Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is about as good as you will get from 5E. I have a LOVE/ (HATE’s a strong word) DISLIKE relationship with 5E. ON the one side, I become an evangelist preaching the ways of 5E as the way and that 6E should never come. ON the other, I hunger for more than 5E can give me. I mean, that’s fair, right? I don’t think Wotc should change what they’re doing, mind you. I just need more meat. That’s why the Magic Tavern is here, really. We’re here to give you who need more…well…more.
Fizban’s gives you a jumping off point. It’s the bare bones info you need. Now, this is great for the newbies. If you’re a beginning DM, you need to stick to the books for a while. But, if you want more down the road, you will need to do what I do; DIG.
So, I both expected more and knew what to expect when 5E ventured into a Dragonomicron. This is BDC and I color outside the lines. I’m a researcher at heart and love to dig and that’s a good thing. I’ve been around since 1E and seen some serious stuff. So, building my adventures for my homebrew world, I tend to pull from some older sources.
It was a decision I made when creating my homebrew world. I would seal it away from the other planes as much as possible, but would draw from all editions and make it a museum of the Planes.
So, back to dragons.
Creating my homebrew world, I drew upon a number of what they call PLANAR DRAGONS. And, for the most part, these were ignored. Now, I’m not indicting Wotc. They did what they could with one book. I just think some of you need more. So, the next few D&D FORGOTTEN will deal with those dragons with planar connections and not seen much in a normal campaign.
CHAOS BECOMES THEM
One of my favorites, and one I’ll be dealing with in the next few D&D game sessions is the Chaos Dragon. As chaotic as they are, they are found to make their home in a myriad of places; Limbo, the Abyss, Arvandor, Brightwater, Dragon Eyrie, Gates of the Moon, the Supreme Throne and, even Warrior’s Rest. As they can can speak, not only, Draconic but ether Celestial or Abyssal, their alignment spanned the chaotic side from good to neutral to evil.
Their skin too was different from Chaos Dragon to Chaos Dragon. They were mutable and each one was unique from all others. They were known to evolve and change over time; probably getting bigger in the process. A Dm could let his imagination do the walking here. If there were unique residents and powers in the vicinity, the Chaos Dragon would absorb them into their diet and become like them and show signs of those powers. So, the Chaos Dragon becomes the catchall sort of.
They were known for two breath weapons. The first was a cone of gas that had the power of a confusion spell. The other was a randomized energy breath which could be rolled randomly among fire, lightning, acid, cold and thunder.
It was possible that these dragons carried several spell-like abilities that made them quite difficult to deal with. Spells like Chaos Hammer, Cloak of Chaos, Word of Chaos and entropic shield among others bring the CR up a bit.
ENTROPIC SHIELD: (Level 1) Ranged attacks made against your personal shield are made at disadvantage. This one I gave a 5E treatment. It was originally a 20% chance of failure. It is said to last one minute (10 rounds of fighting).
CHAOS HAMMER: (Level 4) This power is actually a rainbow explosion of ‘leaping, ricocheting energy’. Now, only Lawful and Neutral creatures were meant to be hurt by it, but that’s in the DM’s hands. 1D8 (Random?) energy per 2 caster levels plus a SLOW spell? But it does state that those not lawful or neutral take half damage and no slow.
CLOAK OF CHAOS: (Level 8) A rainbow energy surrounds the creature a gives the following affects:
- +4 deflection bonus to AC/advantage on saves
- Protection from mind/charm abilities
- If an attack hits the protected creature, the attacker becomes confused (WIS Save DC?)
WORD OF CHAOS: (Level 7) 40 Foot radius centered on Dragon. Nonchaotic creatures who can hear the word spoken may be subject to a number of affects. They could begin merely stunned or deafened, become confused or possibly die after hearing the word a number of times.
The Chaos Dragon shared a muscular build with strong wings, long necks and dangerously jagged tails. They were known as instruments of undermining or destabilizing civilization. Most were agents of chaos, but some of good alignment were known to work as positive powers of change. Those of evil alignment were amazing weapons of destruction and anarchy.
And that brings us to the most dangerous thing about dealing with Chaos Dragons: Their Unpredictable Nature. The Githzerai thought to use them as allies and mounts against their ancient enemy, the Githyanki and their Red Dragons. It seemed like a good idea, but the Chaos Dragons (surprisingly) could not be relied on. Their actions were an enigma sometimes to themselves. A touch of madness permeated the creature, it seemed.
I wonder if they are akin to the beasts of the same name; The Chaos Beasts?
The Chaos Beast is something out H.P. Lovecraft. It is an alien horror that, not only drives one to madness, but can infect other creatures; turning them into chaos beasts themselves. In this way, it carries a zombie contagion horror motif with it!
Like the Chaos Dragon, each is different, but more so. It becomes more than simple differences. Each Chaos Beast is different altogether. One thought is that each is an amalgam of what it eats. There’s no lore to back this up, but it could be a good story element.
One other thought is that one particular Chaos Dragon has hunted and fed on a continuous diet of Chaos Beasts thus effecting its own metabolism. It could have extreme consequences. Imagine a Chaos Dragon taking on the contagion of the Chaos Beast! This would threaten all of mortalkind with a potential overrunning of Chaos Beasts led by a massive, shape-shifting Dragon!
Image even further that said Chaos Dragon spent thousands, maybe millions of years underground feasting on these malleable creatures. Maybe it wouldn’t need to be as big as the one pictured above, but I’m definitely creating a Chaos Hydra for a game coming up. Seeing that the Chaos Dragon already has a randomized breath weapon, could it be that the head takes the shape of the creature that possesses said energy weapon?
FORGOTTEN GOD: MASTER OF CHAOS (Beasts)
There’s an interesting little bit of lore about an Elven god and the Chaos Beasts. Chaos beasts were mentioned as ‘Favored Beasts’ of a certain Elven god who could apparently control them. This is quite a feat considering they are so unpredictable. Mentioned in both Demihuman Deities and Faiths and Pantheons, Erevan Ilesere is listed as the Elven god of rogues and chaos so this makes sense.
He was a shapeshifter much like Corellon and the original Elves were but this god kept his ability. In later texts, he was lowered to an Exarch of the head Elf, but that’s in the hands, as usual, of the DM. Just know, he was unpredictable as the Chaos Beasts themselves so he didn’t land a great number of followers.