Half-Dragon PCs For All Worlds

by Roger E. Moore (with invaluable advice from Bill Slavicsek)

(C)1995 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This file is an updated and corrected version of an article that first appeared in DRAGON(R) issue #206 (June 1994): "Part Dragon, All Hero." Page numbers for the PHB and DMG refer to the pre-1995 2nd Edition versions of those books.

In the beginning, there were only humans and a handful of demihumans as player-character races in TSR's AD&D(R) game. Sure, there were unofficial PC races in the pages of DRAGON(R) Magazine, and Unearthed Arcana added some demihuman races, but that wasn't enough. Players wanted to step into the role-playing shoes of every being there was.

Then the DRAGONLANCE(R), DARK SUN(R), and SPELLJAMMER(R) campaigns appeared, and we had things like kender, half-giants, and xixchil PCs running around. (Xixchil? Look 'em up.) Then came The Complete Book of Humanoids, and everything from aarakocra to wemics was ready for players to play. You could almost forget that humans were even around.

Yet the richness of the AD&D fantasy universe was hardly touched. With the release of TSR's COUNCIL OF WYRMS(TM) boxed adventure in June 1994, the frontiers of role-playing were expanded yet again, this time by a huge margin. In this most fantastic of all campaign settings, players can now become the mightiest of creatures--dragons!

But there's more! Players using COUNCIL OF WYRMS rules also can become half-dragons, the grown offspring of the union of certain metallic dragons and their demihuman vassals. The boxed set provides many details on the statistics and role-playing of these rare, unusual beings, but the topic begs for more elaboration. Can there be half-dragons in other campaigns? If so, how are they played, and what are they like?

This file provides an expanded look at half-dragons from other TSR campaign worlds. Dungeon Masters must decide whether to bring this information into their campaigns, of course, but guidelines for its sensible use are presented.

Fantasy genetics

Some basic restrictions should be laid down regarding half-dragons. There are important exceptions to these rules, but for the most part they should be taken as basic fantasy "truths."

First, only male dragons and female humans or demihumans can create half-dragon children; female dragons cannot be impregnated by male humans or demihumans, and beings other than humans or demihumans cannot bear a dragon's children. (An exception occurs with the Oriental dragons, as detailed later.) Demihumans include elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, kender, and similar humanlike races (including drow). This category does not include giants, ogres, orcs, half-orcs, half-ogres, goblins, centaurs, and other "nonhuman" races; for now, we'll assume that these races are not fertile with dragons, or that dragons won't have anything to do with them.

Second, only those dragons with the innate power to polymorph themselves into human or demihuman shape can interbreed with the latter while in the latter's form.

Third, interbreeding is not possible while a dragon is using a normal polymorph self spell, so a red dragon or shadow dragon with a fourth-level spell slot could not impregnate a human or demihuman female.

Fourth, some dragons that might have the power to create half-dragon offspring simply have no interest in doing so, and actively avoid it. These are most commonly dragons who have little or no interest in humanity or have strong prejudices against humans, demihumans, or mammals in general, greatly preferring the company of other dragons alone. (This point allows us to eliminate the half-platinum, half-adamantite, half-radiant, and other potentially over-powerful types--not a bad thing, as these admittedly make little sense in a carefully considered campaign. Imagine Zeus falling desperately in love with an overly intelligent hamster and wanting the fuzzy little rodent to bear his children. One must draw the line somewhere!)

The COUNCIL OF WYRMS set provides the rules for generating half-dragons in the Io's Blood islands campaign, and these rules are generally followed here. However, not all dragons on all worlds are alike, as you will see--and there are more sorts of dragons than just gold, silver, and bronze. As noted above, we also open up the world of half-dragon/half-human offspring.

General notes

Much of what follows applies to half-dragon offspring whose dragon parents were a metallic type. The material is based on the principles set forth in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS boxed set. The children of Oriental dragons, however, are much different in nature and receive much different treatment.

Half-dragons are subjected to considerable prejudice in many lands on many worlds, making the majority of them exiles and outsiders. The idea of creatures as different as dragons and demihumans (or dragons and humans) having offspring is considered repugnant by most individuals of any species, even within the COUNCIL OF WYRMS setting. For example, half-dragons have no official place in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS setting itself, even though this is where they are most commonly found, and most half-dragons find themselves cast out of the societies of either parent.

Even among those dragons who willingly engage in intimate relations with human or demihuman mates, producing half-dragon young is basically unacceptable. A dragon may truly love a mate, but dragon societies of almost any land find the idea of creating half-dragons intolerable. Thus, half-dragon young are quite rare.

Half-dragon infants take the physical form of their human or demihuman parent. Few physical features identify a newborn babe as a half-dragon, though there are telltale signs that a careful observer could not miss. (Fear of discovery thus leads most mothers to leave home, never to return, to seek a secure wilderness area to give birth--often the lair of the dragon parent.) The half-dragon newborn usually has eyes or hair that are the color of the dragon parent's scales, such as gold, silver, or bronze.

As they reach adulthood, half-dragons grow tall and lean, no matter what human or demihuman blood mixes with their draconic heritage. The dragon heritage then begins to develop, overwhelming "lesser" genes. During adolescence, dragonlike powers manifest themselves. (These are called "discretionary abilities" in AD&D game terms, as they are chosen by the player during the character's progression.) These abilities become stronger and more pronounced with time and use, until a half-dragon grows to full power. Physical changes accompany the appearance of these abilities, eventually metamorphosing the youth into a beautiful and unique being--but the beauty is an alien one, not entirely along human or demihuman standards.

