What to do about Dragons…Part 1

Dragons

 

 

Here’s the thing. As a fan of fantasy gaming, literature, RPGs, etc., I have  a love that runs quite deep for one monstrous creature above all others. a love of , what I see as,  some of the greatest creatures to ever grace the page. Dragons.

More over, as a GM, I also have a love of watching people play. I watch on Twitch. I watch on YouTube.  And I got to tell you, there are a lot great games out there that I wait impatiently for the next episode. You play a fantastic story and are strong in the knowledge of creatures, arc, and everything it takes to be a great DM.

Still, there are others you who, while I wont go as far as to say that you are playing my favorite monsters wrong, but I will say are missing some opportunities.

Why is this? Why would someone play such an intelligent and powerful creature as just another boss in some hack and slash game? I don’t think its their fault. I think you simply don.t have enough of an idea of the true power that is the dragon.

So here’s what I’m going to do for you. I’m going to write a short series of articles about some of my favorite dragons. Give you all the information that I can find on them. And then, set you loose t bring awe and terror back to the dragons of your setting.

First, lets get something straight. Dragons are an ancient race. In some worlds they were the first of the created. In others they are alien invaders from a different plane. And in still others, they are the very gods themselves.

Point being, the dragon bloodline goes back a very very long way.

When you’re first starting out at low levels, I don’t advise you tring to use dragons in your adventures. However, if you’re going to try, the only dragon you’re going to be safe in dealing with are Wyrmlings. These are the babies, fresh out of the egg. They are also sometimes referred to as Hatchlings.

As you move on to higher levels, you can start mixing in Dragons of higher levels. Ancient Wyrms I would hold off until the higher levels, as they shouldn’t be handled by anything but the most powerful of heroes.

(Most Fantasy games separate the dragon stats not only by species, but also by age. The Wyrmlings being the lowest and progressing through Young, Young Adult, Adult, Old, Ancient, etc. Or some kind of variation on this aging scale)

Another way that these species are by type. Generally this falls along the lines of the Chromatic (Blue, Red , White, Green, and Black) and the Metallic Dragons (Gold, Silver, Brass, Copper, etc.)

Now, here’s where my view pulls away from the more traditional. In my mind, Dragons are some of the most intelligent creatures in existence. Certainly, at the very least, as intelligent as the Humans. So, why is it that they are portrayed as only being capable of having the aligment that matches their own color coding?

Yes, I agree that most Red Dragons are going to be evil. However, does that mean that there is no chance of having a saintly Red that takes care of those who are weaker or in need? Is it against all believability that he could be a hero? A beloved ruler?

A lot of people would say yes. but I disagree. I think that you can, while having your majority stick to the stereotype, have individuals that rise above, or sink below, the expectations set by their stat block in the Monster Manual.

But even if you want to stick to the to standards that are set by the alignment, they are still played incorrectly. They are, usually treated as big dumb beasts who sit atop their gigantic hoard, all by themselves, in a cave, that has no traps and is too small for them to extend their wings.

Really? Its no wonder that most parties beat dragons in the course of a few rounds. The DM has taken almost all their advantages away

Some folks like to have dragons as more of pets. The dragon sitting by the ruler’s throne, or the mount for some hero. I have no issue with this, per se. What I do hate is when they are made to look subservient to these lesser beings.

Instead, why not have them serving as the Vizier to the ruler. Or perhaps they are the Adventuring companion to the hero and fight as a partnership.

Well, I hope I got you to thinking. I will have more information on things like this and even more when I talk about the individual dragon types in future articles. And if I miss anything, or you don’t agree. Please leave comments and let me know

 

Have a great one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “What to do about Dragons…Part 1

  1. This is great! I’m actually working on a setting with an evil silver dragon emperor and a benevolent blue dragon who’s head of a vast merchant guild.

    Like

  2. While the dragons in my main group are deities in themselves (there’s only four, five if you count their father/creator), I do think that you can very much make a dragon a worthwhile and oftentimes memorable character. My players adore the fire dragon Mecadiah for a rather funny incident revolving around the party Monk.
    Good article!

    Like

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