Black Dragon

Type: Dragon (Water)
Environment: Warm marshes
Organization: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2-5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 offspring)
Challenge Rating: Wyrmling 3; very young 4; young 5; juvenile 7; young adult 9; adult 11; mature adult 14; old 16; very old 18; ancient 19; wyrm 20; great wyrm 22
Treasure: Triple standard
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: Wyrmling 5-6 HD; very young 8-9 HD; young 11-12 HD; juvenile 14-15 HD; young adult 17-18 HD; adult 20-21 HD; mature adult 23-24 HD; old 26-27 HD; very old 29-30 HD; ancient 32-33 HD; wyrm 35-36 HD; great wyrm 38+ HD
Level Adjustment: Wyrmling +3; very young +3; young +3; juvenile +4; others —

Black dragon are sometimes known as skull dragons because of their skeletal faces. Adding to the skeletal impression is the gradual deterioration of the hide around the base of the horn and the cheekbones. This deterioration increases with age and does not harm the dragon. On hatching, a black dragon’s scales are thin, small, and glossy. As the dragon ages, they become larger, thicker, and duller, helping it camouflage itself in swamps and marshes.

Black dragons are especially fond of coins. Older dragons sometimes capture and question humanoids about stockpiles of gold, silver, and platinum coins before killing them.

Black Dragons by Age
Age Size Hit Dice (hp) Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha Base Attack/ Grapple Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Breath Weapon (DC) Frightful Presence DC
Wyrmling T 4d12+4 (30) 11 10 13 8 11 8 +4/-4 +6 +5 +4 +4 2d4 (13)
Very young S 7d12+7 (52) 13 10 13 8 11 8 +7/+4 +9 +6 +5 +5 4d4 (14)
Young M 10d12+20 (85) 15 10 15 10 11 10 +10/+12 +12 +9 +7 +7 6d4 (17)
Juvenile M 13d12+26 (110) 17 10 15 10 11 10 +13/+16 +16 +10 +8 +8 8d4 (18)
Young adult L 16d12+48 (152) 19 10 17 12 13 12 +16/+24 +19 +13 +10 +11 10d4 (21) 19
Adult L 19d12+76 (199) 23 10 19 12 13 12 +19/+29 +24 +15 +11 +12 12d4 (23) 20
Mature adult H 22d12+110 (253) 27 10 21 14 15 14 +22/+38 +28 +18 +13 +15 14d4 (26) 23
Old H 25d12+125 (287) 29 10 21 14 15 14 +25/+42 +32 +19 +14 +16 16d4 (27) 24
Very old H 28d12+168 (350) 31 10 23 16 17 16 +28/+46 +36 +22 +16 +19 18d4 (30) 27
Ancient H 31d12+186 (387) 33 10 23 16 17 16 +31/+50 +40 +23 +17 +20 20d4 (31) 28
Wyrm G 34d12+238 (459) 35 10 25 18 19 18 +34/+58 +42 +26 +19 +23 22d4 (34) 31
Great wyrm G 37d12+296 (536) 37 10 27 20 21 20 +37/+62 +46 +28 +20 +25 24d4 (36) 33
Black Dragon Abilities by Age
Age Speed Initiative AC Special Abilities Caster Level SR
Wyrmling 60 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 60 ft. +0 15 (+2 size,+3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 15 Immunity to acid, water breathing
Very young 60 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 60 ft. +0 17 (+1 size,+6 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 17
Young 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 19 (+9 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 19
Juvenile 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 22 (+12 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 22 Darkness
Young adult 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 24 (-1 size,+15 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 24 DR 5/magic 1st 17
Adult 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 27 (-1 size,+18 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 27 Corrupt water 3rd 18
Mature adult 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 29 (-2 size,+21 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 29 DR 10/magic 5th 21
Old 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 32 (-2 size,+24 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 32 Plant growth 7th 22
Very old 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 35 (-2 size,+27 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 35 DR 15/magic 9th 23
Ancient 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft. +0 38 (-2 size,+30 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 38 Insect plague 11th 25
Wyrm 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy), swim 60 ft. +0 39 (-4 size,+33 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 39 DR 20/magic 13th 26
Great wyrm 60 ft., fly 200 ft. (clumsy), swim 60 ft. +0 42 (-4 size,+36 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 42 Charm reptiles 15th 28

Combat

Black dragons prefer to ambush their targets, using their surroundings as cover. When fighting in heavily forested swamps and marshes, they try to stay in the water or on the ground; trees and leafy canopies limit their aerial maneuverability. When outmatched, a black dragon attempts to fly out of sight, so as not to leave tracks, and hide in a deep pond or bog.

Breath Weapon (Su)

A black dragon has one type of breath weapon, a line of acid.

Water Breathing (Ex)

A black dragon can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon, spells, and other abilities while submerged.

Corrupt Water (Sp)

Once per day an adult or older black dragon can stagnate 10 cubic feet of water, making it become still, foul, and unable to support animal life. The ability spoils liquids containing water. Magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature’s possession must succeed on a Will save (DC equal to that of the dragon’s frightful presence) or become fouled. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. Its range is equal to that of the dragon’s frightful presence.

Charm Reptiles (Sp)

A great wyrm black dragon can use this ability three times per day. It works as a mass charm spell that affects only reptilian animals. The dragon can communicate with any charmed reptiles as though casting a speak with animals spell. This ability is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell.

Other Spell-Like Abilities

3/day—darkness (juvenile or older; radius 10 feet per age category), insect plague (ancient or older); 1/day—plant growth (old or older).

Skills

Hide, Move Silently, and Swim are considered class skills for black dragons.