A mature half-dragon looks like a very tall, slender humanoid with elflike features: a thin frame, lean muscles, long limbs, and pointed ears. It does not matter which human or demihuman stock runs through the half-dragon's blood. Skin has the look and texture of normal flesh, though with the pigmentation of the draconic parent (golden, silvery, or bronze-tinged, for example). The half-dragon's hair is luxurious and thick, of a deeper or richer shade of the flesh's color. The fingers are long and thin, with nails like talons. Yet the true mark of dragon heritage is in the face, which has a remarkably reptilian appearance: snakelike eyes, elongated features, and a hint of horns protruding from above the temples. Half-dragons have no wings, no tails, and no scales.

Half-dragons do not automatically learn any language except for those taught by their parents. If the dragon parent is present, whatever draconic languages that parent knows may be learned, and the human or demihuman parent's native tongues also may be picked up. (The Krynnish half-silver, detailed later, will never start out knowing a dragon's language, as the once-dragon parent lost the ability to speak those tongues upon transformation.) Note the bonus languages picked up by river spirit folk, the half-dragon offspring of certain Oriental dragons, as shown in the section called "Half-dragon roster."

Beyond these generalities, half-dragons of various AD&D game worlds have few things in common. A short look at each world follows, with appropriate notes and comments.

GREYHAWK(R) campaign

Oerth is a more cosmopolitan setting than many, its peoples long accustomed to magical displays and unusual beings in their midst. Individual power, both physical and magical, is respected and sought; the people of the Flanaess are on the whole practical, calculating, materialistic, and prone to looking out for their own interests first. This dark flavor has promoted a certain freedom from bias among its peoples, especially in the City of Greyhawk. One wag has commented that a stranger can be as strange as he wants, so long as he obeys the rules of the game.

Interbreeding between dragons and two-legged mortals is thus not unheard of here, though it will provoke anything from outrage to sighs, pained looks, and a certain rolling of eyes. Half-dragon offspring who survive to adulthood encounter few social stigmas in enlightened areas, which unfortunately are few in the postwar Flanaess. Most half-dragons will in time congregate in the City of Greyhawk, which has become a haven for them. Indeed, in Greyhawk, being the descendant of a dragon gives weight to a half-dragon's social and political status as the dragon parent is assumed to be available to perform a favor or two or to offer advice, regardless of whether this is actually true.

A few half-dragon individuals appear in the histories of the Flanaess and its nations. Rumors sometimes pass that one member of the Circle of Eight had dragon ancestors in his family tree. Still, because they look so different, half-dragons tend to be loners and have very few associates (and fewer still trusted friends).

Of the dragon types mentioned in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS set, only the gold and silver dragons of Oerth can interbreed with humans and demihumans. Bronze dragons of Oerth cannot assume human or demihuman form, being restricted to taking the shapes of higher mammals only.

Half-gold and half-silver: The basic statistics for these races are as described in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS set. The half-gold type is extremely rare, only two being known in the last 500 years (and they were twins). The half-silver is better known; one is rumored to operate alone in the domains of Iuz as a ranger, acting as a combination spy, saboteur, and guerilla fighter. Three are rumored to live in the City of Greyhawk, but little is known about them.

Half-Greyhawk: A unique dragon type found only on Oerth is the so-called Greyhawk dragon, which appears to be related (probably by some common ancestor) to the steel dragon of the FORGOTTEN REALMS(R) setting. The Greyhawk dragon, described in the GREYHAWK MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM(R) appendix and GREYHAWK Adventures hardbound, loves human and demihuman company, living out much of its life in cities, particularly the City of Greyhawk for which it was named. The Greyhawk dragon is said to be almost as likely to have a nondragon consort as a dragon one, which has given the city a slightly seedy reputation among knowledgeable travelers. This preference has also given the city about a dozen half-Greyhawks at any particular time, nearly all of whom find gainful employment with their draconic parents.


Generally speaking, residents of the continent of Ansalon are idealists, for good or evil. Their cousins on the continent of Taladas are more practical and earthy, but still prone to carry causes. More insular than the peoples of most worlds, Krynnish folk are slow to trust outsiders and do not mingle well with those who are not like them. This caution easily crosses over into prejudice, and half-dragons here cannot expect easy acceptance, if they win any degree of acceptance at all.

Of all the dragons of the world of Krynn, only two sorts have the power to assume human or demihuman shape--gold and silver dragons. (Bronze dragons here, as on Greyhawk's Oerth, can assume only the forms of mammals.) Of these two, only silver dragons enjoy taking the smaller shape. Indeed, unlike the disdainful gold dragons who hold themselves largely apart from the affairs of two-legged beings, silver dragons love human and elven company. Legends are told of Huma and the silver dragon who loved him, and of Silvara and the elf-lord Gilthanis, who vanished from the world before the Council of Whitestone and were never heard from again.

