All Creatures
Abilities | Monsters | NPCs
All | Families | Templates
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Dragon, Forest

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 74
Forest dragons oversee the endless growth of nature, protect it from plunder, and reclaim ruins for the wilderness. Some say these dragons jealously hoard nature's bounty for themselves while seeing everyone else who tries to benefit from nature as thieves and poachers. They loathe the progress of technology and civilization, preferring the company of monsters and animals.

Forest dragons are their forests in a literal sense. Over time, their hair becomes mossy, their hide toughens like bark, and small insects or animals live within them.


Adult Forest Dragon (Creature 14), Ancient Forest Dragon (Creature 19), Young Forest Dragon (Creature 10)

Sidebar - Related Creatures Children of the Green Spears

A great ancient forest dragon used to live in the Vale of Green Spears, a massive bamboo forest at the center of the Tengu nation Kwanlai. The dragon's last nest of eggs survived her death, and the young dragons hatched from this clutch now fight viciously for control over their late mother's territory.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Forest Dragon Spellcasters

Forest dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.

Young Forest Dragon

Primal Prepared Spells DC 29, attack +22; 4th gaseous form, hallucinatory terrain, solid fog; 3rd animal vision, stinking cloud, wall of thorns; 2nd animal messenger, darkness, water breathing; 1st create water, goblin pox, pest form; Cantrips (4th) acid splash, detect magic, guidance, read aura, tanglefoot; Rituals DC 29; plant growth

Adult Forest Dragon

Primal Prepared Spells DC 34, attack +28; As young forest dragon, plus 6th baleful polymorph, purple worm sting, tangling creepers; 5th cloudkill, moon frenzy, tree stride; Cantrips (6th) acid splash, detect magic, guidance, read aura, tanglefoot; Rituals DC 34; commune with nature

Ancient Forest Dragon

Primal Prepared Spells DC 41, attack +35; As adult forest dragon, plus 9th implosion, nature's enmity; 8th horrid wilting, polar ray, punishing winds; 7th eclipse burst, prismatic spray, true target; Cantrips (9th) acid splash, detect magic, guidance, read aura, tanglefoot

Dragon, Imperial

Related Groups Dragon, Sea, Dragon, Sky, Dragon, Sovereign, Dragon, Underworld
Imperial dragons, namesake of the Dragon Empires and guardians of Tian Xia before humanity arrived, embody five strengthening and counteracting forces. Unlike other true dragons, imperial dragons dive deep into human affairs. Some remain secretive, posing as reclusive hermits, while others keep a high profile, openly ruling factions. Tian cultures in turn venerate the dragons, depicting gods in the form of dragons or claiming ancestry from them. Not all are adored, for plenty of these creatures act wickedly.

Draconic Cycles

Five elements underpin the magical powers of imperial dragons, influencing their relationships to all things and, especially, to others of their kind. These elements interlink in two cycles. In the first cycle, each element feeds one other: wood feeds fire, fire feeds earth, earth feeds metal, metal feeds water, and water feeds wood. In the second cycle, each element counters another: wood counters earth, earth counters water, water counters fire, fire counters metal, and metal counters wood.

Each imperial dragon represents one element and has four abilities related to the cycle. For example, the forest dragon—linked to wood—feeds fire, is fed by water, counters earth, and is countered by metal.

Shape-Changing Dragons

Imperial dragons are the most likely (and willing) of Golarion's dragons to take humanoid forms. The vast majority of them have the following ability, with the tradition trait matching the dragon's innate spells:

Change Shape [one-action] (concentrate, polymorph, transmutation) The dragon takes on the appearance of any Small or Medium humanoid. This doesn't change their Speed or attack and damage modifiers with their Strikes, but it might change the damage type their Strikes deal (typically to bludgeoning).

Imperial Dragon Spellcasters

Each imperial dragon has a sidebar on spellcasting dragons of that kind. To make an imperial dragon spellcaster, remove the dragon's Coiling Frenzy and Draconic Momentum abilities and give them the spells outlined in their sidebar. You can swap any number of these spells with others from the same tradition, provided you keep the same number of spells for each level. You might also want to increase the dragon's Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier by 1 or 2 to reflect their mastery of magic.

Imperial Dragons On Golarion

Imperial dragons are rarely spotted beyond Tian Xia, where some establish territories to amass power, while others follow their natural affinity to seek a place of comfort.

Sidebar - Additional Lore One Dragon, Many Names

Classifying a dragon is as difficult as asking for their name. A variety of names and classifications have been used throughout history based on traits such as location, behavior, color, or other qualities. It isn't uncommon, therefore, for one dragon to be described as many different types of dragon over their lifetime. For example, scholars speculate that the coiling dragon, leaping dragon, and flying dragon of ancient Tian records are all attempts at identifying sky dragons.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Rules of Depiction

In some parts of the old empire of Lung Wa, it was illegal— blasphemous even—to depict a dragon with five talons on objects not used by the emperor or royalty. Officials might receive permission to wear a robe with a “four-talon serpent,” while common folk were only ever allowed to depict dragons with three talons, even for their temples. These rules might explain why old portraits of young sovereign dragons sold amongst the wealthy often have clutter in the foreground, obscuring their claws.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Rumored Rivalries

Some Tian philosophers, particularly worshipers of Qi Zhong—the Tian god of magic, medicine, and knowledge— speculate that each type of imperial dragon is mortal enemies with another type. Asking the dragons if this hypothesis is true often gets one laughed out of their lairs or a breath weapon to the face. In truth, imperial dragons have complicated relationships with one another that aren't as simple as being enemies or friends.