Ancient Black Dragon

Gargantuan dragon, chaotic evil

Armor Class 22 (natural armor)

Hit Points 367 (21d20 + 147)

Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

27 (+8)14 (+2)25 (+7)16 (+3)15 (+2)19 (+4)

Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +14, Wis +9, Cha +11

Skills Perception +16, Stealth +9

Damage Immunities acid

Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 26

Languages Common, Draconic

Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)

Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.


Multiattack. The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) acid damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Acid Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales acid in a 90-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 67 (15d8) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Legendary Actions

The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect_. The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Tail Attack_. The dragon makes a tail attack.

Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions)_. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

1 Comment

  1. Greyhawk Reply

    I’m preparing some high level encounters and my group is likely to face an Ancient Black Dragon that’s made it’s home in a haunted and decayed forest that’s full of swamps and undead and other planar influences.

    They’ve known for a while now that there’s a named black dragon who lairs there and has been their for about a hundred years. I want to set up a showdown with this dragon but the problem is, my players have all seen Critical Role and fought dragons in the past so they know pretty much exactly what to expect. I really want to make it an exciting fight with surprises. Note, I don’t want to make it more difficult than usual, just more surprising.

    Ideas I’m considering would be to change the dragon’s frightful presence, maybe make it more like a deafening roar or maybe that this dragon can choose to spray acid in either a cone or a line depending how it’s enemies arrange themselves. Does anyone have any advice on this? I could really use suggestions.

    The plan was they could confront the dragon either in it’s lair, or in the ruins of an old city. Other creatures that could be involved would be Drow, Lizardfolk, and Kobolds.

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