Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Half-Dragon: That’s Just a Dragonborn!

Have you ever wanted to make your players fight a dragonborn fighter without having to roll a character? Here you go!

Lore: When a Dragon Gets Horny

When a polymorphed dragon decides to mate, it may result in the birth of a half-dragon. Or a creature could be transformed into one by a wizard’s spell or a bath in dragons blood (cause that’s perfectly normal). Regardless of their origin, they’ll typically share in appearance and abilities.

Half-dragons are unable to have children of their own. If they want them, they’ll have to resort to magic. But in fairness, they have extended life spans, allowing them to live for well over a century and a half. They’ll also inherit traits from their draconic parent. From greed and paranoia to playful impishness, it depends on the color.

I guess you could do something with that. The options are limited, but they’re there. Maybe the party can help a half-dragon get a kid. Or they could help someone complete a blood ritual to become one. Hell, let someone in the party do the ritual themselves! Why not? Get crazy with it!

Design: You thought I was joking, weren’t you?

No, I’m not joking. This motherfucker really is just a non-player-character Dragonborn. For fuck’s sake, look at it!

You think this was one of the designer’s player character?

What am I supposed to say here? It’s a humanoid dragon man wearing armor! Is that cool? By default, yes; dragons are always cool, no matter the context.

But simply sliding a dragon into a suit of armor? It’s not exactly creative or interesting. You could describe it with one sentence, maybe two if you’ve got some flare.

Overall, boring. Next.

Stats: Build-A-Beast Workshop

This is where things get interesting. Because this monster is meant to be personally built and customized by the DM. The stats given are just an example of what to do.

Any creature classified as a beast, humanoid, giant, or monstrosity can be made into a half-dragon. They keep all of their stats, including their challenge rating. To avoid having to recalculate it, a simple table is provided near the bottom of its page.

Like dragons and dragonborn, half-dragons come in a few flavors. Those that are black or copper can spit acid. Blue or bronze breaths lightning. Brass, gold, or red have fire. Green are poison. Silver or white have ice breath.

They also gain Blindsight, which has a radius of 10 feet, and Darkvision, with a radius of 60 feet. On top of that, they’re resistant to the element corresponding with its color, and it speaks Draconic on top of other languages it might now. To top it off, they have a breath attack, which goes as described in the paragraph above.

All you have to do is plug all of that into a pre-existing monster that fits in the four previously mentioned categories. Basically, you can upgrade any of those creatures into a slightly more powerful half-dragon variety.

I love the customization of this! You can make this encounter into practically anything you want! The party thought they were fighting regular bandits? Surprise, they’re half-dragon bandits! Now they’ve got to dodge fire and lightning while having a classic bandit showdown! The sky is the limit!

If only I could make a half-dragon Beholder…

Placement

This is an interesting monster. The lore is pretty decent and its design is boring. But the customization aspect is absolutely insane! That makes it the most interesting monster in terms of combat!

With all that in mind, let’s put the Half-Dragon on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Sea Hag
  14. Bronze Dragons
  15. Brass Dragons
  16. Copper Dragons
  17. Gold Dragons
  18. Chuul
  19. Gibbering Mouther
  20. Chimera
  21. Death Knight
  22. Fomorian
  23. Bone Devil
  24. Dracolich
  25. Faerie Dragon
  26. Night Hag
  27. Green Hag
  28. Ankheg
  29. Storm Giant
  30. Hill Giant
  31. Empyrean
  32. Efreeti
  33. Grimlock
  34. Dao
  35. Cloud Giant
  36. Drow (all four of ’em)
  37. Shadow Demon
  38. Marilith
  39. Drider
  40. Aarackockra
  41. Azer
  42. Demilich
  43. Spectator
  44. Marid
  45. Half-Dragon <————–
  46. Cambion
  47. Fire Giant
  48. Animated Armor
  49. Banshee
  50. Basilisk
  51. Yochlol
  52. Bulette
  53. Cloaker
  54. Darkmantle
  55. Doppelganger
  56. Ghoul and Ghast
  57. Ettin
  58. Pit Fiend
  59. Erinyes
  60. Chain Devil
  61. Bearded Devil
  62. Barbed Devil
  63. Spined Devil
  64. Ice Devil
  65. Djinni
  66. Nalfeshnee
  67. Glabrezu
  68. Chasme
  69. Grell
  70. Barlgura
  71. Horned Devil
  72. Balor
  73. Shadow Dragon
  74. Vrock
  75. Dretch
  76. Gnolls (all three)
  77. Goristro
  78. Hezrou
  79. Manes
  80. Frost Giant
  81. Duergar
  82. Quasit
  83. Dryad
  84. Flumph
  85. Goblin
  86. Githyanki
  87. Planetar
  88. Imp
  89. Clay Golem
  90. Flameskull
  91. Displacer Beast
  92. Carrion Crawler
  93. Githzerai
  94. Grick
  95. Rug of Smothering
  96. Bugbear Chief
  97. Bugbear
  98. Flesh Golem
  99. Vine Blight
  100. Twig Blight
  101. Needle Blight
  102. Bullywug
  103. Ettercap
  104. Gas Spore
  105. Cockatrice
  106. Lemure
  107. Solar
  108. Deva
  109. Gorgon
  110. Griffon
  111. Cyclops
  112. Centaur
  113. Ghost
  114. Fire Elemental
  115. Water Elemental
  116. Air Elemental
  117. Stone Giant
  118. Deep Gnome
  119. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  120. Iron Golem
  121. Stone Golem
  122. Earth Elemental
  123. Galeb Duhr
  124. Flying Sword
  125. Crawling Claw
  126. Violet Fungus
  127. Shrieker
  128. Gargoyle

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