Converting True Dragons

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Shade

Monster Junkie
This thread is a special version of the "cooperative conversions" in numerous threads, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on true dragons (dragons with age categories) that have appeared in various D&D sources throughout the years.

What I will do is first post the creature's original stats and flavor text. Then, I will post a basic outline of the things I think it needs, and then I will give you an opportunity to suggest stats and ideas on how powers and abilities should work. Then, I will add more to it and we will continue to discuss it until I feel it's done and time to move on to the next. As we work on these creatures, they will be posted in this thread, and then Homebrews, and will eventually be added to the Creature Catalog. You may comment on monsters already finished, of course.

The following is a list of true dragons from various D&D sources that haven't yet appeared in official WotC products, the Tome of Horrors, or the Creature Catalog. You may feel free to make suggestions, but ultimately I will pick what to convert and when. If I'm missing any monsters from this list or if any of these have appeared elsewhere already, feel free to inform me. This thread is only intended for dragons with age categories; other dragons should be requested in the thread of their original sources.

Note that some creatures are listed more than once, as they appear in multiple sources. Also, while some share the names of current official dragons, they may differ greatly and are thus fair game for conversion.

DMR2 – Creature Catalog
-Pocket
-Sea

Dragon Magazine
-Beljuril (#265)
-Bestiary (#199)
-Faerie (#62) (presented as a true dragon, rather than the Draconomicon version)
-Fire (#246)
-Gray (#146)
-Grey (#62)
-Hawkdragon (#101)
-Minidragon (#146)
-Phase (#94)
-Pocket (#170)
-Quazar (#96)(humor)
-"What's New" (#96)(humor)

MC9: Spelljammer II
-Moon
-Stellar
-Sun

MCA1
-Pearl

MCA3
-Cerilian

MCA4
-Prismatic (differs from epic version)

Mystara MC
-Crystalline
-Jade
-Onyx
-Ruby (Mystara dragon, differs from MMII gem dragons)

OD&D Master Set
-Crystal (Mystara dragon, differs from MMII gem dragons)
-Onyx
-Jade
-Sapphire (Mystara dragon, differs from MMII gem dragons)
-Ruby (Mystara dragon, differs from MMII gem dragons)
-Tiger's Eye (Brown)

Savage Coast MC
-Crimson
-Red Hawk

X6 – Quagmire!
-Pocket
 
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RavinRay

Explorer
Shade said:
Dragon Magazine
-Electrum (#74) (already converted...I just need to upload it)
-Pink (#156)(humor)

Monstrous Manual
-Yellow

MC4: Dragonlance
-Amphi
-Sea

MC9: Spelljammer II
-Moon
-Stellar
-Sun

MCA1
-Jade
-Pearl

Mystara MC
-Jade

OD&D Master Set
-Jade

1. Is this electrum dragon different from Ed Greenwood's electrum dragon from Ruins of Myth Drannor? One has electricity-based abilities, the other I can't remember.
2. I really want to see the pink dragon as a false chromatic dragon, like Krishnath's homebrew pyrite dragon would be a false metallic dragon, and my glass dragon could be re-written as a false gem dragon.
3. The Bestiary of Krynn has the amphidragon, while Age of Mortals has the turtle-like sea dragon (depicted here).
4. The stellar (and radiant - not the extraplanar dragon from Celestia) dragons ought to be epic, IMO.
5. How do we distinguish dragons that share the same name - yellow, jade (I have my own jade dragon at the WotC psionics forum), etc? Do we rename them, or add a place name?
6. I saw your amber dragon, which is different from the one I made and grouped with the pearl dragon as jewel dragons distantly related to gem dragons.

Well, that's it for now. Can't wait for your stats, that's gonna be a big job.
 
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Mortis

First Post
Shade said:
Dragon Magazine
...
-Night (#74, #163)
...
The night dragon in 163, IMHO, would work best as a template.

Is the version in 74 the same? Haven't seen issue 74. :(

The version in 163 is also in the Champions of Mystara boxed set.

