Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki

Welcome to the Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki, an encyclopedia of official first-party D&D canon from 1974 to the current day.

We need editors! See the editing guidelines for ways to contribute.


Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki

Gold dragons are the strongest and most majestic of the metallic dragons, and are considered the apex of the draconic race.[1][10] The gold dragon is also known as the golden dragon, royal dragon, or imperial dragon, and is historically known to sages as Draco Orientalus Sino Dux.[6]

Graceful and wise, they are relentless and dedicated foes of evil, injustice, and foul play.[4][9][9] While respected for their fairness and knowledge, they are also grim and reserved, and usually avoid casual contact with other dragons.[1]



File:Gold dragon anatomy - Ron Spencer.jpg

A review of gold dragon anatomy.

A gold dragon's head is characterized by a short face with long and smooth metallic horns that sweep back from its nose and brow, as well as the neck frills that adorn both sides of its neck. From the mouth and nostrils descend four pairs of long, flexible muscular spines that resemble whiskers or barbels. Along with the dragon's narrow eyes, these features contribute to give them a look of sagacity. As the dragon ages, its pupils fade away until the eyes acquired an appearance of shiny, liquid gold. Other facial features include a pointed tongue and small cheek horns that grow sideways.[1][9][10]

Gold dragons have broad sail-like wings[notes 1] that starts from their shoulders and extend all the way to the end of their extremely long tails. During flight, the wings move in a graceful rippling motion that resembles swimming. This elegant flying motion is considered by many scholars, as well as by the gold dragons themselves, to be the most graceful among true dragons. When on the ground, the wings are kept closed upright over its back if the dragon is at rest, or folded facing back if the dragon is walking or running.[1][9]

A newly hatched gold dragon has dark yellow scales dotted with metallic specks that increase in size with age, until they totally covered the scales, giving a shiny and radiant golden color to the adult dragon's entire body.[1][9][10] A golden dragon's scales are infused with gold, though a much more durable form of the metal.[11]

Gold dragons give off scents of saffron and incense,[9] and sometimes a faint smell of molten metal.[10]

A dragon in humanoid form often has some notable feature, such as golden hair or skin.[12]

Personality and alignment[]

File:Gold Dragon.jpg

A gold dragon teaching a human.

Gold dragons are overwhelmingly lawful good in alignment.[6] They are fanatic and uncompromising in their opposition of injustice, and often set off on self-appointed quests to do good.[13] A gold dragon who seeks out a wrongdoer will not stop until they are defeated, whether killed or brought to justice.[9] Gold dragons particularly despise tyranny of the strong over the weak, and they will appoint themselves protectors of settlements their domain,[14] putting the people's needs over its own in times of difficulty.[15] They are the most lawful of the true dragons.[16]

Gold dragons are fond of intellectual pursuits, and are particularly avid collectors of knowledge and lore. The collective knowledge of gold dragons outweighs even that collected by the long-lived elves, and dragons often assume human form for the purpose of information gathering. As such, they are valuable sources of rare knowledge.[17] They make excellent scholars, particularly in mathematics and philosophy.[18] They are highly respected among other dragons for their wisdom and fairness.[1]

Despite their innate sense of justice and respect for all intelligent life, gold dragons also have a tendency toward arrogance, believing themselves better than "lesser" creatures such as humanoids. They may even avoid being seen associating with humanoids as a matter of pride,[18] although they commonly assume a humanoid form to interact with society. They avoid engaging in heavily political discussions with humanoids, who rarely meet the dragon's exacting standards of morality.[9]

Of all the good-aligned metallic dragons, they are the most serious and aloof.[1] The immense difference in power between gold dragons and humanoids often impairs its ability to understand the everyday troubles and needs of communities, or the relative frailty of the humanoid life. In some instances, particularly among the gold dragons of the Nentir Vale, the dragon might even end up becoming a tyrant, believing itself a natural and innately wise and moral ruler.[10]

As one of the most powerful species of dragonkind, gold dragons quietly consider themselves superior to most other creatures, even other dragons. The only creatures which a gold dragon commonly acknowledges as superior are older, more powerful gold dragons.[10] They are very private creatures, mostly keeping to themselves and rarely fraternizing with other dragons outside of their own families.[1]

Like other good metallic dragons, they have long memories, and the ability to recognize a person'd bloodline by scent. This occasionally leads them to harbor prejudice toward a humanoid based on their ancestors, such as the descendants of a thief who stole from the dragon's hoard several generations ago.[19]

In rare cases, gold dragons may be of other alignments, even lawful evil. The cursed sword Gram is exceptionally deadly toward such creatures.[20] Gold dragons of all alignments are found in the Chinese pantheon.[21]

Abilities and traits[]

File:Vault of dragons-5e.jpg

The gold dragon Aurinax guarding the Vault of Dragons in Waterdeep.

