Is this Revised Dragon Rider homebrew class balanced compared to the official classes?

Is this revision of the homebrew Dragon Rider class balanced compared to the other official classes in 5e?

Note that all the spells I’ve put on the Rider spell list require concentration.


The class:

Dragon Rider

Dragons terrify most adventurers, but for you, one very small dragon decided to bond with you, giving you the gift of magic as well. Why did the dragon choose you? Did your country or city test every citizen for a bond? Did you find your dragon still in an egg while exploring a abandoned dragon cave far greater adventurers cleared years before? Did you stumble upon it in the woods one day while hunting? Are the dragon’s parents or a military looking for it?

Quick Build:

Dexterity should be your highest score as a Rider, followed by Constitution or Intelligence. Get starting equipment (c) and choose the spells Faerie Fire, Hunter’s Mark, Arcane Weapon, and Thunderous Smite.

Dragon Rider Spell List

1st-level

Arcane Weapon
Ensnaring Strike
Entangle
Expeditious Retreat
Faerie Fire
Fog Cloud
Hail of Thorns
Hunter’s Mark
Searing Smite
Thunderous Smite
Wrathful Smite
Zephyr Strike

2nd-level

Alter Self
Blur
Branding Smite
Earthbind
Magic Weapon
Silence
Skywrite
Warding Wind

3rd-level

Blinding Smite
Call Lightning
Crusader’s Mantle
Elemental Weapon
Flame Arrows
Lightning Arrow
Protection from Energy
Vampiric Touch

4th-level

Elemental Bane
Grasping Vine
Greater Invisibility
Staggering Smite
Storm Sphere

5th-level

Animate Objects
Antilife Shell
Circle of Power
Control Winds
Far Step
Immolation
Telekinesis

Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Dragon Rider level
Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier for each Dragon Rider level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Shields
Weapons: Simple and Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Intelligence and Constitution
Skills: Choose 3 skills from Perception, Arcana, Nature, Medicine, History, Animal Handling, and Acrobatics.
Tools: Leatherworker’s Tools, Dragonchess Set

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a greatsword, 6 Javelins, and Chain Shirt; Or
  • (b) a longsword, 6 Javelins, a Chain Shirt and a shield; or
  • (c) a rapier, Leather Armor, a shield, and 10 darts

and
a longbow, a quiver with 20 arrows, an explorer’s pack, and a leatherworker’s kit.

Dragon Bond

When you take you first level in this class, you gain a pseudodragon companion with a permanent telepathic bond to you. You always know the location of your dragon as long as it is in the same plane as you. You and this dragon can read and speak Draconic, and you can communicate with each other at a distance of a number of miles equal to your level. As an action, you can see through your dragon’s eyes.

If your dragon is killed, you suffer one level of exhaustion from the stress of having your telepathic bond severed. You can spend a long rest to bring it back to life. If you do this, you end your long rest with 0 mana points.

Dragon Magic

Unlike other spellcasters, your magic comes from the power your dragon bestowed on you when you met it; thus, you have no spell slots. Instead, you have a maximum amount of mana equal to your Rider level. You regain all expended mana on a long rest. Whenever you cast a spell, you can spend 1 additional mana to cast it as if you were in your dragon’s location.

Intelligence is your spellcasting modifier for Rider spells. You know 4 Rider spells from the Rider spell list and learn 1 more whenever you gain a level in this class.

When you cast a Rider spell, you spend mana according to the table below. If you do not have enough mana, you cannot cast the spell.

\begin{array}{cl} \textbf{Spell Level} & \textbf{Mana Cost} \ \text{1st} & \text{1 Mana}\ \text{2nd} & \text{3 Mana}\ \text{3rd} & \text{5 Mana}\ \text{4th} & \text{8 Mana}\ \text{5th} & \text{10 Mana} \end{array}

Fighting Style

At level 2, choose between the Two-Weapon Fighting, Archery, Defense, Great Weapon Fighting, Dueling, or Mariner fighting styles. You can’t benefit from the same fighting style more than once.

Mastery

At level 3, choose between the Spell Master and Weapon Master subclasses.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Using the optional feats rule, you can forgo taking this feature to take a feat of your choice instead.

Draconic Growth

At level 5, pick a color for your pseudodragon- green, copper, blue, white, brass, black, or silver. Once per long rest, your can use your action to make your pseudodragon temporarily grow into a wrymling of its color. This transformation ends after 10 minutes, or if your dragon is reduced to 0 hitpoints. No creature, including you, can ride your dragon, and it can only use its breath weapon twice during this transformation (this replaces the Recharge feature).

Improved Bond

At level 6, once per short rest, whenever you take damage, you can use your reaction to have your dragon take the damage instead. Additionally, once per short rest, your dragon can use its reaction whenever it takes damage for you to take the damage instead. Transferred damage cannot be reduced in any way.

