Dragon Templates

Dragon templates are a quick and easy way to modify dragons.

Ghostly Dragon

A ghostly dragon is sometimes created when a powerful dragon is killed and its hoard looted, or when something of similar caliber happens to a living dragon. The dragon can only be laid to rest by setting right whatever wrong caused it to appear; in the former example, the hoard (or treasure of equivalent value) would have to be returned to the dragon’s lair, at which point the dragon would sleep atop it and pass on to the afterlife with the entirety of the hoard.

When a dragon becomes a ghostly dragon, it retains its statistics, except as described below. The dragon loses any special traits (such as amphibious), that assumes a living physiology.

Actions

The dragon retains none of its lair actions, but retains all of its legendary actions.

Other Changes

  • Type. The dragon’s type changes from dragon to undead, and it no longer requires air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Speed. The dragon retains all of its speeds, and can hover.
  • Damage Resistances. The dragon gains resistance to acid, fire, lightning, and thunder damage, and to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons.
  • Damage Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to cold, necrotic, and poison damage. It also retains any immunities that it had in life.
  • Condition Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to the charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, and restrained conditions. It also doesn’t suffer from exhaustion.
  • Special Abilities. The dragon loses all supernatural and spell-like abilities that it possessed in life, including its Breath Weapon. It retains its Frightful Presence.
  • Damage Type. The dragon’s Bite, Claw, Tail, and Wing attacks deal necrotic damage rather than the damage type they dealt before.
  • New Trait: Ethereal Sight. The dragon can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.
  • New Trait: Incorporeal Movement. The 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.
  • New Trait: Rejuvenation. If the dragon is destroyed, it reappears in its lair 2d4 days later with all its hit points. The only way to completely be rid of the dragon is to determine the reason for its existence and resolve the issue.
  • New Action: Etherealness. The 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.

Skeletal Dragon

Skeletal dragons are created through spells such as animate dead. Such a dragon has no memory of its former life or self, and functions identically to any other skeleton, though it retains some of its abilities and powers because of its draconic nature.

When a dragon becomes a skeletal dragon, it retains its statistics, except as described below. The dragon loses any special traits (such as amphibious), that assumes a living physiology.

Actions

The dragon retains none of its lair actions or legendary actions.

Other Changes

  • Type. The dragon’s type changes from dragon to undead, and it no longer requires air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Speed. The dragon loses its flying speed and its swimming speed, if it had one.
  • Armor Class. Modify the dragon’s Armor Class by applying a -4 penalty. Much of the dragon’s protective armor has rotten or sloughed away.
  • Damage Vulnerabilities. The dragon gains vulnerability to bludgeoning damage.
  • Damage Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to poison damage. It also retains all immunities that it had in life.
  • Condition Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to the poisoned condition, and retains any immunities it had in life. It also doesn’t suffer from exhaustion.
  • Special Abilities. The dragon loses all supernatural and spell-like abilities that it possessed in life, including its Breath Weapon. It retains its Frightful Presence.
  • Skills. The dragon loses all skill proficiencies.
  • Dragon Feats. The dragon loses all feats that it had taken in life.

Zombie Dragon

Zombie dragons are created through spells such as animate dead. Such a dragon has no memory of its former life or self, and functions identically to any other zombie, though it retains some of its abilities and powers because of its draconic nature.

When a dragon becomes a zombie dragon, it retains its statistics, except as described below. The dragon loses any special traits (such as amphibious) that assumes a living physiology.

Actions

The dragon retains none of its lair actions or legendary actions.

Other Changes

  • Type. The dragon’s type changes from dragon to undead, and it no longer requires air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Speed. All of the dragon’s speeds are reduced by 10 feet.
  • Armor Class. Modify the dragon’s Armor Class by applying a -2 penalty.
  • Damage Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to poison damage. It also retains any immunities it had in life.
  • Condition Immunities. The dragon gains immunity to the poisoned condition and retains any immunities that it had in life. It also doesn’t suffer from exhaustion.
  • Special Abilities. The dragon loses all supernatural and spell-like abilities that it possessed in life, including its Breath Weapon. It retains its Frightful Presence.
  • Skills. The dragon loses all skill proficiencies.
  • Dragon Feats. The dragon loses all feats that it had taken in life.
  • New Trait: Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the zombie dragon to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.
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