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Enter the Dragon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Unless you’ve been trapped in jotund troll’s lair for the past few months, you’ve probably noticed that here at Paizo we’ve been exploring a number of Asian themes for the Pathfinder RPG. From the release of the ninja and samurai alternate classes in Ultimate Combat to the Jade Regent Adventure Path, we’ve definitely had the myths and monstrous challenges of the East on our minds.

To kick off our preview of the soon-to-be-released Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3, we are going to continue on with that theme and unleash one of the great challenges of the Dragon Empires—the forest dragon! Just one of a suite of new imperial dragons—serpentine agents of ancient lands and cosmic balance—these fickle and malevolent creatures wind their way through the forest mists. And while they are capable of the wingless flight common to dragons of their ilk, they prefer to hunt on the forest floor, waylaying those foolish enough to trespass upon their emerald domain.


Illustration by Jim Nelson

Young Forest Dragon CR 10

XP 9,600
CE Large dragon (earth)
Init +5; Senses dragon senses, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +15

Defense

AC 22, touch 10, flat-footed 21 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 126 (11d12+55)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +8 Immune paralysis, poison, sleep

Offense

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 200 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +17 (2d6+9), 2 claws +16 (1d8+6), gore +16 (1d8+9), tail slap +14 (1d8+9)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with bite and gore)
Special Attacks breath weapon (40-ft. cone, 6d6 piercing damage, DC 19)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +12)
  At will—pass without trace
Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +12)
  1st (4/day)—obscuring mist, shield
  0 (at-will)—ghost sound, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue

Statistics

Str 23, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 12 Base Atk +11; CMB +18; CMD 29 (33 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Stealth), Toughness, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +10 (+14 when jumping), Bluff +15, Climb +28, Fly –3, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (arcana, nature) +9, Perception +15, Stealth +17, Survival +10
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ sound imitation, woodland stride

Bestiary 3 features adult and ancient versions of this dragon and three versions of the other imperial dragons—sea dragons, sky dragons, sovereign dragons, and underworld dragons—as well as rules for you to make your own imperial dragon menace. This monstrous supplement also features a host of other, similarly themed monsters. From a template for the noble guardian foo creatures, to the treacherous spidery jorogumos, to the ancient and otherworldly kami, and a host of new deadly oni, Bestiary 3 has enough monsters to stock an entire Dragon Empires campaign!

Not planning on adventuring in that part of Golarion for a while? Don’t fret. Next week we will be looking at a host of other monsters in Bestiary 3 that we’re sure can find a place in any one of your upcoming adventures. Until then, beware the twisting trail and cunning tactics of the forest dragon!

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Design Tuesdays Jim Nelson Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Thanks for showing off the new dragons! I'm especially interested in the rules for making your own types of imperial dragons. Would it be farily straightforward to adapt these to create new chromatic or metalic dragons also?

I am curious though about the forest dragon's breath weapon. What exactly is it made of that it does piercing damage? Splinters? Thorns? Something else?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Awesome I didn't expect the Beastairy 3 preview to be on Tuesday.

Immune to poison and piercing damage breathweapon interesting.

Osirion

Asian themed monster, sweet. Love the pic.


How exactly does it get both a bite and gore attack. I do not see two heads.

It does look pretty and seems flavorful.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber
doctor_wu wrote:

How exactly does it get both a bite and gore attack. I do not see two heads.

Horns AND a mouth?

It's just like a barbarian with the totem rage power to grant a gore attack can gore and bite.

EDIT:And I must say, I love the art work. Looking forward to the write up to find out the piercing breath weapon as folks were pointing out above.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

In before "I don't use Asian themed stuff so Paizo shouldn't make it."

Cheliax

How old is the dragon ion the cover of the gazetteer?

:)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

How old is the dragon ion the cover of the gazetteer?

:)

QUITE a bit older than the one presented here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah it is a nice pic.

I am surprised at how low his fly skill mod is though.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Dragon78 wrote:

Yeah it is a nice pic.

I am surprised at how low his fly skill mod is though.

Well, the description says it doesn't prefer to fly, so I assume it put no ranks in fly, and only has a +1 Dex mod and the size penalty contributing to the total.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JoelF847 wrote:

Thanks for showing off the new dragons! I'm especially interested in the rules for making your own types of imperial dragons. Would it be farily straightforward to adapt these to create new chromatic or metalic dragons also?

I am curious though about the forest dragon's breath weapon. What exactly is it made of that it does piercing damage? Splinters? Thorns? Something else?

