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I was Traveling the Planes and I Found Dragons Part 4

Now for my second evil dragon, be warned this creature is on par with the tarrasque.

Elemental fury. A pyroclastic dragon is an uncontrollable force of nature at its heart, embodying living fire and thunder. They’re natural disasters themselves; where ever they go destruction follows. Unlike most, their breath is composed of two elements instead of one, creating a dangerous combination of ashes and the rumbling of thunder. Most sages would say they are closer to fire than thunder as they lair inside volcanoes, but the rare survivor of a pyroclastic dragon attack will often claim otherwise as the destruction they work is more akin to a storm.

Kings of Gehenna. Pyroclastic dragons were the original inhabitants of the plane of Gehenna, considering yugoloths to be thieves. This hatred burns within all pyroclastic dragons and they are taught at a young age to kill all yugoloths on sight. All yugoloths know to run and hide when a dragon is sighted due to their animosity towards their race. Only one yugoloth can stand on par with pyroclastic dragons, the dreaded general of Gehenna. It is the final goal of pyroclastic dragons to find and kill him and they believe that by killing as many yugoloths as possible they will force him out of hiding.

Volcanic Lairs. The main feature of the plane that they reside on being volcanoes, so it stands to reason that they would lair in the same place on the Material plane, also, many volcanoes link the two planes together. Once a pyroclastic dragon has decided to lair somewhere, the surroundings change: storms frequent the area, the volcano becomes more active and the ground in some areas becomes unbearably hot scorching the roots of trees. Inside their lairs, pyroclastic dragons keep meagre hoards due to very little surviving in the heat of  a volcano. Often all that remains is lumps of metal fused together by heat and precious gems.

Art by Sam Wood

Ideas for campaigns

  • A local volcano is appearing unstable. The PCs are needed to escort a wizard to the peak of the mountain, who will then assess the situation.
  • A storm is sweeping through the country and no survivors have been left in its wake. You are tasked with going into the storm and returning alive with details on what causes it.
  • The crops have been burnt down by a mysterious fire that has no origin. Are the PC able to stop the village’s crops from burning?

Pyroclastic Dragon Wyrmling


Medium dragon, lawful evil or neutral evil
Armour Class 14
Hit Points 45 (7d8+14)
Speed 40 ft.,burrow 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
17(+3)10(+0)15(+2)10(+0)11(+0)10(+0)
Saving Throws Dexterity+2, Constitution+4, Wisdom+2, Charisma+2

Skills Perception+4, Intimidation+2

Damage Immunities Fire, Thunder

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14

Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal

Challenge 2
ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10+3) piercing damage.

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

Ash Breath. The dragon exhales supper heated ash accompanied by of crushing sonic force in a 15-foot cone. Each creature must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) fire damage and 7 (2d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Young Pyroclastic Dragon


Large dragon, lawful evil or neutral evil
Armour Class 16
Hit Points 110 (13d10+39)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 45 ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
25(+7)10(+0)17(+3)12(+1)13(+1)12(+1)
Saving Throws Dexterity+3, Constitution+7, Wisdom+4, Charisma+4

Skills Perception+7, Intimidation+4

Damage Immunities Fire, Thunder

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 17

Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal

Challenge 7
ACTIONS

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

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d10+7) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6+7) slashing damage.

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

Ash Breath. The dragon exhales supper heated ash accompanied by of crushing sonic force in a 15-foot cone. Each creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage and 21 (6d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Adult Pyroclastic Dragon


Huge dragon, lawful evil or neutral evil
Armour Class 21
Hit Points 253 (22d12+110)
Speed 40 ft.,burrow 45 ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
30(+10)10(+0)21(+5)14(+2)15(+2)14(+2)
Saving Throws Dexterity+6, Constitution+11, Wisdom+8, Charisma+8

Skills Perception+14, Intimidation+8

Damage Immunities Fire, Thunder

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 24

Languages Common, Draconic, Intimidation

Challenge 20
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
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: +16 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d10+10) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d6+10) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8+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 15 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 weapon (Recharge 5-6). The dragon uses one of the following breath weapons.

