Improving a Dragon's DR

One of the things that has bugged me for a while is that while dragons get DR/X Magic, by the time you are facing a dragon with DR you almost always have a magical weapon. It kinda makes it a "why bother".

Does anyone have any suggestions on improving the damage reduction of a dragon?

Cover the entire area/adventurers in an antimagic field? Sunder their gear? Or just ignore any attempts at DR and just stomp the adventurers into a gooey paste?
 

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green slime

First Post
I do dislike the granularity of 3.5's DR.

But you could alter / improve through various means. IIRC, Draconomicon and Dragon Magic could have spells that altered or improved the DR of the dragon, and possibly even feats (although I'm a bit foggy on that one).

You could just use DM-fiat to alter it anyway: DR20/Magic for a Wyrm or more seems really trivial for most players, unless you are some poor Bard trying to invade a dragon's quarters with your charmed low level army and assorted followers.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
Dragons are indeed likely to be very good at sundering or disarming (or just flying). It is not entirely clear to me whether antimagic would suppress a dragon's DR as well.

The only by-the-book options I'm aware of for making a dragon's DR something other than /magic are in Draconomicon.
Prestige classes:
Bloodscaled Fury gains increases to DR and makes the DR /cold iron during rage.
Dragon Ascendant makes the DR epic and increases the amount of DR as well.
Hidecarved Dragon adds chaotic and later epic and increases the amount of DR.

The dragon advancement rules (also presented in the ELH and epic SRD, I believe) make the DR /epic if you advance a dragon far enough.

***

I am not immediately aware of any feats or spells that do this in Draconomicon, RotD, Dragon Magic, or anywhere else. It does strike me as something that might exist. It would also be reasonable to houserule in such options (though I wouldn't make it too easy for the dragon).

It's also worth noting that as spellcasters, dragons can cast spells that give them DR. A dragon with a Stoneskin spell requires a magic and adamantine weapon to really hurt it. If the dragon can cast cleric spells, the investiture spells (PHBII) are also interesting options, as are a variety of fiendish spells. Fey heritage feats (CM) aren't bad either. Overlapping DR can create some favorable situations, as characters commonly have a nonmagical special material backup weapon or two for DR penetration (very campaign dependent).
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
When dragons can cast spells, they cast as Sorcerers. The notes in the MM however say that they can select Divine spells for their list.

Would that include Barkskin? I can't see why not.

As an alternative, add Barbarian levels?
 

Empirate

First Post
[MENTION=6669384]Greenfield[/MENTION]: I assume you don't mean Barkskin (which improves NA, not DR), but Stoneskin, which is already on the Sor/Wiz list...

I always understood the DR x/magic of many powerful monsters to be more of a fluff thing. It basically says: "you need to be a PC to attack this monster". Non-heroic attacks on a dragon just won't cut it (literally). No armies of smalltimers is gonna make that work, ever, so there's a reason for desperate kings to hire adventurers, who at least have a chance of hurting the beastie at all.

Another thing DR x/magic gives the dragon is the ability to hurt other monsters with DR x/magic - kinda important, given the last paragraph!

Taken together, I'm of the opinion that a dragon's DR isn't there as an actual defense (which comes into play whenever PCs fight it), but to give i the "[*special*]" tag: dragons are monsters to be fought exclusively by heroes, not mooks. AND they're monsters that can go toe to toe with other things that have the "[*special*]" tag.
 

frankthedm

First Post
Yeah, even if PCs get modestly powerful allies that would normally be subjet to the DR, like say giants, all the PCs gotta do is cast a first level spell on the ally's weapons and the DR is out the window.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I've got a PC with DR/magic, which has been remarkably useful. Mob/swarm attacks are really annoying, but are rarely magic. Falling damage isn't magic. A remarkable number of monsters can't beat it. It's not useless (but against typical fighter PCs, it is).
 


Razjah

Explorer
Could you just go back to 3e's version of DR*? Something like DR 20/+3. This doesn't mess around with the DR, but it does make the PCs choose how they want their magic attacks. In 3.5 I've always seen players keep a +1 weapon and add as much magic as possible to the thing. It becomes a +1 flaming, shocking, icyburst, holy, sundering mace. If you change DR to require a more powerful enchantment (+3/+4+/5) then you can seriously bump up some of the DR capabilities.


