A-Z Challenge: Dragons

This page is part of the Swords of the Red Sun Monsters Project. The Hur Dragon replaces the Holmes Bronze dragon.

Under the Red Sun dragons are most know as having been the backbone of the Last Empire. While their magics and their never having left earth are major differences between the Imperial Elves and the Lunar Elves (and man for that manner) you only have to consider the other name for Imperial Elves, Draconic Elves, to understand how important the dragons were to the empire’s spread and how their slumber is to the empire’s decline.

For if there is one thing to understand about dragons it is that they slumber. While the need to slumber between campaigns had always been a limit on the empire each cycle is growing longer. Whereas in the early days of the empire it might be a month between dragons’ waking periods with perhaps a season after a long campaign it is now measured in years. In fact, the imperial war dragons have slept since the campaign of Kiyomoro twenty-three years ago.

The other thing about the dragons is their fatalism about the Red Sun. The last known dragon birth was nearly half a millennium ago. Those who have studied and dared to ask dragons have gotten an impression this is due to the closeness of the Red Sun’s final day. The dragons have decided no dragon will die under a cold sun.

Dragons

Unlike most D&D like games ACKS uses dragon age to define Hit Dice, AC, damage, and other dragon characteristics. In the stats below a / separates the ancient and venerable except for damage and spells where the | is used. Under the Red Sun dragons come in two age categories: Ancient (400-700 years old) or Venerable (700+ years old). On a d4 any roll but a 1 indicated a venerable dragon. The HD ranges below cover the two age ranges above. The last listed power is only available to venerable dragons.

Hur Dragon
% in Lair: 70%/90%
Dungeon Encounter: 1d2/1
Wilderness Encounter: 1d2/1
Armor Class:11/12 (S&W: -2[18]/-3[19])
Hit Dice:18/20
Number of Attacks: 3/4 (claw/claw/bite/tail) plus breath
Damage: 1d12/1d12/4d10|3d4/3d4/5d8/5d8
Dexterity:3d6+3(avg 10)
Movement: 240′ swimming
Save as: Fighter 1
Morale:+2
Treasure Type: R/R,N
Alignment: Chaotic
Spells: 3/3/3/2|3/3/3/3/2

Breath Weapon: 90’x30′ steam cloud for HDd6 damage up to 3 times a day
Rot of the River Muck:: Characters within 20′ of the dragon must make a Saving Throw versus Poison or be nauseated by itsoverwhelming stench. Nauseated characters suffer -3 to attack throws and damage rolls for 1d4+4 rounds after leaving the dragon’s vicinity.
Acrid Blood:Any opponent successfully hitting the dragon in melee must save versus Poison to avoid being splashed with highly venomous blood. A failed saving throw results in death.

The longest river of the world is also the abode of its last swimming dragons. The Hur Dragons are long swimming snakes who long ago lost the ability to take to the air. They can breath blistering steam and have the stench of river muck where they spend most of their time wallowing. Their lairs are deep depressions in the river created by their wallowing, usually with a sandbar forming against their back and solidifying over time on the upstream side. Sometimes this bars form small islands.

Hur Dragons are rarely found sleeping (1 on a d20 for ancient, venerable never) and then only in their lairs.

The “saving” grace of the Hur Dragon is they are lazy. All have the power of speech and often, especially those whose wallow has created an island, will collect tolls on the river instead of hunting. Some river traders have been know to call them “river trolls” (although never in a dragon’s hearing) due to this feature.

7 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge: Dragons

  1. Pingback: Swords of the Red Sun Monster Project | Places to Go, People to Be

    • It’s a great game. I think it’s one of the best creative outlets available to the average person.

      Best of all it is essentially free. Several versions of the rules can be downloaded (Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy Roleplaying, and Swords and Wizardry to mention three), you can get dice apps online or on your phone, and everyone has pencils, paper, and imagination. Even inspirational fiction can be found at Many Books as well as the various Project Gutenberg sites.

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