Converting True Dragons

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
What about
8th - greater shadow evocation, mass charm monster, mind blank
9th - shades, shapechange, weird
?
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
What about
8th - greater shadow evocation, mass charm monster, mind blank
9th - shades, shapechange, weird
?

Yes, I can go along with that. Having both wish and miracle is a little redundant.

Updating Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

I think that's all the special abilities finished, so it's time for Skills & Feats.

For comparison of other divine-level dragons we have:

Bahamut [HD 53, Int 35]
Skills and Feats: Bluff +68, Concentration +70, Diplomacy +80, Disguise +68, Escape Artist +56, Gather Information +68, Intimidate +74, Knowledge (arcana) +68, Knowledge (history) +68, Knowledge (nature) +68, Knowledge (the planes) +68, Knowledge (religion) +68, Listen +71, Search +68, Sense Motive +69, Spellcraft +74, Spot +71, Survival +69; Alertness, Awesome Blow, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Expertise, Fly-By Attack, Greater Spell Penetration, Hover, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (sunburst), Snatch, Spell Penetration, Wingover.

Gruaghlothor (Enworld CC)[HD 48, Int 32]
Skills and Feats: Appraise +62, Bluff +62, Concentration +40, Diplomacy +62, Disguise +45 (+51 acting), Gather Information +62, Intimidate +64, Jump +58, Knowledge (arcana) +62, Knowledge (geography) +62, Knowledge (history) +62, Knowledge (the planes) +62, Listen +64, Search +62, Sense Motive +62, Spellcraft +68 (+74 scrolls), Spot +64, Survival +31 (+37 on other planes, +37 to avoid getting lost, +37 following tracks), Use Magic Device +62; Alertness, Awesome Blow, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Fly-By Attack, Hover, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Multiattack, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-like Ability (wall of iron), Snatch, Wingover

Sardior [HD 52, Int 33]
Skills and Feats: Appraise +74, Balance +16, Bluff +67, Climb +69, Concentration +56, Diplomacy +65, Disguise +50, Escape Artist +39, Gather Information +57, Hide +53, Innuendo +62, Intimidate +25, Jump +66, Knowledge (nature) +47, Knowledge (psionics) +47, Knowledge (the planes) +47, Listen +56, Perform +47, Psicraft +57, Read Lips +42, Remote View +52, Search +57, Sense Motive +54, Spot +56, Swim +69, Tumble +37, Wilderness Lore +54; Alertness, Cleave, Devastating Critical (claw [DC 55]), Flyby Attack, Great Cleave, Hover, Improve Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Overwhelming Critical (claw), Power Attack, Snatch, Weapon Focus (claw), and Wingover.

Tiamat [HD 49, Int 28]
Skills and Feats: Bluff +61, Concentration +64, Diplomacy +69, Gather Information +61, Intimidate +65, Knowledge (arcana) +61, Knowledge (history) +61, Knowledge (religion) +61, Knowledge (the planes) +61, Listen +61, Search +61, Sense Motive +59, Spellcraft +65, Spot +61, Survival +59; Alertness, Awesome Blow, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Expertise, Fly-By Attack, Greater Spell Penetration, Hover, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Power Attack, Quicken Spell Penetration, Spell-Like Ability (domination), Snatch, Wingover.

Our girl has 48 Hit Dice and Intelligence 31, for sixteen maxed-out skills and seventeen feats.

For skills I like Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), (history), (religion), (the planes), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, Tumble, Use Magic Device. That's nineteen skills so some of them will have to be short of SP. If we half-rank the Appraise, Disguise and Knowledge Skills that'll leave enough SPs to max-rank the others.

Will we be giving her any Epic Feats? Both the officially published Sardior and the last high-CR dragons we converted, Rahab the Grey Dragon, are Epiced Up with the Devastating Critical feat chain, so we have precedent.

I'd be fine just giving her Dire Charge and sixteen non-Epic feats, but there are a bunch of others such as Superior Initiative and Automatic Quicken Spell that are extremely tempting (and very unbalanced for the Auto metamagic feats!).

I'm tempted to give her Chaotic Mind as a feat just 'cause its "chaotic", but it's a bit circumstantial since it only works if there's psionics in a campaign.

Hmm… Dire Charge [?], Flyby Attack, Hover, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Critical (bite)[or claw?], Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (up to 6th level spell), Snatch, Spell Penetration, Wingover would be a decent foundation, which leaves another six feats.

Any ideas/preferences for those?
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I like your proposed skills. (And thanks for clarifying the Mystaran Amber references.)

Let's start with those feats and add Superior Init, Quicken Spell, Automatic Quicken Spell x2 (she really has to take something unfair like this), Multiattack, and one more. Leadership isn't really right, but it feels thematically right. Same with Chaotic Mind, like you mentioned. Something like Combat Casting could work, but I'm not sure how useful it is given her high Concentration bonus already. Is there another metamagic feat you like?

