Welcome to our guide to red dragons in 5e.
Red Dragon Lair
Red dragons are the iconic of the iconic, living big statuesque lives in big statuesque places. Its tempting to have them live in any mountainous region, but to really make them stand out, you should be focusing them in a volcano. Most campaigns don’t have a lot of red dragons, and there is something to be said about playing the classics.
Within their hex there are frequent earthquakes, and as you close in on their lair itself, water is tainted with sulfur, and portals to the elemental plane of fire spontaneously open. That’s a serious terrain feature, and players should know they are in for something as they get close to the red dragons lair. It probably isn’t going to “gotcha” any players, and should be relatively to avoid, but it should also really have an impact on the surrounding plants and creatures.
In combat, the red dragon’s lair can spurt eruptions of magma, volcanic gas, and shake with earth quakes. You could run all this in any old mountain, but it’s really, really, volcano themed.
Red Dragon Tactic
Red dragons are one of the few that stand and fight if you make it to their lair. They aren’t running, and they aren’t playing around. You somehow made it past wandering hordes of fire elementals, and over lava flows. For your insolence, you are going to get a face full of fire and claws. Red dragons will usually have an open pool of magma in their lair somewhere, and do their best to use it to their advantage. Whether pushing folks in, or maybe just standing in it to prevent land based melee engagements.
Red Dragon Spells
Red dragons favor spells straight evocation. They could go for all the rest, but really, a red dragon wants to blow things up. Older red dragons may occasionally dabble in cold magic, after learning their foes have been prepared for fire after crossing lava.
|Dragon Type||CR of Dragon||Spells Known|
|Wyrmling||4||Burning Hands, Magic Missile|
|Young||10||Daylight, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Protection from Energy|
|Adult||17||Arcane Gate, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Sunbeam, Wall of Stone|
|Ancient||24||Antimagic Field, Dominate Monster, Feeblemind, Incendiary Cloud, Sunburst, Telepathy|
To follow along with this project as it goes on, entries have been tagged with the dragon tag.