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D&D 5E 5e Updates: Monstrous Compendium


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Stalker0

Legend
Also, I added a "wall" option to the breath weapon. I like the concept, but not sure if it is clear. Let me know what you think.

I think its close, and would work for most DMs. I took a look at wall of force, which uses a similar mechanic, so here is the ability written using similar wording.

The dragon exhales fire in a 90-foot cone, or you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be on the ground and contiguous with another panel, and the first panel must be within 30 ft of the dragon.

If you go that route, I would lower the number of panels, 10 is a lot, it actually means it could hit farther away than the cone. I imagine you want the cone to be the default, with the shape for more precision work.


If you want something simpler but less tactical, you could just say "an area with a radius of 20 ft from the dragon"
 

I have updated the Elder, Ancient, and Wyrm red dragons. I am still going to look at few tweaks suggested by the feedback, but I picked up some of them and had to modify some things to make the CR work (had a saving throw error in the first pass)
Threshold for Dragon Scales is identical for Ancient and Wyrm. Intentional?
 

dave2008

Legend
Threshold for Dragon Scales is identical for Ancient and Wyrm. Intentional?
No, but I am reluctant to make it much higher. I bumped to 12, but it I am concerned it to much of a fighter nerf for most campaigns. It works for my group as I allow my fighters to swap extra attack for power attack, but a champion could easily find close to half of their attacks doing no damage.
 

dave2008

Legend
I think its close, and would work for most DMs. I took a look at wall of force, which uses a similar mechanic, so here is the ability written using similar wording.

The dragon exhales fire in a 90-foot cone, or you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be on the ground and contiguous with another panel, and the first panel must be within 30 ft of the dragon.

If you go that route, I would lower the number of panels, 10 is a lot, it actually means it could hit farther away than the cone. I imagine you want the cone to be the default, with the shape for more precision work.


If you want something simpler but less tactical, you could just say "an area with a radius of 20 ft from the dragon"
I looked at Wall of Stone, but I think the panels terminology is more confusing for this application. I didn't check all the ages, but the area of the cone is much greater than the area of the "wall," and I also limited the range of the wall to be within 60 feet of the dragon (for the wyrm). So it can really only create a 120-foot line right in front of it, or surround itself in flames. Now that I think about it, I should up that range.
 
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No, but I am reluctant to make it much higher. I bumped to 12, but it I am concerned it to much of a fighter nerf for most campaigns. It works for my group as I allow my fighters to swap extra attack for power attack, but a champion could easily find close to half of their attacks doing no damage.
Do you think a fighter fighting that CR only has +8 damage bonus?
 

dave2008

Legend
Do you think a fighter fighting that CR only has +8 damage bonus?
Not necessarily, but it is possible. Our champion fighter is 15th level and he only has a +6 damage bonus. He is unlikely to have even a +8 at 20th level.

That is the difficulty, there are so many ways to play the game.
 

Stalker0

Legend
That is good point on the recharge. I would probably make it 2 round cool down, but I get your point. I will think about it.

So I had a pretty simple idea that seemed so intuitive I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. Just give the dragon an action option to recharge their breath instead of a recharge roll.

Breath Weapon (1/short rest).
Legendary Action (2) - Recharge Breath: The dragon regains the use of its breath weapon. The dragon cannot take an action until the end of its next turn.


Effectively you are trading in an entire round of inaction to recharge your breath. Now in a straight up fight you generally would not want to do that, but if your doing a "fly by" type encounter with a dragon, it might be worth it for the dragon to recharge every other round to do another breath weapon pass (that's why I left it at 2 legendary actions...so the dragon can reposition while it charges up the "nuke")

Doing the Offensive Math on the Adult dragon, its 123 normal vs 131 with the breath, recharge, breath. So if you drop the breath just a bit (from 88 to 85), and increase the claw damage from 17 to 20... the two routines becomes virtually equivalent (125 vs 126), and they remain at the same CR 20 offensive range.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Not necessarily, but it is possible. Our champion fighter is 15th level and he only has a +6 damage bonus. He is unlikely to have even a +8 at 20th level.

That is the difficulty, there are so many ways to play the game.

I agree, fighter damage tends to pleateau per swing...so higher thresholds are extra penalizing. A 5 threshold isn't much because by this point I would expect every player to have a 20 in their main damage stat, so they will always bypass the threshold. But an 8 threshold means there are attack rolls that will get blocked (unless you have a big magic weapon or something)...which is a big deal.

What you could do is do a combination of threshold and damage reduction for the higher dragons. An Example:

Dragon Scales: An Elder dragon is immune to all damage (except psychic) unless the damage is greater than 5. Damage that penetrates the threshold is reduced by 2.

So this ensures that your characters aren't getting their attacks wholesale blocked....but the reduction does trim a bit off the top, showcasing that an Elder is a tougher dragon than the adult, even though the threshold didn't increase. This means the elder is still nigh immune from the mob archer fire I noted before, but in actual combat....not TOO penalizing for the PCs, but still special in that old school DR is almost nonexistant in 5e.
 
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