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I am currently trying to make a Warforged Bard, and wanted to give him the Dragonfire Inspiration Feat to trade +X Atk and +X Dmg for +Xd6 dmg. However, this requires me to have 11 Cha (No problem) and the Dragonblood sybtype. I did some research, and by RAW there are some pretty simple ways to get the Dragonblood Subtype: Dragontouched Feat, Draconic Creature Template, etc. Again, by RAW, I couldn’t find anything indicating a Warforged could not make use of these options.

But from a purely logical RP sense, how could this be possible? How could the aforementioned methods (or other methods) work for a Warforged, fluffwise? Strictly IC, how could my Warforged have/get Dragonblood?

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Dragonborn of Bahamut

The traditional (cheesy) approach is to use the dragonborn template from Races of the Dragon. Dragonborn is an LA +0 acquired template, not inherited, and can apply to warforged. It replaces most racial traits with those of dragonborn. Dragonborn are Humanoid (dragonblood).

The fact that dragonborn is an acquired template is what’s important here: a creature becomes dragonborn by undergoing the Rite of Rebirth, described in Races of the Dragon, a special ritual in which the creature dedicates him- or herself to Bahamut and is “reborn” as a dragonborn. Thus, no draconic ancestry is expected or desired for becoming a dragonborn. As a living creature, albeit odd ones, warforged would appear to be acceptable for this (and it definitely works RAW).

Warforged souls?

This does, however, touch on one of the great “mysteries” of Eberron, things the developers explicitly did not answer, leaving it for the DM to decide for him- or herself, and for the players to discover over the course of play. Specifically, the question of whether or not warforged have souls: Eberron Campaign Setting will not answer that question for you. Since becoming dragonborn is a very religious, spiritual exercise, lacking a soul would arguably prevent warforged from completing it. So if, in your DM’s game, warforged lack souls, the dragonborn template may be unavailable. (Even if they do have souls, there could still be an incompatibility, of course.)

Personally, I tend to rule that warforged do have souls, but if I were already planning a campaign where they do not, I would probably not tell the warforged, or tell him he can’t attempt the Rite of Rebirth: I would probably have the Rite fail, and that be an interesting dilemma for the warforged in question (was he not good enough? or can warforged simply not do it?).

Balance concerns

It should also be mentioned that there is a balance concern with dragonborn warforged; I labeled it cheesy for a reason. It’s cheesy because one of the things dragonborn doesn’t replace is subtypes; this means a dragonborn elf is Humanoid (dragonblood, elf), and a dragonborn warforged is Humanoid (dragonblood, living construct). The living construct subtype is the source of almost-all of a warforged’s benefits, making the dragonborn warforged race extremely strong.

It’s not necessarily the best race always and forever, so it’s not necessarily “broken” or “overpowered,” but it is definitely and distinctly superior to 99% of races; dragonborn and warforged were already some of the better options, and the combination puts in the company of things like dragonwrought kobolds, lesser aasimar, and strongheart halflings.

If you are interested in becoming dragonborn because the concept of a dragonborn warforged sounds cool to you, and the way it hints at one of the great mysteries of Eberron interests you, your DM may wish to tone down what living construct does for a dragonborn warforged (eliminating it entirely, on the other hand, basically makes you no longer warforged at all, and defeats the purpose of the exercise).

Other options

Aside from dragonborn, the cheapest option is the Dragontouched feat from Dragon Magic. Its only requirement is 11 Charisma, and grants the dragonblood subtype along with a smattering of other tiny bonuses. It explicitly can reflect a spiritual connection to dragons, rather than an issue of heredity.

Most other options are hereditary, and, well, bad—they involve level adjustment, and that’s just categorically not worth it. One exception, ish, springs to mind though: dragon disciple grants the half-dragon template to someone who wasn’t born with it. Dragon disciple isn’t a great class, but it would work here, and it’s arguably a better option than taking half-dragon’s (or draconic’s) level adjustment. There are a lot of homebrew improvements to dragon disciple out there, too.

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Most ways of obtaining the Dragonblood Subtype involve having a Dragon somewhere is your family-tree. Such is obviously the case with the Half-Dragon template (One parent is a Dragon), the Dragon Heritage feat (Have a draconic heritage, duh) and many others. But the Dragontouched Feat says:

You have a trace of draconic power, a result of dragons in your ancestry or a spiritual connection between you and the forces of dragon kind.

This implies that you do not need any Dragon ancestors. However, if it is even possible for Warforged to have a spiritual connection to anything could be the topic of a discussion of its own. Personally, since they can become Clerics and Psions (and the latter is even encouraged with the Psi-forged feat) I would argue that a “spiritual Connection between you and the forces of Dragon kind” would be within the realm of possibility.

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I am assuming that you are creating a character from scratch rather than adding traits to an existing character.

The materials that the character might be made out of could be non-standard.

  • The wooden portion could be made from wood infused with dragon blood or replaced with carved dragon bone.
  • Metal plates could have patterns that were etched with a mixture of dragon acid and blood or could be replaced or supplemented with dragon scales.
  • Internal cables and connections could be created from dragon sinews or leather.
  • Crystalline portions could very well have dragon shards as part or all of it.
  • As an extension of @KRyan's post, perhaps the animating force behind this particular warforged has been blessed/tainted directly with dragon energies.
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Keith Baker himself introduced "dragonforged" in Morgrave Miscellany quite recently.

In the Mournland, there is a "Dragonforge" established by Aaren d'Cannith, which ran from the year 993 to the Day of Mourning, and as a result, warforged with a more lizardly appearance now walk Eberron, if in little number (supposedly less than two dozen, but that's conjecture, in the fiction framing the player race).

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Fluff wise, your warforged could have been made to replicate some of the dragon capability. If you go for this, especially from character creation, you may be the latest creation of the Lord of Blades, which is famous for having a working,technically the only one, warforged-forge (i don't know the specific name in the english version) and he's working on improving his own species. So you'll be free to use any template your heart desire just refluffing them as beeing made of iron, stone and wood (or any other material you may be made of).

instead if you are mid-campaign your best bet probably is the Dragonborn of Bahamut, as @KRyan already explained.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In English, they’re known as creation forges. Also, Merrix d’Cannith also has a working creation forge—which the Lord of Blades actually doesn’t, as the Lord’s creation forge was damaged during the Mourning and turns out defective or mutated warforged as often as it turns out properly-working ones (and more than either of those, turns out nothing at all). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 22 '16 at 19:43

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