Tiamat, a name that can strike terror into the hearts of D&D players everywhere, belonging to what many consider to be the ultimate D&D boss monster. What’s cooler than fighting a god? Fighting a five-headed dragon god of course. An intelligent, scheming dragon can be a fearsome enough foe all by itself, but if you’re looking to add some real spice to a campaign, you could do much worse than introducing your party to Tiamat 5e, god of evil chromatic dragons, and a very dangerous, real bad egg.
In current D&D lore, Tiamat resides in the Forgotten Realms setting, where she’s usually trapped on the infernal plane of Avernus in The Nine Hells, for… fairly unclear reasons, possibly involving pissing off some giants. But while Tiamat 5e is part of the pantheon of default D&D gods in the latest edition of the game, she’s been a part of Dungeons and Dragons since the early years, getting her start in the first DnD setting of Greyhawk.
Tiamat has many names: some know her as The Dragon Queen, others as The Chromatic Dragon. One thing that’s clear though – she’s well and truly earned the ‘The’ that appears before most of her titles.
If you’re looking to use Tiamat in a campaign, either as a shadowy patron pulling the strings in the background, or as an incredibly strong monster (we hope your players have reached a very high level), you’ve come to the right place. And if you just want to know more about this neat-looking dragon queen, that works too.
Who is D&D Tiamat 5e?
D&D Tiamat usually appears as a large D&D dragon with five heads, one for each of the common types of chromatic dragon (red, white, black, green, and blue). That’s the image that pops into most people’s head when they think ‘Tiamat’, but it’s said that the dragon god can appear in many aspects and forms, including showing up as a dracolich or even a human.
Throughout D&D history, Tiamat’s status as a god has not been uncontested. In 5e, she’s described as a deity in the DM’s guide, but some prefer to think of her as an immensely powerful, magic dragon that’s become worshipped as a god. We say: What’s the difference?
Tiamat 5e is a goddess of wealth, greed, and vengeance, which hopefully gives you some idea of her personality. She’s not the forgiving type, always power-hungry, and has the lawful evil alignment. Whether she’s trying to escape Avernus, get revenge on her many enemies, or take over the DnD multiverse, you can be sure she’ll be causing a raucous and getting up to no good.
Tiamat is worshipped by and the ruler of chromatic dragonkind – chances are the red, black, green, white, and blue dragons you’ll fight in D&D hold her in high regard. One of her main rivals is her counterpart and brother Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, who’s in charge of the good metallic dragons.
D&D Tiamat 5e abilities
What can Tiamat actually do? Well, it all depends what books you’re using. Many players and Tiamat 5e fans think the 5th edition stat blocks released for Tiamat are fairly underwhelming, but both the Tiamat monster in The Rise of Tiamat module and the Aspect of Tiamat in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons have the maximum Challenge Rating of 30, on par with other ultimate DnD monsters like the Tarrasque. You’ll either need a max level DnD party or have some other way to stack the deck in your favour in order to take her down.
The version of 5e Tiamat you decide to use in your campaign will determine what abilities she has. The Aspect version from Treasury of Dragons is weaker at first, but the first time you ‘kill’ her, her Chromatic Wrath ability gives her 500 HP, and unlocks two mythic actions that are pretty devastating. The first of these is an 8d10 attack, Hurl Through Avernus, which literally banishes a player to hell for a turn, and the second, Chromatic Flare, is a 60-ft radius area attack dealing 6d12 damage, that can be acid, lightning, cold, fire, or poison.
The more classical take on Tiamat from the Rise of Tiamat adventure is no slouch either. She regenerates 30 HP a turn, has limited magic immunity, and can use five different breath weapons as legendary actions, and can use five legendary actions between each of her turns.
D&D Tiamat 5e adventures
If you want a D&D adventure featuring 5e Tiamat, your best bets are the 2014 modules Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat, which revolve around the attempts of an undead-dragon-loving cult, the Cult of the Dragon, to free Tiamat from the nine hells. It’s a module targeted squarely at DnD dragon fans, as along with The Dragon Queen herself, there are plenty of draconic threats to face.
These second of these two modules, Rise of Tiamat, follows on from the first. Together they should take characters through a campaign all the way from Level 1 to Level 15. The adventures were re-released in 2019 in one Tyranny of Dragons book, which made a bunch of tweaks to the modules.