A chimera (pronounced: /kˈmɛərrəky-MAIR-ruh[7] or: /ˈkɪmʌrʌKIM-u-ru[8] about this audio file listen or: /kɪmˈrʌkim-AYR-u[8] about this audio file listen or: /ɪmˈrʌchim-AYR-u[8] about this audio file listen or: /ˈɪmʌrʌCHIM-u-ru[8] about this audio file listen; plchimerae[5][6] orchimeras[1][3]) was a large magical beast that was a combination of several different creatures, namely a dragon, a goat, and a lion. Although typically unintelligent, chimeras were self-aware creatures, with a limited capacity for language, often Draconic.[3]

Description[edit | edit source]

A chimera had the hindquarters of a goat, the forequarters of a lion, and a set of dragon wings. Additionally, a chimera had three heads, that of a horned goat, a lion, and a dragon.[3][2] This head typically resembled a red dragon, though it was not unlikely to find ones with heads resembling other species of chromatic dragon.[2]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

All chimeras had access to an array of various abilities. Each of the heads was capable of a unique attack, but the most dangerous by far was the dragon breath of the chimera's draconic head. The exact attack varied from one individual to another, as in dragons, with the type varying based on color. For instance, a chimera with a white dragon head would cast a breath of cold air, while one with a red dragon head would bellow forth scorching flames.[9]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

A group of adventurers battling a chimera.

Chimeras were not very intelligent creatures.[2] Their dragon-like natures often led them to attack intelligent beings for their treasure and to live solitary existences in caves, though some took after the lion and lived in prides.[5]

A chimera did not usually perceive humans as a threat, but would normally attack the easiest source of food, and would leave humans alone if an easier source was available. They would not hesitate to withdraw from combat if they became injured, and would not seek vengeance later. A chimera preferred to attack by swooping from the sky, attacking with its claws and its jaws, but they would also charge along the ground, leading with their lion head. Once entered into combat, they would use their dragon head to defend against attackers while their lion head will attempt to grasp its victim's neck in their jaws and snap it. It was not wholly uncommon for the goat head to sleep throughout the entire battle.[10]

Species[edit | edit source]

Other than variants based around which type of dragon a chimera imitated, there were other species of chimera to consider:

Dracimera
A Hybrid of an evil Dragon and a Chimera. While there are wild Dracimeras, some where purposefully breed by the Cult of the Dragon.[11]
Gorgimera
The gorgimera was a variant of the chimera, with the hindquarters and third head, of a gorgon instead of a goat. A gorgimera's gorgon head likewise had their respective breath weapon.[12]
Cormanthor chimerae
The chimerae in Cormanthor were nomadic rather than territorial, and as a result, had a beneficial impact upon the ecology, choosing to prey on weakened or sick animals all over the forest.[citation needed]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Chimeras were typically seen in groups of two or three.[2]

Mating usually occurred annually in late spring, with the females being extremely reluctant to perform the act, and even attempting to hide. They typically struggled against the more powerful males, breathing fire from the dragon head. The pregnancy would last around a year, with the average birth consisting of six offspring, which she would abandon after only a few days.[10] The excess milk produced by the female chimera after abandoning its offspring would be released while she slept. It was a thick, black liquid, which acted as an intoxicant for orcs and could be highly prized.[10]

Diet[edit | edit source]

Chimeras were an omnivorous species. They primarily ate meat and would resort to a herbivorous diet whenever prey became scarce of non-existent.[5]

Lairs[edit | edit source]

Due to the draconish part of their nature,[5] chimeras often made their lairs within caves.[2][5] They often decorated these with the bones and belongings of their prey.[2] Their hoards tended to consist primarily of copper and silver coins, with the occasional bits of jewelry and magical items.[5]

Habitats[edit | edit source]

Chimeras were very adaptable creatures, able to thrive in most climates.[2] Though they were most often found in hilly regions with a temperate climate.[3]

Languages[edit | edit source]

Chimeras were capable of understanding both Common and Draconic[2][3] though they could not speak them.[1]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Some intelligent creatures were known to train chimeras, using them as pets, guardians, or even mounts. They were sometimes found to be in the company of azers and hill giants.[2]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Card Games
Novels
Video Games

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  7. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  9. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “Cormanthor”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  11. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  12. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 70. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
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