Monster of the Week: The Dragon (Part 2)

You act as though the laws of the anthill affect the foot that crushes it.” -Raishan, the Diseased Deceiver




NeverEnding’s Dragon- created for The Dungeon Coach (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8xkTADYdRQR7GP-f2PjOA)

Welcome back! If you read last week’s blog, you’ll know that this is part 2 of our series on Dragons. This week we will be focusing on the distinctions between Chromatic and Metallic Dragons (the 2 types you’ll find in the D&D 5e Monster Manual) and how to incorporate them into your campaign.

True Dragons

Last week, we mentioned ‘True Dragons’; These are the one’s you’ll find in the Monster Manual. They grow more powerful with age, with 4 distinct stages of life throughout thousands of years:

Wyrmling: Medium sized, Under 5 years of age, Challenge Rating 1-4

Young: Large sized, 6-100 years old, CR 6-10

Adult: Large sized, 101-800 years old, CR 13-17

Ancient: Gargantuan, 801+ years old, CR 20-24

True Dragons fall into two categories, Chromatic and Metallic. Chromatic Dragons (black, red, blue, green and white) are notoriously selfish, evil and fearsome. Metallic Dragons (brass, bronze, copper gold and silver) are still fearsome, but are known to be noble, good and highly respected by the wise. Both Metallic and Chromatic Dragons covet wealth, albeit for different reasons. They dislike leaving their hoards for long periods of time, mostly they do to feed and patrol their territory.

Chromatic Dragons

These Dragons are greedy and creatures of ego. Their greed will inspire many of their plots, which is an easy motive to include in your campaign. Chromatic Dragons have no use for the treasure, no wish to spend, just possessing and hoarding their wealth is what they want. They carry themselves with a sense of superiority, even amongst other of their kind. These Dragons believe it is their innate right to rule, seeing humanoids as no more than beasts of burden.

Something to consider when you bring a Chromatic Dragon into your campaign: Lair Actions! This fun little feature is an added obstacle for your players. Dragons choses a lair worthy of protecting their hoard, with multiple entrances and exits and severe environmental effects. For example, a Red Dragon, which favors fire, may lay claim to an active volcano. So your players will not only need to be on the look out for magical traps laid by the dragon, but lava too! Fun, right? You’ll find the suggested lair actions of all the Chromatic Dragons in the Monster Manual alongside the Dragon’s stats.

Metallic Dragons

Much like their Chromatic counterparts, Metallic Dragons covet treasure. However, they are not driven by greed, but more out of curiosity and desire for knowledge. The treasure you’ll find in their lair will be filled with more personal, historical items… as well as magical and evil artifacts. These Dragons look to protect other creatures from dangerous magic, which they do my secreting the items away in their hoard. Unlike Chromatic Dragons, Metallic Dragons can be convinced to part with pieces of their treasure if they believe it is for the greater good.

Ancient Metallic Dragons have the nifty ability to shapeshift, which is a great way for DMs to sneak and extremely powerful monster (friend or foe) into their player’s lives. Another way to introduce a Metallic Dragon is to utilize their long memories, good dragons can recognize human bloodlines by smell alone. Your Bard’s ancestor may have gravely offended this gold dragon 500 years ago, or perhaps your Druid’s great great great grandparent assisted them when they were just a Wyrmling.

How have you included Dragons in your campaigns? Let us know below! We’ll see you next week for part 3, and if you haven’t already, go check out PART ONE!

Dear NeverEnding, Cieran’s Compromise

Dear NeverEnding, 

My significant other has been obsessed with the idea of a “she shed” since she has a renewed interest in building a studio for her singing career.  What should I do?  Our old tool shed should  be converted into a DM sanctuary where I can store  my dice, D&D books, and wizard capes.  She argues that I need to nurture her new hobby while I say that I could save hours a week if I didn’t have to pack up everything into the basement after each game.

Sincerely, 

Cieran the Destroyer of Worlds/freelance DM for hire

Cieran, D&D is meant to bring people together, not drive them apart! You and your significant other do not have to choose between either pursuit!  See our suggested setup above using our scene generator.  You have an ideal command center to run games as DM and your wife will be able to use the same space for recording tracks (see how well insulated the cave-space is) or shooting a demo reel.  Oh, and help yourself to some of the gold coins to renovate the rest of your house.