One of the most notable abilities of the gold dragon is to transform itself into a humanoid or animal form. Gold dragons are often encountered in humanoid guise rather than their natural form,[6] and most spend more time in such a form than their natural form. In animal form, they prefer nondescript domestic animals such as dogs, cats, or horses, or swift forms such as eagles. In humanoid form, they take ordinary forms which allow them to gather a great deal of information about the world without arousing suspicion, and to use themselves as bait to catch bandits.[9] It is not unheard of for younger dragons who spend a long time in humanoid form to forget their true self, for a time.[22]

They are best known among the metallic dragons for their spellcasting ability.[6] Some keep spellbooks as a wizard does.[23]

Gold dragons have a particularly strong sense of treasure empathy, the ability of true dragons to have awareness of every piece of treasure in their hoard. They can detect when treasure has been stolen and sense if it is nearby.[17]

A common tactic for gold dragons in a fight is to use their breath weapons as means to scatter and weaken their foes.[3] They posses two such breath weapons: a powerful fire breath and a cone of gas.[6][1][4]

In AD&D, the gold dragon's second breath weapon is chlorine or poison gas, as the green dragon. From D&D 3.0 onward they instead have a cone of weakening gas.

Gold dragons are excellent swimmers, and can breathe underwater. When they do so, their fire breath becomes a cone of steam.[1][4]

A lesser-known ability of the gold dragon is to enchant a gem to bring the bearer good luck, similar to a stone of good luck, although the effect is temporary. [24]

A few gold dragons dedicated to draconic gods pass on a unique celestial bloodline which grants the ability to cast air and protection spells, to sense evil, and to summon celestial beings.[25]

Gold dragons prefer to parlay before a fight, using their intimidating presence and insight to determine if fighting is necessary, to find advantages, and to buy time to cast preparatory spells.[4][9] If fighting becomes necessary, they make heavy use of fire-based spells such as delayed blast fireball and fire shield, as well as deterrent spells such as cloudkill, globe of invulnerability, maze, sleep, slow, and stinking cloud.[4]

Spells particularly favored by gold dragons include affect normal fires, anti-magic shell, blink, charm monster, cloudkill, continual light, detect magic, dimension door, dismissal, dolor, eyebite, fireball, geas, hold person, hold portal, know alignment, legend lore, Melf's minute meteors, mirror image, ray of enfeeblement, shocking grasp, shout, stoneskin, and telekinesis.



Gold dragons inhabit a great variety of locales, and can survive in nearly any climate. Among the places known to be inhabited by gold dragons are the Thunder Peaks of Faerûn,[26] the upper Underdark.[27]

Gold dragons are the only metallic dragon found in Mystara.[28]

They may be encountered in warm plains,[29] and in celestial planes.[30]


File:Treasure Vault Module AFR.jpg

An angry gold dragon defending its treasure.

Gold dragons prefer to make their lair in places of solid stone, such as castles or caves.[31] Such lairs have many chambers, all highly decorated.[9]

They typically select secluded and remote locations which are difficult to reach by ground.[32] Gold dragons often make their lairs in the bottom of idyllic lakes and rivers, high plateaus, mist-shrouded islands, deep gorges, caves hidden behind great waterfalls, or ancient ruins. Such remote locations allow the gold dragon to avoid unwanted attention or causing fear.[9][1] They also make lairs in rolling hills, open plains, and in some rare cases even within humanoid communities which they have chosen to protect.[10]

Their lairs are often guarded by vassals or servants, who benefit from mutual defense. Guards may include powerful creatures like storm giants and cloud giants, local animals, and others.[31]

The lair of a gold dragon is imbued with its own magic. While in its lair, a gold dragon has a limited capability to glimpse into the future and to banish invaders into a dream plane of the dragon's own creation. The region around the lair also experiences some magical effects, such as banks of opalescent mists that haunt evil creatures and warn good creatures of danger. The dragon is also capable of establishing a telepathic contact with sleeping creatures within 6 miles of its lair. Within 1 mile of the lair, gems and pearls shine and emit a faint light.[1]

In Faerûn, gold dragons are known to reside in the Serpent Hills, the Earthfast Mountains, the Vast, the Graypeak Mountains, Loudwater, the Orsraun Mountains and Turmish.[32] At least one mated pair of gold dragons inhabits the Black Mountains.[33] They are among the dragons of the Blood Isles of Io.[13]

A rare few may inhabit a cloud castle.[34]

Life cycle[]


Like all true dragons, gold dragons hatch from eggs. Dragons mate in the mammalian manner, the female able to lay eggs between the young adult category and venerable age categories, and the male capable of fertilizing eggs from young adult to wyrm age category. A female dragon might produce only one clutch of eggs per age category, laying between 2 and 4 eggs. About 25% of the time, they will produce a second clutch within the same age category.[35]

Incubation of a gold dragon egg takes two years. The female carries the eggs internally for a quarter of the incubation period, then lays them in her lair. The eggs are at risk of cracking, or spontaneously shattering, a fate which befalls as many as 40% of dragon eggs. About 70% of the time, this occurs in the first three quarters of incubation, and the result is fatal to the hatchling; otherwise, the dragon has a good chance to survive.[35]

The hatchling's first treasure is gold passed down through the mother's placenta, and it consumes part of it during incubation and grows in strength.[35]


Upon hatching, the dragon has dark yellow scales with bright golden flecks, which grow until the dragon is fully golden at adulthood.[31]

Like all true dragons, gold dragons grow more powerful throughout their life, with the eldest gold dragons being some of the most powerful dragons in existence.

