Planar Dragon

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Planar Dragons, as their name suggests, are a kind of Dragon found amongst the various planes of Dungeons & Dragons. This has caused them to evolve into very different creatures indeed to their Chromatic Dragon and Metallic Dragon counterparts, being shaped more by their particular plane of origins than their family ties. Indeed, planar dragons don't form the same kind of overarching family as the other D&D Dragon breeds.

Planar Dragons are unique to 3rd and 4th edition; whilst the Adamantite Dragon of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is native to the Twin Paradises of Bytopia, it is unique in that status and there are no other dragons native to the planes despite dragons still having top billing in the game's name.

3e Planar Dragons[edit]

Astral Dragon - Ethereal Dragon
Radiant Dragon Adamantite Dragon Elysian Dragon Beast Dragon Arboreal Dragon
- Oceanus Dragon Battle Dragon
Axial Dragon Concordant Dragon Chaos Dragon
Rust Dragon Styx Dragon Howling Dragon
Hellfire Wyrm Pyroclastic Dragon Gloom Dragon Tarterian Dragon Chole Dragon

3e dropped a lot of the grid filling of Planescape, but it did go the extra mile to add in dragons for many of the Outer and Transitive Planes. The only of the Outer Planes not covered this way is Arcadia, whose people are not very fond of dragons to begin with (and as such likely hunted their planar dragons to extinction).

Adamantite Dragon[edit]

Introduced in the Planescape supplement "Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix", the Adamantite Dragon is a Neutral Good dragon species unique to the Twin Paradises of Bytopia. Belived by some to be one of the mightiest of all the dragon species, adamantite dragons are strange even by the standards of Metallic Dragons; believing utterly in the principle of the greatest good and of sacrificing whatever is necessary for the common good of intelligent creatures everywhere, they are hatched with their shining silver scales already fully developed with their adamantite-like durability.

Self-appointed guardians of the Twin Paradises, these great creatures are extremely powerful and will come to the aid of any intelligent creature. It should be noted, however, that they are unconcerned with law or chaos, but only the protection of sentient lifeforms. Ironically, they have little place in the ecosystem of the Twin Paradises. They can, however, be avaricious hunters with huge appetites, especially as they have no moral objection to hunting unintelligent lifeforms for food.

They possess two breath weapons, the first being a conical gout of magical flames that can burn through just about anything and the second being a Time Stop breath weapon they can only use 1/day, and that only when they are in Bytopia, but they relish physical combat, And as such learn the various physical attacks of their species at a much earlier age. Adamantite dragons can launch a five-missile Magic Missile each round, and Polymorph Self three times per day. Being extraplanar creatures, they are also totally immune to non-magical attacks.

The Adamantite Dragon's concept would be updated - or arguably replaced - in the "Planar Dragons" article of Dragon Magazine #321. Now called the Adamantine Dragon, it's still the Neutral Good dragon of Bytopia, a self-appointed guardian species that seeks to protect the Twin Paradises from fiends, rilmani, or any other force that might attack the plane's residents. Helpful and friendly by nature, they are close allies to the gnome petitioners and planars who make up the bulk of Bytopia's sapient races - as such, adamantine dragons typically live in castles built near gnome cities, constructed by the smallfolk in gratitude for the protection their draconic allies grant them. They have also been known to make lairs on the layer of Shurrock, in order to protect travelers from that wilder layer's dangers.

Adamantine dragons look smaller than they are, thanks to their disproportionately large claws, wings and tails, armored with shimmering scales that look like silver coated in diamond dust and with a distinctive radiant pattern of sweeping horns that emerge from the back of its head to form a crown-like crest. Their oversized appendages makes the physical attacks of adamantine dragons more dangerous than normal for a dragon of their stature, and their claws are sharp as adamantine, allowiong them to tear through just about anything they can grip. Like adamantite dragons, they possess two breath weapons, but theirs consist of a line of fire and a cone of paralytic gas that mimics a Hold Monster spell. Natural shape-shifters, they can asume the form of any animal or humanoid thrice per day, and also have a small arsenal of spell-like abilities. At the Very Young age, they can cast Mirror Image 3/day, whilst Juveniles can cast Dimension Door 3/day and Adults can cast Dispel Evil 3/day. Adamantine dragons of the Old age category can cast Banishement 3/day and Antipathy 1/day, whilst Ancient ones can speak Power Word: Stun 1/day and Great Wyrms can Reverse Gravity 1/day.

