Red dragons are the big bad guys, with names like Smaug, Glaurung, and Vermithrax. They are what we think of when we read the word after the ampersand. They are icons of evil, and targets for greedy adventurers everywhere. Here, in the fourth Codex Draconis, we give you what you need to drop red dragons into your games with a minimum of effort and a maximum of options. We want to help you create red dragons that your players will remember for the rest of their lives.
In this Codex Draconis, you’ll find the options and alternatives for a dozen red dragons, just as you’d expect. We cover every age category of the scarlet horrors of the mountains. Each age category also has three pregenerated treasure hoards, some alternative monster builds, and suggestions on how to build even deadlier dragon encounters. Along the way, we hope to share some surprises with you, too.
Dragons are among the most iconic, and most popular, of all fantasy roleplaying game foes. Once the domain exclusively of higher-level adventures, dragons now have rules for every stage of life. This means that wet-behind-the-ears PCs can face dragons early in their careers (though likely they will be facing dragons the size of housecats). To ensure a dragon is always just the right threat for PCs of any level, dragons are given twelve stages of life that, when combined with the many different types of dragons, creates a range of CRs from 2 to 22. The problem with that, of course, is that it requires a lot of stat blocks, and those take up room. To save space, instead of presenting a full write-up of every dragon at every age category, the game’s creators present a set of rules outlining how to write up dragons, and then they give a few examples of each type. As a result, although you can find a dragon of the right CR for an encounter, it takes a considerable amount of work to get that dragon ready for the game.
To help with that problem, the fine folks at D20PFSRD.com took on the job of creating full stat blocks for every true dragon of every type, and when we expressed an interest in using those as the starting point for our Codex Draconis line, they were kind enough to give us their blessing. In addition to their dragon write-ups, Codex Draconis: Red Tyrants of the Mountains presents additional material to expand the ways you can use these dragons and allows you to drop them into your campaign.