Incidentally, I'm sure you're planning on it, but we can't forget to make her natural weapons chaotic-aligned for the purposes of overcoming DR!
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I like your proposed skills. (And thanks for clarifying the Mystaran Amber references.)

Okay, so that'd be:

Skill Mods (816 SPs): Appraise 26+10int, Balance 0+0dex+6synTu, Bluff 51+11cha, Concentration 51+12con, Diplomacy 51+11cha+12synBl/SM, Disguise 26+11cha (+6synBl acting), Gather Information 51+11cha, Intimidate 51+11cha+6synBl, Jump 0+19str+6synTu+12spd, Knowledge (arcana) 25+10int, (history) 25+10int, (nature) 1+10int+6synSu, (religion) 25+10int, (the planes) 25+10int, Listen 51+10wis, Search 51+10int, Sense Motive 51+10wis, Spellcraft 51+10int+4synKn (+6synUMD decipher scrolls), Spot 51+10wis, Survival 51+10wis (+4synKn aboveground & on other planes), Tumble 51+0dex, Use Magic Device 51+11cha (+6synSC with scrolls)

The half-SPs meant one of the Knowledge skills would have an odd point, so I gave her a point in Know (nature) so she qualified for the Survival synergy.

Which makes:

Skills: Appraise +36, Balance +6, Bluff +62, Concentration +63, Diplomacy +74, Disguise +37 (+33 acting), Gather Information +62, Intimidate +68, Jump +37, Knowledge (arcana) +35, Knowledge (history) +35, Knowledge (nature) +17, Knowledge (religion) +35, Knowledge (the planes) +35, Listen +61, Search +61, Sense Motive +61, Spellcraft +65 (+71 decipher scrolls), Spot 51+10wis, Survival +61 (+65 aboveground, +65 on other planes), Tumble +51, Use Magic Device +62 (+68 with scrolls)

Let's start with those feats and add Superior Init, Quicken Spell, Automatic Quicken Spell x2 (she really has to take something unfair like this), Multiattack, and one more. Leadership isn't really right, but it feels thematically right. Same with Chaotic Mind, like you mentioned. Something like Combat Casting could work, but I'm not sure how useful it is given her high Concentration bonus already. Is there another metamagic feat you like?

If we're giving her double AutoQuicken Spell I'd be inclined to remove the Quicken SLA in favour of a third AQS just for the extra munchkinness of quickened miracles and weirds.

Combat Casting seems a bit useless, as does Chaotic Mind so I'd drop them. Neither Bahamut or Tiamat have the Leadership feat in their 3E versions and they've got piles of followers so it seems surplus to give our girl that feat.

Feats: Automatic Quicken Spell×3, Dire Charge, Flyby Attack, Hover, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Snatch, Spell Penetration, Superior Initiative, Wingover PLUS ONE

For the remaining one, if you'd rather it be spell-related I'd prefer Spell Focus over a Metamagic feat. We've already assigned all her spells and I don't fancy going through her cleric list to decide what, if any, to Metamagic!

Contrariwise, we could balance her selection out a bit with another combat feat such as Improved Critical (claw) or Improved Multiattack.

Any preferences?

Incidentally, I'm sure you're planning on it, but we can't forget to make her natural weapons chaotic-aligned for the purposes of overcoming DR!

I'll make sure to edit that in while updating the Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft with the above.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
The skills are good (but I think it should be +43 acting under Disguise), as are the feats. Let's go with Imp Multiattack for the last one.

Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal, anything else?

Triple Standard treasure seems appropriate.

Shouldn't Organization also have her retinue of lesser but still quite impressive dragons?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
The skills are good (but I think it should be +43 acting under Disguise), as are the feats. Let's go with Imp Multiattack for the last one.

Yes, it should be acting +33. Must have clicked the adjacent digit on my keyboard.

Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal, anything else?

That seems a bit few.

With an Intelligence of 31 wouldn't she have ten bonus languages?

Triple Standard treasure seems appropriate.

That's fine by me!

Updating the Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

Shouldn't Organization also have her retinue of lesser but still quite impressive dragons?

Good point we should. I'm inclined to leave in "Solitary" on the offchance she decides to do something on her own.