Gold dragons spend significant amounts of time in hibernation. The duration of rest increases significantly with age, with old dragons sleeeping for as long as five years, and the oldest sleeping for over 25 years at a time. They may be active for a century or more between hibernation periods.[36] Gold dragons occasionally experience growth spurts during long periods of rest, shedding old scales which may transform over time into actual gold. The scales are also gifted to favored vassals, who may use it to craft shields or dragonhide armor.[37]

Dragon's twilight[]

At the end of its long lifespan, a dragon experience the "dragon's twilight", a sudden collapse of its strength following a period of physical decline. It is rare that a dragon reaches this stage before being killed by an enemy or rival, or being killed by some other means. Nevertheless, the result is the dragon's death. Dragons who sense its coming may scatter their hoards and seek out some ancient dragon graveyard.[35]

A few means exist to avoid this fate. They may transform into spirit guardians of the local land, consuming their hoard and becoming a mountain, river, or other natural feature. Here they watch over and guide future generations of dragons. They may rather ascend to a semi-divine status as a servant to one of the dragon gods. Some may abandon their hoard and leave the world to go elsewhere, to some other world.[35] In the world of Krynn, it is said that gold dragons choose to end their lives by immersing themselves within an active volcano off the coast of Enstar which spews molten gold.[38]

Legend supposes that if a gold dragon dies a peaceful death, its heart transforms into solid gold over the course of a thousand years. If it dies a violent death, its heart turns to stone. If it dies sacrificing its life for another, the stone radiates protection from evil magic, and chips of it are made into protective amulets.[38] In the Nentir Vale, the bodies of gold dragons are said to diffuse into the earth, creating veins of gold; they may also diffuse into a fiery geyser or a stone plain.[39]

The dragon's anima, or soul, is believed to remain with the body for a time after death, and is eventually reborn to the next generation of dragons after an amount of time equal to the dragon's original lifespan. Dragons possess the ability to will their souls to depart their body.[40] In some cases, a dying dragon can will itself to continue to live on in an incorporeal form, forming a recreation of their original body from the air itself; such air dragons might live for over six thousand years.[41]


Gold dragons are highly omnivorous, and can eat almost anything.[31] They prefer larger prey. They almost never eat humanoids, however, and avoid consuming sentient beings for ethical reasons, even when starving. The exception is that it will hunt and eat dangerous creatures to protect the local population, even evil humanoids if it deems that they deserve to die.[10]

Gold dragons are also known to consume gemstones and precious metal. An adult gold dragon may consume as much as 8,000 gold pieces worth per month.[42] Gold dragons are particularly fond of pearls and small gems, and are pleased to receive them as gifts from visitors, although they resent the gift if perceive that it is given as a bribe.[31] Occasionally, a ruby which passes undigested through the gold dragon's body absorbs energy and becomes what is known as a dragon ruby, a spell component which empowers the area of effect of fire spells such as fireball.[43]

Relationships and family[]

As metallic dragons, gold dragons commonly choose mates for love. They are usually monogamous, and loyal to their partners, sometimes to the point of refusing to take on a new mate.[35] Some gold dragon couples who mate for life formalize this with an Oath of Concord, an ancient and binding tradition. Although respected by all gold dragons, the oath is seldom used.[16]

Courtship between two gold dragons takes a long time, and may involve several quests and years of debating matters of ethics and philosophy. The dragons seek approval for their relationship from the ultimate ruler of gold dragons in their world, which is usually granted. Some are known to have multiple mates at the same time.[9]

They do not normally mate with any dragon type except for other gold dragons, although they are known to select humanoid mates and live with them for their lifespan. Male dragons occasionally father half-dragon offspring with humanoid partners, although this is frowned upon in dragon society.[35]

Gold dragons devote a great deal to looking after their offspring. A young dragon may live with their parents until reaching the traditional age of adulthood at 101 years, after which they leave of their own volition on a journey to offer their eager loyalty to the King of Justice.[16] Young dragons are sometimes sent off to be fostered by other parents for a time. Such foster parents are sometimes gold dragons, but always lawful good. Fostering is usually done to protect the young dragon from danger, or to broaden its field of learning, or to allow the parents to spend some time undertaking some lengthy quest.[9]

Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult gold dragons tend to be solitary or live in a clutch of 2 to 5 dragons; adults, mature adults, older dragons, wyrms or great wyrms may live solitarily, in a pair, or a family consisting of a couple of adults and several offspring.[4]


Gold dragons organize themselves into social hierarchies, ruled over by a number of gold dragon lords. In each world, all gold dragons ultimately owe fealty to an ultimate ruler, a gold dragon addressed as "Your Resplendence". In Faerûn, they are given the title King of Justice, if male or Queen of Justice, if female.[16]