Regards
Mortis
 

GrayLinnorm

Explorer
The energy, salt, and sodium dragons are respectively, the purple, yellow, and orange dragons. Those are in Dragon Compendium.

No, the night dragon from Dragon #74 is not the same as the Mystaran dragon.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
RavinRay said:
1. Is this electrum dragon different from Ed Greenwood's electrum dragon from Ruins of Myth Drannor? One has electricity-based abilities, the other I can't remember.
2. I really want to see the pink dragon as a false chromatic dragon, like Krishnath's homebrew pyrite dragon would be a false metallic dragon, and my glass dragon could be re-written as a false gem dragon.
3. The Bestiary of Krynn has the amphidragon, while Age of Mortals has the turtle-like sea dragon (depicted here).
4. The stellar (and radiant - not the extraplanar dragon from Celestia) dragons ought to be epic, IMO.
5. How do we distinguish dragons that share the same name - yellow, jade (I have my own jade dragon at the WotC psionics forum), etc? Do we rename them, or add a place name?
6. I saw your amber dragon, which is different from the one I made and grouped with the pearl dragon as jewel dragons distantly related to gem dragons.

Well, that's it for now. Can't wait for your stats, that's gonna be a big job.

Hello!

1.) It appears to be the same.
2.) We'll see when we get to it. ;)
3.) We'll probably skip those, then.
4.) See #2. ;)
5.) We'll probably keep the original names of any dragons that don't have official 3E creatures with conficting names, go with "Mystaran" for the non-psionic gem dragons that originated in OD&D and Mystara, and rename those that are in direct conflict but don't fall under another category (i.e., prismatic might become "lesser prismatic", "spectrum" or something else).

Mortis said:
The night dragon in 163, IMHO, would work best as a template.

Then we'll leave that one for another thread.

GrayLinnorm said:
No, the night dragon from Dragon #74 is not the same as the Mystaran dragon.

But this one is fair game. :D

GrayLinnorm said:
The energy, salt, and sodium dragons are respectively, the purple, yellow, and orange dragons. Those are in Dragon Compendium.

I thought I'd get those wrong. That means the original purple, yellow, and orange dragons might be eligible for conversion (and would need a name change).
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
Here are the basic conversion guidelines I'd like to follow for the true dragons.

  • If the dragon has all its age categories listed, we'll compare to one of the metallic or chromatics of the same era to get a baseline for Hit Dice, ability scores, etc.
  • Since we've yet to figure out the formula for dragon spell resistance in 3E/3.5, we'll probably just look at the old magic resistance values and find a similar metallic or chromatic dragon to use as a baseline.
  • If no age categories were given (as was often the case in 1E), but the creature is clearly a true dragon, we'll assume its given Hit Dice are for a juvenile and compare to a similar metallic or chromatic dragon to use as a baseline and extrapolate the other age categories. (If I'm wrong about the juvenile age as the standard, let me know, but I found several past threads where we seemed to find this to be true).
  • If dragons had a kick ability in previous editions, we're dropping it, as all others have dropped them in 3E.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Let's get started....

Dragon, Neutral, Jacinth
Climate/Terrain: Desert
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Special
Intelligence: Genius (17-18)
Treasure: See below
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 1 (base)
Movement: 9, Fl 27(B)
Hit Dice: 9 (base)
Thac0: 13 (base)
No. of Attacks: 3 plus special
Damage/Attack: 1d6+1 (x2)/4d6
Special Attacks: Spells, breath weapon, special
Special Defenses: Spells, special
Magic Resistance: See below
Size: H-G (16' base length)
Morale: Fanatic (17-18)
XP Value: See below

Jacinth dragons may be the rarest of any nonunique dragon species; only a dozen at most exist on any given world.

The hide of a jacinth sparkles and shifts with many shades of flame-bright orange in seemingly constant motion.

Jacinth dragons speak their own language, and they can communicate telepathically with any other creature having that ability, as well as creatures with Intelligence of 18 or higher.

