View Full Version : Chameleon Dragon (3.5)

2009-03-16, 01:34 AM

{table=head]Age | Size | Hit Dice (hp) | Str | Dex | Con | Int | Wis | Cha | Base Attack/Grapple |Attack| Fort| Ref| Will| Breath Weapon DC| Frightful Presence
Wyrmling | S | 6d12+6 (45) | 13 | 10 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 14 | +6/+3 | +8 | +6 | +5 | +7 | 14 |
Very young | M | 9d12+18 (76) | 15 | 10 | 15 | 14 | 15 | 14 | +9/+11 | +11 |+8 | +6 | +9 | 16 |
Young | M | 12d12+24 (102) | 17 | 10 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 16 | +12/+15 | +15 |+10 | +8 | +11 | 18|
Juvenile | L | 15d12+45 (142) | 19 | 10 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 18 | +15/+23| +18 | +12 | +9 | +14 | 20|
Young adult | L | 18d12+72 (189) | 23 | 10 | 19 | 18 | 19 | 18 | +18/+28 | +23 | +15 | +11 | +15 | 23| 23
Adult | H | 21d12+105 (241) | 27 | 10 | 21 | 20 | 21 | 20 | +21/+37 | +27 | +17 | +12 | +18 | 25| 25
Mature adult | H | 24d12+120 (276) | 29 | 10 | 21 | 20 | 21 | 20 | +24/+41 | +31 | +19 | +14 | +19 | 27| 27
Old | H | 27d12+162 (337) | 31 | 10 | 23 | 22 | 23 | 22 | +27/+45 | +35 | +21 | +15 | +22 | 29| 29
Very old | H | 30d12+180 (375) | 33 | 10 | 23 | 22 | 23 | 22 | +30/+49 | +39 | +23 | +17 | +23 | 31| 31
Ancient | G | 33d12+231 (445) | 35 | 10 | 25 | 24 | 25 | 24 | +33/+57| +41 | +25 | +18 | +25 | 33| 33
Wyrm | G | 36d12+288 (522) | 37 | 10 | 27 | 26 | 27 | 26 | +36/+61 | +45 | +28 | +20 | +28 | 36| 36
Great wyrm | G | 39d12+312 (565) | 39 | 10 | 27 | 26 | 27 | 26 | +39/+65 | +49 | +29 | +21 | +29 | 37| 37

{table=head]Age | Speed | Initiative | AC | Special Abilities | Caster Level| SR
Wyrmling| 40 ft, fly 100 ft (average), climb 40 ft| +0| 16 , touch 11, flat-footed 16| Chameleon, Detect Thoughts, Imitate (20%)| |
Very Young| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft| +0| 18, touch 10, flat-footed 18| Imitate (40%)| |
Young| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft| +0| 21, touch 10, flat-footed 21| Alternate form | 1st|
Juvenile| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft| +0| 23, touch 9, flat-footed 23| Imitate (50%)| 3rd|
Young Adult| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft| +0 |26, touch 9, flat-footed 23 |DR 5/magic |5th |20
Adult| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft |+0 |28, touch 8, flat-footed 28 |Sanctuary, Calm Emotions, Imitate (70%) |7th |22
Mature Adult| 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft |+0 |31, touch 8, flat-footed 31 |DR 10/magic |9th |23
Old |40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft |+0 |34, touch 8, flat-footed 34 |Invisibility |11th |25
Very Old |40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), climb 40 ft |+0 |37, touch 8, flat-footed 37 |DR 15/magic |13th |26
Ancient |40 ft, fly 200 ft (clumsy), climb 40 ft |+0 |38, touch 6, flat-footed 38 |Mislead, Imitate (90%) |15th |28
Wyrm | 40 ft, fly 200 ft (clumsy), climb 40 ft |+0 |41, touch 6, flat-footed 41 |DR 20/magic |17th |29
Great Wyrm |40 ft, fly 200 ft (clumsy), climb 40 ft |+0 |44, touch 6, flat-footed 44 |Greater Teleport |19th |31

Challenge Rating: Wyrmling 3; Very Young 5; Young 7; Juvenile 9; Young Adult 12; Adult 15; Mature Adult 17; Old 19; Very Old 20; Ancient 22; Wyrm 23; Great Wyrm 25
Alignment: Always lawful evil

Chameleon Dragons can cast spells from the Travel and Trickery domains as arcane spells.

