Friday, February 3, 2012

B/X - Monsters as PC's - Blue Dragons

My next Monster as PC is the Blue Dragon.  In B/X, these beasts are Neutral so they can be reasonable played as characters.  The character will start off as a very young dragon, not reaching full potential until 10th to 12th level.  This template can be easily modified for other dragon varieties.

Blue Dragon as PC

Possible Concept
In a more “fantastic” or gonzo setting, a young Blue Dragon PC might join a party of adventurers to try to uncover magical artifacts, engage in arcane research, or simply to begin its treasure hoard.  Or, a young dragon might be sent on a mission to find and clear out a suitable dungeon or cavern to use as its future breeding grounds.
Hit Dice
2d8 at 1st level; additional d8 every level beyond 1st  (Dragons get no CON modifier for hit points)
STR 13-18 at 1st Level, and increases by 1 point at every odd level starting with 3rd, up to a maximum of 21; WIS -2
Armor & Weapons
Blue Dragons can’t utilize any armor or weapons.  They attack with claw/claw/bite for the following damage:
1st to 3rd Level: d3/d3/d6
4th to 6th Level: d4/d4/2d6
7th to 9th Level: d6/d6/3d6
10th to 12th Level: d6+1/d6+1/3d10
(Dragons get no STR modifier for damage)

A Blue Dragon improves its Armor Class as it levels (and thus grows bigger and tougher):
1st to 3rd Level: AC 3
4th to 6th Level: AC 2
7th to 9th Level: AC 1
10th Level: AC 0
(Dragons get no DEX modifier for AC)
Breath Weapon: Starting at 1st Level, Dragon PCs can attack 1x per day with a breath weapon; the Blue Dragon breathes a lightning bolt.  At 6th level, the breath can be used 2x per day.  At 10th level and above, it’s 3x per day.  Damage is 1d8 per hit die of the Dragon, up to a maximum of 12 hit dice of damage; save lowers it by 50%.  Resistance: Blue Dragons only take ½ damage from magical electrical damage; Fly: Blue Dragons can fly at a rate of 240’; Talking: It is assumed that Blue Dragon PCs can talk Common language.
No Thumbs: Dragons can only use certain select magic items, such as potions, scrolls, rings and amulets; and certainly no wands, staves, rods, armor, or weapons; DM discretion is advised; Bulky: Once a Dragon hits 4th level, it takes up 10’ of space to fight and thus cannot fight side by side with companions in a 10’ hall.
Level as Elf (e.g., 4,000XP to hit 2nd level); no XP bonuses for ability scores; Blue Dragons maximum level is 12th
Save and combat as a Fighter
Weapon Damage
Magical Abilities
Blue Dragons can cast Magic User spells as follows:
·         They receive 1st Level spells at 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level
·         They receive 2nd Level spells at 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level
Thus, at 10th level, a Blue Dragon can cast 4 1st level spells and 4 2nd level spells per day.
Blue Dragons are a very challenging PC to play, especially for beginning players.  The player must realize that his Dragon isn’t “full grown” until 12th level and it will take a very long time for the dragon to reach high level since they use the Elf advancement chart.  Another drawback is how few magic items can be used by a Dragon.  However, a Dragon should be role-played properly.  For example, he will NEVER pass up his turn for a magic item – even if he can’t use it!  After all, Smaug likely had many magic swords and helms in his pile of treasure that he couldn’t use.


  1. Hah, you have no fear! :)
    Maybe I'll be a bit more inclusive in my campaigns...

  2. I kinda like the Dragonewt concept from Runequest, where they are periodically "reborn" into a new form as they grow more powerful. Not really a "true" dragon, btb, but an interesting concept.

  3. Nice. I can just imagine a campaign where each of the PCs start as hatchlings and by the end are flying around terrorizing the realm.
    I request something REALLY bizarre next, like Aboleths as PCs!

  4. Alex - thank you, but this is all just academic so far. I haven't had one of my players play one of these critters yet. :)

    Big - I'll have to check that out. I have a copy of RQ but it's rarely used. Sounds cool though.

    Jeff - yeah, natural progression of weirdness - ogre, centaur, dragon.

    Pierce - hah! That is beyond my capabilities. But let me mull some possibilities over. :)