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Version 0.29: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

This article covers the player species. For the monster, see Draconian (monster). For a list of all monstrous draconians, see List of draconians.

Draconians are human-dragon hybrids: humanoid in form and approximately human-sized, with wings, tails and scaly skins. Draconians start out in an immature form with brown scales, but as they grow in power they take on a variety of colours. This happens at an early stage in their career, and the colour is determined by chromosomes, not by behaviour.

Most types of Draconians have breath weapons or special resistances.Draconians cannot wear body armour and advance very slowly in levels, but are reasonably good at all skills other than missile weapons, and they develop natural physical defenses that compensate for the lack of body armour, without needing to train their Armour skill at all. Still, each colour has its own strengths and some have complementary weaknesses, which sometimes requires a bit of flexibility on the part of the player. They are good general-purpose spellcasters, and typically their spellcasting aptitudes will adapt slightly when they gain a colour.

Innate Abilities

Draconians have a base Strength of 10, Intelligence of 8 and Dexterity of 6 (before Background modifiers).

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • Mature color is attained at level 7 (changing aptitudes and intrinsic characteristics). See below for more detail. Some colors get another bonus at Level 14.
  • +1 to a random stat every 4th level.
  • 10% more HP than average.
  • Average MP.
  • +3 willpower per level (+6 for purple Draconians).
  • +1 AC every 3rd level as scales continue to harden.

Difficulty of Play


Draconians are a relatively easy race to play, due to their useful intrinsic characteristics and above average HP. Although they cannot wear body armour, they start with +4 AC, and get an additional +1 AC every third level - for a total of +13 AC at level 27. As they have natural armour, they make good spellcasters and Hunters. Most Draconians receive breath attacks at level 7, which provide a powerful ranged option early in the game. Or, in the case of Pale Draconians, the ability to block line of sight with steam (very desirable, as monsters won't be able to see or attack you).

Draconian aptitudes are average or above average across the board, meaning that they can do well in most backgrounds, although they tend to do particularly well as backgrounds that start with a book. Certain colours will receive a somewhat poor aptitude (-2) to one elemental school; in most cases, this does not majorly affect game play.

Draconians are cold-blooded, which means that cold-based attacks can give them the slow status. Having at least one pip of cold protection (rC) will protect you from this effect.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour N/A Spellcasting -1
Short Blades 0 Dodging -1 Conjurations 0
Long Blades 0 Stealth 0 Hexes -1
Maces & Flails 0 Shields 0 Summonings 0
Axes 0 Necromancy 0
Polearms 0 Invocations 1 Translocations 0
Staves 0 Evocations 0 Transmutations 0
Unarmed Combat 0
Experience -1 Fire Magic 0
Throwing -1 Ice Magic 0
Ranged Weapons -1 Air Magic 0
Earth Magic 0
Poison Magic 0


Draconians start at an immature brown with no special abilities, and reach their mature color at level 7. They receive a breath attack, resistances, and an adjustment to their aptitudes which will retroactively adjust their skill levels.


Red Draconians feel at home in fiery surroundings. They are bad with ice magic but very proficient with fire. Their scorchingly hot breath will leave a lingering cloud of flame.
  • Skills: +2 Fire Magic, -2 Ice Magic
  • Resists: rF+
  • Breath: A bolt of flame that leaves a cloud of flame at the end of its range. (Can be aimed at the ground with [.])


White Draconians stem from frost-bitten lands, and are naturally resistant to frost. Their breath is piercing cold. They are versed in ice magic, but bad at fire.
  • Skills: +2 Ice Magic, -2 Fire Magic
  • Resists: rC+ (negates effects of being cold-blooded)
  • Breath: A bolt of frost that knocks back flying monsters.


Green Draconians are used to venomous surroundings and breathe clouds of mephitic vapours. They are especially good in the arts of poison and without deficiencies in other magic realms. Later on, they will develop a poisonous stinger.


Yellow Draconians have a sulphurous breath full of corrosive acid, and later gain an acidic bite attack. They are acid resistant, too.
  • Resists: rCorr
  • Breath: A corrosive acidic glob that can splash onto adjacent enemies.
  • Melee: Gains acidic saliva at level 14.


Grey Draconians have no breath weapon, but their bodies are adapted to the water, allowing them to swim. They are proficient with earth magic but bad with air magic, and they also have harder scales than other Draconians.
  • Skills: +2 Earth Magic, -2 Air Magic
  • Resists: Immediate +5 to AC.
  • Movement: Amphibious (Can enter deep water and will ignore movement and evasion penalties from water.)


Black Draconians can unleash huge electrical discharges, and are naturally insulated. They are good at air magic but feel cumbersome with earth magic. Their wings will eventually grow larger, which allows them to fly continuously when combined with their natural skill with air magic.
  • Skills: +2 Air Magic, -2 Earth Magic
  • Resists: rElec
  • Breath: Wild explosions of lightning, mixing lightning bolts and orbs (powerful but uncontrollable).
  • Movement: Gains big wings at level 14.


Purple Draconians are highly adapted to all spellcasting in general, and to hexes in particular. They are a bit better at evoking things than most other Draconians. They can breathe dispelling energy which strips those it hits of their enchantments, and are naturally stronger-willed than other draconians.


Pale Draconians are better at air and fire magic, and have no deficiencies in other schools. They breathe steam and, like their Purple cousins, have a slight advantage at Evocations.
  • Skills: +1 Fire Magic, +1 Air Magic, +1 Evocations
  • Resists: rSteam
  • Breath: Steam clouds, which do little damage but block LOS.


Draconians are a versatile species, but perhaps they excel most as backgrounds that start spells, as their good HP, innate AC, and (for most) breath attack all combine to give a high level of survivability, along with good all around aptitudes. Thus Conjurer, Summoner, and Hedge Wizard are strong starts with Draconians, as are all of the elementalist backgrounds. Even some of the backgrounds that are "not recommended," such as Hunter, Warper, and Brigand, actually play quite well for Draconians.


  • Prior to 0.27, draconians' did not have innate GDR, as it was tied to a player's body armour. Also, grey Draconians were unbreathing, resistant to certain clouds and asphyxiation.
  • Prior to the Charms school's removal in 0.26, purple draconians were particularly skilled with Charms compared to other draconians.
  • Prior to 0.20, players could also become mottled draconians, which could breathe Sticky Flames and learned Fire Magic slightly quicker. Additionally, all mature draconian player ghosts had a negative energy breath weapon, making them even more dangerous opponents.
  • As of 0.12, all draconians are considered cold-blooded.
  • Prior to 0.11, grey draconians were elementally neutral, receiving bonuses to Stealth and Stabbing in place of the Earth Magic boost, and they did not gain the +5 bonus to AC. Yellow draconians only had rAcid (not rCorr).
  • Prior to 0.10, draconians had access to any body armour that could fit large species, but could not wear boots or gloves.
  • Prior to 0.7, grey draconians got better stats to make up for their lack of a breath attack.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianPalentongaTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMeteoranMummy