Kryx RPGThemes
Ancient Black Dragon

Ancient Black Dragon

Gargantuan dragon
Challenge
21

STR
8
DEX
3
CON
7
INT
3
WIS
2
CHA
5

367
21d20+147
28
Soak
4
Fort
+13
Ref
+11
Will
+10
Defense note natural armor
Damage immunities acid

Speed 8 m., fly 20 m., swim 8 m.
Skills Athletics +14 (25), Brawn +14 (25), Insight +2 (13), Perception +8 (19), Primal (Cha) +11 (22), Stealth +9 (20)
Senses blindsight 10 m., darkvision 20 m.
Languages Common, Draconic

Amphibious. The ancient black dragon can breathe air and water.

Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the ancient black dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Maneuvers. The ancient black dragon uses maneuvers (maneuver save Difficulty 23). It has 20 stamina dice which are d8s, a dice limit of 7, regains all expended stamina dice when it finishes a long rest, and regains half its total stamina dice when it finishes a short rest. It knows the following maneuvers:

1 stamina die: ambush, dive attack, fearsome beast, fountain of blood, knockback (Claw or Tail only), spring attack, stalking shadow, swipe (Claw only), trip (Tail only)

2 stamina dice: tear tendon

Spellcasting. The ancient black dragon uses Primal (Cha) to cast spells (spell save Difficulty 20, +11 to hit with spell attacks). It has 10 mana, a mana limit of 4, regains all expended mana when it finishes a long rest, and regains half its total mana when it finishes a short rest. It knows the following spells:

Cantrips (at will, 26th-level spellcaster): frighten, gloom

1 mana: acidic spray, cloak of shadows, command, corrosive consumption, darkness, eruptive pustule, fear, shadow jaunt, shadow veil

2 mana: acid fog, acid rain, corrosive bane, incite panic, shadow form

Actions (4)

Bite (1/turn). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 3 m. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) acid damage and the target’s armor or natural armor is corroded 2 until the end of the dragon’s next turn.

Claw (2/turn). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 2 m. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) slashing damage.

Tail (1/turn). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 4 m. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.

Frightful Presence (1/turn). Each creature of the ancient black dragon’s choice that is within 20 meters of it and aware of it must succeed on a Difficulty 20 Will saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the ancient black dragon is within line of sight, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the ancient black dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Acid Breath (Costs 2 actions; Recharge 5–6). The ancient black dragon exhales acid in a 20-meter cone or line. Each creature in that area must make a Difficulty 22 Reflex saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 76 (17d8) acid damage immediately and additional acid damage equal to half the amount of acid damage dealt at the end of its next turn and a creature’s armor or natural armor is corroded 6 until the end of the ancient black dragon’s next turn. On a success, a creature takes half the initial damage.

Legendary Actions (3)

Only one legendary option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The ancient black dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The dragon makes a Perception check.

Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.

Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 3 meters of the dragon must succeed on a Difficulty 23 Reflex saving throw or take 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Lair actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the ancient black dragon takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the same effect can’t be used two rounds in a row:

  • Pools of water that the dragon can see within 20 meters of it surge outward in a grasping tide. Any creature on the ground within 4 meters of such a pool must succeed on a Difficulty 20 Reflex saving throw or be pulled up to 4 meters into the water and knocked prone.

  • A cloud of swarming insects fills a 5-meter radius sphere centered on a point the dragon chooses within 20 meters of it. The cloud spreads around corners and remains until the dragon dismisses it on its turn (no action required), uses this lair action again, or dies. The cloud is lightly obscured. Any creature in the cloud when it appears must make on a Difficulty 20 Fortitude saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that ends its turn in the cloud takes 10 (3d6) piercing damage.

  • Magical darkness spreads from a point the dragon chooses within 10 meters of it, filling a 5-meter sphere until the dragon dismisses it on its turn (no action required), uses this lair action again, or dies. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it. If any of the effect’s area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell using 1 mana, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

Regional effects

The region containing the ancient black dragon’s lair is warped by the ancient black dragon’s magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • The land within 10 kilometers of the lair takes twice as long as normal to traverse, since the plants grow thick and twisted, and the swamps are thick with reeking mud.

  • Water sources within 2 kilometers of the lair are supernaturally fouled. Enemies of the dragon that drink such water regurgitate it within minutes.

  • Fog lightly obscures the land within 10 kilometers of the lair.

If the dragon dies, vegetation remains as it has grown, but other effects fade over 1d10 days.

Swampmm

Maneuvers

As an action, you can use Stealth without using an action. Additionally, before the end of your next turn, you can add the stamina die to an attack’s damage (add half on a miss by 4 or less) if you have advantage on the attack roll, or if the creature is within 1 meter of an enemy of the creature that isn’t incapacitated and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Enhance

You can increase the damage for each additional stamina die expended.

