Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
I’m back with new dragons! A bunch of ‘em, since issue #146 was an anniversary issue and Dragon Magazine liked putting out new dragons in anniversary issues. The first of them is the cobra dragon.

When Level Up released the cultures playtest, I was surprised, but interested, to see that the list of eladrin aspects had been increased to include things other than the seasons—including Rot and Toxicity. Using this as a precedent, the cobra dragon is now a new essence dragon. It is the embodiment of poison. And a very powerful dragon it is as well.

The article mentions that cobra dragons love to collect skulls. If you have Gate Pass Gazette #6 and were looking for a reason to use that issue’s mechanoskulls outside of the lair of a necromancer or artificer, here’s your chance!

As a reminder, the MM doesn’t give a great wyrm stage for essence dragons, and I have followed suit. If you guys would rather have great wyrm essence dragons, let me know and I’ll write one up for the fang and cobra.

One more note: cobra dragon wyrmlings are Large. That is not a typo. They’re much smaller than the young cobras, but are still long enough to be considered Large.

1664232062472.png

Art by Tom Baxa

Cobra Dragon (Essence Dragon)
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #146
Created by Randy Johns

Cobra dragons are the patrons of poison and rot. They are foul, vain, paranoid creatures who revel in the despair and slow death of their enemies. Some cobra dragons begin life as other types of dragons who changed when their lands were irreparably polluted through the actions of mortals, or where gods of poisons and serpents are venerated above all, but many are born naturally in lands where toxic fumes seep up from deep vents, where snakes slither unchecked, and where every plant and fungus drips with poison. It is even said that the oldest and strongest cobras transform into cobra dragons once they reach a certain age.

Cobra dragons resemble tremendous, winged, fat-bodied hooded cobras, with glossy black scales that get only more lustrous as they age and brilliant flame-colored underbellies. The scales in their hoods resemble arsenic-gray skulls. They have a pair of small forelimbs but no hind legs. They breathe fire and deadly smoke, and even their scales are covered with a film of poison. Cobra dragons prefer living underground in hot areas, such as jungles and deserts. They make little effort to disguise their lairs—they couldn’t, as everything around them becomes poisoned and withered.

Darkness and Desolation. The lair of a cobra dragon is dark and shadowed, humid with contaminated water that drips from the toxic plants and fungi that adorns the walls and ceilings, and the air is hazy with the stinking smoke that streams from their nostrils. They hate bright light and cheery surroundings, and their lairs have an oppressive feel in them. Cobra dragons don’t live alone, however. Their cunning minds and raw animal magnetism cause all manner of creatures to flock to their sides, each of which has as toxic a mindset as the dragons. These beings ally themselves to the dragon for their own benefit at first, but are ultimately utterly dominated by its greater power.

Skull Collectors. A favorite pastime for these dragons is collecting skulls; the larger, more interesting (due to having horns or an odd shape), and rarer the creature it belonged to, the better. They prefer to collect the skulls themselves, by killing the original creature, but will accept interesting skulls as gifts or bribes. Over time, the skull-pattern in their hood shifts to resemble the most interesting skull in their collection.

Powerful cobra dragons can briefly animate these skulls, but even without that ability, cobra dragons frequently talk to these skulls—they are too paranoid to trust their minions and lieutenants, but will engage in long, one-sided discussions with their favorite pieces.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Cobra dragons are the embodiment of venom and rot, and the lands they are tied to are rife with poisonous creatures and plants.

DC 15. Cobra dragons breathe toxic flames so powerful that even creatures that are normally immune to poisons can be sickened by them. Even merely touching one of these dragons can kill.

DC 20. The oldest cobra dragons can produce poisons so virulent as to wither flesh away

Cobra Dragon Encounters
Terrain:
badlands, caverns, jungles, volcanoes

CR 5-10 Cobra dragon wyrmling; cobra dragon wyrmling with 1d4+2 giant poisonous snakes; cobra dragon wyrmling with 1-2 dire centipedes or swarms of poisonous snakes.
Treasure: 150 gp, 1,000 sp, vial of shadow poison, 5 striped toadstools, 4 tourmalines (worth 100 gp each), serpentine arm band (worth 250 gp), 4 antidotes, 2 potions of poison, pumpkin bomb.

CR 11-16 Young cobra dragon with 2d4+4 dragonbound warriors; young cobra dragon with gargoyle; young cobra dragon with 2d4 zombies with Vile Discharge trait; young cobra dragon with dire centipede
Treasure: 120 pp, 500 gp, pair of cups carved out of agate (worth 100 gp each), statues of writhing serpents carved out of black jade (worth 500 gp), 3 vials of belladonna, 2 vials of serpent venom, oil of etherealness, figurine of wondrous power (silver raven), cloak of protection embroidered with snakes.

CR 17-22 Young cobra dragon with fire elemental,young cobra dragon with 2-3 gargoyles; young cobra dragon with chuul; young cobra dragon with 2-3 swarms of poisonous snakes and 2d4 dragonbound warriors; adult cobra dragon.
Treasure: 500 pp, 6,000 gp, black pearl nose ring and earring, connected by a silver chain (worth 1,000 gp), 3 vial of arsenic, 1 vial of green dragon breath, skull liqueur, collection of strange reagents and notes that lead to the discovery of a rare 2nd-level spell with a poison theme, staff of the python, necklace of prayer beads with symbols of a snake god on them.

CR 23-30 Adult cobra dragon and alchemist; adult cobra dragon and sewer chimera; adult cobra dragon and giant fire elemental; adult cobra dragon and 1 cobra dragon wyrmling; ancient cobra dragon
Treasure: 1,500 pp, 3,300 gp, 2 fire opals (worth 1,000 gp each), 5 topazes (worth 500 each),, jacinth (worth 5,000 gp), 1 vial of powdered fiendhorn, 2 vials of oil of taggit, 2 vials of wyvern poison (worth 2,500 gp each), golden idol depicting a multi-tailed and multi-headed snake god (worth 2,500 gp), suit of +1 full plate with indelible pockmarks on it from drips of poison, flicker dagger.

CR 31+ 1-2 young cobra dragons; adult cobra dragon with 3-4 chuuls, 2d8+4 dragon cultists, and 2 cult fanatics; ancient cobra dragon and 2 cobra dragon wyrmlings; great wyrm cobra dragon
Treasure: 4,800 pp, 35,000 gp, a gold waterfall necklace with rubies, topazes, and yellow diamonds (25,000 gp), 4 vials of chuul ichor, 2 vials of pale tincture, vial of purple worm poison, 1 vial of walking death, a fist-sized meteorite made of rare, toxic metals (a creature that remains within 10 feet of the meteorite for 8 or more hours is poisoned until it is subjected to a lesser restoration; the metals can be used to make a dagger of venom or similar item), spell scroll of firestorm, carpet of flying (5 ft. × 7 ft.).

Signs
1. Thick, foul-smelling smoke everywhere; after each hour of travel, a character must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or gain a level of fatigue. Even strong winds don’t disperse the smoke for more than a minute or two at a time.
2. An abundance of hostile snakes and plants with poisonous berries and toxin-dripping thorns.
3. Smoking magma vents.
4. Several humanoid skulls, lashed to a post.
5. An incongruous cave, surrounded by dead plants and the corpses and skeletons of creatures that died from venom.
6. A corpse, bloated from poison.

Behavior
1. Hostile; attacks on sight.
2. Having an animated conversation with its skulls.
3. Preaching about a snake god to devoted followers; it claims to be that god’s messiah and the cultists are about to sacrifice someone to it.
4. Spying through the skulls is has placed around its domain.
5. Ripping the flesh off of captives’ heads to examine their skulls.
6. Alchemically creating new poisons.

Cobra Dragon Lair Features
The save DC for the following effects is 13 + the dragons’ proficiency modifier. Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features:
1. The dragon’s domain is filled with venomous serpents, toxic plants, and other such creatures, which are unusually aggressive.
2. Stakes have been driven into the ground throughout the domain, and multiple skulls hang from each stake. The dragon can see through a skull, as if it had cast clairvoyance and the skull was the sensor.
3. The lair is filled with thick, noxious smoke, as per the Choking Smoke exploration challenge (Trials & Treasures).
4. No animal, plant, or source of water in the area is safe to eat without first being purified, and each day, there is a chance (a roll of 1 on a d20) that any particular Supply has been contaminated.

Names
Hemlock, Rafflesia, Serpentes, Spite, Viridis

Variant: Cobra Dragon Spellcaster
Some dragons develop the ability to innately cast spells. An earth dragon spellcaster’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. Each age category knows its own spells and those of younger age categories.

Young (save DC X): 3/day each: enthrall, protection from poison
Adult (save DC X): 3/day each: contagion, insect plague
Ancient (save DC 23): 1/day each: inescapable malady, mass suggestion (when the dragon casts inescapable malady, it inflicts poison damage instead of necrotic damage).

Ancient Cobra Dragon
Gargantuan legendary dragon

Challenge 28 (120,000 XP)
AC 22 (natural armor)
HP 507 (26d20+234; bloodied 266)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 30 (+10) DEX 14 (+2) CON 29 (+9)
INT 19 (+4) WIS 17 (+3) CHA 25 (+7)

Proficiency +8
Maneuver DC 26
Saving Throws Str +18, Dex +10, Con +17, Int +12
Skills Perception +11 (+1d6), Persuasion +15, Stealth +10
Damage Resistances acid
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 24
Languages Common, Draconic, two more
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, it momentarily stops excreting toxins. Until the end of its next turn, its Venomous Slime trait doesn’t function.
Venomous Slime. The first time each turn a creature hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it, that creature takes 10 (3d6) poison damage.
Vicious Toxins. Poison damage inflicted by the dragon ignores resistance to poison damage, and creatures that are immune to poison damage take half damage instead.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite, once with its claws, and once with its tail. In place of its bite attack, it can use Spit Venom.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10+10) piercing damage plus 22 (4d10) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 23 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. The poisoned creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. While poisoned, the creature can’t consume any foods or liquids and will vomit them back up.If the creature rolls a critical failure on a saving throw, it falls unconscious and can’t be awoken until it is no longer poisoned.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d6+10) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 25 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10+10) bludgeoning damage. And the target is grappled (escape DC 26). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained and the dragon can’t attack another creature with its tail.
Foul Flame Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales poisonous, smoky-purple flames in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 23 Constitution saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) fire damage and 44 (8d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success. Additionally, the area is heavily obscured for 1 minute by thick, choking clouds or until it is dispersed by a moderate or greater wind. This cloud doesn’t impede the dragon’s vision. Each creature that starts its turn in that area must make a DC 23 Constitution saving throw against poison. On a failed save, the creature also spends its action retching and reeling, and if the save fails by 5 or more, the creature takes 1 level of fatigue. Creatures that don’t need to breathe or are immune to poison automatically succeed. Levels of fatigue taken from this breath weapon are removed after completing a short or long rest.
Spit Venom. The dragon spits venom at a creature it can see within 90 feet. That creature must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) poison damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. A creature that failed its save is also poisoned for 1 minute, and while poisoned, is blinded and can’t regain hit points. It may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Bonus Actions
Animate Skull.
The dragon causes a skull within 120 feet of it to animate and leap forward to attack a creature within 10 feet of the skull. That creature must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 10 (3d6) piercing damage. The skull then de-animates.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turns.
Animate Skull. The dragon uses Animate Skull.
Constrict (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon constricts a creature it is currently grappling. That creature must make a DC 24 Strength saving throw, taking 32 (4d10+10) bludgeoning damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one.
Necrotoxin (While Blooded; Costs 3 Actions). The dragon targets a creature it can see within 60 feet of it that is poisoned, and the poison begins to burn. The creature must make a DC 23 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) necrotic damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one, the target takes 1 fatigue, and the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by a number equal to half the necrotic damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0.

