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Crimson Dragon

by Jamie Baty

Dragon (Fire)
Environment: Any lands affected by the Red Curse
Organisation: 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, or solitary and 1-3 offspring
Challenge Ratings: Wyrmling 3; very young 4; young 6; juvenile 9; young adult 12; adult 14; mature adult 17; old 19; very old 20; ancient 22; wyrm 23; great wyrm 25
Treasure: Triple standard
Alignment: Always Neutral, Usually Evil
Advancement: Wyrmling 8-9 HD; very young 11-12 HD; young 14-15 HD; juvenile 17-18 HD; young adult 20-21 HD; adult 23-24 HD; mature adult 26-27 HD; old 29-30 HD; very old 32-33 HD; ancient 35-36 HD; wyrm 38-39 HD; great wyrm 41+ HD
Level Adjustment: Wyrmling +3; very young +4; young +5; others

Crimson Dragons by Age

Age S Hit Dice (hp) Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha Base Attack/ Grapple Attack Fort Ref Will BW (DC) FP DC
Wyrmling M 7d12+21 (66) 16 10 17 11 10 12 +7/+10 +10 +7 +5 +5 Special(16) -
Very young L 10d12+40 (105) 20 10 19 13 12 14 +10/+19 +14 +10 +7 +8 Special (19) -
Young L 13d12+52 (136) 24 10 19 13 12 14 +13/+24 +19 +11 +8 +9 Special (20) -
Juvenile L 16d12+80 (184) 28 10 21 15 14 16 +16/+29 +24 +14 +10 +12 Special (23) -
Young adult H 19d12+114 (237) 30 10 23 15 14 16 +19/+37 +27 +16 +11 +13 Special (25) 22
Adult H 22d12+132 (275) 32 10 23 17 18 18 +22/+41 +31 +18 +13 +17 Special (27) 25
Mature adult H 25d12+175 (337) 32 10 25 19 18 20 +25/+44 +34 +20 +14 +18 Special (29) 27
Old G 28d12+224 (406) 34 10 27 21 20 22 +28/+52 +36 +23 +16 +21 Special (32) 30
Very old G 31d12+279 (480) 36 10 29 23 22 24 +31/+56 +40 +25 +17 +23 Special (34) 32
Ancient G 34d12+340 (561) 38 10 31 25 24 26 +34/+60 +44 +28 +19 +26 Special (37) 35
Wyrm G 37d12+407 (647) 40 10 33 25 24 26 +37/+64 +48 +30 +20 +27 Special (39) 36
Great wyrm C 40d12+440 (700) 44 10 33 27 26 28 +40/+73 +49 +32 +22 +30 Special (41) 39

Crimson Dragon Abilities by Age

Age Speed Initiative AC Special Abilities Caster Level SR
Wyrmling 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 16 (+6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16 Immunity to fire, vulnerability to cold - -
Very young 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 18 (-1 size, +9 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 18   - -
Young 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 21 (-1 size, +12 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 21   - -
Juvenile 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 24 (-1 size, +15 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 24 Suggestion 1st -
Young adult 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 26 (-2 size, +18 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 26 DR 5/magic 3rd 16
Adult 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 29 (-2 size, +21 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 29   5th 18
Mature adult 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) +0 32 (-2 size, +24 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 32 DR 10/magic 7th 20
Old 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy) +0 33 (-4 size, +27 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 33 Dominate Person 9th 21
Very old 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy) +0 36 (-4 size, +30 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 36 DR 15/magic 11th 23
Ancient 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy) +0 39 (-4 size, +33 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 39 Geas/Quest 13th 24
Wyrm 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy) +0 42 (-4 size, +36 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 42 DR 20/magic 15th 25
Great wyrm 40 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy) +0 41 (-8 size, +39 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 41 Demand 17th 27

1. Can also cast cleric spells and those from the Corruption, Evil, and Greed domains as arcane spells.

Note: Please reference the SRD entry on true dragons for related information, including ages, damage, breath weapon ranges, and special abilities common to all true dragons.
The crimson dragon always looks out for its own best interests, seeking power of any kind
be it treasure, territory, or ability. Following this, they are always looking to expand their repertoire of Legacies, which they possess in abundance.
Crimson dragons are thought to be a variant of the red dragon, possessing similarities in both colour and physical characteristics. Crimson dragons are born with the deep, dull red colouring of a mature red dragon. As they grow older, their scales grow larger and thicker, turning such a dark crimson that they seem black. The scales also take on a metallic sheen
not shiny, but more of a polished sheen. This colouring greatly resembles cinnabryl.
A crimson dragon is truly a solitary creature. It maintains its own lair, never sharing with a mate. If more than one crimson dragon is encountered, it is almost always a mother with its young. Crimson dragons have one to three young, which are raised by the female and driven out of the lair before they reach juvenile age. Crimson dragons are very intelligent and cunning, allowing the young to survive on their own this early.
Crimson dragons can be found almost anywhere in the cursed lands of the Savage Coast. They never travel extremely high into the mountains, but they do like caves. Their lairs are often found along foothills or at lower mountain elevations. A crimson dragon might even dig out a lair, tunnelling down into the soft earth of a temperate forest or in the plains. Though they avoid heavily travelled routes, the malevolent desire to deplete cinnabryl keeps them fairly close to civilisation.
Because they like to travel about, crimson dragons often have more than one lair. They visit each region along the Savage Coast about once every few years. However, only one lair will possess its treasure hoard. The dragon carries all useful magical items and a few expensive baubles with it, sealing up its main lair when leaving. They never leave their treasure lying about to be discovered. A typical hoard will be hidden in the bottom of a deep cavern pool or in a collapsed section of a cave; it would be guarded by some animal and the mouth would be carefully hidden. If the lair was dug in soft ground, the dragon carefully fills it back in, leaving no trace of its passage.
Crimson dragons use their treasures and abilities to gain control over other intelligent creatures. Their personal goals are varied and secret, but these goals almost always include the domination of others. Also, crimson dragons tend to be slightly paranoid at times, even inventing a rival if one is not immediately apparent.
A crimson dragon has quite an impact on the environment. First, it is a predatory hunter whose only enemies are the araneas, other dragons, and humanoids. It works to gain treasure and authority and seeks to deplete cinnabryl in any form it can be found. Crimson dragons see depleting cinnabryl as both their personal road to greater power (by gaining more Legacies) and a way to foil the araneas who need the magical metal to avoid Affliction. Of course, most humanoid races know only that these dragons are ruining natural deposits of cinnabryl wherever they find them. This alone makes them worth hunting in the eyes of most Savage Coast residents.
Crimson dragons speak draconic, and as many local languages as it has the ability to learn.

