So I had a plan for Tuesday, and that was that I’d dig up some other strange old third party supplements from the 1970s and see what kinds of wonky dragons I could find in them. Well, that lasted until I started thinking about my Green Slime Golem, and my general love for all things oozy in D&D, and came up with the Ooze Dragon, to which this article is linked. I am by no means claiming that such beasts did not exist in other works and possibly lodged in my subconscious decades ago; it’s just that I didn’t deliberately set out to copy/update/reimagine some paritcular take on it.
A few design notes — this is an Elite, not a Solo, because, well, an Ooze Dragon just seems to be a lesser sort of beast. I am perhaps overly proud of how the Ooze Drakes spawn and can then be reabsorbed — I can see some good uses for mobility powers to keep the Dragon from constantly healing as his babies are splattered. One mechanic I was toying with before I hit on the Ooze Drakes was a ‘splash’ effect, where every time the dragon was hit, everyone nearby would take damage, but I decided that the Drakes were more fun and interesting.
One of the "problems" I sometimes have with 4e design is knowing when to stop. Given a concept, such as "It’s a dragon… but made of slime!", my mind immediately runs to simulationism, trying to think of everything a slimey dragon could do and how it could react to almost any type of attack, producing overly long power lists and finicky sets of immunities, vulnerabilities, and so on. While there’s no absolute restriction on how much stuff you can plug into a monster, 4e makes it clear that a design should focus on the highlights — come up with one or two things which say "Slime Dragon", and just do them, and save the other things for something else.
(Clever readers might note I said I had a plan for Tuesday, but this is Wendesday. Believe it or not, the Ooze Dragon/Drake stats were all done bright and early yesterday morning, actually meeting my Breakfast Crunch goals. Before I could get around to uploading, Real Life intervened, and it’s been intervening ethusiastically until about… now. I’ll try to catch up with a double post tomorrow.)
TheOoze Dragon, ladies and gentlemen!