*

Adult Cobra Dragon
Huge legendary dragon

Challenge 22 (41,000 XP)
AC 20 (natural armor)
HP 351 (26d12+182; bloodied 175)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 27 (+8) DEX 14 (+2) CON 25 (+7)
INT 17 (+3) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 23 (+6)

Proficiency +7
Maneuver DC 23
Saving Throws Str +15, Dex +9, Con +14, Int +10
Skills Perception +9 (+1d6), Persuasion +13, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances acid
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 21
Languages Common, Draconic, one more
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, it momentarily stops excreting toxins. Until the end of its next turn, its Venomous Slime trait doesn’t function.
Venomous Slime. The first time each turn a creature hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it, that creature takes 7 (2d6) poison damage.
Vicious Toxins. Poison damage inflicted by the dragon ignores resistance to poison damage, and creatures that are immune to poison damage take half damage instead.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite, once with its claws, and once with its tail. In place of its bite attack, it can use Spit Venom.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d10+8) piercing damage plus 16 (3d10) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 22 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. The poisoned creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. While poisoned, the creature can’t consume any foods or liquids and will vomit them back up.If the creature rolls a critical failure on a saving throw, it falls unconscious and can’t be awoken until it is no longer poisoned.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6+8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d10+8) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 23). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained and the dragon can’t attack another creature with its tail.
Foul Flame Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales poisonous, smoky-purple flames in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 33 (6d10) fire damage and 33 (6d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success. Additionally, the area is heavily obscured for 1 minute by thick, choking clouds or until it is dispersed by a moderate or greater wind. This cloud doesn’t impede the dragon’s vision. Each creature that starts its turn in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw against poison. On a failed save, the creature also spends its action retching and reeling, and if the save fails by 5 or more, the creature takes 1 level of fatigue. Creatures that don’t need to breathe or are immune to poison automatically succeed. Levels of fatigue taken from this breath weapon are removed after completing a short or long rest.
Spit Venom. The dragon spits venom at a creature it can see within 90 feet. That creature must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 16 (3d10) poison damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. A creature that failed its save is also poisoned for 1 minute, and while poisoned, is blinded and can’t regain hit points. It may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Bonus Actions
Animate Skull.
The dragon causes a skull within 60 feet of it to animate and leap forward to attack a creature within 10 feet of the skull. That creature must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take 10 (3d6) piercing damage. The skull then de-animates.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turns.
Animate Skull. The dragon uses Animate Skull.
Constrict (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon constricts a creature it is currently grappling. That creature must make a DC 23 Strength saving throw, taking 24 (3d10+8) bludgeoning damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one.
Necrotoxin (While Blooded; Costs 3 Actions). The dragon targets a creature it can see within 60 feet of it that is poisoned, and the poison begins to burn. The creature must make a DC 23 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) necrotic damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one, and the target takes 1 fatigue,

*

Young Cobra Dragon
Large dragon

Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)
AC 20 (natural armor)
HP 207 (18d10+120; bloodied 103)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 24 (+7) DEX 14 (+2) CON 23 (+6)
INT 15 (+2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 21 (+5)

Proficiency +5
Maneuver DC 20
Saving Throws Str +12, Dex +7, Con +11, Int +7
Skills Perception +7 (+1d6), Persuasion +10, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances acid
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Common, Draconic
Venomous Slime. The first time each turn a creature hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it, that creature takes 5 (1d10) poison damage.
Vicious Toxins. Poison damage inflicted by the dragon ignores resistance to poison damage, and creatures that are immune to poison damage take half damage instead.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and once with its tail.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10+6) piercing damage plus 11 (2d10) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 22 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 10 minutes. The poisoned creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d10+6) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 20). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained and the dragon can’t attack another creature with its tail.
Foul Flame Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales poisonous, smoky-purple flames in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw, taking 27 (5d10) fire damage and 27 (5d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success. Additionally, the area is heavily obscured for 1 minute by thick, choking clouds or until it is dispersed by a moderate or greater wind. This cloud doesn’t impede the dragon’s vision. Each creature that starts its turn in that area must make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw against poison. On a failed save, the creature also spends its action retching and reeling. Creatures that don’t need to breathe or are immune to poison automatically succeed.

Cobra Dragon Wyrmling
Large dragon

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 76 (8d10+32; bloodied 38)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 19 (+4)
INT 13 (+2) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 16
Saving Throws Str +12, Dex +7, Con +11, Int +7
Skills Perception +7 (+1d6), Persuasion +10, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances acid
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Common, Draconic
Vicious Toxins. Poison damage inflicted by the dragon ignores resistance to poison damage, and creatures that are immune to poison damage take half damage instead.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10+5) piercing damage plus 11 (2d10) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minutes. The poisoned creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10+5) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained and the dragon can’t attack another creature with its tail.
Foul Flame Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales poisonous, smoky-purple flames in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 17 (3d10) fire damage and 17 (3d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success. Additionally, the area is heavily obscured for 1 minute by thick, choking clouds or until it is dispersed by a moderate or greater wind. This cloud doesn’t impede the dragon’s vision.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
The next dragon in this article is the obsidian dragon—which, of course, will be a gem dragon. These dragons are arctic-dwellers and are described as being black with silver highlights, which I interpret as indicating highlights—and shockingly the article does not actually say they are based on snowflake obsidian. Maybe they thought it was obvious.

A different version of the obsidian dragon (which actually was listed as a gem dragon) was put out by WotC as a web enhancement for 3.5 (web archive link). As usual, I’ll steal info from both to make this monster as interesting as possible. Honestly, I need to steal that info, because the obsidian dragon in the Dragon article has no social info and nothing that would make it psionic. Maybe when I'm done with Dragon I'll go through these dead monster websites and convert some of those creatures as well.

1664312822873.png

Art by Tom Baxa

Obsidian Dragon (Gem Dragon)
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #146
Created by Mark Mathis, and Scott Brocius and Mark A. Jindra.

At a distance, an obsidian dragon might be mistaken for a silver dragon, especially when the light causes their scales to gleam. Up close, they have shining black scales flecked with clusters of white, like snowflake obsidians, and they have a “beard,” “eyebrows,” and cheek tufts made of short, sharp spikes. Their smooth scales fit closely together, making it seem almost as if they have skin instead of scales. But should a scale drop off of its body, it is easy to see that its edges are more sharply honed than even the finest of blades. Obsidian dragons prefer to lair in near to arctic volcanoes, where they can bask in a perfect balance of heat and cold, and they enjoy roaming their territories in humanoid form, seeing the land from the ground. Arctic-dwelling Stoneworthy tribes often ally themselves with these dragons, providing simple services and in return getting cast-off scales with which to make high-quality blades.

Orderly Minds. Obsidian dragons are disciplined beings. They hold themselves to high standards and expect others to do so as well. While they can be quite ruthless and egotistical, they are rarely cruel. In fact, they may be the most good of all gemstone dragons, although they prefer to do good by encouraging others to do the correct (that is, most logical) thing that will benefit the most people rather than actually go forth and do good themselves.

Least Of The Gems. Possibly the least psionically-powerful of all gemstone dragons, many gem dragons don’t consider obsidian dragons to be a “true” gem dragon. Legends tell that the first obsidian dragon was banished from the courts of the dragon gods and its mind partially sealed to prevent it from gaining its full psychic potential. Obsidian dragons who are aware of this story claim it is nothing more than a myth, and point to their own high intelligence and powers—including the ability to shapeshift, which is otherwise unknown to gem dragons—as proof of that. Most other gem dragons view them as arrogant creatures who think themselves smarter and more capable than they actually are. The worst of them don’t even consider obsidian dragons to be “true” gem dragons.

Due to their territories, obsidian dragons frequently come into contact with silver dragons, and the two are often on friendly terms. Obsidians are less people-oriented than silvers are, and silvers are less focused on their hoards than obsidians are, but they have a great deal in common and tend to enjoy each other’s company, at least for brief periods of time.

Collectors. Like most dragons, obsidian dragons like to keep hoards. Unlike many, though, they prefer to come about their collections through legal (or at least mostly legal) means. They gladly accept gifts and tributes and will take the goods of dragonslayers that they best in combat, but they primarily obtain their goods by buying them (and are sometimes willing to trade an object for a newer, more interesting one). Obsidian dragons are no fools, however. They have keen investigative skills and always check an object’s provenance, and are they very good at haggling. Since they do most of their purchasing in humanoid form, few merchants know that they are selling to a dragon.

An obsidian dragon’s collections vary wildly over time. For a while, the dragon may be obsessed with gathering examples of swords made by the finest smiths of the land or in pottery from a long-since destroyed dwarven kingdom, then develop an interest in collecting gemstones with star inclusions, magic wands, or exotic butterflies.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 15. A rare species of gem dragon, obsidian dragons native to arctic volcanoes. They are known to be studious and serious-minded. They breathe a sheet of black frost that freezes and burns its victims before encasing them in hardened ice.

DC 20. Obsidian dragons are shapeshifters and often prefer humanoid form. The oldest of them can steal the thoughts from someone else’s mind. They enjoy hoarding things—tomes, magic items, objets d’art, and so on—rather than coins.

Obsidian Dragon Encounters
Terrain:
mountain, tundra, volcanoes

CR 3-4 obsidian dragon wyrmling; obsidian dragon wyrmling with 1d4+4 dragonbound warriors or mountain dwarf soldiers
Treasure: 200 gp, 350 sp, personal collection worth 200 gp (2d4 wooden elven religious idols; 3d10 novels; or 1d4 pieces of sheet music, penned by a master bard), potions of cold resistance and healing

CR 5-10 obsidian dragon wyrmling with 1d4 berserkers; young obsidian dragon; young obsidian dragon with 2d4+8 dragonbound warriors or mountain dwarf soldiers
Treasure: 400 gp, 2,500 sp, personal collection worth 1,000 gp (1d10 rare history and culture books, 2d4 small marble statues, 2 oil paintings by a master artist, or 6 different warlock patron tokens), spell scroll of conjure fey.

CR 11-16 young obsidian dragon with yeti or ettin; young obsidian dragon with 1d4+1 berserkers
Treasure: 250 pp, 600 sp, personal collection worth 3,000 gp (collection of 6 large spinels, each a different color and carved in a different shape; collection of regalia from several historical members of royalty of a nearby kingdom; or 1d6×2 tapestries, each of which use metallic thread and describe different scenes), +1 mithril broadsword

CR 17-22 adult obsidian dragon; adult obsidian dragon with azer forgemaster; young obsidian dragon with salamander
Treasure: 700 pp, 2,500 gp, personal collection worth 10,000 gp (4 life-sized humanoid stone statues with gold and jade accents from a long-dead civilization; collection of magic wands: 3 cantrip wands, wand of elocution, wand of erudition, wand of magic missile, wand of lightning bolts, wand of wonder; or 14 daggers and shortswords made of different extraplanar metals but all made by the same swordsmith), 2 spell scrolls of clairvoyance.

CR 23-30 adult obsidian dragon with obsidian dragon wyrmling and 1 warrior band; ancient obsidian dragon; ancient obsidian dragon with 1-2 warrior bands or 2-3 azer
Treasure: 900 pp, 10,000 gp, personal collection worth 30,000 gp (3d4 goblets decorated gold goblets; letters of correspondence with half the nobles of the continent, stretching back several centuries—some of which reveal scandalous details; or 3 spellbooks, one of which has 1-2 rare spells, taken from famed spellcasters; each spellbook has a total of 20 levels worth of spells, none higher than 6th level)

Signs
1. A smoking volcano that always seems on the cusp of erupting.
2. Freezing rains and blizzards.
3. Natives to the area wield weapons and bladed tools made of the finest obsidian.
4. Local humanoids work for a famed art collector and offer rewards for procuring desired pieces.
5. Patches of black ice.
6. A corpse. Close examination reveals severe brain damage and frostbite

Behavior
1-2. Obsessively taking care of and cataloging its hoard.
3. Asleep, telepathically aware of approaches, annoyed if disturbed.
4. Writing the latest volume of its memoirs.
5. Preparing an attack on a bandit clan.
6. Approaches the party in human form, asking about a particular item that it wishes to purchase.

Obsidian Dragon Lair Features
The save DC for the following effects is 13 + the dragon’s proficiency modifier. Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features:

1. Sharp shards of obsidian—consisting of both natural stone and shed scales—litter the ground and are stuck into the walls. A creature that isn’t wearing Medium or Heavy armor that moves through the area takes 2 (1d4) piercing damage for every 10 feet it travels.
2. Volcanic vents spew dark clouds of smoke and plumes of magma, heavily obscuring a 20-foot-radius area. When a breathing creature starts its turn in the cloud or enters it for the first time on its turn, it must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) fire damage and become poisoned until the start of its next turn.
3. All the floors are slippery, black ice. Anyone moving more than half their speed in a single turn must make a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.
4. Bitterly cold strong winds roar throughout the lair. The area is difficult terrain, sounds can’t travel more than 20 feet away, and unprotected flames are extinguished.

Names
Asadywan, Blackstone, Cristobalite, Tolshaverys, Vitrean

Variant: Obsidian Dragon Spellcaster
Some gem dragons develop the ability to psionically cast spells. An obsidian dragon’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components. Each age category knows its own spells and those of younger age categories.

Young (save DC 14): identify, locate object
Adult (save DC 17): legend lore, wall of force
Ancient (save DC 19): demiplane (demiplane is a 100-foot square), plane shift

Ancient Obsidian Dragon
Gargantuan legendary dragon (shapechanger)

Challenge 24 (62,000 XP)
AC 22
HP 388 (21d20+168; bloodied 194)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 27 (+8) DEX 10 (+0) CON 26 (+8)
INT 24 (+7) WIS 21 (+5) CHA 19 (+4)

Proficiency +7
Maneuver DC 23
Saving Throws Con +15, Int +14, Wis +12, Cha +11
Skills History +14, Investigation +14, Perception +12, Persuasion +11 (+1d6 bargaining)
Damage Resistances acid, fire
Damage Immunities cold, psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages Common, Draconic, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does, some of its scales soften and lose their luster. If it has no more uses of this ability, it can’t use its Steal Thoughts legendary action and its Glassy Shards trait is no longer in effect until it completes a long rest.
Glassy Shards. A creature that hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it takes 11 (2d10) piercing damage from broken, glassy shards that fly off the dragon’s scales.
Lightning Weakness. If the dragon takes lightning damage, it is rattled and its speed is reduced by 20 feet until the end of its next turn.
Master Appraiser. The dragon gains a d4 expertise die on checks made to recall lore about objects or to appraise their worth. If it fails such a roll, or it fails a Persuasion check when bargaining, it can expend on use of its Legendary Resistance trait to treat the roll as a 20.
Psionic Powers. The dragon’s psionic abilities are considered both magical and psionic.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite, it can use Whitefire.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 30 (4d10+8) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) cold damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8+8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8+8) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Bastard Sword (Humanoid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8+8) slashing damage, or 13 (1d10+8) slashing damage when wielded in two hands.
Black Ice (Recharge 5-6). The dragon spits a web of corrosive black ice at a creature within 60 feet. Each creature in that area must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, 35 (10d6) acid damage and 35 (10d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one, and a creature that fails its save is restrained (escape DC 23) by the black ice and can’t breathe. The ice can be attacked and destroyed (AC 15, 20 hp, vulnerability to acid damage, immune to cold, poison, and psychic damage).
Whitefire. The dragon concentrates fiery thoughts on one or more creatures it can see within 20 feet. Each creature in that area is engulfed in burning-cold white flames and must make a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) cold damage and 11 (2d10) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Bonus Actions
Blackflame Aura.
The dragon targets a creature it can see within 90 feet of it. That creature is covered in a ghostly aura of black flames. Until the end of its next turn, that creature gains a +2 bonus to its Armor Class, 20 temporary hit points, and another creature that touches it or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage.
Change Shape. The dragon magically takes the shape of a humanoid or beast, or changes back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (dragon’s choice). In the new form, the dragon’s stats are unchanged except for its size. It can’t use Whitefire, Breath Weapon, Tail Attack, or Wing Attack except in dragon form. In beast form, it can attack only with its bite and claws, if appropriate to its form. If the beast form is Large or smaller, the reach of these attacks is reduced to 5 feet. In humanoid form, it can attack only with its sword.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
Analyze.
The dragon evaluates one creature it can see within 60 feet. It learns the creature’s resistances, immunities, vulnerabilities, and current and maximum hit points. That creature’s next attack roll against the dragon before the start of the dragon’s next turn is made with disadvantage
Whitefire (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon makes a Whitefire attack.
Steal Thoughts (Costs 3 Actions, 3/Day). The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet of it, forcing it to make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 11 (2d10) psychic damage and the dragon psionically rips a fragmented copy of the creature’s memories out of its head and stores them in one of its scales. The dragon from then on has a d4 expertise die on Charisma checks made against that character and Intelligence checks made to recall any information that the character would know about, including secret knowledge. Until the targeted creature completes a long rest or is targeted by a greater restoration or similar spell, it has disadvantage on all Intelligence checks, as its memories have been scrambled, and on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration on a spell.

