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Ancient Gold Dragon

Gold dragons are the epitome of metallic dragonkind, unrivaled in their strength as well as their wisdom. They command the unwavering reverence of all other metallic dragons, who view gold dragons as their leaders and counselors. Golds rival the raw power of even red dragons, much to the chagrin of their chromatic cousins, and the two races are often regarded as bitter rivals. But despite their incredible power, gold dragons are fond of discourse and prefer to talk through solutions to problems rather than rely upon brute strength. Long-lived as they are, they necessarily take a wide view of all situations and never act without considering all possible options and outcomes. Because of this, gold dragons willingly converse with any creature that seeks them out, even evil chromatic dragons. Mortals might find this behavior strange, considering the longstanding war between chromatic and metallic dragons, but dragons know all too well that desperate situations sometimes call for drastic alliances. And although gold dragons might consider brief truces with their chromatic brethren in the case of world-ending threats, they also know when such alliances have run their course.

When another metallic dragon faces a quandary or a foe beyond its own ability to overcome, its best option is often to seek the counsel of the eternally wise and gloriously righteous gold dragons. Locating these legendary beings is no easy task, however, for gold dragons are notoriously reclusive. Their intellect and wisdom is such that they prefer to ponder the great questions of life in seclusion, where they strive to formulate solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. As a result, gold dragons are sometimes absent when metallic dragons gather together, or are missing from tribunals where their counsel would be beneficial. Impatient dragons sometimes begrudge gold dragons for this apparent unreliability, but such aspersions are usually a result of jealousy rather than any true criticism; in their hearts, other dragons know that few gold dragons purposefully exclude themselves from truly important matters.

A gold dragon’s incredible foresight and unparalleled enlightenment means they are unlikely to interfere in the business of individual mortals, though the rare person who captures the attention of a gold dragon is fortunate indeed, for there are few beings in the cosmos who can offer such prudent and considerate advice. Rulers and individuals in stations of high power have an easier time of garnering the aid of a gold dragon; entire wars have been avoided thanks to a gold dragon’s last-minute intermediation.

Gold dragons are often found in warm grasslands and savannas, lands where they can enjoy long, meditative flights without attracting the attention of potential enemies. They tend to sleep either out in the open in a barren, remote place, or within a heavily secreted or fortified lair, such as a forgotten sink hole or in the labyrinthine caverns of a terrestrial chasm. Gold dragons may enlist trusted servants and allies to guard their lairs, though many live truly solitary lives, preferring to protect their hoards with nonlethal traps and magical wards.

Recall Knowledge - Dragon (Arcana): DC 42

Ancient Gold DragonCreature 20

Source Bestiary pg. 125
Perception +36; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 80 feet
Languages Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Jotun, Sylvan
Skills Acrobatics +29, Arcana +31, Athletics +35, Diplomacy +35, Medicine +36, Religion +36, Society +35
Str +9, Dex +5, Con +8, Int +7, Wis +8, Cha +5
AC 46, Fort +37, Ref +34, Will +39; +1 status to all saves vs. magic
HP 450; Immunities fire, paralyzed, sleep; Weaknesses cold 20
Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 90 feet, DC 39
Attack of Opportunity ReactionReaction Jaws only.
Extra Reaction The dragon gains 2 reactions at the start of its turn each round.
Golden Luck ReactionReaction Trigger The gold dragon fails a saving throw. Effect The dragon improves its result by one degree of success, turning a failure into a success or a critical failure into a normal failure. The dragon can’t use this ability again for 1d4 rounds.
Speed 60 feet, fly 200 feet, swim 60 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +38 (fire, magical, reach 20 feet), Damage 4d12+17 piercing plus 4d6 fireMelee Single ActionSingle Action claw +38 (agile, magical, reach 15 feet), Damage 4d10+17 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +36 (magical, reach 25 feet), Damage 4d10+15 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action horns +36 (agile, magical, reach 20 feet), Damage 2d12+15 piercingArcane Innate Spells DC 41; 10th sunburst; 3rd locate (gems only); 1st detect alignment (evil only)
Breath Weapon Two ActionsTwo Actions The gold dragon breathes in one of two ways. The dragon can’t use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds.
  • Flame (arcane, evocation, fire); The dragon breathes a blast of flame in a 50-foot cone that deals 20d6 fire damage (DC 44 basic Reflex save).
  • Weakening Gas (arcane, necromancy); The dragon breathes a blast of weakening gas. Each creature within a 50-foot cone must succeed at a DC 44 Fortitude save or become enfeebled 3 for 1 minute (or enfeebled 4 on a critical failure).
Draconic Frenzy Two ActionsTwo Actions The gold dragon makes two claw Strikes and one horns Strike in any orderDraconic Momentum When the gold dragon scores a critical hit with a strike, it recharges Breath Weapon.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Gold Dragon Spellcasters

Gold dragon spellcasters tend to cast the following spells. Unlike most dragons, they cast divine spells instead of arcane.