The Adamantine Dragon name would be used again in 4th edition, here as an Underdark-dwelling breed of Metallic Dragon.

Arboreal Dragon[edit]

The Chaotic Good Arboreal Dragon is a feylike dragon species native to the Olympian Glades of Arborea, although they often travel to other pworlds in order to undertake missions to aid noble heroes truggling in lands overwhelmed by evil. Arboreal Dragons are fiercely devoted to promoting freedom and goodness for all, but also champion the beauty of untamed nature; as a result, they frequently are found in the company of elves and other fey creatures, especially in celebrations where they can indulge in their love of wine and song.

Arboreal Dragons are the least "dragony-looking" of the planar dragons, completely lacking in the iconic array of horns, spikes, back ridges and other pointy bits that most associate with dragons. Their wings are huge affairs of gossamer, whilst their streamlined bodies are covered in a patchwork of scintillating scales that slowly change in color and hue, offsetting elf-like eyes of solid black. When an arboreal dragon moves, it leaves a trail of sparkling mist in its wake. That said, their delicate frames are misleading and they are much stronger than they appear. It's unknown what relationship, if any, there is between this dragon breed and the Faerie Dragon.

When drawn into battle, arboreal dragons are a chaotic opponent, whimsically switching between employing their various powers in unpredictable fashions, ensuring that they are hard to counter. They also have no shame about retreating if outmatched - adult or older arboreal dragons will usually lash out with their three Baleful Polymorphs per day spell-like ability in order to throw their foes into disarray and make pursuing them unlikely. For their breath weapon, these dragons launch conical gouts of wickedly sharp thorns. They can shapeshift into humanoids, fey and animals 3/day, and have a number of spell-like abilities; those of at least Young Adult age can cast Telekinesis 3/day, Very Old arboreal dragons can cast Otto's Irresistible Dance 1/day, and Wyrms can cast Polymorph Any Object 1/day.

This dragon is one of the five planar dragons found in Dragon Magazine #321.

Astral Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #344. It is native to the Astral Plane.

Axial Dragon[edit]

Native to the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, the Axial Dragon is a sleek, sharply angular dragon whose body is always symmetrical and perfectly proportioned. Their horns and scales sparkle as if just polished, and their wounds always heal without scarring. These dragons possesses two pairs of rigid, fan-shaped wings, and their scales are light blue as wyrmlings before darkening to deep purple as they age.

These dragons are proud successors to the Planescape tradition of Lawful characters/races/factions being absolute dicks: possessing an extra-generous dose of dragonic ego and complete certainty of themselves, they regard themselves as being the embodiments of draconic perfection. In fact, perfection is their raison de etre; their lives are dedicated to pursuing perfection in thought and body, both in themselves and in the wider multiverse. Ironically, this philosophy is not unmarred by its own aspect of chaos; after all, "perfection" has no one universal standard, and so axial dragons may devote themselves to purity, order, symmetry or any other interpretation of "perfection".

A side effect of this is that axial dragons are the most racist dragon around. See, whilst some of their ilk prefer to destroy flawed gemstones or illogical philosophies, others seek the annihilation of anarchic civilizations - or any "half-breed" race. As in, advocating genocide against half-elves, half-orcs, tieflings, aasimar, genasi, or any of the myriad other mixed-ancestry races in the D&D multiverse. Even axial dragons that don't outright seek to exterminate mixed-breeds will never mate outside of their own species; there are no half-dragons with axial dragon ancestry in them.

An axial dragon possesses a single breath weapon, in the form of a conical gout of raw force. They have a vast array of elemental immunities, which grows more diverse as they age, and a fairly small array of spell-like abilities.

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #321.

Battle Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Heroic Domains of Ysgard.

Beast Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #321. It is native to the Wilderness of the Beastlands.

Chaos Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo.

Chole Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #344. It is native to the Infinite Layers of the Abyss.

Concordant Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #321. It is native to Concordant Domain of the Outlands.

Elysian Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #344. It is native to the Blessed Fields of Elysium.

Ethereal Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Ethereal Plane.

