A Chromatic Dragon is a variety of dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. They are the evil-aligned counterparts to the metallic dragons. The 4th Editon Draconomicon raised the browns, grays, and purples to chromatic dragon status.
The evil and greedy chromatic dragons lurk in the dim dungeons and remote lairs guarding fabulous hoards of stolen treasure. From the savage white dragon to the mighty red dragon, the breath of a chromatic dragon brings nothing but death and destruction to those adventurers who seek to claim their gold.
- Also called skull dragons (due to the general shape of their heads) and swamp dragons, black dragons are perhaps the most malicious chromatics. Reds might have have greater tempers, greens more ambition to deceive and control, but few other dragons share the cruelty of black dragons. Black dragons hunt not merely to survive or to protect their territory, but also for the sheer joy of causing pain.
- Blue dragons, also know as storm dragons, are among the most vain and prideful of an arrogant race. They take great pleasure in wielding their power, engaging in combat or lording over humanoids and other lesser creatures to prove that they can do so, rather than out of any real desire for results. A blue dragon might forgive insults, but it reacts with rage to any insinuation that it is weak or inferior.
- Brown dragons revel in the comfort of sand-covered lairs filled with treasure they have filched from desert tombs. Browns also like exotic live food kidnapped from far lands.
- In some ways, gray dragons are the most enigmatic of all chromatics. Lacking in distinctive hue, they are hunters on stony borderlands, forever soaring in the sky's embrace. Also called fang dragons (for their ferocity), stone dragons (for their ability to petrify victims), and spike dragons (for their detachable spikes), these beasts share the worst qualities of other chromatic dragons.
- Few dragons are as utterly reviled among humanoids as green dragons, known also as forest dragons. Although green dragons might not be as powerful or as destructive as some of their kin, they are innately and instinctively deceptive.
- Purple dragons, also known as deep dragons, are possibly the least well known of the chromatic dragon family. Most surface creatures have no knowledge of the existence of purple dragons. Many of those who have heard of purple dragons dismiss such stories as myth or misconception. After all, in the darkness below the earth, who can say whether a dragon's scales are purple or black?
- When legends, fairy tales, and fables speak of dragons without specifying a color—when they tell of kingdoms laid wastes, virtuous maidens sacrificed, and valiant heroes sent home as charred corpses—odds are that they speak of the mighty red dragons. Also called flame dragons, fire wyrms, and mountain dragons,these horrific beasts epitomize the iconic dragon traits.
- White dragons—also called ice dragons or glacial wyrms—have a reputation as dull, stupid creatures. They do not deserve it. Although white dragons are remarkably bestial, they are as intelligent as other chromatic dragons.