Imperial Dragon, Ancient

Family: Dragons

Gargantuan dragon, neutral

Armor Class 22 (natural armor)
Hit Points 546 (28d20 + 252)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

30 (+10) 12 (+1) 29 (+9) 20 (+5) 18 (+4) 20 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +17, Wis +12, Cha +13
Skills Arcana +13, History +13, Insight +12, Perception +20, Stealth +9
Damage Immunities lightning, thunder
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 30
Languages all
Challenge 26 (90,000 XP)


  • Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Truespeak. The dragon can communicate with any living creature as if they shared a language.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The imperial dragon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 21). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:


  • Multiattack. The dragon can use its Mesmerizing Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d10 + 10) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d6 + 10) slashing damage.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8 + 10) bludgeoning damage.
  • Mesmerizing 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 24 Wisdom saving throw or become charmed by the dragon 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 or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Mesmerizing Presence for the next 24 hours.
  • Lightning Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales lightning in a 120-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw, taking 88 (16d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Change Shape. The imperial dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (the dragon’s choice). In a new form, the dragon retains its alignment, hp, Hit Dice, ability to speak, proficiencies, Legendary Resistance, lair actions, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as this action. Its statistics and capabilities are otherwise replaced by those of the new form, except any class features or legendary actions of that form. The dragon can choose to transform only part of its body with this action, allowing it to sprout rabbit-like ears or a humanoid head. These changes are purely cosmetic and don’t alter statistics.


The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action 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.
  • Cast a Spell (Costs 3 Actions). The dragon casts a spell from its list of innate spells, consuming a use of the spell as normal.

Lair Actions

Imperial dragons live deep below the water, typically in large rivers, lakes, and seas. While some live in simple caves, most construct great palaces of coral and kelp. These magnificent structures contain areas where air-breathing creatures can live without discomfort, and the palaces of the oldest dragons are filled with menageries, bathhouses, and even entire libraries of rare and esoteric texts. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the dragon can take 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 bolt of lightning to strike a point it can see within 120 feet of it. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) lightning damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful saving throw.
  • The dragon calls coral to surround one creature it can see within 120 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be restrained. While restrained Dragon, Imperial in this way, the creature takes 10 (3d6) slashing damage at the start of each of its turns. A creature, including the target, can take its action to free the target by succeeding on a DC 15 Strength check. The coral can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 15; vulnerability to bludgeoning damage; immunity to poison and psychic damage). The coral crumbles when the dragon uses this lair action again or when the dragon dies.
  • A whirl of water or wind appears on a point the dragon can see within 120 feet of it and disappears just as quickly. Each creature within 30 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 25 feet toward that point and knocked prone.


The region containing a legendary imperial dragon’s lair is warped by the dragon’s magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • The dragon’s mood affects the weather and water within 6 miles of its lair. When the dragon is calm or sleeping, the sky is clear and the water still. When the dragon is angry or troubled, the sky is filled with storm clouds and the water becomes choppy.
  • Fish and other marine life become more numerous within 3 miles of the dragon’s lair.
  • Pearls within 1 mile of the dragon’s lair are imbued with healing magic. If a harvested pearl is crushed into a powder and then consumed, it provides the benefits of a potion of healing. If the dragon dies, these effects fade over the course of 1d10 days.


The long, serpentine dragon is wingless and possesses shimmering, opalescent scales. Its appearance is at once both serene and majestic.

Dragons of the Spirit World. Imperial dragons are tied to the world of celestials, fiends, and spirits. They freely parley with such creatures for knowledge about the outer planes or the fundamental mysteries of the universe. Some of the most powerful imperial dragons even become the servants of the gods in exchange for wisdom, acting as intermediaries between the divine and mortal realms.

Colorful and Magical. Imperial dragons are capable of changing their colors and forms. They are typically a rich, goldenyellow, but azure-, jade-, and vermillion?colored dragons are not unheard of, and even white and black imperial dragons have been reported. A magical organ in their skulls gives them the ability to fly without the aid of wings, and they are often hunted for this organ, which is rumored to grant eternal life if consumed.

Masters of Wind and Rain. Imperial dragons are creatures of wind and water, and the eldest of their kind exhibit mastery of these elements. They love the seas where they make their homes and sometimes act as guardians for sacred sites or temples near or beneath the waves. This often puts them in conflict with militant aquatic races like the sahuagin and evil water-dwelling monsters like krakens and sea dragons (Tome of Beasts, p. 135).

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.

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