Gloom Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in Dragon Magazine #344. It is native to the Gray Wastes of Hades.

Hellfire Wyrm[edit]

This dragon is found in the Monster Manual 2. It is native to the Nine Hells of Baator.

Howling Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to Windswept Depths of Pandemonium.

Oceanus Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Upper Planes.

Pyroclastic Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna.

Radiant Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia.

Rust Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to Infernal Battlefield of Acheron.

Styx Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to the Lower Planes.

Tarterian Dragon[edit]

This dragon is found in the 3e Draconomicon. It is native to Tarterian Depths of Carceri.

4e Planar Dragons[edit]

Whilst the Great Wheel may have been replaced by the World Axis, the idea of dragons unique to specific planes didn't go away. The Chromatic Draconomicon for that edition included multiple dragons unique to each of the five planes beyond; the Abyss, the Elemental Chaos, the Astral Sea, the Feywild and the Shadowfell.

Abyssal Dragons[edit]

Frostforged Wyrms are former white dragons captured by demons and turned into expendable weapons of war, mostly by taking thick, heavy slabs of spike-adorned cold-forged iron and nailing it to their bodies as a crude, agonizingly painful form of armor. Surrounded by scurrying quasits that constantly adjust the armor if it starts coming loose, it should be little wonder that these insane monsters live short lives and are a threat to everything that they see, foe and nominal friend alike.

Deathmask Dragons are purple dragons that migrated to the Abyss and proved surprisingly adaptable. Rapacious eaters of souls, these giant beasts devour larvae, mortals and demons with equal gluttonous relish, a diet that has warped them into almost unrecognizable forms. A deathmask dragon looks like a giant, purple serpent, with countless faces - the last vestiges of its meals - poking between its scales, moaning and screaming in torment as it scuttles about on dozens of centipede-like legs, with deceptively small wings that can carry them aloft. They can spew a soul-withering cloud of darkness which can cling to its victims eyes, blinding them, and shatter minds with its Mask of Dread and Wail of Death abilities.

Astral Dragons[edit]

Battle Dragons are war-loving dragons whose ancestry is unclear; they look like a hybrid of red dragon and gold dragon, adorned in gleaming green scales tipped in bronze, red or gold. They are devout servitors of the various gods of battle and war, such as Bahamut, Kord, Bane and Gruumsh, and see their role as being natural leaders, encouraging allies to great feats of heroism (or villainy) and inspiring troops as they lead them to glorious battle. They wield blasts of radiant energy as their breath weapon, can shout a draconic battle-cry that boosts morale, and whilst they are fearless warriors, they're not foolhardy.

Pact Dragons are an offshoot of red dragon, born of the ancient pact between their race and the githyanki. Their main difference from their material-realm cousins is their innate ability to teleport and to shift between the planes.

Elemental Dragons[edit]

Blazewyrms are fiery elemental dragons, little more than a serpentine mass of flame with two clawed forearms. They are simple creatures, mostly concerned with burning everything around them. In the Elemental Chaos, every few years, blazewyrms gather in a mating moot where they fuse together into a single giant abomination, the Mother Blazewyrm. Presuming it survives the week or two of its existence, it then splits apart again into an even larger swarm of blazewyrms, now attended by multiple younglings.

Dragon Eels are elongated, serpentine, vaguely piscine dragons that have adapted to swim through water and air with equal ease. Unlike the other elemental dragons, they are flesh and blood rather than elemental matter. They defend themselves by spitting forked blasts of lightning, and also have the ability to swallow smaller prey whole.

Tempest Dragon are embodiments of hurricanes and malestroms, taking the form of giant winged serpents with bodies made of water and lightning. Needless to say, lightning protection is vital if you intend to fight these storm-loving creatures.

Pyroclastic Dragons are mountainous creatures, beings of poisonous fume-venting molten lava contained in a thin crust of hot stone, all in the shape of a dragon that predominantly feeds on metals and stones, but relishes the chance to expand its diet with scorched flesh.

Feywild Dragons[edit]

Faerie Dragons are believed to be the only true native dragons of their realm, dainty little creatures that look like a hybrid of miniature dragon and a fairy.