Tragedy, however, inevitably scars any loving relationship between mortal and dragon. Without transformation (explained later), a dragon will far outlive its partner, and the couple will bear no children. With transformation, the dragon loses almost all traces of its old identity and must confront the rapidly closing specter of death that faces all humans and demihumans. Worse, the enemies of good dragons are many and have long memories; evil forces would be only too happy to strike back at a silver dragon, in whatever form, through the dragon's loved ones. The mortal lover eventually might even reject the transformed partner for any number of reasons, leaving the former dragon devastated and alone--and perhaps with a child. (It must be added that this last possibility has not yet happened, thankfully.)

Most devastating of all, however, is the almost universal opposition that Krynnish natives--and dragons--have for any hint of intimate relations between dragon and nondragon. The discovery that a loving partner is actually a silver dragon has been known to destroy a relationship, and even an accepting human or elven partner will face horror, rage, and pity from others of his kind who learn of the situation.

Half-silver: There have never been any Krynnish stories, from any source, of any offspring resulting from the union of a silver dragon and a human or demihuman. (The few tragic romances known to legend involved a human or elven male.) There are rumors, however, that a silver dragon who loves a mortal can be given the chance to forever remain in mortal form, as a special gift from the dragon-god Paladine. Such was said to be the choice that Huma's lover faced, though she turned it down so that Huma could find the dragonlances and fight the evil dragons of the world.

Any Krynnish silver dragon who mates with a human or demihuman of the opposite sex will not be able to conceive children. However, a silver dragon who is transformed by Paladine into a mortal will be able to have children normally. Such transformations are almost unheard of, and no examples are known of it. These transformations, into either human, half-elven, or elven form, would be done solely for the love of a mortal human, elf, or half-elf, invariably of good alignment, who stands out as an admired champion of Good.

The child of such a union always appears to have the normal characteristics of its mother, whether she was originally a human, half-elf, or elf (or was transformed into one). The child's silver irises and hair are not particularly remarkable to most passersby, as some elven races have the same features. However, the child will show a lifelong aptitude at understanding anything said to it, in any language. Even if spoken to in a foreign tongue, the child has a 75% chance of making its answer clearly known. Additionally, the offspring can reach considerable levels of ability in whatever character class it adopts, perhaps less than a human could do but often better than a normal elf or half-elf.

Other than this, the Krynnish half-silver has no particular legacy, except for the undoubtedly shocking discovery that one of its parents was once a dragon. This moment could be the one that casts the character out into the world as an adventurer, seeking to learn more about its parent's lost dragon heritage while trying to keep the same knowledge a secret from potentially hostile strangers. Unfortunately, the character's acceptance into silver dragon society is hardly guaranteed.


The people of the Realms are almost as cosmopolitan as those of Oerth, but less inclined to self-centeredness. They are often idealistic as well, but still prone to mind their own business and avoid prying into the lives of strangers, who are generally accepted and treated well but with some reserve (at least in good societies). A half-dragon, however, will face prejudice in some areas because of its strange appearance.

A confusing element thrown into the discussion of half-dragons in the Realms is the issue of weredragons, a unique local race described in DRAGON(R) issue #134 and the FORGOTTEN REALMS adventure, FA1 Halls of the High King. This race is interfertile with both dragons and humans, but it is not (yet) suitable for presentation as a player character in the AD&D game, so we will skip further discussion of it here.

Aside from the usual gold, silver, and bronze dragons (the latter of which can assume human or demihuman form in the Realms), a few other dragon types are present that can (and sometimes do) interbreed with two-legged folk.

Half-gold, half-silver, half-bronze: These are all found in the Realms, though they cannot possibly be called common or even "rare." Even Elminster is pressed to name more than two dozen of them known from the last thousand years of Realms history, and some of these (who led less-than-exemplary lives) are suspected of fabricating their "draconic" parentage to cover darker origins or to gain a certain notoriety or respect from peers.

Half-steel: The steel dragon of the Realms, called the Waterdeep dragon by some because it is most often found in that city, appears related to the Greyhawk dragon through a rather recent common ancestor. The steel dragon (described in the FORGOTTEN REALMS supplement Draconomicon) shares many of the characteristics and behaviors of the Greyhawk dragon. As would be expected, there are also about a dozen or so half-steels in Waterdeep, loosely associated as a little-known group calling itself The Confluence. Members of The Confluence are supported by patrons who are usually their parents, either dragon, human, or demihuman. Half-steels travel in magical disguises or, at minimum, in all-covering robes to avoid drawing attention. They are often called upon to undertake missions for their patrons, and they themselves might hire novice adventurers to perform certain missions, though without revealing their true natures.

Drow-dragon (half-deep): The evil deep dragons of the Realms' Underdark have only one two-legged ally: the drow. One can hardly imagine the potential for evil of which the progeny of a deep dragon and a drow would be capable, and this outcome is indeed the case in nearly all "drow-dragons," as they are called. Only two have been known to recorded history; one was slain in its youth by jealous drow rivals, but the other gained considerable power and may yet live somewhere in the Underdark. It is speculated that a drow-dragon could become disenchanted with its life underground and become a seeker of good, but the chances of this are regarded are minuscule.

Kara-Tur campaign

Because of the unusual powers and status of the Oriental dragons of the Realms, they and their offspring are treated here separately from the "western" dragons of that land and other worlds. It should be noted that thanks to spelljamming, Oriental dragons are well established on a variety of worlds in many crystal spheres. Still, all that is said about the half-dragons of Kara-Tur applies to similar beings elsewhere.

