Okay, let's not panic just yet. Some more rolling (and a random dragon name from fantasy name generator) Gives us the following:
Vulluth the Red
HD: 10 (40 hp)
Move: 90 (30') Fly 240' (80')
Att: 2 claws/1 bite/ breath
# App: 1
Vulluth is awake, can speak, and cast spells
1st Level - Detect Magic, Charm Person, Sleep
2nd Level - Detect Evil, Phantasmal Force, ESP
3rd level - Invisibility 10' radius, Hold Person, Lightning Bolt
So 40 hit points is the first thing that jumps out at me. I'll be honest, if I were placing this dragon as a non-random encounter in my game, I'd boost that total a bit (but keep it within the 10HD cap of 80). This means his breath weapon is going to be much less scary than it could be. He's still got great melee attacks & damage, though. But to be honest, even though they were also rolled randomly, I think Vulluth's real puissance is his spell list.
Other than his detection spells -and maybe ESP- every one of these is combat applicable. Invisibility 10' radius is usually meant to make a party invisible, but it will work for the dragon as well (yes, it still works on the caster even if he is bigger than 10' across) . Imagine Vulluth hearing the party approach and turning invisible. I would be applying some surprise checks, not to mention save penalties to the rolls vs dragon breath that first round!
Sleep, Charm Person, and Hold Person are all classics. Granted a higher level party may dodge the snooze bullet, but the others can eliminate potent combatants right away. Phantasmal Force is also a great combat utility spell.ESP might require a bit more creativity, but knowing what your foe is thinking can't hurt.
The best part about Lightning Bolt isn't even the damage. It's the idea that the PCs are expecting fire attacks and then ZAP! Or maybe I'm just a jerk DM.
So the party (or some of them) manage to slay the wyrm. Let's look at the loot!
6 pc jewelry-
- 2x 1,000gp
- 2x 800gp
- 10x 10gp
- 5x 50gp
- 5x 100gp
- 7x 500gp
- 3x 1000gp
- Potion of ESP
- Cursed scroll (re-roll prime requisite)
- Scroll of Resist Fire (clerical)
- 3x +2 arrows
- Boots of Traveling and Leaping
- Ring of Invisibility
Not a terrible haul. Nearly 30K in cash (and XP) from the hoard. The magic has some fun items, especially the ring and boots. The cursed scroll makes me smile (see "jerk" above) and some thief or elf type is going to love getting a couple +2 arrows in their quiver.