*

Adult Obsidian Dragon
Huge legendary dragon (shapechanger)

Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)
AC 20
HP 262 (21d12+126; bloodied 131)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 23 (+6) DEX 10 (+0) CON 22 (+6)
INT 22 (+6) WIS 19 (+4) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +6
Maneuver DC 20
Saving Throws Con +12, Int +12, Wis +10, Cha +9
Skills History +12, Investigation +12, Perception +10, Persuasion +9 (+1d6 bargaining)
Damage Resistances acid, fire
Damage Immunities cold, psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Common, Draconic, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does, some of its scales soften and lose their luster. If it has no more uses of this ability, it can’t use its Steal Thoughts legendary action and its Glassy Shards trait is no longer in effect until it completes a long rest.
Glassy Shards. A creature that hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it takes 9 (2d8) piercing damage from broken, glassy shards that fly off the dragon’s scales.
Lightning Weakness. If the dragon takes lightning damage, it is rattled and its speed is reduced by 20 feet until the end of its next turn.
Master Appraiser. The dragon gains a d4 expertise die on checks made to recall lore about objects or to appraise their worth. If it fails such a roll, or it fails a Persuasion check when bargaining, it can expend on use of its Legendary Resistance trait to treat the roll as a 20.
Psionic Powers. The dragon’s psionic abilities are considered both magical and psionic.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite, it can use Whitefire.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10+6) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) cold damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Bastard Sword (Humanoid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d8+6) slashing damage, or 11 (1d10+6) slashing damage when wielded in two hands.
Black Ice (Recharge 5-6). The dragon spits a web of corrosive black ice at a creature within 60 feet. Each creature in that area must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, 28 (8d6) acid damage and 28 (8d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one, and a creature that fails its save is restrained (escape DC 20) by the black ice and can’t breathe. The ice can be attacked and destroyed (AC 15, 20 hp, vulnerability to acid damage, immune to cold, poison, and psychic damage).
Whitefire. The dragon concentrates fiery thoughts on one or more creatures it can see within 20 feet. Each creature in that area is engulfed in burning-cold white flames and must make a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) cold damage and 5 (1d10) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Bonus Actions
Blackflame Aura.
The dragon targets a creature it can see within 90 feet of it. That creature is covered in a ghostly aura of black flames. Until the end of its next turn, that creature gains a +2 bonus to its Armor Class, 10 temporary hit points, and another creature that touches it or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage.
Change Shape. The dragon magically takes the shape of a humanoid or beast, or changes back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (dragon’s choice). In the new form, the dragon’s stats are unchanged except for its size. It can’t use Whitefire Pulse, Breath Weapons, Tail Attack, or Wing Attack except in dragon form. In beast form, it can attack only with its bite and claws, if appropriate to its form. If the beast form is Large or smaller, the reach of these attacks is reduced to 5 feet. In humanoid form, it can attack only with its sword.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
Analyze.
The dragon evaluates one creature it can see within 60 feet. It learns the creature’s resistances, immunities, vulnerabilities, and current and maximum hit points. That creature’s next attack roll against the dragon before the start of the dragon’s next turn is made with disadvantage
Whitefire (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon makes a Whitefire attack.
Steal Thoughts (Costs 3 Actions, 3/Day). The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet of it, forcing it to make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 9 (2d8) psychic damage and the dragon psionically rips a fragmented copy of the creature’s memories out of its head and stores them in one of its scales. The dragon from then on has a d4 expertise die on Charisma checks made against that character and Intelligence checks made to recall any information that the character would know about, including secret knowledge. Until the targeted creature completes a long rest or is targeted by a greater restoration or similar spell, it has disadvantage on all Intelligence checks, as its memories have been scrambled, and on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration on a spell.

*

Young Obsidian Dragon
Large dragon

Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
AC 18
HP 152 (16d10+72; bloodied 64)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 18 (+4)
INT 19 (+4) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 15 (+2)

Proficiency +4
Maneuver DC 16
Saving Throws Con +8, Int +8, Wis +7, Cha +6
Skills History +8, Investigation +8, Perception +7, Persuasion +6 (+1d4 bargaining)
Damage Resistances acid, fire
Damage Immunities cold, psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Draconic, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Glassy Shards. A creature that hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) piercing damage from broken, glassy shards that fly off the dragon’s scales.
Lightning Weakness. If the dragon takes lightning damage, it is rattled and its speed is reduced by 20 feet until the end of its next turn.
Master Appraiser. The dragon gains a d4 expertise die on checks made to recall lore about objects or to appraise their worth. If it fails such a roll, or it fails a Persuasion check when bargaining, it can expend on use of its Legendary Resistance trait to treat the roll as a 20.
Psionic Powers. The dragon’s psionic abilities are considered both magical and psionic.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d10+4) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) cold damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) slashing damage.
Black Ice (Recharge 5-6). The dragon spits a web of corrosive black ice at a creature within 60 feet. Each creature in that area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, 18 (5d6) acid damage and 18 (5d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one, and a creature that fails its save is restrained (escape DC 16) by the black ice and can’t breathe. The ice can be attacked and destroyed (AC 15, 20 hp, vulnerability to acid damage, immune to cold, poison, and psychic damage).

Bonus Actions
Blackflame Aura.
The dragon targets a creature it can see within 90 feet of it. That creature is covered in a ghostly aura of black flames. Until the end of its next turn, that creature gains a +2 bonus to its Armor Class, 5 temporary hit points, and another creature that touches it or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 3 (1d6) psychic damage.

*

Obsidian Dragon Wyrmling
Medium dragon

Challenge 3 (750 XP)
AC 16
HP 58 (9d8+18; bloodied 29)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 15 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 15 (+2) DEX 10 (+0) CON 14 (+2)
INT 15 (+2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Saving Throws Con +4 Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +3
Skills History +4, Investigation +4, Perception +4, Persuasion +3
Damage Resistances acid, fire
Damage Immunities cold, psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Draconic, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Glassy Shards. A creature that hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 10 feet of it takes 3 (1d6) piercing damage from broken, glassy shards that fly off the dragon’s scales.
Lightning Weakness. If the dragon takes lightning damage, it is rattled and its speed is reduced by 20 feet until the end of its next turn.
Psionic Powers. The dragon’s psionic abilities are considered both magical and psionic.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d10+2) piercing damage plus 3 (1d6) cold damage.
Black Ice (Recharge 5-6). The dragon spits a web of corrosive black ice at a creature within 60 feet. Each creature in that area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, 10 (3d6) acid damage and 10 (3d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one, and a creature that fails its save is restrained (escape DC 12) by the black ice and can’t breathe. The ice can be attacked and destroyed (AC 15, 20 hp, vulnerability to acid damage, immune to cold, poison, and psychic damage).
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Now that the forums are back up, I can post again. One last big dragon from this article: the rainbow dragon. It’s a chromatic dragon, naturally. So many of the dragons from this article were very powerful, and the rainbow dragon is no exception. They are described as being the most powerful chromatic dragon in 1e, and in Level Up, they are a whopping CR 28. Fortunately, it’s not that bright.

(The article also has a gray dragon, but upon re-reading, it’s basically a smarter white dragon whose breath weapon causes paralysis because it’s so cold.)

The original write-up describes it has having “an ever-changing display of iridescent hues of all colors,” so I took that a step further. It can alter its coloration, not to blend in (the colors are too bright for that), but to pick a single color or pattern of colors, of any colors they want. Which means if you want to say people have seen a dragon of a particular color—meaning, of course, that the party will stock up on ways to protect against that dragon’s breath weapon—and then spring this guy on them as a surprise… well, you can.

Interestingly, an issue of Dungeon magazine had the “prismatic dragon,” which is somewhat similar in appearance but so radically different in abilities that I will not be taking any of its abilities—although I did steal a bit of its lore, though, just to help flesh the rainbow out. 1e monsters either had no information on a creature’s society or psychology, or way too much.

1664481911092.png

Art by Tom Baxa

Rainbow Dragon (Chromatic Dragon)
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #146
Created by Gregory Detwiler

Rainbow dragons are possibly the most beautiful of all dragons, with small, iridescent scales that constantly shift through all the colors of the rainbow and then some. They have a frill that runs down their neck and back, resembling the sail of a dimetrodon, and smaller frills on their “earls” and on the tip of their tail. They lair in sun-drenched deserts, plains, and mountaintops—anywhere where the light will reflect off their scales and shine their beauty for all to see.

A rainbow dragon’s breath weapon is a beam of rainbow light that burns and blinds whoever it touches—and they can even select individual colors of light to breathe on a target, in order to inflict different types of damage.

Deceptive Beauty. People who see a rainbow dragon from afar typically imagine it to be as good as it is beautiful. In reality, though, they are egotistical to a fault, and they quickly grow bored with anything that is not of immediate interest to it—and they will get rid of anything they find boring with a powerful tail slap or spat burst of energy. They can listen to people praise it all day, though, especially if the flattery is combined with gifts of precious metals, gems, and mirrors.

Demanding Sentinels. Rainbow dragons aggressively patrol their territories, especially during daytime when their beauty can be most easily seen. They will attack whoever they come across (unless they feel outnumbered), demanding flattery and tribute. They will leave travelers unharmed but shaken if they comply. They may even take a shine to people who are sufficiently obsequious and might give such a person a trinket or other gift to commemorate the dragon bringing some spice into their lives.

Despite their ferocity, rainbow dragons prefer to not get into combat—at least not if there’s any chance of their beautiful scales being marred. However, they hate ugliness and will gladly destroy anything they deem to be sufficiently hideous.

Narcissistic. Rainbow dragons consider themselves to be the greatest of all dragons. They view other chromatic dragons as pale, limited reflections of themselves and gem dragons to be nuisances—albeit potentially tasty nuisances, though, as rainbow dragons enjoy eating both gemstones and meat, and gem dragons are, in their opinion, the best of both.

They actually are fond of metallic dragons, however, as a metallic dragon’s hide is usually shiny enough to reflect the rainbow dragon in it. Rainbow dragons claim to be a metallic dragon (asking what sort of metal they are supposed to be, however, is a good way to get the questioner eaten). They do not care one whit that metallic dragons tend to dispute this claim of kinship.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:
DC 10. Rainbow dragons are the most colorful, beautiful, and egotistical of all dragons. They love treasure that is colorful or mirrored. They typically dwell in very sunny areas, where the light makes them seem even more colorful.
DC 15. Easily bored, and even more easily angered when bored, rainbow dragons exhale beams of colored light, and can spit individual colors of light, each of which inflicts a different type of damage.

DC 20. Rainbow dragons like to terrorize people into giving them tribute and flattery, but are loathe to kill unnecessarily—unless they feel slighted in some way. They surround themselves with sycophantic followers of all sorts—but only pretty ones.

