Woohoo, more dragons. The first Monster Manual (and the Vault) focused on chromatic dragons, which are the classic draconic opponents, and now the second one talks about the metallics.
The earliest metallic dragons were the Golds, who appeared alongside the chromatic set in AD&D 1st Edition and might have been around even earlier than that. Here, we’re going to look at a slightly different set. This is an introductory post, with the next handful of them each covering a different “color” of dragon.
In editions past, metallic dragons used to be various shades of Good, something which settings like Dragonlance really leaned into. Things are a bit more complex here.
Metallics still venerate Bahamut in his role as the Platinum Dragon. They’re more likely to interact peacefully with PCs and other sapients, but they can still be quite full of themselves and are very protective of their territory and treasure. If they perceive someone as a threat, they won’t hesitate to crush that someone. And just like you can have friendly chromatics, you can also have villainous metallics.
In either case they tend to have a scholarly temperament. They prefer lairs that have some cultural or academic significance in addition to the usual requirements of isolation and defensibility and their treasure hoards are curated like museum collections. The typical metallic dragon loves engaging in learned discourse, and has a keen ability to sense lies. They deal very harshly with people who try to fool or, gods forbid, steal from them.
Like all dragons they see very few other creatures as their peers, but will allow a group of “lessers” to gather around themselves. They tend to see these as students and wards, instead of slaves and worshippers. A metallic dragon is not going to set itself up as a god, but as a university professor.
This entry has five dragon types: Adamantine, Copper, Gold, Iron and Silver. From what I gather, Adamantine and Iron dragons made it into the main metallic lineup in 4e to replace bronze and brass dragons, which weren’t distinct enough from Copper dragons at a glance. I think I agree with that reasoning. While I’m sure these dragons have their own mechanical distinctions, I sure can’t recall what they were just from looking at their names.
As usual for dragons, the ones we get here are all solos, and each has several stat blocks representing different age categories: Young, Adult, Elder and Ancient. Young dragons only have the most basic versions of their powers, and both improve them and gain new ones as they age. Their mechanical design is closer to that of the first Monster Manual than to the one from the Vault.
All dragons have darkvision, resistance to the same element they breathe, and both combat and overland flight speeds. All of them get a different Breath Weapon, as well as the Bloodied Breath trait and the Frightful Presence attack.
Bloodied Breath works as usual: when the dragon is first bloodied, its breath weapon recharges and it uses it immediately as a free action. Frightful Presence is a Close Burst 10 vs. Will encounter power that does no damage but stuns for a turn and has a -2 attack penalty (save ends) as an after-effect.
We’ll begin discussing the dragon types individually in the next few posts.