Dragon, Steel (Draconomicon)

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Dragon, Steel (Draconomicon)
Climate/Terrain:Temperate cities; rarely, temperate/hills, barrens, or forested hills
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Supra-genius (19-20)
Alignment:Lawful neutral (good)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:-2 (base)
Movement:12, Fl 30(C)
Hit Dice:12 (base)
THAC0:9 (base)
No. of Attacks:3 + special
Special Attacks:Special
Special Defenses:Variable
Magic Resistance:Variable
Size:H (25' base)
Morale:Fanatic (17-18)
XP Value:Variable

Steel dragons love to have human and demihuman companions, and they prefer to live amid the hustle and bustle of great cities. They often pose as sages, scholars, mages, or other intellectuals.

Although considerably smaller than many of its kin, the steel dragon shares the strength and robustness typical of other dragons. Its scales are a bright metallic grey reminiscent of brushed steel, ranging to a darker hue - almost like blued gunmetal - on the creature's underside and toward its tail. The membranes of its wings have the sheen of fine silk.

Steel dragons speak their own tongue, the tongue common to all non-evil dragons, and all commonlyused human and demihuman tongues.

There is almost certainly a close relationship between the steel dragon and the Greyhawk dragon of Oerth.

Combat: At heart a peaceful creature, the steel dragon avoids combat where it can. If conflict is inevitable, however, it fights with great intelligence and lethality, using a claw/claw/bite attack routine.

Breath Weapon/Special Abilities: Three times per day the dragon can exhale a highly potent gas that has an effect similar to the feign death spell. Characters exposed to the gas must roll a successful saving throw vs. poison with a -4 penalty, or fall into a comatose state, virtually indistinguishable from death, which lasts for 2d10 turns. The maximum amount it can exhale would fill a cube 30 feet on a side; however, the dragon can carefully meter the amount. The gas is quickly absorbed through the skin, which is just as effective as if breathed. Partial protection can be gained through coating all exposed skin with lard or other grease, as this attenuates the effect of the gas (the penalty is now only - 2). The gas's effectiveness is very shortlived - within two minutes of exposure to oxygen, the gas becomes inert.

In preference to any physical attack, the dragon is likely to use magic. From birth, it can polymorph self five times per day. Each change in form lasts until the dragon chooses a different form; reverting to the dragon's normal form does not count as a change. Steel dragons cast their spells and use their magical abilities at 11th level, plus its combat modifier.

As they age, they gain the following additional powers:

Youngdetect lie three times a day
Juvenilecharm person three times a day
Adultsuggestion once a day
Mature Adultantipathy/sympathy twice a day
Old imbue with spell ability once a day.

The steel dragon is immune to wizard spells of 1st through 4th level. Against all other magical effects, it has a magic resistance of 75% (regardless of age). It can use all magical items permitted to the wizard class.

Habitat/Society: Because of its love for and fascination with humanity and demihumanity, the steel dragon often lives polymorphed into human form. Its favored habitat is a large city, where it frequently owns a big house. Steel dragons are sometimes the centers of artistic and intellectual gatherings - poetry readings, discussion groups, etc. In their human identities, these artistically inclined dragons are sometimes well-known among the intelligentsia and patrons of the arts. They keep their true nature secret.

Most steel dragons, however, are less outgoing. Although by no means antisocial or reclusive, they limit themselves to a small group of friends and acquaintances. These confidants can come from all walks of life, but they are usually selected on the basis of their access to interesting and hard-to-obtain information. Steel dragons with this outlook often become clearinghouses or brokers of valuable information and intelligence.

Food is usually the creature's biggest problem: Although it might take the form of a man or woman, it must eat enough to maintain its true bulk. Every two weeks or so, it drops out of sight and travels to nearby wilderness areas (where it might claim to own a hunting lodge). Here it hunts, making up for its enforced fast (at least, by dragon standards) in the city. Like other dragons, the steel variety is omnivorous, but it prefers fresh meat. It never eats domesticated herds, preying instead on wild animals - particularly those baneful to humankind.

Steel dragons are very rare creatures. Even the largest city might have only one or two living (secretly) in its midst. Although they take stringent precautions to prevent their true nature from being discovered, one steel dragon can recognize another on sight. Dragons in the same city are usually on good terms, visiting each other's homes, and occasionally going on "hunting trips" together. Every 12 years, a steel dragon seeks a mate. Ideally this mate is from the same city, although steel dragons have been known to range far and wide searching for just the right companion. The couple retires to the wilderness, where they raise a single offspring. Once the youngster is old enough to fend successfully for itself - about 15 years - the parents return to their separate lives, although they will usually remain close; they are always ready to help the offspring if it gets itself into serious trouble. The creatures rarely select the same mate twice.

Ecology: Steel dragons can be found - if they wish to be found - in any large town or city. They are at the top of the food chain, with no natural enemies. In cities, they rarely work as artisans, preferring to act as collectors and disseminators of information (like sages).

AgeBody Lgt. (')Tail Lgt. (')ACBreath WeaponSpells W/PMRTreas. TypeXP Value
1 Hatchling 3-62-51 SpecialNil75%Nil1,400
2 Very young 6-115-90 SpecialNil75%Nil2,000
3 Young 9-179-13-1 SpecialNil75%Nil4,000
4 Juvenile 13-2113-18-2 Special175%½H7,000
5 Young adult 18-2418-20-3 Special2 175%H9,000
6 Adult 20-2720-23-4 Special2 2 175%H10,000
7 Mature adult 23-3023-26-5 Special3 2 275%H11,000
8 Old 26-3326-29-6 Special3 3 2 175%H×2, I13,000
9 Very old 29-3629-32-7 Special3 3 3 275%H×2, I14,000
10 Venerable 32-3932-35-8 Special3 3 3 3 175%H×3, I15,000
11 Wyrm 35-4125-38-9 Special3 3 3 3 2 175%H×3, I, X16,000
12 Great Wyrm 41-4438-41-10Special3 3 3 3 2 2 175%H×3, I, T, X17,000