Additionally, you automatically succeed on any saving throw against your dragon’s breath weapon.

Draconic Tendencies

At level 9, your bond with your dragon begins to influence you. Choose either the Survival and Nature proficiencies. You gain proficiency in that skill if you do not already, and you add double your proficiency bonus to any checks that use that skill. Your eyes continuously glow the color of your dragon, and you learn the Thaumaturgy cantrip.

Draconic Growth

At level 10, your dragon permanently grows into a Wrymling of its color. It can only use its breath weapon twice per long rest, and no creature, including you, can ride your dragon while it is in flight. Two small or one medium creature can ride your dragon while it is on the ground or in water.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 11th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Riding Master

At level 13, you have advantage on saving throws you make to stay on your dragon.

Greater Bond

At level 15, when a creature fails a saving throw to your dragon’s breath weapon, and is not immune to the damage type of the breath weapon, that creature has disadvantage on saving throws against your spells until the end of your next turn. You, and only you, can now ride your dragon while it is in flight, as long as your size is medium or smaller.

Increased Draconic Tendencies

At level 17, you stop aging and can’t be aged magically. You are immune to disease.

Draconic Growth

At level 20, your dragon grows into an young dragon of its color. 2 Medium or 4 Small creatures can now ride it at a time, and it is no longer is limited in uses of its breath weapon.


Subclasses

Weapon Master

At level 3, when your dragon makes a critical hit on a creature, you have advantage on attacks against that creature until the end of your next turn.

At level 7, when you take the dodge action, you have advantage on saving throws to maintain concentration on a spell until the start of your next turn. In addition, if a creature does damage do your dragon, for the next minute the first weapon attack you make against that creature does additional force damage equal to your intelligence modifier.

At level 18, your ranged attacks are made at advantage while you are riding your dragon. In addition, whenever your dragon hit a creature with an attack of opportunity, you can use your reaction to make make a ranged weapon attack against that creature.

Spell Master

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can now choose one of the following spells instead of one from the Dragon Rider spell list, these spells count as Rider spells for you:
Feather Fall, Heat Metal, Darkvision, Invisibility, Shatter, Fireball, Fire Shield, Elemental Bane, Skill Empowerment, Transmute Rock.

At level 3, you regain mana points equal to your proficiency bonus whenever you complete a short rest.

At level 7, you can use an action to spend mana points and give yourself and your dragon hit points equal to the 5 times the mana points you spend.

At level 18, you learn one 6th level spell from the sorcerer spell list, and can cast it once per long rest.

I want to have a bond with a baby dragon. Can I?

I just started playing D&D 5e. I am playing an Ethereal Dwarf, Paladin level 2, and my background is Haunted One. With my background, I received a broken silver dragon pendant. My harrowing event is also “A monster slaughtered hundreds of my people but spared my life.”

Now I have to still make my background which I was hoping would be related to my harrowing event and the rest like my Personality traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. I was hoping for my background to be like:

I grew up in the clan of Ungart where one day I stumbled across a dragon egg. I picked it up and brought it back to my village where me and my brother, who was 78 at the time, would take care of it. Months past and the egg hatched. We decided to name it (Not decided yet). Years passed and the dragon grew little by little each year, we were so happy, until that one day. Roaring in the distance we realized that a silver dragon had found our town. We fought it but failed. Hundreds died. Me and my brother survived but what still gets me is that the dragon looked at us in anger and turned away like it didn’t want to hurt us. I still do not know why to this day. Now I am off on my journey to bring justice to monsters who terrorize other people.

Can someone tell me if I can have a certain bond with the dragon or does this story really not work in game play?

Is this homebrew Dragon Rider class balanced compared to the other classes in 5e?

Dragons terrify most adventures, but for you, one very small dragon decided to bond with you, giving you the gift of magic as well. Why did the dragon choose you? Did your country or city test every citizen for a bond? Did you find your dragon still in an egg while exploring a abandoned dragon cave far greater adventurers cleared years before? Did you stumble upon it in the woods one day while hunting? Are the dragon’s parents or a military looking for it?

Quick Build:
Intelligence should be your highest score as a Rider, followed by Constitution or Strength/Dexterity. Get starting equipment c and choose the spells Faerie Fire, Hunter’s Mark, Arcane Weapon, and Thunderous Smite.

