Over the years, I've noticed that on the forums some people have been calling for a "Dragonmark Heir" PrE. After looking it up, I discovered that "Dragonmark Heir" was a PnP prestige class with only 3 levels, and all it gives you is extra dragonmark uses and doesn't really tie into combat at all. So, what I'm assuming some people were actually talking about was a way to apply Dragonmarks to combat in DDO. After all, this game is mainly combat, and an enhancement tree (tree now, instead of prestige enhancement line) for each Dragonmark would be useful it could be commonly useful in questing. My suggestion is that each Dragonmark be given it's own enhancement tree, with abilities that use the power of the Dragonmark in combat.
First, some facts for people who don't know much about dragonmarks:
- Your character must be of a certain race to take a Dragonmark feat.
- All races current playable Ebberon races except Drow and Warforged have at least one available Dragonmark.
- Even if you are of a race that have more than one kind of Dragonmark, you can only have one. This is due to lore reasons.
- There are 12 Dragonmarks, but only 8 are selectable in DDO.
- Of the 8 selectable Dragonmarks, 4 are available to humans. The Mark of Finding is shared by humans and half-orcs, while elves, half-elves, halflings and dwarves each have one.
- Each Dragonmark feats grants the character +2 to a skill, a spell-like ability that has a limited number of uses per rest. In addition, your character can spend AP to gain two more abilities in your racial tree, which also have limited uses.
- Dragonmark abilities come in 3 tiers: Least, Lesser and Greater. Least has the most uses per day, while Greater has the least.
- Dragonmark abilities are SLAs.
If you're interested in the lore behind the Dragonmarks, please check the Ebberon wiki.
Now, here is an outline for what I think the "Dragonmark Heir" enhancement trees should do:
1) All dragonmark trees should make dragonmarks useful in combat.
2) The only requirement for unlocking a DH tree is the Least Dragonmark feat, along with the proper race, of course.
3) No Dragonmark ability with a DC will be based on a stat in which that race has a stat penalty.
4) DH will give more abilities for each of the 3 tiers of Draonmark uses.
5) Least uses will regenerate over time... maybe. It depends on whether or not the uses can be used for offensive abilities. If they are, the uses should regenerate, otherwise there is no point.
6) Most importantly, all DH trees must be coequal with normal class enhancement trees in every way possible.
Now, this will be a bit of a challenge for the developers. Currently, there is only one racial tree in the game, Arcane Archer. All AA abilities require a bow, and ranged combat requires a higher number of feats to be effective than melee combat. Not only that, you must be an elf or half-elf to be able to access this tree, no matter what classes you have levels in. The strengths, weaknesses and implications are well understood. But the developers, should they ever decide to implement Dragonmark enhancement trees, will have to ask themselves some really tough qestions. Do we want House Jorasco Heirs (halflings) to be able to take on the healing role in a party? Should House Orien Heirs (humans) be able to teleport in combat? Is it even possible or practical to program that? How are we going to make the Mark of Making useful for anything but healing Warforged? Make no mistake, implementing racial trees will be a herculean task.