Do you have burning questions for NeverEnding? Ask us in the comments or on Social Media using the hashtag #DearNeverEnding!

Check out our previous Dear NeverEnding post, Kerrigan’s Conundrum!

Monster of the Week: Bugbear

NeverEnding’s Bugbear

This week’s Monster has a bit of a deceiving name. Unsuspecting players imagine a terrifying, insectoid-bear creature when in reality it’s just an equally terrifying bear creature! That’s right kids, today I will be teaching you about the cantankerous Bugbear!

Bugbears are a massive humanoid race distantly related to our dear Goblins. Like the Goblins, they speak Goblin and Common. Everyone seems to agree that the “Bear” portion of their name comes from their bear-like noses and claws, and you can find a few different explanations for the “Bug” prefix, but they all link back to the fact they’re scary and creepy looking. 

A different sort of Monster…

Bugbears can be found in tribes alongside Goblins and Hobgoblins, where they are known to be the bullies of the group. Something that sets them apart from other Monsters is their own pantheon, led by the God Hruggek. The Bugbears kill to honor Hruggek and also Grankhul, the deity of hunting, senses, stealth and surprise.

Bugbears are not known for their intelligence, but they are known to ambush adventurers in stealthy attacks. Their claws are not long or sharp enough to be used as weapons, so you’ll often see them armored and carrying weapons. They have enough intelligence and battle strategy to retreat from a fight that is not in their favor, even leaving tribe members behind; But beware, they will return once healed with additional allies. 

DMs! Bugbears are a great lower-level challenge. A CR 1 rating, with a higher than usual AC, but lower HP for balance. In Xanathar’s Thieves’ Guild, Bugbears can be found serving as guards and living in the Undermountain. 

Want to DM outside of the box?

In Volo’s Guide to Monsters you will find features to make this a playable character! Why fight the Bugbear when they could become your players’ favorite NPC? Some unique features of this PC include  “Long Limbed” which gives you an extra 5’ of reach and “Powerful Build” which counts for one size larger when it comes to carrying capacity and weight limits.

They might not be the insectoid-bears you may or may not have imagined, but they are a great, versatile Monster to include in your games! See you next week!

Check out last week’s Monster of the Week, the Gelatinous Cube!

Monster of the Week: Azer

“Give a man a fire, he’s warm for a day. Set a man on fire, he’s warm for the rest of his life” – Sir Terry Pratchett.

This week’s Monster of the Week blog is on FIRE… literally. 

The Azer are residents of the fire plane, which has caused their appearance to deviate from their Dwarven ancestors. They have brass-colored skin with flaming hair and beards, and they wear some badass fireproof kilts made of bronze, copper or brass.  Their skin is extremely hot to the touch, so don’t go in for a hug!

Like the Dwarves, the Azer are a proud race of mastercrafters and miners. They have been called upon throughout history to aid in creating magical items, weapons and art. One of their proudest accomplishments is the City of Brass on the Fire Plane. The Efreet hired the Azer to build this magnificent city, but ultimately betrayed them and attempted to enslave them to protect the city’s secrets. To this day, the Azer and Efreeti are bitter enemies. 

The Efreeti are pretty cool, so we’ll save that juicy info for a later blog!

If you have the “opportunity” to visit the Elemental Plane of Fire, you may find the Azer serving the Fire Giants or living in communities within bronze fortresses, although they can be a rare sight. Unless you’re an Efreeti or happen to flash some gemstones in front of them, you’ll probably be safe from the lawful neutral Azer. If you do cross one, watch out for that Warhammer… It’s got a spicy kick at the end! They don’t have any particular weaknesses, BUT they are shirtless, so their armor class is fairly low. (small favors)

DMs, if your players find their way to the Fire Plane, the Azer is definitely a must have addition to your campaign!

Now we find ourselves at the end of another Monster of the Week… never fear, we’ll see you again next Tuesday. We’re getting good at this schedule thing… you might even say we’re on a… hot streak?

Let us know what monsters you’d like to learn about next!

Check out last week’s monster the week, the Tarrasque!

