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Stalker0

Legend
You could also argue that the save bonuses are sort of the opposite of fly. At low levels, having a wide variety of saves is practically meaningless, as the spellcasters are going to use what they are going to use.

At high CRs, parties have access to so many tools that they will target any weakness they can find, so a creature with any vulnerable saves is going to feel very vulnerable. This is doubly true if you use Xanathars in your assumption, as it significantly increases the number of "off save" spells.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Alright, White Dragon!

1) I think Brutal Rage is fine for the more brutish motiff. If you wanted other options, you could go with the barbarian reckless attack option (it has advantage on all attacks, but receives advantage on attacks against it).

2) I like the theme of frost breath and continue to like how each dragon's breath shakes up the fight in significantly different ways. You could consider an acrobatics check instead of a dex save for walking on the ice, as that is less of a direct "take THIS!" effect, and more of a "player does it their way" kind of thing. I always like to see skills used in fights when it makes sense, as its an easy way to let certain players show off their skills.

3) Since the White dragon is meant to be the brute, one way to show that off that hasn't been used for the dragon's so far is some kind of enhanced critical. Maybe extra damage on a crit or a wider range.

4) Icy Spittle: Same critique as I have with these really low damage attacks. Also, I actually do not like the name "icy spittle", it actually sounds very lame to me:)

5) Breath Weapon: The petrified idea is very.... wait for it.... cool :) That said, I actually think the effect is too much at the CR 14 level. I don't mind the effect itself, but there is no way to get out of it in a fight except for a very specific spell. At higher CRs by all means, parties should have every tool in the belt in the CR 20+ range, but at CR 14 that is still up in the air. I would add in either some way for fellow party members to help you...or maybe throw in X fire damage will release you (and some of that can do damage to the person to make it more interesting). On the flip side I think you can bump the magic drop a bit more, like 3rd level. Ultimately this means the dragon will have to deal with the "wall spell" problem I mentioned early...but it is a brute, its supposed to be corralled and contained by tactics.
 

dave2008

Legend
Alright, White Dragon!

1) I think Brutal Rage is fine for the more brutish motiff. If you wanted other options, you could go with the barbarian reckless attack option (it has advantage on all attacks, but receives advantage on attacks against it).

2) I like the theme of frost breath and continue to like how each dragon's breath shakes up the fight in significantly different ways. You could consider an acrobatics check instead of a dex save for walking on the ice, as that is less of a direct "take THIS!" effect, and more of a "player does it their way" kind of thing. I always like to see skills used in fights when it makes sense, as its an easy way to let certain players show off their skills.

3) Since the White dragon is meant to be the brute, one way to show that off that hasn't been used for the dragon's so far is some kind of enhanced critical. Maybe extra damage on a crit or a wider range.

4) Icy Spittle: Same critique as I have with these really low damage attacks. Also, I actually do not like the name "icy spittle", it actually sounds very lame to me:)

5) Breath Weapon: The petrified idea is very.... wait for it.... cool :) That said, I actually think the effect is too much at the CR 14 level. I don't mind the effect itself, but there is no way to get out of it in a fight except for a very specific spell. At higher CRs by all means, parties should have every tool in the belt in the CR 20+ range, but at CR 14 that is still up in the air. I would add in either some way for fellow party members to help you...or maybe throw in X fire damage will release you (and some of that can do damage to the person to make it more interesting). On the flip side I think you can bump the magic drop a bit more, like 3rd level. Ultimately this means the dragon will have to deal with the "wall spell" problem I mentioned early...but it is a brute, its supposed to be corralled and contained by tactics.
Good suggestions as always. I'm doing some yard work, but will take this into account this afternoon or evening. Thanks!
 

Stalker0

Legend
Black Dragon

1) Tail Sting is my favorite of these abilities so far. Good damage, and is actually the more "realistic" of the abilities (if that word can ever really be applied to dragons).

2) My only issue with acidic blood (other than the blue also has the equivalent), is that knowing my party (since this is a lurker) their first response when the dragon hides is going to be is "ok I'm looking at its blood trail to find". Now mechanically the DM can rule it as the see fit, but its one of those I have a hard time going "the blood is so intense that it does damage!" and "oh the blood is innocuous you can't really track with it"

3) Swamp Glide is a solid lurker ability. You could also consider some kind of camouflaged ability when the creature is lying still in swamp if you want to take this up another notch.

4) I keep going back and forth on Gloom. First, I love the concept and effect, a dragon that casts darkness is just terrifying. I would first make the area bigger, a 20 foot radius is not super large when a dragon is 15 by 15!

I am also thinking you don't let the dragon see in the magical darkness, as giving it advantage on all attack rolls (and the party having disadvantage on all attack rolls) may be too much. The dragon has blindsense so it can hunt that way in the dark, and can always use its breath to avoid the disadvantage. And then there is the question of whether the breath removes the darkness as a magical effect.

So I'm going to ponder it, I feel there's some polish that needs to go there, a simple (I can see and you can't) may be too punishing to players. On the other hand the breath is not as punishing on effect as some of the other dragons so maybe its okay....hmm.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Also just throwing this out, having just made a new dungeon for my level 9 party....there is a woeful lack of mid CR oozes out there! I know you made the slither hoard recently, but yeah even with the two additional monster books there is very little love for the ooze.
 

dave2008

Legend
Black Dragon

1) Tail Sting is my favorite of these abilities so far. Good damage, and is actually the more "realistic" of the abilities (if that word can ever really be applied to dragons).

