5E D&D Gem Dragons Are Officially Back

So if you're (not) like me and you don't have the time or patience to watch Spoilers & Swag, you may have missed this awesome reveal... Gem Dragons are back! And I don't just mean back in a third-party book like Matt Colville's Strongholds and Followers (great book, check it out), I mean back officially for D&D 5e.

In case you don't know, Gem Dragons are the third-wheel of dragonkind... they are not Good (Metallic) or Evil (Chromatic), they are Neutral. This makes them easily overlooked in the struggle of good vs. evil, but they've popped up here and there in previous editions.

But it looks like Gem Dragons have returned, first to promote the sale of a very expensive sapphire dice set. This little paper fold-out is included (screenshots below), complete with lore for gem dragons and a statblock for the Adult Sapphire Dragon specifically.

Of course, if you don't want to buy a pricey set of dice for a statblock... you're in luck, as Nathan Stewart reveals that everybody else will get access to it "early in 2020, where we [WotC] will have some fun ways to get that out there." So it looks like some product will be released including the Neutral Dragons, a new adventure or maybe a new monster book!

Feel free to speculate, here's the images;

1573671774880.png


1573671794207.png
 

Comments

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I like the distinction between Magic and Psionics as being that Magic comes from without, and Psionics comes from within. I consider Psionics and Ki to be the same energy, like The Force, like the Asians concepts of Prana and Qi that The Force is based on; life energy that is generated by living beings and suffuses the world. While I agree that they are both supernatural powers, I prefer to have them as two separate types of supernatural power, while maintaining a connection between all of them (the same as how all the different types of electromagnetic energies and other physical Forces are all different, while still being interconnected.)

But then again, I like having multiple different kinds of supernatural powers without just labeling all of them "Magic." I use David Eddings The Belgariad as an example; in the universe of The Belgariad and The Mallorean there are multiple types of supernatural powers; Magic: an external power based on summoning Demons to serve you that is used by Magicians, Sorcery: an internal power used based on The Will and The Word that is used by Sorcerers, and Witchcraft: an external power based on making deals with spirits for power that is used by Witches. They are all related supernatural energies, yes, but they are still all distinctive, separate types of power. I even like to have the different Schools of Magic based on separate types of Magical energies; Necromancy uses a different kind of energy than Evocation, and both are different from Enchantment.

However, I also use the principle that "An Effect Is An Effect Is An Effect." Despite being activated by different methods, an effect is the same regardless of how it is brought about. A Fireball effect, for example, is the same regardless of whether it is brought about by a Wizard spell, a Sorcerer spell, a Cleric spell, a Warlock spell, or a Psionic power. The Fireball is still the same predexisting supernatural effect, no matter how that effect is activated; the Wizard's Fireball spell was discovered long ago by developing a process that activated a pre-existing effect, and all of the other spell/powers that create Fireballs all take advantage of that same effect, even though they all activate the same effect by going through a different process to do so.

I just don't like a "Grand Unified Theory of Magic" where every supernatural power is just the exact same "Magic" that everyone uses. There are many different Forces in physics; Electromagnetism, Gravity, Weak Nuclear Force, Strong Nuclear Force, etc, and I like having the same thing in regard to supernatural powers.
That’s amazing because I consider magic and psionics to be the same thing. It’s just humans don’t have enough of it and in general need verbal and material components to harness it along with the somatic components to harness their chi to align with the different magical forces to produce a spell.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Looks like 5e doesn’t talk about it but in previous editions dragons were true omnivores. Like they could survive on rock.

So the biosphere, especially one buoyed and suffused withe magic to help its fecundity and growth should be fine.
In Dragon Heist it's explicitly mentioned how a gold metallic dragon is able to survive underground alone by eating the gems in his hoard. No idea if this applies to all dragons.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
On the subject of all the dragons ever printed, I believe that the 'Pink' caustic soap bubble breathing dragon from one of the Dragon April Fool's issues has been forgotten.

As far as creating dragons just to create them, I seem to remember that every anniversary issue of Dragon would introduce new dragons, so they really were creating dragons just to create them.