Certain types of Oriental dragons of Kara-Tur are well known to take human lovers at times, either by design or whim. (Elves and other "western" demihumans are little known in Kara-Tur, and Oriental dragons are not particularly interested in Oriental demihumans such as korobokuru or hengeyokai.) Highly respected royal families and the lowest peasant clans are equally likely to have dragons as ancestors (possibly the same dragon), though such an event is still quite rare. This doesn't prevent some exaggerated boasts and outright falsehoods from being handed down through the generations by unknowing descendants. Human ancestors who were known to be the consorts of dragons have a special notoriety in family histories, and are accredited with extraordinary beauty, leadership, rightful behavior, marvelous clothing, or other such qualities. To be the partner of a dragon, under almost any circumstances, is often a badge of honor.

The reasons for such general acceptance are not hard to fathom. The half-dragon offspring of Oriental dragons, known as spirit folk, are quite beautiful by human standards. (Obviously, different laws of genetics apply to Oriental dragons than apply to their western cousins.) The appearance and mysterious natures of spirit folk make them intensely attractive. Furthermore, Oriental dragons are a central part of the much-revered Celestial Bureaucracy of Kara-Tur, and any positive association with them is widely sought, particularly by those whose livelihoods fall under the sway of particular dragons in the Bureaucracy.

Two types of Oriental dragons are known to take human lovers, and either bear or father children by them. Both are river dragons: the chiang lung and the shen lung. Their half-human offspring are river spirit folk, who are detailed in the Oriental Adventures volume and Kara-Tur appendix to the MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM supplement. River spirit folk are easily accepted into their human parents' clans or families, though they also must obey any directives, summons, or requests from their dragon parents without question or delay. They are also subject to mood swings based on the condition of their home rivers, as outlined in the two references named above.

Half-chiang lung: These are the most common half-dragons of Kara-Tur, but half-shen lung run a close second. The daughters of the officious chiang lung find humans fascinating, and often they assume human form and attempt to marry men who have caught their fancy. These daughters' fathers, however, are far from pleased at such liaisons, and might order their daughters (even the married ones) to return to their river homes forever. It is not unusual for such prohibitions to arrive too late to prevent the birth of children, however, and after a joint upbringing by dragon and human clans these youths are free to go adventuring if they wish.

Such adventurers are invariably warrior types, particularly samurai and kensai because of their high social standing and martial excellence. The grown offspring of chiang lung and humans are known (and sometimes feared) for their pursuit of perfection, honor, and duty. Some eventually lead their human parents' clans, an event that the allies of those clans celebrate and the enemies of those clans regard with great concern, if not terror.

It does happen, if a chiang lung male is without a partner, that he might be attracted to a human female of exceptional beauty or talent. This is very rare, however, as male chiang lung try very hard to discourage interbreeding of any kind. In any event, river spirit folk born of chiang lung and humans are quite welcome in either society, and any chiang lung elder would look upon the achievements of his spirit folk grandchild with pride.

Half-shen lung: Nearly all that is said above about half-chiang lung is true of the half-shen lung, who are also river spirit folk. Most of those who go adventuring are chaotic but honorable bushi who do not care to submit themselves to a plethora of laws. It is also the case here that male and female shen lung are equally attracted to opposite-sex human partners.

Dragons from other worlds

It is difficult to say much about the wide variety of dragons across the many crystal spheres and Outer Planes, regarding any half-human offspring they might have. About all that can be said is that the singular dragon types, such as the platinum dragon (variously known as Bahamut or Paladine) and the two adamantite dragons of the Twin Paradises, is that they are too concerned with dragons to bother much with humans.

Only one type of dragon in Wildspace is known to be able to naturally assume human or demihuman form: the radiant or celestial dragon. However, this dragon despises mammalian beings like humans and demihumans, at best regarding them as intelligent rivals for territory. There are a few cases of radiant dragons being friendly to humankind, but these are isolated cases, and the dragons could not possibly imagine taking a human as a mate. (Remember what was said earlier about Zeus and the hamster.)

Other types of dragons may exist on other worlds, however, that could interbreed with humans and demihumans. Readers with access to DRAGON issue #170 will note the "Dragon's Bestiary" article on ferrous dragons, and in particular will note the iron dragon, which can assume human shape and seems to like humans a lot. This type is used here as an example of what a half-dragon with "nontraditional" parentage would be like.

Down to details

The AD&D game mechanics for playing half-dragons are generally like the ones given in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS boxed set. All ability scores are obtained using any of the character-creation methods described in the DUNGEON MASTER(R) Guide, then applying the appropriate ability-score modifiers (given here in the section on each type of half-dragon).

Half-dragons use character-class Hit Dice and all standard rules for playing human or demihuman characters. Character classes available to half-dragons are listed in the section "Half-dragon roster." Half-dragons of any type cannot become multiclassed or dual-classed. They may have one class only. Tables 1-4 offer basic information on the appearance and thieving skills of various types of half-dragons discussed here.

Half-dragons do not have to use kits, but kits are recommended for adding flavor to the PCs. Kits require use of the proficiency rules outlined in the Player's Handbook and in Chapter Two of the COUNCIL OF WYRMS boxed set's Book One: Rules. A half-dragon PC can use any kit allowed to its class and to its human or demihuman parent's race (including kits from the Complete Handbook series), except the dragon-rider kit from the COUNCIL OF WYRMS set and any kit involving the slaying or harming of dragons. A number of kits from The Complete Book of Humanoids also are available: (Warrior) Sellsword, Wilderness Protector; (Wizard) Hedge Wizard, Humanoid Scholar, Outlaw Mage; (Priest) Oracle, War Priest, Wandering Mystic; (Rogue) Scavenger, Tramp.

