There's no creature more strongly identified with the D&D game than the one that's in its name -- the dragon. Always scary, dragons have mirrored the evolution of the game, and dragons these days are more dangerous than ever. If you include the various dragonblooded creatures (as I obviously do below), these iconic monsters are appearing in greater numbers than ever before. Therefore, this installment of Recurring Villainy is dedicated to dragons.
Perhaps the most terrifying dragon of all is Tiamat, and that's why this installment of Recurring Villainy features the Aspect of Tiamat figure from the War of the Dragon Queen set as its "Big Bad." Presented here are 20 encounters ranging from EL 7 to 13. Each involves the Aspect and/or its minions. Feel free to substitute other figures of similar CRs if you want more variety among the Aspect's lackeys or to startle players who visit this area of the site regularly. Only the Aspect of Tiamat is rare. If you lack the Aspect miniature, replace it with a Cadaver Collector, a Sorcerer on Black Dragon, or (if you wish to increase the difficulty of the final encounter significantly), a Dracolich figure.
One method to help ensure the Big Bad of this (and every) installment of Recurring Villainy survives long enough to play a major role in your campaign is never to have that NPC meet the PCs alone until the final encounter. Heroes can be an unpredictable lot, and many a DM's cunning plot has been derailed by an action the DM didn't account for when setting up the encounter. Keep the Big Bad's minions nearby also, just in case things go badly for your primary antagonist.
About the Author
Raised on a steady diet of comic books, monster movies, and roleplaying games, Dale Donovan has been creating stories for games since he was 15. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter.
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