But then, I'm the guy who has only ever used 4 true dragons (white, black, green, and blue) and condensed all elves down to single species with two subspecies. So I see all of this diversity of dragons as a negative that works against a setting and ignore it anyway. Is there really anyone that needs 50 different species of dragon?
I've long been of the opinion that it makes more sense to consider many groups of magical monsters as being regional or individual variants rather than species in their own right, on the basis that magical beings are highly mutable. So if a dragon grows up in a volcano it becomes a Red Dragon, but one that developed in a glacier became a White Dragon. Should they meet, mate, then lose their egg in a swamp the poor orphan will grown into a Black Dragon. The principle could apply to a bunch of creature types - what is a Bugbear but a large and sneaky goblin, after all. (Incidentally, that's the approach taken by 2E AD&D's Birthright Campaign for goblinoids - the Cerilian Goblin is considered one species whether it's a Goblin, Hobgoblin or Bugbear).

As for diversity of dragons, I think it's a good principle to have diversity in monsters just for the sake of variety in encounters, but in practice I've often achieved that by using unusual characters or class/skill abilities - I tend to have only one or maybe two "unusual" monsters in a scenario, or even none. In the specific case of dragons, I can only remember using Black Dragons and a Red Dragon for the past decade or two and most of them are recurrent characters. Well, except for a couple of one-shot 1E adventures which included "dragon in a cave" type encounters which we ran for a nostalgia kick. Still, I like the idea of having lots and lots of different monsters in a scenario, providing there's some lip-service towards logic as to how and why they happen to be there. It's just more fun in a "you have no idea what horror lies beyond the next door" sense.
 

Tyranthraxus

Explorer
Very hard to full implement Gem Dragons without Psionics.

But for love of Bane, please take this opportunity to renamed the Crystal Dragon to something else. Diamond I dont care. But it cant be Crystal again. Its a Gem Dragon. Crystal is implied.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Very hard to full implement Gem Dragons without Psionics.

But for love of Bane, please take this opportunity to renamed the Crystal Dragon to something else. Diamond I dont care. But it cant be Crystal again. Its a Gem Dragon. Crystal is implied.
I'd prefer Quartz Dragon to Diamond. Crystals are the weakest and commonest type of Gem Dragon, and quartz is the most abundant terrestrial mineral that can form gems.

Also, there's already a dragon called Diamond - it's the personal name of BECMI's Star Dragon the Ruler of All Lawful Dragons, that system's equivalent to Bahamut.
 
Have to say that I like the artwork in Strongholds & Followers for gem dragons better than the example of a WOTC gem dragon shown in the picture shared by the OP.

E.g.:

View attachment 115746
That looks nothing like a dragon to me. But i think i just got a great idea for a gem variant bullette that a mind flayer colony managed to infest with an illithid tadpole. Because that is exactly what came to mind when i saw this.
 

Tyranthraxus

Explorer
"
I'd prefer Quartz Dragon to Diamond. Crystals are the weakest and commonest type of Gem Dragon, and quartz is the most abundant terrestrial mineral that can form gems.

Also, there's already a dragon called Diamond - it's the personal name of BECMI's Star Dragon the Ruler of All Lawful Dragons, that system's equivalent to Bahamut. "

A ) I dont think the stone should have anything to do with the power level . Id have no problem if it was suddenly decided that Silver were the most powerful of the Metallic Dragons and Gold was second last or that Green Dragons were now the top Chromatic' People are applying some archaic valuation from real world substances to choices here in a FANTASY game.

B) Just because some name is being used in a different name to identify a Dragon type, D&D cant use it? How about all the games who are using Dragons or Baba Yaga or Fey? That's not even a consideration.
 

