Dragon, Shadow

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Dragon, Shadow
Climate/Terrain:Non-arctic/Ruins, subterranean, and plane of Shadow
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Solitary or clan
Activity Cycle:Nocturnal (any on the plane of Shadow)
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1 (2-5)
Armor Class:-4 (base)
Movement:18, Fl 30 (D), Jp 3
Hit Dice:12 (base)
THAC0:9 (base)
No. of Attacks:3 + special
Special Attacks:Special
Special Defenses:Variable
Magic Resistance:Variable
Size:H (21' base)
Morale:Champion (16)
XP Value:Variable

Shadow dragons are sly and devious. They are instinctively cunning and are not prone to taking risks.

At all ages, a shadow dragon's scales and body are translucent, so that when viewed from a distance it appears to be a mass of shadows.

Shadow dragons speak their own tongue and a tongue common to all evil dragons. Also, 17% of hatchling shadow dragons can speak with any intelligent creature. The chance to possess this ability increases 5% per age category.

Combat: Shadow dragons prefer to attack from hiding, usually employing invisibility or hiding in shadows. They use illusion/phantasm spells to confuse and misdirect foes. Older dragons are especially fond of their non-detection ability.

Breath Weapon/Special Abilities: A shadow dragon's breath weapon is a cloud of blackness that is 40 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 20 feet high. Creatures caught in the cloud are blinded for one melee round and lose ¼ (round up) of their life energy (levels or Hit Dice); a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon reduces the loss to ½ (round up). The life energy loss persists for a variable number of turns, shown on the table below. Negative plane protection spells prevent this life energy loss. A character who is reduced to 0 or fewer levels lapses into a coma for the duration of the cloud's effect. A shadow dragon casts spells and uses its magical abilities at 6th level plus its combat modifier.

Shadow dragons are born immune to energy draining and with the ability to hide in shadows with 40% chance of success; this ability increases 5% per age category to a maximum of 95%. As they age, they gain the following additional powers:

Juvenile: mirror image three times a day (1d4+1 images); Adult: dimension door twice a day; Old: non-detection three times a day; Venerable: shadow walk once a day; Great wyrm: create shadows three times a day. (This ability creates a mass of leaping shadows with a radius of 100 yards, duration one hour. All magical {and normal} light and darkness sources are negated for as long as they remain in the radius. Creatures able to hide in shadows can do so in these magical shadows even if under direct observation. Shadow dragons and other creatures from the plane of Shadow can move and attack normally while hiding in these shadows, effectively giving them improved invisibility. A successful dispel magic spell banishes the shadows.)

Habitat/Society: Shadow dragons hate both bright light and total darkness, preferring variegated lighting with patches of diffuse light and deep, inky shadows. On the Prime Material plane, their lairs are always places that provide shadowy light for most of the day. They prefer ancient ruins, where they can hide underground when the sun is bright and still find shadows above ground during dawn and twilight. In the plane of Shadow, they live in dense thickets of trees and brambles, fortified castles, or labyrinthine caves. In either plane, they prefer to locate their lairs near colonies of other creatures that can alert them to potential foes or victims. The dragons seldom actually cooperate with these allies, however, though the dragons commonly prey on them.

Shadow dragons love dark-colored, opaque gems, and especially prize black stones. They also collect magical items that produce shadows or darkness. They use these items to turn areas filled with total darkness or light into masses of shadows.

Ecology: Shadow dragons eat almost anything. Their favorite food is rotting carrion, though they often kill for sport. Slain victims are left to decay until they become suitably foul. These dragons are equally fond of frost-killed, waterlogged, or salt-poisoned plants.

AgeBody Lgt. (')Tail Lgt. (')ACBreath WeaponSpells W/PMRTreas. TypeXP Value
1 Hatchling1-41-3-11d4+1Nil5%Nil4,000
2 Very young4-113-8-21d4+2Nil10%Nil6,000
3 Young11-188-13-32d4+1Nil15%Nil8,000
4 Juvenile18-2313-18-42d4+2220%½H,S10,000
5 Young adult23-2918-23-53d4+12 225%H,S11,000
6 Adult29-3623-28-63d4+22 2 230%H,S13,000
7 Mature adult36-4228-33-74d4+12 2 2 2/135%H,S15,000
8 Old42-4833-38-84d4+22 2 2 2 2/240%H,S×217,000
9 Very old48-5538-43-95d4+12 2 2 2 2 2/345%H,S×219,000
10 Venerable55-6143-48-105d4+24 2 2 2 2 2/3 150%H,S×220,000
11 Wyrm61-6748-53-116d4+14 4 2 2 2 2/3 255%H,S×321,000
12 Great Wyrm67-7453-58-126d4+24 4 4 2 2 2/3 360%H,S×322,000