Monster Mayhem01/03/2004


Mercury Dragon



Dragon (Fire)

Environment: Temperate and warm mountain and underground

Organization: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2-5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 offspring)

Challenge Ratings: Wyrmling 3; very young 4; young 5; juvenile 6; young adult 8; adult 10; mature adult 12; old 15; very old 17; ancient 18; wyrm 19; great wyrm 21

Treasure: Triple standard

Alignment: Always chaotic good

Advancement: Wyrmling 4-5 HD (Tiny); very young 7-8 HD (Small); young 10-11 HD (Medium); juvenile 13-14 HD (Medium); young adult 16-17 HD (Large); adult 19-20 HD (Large); mature adult 22-23 HD (Huge); old 25-26 HD (Huge); very old 28-29 HD (Huge); ancient 31-32 HD (Huge); wyrm 34-35 HD (Gargantuan); great wyrm 37+ HD (Gargantuan)

Mercury Dragons by Age

Age Size Hit Dice (hp) Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha Base Attack/
Grapple
FortSave RefSave WillSave BreathWeapon(DC) Frightful
Presence

DC
Wyrmling T 3d12+3 (22) 11 14 13 10 11 10 +3/-5 +4 +5 +3 1d8 (12) --
Very young S 6d12+6 (45) 13 14 13 10 11 10 +6/+3 +6 +7 +5 2d8 (14) --
Young M 9d12+18 (76) 15 14 15 12 13 12 +9/+11 +8 +8 +7 3d8 (16) --
Juvenile M 12d12+24 (102) 17 16 15 12 13 12 +12/+15 +10 +11 +9 4d8 (18) --
Young adult L 15d12+45 (142) 19 16 17 14 15 14 +15/+23 +12 +12 +11 5d8 (20) 19
Adult L 18d12+72 (189) 23 16 19 14 15 14 +18/+28 +15 +14 +13 6d8 (23) 21
Mature adult H 21d12+105 (241) 27 18 21 16 17 16 +21/+37 +17 +16 +15 7d8 (25) 23
Old H 24d12+120 (276) 29 18 21 16 17 16 +24/+41 +19 +18 +17 8d8 (27) 25
Very old H 27d12+162 (337) 31 18 23 18 19 18 +27/+45 +21 +19 +19 9d8 (29) 27
Ancient H 30d12+180 (375) 33 18 23 18 19 18 +30/+49 +23 +21 +21 10d8 (31) 29
Wyrm G 33d12+231 (445) 35 18 25 20 21 20 +33/+57 +25 +22 +23 11d8 (33) 31
Great wyrm G 36d12+288 (522) 37 18 27 20 21 20 +36/+61 +28 +24 +25 12d8 (36) 33

Mercury Dragon Abilities by Age

Age Speed Initiative AC Special
Abilities
Caster
Level
SR
Wyrmling 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (average) +2 16 (+2 size, +2 natural, +2Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 14 Fire subtype, brilliance, -- --
Very young 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (average) +2 18 (+1 size, +5 natural, +2 Dex), touch 13, flat-footed 16   -- --
Young 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +2 20 (+8 natural, +2 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 18 gaze screen 1st --
Juvenile 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +3 24 (+11 natural, +3 Dex), touch 13, flat-footed 21 mirror image 3rd --
Young adult 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +3 26 (-1 size, +14 natural, +3 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 23 DR 5/magic 5th 17
Adult 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +3 29 (-1 size, +17 natural, +3 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 26 Alternate form 7th 19
Mature adult 60 ft.,) fly 200 ft. (poor +4 32 (-2 size, +20 natural, +4 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 28 DR 10/magic 9th 21
Old 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +4 35 (-2 size, +23 natural, +4 Dex ), touch 12, flat-footed 31 telekinesis 11th 22
Very old 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +4 38 (-2 size, +26 natural, +4 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 34 DR 15/magic 13th 24
Ancient 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor) +4 41 (-2 size, +29 natural, +4 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 37 15th 25
Wyrm 60 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy) +4 42 (-4 size, +32 natural, +4 Dex), touch 10, flat-footed 38 DR 20/magic, project image 17th 26
Great wyrm 60 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy) +4 45 (-4 size, +35 natural, +4 Dex), touch 10, flat-footed 41 19th 28

The dragon seems long and slim, with a narrow body and a slender, whiplike tail. The sleek head has a long, pointed snout, with short horns curving forward from behind the lower jaw and larger horns curving backward from behind the upper jaw and eyes. The wings seem mirror bright. There is a crisp scent, like a spring morning, about the creature.

