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35

It’s a problem but perhaps not as bad as “ECL 5” suggests You are probably more powerful than a 1st-level character should be. You are not, however, as powerful as a 5th-level character can be, or even should be. Moreover, even as a 1st-level character, Wyrmling White Dragons have some glaring weaknesses that don’t seem appropriate. ...


32

The Dragon Needn't Be a True Dragon As Aaron's answer indicates, dragons that have appropriate CRs for the party will be at most Medium. Although that means the dragon could be, potentially, the size of a professional wrestler, for a dragon that's sort of... unimpressive. I suggest the following. Use a creature that could be mistaken for a dragon Were ...


31

There are three somewhat-contradicting definitions of True Dragon, from Monster Manual, Draconomicon, and Races of the Dragon (listed by publication date). Please also note my other answer, which poses a rebuttal that I’ve come across. Monster Manual The first definition, in the Monster Manual, is simply the “Dragon, True” entry, which ...


28

As intelligent NPCs, dragons will have a range of personalities and motivations; however, since your trouble is with separating them from ordinary humanoid NPCs, I would recommend playing up the stereotypes a bit to add some distinction. I will draw mostly from Draconomicon here, since the specified system is 3.5. It has some advice on roleplaying dragons, ...


22

Two ways. First, they're intelligent and can speak, so hiring or intimidating people to drag their treasure around for them would be relatively trivial. This can be tribute (as mentioned by Jadasc) but can take any form that minions would be capable of motivating (extorting, hiring, cajoling, bribing, what have you). Second, dragons are typically arcane ...


21

Yes, there are some pretty major problems with this from a balance perspective. Dragons have supernatural and spell-like powers, unusual defensive and attack features, and racial hit dice. If you're looking for a mechanical prohibition on playing a dragon at level 1 (instead of just comparing all the goodies they get to the features of a typical level 1 PC ...


19

First and foremost, yes, you can definitely allow them to hatch. What they are, how they grow etc is not directly answerable by the rules right now. A just hatched dragon will have the stats of a wyrmling. That's a good start, you know it's combat efficacy. Most likely, it will not achieve the level of Young Dragon during the PCs' adventuring lifetime ...


18

Tribute. The dragon sends emissaries to the town, or does a fly-by scorching, and then informs the wealthiest of its residents that unless they relish the idea of being charred or eaten, they'll deliver some choice valuables to the cave near the mountain once a month.


16

Much of this has to do with the history of dragons, and the fact that D&D draws significant content from existing cultures. Primarily, dragons were representations of the balancing forces in nature in many cultures. In Europe, they tended to be less so, though they were still symbols of longevity: Dragons are often held to have major spiritual ...


15

Resurrection This spell functions like raise dead [...] Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected. Raise Dead Target: Dead creature touched [...] Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected. Dragons aren’t listed, and so can be raised normally.


14

Swallowing has been modeled in D&D 4e on other creatures. You should be able to adapt one of them to the dragon just fine. For example, the Purple Worm DDI Swallow (standard, at-will) The purple worm tries to swallow a bloodied Medium or smaller creature it is grabbing; +21 vs Fortitude; the target is swallowed. The swallowed target ...


14

There are a lot of solutions here. Give him a magic item anyway, as discussed in the similar question Should I allow a Wondrous Item on level 1 character creation?. It's a third party class/race anyway, move the "Pass as Human" ability up a couple levels and push some other ability they get back a couple levels in compensation. He could stay outside the ...


14

Put the dragon in a bad situation The dragon doesn't need to be able to lose in a fair fight if it doesn't get a fair fight. There are a few ways circumstances could conspire to give the PCs a significant edge: Have the dragon already be fighting something else when the players show up (something it would be able to defeat if not for the players' ...


13

You've got the wrong end of the stick. You say it's "a description that is usually reserved for such races as Demons..." and then you wonder why dragons get this treatment too. Rather than wondering, that is your answer: dragons are something much more like demons – in that they have an immutable nature – than like beasts or (demi)humans. As for "Why?" the ...


13

There is a Wyrmling Blue Dragon that is only a CR 5 encounter that might suit what you are after more than redesigning a creature, though that is a very young, Small sized dragon that might not fit the backstory. If you need to design a monster that is meant to be a weaker/younger version of a monster you can also use templates such as the Young Template to ...


