Wandering Monsters: Chosen of Bahamut

Wandering Monsters
Chosen of Bahamut

By James Wyatt


James continues his look at dragons this week by showing off the metallic dragons, plus the shadow dragon and dragon turtle.

Talk about this column here.

Fairest of Them All

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I didn't quite get his size chart. It says Medium to High, but then lists gold first. Does that mean Gold is the smallest?
My two copper.
I didn't quite get his size chart. It says Medium to High, but then lists gold first. Does that mean Gold is the smallest?


Yeah, he's just got it backwards.
Pretty much what you'd expect. Nothing really untoward here and as they're metallic dragons they tend to wind up RP encounters with the rare team-up with the PCs IMGs. I know some people like their dragons run the entire alignment gamut instead of tending towards a single one, but I actually do like the aligned dragons.

I definitely like the idea of age categories for Dragon Turtles and it makes sense for a creature of that size.

I wouldn't mind seeing Red Dragons closer to Golds in overall power though. As they are the iconic dragon in D&D, I think they should be the iconic challenge of that race.

I like the idea of a Shadow Dragon's breath as a combo enervating/damaging effect. Energy Drain can be such a pain in gameplay as it affects everything on a PC.

And as far as the breath weapons go for metallics... I have no strong opinion honestly. If I had to choose - one damaging, one control would be be my preference. Again, they don't see much combat IMGs so it doesn't really matter much to me.
Pretty much what you'd expect. Nothing really untoward here and as they're metallic dragons they tend to wind up RP encounters with the rare team-up with the PCs IMGs. I know some people like their dragons run the entire alignment gamut instead of tending towards a single one, but I actually do like the aligned dragons.

I definitely like the idea of age categories for Dragon Turtles and it makes sense for a creature of that size.

I wouldn't mind seeing Red Dragons closer to Golds in overall power though. As they are the iconic dragon in D&D, I think they should be the iconic challenge of that race.

I like the idea of a Shadow Dragon's breath as a combo enervating/damaging effect. Energy Drain can be such a pain in gameplay as it affects everything on a PC.

And as far as the breath weapons go for metallics... I have no strong opinion honestly. If I had to choose - one damaging, one control would be be my preference. Again, they don't see much combat IMGs so it doesn't really matter much to me.



Aligned dragons have tons of potential use.  As for metallics, I've used them in some ways.  For instance, their concept of good was developed for the sake of dragonkind, and the most lawful tend to be stubborn in their ideals.  And just like the Harmonium (more so in PS-Torment); if too much upset is raised, prepare for some police brutality.

As I said last time the devs mentioned energy drain, save that for a gritty/sword n sorcery (Dark Sun?) or dark fantasy module (Ravenloft?), perhaps as an extra thing to swap out in DMG for certain abilities.

Crazed undead horror posing as a noble and heroic forum poster!

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
I think energy drain is rare enough that some creatures can have it. The Shadow Dragon is rare enough that I think it should keep it due to it being it's iconic breath weapon :P
My two copper.
Energy drain might be best handled as one of those optional things listed in the monster's entry.  Like the nine-lives stealer of the deathknight.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

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Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Energy Drain as an optional ability does sound like the best way to go.

And thinking of very Lawful dragons as you might the Harmonium is certainly not a bad way to go...
Energy Drain as an optional ability does sound like the best way to go.

And thinking of very Lawful dragons as you might the Harmonium is certainly not a bad way to go...



The harmonium are lawful badass, kinda like Bahamut in a way.  They try to advocate for better ways of life, but push their buttons and they will smash you.  (They made my first playthrough of the Planescape video game a pain due to the occassional rule breaking, lol)

Crazed undead horror posing as a noble and heroic forum poster!

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
These were definitely dragons—I'm getting nervous.

I'd prefer if metallic dragon breath were like in 4th Edition and have a breath weapon that deals damage and inflicts a control effect.

I think a shadow dragon's breath should drain energy just like a wraith’s touch or some other kind of weakening or enervating effect, combined with damage.

Finally, i think dragon turtles should be simpler and less powerful than true dragons, while remaining still brutal and fearsome. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I'm a huge Planescape fan myself and was more than a little happy to hear the Great Wheel was returning in Next (and hopefully PS will get a little more love in general...).

I personally like the idea of the wise, old dragon turtle. Slow to rouse and anger, but a 'nigh indestrucible nightmare if you do... Cool

I think all true dragons should have got age categories, and linnorms too. All true dragons should have got a separated block for half-dragon template traits.

* Dragon turttles always has been secondary creatures, but it could be interesting in campaigns with ships like Red Steel. 

Creatures with links with shadow plane are boring for me. 

* I suggest a isle of dragons (like from "Council of Wryns" settin) in the faywild or like demiplane for the rest of dragons species.

