D&D General A Dungeon That IS A Dragon?


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!

Dang, I love that idea, it would terrify a party if EVERYTHING you interact with, from a broom to a bottle of beer is some kind of hungry mimic.

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Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Dang, I love that idea, it would terrify a party if EVERYTHING you interact with, from a broom to a bottle of beer is some kind of hungry mimic.
Hell yeah, and depending on your group it could be just as fun to have the dopplemayor ask them for help saving the town, or even to reveal that a Changling PC is from there or has family there!

Or! Let them do jobs for the town for a while, culminating in a bandit raid that the town isn’t actually that worried about, but they hire the PCs anyway, and when the bandits come, then you reveal their true nature as the whole town turns into a deadly horror show, and the bar thanks the heroes for their help.

There's a current story arc in the Fairy Tail sequel manga series that is involving a massive dragon upon which towns have been constructed. That might be useful for people trying to figure out how to approach a dragon as a dungeon. Many dungeons after all started out as something other than a dungeon.


Dances with Gnolls
We have done something akin this this once. It was the world serpent jormungandr, not technically a dragon.

Players were tasked with finding a way into the sleeping serpent to find a lost artifact from the ages before.
They did not expect to find warring tribes of goblins and hobgoblins living within the massive beast.

Ran it sort of like the underdark. Strange flora and "fauna". A huge lake of acid. Twisting tunnels and mines in the intestines.

It was a lot of fun. I am not sure I still have the map for it anywhere to scan or show off.

The idea came from a less known video game called Too Human.

Have tried using rules to allow for Shadow of the Colossus and Dragon's dogma.
Mostly since the visuals of players having to climb onto or cling onto massive monsters to defeat them is pretty darn cool.


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....)

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:

Is representing this:


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:

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.

Hah very good, did the player who slew the "dungeon" originally get a clue himself at some point or did you have to tell him?

Also good your entrails labyrinth, lol :

"...you encounter a cave complex which seems to be an actual beast turned to stone. Do you wish to enter via the toothy maw or do you seek for a "secret" entrance at the other side of the hill (which surely should exist by all laws of nature .." hahahaha


I cannot compete with @ccs dragon dungeon, the only thing, if you could consider it living at all, which I used was in the 2e masque of the red death Ravenloft terror in the 1890s supplement, where the big palais with the celebration taking place actually is some greater animator.
Ravenloft has another of these in the standard domains, but I cant tell you the name atm. 2e also had a mob called living wall, whereas you could integrate e.g. the slain members of another adventuring party or some of their qualities into a morphic part of a dungeon quite similar to the hell raiser movies. So the living wall would cast the spells the wizard embedded in it would have known or it lashes out or grapples with the statistics of a fighter who is part of it etc. It is stationary, which is its biggest weakness but it is a nice mob to use, especially in a horror themed adventure.


Thee was a recent RPG Kickstarter called “Reach of the Titan” that is all about this style of play. The had free beta rules up that I think could be converted to D&D


Jedi Master
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?

Something similar to this was the climax of the nearly 6 year campaign I've been running since the playtest and had finally reached 20th level for the 3 PCs.

Instead of a dragon, it was a Great Old One over a mile long, with the players needing to first get past the outer defenses on a magic carpet, and then go through the body to the 'heart' of the entity to destroy it before it devoured their world.

Total of 6 encounters, from the Ancient Blue Dragon level lightning that tried to destroy them before entering, to a fear effect that tried to drive them right back out.

And because this entity had been the power source of many of the villains of the campaign, they fought against the shadows of those villains inside the body along the way through it, in classic jrpg style in 2 different encounters.

They had to abandon the carpet to enter the chamber of the heart, open up a hole in the heart large enough to put in a magical mcguffin that could be set to explode 10 minutes later while being attacked by Leviathan like tentacles and other nasties. When they left the chamber, they found their carpet destroyed by the 'immune' system of the GOO, and had to make their way out on foot. I didn't have a plan for how they would get out, but trusted they would figure out a way, and whoo boy did they!

Still a mile above the earth, when they reached the exit (after cleverly escaping a hoard of Star Spawn Grue), they escaped on Unicorn back, jumping out of the beast and teleporting down to safety once out of the range of it's anti teleportation field.

As they leaped, the GOO exploded, they teleported, and all that was left was a few wrap up sessions to tie up loose ends (and fight a Tarrasque that crashed one of the PCs wedding in the final episode, because of a sub-plot they ignored for the last half of Tier IV, and whose ass they kicked two ways to Sunday, which I loved since it was the final episode and def not meant to kill them).

I don't think I could have ever imagined in Dec of 2013 that a Rogue, a Fighter and a Ranger would one day save the world and themselves by first entering the body of a GOO and then escaping on Unicorn-back, but man if that's not why I love this game.


Reminds me of the worm in the asteroid that the Millenium Falcon almost got digested by before Han realized what it was. It had a huge cave inside its belly, an even larger version could well have a dungeon.

Another route you could take is to render the adventurers tiny, so they enter a dragon's body and swim in the beast's blood like a germ. They would have to fight other microbes and the dragon's immune system to travel through its body and finish their mission before the shrink effect runs out and they get crushed.


Neth, the Living Demiplane, is essentially a dungeon with living walls that creates it own guardians and obstacles for those that invade its body. Because it is an entire plane, it is effectively endless, you can always go deeper inside of it, there is no dead end, and because it sits in the Ethereal Sea, there is never any telling what else has found a way inside and may be visiting at the same time as your party.


There's a Savage Worlds game called Belly of the Beast - might give you some inspiration.

It inspired a dungeon for me that took place inside a giant worm (like the Star Wars one previously mentioned). A gnome city had been swallowed ages ago, but they had somehow managed to carve out a home in the beast - mostly in swallowed rocks. It was a goofy adventure, but a fun one. Ended how you'd expect... Escaping through the other hole.


I can see a Fantastic Voyage style mission inside the body of a monster or villain or perhaps to save the body of a hero. Imagine having to hunt down and defeat a disease monster inside the body of an epic level paladin so he can save the world from some other threat that only he can deal with, and do it before the micronization ends.

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