Of all the races in the Player’s Handbook, I think I was most dissatisfied with the Dragonborn. While playing as humanoid dragons is pretty cool, it didn’t take long to realize that they felt lacking compared to the other races. Their signature breath weapon feels less like an essential ability and more like a situational or “desperation” attack–not to mention their “draconic resistance” ability (resistance to select damage type) might be negated if the player chooses an ancestry that doesn’t mesh with the DM’s encounter plans. It’s tough utilizing a white dragon/cold resistance in a campaign that takes place in the elemental plane of fire. I’ve long felt that the dragonborn needed an update. Luckily, Wizards just released a new Unearthed Arcana built to give draconic races an overhaul. I felt inspired to design a few free D&D NPCs using these new draconic abilities!
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Our first free D&D NPC
Lawful evil gold dragonborn aristocrat (age 23)
Filish’s life is one lived in luxury. As the firstborn of a grand lineage dating back centuries, Filish wants for little. Days are spent in leisure, with frequent public appearances to visit places of culture. At night however, Filish secretly engages with unseemly company and attends underground blood sport events dedicated to Asmodeus. Filish is on the cusp of joining the ranks of Asmodeus’ pleasure cult and attaining infernal power.
Filish takes great pleasure on their appearance and manner, but will fall briefly into a white-hot rage if offended. This anger will continue to grow as Asmodeus’s control takes stronger hold.
- Filish speaks Common and Infernal.
- Filish has resistance to fire damage and may replace one attack with an exhalation of a magical energy in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 2d8 fire damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. Filish may use this ability twice, and regains expended uses on a long rest.
Personality Trait. “I want more, and I’ll do what it takes to obtain it.”
Ideal. “I’ll always come up smelling like roses, and if not, my family will deal with the rest.”
Bond. “I see the cult of pleasure as a second family, but one that will grant means to a new power.”
Flaw. “I cannot stand losing.”
Second free D&D NPC
Chaotic neutral amethyst dragonborn artist (age 47)
Z’dekkar was once a wandering adventurer who retired to pursue a life of art. Thanks in part to the treasure she collected while adventuring, Z’dekkar lives on a modest estate and carves marble statues of the creatures and people she’s met. Every so often, the dragonborn sponsors fledgling adventurers to locate and detail new kinds of monsters. She knows some might never come back alive, but it’s the price they pay for their kind.
Z’dekkar definitely favors “gallows humor” at often inopportune times, often during large social events. One remnant from her adventuring days is an old injury that causes her to favor her right leg. She uses an emerald-tipped cane to aid in walking, but also doubles as a weapon when needed.
Z’dekkar is a veteran with the following changes:
- Z’dekkar speaks Common and Draconic, and has proficiency with mason’s tools.
- She has no heavy crossbow or longsword and instead wields a cane that acts as a +2 shortsword that deals bludgeoning damage.
- Z’dekkar has resistance to force damage and may replace one attack with an exhalation of a magical energy in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 force damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. Z’dekkar may use this ability three times, and regains expended uses on a long rest.
- She may telepathically speak to any creature she can see within 30 feet. She doesn’t need to share a language with the creature, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.
Personality Trait. “My sense of humor is grim, but I know when to rein it in if people become uncomfortable.”
Ideal. “There’s beauty in the grotesque, which I like to depict in art.”
Bond. “I take pleasure in helping younger fortune-seekers, even if most don’t come back.”
Flaw. “I sometimes whisper menacing nonsense into the minds of those who underestimate me.”
Third free D&D NPC
Ori of Clan Rumblehelm
Neutral good red dragonborn blacksmith (age 17)
Sixteen years ago, the dwarven clan of Rumblehelm discovered a red-scaled dragonborn toddler alone near their hold. The clan was unable to locate any family, and so they adopted the boy and named him Ori. Ori spends his days working the blacksmith’s forge with his found family and happily repairs equipment for the clan. The young dragonborn is naturally curious about his heritage and is attempting to raise the courage to ask his parents to allow him to find out what happened. Recently, strange individuals have begun noticing the boy working the forges, and forces are in motion that may cause Ori to leave home sooner than expected.
Ori is tall and strong, and he is quite an intelligent young lad who practices using his handmade axe when alone. He is shy around newcomers, but warms quickly if they are dwarves or speak dwarvish.
Ori is a bandit captain with the following changes:
- Ori speaks Common and Dwarvish, and has proficiency with smith’s tools, battleaxes, handaxes, light hammers, and warhammers.
- Instead of a scimitar & dagger, Ori wields his family’s battleaxe and can use an action to make two melee weapon attacks with it: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8 + 2) or 6 (1d10 + 2 Versatile) slashing damage.
- Ori has resistance to fire damage and may replace one attack with an exhalation of a magical energy in a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in the area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 2d8 fire damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. Ori may use this ability twice, and regains expended uses on a long rest.
- As an action, Ori may channel draconic energies to protect himself and become immune to fire damage for 10 minutes. Once he has used this trait, he can’t do so again until he has finished a long rest.
Personality Trait. “I may be quiet but I know when and how to be heard.”
Ideal. “Nothing feels better than using something you’ve made with your own hands.”
Bond. “I would do anything for the people who raised me as their own.”
Flaw. “I worry that I’m a burden upon my clan, and my presence is attracting the wrong kind of attention.”
The more I read over the Draconic Unearthed Arcana, the more I want to keep making dragonborn NPCs! I hope you enjoyed these Free D&D NPCs and can find a spot to insert Filish, Z’dekkar, and Ori into your campaigns. I’d love to hear what happens to them if you do, so be sure to tell us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord! If you’d like access to more maps and content, including downloadable PDFs of our adventures, check out our Patreon. We’re able to do what we do because of all our amazing Patrons!