Dragon (Mystara), General Information

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Dragon (Mystara), General Information

Like other AD&D game worlds, the Mystara campaign features mighty dragons. Some Mystaran species exist nowhere else. Others grace the skies of distant worlds too, but Mystaran varieties may display subtle differences.

The table below lists all the dragons currently known to inhabit Mystara. All but four - crystalline, jade, onyx, and ruby - are fully detailed in the Monstrous Manual. As noted above, some peculiarities distinguish these familiar dragons in the Mystara campaign. Variations are described below; otherwise, the Monstrous Manual description still applies. For more complete information on dragons in general, see Dragon, General Information.

Alignment: More than any other factor, alignment sets Mystaran dragons apart from those of other realms. Traditional AD&D game dragons are concerned most about the good-evil axis; chromatic, metallic, and gem dragons tend to stay with their own kind because of their common philosophies of evil, good, or neutrality.

On Mystara, the law-chaos axis is considerably more important. Dragons who favor order, cooperation, and civilization are opposed by those who endorse individualism, wild living, and destruction. When it comes to good and evil Mystaran dragons are predominantly neutral.

Mystaran dragons who interact with player characters often consider law and chaos first, and good and evil second. For example, a Mystaran gold dragon (always lawful and usually good) probably would assist a lawful man before a chaotic one, whether that character is depraved or princely. (On the other hand, if it would benefit the cause of law and goodness to assist an individual, so much the better.)

Mystaran Dragons Table
DragonHit Dice*Alignment**
Lawful Dragons
Ruby ††1415%/80%/5%
Neutral Dragons
Jade ††1330%/60%/10%
Onyx ††1210%/80%/10%
Chaotic Dragons
* The “Hit Dice” column lists standard hit dice for a juvenile specimen.
** The percentages listed give an idea of the alignment variations in Mystaran dragons. These are guidelines only; an individual dragon's alignment can be whatever the DM needs it to be for a given adventure. Only the law/chaos part of the alignment is rigid.
† Mystara's crystalline dragons are quite different from the crystal dragons from other AD&D game worlds. They have their own entry, therefore, in this appendix.
†† Like their crystalline cousins, the ruby, jade, and onyx dragons are new species of gem dragons unique to Mystara. Each has a full entry on the upcoming pages. (Cf. also the Dragon, Neutral, Jade page.)
‡ The Monstrous Manual includes a “brown dragon”. Mystarans know this creature as the “amber dragon” because its scales, which are normally opaque and brown, become as translucent as amber during key stages of its development (adolescence and extreme age - roughly, the very young and young age categories, plus very old and older). Apart from this variation in appearance, and amber dragons' tendency toward chaotic good alignment, they are practically identical to the brown dragon described in the Monstrous Manual in terms of habitat, combat, and special abilities.(Cf. also the Dragon, Neutral, Amber page.)

Gem Dragons: The gem dragons of Mystara differ from those of other AD&D game worlds in one key area: Mystaran dragons lack psionic ability. As far as anyone knows, the pionic species of gem dragons do not exist here.

As mentioned above, Mystara offers four species of gem dragon all its own: crystalline, jade, onyx, and ruby. Like standard gem dragons, these creatures have a smaller chance of causing fear than other dragons. The parenthetical fear save modifiers on the Dragon, General Information page's Dragon Table apply.

Languages: All of the new Mystaran dragons have a chance of being able to communicate with any intelligent creature. The chance is 15% for hatchlings, and increases 5% per age category of the dragon. In addition, these dragons speak their own languages and the tongue of all gem dragons (and perhaps others, as mentioned in their descriptions).

Special Attacks and Defenses: Remember, besides breath weapons and spellcasting, dragons have a whole arsenal of special attacks, ranging from fear to tail slaps. Even the least intelligent dragon is very crafty, and will use all possible attacks and strategies to the best possible benefit.