This leader serves more like judge and advisor than a king, deciding policy rather than taking an active role. It is common for gold dragons to consult the ruler before undertaking major quests. The position is chosen by elections, although the position is often uncontested. The role commonly goes to the oldest and most powerful gold dragon. In at least one instance, the duty has been shared by a mated pair, or the title has been shared by other means. The leader may serve for the rest of their life, or may abdicate the position voluntarily when a better candidate is available.[16][9]

Gold dragons may be members of clans comprised exclusively of gold dragons. In the Blood Isles of Io, six such clans are named Baraster, Exaurdon, Justice, Resplendence, Sunblaze, and Triumph. Exaurdon is the oldest of these, and oversees great cities of learning and culture. Even Sunblaze, the youngest clan, is still one dragon generation old, significant by human years.[44]


Gold dragons have a system of laws. The only penalty for breaking these laws is proscription, a form ot temporary or permanent exile from gold dragon society. This penalty is taken very seriously, and may go so far as to strike the names of proscribed dragons from written history.[16] It is rarely invoked, however, since gold dragons rarely breach the rules of their society.[9]

Some gold dragons follow the Ptarian Code of Honor, created thousands of years ago. It promotes justice and good as its most important precepts, as well as fealty to the King of Justice, respect to righteous innocence, protection of the "lesser races", correction to the enemies of justice and good, and self-forbearance. The gold dragon lords who serve the King of Justice swear to this code, while other gold dragons follow it to some extent.[45]

Gold dragons have been known to take positions as rulers of humanoid kingdoms. They are more likely than other metallic dragons to engage in human politics, and will in some cases take control of a realm in chaos in order to bring peace and stability, or to overthrow a corrupt or chaotic ruler. In these cases, the gold dragon's rule typically has a lasting effect on the realm, but the dragon does not usually take direct rule for long, preferring to cede power back to the humanoid inhabitants. Unfortunately, changes imposed by the dragon for moral reasons can lead to internal political conflict which last for years after the dragon has abdicated.[46]


Red dragons are a long-time mutual enemy of gold dragons. The red dragons fear them for possessing similar or greater levels of power,[47] and may even co-operate to take down a troublesome gold dragon.[10]

Allies and minions[]

Gold dragons occasionally work with silver dragons.[48]

Gold dragons have formed an alliance the saraphs, a humanoid people of the Elemental Plane of Fire. The saraphs benefit use the gold dragons in their fight against the efreeti, and in turn they help to guard the dragons' hoards.[49]

They are highly social creatures, and often interact with other gold dragons, as well as humanoids when they assume humanoid form. They particularly enjoy the company of the long-lived elves.[16]

Younger gold dragons may serve particularly righteous heroes as cohorts or mounts.[50]


Gold dragons commonly revere Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, protector of all dragonkind. Bahamut is said to sometimes manifest an aleax, a manifestation of his wrath, in the form of a gold dragon.[51]

A small rogue sect of gold dragons revere Garyx, the Cleanser of Worlds, believing that the only way to rid the world of evil is to destroy all life and start from scratch.[52]

Many gods are served by gold dragons. A court of gold dragons serve Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon. They are said to number seven[53] or nine.[54] Four gold dragons serve Diamond, the Star Dragon.[55] Gold dragons serve the deities Moradin, Corellon Larethian, Labelas Enoreth, Yondalla,[56] and Heironeous.[57] Gold and silver dragons serve the Faerûnian deity Torm.[58] Gold dragons serve as the herald of the Mesopotamian god Marduk.[59]

The gold dragon is regarded highly by the sun-worshiping faith called the Order of Eternal Light, who believe the gold dragon is the only creature which has ever touched the sun and returned with its wisdom.[60]

The Known World deity Ka, called Kalaktatla or the Amber Serpent, takes the form of a gold dragon.[61]

Gold dragons appear on the clerical vestments of the Faerûnian deity Milil.[62]


Gold dragons are the only species of true dragon known to have their own written language. However, they only write when in human form, since their dragon claws are not practical for holding writing equipment. They also possess a notable oral tradition, particularly relating to matters of justice and the survival of their society.[16] However, much of what they record is of little interest to human historians, detailing dragon events such as the activities and acquisitions of other dragons.[63]

Some gold dragons possess the ability to communicate with any intelligent creature.[31]

Cultural influence[]

Among the groups and establishments named for the gold dragon are numerous taverns named the Golden Dragon Inn or Gold Dragon Inn,[64][65][66][67][68] a war band called the Golden Dragons,[69] and the Gold Dragon clan of the Sarkany tribe, who take the creature as a totem.[70] Illusions of gold dragons have been used to guard treasure,[71] or as wards on magic items.[72] The great Khorvairian airship Golden Dragon invokes the name of this creature.[73] In Selasia in the world of Krynn, there are places named Gold Dragon Bay and Gold Dragon River, owing to the region's inhabitation by gold dragons.[74]

Gold dragons appear in the heraldry of some realms or individuals, including those of King Arthur,[75] the Durothil and Auglamyr clan of gold elves of Cormanthyr in Faerûn,[76] and Baron Matthew Ulmade.[77] A gold dragon rampant appears on the Surcoat of Valor, which emboldens knights,[78] and a gold dragon on a deep blue field appears on the legendary Unconquered Standard of Arkhosia. A rampant golden dragon on a green field represents valor and a quest for wealth.[79] A gold dragon appears on the shield of vigor.[80] In heraldry, gold dragons represent divine right, nobility, or law, and are often reserved for the coat of arms of high nobility.[81]

The barbarians of Nerath take the Golden Dragon Ayunken-vanzen as their patron.[82]

The rod of the wyrm can summon gold dragons.[83] The potion of gold dragon control can control them.[84] The amulet of fire breath is fashioned in the shape of a gold dragon's head.[85]

The spell golden dragonmail can conjure a suit of golden armor etched with the image of a gold dragon,[58] while the breastplate armor Dragonguard also bears a gold dragon motif.[86]



Like all true dragons, gold dragons collect enormous hoards of treasure. A gold dragon's hoard is especially well guarded within its lair, and protected by magical wards which make it difficult for a thief to remove treasure unnoticed.[1]

Gold dragons enjoy treasures that show artisanship, such as paintings, sculptures, calligraphy, and porcelain.[9] They have a great fascination for magic items and love to add them to their hoards.[16]

The gold dragon Riikano-alinaris eschews the collection of traditional wealth, and keeps a hoard in the form of one of the the greatest collections of books in the world.[87]


Certain gold dragon body parts are valued by alchemists, spellcasters, and magic item crafters.

Dragon scales or hides are prized for producing dragonhide armor. Aslyferund's armor is made with gold dragon scale in particular, although they were murdered for refusing to reveal the secret of its creation.[88]

Gold dragon bone is ground down and used to create potions and various alchemical items, while pieces of bone are carried to grant good luck or crafted into magic items. Among these is the gold dragon bone ring, a warm bone ring with gold veins, and which protects its bearer from fire.[89]

A mature adult gold dragon's heart can fetch as much as 10,000 gold pieces, while that of a wyrm might fetch up to 25,000 gp; can be used when casting the spell wish to avoid draining the caster of energy. The dragon's feet are used to craft a rod of rulership.[90]

Gold dragon teeth, claws or scales can be used to make a potion of treasure finding or wand of metal detection.[17][91] Teeth and blood can be used to produce enchanted dragon's teeth, having the power to conjure a warrior.[92] The talon of final destruction, made from the talon of a gold dragon, allowes the feared tarrasque to be summoned and given a single command.[93]

A sliver of red or gold dragon hide is used as a spell component in deny fire,[94] while drops of their blood can be used in production of a scroll of burning hands.[95] According to legend, the lost Faerûnian spell Karsus's Avatar required the caster to dip a gold dragon's gizzard in tarrasque blood and hydra bile as a spell component.[96]

A small gold dragon scale is sometimes worn as a kind of amulet or keepsake to represent virtues,[97] and in at least one case has been used to craft a an amulet of protection.[98] It can also be used as a portal key to the Positive Energy Plane.[99] Powdered dragon scale is an ingredient with curative properties for a rare plague.[100]

An item called the golden visor, made from gold dragon scale and attached to a helmet, grants the wearer the ability to see in the dark and intimidate enemies on the battlefield.[101]

The Greyhawk deity Syrul carries the artifact Harsh Truth, a rod of withering crafted from the crystalized soul of a gold dragon.[102]

According to various legends, a pool of blood from a freshly decapitated gold dragon can be used for scrying; removing its heart may grant three wishes, or else may allow the dragon to possess its killer; and its tooth, planted in the ground, rises as a warrior.



All true dragons are believed to have originally descended from a common ancestor.[48]

While the origin of the gold dragon is uncertain, sages believe that it is the oldest species of metallic dragon. Some speculate that they are the ancestors of red and green dragons due to similarities in their breath weapon, although this is not proven.[17]

In at least one world, the primordial Erek-Hus forged an alliance with Imix the Fire Lord and attempted to capture and the gold and red dragons. When they refused to serve the fiery lord, he cast them back into the world, and these dragons were reborn, phoenixlike, as the wildfire dragons.[103]

Ancient history[]


Protanther leading the council of metallic dragons in the Nether Mountains.

