Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am playing the Draconic Racial Class (Races of the Dragon pg. 70) and would like to take the Necropolitan template (Libris Mortis pg. 114). May I do so in between the second and third levels of the racial class (when you take the second level you are required to take the third as your next level)? Does this result in a half-dragon necropolitan?

share|improve this question

Yes and Yes-sort-of

Necropolitan is a template that can be added to any Humanoid or Monstrous Humandoid, and the draconic racial class does not change your type to Dragon until third level. Moreover, because Necropolitan has LA +0, it cannot constitute “your next level” for the requirement that the third level of Draconic immediately follow the second. In fact, Necropolitan involves losing a level, which means you actually lose the second level of Draconic. You may still take it when you regain the level, and then the level following that must be the final level, completing the Half-dragon template.

At the end of this process, you will be a Half-dragon Necropolitan X, where X is your base race. Your type and subtype will be Dragon (Augmented Undead, Augmented Humanoid [or Monstrous Humanoid]), you will have all the benefits of the Half-dragon template, as given to you by the Draconic racial class, and you will have the special qualities of the Necropolitan template.

Note, however, that Necropolitan does exceptionally little for you excepting that it turns your type to Undead. When you then gain the final level of Draconic, your type becomes Dragon, eliminating the benefits of the Undead type. Thus, you are losing a level for just these things:

  • Turn resistance – almost-certainly won’t matter, but there’s probably a domain or prestige class out there that has Turn or Rebuke Dragon; if so, the Turn Resistance would still apply to that.
  • Resistance to control undead – but you are no longer a valid target for that spell anyway.
  • Unnatural resilience – which just lets you heal as if you were alive... which you are. It then blocks the Heal skill and allows you to heal from negative energy, which are probably just reprintings of those traits from the Undead type but an argument can be made that you keep them. You could get the heal-from-negative-energy thing much more easily by taking Tomb-Tainted Soul, a feat also in Libris Mortis.

This strikes me as very much not worth it. Unfortunately, you cannot reverse the order to get an Undead (Augmented Dragon, Augmented Humanoid) creature, because Necropolitan cannot be applied to creatures with the Dragon type.

Also note that your DM is very likely to houserule this situation. The fact that you could not apply Half-dragon to a Necropolitan (“‘Half-dragon’ is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature”) and you could not apply Necropolitan to a Half-dragon (“‘Necropolitan’ is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid or monstrous humanoid”) is a very good reason for a DM to nix this combination. The only reason it works because you apply Necropolitan halfway through applying Half-dragon using a sidebar variant that failed to specifically spell out that it can only be applied to a creature that you can apply Half-dragon to. If he does allow it, I would expect him to houserule some of the interaction because it doesn’t really make sense for you to undergo the Ritual of Crucimigration and become undead, only to somehow come back to life as the Dragon type (though frankly a pretty freaking awesome plot along those lines could definitely be possible).

All that said, I really would strongly suggest using a different method for becoming “dragony.” Draconic is kind of meh and Half-dragon is quite weak. Personally, I strongly suggest that you just take levels in the Dragonfire Adept class from Dragon Magic, it does a very good job of allowing you to have dragon traits (Draconic subtype, breath weapon, flight, etc) without the problems that the LA system causes.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 answered this question beautifully, and gave other possible solutions – kleinschmidt Dec 9 '13 at 17:23

No. The templates conflict.

First, the transformation to a Necropolitan.

To successfully complete the Ritual of Crucimigration, you must be at least 3rd level. (I wanted to say "to survive..." but technically, you don't, so yeah.)

Necropolitan requires that you "lose a level", and also that you "pay" 1000 xp during the process. If the loss of xp reduces you to 0xp or less, then the ritual fails, and you are just dead, not undead.

Losing a level places you halfway between the level you had, and the one below it. (DMG, p296)

If a 2nd level character attempts this, losing the level places them at 500xp. Losing 1000 xp more will cause great problems, and the ritual will fail.

At 3rd level, losing the level places you at 2000 xp, and paying the extra 1000 brings you down to 1000 xp, just enough to keep 2nd level.

The text for the ritual actually states that if losing the 1000 xp would cause you to lose another level then you do. However, as you see above, there is not actually any level at which the ritual could both succeed and still cost 2 levels.


Now the Draconic racial class.

At first level, you take a normal level, but declare your intent, and get a couple of small bonuses.

At second level, you must take the first level of the Draconic racial class. This gives you the "dragonblooded" subtype, among other bonuses. Animals will become "magical beasts" instead, but they couldn't qualify to become Necropolitan anyway, so aren't terribly relevant. Other creatures keep their base type.

Any time after 2nd level, you may choose to continue your advancement in the Draconic racial class. You could choose to do this at 3rd level, or you could wait. The example listed is of a 4th level character. Whenever you do choose to do this, you must spend the next 2 levels taking this racial class.

When you do choose to advance in the Draconic racial class, you will gain the Half-Dragon template (MM p146). This template "is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature" (emphasis mine).


So it is possible to start as a Draconic character, and take the first level of the racial class, then progress into an alternate class (which you then lose again due to the level loss), and participate in the Ritual of Crucimigration .

However, this now makes you Undead, no longer living. You no longer qualify to take the Half-dragon template.

Arguably, your DM might allow you to still take the racial class levels and only deny you the half-dragon template on the final level. However at that point, it seems like you're losing a majority of the powers and abilities that made the class worthwhile to go into, so why bother?

Alternately, you could complete the Draconic racial class, and get the half-dragon template, however now your type is "Dragon", and the Necropolitan template can only be applied to humanoids or monstrous humanoids.

Whichever path you take, it prevents you from taking the other.

That said, a Dracolich is a thing, so there's definitely ways to make it work...

share|improve this answer
    
The templates conflict, but the template class for half-dragon doesn’t. – KRyan Jul 22 at 15:16
    
Right, but the the class is basically "upgrading your draconic template to the half-dragon template." Additionally the abilities described in the class refer to "From the half-dragon template." I see the point you're making, in that the character doesn't apply the half-dragon template all at once, but in the end the effect is the same as having the template applied. – tzxAzrael Jul 22 at 15:28
    
Yes, except that the rules don’t specify that the template class gets interrupted like that—actually, they don’t specify that you need to qualify for the template to take the class at all in the first place. And they need to, inserting that sanity into the rules when the rules lack it makes your answer inaccurate. The rules should say something like, but they don’t, and the question asked is what the rules say. I don’t think my answer fails to point out how this is ridiculous and deserving of houserule. – KRyan Jul 22 at 15:33
    
Another artifact of each separate product being treated independently, rather than as a part of a whole. Can't count how many times I've thought it would be great if someone just threw money at Wizards for the license to all of 3.x, to do all the editing much of it badly needs. ahem But anyway! Again I see what you're saying. But the Draconic class says (paraphrased) "you are getting [this] template." And the template says "You must be [this] to qualify." Like we both mentioned in our answers, it will really come down to the DM's ruling for what goes at their own table. – tzxAzrael Jul 22 at 15:44

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.