Other True Dragons Sept 1, 2009 13:53:05 GMT -5
Post by Retired DM Dark Herald on Sept 1, 2009 13:53:05 GMT -5
Environment: Warm deserts
Organization: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (3–6); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1–2 and 3–6 offspring)
Challenge Rating: Wyrmling 2; very young 3; young 5; juvenile 7; young adult 9; adult 12; mature adult 14; old 16; very old 18; ancient 21; wyrm 24; great wyrm 27
Treasure: Double standard
Advancement: Wyrmling 4–5 HD; very young 7–8 HD; young 10–11 HD; juvenile 13–14 HD; young adult 16–17 HD; adult 19–20 HD; mature adult 22–23 HD; old 25–26 HD; very old 28–29 HD; ancient 31–32 HD; wyrm 35–36 HD; great wyrm 37+ HD
Level Adjustment: Wyrmling +2; very young +2; young +3; juvenile +3; young adult +4; others —
This dragon’s head is a moss of thick, short horns in irregular rings around its snout, jaws, and neck, giving its entire head a distinct appearance reminiscent of a lamprey. Its large scales ore a dark graybrown, and a crest of broad, short spines runs from its head to the tip of its tail. A membranous frill runs between these spines down the length of the dragon’s body, allowing it to undulate through the air rather than flop like other dragons. The dragon smells of dust and dirt.
Sand dragons are violent, irritable, and cunning creatures, given to raiding farms for cattle, but leaving the farmers alive as a sign of “mercy” (never mind that the dragon has just devoured the farmer’s livelihood). Not exactly evil, but definitely not good, sand dragons are motivated only by what is good for their own survival. In fact, they have a difficult time understanding why any living creature would think any other way.
Sand dragons lay their eggs deep within the sand of the desert, which is partly responsible for their name. As the eggs hatch, the hatchling dragons claw their way up to the surface, giving the impression that the dragons spring spontaneously from the sand. Even at that age, sand dragons have fully developed horns and claws, enabling them to burrow just as easily as their parents. Sand dragon wings are actually not wings at all, but thin membranes of a similar consistency and material to regular dragon wings. These membranes stretch between a double row of spikes that run the length of a sand dragon’s back, from the base of its skull to the tip of its tail. These spines can collapse flat along a sand dragon’s back when it burrows, protecting the fragile membranes from damage. A sand dragon can also lie flat on a sandy surface and flutter its wings to cover itself with sand, much as a stingray flutters its “wings” to conceal itself on the ocean floor.
In fact, sand dragons make their lairs under the sands, and only emerge to hunt or mate. As a result, sand dragons smell of freshly turned dirt and dust—not a particularly unpleasant smell, but a distinctive one. Due to their burrowing ability, sand dragons have little difficulty disguising their lairs; only their nostrils lie exposed (allowing them to breathe). When sand dragons travel undergroun —their primary means of sneaking up on prey—they simply hold their breath. Sand dragons are most fond of lizards and rodents, though the older they get, the larger the prey. Young adult and adult sand dragons eat goats and jackals, mature adult and older sand dragons go after cattle, camels, crocodiles, and even giant banded lizards (see page 164).
Sand dragons acquire a good deal of treasure, though they have no real use for it aside from bait for prey. They generally bury it in the sand under their lairs, and lie waiting for the sound of shovels digging toward them.
Sand dragons hunt by flying high above the ground, looking for herds of cattle or other concentrations of prey, then wait for nightfall to land and burrow up underneath their targets. Using their tremorsense to determine when an animal is in position, the sand dragon then bursts forth, snatches up the startled prey in its mouth or claws, and flies off to devour it in privacy. Alternatively, a sand dragon might locate a trade route and bury itself in the sand along the side of the road, waiting for a caravan to pass. Sand dragons rarely attack from the sky; there are simply too few clouds to provide the kind of concealment a sand dragon prefers.
Breath Weapon (Su): A sand dragon has one type of breath weapon, a cone of grit similar to a flaywind (see page 21).
Spell-Like Abilities: At will—haboob (juvenile or older); 3/day—dispel water (adult or older), wall of sand (old or older); 1/day—choking sands (ancient or older), sandstorm (great wyrm).
Skills: Concentration, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival are considered class skills for sand dragons.