Copyright 2009 Wizards of the Coast

This is part of a series! Go here to see the other entries.

Silver dragons have been in the game since the days of AD&D 1st Edition, as part of the classic metallic dragon set.

The Lore

Silver dragons are described by the book as “the knights-errant” of dragonkind. They like to travel the world looking for “interesting conflicts”, and then throwing themselves at the center of those. When not doing that, they chill in their lairs, which are usually in cold mountain-tops or in cloud castles.

Silver dragons are highly susceptible to flattery, but get angry when the people talking to them behave in an arrogant or aggressive manner. They breathe ice, but they prefer to mix it up in melee. They can fly, but their flight is slower than that of most other dragons.

All of this kinda make me think of the “Outrageous!” incarnation of Aquaman from the “Batman: The Brave and The Bold” cartoon. A silver dragon patterned after him would be a true ally of justice who travels in search of wrongs to make right, and who is also really loud and boisterous about it.

You can still have ambiguous or evil silver dragons without changing the written text, though. Note that it doesn’t make any mention of which side in those interesting conflicts a silver dragon prefers to join. So a villainous one could be a mercenary who’s interested in chances to inflict violence and who joins whoever pays him the most (and the villains almost always have more money in these scenarios).

The Numbers

Generally speaking, a silver dragon will want to be where the fighting is thickest. They’re all about beating people up in melee, and the more surrounded they are the better their offense becomes. Their cold breath weapon isn’t their most damaging attack, but it makes enemies vulnerable to damage from other sources.

Silver dragons are Solo Brutes. They have darkvision, and cold resistance that starts at 15 and increases by 5 in each subsequent age category. Their ground speed starts at 6, increases to 8 at Adult, and to 10 at Ancient. Their flight speed is always equal to the ground speed, making them indeed slower than other dragons.

Their size progression is pretty standard: starts at Large, grows to Huge at Elder and Gargantuan at Ancient.

Young Silver Dragon

These are Level 8 with 376 HP. They have the usual Reach 2 bite and claws as basic attacks, doing Brute-level damage. Dragon Onslaught allows them to make a claw attack against every enemy in range in a single action.

The Breath Weapon (close blast 5 vs. Fortitude; Recharge 5-6) does light cold damage and makes targets vulnerable 5 to all damage (save ends). Bloodied Breath and Frightful Presence work as usual.

The dragon’s reaction skill is Wing Slice, which triggers when it’s hit by an attack from an enemy flanking it. It makes an attack vs. AC dealing light physical damage to both the attacker and the other enemy flanking the dragon.

Adult Silver Dragon

Adults are level 15 with 608 HP. They have all the abilities of youngsters with some upgrades and additions.

Dragon Onslaught adds an extra bite attack, so it’s a claw against everyone in reach and a bite against a target of the dragon’s choice. They also gain Threatening Reach, allowing them to make opportunity attacks against anyone they can reach.

Elders Silver Dragon

Elders are Level 22 with 840 HP. They’re Huge, but their melee reach remains at 2. They have bigger numbers and all the abilities of adults, with the following two additions:

Tail Slam (close blast 5 vs. AC) does high physical damage and dazes (save ends). It’s also an at-will action!

Unstoppable is a passive trait that allows the dragon to roll extra saves against ongoing damage at the start of its turns.

Ancient Silver Dragon

Ancients are Level 29 with 1072 HP. It has all the abilities of an Elder, with bigger numbers. It doesn’t gain new abilities, but its bite reach increases to 3, which benefits from Threatening Reach and also improves Dragon Onslaught.

Sample Encounters

The sample encounters play up the goodly tendencies of a silver dragon, pairing it up with similarly “righteous” creatures. There’s a Level 8 encounter with a young’un and 2 eladrin twilight incanters, and a level 17 one with an adult and 2 daeva zealots.

Other likely companions include dwarves, dragonborn, and angels. Mechanically, you want monsters that can benefit from being shielded by a big brute.

Final Impressions

Outrageous! I now totally want to include Arthur the Boisterous Heroic Silver Dragon in my next game.