Dragonet, Geyser Dragon

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Dragonet, Geyser Dragon
Climate/Terrain:Geysers and hot springs
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Low (5-7)
No. Appearing:1 or 2-8
Armor Class:4
Movement:9, fly 24 (B), swim 24
Hit Dice:1-3
THAC0:1-2 HD: 19
3HD: 17
No. of Attacks:3
Damage/Attack:1 HD: 1/1-2/1-2
2 HD: 1-2/1-3/1-3
3 HD: 1-3/1-4/1-4
Special Attacks:Breath weapon
Special Defenses:Boiling blood
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:T to S (2-4' long)
Morale:Steady (12)
XP Value:1 HD: 120
2 HD: 175
3 HD:270

Geyser dragons are tiny, wingless dragonets that dwell (as their name suggests) in regions of geysers and hot springs. Their bodies are long and serpentine, and their legs are very short. Long fins trail out from behind their shoulders and hips, and they move with the fluidity of a swimming eel, even while flying or scurrying along the ground. Water vapor billows around their hot bodies as they move. Their scales are greenish blue flecked with silver.

Combat: Suffering from delusions of true dragonhood, geyser dragons throw themselves into battle, biting and raking with their tiny claws. More fearsome than their claws and teeth, though, is their breath weapon. Three times a day, a geyser dragon can project a jet of boiling water from its mouth, forming a cone 50' long and 10' in diameter at the far end. The damage inflicted by this water and steam depends on the size of the dragonet. A 1-HD geyser dragon causes 2d6 points of damage (half with a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon). A 2-HD dragonet causes 2d8 points of damage, while a 3-HD specimen causes 2d12 points of damage.

Like firedrakes, geyser dragons have hot and highly pressurized blood that erupts in a jet of boiling liquid and steam when the dragonet is struck by a sharp weapon. A character making a successful attack on the dragonet with a slashing or piercing melee weapon must make a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon or suffer 1d2 points of damage.

Geyser dragons are immune to heat-based attacks. Fire does affect them, but they gain a +4 bonus to saving throws vs. fire-based attacks and cannot suffer more than half damage from such attacks, even if a saving throw fails.

Habitat/Society: Geyser dragons live in springs warmed by magma. Several dragonets share a nest - generally a small cavern barely large enough for their coiled bodies - sleeping and mating at night. During the day, they swim in the boiling water, chasing steam bubbles, and come to the surface to hunt animal prey. Occasionally a hunting geyser dragon finds its way into a bath house or other human structure built around a hot spring. Overconfident in the extreme, a single geyser dragon does not hesitate to attack animals much larger than itself; these dragonets have an unusually high mortality rate as a result, though their natural lifespans are 21-32 years. Fortunately for them, they breed quickly and often, and they have few predators in their underground environment. Geyser dragons have gills and nostrils, and can breathe air or water with equal ease.

Geyser dragons, believing themselves far mightier than they are, attach themselves only to human companions they perceive to be equally powerful. This means that a geyser dragon's companion is usually as boastfully arrogant as the dragonet itself. Geyser dragons can communicate via empathy with their companions but have no additional telepathic abilities.

Ecology: Wild and willful hunters, geyser dragons take what they can from the food chain, while often falling prey to larger predators. No wizard or alchemist has ever reported salvaging anything useful from a geyser dragon's corpse. Even their blood evaporates quickly when they are killed.