When you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons, you’re going to expect 2 things: Dungeons, and, well, Dragons. To facilitate this, the game’s lore includes dozens of options. Some are the traditional western-style dragons – huge, dire-breathing lizards with wings and cruel intentions. Some are drawn from eastern traditions of dragons. And some are created via the combination of DnD’s own draconic lore with a variety of mythologies and original fictions. For the last of these options, the Faerie Dragon is one of the stand-out favorites among creators and fans of the game.
What is a Faerie Dragon?
A faerie dragon is a small, thin, dragon approximately the size of a cat. They’re mischievous, fun-loving creatures who play pranks as often as they can, helped by their ability to turn invisible at will, but never with malicious intent. While they sometimes deign to act as pets or familiars to particularly powerful mages, they can most commonly be found living amongst groups of other fae creatures like pixies and sprites. If they do make a lair, it will be in the form of a treetop nest, made of natural materials and without a hoard of valuables.
Faerie dragons eat fruit, nuts, and sometimes bugs, so they don’t require much in the way of hunting capabilities. In fact, they rarely fight at all. Despite their tendency to cause mischief, they avoid altercations almost entirely, unless their nest or friends are threatened. In such a case, they’ll use their breath weapon (euphoria gas) and cast spells against their opponent. Rarely do they use physical force.
A Brief History of the Faerie Dragon in D&D
The first appearance of faerie dragons came in Dragon Magazine 62, for use in 1e DnD, as part of an article titled “Our annual full-blown dragon section”. It listed a stat block for faerie dragons, along with a spell list for the creatures, and a brief description of their ecology and behavior. They then appeared in every following version of the game.
You can see the original article in which they appeared here: https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg062.pdf
Changes to the Faerie Dragon
For the most part, faerie dragons have stayed the same after their initial introduction. Of course, updates for later editions have made some alterations. The original article marked them as a type of pseudodragon, which other publications have contradicted, calling them fae creatures with the appearance of a dragon or a particularly unusual type of true dragon at different times. 5e has settled on their being a pseudodragon offshoot.
They have also been given an association with the Feywild – something that they could not have had in their original form, since the Feywild did not yet exist as a concept. 5th edition faerie dragons are also significantly less dangerous than previous versions. They only rank as CR 1 or CR 2 (depending on their age) in the 5e Monster Manual, while their versions in even 3e and 3.5e (where they can be found in the Draconomicon) are CR 6.
Using Faerie Dragons in Your Campaigns
Since they’re quite intelligent, cute, and lots of fun, faerie dragons are fantastic for incorporating into campaigns.
Of course, being that they’re good-aligned and not too fond of fighting, they’re more likely to be NPCs than they are to be enemies. A faerie dragon is great as a quest-giver, or as a party mascot for your group. A sweet, giggling little dragon, just barely the size of a cat, begging after berries and honey, or just a friend, is a compelling source of inspiration to accept a request or two, after all.
If you really want to pit your players against them, though (and it’ll have to be pretty early on in 5e, given their low CR), you can always have one be corrupted by the power of an evil fae. Or, perhaps, the characters can be sent to deal with a small, young dragon who is causing a little too much mischief, and who refuses to stop their pranks when asked.
Potential Quests from a Faerie Dragon
- After camping in the woods one night, the party wakes to find their food ransacked and all their rations plundered for fruit and sweets. The culprit is easy to find, a faerie dragon, who pleads with them that they had little choice – a strange creature is causing all the fruit in their part of the forest to grow already-rotted, and they daren’t gather food normally. If the party can find what’s causing the curse and reverse it, they have a few shiny treasures they can part with.
- A young faerie dragon makes their way into a small village, asking anyone they can find for help. Their friends are all being captured by worshipers of Tiamat, who seek to make various good-aligned dragons fall under the sway of their evil god.
- The party meets a very strange human, who is constantly bumping into things, stuffing their mouth with fruit, and acting as though they are invisible when they aren’t. Some investigation quickly reveals that this is a faerie dragon, who has accidentally turned themselves into a human. They were trying to mimic the spells of a metallic dragon who they fell in love with so that they could be together in some form, but their love rejected them. Now, they don’t know how to change back, and would very much appreciate some assistance in either going back to normal or acclimating to human society.
Have you ever used a faerie dragon in your campaign? Did your players fight them, or get along with them? Did they enjoy the encounter? Let us know in the comments below!