Spelling out all nine dragons in the full train would make the Organisation a bit bulky:

Organization #1: Solitary, retinue (1 plus 4 great wyrm Mystaran amber dragons) or traveling court (1 plus 4 great wyrm Amber dragons, 1 great wyrm black dragon, 1 great wyrm brass dragon, 1 great wyrm copper dragon, 1 great wyrm red dragon and 1 great wyrm white dragon)

Let's see:

Organization #2: Solitary, retinue (1 plus 4 great wyrm Mystaran amber dragons) or traveling court (1 plus 4 great wyrm Amber dragons, and 1 great wyrm black dragon, brass dragon, copper dragon, red dragon & white dragon)

I'm sure that can be shorter, how about:

Organization #3: Solitary, retinue (1 plus 4 great wyrm Mystaran amber dragons) or traveling court (1 plus 9 great wyrm dragons [4 Mystaran Amber great wyrms plus a black, brass, copper, red & white great wyrm])

or:

Organization #4: Solitary, retinue (1 plus 4 great wyrm Mystaran amber dragons) or traveling court (1 plus 4 great wyrm Mystaran Amber dragons, plus a great wyrm black, brass, copper, red, and white dragon)

Hmm, I'm leaning towards #4.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
We could just give her all the SRD languages! It doesn't seem super flavorful, but sure.

I like organization #4.

Any thoughts on combat tactics? She has a lot of options!
 

Cleon

Adventurer
We could just give her all the SRD languages! It doesn't seem super flavorful, but sure.

How about we just use the same formula as the Dragon Magazine 3E versions of Bahamut & Tiamat?

Dragon #272 said:
Tiamat speaks many languages, including Draconic, Infernal, Ignan, and Common, though she can converse with any intelligent creature.

Bahamut speaks many languages, including Draconic, Celestial, Auran, and Common, though he can converse with any intelligent creature.

I'd go for:

Pearl speaks many languages, including Draconic, Abyssal, Celestial, and Common, though she can converse with any intelligent creature.

I like organization #4.

Updating Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

Any thoughts on combat tactics? She has a lot of options!

Too many options to cover properly, so I'd tend to keep it fairly vague. How about:

As befits her chaotic nature, Pearl is highly unpredictable in combat. Her incredible mind and eons of experience mean her her tactics should always be inventive and effective even if her actions seem random. She enjoys melee combat, and her Dire Charge and Automatic Quicken Spell feats allow her to make a full attack and cast a quickened spell every round.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That works on the languages. Tactics are also good!

The other Colossal unique dragons I checked in the CC are around 120+ ft long and 220+ tons, except for Ahi, who's rather puny for his size category. One is 170 feet and 350 tons. Want to go with something like 140 ft and 260 tons?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That works on the languages. Tactics are also good!

Updating Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

The other Colossal unique dragons I checked in the CC are around 120+ ft long and 220+ tons, except for Ahi, who's rather puny for his size category. One is 170 feet and 350 tons. Want to go with something like 140 ft and 260 tons?

Well there are 2E AD&D versions of Tiamat that are 360 feet (Polyhedron #36, 1992) or 500 feet (DMGR4, 1992) long, and she has kids of the 140 ft. size you suggest (i.e. An-Ur).

Besides, Pearl is a Chaotic shapechanging dragon, so might be whatever size she wants to be.

How about:

Pearl's natural pearlescent dragon form is mutable and can change size and shape at will as described under her Alternative Form ability. Her normal Colossal size can range from 100 to 300 feet in length (including tail) and weighs 50 to 1,000 tons.

Alternate Form (Su): Pearl can assume any animal or humanoid form of Huge size or smaller as a standard action. She can also assume the form of any of the chaotic dragon varieties she rules over of any age category from wyrmling to great wyrm. The Moon Dragon can remain in an alternate form until she chooses to assume a new one or return to her natural form.

Her natural form can be any size between Tiny and her normal size of Colossal and can assume the shape but not the coloration of any chaotic dragon, including wingless and legless species (she can still fly magically in wingless forms). Pearl can resize and reshape her natural form as a free action once per round.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
That sounds fun, sure!

Updating Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

Is description the last bit left?
A giant, opalescent dragon of shifting form.

Well we need some background text too.

I'm reluctant to use opalescent in the description since the next Dragon Ruler is called Opal. That said, pearlescent is a bit too on-the-nose.

Also, we gave her super size changing abilities so I'd avoid "giant" as that wouldn't apply if she chose to be cat-sized!

How about:

An awe-inspiring dragon, pale white like moonlight. Its scales gleam with subtle iridescent colors like the mother of pearl inside a nacreous mollusc's shell.

Hmm, no needs a bit more "shiftiness".

An awe-inspiring dragon whose form subtly shifts between the shapes of different types of dragon. Its scales are pale white like moonlight and gleam with the subtle iridescence of a pearl.

Yup, that'll do!

