Baldur's Gate Wiki

Shadow Dragon Breath is an innate ability available to Shadow Dragons in the game saga. This innate ability is initiated via internal creature scripting during combat. The purpose of the spell is to apply Level drain to a single target, although the blast has an area of effect and could expose others in the blast radius.


The ability is uninterruptible and takes almost no time to deploy. The scripted targeting will fire at a single target which is typically within the creature's sight detection range. A projectile fires, and then a hit animation plays over the target. The breath weapon has an area of effect as well. Any creatures within it are subject to the breath effects.

When a dragon deploys a Shadow Dragon Breath blast, a lighting effect is applied to the targeted creature (the aqua SHEARTH BAM, similar to what happens if struck by a vampire) as well as a sound effect. The innate ability will apply two simultaneous level drain effects. The first drains 4-levels of experience. The second drains 2-levels. Only the second attack has a saving throw vs. breath to negate. The breath weapon also blinds the target for 1 round (no save). A text display on the combat screen will indicate a text string message "blinded". Another one will display "Four levels drained". If the saving throw vs. breath is missed, another text will display "Two levels drained".

As the dragon breath attack is schoolless and all the internal effects have power level 0, they cannot be blocked by spell protections such as Globe of Invulnerability or Spell Deflection. The breath is unaffected by magic resistance as well.


  • Any form of protection from level drain will stop the main disabling danger of the breath weapon. It is much more difficult to prevent the blindness effect, but it only lasts one round.
  • As this dragon breath blast ability is directed at a single target, a Reflected Image or Mirror Image illusion may help with protection/decoy capability - but not in the BG2EE game versions. As most dragons can see invisible creatures by script, you can't rely on that to stop being targetable, even with Improved Invisibility.
Note: The breath weapon has a "secondary type" classification as a "Magic Attack". The 5th level Wizard Spell Spell Shield "may" block this breath attack and then be consumed. However, reports show that this is inconsistently applied in the game, as other aspects of this spell are currently bugged as well, in some cases. It might work to protect against one instance of this breath attack in your game, or it may block all instances of the attack. Sword Coast Stratagems and Spell Revisions mods fix this issue.

Mod content[]

The Sword Coast Stratagems and Spell Revisions mods revised SPIN893 and it is now a Generalist Mage school spell effect with no secondary type - this allows the breath weapon to bypass Spell Immunity categories and also items that protect against "Magic Attack" or "Offensive Damage" protections, such as Spell Shield or the Cloak of Mirroring.