I'resonably sure that what Stephen means by making your own Imperial Dragons is the rules for building up dragons that aren't on the young/adult/ancient spread, in the same way you can already build Chromatic, Metallic & Primal dragons using the tables on p90-91 (92-93 in Bestiary 2)


Just wish it was a bit older so we could see something special. The only thing that pops out to me is the piercing damage breath attack, which is cool.

Silver Crusade

Are there going to be good Imperial dragons, I mean they are obviously based on Chinese dragons...

"In contrast to European dragons, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. With this, the Emperor of China usually uses the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Are there going to be good Imperial dragons, I mean they are obviously based on Chinese dragons...

"In contrast to European dragons, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. With this, the Emperor of China usually uses the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power."

The imperial dragons have these alignments, ranging from least powerful to most powerful:

Lawful Evil (underworld dragon)
Chaotic Good (sea dragon)
Lawful Good (sky dragon)
Chaotic Evil (forest dragon)
Neutral (sovereign dragon)

The Imperial dragons represent the "five extremes of philosophy," more or less.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Are there going to be good Imperial dragons, I mean they are obviously based on Chinese dragons...

"In contrast to European dragons, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. With this, the Emperor of China usually uses the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power."

The imperial dragons have these alignments, ranging from least powerful to most powerful:

Lawful Evil (underworld dragon)
Chaotic Good (sea dragon)
Lawful Good (sky dragon)
Chaotic Evil (forest dragon)
Neutral (sovereign dragon)

The Imperial dragons represent the "five extremes of philosophy," more or less.

Fair enough. If it were me, I'd just have them all True Neutral, you know "forces of nature" and all that. Or at least APPEARING to be alignments to mortals, but really having more a "blue and orange" morality.

(TV tropes FTW)

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Thanks for showing off the new dragons! I'm especially interested in the rules for making your own types of imperial dragons. Would it be farily straightforward to adapt these to create new chromatic or metalic dragons also?

I am curious though about the forest dragon's breath weapon. What exactly is it made of that it does piercing damage? Splinters? Thorns? Something else?

I'resonably sure that what Stephen means by making your own Imperial Dragons is the rules for building up dragons that aren't on the young/adult/ancient spread, in the same way you can already build Chromatic, Metallic & Primal dragons using the tables on p90-91 (92-93 in Bestiary 2)

Sigh, upon re-reading, you're probably right. I like my idea better though.


SOLD! I'm really looking forward to the B3 :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Not to be too munchkin about it but,
will there be sorcerer blood lines based on the new dragons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really prefer dragons that don't have spells. Just mean, muscled, breath weaponing machines. I'd like to see more of them in the future.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Xot wrote:

Not to be too munchkin about it but,

will there be sorcerer blood lines based on the new dragons?

Not anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jesse Brake wrote:
I really prefer dragons that don't have spells. Just mean, muscled, breath weaponing machines. I'd like to see more of them in the future.

You're looking for drakes and linnorms, mostly. You'll be well-served by Bestiary 3 in this regard.


Now THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! YAY AND GOOD JOB PAIZO FOR PREVIEWING THIS! Question for Mr. Jacobs...will we see a talking three-tailed spirit wolf monster (akin to Moro and her ilk from Princess Mononoke) in this Bestiary or in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Will there be Kitsune...
oh please oh please... let them be playable...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kitsune are playable but there not in the Beastairy 3, there in the Dragon empire primer and Gazetter.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Berselius wrote:
Question for Mr. Jacobs...will we see a talking three-tailed spirit wolf monster (akin to Moro and her ilk from Princess Mononoke) in this Bestiary or in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer?

Nope.


Good stuff!!!

I like asian stuff's.


Will the Bestiary 3 feature an updated half-dragon template to include the Imperial dragons? (...Please?)

Shadow Lodge

Blech. That poor dragon is starving to death. Feed him some knights, stat

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chris Gunter wrote:
Will the Bestiary 3 feature an updated half-dragon template to include the Imperial dragons? (...Please?)

Nope.

Cheliax

I am struggling with Pathfinder after level 8. How is this a challange for level 10 characters? With 22AC and only 129 HP a Paladin could easily solo kill it in two rounds. With the rest of the party around it would be a breeze to do it in one.

Now I realise that you can change the encounter and add more stuff but by the book I thought a CR10 creature was an average challenge for 4 10th level PC's. Heck even a group of 8th or 9th level PC's would be able to kill this beast quite easily.

Lovely art work though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
doctor_wu wrote:

How exactly does it get both a bite and gore attack. I do not see two heads.

I imagine the same way that someone with a double-headed weapon can attack with both ends. It just hits you with one and if you're still standing, it changes the angle of the weapon (head,) and hits you with the other.