Rainbow Dragons Encounters
Terrain:
Badlands, deserts, mountains

CR 5-10 rainbow dragon wyrmling and 1d6+2 dragonbound warriors or kobolds
Treasure: 775 gp, 1,100 sp, 4 moonstones (50 gp each), 5 pearls (100 gp each), gold-framed mirror (250 gp), bag of tricks (gray), elemental gem (sapphire), potions of clairvoyance and heroism, vial of beauty

CR 11-16 young rainbow dragon; young rainbow dragon with minstrel, 2d4+4 dragonbound warriors, kobolds, or soldiers; young rainbow dragon with adamanticore
Treasure: 25 pp, 800 gp, 4,200 sp, 5 tourmalines (100 gp each), opal (1,000 gp), dragon sculpture carved out of quartz and gold (500 gp), fully illuminate bestiary (worth 100 gp), badge of seasons, glamoured padded leather, robe of eyes, spell scrolls of major image and hallucinatory terrain

CR 17-22 young rainbow dragon with gem vars; young rainbow dragon with 2-3 fey knights, knights, or scorpionfolk
Treasure: 445 pp, 2,500 gp, 6 topazes and spinels (500 gp each), 10 1-pound gold bars (50 gp each), 2 sets of resplendent clothes for a formal ball (250 gp each), tapestry made with gold and silver thread (500 gp), amulet of the pleasing bouquet, bowl of commanding water elementals, figurine of wondrous power (onyx dog), necklace of prayer beads, scimitar of speed

CR 23-30 adult rainbow dragon with shield guardian or medusa; ancient rainbow dragon
Treasure: 970 pp, 13,750 gp, 3 opals (1,000 gp each), 1 diamond (5,000 gp), matching pair of rainbow gem-studded mithril goblets (2,500 gp each), gold-plated suit of ornamental plate armor (2,500 gp), ever-shifting map, liquid luck, hat of grand entrances, ioun stones of awareness and leadership

CR 31+ ancient rainbow dragon with 1d4+2 gem vars; ancient rainbow dragon; great wyrm rainbow dragon
Treasure: 3,500 pp, 29,750 gp, dragon-sized diamond-studded necklace (25,000 gp), quarter-sized statue of the dragon carved from scintillating, extraplanar stone with opal eyes (10,000 gp), platinum scepter topped with a ruby (7,500 gp), set of matching gold-pearl necklace, ring, and earing (1,000 gp each), 5 bolts of silk from Feywild-dwelling moths (750 gp each), celestial aegis, helm of brilliance (fully charged), marvelous pigments, ring of fire elemental command, ring of shooting stars, robe of stars

Signs
1. Gemstones sparkle brightly, shedding colorful dim light in a 5-foot radius, and shiny surfaces become highly reflective.
2. The sunshine and starshine are unusually bright, and rainbows form even in clear, dry skies.
3. Flashes of colorful light in the sky, as if light was bounced of a mirror.
4. Spires of bismuth growing out of rocks.
5. A looted merchant caravan.
6. Brilliantly colored plants and insects.

Behavior
1-2. Patrolling its territory.
3. Attacks on site; demands tribute.
4. Resting in the sunlight.
5. Receiving tribute from a merchant caravan its held up.
6. Perched atop a ruin or rock spur, surveying its domain.
7. Feeding on the corpse of a gemstone dragon.
8. Staring into a mirror.

Rainbow Dragon Lair Features
The save DC for the following effects is 13 + the dragon’s proficiency modifier. Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features:

1. The entire lair is brightly lit, with no areas of darkness or dim light. Attempts to hide are made at disadvantage.
2. Colored light reflects throughout the lair, dancing in distracting patterns. A creature other than the dragon has disadvantage on Intelligence checks made in the lair due to the distracting colors, and its Speed is reduced by 10 feet.
3. Mirrors placed everywhere show the dragon’s visage throughout the lair, and the dragon’s egotistical ramblings can be heard throughout. The first time each day a creature other than the dragon enters the lair, it must make a Wisdom saving throw or take a level of strife.
4. Secret passages are hidden by materials that easily give way to one of the dragon’s spit energy attacks, allowing the dragon to escape.

Names
Gallimaufry, Hinamitol, Manzat, Nevindrak, Prism

Variant: Rainbow Dragon Spellcaster
Some dragons develop the ability to innately cast spells. A red dragon spellcaster’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. Each age category knows its own spells and those of younger age categories.

Young (save DC X): 3/day each: command, hypnotic pattern
Adult (save DC X): 3/day each: daylight, hallucinatory terrain
Ancient (save DC X): 1/day each: control weather, scrying
Great Wyrm (save DC X): 1/day: prismatic wall

Ancient Rainbow Dragon
Gargantuan legendary dragon

Challenge 28 (120,000 XP)
AC 24 (natural armor)
HP 507 (26d20+252; bloodied 253)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 30 (+10) DEX 14 (+2) CON 29 (+9)
INT 16 (+3) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 28 (+9)

Proficiency +8
Maneuver DC 26
Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +17, Cha +17
Skills Intimidation +17, Perception +11 (+1d6)
Damage Resistances lightning
Damage Immunities force, radiant
Condition Immunities blinded
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 24
Languages Common, Draconic, two others
Illuminated Chameleon. The dragon sheds bright light to 10 feet and dim light to a further 10 feet. It can use a bonus action to extinguish this light. It can also alter the color of its scales to appear as a single color (including metallic colors) or to form patterns and symbols
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, some of its scales dull and turn a colorless gray. If it has no more uses of this ability, its Armor Class is reduced to 22 until it completes a long rest.
Radiant Absorption. Whenever the dragon is subjected to radiant damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the radiant damage dealt.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can Spit Energy.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10+10) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) damage. Each time this attack is made, roll a d6 to determine the damage type: 1—acid; 2—cold; 3—fire; 4—lightning; 5—poison; 6—radiant.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d8+10) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (3d8+10) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away
Reflective Scales. The dragon flexes its scales, turning them into a multifaceted mirror that sends flashes of colored light bouncing across the area. A creature within 30 feet of the dragon must make a DC 25 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, the creature is incapacitated and its speed is reduced to 0 feet. The effect ends on a creature when it takes damage or when another creature uses an action to shake it out of its daze.
Spit Energy. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 22 (4d10) damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. Each time this attack is made, roll a d6 to determine the damage type: 1—acid; 2—cold; 3—fire; 4—lightning; 5—poison; 6—radiant.
Rainbow Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a blast of rainbow light in a 10-foot wide, 90-foot line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw, taking 45 (8d10) force damage and 45 (8d10) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. This damage ignores resistance to radiant damage and a creature that is immune to radiant damage takes half damage instead. Additionally, a creature that is vulnerable to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage takes an additional 22 (4d10) radiant damage. On a failed saving throw, a creature is also blinded for 10 minutes. It may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Bonus Actions
Imperious Command (3/Day).
The dragon threatens a creature into obedience, its snarl laced with terrifying subsonic harmonies. The chooses one frightened creatures it can see and that can hear the dragon. That creature must make a DC 25 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. If the dragon commands the target to take an action that would harm itself or an ally, and also at the end of each of the target’s turns, the target can make a new saving throw, ending the effect on a success. The charm also ends when the frightened condition ends.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Reflective Scales. The dragon uses its Reflective Scales action.
Roar. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it makes a DC 26 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it is frightened for 1 minute. A creature repeats the saving throw at the end of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Roar for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 26 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed

Variant: Rainbow Dragon Variant: Rainbow Great Wyrm
The dragon is an elite monster, equivalent to two CR 28 monsters (240,000 XP). It has 1,014 (52d20+468; bloodied 507) hit points and the following trait:

Rainbow Burst. When the dragon is first bloodied, it immediately recharges its breath weapon, if it’s not already available, and brilliant light explodes from it. Each creature within 20 feet of the dragon must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature with resistance to radiant damage loses it, and a creature without resistance or immunity to radiant damage becomes vulnerable to radiant damage instead and is blinded. Either effect lasts until the start of the creature’s next turn. Additionally, until the end of the dragon’s next turn, spells from the prismatic, radiant, and shadow schools of magic don’t work or end, if they are already in effect, and spell slots use to cast these spells are lost, and a creature that is already blinded has disadvantage on saving throws to end that condition until it completes a short or long rest.

The dragon has the following additional legendary actions, which it can only use while bloodied:

Elite Recovery. The dragon ends one negative effect currently affecting it. It can do so as long as it has at least 1 hit point, even while unconscious or incapacitated.
Mortal Terror (Gaze). A creature within 120 feet makes a saving throw against Roar, even if it has already successfully saved within the past 24 hours.
Gather The Light (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon recharges its breath weapon.
Unweave The Rainbow (Costs 3 Actions). The dragon exhales a beam of colored light at a creature it can see within 90 feet. The creature is affected as if caught in the dragon’s breath weapon, rolling the save as usual, but the damage type varies: 1—red, fire; 2—orange, acid; 3—yellow, lightning; 4—green, poison; 5—blue, cold; 6—violet, thunder.

*

Adult Rainbow Dragon
Huge legendary dragon

Challenge 23 (50,000 XP)
AC 22 (natural armor)
HP 324 (24d12+168; bloodied 162)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 26 (+8) DEX 14 (+2) CON 25 (+7)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 24 (+7)

Proficiency +7
Maneuver DC 23
Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +14, Cha +14
Skills Intimidation +14, Perception +8 (+1d6)
Damage Resistances lightning
Damage Immunities force, radiant
Condition Immunities blinded
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 21
Languages Common, Draconic, one other
Illuminated Chameleon. The dragon sheds bright light to 10 feet and dim light to a further 10 feet. It can use a bonus action to extinguish this light. It can also alter the color of its scales to appear as a single color (including metallic colors) or to form patterns and symbols
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, some of its scales dull and turn a colorless gray. If it has no more uses of this ability, its Armor Class is reduced to 20 until it completes a long rest.
Radiant Absorption. Whenever the dragon is subjected to radiant damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the radiant damage dealt.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can Spit Energy.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d10+8) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) damage. Each time this attack is made, roll a d6 to determine the damage type: 1—acid; 2—cold; 3—fire; 4—lightning; 5—poison; 6—radiant.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8+8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8+8) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away
Reflective Scales. The dragon flexes its scales, turning them into a multifaceted mirror that sends flashes of colored light bouncing across the area. A creature within 30 feet of the dragon must make a DC 22 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, the creature is incapacitated and its speed is reduced to 0 feet. The effect ends on a creature when it takes damage or when another creature uses an action to shake it out of its daze.
Spit Energy. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 22 (4d10) damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. Each time this attack is made, roll a d6 to determine the damage type: 1—acid; 2—cold; 3—fire; 4—lightning; 5—poison; 6—radiant.
Rainbow Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a blast of rainbow light in a 5-foot wide, 60-foot line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw, taking 33 (6d10) force damage and 33 (6d10) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. This damage ignores resistance to radiant damage and a creature that is immune to radiant damage takes half damage instead. Additionally, a creature that is vulnerable to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage takes an additional 16 (3d10) radiant damage. On a failed saving throw, a creature is also blinded for 1 minute. It may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Bonus Actions
Imperious Command (3/Day).
The dragon threatens a creature into obedience, its snarl laced with terrifying subsonic harmonies. The chooses one frightened creatures it can see and that can hear the dragon. That creature must make a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. If the dragon commands the target to take an action that would harm itself or an ally, and also at the end of each of the target’s turns, the target can make a new saving throw, ending the effect on a success. The charm also ends when the frightened condition ends.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Reflective Scales. The dragon uses its Reflective Scales action.
Roar. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it makes a DC 23 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it is frightened for 1 minute. A creature repeats the saving throw at the end of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Roar for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed

*

Young Rainbow Dragon
Large dragon

Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)
AC 20 (natural armor)
HP 189 (18d10+90; bloodied 94)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR 22 (+6) DEX 14 (+2) CON 21 (+5)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 20 (+5)

Proficiency +4
Maneuver DC 18
Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +9, Cha +9
Skills Intimidation +9, Perception +5 (+1d6)
Damage Resistances lightning
Damage Immunities force, radiant
Condition Immunities blinded
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Common, Draconic
Illuminated Chameleon. The dragon sheds bright light to 5 feet and dim light to a further 5 feet. It can use a bonus action to extinguish this light. It can also alter the color of its scales to appear as a single color (including metallic colors) or to form patterns and symbols
Radiant Absorption. Whenever the dragon is subjected to radiant damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the radiant damage dealt.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10+6) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) damage. Each time this attack is made, roll a d6 to determine the damage type: 1—acid; 2—cold; 3—fire; 4—lightning; 5—poison; 6—radiant.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) slashing damage.
Reflective Scales. The dragon flexes its scales, turning them into a multifaceted mirror that sends flashes of colored light bouncing across the area. A creature within 15 feet of the dragon must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, the creature is incapacitated and its speed is reduced to 0 feet. The effect ends on a creature when it takes damage or when another creature uses an action to shake it out of its daze.
Rainbow Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a blast of rainbow light in a 5-foot wide, 60-foot line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) force damage and 22 (4d10) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. This damage ignores resistance to radiant damage and a creature that is immune to radiant damage takes half damage instead. Additionally, a creature that is vulnerable to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage takes an additional 16 (3d10) radiant damage. On a failed saving throw, a creature is also blinded for 1 minute. It may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

*

Rainbow Dragon Wyrmling
Medium dragon

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 76 (9d8+36; bloodied 38)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 19 (+4) DEX 14 (+2) CON 18 (+4)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 16 (+3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Saving Throws Dex +4, Con +6, Cha +5
Skills Intimidation +5, Perception +2
Damage Resistances lightning
Damage Immunities force, radiant
Condition Immunities blinded
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Draconic
Illuminated Chameleon. The dragon sheds bright light to 5 feet and dim light to a further 5 feet. It can use a bonus action to extinguish this light. It can also alter the color of its scales to appear as a single color (including metallic colors) or to form patterns and symbols
Radiant Absorption. Whenever the dragon is subjected to radiant damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the radiant damage dealt.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d10+4) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) damage.
Reflective Scales. The dragon flexes its scales, turning them into a multifaceted mirror that sends flashes of colored light bouncing across the area. A creature within 10 feet of the dragon must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, the creature is incapacitated and its speed is reduced to 0 feet. The effect ends on a creature when it takes damage or when another creature uses an action to shake it out of its daze.
Rainbow Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a blast of rainbow light in a 5-foot wide, 30-foot line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) force damage and 11 (2d10) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. This damage ignores resistance to radiant damage and a creature that is immune to radiant damage takes half damage instead. Additionally, a creature that is vulnerable to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage takes an additional 11 (2d10) radiant damage. On a failed saving throw, a creature is also blinded until the end of its next turn.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Uh oh. I think something happened to a portion of the rainbow dragon post.
Yeah. The same stupid mistake I made before. I put a note to myself in double square brackets and then forgot to remove them, and the forum thinks that it's code or something. Anyway, fixed.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
We go from big dragons to a tiny one, with the minidragon. Pseudodragons and faerie dragons are already things, true, but they’re both intelligent beings. Minidragons are of animal intelligence (although they’re empathic—they’re probably inspired by the fire lizards of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels), aren’t particularly magical, and have animal behaviors. As I’m making classifying them as dragon (beast), they’re useful as shoulder dragons for nobility, as familiars for wizards, and as hunting animals for rangers.

