I need some ideas for a brutal dragon fight, please!


Advice

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I am running a one shot fight for some of my players. There are four of them. They are level 16 and will have 3 mythic tiers so crazy powerful. In know one is an Oracle and she wants to do as much damage as possible. Another is a gunsling, alchemist, wizard mix. The player has plans for a crazy gun and I wanna see how it turns out. He can make very functional characters. Another will be a full caster of some kind, currently wobbling between a wizard or druid. And the last guy is I think going with a alchemist or monk.

They are going to be fighting an evil Ancient Wyrm Brass Dragon in its hoard. I am adding lair actions, meaning the actual lair has an initiative and will have abilities resembling the dragons natural abilities. I was thinking some kind of gout of fire and blasts from the sands.

Beyond that I am changing the spells around as the dragon is cruel and delights is violence and death. Potentially a template but I have not found one I like. I need it to be able to keep up with the mythic action economy.

Any suggestions for things the lair could do on its imitative or things I can do with the Dragon itself. Minions that I could add to make things more dangerous. Fun traps the Dragon would have in the hoard. Anything that sounds fun and deadly

Thank you in advance
DAA

Shadow Lodge

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Throw in some rust monsters for the heck of it. A hoard of gemstones and _ironwood_ chests should give some scares while explaining why a dragon is keeping rust monsters around.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let them start by fighting a couple of clones of the dragon himself. Then introduce your dragon (who should have mythic tiers as well) and his minions, fully buffed. Consider introducing minions that don't need to breathe (like undeads, possibly levelled critters, former adventurers the dragon killed and then transformed into his own minions, a lich wizard, a vampire cleric, a grave knight fighter, a shadow rogue...) then have the lair filled with poisonous gas.

The idea is to make the PCs believe they won easily, then they have to fight another weak dragon-clone and then the real fight begins. Open with the poisonous air use force walls to make it impossible to run away and planar magic to make teleportation impossible as well. If you want to be particularly nasty have the posionous gas be volatile and explosive (with the dragon immune to the poison and fire, while the minions should only have resistance).
Enjoy.


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Give the dragon levels of rogue. With its burrow speed, sandstorm, and control weather, it shouldn't be too hard for the dragon to get a sneak attack on the first party member. If you go with the feats in the Bestiary and have Improved Vital Strike, you might easily kill that first player.

Snatch the second, take to the air and munch away.

Also, give the dragon four iron golem guards. Every d4 rounds, have the dragon surface from burrowing in the sand to breath fire . . . on the golems. Remember: any fire damage cancels a slow effect on an iron golem and heals it for 1 hp per 3 points of fire damage. Stay hidden under the sand and whittle away the group's resources.

I would avoid most of the dragon's illusion spells (mirage arcana, displacement, alter self) as a group as powerful as you've described will almost certainly have true seeing to by-pass those. But it doesn't defeat mundane Stealth, hence rogue levels and staying burrowed.

And I can't stress the burrowing enough. Most parties expect to fight a dragon with flight or on the ground. They'll probably not be prepared to burrow after the dragon, meaning you have the advantage of deciding when and where the dragon engages the party. And as soon as it burrows, it is out of sight, meaning it gets to Stealth again for another sneak attack.


Dragonborn3 rust monster are one of the monsters that one of my players fears the most. Dragon's, Aboleth's, Liches... anything is fine but those things he runs from.

Rogar Valertis you are cruel :D I will probably be stealing some of this. The clone thing is wicked and baring the teleport option is definitely good and poison gas is mean.

Mykull I had not thought of rouge levels. Burrow is one of the things that pulled me towards the Brass Dragon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

Dragonborn3 rust monster are one of the monsters that one of my players fears the most. Dragon's, Aboleth's, Liches... anything is fine but those things he runs from.

Rogar Valertis you are cruel :D I will probably be stealing some of this. The clone thing is wicked and baring the teleport option is definitely good and poison gas is mean.

Mykull I had not thought of rouge levels. Burrow is one of the things that pulled me towards the Brass Dragon.

You are welcome. Let us know how this goes.


Yes, I want to hear all about the crunch of bones and splatter of visceral!


