Black Dragons Pt. 1

The first entry in my series of entries on dragons will focus on black dragons. The default fluff on a black dragon is pretty open. It talks about their skull like face, how they like coins, and how they live in swamps eating fish and mollusks. That’s about it. Trying to put a culture together around that was a challenge, and it proves to be the case with most of the very short dragon entries that follow. Seeing swamps, seafood affinity, and skull motif, I got inspired, and think I drew a connection that I haven’t seen others make. Black dragons are inspired by New Orleans. Gygax and WoTC may not know it, but once I saw it, I actually found it kind of hard not to describe them without a few references to the city.

Without further adieu, the youngest black dragons

Dolucillia, Wyrmling Black Dragon, CR 3

Dolucillia is a recently hatched Black Dragon, just booted from the cave. She has set out to make her way in the world, and establish her hunting territory.

Combat Statistics
Size/Type:Tiny Dragon (Water)
Hit Dice:4d12+4 = 30HP
Speed:60ft, 100ft fly (average), 60ft Swim
Armor Class:10 + 2 Size + 3 Natural = 15
Base Attack/Grapple:+4/-4
Attack:Bite +6 1d4
Full Attack:Bite +6 1d4 and 2 Claws +4 1d3
Space/Reach:0ft, 5ft w/bite
Special Qualities:Water Breathing Ex, Blindsense 60ft, Darkvision 120ft.
Immune:Acid, Sleep, Paralysis
Saves:Fort – 4 + 1 Con = 5 Ref –  4 + 0 Dex = 4 Will – 4 + 0 Wis = 4
Abilities:Str 11 | Dex 10 | Con 13 | Int 8 | Wis 11 | Cha 8
Skills:Listen 7, search 6, spot 7, move silently 7, hide 15
Languages:Draconic, Common
Feats:Flyby attack, multiattack, ability focus (Breath Weapon)
Alignment:Chaotic Evil

Dolucillia prefers to ambush with her breath weapon, unseen from beneath the water. Her favorite tactic, discovered in a battle with the pontoon boat, is to swim at the bottom of a boat, and blast a hole through it with her acid line, then simply to let it sink and chow down the passengers from below while they swim. If the water is not deep enough for her to leverage this tactic, she performs the same maneuvers from the air making use of flyby attack. 

Breath Weapon SU: as a standard action, once per 1d4 rounds, Dolucillia can breathe a line of acid 30ft long dealing 2d4 acid damage reflex save DC 15.


Her main hunting ground is the trade route between Caboolah and Varcone. Varcone constructed a boardwalk over the massive Sriq Mire allowing it access to the rest of the kingdom. Because of this, its ripe for banditry as coastal merchants bring most of their goods along the path. Dolucillia has had some success as of late. She caught a crafty merchant pulling a pontoon along, but just out of eyesight of, the boardwalk hoping to avoid the many bandits that traverse it. After dealing with the merchant, she has turned his pontoon into the start of what she hopes to be a massive lair.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Dolucillia’s horde is mostly comprised of the remainder of the merchant’s trade goods. Mostly mundane food and some nicely chopped firewood, but his bodyguard did have a fairly nice shield. She has taken to wearing his wig and finds loads of humor in reenacting the “battle” in which she claimed her horde laughing at herself from atop a nearby stump.

  • Masterwork Light Wooden Shield (153 gp)
  • Bag of Chalk (1 sp, 1/2 lb)
  • Bag of Chestnuts (1 gp, 1 lb)
  • Bag of Saffron (15 gp, 1 lb)
  • Bottle of Spiced Wine (2 gp, 4 lb)
  • Cheap Wig (1 sp)
  • Fishing Net (4 gp, 5 lb)
  • 40 x Assorted Dice (1 sp each)
  • Pole (10′) (5 cp, 8 lb)
  • Rack of Firewood (1 sp, 200 lb) – propping up one end of the upturned pontoon forming a lean-to.
  • 2 x Rotting Mules – fermenting in a pool nearby (0 gp)
  • 1 x upturned but mostly functional 10ft X 20ft pontoon.
  • Coins – 877 sp, 3 cp – scattered loosely in a nearby shallow pool along with the dice.

Bartheleme the Young Skull, Very Young Black Dragon, CR 4

Bartheleme, or the Young Skull as he prefers, is a very young black dragon lurking in the swamps outside of The Spire, the preeminent necromancy academy. Bartheleme sees himself as “The Scourge of the Spire” and takes great joy in attacking apprentices on their way to begin their studies. The council who run the school see it more as the first step in enrollment than as a problem.

Combat Statistics
Size/Type:Small Dragon (Water)
Hit Dice:7d12+7 = 52HP
Speed:60ft, 100ft fly (average), 60ft Swim
Armor Class:10 + 1 Size + 6 Natural = 17
Base Attack/Grapple:+7/+4
Attack:Bite +9 1d8+1
Full Attack:Bite +9 1d8+1 and 2 Claws +7 1d6+1
Space/Reach:5ft, 5ft
Special Qualities:Water Breathing Ex, Blindsense 60ft, Darkvision 120ft.
Immune:Acid, Sleep, Paralysis
Saves:Fort – 5 + 1 Con = 6
Ref –  5 + 0 Dex = 5
Will – 5 + 0 Wis = 5
Abilities:Str 13 | Dex 10 | Con 13 | Int 8 | Wis 11 | Cha 8
Skills:Listen 10, spot 10, move silently 10, hide 14, use magic device 9
Languages:Draconic, Common
Feats:Flyby attack, multiattack, improved natural attack claws, improved natural attack bite.
Alignment:Chaotic Evil

Bartheleme considers himself a melee warrior, and will use his scroll of bull’s strength prior to a fight if he thinks its needed. His favored tactic is to wait for the apprentices to begin their morning spell preparation, and then leap from the water engaging in melee combat before they have a chance prepare any spells for the day.

Breath Weapon SU: as a standard action, once per 1d4 rounds, Bartheleme can breathe a line of acid 40ft long dealing 4d4 acid damage reflex save DC 14.


Bartheleme operates out of a sunken cave in the swamps with a hidden subterranean entrance. This makes a great base of operations, and prevents most attempts to follow him home. It also allows him to remain ambiguous about where specifically he operates from.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

Bartheleme has taken to robbing apprentice necromancers on their way to The Spire. As such, his horde is mostly comprised of gemstones and focuses for spells.

  • Blue Quartz (13 gp)
  • Blue Star Sapphire (900 gp)
  • Chalcedony (40 gp)
  • Chrysoprase (50 gp)
  • Coral (100 gp)
  • Deep Blue Spinel (500 gp)
  • Silver Pearl (110 gp)
  • Pair of Gilded Wooden Dice (600 gp)
  • Darkwood Shield (167 gp)
  • Arcane Scroll (Bull’s Strength (150 gp)) – will use as preparation for a combat if he thinks it’s warranted.

To follow along with this project as it goes on, entries have been tagged with the dragon tag.

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