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Black dragon

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Monster Manual 5e - Dragon, Black - p87

4e black dragon

Black Dragon

Monstrous Manual 2e - Black Dragon - p65

Monster manual 1e - Black dragon - p31

A black dragon.
Black dragon

5th Edition Statistics[1]
Type Dragon
Alignment Chaotic evil
Challenge Rating

4th Edition Statistics
Origin Natural
Type Magical beast
Subtype aquatic, dragon, chromatic dragon

3rd Edition Statistics[2]
Type Dragon
Subtype Water
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Challenge Rating
Very young4
Young adult9
Mature adult14
Very old18
Great wyrm22

General Information
Vision Darkvision, Low-light vision[3]
Homeland(s) Swamps
Language(s) Common, Draconic
Skin Color Black (scales)

Black dragons, also known as skull dragons, are far and away the most vile tempered and cruel of all chromatic dragons.

Physical descriptionEdit

Black dragons appear abnormally slender in comparison to other chromatic dragons—wiry, but not gaunt. Physically, black dragons are most distinguished by their horns, which protrude from the sides of their heads and wrap around, projecting forward. A large frill adorns the upper part of the neck. They smell like rotting vegetation and foul water. A black dragon can grow up to a maximum size of 16 ft (4.9 m) tall, 85 ft (25.9 m) long, with a wingspan of 80 ft (24.4 m). It can weigh up to 160,000 lbs (72.6 mt).[4]


Black dragons prefer ambushes to straightforward fighting. They are vicious and ruthless adversaries, and their acidic bile can work its way under the heaviest armor with ease. Their only disadvantage is that their heavily wooded habitats tend to prevent them from flying very high in combat.

Breath weaponEdit

Black dragon anatomy - Lars Grant-West

A review of black dragon anatomy.

Black dragons expel a line of highly corrosive acid.



Black dragons live in swamps and fetid marshlands. They are cunning creatures who live to inspire fear and rule by intimidation. Black dragons have black, glossy scales that add to their camouflage within swamplands. They prefer to ambush their targets, using darkness or water as their cover. They are excellent swimmers and often make their lairs in submerged caves. A black dragon typically lairs in a large cave or underground chamber next to a swamp or murky pond. Their lairs always have two entrances: one underwater through the adjacent swamp/pond, and one above-ground, disguised amidst the undergrowth.

Parenting and developmentEdit

Black dragons are not noted as good parents, relying more upon disguise and hiding to protect their eggs than upon guarding them personally. Black dragon eggs must be submerged in strong acid while growing, which can also help protect the dragon as well. Their wyrmlings are noted for their exceptional cruelty and their utterly insatiable appetites. They will eat almost anything organic they can kill, even plants. As a black dragon matures, its scales will very gradually grow lighter. The most ancient black dragons appear almost purple in color; hence the name of Cormyr's Purple Dragon Knights stems from the legend of the great black dragon Thauglor, who once dominated the area encompassed by the present kingdom.

Black dragon Wyrmling

Black dragon Wyrmling


A black dragon's diet consists of fish, mollusks, aquatic critters and some red meat from terrestrial animals.

Known black dragonsEdit



  1. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Bruce R. Cordell, Ari Marmell and Robert J. Schwalb (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 978-0786949809.
  5. Warning: edition not specified for Road of the Patriarch
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ari Marmell and Robert J. Schwalb (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 978-0786949809.
  7. Warning: book within boxed set not specified for Netheril: Empire of Magic


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