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D&D General How Do You All Use Dragons In Your Worlds And Campaigns?

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Hey everyone!

So with the announcement of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons getting many of us excited and curious about the different dragons and draconic themed things that will be in the book, it got me thinking about how I plan to utilize dragons in my own world of Salvera. So I wanted to ask everyone here, how do you use dragons and other draconic elements in your settings?
 

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Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Hey everyone!

So with the announcement of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons getting many of us excited and curious about the different dragons and draconic themed things that will be in the book, it got me thinking about how I plan to utilize dragons in my own world of Salvera. So I wanted to ask everyone here, how do you use dragons and other draconic elements in your settings?
In one campaign I don't. I do use the vishap, which is basically a flightless burrowing dragon from Armenian (as far as I can tell) folklore, which I do have statted out as a true dragon with Wyrmling, Young, etc. statblocks. But no other dragons in that game.

In another game I run, which is loosely based off Mystara, all the major dragons technically exist, but I've only ever used a single red dragon - and that one was in the module I was running.

When I ran Eberron back in the early aughts, I really enjoyed the machinations and intrigue inherent in the dragons, and used that a lot. And when I ran a Dragonlance campaign back 30 or so years ago, it seemed dragons were common as housecats.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
In Yoon-Suin, there is a single Topaz Dragon just south of the Yellow City, in the Topaz isles. She protects the city, mostly, although sometimes some boats do go missing. She is lazy, but she is a foe of the Krakens, which wish to destroy the Yellow City.

The Krakens try to get mortal servants by granting them power in exchange for their allegiance (warlocks). These warlocks are killed when found in the Yellow city, but those that seem repentant, or were fooled into the pact, have one chance to evade execution - to pledge allegiance to a new patron, the Topaz Dragon. If they are truly repentant (and if they present a good enough gift...) the Topaz dragon does not devour them, but instead teaches them a new path to power.
 
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AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
The last time I was excited about D&D’s presentation of dragons was the first Forgotten Realms boxed set adding age categories. Still rarely used them then. I won’t use one today unless it is one without bloated spell lists.

Dragons in my setting I moved off to extraplanar realms with rarely any interest in the world that most adventuring will be done in. I’ll be considering Fizban’s for PC options, magic items, and the hope for alternate dragons.
 


cbwjm

Hero
My current campaign has dragons as one of the elder races with godlike progenitors who created the various offshoots of dragons and dragonborn. Other than dragonborn, the players haven't come across many dragons yet. They know that there is an elder dragon sleeping beneath a valley that a warlock is trying to siphon power from, turning him into a demigod and allowing him to reclaim his soul.

Other than the elder, I know of 2 dragons that I've put into my setting. An steel dragon acts as a sage (seriously considering making them a prolific author of tomes on various subjects as a way to increase their personal horde after reading a comment in another thread), hidden in human form in a city of a human kingdom. I also have a white dragon in the frozen wasteland in the north. Neither of these two dragons are known or have been encountered by the players.
 

jgsugden

Legend
In my homebrew, the living aspect of the Universe was the first being, followed by the Light (lifeforce / positive energy) and Dark (death / negative energy). They gave birth to Bahamut, Vorel and Tiamat, the first three beings to exist that had manifested forms. They, in turn, created the dragons. As such, dragons have been around longer than any other species, and they see themselves as the rightful owners of the world. Everything else in the world is seen as more of a pet or pest than a peer.

The dragons serve a role in my setting similar to Celestials and Fiends. They are feared and respected for their innate power. They are also revered as ancient forces of elemental power. When a dragon takes flight, everyone takes notice.

All dragons are spellcasters. Further, all dragons get at least one unique special ability that lets them stand out from their peers. The ability might be combat focused, but more often they give the dragon a special place in the ecosystem that is not directly combat related, but is awesome in power nonetheless.

Often, Kingdoms are defined by the territory (sometimes past, usually present) of dragons. Either the Kingdom resides under the beneficial protection of a metallic dragon, exists in harmony with a gem dragon, or lives in the shadow of a chromatic dragon. A kingdom may exist within the boundaries of several dragons, with each dragon territory being forced to reconcile with the dragon controlling the lands. The maps of the nations are measured by the territories of dragons. When a dragon falls, other dragons often take their territory, which can shift the borders of empires. Some places have thrown off the shackles of draconic dominion, but that requires powerful heroes to keep out new draconic invaders. Usually, these places become the target of a chromatic dragon that takes affront to humanoids attempting to usurp the rightful place of the Great Wyrms. If the humans are not beyond reproach, thy may also find those heroes being thrown down by Metallic or Gem dragons as well.