1664567501259.png

Art by Tom Baxa

Minidragon
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #146
Created by David E Cates

Minidragons resemble hawk-sized, two-legged dragons. They are related to pseudodragons, but are not nearly as intelligent or magical as those creatures; in fact, they are only a little smarter than an actual hawk. In the wild, most are green with orange or yellow underbellies and stripes on their wings. However, domestication has caused minidragons to develop into many breeds, differentiated from one another by a spectrum of colors and horn shapes. They are fairly even-tempered creatures unless they are deliberately disturbed or harmed. In that case, they respond with hissing and by spitting a nasty neurotoxin. Minidragons are omnivores, primarily living off of insects, small rodents, berries, nuts, and roots. They are particularly fond of salt, which has a slight catnip-like effect on them.

Minidragon
Tiny dragon (beast)

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
AC 13
HP 2 (1d4)
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 4 (-3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 11 (+0)
INT 3 (-4) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Perception +4
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages
Keen Sight and Hearing. The minidragon has advantage on Perception checks that rely on sight or hearing.
Limited Telepathy. The minidragon can magically communicate emotions telepathically to any creature within 10 feet of it, and can sense strong emotions within 10 feet of it as well.
Minor Magic Resistance. The minidragon gains a d4 expertise die on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.
Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.
Toxic Spit (Recharge 6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 15 ft., one target. Hit: 1 acid damage and the target must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute and take 1 ongoing acid damage while poisoned. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Ending the poisoned condition also ends the ongoing damage.

Variant: Empathic Bond
The minidragon may, on very rare occasions, empathically bond with an intelligent being (often the first person to feed it after it was hatched). The bond takes one month to form, and remains until the minidragon and bonded creature are separated for one month or more. A bonded minidragon’s Intelligence increases to 5 (-3) and it gains the ability to understand, but not speak, the creature’s language. Additionally, the range of its Limited Telepathy increases to 60 feet.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Horsies! This next Dragon’s Bestiary is all weird and magical equines. They’re all illustrated by Jannell Jaquays as well. I never realized until recently how much art she had done in Dragon mag, and how much of it was art I liked, and still like. The first horse—although the art made me think llama more than horse—is called the kiita, a sorta psionic critter which dislikes arcane magic and has a strange fascination for monks, rangers, and clerics. I think that this may have been the first time I saw a creature with any particular preference for monks.

The kiita can read thoughts (“much like a doppelganger does”), but the power is useless against “mindless foes (e.g., “slimes, skeletons, dinosaurs)” Oh, how science has moved on since then!

Despite what the art shows, the kiita’s description makes it sound like it has an almost humanoid face, like a horse-y/llama-y yeth hound. I happen to like that sort of weirdness.

1664658189570.png

Art by Jennell Jaquays

Kiita
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #149
Created by Kurt Martin

Kiita resemble a cross between a llama and a horse, with flat, expressive faces, small eyes, and broad mouths. Their fur is thick, shaggy, and blue, and they have small, delicate hooves—good for climbing, but they need frequent shoeing if used as a mount. They are omnivorous but subsist primarily on grasses and other vegetation. They don’t neigh, but instead make clicking noise or a thin wail as a warning. Kiita are native to cool mountains and hills and dislike heat.

Psychically Aware. Kiita have the natural psionic ability of mind-reading, which they use whenever they see someone, to determine that person’s intents. While they can’t dig through a person’s mind, the glimpses they get are enough to give them forewarning, allowing them to be able to easily avoid many attacks.

Magic Wary. Kiita are fascinated by humanoids, but also wary of them. They dislike and distrust magic, especially flashy magic. They are somewhat more comfortable with simple, beneficial spells such as healing magic, but other types of magic, even benign ones such as illusions used for entertainment, make them somewhat skittish.

Marital-Minded. Perhaps because of their fear of magic, they gravitate towards non-spellcasters, particularly warriors. Kiita tend to have a romantic “knight in shining armor” view towards these people—although they don’t limit their fascination to literal knights. Rough-and-tumble brawlers, battled-hardened soldiers, leather-and fur-clad wilderness warriors, and even weaponless martial artists all pique their interest, and for whatever reason, kiita like to imagine themselves as the noble companion to such a combatant. When a kiita finds such a person, they study them for a while to determine if they are suitable for the kiita’s attentions. If so, they may choose to bond with that creature, and the kiita’s innate psionic abilities cause that person to become more effective warriors, as well as allowing them to communicate telepathically.

Despite being willing to bond with warriors, kiita refuse to wear bridles or saddles, and barely tolerate a blanket—and many of their potential bondmates refuse to ride bareback on a shaggy blue llama-horse. It’s often difficult for a kiita to find their true shining knight.

Legends and Lore
With a Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Kiita are distantly related to horses and are prized as mounts.

DC 15. Despite looking and acting like animals, kiita are intelligent creatures who are choosy about who they allow to ride them—and they don’t tolerate bridles or saddles.

DC 20. Kiita are wary of magic, especially arcane magic. They have a fondness for warriors, however, and a kiita who bonds with such a creature psychically lends that person a bit of power that enhances their martial prowess.

Kiita Encounters
Terrain:
hills, mountains

CR 0-1 1d4 kiita

Signs
1. With a DC 10 Perception check, a tuft of blue wool caught in a bramble.
2. Clicking and snapping sounds.
3. Small single-toed hoofprints of the wrong shape and size to be either horse or pony.
4. With a DC 13 Intelligence check, a sensitive target realizes their mind is being read.

Behavior
1-2. Grazing peacefully.
3. Watching the characters intently, deciding if it likes one of them.
4. Fleeing from a hunter who is after its hide.

Kiita
Large monstrosity

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
AC 11
HP 22 (3d10+6; bloodied 11)
Speed 60 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Insight +3, Perception +3
Damage Resistances cold
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages understands Common but can’t speak it
Bonding. If the kiita spends at least 1 hour observing a creature while within 60 feet of it, it may magically bond with that creature. The bond lasts until the kiita chooses to end it or the bonded creature dies. While bonded, the kiita can communicate telepathically with the bonded creature to a distance of 120 feet, and the bonded creature’s Maneuver Save DC increases by 1.
Keen Hearing and Smell. The kiita has advantage on Perception checks that rely on hearing and smell.
Sure-Footed. The kiita has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock it prone.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) piercing damage.
Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) bludgeoning damage, and the target must make a DC13 Strength saving throw or fall prone.

Bonus Actions
Read Thoughts.
The kiita magically reads the surface thoughts of one creature it can see within 60 feet. Until the end of its turn it has advantage on attack rolls made against that creature and it gains a d4 expertise die to its AC against attacks made by that creature. It can’t use this ability against constructs or undead.

Combat
Kiita prefer to flee rather than fight.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Another horsie, although this one is even less like a horse than the kiita was. Enter the wandega, not to be confused with the wendigo. Totally different. It likes to ally itself with wizards and illusions in order to learn how to cast spells. The original text made spellcasting a mare-only thing, but I’m not going to be so limiting.

1664746195028.png

Art by Jannell Jaquays

Wandega
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #149
Created by Kurt Martin

Wandega are gangly, pinto-like equines with strangely rodent-like faces and small but colorful eyes. Their fur is brown, white, or a piebald of the two, and they have short, stiff manes and whiplike tails. They are actually very intelligence creatures and love magic. They don’t neigh; they speak a strange language filled with hisses and grunts. Although they can speak other languages, their voices are weak, crackly, and sibilant-filled.

Magic-Lovers. Wandega love magic beyond reason, and although they have no innate magical abilities, they are willing and able to learn wizard magic. They are capable of putting together crude spellbooks (lacking hands, they find it difficult to use mage hand for fine motor purposes such as writing or engraving), but generally lack the ability to do much magical research on their own. They will gladly work as apprentices or even servants to wizards if it means they can learn some magic. While they won’t stand for mistreatment, they will do nearly anything to learn at the feet of a great wizard. A few are even willing to steal spellbooks and are self-taught.

In general, wandega rarely become powerful wizards; it’s simply too difficult for them to get the materials needed or do the research. They typically rely on arcane focuses instead of spell components, and on their own can rarely procure expensive material components. As a result, most only master a few spells.

Communal Herds. Wandega live in small herds of half a dozen or fewer individuals. Their herds usually lack a leader, as they make their decisions unanimously. Any magical knowledge gained by one is freely shared with the herd, even if a spellbook can’t be. They don’t quite understand the humanoid tendency to hoard knowledge and keep magic secret. This often causes rifts between them and the wizards they study with. Wandega herds live in grasslands and forests, with a few secluded areas to keep magical materials safe and dry. Wandega are typically claustrophobic and won’t enter enclosed places unless they absolutely must.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Wandega are intelligent, horselike creatures.

DC 15. Obsessed with magic, wandega often try to learn spells from humanoid wizards.

Wandega Encounters
Terrain:
forest, grasslands

CR 0-1 1-2 wandega

CR 3-4 3-4 wandega, wandega herdmage and 1-2 wandega
Treasure: spell scroll of dancing lights, bag of tricks (rust)

Signs
1. A well-hidden (DC 15 Investigation check to find) collection of loose sheets of parchment or slabs of hardened clay, on which chicken-scratch symbols have been inscribed. With a DC 15 Arcana or Investigation check, it’s a spellbook.
2. Scorch marks in the ground and on rocks, from firebolts.
3. Hoofprints.

Behavior
1. Practicing a new spell, not necessarily well.
2. Grazing peacefully.
3. Approaches an obvious wizard; asks to learn magic from them.
4. Fleeing from a predator.

Names
Akheghk, Hochack, Sesseth, Sisthik, Vessit

Wandega
Medium monstrosity

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
AC 12 (15 with mage armor)
HP 16 (3d8+3; bloodied 8)
Speed 60 ft.

STR 15 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 12 (+1)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 12 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Saving Throws Wis +3
Skills Arcana +4, Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Wandega
Magic Resistance. The wandega has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spellcasting. The wandega is a 3rd-level spellcaster. It’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand
1st-level (4 slots): charm person, mage armor, magic missile
2nd-level (2 slots): enhance ability, invisibility

Actions
Hooves.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) bludgeoning damage, and the target must make
Fire Bolt (Cantrip; V, S). Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) fire damage.
Magic Missile (1st-Level; V, S). Three glowing arrows fly from the wandega simultaneously, unerringly hitting up to 3 creatures within 120 feet. Each arrow deals 3 (1d4+1) force damage

Bonus Actions
Fast As The Wind.
The wandega takes the Dash action.

Combat
With their very high speed, wandega prefer to make hit-and-run attacks and using their spells to attack from a distance before running off.

Variant: Wandega Herdmage
A few wandega are particularly adept at magic and become, by their standards, archmages. These wandega become the de facto leaders of their herds, although they are (usually) careful to not let the power go to their heads. Herdmages typically have familiars.

A wandega herdmage is CR 2 (700 XP) and has 33 (6d8+6; bloodied 16). It has Int 17 (+3) and its Spellcasting trait has been altered:

Spellcasting. The wandega is a 6th-level spellcaster. It’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation
1st-level (4 slots): charm person, detect magic, mage armor, magic missile
2nd-level (3 slots): blindness/deafness, enhance ability, invisibility
3rd-level (3 slots): major image, whirlwind kick

Variant: Wandega Warlock
A wandega who has been unsuccessful in getting a spellbook or who have lost their herd may turn to other sources of magic in its frustration. Although they are usually unwilling to make pacts with fiends or eldritch entities, they will deal with fey and other, less overtly unpleasant creatures.

A wandega warlock loses the Firebolt and Magic Missile actions and Shield reactions and it’s Spellcasting trait has been altered:

Spellcasting. The wandega is a 3rd-level spellcaster. It’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). It has 6 spell points and regains all expended spell points after a short or long rest. It knows the following warlock spells:
Cantrips (at will): chill touch, minor illusion
Spells Known: bane (2pts), color spray (2 pts), false life (0 pts), levitate (3 pts), misty step (3 pts), ray of enfeeblement (3 pts), sleep (2 pts)

It gains the following action:

Chill Touch (Cantrip; V, S). Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) necrotic damage, and the target can’t regain hit points until the start of the wandega’s next turn.

It also gains the following new bonus action:

Spellbinder’s Curse. The wandega places a curse on a creature within 30 feet. The curse lasts for 1 minute and ends early if the target dies or the wandega dies or becomes incapacitated. Whenever the wandega deals damage to the creature, it takes an additional 2 (1d4) lightning damage. Additionally, if the cursed creature makes an ability check or attack roll at disadvantage, the wandega gains a d4 expertise die on its next ability check or attack roll.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
As much as I love the next monsters, I hesitate to update them for Level Up. We have finally gotten to the creatures that live on the mind flayer’s homeworld, and mind flayers aren’t in Level Up. So I guess the question is: can they function as their own creatures and not something that’s illithid-adjacent?

