The red dragon is the most well-known species of chromatic dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. They are also widely acknowledged as the most vicious and dangerous of them all. Legends and fairy tales that speak of dragons may not always specify the colour of the creatures, but chances are that the authors of such tales had red dragons in mind.


All dragons are predatory and greedy, but red dragons are excessive in those regards. When they hunt, they devour much more food than their bodies require. Their treasure hoards are made up of anything and everything that someone has placed any kind of value upon, even if it is just sentimental. As far as red dragons are concerned, everything belongs to them.

Red dragons are notoriously proud and spiteful. They will not stand for even the slightest grievance against them and their vengeance is typically swift and devastating. If so much as a single tiny coin is snatched from a red's hoard, it will more than likely hunt down and destroy the offender. Reds that have failed to catch those that have wronged them have been known to take their anger out on nearby communities, burning entire cities to the ground just to make themselves feel better.

As prone as they are to fits of violent rage, red dragons are hardly mindless. They are cunning strategists and spend much of their time planning for every possible combat scenario, whether it be against humans, other dragons or any beings they regard as enemies.

Ruthless bullies by nature, red dragons that live close to humanoid communities tend to dominate their smaller neighbours and rule them through fear, demanding regular tribute from the humanoid masses. They do not normally negotiate, they take what they want through force and anyone who says no either ends up as ash or as dinner.

Lairs and TerrainEdit

Although a red dragon’s first terrain choice is somewhere elevated and especially hot, such as a volcano or a sulfurous geyser, a red does not require such a location. It might take residence in a normal mountain peak, in rocky badlands, or on a desert mesa: any location where it can perch high and survey its domain for miles around. Red dragons loathe the cold, but cold does not harm them any more than it does other creatures. A few reds even make their homes among snow-capped peaks, because altitude matters to them more than temperature. A red that can boast a lair combining altitude and temperature, such as one atop a volcanic peak, considers itself fortunate indeed.

Red dragons prefer large caves or complexes of caves, with access both to high vantage points and to the depths of the earth. Though they seek high ground for surveying their territory, they feel safer sleeping and storing their treasure beneath layers of rock. Because such complexes rarely occur naturally, red dragons frequently take over caverns dug by other races, or they enslave people to construct or modify their lairs. Red dragons looking for homes scour out and claim many an underground or partially underground community, such as dwarven cities and drow access tunnels. Because of this behaviour, and despite their preference for high perches, red dragons occasionally come into conflict with purple dragons.

Favoured TreasureEdit

Red dragons have no real preference for treasure. Their avarice is so great that they will take almost anything that catches their eye. If reds do have any kind of preference, it is objects that already belong to someone who isn't strong enough to fight for it.

Life CycleEdit

A red dragon lays its eggs roughly five and a half months into the incubation time of twenty-two months. A clutch numbers two to four eggs, and all prove viable under optimal conditions. A red dragon is a wyrmling until the age of eight or so, and young until about 200. It attains elder status at around 950 and becomes an ancient around 1,900. The oldest known red dragon reached approximately 2,500 years.

When it occurs, a red dragon’s environmental diffusion takes one of two forms, depending on its surroundings. In a mountainous or rocky area, the spot where the dragon dies breaks open, revealing one or more large, sulfurous geysers or small volcanic vents that emit foul-smelling and acrid smoke even when not erupting. In less stony and more flammable areas, a permanent wildfire results, never spreading beyond the boundaries of the diffusion and never burning out, regardless of fuel or weather.


  • Flight
  • Locate Object - Red dragons are superb trackers. Whatever they want, they are sure to find it. Even the tiniest item of treasure taken from their hoard will not go unnoticed.
  • Breath Weapon - As with most dragons described in children's stories, red dragons breathe a cone of fire that will reduce anything in its path to ashes.

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