Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter a keyhole dragonette without modifying its challenge rating.
Innate Spellcasting. The keyhole dragonette’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 11). The dragonette can cast the following spells, requiring no material components.
- At will: friends, mage hand
- 3/day: expeditious retreat, knock
The keyhole dragonette loses its Leaping Withdraw trait.
Limited Flight. The keyhole dragonette has a membrane granting it short bursts of flight. It can use a bonus action to gain a flying speed of 20 feet until the end of its turn.
The keyhole dragonette loses its climb speed.
Regurgitated Food Breath (Recharge 5–6). The keyhole dragonette expels part of its latest meal in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage and is poisoned for 1 minute. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t poisoned. A poisoned creature can make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
The keyhole dragonette loses its Soporific Breath action. Alternatively, the dragonette’s Regurgitated Food Breath and Soporific Breath actions recharge on 6.
Verminburn Breath (Recharge 5–6). The keyhole dragonet exhales a fiery blast in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 2 (1d4) fire damage on a failed save, and half as much on a successful one. A swarm of beasts in the area has disadvantage on the save and takes 4 (2d4) fire damage on a failed save, and half as much on a successful one.
The keyhole dragonette loses the ability from Vermin Hunter to take a bonus action to use Scale Slash against a swarm of beasts occupying its space.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic items and spells are inspired by abilities possessed by a keyhole dragonette.
Wondrous item, uncommon
This small packet contains 1d6 + 4 brass pellets. You can use one pellet as a sling stone, which explodes on a hit. The creature struck must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious for 1 minute. Alternatively, you can use an action to swallow the pellet harmlessly. For up to 1 minute afterward, you can use an action to expend the pellet and exhale a cloud of gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious for 1 minute. A sleeping creature awakens if it takes damage or if another creature uses an action to wake it.
Armor (leather or hide), uncommon (requires attunement)
While wearing this armor festooned with thin draconic scales, you gain a +1 bonus to AC. You can use the scales as a melee weapon while wearing the armor. You have proficiency with the scales and deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit (your Strength modifier applies to the attack and damage rolls as normal). Swarms don’t have resistance to the damage dealt by the scales. Additionally, if a swarm occupies your space, you can attack with the scales as a bonus action.
2nd-level transmutation (ranger)
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a keyhole dragonette scale)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Your legs become springy upon casting this spell. Your long jump is equal to your walking speed and your high jump is equal to half your walking speed, with or without a running start. If you leap out of a creature’s reach, the movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, your long jump distance increases by 10 feet for each slot level above 2nd, and your high jump distance increases by 5 feet.
1st-level transmutation (bard, sorcerer, warlock, wizard)
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Components: V, S, M (a keyhole dragonette tongue or a lockpick)
Duration: 1 hour
When you cast this spell, the target creature’s tongue changes into a slender, lengthy, still-fleshy skeleton key. For the duration, the target can use its transformed tongue to pick locks and disarm traps as if its tongue was a set of thieves’ tools. The target is proficient in using its tongue in this way.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the target doubles its proficiency bonus when using its tongue. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the target has advantage on its checks to pick locks and disarm traps with its tongue.
Keyhole Dragonette Adventure Hooks
- A keyhole dragonette recently lost its companion and in its despair picks a fight with a doppelrat (see Tome of Beasts), 1 round before the PCs arrive on the scene. If the PCs defeat the doppelrat and its clones and the dragonette survives the combat, it dejectedly requests to travel with its saviors. The dragonette’s spirits immediately pick up if the PCs agree to “adopt” it.
- A series of improbable burglaries have beset property belonging to a wealthy noble. The thefts involve baubles relatively inexpensive compared to larger treasures that are just as readily available. The culprit is a keyhole dragonette, working for a pair of kobolds who bear a grudge against the noble but are perfectly happy to allow the dragonette to take the fall should it get caught in the act. The dragonette doesn’t care about its larcenous activities and instead wishes to please the kobolds, for whom it has developed a rapport.
The Tome Unbound series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts 2, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign.