||Temperate or subtropical forests and caves
||1 (50% chance of 1-8 in nests)
||6, Fl 24 (B)
|No. of Attacks:
||T (1½' long)
Pseudodragons are a species of small flying lizard that inhabits heavily
forested wilderness areas. These playful, benign creatures have magical powers that
they can share with others, so they are often sought as companions.
Pseudodragons resemble miniature red dragons. They have fine scales and sharp
horns and teeth. A pseudodragon's coloration is red-brown as opposed to the
deep red of red dragons. Its tail is about 2 feet long (longer than the
pseudodragon itself), barbed, and very flexible.
Pseudodragons communicate via a limited form of telepathy. If one elects to
take a human companion, it can transmit what it sees and hears at a distance of
up to 240 yards. Pseudodragons can vocalize animal noises such as a rasping purr
(pleasure), a hiss (unpleasant surprise), a chirp (desire), or a growl (anger).
The pseudodragon can deliver a vicious bite with its small, dragonlike jaws,
but its major weapon is its sting-equipped tail. The creature can move it with
flashing speed and strikes at +4 on attack rolls. Any creature struck must save
vs. poison or go into a state of catalepsy that lasts 1-6 days. The victim
appears quite dead, but at the end of that time the character will either wake up
unharmed (75% chance) or die (25% chance).
Pseudodragons have a chameleonlike power that allows them to alter their
coloration to blend with their surroundings. They can blend into any typical forest
background with an 80% chance of being undetected by creatures which cannot see
invisible objects. Pseudodragons have infravision with a 60 foot range and can
see invisible objects.
A pseudodragon is highly magic resistant and can transmit this magic
resistance to its human companion via physical contact (a pseudodragon likes to be
perched on the top of one's head or curled around the shoulders and upper back).
These forest-dwelling creatures place their lairs in the hollows of great
trees or in large caves.
A pseudodragon will very rarely take a human or demihuman as its companion.
Some view these pseudodragons as the human's pet; the pseudodragon will be sure
to correct this misunderstanding. There are two ways to become a pseudodragon's
companion; one is to use magic to summon it (a find familiar
spell). Another way is to find the pseudodragon on an adventure and pursuade
it to become a companion. The pseudodragon that searches for companionship will
stalk a candidate silently for days, reading his thoughts via telepathy,
judging his deeds to be good or evil. If the candidate is found to be good, the
pseudodragon will present itself to the human as a traveling companion and observe
the human's reaction. If the human seems overjoyed and promises to take very
good care of it, the pseudodragon will accept. If not, it will fly away.
The personality of a pseudodragon has been described by some as catlike. A
pseudodragon is willing to serve, provided that it is well-fed, groomed, and
receives lots of attention. At times a pseudodragon seems arrogant, demanding, and
less than willing to help. In order to gain its full cooperation, the companion
must pamper the pseudodragon and make it feel as though it were the most
important thing in his life. If the pseudodragon is mistreated or insulted it will
leave, or worse, play pranks when least expected. Pseudodragons particularly
dislike cruelty and will not serve cruel masters.
Pseudodragons are omnivorous but prefer to eat meat. Their diet consists
chiefly of rodents and small birds with occasional leaves, fruits, and berries. In
the wild, pseudodragons live solitary lives, protecting small personal hoards in
their nests. They gather to mate once per year, in early spring, when
gatherings of dozens of pseudodragons are not uncommon. After mating, males and females
separate; females lay speckled brown eggs in clutches of four to six which
hatch in mid-summer; females raise the young by themselves. Pseudodragons
hibernate in winter; the young leave the nest in spring to mate.
Pseudodragons have a lifespan of 10-15 years. Like dragons, they are attracted
to bright shiny objects. Pseudodragon eggs can be resold for up to 10,000 gold
pieces while a hatchling is worth as much as 20,000 gold pieces.