Lesser Dragons (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: Significantly stronger when compared to first party flying races such as the aarakocra. Though an effort has been made to bring this in line it is still too strong as it still tries to squeeze every aspect of the dragon into a race. The traits need work in terms of power level but also need to be reworded to match the first party as they are often vague and/ or overly wordy. In particular, the flying speed, dragon creature type and quadrupedal trait are the most problematic. I recommend reading the 5e Race Design Guide specifically the sections on Do's and Don't as well as Flying Races.


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Lesser Dragons[edit]

You may be a dragon of body and mind, but you'll NEVER be one of heart!
—Spirit Swingheart shortly before wrecking Tiamat alongside the Witch Hunters.

DM Note: This is not to be confused with the Lesser Dragons Homebrew race of 3.5e on this wiki. This is separate from those pages, and has nothing to do with them, including not being the same author.

Physical Description[edit]

I'm sure you know what a dragon looks like right? Well imagine they didn't grow up quite as big, and had eyes closer to normal ones their entire lives, instead of the "molten core" look a typical dragon would have when it got old.

History[edit]

Lesser Dragons originated outside of the known multiverse of D&D. They existed in a separate universe, wherein magic did not permeate every corner of existence, but instead was concentrated closer to the worlds that existed there. Without this ambient magic to constantly draw from, creatures of that universe had to evolve to generate their own magic, creating a life sourced magical energy called mana. That universe still exists, but after mastering its dangers, some of the creatures from it branched out into the D&D multiverse, because the D&D multiverse and its deities began to branch out into it. The resulting conflicts are already old news by this point however; And while the travel is a daunting task only undertaken by powerful casters, the race itself is now sometimes born here, and doesn't necessarily even know more than a normal intelligent creature would about the big wide multiverse around them.

The result? Dragons that are much smaller than their spongy counterparts (Called so as they soak up magic instead of letting it flow through them like Lesser Dragons do) but are still resilient forces of nature in their own right, evolved not simply to be powerful, but explicitly to be more capable of magic than any of their distant relatives. Well, distant relatives, and eternal rivals of course. A Dragon and Lesser Dragon of similar alignment might get along, but the differences between them give them both an intense jealously of each other, that often turns to distrust or outright hate. This jealously does stem from a place of passion however, as its usually rooted in the desires of both races, power. Lesser Dragons yearn for the intense physical might of the Dragons, who in turn lust after the magical prowess of the Lesser Dragons. Some Lesser Dragons neglect their studies of magic in exchange for training in such physical regards, making them just as often Fighters and Rouges as any other race, usually in spite of their magical heritage instead of because of it. Because of these mutual opposite weaknesses between them, clever Dragons and Lesser Dragons that CAN stand the sight of each other can make an incredibly deadly team, and the disposition of the Lesser Dragons is usually able to allow such allegiances to exist if the Dragon doesn't immediately attack it when they first meet.

Lesser Dragons are fast friends with most Gemstonians (Except Obsideons), which you can learn about on that race's page.

Society[edit]

The culture of the Lesser Dragons is one of honor, courage, humility and respect for power. They never underestimate a potential foe, and might overestimate one if it's larger than them at all. Most don't see themselves as better than others, even with the difference is clear. They're a timid race, until something sets their blood alight and gives them a good reason go all out. The result can be all the fury of a True Dragon wrapped up in a much smaller package than you'd expect to hit that hard. There are no Lesser Dragons that lack class levels, as their natural talent and aptitudes always brings them some level of strength as they grow up, regardless of what kind of strengths that might be. As such, they are living proof of the principle of size doesn't matter.

Importantly, they are True Dragons, and consider themselves as such. If you call them anything less than Dragons, you're a very brave fool.
—Shale Samuel The Lich warning Tiamat of the dangers of the Lesser Dragons.

Lesser Dragon Names[edit]

The Lesser Dragons have a tongue that favors sharp pronunciation, such as the s and t sounds. Their names almost always mean something in common as well as draconic, though they sware this is a coincidence. This is likely because of the integration of Lesser Dragons into normal society, which has lead to many Lesser Dragons originating in the D&D multiverse to be adopted by other races and their families. As a result, you could also use the naming scheme of any other race, assuming your Lesser Dragon's parents adopted you by finding your egg. Why are so many eggs abandoned? Well for one, other Dragons will hunt Lesser Dragons in the wild, and for two, Lesser Dragon eggs are easily enchantable, and most are made invisible to other True Dragons besides Lesser Dragons, making Lesser Dragons with dead parents or those that were forced to flee home fairly likely. Names may sometimes point to notable character traits or abilities that the Lesser Dragon is better at than others of its kind, or locations it favors or the location the egg was found in. Generally, though there are some exceptions, a Lesser Dragon named by Lesser Dragon parents will not have a r or er sound at the end of their name if they are Male, even if this creates a word that isn't real as a result. Last names tend to be general, like how humans decided their family names, though they also have the additional quirk of often originating from a combination of the two names or quirks of the two Lesser Dragons that originated the family, which can also cause the family names to change or be distorted or simplified over longer periods of time. They are never written as plural, even if they are pronounced that way. The below last name examples only show these phenomenons, because normal human-like last names should be easy to come up with if that's the way you wish to name your character.

