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Ancient Red Dragon

The largest and most powerful of the chromatic dragons, red dragons are a menace to civilizations everywhere, and their strength is rivaled only by their arrogance. Red dragons see themselves as regents and overlords of all dragonkind. With their crowns of crimson spikes and their command of blistering frame, this is no haughty boast in their eyes—only unquestioned fact.

Red dragons don’t deign to speak with lesser creatures; they simply dominate and burn, enslaving weaker creatures to act as servants and to look after their lairs while the dragons slumber away. They take pleasure in dominating these creatures, and they demand tribute from their supplicants. Those who anger or disappoint end up eaten or reduced to ash. They command their enslaved minions to constantly build onto their lairs, carving out new tunnels and designing cunning traps that ensure the dragon’s security.

Driven by their arrogance, red dragons are the most likely of the chromatic dragons to ravage settlements. They want the world to see them in their rightful place as powerful tyrants, and they delight in threatening all other creatures. They have no qualms about bullying, manipulating, or killing to complete their goals—or simply intimidating others through a public display of brutality and dominance.

As legendary as the brutishness of red dragons is the magnificence of their hoards of gold. Their lairs are often situated in dangerous places, with volcanoes being a favorite spot, as they find them foreboding and the constant warmth is comfortable. No matter the locale, red dragons sleep on a litter of coins and other treasures, which they zealously guard. Sometimes, the dragon’s internal heat causes these precious metals to fuse together.

Recall Knowledge - Dragon (Arcana): DC 41

Ancient Red DragonCreature 19

Source Bestiary pg. 112
Perception +35; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 60 feet, smoke vision
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Jotun, Orcish
Skills Acrobatics +30, Arcana +35, Athletics +37, Deception +35, Diplomacy +35, Intimidation +37, Stealth +33
Str +9, Dex +5, Con +8, Int +5, Wis +6, Cha +7
Smoke Vision Smoke doesn’t impair a red dragon’s vision; it ignores the concealed condition from smoke.
AC 45, Fort +35, Ref +32, Will +35; +1 status to all saves vs. magic
HP 425; Immunities fire, paralyzed, sleep; Weaknesses cold 20
Dragon Heat (arcane, aura, evocation, fire); 10 feet, 4d6 fire damage (DC 39 basic Reflex)
Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 90 feet, DC 40
Attack of Opportunity ReactionReaction Jaws only.
Redirect Fire ReactionReaction (abjuration, arcane); Trigger A creature within 100 feet casts a fire spell, or a fire spell otherwise comes into effect from a source within 100 feet. Effect The dragon makes all the choices to determine the targets, destination, or other effects of the spell, as though it were the caster.
Speed 60 feet, fly 180 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +37 (fire, magical, reach 20 feet), Damage 4d10+17 piercing plus 3d6 fireMelee Single ActionSingle Action claw +37 (agile, magical, reach 15 feet), Damage 4d8+17 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +35 (magical, reach 25 feet), Damage 4d10+15 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action wing +35 (agile, magical, reach 20 feet), Damage 3d8+15 slashingArcane Innate Spells DC 42; 8th wall of fire (at will); 4th suggestion (at will); Cantrips (9th) detect magic, read aura
Breath Weapon Two ActionsTwo Actions (arcane, evocation, fire) The dragon breathes a blast of flame that deals 20d6 fire damage in a 60-foot cone (DC 42 basic Reflex save). It can’t use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds.Draconic Frenzy Two ActionsTwo Actions The dragon makes two claw Strikes and one wing Strike in any order.Draconic Momentum The dragon recharges its Breath Weapon whenever it scores a critical hit with a Strike.Manipulate Flames Single ActionSingle Action (arcane, concentrate, transmutation) The red dragon attempts to take control of a magical fire or a fire spell within 100 feet. If it succeeds at a counteract check (counteract level 10, counteract modifier +32), the original caster loses control of the spell or magic fire, control is transferred to the dragon, and the dragon counts as having Sustained the Spell with this action (if applicable). The dragon can choose to end the spell instead of taking control, if it chooses.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Daralathxyl

Known as the Sixth King of the Five Kings Mountains, this red dragon has lived in Droskar’s Crag for over two millennia. Thankfully, this powerful dragon slumbers for long periods, but like a restless volcano, he is due for a rampage.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Red Dragon Spellcasters

Red dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.

