This article is an extension of an article written earlier introducing (and reintroducing to some) the Game of Dragons: Xorvindaal. Expanded on in Monster Manual V back in 3.5, the game of Xorvindaal was the sport of Dragons outsmarting each other in a massive game of ‘find the hoard’; pitting their hoard against the hoards of other dragons. The game was played out in the world and the game pieces were thralls trusted by the Dragons to both protect their hoard and find the hoards of their competitors.
This got us thinking: Why is there not information on an ancient dragon as a warlock patron? Of all things in D&D, that would have been a place to start. But, because of the complexity of the subject and the oversight of Wizards, they have not attempted even to produce one Unearthed Arcana on the subject. Even with Fizbans Treasury of Dragons came out, there was not even a pip about the subject. Personally, it seems both one of the big mysteries and missed opportunities of 5E.
Especially in the scope of the game of Xorvindaal. The dragon needs minions. The warlock craves power. Seems like a win/win. But, even without the dragon’s jockeying on a playing field trying to win hoards from other competitor dragons, the idea of a warlock vying for the power of an Elder Dragon which is both a power spell caster AND a gather of power in the form of gold and a magical hoard just makes sense.
Now, there are a lot of attempts at doing just that in Homebrew all across the internet. And many of them are either ready to play or a great start. But we felt it necessary to make our attempt to understand what a Dragon Patron would look like.
EXPANDED SPELL LISTS
Once I looked at something as ‘simple’ as a expanded spell list, I very quickly found out why WOTC hadn’t touched this one. Now, this doesn’t excuse them for missing their opportunity in FIZBAN’S, but it did go a long way to explaining things.
First of all, to just do one build as a generic ‘Dragon Patron’ seemed to miss its own set of opportunities. As you well know, there are three SETS of dragons: Chromatic, Metallic and Gem. And each set has its own wheelhouse and flavor. You could totally make a different set of spells for each TYPE of dragon. And, to be honest, to really get at the diversity here, you should. But I understand their aversion to this.
A general expanded spell list would look something like this:
- LEVEL ONE: Cause Fear, Chaos Bolt
- LEVEL TWO: Dragon’s Breath, Misty Step
- LEVEL THREE: Incite Greed, Fear (also Protection from Energy and Ashardalon’s Stride from Fizbans)
- LEVEL FOUR: Polymorph, Disguise Self
- LEVEL FIVE: Legend Lore, Summon Dragon Spirit
If you wanted to use more of a treasure hunter motif, you may go for more like Identify, Detect Magic, Comprehend Languages and Locate object for the early spells.
Even more on theme, would to use spells that echo the damage your dragon deals. But, as I said before, you would have to build multiple spell lists. But, for a more concentrated skill set, I think it would be worth it.
To see a multitude of very detailed spell lists for each type of the main 15, go to the end of the article and find the type of dragon you will serve!
LEVEL ONE: BOON OF THE DRAGON
Art of John E Kaufmann
At the first level of taking on the dragon as your patron, you get several boons in order to do the dragon’s bidding:
- You gain resistance to the energy associated with your dragon’s breath. If it has two, you may pick one.
- Scaly Hide: When you are wearing no armor, your AC is 13+ your Dexterity bonus.
- Proficiency in Perception
LEVEL SIX: FEAR OF THE DRAGON
At sixth level, you gain the frightful presence of your patron.
Once creature within 60 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom Save or become frightened of you 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.
Once you use this feature, you can no longer access it until you finish a long rest.
LEVEL TEN: WINGS OF THE DRAGON
At tenth level, you gain the temporary ability to fly.
Wings resembling those of your patron, grow from your back allowing you to attain a 30 foot flying speed for up to 1 minute. You may do this the number of times equal to your proficiency bonus.
LEVEL FOURTEEN: BREATH OF THE DRAGON
At fourteenth level, you gain the breath weapon associated with your patron.
Acid and lightning arc in a 5 by 60 foot line. All others explode out in a 30 foot cone. The damage should all be the same. Seeing that the Fiend’s 14th level, Hurl through hell does 10D10 damage, you could either duplicate this or allow a 8D12 or a 12D8. As long as the damage is around 100 hp, it seems equitable.
Acid, Lightning and Fire require a Dexterity save that equals your spell DC. Cold and Poison damage require a constitution save as does the Amethyst Dragons concussive breath, the Crystal Dragons radiant breath, the Sapphire Dragons ‘Debilitating breath’ and the Topaz Dragon’s ‘Desiccating Breath. The Emerald Dragons ‘Disorienting Breath’ requires an intelligence save.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
This is a work in progress, so, if you have any homebrew you’ve seen work, please feel free to share. We do not brew in a vacuum.
