Greater Drakes (Dragon #260)

Richards

Legend
I've had a couple requests for these, so here are my 3E conversions of the original 6 greater drakes (7, if you count the rivislithis) that appeared in Dragon #260. I'll post each one separately:

VANDALRAUG (BATTLE DRAKE)
Large Dragon

Hit Dice: 14d12+42 (133 hp)
Initiative: +4 (Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
AC: 17 (-1 size, +8 natural)
Attacks: Bite +17 melee, 2 claws +15 melee, 2 wing slashes +15 melee
Damage: Bite 2d6+4, claws 1d10+2, wing slash 1d8+2
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Qualities: Fear immunity
Saves: Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +11
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 11, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 12
Skills: Intuit Direction +10, Listen +17, Move Silently +4, Spot +17
Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack

Climate/Terrain: Any land
Organization: Solitary or family (2-6)
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 15-21 HD (Large), 22-28 HD (Huge)

The vandalraug, or battle drake, is the “heavy war horse” of the greater drakes, easily domesticated into service as a flying battle mount and able to carry a heavily armored warrior without sacrificing maneuverability or speed. It is one of the largest of the greater drakes and one of the most common. Vandalraugs are often domesticated by orcs.

Scale coloration covers a broader range than in most greater drake species. The most common scale colors are green (ranging from olive to a dark forest green), brown (from a tan to a dark coffee color), dark gray or black, and the occasional reddish-orange. Each specimen has scales of a single color, with wings of a slightly lighter shade. Since their scales are often the color of chromatic dragons, vandalraugs are easily mistaken for dragon hatchlings. Regardless of scale coloration, all vandalraugs have orange eyes with black, slitted pupils in the manner of many reptiles.

Vandalraugs sport a pair of backward-curving horns, similar to those of a wyvern. While the horns are not used in combat, the males often butt heads like rams in the springtime as part of their elaborate mating rituals. The “clack” from two sets of the hollow horns clashing travels quite a distance. Vandalraugs also inflate their throat bladders prior to releasing their mating calls, which can be heard for miles. Both sexes exhibit this behavior, though the females’ call is somewhat higher in pitch than those of the males.

Combat
Vandalraugs fight with teeth and claws. If on the ground, the vandalraug can also slash an opponent with the sharp, swordlike spines extending from the tips of each “finger” of its batlike wings. The creature can target only a single opponent with each wing. The wing-slash victim must be on one side of the vandalraug; the drake cannot use its wings to attack creatures directly in front of it, nor can it employ its wing-blades as weapons while in flight.
 

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Richards

Legend
KAVAINUS (GHOST DRAKE)
Large Dragon

Hit Dice: 13d12+26 (110 hp)
Initiative: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
AC: 17 (+1 Dex, -1 size, +7 natural)
Attacks: Bite +15 melee, 2 claws +10 melee
Damage: Bite 1d10+3, claws 1d8+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved Grab after successful bite
Special Qualities: Etherealness
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +9
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 12
Skills: Climb +12, Listen +13, Move Silently +11, Spot +13
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Climate/Terrain: Mountains or hills
Organization: Solitary or mated pair (2) or family (3)
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 14-20 HD (Large), 21-26 HD (Huge)

The kavainus, or ghost drake, is covered with hard, bony scales ranging from bone white to snow white to a light, dusty gray. From a distance, they are easily mistaken for white dragons. A row of sharp horns forms a ridge along either side of the kavainus’ skull, giving it a wedge-shaped head. The creature’s teeth and claws are bone white, and the dark, deep-set eyes are each protected by a bony crest. Kavaini have exceptional vision and can see into the Ethereal Plane at will. Their scales absorb light during the daytime and glow faintly during the hours of darkness, giving the creature its nickname, “ghost drake.” (The name “kavainus” means “spirit-dragon-kin” in the language of the gray elves, many of whom have domesticated these drakes.) During the night, the kavainus’ eerie glow often frightens away intelligent humanoids, who believe the creatures to be undead. On the other hand, the glow acts as a faerie fire effect on the drake.