As an action while flying, you can use the Dash action. If you move at least 3 meters in a straight line angled downwards toward a creature, you can make an Attack action with a melee weapon attack against it.

On a hit, add the stamina die to the attack’s damage and you don’t provoke opportunity attacks when you fly out of the creature’s reach.

On a critical hit, add twice as much damage.

On a miss by 4 or less, add half as much damage.

Enhance

You can increase the damage for each additional stamina die expended.

1 minute/stamina die

As an action, you roar, rear up, flex your wings, or do another similar movement that frightens creatures. Each creature of your choice that is not a construct or an undead in a sphere around you must succeed on a Will saving throw or become frightened of you for the duration or until you are incapacitated.

While frightened by this maneuver, a creature must move at least half its speed away from you by the safest available route at the start of each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, the creature can can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.

As a reaction, which you use when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack and reduce it to 0 health, you can rip into your foe as it drops. Each creature of your choice in a sphere twice as big as normal around you must make a Will saving throw.

On a failure, a creature is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

As an action, make a weapon attack to knock the creature back.

On a hit, add the stamina die to the attack’s damage and if the creature is your size or smaller, it must succeed on a Reflex saving throw or you push it 4 meters away from you.

On a critical hit, add twice as much damage.

On a miss by 4 or less, add half as much damage.

Enhance

You can increase the damage, push the creature an additional meter, and target a creature of a larger size for each additional stamina die expended.

As an action, you can use the Dash action. If you move at least 3 meters straight toward a creature, you can make a melee weapon attack against it.

On a hit, add the stamina die to the attack’s damage.

On a critical hit, add twice as much damage.

On a miss by 4 or less, add half as much damage.

Enhance

You can increase the damage for each additional stamina die expended.

As a reaction, which you use when an enemy within 5 meters moves away from you, you can move up to half your speed toward the creature’s position. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.

As an action, make a weapon attack with a melee weapon with a natural weapon that deals slashing damage and then swipe through the target. Each creature within 1 meter of the target and within your weapon’s reach must make a Reflex saving throw.

On a failure, it takes slashing damage equal to the stamina die.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

Enhance

You can increase the damage for each additional stamina die expended.

As an action, make a melee weapon attack and a Brawn check to Trip.

Enhance

You can add the stamina die to the attack’s damage (add half on a miss by 4 or less) for each additional stamina die expended.

1 minute/stamina die

As an action, make a melee weapon attack with a natural weapon that deals piercing or slashing damage to tear the creature’s tendon.

On a hit, add one stamina die to the attack’s damage and the creature must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw or it is slowed 1 for the duration and while affected it loses health equal to one of the stamina dice for every meter it travels. This has no effect on any creature that cannot bleed or lose a vital liquid substance.

On a critical hit, add twice as much damage.

On a miss by 4 or less, add half as much damage.

The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Enhance

You can increase the damage for each additional stamina die expended and the slowed level by 1 for every two additional stamina die expended.

Spells

As an action, you can frighten a creature that you can touch or see within 5 meters. The creature must make a Will saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 1d3 psychic damage and is frightened of you until the end of its next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d3 when you reach 9th level (2d3) and 17th level (3d3).

1 minute

As an action, you can decrease the amount of light emitted in a 1-meter radius within 5 meters. You can decrease the light level by one step (from bright light to dim light, dim light to no light).

The change in illumination can be gradual (taking as long as 1 minute) or sudden (occurring immediately when you cast this spell). You can alter the level of illumination from its original level at any time during the spell’s duration as an action.

You can gloom up to three areas at a time and dismiss a gloom on your turn (no action required).

When you cast this spell, or as an action on a later turn, you can cause a gloomed area to engulf a creature within 1 meter of the gloom. The creature must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 1d6 necrotic damage and has disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

After the gloom engulfs, the gloomed area ends.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 9th level (2d6) and 17th level (3d6).

As an action, a green corrosive mist shoots forth from your outstretched hands. Each creature in a cone or line must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 2d8 acid damage immediately and additional acid damage equal to half the amount of acid damage dealt at the end of its next turn and its armor or natural armoris corroded 1 until the end of your next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 2 until the end of your next turn.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

A creature killed by this spell is affected by rigor mortis.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 1d8 for each additional mana expended.

1 minute/mana

As an action, you wrap yourself in a mantle of shadow. For the duration, any creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against you. An attacker is immune to this effect if it doesn’t rely on sight, as with blindsight, or can see through darkness.