Male: Scales, Spring, Samuel, Siren, Sparks, Vandal, Vargas, Kite, Kindle, Kale, Tarot, Titan, Train, Baron, Bait, Bain, Braille, Bail, Cleve

Female: Spirit, Shooter, Seven, Sender, Marsh, Meadow, Miracle, Hope, Harness, Heavy, Claw, Cane, Caper, Cleaver, Clever, Flare

Last Names: Swingheart, Hailfire, Sparknife, Braveheart, Kindheart, Needlewing, Toothclaw, Coldtooth, Fireheart, Swiftclaw

Lesser Dragon Traits[edit]

Dragons that are more magically inclined rather than big and strong.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2 and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Lesser Dragons mature at the same rate as humans but can live 500 years. Most aren't considered adults until they reach the age of 70.
Alignment. Lesser Dragons can be of any alignment and are as diverse in this regard as humans. This is regardless of the color or kind of their scales.
Size. Lesser Dragons are quadrupedal, like their cousins the Dragons. They vary in size and build, but are typically anywhere from 3 to 5 feet long from head to tail. Your size is small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Quadrupedal. You can stand up while prone using 5 feet of movement.
Weak Wings. When you are falling, you can use your reaction to reduce the amount of feet you fall to 0 until the end of your next turn. Once you have used this trait once, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.
True Dragon. You have the dragon creature type. You can be affected by spells and effects that affect dragons and humanoids.
Scaleborn. You have a tiny breath weapon, depending on the color of your scales. This breath weapon is a ranged magical weapon attack on a single target with an attack bonus of your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. It has a range of 30 feet, and deals 1d4 + your Constitution modifier damage. Use the table below to determine the damage type of the breath weapon and the color of your scales.
Clawed. Your claws deal slashing damage with an unarmed strike, instead of bludgeoning damage.
Dragonkin. You ignore race requirements for items, feats, boons, etc. that would require you to be a Dragonborn to use them.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.

Scale Color Damage Type
Black Acid
Blue Lightning
Brass Fire
Bronze Lightning
Copper Acid
Gold Fire
Green Poison
Red Fire
Silver Cold
White Cold
Brown Poison
Gray Radiant
Pink Psychic
Purple Psychic

DM Note: The last 4 color types in the above table are not in normal play in D&D, they exist as part of the whole other universe origin stated above. They are a variant rule, and don't have to be allowed in play as characters, though they'd be rare if they were.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
3′ 0″ +3d8 100 lb. × (2d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Subraces[edit]

(DM Note: Subraces are a variant rule here, as their inclusion makes the race fairly over powered. A suggestion to mitigate this if you feel it should be allowed is to make the subrace chosen at 3rd level, giving the first trait. Then at 5th level, the character gains the benefits of the second trait.)

Mountainous Dragons[edit]

Climbing Speed. You have a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.
Earth Meld. Mud and quicksand don't count as difficult terrain for you.

Prerequisite: You must have a cold, fire, or lightning breath weapon to have the above subrace.

Aquatic Dragons[edit]

Swimming Speed. You have a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
Aquatic. You can breathe water or air.

Prerequisite: You must have an acid, cold, lightning, or poison breath weapon to have the above subrace.

Murky Dragons[edit]

Swampy Stealth. You have advantage on stealth checks while it is raining, though only if you are in the rain. You also have advantage on stealth checks in swampy areas.
Aquatic. You can breathe water or air.

Prerequisite: You must have an acid or poison breath weapon to have the above subrace.

Volcanic Dragons[edit]

Competent Flyer. Your jump distance is doubled. You must still follow all other restrictions with jumping.
Toasty Heart. You have resistance to fire damage.

Prerequisite: You must have a fire breath weapon to have the above subrace.

Royal Dragons[edit]

Truesight. You have Truesight instead of normal vision within 10 feet of you.
Quickened Pace. Your movement speed is 30 feet.

Prerequisite: You must have a radiant or psychic breath weapon to have the above subrace. As a result, it may not be allowed in play due to it being part of the variant rules.

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