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Suppose you managed to cast True mind switch in a juvenile golden dragon for example. As with a polymorph you don`t get supernatural or spell-like abilities. But then you remain a badass psion in a large dragon body. Imagine, then, that you get enough XP to lvl. Could you, in this case, decide to use that lvl to upgrade your dragon template instead of getting another class lvl, as would be possible if it were a monster player character from the beggining ?

In this case, i have a few questions.

Do you need to wait until you live long enough as a dragon to hit its next age increment (young adult in my example?) before you could expend your next lvl to improve your dragon characteristics?

If so, when you do use the lvl to upgrade dragon traits instead of leveling as a psion, you begin getting dragon supernatural and spell like abilities (including breath) as if you were a wyrmling, even though you`re in a body larger and older?

I assume it to be so, since you`d be learning those things fresh, even though you have an older body. Also, it would prevent you from getting too many abilities while giving out only one lvl.

Another question... Assuming the answer to the first one is that yes, you can give up a lvl to get those supernatural dragon abilities, and that you get them as a wyrmling, my next question would be: since you`re already in a juvenile body, must you wait until you age before you can spend that lvl or can you do it as soon as you get a new lvl, which would allow you to "catch up" to your dragon age. Let me give you an example. If you have a juvenile body, must you wait 25 years until young adult before you can use a lvl getting dragon stuff, and then another 50 before you can do it again (which means your dragon supernatural abilities will be always behind your size physical abilities, or, assuming you managed to lvl several times in that period of time you could choose not to lvl psion several times in order to get your dragon side to actually represent a juvenile dragon in regard to breath weapon spell-like abilities and the likes?

So, in a nutshell, after you true mind switch a dragon, can you spend lvl-ups getting dragon stuff? If so, does it begin as if u were a wyrmling? Must you wait for your dragon body to hit a new age before you can do it? And finally, if not, can you use your new lvls to bring your dragon powers back to the age lvl of the body you possessed with true mind switch?

Thanks a lot for the help, i couldn`t find many answers in the rulebooks for those questions !!!

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Is the [dnd-3e] tag correct? The 3.0 Psionics rules were... atrocious. If that's correct, I strongly recommend using the 3.5 rules from Expanded Psionics Handbook (available for free here). If it's incorrect, you should fix your tag to [dnd-3.5e]. – KRyan Oct 26 '12 at 14:16
I am stymied, as there seems to be no precedence for this. Congratulations sir, your neck is the beardiest ;P – Robobot Oct 26 '12 at 18:38
Yes, my bad, the tag should be D&D 3.5 – Lares Oct 26 '12 at 21:53
@Lares, this question, while it appears to be a good question, is not presented as clearly as it could be. You've got a bunch of questions intermingled with the musings about the scenario you're wondering about... which increases the effort required to work out a good answer. – Simon Withers Oct 27 '12 at 5:03

Taking Dragon HD

I’m reasonably sure you couldn’t find rules for this because Wizards never wrote rules for this.

Personally, I’d rule “no,” since you are not a dragon, you just have the dragon’s body for a while. In dragons’ case in particular, advancement by HD seems to be a matter of it simply aging and coming into their natural powers. Dragons age slowly so on the timescale that most campaigns take place in, I’d rule that the body you have has not aged significantly.

But I’ll admit my reluctance to allow it would be informed in large part by a desire to not have to answer the rest of your questions. Realistically, the rules do not require that a dragon age to Advance by HD within its age category (so a Juvenile Red Dragon with 17 HD could get one more, for 18 HD, without aging at all; moving on to Young Adult, and getting 20 HD, requires aging though). But I probably still wouldn’t allow it.

Since I’m not actually DMing you, though, I’ll give the other questions a shot.

Supernatural Abilities

Definitely not. True mind switch does not let you access those, at all. Your body has the abilities appropriate for its total Racial HD; if you let the original dragon’s mind return to the body, it could use them. But you cannot, because your power does not let you use them.

The concept of starting from the beginning even though you have an older body might work as a houserule (though I tend to doubt it), but it’s definitely not the actual rule anywhere.

Side note, players getting access to creatures’ Supernatural abilities is one of the quickest ways to break a campaign. Polymorph and body swapping effects are immensely powerful (probably the single most powerful “type” of effect), and the lack of Supernatural abilities is one of the few major limitations on it.

It pains me to do so, but I will point out that Assume Supernatural Abilities (Savage Species) does exist. The greater metamorphosis power, the shapechange spell, and the Master of Many Forms prestige class can also get your Supernatural abilities. Even Wizards admitted that these things were broken (Rules Compendium).

Aging Dragons

Here the rules get... a little murky. One of my previous Q&As, Is a Dragonwrought Kobold a True Dragon? addresses this somewhat, and gets into a few of the problems with the rules here.

But long story short, I would say yes, you have to wait. A dragon does not age due to experience, it ages due to time like everything else. There are limits on how many Dragon RHD a dragon of a given age can have. When a dragon ages, it changes into a new creature which has its own base HD and Advancement limits. The formatting in the True Dragon monster entries is a shorthand for fitting all those related creatures into a smaller amount of space, but ultimately they are separate creatures from the rules’ point of view.

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Sorry about that Ilmari, i`m new here ! Will do it properly next time ! – Lares Oct 27 '12 at 11:24

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