You can add class levels or take a class template from Monster Codex. They are quite straightforward, an ancient wyrm brass dragon gets:

Evasion
Uncanny Dodge & its improved version
Sneak attack 10d6
A normal rogue talent (maybe Shadow Duplicate)
An advanced rogue talent (maybe See in Darkness)
+4 Dex

That comes at the cost of +2 CR.

Shadow Lodge

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Re: Rust Monsters

Well in that case... Agile Rust Lord with a bunch of eggs nearby that hatch mid-fight.

Silver Crusade

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Have him be served by a tribe of kobolds. Who have a mythic tier trap-maker in their tribe. Don't have them ever get to fight the creature directly, as they'll be fleeing into their bolt holes. Then smack them with mythic traps.

Throw the Tortured Soul on top of it.

Oh oh oh oh!

And have the dragon's mate/offspring have BEGGED the party to save said dragon. Because subduing will be harder than just killing it. And it wouldn't be the dragon's fault it got turned into a tortured soul.


One shot battles are fun, since you can really test the abilities of the players. There's no fear of killing them all, since there isn't a plot or any emotional investment in the characters.

You could use the dimensional dervish line (I love those feats on a dragon) and have it retreat to a prepared room beneath the sands at the end of every full attack action. Eventually the PCs will dimensional anchor it, but at that point it can just burrow like a regular dragon.

You can have it cast touch attack spells before engaging with the party, and discharge them with claw and bite attacks. (Had a dragon once that used quickened chill touch this way, it went through charges at a decent clip.)

If the PCs are such high levels, the dragon should know and have cast legend lore a couple dozen times, learning virtually everything about their builds and tactics. It should plan specifically against them. Wouldn't hurt at all to have greater spell immunity against the parties favorite spells. (Cast by a minion, if you don't want to give the dragon spells off the cleric list.)

And, let's not forget the absurdity mythic adventures gave us that is deathless. If you don't have any qualms with gearing the dragon up (If you give it a single class level, then it gets NPC gear using it's CR as it's level. And if the class isn't key, then it won't even increase the dragon's CR. [sarcasm]this is completely balanced, because it is written in the bestiary and the bestiary is core and core is balanced. This is a thing that you should use in your home games, because of how balanced it is.[/sarcasm]) then you should give the dragon a ring of continuation, to use with it's deathless. You also need to slap some very high level buffs on the dragon (greater spell immunity is a good one, but we need more) so that even the most persistent dispellers won't be able to get at the deathless effect.

Theres my advice for a truly killer encounter. Use as much of it as you deem fair. :D

EDIT

Deathless and the ring of continuation only work if you have endurance and diehard, which I forgot to mention.


I will be a while cause that is a lot of shopping they have to do. Level sixteen is a lot to build. I think we are shooting for a month from now because scheduling is always an issue. But once it happens I will happily share.

But I will put up my plans once I get them built. I rather like the idea of rouge levels. Burrowing and all the beautiful sneak attack. That will teach them for always saying Dragons are only smart if they stay in the air. The Iorn Golems are not a bad idea. That should keep them busy while I move the dragon around under ground.

Rust Monsters are a thing. Really I have just been waiting for a chance to throw those at one player. Just like any time I can throw a sarcophagus at him I do. Apparently he just has to open them. Luckily I am running a heavy undead campaign with him. Fun times.

So about the Lair Actions. This is something I really want to play with. I got the idea from some fights I watched in the Critical Role show. If you have not seen it you should start. It is 5e but it is brilliant.

Anyways this means is that the lair has its own initiative and some action is does. The things it can do depends on the dragon. In this case there would be some sort of fire effect. Maybe something that shakes the ground. Any suggestions?

Silver Crusade

Herolab really is a godsend for something like this.

Also dragons do come in mythic

Toss an advanced on top of there for good measure, and maybe a few other templates.


SheepishEidolon thank you for reminded me that is a thing!

Dragonborn3 I do have the time to build that. I am really looking forward to the look on his face.

Mystic_Snowfang the Tortured Soul is one of my favorite templates. I won't use the sad kids for this one cause the goal is a bloody fight but I will be saving the idea for later cause I love making them not be able to kill the baddie. My campaign had a long arch where the could not kill the obviously evil group cause of what the players wanted to do. Kobolds though. I love Kobolds!

