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Lesser Night Dragon

by Jamie Baty

CoM
Night Dragons are chaotic dragons that have become the undead servants of Immortals in the Sphere of Entropy. They are sometimes sent to the Prime Material Plane on missions for their masters. For example, after the destruction of Oceania, Synn (a greater dragon) was allowed to remain and guard an ancient secret in her lair.

Night dragons look like the shadow of a dragon, totally black, except for two eyes that glow slightly. Very faint dark blue or purple shimmers reveal some of the dragon's physical features, such as scales and muscles. Night dragons are solid on the Prime Material Plane.

Night dragons are masters of guile and treachery. They feed on the sorrow they inflict upon their victim. They torment a foe rather than destroy it. Physical combat is not viewed as a means of achieving their goals; lies are far better.

A dragon choosing to become a lesser night dragon is often the choice of a quick and easy path to power. The na´ve and foolish among dragons are seduced by the immediate power gained, but often fail to see that through patience, they have more to gain by continuing to age as dragon, or that by biding their time, they could transform into a greater night dragon.

The consequences for the dragon choosing this path are significant. Firstly, it will never grow beyond its size at the time of its turn to entropy. Secondly, it becomes very vulnerable to light and subject to turning by clerics. Lastly, they become cut-off from all draconic society- even the most evil of dragons cannot fathom a dragon making this choice. As a result, the new night dragon is an outcast, a betrayer of dragonkind and will be treated as an enemy of dragonkind. The Draconic Immortals agree on few things, but one thing they do agree on is that Night Dragons are an abomination of nature.

Creating a Lesser Night Dragon

Lesser Night Dragon is an acquired template that can be added to any Dragon of Adult or Mature Adult age (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A lesser Night Dragon uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The dragon's type changes to Undead (Entropy, Extraplanar). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

Speed: Same as the base creature.

Armour Class: The base creature's natural armour bonus improves by +6.

Attack: A lesser night dragon maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal dragon.

Full Attack: A lesser night dragon maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal dragon.

Damage: Lesser Night Dragons inflict damage with their attacks as a dragon of their original size and type.

Special Attacks: A Lesser night dragon retains all the special attacks of the base dragon and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 lesser night dragon's HD + lesser night dragon's Cha modifier unless noted otherwise.

Breath Weapon (Su): A lesser night dragon may breathe (every 1d4 rounds) a billowing cone of absolute darkness, the range is based on the lesser night dragon's size. Any creature caught within the cone must make a fortitude save or fall unconscious for 10-60 rounds. The absolute darkness thoroughly blocks all light and vision (including darkvision) and any light source within it is snuffed out. The darkness dissipates in 10-60 minutes. A lesser night dragon is unaffected by the darkness created by its breath weapon. The save DC is Charisma based.

Paralysis (Ex): Any creature hit by the lesser night dragon's bite or claw attacks must make a fortitude save or be paralysed for 1d8+1 rounds. Elves have immunity to this paralysis.

Spells: The lesser night dragon retains the spellcasting abilities of the base dragon.

Special Qualities: A lesser night dragon retains all the special qualities of the base dragon and gains those described below.

Cover of Darkness (Su): A lesser night dragon, as a standard action, may enter the Plane of Entropy through any spot of absolute darkness. It may return to the Prime Plane through any spot of absolute darkness as well.

Damage Reduction (Su): A lesser night dragon's damage reduction changes to X/magic and good, where X equals the dragon's original damage reduction amount. A lesser night dragon's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Light Vulnerability (Ex): A lesser night dragon is very vulnerable to light. If it is ever exposed to the full light of the sun, it is immediately and irrevocably destroyed. Any light spell cast directly at a lesser night dragon causes 1d10 damage per level of spell to the night dragon if the doesn't already have had an affect upon undead.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A lesser night dragon cannot be turned by a cleric if it is within 10 miles of its lair or it is on the Plane of Entropy.

Abilities: Increase from the base dragon as follows: Str +4, Dex +4, Int +4, Wis +2, and Cha +6. As an undead creature, a lesser night dragon has no Constitution score.

Skills: Lesser Night Dragons have a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. It receives a +4 racial bonus to disguise checks. Otherwise, skills are the same as the base dragon.

Feats: Lesser night dragons have the same feats as the base creature.

Environment: Plane of Entropy, Any Land on Prime

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2.

Treasure: Triple standard.

Alignment: Changes to Chaotic Evil.

Advancement: By character class.

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +7.

