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Ancient Black Dragon

Murderous tyrants of marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens, black dragons terrorize their domains with intense fervor. Gleefully sadistic, they rule their fetid principalities from a deep cave or otherwise isolated part of the swamp with a mix of lightning-quick raids and subterfuge. Their hatred for other creatures is as acidic as their breath weapons, and they rarely tolerate even other dragons of their kind—except perhaps to mate or temporarily collaborate to take down a mutual enemy.

Black dragons are amphibious—although they breathe air, their gills also allow them to breathe water. Their frills and fins make them accomplished swimmers, well suited to their wetland environments and submerged lairs. They’re immune to the fetid water that comes as a result of their magical ability to corrupt water.

Black dragon lairs are as foul as their souls. The floors are littered with rotting meat, and plundered treasures line the muck and slime of their dank caves amid twisted roots and creepers. Such places are often crawling with pests, snakes, and slimes. Though they claim natural caverns when they can, they make do with areas of dense, twisted vegetation within a swamp. Black dragon treasure hoards primarily consist of gems and expensive glass work, as valuables of softer substance can’t survive the dragon’s acidic presence.

Recall Knowledge - Dragon (Arcana): DC 37

Ancient Black DragonCreature 16

Source Bestiary pg. 106
Perception +30; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 60 feet
Languages Common, Draconic, Goblin, Jotun, Orcish
Skills Acrobatics +25, Arcana +26, Athletics +32, Deception +29, Intimidation +29, Stealth +27
Str +8, Dex +5, Con +6, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +5
AC 39, Fort +30, Ref +27, Will +29; +1 status to all saves vs. magic
HP 325; Immunities acid, paralyzed, sleep
Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 90 feet, DC 35
Tail Lash ReactionReaction Trigger A creature within reach of the dragon’s tail takes an action to Strike or attempt a skill check; Effect The dragon Strikes with its tail at the triggering creature at a –2 penalty. If it hits, the creature takes a –2 circumstance penalty to the triggering roll.
Speed 60 feet, fly 150 feet, swim 60 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +33 (acid, magical, reach 15 feet), Damage 3d10+14 piercing plus 2d6 acid and 2d6 persistent acidMelee Single ActionSingle Action claw +33 (agile, magical, reach 10 feet), Damage 3d8+14 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +31 (magical, reach 20 feet), Damage 3d10+12 bludgeoningMelee Single ActionSingle Action horns +31 (magical, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d10+12 piercingArcane Innate Spells DC 37; 2nd darkness (at will)
Breath Weapon Two ActionsTwo Actions (acid, arcane, evocation) The dragon breathes a spray of acid that deals 17d6 acid damage in a 100-foot line (DC 39 basic Reflex save). It can't use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds.Corrupt Water Single ActionSingle Action (arcane, concentrate, necromancy) Frequency Once per day; Effect The dragon permanently befouls 10 cubic feet of liquid within 90 feet. The liquid becomes undrinkable and unable to support water-breathing life. This destroys liquid magic or alchemical items if they're of a lower level than the dragon (a creature can attempt a DC 35 Will save to protect liquids in its possession). This doesn't affect liquids in a creature's body.Draconic Frenzy Two ActionsTwo Actions The dragon makes two claw Strikes and one horns Strike in any order in any order.Draconic Momentum The dragon recharges its Breath Weapon whenever it scores a critical hit with a Strike

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Black Dragon Spellcasters

Black dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells.

Young Black Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 25, attack +18; 3rd slow, stinking cloud; 2nd blur, glitterdust, invisibility; 1st alarm, ray of enfeeblement, true strike; Cantrips (3rd) dancing lights, detect magic, prestidigitation, read aura, tanglefoot

Adult Black Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 30, attack +24; As young black dragon, plus 5th black tentacles, mariner’s curse; 4th clairvoyance, dimension door, suggestion; 3rd paralyze; Cantrips (5th) dancing lights, detect magic, prestidigitation, read aura, tanglefoot

Ancient Black Dragon
Arcane Prepared Spells DC 37, attack +32; As adult black dragon, plus 7th finger of death, mask of terror, reverse gravity; 6th dominate, true seeing, wall of force; 5th prying eye; Cantrips (7th) dancing lights, detect magic, prestidigitation, read aura, tanglefoot

Sidebar - Related Creatures Serzilian

The great wyrm black dragon Serzilian rules over the fetid Graidmere swamp in Ustalav, where she has resided for over 800 years. She knows something darker even than herself resides somewhere in the swamp, but she has yet to find how to summon such an entity. For now, she slumbers, waking only to demand sacrifices.

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.