Asmodeus' Advocate you earn your name. I have yet to use the dimensional dervish line though I have some encounters in my campaign that could use that ability. Hmm.. greater spell immunity is a rage inducing thing for any foe. And yes there is so much balance. Really the mythic thing means I throw the idea of balance out. All of it and just constantly adjust things. It is a pain when the baddies are no mythic. Attrition is my friend and I know this if I want dangerous encounters.


I have never messed with hero lab. And I am getting very familiar with the templates list.


agile mythic template can be very scary indeed, giving something an extra turn (especially when stacked up with the suggestions already given) can be very scary. if you're feeling particularly mean, have it hold it's first turn till directly before it's second turn, then it gets two turns in a row (i think by RAW this is technically possible, but I could be wrong) then you can use a turn to engage, then immediately use another to disengage. or just two full attacks. two turns also means many more uses of breath weapons.

Silver Crusade

Maybe the Mutant template then?
Because radioactive bites might be fun.
Also give it sneak attack via a mythic template.
Oh Dread Lord?
Half-Fiend might be fun too.

Shadow Lodge

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:
Rust Monsters are a thing. Really I have just been waiting for a chance to throw those at one player. Just like any time I can throw a sarcophagus at him I do. Apparently he just has to open them. Luckily I am running a heavy undead campaign with him. Fun times.

Not helpful for this instance, but have you considered making a room of sarcophagi and throw in a few large Mimics? When he goes to open one he gets stuck. ^_^


Lots of people have talked about action economy. i.e. agile template and having minions. When dealing with characters this high level, you need protection from one-shotting.

They need to have high enough saves to have a good chance to survive save-or-suck spells. Spell immunity (as mentioned), globes of invulnerability, rings of counterpsell and other protections are useful. Contingent break enchantment and dispel magic are also useful.

Gunslingers are nasty. Dragons have lousy touch AC, so they need other ways to avoid dying in a hail of gunfire. Mirror image is great, as is displacement. A couple of monk levels or some feats will give deflect arrows (which works on bullets)

They also need ways to avoid being critted. Windy escape avoids crits, but you need to identify which one. some spells can make them immune or less likely to crit.


Mimic are something I have yet to get to use and this is on the list of things I want to do!

Ok so I have a list of templates to read though. Brilliant!

Yeah I know the touch AC is always a danger. The burrowing should help keep my dragon safe for a while. Along with some minions to distract. The perk to the gunslinger build is the misfire chance, which he said was at a 6 right now. Mirror Image is a great spell. The player who is afraid of rust monsters is the one who solidified Mirror Image as a staple at our table. Some weird naga like creature had it as a spell like ability so in one dungeon and around a dozen baddies we had to deal with that alot.


Philo Pharynx wrote:
Lots of people have talked about action economy. i.e. agile template and having minions. When dealing with characters this high level, you need protection from one-shotting.

The spell deathless, a ring of continuation, and the feat diehard combo to make an enemy immune to death by hitpoint damage. Let the gunslinger pour a couple thousand points of damage into the dragon, see how long it takes them to catch on. XD

Silver Crusade

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

Mimic are something I have yet to get to use and this is on the list of things I want to do!

Ok so I have a list of templates to read though. Brilliant!

Yeah I know the touch AC is always a danger. The burrowing should help keep my dragon safe for a while. Along with some minions to distract. The perk to the gunslinger build is the misfire chance, which he said was at a 6 right now. Mirror Image is a great spell. The player who is afraid of rust monsters is the one who solidified Mirror Image as a staple at our table. Some weird naga like creature had it as a spell like ability so in one dungeon and around a dozen baddies we had to deal with that alot.

I've played gunslingers before and had them in my games.

DR is their worst enemy.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Or for even more fun. Give the rust monsters the Bipedal Template, equip them with Ironwood weapons and equipment, and give them potions of Alter Self (Or just have the dragon cast it). Have the dragon's loyal henchmen swarm the party. Sit back and watch the fun.

Silver Crusade

Chaotic_Blues wrote:
Or for even more fun. Give the rust monsters the Bipedal Template, equip them with Ironwood weapons and equipment, and give them potions of Alter Self (Or just have the dragon cast it). Have the dragon's loyal henchmen swarm the party. Sit back and watch the fun.

Maybe throw the half-fiend template on top of that?

