Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monsterize Me! Ancient Red Dragon (4E, PF)

I've been getting a few requests over at Pelgrane Press' forums regarding the conversion of monsters from other systems to 13th Age.  While I've already given my guidelines in the thread, I think it's appropriate that I  dedicate a portion of my blog to converting monsters as well, using information found in Pelgrane Press' archives and, from time to time, my own creative twist to them.

The monster featured today is the Ancient Red Dragon, found in both D&D 4E and Pathfinder.  The most iconic type of dragon -- so iconic that one of the Three (an Icon in 13th Age) is a red dragon called the Red -- this dragon breathes scorching flames that incinerates just about anything in its path, and the destruction this creature can bring when it reaches Ancient status is phenomenal... but still not yet to the level that the legendary Red can bring (I think).

Dragon, Red (Huge Ancient)

level 10 Wrecker, Initiative +9


Greater Fear Aura (72 HP): Creatures with hit points equal to or lower than the given threshold suffer the Fear condition.
Fire 10 Aura: Creatures engaged with the Red Dragon take 10 Fire damage on their turn
Resist 18 Fire: Magical fire attacks must roll 18+ (no bonuses) to deal full damage.  Rolling too low results in half damage.  Mundane fire has no effect on the Red Dragon.
Vulnerable Cold: Cold attacks that critically hit the Red Dragon deals quadruple damage instead of double damage.
Dangerous: The Red Dragon's crit range while wounded is 17+.
And Again: A natural 16+ on the attack roll allows the Red Dragon to make an additional attack


Claw: +16 vs. AC, 165 (30d10) damage, hit disengages the target
Bite: +15 vs. AC, 210 (6d6 x10) damage
Tail Sweep: Quick action, +14 vs. PD, 75 (15d10) damage, hit disengages the target unless the target chooses to lose its next move action
Furnace Roar: Daily, Quick action, +15 vs. PD, 1d3 nearby creatures or each creature engaged with the Red Dragon, 165 fire damage and ongoing 15 fire damage. Recharges when the dragon makes an even miss with Claw, Bite or Tail Sweep.


AC 26
PD 23
MD 21

HP 648


(remove the And Again trait if you choose to use these)

Claw, Claw, Bite
ONE or TWO enemies that are nearby the dragon (due to the size of the dragon it can reach them even if they are not engaged with it).
Claw: +16 vs. AC, 150 damage.
Hit on a Natural 16+ '... Claw'  extra 150 damage (total of 300)
Hit on a Natural 18+ '... Bite' extra 200 damage (total of 500!)
Special (always): A miss causes the target to pop free as it is knocked away by the edge of the dragon's swipe.
Special (odd miss): A natural odd miss causes the dragon to catch you with it's tail. (Tail Sweep: 75 damage and target is either knocked far away if possible or is stunned until the end of the targets next turn).
Special (even miss): A natural even miss enrages the dragon, recharging it's Furnace Roar and allowing it to use it if it has yet to use it this round.
Furnace Roar
Daily, Quick action, +15 vs. PD, 1d3 creatures in a group, 150 fire damage and ongoing 15 fire damage. Recharges when the dragon makes a natural even miss with the Claw/Claw/Bite attack.

- - - - -
Author's Note: With the number of attacks this Red Dragon can already generate, I see little reason for adding stuff like Cleave and Multiattack.  In addition, GMs who want a more caster-like Red Dragon can choose spells from the Sorcerer or Wizard class, but I generally assume that these abilities alone can be a bit taxing on the micromanagement and the overall build would make it very difficult (if at all possible) to take on this behemoth.

Fear Aura normally applies to creatures engaged to the one that has the aura, but I'm keen on making this monster a truly epic threat, which is why I'll be bending/breaking the normal rules on the Fear aura and have anyone who is heavily wounded and seeing the majesty of an enraged powerhouse that the Ancient Red Dragon is to seriously, seriously consider running away...

Update: I originally had the Tail Swipe's effect to be "and the target must choose to either remain engaged to the Red Dragon or lose its next move action", but an interesting comment made me consider the revision as found above.

Update: I added Ash Law's suggestion as an alternative for those who want less rolls and faster round resolution.  At first I thought of replacing the original attacks, but some groups may actually prefer the longer turn and higher tension from the multi-attacking Ancient Red Dragon, as the And Again trait easily allows this beast to make a lot of attacks.  So, I place the two sets side by side, with the decision to use which type of Red Dragon left to the GM running it.

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