The offspring of Oriental dragons, river spirit folk, almost never use these kits. Instead, they use kits reflecting their Oriental culture. The samurai kit was detailed in The Complete Fighter's Handbook (pages 31-32); the bushi and kensai kits were unofficially updated for the AD&D 2nd Edition game in DRAGON issue #189, in "The Other Orientals" (pages 28 and 30, respectively). If this issue is not available, the DM can create similar kits using the material from the Oriental Adventures volume.

Krynnish half-silvers, because of the unusual nature of their campaign set-up, can become members of the Holy Order of Stars (if clerics) or the Orders of High Sorcery (if wizards). Details on these variant classes are found in the Tales of the Lance boxed set (World Book of Ansalon, pages 80-96).

Two new half-dragon kits were given in the COUNCIL OF WYRMS rules. They are repeated here, modified for use in other AD&D game campaigns.


The exile is a half-dragon who was cast out of the community into which he was born. His mother's relationship with a dragon was kept secret from all neighbors, out of justified fear of their reaction. Early in life, evidence mounted that hinted at the young half-dragon's mixed heritage. The half-dragon thus begins adventuring after banishment from his homeland. Forced to fend for himself, he becomes a self-reliant wanderer seeking a place to call his own, though shunned by many.

Settings: The exile is appropriate to the COUNCIL OF WYRMS, GREYHAWK, and FORGOTTEN REALMS campaigns. No child of an Oriental dragon has ever been known to be an exile, though bizarre circumstances might cause this. A Krynnish half-silver would be raised as a normal human or demihuman child, and also would avoid this fate.

Requirements: Any half-dragon can be an exile, though members of the kit are usually thieves who had to steal to stay alive. Exiles are typically of neutral or chaotic alignment.

Role: Exiles wander the world. They fear the repercussions that come with being a recognizable half-dragon, for such beings are generally loathed by both sides of their genetic heritage. Sometimes the fear is held at bay by hope, for exiles desperately wish for a community to accept them. Many also carry deep hatred for those who banished them and for the dragons (and humans or demihumans) who produced them. Exiles have few or no trusted friends, and they are usually cold and aloof, often consumed with bitterness though they secretly hope for acceptance.

A half-dragon exile never stays in one place too long, for eventually his true nature is revealed. Then trouble starts, and he prefers leaving on his own before being banished again. Most exiles perform odd jobs, carry news from location to location, steal, and do anything else it takes to survive in the netherworld between dragon and humans or demihumans.

Not all communities display fear and hatred toward exiles, but most do. Those that allow them rarely make them feel welcome, but they use the half-dragons to their best advantage, such as to perform special missions (item recovery/theft, spying, diplomatic go-between, etc.). While no exile enjoys being used, most will take on this kind of work in lieu of stealing or remaining alone.

Weapon proficiencies: An exile usually selects weapons much different from the traditional weapons (if any) of its nondragon parent. Easily concealed weapons, such as daggers, saps, short swords, darts, and slings are common. Large weapons common to nobility or regular armies, such as lances, polearms, or two-handed swords are very rarely used.

Nonweapon proficiencies: Bonus--survival. Required--none. Recommended, general--direction sense, fire-building, fishing, weather sense. Recommended, warrior--endurance, hunting, running. Recommended, rogue--juggling.

Equipment: An exile can use any weapons, armor, and equipment suitable to his class.

Special benefits: Exiles receive one additional nonweapon proficiency slot to fill when they are first created. Those who have thieving skills also receive an additional 15 discretionary skill points to distribute at creation.

Special hindrances: Because of the universal dislike of half-dragons--and especially exiles--members of this kit receive a -3 penalty to encounter reactions when dealing with NPCs. Additionally, it is very unlikely that the exile will have learned to speak any dragon language.

Wealth options: Exiles start play extremely poor. They receive only 3d6 gp with which to purchase equipment, but at the DM's option might have some items they managed to scavenge or steal earlier in life.


The ward is a half-dragon who has a wealthy patron--usually the half-dragon's dragon parent, but possibly a government body, guild, criminal organization, or nondragon patron. This patron provides the ward with wealth, a place to live, and tasks to perform. Some patrons provide assistance without ever revealing themselves; others are known to the wards, but the relationship is kept secret from others. A dragon patron provides help either because it is responsible for the half-dragon's birth or because it wants to use the half-dragon as a tool. Nondragon patrons have their own reasons for employing the half-dragon, but none do it out of charity.

Settings: The ward is appropriate for the COUNCIL OF WYRMS, GREYHAWK, and FORGOTTEN REALMS settings. This is a common kit for half-dragons with silver, Greyhawk, or steel dragon parents, especially those living in large cities like Greyhawk or Waterdeep. It is not known to be used by the children of Oriental dragons or by a Krynnish half-silver, who would be raised as a normal human or demihuman child.

Requirements: Nil.

Role: When a ward is openly accepted by her patrons, she has a place in the patron's clan or organization, if any. She is tolerated by the dragon's allies and subordinates for work purposes but might be shunned socially. Some wards are helped in secret; these wander from place to place, though they do so with better resources than exiles.

Many wards live well. Often, all their patrons ask for in return is the same type of service their other servants provide; the half-dragon is not so much "used" as simply employed.

Weapon proficiencies: A ward can select any weapon available for her class.

Nonweapon proficiencies: Bonus--etiquette. Required--none. Recommended, general--artistic ability, dancing, riding (land-based), seamanship, swimming. Recommended, priest--ancient history, engineering, healing, reading/writing. Recommended, warrior--endurance, hunting, running. Recommended, rogue--appraising, gem cutting, juggling, musical instrument. Recommended, wizard--spellcraft.

Equipment: A ward can use any weapons, armor, and equipment suitable to her class.

Special benefits: Wards have access to the wealth and knowledge of their patrons. This does not mean that they are provided with unlimited funds and supplies, but they receive aid when they most need it, seldom more than once per year. Patrons also are likely to provide tips and quests leading to considerable rewards.

Special hindrances: Because of the universal distaste often exhibited toward half-dragons, members of this kit receive a -1 penalty to encounter reactions when dealing with NPCs. Some wards are kept on a figurative short leash by their patrons, who don't wish the half-dragons to gain too much freedom and perhaps strike out on their own.

Wealth options: Wards start play with 5d6x10 gold pieces to purchase equipment. At the DM's option, some of this amount might be in the form of equipment, such as weapons, armor, or other materials.

Discretionary/fixed abilities

As half-dragon characters mature and gain levels, they slowly become more like their dragon parents. These changes are reflected in the receiving of new abilities and powers as certain levels are reached. Two types of new abilities are involved here: discretionary and fixed.

Players, with their DM's permission, should decide which race (human, elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling, kender, half-elf, etc.) is mixed with their draconic heritage. As a starting character, the half-dragon PC has all the racial abilities of his demihuman parent (as detailed in the Player's Handbook or other appropriate reference), though the character of course looks like a half-dragon as previously described. Half-dragons with human parents start with no racial abilities.

As half-dragons increase in level, the metamorphosis lurking within them begins to manifest. Half-dragons at this point are treated differently, depending on whether they have human or demihuman parents. Note: This material does not apply to Krynnish half-silvers or to the offspring of Oriental dragons.

At 2nd, 4th, and 6th level, the player of a half-dragon PC with a demihuman parent can choose one of the draconic discretionary abilities listed in the section "Half-dragon roster" and add it to her character sheet. To balance this, the character must lose one demihuman racial ability; this ability has been superseded and replaced by one of draconic origin, showing the character's inevitable shift toward dragonkind as her body matures.

For example, a 2nd-level half-bronze/half-elf is about to take the water breathing draconic ability. This replaces the character's elven 60-foot infravision. A DM should decide beforehand if the player gets to choose which ability is replaced, or if the decision is made through random selection by player or DM.

Fixed abilities come into play here, too, but they are not chosen and occur regardless of other factors. At 5th level, all half-dragons with demihuman parents gain the ability to use their talonlike nails as claw weapons. At 7th level, they reach their full physical maturity and stop metamorphosing. While still obviously humanoid, they are also obviously related to dragonkind. At 7th level, they gain the ability to use their half-dragon breath weapon. Each of these fixed abilities must replace one demihuman racial ability, just as happens with discretionary abilities.

A half-dragon with a human parent has no innate racial abilities. The discretionary and fixed abilities are received as described above, but without the loss of any other ability. Furthermore, discretionary abilities continue to be received by the half-dragon at even-numbered levels beyond the 6th, as the half-dragon/half-human character becomes increasingly dragonlike with age. The receiving of discretionary abilities ends only when either the half-dragon has reached its maximum level within its character class, and thus cannot progress further and receive new abilities, or when no further abilities remain for it to take. A half-dragon/half-human character is likely to be more powerful in the long run than a half-dragon/half-demihuman character.

Half-dragon roster

The following material presents all the major types of half-dragons so far known in the various AD&D game worlds. Ability-score modifiers are used when half-dragon characters are generated. Alignment tendencies do not have to be strictly followed for PCs, but most half-dragons of each type have leanings toward the alignments given.

Half-dragons can exceed the level limits for the allowable classes listed here if they have high prime requisite scores (as presented in the DMG, page 15). What specific class or kit they belong to does not matter.

Discretionary and fixed abilities available to each half-dragon type are listed below. Note again that not all these abilities are available to half-dragon/half-demihuman characters, as each such character usually receives only three discretionary abilities and two fixed abilities, no matter what level of advancement is achieved. The children of Oriental dragons and transformed Krynnish silver dragons, however, gain all the fixed abilities listed from the start of play.

World (setting) abbreviations CW: COUNCIL OF WYRMS boxed set

GH: GREYHAWK campaign (Flanaess, Oerik continent, Oerth)

FR: FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign (western lands ("The Realms"), Toril)

KT: FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign (eastern lands (Kara-Tur), Toril)

DL: DRAGONLANCE campaign (Ansalon continent, Krynn)

OC: Other AD&D campaign


Worlds: CW, GH, FR.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon with dark brown-gold hair, golden irises, pale gold skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom, +1 Charisma.

Ability-score ranges: Str 7/20, Dex 4/18, Con 6/18, Int 3/18, Wis 3/18, Cha 6/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful good.

Allowable classes: Cleric (10), fighter (11), ranger (10), mage (14), thief (9).

Discretionary abilities: Water breathing (at will); speak with animals (at will); bless (twice per day); detect lie (twice per day); sleep (twice per day); dragon fear (three times per day); immune to fire; immune to gas; 90-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d6/1d6); breath weapon (spray of fire 10 feet long, damage 3d6, usable twice per day).


Worlds: CW, GH, FR.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon with silver-white hair, silver irises, very pale gray-white skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence.

Ability-score ranges: Str 6/19, Dex 5/19, Con 5/18, Int 3/18, Wis 3/18, Cha 5/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful good.

Allowable classes: Cleric (14), fighter (10), ranger (12), mage (11), thief (14).

Discretionary abilities: Feather fall (once per day); wall of fog (once per day); cloud walk (one hour per level per day); dragon fear (twice per day); immune to cold; 90-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d4/1d4); breath weapon (spray of cold 8 feet long, damage 4d4, usable twice per day).


Worlds: CW, FR.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon with dark metallic-brown hair, bronze irises, warm bronze (light to medium brown) skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom.

Ability-score ranges: Str 5/18, Dex 6/20, Con 4/18, Int 3/18, Wis 4/18, Cha 4/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful good.

Allowable classes: Cleric (9), fighter (14), ranger (14), mage (8), specialist wizard--illusionist (9), thief (11).

Discretionary abilities: Water breathing (at will); speak with animals (at will); create food and water (twice per day); ESP (once per day); dragon fear (once per day); immune to electricity; 60-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d4/1d4); breath weapon (bolt of lightning 8 feet long, damage 3d4, usable twice per day).

Half-Silver, Krynnish

Worlds: DL.

Appearance: Normal human, half-elven, or elven body (as per mother's race) with silver hair and silver irises.

Ability-score modifiers: +1 to all rolls for human, half-elven, or elven ability scores.

Ability-score ranges: As per mother's race.

Starting age (regardless of parentage or appearance): 15+1d6.

Alignment tendency: Lawful good.

Allowable classes (regardless of parentage or appearance): Cleric--Holy Orders (14), fighter (15), ranger (17), specialist wizard--High Sorcery (17), thief (14).

Discretionary abilities: Nil.

Fixed abilities: Ability to understand any intelligent communication within 5 feet radius and to communicate in previously unknown languages with 75% accuracy.

Half-Chiang Lung

Worlds: KT.

Appearance: Normal human body, though of great beauty, with light golden or pale yellow skin, black hair, blue or green irises (as per river spirit folk).

Ability-score modifiers: Nil.

Ability-score ranges: Str 6/18, Dex 12/18, Con 6/14, Int 12/18, Wis 9/18, Cha 14/18.

Starting age: 15+1d6 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful neutral, lawful good, neutral good.

Allowable classes: Fighter (unlimited with bushi, kensai, or samurai kit), fighter (12 with other kit).

Discretionary abilities: Nil.

Fixed abilities: Swim at normal movement rate (12); breathe air and water equally well; bonus languages (fishes, Celestial Court, trade language, spirit folk); +1 bonus to saving throws vs. all water-related spells, wands, staves, rods, and miscellaneous magical items; -1 penalty to saving throws vs. fire-based attacks; can lower water (as the spell) once per day by 10 feet, for five rounds; 120-foot infravision; all wounds and diseases cured by bathing in home river.

Half-Shen Lung

Worlds: KT.

Appearance: Normal human body, though of great beauty, with light golden or pale yellow skin, black hair, blue or green irises (as per river spirit folk).

Ability-score modifiers: Nil.

Ability-score ranges: Str 6/18, Dex 12/18, Con 6/14, Int 12/18, Wis 9/18, Cha 14/18.

Starting age: 15+1d6 years.

Alignment tendency: Chaotic neutral, chaotic good, neutral good.

Allowable classes: Fighter (unlimited with bushi, kensai, or samurai kit), fighter (12 with other kit).

Discretionary abilities: Nil.

Fixed abilities: Swim at normal movement rate (12); breathe air and water equally well; bonus languages (fishes, Celestial Court, trade language, spirit folk); +1 bonus to saving throws vs. all water-related spells, wands, staves, rods, and miscellaneous magical items; -1 penalty to saving throws vs. fire-based attacks; can lower water (as the spell) once per day by 10 feet, for five rounds; 120-foot infravision; all wounds and diseases cured by bathing in home river.


Worlds: GH.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon, with dark gray hair, steel-gray irises, and light gray skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +2 Intelligence, +1 Strength, -1 Dexterity.

Ability score ranges: Str 4/18, Dex 3/18, Con 4/18, Int 8/19, Wis 3/18, Cha 6/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful neutral, lawful good.

Allowable classes: Cleric (8), fighter (10), specialist wizard--enchanter (15), mage (14), ranger (10), thief (14).

Discretionary abilities: Cast cantrip (twice per day); cast friends (once per day); use dragon fear (once per day); +4 bonus to saves vs. 1st-level wizard spells; +4 bonus to saves vs. poison; 60-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d3/1d3); breath weapon (spray of poisonous gas forming 10-foot-square cube in front of character, -2 save vs. poison or die, usable twice per day).


