The Dragonlance Nexus

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Golden Drake

by Nael & Joe Mashuga



Golden drakes are the result of Chaos' influence on clutches of gold dragon eggs back when the Graygem wandered Adlatum. Golden drakes resemble their gold dragon antecedents, but they grow at most to only two feet in length with more avian-shaped heads. Those who lack prior experience with the golden drakes often describe them as "large scaled parrots." Their wingspan is wider than birds of similar size, and when folded the golden drake appears to be cloaked from neck to tail.

Golden drake wyrmlings often learn to understand a variety of languages, but their vocal structure does not enable the drakes to speak most of them. Later in life they develop the skill of communication, but even though they've proven themselves to be very intelligent, the most they can speak is a broken form of Draconic.

Most golden drakes are native to the Brassgrove Mountains in Sundalin, however a few have been spotted in small forests on islands in the northern Shattered Sea. Often the drakes take shelter in rocky ledges or in tree hollows off the ground.


Strategies and Tactics

Most golden drakes prefer stealth to direct combat, avoiding enemies when they can. When threatened directly however, golden drakes will attack with its breath weapon from a distance before flying in with claw and bite attacks. If the opponent is a much larger threat, the drake will try to keep its distance as long as possible in order to use its breath weapon as many times as it can before resorting to melee attacks.

Golden drakes have also been known to keep themselves hidden and use their avian mimicry skills to trick opponents into thinking larger more deadly birds of prey are in the area, thereby frightening them off . This technique is often used when a nest of eggs is in need of protection.


3.5 Edition Statistics

Dragon
Environment: Temperate mountains and forests
Organization: Wyrmling, young, juvenile, adult, and wyrm; solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 off spring)
Challenge Rating: Wyrmling 1/2; young 2; juvenile 4; adult 6; wyrm 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: (2nd Edition - 3.5) Usually neutral good; (4th Edition) Good
Advancement: Wyrmling 2 HD, adult 6 HD, wyrm 8-15 HD


Golden Drake by Age
Age Size Hit Die
(hp)
Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha Base Attack/
Grapple
Attack Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Breath Weapon
(DC)
Wyrmling T 1d12
(6 hp)
6 16 10 5 10 12 +1/-9 +0 +2 +5 +2 -
Young T 3d12+3
(22 hp)
8 16 12 7 12 14 +3/-6 +3 +4 +6 +4 2d4(12)
Juvenile T 4d12+8
(34 hp)
10 16 14 11 14 16 +4/-4 +6 +6 +7 +6 3d4(14)
Adult S 5d12+15
(47 hp)
14 16 16 15 16 18 +5/+3 +8 +7 +7 +7 4d4(15)
Wyrm S 7d12+28
(73 hp)
18 16 18 19 18 20 +7/+7 +12 +9 +8 +9 5d4(17)
Golden Drake Abilities by Age
Age Movement Initiative AC Special Abilities SR
Wyrmling 20 ft., fly 60 ft.
(good)
+3 16 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +1 natural) Avian mimicry -
Young 20 ft., fly 80 ft.
(good)
+3 18 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural) - 12
Juvenile 20 ft., fly 100 ft.
(average)
+3 20 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +5 natural) Lucky blessing 14
Adult 20 ft., fly 100 ft.
(average)
+3 20 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +6 natural) Alternate form 15
Wyrm 30 ft., fly 150 ft.
(poor)
+3 21 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +7 natural) Charging breath 17

Alternate Form (Su) An adult or older golden drake can assume the form of any bird-like animal of Small size or smaller as a standard action twice per day. The drake can remain in its animal form until it chooses to assume a new one or return to its natural form.

Avian Mimicry (Ex) A golden drake can mimic the calls of other birds anytime it likes. Anyone who hears the noise may make a Will save (DC 10 + one-half drake's Hit Dice + drake's Charisma modifier) to detect the ruse.

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 2 rounds, a golden drake can breathe a small burst of fire at a single target up to 40 feet away.

Charging Breath (Ex) A golden drake wyrm that charges an enemy may use its breath weapon and make two claw attacks, each at a –5 penalty (or a –2 penalty with the Multiattack feat). In addition to the normal penalties of a charge, the golden drake may only move 5 feet the round after it charges.

Lucky Blessing (Su) Once per week, a juvenile golden drake can emit a glow which illuminates a 5-foot radius around itself for 1 hour. During this time, the golden drake gains a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.

Skills A golden drake has a +4 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks. While in its natural environment, a golden drake can choose to take 10 on Listen and Spot checks, even if distracted, rushed, or threatened.


Sample Adult Golden Drake (CR 6)

NG Small dragon
Init +3; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +15, Spot +15
Defense
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 17
(+1 size, +3 Dexterity, +6 natural)
hp 47 (5d12+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +7
Immune paralysis, sleep; SR 15
Offense
Spd 20 ft., fly 100 ft. (average)
Melee bite +8 (1d6+2) and 2 claws +3 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks breath weapon (usable every 2 rounds, 4 0-ft bolt, 4d4 fire, DC 15 Reflex half)
Statistics
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 18
Base Atk +5; Grp +3
Feats Flyby Attack, Hover
Skills Climb +10, Escape Artist +11, Hide +15, Knowledge (nature) +10, Listen +15, Move Silently +11, Spot +15, Survival +11
Languages Draconic
SQ alternate form, avian mimicry, lucky blessing
Special Abilities
Alternate Form (Su) This golden drake can assume the form of any bird-like animal of Small size or smaller.
Avian Mimicry (Ex) A golden drake has the ability to mimic the calls of other birds. A DC 16 Will save detects the ruse.
Lucky Blessing (Su) Once per week, a juvenile golden drake can emit a glow which illuminates a 5-foot radius around itself for 1 hour. During this time, the golden drake gains a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
Skills A golden drake has a +4 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks. While in its natural environment, a golden drake can choose to take 10 on Listen and Spot checks, even if distracted, rushed, or threatened.