Gold dragons have served the Faerûnian deity Torm since ancient times, and some such dragons are the ancestors of sorcerer bloodlines.[58]

The ancient city of Nerath was built on the former lair of the the gold dragon Ayunken-vanzen. According to legend, the city's first emperor Magroth slew the dragon and took the Flame Imperisable as its symbol.[82]

During the glory days of Myth Drannor, before its destruction in the Weeping War, gold dragons were one of the races that dwelled in the City of Song in harmony. At one point before the city's fall, the gold dragons of Myth Drannor aided in magically trapping a powerful demon Rivener who became too powerful to defeat after he stole one of the Baneblades of Demron.[104]

Recent history[]

Sometime before 1357 DR, Protanther was King of Justice for western Faerûn until he resigned in favor of Lareth,[16] who kept the title until his death in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR.[105] He was succeeded by Tamarand, who still held the title as of 1479 DR.[106]

Sometime in the late 1480s DR Protanther represented the gold dragons by gathering a council of metallic dragons in the battle against the reformed Cult of the Dragon's efforts to summon Tiamat.[107]

Notable gold dragons[]

For a full list of named gold dragons, see Category:Gold dragons.

  • Aerosclughpalar, also known as "Gildenfire", "Vaeros Fireshield",[108] "The Druid Dragon" and "The Wyrm of Golden Hue".[109]
  • Amanthus of Krynn[110]
  • Aurik, who assumes human form[111]
  • Aurinax, who guarded the Vault of Dragons in the late 15th century DR under the disguise of "Barok Clanghammer".[112]
  • Aurion, a gold dragon imprisoned in the form of a spider[113]
  • Aurum, a dragon so legendary that the Star Dragon made his form available to the Immortals[114]
  • Autophon, slayer of the demon Lash[115]
  • Evenstar of Krynn, who assumes the form of a dwarf[116][117]
  • Hytiliaph, who serves the dragon knight Demetrion Karagenteropolus as a mount[118]
  • Kevran, mate of Althea, afflicted by the Gem of Delusion[119]
  • Lareth, who held the title of King of Justice until his death.[16]
  • Palarandusk, also known as "The Unseen Protector" and formerly known as "The Sun Dragon".[120][121]
  • Protanther, who was the King of Justice until he resigned the title to Lareth.[16][122][107]
  • Pyrite, companion of Fizban of Krynn[123]
  • Tamarand, the King of Justice following the death of Lareth.[106]
  • Valamaradace, also known as "The Dragon Queen of Silverymoon" and "The Dragon Queen of the Silver Marches".[120][124]

Related creatures[]

The Aurak draconian of Krynn is derived from the gold dragon.[125][126]

The dragonne is related to the gold dragon.[127]

The cloud dragon and mist dragon are sometimes mistaken for the gold dragon.[128]

The glimmerskin halfling is a subspecies of halfling descended from gold dragons in human form. They are known for their luck and skill as healers.[14] Some sorcerers of gold dragon ancestry have the particular ability to bestow luck upon others.[129] People descended from a gold dragon tend to be wise, patient, and determined, with a strong sense of justice,[130] and are noted for their grace and courtesy.[131]

Publication history[]

Original D&D[]

The "golden dragon" first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons 3-Volume Set (1974), appearing in Monsters & Treasure alongide the five chromatic dragons. Here they were listed as most powerful and intelligent of dragons, having the ability to cast spells, and often appearing in human guise. They are the only dragons of Lawful alignment, and the only type not previously described in the Chainmail miniature wargame rules (1971).

They are listed in Strategic Review #2 (Summar 1975) as a possible extraordinary follower to the ranger class, which debuted in that issue.

Basic D&D[]

Gold dragons are listed in the Basic Set (B/X), Basic Rules (1981), p.B34. They can breathe both fire and chlorine gas. They occur again in the Basic Rules (BECMI) (1983) and are mentioned in possible guise as a beggar in the Expert Rules (BECMI) (1983) and associated with the dragon Diamond the Star Dragon in the Master Rules (BECMI) (1985).

They appear again in the Rules Cyclopedia (1991), p.70, the The New Easy to Master Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991), and The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game (1994), p.78.

A warrior riding a gold dragon mount appears on the cover of the Master Rules (BECMI) (1985) boxed set. The 1992 TSR trading card #57 identifies the gold dragon as Panndallor, a 225 year old servant of Baron Rykoffe.

AD&D 1st edition[]

The gold dragon appears in the Monster Manual (1e) (1977), p.32-33. It is depicted here as a wingless serpent reminiscent of the Chinese imagery of dragons. Gold dragons would be winged in later editions.

The Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.21 recommends the gold dragon as a monster player character due to its tendency to assume humanoid form.

AD&D 2nd edition[]

The gold dragon appears in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989). It is described as winged, but occasionally assuming a wingless form while swimming. It appeared again in the Monstrous Manual (1993), p.78.

The gold dragon is featured in the Council of Wyrms (1994) boxed set, and the subsequent Council of Wyrms Setting{{UnknownBook}} sourcebook.

Gold dragons are detailed throughout FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), in the context of the Forgotten Realms.

D&D 3rd edition[]

Gold dragons are defined in the Monster Manual (3.0) (2000) and Monster Manual (3.5) (2003), p.84-86.

Gold dragons are detailed throughout Draconomicon (3e) (2003), particularly from pages 46-48, detailing the gold dragons Luminia, Tekumu Nho, Natinrapa, Yunshenunomei, Kacdaninymila, Clytanmoorninyx, Zudinmulamshius, Shimanyo-Kocoi, Fuunharkaspirinon, Ayunken-vanzan, Sheeredni-vaktar, and Riikano-alinaris, from page 239-247. The gold dragons Kacdaninymila and Keryst are also named in the book.

