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DragonsCruelandCunningThe evil and greedy chromatic dragons lurk in dim dungeonsand remote lairs guarding fabulous hoards of stolentreasure. From the savage white dragon to the mightyred dragon, the breath of a chromatic dragon bringsnothing but death and destruction to those adventurerswho seek to claim their gold. Butstill, heroes dream and scheme of the daywhen they battle a chromatic dragon.

Wide-ranging story andcampaign elements give DMs ready-to-play material, includingadventure hooks, quests, and pregenerated treasurehoards. Retail: U. All Wizards characters and their distinctive likenesses are property ofWizards of the Coast, Inc.

This material is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or unauthorized use of the material or artworkcontained herein is prohibited without the express written permission of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, places, or events includedherein is purely coincidental. Printed in the U.

Draconic knowledge is gained at risk of life and limb; dragons are rapacious, jealous of their secrets, andoften hungry. Experts describe dragons as the first sentient raceto appear in the world, with life spans stretching intomillennia. With such a wealth of experience, dragons embody history. The oldest dragons are repositoriesof vast knowledge and of the deepest ancient secrets. Dragons are more than just a challenge for knightsseeking hoards or glory: dragons are sages, oracles,and even prophets.

Theappearance of a dragon can portend good or ill fortune. Pragmatic sages attempt to classify dragons as merely large lizards that have wings and warmbreath, but these efforts fail in the true light of thewonder, magic, and fantastic abilities of dragons. Dragons are, by their nature, epic forces. Legends andthe knowledge that sages do have, however, stretchback for centuries and hint at what might have been.

Sometimes new stories come to light, promptingreassessments of the existing body of knowledge andspeculation regarding dragon inception.

First DragonsThe five major dragon families chromatic , catastrophic,metallic, scourge, and planar; see theMonster Manual for details share a common origin. Most accounts begin with mention of the deity Io. Io, as legend has it, created dragons in his ownshape but without a divine spark, so that dragons might frolic and exult in the new world formed bythe primordials.

To Io, dragons were the epitomeof mortal form. Though they lived in the world, thepower of the Elemental Chaos flowed in their veinsand spewed from their mouths in gouts of flame orwaves of paralyzing cold. They also developed keenminds and lofty spirits that linked them, as with allsentient mortal beings, to the Astral Sea.

Forced to adaptto a changing world, they chose diverse philosophiesand lifestyles to reflect their individual natures. A number of surviving dragons chose to followBahamut, called the Platinum Dragon, and theybecame the first metallic dragons.

Over the ages,as Bahamut upheld justice, opposed evil, and liberatedthe oppressed, creatures other than dragons came to honor him as the deity of justice, protection,nobility, and honor.

In the fullness of time, he hasbecome better known for those attributes than for hisassociation with metallic dragons. Today, all metallic dragons revere Bahamut as their originator, but notall of them worship him.

They became disasters incarnate, taking the formsof fantastic catastrophes that shook the world andthat continue to wreak havoc millennia later. Whena mountain explodes, a catastrophic dragon mighterupt from it along with sprays of molten rock. Whena cyclone or a hurricane rages, a catastrophic dragonmight lurk at the eye of the storm, reveling in thedestruction.

Catastrophic dragons care little forwealth or power. They seek to make their marks onthe world, literally, and to have others fear and propitiatethem.

Similar to theway catastrophic dragons embraced their link to theElemental Chaos, scourge dragons also called linnorms celebrated their connection to brute reality. They learned to visit afflictions upon living creatures. Almost universally evil, scourge dragons enjoy theraw physicality of melee combat. Chromatic dragons have becomethe best-known dragon family thanks to their oftenantagonisticrelationship with humanoids. LikeBahamut, Tiamat matured into a deity appealing tomore than just her dragon kin.

Today, as the evil deityof wealth, greed, and envy, she urges her followers totake vengeance for every slight. Most chromatic dragons follow this dictate. Dragons that emigratedto offworld planes were affected by their environment,sometimes radically. Chromatic dragons seemmost susceptible, and later generations of theseplanar dragons bear only slight resemblances to theirworldly kin.

Dragon TraitsWhat, exactly, makes a dragon? Other magical, reptilianbeasts have great power. A few creatures, suchas drakes and wyverns, share certain characteristicswith dragons. What sets dragons apart from them? All true dragons have distinct age categories andgrow in power and strength as they progress throughthose categories. Every chromatic dragon has both abreath weapon and an array of supernatural abilities,including an aura that induces overwhelming fear.

All chromatic dragons also have the same basic bodystructure. External AnatomyCovered in scales, possessed of four legs and a long,writhing tail, a dragon appears to be a giant reptile atfirst glance. Nevertheless, dragons are a classificationunto themselves, with characteristics of predatorymammals as well as reptiles.

This minute seepageof magic grants a dragon its darkvision. Chromatic dragons do not have external ears. As with snakes, an internal mechanism detectssounds. From the outside, the only evidence of thismechanism is a tiny hole between the scales. These scales are not, however, a necessary part of thedesign. Due to their scales and thick hides, chromatic dragons have a poor tactile sense. Dragons are, however, sensitive topain.

Anything capable of penetrating their hide andscales receives their full attention. Dragons can detect nuances of flavor better thanhumanoids can. The teeth, alsoresembling those of a crocodile, include fangs fortearing and puncturing, incisors for severing fleshfrom bone, and a series of molars for gripping andgrinding.

Dragons rarely display thisability, because they use it only to bite larger foes orto swallow prey too tough to be torn into smaller bits. The throat can stretch wide enough to accommodateanything the unhinged jaws can encompass, thoughswallowing something so large that a dragon mustunhinge its jaw is a painful experience. Similarly, the interior of the tooth resemblesmarrow more than it does pulp.

A dragon grows a new set of teeth each time itincreases in size. Between these periods, if a dragonloses a tooth, it has to do without unless it has ameans of healing magically. Spines, Claws, and HornsAll dragons have some combination of protrusions inthe form of spines, claws, horns, or all three.

Spines are anchored in muscle, connected to theskeleton by a series of ligaments. Claws and hornsconnect directly to the skeleton. Horns and spinesgrow as a dragon grows. Its claws, like its teeth, fallout and regrow when a dragon increases its size. A foot normally has three forwardfacingclaws plus a single claw near the rear of thefoot, though a significant minority of chromatic dragons has four forward-facing claws.

The rear clawnormally faces backward when a dragon is walkingor running, but it can twist forward to serve assomething akin to an opposable thumb.

Thesetendencies are not absolute. For example, the hides ofblack dragons from different bloodlines might havemarkedly different textures. In any case, individual scales are more or lessthe same. Larger scales, such as those that coverthe head, neck, and back, connect to the skin at oneend and overlap neighboring scales at the other.

Thisarrangement creates a layer that resembles scalearmor or shingles on a roof. Dragon scales are slightly more flexible than steeland substantially stronger, making them perfectarmor. Unfortunately for those who desire to makearmor from dragon scales, harvesting scales is difficult,and armor constructed from such scales lastsonly a few weeks after it is taken from a living dragon.

Everyone knows stories of unique sets of magic armormade of dragon scales, but it might be impossible toconstruct a mundane armor from harvested scaleswithout a long-lost creation ritual. A dragon never sheds its skin, since its scales growslowly throughout the course of its life. It occasionallyloses individual scales through injury or illness oras a result of natural molting. These patches remainbare for a few months at most, before replacementscales grow large enough to fill the gap.

Such tears heal relativelyquickly. Internal AnatomyMany details that differentiate dragons from othercreatures are internal. In the following sections, numbers in parenthesesrefer to the indicated locations on the accompanyingillustrations. Without the mystical energy distributed bytheir hearts, dragons might be merely intelligentlizards. This energy suffuses the entire body throughthe blood.

For parts of the body that require morefocused power, the fundamentum see below is amore direct conduit. Red dragon blood gives off steam, whitedragon blood is barely above freezing, and so forth. Fundamentum 6 : The fundamentum is anorgan unique to dragons. When examined outside a dragon, the fundamentumlooks something like a rubbery hose, with amuscular outer layer capable of pumping blood similarto the way the heart does.

This outer layer allowsthe fundamentum to constrict and open rapidly fromone end to the other, propelling a wash of blood intothe upper stomach. Elemental energy, transferredfrom the heart through the fundamentum, remainsin the upper stomach until needed.

Hence, bloodied breathrecharges only after a short rest.


“Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons” Review

DragonsCruelandCunningThe evil and greedy chromatic dragons lurk in dim dungeonsand remote lairs guarding fabulous hoards of stolentreasure. From the savage white dragon to the mightyred dragon, the breath of a chromatic dragon bringsnothing but death and destruction to those adventurerswho seek to claim their gold. Butstill, heroes dream and scheme of the daywhen they battle a chromatic dragon. Wide-ranging story andcampaign elements give DMs ready-to-play material, includingadventure hooks, quests, and pregenerated treasurehoards. Retail: U. All Wizards characters and their distinctive likenesses are property ofWizards of the Coast, Inc.

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Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons

The Latin -inspired name of the books loosely translates as "Book of Dragon Names". The book includes new dragons, among them steel, mercury, and yellow dragons. Rick Swan reviewed the original Draconomicon for Dragon magazine April Less successful are the adventures, four rather routine excursions that feature promising plots but suffer from a lack of development; one or two longer adventures would have been preferable to four short ones.


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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Draconomicon I: Chromatic Dragons describes several varieties of dragons, including red, blue, green, black, and white dragons, as well as three completely new chromatic dragons. This sourcebook gives details of each dragon's powers, tactics, myths, lairs, servitors, and more. Wide-ranging story and campaign elements in the book give DMs ready-to-play material that is easily incorporated into a gane, including adventure hooks, quests, and pregenerated treasure hoards. Read more Read less. His long list of professional credits include the Expanded Psionics Handbook and Libris Mortis supplements.


As my campaign met more and more infrequently over the past months, I found myself purchasing fewer new products. So, I decided to look through some of my earlier items for review, and the first that came to mind was the first 4th Edition installment of the Draconomicon , focusing on Chromatic Dragons. According to the product page for the book, it came out in November , less than half a year after the core 4th edition books hit store shelves. From the perspective of a person who came into 4E through Essentials, the book looks quite different than what I am used to. For the most part, though, the book is still very useful, particularly the non-statistic content. The first half of this section reads a bit like a biology textbook, detailing the physiology and life cycle of dragons.

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