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38

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 ...


36

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. ...


33

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 ...


32

I would treat this as if the sorcerer had cast True Polymorph (another 9th level spell) and concentrated for the entire duration to make the transformation permanent. Since you subjected the sorcerer to great additional risk to use Wish to become a dragon (and the sorcerer really wished to be a dragon) you should treat this as a change in reality rather than ...


31

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, ...


24

"Wyrm" (and its variant spelling "worm") is a common but old synonym for "dragon" in English. It's not originally a D&D or RPG term, but it's seen more often in fantasy RPGs (and fantasy literature) than everyday English because archaic words lend games a more fantasy feel.


24

Originally, the term is an Old English word that means "serpent" or "snake". It was commonly found in old European poems, where it referred to a wingless dragon. The term was later used to refer to any dragon, as with Tolkien's usage in The Hobbit and other works (which heavily influenced D&D). In D&D, "wyrm" refers to a large, presumably old, ...


23

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 ...


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 ...


20

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” – ...


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.


18

In core folks do this with their tower shields A creature fighting a dragon can take the ready action specifying the action as I gain total cover from my tower shield and the condition as When the dragon is about to use his breath weapon. When the condition's met and the dragon uses its breath weapon anyway, most dragons' breath weapons no longer have line ...


17

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 ...


16

The Green Dragon's breath is described as: Poison Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales poisonous gas in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 77 (22d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. It is "poisonous gas" the Dwarf gets advantage on the ...


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.


15

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 ...


15

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' ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


12

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 ...


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

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 ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

Draconomicon (v 3.5) has the best information I have found to piece together what dragons think like and for the most part they are like geniuses that feel a small urge to eat sheep and hoard treasure. The most important element shaping a dragon’s outlook and state of mind is time. Dragons have no desire to live for the moment; they have a vast ...



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