Dragon Encounters

Making dnd combat fun, finding monsters that fit together, monster tactics and strategies, and other ways of using the monsters of dungeons and dragons

GREEN DRAGON WYRMLING: Fighting While Caught in a Trap


Combat rating 3


1 Green dragon wyrmling (CR 2)

2 Dretch (CR 1/4)

2 Jackalwere (CR 1/2)


Combat rating 3


1 Green dragon wyrmling (CR 2)

1 Bugbear (CR 1)

2 Cockatrices (CR 1/2)


Combat rating 4


1 Green dragon wyrmling (CR 2)

2 Yuan-ti purebloods (CR 1)

2 Crocodiles (CR 1/2)

3 Giant poisonous snakes (CR 1/4)


Combat rating 5


1 Green dragon wyrmling (CR 2)

3-5 Needle blights (CR 1/4)

1 Vine blight (CR 1/2)

1 Water weird (CR 3)

1 Will-o’-wisp (CR 2)

How to Use – Combat Encounters (difficulty 4)

I’ve already written that I don’t like using wyrmlings, as I feel it loses the might that dragons should have. If you are going to use them, I would give them one heck of an advantage. In the case of green dragons, this feels like it can be done through traps. I’ll suggest some ideas.

Net Trap: The players enter a clearing in the forest. In response to a trigger being pulled, ropes that were buried underground suddenly draw tight around them, and they’re hoisted aloft in a net.

Because so much of this trap is how they deal with it, I wouldn’t be too concerned about making it detectable. You have to play by the rules, of course, but if the ropes are buried properly, they shouldn’t be noticeable, and the forest floor is hardly smooth anyway. Regarding the ends of the ropes, which are above ground, establish previously that the forest has large numbers of vines growing along the trees, and have the ropes disguised as vines.

If you’re concerned about drawing them into the clearing, place a statue or other large item for them to investigate. Perhaps add a hidden drawer inside the statue somewhere, or something else to arouse their curiosity. Once they’re all examining the statue, you can spring the trap.

Another way is for the dragon to engage them in conversation. The dragon is resting on a tree limb at the side of the clearing (perhaps the trigger to activate the trap?) Once each player has said something to the dragon, you can assume that they’re all in the clearing, unless they explicitly said otherwise.

Finally, you can combine the two ideas. Have the dragon tell them to examine the statue, to move its arms and rotate it, or whatever else. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary, but it is fairer. (It also reduces that chances that they’ll be caught by the trap, as they’ll probably get suspicious, so decide accordingly.)

Once triggered, they’ll all be trapped together in the net, and hanging in the air. They’ll have to either defend themselves from the dragon in an extremely difficult situation, or cut themselves free while the dragon attacks them. It should be a difficult encounter, but not a fatal one (although the party should probably be at least level 3). Also, the save against the breath weapon is CON, not DEX, so they won’t have disadvantage on their save.

Even if you don’t capture all the party, it will still be a pretty difficult encounter.

Lastly, I should mention that you’ll want to ropes to be strong, not easily cut through, and green, so as to be not easily burned through.

Pit Trap: Pretty much the same as the rope trap. A pit trap can be designed so that it doesn’t break until a latch is lifted, or a lever is pressed to have a beam drop away, which will be how you capture all or most of them. Such a trap needs expert design, but that just means that the wyrmling’s parents have minions with the skills to build a clever trap.

I might suggest having the pit be at least partially filled with water. Otherwise, the pit won’t be so hard to escape from. With water, they won’t have the ability to stand, which means that they won’t be able to brace themselves, and the dragon, which is amphibious, will have a very good time attacking them.

If you don’t want a cleverly built trap, a simple pit trap will only catch one PC, but that might be enough. Have the entrance be in the middle of a bramble patch, chasing after the dragon will be how the players fall into it, and once a PC falls in at least some of the others will have to jump in to prevent that PC from drowning. Oh, and you should have the dragon grapple the PC. The dragon has no trouble breathing underwater.

Knife Trap: The knife trap is a trap where you attack a knife to a springlike branch or reed, then you bend it way back and fix it so that it will spring back if disturbed. It is a potentially lethal trap that is very hard to detect in any area with significant underbrush.

The dragon will place a number of such traps around an area. It will then take advantage of the area to sneak around and surprise attack them every 1-3 rounds, flying away that same round.

If you keep the pace of the attacks unpredictable, then casters won’t be able to prepare actions greater than cantrips (preparing a spell uses up the spell slot, whether or not the spell ends up being cast.), and ranged attackers will also have trouble deciding whether to prepare actions or whether to use their actions to help inspect the area for traps. (Perception checks.)

You can make life even harder by having the vegetation block line-of-sight on some attacks, allowing the dragon to make attacks on some PCs without everyone being able to shoot at it, even with actions readied. If they stick close to each other, they’ll all be hit by the breath weapon, if they split up, it makes it easier for the dragon to hit them one at a time and run. The traps restrict the PCs movements, making it that they can’t just charge after the dragon.

Beware of grapples, as preparing a grapple action is the most likely way to deal with this strategy. As it happens, the dragon has decent STR, so it might be able to make a save against being grappled. The green dragon, even as a wyrmling, has a pretty high INT and WIS, so it might well be able to guess some of what they’ll plan and thus avoid it.

I would probably use a battlemap for this encounter. You’ll want a few places where trees or very thick bushes block line of sight entirely, and a lot more places where vegetation restricts it. Vegetation will give disadvantage to perception checks to examine the area beyond the vegetation. Multiple patches of vegetation will make the effect stack, making seeing beyond it impossible. (It will also make the area where it is into difficult terrain, limiting movement.)

A word of warning: You’ll need to make the battlemap a lot bigger than you think. On the positive side, it doesn’t have to be hard to draw.

If you like, you can add a tree trap and/or pit trap or two. (The pit traps can be the standard type, with spikes at the bottom if you want to add damage, or without if you prefer to just inconvenience them.)

Tree traps consist of a log, carefully balanced on top of a different tree, with a branch left hanging. When someone brushes the branch, even lightly, the trunk falls down and crushes the person below. In D&D, in addition to damage, you can rule that it knocks them prone, pins them to the ground, and/or causes them to drop their weapon.



Lure the players into traps by starting to talk to them. As long as they respond, you can assume that they all gather around, unless they explicitly say otherwise.

An object with which they have multiple ways to interact is also a good way to draw them together into one place.

Gather them up in a net trap. They’ll have to simultaneously escape and fight back to win.

Trap them in an area with water. The water will hamper their movements, and the wyrmling can dive in and out.

Grapple one of them while in water and drag him down. The dragon can breathe water, the PC cannot.

Hiding multiple, small traps in an area lets the dragon hit and run. If they clump together to defend against it, let the dragon use its breath weapon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

I have been a DM for several years, and I was designing home RPG games since my young childhood. I have been a fan of many different types of games (computer, board, RPG, and more) and have designed several for my own entertainment. This is my first attempt to produce game content for a wider audience.