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Tome Unleashed: Dragon Eel

Tome Unleashed: Dragon Eel

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.

This time, we’re looking at ways to change up the dragon eel (see Tome of Beasts) including magic items, spells, and adventure hooks inspired by this sinuous dragon.

Alternate Traits and Actions

The following changes allow GMs to alter a dragon eel without modifying its challenge rating.

Draconic Ancestry. The dragon eel derives from a dragon (the presumed default being blue dragon). Depending on its ancestry, it inhabits other locations (an eel with green dragon ancestry lives near vents spewing poison gases), and has the following immunities, traits, and actions.

  • Black: The eel gains immunity to acid damage. Its Shocking Touch becomes Acidic Touch, which deals 5 (1d10) acid damage. Its Lightning Breath becomes Acid Breath, which deals 55 (10d10) acid damage. Its bite attack deals 5 (1d10) acid damage instead of lightning damage, and the target becomes poisoned for 1 minute on a failed save. Its tail attack deals 5 (1d10) acid damage instead of lightning damage.
  • Green: The eel gains immunity to poison damage. Its Shocking Touch becomes Miasmatic Touch, which deals 5 (1d10) poison damage. Its Lightning Breath becomes Poison Breath, which deals 55 (10d10) poison damage. Its bite attack deals 5 (1d10) poison damage instead of lightning damage, and the target becomes poisoned for 1 minute on a failed save. Its tail attack deals 5 (1d10) poison damage instead of lightning damage.
  • Red: The eel gains immunity to fire damage. Its Shocking Touch becomes Burning Touch, which deals 5 (1d10) fire damage. Its Lightning Breath becomes Fire Breath, which deals 55 (10d10) fire damage. Its bite attack deals 5 (1d10) fire damage instead of lightning damage, and the target becomes blinded for 1 minute on a failed save. Its tail attack deals 5 (1d10) fire damage instead of lightning damage.
  • White: The eel gains immunity to cold damage. Its Shocking Touch becomes Freezing Touch, which deals 5 (1d10) cold damage. Its Lightning Breath becomes Cold Breath, which deals 55 (10d10) cold damage. Its bite attack deals 5 (1d10) cold damage instead of lightning damage, and the target becomes paralyzed for 1 minute on a failed save. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The eel’s tail attack deals 5 (1d10) cold damage instead of lightning damage.

The dragon eel loses its immunity to lightning damage. Its Shocking Touch trait, its Lightning Breath action, and its bite and tail attacks are modified as above.

Slamming Charge. If the dragon eel moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits the target with its tail attack on the same turn, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the eel can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.

The dragon eel’s tail attack doesn’t push the target away on a hit.

New Magic Items and Spells

The following magic items and spells are inspired by the dragon eel.

Dragon Eel Helm

Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)

This helm is preserved from a dragon eel and retains its serrated-blade jaw. It has 3 charges.

While wearing the helm, your unarmed strikes made with the jaw have a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, and deal 1d8 piercing damage and 1d10 lightning damage. On a hit, you can use your bonus action to attempt to paralyze the target. The target must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw, or become paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

The helm regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.

Dragon Eel Hide

Armor (Hide or Leather Armor), rare (Requires Attunement)

While wearing this armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC, you are immune to lightning damage, you can breathe underwater, and you have a swimming speed equal to your walking speed. In addition, your unarmed strikes deal 1d6 lightning damage on a hit. Finally, while wearing this armor during a storm, you can use an action to grant yourself a flying speed equal to your walking speed for 10 minutes or the storm’s duration, whichever is shorter.

Lightning Charge Skin

4th-Level Transmutation | Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S M (a dragon eel’s lightning-generating gland)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You touch a willing creature. Until the spell ends, the target’s skin discharges electricity. Whenever a creature within 5 feet of the target hits it with a melee attack, the target’s skin releases a bolt of electricity, dealing 1d10 lightning damage to the attacker.

Slap Tail

3rd-Level Transmutation | Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S M (a dragon eel’s tailfin)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

When you touch a willing creature while casting this spell, the target grows a dragon eel tail. For the duration, the target can make an unarmed strike with the tail, which deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage and 1d10 lightning damage. The target is proficient with this unarmed strike. Additionally, if the target hits a creature with its tail attack, the creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed away from the target by 5 feet (this increases to 10 feet if the creature fails its save by 5 or more).

Dragon Eel Adventure Hooks

  • A baroness overseeing a coastal barony requires a party to deliver treasure to a dragon eel to placate the creature, so it will no longer attack merchant ships flying her banner. She secretly expects the eel to consume the party as part of the tribute.
  • A pirate captain gifted a dragon eel with a trident but did not realize the scope of the weapon’s power. The monarch from whom the pirate stole the trident discovered it now resides in the eel’s hoard and intends to pay adventurers a tidy sum to recover the trident.

<<PREVIOUSLY

Tome Unleashed is going back to where it all began, with Tome of Beasts. If you’ve got a favorite from that book, please let me know in the comments or elsewhere in the Kobold warrens, and I’ll add it to the queue.

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