Dragon Rider Spell List
1
Arcane Weapon
Ensnaring Strike
Entangle
Expeditious Retreat
Faerie Fire
Fog Cloud
Hail of Thorns
Hunter’s Mark
Searing Smite
Thunderous Smite
Wrathful Smite
Zephyr Strike
2
Alter Self
Blur
Branding Smite
Earthbind
Magic Weapon
Silence
Skywrite
Warding Wind
3
Blinding Smite
Call Lightning
Crusader’s Mantle
Elemental Weapon
Flame Arrows
Lightning Arrow
Protection from Energy
Vampiric Touch
4
Elemental Bane
Grasping Vine
Greater Invisibility
Staggering Smite
Storm Sphere
5
Animate Objects
Antilife Shell
Circle of Power
Control Winds
Far Step
Immolation
Telekinesis

Profincies:
Armor: Light Armor and Shields
Weapons: Simple and Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Intelligence and Constitution
Skills: Choose 3 from perception, arcana, nature, medicine, history, animal handling, and acrobatics.
Tools: Leatherworker’s Tools, Dragonchess

Starting Equipment:
a) A greatsword and leather armor.
b) A longsword, leather armor, 6 javelins, and a shield.
c) A longbow, a rapier, leather armor, a quiver with 30 arrows, and a shield.

and
a) An explorer’s pack and a leatherworker’s kit.

Hit Dice: D8
Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at higher levels: 1d8 or 5 + your Constitution modifier for each level after 1st.

Dragon: When you take you first level in this class, you gain a pseudodragon companion with a permanent telepathic bond to you. You always know the location of your dragon as long as it is in the same plane as you. You and this dragon can read and speak draconic, and you can communicate with each other at a distance of a number of miles equal to your level. As an action, you can see through your dragon’s eyes. If your dragon is killed, you suffer one level of exhaustion from the stress of having your telepathic bond severed. You can spend a long rest to bring it back to life. If you do this, you end your long rest with 0 mana points.

Spellcasting: Unlike other spellcasters, your magic comes from the power your dragon bestowed on you when you met it; thus you have no spell slots. Instead, you have a maximum amount of mana equal to your Rider level. Intelligence is your spellcasting modifier for Rider spells. You regain all of your mana on a long rest. Whenever you cast a spell, you can spend 1 additional mana to cast it as if you were in your dragon’s location. You know 4 Rider spells from the Rider spell list and learn 1 more whenever you gain a level in this class. When you cast a Rider spell, you spend mana according to the table below. If you do not have enough mana, you cannot cast the spell.
Mana Cost:
1st Level- 1 Mana
2nd Level- 3 Mana
3rd Level- 5 Mana
4th Level- 7 Mana
5th Level- 9 Mana

Fighting Style: At level 2, choose between the Two Weapon fighting, Archery, Defense, Great Weapon Fighting, Dueling or Mariner fighting styles. You can’t benefit from the same fighting style more than once.

Mastery: At level 3, choose between the Spell Master and Weapon Master subclasses.

ASI: At levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19, you can increase 1 ability score by 2 or 2 ability scores by 1, or take a feat.

Draconic Growth: At level 5, your pseudodragon grows up into a wyrmling of your choice, but not a red one. No one can ride your wyrmling. Your wyrmling can only use its breath weapon once per short rest, unless it has multiple breath weapons, in which case it can only use each option once per long rest.

Improved Bond: At level 6, once per short rest, whenever you take damage, you can use your reaction to have your dragon take the damage instead. Additionally, once per short rest, your dragon can use its reaction whenever it takes damage for you to take the damage instead. Transferred damage cannot be reduced in any way. Additionally, you automatically succeed on any saving throw against your dragon’s breath weapon.

Draconic Tendencies: At level 9, your bonding with your dragon begins to influence you. You gain proficiency in survival and nature, your eyes continuously glow the color of your dragon, and you learn the Thaumaturgy cantrip.

Draconic Growth: At level 10, your dragon grows into a Young Dragon the same color as it was as a Wyrmling. One medium or two small creatures can ride on your dragon, but it has the same breath weapon limitations as before.

Extra Attack: At level 11, when you take the attack action, you can make two attacks instead of one.

Riding Master: At level 13, you have advantage on saving throws to stay on your dragon while it is in flight.

Greater Bond: At level 15, When a creature takes damage from your Dragon’s breath weapon, that creature has disadvantage on saving throws against your Rider spells until the end of your next turn.

Increased Draconic Tendacies: At level 17, you stop aging and can’t be aged magically. You are immune to disease.

Draconic Growth: At level 20, your dragon grows into an adult dragon of its color, 3 medium or 6 small creatures can ride it, and it is no longer is limited in uses of its breath weapon.

Weapon Master:
At level 3, when your dragon makes a critical hit on a creature, you have advantage on attacks against that creatures until the end of your next turn.

At level 7, when you cast a spell as an action, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

At level 18, your ranged attacks have advantage while you are riding your Dragon, and if you move towards a creature at least 60 feet in a round, you first attack against that creature until the end of your next turn does an extra 4d10 piercing damage.

