D&D General Metallic Breath Weapon

Is there any particular reason why the Metallic Breath Weapon trait for Metallic Dragonborn is limited to two options? Currently this trait allows you to choose from two effects whenever you use it.

  • Enervating Breath. Each creature in the cone must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or become incapacitated until the start of your next turn.
  • Repulsion Breath.* Each creature in the cone must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 20 feet away from you and be knocked prone.
Since Bronze Dragons have Repulsion Breath as their secondary breath weapon, I can see Bronze Dragonborn also having this as well. What I don't see is:
1. A Brass Dragonborn putting their opponents to sleep.
2. A Copper Dragonborn slowing down a charging opponent or opponents with theirs.
3. A Gold Dragonborn sapping an opponent's STR by weakening them.
4. Or a Silver Dragonborn paralyzing their opponent.

These four different kinds of Metallic Dragonborn seem to have their secondary breath weapon lumped under Enervating Breath. Which is a bit odd IMO. I think it would be more interesting if each kind of Metallic Dragonborn had the same kind of secondary breath weapon as their draconic counterpart. ;)

Brass Dragonborn Bard: "My breath will lull them to sleep as I play something soothing..." :p

Gold Dragonborn Wizard: "Well my breath can make the strongest fighter as weak as a kitten..."

log in or register to remove this ad


I suspect WotC was just trying to keep it simple.

That said, there's no reason why you can't adapt it so the metallic dragonborn's second breath option matches that of their draconic type. I would have preferred that myself really.
Last edited:

I suspect WotC was just trying to keep it simple.
That certainly is one possibility. However, it kind of limits the distinctiveness the Dragonborn have been heading towards. Initially the Dragonborn were presented as a race of humanoid dragons that didn't resemble any of their draconic progenitors. There weren't Metallic, Chromatic or Gem Dragonborn, there was just the Dragonborn. Then WoTC came out with a sidebar in the Player's Handbook that hinted that some Dragonborn resembled a particular kind of Dragon. Unearthed Arcana later came out with their Draconic Options which made the Dragonborn take after a Chromatic, Metallic or Gem dragon ancestry.

WoTC took something simple and then made it more complex. ;)

And I was hoping for mercury vapor breath attacks.
Mercury Dragon Wyrmling (5e Creature) - D&D Wiki This is easy IMO. First, you make a Mercury Dragonborn character. A Mercury Dragonborn can breathe a 15' Cone (CON save) of Poison and has Poison Resistance. And then depending on whether or not you are using the Dragonborn rules from Unearthed Arcana or Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, you pick up the Mercury Dragon's Blinding Breath. Mercury vapor is capable of blinding someone if they're exposed to a hefty dose of it.

Poor Dragonborn. They tried to be their own unique thing, but colored dragons have so much traction for D&D fans that they couldn't escape the gravity. Probably for the best. Draconians were also awesome.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases