D&D 5eMonsters & NPCsPlanar Mysteries

I was Travelling the Planes and I Found Dragons, Part 3

Previously I’ve been making lots of benevolent dragons, so this time I’ve had a go at making an evil dragon for the PCs to kill.

Rusting fiends. Native to the infernal battlefield of Acheron, they are beasts of rust and decay, and are described as the very body of corruption. Several sages suggest that these beasts are related to rust monsters, but this is dismissed as the gibbering of madmen, as there is no link other than their rusting abilities. Not only does their breath destroy metal but their skin is covered in a thick liquid that also destroys all metals.
Pitiful hoards. Due to their inability to collect metal treasure such as gold and silver, they will hoard strange, but none the less valuable, items. The most common hoards will have beautiful statues made of wood and stone. Also tapestries have been recorded, being made of cloth they escape the corrosive effects of the dragon’s body. Jewels are also known to litter their hoards, though the metal clasps and fastenings that held them have long since rusted away. Occasionally there will be exotic furs in their hoards.
Foes of dwarves. Dwarves loathe these dragons with the utmost hatred. Occasionally portals to Acheron open in old unused shafts and through these portals, rust dragons come. If dwarves hear even a whisper of a rumour of a rust dragon’s presence, they will band together to kill the beast. Due to their heavy reliance on metal weapons, dwarves have developed very specialised tactics to deal with rust dragons without risking lives. The dwarves will isolate the threat in a single cavern and then collapse all the connected tunnels on the dragon, hopefully crushing it. If that fails, the dragon will die from starvation. Some dwarves will set out on their adventuring career determined to find new methods to subdue this menace.

Art by Sam Wood

Ideas for campaigns

  • Iron in a dwarven stronghold is rusting extremely fast; you need to find the culprit before the mine must be shut down.
  • A dragon is going on a rampage easily killing knights; you need to spy on the beast to see why it is so hard to kill.
  • A wizard is trying to create a beast that can eat metal; to make the creature the wizard needs the flesh of a rust dragon.
  • A dwarves clan is trying to collapse a mine shaft, due to rumours a rust dragon is lurking within. An adventurer is required to place the explosive charges.

Rust Dragon Wyrmling


Medium dragon, neutral good
Armour Class 15
Hit Points 33 (6d8+6)
Speed 40 ft., burrow., fly 60 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
13(+1)10(+0)13(+1)6(-3)11(+0)6(-3)
Saving Throws Dexterity+2, Constitution+3, Wisdom+2, Charisma-1

Skills Deception-1,Perception+2, Stealth+2,

Damage Immunities Acid

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 12

Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic,

Challenge 2
Rust Metal. Any nonmagical weapon made of metal that hits the rust dragon corrodes. after dealing damage, the weapon takes a permanent and circulative -1 penalty to damage rolls. If its penalty drops to -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical ammunition made of metal that hits the rust dragon is destroyed after dealing damage.
ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d10+1) piercing damage, and the target takes a -1 penalty to AC, when your AC reaches ten the armour breaks beyond repair.

Breath weapons (Recharge 5-6). The dragon uses one of the following breath weapons.

Acid Breath. The dragon exhales acid in a 15-foot cone. Each creature must make a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Rust Breath. The dragon exhales a reddish-brown liquid in a 15-foot cone. Any nonmagical metal weapons and armour are imeadety destroyed, a DC 11 saving throw negates the destruction of the weapon, shield or armour but it takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. Armour reduced to an AC of 10 or a shield that drops to a +0 bonus is destroyed. of the object is a held metal weapon, it ructs as described in the Rust Metal trait.

Young Rust Dragon


Large dragon, neutral good
Armour Class 17
Hit Points 90 (12d10+24)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
17(+3)10(+0)15(+2)6(-3)11(+0)6(-3)
Saving Throws Dexterity+3, Constitution+5, Wisdom+3, Charisma+0

Skills Deception+0, Perception+6, Stealth+3

Damage Immunities Acid

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 16

Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic,

Challenge 7
Rust Metal. Any nonmagical weapon made of metal that hits the rust dragon corrodes. after dealing damage, the weapon takes a permanent and circulative -2 penalty to damage rolls. If its penalty drops to -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical ammunition made of metal that hits the rust dragon is destroyed after dealing damage.
ACTIONS

Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d10+3) piercing damage, and the target takes a -2 penalty to AC, when your AC reaches 10 your armour breaks beyond repair.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) slashing damage.

Breath weapons (Recharge 5-6). The dragon uses one of the following breath weapons.

Acid Breath. The dragon exhales acid in a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 15 (6d4) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.Rust Breath. The dragon exhales a reddish-brown liquid in a 30-foot cone. Any nonmagical metal weapons and armour are imeadety destroyed, a DC 13 saving throw negates the destruction of the weapon, shield or armour but it takes a permanent and cumulative -2 penalty to the AC it offers. Armour reduced to an AC of 10 or a shield that drops to a +0 bonus is destroyed. of the object is a held metal weapon, it ructs as described in the Rust Metal trait.