Additionally, many dragons are wells of knowledge, especially ancient knowledge. When the PCs need to know something ancient, it is often something they need to gather from a dragon ... and dragons know knowledge is power and are hesitant to part with it easily.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I use them as the base game does, but with one major difference that I've recently been playing with making an official part of my multiverse's lore:

Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber are all avatars of Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat (in their respective orders). I had to do a gender-swap on Eberron for it to work, but otherwise I thought it fit well.

Khyber and Tiamat are the most obvious fit, with them both being fierce, fiendish dragons, the mother of mighty monsters, and a dark god/god-like figure that wishes to rule the world and escape her imprisonment. They're draconic queens of evil that have followings of deranged cultists attempting to free them from their captivity, as well as being the creator of many fiends.

Eberron and Bahamut are both at least equal in power to their evil counterpart (Khyber and Tiamat), which is how they were able to stop Tiamat/Khyber from destroying/ruling the world for so long. Bahamut is a god of balance and protection, and Eberron made her sacrifice in order to balance out the world that Eberron takes place in and works to protect the races that live on her. Bahamut can't kill Tiamat anymore than Eberron could kill Khyber, so the only way to stop her was to imprison her.

Siberys and Sardior are both god-like draconic entities that are lesser than the other two (based on the fact that Khyber was able to kill Siberys, and that Sardior and Gem Dragons are less important than Bahamut, Tiamat, and the rest of the True Dragons), are connected to psionics and magical crystals in some way (Siberys as the source of Siberys Dragonshards, which enhance psionic powers, and Sardior as a god of the psionic gem dragons), and being connected to extraplanetary objects (Siberys through the Ring of Siberys orbiting the planet of Eberron, and Sardior through the Ruby Palace).

Furthermore, due to this bit of lore recently being officialized by Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, Tiamat and Bahamut created the Material Plane of Existence, just as Khyber and Eberron created the world of Eberron.

Additionally, as, in my Eberron, the 3 Progenitor Dragons are/were merely avatars of the 3 Core Draconic Deities, so their deaths in the world of Eberron didn't affect the aspects of the deities in the rest of the multiverse's worlds.

Any thoughts?
 
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One idea from my brother: instead of the different dragon each being a type, they each represent an individual dragon.

The dragon in the Frozen Peaks isn't a white dragon, he's the white dragon, and there's no one else like him.

If you only have the Monster Manual I'd call that overkill, but if FToD adds 20 new ones, that's at least 31 plus whatever I missed... that's a fair number for all the dragons in the known world.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
In my world of Salvera, the continent of Thaczil is the main place that dragons reside, though they can be found anywhere on the plane. Thaczil is a place teeming with raw draconic magic that seems to radiate from all corners of the land.

It is believed that Io, or Asgorath as he is called by the Dragons themselves, was slain on this very continent by the King of Terror Erek-Hus during the Creator Wars. However, instead of his corpse being transported to the Astral Sea to float amongst the other husks of dead deities, Io melded into the land and imbued it with great power. It is said that he willed this in his final moment in order to provide his children a safe haven in his absence.

The continent is in the shape of a massive dragon, the head acting as a huge island that serves as a major entryway into the main continent. One may take a boat through a waterway walled by two massive rows of spiked rock cropping that jut out of the water until they reach the shore that leads into a long and massive canyon. About halfway through the continent, it opens up to a massive valley of lush jungles with mighty rivers and clear lakes dotting verdant fields, a place full of ancient and primal magic that causes all life to be vibrant, healthy, and strong in raw mana. It is said that this ancient valley is where the first tree created by Corellon resides, a powerful primal spirit that some claim to be the very soul of Salvera itself known as Yggdrasil the World Tree. Some folks who follow The Path of The Primal Spirits believed that Io's death was a result of the ancient dragon god shielding the World Tree from Erek-Hus's killing blow. Because of this, many dragons who follow The Path of The Primal Spirits venerate the World Tree and seek to protect it as their creator did all those eons ago.

On the east and west sides of Thaczil, various different biomes teeming with all manner of flora and fauna span across the land that make up this draconic continent's wings. On the northern end of the valley is another massive canyon that eventually begins to rise until one reaches an opening overlooking a huge circle of mountains that act like a dragon's tail encircles a massive kingdom larger then any other on the entire plane. This is the shining Jewel of all dragon civilization. This is Concordia, the City of Dragons. Dragons of all kind and color can be found here, along with various amounts of Dragonborns and Kobolds as well as some of the other scaled folk such as Lizardfolk, Yuan-ti and Tortles. This is also the one place where humans and their draconic offshoots, the Munthreks, can be found in abundance. At the very center of the city resides the Queen of Concordia, one of the immortal and titanic god-like beings of Salvera known as Lights. She is Cisriel the Mother Wyrm, a mighty three headed dragon who's diamond-like scale shimmers with every color ever perceived within the multiverse, and maybe some never seen by mortal eyes before. So powerful and resplendent is the Mother Wyrm that some believe her to be the true daughter of Io, or even Io reborn. She rules along side her Council of Wyrms which has great wyrm representatives from every species of the main four types of true dragons.

This is just a small summary of what I have so far.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
I use them as the base game does, but with one major difference that I've recently been playing with making an official part of my multiverse's lore:

Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber are all avatars of Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat (in their respective orders). I had to do a gender-swap on Eberron for it to work, but otherwise I thought it fit well.

Khyber and Tiamat are both fiendish dragons, the mother of fierce, mighty monsters, and a dark god/god-like figure that wishes to rule the world and escape her imprisonment. They're draconic queens of evil that have followings of deranged cultists attempting to free them from their captivity, as well as being the creator of many fiends.

Eberron and Bahamut are both at least equal in power to their evil counterpart (Khyber and Tiamat), which is how they were able to stop Tiamat/Khyber from destroying/ruling the world for so long. Bahamut is a god of balance and protection, and Eberron made her sacrifice in order to balance out the world that Eberron takes place in and works to protect the races that live on her. Bahamut can't kill Tiamat anymore than Eberron could kill Khyber, so the only way to stop her was to imprison her.

Siberys and Sardior are both god-like draconic entities that are lesser than the other two (based on the fact that Khyber was able to kill Siberys, and that Sardior and Gem Dragons are less important than Bahamut, Tiamat, and the rest of the True Dragons), are connected to psionics and magical crystals in some way (Siberys as the source of Siberys Dragonshards, which enhance psionic powers, and Sardior as a god of the psionic gem dragons), and being connected to extraplanetary objects (Siberys through the Ring of Siberys orbiting the planet of Eberron, and Sardior through the Ruby Palace).

Furthermore, due to this bit of lore recently being officialized by Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, Tiamat and Bahamut created the Material Plane of Existence, just as Khyber and Eberron created the world of Eberron.

Additionally, as, in my Eberron, the 3 Progenitor Dragons are/were merely avatars of the 3 Core Draconic Deities, so their deaths in the world of Eberron didn't affect the aspects of the deities in the rest of the multiverse's worlds.

Any thoughts?
I really like this connection and I think it works really well. Another connection that actually adds to this is that Coualts, which are said to be formed from the pure blood of Siberys that didn't touch the soils of Eberron, are celestial that are also psionic in nature.
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
In my current campaign there is only The Dragon. The other sorcerer kings haven't gotten close yet.

In others, I've done dragons as presented in the MM. Smart, spellcasting schemers. Sometimes as common as in a War of the Lance campaign.

My favorite, is as primal forces of nature. Agents of destruction with a desire for slaughter and hoard gathering tempered by centuries of sleep. Individual dragons rather than a color palette. Some wingless, some with a breath weapon. All unique.
 


JEB

Hero
Our most recent setting has a nation ruled by a coalition of chromatic and metallic dragons (led by the "Council of Wyrms" - I like my lore in-jokes), with dragonborn and kobolds forming most of the commoner population. It's been in a cold war with a neighboring human-ruled kingdom (an enemy of the main multi-species nation the players operate from) for generations, with dragon in-fighting and human dragon-slaying weapons keeping each side in check.

However, the war escalated after the humans gained access to a magical plot-device mineral that let them (essentially) mass-produce spellcasting items and airships and warforged and even magical WMDs, allowing them to break the stalemate and invade... but when last we left off (pre-Covid) a devastating dragon counter-offensive was about to happen.

We also had the occasional solo dragon in specific adventures. But most of them live in the dragon nation.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Dragons are too high CR to generally show up in my campaign (I prefer not to use anything younger than "adult" when they show up).

I think I'm going to start changing that - I have a country that is composed of dragons, and it's high time lower CR versions start making appearances (I'm talking CR 6-9), and even "young" dragons are still nearly a hundred years old...
 


AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I really like this connection and I think it works really well.
Thanks!
Another connection that actually adds to this is that Coualts, which are said to be formed from the pure blood of Siberys that didn't touch the soils of Eberron, are celestial that are also psionic in nature.
Yep! I was trying to find something on the Eberron Wiki that said that, but couldn't, so I just left it out. Thanks for confirming that, though. Keith Baker also stated in a blog post that the Rings of Siberys might be populated by Couatls that didn't sacrifice themselves to form the Silver Flame.

Hmm. Psionic celestials that sacrificed themselves to create a magical force that keeps the Demon Overlords and Daelkyr imprisoned in Khyber that also happens to manifest as silver-colored fire. You could then say that the body of the Platinum Dragon is what causes force to appear as fire, (as dragons are known for breathing fire), and that it also causes the fire to be silver-colored (cause platinum is silver-colored).
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Thanks!

