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Monday Monsters: The Crimson Drake

Monday Monsters: The Crimson Drake

Crimson Dragon 2

Art by Hugo Solis

A crimson drake relishes death and destruction. If this killer can’t surprise its prey, it exploits its similarities to a pseudodragon to fool the unwary. The drake is indistinguishable from its cousin at a distance. Once a victim gets close enough to notice scales the color of dried blood and the murderous gleam in the drake’s eye, the beast viciously attacks with fire, fang, and stinger…

Crimson Drake (CR 2)

CE Tiny dragon (fire)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +2, Spot +2

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 16
(+2 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 34 (4d12+8)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3
Immune paralysis, sleep effects; SR 13

OFFENSE

Spd 15 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +6 (1d3) and
sting +1 (1 plus poison)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with tail)
Special Attacks breath weapon

TACTICS

Before Combat A crimson drake prefers to lurk in undergrowth and wait for its prey to approach. If spotted, it pretends to be a pseudodragon. A DC 14 Knowledge (arcana) check reveals the truth.

During Combat A crimson drake fights in a straightforward manner. It first uses its breath weapon, and then closes to bite and sting its opponents. When the drake’s breath weapon recharges, it eschews melee combat to use its breath weapon again.

Morale When reduced below 5 hp, a crimson drake flees, hoping its ability to fly will help it escape. It vents its frustration as it escapes by torching the forest’s vegetation, making it easy to track. A drake tending eggs fights to the death.

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; Grp -4
Feats Ability Focus (breath weapon), Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +6, Hide +17, Intimidate +11, Listen +2, Move Silently +8, Spot +2, Survival +2; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate
Languages Common, Draconic; telepathy 60 ft.

ECOLOGY

Environment temperate and warm forest
Organization solitary, pair, or frenzy (3-5)
Treasure standard
Advancement 5-6 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su) Breath—area 10-foot cone; frequency once every 1d4 rounds; damage 2d4 fire, save Reflex DC 16 half. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; Fort DC 14; initial and secondary damage 1d2 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Statistics

Crimson Drake (CR 2)
XP 600

CE Tiny dragon (fire)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 16; (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 34 (4d12+8)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3
Immune paralysis, sleep effects; SR 13

OFFENSE

Spd 15 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +6 (1d3), sting +6 (1d2 plus poison)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with tail)
Special Attacks breath weapon

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Ability Focus (breath weapon), Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +7, Fly +17, Intimidate +11, Perception +4, Stealth +17, Survival +4; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate
Languages Common, Draconic; telepathy 60 ft.

ECOLOGY

Environment temperate and warm forest
Organization solitary, pair, or frenzy (3-5)
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su) Breath—area 10-foot cone; frequency once every 1d4 rounds; damage 2d4 fire, save Reflex DC 16 half. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 2 rounds; effect 1d2 Con damage; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Ecology

A crimson drake prefers intelligent prey, and it typically lairs in woods near a small settlement. It makes occasional nighttime forays into the settlement to set fire to a single house, kill the occupants, or both. The drake leaves its forest home alone but sets fire to nearby areas when denied a kill. Canny adventurers armed with this knowledge can discover the creature’s lair.

While a crimson drake delights in mayhem and murder, the beast has learned to imitate its benign lookalike cousin to gain its prey’s confidence. The drake’s ruse doesn’t last, however. Every minute after initial contact, it must succeed at a Will save (DC 15) to maintain its deception or be compelled to attack.

A crimson drake’s appearance, breath weapon, and temperament have led scholars to quietly speculate on a relationship between it and red dragons. Like the pseudodragon, it resembles a red dragon in all but size and the addition of a scorpion-like stinger. This drake weighs 12 lb., its body is 18 in. long, and its tail adds another 18 in.

The creature will only use telepathy and imitate a pseudodragon’s vocalization to trick victims into approaching. It utters a deep, menacing growl when it attacks.