Monster class progression rules for gold dragons appeared in Dragon Player Characters, Dragon #320 (Jun 2004), p.42-44.

D&D 4th edition[]

Gold dragons a mentioned in Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.29 as noble but potentially despotic rulers.

Gold dragons and metallic dragons were omitted from the initial 4th edition Monster Manual, perhaps due to the rarity of an highly lawful good creature as a combat opponent. They later appeared in the Monster Manual 2 (4e) (2009), p.80-82, which redefined the term "metallic dragon" to include the unaligned adamantine dragon and iron dragon, omitted the brass and bronze dragons, and made all metallic dragons unaligned, including the gold dragon.

Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009) explored the gold dragon in more detail.

D&D 5th edition[]

The gold dragon appears in the Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.114-115.

Creative origins[]

The gold dragon is an original invention of D&D creator Gary Gygax.

According to The Slayer's Guide to Dragons (2002), Gygax invented the gold dragon as a counter to the five evil chromatic dragons, and drew on the dragons of "Oriental" myth. He mentioned this again in a 2004 forum post:[132]

"Originally there were the five "chromatic" and evil dragons, each with a color that suited their breath weapon, and a sixth good dragon patterened on the Oriental model of that imaginary creature. As it was bpth or different origination and alignment I desiced to empower the gold dragon so as to more closely resemble the potent Oriental sort. So it got more of everything, including two breath weapons."

Reception and influence[]

A gaming club known as the Golden Dragons Gaming Club (GDGC) operated in California in the 1990s.[133] Another in Pittsburgh was known as The Champions of the Golden Dragon.[134]

The huge gold dragon miniature was rated #6 in Top Ten Dragons, Dragon #344 (Jun 2006), p.24, an article which rated the official D&D miniatures of dragons.

A gold dragon appears on the cover of Dragon #300 (Oct 2002), illustrated by Anthony Waters.


