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D&D General Tell Me About Your Favorite Use of a Dragon In D&D


I just love the Dragon Kings of Athas. The idea of powerful mages using life-leeching magic to imbue themselves with the Draconic transformation. Becoming a new evolution of magic user this way is pretty darn cool. Particularly with Borys as a clear example of the power of the end result. Smart, wicked, powerful. Everything I want from a dragon. Made all the the more evil because of the original humanity of their evil.

Very clever.

Plus the art… what can I say.


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I love to give dragons a list of spells they can cast, as well as give them actions and abilities they can use that are inspired from spells.
The issue with spellcasting dragons is that as a creature with a powerful multiattack it often doesn't make much sense for them to forgo that for a spell.

Red dragons just get an “Ashadalon’s Stride” style feature at will. White Dragon’s ice breath causes those that fail the save to be trapped in ice and have to use an action to escape like “Rime’s Binding Ice”. Bronze dragons get a “Thunder Step” bonus action feature to zip around the battle field. Gray Dragons get a teleporting multi-attack action inspired by “Steel-Wind Strike”. So on and so forth.
This is cool stuff that is not hampered byt the previous issue. And I really like the idea of the breath weapons having additional effects beyond just the damage.

In our Tyranny of Dragon mega-campaign (still ongoing), we've have had several marvellous encounters with dragons, those that spring to mind are
- Arauthator "Old White Death" who upon discovery that he was missing from his lair in Oyaviggaton a certain prized prisoner (Maccath the Crimson), scoured the Sea of Moving Ice for him and came across the party's vessel, the Frostskimmr. A series of attacks on the ship from beneath the ice-cold waters, forced the desperate ship captain Lerustah to beach the vessel against an iceberg to avoid the boat being destroyed and everyone drowning...a bloody combat ensued and it was but a loosed Arrow of Slaying which turned the tide and saw the great white take a hard fall into the sea. Whether the savage creature died or not is unknown, but her death was reported to the Council.

- The resilient green-scaled Chuth, utilised the pool intersecting two main chambers in Neronvain's Stronghold to great advantage. After 3 separate nova-clashes in the lair and a short rest which both groups desired, Chuth was finally driven from the Misty Forest. No kill, no TPK, but the struggle was real for both the players and the DM.

- The encounter between Voaraghamanthar of the Mere of the Dead Men and the party was memorable in that, the players themselves were fearing for their characters when the beast suddenly came into view...the wet marshland was not ideal terrain for an encounter with a dragon (from their perspective). Besides the dragon, the characters were keenly aware of the danger which lurked all around as unseen predators followed and waited for an opportune time.
On the other hand the lord of this domain, was not a fan of the recent surge of activity in his back yard, perhaps these strangers were to prove useful in removing the pesky Cult of the Dragon which had taken up residence. The social exchange was brief, a quick greeting with an underlying unspoken threat. But the encounter proved memorable, and to this day the party is unaware why the black dragon did not attack.

- The battle for Phlan which saw a team of around 9 characters take on Vorgansharax, the Maimed Virulence, in the ruins of the city's throne room along with tricksy kobolds, the Tears of Virulence (ex-Black Fist knights) and a purple-robed Cult of the Dragon wizard. The battle was epic in scale, lasted at least 15 rounds, saw the party split, two fighting the rear threat (ToV), another dealing with the kobolds, a third engaging with the wizard (CotD) with her retinue while the remainder fended against the green dragon himself. The battle came to an end when the druid in the party, who had transformed into a huge serpent, successfully wrapped itself around Vorgansharax and eventually squeezed the life out of the winged reptile.

However it has not always been rosy, I messed up on my Draconic Council. Bad planning and poor creativity on my part resulted in a rather uninspiring railroad of a scene. Ah well. :(

As for our best experience, IMO was a nameless random encountered black dragon of all things.
I did a play report on our Obsidian Portal page for this as I enjoyed that scene so much, which could have easily ended up as a TPK

After walking for hours in the Marsh of Chelimber (DDAL5-06 Beneath the Fetid Chelimber), the group had gotten lost (even with advantage due to the possession of a map). They were trying to track down an old half-submerged wizard tower that may have had information about ancient rune magic and possible relics. It was evening and visibility was limited, so they decided to camp for the night. The dwarven fighter who had taken 2nd watch, heard in the the distance a flapping of wings and then a thump as if something large landed. Her darkvision afforded her only 60 feet of clear vision in the darkness beyond the campfire but she saw nothing. After a contested check, a stealth roll beat out the dwarf’s perception. By the time she realised what was happening the dwarf had been hoisted into the air, leaving her with the sole option of screaming “Dragon, dragon!”

The others awoke, looked around and saw nothing, they could hear their friend was crying out somewhere beyond the blackness. The 1/2-elf cleric grabbed her stuff and ran after the screaming as did the dwarven rogue. The human necromancer cast an illusion around himself fearing the worst since he could not see in the dark so he was not chancing it. The fighter suddenly felt herself falling as she realised she had been released, hurtling towards the ground. She landed prone in the swamp taking 8d6 points of damage; Barely survived. Getting back to her feet, she looked around wildly for the dragon but there was nothing. Miraculously still clutching her weapon (save made), she continued to scream “Dragon, dragon!”
There was no point in running, by remaining still, at least her friends had a chance of finding her.

The rogue finally reached the fighter, but decided if there was a dragon he’d best hide and assess the situation. He moved to a position with cover, fell prone and waited. The cleric soon caught up but she ran straight towards the fighter. No one could see this dragon despite their 60 feet darkvision. Eventually, the rogue heard a rustling near him, only to turn and see emerging out of the inky blackness, a black dragon’s head, its maw open. The rogue scrambled for safety but not before finding himself engulfed in a spray of acid burning away clothing, equipment and his dagger. 11d8 damage and a successful DEX saving throw, had the rogue drop to under 10 hit points.

Initiative was rolled, the cleric went first, moving towards the beast, and attempting to shield her fallen companion. Whispering a quick prayer to her deity for assistance she cast Suggestion “Leave Us Alone”
The dragon motioned its head in her direction, as if it nodded, before slowly retreating backwards into the night.

With a spell duration of approximately 8 hours, the party quickly returned to camp, packed up and tried to put as much distance between them and the campsite, risking the effects of a forced march. The cleric and the rogue repeatedly failed their CON checks incurring several levels of exhaustion.

Lost, exhausted and depleted and several days away from the nearest haven, the party made camp some 3 hours away from location of the dragon attack, hoping that it had been enough...
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