Augment

You can expend 1 additional mana to cast the spell as a reaction, which you use when you are hit by an attack. The attacker must make an additional attack roll and use the worst result.

As an action, you speak a one-word command to a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters. The target must succeed on a Will saving throw or follow the command. The spell has no effect if the target is undead, if it doesn’t understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.

Some typical commands and their effects follow. You might issue a command other than one described here. If you do so, the GM determines how the target behaves. If the target can’t follow your command, the spell ends.

Approach. On its turn, the creature must use its speed to move toward you by the shortest and most direct route, and can’t willingly move away from you on during its turn.

Drop. The creature immediately drops whatever it is holding at its feet.

When a creature tries to interact with an object in a space occupied by a hostile creature it must use an action to make a Brawn or Nimbleness (its choice) check contested by the hostile creature’s Brawn or Nimbleness check (its choice). If the creature attempting to interact with the object wins the contest, it can interact with the object.

Flee. On its turn, the creature must use its speed to move away from you by the shortest and most direct route, and can’t willingly move toward you on during its turn.

Grovel. The creature immediately falls prone.

Halt. On its turn, the creature can’t willingly move. A flying creature stays aloft, provided that it is able to do so. If it must move to stay aloft, it flies the minimum distance needed to remain in the air.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana for each option.
  • You can target one additional creatures for each additional mana expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.

  • You can expend 2 additional mana to change the duration to 1 minute/mana, concentration. For the duration, you can make an additional command on each of your turns.

concentration, 1 minute/mana

As an action, corrosive acid eats away at a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters. At the start of each of its turns for the duration, the creature must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 4d6 acid damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 1 until the end of its next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 2 until the end of its next turn.

On a success, it takes half as much damage and and the effect ends.

On a critical success, it takes no damage and the effect ends.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 4d6 for each additional mana expended.

concentration, 1 hour/mana

As an action, darkness spreads from a point within 20 meters to fill a sphere twice as big as normal for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners.

If the point is on an object you are holding or one that isn’t being worn or carried, the darkness emanates from the object and moves with it. Completely covering the source of the darkness with an opaque object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks the darkness.

If any of this spell’s area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell using equal or less mana, the spell that created the light is dispelled. Non-magical light, as well as light created by concoctions or spells using equal or less catalysts or mana, can’t illuminate the area.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana for each option.
  • You can expend 1 additional mana so the darkness is magical. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness.

  • Maddening Darkness. You can expend 1 additional mana and cast the spell as two actions so the darkness is a gateway to the dark between the stars, a region infested with unknown horrors. The sphere is now sized based on the mana expended and the duration changes to 5 minutes/mana, concentration. Shrieks, gibbering, and mad laughter can be heard within the sphere. Whenever a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Will saving throw. On a failure, it is confused until the start of its next turn.

  • Hungering Darkness. You can expend 1 additional mana and cast the spell as two actions so the darkness is a gateway to the dark between the stars, a region infested with unknown horrors. The sphere is now sized based on the mana expended and the duration changes to 5 minutes/mana, concentration. This void is filled with a cacophony of soft whispers and slurping noises that can be heard up to 5 meters away. No light, magical or otherwise, can illuminate the darkness, and creatures fully within the area are blinded. Whenever a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Reflex saving throw, taking 1d6 cold damage on a failed save as milky, otherworldly tentacles rub against it, or half as much damage on a successful one. You can increase the damage by 1d6 for every two additional mana expended.

As a reaction, which you use when you are hit by an attack, your skin erupts in a swollen, pus-filled bump that bursts open, shooting acid. If the creature who damaged you is within 10 meters, it must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 2d8 acid damage immediately and additional acid damage equal to half the amount of acid damage dealt at the end of its next turn and its armor or natural armoris corroded 1 until the end of your next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 2 until the end of your next turn.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 2d8 for each additional mana expended.

concentration, 1 minute/mana

As an action, you attempt to awaken the worst fears in a creature that is not a construct or an undead that you can touch or see within 10 meters. The creature must succeed on a Will saving throw or become frightened of you for the duration.

While frightened by this spell, the creature must move as far as its speed allows away from you by the safest available route at the start of each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, the creature can can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Augment

You can target two additional creatures for each additional mana expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.

As an action, when you are in dim light or darkness, you can step from one shadow into another. You teleport up to 20 meters to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness.

You can bring along objects you are touching that aren’t worn or carried by another creature as long as their weight doesn’t exceed what you can carry.

If you teleport 5 meters or less, you can use Stealth without using an action or make a weapon attack.

On a hit, add 1d8 + your spellcasting ability to the attack’s damage roll.

On a critical hit, add twice as much damage.

