A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up a dozen alternate dragon breath weapons to help reskin your dragon to make each one feel like a unique challenge (and to be honest, to encourage DMs to use dragons more frequently in their adventures).
For more like this, check out my Random Dragon Breath and Reskinning Dragons articles.
d12 Random Dragon Breaths
- Temporal Assault (cone) – Those failing their save against this strange energy blast are sent forward in time 1d4+1 combat rounds (they disappear and reappear in that many rounds in exactly the place and condition they left in – if they would appear within someone or something else, they are shunted aside until they can appear somewhere “safe”).
- Steam (cloud)
- Disintegration (line) – Treat as normal dragon breath, but those who fail their save and are reduced to zero or fewer hit points are completely disintegrated. Anyone making their save but still being reduced to -20 or lower are also disintegrated. Inanimate objects treat the breath weapon as the disintegrate spell.
- Mental Anguish (cone) – Wisdom bonuses are applied on saving throws against this breath weapon. Those failing the save are also stunned for 1 round.
- Vile Poison (line)
- Searing Light (line) – Deals double damage against undead, shadows and similar creatures. Goblins and other creatures sensitive to light suffer a -2 penalty on saving throws.
- Spellwrack (cone) – This blast of energy is particularly devastating against spellcasters and magical creatures like golems, unicorns, and other dragons. These targets suffer a -4 penalty on saving throws, and if they fail their saves, they also lose the ability to cast spells or use magical abilities for 1d6 hours.
- Ill Fortune (cone) – Deals half the normal damage, but those who fail their saves are also subject to a curse from the random curse table.
- Chaos (cone) – Deals damage mixed of cold, heat, electricity, sound and pure magic. Resistance to any one of these provides no reduction to the damage, but a +2 bonus on saving throws against the breath weapon. Lawful victims suffer a -4 penalty on their saving throw.
- Amber (line) – Deals half the normal damage. Those failing their saving throws are sealed in amber for 1d6 turns, which is treated as being held by a hold monster spell.
- Incorporeal (cone) – This cone strikes through any cover or obstacle, further, any creature that is ethereal, astral, or otherwise out of phase within the area of effect that fails it’s save becomes fully material in the plane of the dragon for 1d8 turns.
- Law (line) – Deals force damage, chaotic victims suffer a -4 penalty on their saving throws. Targets failing their saves are stunned for 1d3 rounds.
The mental image of a PC being sealed in amber is somehow especially awesome this morning. I’ll definitely include some monsters with unusual breath weapons when I’m stocking entries from “Dyson’s Delves” (that arrived the other day)… Keep up the great work!
Dyson Logos said:
I hadn’t thought of it at the time of writing, but it totally reminds me of “Fringe” now.
These are awesome, is there any reason that 2 and 5 don’t have descriptions?
Dyson Logos said:
Those two have no description because they are just “standard” breath weapons – they deal damage like any other breath weapon and have no secondary effects.
A good listing of alternate breath weapons, I personally love both Spellwrack and Ill Fortune the best! Oh what they could do for an overzealous party of Dragonslayers who think they are prepared for everything!
And I am WOWZERS for the dragon artwork!! Where you find that beastie pic, Dyson?
Dyson Logos said:
Is sexy, yes… random google image search dug it up for me.