Silver Crusade

oh also what about a half-dragon bulette?

*Waggles eyebrows*


Sleep breath, a will save or fall asleep for 10+1d6 rounds. If any target fails, you have all the minions full round action a CDG on the sleeping player. If all 4 fail somehow the dragon can CDG one at a time. Burrow in between breath's, eventually someone will fail and get wrecked. You can have the lair "ready actions" for when a caster starts to cast to attempt an interrupt via *insert ability here*

Grand Lodge

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Maybe have the Lair drop Stalactites on them from 60'up? 80+ lbs of stone dropping on you is no fun. Plus possible prone-ing them.

Hmmmm, 15th level swarm of Diminuative Vampire Bats with blood drain/Con loss?


Mystic_Snowfang half-dragon bulette just got added to my campaign :)

*Thelith that is a really quick TPK. Evil.

Vernon Caldwell that will get added to the list.

Silver Crusade

Got any Doctor Who fans and willing to use homebrew content?
I requested this from Epic Meepo YEARS ago.

Shadowmite Swarm

Might take a mite more work, but fun.


Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

Mystic_Snowfang half-dragon bulette just got added to my campaign :)

*Thelith that is a really quick TPK. Evil.

Vernon Caldwell that will get added to the list.

You said it's a one shot... nothing wrong with a TPK...

Rogue levels on a dragon with a _heavy_ investment into stealth and hide in plain sight (obviously his home terrain is all that matters) you could have a dragon with a far better stealth than your players perception so he could be standing right next to them sneak attacking them and they cant see him because he can attack + move w/stealth. True seeing wont help via his mundane stealth.

Throw in hamper on those SA's and they can barely move to get away :)


One of them is a big fan but I am wanting to avoid third party stuff for this one.

And yes I wanna kill them but not in the first round. I am hoping for a few hours of jolly carnage for us all. But if they happen to all die then I accomplished my goal of slaughtering them. A TPK is something I have never been part of. A few almost one but not a real one.

And yeah stealth is definitely a focus. Let them fear me and my dragons!

Silver Crusade

Have the Dragon pretend to be a kidnapped noble of some sort. And as the run in to "rescue," it attacks!


Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:


And yes I wanna kill them but not in the first round. I am hoping for a few hours of jolly carnage for us all. But if they happen to all die then I accomplished my goal of slaughtering them.

Couldn't agree more heartily. A one shot encounter against nigh unbeatable odds can be good fun for everyone ... as long as it's an epic fight and not just the DM throwing a pile of damage at the PCs with no real counterplay.


The dragon starts eating people.

No really, it eats a pc.

And savors every bite, stopping combat if it has to.

Then continues combat as if nothing happened, noting the piquant qualities of weapons and armor, or the magical items, added to the flavor.


You need traps, lots and lots of traps.

Remember, this is the Dragons home and his treasure hoard.
He needs to protect it while he's away and to give warning for when someone is invading.

Nasty Traps -
Dispell
Apply the grappled condition
Summon Creatures
Applies conditions to deny characters actions (Stun/Dazed/etc.)

Your biggest problems is the action economy vs the players. Traps can give you a number of one shot actions you can use during your fight with these characters.


If you want to make the combat "hard," putting the dragon in a lair where it cannot use it's 200' of Fly movement is a mistake. Sure, Burrowing is cool, but maneuverability is huge in combats like this, and you're negating it's fastest movement option. Also, Burrow specifically only works in dirt, unless the entry specifically states otherwise, and the Brass Dragon entry does not. So, if you want lots of Burrowing, the lair needs to be made from dirt, not stone (which opens up more options for the party, too). Also, Burrow doesn't allow running or charging, and the dragon doesn't have any sense that would allow him to know where the characters are while Burrowing. Yes, the Dragon will have Blindsense, but that ability requires the dragon to have line of effect to the party; something he will not have buried under dirt, unless you hand-wave that he does.

I might have more advice later, but I'm not really up on Brass Dragons. On first look, they're kind of weenie compared to a lot of the other Bestiary dragons.


Sand Glide (Ex)
This ability functions like the earth elemental’s earth glide ability, but works only on sand, dirt, and other fine-grained solid matter. The creature’s speed using sand glide as the same as its base speed.

