Welcome back to this ongoing series on the Astral Plane. Last time, I covered the basic differences between the Astral Plane and the Prime Material Plane. Today, I want to jump into some monster encounters, because let’s face it: we all love monsters.
I’m going to start with the classic Astral Dragon (which came in as a request). This is a first for me because this is the strongest monster I’ve created so far on this blog. The “mated” versions of Astral Dragons are fierce foes, with shared Intelligence scores second only to Acererak the Undying.
It’s free for you to use in your 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Just not commercially!
Note: Much of the text and imagery in this article comes from the second edition Monstrous Manual which is available on dmsguild.com.
The Astral Dragon for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons
“Astral Dragon” is a general term for a race of ancient golden dragons to whom all dragons of Krynn can trace a common ancestry. The immortal astral dragons are the personification of neutrality in dragons.
What are the origins of Astral Dragons?
Among the first dragons ever created by the gods were two astral dragons named Deion and Procene. These dragons were directed to give birth to a race of dragons that the gods would adopt as their own. Selected newborns were taken from their parents and transformed to reflect the personalities and philosophies of the gods who adopted them. Thus were created early archetypes of black, red, gold, silver, and other dragons. Deion and Procene remained neutral; in exchange for their offspring, the gods pledged to leave them alone.
When the couple grew weary of the constant tension between the good and evil dragons, they appealed to the gods to be relieved of their obligations on Krynn. The gods granted their wish and relocated them to an alternate plane of existence in the Abyss. In time, Deion and Procene gave birth to new generations of neutral dragons.
What do Astral Dragons look like?
An unmated astral dragon is a dull yellow in color and about five feet long with human hands and long, slim fingers. It has huge black eyes. and its scales are covered with fine blond fur. Though a hatchling is slightly less formidable, an astral dragon does not progress through the various age categories as do other dragons; its statistics do not change significantly until it becomes part of a mated pair.
What is a mated pair of Astral Dragons?
When an astral dragon finds a suitable mate, the couple appeals to the gods of neutrality to sanction their union. If approval is granted, the mated astral dragons undergo a remarkable transformation. To symbolize the union, the gods create a 100-foot golden chain, each end of which encircles the mates’ necks to link them for all eternity. The mates grow to a length of 50 feet and become enveloped in a permanent aura of golden light. Their intelligence and abilities increase to god-like levels.
Thereafter, the couple lives, fights, works, and plays as a unit. If the chain is broken and the mates are separated by a distance of at least 100 yards for 30 days, they will revert to their original, weaker forms; however, it requires the power of a wish spell or its equivalent in order to break the chain.
Astral Dragon, Unmated
Medium dragon, neutral
Armor Class 14 (natural armor, 16 on the Astral Plane)
Hit Points 60 (8d8 + 24)
Speed 15 ft. (50 ft. on the Astral Plane), fly 50 ft.
Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 12 (+1), Con 17 (+3), Int 17 (+3), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 16 (+3)
Saving Throws Con +5, Int +5, Wis +3, Cha +5
Skills Perception +7
Senses blindsight 10 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Heightened Astral Vision. While on the Astral Plane, the astral dragon can see up to ten miles in any direction so long as nothing impedes its vision.
Rejuvenation. If the astral dragon is destroyed, it regains all its hit points in 1 hour unless it is destroyed with a power word kill or wish spell.
Multiattack. The astral dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) slashing damage.
Mated Astral Dragons
Gargantuan dragons, neutral
Armor Class 18 (natural armor, 25 on the Astral Plane)
Hit Points 647 (35d20 + 245)
Speed 25 ft. (75 ft. on the Astral Plane), fly 60 ft. (75 ft. on the Astral Plane)
Abilities Str 24 (+7), Dex 12 (+1), Con 25 (+7), Int 25 (+7), Wis 26 (+8), Cha 25 (+7)
Saving Throws Con +15, Int +15, Wis +16, Cha +15
Skills Insight +16, Perception +24
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 34
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, telepathy 240 ft.