In it's natural form a wyrmling chameleon dragon is a deep emerald colour. As the dragon ages the colour darkens to the point where it is nearly black. They have a single horn on their snout and a thick frill that protects their short neck. The pupils of a chameleon dragon fade as it gets older, turning it's eyes a bright green. A chameleon dragon's scales are smooth and flat, and it's tail is normally curled up when it isn't needed for flying or combat.

A chameleon dragon is an unusual breed of dragon that, though native to the Material Plane, taps into the energies of the Plane of Shadow to imitate other dragons. These dragons gather their hordes through trickery and subterfuge, often taking the form of a dragon to earn it's trust before stealing from it's horde and vanishing. Their ability to change their appearance at will makes them incredibly effective theives, and has earned them quite a dirty reputation amongst other dragons. Should another dragon discover their true identity it is usually necessary for them to relocate, as other dragons would automatically assume that they did not 'earn' their horde in a respectible way and they are quick to take advantage of the chameleon dragon's lack of physical power. The number of chameleon dragons in the world is no more accurate than that of dopplegangers or other shape shifters, as they prefer to hide amongst other dragons and rarely reveal themselves to anyone they don't plan on eating.

Chameleon dragons are considerably weaker than most dragons, and as such avoid combat whenever possible. The prefered tactic is to disguise themselves as a more powerful dragon and hope they can scare off their enemies before battle draws out too long. It is rare that a chameleon dragon will fight to the death while escape is still an option, even if it's horde is at risk. This does not mean that chameleon dragons are incapable of defending themselves when needed. If they cannot use their spells to avoid combat, they will use the full extent of their powers to kill an opponent. The favoured tactic is to use their speed, climbing, and ability to blend in with their surroundings to set up hit-and-run attacks.

Breath Weapon (Su)
In it's natural form a chameleon dragon has two breath weapons. The first is a cone of confusion gas, against which creatures must succeed on a Will save or be confused for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon. The second attack allows the dragon to shoot it's tongue out at a target. The tongue is used as a reach weapon with a range based on the dragon's bite attack. It is a touch attack, and any target hit by the tongue becomes stuck to the strong sticky substance coating it. If the target is at least one size category smaller than the dragon the dragon may make an immediate Snatch attempt on the target. If successful the target is immediately pulled to the dragon's mouth. If the target is the same size as the dragon or larger, the dragon may instead use it's tongue to attempt to trip the target.

All-Around Vision (Ex)
A chameleon dragon's eyes, in it's natural form, are capable of moving independantly of each other, allowing the dragon to see in all directions at once. While in it's natural form a chameleon dragon gets a +4 racial bonus to Search and Spot checks, and cannot be flanked.

Chameleon (Su)
A chameleon dragon has the ability to alter it's appearance at will. As a standard action a chameleon dragon can change it's colour to match it's surroundings. This grants the dragon a +10 enhancement bonus on Hide checks.

Imitate (Su)
A chameleon dragon can tap into the energies of the shadow plane to alter it's shape and take on the appearance and abilities of other dragons. When using it's ability this way the dragon can make itself appear as any other type of dragon of the same size as itself. This cannot be used to turn into an undead or construct. While in this form the dragon gets a +10 bonus on Disguise checks to pretend it is a dragon of the new type. This ability takes 10 minutes to be used and lasts until the dragon assumes a new form or chooses to end it. The chameleon dragon gains certain traits of the new dragon, though they are not as powerful as a normal dragon of the new type. The percentage of power the chameleon dragon is able to access in these new forms is listed in the chart above.

Breath Weapon
The chameleon dragon loses it's natural breath weapon and gains any breath weapons the new form possesses. Breath weapons that deal damage deal a % of that damage instead, while weapons with a duration have their duration reduced. The DCs of the new breath weapons are the same as the normal DCs for a chameleon dragon's breath weapon.

Immunities and Damage Resistance
Any energy immunities the new form has instead reduce the damage taken by a %. Any immunities to non-damaging effects (confusion, sleep, etc) becomes a % chance that the effect does nothing. The chameleon dragon does not gain any new damage resistances.