Combat
Kavaini have immensely powerful jaws. A successful bite attack initiates an automatic Improved Grab without initiating an attack of opportunity.

Etherealness (Sp): A kavainus can become ethereal at will. While ethereal, it remains visible and can see on both the Prime Material and Ethereal Planes, but it can be attacked only by other ethereal creatures or those employing plate mail of etherealness, ghost touch weapons, or similar magic. Kavaini take a full round to become ethereal or return fully to the Prime Material Plane, and they generally use this ability only to escape more powerful foes. Anyone in contact with a kavainus can be turned ethereal along with the creature or not, at the drake’s whim, as long as the “passenger” is smaller than the kavainus. This makes it difficult to capture grown specimens; most domestic kavaini are trained from infancy.
 

Richards

Legend
ARSALON (HIVE DRAKE)
Large Dragon

Hit Dice: 12d12+36 (114 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
AC: 17 (-1 size, +8 natural)
Attacks: 2 claws +15 melee, bite +13 melee, stinger +13 melee
Damage: Claws 1d6+4, bite 1d10+2, stinger 2d6+2 plus poison
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison, summon insect plague
Saves: Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +9
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 11, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 12
Skills: Hide +6, Intuit Direction +7, Listen +15, Spot +15
Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Hover (MM, p. 62), Multiattack

Climate/Terrain: Temperate woodlands
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 13-18 HD (Large), 19-24 HD (Huge)

One of the more unusual of the greater drakes, the arsalon, or hive drake, generally conforms to the standard draconian shape, although its tail is shorter and thicker than normal and ends in a bony stinger like that of a purple worm or a dark naga. The creature’s scales are large and thick, giving it the plated appearance of a giant insect. This effect is enhanced by the drake’s two slim, backward-thrusting horns, which can be mistaken for antennae from a distance.

Arsalon range from a dusty yellow to tan to a light gray. Their batlike wings are often much darker in color, ranging from a coffee-brown to nearly black. The arsalon’s body scales occasionally bear vertical stripes of a darker color along the edges, much like the stripes of a bee. While many believe them to be some kind of a dragon/bee hybrid, arsalon are completely reptilian.

Combat
The arsalon’s combat tactics differ depending upon its position. On land, it uses the standard claw/claw/bite routine common to most drakes. If airborne, the drake usually foregoes its bite attack and attacks first with its front claws, and then, if successful, swings its tail under its body and jabs at its prey with its bony stinger. Because of the relative shortness of the arsalon’s tail, it cannot be used to attack creatures from behind or to the side of the drake.

Poison (Ex): Those struck by an arsalon’s stinger must make a Fortitude save (DC 16) or be slowed for 1d10+2 rounds. While its victim is slowed, the arsalon takes full advantage, biting and stinging repeatedly while grasping its prey in its front claws. Repeated stings so not slow the victim longer but inflict normal damage.

Summon Insect Plague (Ex): The arsalon sports a unique form of attack, based on a strange symbiosis between the drake and normal wasps. The arsalon secretes a wasp-attracting nectarlike substance in its throat bladder. Over time, the bladder becomes home to an entire wasp nest, and the arsalon can excite the wasps simply by contracting its throat bladder and exerting pressure on the hive. This “cloud of wasps” attack is similar to the insect plague spell but cannot be magically dispelled, nor does the swarm dissipate until the offending creatures (other than the arsalon itself) are out of sight. The enraged wasps do not stray far from the arsalon, and anyone caught in the swarm automatically takes 1 point of damage per round, regardless of Armor Class. Spellcasting is not possible in the middle of a wasp swarm.

Fortunately, the arsalon’s unusual “breath weapon” is a one-shot deal; once the wasps have been sent out into battle, the drake has no further ability to summon an insect plague and must rely upon its physical attacks. Because of its thick, platelike scales, the arsalon is immune to the stings of wasps and other similar-sized creatures like bees and hornets.
 

