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Level Up (A5E) Dragons in Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition

The Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Monstrous Menagerie has dragons–lots of dragons. With 85 pages of true dragons (about 90 stat blocks and variants) and 15 more pages of dragon turtles, sea serpents, and so on, we have a full source book’s worth of draconic friends and foes.

Along with the usual chromatic and metallic dragons, we have gem dragons (sapphire, amethyst, and emerald dragons) and a new category of dragons, essence dragons (earth, river, and shadow dragons).

Whereas chromatic dragons despoil the world and metallic dragons cultivate it, essence dragons embody the land. An earth dragon who presides over rolling farmland might offer protection to worshipful villagers, while the earth dragon of barren badlands might be as cruel and indifferent as the land itself.

Gem dragons are visionary, subterranean creatures who rarely encounter humanoids directly. Gem dragons often use intermediaries to dabble in the affairs of smallfolk in order to gain–and suppress–knowledge of realms beyond the material.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


RPGMajor

Explorer
In general I really, really like this.

My one concern, and it's more lore/flavor than mechanics so easily ignored/changed, is that shadow seems an odd duck for inclusion with essence dragons. You talk about how they are tied to the land and the natural world, but that doesn't really scream "shadow" to me, the way it does earth and river. Likewise, you very clearly lay out how the temperaments and dispositions of of essence dragons can vary and are tied to the state/nature of the land they inhabit, how they can be protective or cruel and indifferent (earth specifically but I assume the same applies to river), and then Shadow dragons are the only type of dragon to qualify for a Level Up alignment, something even chromatic dragons don't do, which again seems to run contrary to that.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I love it!!! I really really like how you all made legendary resistance much more dynamic. Its no more "sorry spellcaster you did jack this round", its "okay so your spell did jack.....BUUUUUUUTTT", which is a much better feeling.

Only note, Venemous resurgence on the great green wyrm. Does the cloud linger around the dragon for the rest of the fight, is it a one round thing....the description wasn't fully clear.
 


Stalker0

Legend
The other thing I like is how several of the dragons lair abilities are basically "Bring your own minions", giving a way for a dragon to replenish their minion supply and ensure its never just a 1 on many fight.

Now granted I'm not sure what 1d6 crocodiles is going to do in a CR 23 encounter, I might for some of these really high CR fights at least maximize the result so its always 6 crocodiles, that at least has a bit of punch.

At first I thought the shadow dragon was going to be more of the "lurker" of the bunch, but I think that goes to the River dragon. With a slightly better stealth score and the ability to hide as a legendary action, its going to be able to dart in and out, hiding as it needs too more easily than the shadow dragon. The SD gets invisibility but with no way to hide easily (except using its very very precious action), it probably will just focus on the defensive benefits of invisbility and the ability to dart around with teleport.
 

Masha

Villager
It looks amazing! Also as someone who loved that MoT officially introduced phases with changes to abilities via Mythic phases I am so happy to see the phases on the Great Wyrm. Now I just need to think up some Giffyglyph style Overkill moves.

Do other monsters get phases as well or is this specifically limited to Great Wyrms?

Only note, Venemous resurgence on the great green wyrm. Does the cloud linger around the dragon for the rest of the fight, is it a one round thing....the description wasn't fully clear.
They used emanate to describe the cloud. In common use that word carries an air of permanence, so my bet is it stays for the rest of the fight.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I'd been wondering why you weren't including lair actions in your previews, and now I know why! The article didn't say anything about regional effects, but those are easy enough to port in... as actual regions (unless you included them along with the Blasted Badlands and Lofty Mountains and the like).

The other thing I like is how several of the dragons lair abilities are basically "Bring your own minions", giving a way for a dragon to replenish their minion supply and ensure its never just a 1 on many fight.

Now granted I'm not sure what 1d6 crocodiles is going to do in a CR 23 encounter, I might for some of these really high CR fights at least maximize the result so its always 6 crocodiles, that at least has a bit of punch.
Even if it takes the PC a single attack to kill a crocodile, that's one less attack they can aim at the dragon. Plus, crocs are melee combatants, so if they can get close enough to attempt to hit a PC, then area-effect spells are less useful against them. Unless you don't mind hurting your party members, of course. ;)
 

niklinna

Looking for group
Now granted I'm not sure what 1d6 crocodiles is going to do in a CR 23 encounter, I might for some of these really high CR fights at least maximize the result so its always 6 crocodiles, that at least has a bit of punch.
You could always sub in egg chambers that hatch whelps when the PCs are knocked back into them....
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
What is Strife?

I do like the River dragon and its Lair Features including grateful villagers.

Also not sure about the shadow dragon, it seems to be trying to fill too many ‘evil’ niche
 


lichmaster

Adventurer
I absolutely love what you did with dragons. These beasts are really terrifying!
Not only they have decent attacks, breath, and immunities, but also reactions, legendary actions and other misc (including spellcasting!) that really change the dynamics of a possible combat.
The summoning ability is just great: you will almost never fight a lone dragon. It will fly up in the air, rain death from above AND call for minions potentially at every round. Facing them in melee may not even be a possibility but this ties in perfectly with the grab on maneuver. And the image of a fighter latching on a dragon, climbing on his body and attacking it with advantage is EPIC AF
 


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