12 Blue Dragon Lair Features

A blue dragon’s lair is rarely nothing more than a cave stuffed full of treasure. Blue dragons are wily, cunning and in-tune with the surrounding environment. Their lairs reflect their intrinsic connection with the desert.


Use the table below, to add major features of interest to the blue dragon’s lair. Such features are both flavoursome and things for the PCs to interact with as they explore the lair.

  1. A deep drift of fine, shifting sand fills the area. Blown here by the wind—or perhaps placed by the cunning dragon—the sand swirls and billows about when a strong wind—such as that caused by the beating of mighty wings—sweeps through the area.
  2. A small subterranean stream flows beneath this area, creating a weak spot in the floor. PCs weighing more than 80 lbs. walking on the unstable section cause it to collapse into a 10-foot deep crevice running across the chamber. Unfortunately, quicksand fills the hole. 
  3. Rippled dunes of sand fill the passageway, blocking line of sight. Cunning PCs can use the dunes as cover to get deeper into the lair. The wind has effaced all tracks of previous explorers (or lair occupants) although here and there white bones emerge from the sand. 
  4. A deep, sand-filled crevasse splits this area in two. The fissure appears to be only 20-foot deep but is filled with soft sand to a depth of 30-foot. Characters falling into the sand sink slowly to the bottom. (Alternatively, the dragon—or its servitors—could lurk below the sand; they wait for the PCs to pass by before emerging to attack intruders from behind.)
  5. A series of hidden sinkholes lurk beneath the sand, ready to entomb explorers. Characters walking across a sinkhole cause it to collapse into a sandy pit. Even worse, sand continues to flow into the sinkhole from the surrounds for 1d6 rounds (potentially suffocating a victim caught within). 
  6. A forest of strange, albino cactuses grows throughout this area. Some are as large as small trees; all have prickly, thorny growths.
  7. A veritable swarm of scorpions dwells here. Their tracks are easily visible in the sand, and—curiously—the dragon hasn’t killed or driven forth this vermin. (The dragon uses the scorpions as an intruder alarm and even encourages their numbers to grow by dumping the occasional corpse in the area for them to feed upon). The bones of several creatures festoon the area. 
  8. A high drift of sand lies piled up against one wall. The drift obscures the entrance to a passageway or chamber beyond. (The dragon simply burrows through the sand). Perceptive PCs may find the placement of the sand odd—the rest of the area is not similarly buried in sand). 
  9. Sections of the wall and ceiling throughout the lair are blackened, scorched and even melted—hinting at the awesome power of the dragon’s lightning breath.  In some places, where the ceiling bears scorch marks, it has collapsed dumping piles of rubble onto the floor. Beneath some such piles may lie the crushed, broken remains of those who sought to slay the dragon. 
  10. A large colony of bats—tolerated by the dragon as a natural early-warning system—lairs on the ceiling. If disturbed, they swarm before fleeing the light source; they fly toward the lair exit or some deeper recess of the cave; they do not fly toward the dragon’s inner sanctum. 
  11. A dense field of rubble and boulders covers the floor. Placed here deliberately by the dragon to make exploration by land-bounded creatures harder, some of the stones shift alarmingly underfoot. PCs wise in the ways of caves can determine the rubble came from the ceiling; a close examination of the ceiling reveals deep claw marks suggesting the rockfall is not natural. 
  12. A wide, deep pool blocks further progress. A few flat stones jut from the water providing a precarious set of stepping stones. Several underground springs feed the pool, which never runs dry. The dragon enjoys bathing in the pool, and signs of something large emerging from the water are easily visible in the surrounding soft sand.

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This article appears in 20 Things #31: Blue Dragon Lair. Members of our Patreon campaign got 20 Things #31: Blue Dragon Lair completely free as a thank you for their awesome support. Join today!

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