Mirage Dragons are believed to have evolved from green dragons that nested in the Feywild. If they are related, they sure don't act like it; whilst some of them are dangerous manipulators, most are either playful tricksters or just want to be left alone. In fact, they have close ties to the eladrin, as they seem them as kindred spirits who share their independence and refusal to become involved in the conflict between light and dark. Their breath weapon clouds the mind and ensnares the will, whilst they take their name from their ability to create powerful psychic illusions. Small for a dragon, they have a serpentine build with four legs and a pair of small wings. Their most iconic feature are the vibrant manes of brilliantly colored feathers they sprout from behind their jaws.

Wretch Dragons are purple dragons who fell into the clutches of the fomorians, and have been twisted into degenerate creatures. Obese monsters, they are made hideous to behold with prolific tumors, enormous boils, and cancerous growths over their wobbling, disgusting frames.

Shadowfell Dragons[edit]

Blight Dragons are corrupt descendants of brown dragons who, rather than inhabiting wastelands, create them. They possess a powerful vampiric aura that sucks the life from the land around them, reducing plants to dust and animals to bleached bones. Distinguishable from their ancestors by their rust-red and black color scheme, dust constantly pours from between their scales, and whips up into a protective storm of flesh-shredding intensity when the dragon is drawn into battle.

Shadow Dragons are wraith-like creatures, perhaps related to black dragons, who meld into the darkness of their home plane. Inhabiting crumbling cities and sunken palaces, they are rapacious and cruel even by the standards of chromatic dragons, determined to enslave or exterminate all other races.

Pathfinder Planar Dragons[edit]

Paradise Dragon - Havoc Dragon
Edict Dragon Crypt Dragon -
Infernal Dragon - Rift Dragon

Introduced in Bestiary 6, Pathfinder's planar dragons are, as their name implies, dragons native to the Outer Planes. Only five of the dragons were introduced in their bestiary entry--as is Pathfinder tradtion for 'true dragons'--though the Edict dragon was later introduced as part of the War for the Crown adventure path.

Crypt Dragon[edit]

Crypt dragons are native to the Boneyard, realm of Pharasma and her Psychopomps. In keeping with her purview, these dragons' powers are heavily related to the dead and the undead; their attacks natively affect ghosts, their breath weapons deal both positive and negative energy damage, and several of their special attacks inflict negative levels. They appear gaunt--nearly skeletal--and their scales are the color of sun-bleached bones.

Edict Dragon[edit]

With brass scales and bodies covered in runes, Edict dragons are natives of the city of Axis, realm of the Inevitables. An Edict dragon's abilities are heavily based on its aforementioned runes, lending its natural attacks many secondary, spell-like effects.

Havoc Dragon[edit]

Cited as often causing as much disarray as good, Havoc dragons are native to Pathfinder's CG version of Elysium, realm of the Azata and the ascended god Cayden Cailean. As per their reputation, many of their abilities induce revelry and reshaping the landscape at their whim. These dragons are surprisingly lithe, with long necks and whip-like tails as well as shimmering, iridescent insectile wings.

Infernal Dragon[edit]

Infernal dragons are natives of Hell, realm of the Devils and their ruler Asmodeus, and embody every bit of its overwhelming tyranny. Their hides appear like cooling magma, slightly glowing with bright orange heat and marked with blackened scales over bright orange skin. As with all the denizens of Hell, Infernal dragons are all too eager to recruit and conquer mortal souls, damning them for eternity in exchange for a modicum of influence.

Paradise Dragon[edit]

As natives of Heaven, realm of Angels, Paradise dragons are interested in shielding others from the evils of the multiverse above all. Their long, sleek bodies are similar to those of Havoc dragons, though slightly more robust.

Rift Dragon[edit]

Rift dragons are engines of annihilation; their abilities are designed specifically to allow them to destroy as much as possible. These shadowy, horrific beasts crawl forth from The Abyss alongside equally foul Demons and are often mighty enough to be worshiped by mortals as demigods of death and destruction.

The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons
Arcane Dragon - Catastrophic Dragon - Chromatic Dragon - Dragonet - Epic Dragon - Faerie Dragon
Ferrous Dragon - Gem Dragon - Half-Dragon - Linnorm - Metallic Dragon
Oriental Dragon - Planar Dragon - Pseudodragon - Song Dragon