Monster Stat #17:  Mesoloth
  (from Adventurers 998-1000)

Mesoloth (purple dragon)

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:             Tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate hills and mountains
FREQUENCY:                   Very rare
ORGANIZATION:                Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE:              Any
DIET:                        Special
INTELLIGENCE:                Genius (17-18)
TREASURE:                    Special
ALIGNMENT:                   Neutral evil
NO. APPEARING:               1 (2-5)
ARMOR CLASS:                 -3 (base)
MOVEMENT:                    9, Fl 30 (C), Jp 3
HIT DICE:                    15 (base)
THAC0:                       5 (at 15 HD)
NO. OF ATTACKS:              4 + special
DAMAGE/ATTACK:               1-10/1-10/3-30/3-30 +11
SPECIAL ATTACKS:             Special
SPECIAL DEFENSES:            Variable
MAGIC RESISTANCE:            Variable
SIZE:                        G (48' base)
MORALE:                      Fanatic (17-18)
XP VALUE:                    Variable

While red dragons are generally considered the most dangerous of the evil chromatic dragons, there exist rarer, less commonly-known dragon species.  One of these is the purple dragon, which is physically similar to the red dragon save for one difference:  purple dragons have two heads.  The behavioral differences are just as great:  purple dragons prefer magic and lore over physical combat, and are more accomplished spellcasters.  While most dragons learn spells haphazardly over the years, purple dragons attempt to gain particular spells that will be of the most benefit to them and their situation.  While they are greedy like all dragons, they tend to prefer magical treasures over monetary ones (though both types will certainly be in their hoards.)  Purple dragons are obsessed with their wealth and will know every single item in their inventory, but will also seek to learn what the magical ones actually do, and why - even if they are incapable of actually using them.  They are quite intelligent, and tend to remember obscure facts and trivia about all sorts of things.  Where red dragons are vain and confident due to their physical superiority to other creatures, purple dragons behave this way due to their great magical arsenals and array of knowledge.  They tend not to be as aggressive as some species of evil dragon, preferring to beleft alone, but can be vicious when confronted or challenged.

When purple dragons hatch, their small scales are a pale violet color; as they get older, the scales darken in hue and become larger, thicker, and as strong as steel.

Purple dragons speaktheir own tongue, a tongue common to all evil dragons, and also possess the ability to communicate with any intelligent creature.  This latter ability is based on telepathy but exhibited by the dragon speaking in the listener's native tongue, as purple dragons pride themselves on their intelligence and ability to learn new things, and wish to demonstrate that for allto see.

Combat:  Despite their vast power and the resulting confidence, purple dragons tend to be careful, studying and appraising potential opponents to formulate the best plan of attack, whatever it may be.  Despite its size and strength (roughly equivalent to that of a red dragon of similar age) a purple dragon prefers to use its spells, magical abilities, and breath weapons to deal with adversaries.  It is not uncommon for a purple dragon to havemultiple strategies for a battle, and to change them mid-battle if necessary (which, admittedly, isn't often.)

Breath weapon/special abilities:  A purple dragon's breath weapon is twofold, with each head having a distinct type of breath.

One head spews forth a cone of magical energy (of the same sort found in the magic missile spell) which is 100' long and 30' wide at the far end; creatures struck by the magical energy must save vs breath weapon for half damage.  (OPTIONAL RULE TWEAK)  Since this magical energy is finite and is expended upon hitting targets, the total damage must be split up among all who are hit by the breath weapon; in other words, not every creature in the area of effect will take the full damage.

The other head can breathe a thin green beam of disintegration, with a range of 300', that will destroy the first thing it hits(for a living creature, a successful save vs breath weapon indicates avoidance of the deadly beam, and possibly another target further on.)

  *   ALTERNATE MODE OF OPERATION FOR SECOND HEADDISINTEGRATION BREATH WEAPON:  Alternatively, the DM can rule that this breath does "partial digintegration" i.e. an amount of damage measured in HP, saving for half damage, such that creatures hit by the beam might suffer damage but live, perhaps with a portion of their body disintegrated based on the amount of damage taken, relative to their HP total.  If thisrule variant is exercised, then multiple creatures/objects can be affected, up to the HP damage total of the dragon's breath.