Combat: A jacinth dragon breathes a cone of scalding air 1 foot wide at the mouth, 50 feet long, and 20 feet wide at its terminus, igniting easily combustible materials (e.g., paper, oil, and cloth) unless they successfully save vs. normal fire. A successful save vs. breath weapon indicates, as with most dragons, that a character suffers only half damage from such an attack.

Using riddling talk and personal charm, jacinths can entrance those who are involved in combat or otherwise distracted. Anyone within 90 feet who listens to a jacinth has a 10% cumulative chance per round to become affected as by a suggestion spell. A successful save vs. spell indicates that the character can resist the charm for at least six rounds, after which there's a 5% cumulative chance to be charmed. Those who successfully save twice can't be charmed by that dragon.

Furthermore, the jacinth dragon has the innate ability to interplay the shades of its skin so as to have a hypnotic effect on viewers. Thus, after three rounds of a peaceful encounter, the dragon can attack with a +3 bonus to surprise rolls if necessary. In addition, the hide reflects sunlight so brightly that any creature who gazes for more than two rounds upon the dragon on a particularly sunny day is blinded for 5d6 rounds unless the victim rolls a successful save vs. spell.

Due to its relatively small size, the fear aura of a neutral dragon allows a +4 bonus to opponent's saving throws. Also, neutrals cannot polymorph themselves unless they carry the spell of the same name. However, they do have the innate ability to blink six times per day (as a 10th-level caster).

Habitat/Society: Jacinth dragons make their homes in large deserts, enjoying the hot, dry climate. Over the years, the species has developed the ability to go for weeks without water or food. They shun all other forms of life and enjoy their solitude, though they can at times be overly curious of visitors.

Like all dragons, jacinths have a passion for treasure, especially for the stone after which they are named. Hence, they venture out to obtain what little treasure they have, and it is by these excursions that they are known to humans.

Ecology: No jacinth dragon hides have ever been taken or sold. The only creatures known to prey upon them are adventurers.

Age Body Lgt. Tail Lgt. AC Breath Wizard/Priest Spells MR Treasure XP Value
1 1-4 1-4 4 2d4 Nil Nil Nil 7,000
2 5-8 5-7 3 3d4 2/1 Nil Nil 8,000
3 9-14 8-10 2 4d4 2 2 /2 Nil Nil 9,000
4 15-18 11-13 1 5d4 2 2 2 /2 1 Nil E,T 11,000
5 19-20 14-16 0 6d4 2 2 2 2/2 2 15% H,R,T 14,000
6 21-22 17-19 -1 7d4 2 2 2 2 2/2 2 1 20% H,R,Tx2 15,000
7 23-26 20-22 -2 8d4 2 2 2 2 2 2/2 2 2 25% H,R,Tx2 16,000
8 27-28 23-25 -3 9d4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2/2 2 2 1 30% H,I,R,Tx3 17,000
9 29-30 26-28 -4 10d4 3 3 2 2 2 2 2/2 2 2 2 35% H,I,R,Tx4 18,000
10 31-32 29-31 -5 11d4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2/2 2 2 2 1 40% H,Ix2,R,Tx4 19,000
11 33-34 32-34 -6 12d4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2/2 2 2 2 2 45% H,Ix2,R,Tx4 20,000
12 35-36 35-37 -7 13d4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2/3 3 3 2 2 50% H,Ix3,R,Tx5 21,000

Source: Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One


I don't believe these fellas appeared anywhere else.
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
With a base of 9 Hit Dice, no comparable metallic or chromatic dragons can be found for comparison. Even the lowly white was base 11. Expanding into the gem dragons and some of the misc. dragons (shadow, steel, mercury, etc.), we find none with base HD that low.

The amber dragon and vishap actually have a lower base (8 for both), and Krishnath and the team converted them to the same progression as white dragons (3-36 HD). Any opposition to doing the same for these fellas?
 


BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
sorry to break the train of thought once it got moving, but i've been meaning to post that one for days. ;) there are probably others, when i think of them...
 

RavinRay

Explorer
First impressions...
  • Start it off at 3 HD for wyrmling. A 2d12 true dragon wyrmling seems too weak for me.
  • A steam breath weapon like the mist dragon and dragon turtle that deals fire damage.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
sorry to break the train of thought once it got moving, but i've been meaning to post that one for days. ;) there are probably others, when i think of them...