Richards

Legend
RETCHENBEAST (MUCK DRAKE)
Medium Dragon

Hit Dice: 10d12+30 (95 hp)
Initiative: -1 (Dex)
Speed: 20 ft., swim 20 ft., fly 70 ft. (poor)
AC: 15 (-1 Dex, +6 natural)
Attacks: Bite +12 melee, 2 claws +7 melee
Damage: Bite 1d8+2, claws 1d4+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spit muck
Special Qualities: Acid resistance 5
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 9, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +9*, Listen +10, Spot +10
Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Snatch (MM, p. 62)

Climate/Terrain: Swamplands
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 11-15 HD (Medium), 16-20 HD (Large)

The retchenbeast, or muck drake, is not only one of the smallest of the greater drakes but also one of the ugliest. Rather than sporting the graceful draconian form common to the other drakes, the retchenbeast resembles nothing so much as a giant, bloated toad with short, stumpy wings that can barely support its weight in flight. Like a toad, the creature’s eyes bulge from the top of its head, allowing it to submerge all but its eyes under the swampy waters of its home territory. Its neck is much shorter and thicker than those of other drakes. All four feet are webbed, allowing for a faster swimming rate. The retchenbeast retains the standard drake’s long, serpentine tail, which looks misplaced on the creature.

When clean, retchenbeasts are a grayish-brown, with irregularly sized scales. (The larger ones often have wartlike projections on them, further enhancing the likeness to a giant toad.) However, clean retchenbeasts are rarely seen, for they are habitually covered in the muck and slime of the swamps, bogs, and quagmires that they call home. While not swift, retchenbeasts are excellent swimmers, able to keep afloat even in quicksand and bogs.

Combat
A retchenbeast prefers to stay submerged up to its protruding eyeballs until ready to spring out at its prey. Inherently lazy creatures, retchenbeasts prefer to dispatch their victims with as little fuss as possible. While their froglike mouths are filled with sharp teeth and they sport wicked little claws on the ends of their webbed digits, retchenbeasts prefer grappling prey and holding them underwater until they drown.

Spit Muck (Ex): Retchenbeasts have a revolting attack they can bring to bear - vomiting up a sticky, sludgelike liquid from the storage pouch in their throats. The victim of a retchenbeast’s “muck” attack (only one victim can be targeted with each attack; treat it as a ranged touch attack) must make a successful Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or experience extreme nausea, striking with a -2 circumstance penalty until able to wash the gunk off. The muck has a tendency to drip into the victim’s eyes and slows movement to the extent that the victim’s AC is penalized by 2 points whether or not the victim makes his save. In addition, anyone within 10 ft. of a “mucked” victim (with the exception of retchenbeasts themselves, who are immune) must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 12) or strike at -1 to hit for 1d4 rounds due to the stench.

The retchenbeast must have access to a fetid, swampy region to replenish its disgusting “muck” attack, for the creature’s “muck” attack draws heavily on the mud and mire of the swampland environment. The retchenbeast can employ its spit muck attack once every 3 rounds, so long as it has access to swamp muck and mire. Salivary glands help “store” a dose of wet muck in the retchenbeast’s throat bladder for nearly a month between uses.

Acid Resistance 5 (Ex): Because of the damp environment in which retchenbeasts live and the thick coating of slime and ooze covering their bodies, retchenbeasts ignore the first 5 points of acid damage each round.
 
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Richards

Legend
SILISLITHIS (SEA DRAKE)
Large Dragon

Hit Dice: 13d12+39 (123 hp)
Initiative: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 ft., swim 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
AC: 16 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural)
Attacks: Bite +15 melee, 2 claws +13 melee
Damage: Bite 1d10+3, 2 claws 1d8+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spit water stream
Special Qualities: Cold resistance 5
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +9
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 12
Skills: Intuit Direction +7, Listen +16, Search +4, Spot +16
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack

Climate/Terrain: Oceans and coastal shorelines
Organization: Solitary or family (3-9)
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 14-20 HD (Large), 21-26 HD (Huge)

A silislithis’ scales are tiny and close-set, giving the creature a sleekness that allows it to glide through the water with supple grace. A bony frill flanks each side of the silislithis’ head, protecting the gill slits that allow the creature to breathe while underwater. The silislithis’ powerful wings are used not only in flight but also as fins while the creature swims, slicing through the water with powerful strokes. A silislithis has webbing between its digits, and the tail sports fins on both the dorsal and ventral sides. Coloration ranges through the blues, aquamarines, and greens, with the wings usually a shade or two lighter than the overall body color. Silislithi are also known as “sea drakes.”

