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Desert Drake

Distant cousins of blue dragons that lack their relatives’ magical talents and intelligence, these desert-dwelling drakes are nonetheless dangerous ambush predators, preying upon isolated desert travelers and outposts for food and supplies. They retain their true-blooded forebears’ resistance to electricity and affinity for sandy environs. Desert drakes’ scales range in coloration from rust-brown to light tan and ocher shades, mimicking the colors of the dunes they call home.

Desert drakes are among the lightest and most compact of the drakes, though this shouldn’t be mistaken for frailty. Their swooped-back horns and feather-thin wings are adapted to make burrowing as easy as possible. Indeed, a desert drake’s powerful neck makes wriggling through sand and other loose scree as easy as walking for it.

Recall Knowledge - Dragon (Arcana): DC 24

Desert DrakeCreature 8

Source Bestiary pg. 135
Perception +15; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Languages Draconic
Skills Acrobatics +17, Athletics +18, Intimidation +13, Stealth +15, Survival +15
Str +6, Dex +3, Con +5, Int -1, Wis +3, Cha +1
AC 27; Fort +17, Ref +15, Will +13
HP 135; Immunities paralyzed, unconscious; Resistances electricity 16
Wing Deflection ReactionReaction Trigger The desert drake is targeted with an attack. Effect The desert drake raises its wing, gaining a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against the triggering attack. If the desert drake is flying at the time it is attacked, it descends 10 feet after the attack is complete.
Speed 20 feet; burrow 20 feet (sand only), fly 50 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action fangs +20 [+15/+10], Damage 2d12+8 piercing plus 1d6 electricity Melee Single ActionSingle Action tail +20 [+15/+10] (reach 10 feet), Damage 2d10+8 bludgeoning plus Push 5 feetDraconic Frenzy Two ActionsTwo Actions The desert drake makes two Fangs Strikes and one Tail Strike in any order.Sandstorm Breath Two ActionsTwo Actions (arcane, electricity, evocation) The desert drake spits a ball of electrically charged sand to a range of 60 feet that explodes into a cloud with a 15-foot-radius burst. Creatures in the area take 9d6 electricity damage (DC 27 basic Reflex save). The cloud remains for 1d4 rounds, granting concealment to everything within. The desert drake can’t use Sandstorm Breath again for 1d6 rounds.Speed Surge Single ActionSingle Action (move) The desert drake moves up to twice its Speed. It can do this three times per day.Surprise Attacker On the first round of combat, creatures that haven’t acted yet are flat-footed to the desert drake.

All Monsters in "Drake"

Desert Drake8
Flame Drake5
Frost Drake7
Jungle Drake6
River Drake3
Sea Drake6
Shadow Drake2


Source Bestiary pg. 130
Ravenous, bestial, and driven by instinct—drakes are primitive draconic monsters who bear a fraction of the terrifying might of their larger cousins but little (if any) of the cunning. While they’re weaker, slower, and less inclined toward reason than dragons, drakes are nonetheless a menace to creatures and settlements around them. Their propensity for forming raiding parties—small social groups fittingly called “rampages”—makes them all the more dangerous; a single rampage of river drakes can quickly lay waste to a waterside village, and roving rampages of desert drakes are a plague to caravan traders.

Drakes share a number of physical characteristics that unite them as one species despite their wide variety of habitats and abilities. For example, drakes lack forearms, leaving them only their formidable jaws and thick-scaled tails with which to attack if engaged at melee range. Most drakes would rather avoid close combat, however, preferring to use their breath weapons to wreak havoc in wide swaths from comfortable distances while flying overhead. Finally, all drakes have small reservoirs of their ancestral draconic power that they can tap into to perform incredible feats of speed.

Drake Eggs

While drake hides aren’t any more valuable than those of other, similarly sized creatures, drake eggs are prized commodities. While they are used as components in powerful spells as well as eaten by various cultures, the most common use for drake eggs is hatching and rearing drakes to serve as mounts and guardians.

A typical drake lays a clutch of 2d4 eggs every 5 years. Eggs hatch within 3 to 6 weeks, during which time they must be kept in conditions appropriate to their natural environment, perhaps the most difficult aspect of drake husbandry. While it is generally easy for breeders to incubate the eggs of desert or jungle drakes (which require mildly warm temperatures to hatch) or river drakes (which must be submerged in running water), the eggs of flame and frost drakes require extreme temperatures in order to hatch, which can be difficult to replicate safely.

A drake egg has Hardness 3, 5 HP, and BT 5. The coloration of drake eggs varies only slightly from one species to the next. A creature must succeed at a DC 20 Nature check, or a relevant DC 20 Lore check, to identify the drake species of a specific egg.

Once a drake hatches, it imprints on the first creature that it sees. A creature imprinted on in this way gains a +5 bonus to Nature checks to train or command that drake. The market price of a drake egg varies depending on the region, the type of drake, and the exact purpose the buyer has in mind, but typically depends on the level of the drake. Because drakes are evil, dangerous, and intelligent creatures, many societies do not condone the trade of drake eggs and criminalize those who engage in it.

It takes 2 years for a drake hatchling to grow to full size. A well-trained drake can make a fearsome mount or guardian, but many careless would-be drake trainers are devoured by their charges due to cruelty, overconfidence, or general lack of skill.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Drake Ecology

Drakes reach maturity and reproduce much earlier than dragons, meaning that they are a far more common threat than their more powerful forebears. Drakes have few qualms about dwelling with one another (provided they are the same species), often establishing dens in pockets of wilderness suitable to their needs, such as swampy grottoes, shallow shoreline caves, or cliffside perches.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Drake Hunters

The allure of hunting a dragon is difficult to resist for many adventurers, but accomplishing such a task is fraught with peril. Unscrupulous adventurers have been known to instead hunt drakes and use trophies harvested from these creatures to deceive locals.

Sidebar - Locations Drake Locations

While the different species of drakes are adapted to different climates and environments, many drakes share similar preferences regarding nest location, searching out high places that offer cover from above, such as cliffside or mountaintop caverns, jungle canopies, and so on.

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Drake Resources

While every adventurer knows that dragon hide can be crafted into potent armor or weapons, drake hide holds no such intrinsic value. Nonetheless, drake scales and horns are physically impressive, and to the uneducated buyer, might seem at first glance to be legitimate. Unscrupulous leatherworkers have been known to use drake hides to craft and sell counterfeit dragonhide armor, so potential buyers should remain on the lookout for scams.

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Drake Treasure

Drakes share dragon’s interest in treasure, but lack dragons’ discerning taste. A drake hoard will certainly contain coins, jewelry, gemstones, gear, and even the odd magic item or two, but the bulk of the hoard invariably consists of broken weapons, shiny rocks, bits of junk, and other doubtful pieces of refuse.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Drakes and Dragons

Although drakes and dragons are related to one another, little love is lost between them, and even the most territorial drakes know better than to remain in a dragon's territory longer than they have to. In rare cases, large rampages of drakes band together to attack an encroaching dragon, especially if the dragon is young and inexperienced.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Other Drakes

The drakes presented on these pages are far from the only types that exist. Forest drakes have green hides, spit acidic clouds, and can be found in temperate woodlands. Rift drakes, among the most powerful of their kind, spit clinging caustic vapors and dwell in badlands and regions scarred by devastating magical disasters. Sea drakes can be found in oceans across the world, lava drakes in volcanic crevasses, mist drakes along coastlines and in salt marshes, and spire drakes in ragged, rocky hills. Undoubtedly, many other types of drakes lurk in the far corners of the world!