There are four monsters in this article. Three of them were redone in 3x’s Lords of Madness book. Surprisingly, the creature I’m converting today, the cessirid, wasn’t. A second creature, the kigrid, has become a variant of the cessirid. Of the other two, the embrac is far too similar to the balhannoth (from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and more recently, Monsters of the Multiverse) to need to be converted, and the saltor is basically mind flayer-lite. So I guess I'm only doing the cessirid and kigrid.

Also, remember the kaoulgrim? They are specifically mentioned as being enemies of the cessirid. Because of course githdogs hate illithidogs.

This article is connected to another article called The Sunset World, all about the mind flayer’s home planet/dimension. It’s described as a tidal-locked world with a very eccentric orbit of 140 or so days around a dark red sun that always stays low on the horizon, where the wind never changes direction (this has actually altered how plant life grows) and the habitable zone is a damp, chill place filled with stagnant marshes and ancient ruins and black-leaved plants. It’s home to countless “amorphs” (oozes, ropers, trappers, and mimics), fungi, and, of course, the members of the illithidae family. Which includes carrion crawlers, FYI. This article provided me the imagery that still shapes how I see mind flayers, even decades later. When I think of the Far Realms, I think of the world described in this article. (it’s also accompanied by what is still my favorite picture of the mind flayers—I’ve yet to see an illustration of them that’s as eerie and alien as this one.)

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This article seems to use the idea that every world is its own plane of existence—they’re not alternate Primes or pocket dimensions, but literally different planets (or potentially solar systems). It’s definitely an interesting way to allow for world-hopping games without resorting to Spelljammers or going through the Outer Planes.

1664828809967.png

Art by Tom Baxa

Cessirid
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #150
Created by Stephen Inniss

Roughly canid in form, cessirid are hideous pack hunters of the caverns below. Their slimy skin is an unpleasant pale gray, a ridge of spikes run down their spines, and their heads are a mass of tentacles and barbed beaks dominated by oversized, glowing eyes. Their beaks hide inner pharyngeal jaws that scissor prey’s flesh while injecting toxic, acidic secretions into the wound. Cessirids are utterly quiet, never deliberately making any sort of sound.

Intelligent Beasts. Cessirid are as smart as most humanoids, but that fact is obvious only from the tactics they use when they hunt. They think like cruel, rabid animals, caring only for the thrill of the hunt. They enjoy sending gruesome images to their prey in order to disturb and confuse it. Cessirid live together in tightly-knit packs, working together silently and efficiently to bring down prey of any sort. They prefer intelligent prey—the smarter the better—both to eat and to deposit larva in.

Single-Minded. Although they care for little beyond food and reproduction, there is one other thing that perks a cessirid’s interests, and that is other creatures with psionic powers. Such creatures are always seen in one of two ways: they are either creatures to avoid, or creatures to kill and devour. There is no in-between there. The choice they make doesn’t seem dependent on the psionicist’s strength or power level, but based on myths and ancient grudges. Against truly powerful foes, such as gem dragons, multiple packs may choose to band together.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Vicious pack hunters, cessirids are intelligent beings who can scent thinking minds and can teleport between dimensions.

DC 15. The bite of a cessirid injects a corrosive venom that causes muscle weakness.

DC 20. Cessirid reproduce by laying larvae in fresh corpses to feed until they metamorphize into adults. A side-effect of the enzymes the larvae secrete causes the corpse to not otherwise decay. Some larvae grow into extra-large adults that have powers of levitation and invisibility.

Cessirid Encounters
Terrain:
caverns, dungeons

CR 3-4 3-4 cessirids; kigrid

CR 5-10 2d4+2 cessirids; 1-2 kigrid and revilock.
Treasure: vial of medicinal salve, tome written in grimlock writing, ring of psychic resistance

Signs
1. Sudden flash of horrific imagery.
2. An acid-burned corpse.
3. A severed facial tentacle, still twitching.
4. A sour-yogurt sort of smell.

Behavior
1. Silently pursuing a terrified humanoid.
2. Guarding a larva-filled corpse.
3. Playing cat-and-mouse with a creature they have no intention of actually eating.
4. In battle with a wyrmling gem dragon.

Cessirid
Small aberration

Challenge 1 (200 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 45 (10d6+10; bloodied 22)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR 12 (+1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 12 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 9 (-1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Condition Immunities charmed, confused, frightened, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages telepathy 120 ft. (can transmit but not receive thoughts and images)
Flexible Bones. The cessirid can pass through an opening large enough for a Tiny creature without squeezing.
Keen Hearing and Smell. The cessirid has advantage on Perception checks that rely on hearing and smell.
Mindsense. The cessirid can smell the mind of creatures that have Int 5 or higher and are able to understand at least one language within 500 feet.
Pack Tactics. The cessirid has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the cessirid allies is within 5 feet of the creature and not incapacitated .
Psionic Spellcasting (At Will). The cessirid can innately cast dimension door, requiring no components. Its spellcasting trait is Intelligence.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage, and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. A poisoned creature falls prone, and it requires the creature’s entire movement to stand up. At the end of each of its turns, it may make a new Constitution saving throw, ending the poisoned condition on a success.

Combat
Cessirids hunt much like wolves do, harrying prey

Variant: Kigrid
Sometimes, one or more larvae in a batch produce kigirds, large mutant cessirids. They are larger and bulkier, with glistening, tar-black hide and oversized claws. A pack of cessirids will drive a matured cessirid away and a pack may choose to kill one they come across, and kigrids themselves battle fiercely amongst whenever they meet. Kigrids rarely tolerate each other long enough to reproduce, and when they do, most of their offspring are cessirids.

Strangely, unlike cessirids who have a flight-or-fight mentality when it comes to other psionicists, kigrids are more often willing to ally themselves with psychics such as revilocks. While doing so, they also manage to suppress their other antisocial tendencies, and a revilock may have a small pack of kigrid allies.

A kigrid is Medium and is CR 3. It has 55 (10d8+10; bloodied 27) hit points. Its armor class is 15 (natural armor), it loses the Pack Tactics trait, gains the following new trait, and its Psionic Spellcasting trait has been altered:

Long Jump. The kigrid can long jump up to 25 feet.
Psionic Spellcasting. The kigrid can cast innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:
At Will: mage hand (the hand is invisible), dimension door
3/day each: invisibility, levitation

The kigrid gains the following new attack:

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+2) slashing damage. If the kigrid moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target makes a DC 12 Strength saving throw, falling prone on a failure.

Additionally, it gains the following new bonus action:

Opportune Bite. The kigrid makes a bit attack against a prone creature.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
This article marks the first monster presented in 2e format! Gone are the Percentage in Lair and Psionic Ability entries. Instead, they’re replaced by Climate/Terrain, Organization, Activity Cycle, Diet, THAC0, and Morale. I kinda miss these entries. So what new monsters await us in first ever second edition collection?

Joke monsters.

Because issue #156 is an April issue. Those of you who read Dragon probably remember this issue—it’s the one with the fat bard on the cover serenading a female beholder. You can tell she’s female because she’s pink and has lipstick.

The editors mention that hey, D&D has always had joke monsters: “There were giant evil black squirrels in the Monster Manual II, and there was the flumph and the cavalier, and in the SPELLJAMMER(TM) boxed set are giant-no, we can’t say it. It’s too awful. (Hint: One of them could store a 100-lb. sack of Hartz Mountain Hamster Nummies in each cheek.)” But hey, I did the growf, I can do some of these monsters as well.

The odd thing about joke monsters is that they’re often quite terrifying, once you get past the silly exterior.

The first monster is the death sheep. Yeah, you heard me. The death sheep. As Tom Servo might say, “baa baa black sheep, have you any murder.”

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Art by Mark Nelson

Death Sheep
Not Necessarily The Monstrous Compendium, Dragon Magazine #156
Created by Sharon Jenkins

Death sheep look like normal wild sheep, like a bighorn or mouflon, albeit dirty, scraggly-furred ones. But a creature that gets too close to one is likely to become intimately acquainted with the rows of sharp black fangs that fill its venom-drooling mouths, and with the sheep’s unending hunger. They eat any meat they come across, fresh or rotten. They have a particular fondness for wolf meat.

Disease-Bearing. These ferocious, fearless carnivores are deadly enough as it is, but their bite also carries a noxious disease that turns victims into unhinged, murderous cannibals and worse yet, causes them to rise as zombies.

Strange Origins. One legend tells that death sheep were created by a wizard who was experimenting with a magical form of rabies. Another legend says that the first death sheep was infected with werewolf lycanthropy, and while animals normally aren’t affected by lycanthropy, this one managed to grow fangs and become a violent carnivore. Either way, the traits were passed down

Legends and Lore
With a Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Death sheep are vicious, bloodthirsty carnivores that travel in herds, eating everything they come across.

DC 15. The bite of a death sheep inflicts a cursed disease that causes the victim to become violent and hungry for fresh meat. Curing the disease requires both remove curse and lesser restoration.

DC 20. Spellcasters who use death sheep wool as a material component for spells such as silent image report that the illusions take on horrific qualities.

Death Sheep Encounters
Terrain:
grasslands, hills, mountains

CR 3-4 1d4+4 death sheep

CR 5-10 2d4+4 death sheep with 1 death sheep herd leader and 2d4 zombies with the Vigor Mortis trait.

Signs
1-2. Mangled carcasses.
3. Sinister-sounding bleating.
4. Tufts of wool blood-stained snagged on branches.

Behavior
1-2. Eating freshly-killed meat.
3-4. Hostile; will attack on sight.

Death Sheep
Medium beast

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
AC 12 (natural armor)
HP 13 (2d8+4; bloodied 6)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 11 (+0) CON 15 (+2)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (-3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Athletics +2
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, paralyzed, stunned
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages
Frenzy. The sheep makes all attacks with advantage and all attacks made against them are made with advantage.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4+2) piercing damage plus 2 (1d4) poison damage, and if the target is a humanoid or a normal sheep, it must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw be cursed with Mad Sheep Disease. The disease takes 1d4 hours to fully manifest, and symptoms include mania, bloodthirst, aggression, and a desire to eat fresh, raw meat. The target grows long fangs and gains a bite attack that inflicts piercing damage equal to 1d6 plus its Strength modifier. It has disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom ability checks. Each time the diseased creature finishes a long rest, its hit point maximum is reduced by 1d4. The creature dies when its hit point maximum becomes 0. Curing this disease requires targeting the creature with both a remove curse and a lesser restoration spell, or with a greater restoration.
A humanoid or mundane sheep that dies of Mad Sheep disease rises the following night as a zombie with the Vigor Mortis trait.
Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature and the sheep moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target takes an extra 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage and makes a DC 12 Strength saving throw, falling prone on a failure.

Bonus Actions
Opportune Bite.
The sheep makes a bite attack against a prone creature.

Combat
A death sheep will use its Ram attack, then relentlessly attack the prone creature. They fight until slain.

Variant: Death Sheep Herd Leader
The leader of a death sheep herd is whichever one manages to eat the most food, as that makes the sheep grow larger and stronger. Typically, only large herds have a herd leader. Herd leaders have four impressive, spiraling horns.

A death sheep herd leader is CR 1 (200 XP) and has 32 (5d8+10; bloodied 16) hit points. Its ram attack does 7 (2d4+2) bludgeoning damage, and an extra 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage if the sheep moves at least 20 feet towards the target.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Enter the paper dragon. This is another creature that theoretically can be used quite seriously, or at least not as a pure joke. It’s also a creature that could make for a decent enough familiar, at least for a caster brave enough to deal with its dietary habits.

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Art by Mark Nelson

Animated Object, Paper Dragon
Not Necessarily The Monstrous Compendium, Dragon Magazine #156
Created by Kay I. Lilley

Paper dragons are tiny, no more than six inches long, and resemble nearly two-dimensional, colorful illustrations of dragons. The first paper dragon was created by a wizard to be a guardian of their library, but something went wrong—it came alive, and it developed a taste for what it was meant to guard. The dragon consumed the wizard’s library down to the last spell scroll, then fled, and made more of its kind, which continue to plague spellcasters to this day.

Friendly But Destructive. Paper dragons are friendly, playful, and have a nearly child-like curiosity to them. However, they are also a major nuisance. Although they technically don’t need to eat, they love the taste of magical books and scrolls, and to a lesser degree, magical inks as well. The more powerful the spell on the scroll, the better it tastes. They have next to no self-control, and even the most well-meaning dragon is like a kid in a candy shop when in the presence of scrolls. Because of this, most wizards will gladly pay a lot of coin to paper dragon hunters.

If unable to find scrolls on which to snack, paper dragons will eat books of every kind. They prefer illuminated manuscripts or other heavily-illustrated tomes to “boring” books of just text. They also enjoy drinking ink—the rarer the better—which has a somewhat intoxicating effect on them.

Self-Replicating. Paper dragons are semi-alive and unlike most constructs, are capable of reproduction. They don’t do so the normal way, however. If one can find a spell scroll of at least 4th level or higher, and can restrain itself from gobbling it down, the dragon can then paint over the words with an image of a dragon, and the result is a new paper dragon.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Paper dragons are tiny, animated illustrations of dragons. They are normally quite friendly and curious.

DC 15. These creatures are considered nuisances by most wizards and scholars because their favorite foods are spell scrolls.