* I miss the rest of dragons (gem&gemstones, planar, lungs.. pearl, opal, mercury, steel, ferrous, faerie, stelar, moon, sun..). They should be in MM2 and posterior/next ones.

---

* Are hex and tome dragons from Dragon Magazine #343 canon yet?

* Some dragons could be really humanoids transformed by deities like prize/ reward or by means of arcane magic (like the draconic version of lich to live for centuries). 





Can dracons (from Spelljammer) and dracotaurs (MM III) marry and have children?

* What about dracimera, dracohydra or dracosphinx?

* Tlalocoalts (rain dragons) from Maztica should have got limbs (and age categories).



And nagas should have got the option of added arms like template. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Dragon turtles but no brown dragons?

*flips table*

Flexible
Energy Drain

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I think one breath weapon is enough. Maybe a second could be added/swapped out using customization rules.

I am all for shadow dragons getting energy drain, as no other creature gets to use it on such a scale as a dragon's breath. Also, they should get an aura of despair or something like that, even if it is an optional power.

Finally, I am wondering if the additional metallic dragons from 4e will be included. Steel dragons especially were very cool. And the other planar dragons, like elemental dragons, should be included if shadow dragons are included.

P.S. Metallic dragons, shadow dragons, and dragon turtles should be in the first MM. Please do not move these to a later supplement.
Mithril Dragon is awesome.
Mithril Dragon is awesome.

Wasn't there an Adamantine Dragon once upon a time?
Nevermind, found it.

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There was also an electrum dragon, my favorite... 

I see dragon turtles like this:

Gold Dragon: gold (adjective) dragon (noun)
Red Dragon: red (adjective) dragon (noun)
Dragon Turtle: dragon (adjective) turtle (noun)

A colored dragon is just that - a colored dragon.  A dragon turtle is a dragon-like turtle.  Mighty, powerful, awe-inspiring, has many dragon-like qualities, definitely not something you'd want to meet in a dark alleyway (or canal, as the case may be), but a turtle none the less.

If it was a dragon with a turtle shell, you'd call it a Turtle Dragon.  Adjective/decriptor, then noun.

Although A-koss, your comment reminds me of that giant turtle in the Never Ending Story... It's breath weapon would be "sneeze attack".
I'm a fan of dragons in their current iteration of Dnd.  My only desire would be to see the alignment predispositions relaxed ever so slightly.

I think I'd also like to see them be a little more customizeable, being that dragons are rarely wandering monsters, at least in my campaign, and I'd like to have easy toggles to make them distinct.
But why the Dragon Turtle is unaligned? Neutral isn't more appropriate? Because unaligned is usually used for non-intelligent creatures, at least in the current package. I don't think that we need that, but if we do, I think that we should reserve unaligned for non-intelligent creatures. 
But why the Dragon Turtle is unaligned? Neutral isn't more appropriate? Because unaligned is usually used for non-intelligent creatures, at least in the current package. I don't think that we need that, but if we do, I think that we should reserve unaligned for non-intelligent creatures. 


I agree. Unaligned is specifically spelled out to mean a creature that acts on instinct alone. But Dragon Turtles are referred to as wise beings. Neutral would definitely fit better.
I feel that Dragon Turtles should be on the same level as Dragons, but treated as something entirely seperate from them.  I didn't really feel like there was an option inthe poll for me, though.

I wouldn't mind if we got a few on the 4th Dragons added as regulars.  Possibly they could fill in the NG/NE alignment hole.  I especially enjoyed the Orium Dragon.

I feel the Shadow Dragon is out-of-place in this write-up.  I feel that he is in the same tier as the Gemstone, Radiant, or Fang Dragon, and belongs in the same supplement as them (be that MM2 or the Draconomicon for this edition)

I second the call for Metallics to be in MM1, same as the Chromatics.

Finally, The only major issue I had in the writeups was in the comparison of Silver vs Red.  I don't think 'Silver usually will win due to their int' is the right way to go.  Either the reds should be VERY narrowly favored or (my choice), they should be almost perfectly matched against each other, with tales of Ancient Red & Silver dragon battles being things of legend.
The thing is, when you have Good & Evil concepts, it's a very delicate balance.  Too much evil, and you wonder why there are still any mortals left or why you're not already under evil's tyranny (I feel that 4th tended to have this problem).  On the other hand, if Good seems advantaged in most aspects, then it can make the heroes feel redundant, since why wouldn't the great good dragons just save the day themselves.  Having the metallic dragons consistently slightly better than the chromatics works, because they are generally noted as being fewer in number, and generally would have to react to the more proactive evil dragons.  I think if you have two levels of good dragon that can regularly beat the strongest chromatic, then you risk pushing too far into the good-dominant setting above.
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Dragon Turtles are Zen badass monsters that cruise around until, whoa, you have to deal with one in any way.