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By "Special breath attack" I mean breath weapons with effects you can find in some True Dragons like a sleep gas for brass dragon, a parlyzing effect for the silver dragon etc...

The only way I've found so far (Except playing as a dragon obviously) is the Dragon Breath feat that gives you some non-damaging options for metallic dragons.

Is there a way to obtain them otherwise? No grafts, no template (Half-Dragon/Dragonborn) no feats (As far as I know) seem to give you this option.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for those specific breath weapons (“a brass dragon’s cone of sleep breath weapon,” etc), or just any breath weapon with effects other than damage? Does the breath weapon have to not deal damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 25 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should have been clearer, my apologies. I am looking for those specific breath weapons from True Dragons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ednoc
    Commented May 25 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rather than playing a dragon, is changing form into a dragon okay? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey Can I Chan Thank you for the suggestion, sadly that would be too easy. Not that I am trying to find something difficult to achieve specifically, but Polymorph / Wild Shape into a dragon will not do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ednoc
    Commented May 26 at 9:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I forgot how specific you have to be with 3.5 sometimes, which is my bad. You can get the breath weapon of a dragon with Assume Supernatural Ability while polymorphed. You can get the breath weapon of a dragon with Dragon Wild Shape and that's what I was thinking about. I should have excluded any sort of shape changing ability from my original post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ednoc
    Commented May 26 at 10:07

2 Answers 2

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You found an ideal answer, but for completeness...

(Formerly “Strictly speaking, you cannot, though you can get similar”)

Your answer of the crown of the north wind from Dragons of Faerûn is far superior to anything I have found; I didn’t think there was any match that perfect.

The rest of my answer lists various ways to get something kinda-sorta-almost-like what you wanted. I retain it here since the list may be useful to other readers and for completeness’s sake, and because crown of the north wind requires you start with one of the other breath weapons and this may be useful for accessing those.

Dragon breath spell (paralysis, sleep, slow)

Dragon breath is a 5th-level sor/wiz spell from Spell Compendium. Your question suggests that you have already found this—you refer to it as a feat, but it’s actually a 5th-level spell. (There is also a feat named “Dragon Breath,” but that just lets a half-dragon use their breath weapon more often; not relevant here.) Anyway, cast a 5th-level spell, and for caster level rounds, you can breathe something that mimics the one of the non-damaging breaths associated with brass, copper, or silver dragons once every 1d4 rounds. They’re all effectively the wyrmling versions, 15-foot cones that last 1d6 rounds (actually, even a silver wyrmling has a better range than that). You cannot get the repulsion breath of bronze dragons or the weakening breath of gold dragons from this spell, nor other effects from more exotic true dragons from outside the Monster Manual. You can get acid, cold, fire, and electricity breath from this spell, so it’s also good in conjunction with crown of the north wind.

In terms of raw power, dragon breath is probably the strongest approach to getting a breath weapon. That’s because having it means you’re a sorcerer or wizard who can cast 5th-level spells, and that’s a very good thing to be. Dragon breath won’t really be the best spell you could learn or cast, but you’re so powerful that you can almost always afford to goof around a little anyway.

Dragonfire adept base class (paralysis, sleep, slow, weaken)

Dragon breath is powerful mostly because having it means you’re a powerful sorcerer or wizard. The spell itself is only so-so. It’s also not available for half the levels in the game. For focusing on breath weapons from 1st level, dragonfire adept from Dragon Magic is the best option.

Dragonfire adepts get a variety of breath attacks, and some other dragon-y magic powers that they can use at will. Notably, it has options for sickening breath, slow breath, weakening breath, sleep breath, and paralyzing breath, all of which do no damage and cover the non-damaging breath weapons of brass, copper, gold, and silver dragons. The repulsion breath of bronze dragons does not seem to be available to dragonfire adepts, nor do the breath weapons of more exotic dragons, like the battle dragon’s fear breath weapon or the chaos dragon’s confusion breath weapon.

The dragonfire adept also has options to get acid, cold, and electricity breath as early as 5th (though you’ll have to choose two out of three until 10th), making it a good platform for crown of the north wind. You’ll have to talk to your DM about your effective draconic age category for the breath weapon, and whether you can combine it with cloud breath and shaped breath.

Breath (entangle, immunity, wall) and metabreath feats (wind)

It’s also worth noting that there are breath feats in Races of the Dragon and metabreath feats in Draconomicon. Those can modify a breath weapon with special effects. There are very few of these, and the metabreath feats arguably don’t work on dragonfire adept breaths (they modify a breath weapon’s cooldown, which dragonfire adept breath attacks don’t really have), but really the only one of those relevant to this question is Tempest Breath (which would add a shoving wind effect to a breath weapon). On the Races of the Dragon breath feat side, which definitely work, we have Entangling Exhalation, Exhaled Barrier, and Exhaled Immunity. Entangling Exhalation is easily, far-and-away, the best feat a dragonfire adept can take and basically every dragonfire adept ever should take it. And all of these (including Tempest Breath) work with dragon breath.