I get this ability with one mythic rank and I think I have four ranks. I know I cannot see anything underground but it is an ability I am not going to waste. All I really need is Temorsense and then the only way to avoid the beast below is for everyone to be flying at which point my Dragon takes to the air.

And I am specifically wanting to have the fight in the lair so I can try out the lair actions. Though I am intending on there being a very high ceiling and it is not a small area. Dragons would want a lot of space to sprawl. Big creatures mean a big area. Humans make pyramids and those are massive so a Dragon would do bigger with no real need to question it. I am having it take over an old tomb and redecorating it.

I always assumed that where ever a Dragon stored it's hoard would be a place that they would not be crippled. No I cannot go three hundred feet into the air but I intend to have maneuverability. Stone walls but there is a lot of sand on the ground.

As for the dragon choice I am not changing it but I am changing the spells around as the dragon is far more prone to killing than the original. Plus I wanted a dragon that they are not likely to fight in my actual campaign. That list includes a Red, Black, Copper Ravener, an enslaved silver dragon. I could have gone with Blue but I liked this option better. A sub-par creature can always change out feats and spells to get better. Brass Dragons as they are written normally do not kill good people and they would rather chat with travelers but not this one.

As to traps I have started reading though the rather long list. I am planing on having alarms on all the entrances so the evil critter knows when someone enters and can start getting ready.

Monster wise I am gonna have some rust monsters and their babies because I wanna screw with one player. He has earned it and will love it! Though that means no Iron Golems but I found Clay Golems, specifically Panthereon Clay Golems. Maybe some undead too or kobolds. Dragons and kobolds work rather well together.


Snatch+Fly-by Attack+Antimagic Field

Come from hiding, grab a PC and fly off with him or her. AMF nerfs them and makes sure they can't use magic to escape, and your dragon's CMB should be enough to makes sure all but the beefiest of PCs can't get out by non-magical means. Land somewhere out of sight and kill PC, rinse repeat.


If you don't mind a dip in 5e give it legendary actions, legendary saves and regional effects as well

Solos in 5e can cope a bit better than those in PF IME


I would play 5e but my table does not want to. It was a 5e game I am stealing the lair actions from. If any of you have not watched Critical Role you should. The legendary action I am thinking I wanna try out. If I try that then I would be dropping the mythic imitative thing that gives the dragon a second init.


Have a gunpowder ooze in the lair. It can blast the PCs and coat them with gunpowder residue. Then the dragon pops up on the other side of them, with the PCs between itself and the ooze, breathes fire, catching them all for fire damage, igniting any residue on the PCs, and then combusting the gunpower ooze. The combust sends a 30-foot cone of fire or a 15-foot burst (more likely) around itself, catching the PCs, and then splitting into two oozes. If the dragon can burrow away and the oozes can survive until its next breath, it can do it again, and double the blasts.
Granted, the oozes take extra damage from fire, so the dragon breath will seriously crimp their staying power unless the dragon just pops up and pings them with a quickened or swift action fire spell or something to split them, then breathes to get double blasts. The PCs should have access to fire resistance or protection (and should be smart enough to use it), so this is a fair tactic.


Suggestions:

  • Let the dragon-fight happen without the dragon sitting on his hoard; that's so cliche. If the dragon hears that the PCs are anywhere near his precious hoard, why would he fight them on top of it, which leads to...
  • Have the dungeon re-arrange itself during the fight. You can either put the dragon in an environment where its mobility is useful, or you can take mobility away from the PCs. If the heroes are bearding the dragon in its lair, then you should be taking the mobility away from the PCs. Walls come up, pits open up, traps go off, and the PCs can't necessarily help each other and gang up on the dragon, which leads to...
  • Give the dragon swarm creatures as minions. They're a gigantic pain-in-the-ass for anyone who has high AC and a lack of area-of-effect spells. That'll give your monk a challenge. Good luck getting past the swarms to get to the dragon.

That's all for now. Best wishes!