Ash Breath. The dragon exhales supper heated ash accompanied by of crushing sonic force in a 15-foot cone. Each creature must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 32 (12d6) fire damage and 42 (12d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
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 17 (2d6+10) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Ancient Pyroclastic Dragon


Gargantuan dragon, lawful evil or neutral evil
Armour Class 28
Hit Points 663 (34d20+306)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 60 ft., fly 80 ft.
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
30(+10)10(+0)29(+9)18(+4)19(+4)18(+4)
Saving Throws Dexterity+9, Constitution+18, Wisdom+13, Charisma+13

Skills Perception+22, Intimidation+13

Damage Immunities Fire, Thunder

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 32

Languages Common, Draconic, Intimidation

Challenge 30
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
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: +19 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d10+10) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +19 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d6+10) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +19 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8+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 21 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 weapon.

Ash Breath. The dragon exhales supper heated ash accompanied by of crushing sonic force in a 15-foot cone. Each creature must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 70 (20d6) fire damage and 70 (20d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
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 27 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 2 rounds in a row:

  • The ground ruptures as a geyser of lava bursts through, at a point that the dragon can see. The geyser is 20 feet high and 10 feet wide. A creature caught in the geyser takes 22 (4d10) fire damage, a creature can make a DC 15 dexterity saving throw, on a successful save it takes half damage.
  • The dragon causes the ground to rumble and split, a fissure opens up at a point that the dragon can see, the fissure is 10 feet wide, 4 feet long and 50 feet deep. A creature in one of the squares that the crevasse opens up in is allowed to make a DC 15 dexterity saving throw to avoid falling into the pit.
  • A bolt of lightning comes down from the sky, targeting one creature that the dragon can see. The bolt deals 16 (3d10) lightning damage and 11 (2d10) thunder damage, a creature can make a DC 15 dexterity saving throw for half damage.

REGIONAL EFFECTS

  • Earthquakes happen approximately every 1d10 days in an 8 mile radius.
  • The volcano appears to be more unstable, as if it would erupt at any moment.
  • Portals to the plane of Gehenna open up in a 3 mile radius.

Dragonborn. Pyroclastic dragonborn have ressistance to fire or thunder damage, you also have a breath weapon that deals fire or thunder damage.

Draconic sorcerers. For the purpose of draconic ancestry, draconic bloodline (Pyroclastic) sorcerers’s damage type is thunder or fire.

Pyroclastic guard drakes. A pyroclastic guard drake has a burrowing speed of 20 feet, and resistance to fire and thunder damage.

Next time, Radiant dragons, in response to a request. (Let me know in the comments if there’s a dragon you would like me to cover soon.)

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  • Derrick Allen

    Is the resistance for Draconic sorcerer meant to be thunder or acid instead of thunder or fire? Got a few requests/ideas but not sure if they were around in previous editions:
    1. other elemental dragons
    2. Astral dragons
    3. Ethereal dragons
    4. A prehistoric, more bestial type proto – dragon. The idea i had was that these are to dragons as dromeosaurs (raptors)/ other therapods are to birds.

    Really like this series especially in my homebrew world where dragons are one of the “master” races responsible for the creation of both kobolds (servile class) and dragonborn (warrior caste) and are highly adapted to various planes/enviorments

    • Joshua Jackson

      I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the Astral dragon as I ran them in a 3.5e campaign centred around Xorvintaal (essentially dragon chess). The dragon was controlling the PC behind the scenes. I’ll have to dig really far for the prehistoric dragon, but I do remember reading about it in a article on the Forgotten Realms wiki.

      Re: your question about the damage resistance: no, they have no resistance to acid in their stat blocks, thanks for pointing out my mistake, I have corrected it in post.

  • Lilfut

    HELL yeah radiant dragons

    As a possibility down the line, brainstealer dragons? They only showed up in one Dragon article to my knowledge, but the concept – essentially mindflayers created from dragons – is incredibly kickass.

    • Joshua Jackson

      Yep I do know about that dragon, and it’s definitely on my list of dragons to do.

  • Lilfut

    For the record, a campaign I’m planning needed a fire-themed villain, so I went for a Pyroclastic Dragonborn.

  • Duskool

    Any chance of Chaos dragons in the future?

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