D&D 5E Line or Cone, why aren't there any breath weapons with a Burst Area of Effect?

Corinnguard

Explorer
Currently in 5e D&D (and as far as I know), breath weapons produce two Areas of Effect-either a line breath weapon or a cone breath weapon. I haven't seen any breath weapons with a burst area of effect. Why is that? curious
 

log in or register to remove this ad



pemerton

Legend
Currently in 5e D&D (and as far as I know), breath weapons produce two Areas of Effect-either a line breath weapon or a cone breath weapon. I haven't seen any breath weapons with a burst area of effect. Why is that? curious
Most conceptions of breath weapons are more as flamethrowers than grenades.
Wasn't the Green Dragon's breath a cloud, back in the day?
 






Celebrim

Legend
Currently in 5e D&D (and as far as I know), breath weapons produce two Areas of Effect-either a line breath weapon or a cone breath weapon. I haven't seen any breath weapons with a burst area of effect. Why is that? curious

Interesting. Historically Green Dragons were considered to have a breath weapon that was basically a burst area of effect. What does the breath of a 5e green look like now?
 


Dioltach

Legend
Wasn't the Green Dragon's breath a cloud, back in the day?
When I first read this, I thought you were referring to R. Dragon in the books by Rosemary Manning.
1481467838.0.x.jpg
 

Voadam

Legend
Wasn't the Green Dragon's breath a cloud, back in the day?
In Moldvay Basic (B/X) a Green Dragon's and one of the Gold Dragon's breath weapons was gas in a cloud shape, but it had to be directly in front of the dragon, not a ranged burst. Also while it was described as a cloud its dimensions are actually rectangular instead of round. It does not specify whether the cloud is rectangular or these are the far points of ellipsis dimensions and the corners are curved.

1660745113850.png

In AD&D clouds are similar, green dragons and metallic dragons have cloud breath weapons with rectangular dimensions.

1e MM page 33:
A green dragon can attack by a claw/claw/bite routine or by breathing a cloud of poisonous chlorine gas. The gas cloud is 5” long, 4” wide, and 3” high.

3e discarded the cloud shape for just lines and cones.
 



Voadam

Legend
Hmmmm... I guess I just ignored that and continued to assume a cloud shape for the green without even realizing it.
3e took away the the cloud and turned the green's chlorine gas into acid.

Page 75 of the 3.5 MM:

"Breath Weapon (Su): A green dragon has one type of breath weapon, a cone of corrosive (acid) gas."
 

Corinnguard

Explorer
The closest thing to a burst breath weapon in 5e that I could find is the Amethyst Dragon's Explosive Crystal legendary action from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons (page 160)

Explosive Crystal (Costs 3 actions): The dragon spits an amethyst that explodes at a point it can see within 60 feet of it. Each creature within a 20-foot radius sphere centered on that point must succeed on a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 18 (4d8) force damage and be knocked prone.

Outside of 5e, the only dragons who have a burst breath weapon are the drakes from 1st edition Pathfinder. Here's the Sea Drake's:

Ball Lightning Breath (Su)​

A sea drake can, as a standard action, breathe a ball of electricity that strikes one target first, then arcs to other targets like chain lightning. This attack has a range of 100 feet, and deals 6d6 points of electricity damage (DC 17 Reflex half) to the primary target. After it strikes, the ball lightning can arc to a number of secondary targets equal to the sea drake’s Hit Dice (usually 7) within 20 feet of the primary target. The secondary bolts each strike one target and deal as much damage as the primary bolt. Once a sea drake has used its ball lightning breath, it cannot do so again for 1d6 rounds. The Reflex save is Constitution-based.

Follow the bouncing ball made of electricity.... :p
 


aco175

Legend
The old editions had dragons with spells like fireball to make up for this. It certainly can be a homebrew thing, almost like a manticore tail spikes where it spits globs of fire or acid dealing some damage. Might be cool for a smaller dragon and then have it grow into a bigger fireball.
 

jgsugden

Legend
If you're going to specialize any monster, specializ your dragons.

In my game, beyond specializing each dragon with unique abilities, spells, and other features, I allow the dragons to be extremely talented with their breath weapons. I allow them to use them in straffing runs when they fly which allows them to alter the shape of their breath weapon. A line can be a narrow cone, a cone can be made into a circular area. etc... I picture the dragon flying, and then allow the mental picture of what the dragon is doing and the mental picture of the breath weapon combine to create the inspiration for the game mechanics.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top