13

You Just Nerf Them Adventures do this all the time. Take the creature you want and then weaken it. This can be via templates like Young or Drunk as @Aaron suggests. It can also be done simply by wounding it or messing it up. Take as an example the feared Crag Linnorm. Well, in the Jade Regent AP there was this variant "wounded" crag linnorm with missing ...


12

I find this argument compelling, but I don’t want to add it to my other answer because so many people have voted for it and this is a reversal. Yes, Dragonwrought Kobolds are True Dragons Races of the Dragon actually says so. On page 103, there is a table entitled “Draconic Heritage, Dragonwrought, and Draconic Legacy Options” – ...


12

One thing that occurs to me is that a highly intelligent and powerful dragon might consider the low-powered human to be its pet. It might even be amused by the human's view of the relationship and attempts to "take charge." It may occasionally help the PC out of extreme situations, but it would do so for its own reasons, and possibly not always in ways the ...


12

I will base my answer on how dragons are depicted in Dungeons and Dragons, and also other RPG's and movies and books. You should have a checklist of certain things that will identify you as a dragon, in character. These are, in no particular order: Wisdom: As Bobby mentioned, dragons are old. Very old, indeed. As such, they will not rush any decision, and ...


11

Dragons do need to breathe (note that black dragons have the ability water breathing, indicating that a dragon without it can't breathe under water and is subject to drowning rules), so anything that asphyxiates them will kill them, regardless of the element. A dragon's resistance to damage of certain elements doesn't save them from needing to breathe, just ...


11

What a great question. My perspective is from being a DM. This was a game with PC dragons (metallic). I found I had to adjust substantially for the shapechanging abilities. This was unexpected - what I was more prepared for was (for example) the players being a very desirable target for the local nobility. Dragonslaying was all the rage in the land where ...


11

Here's a very simple way to give dragons unique personalities: You have creatures that live thousands of years, or, depending on your setting, forever. What does a highly intelligent creature do, with itself, during that time? What curiosities does it have? What hobbies? I've had a Green Dragon in one campaign, who dwelled next to a forest, to the point ...


10

I read in the Draconomicon that it is a common practice, at least in D&D 3.5e, for dragons to swallow their plundered loot and then regurgitate it at their lair. This would be akin to birds swalling a worm only to bring it back to their nest to feed their babies. However, it is just as common, if not moreso for the dragons to "convince" the remaining ...


10

Gary Gygax answered this question in an EN World interview, and at more length in Slayer's Guide to Dragons. Originally there were the five chromatic and evil dragons, each with a color that suited their breath weapon, and a sixth good dragon patterned on the Oriental model of that imaginary creature. As it was both or different origination and alignment ...


10

Like any monster PC, you have hit dice and level adjustment, and progress by taking character class levels. The difference is that when a dragon PC hits the age listed, he is required to take his next level in his Dragon progression (Table 3-21) instead of a normal character class. Creating a dragon PC As per the standard monster PC rules, you begin with ...


10

There's always Mongoose Publishing's 'The Slayer's Guide to Dragons' which should offer you at least some idea of the culture of dragons. Chapters include: The Physiology of Dragonkind Dracos Invictus (this is pretty much just an additional age-class for the dragons) New Races of Dragons Habitat Dragon Society Methods of Warfare Roleplaying with Dragons ...


9

The Bygone Bestiary, for Mage: The Crusade, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming and Vampire: Dark Ages has stats for Dragons and other mythical beasts. As @BrianS found, Dark Ages: Mage contains stats for several types of Dragons, including some weird ones incarnating the deadly sins.


8

Taking Dragon HD I’m reasonably sure you couldn’t find rules for this because Wizards never wrote rules for this. Personally, I’d rule “no,” since you are not a dragon, you just have the dragon’s body for a while. In dragons’ case in particular, advancement by HD seems to be a matter of it simply aging and coming ...


8

I've found some various things about running PCs with nonstandard races, although they're mostly from the GM side. Monstrous PCs, dragons included, will usually have a substantially different outlook on things than most humanoids. There are a lot of reasons for that: a longer lifespan, more powerful (well, they do have a pretty high level adjustment), and ...


8

Check out D&D's Council of Wyrms setting I don't think it's been updated for 3.5 rules, but it's a good start. You can also look into the Dragon Kings expansion to Dark Sun.



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