  **  COMPLETELY ALTERNATIVE SECOND HEAD BREATH WEAPON:  The other head breathes forth a cloud of magical gas, some 60' long, 50' wide, and 30' high.  This vapor can induce 2-7 (1d6 +1) multiple debilitating effects requiring multiple saving throws vs breath weapon, one per effect:  blindness, confusion, deafness, fear, insanity, silence, weakness.

Each head can use its particular breath weapon once every three rounds, but the two heads need not use them on the same rounds; therefore, they can stagger the breath weapons for more consistent destructive efficiency.

Purple dragons cast spells at the 10th level of proficiency, adjusted by their combat modifiers.  They only know wizard spells, not priest spells, but have greater and faster capacity to learn than other chromatic dragons.  Each head can cast a single spell simultaneously with the other head, but one cannot can cast a spell while the other breathes, and of course no physical attacks are possible while either head is spellcasting.

Purple dragons are born with the ability to detect magic in a radius of 30' plus 10' per age category, and can read magic at will.  They are immune to nonmagical cold, and only take half damage from magical cold and lightning.  In addition to whatever spells they may learn, they gain the following additional powers as they age:

Young           Identify                                 once per turn
Juvenile        Clairvoyance and Clairaudience  three times per day each
Young adult     Charm Person                             three times per day
Adult           Invisibility                             three times per day
Mature adult    Dispel Magic                             three times per day
Old             Charm Monster                            three times per day
Very old        Polymorph Self                           three times per day
Venerable       Telekinesis                              once per day
Wyrm            Mass Charm                               once per day
Great Wyrm      Shape Change                             once per day

Each head can utilize a separate power each combat round, but the daily limits apply tothe total number of uses of a particular power, e.g. no matter which headscast dispel magic, the dragon can still only use that power thrice per dayoverall.

Habitat/Society:  Purple dragons prefer cool or cold mountainous climes, lairingin large underground caverns.  Purple dragons are so scarce that their existence is not common knowledge; they are actually on the verge of extinction.  How this came to be is for only the gods to know, but it causes the creatures to be solitary, exceedingly cautious, and quite proactive in protecting themselves and their lairs.  Nothing is known about their mating and familial habits.  They enjoy taking other forms and mingling with humans, demi-humans, and humanoids in order to learn things and gain servants.  Older purple dragons will use their charm abilities to compel people and creatures to gather information and keep an eye out for potential threats, possible treasure, and such.  Little is known about the mating habits of purple dragons due to their rarity.  They do not care for other dragons, but will tolerate evil ones when necessary.  They have a strong dislike of the equally-rare grey dragons due to the anti-magic properties of the latter.

Ecology:   Purple dragons are meat eaters, although they are capable of digesting almost anything.  Due to their highly magical nature, they need not eat as frequently or as much as other dragons, but do still enjoy a good meal now and then.

 1 Hatchling          0-5              -6             +1            -               -            0     2d10+1     1              20%
 2 Very young         6-15             -4             +2            -               -           -1     4d10+2     2              25%
 3 Young             16-25             -2             +3            -               -           -2     6d10+3     3              30%
 4 Juvenile          26-50              -             +4            -               -           -3     8d10+4     3 1            35%
 5 Young adult       51-100            +1             +5         15 yards        +3 (+7)        -4    10d10+5     3 2            40%
 6 Adult            101-200            +2             +6         20 yards        +2 (+6)        -5    12d10+6     3 3            45%
 7 Mature adult     201-400            +3             +7         25 yards        +1 (+5)        -6    14d10+7     3 3 1          50%
 8 Old              401-600            +4             +8         30 yards         0 (+4)        -7    16d10+8     3 3 2          55%
 9 Very Old         601-800            +5             +9         35 yards        -1 (+3)        -8    18d10+9     3 3 3          60%
10 Venerable        801-1,000          +6             +10        40 yards        -2 (+2)        -9    20d10+10    3 3 3 1        65%
11 Wyrm           1,001-1,200          +7             +11        45 yards        -3 (+1)       -10    22d10+11    3 3 3 2        70%
12 Great Wyrm        1,200+            +8             +12        50 yards        -4 (0)        -11    24d10+12    3 3 3 3        75%

Purple dragons use the same body and tail length chart as red dragons.  They also have the same treasure type and value, except with double the standard number of magical items.