Young Red Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 29, attack +23; 4th crushing despair, invisibility, stoneskin; 3rd grease, haste, mind reading; 2nd comprehend language, resist energy, see invisibility; 1st charm, ray of enfeeblement, true strike; Cantrips (4th) chill touch, daze, mage hand, message, sigil

Adult Red Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 35, attack +29; As young red dragon, plus 6th dispel magic, teleport, wall of force; 5th cloak of colors, command, tongues; Cantrips (6th) chill touch, daze, mage hand, message, sigil

Ancient Red Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 42, attack +36; As adult red dragon, plus 9th fiery body, prismatic sphere; 8rd discern location, mind blank, prismatic wall; 7th prismatic spray, resist energy, reverse gravity; Cantrips (9th) chill touch, daze, mage hand, message, sigil

All Monsters in "Dragon, Chromatic"

Adult Black Dragon11
Adult Blue Dragon13
Adult Green Dragon12
Adult Red Dragon14
Adult White Dragon10
Ancient Black Dragon16
Ancient Blue Dragon18
Ancient Green Dragon17
Ancient Red Dragon19
Ancient White Dragon15
Young Black Dragon7
Young Blue Dragon9
Young Green Dragon8
Young Red Dragon10
Young White Dragon6

Dragon, Chromatic

Source Bestiary pg. 104
While there are many types of dragons, from the powerful planar dragons to the strange esoteric dragons, few dragon varieties are as well-known and as rightly feared as the chromatic dragons. Differentiated by the hue of their scales, each color of dragon unleashes its own flavor of murderous cruelty—be it by claw, tooth, or breath—and unlike most creatures, dragons only become more powerful as they age. Their lust for treasure, food, bloodshed, and control are legendary. Physically powerful with egos to match, these dragons are often morally depraved and act as criminal masterminds, vicious tyrants, or voracious raiders.

Shape-Changing Dragons

Some dragons can take humanoid form, allowing them to infiltrate settlements or influence others without revealing their true nature. They gain the following ability:
Change Shape Single ActionSingle Action (arcane, concentrate, polymorph, transmutation) The dragon takes on the appearance of any Small or Medium humanoid. This doesn’t change its Speed or attack and damage bonuses with its Strikes, but might change the damage type its Strikes deal (typically to bludgeoning).

Chromatic Dragon Spellcasters

Each type of chromatic dragon features a sidebar on spellcasting dragons of that type. To make a chromatic dragon spellcaster, remove the dragon’s Draconic Frenzy and Draconic Momentum abilities, and give it the spells outlined in its sidebar. You can swap out any number of these with other arcane spells, provided you keep the same number of spells for each level. You might also want to increase the dragon’s Intelligence or Charisma modifier by 1 or 2 to reflect its mastery of magic.

Chromatic Dragons of Golarion

The chromatic dragons that dwell around the Inner Sea region are cruel and sinister monsters who inspire as much fear as reverence. These terrible beasts are no mere myth, however, but a very real threat to the people with whom they share their lands. Most dwell in the wild places of the world, and only the most brazen of them regularly meddle in mortal affairs. The dragons of Golarion believe that they are descended from two original beings, Apsu and Tiamat, and their rich mythology attempts to explain the origins of the age-old war between chromatic and metallic dragons.

Black dragons thrive in swampy wildernesses like the Mushfens in Varisia or the wrecked coastline now known as the Sodden Lands, while blue dragons prefer the sand-swept deserts of Thuvia and Osirion. Brutish green dragons roam the forests of the River Kingdoms in abundance and even the elven kingdom of Kyonin, particularly in the demon-tainted Tanglebriar. One of the most infamous red dragons, Aashaq, a wyrm priestess of the draconic god Dahak, makes her home among the isles of the Shackles, where she lords over her followers and leads raids throughout the Inner Sea region. White dragons, though they may be found in virtually any mountain range in Avistan, are perhaps most prevalent around the Crown of the World, where they threaten travelers caravaning across the Path of Aganhei.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Apsu

Apsu, the Waybringer, is the god of good dragons, leadership, and peace. According to draconic lore, Apsu spawned the dragon-gods who created the world. One of his sons is the destructive draconic god Dahak. Thus, Apsu is not only seen as a god and creator to good dragons, but he also serves as an immortal father figure.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Dahak

Dahak, the Endless Destruction, is an ancient dragon god spawned by the righteous Apsu. Dahak is the god of destruction, evil dragons, and greed. After his birth, Dahak made his way to Hell where he roamed for ages before returning to the Material Plane to fight against his father and siblings, reveling in destruction and pledging to destroy the world.

Sidebar - Locations Dragons on Other Worlds

On the planet Triaxus the Wanderer, the seventh world from Golarion’s sun, dragons rule entire continents. There, ancient dragons maintain city-states and nations. In a vast region known as the Drakelands, chromatic dragons have subjugated the humanoid inhabitants and frequently war among themselves. However, a few good dragons maintain holdings there. In the region knowns as the Skyfire Mandate, a different dynamic exists: good dragons who chose to work in harmony with the humanoid inhabitants have created a buffer against the tyrants of the Drakelands. There, creatures known as dragonkin work alongside humanoids to patrol the border, making up a group known as the Dragon Legion.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Other Draconic Creatures

The creatures that appear in this section are considered true dragons, but a multitude of other draconic creatures populate Golarion and beyond. Among these are the powerful and deadly linnorms, a wide range of drakes, whimsical faerie dragons and pseudodragons, the cruel and deceitful azis, and the sinister undead raveners.