No problem. I'll add it to the list. :)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
RavinRay said:
First impressions...
  • Start it off at 3 HD for wyrmling. A 2d12 true dragon wyrmling seems too weak for me.
  • A steam breath weapon like the mist dragon and dragon turtle that deals fire damage.

OK, we'll go with the 3-36 progression.

I'll take a look at the breath weapons you mentioned.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
A jacinth dragon breathes a cone of scalding air 1 foot wide at the mouth, 50 feet long, and 20 feet wide at its terminus, igniting easily combustible materials (e.g., paper, oil, and cloth) unless they successfully save vs. normal fire. A successful save vs. breath weapon indicates, as with most dragons, that a character suffers only half damage from such an attack.

Dragon Turtle Breath Weapon (Su): Cloud of superheated steam 20 feet high, 25 feet wide, and 50 feet long, once every 1d4 rounds, damage 12d6 fire, Reflex DC 21 half; effective both on the surface and underwater. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Mist Dragon Breath Weapon (Su): Mist dragons have two types of breath weapons: a cone of scalding steam that deals fire damage and a line of caustic slime. Creatures struck by slime must make Fortitude saves or be sickened for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon.

So how about....

Breath Weapon (Su): Jacinth dragons have one type of breath weapon, a cone of scalding air that deals fire damage and ignites any unattended combustible objects within the area.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Jacinth dragons speak their own language, and they can communicate telepathically with any other creature having that ability, as well as creatures with Intelligence of 18 or higher.

Telepathy to a distance of 10 feet x age category?

Using riddling talk and personal charm, jacinths can entrance those who are involved in combat or otherwise distracted. Anyone within 90 feet who listens to a jacinth has a 10% cumulative chance per round to become affected as by a suggestion spell. A successful save vs. spell indicates that the character can resist the charm for at least six rounds, after which there's a 5% cumulative chance to be charmed. Those who successfully save twice can't be charmed by that dragon.

Do we want to simplify this to just having suggestion as a spell-like ability, or try to create a unique ability?

Furthermore, the jacinth dragon has the innate ability to interplay the shades of its skin so as to have a hypnotic effect on viewers. Thus, after three rounds of a peaceful encounter, the dragon can attack with a +3 bonus to surprise rolls if necessary. In addition, the hide reflects sunlight so brightly that any creature who gazes for more than two rounds upon the dragon on a particularly sunny day is blinded for 5d6 rounds unless the victim rolls a successful save vs. spell.

Maybe allow the jacinth to use its Diplomacy skill instead of Bluff for feints?

How's this for the second ability?

Blinding Hide (Ex): In areas of natural sunlight or a daylight spell, a jacinth dragon's hide reflects the sun so brightly that any creature viewing the dragon must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC equals breath weapon DC) or be blinded for 5d6(?) rounds. A creature that successfully saves is instead dazzled for 1d4(?) rounds.

Due to its relatively small size, the fear aura of a neutral dragon allows a +4 bonus to opponent's saving throws. Also, neutrals cannot polymorph themselves unless they carry the spell of the same name. However, they do have the innate ability to blink six times per day (as a 10th-level caster).

Krishnath chose to drop the fear aura bonus for the amber. Do we want to retain it? (and if so, I'll update the amber to reflect it as well). The polymorph bit isn't an issue anymore. Here's how Krishnath handled the blink ability:

Blink (Sp): A very young or older amber dragon can use this ability as the spell once per day for each two age categories it is, thus an adult amber dragon can use the ability three times per day. This is as the spell cast by a sorcerer of the dragon’s age category or its caster level whichever is higher. The range is personal.

I think this works well. Any objections?
 