MORE DETAILED EXPANDED SPELL LISTS
RED DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Burning Hands, Hellish Rebuke
- LEVEL TWO: Aganazzar’s Scorcher, Scorching Ray
- LEVEL THREE: Fireball (duh!), Flame Arrows
- LEVEL FOUR: Wall of Fire, Fire Shield
- LEVEL FIVE: Flame Strike, Immolation
BLUE DRAGON EXPANDED LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Witch Bolt, Shocking Grasp
- LEVEL TWO: Blur, Lightning Blade (Flame Blade with lightning damage)
- LEVEL THREE: Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning (Lightning Arrow is also good/Bonus Action adding damage to a ranged attack)
- LEVEL FOUR: Storm Sphere (lightning damage), Summon Blue Dragon Spirit
- LEVEL FIVE: Steel Wind Strike (works well with a Pact of the Blade), Lightning Strike (Flame Strike with 6d8 or 8d8 lightning damage)
BLACK DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Tasha’s Caustic Brew, Inflict Wounds
- LEVEL TWO: Melf’s Acid Arrow, Acidic Ray (Scorching Ray just with Acid)
- LEVEL THREE: Hunger of Hadar, Fear
- LEVEL FOUR: Vitriolic Sphere, Evard’s Black Tenacles (Acid Damage)
- LEVEL FIVE: Dominate Person, Acid Cone? (Cone of Cold just with Acid damage?)
WHITE DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Ice Knife, Armor of Agathys
- LEVEL TWO: Rime’s Binding Ice, Sniloc’s Snowball Storm
- LEVEL THREE: Sleet Storm, Hunger of Hadar
- LEVEL FOUR: Ice Storm, Fire Shield
- LEVEL FIVE: Cone of Cold, Destructive Wave (but with cold damage)
GREEN DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Detect Poison, Ray of Sickness
- LEVEL TWO: Protection from Poison
- LEVEL THREE: Stinking Cloud, Gaseous Form
- LEVEL FOUR: Aura of Purity, Blight
- LEVEL FIVE: Cloud Kill, Contagion
GOLD DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Shield, Bane
- LEVEL TWO: Ray of Enfeeblement, Warding Bond
- LEVEL THREE: Beacon of Hope, Glyph of Warding
- LEVEL FOUR: Banishment, Greater Invisibility
- LEVEL FIVE: Dispel Evil, Circle of Power
COPPER DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Expeditious Retreat, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
- LEVEL TWO: Blur, Kinetic Jaunt
- LEVEL THREE: Slow, Blink
- LEVEL FOUR: Confusion, Dimension Door
- LEVEL FIVE: Hallow, Antilife Shell
BRASS DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
Besides substituting the SLEEP spell for one of the level ones, Brass Dragons will use the Red Dragon list.
BRONZE DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Thunderwave, Witchbolt
- LEVEL TWO: Shatter, Gust of Wind
- LEVEL THREE: Protection from Thunder, Call Lightning
- LEVEL FOUR: Storm Sphere, ‘Lightning Shield’ (Fire Shield only lightning)
- LEVEL FIVE: Destructive Wave, Telekinesis
SILVER DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
Not many 5E spells that hands out the Paralyze condition. Use the BLUE DRAGON spell list
AMETHYST DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Earth Tremor (Force Damage), Magnify Gravity (Wildemont)
- LEVEL TWO: Dust Devil, Earth Bind
- LEVEL THREE: Erupting Earth, Melf’s Minute Meteors
- LEVEL FOUR: Compulsion, Hallucinatory Terrain
- LEVEL FIVE: Wall of Force, Telekinesis
CRYSTAL DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Color Spray, Guiding Bolt
- LEVEL TWO: Darkness, Moonbeam
- LEVEL THREE: Crusader’s Mantle, Spirit Guardians
- LEVEL FOUR: Sickening Radiance, Guardian of Faith
- LEVEL FIVE: Dawn, Wall of Light
EMERALD DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Dissonant Whispers, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
- LEVEL TWO: Crown of Madness, Phantasmal Force
- LEVEL THREE: Bestow Curse, Hypnotic Pattern
- LEVEL FOUR: Phantasmal Killer, Hallucinatory Terrain
- LEVEL FIVE: Synaptic Static, Dream
SAPPHIRE DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Thunderwave, Chaos Bolt
- LEVEL TWO: Shatter, Deafness
- LEVEL THREE: Thunderstep, Glyph of Warding
- LEVEL FOUR: Storm Sphere (Thunder), Elemental Bane
- LEVEL FIVE: Destructive Wave, Telekinesis
TOPAZ DRAGON EXPANDED SPELL LIST
- LEVEL ONE: Arms of Hadar, Hex
- LEVEL TWO: Wither and Bloom, Ray of Enfeeblement
- LEVEL THREE: Vampiric Touch, Revivify
- LEVEL FOUR: Blight, Aura of Life
- LEVEL FIVE: Contagion, Negative Energy Flood