Some dragon-kin are born, the blood of their parents running in their veins, able to spew acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison from their mouths. They carry their ancestry proudly, knowing that they carry on a tradition of dragonborn empires and mighty draconic kings.
Elsewhere in the universe, however, there is another “dragonborn” race, the dominant life form on their planet, these dragonborn, who call themselves drak, have never known dragons. If there were once dragons on their world, the great beasts have long since died off, possibly killed by the first drak.
The first drak might have been an experiment, an attempt by the dragons to build the perfect minion. If that was the goal, it backfired spectacularly. The drak quickly rose to become the dominant life-form, unencumbered by emotion and thorough in their extermination of any race that could present any genuine competition for resources. For generations, the drak race presented a united front against the world, pooling their collective intellect and power and turning their desires towards the stars. By the time the spirit of drak cooperation ran out, they had begun to colonize their local star system. They jumped so quickly from draconic slaves to spacefarers, however, that their technology is a hodgepodge of iron-age weapons and interstellar machinery.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age. Young drak grow quickly, aging as dragonborn.
Alignment. Drak view attachment and sentimentality as a weakness, and tend towards neutral and evil alignments, but they also value cooperation and loyalty, tending towards law over chaos.
Size. Drak are smaller and thinner than humans, the tallest standing less than 6 feet tall and averaging under 200 pounds.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Protective scales. Your body is covered in thin plates that are nonetheless effective armor. Your base armor class is 12, as long as you are wearing no other armor. This armor also gives you limited protection against the vacuum of space, allowing you to survive in the void for a number of minutes equal to your Constitution score before you begin taking damage or making Constitution checks against decompression. (This protection does not give you the ability to breathe in space.)
Thick scales, cold-blood. Your body is protected against extremes of cold and heat, for a short time. You suffer no negative environmental effects related to either cold or heat for a number of hours equal to your Constitution modifier plus your level (minimum 1). After this time, however, you have disadvantage on all saves related to such effects.
Draconic legacy. You know the prestidigitation cantrip. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast spider climb spell once per day. Once your reach 7th level, you can cast the fly spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Tail. Your tail gives you extra support, giving you advantage on Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks related to climbing, jumping and balancing.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Draconic. You are adept at learning new languages, however, and each time you gain a level you may choose to learn one new language to which you have been exposed since your last level.
Hacking the Drak
The thing about the dragonborn, who I think are a great race (if a little underpowered in 5th Edition), is that they are a monolith. There are no subraces, and that seemed like a missed opportunity. What about dragonborn who, instead of the breath weapon, get wings? What about dragonborn who get the size, or shape (a tauric dragonborn, if you will – I’m absolutely building one of those, later)?
The drak are dragonborn who get the magic, the scales, and the tail. They’re built, a little bit, on the mojh race, from Monte Cooke’s Arcana Unearthed, because one of my players expressed a fondness for the setting, and I thought it would be a fun option.
The spacefaring details are, of course, easy to get rid of. In your world, they might be a magical offshoot of dragonborn, or the result of experimentation with dragon blood by humans who were smarter than they were charismatic (so, terrible dragonblooded sorcerers, but great drak wizards). Of course, the fact that drak spells come later than wizard spells means that drak of other classes have access to interesting options, although drak wizards don’t need to waste spell slots on abilities that are theirs by right of birth.
What do you think? Overpowered? Cutting too much into the uniqueness of the tiefling, with the racial spells? How would you use them, in your game?