For the rest, let's keep it simple:

The Moon Dragon, or Pearl as she is also called, is an immortal dragon who rules over Chaotic dragons. In her full glory Pearl is larger than any great wyrm among the mortal dragons. She answers to no one except The Great Dragon who commands all dragonkind. There are two other Dragon Rulers who directly serve The Great One: Diamond the Star Dragon, who rules Lawful dragons, and Opal the Sun Dragon, who rules Neutral dragons. Pearl sometimes meets with Diamond and Opal but avoids dealing with other Dragon Rulers such as Bahamut, Ruby, or Tiamat.

The Moon Dragon Ruler rarely visits the Prime Material, she usually appears to deal with some matter affecting a large number of Chaotic dragons or at the Great Dragon's direct bidding, although some visits have seemingly been whims inspired by her Chaotic temperament. When she does appear, Pearl is normally accompanied by multiple great wyrms. Her palace on the Plane of Limbo is staffed by many more Chaotic creatures, not all of them dragons. The Moon Dragon's courtiers and palace followers all worship Pearl with fanatical devotion.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That's all great!

I'm happy enough with triple standard treasure. CR is always difficult for epic critters. Hmm. Pearl is probably somewhere between a juvenile and young adult force dragon, so I could see CR of 26 or maybe 27. What do you think?

Also, are we doing anything with that parenthetical of dragon types?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That's all great!

I'm happy enough with triple standard treasure. CR is always difficult for epic critters. Hmm. Pearl is probably somewhere between a juvenile and young adult force dragon, so I could see CR of 26 or maybe 27. What do you think?

Well I put the highly questionable "25??" there because that's the Challenge Rating of Bahamut and Tiamat in Manual of the Planes and Dragon #272.

However, I can't help feeling that's too low, especially as that's a 3.0 source and True Dragons had their CR tweaked up a bit in 3.5.

We can agree that Tiamat's significantly tougher than a Great Wyrm Red Dragon (CR 25 in 3.0, CR 26 in 3.5) and Bahamut's tougher than a Great Wyrm Gold Dragon (CR 26 in 3.0, CR 27 in 3.5) I hope?

Therefore Pearl should be at least a Challenge Rating higher than a Great Wyrm Mystaran Amber Dragon's CR 27.

Maybe several CRs higher.

The official Improving Monster Rules on Adding Hit Dice say "+1 per 2 HD added" for creatures of the Dragon Type and Pearl's 48 HD are 7 higher than the Great Amber's 41 HD, which'd mean 27+3 for CR 30.

That feels a bit high to me though.

Also, are we doing anything with that parenthetical of dragon types?

I've added the following after the "normally accompanied by multiple great wyrms" bit:

Her attendants always include four Mystaran amber great wyrms and maybe another five or so Chaotic dragons (usually a black, brass, copper, red and white great wyrm).​

Updating Pearl the Moon Dragon Working Draft.

I took the conservative option and put in "Challenge Rating: 28", one higher than a Great Wyrm Amber.

We can always adjust it later.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I do like CR 28. It's hard to put her much above that in comparison to the epic dragons anyway. And anything less feels pretty weak for what's basically a dragon god.

Shall we call that settled and move to the next one?
 


Cleon

Adventurer
So Opal next, I guess.

I'll just link to the Original Stats.

Okay, I guess the first question is how many Hit Dice do we give Opal?

Double the original's 27 for 54 Hit Dice, which is six more HD than Pearl?

But the original Opal had three more HD than Pearl's 24, which'd be 51 Hit Dice?

We also need a set of Neutral Dragons for his special abilities.

I think we discussed this back in the misty dawns of prehistory…

…Oh, we did!

Post on Dragon Types.

Post on Hit Dice.

…and we sort of agreed on something!

No divine ranks. I like adding 24HD, so 48HD for Pearl. +40 NA and +8 AC from something else (or in that neighborhood) seems good to me. Speeds like Bahamut sound good. Your proposed abilities are good too. Let's get that working draft!

Now I'm wondering of an even number of Hit Dice would work better, like 50 Hit Dice for Opal and 52 Hit Dice for Diamond?

If we have Pearl/Opal/Diamond go 48/51/54 HD then the base saves will go +26/+27/+29 and I'd rather have the jump in saving throws from Ruler to Ruler be even.

Could make it 48/52/56 HD, but that'd give Diamond three more Hit Dice than the 53 HD of standard-issue Bahamut. Don't much care for that.

The Great Dragon is a rung above all the other Rulers, so we should give it plenty of Hit Dice!
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think I like 48/50/52 given Bahamut's HD.

I still agree with my old choice of the green MCA dragons for Opal, so that's good!

That enough to start a working draft?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I think I like 48/50/52 given Bahamut's HD.

I still agree with my old choice of the green MCA dragons for Opal, so that's good!

That enough to start a working draft?

Well it's enough to get started.

Might post a Working Draft sometime later today, but it'll be such a massive statblock I'm likely to put it off as long as I think I can get away with it!
 

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