Encounter: The Dark Son of Tiamat (CR 5/5/7/8)

This is an encounter area for 6th level characters that I devised for our Underdark campaign. I am drawing on the Night Below setting for a lot of inspiration, and decided to put a very different spin on Fandruzsch and the troll caves. Instead of two large and separate areas that aren't really tied to our campaign's story, I condensed them into a handful of encounters in a single cave system. In our campaign, the dragon is smaller, there are fewer trolls, and the dragon has convinced the troll shaman that he is the son of Tiamat.

See the encounter area here.

A few notes:

  • I think I'm going to start sharing encounter areas from my campaigns on a more regular basis, generally a week or two after I use them. I mean, I'm designing these encounters anyway, right? Why not share them?
  • For this encounter area, I used different stats for the dragon that those that are hyperlinked in the document above. I upped his constitution a bit to make for a more interesting fight, as a few of my players have ridiculous damage output sometimes. Raising hp makes monsters more survivable without making players feel useless when their attacks don't even hit. I also made his breath weapon negative energy rather than acid, since I was using a shadow dragon miniature. I realized right before he used it that it would actually heal our dhampir PC rather than doing damage!
  • This was my first encounter area that I used DM David's Dungeon Tile advice for, and I loved it. Pulling the right display board out of a bag is so much quicker than assembling the tiles on the spot... and even though they aren't present in the picture, I was much less hesitant to use decoration tiles (in addition to floor plan tiles) than ever before. If you haven't read his tips on Dungeon Tile use, you should do so immediately... or at least before you use yours again.
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