* NOTE: I never played 3.0 so I don't know if I have it right, if this isn't the 3e method of handling DR I think it still works.
 

the Jester

Legend
Could you just go back to 3e's version of DR*? Something like DR 20/+3.

Towards the end of 3.5, I was experimenting with changing some DR x/magic to DR x/+2 or x/+3, etc.

This had the effect of making higher enhancement bonuses more worthwhile- otherwise, the value balance between a +1 flaming frost shock weapon and a +4 weapon was pretty off (IMHO).

I wouldn't use the 3.0 DR values (the x part), they were too high; but use the 5/10/15 or maybe 20 at epic values from 3.5 with higher enhancement bonus requirements and you're suddenly making things interesting.
 

Empirate

First Post
Could you just go back to 3e's version of DR*? Something like DR 20/+3. This doesn't mess around with the DR, but it does make the PCs choose how they want their magic attacks. In 3.5 I've always seen players keep a +1 weapon and add as much magic as possible to the thing. It becomes a +1 flaming, shocking, icyburst, holy, sundering mace. If you change DR to require a more powerful enchantment (+3/+4+/5) then you can seriously bump up some of the DR capabilities.


* NOTE: I never played 3.0 so I don't know if I have it right, if this isn't the 3e method of handling DR I think it still works.

Actually, people did the same in 3.0. Their party's Cleric just kept a few Greater Magic Weapons ready each morning.

Straight enhancement bonuses are too easy to emulate, and too expensive to buy, compared to spiffy weapon enchantments like Holy, Magebane, Collision, Valorous, Splitting...
 

ksbsnowowl

Explorer
I run a 3.5 game, but fairly extensively house-rule things back to 3.0 (polymorph line of spells, magical DR, can power attack with light weapons, keen and improved critical stack)

It hasn't been an issue. I use the 3.5 amount of reduction for the damage reduction, but the "magic" part of DR x/magic is converted to the 3.0 counterpart (ie - DR 10/+1, or DR 15/+5, or even DR 15/+7 up in the epic levels).

I only apply the above to DR/Magic. If the 3.5 stats have a material that overcomes the DR, I just leave it as the material.

The one thing I haven't reinstated from 3.0 was the fact that in 3.0 arrows themselves had to be magical to overcome DR. A normal arrow fired from a +5 longbow didn't overcome DR at all. But, in 3.0 the enhancement bonus from the bow and any enhancement bonus from an arrow stacked.
 

green slime

First Post
The one thing I haven't reinstated from 3.0 was the fact that in 3.0 arrows themselves had to be magical to overcome DR. A normal arrow fired from a +5 longbow didn't overcome DR at all. But, in 3.0 the enhancement bonus from the bow and any enhancement bonus from an arrow stacked.

I kept that, and kept arrow enchantment and bow enchantments stacking.
 

ksbsnowowl

Explorer
Yeah, one of the reasons Archers just plain RULED in 3.0

Buy the Wizard a 3rd level Pearl of Power, and have him give you 50 magical arrows each day.
 




nijineko

Explorer
One of the things that has bugged me for a while is that while dragons get DR/X Magic, by the time you are facing a dragon with DR you almost always have a magical weapon. It kinda makes it a "why bother".

Does anyone have any suggestions on improving the damage reduction of a dragon?

Cover the entire area/adventurers in an antimagic field? Sunder their gear? Or just ignore any attempts at DR and just stomp the adventurers into a gooey paste?

once the dragon hits epic, then the dr likewise becomes magic and epic, iirc. that happens around the 21st hd, i believe.
 


Mon

Explorer
All dragons have Epic DR in my campaigns. Additionally, a dragon bane weapon will bypass their DR.

We do this as well, although we scale it from "x/Magic" for younger dragons, to "x/Bane" for older dragons, and "x/Bane and Epic" for CR 21+ dragons. In fact, bane weapons always bypass DR for the appropriate creature except in the case of Epic beings.

It's worked like a charm for many years now...although technically we haven't played pure 3.5 for a long time we still use this for Pathfinder.
 

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