A chimera in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons combines the most terrifying traits of the creatures that comprise its form to make it a being destined for evil. What if you flipped that around? An entity that exemplifies the best ideals of its component creatures becomes a golden chimera. The lion is still proud, but rather than being a ruthless hunter for prey it hunts evil with fierce skill and deadly precision. The dragon aspect is drawn from a metallic variety, hoarding knowledge and wisdom to share and exchange with others rather than greedily gathering gold and treasure. The majestic eagle head gives the creature not only more hunting skill but a sense of honor and duty.
A chimera exemplifies the best monster qualities
We first came up with the idea for the golden chimera in a video years ago, which inspired an artist from the Nerdarchy community to create a fantastic piece of art they sent to us. When we got down to the business of creating a product around this monster we envisioned a collection of good aligned creatures. During development we realized the importance of including more than just a stat block and a few paragraphs of lore for each good monster inside. Along with those vital portions we added a scaled skill check as a way for Dungeon Masters to introduce these creatures and provide characters a way to engage with the lore. In addition we came up with several ways to incorporate each one into your 5E D&D games. Below you’ll find the entry for the golden chimera. Inside Bestiary of Benevolent Monsters you’ll also discover the Arisen Golden Chimera. This version is much more intelligent and possesses spellcasting capabilities too. If this sort of resource sounds useful for you, check out Bestiary of Benevolent Monsters here.
The golden chimera soars on high and looks down at the people below to watch their daily lives. These virtuous creatures are ready to help when the needs are dire, but they do not interfere in day to day affairs. Some golden chimera have adopted, either knowingly or not, a town or small city, discouraging evil creatures from the area.
Weakened and licking its wounds, the three-headed beast perks up at the sound of movement.
After being cast out by the maker, the golden chimera did not look forward to another meeting with humanoids.
Still recovering from the fall from being cast out of the tower, they were able to survive. It crawled into this cave, infrequently feeding on the small, fluff covered beings that roam nearby.
Over the past few weeks, the creature must have garnered some unwanted attention. While killing in cold blood was distasteful to the golden chimera, they will not hesitate to defend themselves. No longer will they be a tool of destruction.
Large monstrosity, neutral good
Armor Class 14 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 161 (17d10 + 68)
Speed 30 ft., fly 80 ft.
STR: 19 (+4)
DEX: 13 (+1)
CON: 19 (+4)
INT: 4 (-4)
WIS: 14 (+2)
CHA: 12 (+1)
Skills Perception +5, Insight +5
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 15
Languages Understands Draconic but can’t speak it
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
Keen Sight. The golden chimera has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Multiattack. The golden chimera makes four attacks: two with its bite from the lion and dragon heads, one with its beak, and one with its claws. When its divine breath is available, it can that in place of one bite.
Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) slashing damage.
Focused Fury (Recharge 4–6). The golden chimera makes a multiattack against a single target to devastating effect. Each attack does an addition 5 (1d10) damage.
Divine Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon head exhales radiant energy in a 20 ft. cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 40 (9d8) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Bellow. All three heads unleash a powerful and terrifying roar at the same time. It can be heard up to 300 feet away. All creatures the chimera’s chooses within 90 feet who can hear must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the golden chimera’s roar for the next 24 hours.
DC 5 A chimera is a terribly vicious creature and very territorial
DC 10 A chimera eats the flesh of other creatures and hoards its valuable belongings in a lair, reminiscent of its dragon aspect
DC 15 There are some chimera that are not like the others and are potentially good
DC 20 The golden chimera are beings of goodness who are aid others and are keepers of lore.
DC 25 The golden chimera is the opposite of the chimera. While the chimera exhibits the worst part of each of creature that makes it up, the golden chimera exemplifies only the best features.
Using the golden chimera in your game
Trick of the Dark. This is a great one for the party that doesn’t carry a light source and relies only on darkvision, seeing in black and white. They won’t see a gold dragon head, just a dragon head. The golden chimera, despite being a creature of lore, magic and goodness looks not so far removed from the monstrosity that inspired it. An encounter with one could go several different ways depending on how the party approaches the creature. If met with weapons drawn it might attack the party or speak, saying it will slay the evil that has come to its lands. If the party does not catch on that this is a good creature and proceed in an aggressive manner, normal combat will ensue. The golden chimera will not fight to the death but instead flee, by flight, when below half its hit point total.
Mine, Mine, Mine. The golden chimera is threatened by a foe that is beyond its means to deal with, which has taken the chimera’s hoard. After seeing the exploits of the party from afar, it comes seeking their aid and implores them to get the treasure back. It does not offer payment in treasure, although it possesses knowledge to share in exchange for help. After the adventurers defeat the thief, the chimera attacks if the entire treasure hoard is not returned in full.
Staying Alive. The party comes across a wounded golden chimera, possibly near death but certainly in need of healing. Characters might recognize the creature for what it is and seek to help, but discover it is cursed and healing magic does not work. The chimera suffers from a zombie curse. A character who succeeds on a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) checks can stabilize the golden chimera’s condition. Checks can be made once each day, and the DC increases by one every 24 hours. If a check fails, the chimera dies and reanimates as a zombie in 1d4 rounds with the following adjustments: +1 Strength, +2 Constitution, -6 Intelligence, -4 Wisdom, -4 Charisma. It gains the Undead Fortitude trait, gaining immunity to poison damage, immunity to being poisoned, darkvision 60 ft., and loses the ability to speak but understands the languages it knew in life. The golden chimera is grateful for the aid, and tells the party of the woe that has befallen it, worried its attackers will come back to cause further harm to itself and the area it protects. The party can defend the golden chimera from the onslaught of creatures intent on destroying it.
What’s Mine is Mine. The golden chimera appears roaring as it smells a piece of its hoard upon one of the characters. How they acquired the item, and if they are willing to return it to the golden chimera, requires some negotiation.
Can’t get enough chimera in your 5E D&D games? Check out The D&D Chimera — Randomized! and create your own crazy chimeric combinations and add Bestiary of Benevolvent Monsters to your D&D collection with 30 new creatures along with plot hooks and lore here.