Breath flare et al. (blind, dazzle, deafen, energy drain, rebuke, stun)

Draconimicon and Spell Compendium have a series of spells that can modify a breath weapon in a manner somewhat similar to breath or metabreath feats, and allow you to add non-damaging effects:

  • Breath flare, sor/wiz 1, which makes a fire-or-electricity breath weapon also dazzle foes.
  • Blinding breath, sor/wiz 4, which is like breath flare except it’s blinding rather than dazzling.
  • Rebuking breath, sor/wiz 4, which makes undead you breathe upon cower in awe.
  • Dispelling breath, sor/wiz 5, basically adds the area-targeting version of dispel magic to your breath weapon.
  • Stunning breath, sor/wiz 5, only applies to damaging breath weapons, causing them to also stun creatures for 1 round.
  • Deafening breath, sor/wiz 9 (!), which doubles your breath weapon’s damage (with the additional damage being sonic), and causes it to permanently deafen targets.
  • Enervating breath, sor/wiz 9, causes your breath weapon to also apply 2d4 negative levels to targets.

Other options that don’t fit so well (paralysis, slow, teleport, wind)

Beyond those, there are tons of other options for dragon-themed breath weapons, including dragon shaman (Player’s Handbook II; bad) or dragon disciple (Dungeon Master’s Guide; arguably worse). None of these, however, seem to do anything but damage (again, barring the use of breath or metabreath feats).

And without class levels, there’s nothing all that close to what you want.

  • Draconic Breath from Complete Arcane or Races of the Dragon lets a sorcerer (or non-sorcerer arcanist with Dragontouched from Dragon Magic) turn spell slots into breath weapon attacks. Only does pure damage, so not relevant here, and it’s pretty awful to boot. Probably incompatible with metabreath feats for the same reason as dragonfire adept’s breath weapons.

  • Channel the dragon from Dragon Magic is an awful, awful spell. It’s basically the same effect as dragon breath, except:

    • It’s a 7th-level wu jen spell instead of a 5th-level sor/wiz spell.
    • It has far fewer breath weapon types available, so there’s no sleep breath (or electricity breath).
    • Which breath weapon you get is locked in by your “favored element”—with no indication of what that is. It’s presumably referring to the wu jen’s elemental mastery feature? which not all wu jen even have, since you don’t get it until wu jen 6th and you might have taken a prestige class?
    • You also get a minor defensive benefit for as long as the spell lasts. This is not remotely worth the higher spell level or the restrictions on which breath weapon you can use, never mind both of those flaws.

    Clearly, there is no reason anyone should ever take this spell. Dragon breath should, per Spell Compendium pg. 3, be ruled a “wu jen (all)” spell, without any special limitation on which breaths one can use, and everyone should ignore that channel the dragon even exists.

  • Blowhard from Savage Species gives a Huge or larger creature a breath weapon that creates a cone of wind that can shove creatures, but it’s not particularly draconic. Again, probably incompatible with metabreath feats.

  • Firestride exhalation is just a normal fire-damage breath weapon, except you also get to teleport somewhere into the area breathed upon. Kind of neat, and that is technically a non-damaging aspect, but not actually good.

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Crown of the North Wind, Dragons of Faerûn, pg 126.

A crown of the north wind provides a +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma and radiates a continuous cloak of bravery effect when worn. (The latter effect can be consciously dismissed or resumed as a standard action.)

If the crown-wearer has an energy breath weapon (acid, cold, fire, or lightning), the crown allows the wearer to substitute the secondary breath weapon of a metallic dragon, as follows:

Cone or Line of: Becomes a Cone of:
Acid Slow gas (as copper)
Cold Paralyzing gas (as silver)
Fire Sleep (as brass) or weakening gas (as gold)
Lightning Repulsion gas (as bronze)

(emphasis mine)

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    \$\begingroup\$ An excellent find. Kudos, that is extremely obscure, and a shockingly perfect fit. Overpriced, but at least the effect is as good as you could want. I am adding a note to my answer directing readers to this one, but I’ll do it as just a link so hopefully people come down here and upvote. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth noting (and possibly adding to your answer) that the enhancement bonus is worth 4,000 gp, and the guidelines suggest the cloak of bravery effect would cost 45,000 gp, so arguably the breath weapon effect is 21,000 gp on its own. This kind of analysis is suspect in general, but those numbers seem reasonable to me here, for this specific item. 21,000 gp is a far more reasonable price for this effect in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your editing. The funny part is, I had this item on my notes from... Months ago... Before I was looking specificially for this kindof effect and I came by the item reading my old notes. So, unconsciously I knew there was something like that but couldn't find it. And yes, Dragons of Faerûn is not the most well known book. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ednoc
    Commented May 31 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, too late to edit my comment, but my numbers were wrong: the cloak of bravery effect is, technically, per the guidelines, 72,000 gp, because the crown is CL 8th. This obviously doesn’t work out, since the crown itself is 70,000 gp, so the math would work out to the breath weapon effect being −6,000 gp (to also account for the enhancement bonus). Obviously not reasonable. I still think 21k is. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31 at 17:09

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