Dragons have a number of reasons for fighting; they are territorial, and numerous factions hunt them for a variety of different reasons. With the exception of black dragons, most dragons do not attack random groups of mortals on sight; although like mortals, each dragon has a different personality and some are more aggressive than others.
Each of the dragonflights fights slightly differently, but their overall tactics are relatively similar. Fearsome alone, groups of dragons are nearly impossible to combat; all five dragonflights are intelligent, and they use everything they can think of to their advantage. When possible, the dragonflights use dragonspawn troops (see below) to open the way into combat, allowing these ground-based troops to draw their enemies' attention while they strike from above or a distance. Even when bereft of dragonspawn support, dragons prefer to fight from the skies, resorting to melee only when necessary or when enraged. Dragons are highly intelligent and, due to their long lives, possess vast experience. Thus, they are excellent judges of when to call a tactical retreat. Yet if dragons decide that the cause is worthy, they will fight to the death for it, however hopeless the battle might be.
Blue dragons open combat with magic to disrupt their enemies, such as creating illusions or walls of force. Red and black dragons focus on offensive magic and breath attacks, using spells like chain lightning and blazing column to eliminate waves of weaker enemies. Green and bronze dragons use spells to allow them to maneuver around their opponents, or directly incapacitate their enemies; greater invisibility and charm monster are popular.
When facing a large group of enemies, dragons attempt to affect as large a group as they can with an individual spell or attack. In the battles against the qiraji a thousand years ago, dragons focused their efforts on taking down wave after wave of lesser qiraji with their breath weapons; the mortals had the responsibility of dealing with enemy commanders. This does not mean that if the opportunity presents itself a dragon won't take a bite out of an enemy commander; however, they are more likely to wreak as much havoc as they can than spend their time hunting a specific opponent.
When fighting against a single target, dragons use spells to complement each other; one dragon might serve as a healer or cast enhancement spells like brilliance aura, while another decreases their target's defenses with bestow curse and detrimental magic, while the third attacks directly. In this respect, dragons work together in ways similar to a mortal adventuring party, but due to their inherent abilities they can switch roles and last longer in an extended battle.
Cobalt Mage, 4th-Level Mage Male Blue Dragon*: CR 19; Huge dragon (cold, earth); HD 24d12+4d6+224, hp 399; Init +4; Spd 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 150 ft. (poor), swim 60 ft.; AC 31, touch 8, flat-footed 31; Base Atk +25; Grp +43; Atk Bite +36 melee (2d8+10/19-20, bite); Full Atk Bite +36 melee (2d8+10/19-20/x2, bite) and 2 claws +34 (2d6+8) and 2 wings +34 melee (1d8+8); Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft. (15 ft. with bite); SA breath weapon 14d6 (DC 27 Reflex), crush, frightful presence (180 ft., DC 27), spell-like abilities, spells; SQ darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, blindsense 60 ft., boundless mind, damage reduction 10/magic, familiar (lizard), immunity to cold, sleep, and paralysis, vulnerability to fire, water breathing, spell resistance 25; AL LN; SV Fort +24, Ref +16, Will +21; Str 30, Agy 10, Sta 27, Int 20, Spt 21, Cha 20.
Languages Spoken: Common, Dwarven, Darnassian, Draconic, Nerubian and Tuskarr.
Skills: Appraise +32, Concentration +39, Craft (alchemy) +36, Decipher Script +20, Gather Information +17, Heal +19, Intimidate +32, Jump +23, Knowledge (arcana) +36, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (planes) +9, Listen +18, Search +32, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +36, Swim +37.
Feats: Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Flyby Attack*, Hover*, Improved Critical (bite), Quicken Spell, Scribe ScrollB, Silent Spell, Skilled (Listen and Spot), Wingover*.
Mage Spells (5/7/6/6/6/6/4/4/3; save DC 15 + spell level; caster level 16): The cobalt magelord's high Intellect score and ranks in Spellcraft allow him to prepare 18 spells per level; he can prepare most of the spells on the mage spell list. He favors the following spells:
3rd—blizzard; 5th—cone of cold; 6th—ice barriert; 8th—polar ray; 9th—frostbitet.
Possessions: Greater blackstone ring, Khadgar's gem of health, lens of detection, portable hole, metamagic rod of maximize, wand of amplify magict.
* See Lands of Mystery.
t See More Magic and Mayhem.
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