Crimson dragons never attack right away, preferring to toy with their opponents. They are masters of showmanship, bursting out of the brush or rising from the waters of a lake. Quite often, a crimson dragon will trigger several Legacies, in no particular direction, to provide a kind of magical fanfare for its emergence. Then it might draw a claw back, as if attacking, only to scratch at the side of its head in a presentation of nonchalance. Another favourite ploy is to draw in a deep breath, as if preparing for a breath weapon attack, and then watch the normally cool temperaments of adventurers shatter as they scramble about, diving for cover. This type of dragon is famous for being able to humiliate the most stalwart of opponents.
When an attack does come, the crimson dragon might use any of the dragon combat abilities. Tail slaps and wing buffets are good for raising the level of disarray. When finally ready to cause serious damage, its claw and bite combination takes down most opponents. It will never use its breath weapon before at least one feint, unless it has reason to believe (by way of how its opponents react to its appearance) the adventurers are expecting it. If so, it will use its breath weapon and feint later.

Breath Weapon (Su): A crimson dragon has one type of breath weapon, a cone of cinnabryl corruption. Instead of normal damage, the breath weapon depletes all cinnabryl caught in the blast (therefore ruining any crimson essence as well). A successful Reflex save reduces the depletion to half of the victim's cinnabryl supply (i.e. an 8 oz. bracelet loses 4 oz .of protection). For each ounce of cinnabryl depleted with a blast of its breath weapon, there is a cumulative 3% chance that the crimson dragon will instantly gain a new Legacy.

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day suggestion (juvenile or older), dominate person (old or older); 1/day Geas/Quest (ancient or older), Demand (great wyrm).

Skills: Appraise, Bluff and Jump are considered class skills for crimson dragons.

The Red Curse
Crimson dragons are affected by the Red Curse, often gaining multiple Legacies. Their control over these Legacies is phenomenal. These dragons can even choose whether the physical detriment is visible or not. This often gives crimson dragons a slightly unique appearance.
A crimson dragon does not gain its first Legacy until it depletes at least one ounce of cinnabryl with its breath weapon. Strangely, when Legacies manifest in crimson dragons, they drain no attribute points. The physical deformation occurs gradually over a few days, but the dragon may reverse it over the next week if it chooses. No detrimental effects occur beyond this initial deformation. Crimson dragons are assumed to possess 1d4-1 Legacies for each age category of Juvenile (4) and above. Roll randomly for each Legacy. If the same Legacy is rolled more than once, the effects are cumulative (if this is not possible, roll again).

Crimson Dragonhide Armour
Armoursmiths can work with the hides of crimson dragons to produce a special armour of masterwork quality. Very few crimson dragon scales are suitable for this armour. One dragon, regardless of size, produces enough hide and scales for a single suit of masterwork scale armour for a creature of Large size or a masterwork suit of scale, banded, or half-plate armour for medium creatures.
To make these crimson dragon scales into armour, the scales must be removed and specially treated by an alchemist specialised in making crimson essence (Craft (Alchemy) skill check vs DC 20). Additionally, at least one potion of crimson essence is required in the process. With a successful check, the scales will be suitable for use. The scales are useless for anything if the skill check fails.
In addition to acting like masterwork armour, the treated scales of a crimson dragon offer the same protection as cinnabryl, except that it never depletes and is constant as long as the armour is worn. The protection offered by the armour is limited to the wearer and lasts until seriously damaged. Any attack that causes massive damage (50 points or more) requires the bearer to make a Reflex save vs DC (10 + 1/5 the damage caused (round up)). A successful sundering attack against the armour requires a Reflex save vs DC 15 (if only damaged) or DC 25 (if destroyed). If the saving throw is failed, the dragon scales instantly release their magical essence in a blast that causes 10d6+10 points of damage to everyone within a 10-foot radius, half that out to a 20-foot radius. A successful Reflex save vs. DC 20 reduces this to half damage.
Because crimson dragonhide armour isn't made of metal, druids can wear it without penalty.
Crimson dragonhide armour costs double what masterwork armour of that type ordinarily costs, but it takes no longer to make than ordinary armour of that type. However, there is additional time and cost involved to treat the scales- at least one additional week of time, the costs of a crimson essence potion, and a week's pay for a qualified alchemist.
Crimson dragonhide has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.