Monster of the Week: Tarrasque

As a wise man once said; you too will want to kill all your friends with this beast. For this is no normal mammal; a 130 ton killer armadillo-esque kaiju from your worst nightmares… The Tarrasque!!

NeverEnding’s Tarrasque

Well I hope you could stomach that intro because it essentially summarizes the best aspects of the Tarrasque. Wait a second… You’ve never heard of them? I don’t blame you, the Tarrasque is not the most commonly discussed creature in the TTRPG community. (But does it compare to our beloved goblins?… hmm… Nah.)

Kindly ignore the aforementioned armadillo comparison, and focus on the kaiju mental image you’ve created within the recesses of your imagination. The Tarrasque has two giant protruding horns coming off its scalp, but those horns aren’t the only thorny thing about them. They also have a variety of spikes that trail off the back of their body, almost like a Chia pet that wasn’t properly taken care of over the years. Their body is much similar to that of a T-Rex, but if the proportions were actually beneficial to the T-Rex’s survival. What I’m saying is that they have long arms, the kind of arms that could scoop up your familiar and eat them like fresh made 100% natural chicken nuggets. (This is not turning into an ad for a Fast Food Lunch Menu, I swear.)

Now that we know what it looks like…

The Tarrasque doesn’t rely on their eyesight to hunt their prey, this is because they have two beady eyes that are limited to begin with. By default the Tarrasque are blind at birth and have to rely on their own sense of smell to get around. Don’t pity them though, they are natural born killers and have zero remorse for who and what they kill. Definitely try not to get swallowed, you’ll suffer some HEFTY acid damage, not to mention… ew.

Unlike previously discussed monsters of, the Tarrasque isn’t capable of communicating the way Goblins or Beholders do. They are much more grounded in reality in terms of how they function like real mammals; they only eat, sleep, and kill… Only to eat some more. A simple life for a simple beast.

For the DMs.

The Tarrasque is extremely formidable, with the 5e version sitting at a CR of 30 and an armor class of 25! This monster is not for the faint of heart, but it is a great BBEG. If you wanted your players to encounter a Tarrasque at some point in the campaign, you could consider making it a far off terror while they’re at a lower level. A Titan that armies are fighting a world away. They could occasionally hear rumors, or witness the aftermath of its destruction. When they reach a level that might stand a chance (or not, you do you) entice them to join the forces fighting this evil!

That concludes another Monster of The Week blog, tell us how you’ve included a Tarrasque in your campaigns!

For now, take care and let us know who you think should be featured in an up and coming MOTW!

Check out last week’s blog and behold… THE BEHOLDER!

Dear NeverEnding, Kerrigan’s Conundrum

Dear NeverEnding, 

I’m so frustrated!  As a DM, I put a lot of time into preparing for game day.  I read my “Remarkable Inns” book back to back and then prepare detailed notes.  I even do vocal exercises before my guests arrive to make sure that I’m in top shape to do the different voices for my characters! Oftentimes, preparing for a game will take up to a week.  All of this just for my friends to show up with their greasy bags of potato chips to crunch their way through yet another game!  I dearly love them but what can I do to steer them towards a better game experience? I am at my absolute wits end!

Sincerely, 

Kerrigan the Red Bearded Destructress/part time DM 

Multi-Tasking is key.

It’s Sunday and the Mother of Dragons is gonna weigh in on the whole “is it okay for players to eat during a game” debate.  She says an emphatic yes–keep thy strength up during those hours-long campaigns!  Even after a day of tending to her Dothraki villagers, she still has time to prep for Game Day.  Firstly, put on a soothing green tea face mask (self care is key for lady rulers) and then prepare your quiche which can be served at room temp. A game morning brunch is easy to host if each player, er wizard or orc, observes basic manners and brings along another breakfast item such as the avocados or breakfast potatoes as pictured below.  (See how the food adds to the realism of the tavern scene from “Remarkable Inns”?) The meal should fit neatly behind the DM’s screen alongside his or her dice and notes. Helpful hint, use appetizer sized place settings so that everything fits on the table and plastic champagne flutes to pour the magic potion for guests.  Huzzah!

Do you have burning questions for NeverEnding? Ask us in the comments or on Social Media using the hashtag #DearNeverEnding!