Combat
In water, a silislithis usually attacks first with its bite and, if successful, follows up with claw attacks. (The silislithis swims with its legs pressed close to the sides of its body, as this streamlining allows the creature to move faster through the water.) On land, it uses all three attacks in a single round, usually targeted against a single foe.

Spit Water Stream (Ex): Silislithi can only use this attack when out of water. They fill their throat bladders with sea water, then compress the bladder to shoot a high-speed stream of water at opponents. The force of this watery attack acts as the geyser effect of a decanter of endless water, dealing 1d4 points of damage to a single target. A silislithis can employ its water stream attack every other round, so long as it refills its throat bladder between uses. The attack is ineffective underwater, but the bladder is put to a different use in that environment - by closing off its esophageal valve, the bladder’s contents can be forced through two vents just behind the creature’s wings. This “jet propulsion” mirrors the movement capabilities of the octopus and squid, giving the silislithis an additional spurt of speed while swimming.

Cold Resistance 5 (Ex): As part of their adaptation to the aquatic environment, silislithi ignore the first 5 points of cold damage each round.

RIVISLITHIS: The rivislithis, or river drake, is a freshwater version of the sea drake, able to breathe both air and fresh water (but not sea water, just as the silislithis cannot breathe fresh water). The rivislithis’ coloration tends more toward the greens and grays, and it lacks the silislithis’ cold resistance, but is otherwise indistinguishable from its ocean-dwelling cousin.
 

Richards

Legend
FUMARANDI (SMOKE DRAKE)
Medium Dragon

Hit Dice: 11d12+11 (82 hp)
Initiative: +4 (Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
AC: 16 (+6 natural)
Attacks: Bite +13 melee, 2 claws +11 melee
Damage: Bite 1d10+2, claws 1d6+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Blow smoke cloud
Special Qualities: Fire immunity
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +8
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 12
Skills: Hide +11, Listen +14, Spot +14
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Multiattack

Climate/Terrain: Any temperate land
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: Double standard, but gems only
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 12-15 HD (Medium), 16-22 HD (Large)

One of the smaller of the greater drakes, the fumarandi, or smoke drake, is nonetheless a formidable and fearsome-looking opponent. Its overlapping scales are the color of charcoal, and its eyes glow like burning embers. A black tongue the color of charred wood flickers frequently out of its mouth, like that of a snake or a lizard. The beast’s claws are black as well, as are the twin horns that curve back from the creature’s skull. The fumarandi gives off a shimmer of heat, although the creature is not uncomfortable to the touch and can be ridden safely without fear of burning one’s saddle, boots, or clothes.

Combat
Like most greater drakes, the fumarandi attacks three times each round, once with its bite attack and twice with its claws. It prefers targeting a single opponent and usually sticks with that opponent until it is slain or the fumarandi is driven away.

Blow Smoke Cloud (Ex): The smoke drake is named not only for its coloration but also after one of its special attack forms. Once every three rounds, the creature can expel a 10 ft. by 10 ft. by 20 ft. cloud of smoke at opponents. The smoke is usually exhaled through the beast’s nostrils and forms a dark cloud of vapors that obscures and chokes the drake’s enemies. Victims caught in a fumarandi’s smoke cloud must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 15, +1 for each additional round) or begin to take subdual damage. (See the DMG, page 89.) The fumarandi is immune to the effects of its own smoke cloud (and to those of others of its race). Fumarandi habitually start an attack by blowing smoke at their opponents, then rushing in for a claw/claw/bite routine. Unless in a closed environment (like the back of a cave), the smoke cloud dissipates in 1-3 rounds.

Fire Immunity (Ex): Fumarandi are immune to normal fire and heat-based attacks.
 


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