Adult Rust Dragon


Huge dragon, lawful evil
Armour Class 20
Hit Points 242 (21d12+105)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
27(+8)10(+0)21(+5)10(+0)11(+0)10(+0)
Saving Throws Dexterity+5, Constitution+10, Wisdom+5, Charisma+5

Skills Deception+5, Perception+10, Stealth+5

Damage Immunities Acid

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 20

Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic

Challenge 15
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Rust Metal. Any nonmagical weapon made of metal that hits the rust dragon corrodes. after dealing damage, the weapon takes a permanent and circulative -3 penalty to damage rolls. If its penalty drops to -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical ammunition made of metal that hits the rust dragon is destroyed after dealing damage.
ACTIONS

Multiattack. The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d12+8) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8+8) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10+8) bludgeoning damage.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon's choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful of the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Breath weapons (Recharge 5-6). The dragon uses one of the following breath weapons.

Acid Breath. The dragon exhales Acid in a 90-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 30 (12d4) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Rust Breath. The dragon exhales a reddish-brown liquid in a 60-foot cone. Any nonmagical metal weapons and armour are imeadety destroyed, a DC 13 saving throw negates the destruction of the weapon, shield or armour but it takes a permanent and cumulative -3 penalty to the AC it offers. Armour reduced to an AC of 10 or a shield that drops to a +0 bonus is destroyed. of the object is a held metal weapon, it rusts as described in the Rust Metal trait.
LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Wing Attack. (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 10 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take 15 (2d6+8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Ancient Rust Dragon


Gargantuan dragon, lawful evil
Armour Class 23
Hit Points 677 (33d20+330)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
30(+10)10(+0)25(+7)14(+2)15(+2)14(+2)
Saving Throws Dexterity+7, Constitution+14, Wisdom+9, Charisma+7

Skills Deception+9, Perception+16, Stealth+7

Damage Immunities Acid

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 26

Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic

Challenge 25
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Rust Metal. Any nonmagical weapon made of metal that hits the rust dragon corrodes. after dealing damage, the weapon takes a permanent and circulative -4 penalty to damage rolls. If its penalty drops to -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical ammunition made of metal that hits the rust dragon is destroyed after dealing damage.
ACTIONS

Multiattack. The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (2d12+10) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8+10) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d10+10) bludgeoning damage.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon's choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful of the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Breath weapons (Recharge 5-6). The dragon uses one of the following breath weapons.

Acid Breath. The dragon exhales Acid in a 120-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 50 (20d4) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Rust Breath. The dragon exhales a reddish-brown liquid in a 60-foot cone. Any nonmagical metal weapons and armour are imeadety destroyed, a DC 13 saving throw negates the destruction of the weapon, shield or armour but it takes a permanent and cumulative -4 penalty to the AC it offers. Armour reduced to an AC of 10 or a shield that drops to a +0 bonus is destroyed. of the object is a held metal weapon, it rusts as described in the Rust Metal trait.
LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Wing Attack. (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 10 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 26 Dexterity saving throw or take 17 (2d6+10) 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 dragon takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the dragon can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • The dragon causes a wall of iron to rise out of the the ground. The wall is 5 ft wide, 50 ft long, and 30 ft tall. A 5 ft section of the wall has AC 19, 40 hit points and ignores all damage unless it exceeds 10 damage. The wall also has vulnerability to acid damage.
  • A heavy cloud of acidic vapour temporarily thickens until initiative count 20 next turn. At the start of each creature’s turn it takes 2d6 acid damage.
  • All weapons and armour receive a -1 penalty to attack rolls and AC. If your AC reaches 10, your armour breaks beyond repair. Also when your weapon penalty reaches -5, the weapon you are using breaks.

REGIONAL EFFECTS

  • In a 5 mile radius items rust faster and are less durable.
  • In a 2 mile radius, the air is filled with a heavy cloud of acidic vapour; for every one hour in the effected region, you take 1d4 acid damage.

All effects end as soon as the dragon dies.

Dragonborn. Rust dragonborn have resistance to acid damage, you also have a breath weapon that deals 2d6 acid damage in a 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save).

Draconic sorcerers. For the purpose of draconic ancestry, draconic bloodline (Rust) sorcerers’s damage type is acid.

Rust Guard Drake. A Rust Guard Drake has resistance to acid damage, and has a climb speed of 20 ft.

Now those living nightmares are finished, we’ll move on to pyroclastic dragons, beings of rage and fire.

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  • Lilfut

    Again: Spelljammer radiant dragons (possibly renamed to “space dragons”)?

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