Challenge CR 28 (120,000 XP)
Chained Mates. If the astral dragons’ chain is broken and the dragons are separated by at least 300 feet for 30 days, they will revert into a pair of unmated astral dragons. The only way to break a pair of mated astral dragons’ chain is with a wish spell.
Heightened Astral Vision. While on the Astral Plane, the astral dragons can see up to ten miles in any direction so long as nothing impedes their vision.
Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the dragons fail a saving throw, they can choose to succeed instead.
Rejuvenation. If the astral dragons are destroyed, they regain all their hit points in 1 hour unless they are destroyed with a power word kill or wish spell.
Spellcasting. The astral dragons are 20th-level spellcasters. Their spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 24, +16 to hit with spell attacks). The astral dragons have the following cleric spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): guidance, light, mending, resistance, thaumaturgy
1st level (4 slots): detect evil and good, detect magic, protection from evil and good, sanctuary
2nd level (3 slots): augury, calm emotions, locate object
3rd level (3 slots): clairvoyance, dispel magic, sending
4th level (3 slots): banishment, divination, locate creature
5th level (3 slots): commune, dispel evil and good, legend lore, scrying
6th level (2 slots): heal, word of recall
7th level (2 slots): plane shift, symbol
8th level (1 slot): antimagic field
9th level (1 slot): gate
Magic Resistance. The dragons have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Two Heads. The astral dragons have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, and knocked unconscious.
Multiattack. The astral dragons can use their Frightful Presence. They then make six attacks; two with their bites and four with their claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (4d6 + 7) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage.
Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragons’ choice that is within 120 feet of the dragons and aware of them must succeed on a DC 24 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragons’ Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
The dragons can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dragons regain spent legendary actions at the start of their turn.
Cantrip. The dragons cast a cantrip.
Detect. The dragons make a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack. The dragons make a tail attack.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions). The dragons beat their wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragons must succeed on a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 14 (2d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragons can then fly up to half their flying speed.
A Mated Astral Dragons’ Lair
Astral dragons live in immense keeps of black crystal built for them by the gods. Their power is so immense, the very fabric of the Astral Plane is affected by their presence.
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the dragons take a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the dragons can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:
- Crystal shards sprout from the ground, creating a dense wall on a solid surface the dragons can see within 120 feet of it. The wall can be up to 30 feet long, 30 feet high, and 1 foot thick. When the wall appears, each creature within its area is pushed 5 feet out of the wall’s space, appearing on whichever side of the wall it wants. Each 10-foot section of the wall has AC 13, 15 hit points, vulnerability to thunder damage, and immunity to acid, cold, fire, necrotic, poison, and psychic damage.
- The Astral Dragons alter the fabric of the Astral Plane, creating an astral fog that fills a 20-foot radius sphere centered on a point the dragons can see within 120 feet of them. The fog spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. Each creature in the fog when it appears must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become confused for 1 minute as if under the effects of the confusion spell. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the effects of the dragons’ fog for 1 hour.
- Powerful psychic winds blow around the dragons. Each creature within 60 feet of the dragons must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from the dragons and become stunned until the end of the dragon’s next turn. Nonthinking objects are unaffected by these winds.
The region containing the legendary astral dragons’ lair is warped by the dragons’ magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:
- The Astral Void shimmers with unusual colors within 6 miles of the dragons’ lair. These colors range from vivid purples and greens to dark ambers and navy blues, to bright yellows and whites.
- The distant color pools that look like stars on the Astral Plane seemingly form into unusual shapes such as monsters, demons, and other omens within 1 mile of the dragons’ lair. These illusions appear real, although they can do no harm. A creature that examines the stars with a successful DC 20 (Investigation) check can tell it’s an illusion.
- The astral dragons are aware of the presence and location of each creature with an Intelligence of 3 or higher within 10 miles of its lair.
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