Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monsters Matter: The Blue Dragon

Last week we talked about how all dragon encounters should be different starting with the Black Dragon.  This week we're continuing down the chromatic list with the rarely used Blue Dragon

Generals of the Skies
One thing to know first and foremost about blue dragons is they love help.  In fact while they might not be the smartest of the dragons (tied with red as a close second to green) they aren't exactly stupid either. Blue dragons revel in collecting talented and capable minions and aren't afraid to use them just as any other resource.  Some might thin this is limited to kobolds or cultist, but that's under utilizing these beasts.  A blue dragon can have an entire army at its disposal including wizards war-singing bards and entire mercenary companies under its employ.

Lightning Strikes
While this isn't exclusive to just blue dragons, I feel like any time a dragon's breath in a line rather than a cone it deserves mention.  Just as I pointed out last week with black dragons, a line means that this attack is about precision.  If the dragon wants to hit multiple enemies they need to already be lined up for him and that rarely happens on it's own.  However, this also means the dragon can single out targets and pic them off one by one.  Unlike the ambushing black though, this breed will sore open in the skies circling its prey.  No need to sneaky tactics when the heroes are busy fighting armed mercenaries on the ground.  The other bonus to their precision attack is that they are much less likely to hit allied characters.

Dragon of a Different Color
At first glance a blue dragon might seem like a cut and paste of the standard red dragon, but it's in the details that lies all the difference.  Without also writing my red dragon article here I'll do a quick breakdown.
1. Red Dragons have slaves / Blue dragons have minions : A subtle difference, but a big one.  This makes a blue dragon's allies usually more capable and more importantly more loyal.
2. Cone of Fire VS Line of Lightning: I touched on this already, but that difference in precision maes a huge difference in tactics.
3. Collectors Vs Hoarders: Both of these dragons love shiny valuables.  Blue dragons tend to prefer hoarding gems above all else though and living in deserts means they tend to bury their most valuable of items.  Compared the the red dragons collect where they prefer to be able to see all their wealth makes for a very different kind of lair.
4. Mountains VS Desert: Finally is their terrain.  A fight in the mountains is nothing lie one in the desert.  Sure you can see a blue dragon coming a mile away, but so can he and he's probably faster.  You might have a long range archer, but with his army the dragon may have a dozen archers.  The desert also means there's little to no point in hiding creating an opponent that might as well announce his presence as a show of force.

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