Shadow Dragons: Possible Origins
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Shadow dragons are one of the rare species of dragons, in which hatching from eggs are not the only way they reproduce. Here is a list of possible methods of creation.
1: Some dragons sink into a stupor and deep hibernation. In some cases, they expend they internal elemental energies into the environment (see entry on black dragon in Dragons of Krynn) to the extent that they transform into shadow dragons.
2: Dragons that have stayed in the Shadow plane may have their elemental nature swaped with shadowstuff.
3: A fight with undead might have drained the dragon to the point where they lose a majority of their essence. This would occur when all they spells have been expended, acquired over half their hit dice in negative levels, and then subjected to shadow magic e.g. spells with the "Shadow" descriptor.
4: Pacts with a divine being, with the purpose to avoid and survive situations. An example might be to avoid effects that harm chromatic or metallic dragons such as the withdrawal of dragons at the end of the Dragonwar.
5: A shadow of a dragon might take life on its own. This might happen if a dragon was animating its shadow, with the shadow being subjected to strange magical effects such as wild magic.
6: Similar to 5 above, except the dragon was using a spell to take a form of a shadow (a "shadowform" spell) and became trapped and altered into a shadow dragon.
7: Permanent polymorphed dragon.
8: Residual Chaos energies from Chaos or Greygem changing dragons or eggs into shadow dragons.
9: Shadow dragons from another world or plane.
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