Sample Lesser Night Dragon (former Mature Adult Black Dragon)
Huge Undead (Entropy, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 22d12 (143 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares), Fly 150 ft (Poor) (30 squares), Swim 60ft. (12 squares)
Armour Class: 36 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +27 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 35
Base Attack/Grapple: +22/+38
Attack: Bite +32 melee (2d8 + 10 + Paralysis)
Full Attack: Bite +32 melee (2d8 +10 + Paralysis) and 2 Claws +3o melee (2d6 +5 + Paralysis) and 2 wings +30 melee (1d8 +5) and 1 tail slap +30 melee (2d6 +5)
Space/Reach: 15 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Breath Weapon, Crush, Frightful Presence
Special Qualities: Blindsense, Corrupt Water, Cover of Darkness, Spell Resistance 21, Damage Reduction 10/magic and good, Darkvision 120ft., Immunity to Acid, Keen Senses, Light Vulnerability, Low-light vision, Spells, Spell-Like Abilities, Turn Resistance, Undead Traits, Water Breathing
Saves: Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +16
Abilities: Str 31, Dex 12, Con -, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 20
Skills: Bluff +29, Concentration +14, Disguise +23, Diplomacy +19, Gather Information +20, Intimidate +19, Hide +15, Knowledge (Arcana) +18, Knowledge (Planes) +18, Listen +27, Move Silently +9, Search +26, Sense Motive +26, Spot +25, Survival +17, Swim +10
Feats: Alertness, Combat Casting, Fly-By Attack, Hover, Multiattack, Power Attack, Snatch, Spell Penetration
Environment: Plane of Entropy
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 16
Treasure: Triple Standard
Alignment: Always Chaotic Evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +7

This thoroughly corrupt creature was once a black dragon. In exchange for increased power, it has become a lesser night dragon and a servant of entropy.

Combat
Although a punishing melee combatant, the lesser night dragon will often toy with and torment their foes for a great length of time before ever physically fighting them. Once in combat, the lesser night dragon will quickly identify the greatest threats, and then shroud the battlefield in absolute darkness. It will strike hard and fast against the biggest threats. If the battle is prolonged, it will breathe and slip into the Plane of Entropy to heal, and then reappear in the same absolute darkness that it departed from.

Blindsense (Ex): Night dragons can pinpoint creatures within a distance of 60 feet. Opponents the night dragon can't actually see still have total concealment against the night dragon.

Breath Weapon (Su): A lesser night dragon may breathe (every 1d4 rounds) a billowing cone of absolute darkness, the range is based on the lesser night dragon's size. Any creature caught within the cone must make a fortitude save vs DC 26 (Cha based) or fall unconscious for 10-60 rounds. The absolute darkness thoroughly blocks all light and vision (including darkvision) and any light source within it is snuffed out. The darkness dissipates in 10-60 minutes. A lesser night dragon is unaffected by the darkness created by its breath weapon.

Corrupt Water (Sp): Once per day this lesser night dragon can stagnate 10 cubic feet of water, making it become still, foul, and unable to support animal life. The ability spoils liquids containing water. Magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save (DC 26) or become fouled. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. Its range is equal to 210 ft.

Cover of Darkness (Su): A lesser night dragon, as a standard action, may enter the Plane of Entropy through any spot of absolute darkness. It may return to the Prime Plane through any spot of absolute darkness as well.

Crush (Ex): This special attack allows a flying or jumping night dragon to land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents three or more size categories smaller than the night dragon (though it can attempt normal overrun or grapple attacks against larger opponents).
A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the dragon's body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a Reflex save vs DC 26 (Cha based) or be pinned, automatically taking 2d8 +15 bludgeoning damage during the next round unless the dragon moves off them. If the night dragon chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attack. Pinned opponents take damage from the crush each round if they don't escape.

Damage Reduction (Su): This lesser night dragon has DR10/magic and good. A lesser night dragon's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A lesser night dragon can unsettle foes with its mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the dragon attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 210 ft are subject to the effect if they have fewer than 22HD. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 26) remains immune to that night dragon's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Night dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons.

Immunity to Acid (Ex): This lesser night dragon has 100% immunity to acid damage.

Keen Senses (Ex): A dragon sees four times as well a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. It also has darkvision out to 120 feet.

Light Vulnerability (Ex): A lesser night dragon is very vulnerable to light. If it is ever exposed to the full light of the sun, it is immediately and irrevocably destroyed. Any light spell cast directly at a lesser night dragon causes 1d10 damage per level of spell to the night dragon if the doesn't already have had an affect upon undead.

Paralysis (Ex): Any creature hit by the lesser night dragon's bite or claw attacks must make a fortitude save or be paralysed for 1d8+1 rounds (DC 26, Cha based). Elves have immunity to this paralysis.

Spells: This lesser night dragon can cast spells as a 5th level sorcerer. It may cast 6/8/5 spells per day and knows 6/4/2 spells.

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day
darkness (radius 70 feet).

Turn Resistance (Ex): A lesser night dragon cannot be turned by a cleric if it is within 10 miles of its lair or it is on the Plane of Entropy.

Water Breathing (Ex): This lesser night dragon can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon, spells, and other abilities while submerged.

Skills: Lesser Night Dragons have a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. It receives a +4 racial bonus to disguise checks.

Undead Traits: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a fortitude save unless it also works on objects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. The creature has darkvision 60 ft. unless otherwise noted.