On a miss by 4 or less, add half as much damage.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana for each option.
  • You can teleport an additional 100 meters for each additional mana expended.

  • You can increase the damage by 3d8 for each additional mana expended.

  • There and Back Again. You can expend 1 additional mana at the end of your turn to teleport back to the spot you occupied before teleporting, unless it is now occupied or on a different plane of existence.

  • Continuous Shadow Jaunt. You can expend 2 additional mana to change the duration to 1 minute/mana and on each of your turns before the spell ends, you can use an action to teleport in this way again.

As a reaction, which you use when a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters of you attacks you or another creature, you can cause shadows to mask the attacked figure. You impose disadvantage on the attack roll. An attacker that can’t be blinded is immune to this feature.

Augment

You can expend 1 additional mana so attacks rolls against the target creature have disadvantage until the start of its next turn.

concentration, 5 minutes/mana

As two actions, you create a cloud of acidic, green fog in a sphere centered on a point within 20 meters. The cloud spreads around corners and is heavily obscured. It lasts for the duration or until a wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 15 kilometers per hour) disperses it. A creature that enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 2d6 acid damage immediately and additional acid damage equal to half the amount of acid damage dealt at the end of its next turn and its armor or natural armoris corroded 1 until the end of your next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 2 until the end of your next turn.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

Creatures are affected even if they hold their breath or don’t need to breathe.

The acid slowly eat through objects, creating holes in surfaces, destroying nonmagical items, or dissolving bodies. It takes 1 minute to dissolve nonmagical organic materials such as cloth, plants, or rope, 10 minutes to dissolve wood, and 30 minutes to dissolve bodies and metal.

As an action, you can cause the fog to move 2 meters in a direction that you choose at the start of each of your turns. As an action, you can stop the fog from moving if it is within 20 meters of you.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana for each option.
  • You can increase the damage by 1d6 for every two additional mana expended.

  • You can expend 1 additional mana so duration changes to 1 hour/mana.

As two actions, acidic rain falls to the ground at a point within 100 meters. Each creature in a cylinder centered on that point must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it takes 3d10 acid damage immediately and additional acid damage equal to half the amount of acid damage dealt at the end of its next turn and its armor or natural armoris corroded 1 until the end of your next turn.

On a critical failure, it takes twice as much damage and its armor or natural armoris corroded 2 until the end of your next turn.

On a success, it takes half as much damage.

On a critical success, it takes no damage.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 1d10 for each additional mana expended.

concentration, 1 minute/mana

As two actions, you expose a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters to acid. The creature must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failure, it loses any resistance to acid damage for the duration and the first time on each turn the creature takes acid damage, it takes an extra 2d6 acid damage.

Augment

You can target two additional creatures for each additional mana expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.

concentration, 1 minute/mana

As two actions, you incite the fears of creatures at a point within 10 meters, causing them to panic. Each creature in a sphere centered on that point must make a Will saving throw. If the creature is immune to being frightened, the spell has no effect on it.

On a failure, it is confused and frightened of the area in the center of the sphere for the duration.

A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

concentration, 1 hour/mana

As two actions, you, along with everything you’re wearing and carrying, are subsumed by shadow for the duration. The spell ends if you drop to 0 health.

While in this form, the following rules apply:

  • your shape generally conforms to your normal shape
  • your speed is halved
  • you can enter and occupy the space of another creature
  • you have resistance to nonmagical damage
  • you have advantage on Reflex and Fortitude saving throws
  • you can move through a space as narrow as 2 centimeters wide without squeezing, though you treat liquids as though they were solid surfaces.
  • you can’t talk, manipulate objects, attack, use maneuvers, or cast spells. Any objects you were carrying or holding can’t be dropped, used, or otherwise interacted with.
Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana for each option.
  • You can target two additional creatures for each additional mana expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.

  • You can expend 1 additional mana to gain the following benefits while in shadow form:

    • you can move at your normal speed, on any surface, including walls and ceilings.
    • you have darkvision out to 10 meters.
    • you have advantage on any Stealth check to remain unnoticed
    • once on your turn while in dim light or darkness, you can use Stealth without using an action.
  • Shadow Walk. You can expend 1 additional mana to cast this spell without concentration and to move on the edge between the Material Plane and the Shadowfell. You gain a flying speed of 100 meters.

    If you are in shadow form and flying when the effect ends, you descends 10 meters per round for 1 minute until you land, which you do safely. If you can’t land after 1 minute, you fall the remaining distance.

    Because of the blurring of reality between the Shadowfell and the Material Plane, you can’t make out details of the terrain or areas you pass over during transit, nor can you predict perfectly where your travel will end. It’s impossible to judge distances accurately.

    You can target five additional creatures for each additional mana expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.