RavinRay

Explorer
  • Telepathy works fine.
  • I'd go for suggestion (Sp).
  • Diplomacy works better than Bluff, after all the dragon is trying to be friendly.
  • What's the range of Blinding Hide, is it dependent on the range of vision of the other creature?
  • I don't think the fear aura bonus is necessary either.
  • After looking at Tiny wyrmling dragons (brass, white, sapphire, mercury, and steel), all but the sapphire advance their breath weapons by only 1HD, and all except the mercury use d6 (d8 for mercury). So a jacinth dragon's breath weapon should advance by 1d6 per age category, or if you really want it weaker, 1d4.
  • Fire subtype? Energy immunities/vulnerabilities?
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
For the subtype, I was thinking fire as well. That will automatically give it immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold.

Oddly, the black dragon retained its 2e breath weapon damage progression (2d4-24d4), yet the brass changed from 2d4-24d4 to 1d6-12d6. I suppose we can go either way with it.

Good catch on blinding hide. It should probably have a limited range. Maybe 10 feet per age category, beginning with young (30 ft.)?

Its 2e AC progression was the same as both black and white dragons. Now the black's natural armor bonus is 1 higher than the white at each age category. Shall we mimic the white?

Its spellcasting is quite potent...not as good as a gold, but better than silver, red, mercury, shadow, and steel (all among the best spellcasters in 2e). All of them now go from 1st to 19th beginning at young, so that's probably the best approach for the jacinth.

Since it could cast priest spells in 2E, we'll need to pick some domains. Fire seems a good fit, as does Trickery. Any suggestions for a third domain?

Its magic resistance progression followed the same as the brass in 2e, so perhaps we'll just follow the brass's spell resistance progression?

Its land speed matches the 2e black, green, and reds, which all have 40 feet in 3e. As a flyer, it falls between the topaz and crystal dragons and the black in speed, but has better maneuverability than all dragons I could find with 3E counterparts. So how about following the speed progression of the topaz, crystal, and black (all appear the same), with one maneuverability class better?

Class skills? Diplomacy and Sense Motive, the two most obvious choices, are already class skills for dragons. Maybe Appraise? Bluff?

For ability scores...

Its damage output is closest to the bronze dragon in 2E, so maybe we can use the Str progression of the bronze.

Nothing seems to indicate that their Dex is better or worse than most dragons, so 10's all the way should suffice.

Since they are hearty desert survivors, I'd assume Con is decent.

Int is on par with gold, amethyst, and sapphire dragons.

Wis should probably be slightly less than Int and Cha.

Cha should be decent due to their reliance on magic.
 
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RavinRay

Explorer
The desert is becoming a crowded place! :eek: Jacinths have to share it with blues, brasses, browns, rattelyrs, sands, and yellows, not to mention lesser dragons like air drakes, desert landwyrms, sand wurms, spinwyrms, sun wyrms, and vishaps.

Be back to add some more comments.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Ok, I've got this huge spreadsheet with true dragon stats I made a long time ago and am updating with new dragons, so I'll be using it as a handy reference.

Most Material Plane true dragons have natural AC=HD-1 (brown is -3 due to its leathery scales), and the jacinth isn't different enough to vary from this.

So Blinding Hide is at young? Sounds reasonable.

This is a general conversion question but I didn't ask this earlier. Do we limit ourselves to the PHB clerical domains, or can other domains in the SRD (like those from Deities & Demigods, as well as Mind from XPH) be used? If so, Charm is a good choice, otherwise... hmm, Magic, considering that it might turn our to gain fewer Sp and Su abilities than other dragons at great wyrm age.

Hmm, isn't the black dragon 60 ft in 3.5e, like the white? Most of the smallest dragons have 60 ft (except for copper and mist at 40). But 40 ft is a better match for the jacinth.

Yes, give it the brass dragon's SR! Then let's see how the two face off in a confrontation, with the jacinth's possible higher Cha scores tipping the balance.

I haven't suggestions yet on the class skills and ability scores (save for Dex 10 throughout). For the latter, I can always experiment with calculations on the spreadsheet and come up with a matrix.

That's my 2 cp for today...
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
as for clerical domains (and other book references), we prefer to stick to the PHB/DMG/MM core books as much as possible, but yeah if need be we have referenced other SRD materials before. :)
 

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