LeviBonaparte

Villager
For anyone curious about what's written in the stat block, since I didn't see anyone so far doing it, I transcribed everything aside from Lair Actions and Regional Effects, as there is a hand standing in the way:

ADULT SAPPHIRE DRAGON
Huge Dragon, Lawful Neutral
Armor Class 19 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 207 (18d12+60)
Speed 40 ft, burrow 10 ft, climb 40 ft, fly 80 ft
STR 23 DEX 18 CON 21 INT 18 WIS 17 CHA 18
Saving Throws DEX +8 CON +10 WIS +8 CHA +8
Damage Immunities Thunder
Condition Immunities Frightened
Senses Blindsight 60 ft, Darkvision 120 ft, passive perception 23
Languages Telepathy 120 ft, Common, Draconian
Challenge Rating 15 (13,000 XP)
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The Dragon's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 17). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
1/day each: scrying, telekinesis, teleportation circle
Legendary Resistance (2/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Spider Climb. The dragon can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Tunneler. The dragon can burrow through solid rock at half its burrowing speed and leaves a 10 foot diameter tunnel in its wake.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack +11 to hit, reach 10 ft, one target Hit: 17 (2d10+6) piercing damage plus 3 (1d6) thunder damage
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack +11 to hit, reach 10 ft, one target Hit: 19 (3d8+6) slashing damage
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack +11 to hitm reach 10 ft, one target Hit 15 (2d8+6) bludgeoning damage
Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon's choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
Debilitating Breath (Recharge 5-6). The Dragon exhales a pulse of highly pitched, nearly inaudible sound in a 60 ft cone. Each creature in that cone must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 45 (13d8) thunder damage and is incapacitated until the end of its next turn. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't incapacitated.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Telekinetic Fling. The dragon chooses a Small or smaller object that isn't being worn or carried that it can see within 60 ft of it, and it magically hurls the object at a creature it can see within 60 ft of the object. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or take 14 (4d6) bludgeoning damage
Teleport (costs 2 Acions). The dragon magically teleports to an unoccupied space it can see within 30 ft of it
 
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vecna00

Explorer
I honestly can see a Bestiary the size of Mordenkein's or Volo's just covering the various Dragons and similar creatures, if all of these guys get MM like write-ups. And then add in chapters diving deep into the iconic ten from the MM, with random charts, lairs and other fun...solid book potential.

Heck, throw on some Council if Worms Shenanigans for the heck of it...
Council of Wyrms 5E confirmed!

I mean, I wouldn't be opposed...
 

vecna00

Explorer
No, the last iteration was so badly received they threw out the entire design. We haven't seen a new take yet.
Was that the case? I know Mearls was working on a different version, but I didn't know the Mystic was that badly received. I mostly just remember the complaints that it could do "Everything."
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
A Council of Wyrms would need its own setting, and this would mean fans creating their own version, for example the minidragon, a pseudodragon's cousin from AD&D 2nd Ed Dragon Magazine, or the dragons from the Pathfinder SRD, and too many dragons means less space, less preys to be hunted, and fight for the territory. If we are lucky this setting will include the crystal sphere where to put other species in the rest of celestial objects.

And maybe they should add a new class as the dragon shaman, the dragonfire adept, or the dracolyte (a 3.5 prestige class) as base class, because some players want to be dragons. And the giants could be the right nemesis, natural enemies as vampires vs werewolves. And this setting could be perfect for a new class as pokemon trainer or digimon tamer, a popular videogame subgenre now.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I am thinking about Chris Perkins' homegrown world, "Iomandra", but this is mostly oceanic, without great continents. I have imagine Io's blood islands as a demiplane to be used by dragons as their own version of Sigil, to travel to different crystal spheres. This would allow new sources of adventures, for example they explore a new world ruled by lungs (oriental lungs), whose true origin is ordinary mortals who used special magic to "digievolution", or other discovered, explored, conquered and controlled by outer dragons, and secret cults asking help to primal powers are blessed with the gift to "digievolution" to giants, and after a rebellion these become the new tyrants, but now some primal powers are starting to give mystical powers to members of secret fey brotherhoods.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
I had an idea of what to do about a playing-as-dragons setting, and while there is a place for the "Fighting things that pose you a challenge", you're a dragon. Gotta match that up with "Overthrowing kingdoms and getting them to work for you"

Mind the ideas I was floating around were less of it being really traditional D&D and more like where each player is a dragon off doing their own thing and sort of cross-scheming to out-do each other without actual violence. So uh, not really D&D at all.
 

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