DC 20. A paper dragon can be permanently destroyed with dispel magic, requiring a DC 19 check.

Paper Dragon Encounters
CR 0-1
Paper dragon

Dragon Appearance
As an animated illustration, paper dragons don’t always resemble true dragons.

1. “Normal” dragon (chromatic, gem, metallic, etc.)
2. Many-headed, wingless dragon, wearing a crown on each head.
3. Serpentine dragon with feathered wings.
4. Wyvern with fancy frill down its neck, back, and tail.
5. Griffen-like dragon with bat-wings and barbed tail.
6. Scaled wolf-like dragon with snake-headed tail.
7. Two-legged dragon with humanoid head that wears a scholar’s hat.
8. Chimera with dragon-like horns on each head.
9. Serpentine dragon with head on each end.
10. Wingless, crocodilian dragon with three pairs of chicken legs and a long, forked tongue.

Behavior
1. Eating a scroll.
2. Reading a book, trying to decide if it’s tasty enough to eat.
3. Getting drunk off ink.
4. Rummaging through backpacks, looking for scrolls.

Names
Darrow, Grimani, Kells, Lindisfarne, Vrelant

Paper Dragon
Tiny construct (dragon)

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC 14
HP 7 (2d4+2; bloodied 3)
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 4 (-3) DEX 18 (+4) CON 12 (+1)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Saving Throws Dex +6
Skills Arcana +3, History +3, Perception +3
Damage Vulnerabilities magical slashing
Damage Resistances fire; bludgeoning, piercing
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages
False Appearance. While motionless, the dragon is indistinguishable from an illustration of a dragon.
Familiar. The dragon can communicate telepathically with its master while they are within 1 mile of each other. While the dragon is within 10 feet of its master, its master shares its Magic Resistance trait.
Flyby. The dragon doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of a creature’s reach.
Immutable Form. The dragon is immune to any effect that would alter its form.
Magic Resistance. The dragon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Paper Thin. The paper dragon can pass through an opening of any size without squeezing.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon makes one bite attack and one claws attack.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute, and while poisoned, the creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, it can’t add its Strength modifier to its damage, and its speed is reduced by 20 feet. A creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.
Devour Scroll. The dragon eats a spell scroll. It regains all lost hit points and can use its action at any time afterwards to cast the spell written on the scroll, as if it were reading the scroll. It can cast the spell no matter what spell list it is on, and it does not need to make a spellcasting ability check to do so. If the scroll was cursed, the dragon isn’t harmed by the curse. If the dragon eats a scroll before it casts the previous spell’s scroll, it loses the previous spell.

Bonus Actions
Nimble Escape.
The dragon takes the Disengage or Hide action.

Reactions
Uncanny Dodge.
When an attacker the dragon can see hits it with an attack, the dragon halves the damage against it.

Variant: Tome-Eater
Most paper dragons consume only spell scrolls. One who gets its claws on a spell book eats it one spell at a time, with each spell acting as a single scroll. However, a paper dragon may discover a more magical book, such as a tome of clear thought or a manual of guardians. In this case, the effects gained by eating that book are permanent. A dragon who ate a tome of clear thought would have its Intelligence score increase by 2; a dragon who ate a manual of guardians would learn how to make a specific type of guardian, and would not need to sprinkle the book’s ashes over a guardian it makes; and a dragon who ate a copy of How to Make Fiends and Influence People would gain a permanent cambion servitor.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
@WarDriveWorley requested this next one, so here it is: the pink dragon—a goofy-looking dragon that breathes soap bubbles and loves to tell jokes. I was shocked to find out that they actually appeared in a D&D novel (The Shattered Mask), at least according to one wiki. I have no idea what they were like in that novel. A dream sequence perhaps? No clue. As a note, you can tell this monster was submitted for 1e and they just hastily updated it to 2e. It’s Hit Dice are still listed as 6-8, rather than something the 2e format of 12 (base), and of course it has no table of age categories.

The article says they have echolocation. I like to imagine they have bat ears.

The pink dragon isn’t alone. Also in this article, Erik Freske created the tickler, a feather-winged ball of flesh that, well, tickled people, the end. They seem to go perfectly with the pink dragon’s humor motif. I decided to give pink dragons the (fey) tag and I’ll let them conjure ticklers. Ticklers will be in tomorrow’s entry, so you won’t have to wait long for their stats.

(They're also a good way to use Spelljammer's space clowns and Ravnica's Rakdos performers outside of those settings. I also use the nilbogs and yobbos in the Encounters lists--both of those can be found on the A5e tools site.)

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Art by Mark Nelson

Pink Dragon (Chromatic Dragon)
Not Necessarily The Monstrous Compendium, Dragon Magazine #156
Created by Jeanne McGuire

Pink dragons have a somewhat dopey appearance, delicate pink coloration, and squeaky voices, leading many people to underestimate them—sometimes fatally. While they’re not cruel creatures, and in fact are friendly and highly garrulous, they imagine themselves to be amazing jokesters… and tend to eat those who don’t laugh at their jokes. Fortunately for would-be lunches, pink dragons are rarer and far weaker than most of their kin.

Natural Comedians? Pink dragons love humor and hijinks, to the point that copper dragons seem downright stolid in comparison—and while many copper dragons appreciate the pinks’ sense of humor, just as many find them boorish, childish, or worse, unfunny. A pink dragon’s thinks a fake arrow through the head is hilarious. Comedy, of course, is an art form, but not every pink dragon put in the effort to hone their comedic arts. Like most dragons, pink dragons are egotistical, but in an odd way. Most have no problem with telling self-depreciating jokes. But at the same time, they hate it when people laugh at them or if they feel that their audience doesn’t appreciate their routine, they become incredibly hostile. Many aren’t welcoming of even constructive criticism. Although normally jovial, their moods can turn on a dime.

Talkative. These creatures are as bad as brass dragons when it comes to their ability to talk. They will have conversations that last days and simply don’t understand that other people don’t want to talk to them. If listeners try to leave (and are polite about it), the pink dragon will follow them, nattering all the way. Even brass dragons eventually get tired of a pink’s garrulousness; while brass dragons love to talk about trivia and gossip, pink dragons tend to tell very long-winded stories. These stories usually have a point to them—perhaps even a very important one—but it may take hours or even days to get to that point.

Dragon Without A Clade. Although “technically” they are chromatic dragons, most other chromatics think that pink dragons are too ridiculous to count and have no patience for their antics. Some chromatic dragons go so far as to (nastily) say pink dragons are just metallic dragons without the shininess. At the same time, only brass and copper dragons come close to accepting pink dragons, and even they can only take pinks in small doses. Other metallic dragons just try to smile and nod and move away.

The only dragons that fully embrace a pink dragon are the faerie dragons. In fact, many of the more light-hearted fey, such as satyrs, love pink dragons. At least part of it is because these types of fey tend to have short memories so the pink dragon’s jokes never grow old to them.

Unlike most other dragons, pink dragons rarely attract the attention of kobolds and dragonbound warriors. However, some people view them as emissaries of the gods of laughter, and so clownish cultists and priests flock to their sides.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or History check, characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Incredibly rare and relatively weak, pink dragons usually lair underground. They are famed for their love of jokes.

DC 15. Pink dragons exhales blasts of soap bubbles, which are painful to the eyes at best and coat everything in corrosive lye at worse.

DC 20. Masters of illusions, all pink dragons have at least some ability with illusory magics, and many are capable of creating powerful and even dangerous illusions.

Pink Dragon Encounters
Terrain:
cavern, mountain

CR 3-4 Pink dragon wyrmling with faerie dragon; pink dragon wyrmling and swarm of ticklers; 2 pink dragon wyrmlings
Treasure: 100 sp, 125 cp, dogeared jokebook (worth 25 gp), wand of prestidigitation, 2 fizzy lifters, spell scroll of silent image

CR 5-10 young pink dragon; young pink dragon with faerie dragon; young pink dragon and 2 satyrs; young pink dragon with 2 swarms of ticklers.
Treasure: 700 gp, 5 pink quartz gems (worth 10 gp each), 1 coral gems (worth 100 gp each), birdsong whistle, bottle of fizz, dust of sneezing and choking, potion of mind reading

CR 11-16 adult pink dragon; adult pink dragon with cult fanatic and 2d4 cultists; adult pink dragon with 2-3 faerie dragons or scarecrows (dressed to look like clowns); adult pink dragon with 1d4+2 satyrs; young pink dragon with jackalope; young pink dragon with 12 pixies and 4 swarms of ticklers.
Treasure: 180 pp, 825 ep, portrait of a famed bard painted on black velvet (worth 250 gp), 5 pink pearls (worth 100 gp each), 1 pink tourmaline (worth 100 gp), 1 pink spinel (worth 500 gp), bag of beans, sack of sacks, box of party tricks

CR 17-22 ancient pink dragon; adult pink dragon with 1d4+4 nilbogs and 1d4+4 yobbos.
Treasure: 3,150 gp, idol to a god of humor carved out of quartz (worth 500 gp), 4 pink topazes (worth 500 gp), pink sapphire (worth 1,000 gp), cage of folly, 2 potions of poison, philter of love, wand of paralysis

CR 23-30 ancient pink dragon with scarecrow harvester and 2 cult fanatics; 2 adult pink dragons
Treasure: 18,000 gp, famed humor playwright who disappeared years ago, 3 pink sapphires (worth 1,000 gp each), 2 opal rings (worth 2,500 gp each), fizzy rocks, impossible cube, liquid luck, marvelous pigments, spell scroll of feeblemind

CR 31+ pink great wyrm
Treasure: 1,800 pp, 20,000 gp, platinum necklace with 7 pink diamonds (worth 40,000 gp), nonmagical clockwork dancing clown (worth 7,500 gp), absurdist web, dancing sword, deck of many things, mirror of life trapping

Signs
1. Distant strained laughter.
2. Childishly silly images carved into cliffs.
3. The smell of soap in the air.
4. Floating pink bubbles that only burst when touched by a finger.

Behavior
1. “Entertaining” a guest with terrible jokes.
2. Practicing a routine.
3. In a bad mood because someone was mean to it.
4. Demands that a partymember pull its talon (will use breath weapon if it happens).

Pink Dragon Lair Features
The save DC for the following effects is 13+ the dragon’s proficiency modifier. Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features.
1. The entire lair is under the effects of something akin to a mirage arcane spell that makes it look like a brightly colored candyland.
2. All floors are slippery with soap. Anyone moving more than half their speed in a single turn must make a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone, ending their movement.
3. The lair contains pools of naturally effervescent water. As a legendary action, the dragon can drink from a pool, regaining a number of hit points equal to its Constitution score.
4. Magical illusions create distracting images throughout the lair. Physically interacting with an illusion reveals its nature and dispels the illusion. Perception and Investigation checks are made at disadvantage while in the lair.

Names
Charalizar, Cypripedio, Cherry Blossom, Loxinasrin, Strawberry

Variant: Pink Dragon Spellcaster
Some dragons develop the ability to innately cast spells. A pink dragon’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. Each age category knows its own spells and those of younger age categories.
Young (save DC X): 3/day each: invisibility, mirror image
Adult (save DC X): 3/day each: dream, major image
Ancient (save DC 20): 1/day each: irresistible dance, mislead
Great Wyrm (save DC 20): 1/day each: weird

Ancient Pink Dragon
Legendary Gargantuan Dragon (Fey)

Challenge 19 (22,000 XP)
AC 18 (natural armor)
HP 297 (18d20+108; bloodied 148)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft. fly 80 ft.

STR 23 (+6) DEX 14 (+2) CON 22 (+6)
INT 15 (+2) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 18 (+4)

Proficiency +6
Maneuver DC 21
Saving Throws Dex +8, Con +14, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Perception +8 (+1d6), Perform +10
Damage Immunities acid, fire
Condition Immunities blinded, confused
Senses blindsight 300 ft., passive Perception 23
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan, one other
Echolocation. The dragon can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
Keen Hearing. The dragon has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Innate Spellcasting (At Will). The dragon can cast minor illusion, and can make both a sound and image in a single casting. Its spellcasting trait is Charisma.
Slippery. The dragon has advantage on saving throws made to escape being grappled and restrained, and can move through an opening large enough for a creature one size smaller without squeezing.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can Spit Lye.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10+6) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) acid damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Spit Lye. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 22 (4d10) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. A creature that fails the save also takes 5 (1d10) ongoing acid damage. A creature can use its action to end the ongoing damage.
Bubble Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon breathes a cloud of opalescent pink soap bubbles in a 90-foot cone. The cloud remains in the area for 1 minute or until blown away by a strong wind, and the area is heavily obscured. The dragon’s vision is not impeded. When the dragon first breathes, and when a creature starts its turn inside the cloud’s area, a target must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. A creature wearing a visored helm, goggles, or similar eye protection gains a d4 expertise die on this saving throw. On a failure, the creature is blinded until the end of its next turn and while blinded, is also confused and poisoned due to the painful, soapy bubbles and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration. In addition, the area and all creatures in that area when the dragon first used its breath weapon are covered in a film of soap that lasts for 1 minute. During this time, all creatures have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, at the start of each of its turns, must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone, and the next time it takes fire damage, it takes an additional 1d6 ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to douse the flames.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Hilarity Ensues. The dragon emits a silly sound. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it must make a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, it finds everything the dragon says or does to be hilarious. A creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, and whenever it takes damage from any source, ending the effect on itself as a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Hilarity Ensues for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed
Laugh Track (Costs 2 Actions). If the target has at least one target charmed by its Hilarity Ensues ability, it creates a swarm of ticklers (q.v.). The swarm appears in an empty space within 60 feet and follows the dragon’s orders.