Mercury dragons are fast moving and highly whimsical. When they speak, which is fairly often, the words come so quickly that many creatures can't keep up. Mercury dragons are known for making and changing decisions frequently.

At birth, a mercury dragon's scales are dull silver. As it ages, the scales become brighter and brighter, until at adult age they gain a brilliant mirror finish. The dragon's eyes start out a deep blue or violet with a dark pupil and a pale yellow-white iris. As it gets older, the eyes become paler and brighter, until they become pure yellow white at the wyrm stage. Sunlight or other sources of light reflecting off the scales and wings of a mercury dragon can be blinding.

Mercury dragons love clear air and bright sunlight. They lair in high caves, preferably facing east to catch the morning sun, and their territories always contain several places that fill with sparkling light in clear days. These may include snowfields, glaciers, mountain lakes, and sun-dappled alpine meadows.

Mercury dragons can and will eat almost anything if the need arises, and they love to hunt, at least some of the time. They'll pounce on prey of nearly any size, from big game to tiny rodents. They claim that the smaller and quicker the prey, the better it tastes.

Because they share the same habitat, red dragons are mercury dragons' worst enemies. The larger reds have the advantage in one-on-one confrontations, so mercury dragons usually try to evade them through their superior speed. Mercury dragons usually stay on friendly terms with any silver dragons living near them, and they may team up from time to time when a red dragon threatens one or the other. A silver dragon, however, usually considers mercury dragons tiresome company at best due to their manic behavior and capricious natures.

Combat

Mercury dragons are as unpredictable when it comes to combat as they are in any other situation. They may parley, they might attack instantly, or, perhaps, they may avoid combat entirely. They never attack good-aligned creatures unless sorely provoked.

Mercury dragons always use spells in combat, if possible. They are very creative and can always figure out some innovative way of using virtually any spell to advantage in combat.

Breath Weapon (Su): A mercury dragon's breath weapon is a line of intense light that burns whatever it touches, dealing fire damage.

Brilliance (Ex): As a standard action, a mercury dragon can use the mirror-bright membranes of its wings to reflect and concentrate available light into a beam of dazzling brightness. To use this power, the dragon needs light as bright as an overcast day or clear, moonlight night. Torchlight or candle light is insufficient.

The power creates a thin beam the dragon can aim at a single target within 30 feet per age category of the dragon. The target is blinded for 1d4+1 rounds unless it makes a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the dragon's Hit Dice, + the dragon's Dexterity modifier). If not using this technique as a weapon, the dragon can create a cone of light as bright as a daylight spell up to 60 feet long per age category of the dragon. The cone lasts 3 rounds.

Alternate Form (Su): A mercury dragon of adult age or older can assume any animal or humanoid form of Medium size or smaller as a standard action three times a day. This ability functions as a polymorph spell cast on itself at its caster level, except that the dragon does not regain hit points for changing form and can assume only the form of an animal or humanoid. The dragon can remain in its animal or humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its normal form.

Fire Subtype (Ex): Fire immunity, +50% damage from cold.

Protected Sight (Ex): A mercury dragon is immune to any effect that would blind or dazzle it. It also gains +3 racial bonus on saving throws against any light or pattern effect.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- gaze screen*; 3/day -- mirror image; 2/day -- telekinesis; 1/day -- project image.

*This spell is available below and in Tome and Blood.

Skills: These skills are available to mercury dragons at 1 skill point per rank: Bluff, Disguise, Sense Motive, and Survival. Mercury dragons have the Jump skill for free at 1 rank per Hit Die .These are in addition to the skills noted in the dragon entry in the Monster Manual.

Gaze Screen
Abjuration
Level: Clr 2, Drd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Duration: 10 minutes/level
Range: Touch
Target: 1 living creature
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

You create a shimmering, mirrorlike area in the air before the recipient's eyes. The area moves with the recipient, and does not affect the recipient's vision. If the recipient is subjected to a gaze attack while the spell lasts, there is a 50% chance that recipient does not need to make saving throw against the attack (just as if the recipient had averted his eyes). The foe with the gaze attack does not have concealment from the recipient (see Gaze Attacks on page 294 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). The recipient gets no additional protection from averting his eyes while the spell lasts, though he can shut his eyes and entirely avoid the gaze.

About the Author

Skip Williams keeps busy with freelance projects for several different game companies and has been the Sage of Dragon Magazine since 1986. Skip is a co-designer of the D&D 3rd Edition game and the chief architect of the Monster Manual. When not devising swift and cruel deaths for player characters, Skip putters in his kitchen or garden (his borscht gets rave reviews).

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