Habitat and Society

A crimson drake hates others of its kind and will attack another drake on sight. Approximately every 5 years, a group of drakes, consisting of a female and at least two males, gathers at a location far from any lair. This gathering results in a large swath of destruction and one male survivor, who impregnates the female and leaves. The female drake tends the resulting 10-12 eggs, half of which survive their mother’s depredations, and she departs when they hatch. One of the fledgling drakes slaughters its siblings and makes its first lair at the site.

Crimson Drake Companions

A crimson drake may associate itself with a master who provides it with better opportunities to kill and burn. The master must be careful, though, for any perceived slight will cause the drake to turn. An arcane spellcaster of at least 7th level with the Improved Familiar feat can take a drake as a familiar, subject to the feat’s restrictions. A crimson drake egg can fetch a price of up to 7,500 gp, and a hatchling is worth as much as 15,000 gp.

(Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible)

______

Would you like to see more Pathfinder RPG monsters? Let us know what you think of this little guy.

11 thoughts on “Monday Monsters: The Crimson Drake”

  1. I like the hateful aditude of this little bastard. Tiny dragons always remind me of Discworld. That’s not a bad thing.

    Personally, I don’t think the differences between Pathfinder and 3.5 validate two different stat blocks, so, put one in brackets, maybe? And why has it +5 natural armor bonus as a d&d 3.5 creature and only +4 as a pathfinder critter?

  2. The mycolids from last week were 4E. The Halloween stuff had the 4E terror birds. Web articles are done gratis, so I imagine they depend on what people are willing to generate while still meeting the quality requirements of KQ.

    If you’re hunting for some 4E monsters, dig through the articles archive. I know for a fact that there’s at least two in there from the 4E version of Halls of the Mountain King. Heck, I would’t be surprised if an ecology wasn’t too far away at this rate.

    -Ben.

  3. Fischkopp: The 3.5 creature should have +4 natural armor as well (that’s what I get for having two sets of stats and tweaking just one). Thanks for catching that and for the kind comment.

  4. Kobold Quarterly

    Edit, AC fixed. :)

    @LegatoRedrivers, We publish the edition(s) that authors send us. There are many 4E articles (and monsters specifically) in past posts as Ben suggested and there will be more. Fear not!

  5. Legato, we’ve published more 4E monsters than Ben mentions, even.

    There’s were the Killer Turtles, the Deathwisp Shades, the Maenads, the Clockwork hunter and hounds, Crag Drake, Frostfang Yeti, the gnomish demon tinker, and the Reapervast.

    I’m sure I’m missing some.

  6. Wow! Replies! :-P

    Sorry, looking through and saw this post, knowing that I have a player that loves him some psudodragons and thoughts of evil GM trips started dancing through my brain.

    I’ll be sure to check out the previous mentions. Thanks!

  7. I do think this critter is great. And will find a way to use it in my campaign. One observation though…

    You start with:

    a. 3 crimson drakes (2 male, 1 female), then
    b. You have 2 drakes (1 male dies in the pre-mating fight), then
    c. 1 female, 1 male (who wanders off) and 10-12 eggs. then
    d. 1 female, 1 male (both who now have wandered off) and 5-6 hatchlings (50% who survived mom.) then
    e. 1 female, 1 male (both have wandered off) and the 1 remaining fledgeling who hate his or her 4-5 brothers and sisters.

    We started with 3 crimson drakes and we ended with 3 crimson drakes. ‘0’ population growth!

    That was a fun exercise.

    Thanks,
    Rich

  8. Yeah, Hugo. I can’t believe I let them post the article with such terrible artwork.

    Who am I kidding? That’s the main selling point for the article. ;)

    Rich, good analysis. Would you believe crimson drakes are very “green”? :)

  9. I, for one, like the artwork.

    The impregnated female should have an unpleasant time of egg laying (making it unwilling to have them in the future). Randomly popping out 2-3 eggs unexpectedly every several days for a few weeks (like a horrible stomach flu’s bowel movements). The eggs mature within her and emerge to hatch within a few hours. With no permenent hatch site this ensures that the clutches can still fight to the death, the mother won’t be there to kill them, and more will survive.

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