Young Gold Dragon
Divine Prepared Spells DC 29, attack +24; 4th discern lies, heal, restoration; 3rd dispel magic, haste, heal; 2nd restoration, resist energy, see invisibility, silence; 1st alarm, mending, protection, spirit link; Cantrips (4th) daze, detect magic, forbidding ward, prestidigitation, read aura

Adult Gold Dragon
Divine Prepared Spells DC 35, attack +30; As young gold dragon, plus 6th blade barrier, heal, true seeing; 5th banishment, breath of life, sending; Cantrips (6th) daze, detect magic, forbidding ward, prestidigitation, read aura

Ancient Gold Dragon
Divine Prepared Spells DC 41, attack +38; As adult gold dragon, plus 9th foresight, heal, overwhelming presence; 8rd discern location, divine aura, heal; 7th dimensional lock, energy aegis, spell turning; Cantrips (9th) daze, detect magic, forbidding ward, prestidigitation, read aura

All Monsters in "Dragon, Metallic"

Adult Brass Dragon11
Adult Bronze Dragon13
Adult Copper Dragon12
Adult Gold Dragon15
Adult Silver Dragon14
Ancient Brass Dragon16
Ancient Bronze Dragon18
Ancient Copper Dragon17
Ancient Gold Dragon20
Ancient Silver Dragon19
Young Brass Dragon7
Young Bronze Dragon9
Young Copper Dragon8
Young Gold Dragon11
Young Silver Dragon10

Dragon, Metallic

Source Bestiary pg. 116
Paragons of virtue, nobility, and grace, metallic dragons are benevolent entities revered as mythic beings akin to gods in both their power and majesty. Few have ever seen a metallic dragon firsthand, but tales of their intervention in mortals’ lives—and of their passing—always spread far and wide. Named for the way their scales resemble the shining metals humanoids use in commerce, warfare, and industry, these immense beings are diverse in their interests and abilities, and they don’t seem to mind being associated with such mundane materials. After all, to compare a gold dragon to a gold coin is like comparing an ocean to a glass of water—though they may seem similar at first glance, the raw power, breadth, and grandeur of one simply overwhelms the other.

In addition to metallic dragons and their chromatic counterparts (page 104–115), other types of dragons roam the world and the rest of the multiverse. In the legendary lands of Tian Xia on the other side of the globe are the imperial dragons, serpentine beings who protect the cosmic balance and defend their ancient homeland. Outside the Material Plane, primal dragons such as the domineering brine dragon and reclusive cloud dragon shape the nature and goings-on of the Elemental Planes. Countless other types of dragons are sure to exist, including dragons on far-fiung planes of existence and, it is rumored, primeval dragons who soar between the stars.

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 modifiers with its Strikes, but might change the damage type its Strikes deal (typically to bludgeoning).

Metallic Dragon Spellcasters

Each type of metallic dragon features a sidebar on spellcasting dragons of that kind. To make a metallic 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, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier by 1 or 2 to reflect its mastery of magic.

Metallic Dragons on Golarion

Metallic dragons are found throughout the Inner Sea region, especially in pockets of wilderness where they can carve a hideout and then take action on political and social issues, both in their local area and on a wider scale. Their everlasting war with chromatic dragons keeps them in close proximity to their evil brethren; in regions where metallic and chromatic dragons’ territories intersect, humanoid settlements get caught in the crossfire, and villagers and city-dwellers alike rightfully fear for their own safety.

Silver dragons lair in abundance around the cold wastes west of Mendev, as a consequence of the days when they joined thousands of crusaders who marched headlong into the demon-infested Worldwound. Bronze dragons are abundant in Taldor, and many copper dragons lair in the wilds of Andoran, where they wage war alongside other freedom fighters to overthrow devils in the neighboring empire of Cheliax. Perhaps the most extreme example of a metallic dragon taking part in human affairs is on the island nation of Hermea, where Mengkare—an ancient gold wyrm—has begun a grand social experiment he calls “the Glorious Endeavor.” Ostensibly intended to create a future utopia on Golarion, this highly controversial experiment is instead regarded by many as a cruel and unusual form of eugenics.

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 - Related Creatures 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 - Related Creatures Dragons on Other Planes

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.