Playing Dragon PCs

Ixal

Hero
So, we’re also assuming dragons have opposable thumbs now?
And you still haven’t provided any reason for dragons to do any of this.

Lol not really. A longbow can shoot pretty damn high, and be fire upward from a horse.

Why wouldn’t it? But never mind that, because no, you wouldn’t you need the ability to build a structure like a greenhouse, with locking hinges and a pulley system, and metal slats that can be locked into place via rope and pulley. All things medieval Europeans could do. Add patrols and watchtowers, and a kill sight order against dragons, and you’re solid.

You know that modern tech isn’t required to condense farming, right? Like there are places that didn’t have as much open space so they focused on crops that didn’t take as much space. It would be wild to assume that our humans besieged by dragons would just…farm the same way that medieval Europeans did.

Why would we assume a typical European diet?

You’re still assuming dragons can just…fly all day. And heated rocks!? Lol come on!

This is getting well into silly territory now. So now dragons can ride the winds for days like an albatross, are immune to fire, can carry heated rocks over miles without having to land and grab them, or can pick up rocks and heat them and drop them over and over, all day, without wearing themselves out.

And we still haven’t dealt with the assumption that dragons would want to do this, that humans wouldn’t hunt them down after the first town they burn, and that dragons would organize and all agree to exterminate humans, that they’re smart enough to develop strategies like hot rocks but not smart enough to be bribable by the humans, that there are no other fantastical creatures the human can tame to help them fight dragons, like…

Why are you so stuck on this, anyway? Like…either address why on earth dragons would want to do any of this, or please stop detailing the thread with this.

Now your are clear into strawmen territory and also fail to realize the consequences of what you are proposing.

Short version:
1. Dragons, at least the usual D&D and many other dragon rider story portrayals, are intelligent, so they too can invent stuff like new tactics and methods of attack.
2. A longbow can't be shot from a horse period. You probably mean a composite bow. And even then it loses penetration power very fast and would hardly hit, let alone hurt a dragon flying at 300 ft.
3. Creating clear glass is hard, so crop yield would be reduced a lot. It would also be a massive undertaking because of the area required to feed a city. And even if you manage that, you would still need to protect it because if not a dragon can smash it easily by for example dropping a tree on it.
4. It all depends on crop. Most fantasy uses Europe as template, hence wheat farms. Rice or Potatoes have an advantage for being harder to set on fire and requiring less space. But for a large population you still need quite a lot of land and in the case of many forms or rice a vulnerable irrigation system.
5. Heated rocks were even used in the Age of Sail to set enemy ships of fire. Nothing silly about that. But I have give you that there are more efficient methods. A tree or some logs the dragon grabs, sets on fire and drops on the field for example. The fire breathing dragon doesn't need to be immune to fire in this case.
6. Why would the dragon need to fly for days? It is much faster and more mobile than everything humans have. It just needs to rest/sleep in a place just barely out of reach for the humans to reach within 10 hours or so. Then it can stay on the wing, hunt, etc. and two or three days later attack the next village, etc.

Why dragons would do that? Why do humans attack dragons?
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Now your are clear into strawmen territory and also fail to realize the consequences of what you are proposing.