Spell-like Abilities
The chameleon dragon loses it's spell-like abilities, except Detect Thoughts, and gains those of the new form. Spell-like abilities of the new form are cast as if they were shadow versions of the normal spell, using the % for the Imitate ability to determine their effectiveness.

Physical Traits
A chameleon dragon loses all of it's movement speeds and gains those of the new form. It loses all extraordinary abilities and gains those of the new form. It does not gain any of the new form's supernatural abilities unless specified otherwise, nor does it gain any additional hp, hit dice, or increase to it's physical ability scores.

Alternate Form (Su)
A young or older chameleon dragon can assume any animal or humanoid form of Medium size or smaller as a standard action three times per day. The dragon can remain in its animal or humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its natural form.

Spell-like Abilities:
At Will - Detect Thoughts; 3/day - Sanctuary (Adult or older), Calm Emotions (Adult or older), Invisibility (Old or older), Mislead (Ancient or older); 1/day - Greater Teleport (Great Wyrm)

Chameleon dragons get a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks, a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks when in their natural form.

This is my first attempt at homebrewing a monster. The general idea behind the chameleon dragon is pretty much the same with dopplegangers. (Or at least how I see them) It's to make the players think they're up against something that really isn't all that bad after all. I allowed the dragon to change into any other dragon of the same size so that it could pretend to be much more powerful than it actually is, scaring off adventurers looking for a fight. I put the 10 minute casting time on the imitate ability to make it difficult at best to be used in the middle of combat. This way if adventurers show up prepared to fight a red dragon it can't gain an unfair advantage and change to a white dragon the second it realizes it's fire attacks do nothing. It can still return to it's natural form quickly and use it's abilities to get away if needed though. The stat block is pretty much the mental stats of a silver dragon with the physical stats of a bronze dragon. I wanted it to be weak, but craftier than most dragons so it can remain hidden.

Any advice on what I can do to improve this?

2009-03-16, 02:11 AM
Chameleon dragons, in their natural form, are only capable of creating a cone of confusion gas with their breath attack. Creatures within the cone must succeed on a Will save or be confused for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon.
In it's natural form a chameleon dragon has two breath weapons. The first is a cone of confusion gas, against which creatures must succeed on a Will save or be confused for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per age category of the dragon. ...
The bolded segments seem contradictory. Besides that, I haven't given it a real good look.

2009-03-16, 04:41 AM
I like it. I can just imagine the look on the players' faces when they make elaborate preparations to fight the local red dragon (fire immunity, etc), only to have it transform two rounds in and start breathing confusion gas at them. :smallamused:

I would, however, increase its climb speed, especially based on how much they seem to rely on it:

The favoured tactic is to use their speed, climbing, and ability to blend in with their surroundings to set up hit-and-run attacks.

I'd suggest either 30', so that it has the same 10' bonus over the standard climb that it does over standard land speed, or else a full 40', making it equally at home on land or in the trees/crags/whatever. If you want to compensate for this enhanced ability, you could say that its wings aren't as fully developed as most dragons, and as such it needs to take off from an elevated area (so it relies on its climb speed in order to fly).

2009-03-16, 05:27 AM
Sounds fun. It would be particularly nice to play one of these, via the rules in Draconomicon. I'm not too hot on weighing up crunch, as a whole, but the stats you've chosen (mental of Silver, physical of Bronze) seem a tad on the strong side for "weak but crafty". I'd like to suggest instead taking the mental stats of Bronze/Red, and physical of Copper/Brass/Black/White - equally smart as or smarter than all dragons but Gold and Silver, but in the weakest echelon physically.

2009-03-16, 12:33 PM
New version is up. I removed the confusing description for the breath weapon. (It was originally supposed to be just the confusing gas with the tongue usable whenever it wasn't biting, but that seemed a little stronger than I'd like. I guess I forgot to take off that first part when I changed it. -_-')

Climb speed's been boosted to be the same as the move speed. Climbing is more beneficial during combat while in natural form anyway just because it's harder to hide while flying.

And I've brought the mental stats down to Bronze/Red level. Makes sense that this thing wouldn't be a super genius. I've also made it capable of using Detect Thoughts while in any form. Physical stats are still the same. I don't want it to be able to take on other dragons effectively. :smalltongue: