5
\$\begingroup\$

When a steel dragon is about to die from old age, it supposedly goes into hiding to recall all the memories of all the human lives it has lived, but what if a steel dragon is killed during battle while still in its human form?

Will it, just like any other creature using polymorph, revert back to its original form?

Will the dragon just teleport away from battle if it's almost on death's door? But what happens when the dragon isn't able to escape?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Are steel dragons a 4e specific thing or do you mean metallic dragons? Also as the two editions have different rules asking about both is essentially two separate questions and should be asked as such. Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 1 at 9:13
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Steel dragons, AKA Greyhawk dragons, were originally introduced in the Greyhawk setting in 2e. They are described in the 2e Draconomicon, 3e Dragon #339 (hilariously, without actually having an effective way to assume human form long term), and the 4e Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (and probably a few other scattered resources). As far as I'm aware they've not been featured in any 5e material yet. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jun 1 at 9:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @InfernNiek your question is likely to be closed as unclear, since the answer might be considerably different depending on which edition of the game is in question. I would suggest you pick one edition of D&D to scope the question and remove the other tags - a good answer could well reference other editions to note any changes, anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jun 1 at 9:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It would be useful to know if you're interested in steel dragon lore across all D&D editions (that's what the dungeons-and-dragons tag is for) or for just D&D 4e (that's what the dnd-4e tag is for); please pick one tag or the other. Without an explanation in the question for the question needing both tags, this question will probably stay on hold. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 2 at 12:32
5
\$\begingroup\$

It reverts to its draconic form.

In AD&D 2e, D&D 3.5, and D&D 4th edition, a steel dragon reverts to its true dragon form when slain.

In AD&D 2nd edition, according to the Monstrous Compendium: Greyhawk Adventures Appendix, the steel dragon's shapechanging ability comes from the ability to use polymorph self five times per day with unlimited duration. According to the AD&D 2e (revised) Player's Handbook, p. 206, polymorph self ends when the caster is slain.

In D&D 3.5's stats for the steel dragon on the Wizards of the Coast website (also Dragon #339), the steel dragon's shapechanging relies on the spell-like ability to polymorph five times per day. This spell also ends when the creature is slain (D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, p.263).

In D&D 4e, the steel dragon's ability to assume human form (Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons, p.172) references the Change Shape ability (Monster Manual 2, p.216), which specifically ends when the creature dies.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.