fire Magic
  • Resists: rC+ (negates effects of being cold-blooded)
  • Breath: A bolt of frost that knocks back flying monsters.
White Draconians stem from frost-bitten lands, and are naturally resistant to frost. Their breath is piercing cold. They are versed in ice magic, but bad at fire.

Green

Green Draconians are used to venomous surroundings and breathe clouds of mephitic vapours. They are especially good in the arts of poison and without deficiencies in other magic realms. Later on, they will develop a poisonous stinger.

Yellow

Yellow Draconians have a sulphurous breath full of corrosive acid, and later gain an acidic bite attack. They are acid resistant, too.

Grey

  • Skills: +2 Earth Magic, -2 Air Magic
  • Resists: Immediate +5 to AC; does not need to breathe, and is thus immune to drowning and noxious fumes and resistant to asphyxiation.
  • Movement: Amphibious (Can enter deep water and will ignore penalties from water other than reduced movement speed)
Grey Draconians have no breath weapon, but also no need to breathe in order to live, which helps them survive in deep water. They are proficient with earth magic but bad with air magic, and also have harder scales than other Draconians.

Black

  • Skills: +2 Air Magic, -2 Earth Magic
  • Resists: rElec
  • Breath: Wild explosions of lightning, mixing lightning bolts and orbs (powerful but uncontrollable).
  • Movement: Gains big wings at level 14. Unlike other draconians, they may also remain permanently airborne, much like powerful tengu.
Black Draconians can unleash huge electrical discharges, and are naturally insulated. They are good at air magic but feel cumbersome with earth magic. Their wings will eventually grow larger, which allows them to fly continuously when combined with their natural skill with air magic.

Purple

Purple Draconians are highly adapted to all spellcasting in general, and to hexes and charms in particular. They are a bit better at evoking things than most other Draconians. They can breathe dispelling energy which strips those it hits of their enchantments.

Mottled

  • Skills: +1 Fire Magic
  • Resists: Sticky Flame
  • Breath: Sticky Flame against an adjacent monster (though it may splash onto more than one target).
Mottled Draconians are somewhat in touch with fire, yet are not weak with ice. They can spit globs of sticky flame a short distance.

Pale

  • Skills: +1 Fire Magic, +1 Air Magic, +1 Evocations
  • Resists: rSteam
  • Breath: Steam clouds, which do little damage but block LOS.
Pale Draconians are better at air and fire magic, and have no deficiencies in other schools. They breathe steam and, like their Purple cousins, have a slight advantage at Evocations.

Mature player ghost draconians always have a negative energy breath weapon similar to a Bolt of Draining. In addition to the usual undead resistances, they will also retain whatever resistance their color gave them.

Strategy

Draconians are a versatile species, but perhaps they excel most as backgrounds that start with a book, as their good HP, innate AC, and (for most) breath attack all combine to give a high level of survivability, along with good all around aptitudes, including in all skills associated with magic. Thus Conjurer, Summoner, and Wizard are strong starts with Draconians, as are all of the elementalist backgrounds.

Transmuter is also a strong choice; the encumbrance level of armour penalizes Unarmed Combat much more so than other kinds of melee, so getting innate AC without body armour is a benefit here. Moreover, Draconians' tails give them an auxiliary attack from the start, and the breath attack that most colours get at level 7 brings a welcome bit of ranged combat ability to the transmuter. However, any of the recommended starts are good, and even some of the backgrounds that are "not recommended," such as Hunter, Warper, and Assassin, actually play quite well for Draconians.

History

Prior to 0.7, grey draconians got better stats to make up for their lack of a breath attack.

Prior to 0.10, draconians had access to any body armour that could fit large species, but could not wear boots or gloves.

Prior to 0.11, grey draconians were elementally neutral, receiving bonuses to Stealth and Stabbing in place of the Earth Magic boost, and they did not gain the +5 bonus to AC. Yellow draconians only had rAcid (not rCorr).

As of 0.12, all draconians are considered cold-blooded.

Species
HumanHigh ElfDeep ElfDeep DwarfHill OrcHalflingKoboldSprigganOgreTrollNagaCentaurMerfolkMinotaurTenguDraconianGargoyleFormicidVine StalkerDemigodDemonspawnMummyGhoulVampireFelidOctopode