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I dont recommend the dragon be on the horde, I recommend the horde be in the room though

With Brass dragons being the fire subtype I recommend setting the final battle in a volcano or other lava rich enviroment. The dragon can easily shatter the floor making PCs that fail an acrobatics check fall into the lava taking 20d6 fire damage every round till they crawl out (a difficult climb check). To fight the dragon close range they must jump from slab to slab of ground (more acrobatics checks) and the dragon can easily reposition without the fear of being hurt by the environment. If they elect to use fly or energy immunity spells the dragon can easily use targeted dispell magic and antimagic fields. If you want to make it harder the dragon could even set up traps before hand that reset every 1d4 rounds and perform targeted dispel magics to someone that comes in proximity. If you want to make it even harder put a gateway to the plane of fire in that lake of Lava and the Dragon has fostered an alliance with a group of Efreeti warriors causing 2d4 Efreeti fighters with as many class levels as you want and specializing in combat maneuvers (bull rush, disarm, trip, grapple, etc) to come to the dragons aid.

If the dragon gets low enough it can fly upwards breaking through the roof and causing a cave in, dealing 20d6 damage per round to anyone who fails a reflex save. Better get that treasure quick! Otherwise its going to slip into that lava and then they'll have no dragon and no reward. However this also causes massive destabilization of the earths crust causing lava veins all over the region to open, relighting previously dormant volcano's, and forcing mountains to erupt. Thus putting an entire region in danger from out of control volcanic activity which at the very least damages local civilizations and cripples trade giving them a whole other adventure

Why yes I have used this encounter before :)


I specifically want the fight to happen in the dragons lair. I am thinking a really old ziggurat that my dragon remodeled. There will be plenty of space to burrow and to fly during the fight. As to the actual hoard that is more likely to be buried under the sand so the dragon is not going to be majestically sitting on a pile of loot. I am not wanting that. I want a specific area that is heavily defended and modified by having a dragon live there. The hoard is in the area but the fight will not be taking place on it but in the dragons home.

Pizza Lord: I did not even know those were a thing so I will be looking into those just cause they sound interesting.

Bodhizen: Rust monster swarms was mentioned earlier in the thread and I have a player who is terrified of rust monsters so those are happening. I have been reading though various traps and hazards to add to the area.

Windcaler: This is just for one evening of combat so no to destroying the local area. But that is an interesting idea for other things floating in my head.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
I've played gunslingers before and had them in my games. DR is their worst enemy.

Really? All the gunslingers I know take Clustered Shots as soon as they are able to. With touch attacks, they should be hitting with most of their shots and only taking DR off once.

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:
The perk to the gunslinger build is the misfire chance, which he said was at a 6 right now.

Misfire chance of 6?!? What is he doing?


Yeah I am sure that feat is on the list I have a ranger in my actual campaign I will be referencing that feat id she does not already have it.

And I am waiting for a reply of how the missfire is so high. I do know no gear has been bought and he is a gunslinger experimental gunsmith, alchemist something, and wizard spellslinger. He is wanting a crazy gun and it should be interesting when he is done. No clue how but I think he said it was around six currently. I know gear will bring that back down. Level 16 gives a lot of money to be spent.

Also that is a normal response. I asked the same thing but we were in the car so there was nothing to formally explain it and I know nothing about this class.


Oh and my players have all decided on their classes, hopefully this does not change. I have the gunslinger, alchemist, wizard mix with a apparently crazy gun. A eldritch archer magus who desperately want to do as much damage as possible. Some kind of barbarian. And then a wizard, not sure of the focus on her yet.

Dark Archive

If the gunslinger and archer have a way to bypass dr I recommend cranking AC on this guy. I would consider damage immunities with your party as well. As long as the barbarian isn't using a bludgeoning weapon I'd honestly consider giving it straight immunity to bludgeoning. That cuts the gunslingers damage in half without screwing the archer. The gunslinger will almost never miss without changes and the archer will have a hard time hitting so it makes sense in this case to have a discrepancy between damage and accuracy. Maybe the archer hits 2 out of 6 times for 40-60 damage and then gunlinger hits every time for 100 but reduced to 50 because of damage immunity. Typically players would rather hit and have an attack be relatively ineffective than miss every time.

So here is my template before I really go in and change anything spoiler tagged so it doesn't take up all the space.

