The Tome Unleashed series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts, giving GMs ways to modify existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or introduce new monsters to a campaign. Last month, we changed up the alseid.
This time, we’re looking at ways to change up the alehouse drake (see Tome of Beasts) including swarm stats, magic items, spells, and adventure hooks inspired by them.
Alehouse drakes squat in busy bars, rowdy taverns, and bustling inns. They love gossip, and spend their days drinking, joking, and arguing with patrons. There are friendly alehouse drakes and more devious ones, but either way, they are usually helpful enough to proprietors to earn their keep. They are often “passed down” in innkeeping families through generations.
Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter an alehouse drake without modifying its challenge rating.
Fiery Liquid (Recharge 4–6). The alehouse drake breathes flammable liquid in a 30-foot line. If a source of fire is in the line, the liquid ignites and every creature in the line beyond the source of fire must succeed on a DC 14 Reflex save, taking 14 (4d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. The drake can automatically recharge Fiery Liquid by spending an action to drink an alcoholic liquid.
In exchange for this action, the alehouse drake loses its Breath Weapon.
Hangover Cloud. The alehouse drake belches a cloud of gray gas in a 15-foot cone. A target caught in the cloud must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. While poisoned, the target has disadvantage on ability checks based on Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Additionally, the target must make a Constitution saving throw each round to maintain concentration on a spell, even if it hadn’t taken damage.
In exchange for this action, the alehouse drake loses its Breath Weapon.
Multiple Breath Weapons (Recharge 6). The alehouse drake can choose one option from the Breath Weapon, Fiery Liquid, and Hangover Cloud actions.
In exchange for this flexibility, the recharge chance is reduced. If the drake spends an action to drink an alcoholic liquid, the recharge improves to 4–6 (it is not automatic for Fiery Liquid).
Poison Immunity. The alehouse drake has immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition.
In exchange for this immunity, the alehouse drake loses its Discombobulating Touch action.
Alehouse Drake Familiars
Some alehouse drakes are willing to serve non-lawful spellcasters as familiars. Such drakes have the following trait.
Familiar. The alehouse drake can serve another creature as a familiar, forming a magic, telepathic bond with that willing companion. While the two are bonded, the companion can sense what the drake senses as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. While the drake is within 10 feet of its companion, the companion shares the drake’s Forgetful Spellcasting trait. At any time and for any reason, the drake can end its service as a familiar, ending the telepathic bond.
Alehouse Drake Swarm
Sometimes alehouse drakes gather in groups for revels in popular taverns or during large-scale celebrations.
Swarm of Alehouse Drakes
Medium Swarm of Tiny Dragons, Chaotic Neutral
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 127 (15d8 + 60)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
|7 (−2)||16 (+3)||19 (+4)||11 (+0)||12 (+1)||16 (+3)|
Saving Throws Dex +5
Skills Deception +5, Insight +3, Persuasion +5
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Forgetful Spellcasting. If the swarm targets a creature with an enchantment spell, the target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom save or immediately forget the source of the spell.
Swarm. The alehouse drake swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough to fit a Tiny dragon. The swarm can’t regain hp or gain temporary hp.
Multiattack. The alehouse drake swarm makes one Bites attack and one Claws attack. It can replace its Claws attack with a Discombobulating Touch attack.
Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm’s space. Hit: 7 (2d6) piercing damage, or 3 (1d6) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hp or fewer.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm’s space. Hit: 10 (4d4) piercing damage, or 5 (2d4) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hp or fewer.
Discombobulating Touch. Melee Spell Attack: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm’s space. Hit: The target must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or gain advantage on ability checks or weapon attack rolls that use Dexterity for 1d4 rounds. For the duration, the target is also affected by the confusion spell.
Breath Weapon (Recharge 5–6). An alehouse drake can burp a cloud of intoxicating gas in a 30-foot cone. Each target in the area becomes poisoned for 1 minute and must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become stunned while suffering from the poisoned condition. A poisoned creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Spellcasting. The alehouse drake swarm casts one of the following spells, requiring no material components and using Charisma as the spellcasting ability (spell save DC 13).
