A Dungeon That IS A Dragon?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, I was thinking about Shadow of The Colossus, as I often do, and thinking about DnD, which I do all the damn time, and I thought, "why not both?"

So, has anyone ever used a dragon so immense and ancient that it can be an entire environment? If so, how did you do it?

Related question, have you ever used custom rules for house sized or larger monsters for climbing around on a creature a la Shadow of The Colossus? Do you find the 5e skills up to the task?
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
Not quite a dungeon, but...

I once used a dragon as an enemy in an encounter and the site of the encounter. It, and the players, were flying/falling through a cavern in the underdark as they fought.

I had Con saves every round versus a level of exhaustion to “hang on” to the dragon’s body during the combat. I used the climb speed thing to govern movement.

I think the players ended up putting spider climb on the dwarf fighter and having him take a pick to the dragon’s throat round after round while the rest did what they could to draw attacks away from the dwarf or otherwise protect him.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Interesting stuff!

I may actually do a one shot soon in a friends campaign that is a flash back to the time the Terrasque showed up, and have them fight the monster as an environment.
 

Guang

Explorer
There was the old Golden Axe video game (also not quite a dungeon ;) )
In it, there was a shortcut you could take across the back of a miles-long eagle. I remember staring at the skin/ground as a kid in fascinated disgust once it was revealed what you were really walking across. I think there was a giant turtle with a village on its back too.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Actually, yes, I have.

Back in the early 90s (so 2e) the players fought an ancient wyrm of crazy big perportions. (yes, that's the technical term for its size category)
They finally slew it via a Flesh to Stone effect.
It's petrified carcass was left lying where it fell. I marked its location on the map, make a note of what it is, & that was that. Play moved on to other campaigns, other game systems, & that group of players faded away - college, jobs, military, etc....

Fast forward to several years ago (and about 1k of game time).
Now we have dragon-blooded sorcerers & Dragonborn & things in the game. And one of that original group of players is back in the area & we're playing D&D again.
So I used this "landmark" on my map as a holy site for Dragon related characters/NPCs, Cult of the Dragon, etc.
He sees its location on the map week after week & despite it being vaguely referenced a few times in play never puts it together that that's the crazy big dragon he helped kill 20-some years ago.
Last summer the party came into direct conflict with the Dragon Cult and took the fight to them.

Trekking through the wastes the party comes to this rocky ridge line with one end that resembles a colossal dragons head with a shrine on top of it.
The players figure that the shrine is the goal. (kinda....)
This:
Dragons Head ridge + shrine.jpg

The little silver guys are 15mm WWII figures in scale with the fountain/shrine on top & by default the dragon skull & representing the PCs
The "dragon" skull is a stone crocodile head/cave from a Schleich jungle animal playset.
The fountain is a 15mm scale Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain piece of WWII terrain.


The "shrine" is supposed to be representing my LoTR Weathertop model. But I don't have a model of that small enough. So the my 15mm version of the Russian Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain had to sub. So this:
B. Fountain.jpg

Is representing this:
D&D scale Weathertop.jpg

:)


It wasn't until the party had climbed to the temple & I sketched the rest of the vaguely dragon shaped ridge line that the player realizes what he's seeing. :)
Then they found the stairs leading down into the dragons head & the dungeon below.
The "dungeon" was inside the petrified remains of an ancient dragon.
It was inspired by this:
DUNGEON.jpg

wich is a T-shirt from GenCon wich no longer fits
The party entered from the top, down through a passage in the dragons head, fought their way though Dragonborn cultists etc to the end, & then out the dragons petrified rear on ground lv.
They could've done it the other way around, but nobody thought to look for the secret entrance.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
They could've done it the other way around, but nobody thought to look for the secret entrance.
Can't blame them. Good thing it was petrified.