Spell Master:
At level 3, you regain mana points equal to your proficiency bonus whenever you complete a short rest.

At level 7, you can spend mana points as a bonus action to give yourself or your dragon hitpoints equal to the 5 times the mana points you spend.

At level 18, you learn one 6th and one 7th level spell from the sorcerer spell list, and can cast each once per long rest.

Giving my players a dragon [on hold]

I’m starting a new campaign and I was thinking of giving my players a newly hatched baby dragon in the start of the campaign. I think it would be cool if when it’s grown a bit that they can have it as a mount/ “pet” but it’ll probably be a bit overpowered. What are your thoughts on the idea and do you have any suggestions on how I could maybe nerf the dragon not to make it super over powered to have a dragon as a pet ( they would be around 4th level when they get the dragon and it wouldn’t be grown enough to ride or use in combat until maybe 8-10th level ).

edit- The setting for the campaign is a world i’ve created hence why if I go with giving them a dragon i’ll homebrew it so that dragons mature a lot quicker and I’ll just motivate it with some of the other weird stuff that happens in the world. So yeah I’m aware that it would otherwise take a few hundred years to mature

Can I true polymorph into an Ancient Brass Dragon, and then use its Change Shape ability?

If I were to cast True Polymorph (which permits all creatures, not just beasts, as the regular Polymorph does) on myself to turn myself into, say, an Ancient Brass Dragon (provided that I’m level 20, which is required due that dragon’s CR) – could I then use the Change Shape “racial” feature of the dragon?

Change Shape. The dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its true form…

True Polymorph:

Choose one creature […] that you can see within range. You transform the creature into a different creature, […]. The transformation lasts for the duration, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies. If you concentrate on this spell for the full duration, the transformation becomes permanent.
Shapechangers aren’t affected by this spell. […].

Creature into Creature
[…] The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality. […]

I can’t find anything in the spell that would prevent one from doing so. The only thing that might come into play is the phrase “Shapechangers aren’t affected by this spell”. You as the caster are not a shapechanger, however, so even though you transform into a shapechanger, you aren’t when you cast the spell.

Can a character who was True Polymorphed into a Dragon Change Shape back into their original form? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • Can you use a Dragon's Change Shape Ability to Turn Back Into Yourself? 2 answers

A level 20 character can be changed permanently by True Polymorph into an Ancient Brass Dragon (CR 20). Ancient Brass Dragons have the Change Shape action that says,

The dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (the dragon’s choice).

I’m unclear if challenge rating could refer to total character level of a specific character, but if it does, could this dragon change into it’s original body?

Waterdeep Dragon Heist:Seasons

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist it says you have to choose the season at the outset. Is it possible to choose it at a later part in the story? Or os it possible for the players to wait for a specific holiday in general?

I’m looking for a more fluid choice to make for the transition. I was possibly thinking that you could say that in chapter 2 they wait for a specific season.

Curious for your responses -The extreme DTM

How can we change the alignment of our black dragon hatchling?

My fiance is running a campaign and the players have the opportunity to obtain a wyrmling black dragon. Now black dragons are chaotic evil, but the monk of the group believes that it shouldn’t be killed outright just due to the fact that its race tends to be evil. He wants to attempt to teach and raise it in goodly or rather, less evil ways, but the other players want a backup plan to change its alignment if worst comes to worst. The problem is, the DM doesn’t see anything involving forced alignment changes. Is there a mechanical way to handle this or is it going to be DM decision to add something to the game that isn’t currently there?

What kind of dragon cohort can my paladin get?

My D&D 3.5 paladin took the Dragon Cohort feat in order to obtain the services of a gold dragon (and negotiate being allowed to use the cohort as a mount from time to time) but now I’m not sure what kind of dragon mount is allowed.

Given these premises:

  • paladin character level 9
  • lawful good alignment
  • charisma modifier +4
  • no Leadership feat
  • no cohorts or followers lost
  • no paladin mount (I took the Weapon Bond ACF instead)
  • significant regional reputation (DM willing to add +1 to my Leadership score)

… I would expect my Leadership score to be 9 + 4 + 1 = 14. according to the Draconomicon p 139, table 3-14, a very young gold dragon is ECL 16 (although I expected ECL 17 based on the HD and LA listed in the srd) or ECL 13 with the Dragon Cohort feat.

Does this mean my paladin can have a sometimes-ridable very young gold dragon as a cohort or am I overlooking something?

I am not sure about the rideable part because the Draconomicon has one chapter on Dragons as Cohorts (referencing the Dragon Cohort feat, awesome) and one on Dragons as Mounts (referencing the Dragon Steed feat, terrible). However I’m not interested in the special mount summoning ability nor in arranging for a dragon lair on a celestial plane.