Motes in the Serpent's Eye
In an empire ruled by dragons, half-dragons are the pampered offspring who don’t have a prayer of ascending to the throne. Most half-dragons spend their days either wasting or abusing what power and riches they have by virtue of their birthright. But there are those few who strike out on their own, whether out of greed, boredom, or a true sense of adventure.
Half-dragons are usually spoiled rotten. They’ve been catered to their entire lives, and they’ve come to expect that tradition to continue uninterrupted. Some (generally the children of Qesemet) actually do their best to use their positions for the betterment of themselves and those around them. Others (the spawn of Asamet) are only out for themselves, often chafing at the fact that they can never rise as high as their dragon kin.
Half-dragons vary a lot in appearance, depending on the color of the dragon parent and the race of its mate. Powerful dragons can change their shape and can mate with just about anything, having been known to produce some bizarre matches. The dragon often reveals its true nature after the mating – if then – by which time it's too late for the unwitting partner to do anything about it. Half-dragons always have scales, a snake's slit eyes, huge teeth and claws, and elongated faces. They sometimes have tails and they may also have wings, but these are usually vestigial.
Half-dragons are feared and even respected throughout the Dragon Empire. These bastard offspring are often the beneficiaries of trust funds set up by their dragon parents to keep the product of their dalliances in a comfortable lifestyle. Since half-dragons vary so much in their parentage, it’s difficult to make generalizations about them as a race. The non-dragon parent usually raises the halfdragon child, and this does more to determine the halfdragon’s prejudices than her draconic nature. A half-dragon tends to follow her dragon parent in terms of temperament, but this isn’t always the case. The non-dragon parent usually takes on most of the duties of raising the child, so that parent can influence the half-dragon even more. The tension between the two sides of a half-dragon’s nature can lead to serious emotional conflict.
Half-dragons do not have their own lands. Not surprisingly, there are more half-dragons found on the throneworlds of Asamet and Qesemet than anywhere else. There are neighborhoods in the capital cities of these planets in which half-dragons tend to congregate, forming bonds based on their shared heritage. Most half-dragons on a given planet tend to have dragon parents of the same clan, which only helps to strengthen such friendships.
Half-dragons worship any of the deities in the great pantheon. Most honor the patron god or goddess of their House. There are few half-dragon Dualists, as followers of the heresy often suffer a loss of status and respect among the conservative dragon aristocracy.
Half-dragons speak Draconic as well as the native language of their non-dragon parent. Most speak Common as well. Half-dragons are usually named by their non-dragon parent. Most are named in the tradition of the non-dragon parent’s race, although a few are named after their dragon parents, perhaps in an effort to establish stronger ties. Some half-dragons feel they have a lot to prove, just to show that their strange birth isn’t the only thing that defines them. Others simply wish to attract the attention of an absent dragon parent, to gain his approval or possibly make a claim on an inheritance. Most half-dragons have idle but comfortable lifestyles, but not all are able to tolerate this unfulfilling existence.
Draconic Hide (+1): Half-dragons may appear mortal, but they partake of their dragon parent's hardiness. Their thick hide counts as + 2 Armor.
Dragon's Presence (+1): Half-dragons, whether beautiful or hideous, are fascinating to mortals. They gain the Charismatic edge.
Draconic Arrogance (-2): Your hero doesn’t think he’s the best – he knows he is. Whatever it is – swordsmanship, kung fu, running – few compare to his skills and he flaunts it every chance he gets. Winning just isn’t enough for your hero. He must completely dominate his opponent. Anytime there is even a shadow of a doubt as to who is better, they must humiliate their opponent and prove they can snatch victory any time they wish. They are the kind of combatant who disarms an opponent in a duel just so they can pick the sword up and hand it back with a smirk. Arrogant heroes always look for the “boss” in battle, attacking lesser minions only if they get in the way.
Draconic Avarice (-1): Your dragon blood calls out to you to measure your worth in treasure. As per the minor hindrance Greedy from the SWD, half-dragons will argue bitterly over any loot acquired during play and will often allow opportunities to gain treasure to influence their decisions.
Draconic Might (+3): Half-dragons begin with a d8 in Strength and may raise it to a d12+2 via normal advancement; the Professional and Expert Edges may raise it to a d12+4.
Dragon's Conceit (-2): A half-dragon gets their ego from their dragon parent – there’s nothing out there they can’t defeat. At least that’s what half-dragons tend to think. They believe they can do most anything and never want to retreat from a challenge. They are not suicidal, but they certainly tend to take on more than common sense dictates.
Infravision (+1): A half-dragon detects and “sees” heat, either through eyes or other sensory organs. This allows it to halve penalties for bad lighting when attacking creatures that radiate heat.
Never Unarmed (+1): Half-dragons have claws and sharp teeth that cause Str+d6 damage. They never count as an unarmed defender.
As they advance, half-dragons may select from the following edges in addition to those normally available. These edges must be paid for at the time of advancement just like any other character edge.
Breath Weapon: Your draconic heritage is so strong that you have developed a breath weapon similar to your dragon parent's type. All breath weapons use a Cone Template, with every target making an Trait roll at -2 to avoid the attack. Those who fail suffer the damage listed. Certain types of damage (such as Void, Cold, or Poison Gas) may be alleviated by worn protection such as sealed vac suits). After the initial use in combat, a breath weapon cannot be used again until you draw a heart or diamond (red suits) or a Joker.
* Black – Acid, -2 Agility or 2d6 damage. Can damage equipment.
* Blue – Lightning, -2 Agility or 2d6 electrical damage. Ignores conductive armor.
* Green – Lethal Poison Gas, -2 Vigor roll; Failure = Death in 2d6 rounds, Success = 1 wound and Exhaustion, Raise = Exhaustion. Any sealed breathing apparatus negates.
* Red – Fire, -2 Agility or 2d6 damage. Must check to see if they catch fire.
* White – Cold, -2 Vigor or gain a level of Fatigue. See SWD 87 for recovery & incapacitation.
* Brass – Fire, -2 Agility or 2d6 damage. Must check to see if they catch fire.
* Bronze – Lightning, -2 Agility or 2d6 electrical damage. Ignores conductive armor.
* Copper – Acid, -2 Agility or 2d6 damage. Can damage equipment.
* Gold – Fire, -2 Agility or 2d6 damage. Must check to see if they catch fire.
* Silver – Cold, -2 Vigor or gain a level of Fatigue. See SWD 87 for recovery & incapacitation.
* Space – Void (vacuum), -2 Vigor or suffer a wound from decompression.
* Star – High Radiation, -2 Vigor or or gain a level of Fatigue. See SWD 88 for recovery & incapacitation.
Energy Resistance: Your dragon blood is not as diluted as most, You receive a +4 bonus to resist a single negative environmental effect, such as heat, cold, lack of air, radiation, etc., based on the species of your dragon parent . This also counts as + 4 Armor against attacks based on that element.
* Black, Green or Copper – Acid
* Blue or Bronze – Electricity
* Red, Brass, Gold or Star – Fire
* White, Silver or Space – Cold
Flight: Your wings are no longer vestigial. You can fly at your standard Pace and have a Climb score of 0. Each time this edge is taken beyond the first, increase Pace by +6 or Climb by 1.