Ancient Pink Dragon Variant: Pink Great Wyrm
The dragon is an elite monster, equivalent to two CR 19 monsters (44,000 XP). It has 594 (36d20+216; bloodied 297) hit points and the following trait:

The Show Must Go On. When the dragon is first bloodied, it immediately recharges its breath weapon, if it’s not already available. Additionally, the damage from the dragon’s Lyeburst is doubled.

The dragon has the following additional legendary actions.

Elite Recovery. The dragon ends one negative effect currently affecting it. It can do so as long as it has at least 1 hit point, even while unconscious or incapacitated.
Second Verse, Same As The First (Gaze). A creature within 120 feet makes a saving throw against Hilarity Ensues, even if it has already successfully saved within the past 24 hours.
You Ain’t Heard Nuthin’ Yet. (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon recharges its breath weapon
Bubble Spit (Costs 3 Actions). The dragon spits a bubble at a creature it can see within 90 feet, which bursts when it touches the creature. The creature must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a success, the creature takes 28 (8d6) acid damage. On a failure, the creature takes 56 (16d6) acid damage and is blinded, deafened, and confused until the end of its next turn, and pushed 20 feet in a random direction

*

Adult Pink Dragon
Legendary Huge Dragon (Fey)

Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 207 (18d12+90; bloodied 103)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft. fly 80 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 20 (+5)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 17 (+3)
Proficiency +5
Maneuver DC 18
Saving Throws Dex +7, Con +10, Wis +6
Skills Perception +6 (+1d6), Perform +8, Stealth +7
Damage Immunities acid, fire
Condition Immunities blinded, confused
Senses blindsight 300 ft., passive Perception 23
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan
Echolocation. The dragon can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
Keen Hearing. The dragon has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Innate Spellcasting (At Will). The dragon can cast minor illusion, and can make both a sound and image in a single casting. Its spellcasting trait is Charisma.
Slippery. The dragon has advantage on saving throws made to escape being grappled and restrained, and can move through an opening large enough for a creature one size smaller without squeezing.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can Spit Lye.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10+5) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) acid damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8+5) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+5) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Spit Lye. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 22 (4d10) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. A creature that fails the save also takes 5 (1d10) ongoing acid damage. A creature can use its action to end the ongoing damage.
Bubble Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon breathes a cloud of opalescent pink soap bubbles in a 60-foot cone. The cloud remains in the area for 1 minute or until blown away by a strong wind, and the area is heavily obscured. The dragon’s vision is not impeded. When the dragon first breathes, and when a creature starts its turn inside the cloud’s area, a target must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw. A creature wearing a visored helm, goggles, or similar eye protection gains a d4 expertise die on this saving throw. On a failure, the creature is blinded until the end of its next turn and while blinded, is also confused and poisoned due to the painful, soapy bubbles and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration. In addition, the area and all creatures in that area when the dragon first used its breath weapon are covered in a film of soap that lasts for 1 minute. During this time, all creatures have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, at the start of each of its turns, must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone, and the next time it takes fire damage, it takes an additional 1d6 ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to douse the flames.

Reactions
Tail Attack.
When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Hilarity Ensues. The dragon emits a silly sound. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it must make a DC 18 Charisma saving throw or be charmed by the dragon for 1 minute. While charmed, it finds everything the dragon says or does to be hilarious. A creature may make a new save at the end of each of its turns, and whenever it takes damage from any source, ending the effect on itself as a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Hilarity Ensues for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed
Laugh Track (Costs 2 Actions). If the target has at least one target charmed by its Hilarity Ensues ability, it creates a swarm of ticklers (q.v.). The swarm appears in an empty space within 60 feet and follows the dragon’s orders.

*

Young Pink Dragon
Large Dragon (Fey)

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
AC 16 (natural armor)
HP 133 (14d10+56; bloodied 66)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft. fly 80 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 14 (+2) CON 18 (+4)
INT 13 (+1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 15 (+2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +7, Wis +4, Cha +5
Skills Perception +6 (+1d6), Perform +5
Damage Immunities acid, fire
Condition Immunities blinded, confused
Senses blindsight 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan
Echolocation. The dragon can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
Keen Hearing. The dragon has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Innate Spellcasting (At Will). The dragon can cast minor illusion. Its spellcasting trait is Charisma.
Slippery. The dragon has advantage on saving throws made to escape being grappled and restrained, and can move through an opening large enough for a creature one size smaller without squeezing.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d10+4) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) acid damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) slashing damage.
Bubble Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon breathes a cloud of opalescent pink soap bubbles in a 30-foot cone. The cloud remains in the area until the end of the dragon’s next turn, and the area is heavily obscured. The dragon’s vision is not impeded. When the dragon first breathes, and when a creature starts its turn inside the cloud’s area, a target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. A creature wearing a visored helm, goggles, or similar eye protection gains a d4 expertise die on this saving throw. On a failure, the creature is blinded until the end of its next turn and while blinded, is also confused and poisoned due to the painful, soapy bubbles and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration. In addition, the area and all creatures in that area when the dragon first used its breath weapon are covered in a film of soap that lasts until the end of the dragon’s next turn. During this time, all creatures have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, at the start of each of its turns, must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone, and the next time it takes fire damage, it takes an additional 1d6 ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to douse the flames.

*

Pink Dragon Wyrmling
Medium Dragon (Fey)

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 45 (6d8+18; bloodied 22)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 15 ft. fly 60 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 16 (+3)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Perception +2 (+1d4), Perform +3, Stealth +7
Damage Immunities acid, fire
Condition Immunities blinded, confused
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan
Echolocation. The dragon can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
Keen Hearing. The dragon has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Innate Spellcasting (At Will). The dragon can cast minor illusion. Its spellcasting trait is Charisma.
Slippery. The dragon has advantage on saving throws made to escape being grappled and restrained, and can move through an opening large enough for a creature one size smaller without squeezing.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d10+2) piercing damage.
Bubble Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon breathes a cloud of opalescent pink soap bubbles in a 15-foot cone. The cloud remains in the area until the end of the dragon’s next turn, and the area is heavily obscured. The dragon’s vision is not impeded. When the dragon first breathes, and when a creature starts its turn inside the cloud’s area, a target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. A creature wearing a visored helm, goggles, or similar eye protection gains a d4 expertise die on this saving throw. On a failure, the creature is blinded until the end of its next turn and while blinded, is also confused and poisoned due to the painful, soapy bubbles and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws made to maintain concentration. In addition, the area and all creatures in that area when the dragon first used its breath weapon are covered in a film of soap that lasts until the end of the dragon’s next turn. During this time, all creatures have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, at the start of each of its turns, must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone, and the next time it takes fire damage, it takes an additional 1d6 ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to douse the flames.
 




Faolyn

(she/her)
I wish I did! Unfortunately, the sites search function doesn't seem to include the articles. :(

IIRC, it was an aside about brass and bronze being copper alloys, and a musing on the existence of Rose Gold Dragons.
Oh well. It sounds like a neat idea, though.

*

As promised, the tickler. Which is apparently also the name for a type of filing system, the type that uses those file folders with the nubby hooks on either side that hang in a box. I did not know that.

1665176136110.png

Art by Mark Nelson

Tickler
Not Necessarily The Monstrous Compendium, Dragon Magazine #156
Created by Erik Freske

Ticklers are tiny fey that are born from laughter. They are nearly mindless creatures that resemble a tiny ball of featureless gray flesh with big puppy-dog eyes, moth-like antennae, and a pair of fluffy feathers that act as wings. They seem to feed off the sound of laughter, as they quickly leave someone who won’t or can’t laugh out loud.

Ticklers tend to travel in swarms. When they see a creature that is making noise of any sort, they descend en masse to tickle the creature, getting under its clothes and into sensitive spots. Their tickling actually can be dangerous—they can literally tickle a person to death. Fortunately, they’re easy to kill—even a lucky swat from a flailing arm can smoosh one. Even more fortunately, they can subsist on natural laughter, which they actually prefer. A place that generates a lot of laughter normally, such as an inn or a stage that holds comedies, may find themselves home to dozens of these creatures, who bask in the merriment without harming anyone.

Special Use. If a tickler’s wing is used as a material component in a hideous laughter spell, the target has disadvantage on all saving throws.

Made Minions. While most ticklers arise naturally from the Feywild, pink dragons are capable of creating them out of nothingness.

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Ticklers are mindless creatures that are created by laughter.

DC 15. A tickler can literally tickle a person to death.

Tickler
Tiny fey

Challenge 0 (10 XP)
AC 14
HP 1 (1d4-1)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft.

STR 1 (-5) DEX 19 (+4) CON 8 (-1)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 3 (-4) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Skills Perception -2
Damage Vulnerability fire
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Under-Armor Attacker. The tickler has disadvantage on attack rolls made against creatures wearing heavy armor, but advantage on attack rolls made against creatures that are not wearing armor.
Water Weakness. If the tickler is splashed with a gallon of water, it becomes incapacitated for 1 minute and, while incapacitated, its speed is 0.

Actions
Tickle.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: The target is tickled bursts into laughter. It falls prone and is incapacitated until the end of its next turn. If the creature is tickled six or more times in the space of a minute, it takes a level of fatigue. This fatigue is removed when the creature does nothing strenuous for 1 minute.

*

Swarm of Ticklers
Medium swarm of Tiny fey

Challenge 1/2 (50 XP)
AC 14
HP 24 (7d8-7, bloodied 12)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft.

STR 1 (-5) DEX 19 (+4) CON 8 (-1)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 3 (-4) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Skills Perception -2
Damage Vulnerability fire
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature. It can’t gain HP or temporary hit points.
Under-Clothes Attacker. The swarm has disadvantage on attack rolls made against creatures wearing heavy armor, but advantage on attack rolls made against creatures that are not wearing armor.
Water Weakness. If the swarm is splashed with a gallon of water, it becomes incapacitated for 1 minute and, while incapacitated, its speed is 0.

Actions
Tickle.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: The target is tickled bursts into laughter. It falls prone and is incapacitated until the end of its next turn, and must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or take a level of fatigue. This fatigue is removed when the creature completes a short or long rest.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I guess the tickler wasn't that popular. Can't say as I blame you.

One last silly monster, and boy did this article have a lot to offer. This next creature is, honestly, only barely a joke monster—it’s the tin guardian, which are designed to look like toy soldiers, only human-sized. Honestly, it’s barely even a joke monster. The “funniest” bit is that the line for Diet reads “Pretty little, considering that it doesn’t eat.” If this thing didn’t look like a tin toy British soldier and people didn’t assume tin = cheap (tin was worth a lot back in Those Days, because it’s rare), it would be a completely normal, if niche, creature.

The article says they all carry a saber, but since the actual toys were often made with rifles, I gave a variant option for that as well.

Use Guardian Signs and Behaviors.

1665261405244.png

Art by Mark Nelson

Guardian, Tin
Not Necessarily The Monstrous Compendium, Dragon Magazine #156
Created by Scott Wile

Tin guardians are relatively weak, but what they lack in size and strength, they make up for in resistance or immunity to many forms of damage. The careful mixture of alloys allow the elemental spirit within to be fully bound to the body, which prevents them from going berserk like other, weaker guardians are prone to doing. Tin guardians are made of metal that is cast into the form of a soldier, and they are often brightly painted so they appear to be wearing a military officer’s uniform. Many are painted to look like man-sized children’s toys, as well. They typically carry oversized sabers which are built into their bodies and cannot be easily removed.

Monster Encounters
CR 5-10
1-2 tin guardians; tin guardian and 1d4 hound guardians.
Treasure: 900 gp in chest made of rare woods (worth 75 gp), suit of noble's clothing with shoes and hat (worth 250 gp), tome which leads to the discovery of a rare 3rd-level spell, ever-shifting map, eyes of the eagle

Tin Guardian
Medium construct

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 18 (natural armor)
HP 85 (10d8+40; bloodied 42)
Speed 25 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 12 (+1) CON 18 (+4)
INT 3 (-4) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 1 (-5)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Damage Resistances piercing, slashing
Damage Immunities cold, fire, force, lightning, poison, psychic; damage from nonmagical, non-adamantine bludgeoning weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, fatigue, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Blunt Weapon. A nonmagical piercing or slashing weapon that hits the guardian is blunted after dealing damage, taking a permanent -1 penalty to damage rolls per hit. If this penalty reaches -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical piercing or slashing ammunition is destroyed after dealing damage.
Immutable Form. The guardian is immune to any effect that would alter its form.
Magic Resistance. The guardian has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Reflect Lightning. Any time the guardian is targeted by a line spell or a spell that requires a ranged attack roll and that inflicts lightning damage, roll a d6. On a 1 to 5, the guardian is unaffected. On a 6, the guardian is unaffected and the effect is reflected back at the caster as though it originated from the guardian, turning the caster into the target.

Actions
Multiattack.
The guardian makes two sword attacks.
Saber. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10+4) slashing damage. If the guardian scores a critical hit, the target is knocked prone.

Variant: Rifle Corps
In some higher-tech settings, tin guardians may be equipped with rifled muskets to which long bayonets are attached. Full details on rifled muskets and long bayonets can be found in the Adventures in Zeitgeist campaign setting. These guardians have the following actions, which replace the guardian’s Multiattack and Sword actions:

Multiattack. The guardian makes one musket attack and one bayonet attack.
Rifled Musket. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d8+1) piercing damage.
Long Bayonet. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) piercing damage.
 



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