I have been running a campaign now for roughly six months (we meet up twice a month). I currently have my party hunting for 5 dwarvish bells to bring a part of a floating city down to collect it the to take the party to it. (These bells hold powerful magic properties as you would expect them to).

So far the party has run two heists: on a drow priestess, and a High eleven family who had the bells.

For the next two bells, I have already thought out where and how they are going to be secured.

I want the last bell to be the source of power for a dwarven mechanical dragon but i am struggling to build a stat block for it. How do I build a mechanical dragon (run by this magical bell) to properly challenge my party? For monsters, I have been using the MM and expansion supplements to fill my encounters where appropriate.

There are seven players in the party, and I expect them to be around 8-9th level by this point. The basic encounter outline is a fight with some smaller constructs and this large mechanical dragon (similar to kobolds and normal dragons).

The fight will be located in the main chamber of a Sunken Dwarven citadel type stricture (like a fantasy rapture).

  • \$\begingroup\$ there are seven PC's in the party \$\endgroup\$ – Westvam Jan 27 '16 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have edited your question to better organize it and to pull out the key problem you are trying to solve: construction of a mechanical dragon to challenge a party of seven adventurers, levels 8-9. If anything in that edit is incorrect or misses your point, please use the edit function to correct it. Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour to get an idea for how this Question and Answer site operates. We are not the same as an internet forum, and use a "this problem I need to solve" answered by "here is the (best) solution" format. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 27 '16 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you read the monster-creation section of the DMG? Is your problem that you just didn't know it existed, or do you have a specific problem with what it says to do? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 27 '16 at 19:22

You can find how to build encounters in the DMG p. 82, and how to create new monsters p. 273

One of the best way to create a new monster, at least for your setup, is probably to choose an existing one from the MM and adapt some of the stats (see Modifying a Monster in the DMG p. 273). You could mix a dragon of the appropriate CR with some traits or stats from modrons, for example.

Let's do some math

Let's assume your party of 7 PC's is now level 8, and that the fight should be hard. The XP Threshold table (DMG 82) indicates that each PC should get 1400 XP for the fight. That's a total of 9'800 XP for the party.

Now, choose a dragon from the MM that will be converted to a mechanical dragon. The Young Bronze Dragon is a good start. It has lightning and repulsion breathes, which can easily be used by a mechanical variant, and is also worth 3'900 XP.

Then, add five smaller mechanical dragons based on the Bronze Dragon Wyrmling. Five of them give 2250 XP, but because there are 6 monsters in the encounter, the difficulty multiplier (DMG 82) is now x1.5 (for a party of 7 PC's), which gives a grand total of (3'900+(450*5))*1.5 = 9'225 XP, so just under the hard rating.

You could then adapt some of the dragons traits, like add immunity to poison, for example.

EDIT: Changed the number of smaller dragons and difficulty modifier because there are more than 5 PC's (DMG 83 Party size)

EDIT 2: Changed to 5 smaller dragons, which makes 6 monsters total for the 1.5 difficulty multiplier (also fixed the description accordingly)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's brilliant Thanks also love the idea of the smaller mechanical dragons. \$\endgroup\$ – Westvam Jan 27 '16 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be aware though that other parameters of the fight like the terrain - as mentionned by Sent_ - are not taken into consideration in the calculation of this encounter difficulty. \$\endgroup\$ – Yotus Jan 27 '16 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah OK, well i was thinking of locating the fight in a sunken dwarven citadel. \$\endgroup\$ – Westvam Jan 27 '16 at 13:42

Let me give you some links:



Monster building is not an easy task, tread carefully.

As a side note, traditionally "Boss" encounters may be quite underwhelming in D&D, consider fiddling with action economy and/or terrain.

For example, you could decide that your mech-dragon acts in more than one turn per round, depending on the number of people piloting it (or whatever reason).

Then suggest your adventures to bring the beast down one piece at a time, literally.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well i know my party first idea will be to rip off the wings...literally, they attempted the same with a wyvern to questionable effect \$\endgroup\$ – Westvam Jan 27 '16 at 13:17

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