Short version:
1. Dragons, at least the usual D&D and many other dragon rider story portrayals, are intelligent, so they too can invent stuff like new tactics and methods of attack.
Being intelligent doesn't give them thumbs. They're still limited to what they physically can do.
2. A longbow can't be shot from a horse period. You probably mean a composite bow. And even then it loses penetration power very fast and would hardly hit, let alone hurt a dragon flying at 300 ft.
THis is flat wrong. For one thing, longbow is not nearly as specific a term as you seem to think. For another, look up samurai and their bows. They are longbows, that are used primarily from horseback. Lastly, no hitting power is lost vs shooting from standing.
3. Creating clear glass is hard, so crop yield would be reduced a lot. It would also be a massive undertaking because of the area required to feed a city. And even if you manage that, you would still need to protect it because if not a dragon can smash it easily by for example dropping a tree on it.
You literally didn't read what you're replying to. And now you're creating new wild assumptions like a dragon being able to carry a tree into the air, high enough to not get pincushioned, and far enough to come into the patrol area of the human settlement from outside of said area.
4. It all depends on crop. Most fantasy uses Europe as template, hence wheat farms. Rice or Potatoes have an advantage for being harder to set on fire and requiring less space. But for a large population you still need quite a lot of land and in the case of many forms or rice a vulnerable irrigation system.
I don't care what "most fantasy" uses, you tried to speak as though what you are saying is absolute and universal, so incredibly specific assumptions like this are completely bunk.
5. Heated rocks were even used in the Age of Sail to set enemy ships of fire. Nothing silly about that. But I have give you that there are more efficient methods. A tree or some logs the dragon grabs, sets on fire and drops on the field for example. The fire breathing dragon doesn't need to be immune to fire in this case.
The age of sail didn't employ flying creatures carrying heated rocks, my dude. Don't try to act like "heated rocks" is all I was replying to.
6. Why would the dragon need to fly for days? It is much faster and more mobile than everything humans have. It just needs to rest/sleep in a place just barely out of reach for the humans to reach within 10 hours or so. Then it can stay on the wing, hunt, etc. and two or three days later attack the next village, etc.
It has to sleep. You're still assuming it can stay completely in the air, while carrying things, setting them on fire, etc, for hours at a time, and that doing so won't take so much out of it that it can't hunt for it's own food, and mounted dragon hunters won't just find it while it's sleeping off that much sustained effort.
Why dragons would do that? Why do humans attack dragons?
You're the one insisting on your absurd assumptions. Since you refuse to actually back any of them up, and keep insisting on nonsense as if it were objectively correct, we're done interacting in any way.
 

MGibster

Legend
I'm feeling a bit inspired by this thread. I've got the seed of a campaign idea in my oversized melon involving a council of dragons recruiting a bunch of adventurers to go on some quests for them. This council is made up good, evil, and indifferent dragons who are working together for some mysterious purpose. The dragon's don't like to disguise themselves a humans for very long (yuck), and they find the questing to be demeaning so they get the PCs to do it. I just need to figure out what the end goal is. I'm thinking that the dragon's are simply trying to settle a bet and there's no dire threat.

Anyway, it's not my intent to hijack this thread about playing as dragons. I just wanted to thank you all for inspiring a campaign idea.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Anyway, I was talking to my gaming group about it, and thinking about this thread, and this is what I came to;

Dragon PCs: You are one of the relatively rare dragons that can take humanoid shape for an extended period of time. You can make an effort to fully blend in with another ancestry, such as humans, but your normal humanoid form is similar to that of some Draconids (half-dragons or descendants of half-dragons), with draconic features like horns, clawed fingers, inhuman eyes, and digitigrade legs. Unlike your draconic form, if you have wings in humanoid form they are part of the same shoulder structure as your arms, but you do still have humanoid arms. You cannot use these arms for anything but holding small objects or signaling with your hands while in flight. Staying in fully false form takes noticeable effort, and thus expenditure of the games primary limited resource.

In your natural draconic form is roughly the size of a quetzalcoatlus, and body plan, coloration, and general aesthetic varies wildly depending on environment and lineage, with everything from metallic scaled European dragons to Mezoamerican winged serpents, but very few dragons deviate from two legs and two wings and a tail. The Eastern wingless dragons are rarer, and closer in nature to the deific Great Dragons, but the younger of them can be playable.

Mechanically, most of your stats are the same in dragonoid or humanoid form, other than those related to size. In dragonoid form, you can leap into the air with the help of an updraft that is summoned without your needing to think about it, and in any form you can carry more than your size suggests without encumbrance. Nearly all dragons also possess the ability to move other creatures with their voice, either in the form of a terrifying roar, a rousing shout of inspiration, or a more subtle ability to push the emotional state of other creatures with your voice.

Half-Dragons/Draconids: One or more of your parents or ancestors were dragons. Draconids are humanoids with draconic features related to their draconic ancestry. Draconids are quite rare, since dragons that can take humanoid shape are, themselves, fairly rare. Most Draconids are difficult to distinguish at a glance from a Parthian, while other have trouble disguising thier ancestry due to great horns or wings. Basically they’re like D&D draconic tieflings.

Parthians: These folk are descended from humanoids of various ancestries, gathered in the nation of Parth and it’s surroundings, who have spent centuries bonded to dragons, and have become something altogether new. Draconic eyes are the only easy hint at a glance to their connection to dragons. Most Parthians are a bit shorter than the average modern American human, tending to range from 4-5 1/2 feet tall, but much stronger than they look, with think hair ranging from black to red or orange with some rare individuals having hair in the blue-green range.