At will: friends, vicious mockery
3/day each: calm emotions, confusion, hideous laughter, invisibility 1/day each: compulsion, stinking cloud
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic item and spells are inspired by the alehouse drake.
Gloves of the Drunken Master
Wondrous Item, Rare
These amber gloves smell faintly of alcohol. They have 3 charges. While wearing them, you can expend 1 charge as a bonus action to give yourself advantage on ability checks and attack rolls based on Dexterity for 1 minute. For the duration, you must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw at the beginning of your turn or suffer from confusion until the beginning of your next turn. Instead of making a melee attack against a random creature, you can make a ranged weapon attack against a random creature within range of the weapon. If you succeed on your saving throw or you can act normally under the effects of confusion, you can end this effect with a bonus action.
The gloves regain 1d3 charges daily at dawn. If you soak the gloves in alcohol during a short rest, the gloves also regain 1d3 charges.
Conjure Alehouse Drake
2nd-Level Conjuration | Bard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (40 ounces worth of alcohol)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You summon an alehouse drake which appears in an unoccupied space that you can see within range. The drake disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.
The drake is friendly to you and your companions for the duration. Roll initiative for the drake, which has its own turns. It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you). If you don’t issue any commands to the drake, it defends itself from hostile creatures but otherwise takes no actions.
At Higher Levels. If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you conjure 1 additional alehouse drake for each slot level above 2nd. Each additional drake requires its own alcohol as a material component.
3rd-Level Evocation | Bard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (15-foot cone)
Components: V, S, M (a tankard of beer)
A noxious belch erupts from you. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. The poisoned creature can make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, the poisoned effect ends.
At Higher Levels. If you cast this spell using a 5th-level spell slot, the target is stunned while it is poisoned.
Alehouse Drake Adventure Hooks
- A tavern owner needs help finding the alehouse drake that frequented the tavern until two weeks prior. An investigation uncovers the drake inhabiting another tavern because the other tavern’s owner inadvertently insulted the drake. Is the party up for the delicate negotiation to get the dragon to return?
- Rumors about a party hosted by a revel of alehouse drakes spread throughout the city. A person of interest to the PCs, who normal keeps their whereabouts secret, plans to attend the party, but the PCs must find the party first!
Tome Unleashed is going back to where it all began, with Tome of Beasts. If you’re an expert GM and want
more of this material, check out Tome Unbound based on Tome of Beasts 2 now on sale in the Kobold store!
16 thoughts on “Tome Unleashed: Alehouse Drake”
Awesome! The Alehouse Drake is my favorite Kobold Press monster, and I’m so glad to see it get a Tome Unleashed article! The alternate breath weapons are cool, and the poison immunity is an interesting trade off for the discombobulating touch. I love the idea of an entire swarm of alehouse drakes for big celebrations! Best Tome Unleashed so far. Thank you, Mike!
Thanks, Gus! The Alehouse Drake happens to be one of my favorite monsters too, so I had a great time working on this one.
I was hoping you could pass on a request to the kobolds working on the website to add the tag “monsters” to your previous articles for Expanded Codex, Tome Unleashed, and Tome Unbound. I love your monster articles and I would like more people to be able to find your work.
I strongly agree. The Expanded Codex articles are all awesome, but not easy to find.
Thank you for the suggestion, Barnum! I’ll pass it along.
Ye olde editor has added the #monster hashtag to all Tome Unbound articles. You can always search by the column title in the search bar of the KP site or search engine of your choice!
Excellent stuff Mike. I love the alehouse drake and have the original artwork from the Midgard 4e Bestiary on my wall :)
Thanks, Richard! Also, that’s a great piece of artwork to have.
Conjure Alehouse Drake, the spell, I’m adding to my campaign immediately.
Hi! I was thinking the creator of this article (Mike Welham) could do the Oozasis next. Thanks!
Also, do you mind doing a feat if you end up doing it? The ones with feats just seem more important.
I would also vote for this. It would be a good quest-giver, challenge, or boss.
I agree with … and Jeff. It looks like this has been waiting a long time, and I think it should be done. It is just cool to imagine the plain oozasis, let alone fight it! Also, I agree with the “quest giver” idea.
Seriously, I have been waiting!
I’ve added the oozasis to the queue. Thanks for the suggestion, everyone!