--------------------------------------------------     MESOLOTH SPECIFICS    --------------------------------------------------

  purple dragon, age category 12 (Great Wyrm)

AC:  -10
HD:   23
HP:  137

Mesoloth, the only known purple dragon on Oerth, is over three hundred feet long (170' body plus 160' tail) with a 170' wingspan.  Its twin necks are each about 35' long, and the two heads think, speak, and fight independently of eachother yet will coordinate their activities for optimal efficiency.  This dragon has dwelt in the remote northern reaches of the Crystalmist Mountains for centuries, keeping a very low profile and taking careful measuresto hide its activities.  To keep from depleting the local wildlife, the wyrm typically changes its form and ventures far away to feed.  It doesn't care for company and takes great pains to ensure that anyone who finds it or its lair isn't able to share that information (typically, offenders are eaten.)

Mesoloth has, over its long life, gradually increased the size and quality of its treasure hoard by carefully manipulating adventurers toward its lair - following their progress, assessing their capabilities, and then attacking when a good opportunity presentsitself.  It is highly intelligent and in battle, it will use magical abilities, spells, and breath weapons whenever possible.  Its dual heads allow it to use these attacks at twice the normal rate, often to devastating effect.

Any discussion of Mesoloth's combat tactics must first begin with its immunities and special defenses:
  - immune to nonmagical cold
  - half damage from magical cold
  - half damage from magical lightning
  - immune to normal-sized nonmagical missiles
  - 75% magic resistance
  - low armor class (-11) due to scales as hard as magical steel
  - fear aura (50 yards, -4 penalty on saves vs this fear or fight at a penalty, really weak creatures just flee in panic)
  - saves as a 22nd level fighter

Other useful abilities the dragon possesses:
  - cancommunicate (telepathy/speech hybrid) with any intelligent creature
  - excellent sight, smell, hearing
  - can detect invisible/darkness/fog creatures in 120' radius
  - natural clairaudience ability wrt/lair, 240' range

Spellcasting details:
  - casts spells as a 24th level wizard
  - knows wizard spells 3/3/3/3
    - (1st)  burning hands, message, sleep
    - (2nd)  blindness, web, wizard lock
    - (3rd)  fireball, haste, slow
    - (4th)  confusion, ice storm, wallof ice
  - can cast each spell it has once/day
  - all have casting time of 1 segment
  - if spells are cast, no physical attacks can be used that round
  - cannot do anything else except glide (not fly) while spellcasting
 - only verbal component is necessary, and no spell books

Other magical powers:
  identify                        once per turn
  clairvoyance and clairaudience  three times per day each
  charm person                    three times per day
  invisibility                    three times per day
  dispel magic                    three times per day
  charm monster                  three times per day
  polymorph self                  three times per day
  telekinesis                     once per day
  mass charm                      once per day
  shape change                    once per day

Flight details:
  - when flying, can claw or bite, but not both
  - must glide to cast spells, but can use innate abilities anytime

Physical combat details:
  - thac0:  -1
  - physical attacks in a round can be
   - claw/claw/bite/bite for 1-10/1-10/3-30/3-30 (each +12 damage)
      - claws can hit foes to front or side, bite canhit anywhere
      - one or both claw attacks in a round can be kicks, hitting foes to rear
    - tail slap can hit foes to rear and sides, up to 12 total foes, damage is 2-20 +12plus possible stun, can't use tail while kicking
    -wing buffet can hit foes to sides only, damage is 1-10 +12 plus possible knocking prone
  - if physical attacks are used, magical abilities can also be used (e.g. bite with one head, use an ability with the other)
  - if flying:  snatch, plummet, stall (hover thendrop, allowing bite and all four legs to attack, might also cause dust cloud)

Breath weapon details:
  - right head:  magic missile energy, cone 100' long and 30' wide at far end,does 24d10 + 12 damage (save vs breath weapon for half damage)
  - left head:  thin green disintegration beam, up to 300' long
    - DM option 1:  destroys first thing it hits (living foe must save vs breath weapon to avoid, else be disintegrated as the spell)
    - DM option 2:  using rolled HP of total damage, and saving throws, may destroy only a portion of someone/something that it hits (like a lightsaber)
  - each head can breatheonce every three rounds
   - if a breath weapon is used, no physical attacks can be performed that round