Draconic Exemplar is a Racial Paragon Class for the dragonlike Taninim Race by Rite.

One of the Draconic Gifts is

Humanoid Form (Su): The draconic exemplar can assume a specific humanoid form of the same sex, chosen when this gift is first learned. The draconic exemplar always takes this specific form when using this ability. All dracomorphosis benefits plus all extraordinary or supernatural draconic defenses, draconic gifts and draconic weaponry are considered form-dependent abilities and cannot be used in humanoid form. This ability otherwise functions as the alter self spell except that the draconic exemplar does not gain the spell's size bonus to his ability scores and can remain in the humanoid form indefinitely. This ability can be used 3 times per day.

With changing shape (which functions similar to a kitsunes ability) it is crystal clear that at least some of the abilities of the dragon disappear: Scaled hide, wings, claws, Breath Weapon...

But a Taninim has also other abilities where I'm not sure about. They got darkvision, lowlight vision and also enhanced senses (+2 to perception and sense motive). Later on they can get spell resistance and scent abilities.

What is with these 4 abilities and others like them? Do they stay or also go?

As an addon to this as "draconic gifts" are not available in humanoid form does this mean that:

  • The dragon cannot use spells in humanoid form (if he has only the racial paragon class with the gift that allows him to cast sorcerer spells)
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure which ability you are referring to. There's no shapechanging abilities listed for the Taninim Race. Could you provide a link to the ability you are referring to? \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will do so when I'm home it is human form from the gift section of the dragon paragon class. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I edited the ability into the question for you. I'll see what I can find out about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you there. I'll edit a part of the question myself (as the gift part is intriguing me there....had overread the gift part so far) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


The ability acts like Alter Self where not mentioned otherwise, which means it's a polymorph effect:

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Emphasis mine. Enhanced senses are explicitly listed as form-dependent (You lose your good eyes and nose). Note also that some abilities are explicitly mentioned as not carrying over due to being form-dependent, so the ability itself does not overrule this part of polymorph.

On the other hand, Alter Self, like most (if not all) polymorph effects, does not change your creature type. You merely assume the form of a humanoid, which means you retain the dragon type, including the racial traits

  • Darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.
  • Immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis effects.

So you might retain part of your enhanced vision after all. But definitely not Scent or Keen Senses.

Natural Sorcery is a draconic gift and is explicitly called form-dependent by the Human Form ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm does the sleep resistancy then also depend on form? (btw will mark your answer as the solving one in 1-2 days currently waiting on an answer from rite publishing if that is how it was planed by them to be (the sorcerer part only in dragon form feels strange but as you said rules are there that way, so will mark the answer as soon as I know if it is as rite intended it to be or if they are going to change the text a bit there and tnx a lot there!)) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 13, 2014 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. That's actually a good catch right there. Sleep immunity is part of the dragon creature type, which you do retain under most (if not all) polymorph spells. In that sense, so is darkvision and low-light vision... I will edit my answer to reflect this. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 13, 2014 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ tnx. Although on that not sure about polymorph and alter. Does he still count as a dragon in any regards while in human form? (and like I said will mark your answer as the solving one as soon as I receive the answer from rite if it is as planed or if they are changing the texts) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 13, 2014 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Soo I got an answer from russel (Rite publishing) about how the points where meant to be: Spatial awareness is not form based (that is why it is not called keen senses according to his mail). The dragon immunities are not form based (thus the sleep and paralysis effects). animal form and humanoid form are to be treated as the same gift thus if you take on one of them you can switch into the other without having to transform back into a dragon in between. Natural sorcery IS intended to be form dependent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 14, 2014 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Movement, darkvision, low-light vision, natural armor, natural weapons, dexterous claws, glide and unfettered predator traits are form dependent and lost while in humanoid/animal form. (darkvision and low light vision I was surprised there as like MrLemon mentioned they are part of the dragon template) @MrLemon shall I include the infos in an answer of my own or do you want the whole text to modify your answer? (yours is still complete there like I mentioned before) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 14, 2014 at 8:04

MrLemon did a quite good answer there to my question. As a few implications of what he wrote felt strange to me. What he wrote was as written in the book so it is correct, but it felt strange in regards to how the dragons seemed to be so I asked the producers (ritepublishing) if that is how they had planed it or not).

The answer was as follows:

  • Movement, Dark vision, low light vision, natural armor, naturl weapons, dexterous claws, glide, unfettered predator are form dependent and thus are not available outside of the dragon form.
  • Spatial sense skill bonuses (perception and sense motive bonus) are NOT form dependent and are thus available in every form. The same goes for the sleep and paralysis resistances.
  • Animal form and Human form: These two are "subgifts" of the same gift. Thus if you have human form active you can activate animal form and vice versa.
  • Natural sorcery is supressed in animal form / human form (thus it is form dependent and only useable in dragon form).

So in total MrLemon s answer was correct for the rules as written but a few things were meant from teh publisher slightly differentl than how they were written.


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