Dungeons ARE Dragons, huh? I haven't tried it, but I am curious:

How do you explain the existence of a dragon, so large that it can be treated like an environment, that doesn't a) rule the world or b) have already eaten everything on the face of the world?
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Not a dungeon exactly, but in a homebrew setting that I have worked on for half my life, I have a continent sized dragon whose back forms the major mountain range in the setting. The dragon has been asleep for as long as there have been written history amongst the other races, and its awakening would have apocalyptic consequences...
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Actually, yes, I have.

Back in the early 90s (so 2e) the players fought an ancient wyrm of crazy big perportions. (yes, that's the technical term for its size category)
They finally slew it via a Flesh to Stone effect.
It's petrified carcass was left lying where it fell. I marked its location on the map, make a note of what it is, & that was that. Play moved on to other campaigns, other game systems, & that group of players faded away - college, jobs, military, etc....

Fast forward to several years ago (and about 1k of game time).
Now we have dragon-blooded sorcerers & Dragonborn & things in the game. And one of that original group of players is back in the area & we're playing D&D again.
So I used this "landmark" on my map as a holy site for Dragon related characters/NPCs, Cult of the Dragon, etc.
He sees its location on the map week after week & despite it being vaguely referenced a few times in play never puts it together that that's the crazy big dragon he helped kill 20-some years ago.
Last summer the party came into direct conflict with the Dragon Cult and took the fight to them.

Trekking through the wastes the party comes to this rocky ridge line with one end that resembles a colossal dragons head with a shrine on top of it.
The players figure that the shrine is the goal. (kinda....)
This:
View attachment 113452
The little silver guys are 15mm WWII figures in scale with the fountain/shrine on top & by default the dragon skull & representing the PCs
The "dragon" skull is a stone crocodile head/cave from a Schleich jungle animal playset.
The fountain is a 15mm scale Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain piece of WWII terrain.


The "shrine" is supposed to be representing my LoTR Weathertop model. But I don't have a model of that small enough. So the my 15mm version of the Russian Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain had to sub. So this:
View attachment 113453
Is representing this:
View attachment 113454
:)


It wasn't until the party had climbed to the temple & I sketched the rest of the vaguely dragon shaped ridge line that the player realizes what he's seeing. :)
Then they found the stairs leading down into the dragons head & the dungeon below.
The "dungeon" was inside the petrified remains of an ancient dragon.
It was inspired by this:
View attachment 113455
wich is a T-shirt from GenCon wich no longer fits
The party entered from the top, down through a passage in the dragons head, fought their way though Dragonborn cultists etc to the end, & then out the dragons petrified rear on ground lv.
They could've done it the other way around, but nobody thought to look for the secret entrance.
Yes! That is exactly the sort of thing! That’s awesome!

Can't blame them. Good thing it was petrified.

Dungeons ARE Dragons, huh? I haven't tried it, but I am curious:

How do you explain the existence of a dragon, so large that it can be treated like an environment, that doesn't a) rule the world or b) have already eaten everything on the face of the world?
Why doesn’t the terrasque rule the world, and why hasn’t it eaten everything? Same sort of logic applies. Also, dragons slumber for centuries already. On ancient enough to be the size of a small city might slumber for a thousand years.

Or, it could be a spelljamming dragon, able to cross between worlds of its own accord.

Not a dungeon exactly, but in a homebrew setting that I have worked on for half my life, I have a continent sized dragon whose back forms the major mountain range in the setting. The dragon has been asleep for as long as there have been written history amongst the other races, and its awakening would have apocalyptic consequences...
I love that. I would love to have a Warlock or Sorcerer tied to such a being in a game.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Technically, every dungeon set in Eberron is on or in a dragon, since that setting's creation myth involves 3 progenitor dragons whose corpses become the land, Khyber (Eberron's Underdark), and the Saturn-like rings that float across the sky.

But I'm really digging the idea of a living, sentient dungeon. Wait a minute...

MIMIC DUNGEON!!!
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Can't blame them. Good thing it was petrified.
Nah, they really didn't think of looking for the cliché secret entrance.

