Background – following on from my last monster post. This is something I submitted to ‘& Magazine‘ back in October 2016. It had also been slated to be published in Issue 15, but ‘& Magazine’ is no more. So, I’ve given it a re-edit and posted it here.
:: Drachomeleon ::
Frequency: Rare (uncommon in dragon lairs)
No. Appearing: 1-8
Armour Class: 7
Move: 6″; 1” when climbing
Hit Dice: 3
% in Lair: 85%
Treasure Type: C (in dragon lairs none)
No. of Attacks: 3
Special Attacks: See below; grasping tongue; surprise
Special Defenses: See below; adaptive camouflage
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: L (15 to 25 feet long)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Level/XP Value: 170 +3/HP
(Stats for AD&D)
Drachomeleons are a giant form of chameleon that resemble and live alongside dragons. Drachomeleons are tolerated by dragons because they make useful ‘guards’, eating any unwelcome visitors, including the numerous parasites attracted to the dragon’s lair. Drachomeleons will normally use their adaptive camouflage to blend into their surrounds. However, when the host dragon is in their lair, especially when moving, Drachomeleons match the colour of the dragon to prevent the dragon from accidentally crushing or harming them. Drachomeleons like to bask with warm dragon eggs (where they might be mistaken for a dragon hatchling), or lurk in ambush near the lair’s entrance hoping to get an easy meal.
:: Eyes – move independently seeing 360 degrees around them, making them very difficult to surprise. The lenses of their eyes are highly valued by scholars.
:: Adaptive camouflage – makes them hard to see (surprise on 1-5 on D6); also coldblooded and so tend to be the same temperature as their surrounds. Treated correctly theirs skins make useful cloaks.
:: Intimidation – creatures of less than 3HD must take a morale check or fear the ‘dragon’. Their weird eyes, funny feet and lack of true wings, are their least dragon looking attributes and if spotted can nullify the need for a save.
:: Grasping tongue attack – 30 foot projectile grasping tongue; +5 to hit surprised prey. Grasped prey suffers automatic chewing damage 2-8HPs per round. Breaking free requires a roll under twice the PC’s Bend-bars/Lift-gates score.
:: Scent – they contain a substance very unpalatable to dragons, discouraging dragons from snacking on them.