How Long do Dragons Live in DnD 5e?


Dragons are an iconic part of DnD 5e. Quite literally as they are a part of the name “Dungeons & Dragons.”

But what do we know about these magnificent beasts? For some, quite a lot – for others, not as much. So, today we will be taking a look at these terrifying behemoths, and what they are about.

We’ll also be trying to answer the question of how long they live and give further commentary on their lifespan.

Let’s get into our examination.

How Long do Dragons Live in DnD 5e?

The Monster Manual on page 86 gives us an outline on the different developmental phases of a dragon. It lists the following ages and sizes.

Wyrmlings are the children of dragons. Yet, don’t think that they are a pushover, they are still considered mediumsized creatures – and are rarely unaccompanied by other dragons. They are in this phase until their 5th year of life.

Young dragons are the juveniles of the dragon world. Here they start to grow exponentially and develop. They are considered large creatures by this point. This phase is exponentially larger than the previous phase, as it lasts from 5 years to 100 years of their life.

Adult dragons are the ones you will typically encounter. They come in many shapes and forms, yet one thing is common amongst them all. They are all considered huge creatures, a truly terrifying or sublime sight. Seeing how dragons continue to grow throughout their lives, they can get pretty big. This phase lasts 100 to 800 years.

Ancient dragons are the rarest kind. Most dragons do not make it this far, but those that do have their stature to show for it. Gargantuan creatures by any account, the only thing that surpasses their size is their experiences. Living from 800 years up to 2000 years as some sources claim. Although once a dragon reaches 1200 years it can be considered in its twilight years. Everything after that is borrowed time.

Now, let us take a closer look at these creatures.

An Examination on Dragons

The Monster Manual describes these beasts as such.

“True dragons are winged reptiles of ancient lineage and fearsome power. They are known and feared for their predatory cunning and greed, with the oldest dragons accounted as some of the most powerful creatures in the world. Dragons are also magical creatures whose innate powers fuels their dreaded breath weapons and other preternatural abilities.
Many creatures, including wyverns and dragon turtles, have draconic blood. However, true dragons fall into the two broad categories of chromatic and metallic dragons…”

As we can see, there are a few points to note here.
The Monster Manual does an excellent job at explaining what dragons are in basic, now let’s look at their particular elements.

As was said above, they belong to the reptile family; while also sharing a few relatives. Yet for the true dragons, there are certain things common.

Chromatic Dragons

These are the dragons that you will mostly encounter. They are the stereotypical dragons, with carrying degrees of complexities between them. Their temper and character most often changing based on the biome they inhabit.

They are conniving, vain, pernicious beasts. Their only goal is to hoard wealth and power to themselves. The ways they go about this are different. While the Red Dragons prefer to keep to their lairs and protect their treasures to the bitter end. The Green Dragons of the forest prefer to manipulate and trick their way into increasing their wealth and power.

Metallic Dragons

These are the other most common types of dragons you will encounter. Their temperament and characters are different from the chromatic dragons. Whereas the chromatic dragons preferred to stick to themselves and fuel their vanity – metallic dragons usually do the opposite.

It isn’t uncommon to see metallic dragons aiding other creatures, depending on their temperament that is. Certain metallic dragons are excited whenever a war is going on and willingly go on to serve a side in the conflict. Other dragons appreciate the good nature of certain creatures and help them in their adventures.
The most powerful and notable of these dragons is the Golden Dragon. A truly magnificent sight to behold, shimmering brightly in the light while also being a gargantuan killing machine.

That basically covers Dragons in DnD 5e. This article is a bit less technical than others, but that’s alright; it helps with further fleshing out and explaining the world of Dungeons and Dragons to beginners.

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