Yep! I was trying to find something on the Eberron Wiki that said that, but couldn't, so I just left it out. Thanks for confirming that, though. Keith Baker also stated in a blog post that the Rings of Siberys might be populated by Couatls that didn't sacrifice themselves to form the Silver Flame.

Hmm. Psionic celestials that sacrificed themselves to create a magical force that keeps the Demon Overlords and Daelkyr imprisoned in Khyber that also happens to manifest as silver-colored fire. You could then say that the body of the Platinum Dragon is what causes force to appear as fire, (as dragons are known for breathing fire), and that it also causes the fire to be silver-colored (cause platinum is silver-colored).
I think that fits fine, though I'm not as familiar with the Church of the Silver Flames as I am with other parts of Eberron lore so I'm not the best judge. You could also explain it that while the Coualts needed to sacrifice themselves so their divine essence could seal the Overlords away, the dragon's aided in strengthening that sacrificial sealing ritual with draconic magic that manifested in pure dragonfire. So the Divine Psionic force of the Coualts mixed with the raw dragon magic to create a holy silver flame. Just a different idea that popped into my head.

Have you considered how the Draconic Prophecy ties into this, and the Dragonmarked houses? Also you have the Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber dragonshards, which could have some interesting effects if you expand what they are capable of being used for with the themes and powers typical of Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I think that fits fine, though I'm not as familiar with the Church of the Silver Flames as I am with other parts of Eberron lore so I'm not the best judge. You could also explain it that while the Coualts needed to sacrifice themselves so their divine essence could seal the Overlords away, the dragon's aided in strengthening that sacrificial sealing ritual with draconic magic that manifested in pure dragonfire. So the Divine Psionic force of the Coualts mixed with the raw dragon magic to create a holy silver flame. Just a different idea that popped into my head.
That would work, too. I'll consider that. Thanks for the idea.
Have you considered how the Draconic Prophecy ties into this, and the Dragonmarked houses?
The Draconic Prophecy was created by Siberys/Sardior as a "backup plan" in the case of his death to give to his children (and consequently Eberron/Bahamut's children) as a way to foil Khyber/Tiamat. The dragons were the first to discover the Draconic Prophecy, and the other races eventually discovered it. It's Siberys/Sardior's magic that created the 13 original Dragonmarks, and the magic of Khyber/Tiamat that created Aberrant Dragonmarks as a means to pervert her rival's power. Khyber/Tiamat knows of the Draconic Prophecy and is attempting to corrupt it to her own means, the same way that an enemy state would use the intel about our military tactics to their own advantage (which is why the Draconic Prophecy is slowly revealing itself in order to prevent Khyber/Tiamat from abusing it, and allowing multiple different outcomes to exist).
Also you have the Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber dragonshards, which could have some interesting effects if you expand what they are capable of being used for with the themes and powers typical of Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat.
Yep. As Sardior is the God of Gem Dragons, I'd say that the first dragonshards to exist were Siberys Dragonshards, and that the other 2 exist as a consequence of the magic of the Draconic Prophecy, which is why they can amplify the powers of those with Dragonmarks. Khyber Dragonshards amplify binding magic because of the imprisonment of Khyber/Tiamat, Eberron Dragonshards are used to create magic items because Eberron/Bahamut wanted to let those dwelling on her/him create magic items to protect themselves, and Siberys Dragonshards amplify psionic power and protection because Siberys/Sardior is connected to psionics and protecting those in need.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
That would work, too. I'll consider that. Thanks for the idea.

The Draconic Prophecy was created by Siberys/Sardior as a "backup plan" in the case of his death to give to his children (and consequently Eberron/Bahamut's children) as a way to foil Khyber/Tiamat. The dragons were the first to discover the Draconic Prophecy, and the other races eventually discovered it. It's Siberys/Sardior's magic that created the 13 original Dragonmarks, and the magic of Khyber/Tiamat that created Aberrant Dragonmarks as a means to pervert her rival's power. Khyber/Tiamat knows of the Draconic Prophecy and is attempting to corrupt it to her own means, the same way that an enemy state would use the intel about our military tactics to their own advantage (which is why the Draconic Prophecy is slowly revealing itself in order to prevent Khyber/Tiamat from abusing it, and allowing multiple different outcomes to exist).

Yep. As Sardior is the God of Gem Dragons, I'd say that the first dragonshards to exist were Siberys Dragonshards, and that the other 2 exist as a consequence of the magic of the Draconic Prophecy, which is why they can amplify the powers of those with Dragonmarks. Khyber Dragonshards amplify binding magic because of the imprisonment of Khyber/Tiamat, Eberron Dragonshards are used to create magic items because Eberron/Bahamut wanted to let those dwelling on her/him create magic items to protect themselves, and Siberys Dragonshards amplify psionic power and protection because Siberys/Sardior is connected to psionics and protecting those in need.
That all sounds great!
 

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