  1. In 1st edition AD&D, gold dragons were depicted without wings, reminiscent of dragons from Chinese mythology. This carried over to at least one Forgotten Realms source, Hall of Heroes, p. 37.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.113-115.
  2. Fizban's Treasury of Dragons (2021), p.209.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Monster Manual 2 (4e) (2009), p.80-82.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Monster Manual (3.5) (2003), p.84-86.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Monstrous Manual (1993), p.78.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Monster Manual (1e) (1977), p.32-33.
  7. Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.32-33.
  8. Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.14.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.46-48.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.32-33.
  11. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.10.
  12. Serpents and Sorcery, Dragon #134 (Jun 1988), p.25.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.20.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Dragon Magic[Unknown book], p.9.
  15. Dragon Magic[Unknown book], p.137.
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.18-20.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 AC10 Bestiary of Dragons and Giants (1987), p.38.
  18. 18.0 18.1 MC4 Monstrous Compendium: Dragonlance Appendix (1990).
  19. Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.103.
  20. Giants in the Earth, Dragon #41 (Sep 1980), p.18.
  21. Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.68.
  22. Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.10.
  23. Cult of the Dragon (1998), p.86.
  24. Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.47.
  25. Dragon Magic[Unknown book], p.129.
  26. Elminster's Ecologies, The Thunder Peaks and the Storm Horns (1994), p.26.
  27. Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark (1999), p.29.
  28. Monstrous Compendium: Mystara Appendix (1994), p.7.
  29. Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) (2003), p.98.
  30. Manual of the Planes (3e) (2001), p.152.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989).
  32. 32.0 32.1 FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.36.
  33. Champions of Mystara: Heroes of the Princess Ark, Explorers' Manual (1993), p.4.
  34. Encyclopedia Magica Volume One (1994), p.263.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 35.6 Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.108-112.
  36. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.41.
  37. Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.107.
  38. 38.0 38.1 DLE3 Dragon Keep (1989), p.63.
  39. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.15.
  40. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.84.
  41. SJR2 Realmspace (1991).
  42. The Ups and Downs of Riding High, Dragon #50 (Jun 1981), p.50.
  43. Complete Champion (2007), p.132.
  44. Council of Wyrms Setting[Unknown book], p.79.
  45. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.44.
  46. Dragon Kingdoms: The Ways Dragons Rule, Dragon #320 (Jun 2004), p.56.
  47. Monstrous Manual (1993), p.68.
  48. 48.0 48.1 Monstrous Manual (1993), p.63.
  49. Demons, Devils and Spirits, Dragon #42 (Oct 1980), p.7.
  50. Book of Exalted Deeds (2003), p.25.
  51. Book of Exalted Deeds (2003), p.158.
  52. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.26.
  53. Supplement I: Greyhawk (1975), p.36.
  54. Manual of the Planes (1e) (1987), p.35.
  55. Master Rules (BECMI), Dungeon Masters' Book (1985), p.29.
  56. Demihuman Deities (1998), p.78,101,118,180.
  57. Bastion of Faith (1999), p.42.
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 Champions of Valor (2005), p.55.
  59. Mesopotamian Mythos, Dragon #329 (Mar 2005), p.42.
  60. The Eternal Light, Dragon #340 (Feb 2006), p.45.
  61. Wrath of the Immortals, Book I: Codex of the Immortals (1992), p.24.
  62. FOR10 Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996), p.96.
  63. FOR1 Draconomicon (2e) (1990), p.12-13.
  64. DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor (1986), p.35.
  65. X3 Curse of Xanathon (1982), p.7.
  66. The City of Greyhawk, Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess (1989), p.64.
  67. The Adventure Begins (1998), p.90.
  68. Dragonmarked (2006), p.10-11.
  69. GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar (1989), p.27.
  70. The Taltos, Dragon #247 (May 1998).
  71. The Draven Deeps' Menace, Dungeon #40 (Mar/Apr 1993), p.60.
  72. The Living City, Polyhedron #94 (Apr 1994), p.20.
  73. Voyage of the Golden Dragon (2006).
  74. DLR1 Otherlands (1990), p.37.
  75. Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.34.
  76. Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves (1998), p.113.
  77. The Forgotten Man, Dragon #75 (Jul 1983), p.45,54.
  78. Magic Item Compendium (2007), p.139.
  79. Xanathar's Guide to Everything (2017), p.27.
  80. Magic Item Compendium (2007), p.196.
  81. Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons (2009), p.9.
  82. 82.0 82.1 Legacy of Nerath, Dragon #393 (Nov 2010).
  83. CM6 Where Chaos Reigns (1985), p.20.
  84. Oriental Adventures (1e) (1985), p.130.
  85. City of Splendors: Waterdeep (2005), p.149.
  86. Starter Set (5e), Lost Mine of Phandelver (2014), p.48.
  87. Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.247.
  88. Encyclopedia Magica Volume One (1994), p.71.
  89. Snips of Scales and Dragon Tails, Dragon #429 (Nov 2013).
  90. Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog: Using Power Components, Dragon #317 (Mar 2004), p.44.
  91. Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.117.
  92. Encyclopedia Magica Volume Four (1995), p.1450.
  93. Sleeping Dragon, Dungeon #48 (Jul/Aug 1994), p.54.
  94. FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1988), p.41.
  95. FOR8 Pages from the Mages (1995), p.22.
  96. Priest's Spell Compendium Volume Two (1999), p.364.
  97. I stole what?, Dungeon #145 (Apr 2007), p.93.
  98. Natural Selection, Dungeon #85 (Mar/Apr 2001), p.85.
  99. Dragon Annual 2 (1997), p.82.
  100. Dragon Cure, Dungeon #57 (Jan/Feb 1996), p.10.
  101. Dragon Magic[Unknown book], p.101-102.
  102. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000), p.183.
  103. Catastrophic Dragons, Dragon #425 (Jul 2013).
  104. Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
  105. The Rite, p.269-276.
  106. 106.0 106.1 Realmslore: Vaasa, Dungeon #177 (Apr 2010).
  107. 107.0 107.1 The Rise of Tiamat (2014), p.59.
  108. Dragons of Faerûn (2006), p.12-13.
  109. Mintiper's Chapbook, Part 7.
  110. DLA1 Dragon Dawn (1990), p.43.
  111. CM7 The Tree of Life (1986), p.10.
  112. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (2018), p.96-97.
  113. REF6 Rogues' Gallery (1992).
  114. IM2 The Wrath of Olympus (1987), p.35.
  115. Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume One (1996), p.110.
  116. Dragonlance Classics Volume I (1990), p.105.
  117. DL4 Dragons of Desolation (1984), p.16.
  118. Dawn of the Emperors: Thyatis and Alphatia, Book One: The Dungeon Master's Guide (1989), p.26.
  119. AC10 Bestiary of Dragons and Giants (1987), p.34.
  120. 120.0 120.1 Dragons of Faerûn (2006), p.44.
  121. Wyrms of the North: The Unseen Protector: Palarandusk, Dragon #252 (Oct 1998), p.70-74.
  122. Dragons of Faerûn (2006), p.30.
  123. Dragonlance Adventures (1987), p.108.
  124. Wyrms of the North: The Dragon Queen: Valamaradace, Dragon #257 (Mar 1999), p.76-80.
  125. DL15 Mists of Krynn (1988), p.102.
  126. The Ecology of the Draconian, Dragon #339 (Jan 2006), p.69.
  127. DMR2 Creature Catalog (1993), p.35.
  128. Monster Manual II (1e) (1983), p.57-58.
  129. Dragon Magic[Unknown book], p.19.
  130. Races of the Dragon (2006), p.58.
  131. Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004), p.23.
  132. Q&A with Gary Gygax, page 94. ENWorld, Jan 31, 2004.
  133. Classifieds, Polyhedron #85 (Jul 1993), p.32.
  134. Classifieds, Polyhedron #101 (Nov 1994), p.2.