2) My only issue with acidic blood (other than the blue also has the equivalent), is that knowing my party (since this is a lurker) their first response when the dragon hides is going to be is "ok I'm looking at its blood trail to find". Now mechanically the DM can rule it as the see fit, but its one of those I have a hard time going "the blood is so intense that it does damage!" and "oh the blood is innocuous you can't really track with it"

3) Swamp Glide is a solid lurker ability. You could also consider some kind of camouflaged ability when the creature is lying still in swamp if you want to take this up another notch.

4) I keep going back and forth on Gloom. First, I love the concept and effect, a dragon that casts darkness is just terrifying. I would first make the area bigger, a 20 foot radius is not super large when a dragon is 15 by 15!

I am also thinking you don't let the dragon see in the magical darkness, as giving it advantage on all attack rolls (and the party having disadvantage on all attack rolls) may be too much. The dragon has blindsense so it can hunt that way in the dark, and can always use its breath to avoid the disadvantage. And then there is the question of whether the breath removes the darkness as a magical effect.

So I'm going to ponder it, I feel there's some polish that needs to go there, a simple (I can see and you can't) may be too punishing to players. On the other hand the breath is not as punishing on effect as some of the other dragons so maybe its okay....hmm.
Good comments, thank you! The black is the one I feel needs the most work, right not it doesn't even meet the CR listed. I just wasn't sure what direction to take to stream line it. It will need another pass or two/

My only thought at this time regarding gloom is: the area of the gloom is 1,256 sq. ft., and the dragon's space is only 225 sq. ft. Perhaps that is not enough, but it is close IMO. But at this point I am not even sure if I keep or what I might change about it.
 

Stalker0

Legend
My only thought at this time regarding gloom is: the area of the gloom is 1,256 sq. ft., and the dragon's space is only 225 sq. ft. Perhaps that is not enough, but it is close IMO. But at this point I am not even sure if I keep or what I might change about it.
Its better to think of it in "square math". A 20 ft radius effect is 44 squares (using the spell templates). A huge dragon is 3 x 3 or 15. In regular math the dragon takes up about 18%, in square math its about 34%, almost double the difference. If you wanted to get even more stingy you would note that the dragon cannot fit on the edges without revealing itself, so its actual 36 squares (42%). Further, a dragon on the corner of the area can only move 15 ft and stay in the darkness, so in effect he is almost static within the area. That may not change your conclusions, but just noting that square math is the way to go when thinking about this things because it is a sizable difference.

Oh final factoid (that I just realized myself looking at the area). If you know the dragon is in the darkness (aka no one sees any parts hanging outside), you have a 1 in 4 of hitting the dragon with a blind guess.

1602630834186.png
 
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dave2008

Legend
OK, I've updated the white dragon, adult. Some additional comments below
1) I think Brutal Rage is fine for the more brutish motiff. If you wanted other options, you could go with the barbarian reckless attack option (it has advantage on all attacks, but receives advantage on attacks against it).
Actually just giving it a bonus to melee damage worked.
2) I like the theme of frost breath and continue to like how each dragon's breath shakes up the fight in significantly different ways. You could consider an acrobatics check instead of a dex save for walking on the ice, as that is less of a direct "take THIS!" effect, and more of a "player does it their way" kind of thing. I always like to see skills used in fights when it makes sense, as its an easy way to let certain players show off their skills.
Done!
3) Since the White dragon is meant to be the brute, one way to show that off that hasn't been used for the dragon's so far is some kind of enhanced critical. Maybe extra damage on a crit or a wider range.
Done - see the Savage trait.
4) Icy Spittle: Same critique as I have with these really low damage attacks. Also, I actually do not like the name "icy spittle", it actually sounds very lame to me:)
Renamed Ice Bolt, minor damage bump, & made it a spell attack
5) Breath Weapon: The petrified idea is very.... wait for it.... cool :) That said, I actually think the effect is too much at the CR 14 level. I don't mind the effect itself, but there is no way to get out of it in a fight except for a very specific spell. At higher CRs by all means, parties should have every tool in the belt in the CR 20+ range, but at CR 14 that is still up in the air. I would add in either some way for fellow party members to help you...or maybe throw in X fire damage will release you (and some of that can do damage to the person to make it more interesting). On the flip side I think you can bump the magic drop a bit more, like 3rd level. Ultimately this means the dragon will have to deal with the "wall spell" problem I mentioned early...but it is a brute, its supposed to be corralled and contained by tactics.
I gave an easier method to recover, alternately I could make it 3 saves before your frozen. That was my original intent, but it became lengthy and I remembered the CR 3 basilisk has the same effect on only 2 saves (restrained & then petrified).
 

I gave an easier method to recover, alternately I could make it 3 saves before your frozen. That was my original intent, but it became lengthy and I remembered the CR 3 basilisk has the same effect on only 2 saves (restrained & then petrified).
Well, a basilisk is sorta the classic pretrification encounter, so two saves seem appropriate. Your white, for all its qualities, is not classic the same way. That points at 3 saves. On the other hand, monsters are only supposed to last 3 rounds more or less. That points to 2 saves. Hmm..

Edit: maybe be incapacitated on second failed save. You're out, but still not petrified, and you get another chance. Best of both worlds, imo.

I like savage. Perhaps a bit difficult to remember

Edit edit: Do you adjust CR for unstoppable? Don't think it should, as it costs the effective hp from the DMG
 
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