Worlds: FR.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon, with dark gray hair, light gray skin, and two-color eyes (one silver, one dark gray).

Ability-score modifiers: +2 Intelligence, +1 Strength, -1 Dexterity.

Ability-score ranges: Str 4/18, Dex 3/18, Con 4/18, Int 8/19, Wis 3/18, Cha 6/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful neutral, lawful good.

Allowable classes: Cleric (6), fighter (11), specialist wizard--diviner (15), mage (14), ranger (9), thief (14).

Discretionary abilities: Cast detect lie (twice per day); cast charm person (twice per day); use dragon fear (once per day); 25% magic resistance; ability to use any magical item meant for mages/wizards; 60-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d3/1d3); breath weapon (spray of poisonous gas forming 10-foot-square cube in front of character, -4 save vs. poison or must feign death for 2d10 turns as per the spell, usable twice per day)


Worlds: FR.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon, with black hair, bright red eyes, and deep maroon skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom.

Ability-score ranges: Str 6/18, Dex 8/20, Con 4/18, Int 5/18, Wis 3/16, Cha 3/16.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Chaotic evil.

Allowable classes: Cleric (12), fighter (12), mage (15), thief (16).

Discretionary abilities: Use detect magic (at will); cast true seeing (twice per day); immune to charm, sleep, hold magic; use dragon fear (once per day); +4 bonus to saves vs. and -1 on each die of damage from heat/fire/cold/ice spells; regenerate 1 hp/turn; 120-foot infravision

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d3/1d3), breath weapon (spray of flesh-corrosive gas 5 feet long, damage 3d4, usable twice per day).


Worlds: OC.

Appearance: Normal half-dragon, with black hair, dark gray eyes, and medium-gray or ash-black skin.

Ability-score modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom.

Ability-score ranges: Str 12/20, Dex 3/18, Con 12/20, Int 3/18, Wis 3/18, Cha 3/18.

Starting age: 14+1d4 years.

Alignment tendency: Lawful neutral.

Allowable classes: Cleric (9), fighter (15), mage (8), ranger (13), thief (14).

Discretionary abilities: Immune to all heat/fire attacks and spells; use dragon fear (once per day); cast heat metal (twice per day); cast stone shape (twice per day); 90-foot infravision.

Fixed abilities: Claw attacks (1d6/1d6), breath weapon (spray of sparks 10 feet long, damage 3d6, usable twice per day).

Half-Dragon Characteristics (Male/Female)

Table 1: Height (Inches)

Race                 Base   Modifier
Half-Gold 78/72 2d8
Half-Silver 76/70 2d6
Half-Bronze 74/68 2d4
Half-Silver, K. * *
Half-Chiang Lung** 56/51 2d4
Half-Shen Lung** 56/51 2d4
Half-Greyhawk 66/64 1d6
Half-Steel 66/64 1d6
Deep Dragon 56/60 2d4
Half-Iron 76/72 2d8

* Use the statistics from the Player's Handbook, page 24, for human, half-elf, or elf, whichever form the PC's mother took.

** Assuming 5-foot average size for river spirit folk.

Table 2: Weight (Pounds)

Race               Base      Modifier
Half-Gold 180/170 4d8
Half-Silver 160/130 3d8
Half-Bronze 150/120 3d8
Half-Silver, K. * *
Half-Chiang Lung 90/70 3d6
Half-Shen Lung 90/70 3d6
Half-Greyhawk 130/120 2d6
Half-Steel 130/120 2d6
Deep Dragon 100/115 2d4
Half-Iron 170/150 4d8

* Use the statistics from the Player's Handbook, page 24, for human, half-elf, or elf, whichever form the PC's mother took.

Table 3: Age Range (Years)

Race               Max.       Mid./Old/Ven.
Half-Gold 300+5d10 150/200/300
Half-Silver 250+3d20 125/167/250
Half-Bronze 200+4d10 100/133/200
Half-Silver, K. * *
Half-Chiang Lung 125+3d20 62/83/125
Half-Shen Lung 125+3d20 62/83/125
Half-Greyhawk 170+4d8 85/115/170
Half-Steel 170+4d8 85/115/170
Deep Dragon 350+4d20 175/233/350
Half-Iron 400+3d10 200/267/400

* Use the statistics from the Player's Handbook, page 24, for human, half-elf, or elf, whichever form the PC's mother took.

Table 4: Thief Skill Racial Adjustments

Skill            H-Gd   H-Sv   H-Bz   H-Gk   H-St   DD    H-In
Pick pockets -5 -- +5 +5 +5 -5 -5
Open locks +5 -5 -- -5 -5 -5 +5
F/R traps -- +5 -5 -5 -5 +5 +5
Move silently -10 -- +10 -- -- +10 --
Hide/shadows -- +5 +10 -- -- +10 --
Detect noise +10 -5 -- +5 +5 -- --
Climb walls -10 -5 -- -- -- +5 -10
Read languages +5 -- -- +15 +15 -10 --

Half-chiang lung and half-shen lung cannot become thieves, and so have no thieving ability modifiers. Those who become bushi have normal chances for purse-cutting, pick-pocketing, and so forth, though half-chiang lung avoid doing so if at all possible.

Krynnish half-silvers use whatever racial bonuses are appropriate to their appearance (human, elven, or half-elven).