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Ghost Dragon

Family: Ghosts

Large undead, any alignment

Armor Class 14
Hit Points 126 (23d10)
Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 19 (+4) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Dexterity +8, Wisdom +7
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages any languages it knew in life
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Special Traits

  • Ghost Dragon Ethereal Sight. The ghost dragon can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.
  • Incorporeal Movement. The ghost dragon can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The ghost dragon makes one claw attack and one withering bite attack.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Withering Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or take 18 (4d8) necrotic damage.
  • Etherealness. The ghost dragon enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, or vice versa. It is visible on the Material Plane while it is in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, yet it can’t affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.
  • Horrifying Breath (Recharge 5-6). The ghost dragon exhales a blast of icy terror in a 30-foot cone. Each living creature in that area must make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 44 (8d10) psychic damage and is frightened for 1 minute. On a success, it takes half the damage and isn’t frightened. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. In the empty dragon’s lair with no trace of treasure or beast, a cold breeze from nowhere wafts through the chamber. A wavering draconic form fades into sight, its hissing anger leaking out through translucent teeth.

About

The Wrath of Dragons. A ghost dragon’s creation does not differ greatly from the creation of a human ghost. Dragons of any size, color, or magical ability can become ghost dragons. If the circumstances of the dragon’s demise are troubling or violent enough, the soul may be denied an afterlife, leaving the ghost dragon’s spirit to haunt the Material Plane until it finds peace. Dragons whose wrathful natures are more intense than others are most likely to become ghost dragons.

Tied to Lairs. Most ghost dragons are bound to the areas where they once laired. They may be able to roam within a mile or two of those places, but their unfinished business generally involves a notable event in their lairs: death at the hands of sneaky adventurers, betrayal by their followers, machinations of a rival dragon, etc. The ghost dragon may call upon the powers of its lair for a short time after its mortal death, but soon its lair powers (and its actions) fade. This tends to enrage the ghost dragon even more.

Undead Nature. The ghost dragon doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Alternate Traits and Actions

Source ExpCod (Open Design)

The following changes allow GMs to alter a ghost dragon without modifying its challenge rating.

  • Possess Dragon (Recharge 5-6). One dragon that the ghost dragon can see within 10 feet of it must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the ghost dragon. The ghost dragon then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The ghost dragon now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The ghost dragon can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect except ones that turn undead, and it retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and immunity to being charmed and frightened. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies. The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hit points, the ghost dragon ends it as a bonus action, or the ghost is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the ghost dragon reappears in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of the body. The target is immune to this ghost dragon’s Possess Dragon for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends. The ghost dragon loses its Horrifying Breath attack. Alternatively, the recharge for this action and for Horrifying Breath can be modified to recharge on 6.
  • Shade of Life Breath (Recharge 5-6). The ghost dragon exhales a blast of energy reminiscent of its former existence combined with the terrible energy powering its current existence. Each living creature in the ghost dragon’s 30-foot-cone blast must make a DC 17 Reflex saving throw, taking 27 (5d10) damage based on the living dragon’s breath (acid, cold, fire, and so on, but the damage type doesn’t change) and 27 (5d10) psychic damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one. A living dragon that fails its saving throw must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The ghost dragon loses its Horrifying Breath attack.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.