Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01
- Pale: Probably the best. They get steam clouds, which deal lots of damage to fast, evasive lair threats like spiny frogs and mambas, allowing the player to soften them up and often times straight up kill them before they get into melee range. They are also useful well into the endgame and even extended thanks to them blocking line of sight.
- Red: Fire resistance and a breath weapon that's essentially the equivalent of Bolt of Fire and Conjure Flame mixed into one, only the Conjure Flame can actually be placed on an enemy tile. Even more effective than steam clouds at killing things due to the fact that flame clouds will not move, however the player has to get in close for this to work. As with Conjure Flame, lair-strength enemies will not try to cross, making it useful for escapes or separating one creature from a pack if you're being chased (since it can be placed on a monster).
- Green: A bolt version of Mephitic Cloud. Mephitic cloud is amazing at crowd control and a confused enemy is obviously rendered much less dangerous. Its range lets you pick your battles very easily as well as retreat if you turn a corner and see something you don't like. Assuming that it works exactly like mephitic cloud, it should still be somewhat useful even at later stages of the game, since 15 HD enemies still have over a 1/4th chance to become confused each turn. Unlike the above two breaths, it's ineffective against hydras, which is annoying but hardly a deal breaker.
- Mottled: Sticky flame breath, which essentially the same as activating fire breath at point blank range, only it hits multiple targets and still does damage if you decide to run. Not amazing as the above three because it lacks a ranged use but still a very nice option to have.
- Grey: A flat 5 AC as well as rDrown and the ability to use physical options effectively in water. Five AC alone makes this a decent catch.
- Purple: Gets a rather poor breath weapon for purposes of straight up killing things. The secondary effects do not make up for it regardless of where in the game the player is, because the damn thing misses so much. Regardless of the dubious usefulness of dispel breath, Purple gets what I believe are all around the best aptitude changes and of course they also get a shit ton of MR, which is an objectively useful property in everywhere but a select few branches. That's why this is still a good color.
- Black gets what appears to be a less powerful disc of storms that can't hurt the player. They also get slotless flight (permanent at 14), which is the only thing that makes this race "Okay". On paper black draconian breath circumvents the inaccuracy of its breath weapon by being able to target the same tile multiple times. In practice it still misses the target a lot thanks to hitting randomly and possibly missing tiles entirely.
- Yellow gets corrosion breath, which is useful against high AC opponents, but that assumes you can actually hit with the damn thing. At higher levels they get the acidic saliva which allows the player to corrode enemies in melee, but this doesn't come until level 14, when the hardest parts of the game have already passed.
- White: Gets the ability to get mauled to death by ice beasts at a slower rate than normal. Ice breath ignores AC, but as the above, it doesn't ignore EV.
While they are already underwhelming compared to the breath weapons of higher-tiered Draconians, Purple, Black, Yellow, and White Draconian breath weapons have an additional problem that I highlighted four times already: they can all miss, and they do, very often. If I want to soften up a warlord with my corrosive breath, it certainly helps if it doesn't miss, still giving my position away and decreasing the distance between the two of us. I might as well have done anything else. You would think something a race was born with wouldn't be so useless when it's time to shine. Dispel breath is a weapon that should be a good option all game, but is frustratingly less useful than it should be thanks to how inoften it actually hits.
In comparison, steam, fire, and mephitic clouds can't miss, they can only fail to generate by ability failure. They will hit the target 100% of the time (steam clouds can fail to place on the target, but they will still hit 100% of the time if the target is in in one).
The other breath weapons should be buffed accordingly. I propose that Draconian breath weapons should never miss. This may buff fire breath a little too much, but this makes lightning breath very strong and of course dispel breath will be able to reliably accomplish what it was supposed to in the first place.
Corrosive breath and ice breath still seem weak in comparison, so I also propose that ice breath become iceblast breath, but stronger, unable to hurt the player, and only fire-able at point blank range. Basically it explodes 3x3 centered on one of the eight adjacent tiles. Corrosive breath can grow stronger at level 14 to further destroy enemy AC, at a rate far greater than a wand of acid. It's supposed to weaken armored targets so it should be able to do just that.