Dragons are pretty deadly opponents, and rank right up there with demons and devils for the nastiest foes in the game (and, in fact, the biggest, oldest, meanest dragons can leave even the most powerful demons in the Pathfinder Bestiary far behind, in terms of power). But there are always ways to improve on the existing model, and when it comes to dragons, I’ve always found that more is better. But everyone knows dragons don’t exactly play nice together, so getting a group of them in one place can be a bit of a tricky proposition. What if there was a way to pack the power of several dragons into a single package? Like, for example, if the dragon had more than one head…
As though a dragon weren’t a fearsome enough opponent, occasionally dragons are born with two or more heads, dramatically increasing their destructive potential.
Creating a Multi-Headed Dragon
“Multi-headed dragon” is an inherited template that can be added to any creature with the dragon type (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
CR: +1 for a two-headed dragon, +2 for a three-headed dragon, and a further +1 for every two heads beyond that (+3 for a four- or five-headed dragon, +4 for a six- or seven-headed dragon, etc.).
Defensive Abilities: A multi-headed dragon gains the following defensive abilities.
Hard to Flank (Ex): Because the multi-headed dragon is able to look in several directions at once, it is difficult, but not impossible, to flank. In order for a multi-headed dragon to be considered flanked, the number of creatures flanking it must exceed its total number of heads by at least 1. These flankers do not all need to flank along the same sides (for example, if four creatures were each threatening the multi-headed dragon, one on each face of its space, it would be flanked by all four, even though they are actually two pairs of two flankers; alternatively, if three creatures threatened it from one side and one creature threatened it from the other, it would also count as flanked).
Split Personality (Ex): Each of a multi-headed dragon’s heads has its own unique mind and identity, and counts as a separate creature for the purposes of mind-affecting spells and effects. Mind-affecting effects that apply to individual heads affect only that head (and its corresponding bite attack or breath weapon). Mind-affecting effects that apply to more than half of a multi-headed dragon’s heads also affect its body (for example, a dominate monster spell would allow the caster to direct the actions of a single head, but if she successfully used dominate monster on more than half of the multi-headed dragon’s heads, the body would obey her commands as well (though any remaining unaffected heads would still act normally).
Weaknesses: A multi-headed dragon gains the following weakness.
Sunder Head (Ex): Each of a multi-headed dragon’s heads can be severed from its body. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. Unlike most sunder attempts, this does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A head is considered a weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the dragon’s Hit Dice. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head’s hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the multi-headed dragon’s body equal to the multi-headed dragon’s current Hit Dice. A multi-headed dragon can’t take actions with a severed head, and that head does not count for the purposes of any abilities that depend on how many heads it possesses. A multi-headed dragon doesn’t die from losing its heads as long as it has at least one. The multi-headed dragon’s final head (whichever head that may be) cannot be severed in this fashion, although it may be severed by other means (such as by using a vorpal weapon).
Melee: For each additional head it possesses beyond the first, the multi-headed dragon gains one additional bite attack. These bite attacks use the same attack bonus and damage as the base creature’s original bite attack.
Special Attacks: A multi-headed dragon gains the following special attacks.
Breath Weapon (Ex): All of a multi-headed dragon’s heads draw on the same source for their breath weapon. Rather than have its breath weapon be usable once in a certain number of rounds, the breath weapon regains a certain amount of damage dice each turn, which can be distributed amongst different heads. Each round, the multi-headed dragon’s breath weapon reserves regain a number of damage dice equal to 1/4 the damage dice of the base creature’s breath weapon, to a maximum amount equal to 1.5 times the number of damage dice of the base creature’s breath weapon (for example, if the base creature’s breath weapon deals 12d6 points of damage, it would regain 3d6 per round, and could store a total of up to 18d6). Whenever one or more of the multi-headed dragon’s heads uses its breath weapon, that weapon has the same area as normal, but the damage it deals is equal to half the base creature’s normal damage dice. If there are not enough damage dice remaining in the multi-headed dragon’s breath weapon reserves for each head to deal the full amount of damage dice, what damage dice are available are divided evenly amongst each head (so, if the base creature’s breath weapon deals 12d6 points of damage, each head would deal 6d6 points of damage. If only 8d6 were available in the multi-headed dragon’s breath reserves, each head would deal 4d6 points of damage). If the base creature’s breath weapon is usable a limited number of times per day, or it must wait more than 1 minute between uses, this ability does not apply.
Feeding Frenzy (Ex): The multi-headed dragon gains this ability only if its bite attacks have the grab special ability. A multi-headed dragon always chooses to conduct a grapple with just its head, not gaining the grappled condition. If two or more heads grab the same creature, they each tug and pull on the creature’s body, ripping it asunder as they fight over its meat. Each time one of its heads successfully grabs a creature that is already grabbed by another head, the two heads make opposed Strength checks. The winner continues to grapple the target, while the loser ceases grappling the grabbed creature, and either way, the target suffers damage equal to three times the multi-headed dragon’s Strength modifier. If either head rolls a natural 20 on its Strength check, the target suffers damage equal to five times the multi-headed dragon’s Strength modifier, instead.
Multi-Headed (Ex): Each of a multi-headed dragon’s heads can act independently of one another. Whenever it uses the full-attack action, each head can either make a bite attack or use its breath weapon, in any combination (a dragon with three heads could make two bites and one breath, three breaths and no bites, etc.).
Skills: A multi-headed dragon gains a racial bonus to Perception equal to twice the number of additional heads it possesses.
Multi-headed dragons are thankfully rare, for they are truly terrifying and formidable opponents, prone to spreading panic and devastation everywhere they go. Some are believed to be the creations of dark and malevolent deities (for surely even the mightiest of wizards could not create such a terrible monster), while others are believed to be the result of cross-breeding between dragons and hydras, and still others are simply the result of a freak genetic mutation, similar to the occasional livestock born with multiple heads.
Multi-headed dragons are no less covetous and territorial than their single-headed kin, which can be something of a problem for them, as they are never able to get away from each of the other heads that share their body, each of which has its own unique identity and perspective. Multi-headed dragons frequently bicker and sometimes even fight themselves, one of the few weaknesses that can be exploited by clever adventurers.