Spellscales are a race of draconic humanoids from the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, added in the Races of the Dragon sourcebook after the writers realized that, apart from kobolds, Dragonkin, the Draconians from Dragonlance, and the Draconic and Half-Dragon templates, they didn't actually have any canonical dragon-based PC races.
Spellscales basically exist as strong evidence that the theory of sorcerers deriving their power from draconic ancestry is true. Although they can and do certainly breed true on their own, spellscales frequently manifest when sorcerers from the humanoid races have children together - or, in much rarer instances, when a truly powerful sorcerer has a kid at all. Spellscales are often mistaken for human or elven half-dragons, although the consistency of their mutations marks them as different. All spellscales possess a fundamentally humanoid form, enlarged, elf-like ears, and a hide covered entirely in lustrous scales, as their name suggests. These scales can come in nearly every color of the rainbow, and whilst they rarely mix colors directly (if ever), they always display a rich spectrum of colors on their body. For example, a spellscale who is primarily green might have patterns of a deeper, forest green over his body, fingernails and toenails of a slightly lighter green, and eye ridges and nostrils that are a deep greenish aquamarine.
Perhaps exemplifying this mystical nature, much like 3e's dragonborn, it's possible for a member of another race to be transformed into a spellscale! Any spellscale capable of casting a Polymorph spell and with at least 10 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can, by using certain special salts and scales harvested from ancient dragons of assorted colors as a focus, perform a seven-day-long ritual that completely and irreversibly transforms a willing non-draconic humanoid into a spellscale.
Spellscales, unlike half-dragons, don't display direct manifestations of innate magical ability, although they do have a natural aptitude for sorcery. Instead, their special powers manifest through the phenomena of "blood quickening"; by performing various meditative rights in honor of the Dragon Gods, they temporarily awaken their inner magic in a specific pattern, giving them special powers for the day.
Mentally and culturally, spellscales have very little in common with each other, but are universally portrayed as metrosexual and perfectly suited to sorcery, with a strong tendency toward a
chaotic stupid YOLO "carpe diem" attitude. This perfectly matched their mechanics; 3.5 tended to be pretty big on pigeonholing races to fit certain roles, and the Blood Quickening feature combined with the bonus to charisma pretty much guaranteed that they'd be bards or sorcerers.
It probably didn't help that spellscales had very little artwork. Other than a group shot on the front cover featuring a female spellscale adventure (who did appear on her lonesome on the back cover, but good luck finding that online!), the only artwork that the spellscales had was a single shot of a spellscale pimp in a Hugh Hefner robe examining his wardrobe, another one of a male & female at a gaming table (where they look like purple, near fully-covered elves) and an assortment of facial portraits (where they look like ugly purple elves).
- +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution
- Base land speed 30 feet
- Low-light Vision
- Humanoid (Dragonblood)
- Blood Quickening: Once per day, a spellscale can perform a draconic meditation. This gives it a specific boost in powers that lasts for 24 hours, and it cannot undertake another Blood Quickening until the powers from its last meditation wear off. Bonuses granted by Blood Quickening provide a racial bonus equal to half the spellscale's character level. Feats bestowed by Blood Quickening are temporary; they function as per normal, but they do not count towards prerequisites for anything should the spellscale level up whilst under the Blood Quickening.
- Favored Class: Sorcerer
Aasterinian: Bonus to Disguise checks, can use Improved Counterspell feat 3/day.
Astilabor: Bonus to Appraise checks, unlimited use of Eschew Materials for the day.
Bahamut: 3 times that day, when you cast a spell, you can choose a single creature targeted by or in the area of that spell. If the selected creature is Evil, it takes 2d6 damage in addition to the normal effects of the spell.
- Thanks to the inventiveness of players, it should be noted here that this extra damage applies to any spell that targets a creature or hits an area a creature is in. For example, if a spellscale bard targets an area with a glitterdust spell and tacks on the Bahamut quickening ability, then they can do 2d6 untyped damage to any single Evil creature in the area of that spell (in addition to the usual Will save against the blinding effect, and the no-save penalties to invisibility and Hide). This even applies to the lowly message spell; you can now deliver the message "If you're evil, I'm not sorry for this!" along with 2d6 untyped damage to your favorite villain. Note that this does not applies to SLAs, supernatural abilities, psionics, etc.; the RAW here is that it only works with spells you cast.
Chronepsis: Bonus to Listen checks, unlimited access to Silent Spell for the day.
Falazure: Can treat all Inflict spells as being on your spell list for the purpose of using spell completion and spell trigger magic items that day.
Garyx: Can use Widen Spell twice that day.
Hlal: Bonus to Perform (Storytelling) checks and can use Heighten Spell 3 times that day.
Io: Bonus to Spellcraft checks and can use Empower Spell 3 times that day.
Lendys: Bonus to Concentration checks and gain unlimited use of Still Spell that day.
Tamara: Can treat all Cure spells as being on your spell list for the purpose of using spell completion and spell trigger magic items that day.
Tiamat: 3 times that day, when you cast a spell, you can choose a single creature targeted by or in the area of that spell. If the selected creature is Good, it takes 2d6 damage in addition to the normal effects of the spell.
- Remember that Bahamut quickening ability note? Same applies equally if your spellscale wants to do it to the forces of Good as well, using the Tiamat quickening.