Spoiler:

CG Gargantuan Dragon Great Wyrm, Brass
Init +12; Senses blindsense 60 ft. Tremor Sense 60ft, dragon senses; Perception +39
Aura fire (10 ft., 2d6 fire)
DEFENSE
AC 58, touch 10, flat-footed 58 (-0 Dex, +36 natural, –4 size, +4 Mage armor, +4 shield, +4 ring of prot.)
hp 400
Fort +27, Ref +19, Will +25
DR 20/adamantine; Immune fire, bludgeoning, paralysis, sleep; SR 30
Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., sand glide 60 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy)
Melee bite +35 (4d6+19), 2 claws +35 (2d8+13), 2 wings +33 (2d6+7), tail slap +33 (2d8+19)
Reach 20 ft. (25 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (120-ft. line, DC 31, 24d4 fire), crush (medium creatures, DC 31, 4d6+19), desert wind, sandstorm, tail sweep (small creatures, DC 31, 2d6+19)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 26th; concentration +32)
At will— control weather, control winds, endure elements, speak with animals, suggestion (DC 19), whirlwind
STATISTICS
Str 37, Dex 10, Con 27, Int 22, Wis 23, Cha 22
Base Atk +26; CMB +43; CMD 52 (56 vs. trip)
Feats: Alertness, Flyby Attack, Hover, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Penetration, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +35, Diplomacy +35, Fly +23, Knowledge (geography) +35, Knowledge (history) +35, Knowledge (local) +35, Linguistics +35, Perception +39, Sense Motive +39, Spellcraft +35, Survival +35, Stealth +23
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Sand Glide: earth glide but in sand= to base speed
Fire Aura (Su)
An old or older brass dragon is surrounded by an aura of intense heat. All creatures within 5 feet of the dragon take 2d6. A brass dragon can suppress or activate this aura at will as a free action.
Move Sand (Su) (effectively gives you free reign to set up his lair how you’d like
Sandstorm (Su)
can create a powerful sandstorm once per day as a full-round action. This storm has a radius of 1 mile and lasts for 12 minutes. Likely start this at the beginning of combat.
(so this ability would effectively make your ranged worthless because of the windstorm level winds. I would run it with a lower severity for ranged attacks. I would go with as follows 1d10x5 ft visibility -4 perception, -12 sound based, -8 fly, climb, acrobatics. -4 ranged to hit. I’d probably ignore the blown away affect and apply the check size rule for the wind)

So things to keep in mind, your players should all be able to hit the enemy even if only on 18's and 19's. You dragon should make most of the saves versus a hyper specialized mage. If your mage shows up with a spell DC of 35 then your dragon should at least have a bonus of 25, id say higher. Reflex saves should be low enough mages can do damage, but will and con saves are usually save or die so I'd be careful. I have not edited feats and would consider changing them to fit your fighting style for the dragon. Decide if the dragon is going to be melee or spell focused. I'd keep quicken spell regardless but I'd get rid of the spell focus stuff if you're going into melee. If you're going melee focus consider taking almost only field effect spells, buffs, or things that have decent effect on successful saves.


Just for theoretical giggles, if we took Backpack's dragons and removed Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration (on the grounds that he's already getting a +26 to beat SR and if one of the PC's has SR that good than he should probably fail once in awhile) and gave him Solo Maneuvers and Betraying Blow, we could have him cast touch of mercy on himself and just make a Bluff check on every one of his multiple attacks against their Sense Motive check and deal half the difference in bonus damage (how many are gonna have a Sense Motive that trumps his Bluff result regularly). If it turns out to not be efficient, ie. they're somehow immune to nonlethal and his breath weapon isn't working to compensate, he can dismiss it. Bonus points if he can somehow cast hymn of mercy and have everyone dealing non-lethal while his attacks are dealing extra.

Also, if the gunpowder ooze seems too powerful, there's the roiling oil ooze, only CR 6, so you could have a few of them in the encounter. They're immune to fire, but when they are hit by it, they burst into an explosion. If you have both the ooze types, when the dragon breathes on them, the roiling oils will explode, combusting and splitting the gunpowder oozes, which will ignite the roiling oils, which will then combust all the gunpowder oozes again. Granted, the gunpowder oozes will get destroyed rapidly due to their fire vulnerability, but there should be a really cool chain reaction if it works right. Plus they give off a nice fog cloud like smoke when burning, making it hard on the gunslinger and casters to target everyone nearby. The dragon will be a bit hindered too, but he'll probably be better able to deal with it.


vorpal claws

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