They also didn't think much of seeing a dragon head shaped cliff side. You know, you see skull shaped castles & such a lot in this genres art. Or at least you used to. And 1/2 the players are old enough to have become jaded to such art.
It wasn't until the party was on top of the head that it became apparent that there was more to the ridge/terrain than they could see from ground lv. Like seeing the Nazca Lines from the air.

but I am curious:

How do you explain the existence of a dragon, so large that it can be treated like an environment, that doesn't a) rule the world or b) have already eaten everything on the face of the world?
Magic.
Well why do you think the original party was fighting the thing? Had they failed....
 
In the old-school cartridge game Paladin's Quest for the SNES (I think... it's been a while), this exact scenario occurs - you go in one end and out the other (yuck). Only upon exiting does it become clear where you'd been.
 

Guang

Explorer
I remembered an official one: Neth, the plane that lives, from Manual of the Planes 3.5 or a similar book. I don't think it was ever given much detail though.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Technically, every dungeon set in Eberron is on or in a dragon, since that setting's creation myth involves 3 progenitor dragons whose corpses become the land, Khyber (Eberron's Underdark), and the Saturn-like rings that float across the sky.

But I'm really digging the idea of a living, sentient dungeon. Wait a minute...

MIMIC DUNGEON!!!
Yes! Almost as scary as the Doppelstäd, which is a town made up of mimic buildings, doppelgängers, and mimics pretending to be pets and livestock. The bar, barstool, bartender, and patrons, are all mimics. The ale keg, too, which begs uncomfortable questions.

They all stay in character until you let your guard down.

Or maybe the flip the script and ask you for a favor. Bad town to be a murder hobo in!
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Actually, yes, I have.

Back in the early 90s (so 2e) the players fought an ancient wyrm of crazy big perportions. (yes, that's the technical term for its size category)
They finally slew it via a Flesh to Stone effect.
It's petrified carcass was left lying where it fell. I marked its location on the map, make a note of what it is, & that was that. Play moved on to other campaigns, other game systems, & that group of players faded away - college, jobs, military, etc....

Fast forward to several years ago (and about 1k of game time).
Now we have dragon-blooded sorcerers & Dragonborn & things in the game. And one of that original group of players is back in the area & we're playing D&D again.
So I used this "landmark" on my map as a holy site for Dragon related characters/NPCs, Cult of the Dragon, etc.
He sees its location on the map week after week & despite it being vaguely referenced a few times in play never puts it together that that's the crazy big dragon he helped kill 20-some years ago.
Last summer the party came into direct conflict with the Dragon Cult and took the fight to them.

Trekking through the wastes the party comes to this rocky ridge line with one end that resembles a colossal dragons head with a shrine on top of it.
The players figure that the shrine is the goal. (kinda....)
This:
View attachment 113452
The little silver guys are 15mm WWII figures in scale with the fountain/shrine on top & by default the dragon skull & representing the PCs
The "dragon" skull is a stone crocodile head/cave from a Schleich jungle animal playset.
The fountain is a 15mm scale Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain piece of WWII terrain.


The "shrine" is supposed to be representing my LoTR Weathertop model. But I don't have a model of that small enough. So the my 15mm version of the Russian Barmaley /Children's Khorovod fountain had to sub. So this:
View attachment 113453
Is representing this:
View attachment 113454
:)


It wasn't until the party had climbed to the temple & I sketched the rest of the vaguely dragon shaped ridge line that the player realizes what he's seeing. :)
Then they found the stairs leading down into the dragons head & the dungeon below.
The "dungeon" was inside the petrified remains of an ancient dragon.
It was inspired by this:
View attachment 113455
wich is a T-shirt from GenCon wich no longer fits
The party entered from the top, down through a passage in the dragons head, fought their way though Dragonborn cultists etc to the end, & then out the dragons petrified rear on ground lv.
They could've done it the other way around, but nobody thought to look for the secret entrance.
That is all so awesome.
 

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