Cactus Drake

Family: Drake

Medium dragon, neutral good

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 75 (10d8 + 30)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.

11 (+0) 17 (+3) 16 (+3) 9 (–1) 12 (+1) 11 (+0)

Skills Nature +1, Survival +3
Damage Resistances fire, lightning
Condition Immunities paralyzed, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • False Appearance. While the cactus drake remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a tall, branched cactus.
  • Offering of Flesh. The cactus drake can spend 1 minute carefully cutting its own flesh, inflicting 10 slashing damage to itself, to remove a small piece of pulpy material. The pulp is edible and provides a Medium or smaller creature with one quart of water and nourishment equivalent to one meal. The pulp provides this nourishment only if the drake offered the flesh willingly.
  • Regeneration. The cactus drake regains 5 hp at the start of its turn. If the drake takes cold or poison damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the drake’s next turn. The drake dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hp and doesn’t regenerate.
  • Thorny Body. A creature that touches the cactus drake or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 4 (1d8) piercing damage from the drake’s thorns.


  • Multiattack. The drake makes one Bite attack and two Claw attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Thorn Spray (Recharge 5–6). The cactus drake shakes its body, spraying thorns around it. Each creature within 20 feet of the cactus drake must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that fails the saving throw by 5 or more has its speed reduced by 10 feet until it takes an action to remove the thorns. When the drake uses this action, it loses its Thorny Body trait until the start of its next turn.


A gigantic cactus shifts its arms and trunk so it stands on four legs. Long spines jut from its skin. A small spiky draconic head gives it away as more than a simple plant.

Cactus drakes are friendly creatures found in all but the coldest deserts. The omnivorous dragons subsist on plants, notably cacti, and supplement their diets with small mammals and rodents—and the occasional ill?mannered traveler.

Helpful Desert Dweller. Despite its frightful appearance, a cactus drake is usually benign.

It keeps a watch for travelers lost in the desert or suffering from dehydration. It aids such visitors by directing them to the nearest oasis, and it may even offer some of its own water-retaining flesh in emergencies. Though not greedy, the cactus drake accepts repayment for its deeds and does extort treasure from travelers it knows as troublemakers. The drake also has no qualms about killing creatures that attack it and may spitefully mislead foes to cause them to dehydrate.

Sanddrift Prey. The more mobile and physically powerful sanddrift drakes hunt cactus drakes in shared desert homes. To protect themselves, cactus drakes lair on bluffs and rocky outcroppings to thwart burrowing by their predators. They also gather for mutual safety. Scholars who study cactus drakes note the dragons have slowly evolved countermeasures to sanddrift drakes’ most devastating attacks.

Part Plant. The peculiar cactus drakes are almost as much plants as they are dragons. Like the cacti they emulate, the drakes wither in extreme cold. Some cactus drakes can also produce flowers, allowing them to further camouflage themselves.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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