D&D 5E Wandering Monsters: Not-Dragons


Steeliest of the dragons
What ever happened to the abashai? [that was their name right?] Tiamat's lil' hordes of color-coded draco-devils? Couldn't they simply be moved into the "dragonspawn" spot...if all they're supposed to be are servants/pawns/watchdogs for a dragon's lair? Heck, dragons could even birth them themselves!

Maybe only 1 in 10 dragon eggs are actual dragons. The rest are these draco-devilish (or demony or bestial, if you prefer) things that wreak havoc all around the surrounding environment. Has shades of Krynnish draconians...if playing in the Dragonlance setting, they could/would simply be replaced with draconians anyway.

But even that...all in all...I don't see a real need for dragonspawn as a creature in the first MM. Or a niche for them in the first place, there are plenty of servant/thrall/watchdog critters for dragon lairs without them. Saying, "Yeah but this dragon's lair is filled with dragony-goblin guards, not just regular ones!" [collective Oooooo's and Aaaaah's to ensue? Not likely.] is not a sufficient hook/draw, to me, to warrant a whole new type of creatures.

If they need some filler in a second or third or some other supplement material, knock themselves out.

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[MENTION=92511]steeldragons[/MENTION], I agree that Dragonspawn would be better served by being in a MM2 or 3, there's a lot of established monsters that need to be crammed into a MM1, and I don't see dragonspawn making that cut. I'd still like to have some though, eventually.

And the last time I remember seeing Abishai was in the 3.0 FR monster manual. I don't remember them in any 3.5 books, and don't remember them in any of the 4E books (granted, I just have MM1-3 for that).


I think that having the dragonspawn presented all at once as a giant shotgun blast of well over a dozen creatures didn't allow them to make a great first impression. That's too many for any to easily make a strong impression, and they're kind of a mishmash of intelligent humanoids, aberrations, and beasts with little unifying theme besides being having strong draconic elements.

That said, I'm not really a big fan of the dragonspawn fiction, either. I think that D&D's gallery of threats to the world is most effective when they're differentiated from each other as much as possible, and I think that giving Tiamat a bunch of infantry creatures diminishes that. I think Tiamat's best as the all-battleships evil force. She may not have as many creatures behind her as the forces of hell or the abyss, but they're ALL AWESOME. It's not like there's nobody to handle dragony stuff that's beneath true dragons; that's what cultists (especially kobold cultists) and enthralled mortals are for. I think that the piles of ranks of random other dragonspawn detracts from the all-battleships feel of Tiamat, and makes her more like demons and devils.

I assigned Abishai as Tiamat only many years ago. Other than that I agree with you.

Jeff Carlsen

To me, there have always been three, and only three, broad categories of dragon. Dragons, Wyverns, and Drakes. I don't know who came up with pseudodragons, but they sound like either Wyverns or Drakes to me. I don't need dragon spawn, or mixed dragon and humanoid races. Just a variety of dragons, wyverns, and drakes.


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Aside from not liking the term "linnorm drake" (why are the linnorms not awesome enough already?), I think there's a big aesthetic difference between them. 4e's catastrophic dragons are kind of made of elemental matter, but the linnorms are much more like beings of flesh and blood -- ancient flesh and magical blood, but still. The flame linnorm is shrouded in flame, with scales that burn, but it shouldn't be made of fire in my mind.

That's just me, though.

Maybe they could be flesh-and-blood beings with an elemental connection, but be able to take on a fully elemental form as a limited-use special ability, giving them a major boost to their power and combat abilities for a limited duration.

Voidrunner's Codex

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