Personally, I'm imagining one tossing somebody into the air with his antlers and catching them in his mouth. Or biting someone on the arm or leg with its teeth and shaking its head to rake or impale them against its horns. Fun times!

====

You know, I think it's fairly easy to modify the half-dragon template to whatever non-standard dragon bloodline you see fit. Just change the breath weapon damage type and/or area and resistances to suit, maybe give magical flight if the dragon parent could fly without wings. Rubba dub dub, you're clean and done!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Andrew Jackson 394 wrote:

I am struggling with Pathfinder after level 8. How is this a challange for level 10 characters? With 22AC and only 129 HP a Paladin could easily solo kill it in two rounds. With the rest of the party around it would be a breeze to do it in one.

Now I realise that you can change the encounter and add more stuff but by the book I thought a CR10 creature was an average challenge for 4 10th level PC's. Heck even a group of 8th or 9th level PC's would be able to kill this beast quite easily.

Lovely art work though.

That's because a CR 10 monster isn't supposed to be challenging for a level 10 party of four. That's not how the CR system works.

An encounter of CR=APL is a speed bump that will drain some party resources. A CR=APL+1 will drain more resources, CR=APL+2 will be a rough fight with PC deaths possible and CR=APL+3 means the party better be on the ball and have Lady Luck on their side, or it's a TPK.

In other words, facing a Forest Dragon...

Level 10 party: Oh, dragon.
Level 9 party: Oh, dragon!
Level 8 party: Oh CRAP, dragon!
Level 7 party: ZOMGBBQSUBMARINE, a dragon! Battle Formation Ttango! Have we got raise dead ready?

That's how CR works, and on the record Paizo is remarkably excellent at assigning CR's to monsters in Pathfinder bestiaries. It's a quantum leap compared to 3.5 (yes dragons and Ogre Mage, I am looking at you all).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Your also forggeting that this guy is not a brute but an ambush predator. He would cast shield before combat begins. using sound imitation he could lure people into traps, other creatures, or just terrain more to his liking, he has woodland stride and pass without trace wich means he can move without hinderance in the forest and it would be hard to track him so hit and run tactics would useful as well. casting obscuring mist would not hinder him ether so combine that with shield spell. Also he has +17 stealth for a large creature, he can fly, climb, and burrow as well. So I think if the DM was using him correctly he could be a pain in the butt. There also one more thing to keep in mind he is a dragon with treasure so give him a magic item he could use like bracers of armor, magical ring, amulet of natural armor, etc. fom his treasure hord.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Nice to see some art by Jim Nelson by the way.

Very much looking forward to Bestiary 3.

Dean


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am really looking forward to the Beastairy 3

New Linnorms(Cairn, Fyord, Tiaga, Tor)
Imperial Dragons(Forest, Sky, Underworld, Sea, Sovereign)
New Drakes(River, ?)
Faerie Dragon
Atomie
Nixie
Catfolk
Alraune
Adlet
Jotund Troll
Hugry Fog
Shadow Mastif
Heucuva
Allip
Giant AntLion
Annis Hag
Yithian
Tanuki
Kappa
Norns
Valkyrie
Bigfoot
Boogyman
Caryatid Column
Water Naga
Clockwork Horrors
Phantom Fungus
Nephilim
Lammasu
Garuda
Yuki-onna
Axebeak
Ascomiod
Dragonne
Graveknight
Goblin Snake
Suli
Demilich


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cacaelia
Ratfolk
Bandersnatch
Dybbuck
Demodands
Daemons(Vulndaemon, Crucidaemon)
Vanara
New Sphinxes(?)
Sleipnir
Vishkanya
Rusalka
Kami(Kodama, Zuishin, Shikigami, Toshigami, Jinushigami)
Behemoths(Tempast, Thalassic, Thunder)
Unfettered Eidolon
New Giants
New Golems
More Fey
and much much more....

Sczarni

why does it have the same concentration check for spell like and sorcerer spells. shouldn't the sorcerer spells be at +2?


interesting that despite some criticism on asian fluff you go full in and complete what you've started.
I'm happy for every well designed monster I get, I just hope you don't do but one culture every year, like old african myths and classes next year.

I hope the next preview includes descriptions, as they are at least as interesting as the picture.

Anyhow, I like this dragon even tough he doesn't look very evil.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very nice. Looking foreward to the rest of the previews (and really hoping one of these will be catfolk)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You guys do relise that this dragon is only age catergory "young" and at the same CR range as a Red Dragon. Wich of course makes me very curious of the power level of these dragons between each of there own kind and that of other true dragons.

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