Mechanics: Parthians are compact but fast and strong, and naturally empathetic. They have emotional empathy and limited telepathy, and the ability to leap into the air as if using air magic even if they don’t possess any such skill, like the dragons that are part of their society, and are the most common folk to become dragon riders. They also have many martial and athletic traditions based on pushing this draconic connection further and perfecting styles that push the boundaries of movement, agility, aerobatics, and elemental attunement.

Dragonriders: This is an archetype, rather than an ancestry, though Parthians and Draconids especially excel at this archetype. You have bonded with a dragon, and formed a symbiotic empathic relationship. This most often occurs during childhood so that you and your draconic partner can grow up together. You share the empathic telepathy with your dragon, and to a lesser extent with other dragons and riders that you know.

All dragons have a somewhat malleable form, as they are beings of magic that understand the true nature of all sentient beings more naturally than other corporeal mortals. For most, this is a slow process of physically changing to better suit your environment, but dragons can also usually make themselves slightly smaller or larger, though it takes effort.
 

There are asymmetric games like Ars Magica which has magicians (powerful) and various henchfolks (not). Would doing something similar with troupe play fit your needs, or do you want them all roughly balanced?
This is exactly what I was going to suggest. I love Ars Magica for this reason. Also, the lack of balance creates for truly heroic events, similar to Eowin and Pippen defeating the Witch King while Gandalf is fighting elsewhere. For Ars Magica I would give the Witch King an obscenely high Parma Magica so you could only defeat him in melee, where he is also obscenely strong.
 

I'm feeling a bit inspired by this thread. I've got the seed of a campaign idea in my oversized melon involving a council of dragons recruiting a bunch of adventurers to go on some quests for them. This council is made up good, evil, and indifferent dragons who are working together for some mysterious purpose. The dragon's don't like to disguise themselves a humans for very long (yuck), and they find the questing to be demeaning so they get the PCs to do it. I just need to figure out what the end goal is. I'm thinking that the dragon's are simply trying to settle a bet and there's no dire threat.

Anyway, it's not my intent to hijack this thread about playing as dragons. I just wanted to thank you all for inspiring a campaign idea.
Typically what I do in situations like this is I make it dangerous or nearly impossible for a being, even a dragon, to accomplish this task. In my own campaign I had the PCs questing for the location of a Young Red Dragon's mother. The mother was fleeing a Titan who enslaved her as hisWyrmsmith. The dragon was left as a baby in the care of a Fire Giant to be trained as a Wyrmsmith, but hidden away and protected. She was afraid she'd get caught so she crafted a Ring of Mind Shielding to protect herself from scrying. Now that the hatchling was older she wanted to reconnect with her mother. She couldn't leave without rousing suspicion. Hence, a job for the PCs.

What if the Dragons want the PCs to steal artifact from a Lich King that slays dragons? None of the dragons are willing to die to get it. At the same time, none of them are afraid of a puny human or elf with this weapon either. This is where the ulterior motives can really come into play. You can paint the Lich King as some evil, warlord tyrant, which he is now but maybe it wasn't always that way. When the PCs move about the land on fetch quests to find the true location of the Lich King's phylactery, the more they learn about the Dragon Wars where aeons ago a powerful wizard defeated the Dragon tyrants. This gives the campaign a moment where the PCs have to decide whether or not they're going to deliver the weapon to the Dragons as promised, maybe let the Lich King live so the Dragon Council cannot regain control over the world, or take the weapon and slay the Dragon Council.

These types of choices are always great because there's always a player who wants the power for themselves.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'm feeling a bit inspired by this thread. I've got the seed of a campaign idea in my oversized melon involving a council of dragons recruiting a bunch of adventurers to go on some quests for them. This council is made up good, evil, and indifferent dragons who are working together for some mysterious purpose. The dragon's don't like to disguise themselves a humans for very long (yuck), and they find the questing to be demeaning so they get the PCs to do it. I just need to figure out what the end goal is. I'm thinking that the dragon's are simply trying to settle a bet and there's no dire threat.
A game. A long, convoluted game, spanning centuries.
 


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