I haven't played D&D for a while though recently I have started playing it with my kids. The group is made out of five. So far they have acted with wisdom and they have been lucky which allowed them to slay the Green Dragon in Thundertree. Are there any rules for disassembling the dragon for the sake of doing things such as selling its meat and making armor from its scales?

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    \$\begingroup\$ For clarification, "Thundertree" is the name of the city/ruins where a Young Green Dragon dwells in the adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver. The wording on your question probably should account for it, since "Thundertree Green Dragon" might be unclear for someone not used to that specific adventure (like thinking "what creature is this? Is this a homebrew?"). \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Jan 2, 2019 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would go one step further and either delete the word Thundertree or hide it behind a spoiler tag. Thundertree appears in a published adventure, and would be recognizable by people playing the adventure in which it appears. \$\endgroup\$
    – screamline
    Jan 5, 2019 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: "Is it possible to create armor from monster skin with that monster’s resistances?" \$\endgroup\$ Oct 17, 2019 at 12:53

4 Answers 4


There are no specific rules for disassembling a dragon or other creature to sell its meat or make armor from its scales.

Your mention of Thundertree leads me to guess that you're playing The Lost Mine of Phandelver, which implies a setting of The Forgotten Realms -- although not necessarily, you could forklift LMP into your own world and I am sure many do, and even if you want to remain as close to the default setting as possible, you end up having to make choices about how things work in your game.

I am not aware of any reference in 5E materials suggesting that the sale or consumption of dragon meat is a common, or even rare, thing.

There is official dragon scale mail armor, so it's reasonable such a thing could exist in your world. Making armor is a skilled activity, so maybe your characters have that skill, or maybe they don't. Maybe they need to find an armorer. Maybe any skilled armorer could make it, or maybe there's only one armorer in the entire world who knows how to make dragon scale armor. Xanathar's Guide to Everything (an official supplement) has optional rules that suggest crafting a very rare magic item would take 25 weeks and 20,000 gold, but it's up to you whether you consider that as reasonable in this case.

There are also numerous references to items made from dragon hide, dragon bone, or dragon scales which implies that there might be a good market for such items.

However, one does wonder how a trade in body parts of sentient creatures is perceived. Might a Dragonborn character take offense to a restaurant selling dragon steak? Might a dragon display the hide and bones of a human in its lair? "Yep, bagged this one back in '03, trying to sneak in to steal my treasure."

There are a lot of maybe's and might be's because this specific situation is not specifically accounted for in the rules. However, there is always the basic rule of D&D:

  1. The DM describes the environment.
  2. The players describe what they want to do.
  3. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers’ actions.

It's perfectly reasonable for the DM to say, "Okay, you've got a dead dragon", and for the players to then say, "Can we butcher it and sell it?"

Then, you as the DM need to decide ...

...what you want to do at that point. You can deal with it as simply as "Yes, you're able to sell some meat and scales for a 1000 gold", or "No one wants dragon meat, ewww, but the armorer in the nearby town will make you a nifty set of dragonscale armor if he can keep the rest of the scales." Or whatever you want.

You can make dining on dragon meat to be the height of haute cuisine, or taboo, or anything in between. You can spend a great deal of time focusing on what to do with the dragon carcass, or you can dispense with it quickly and move on to something else.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You could mention that Lizardfolk get the Cunning Artisan feature, allowing them to make specific weapons from a slain monster, during a short rest \$\endgroup\$ Oct 17, 2019 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my opinion, this answer is incomplete without referring to the DMG crafting section. (But it's still a good answer) I'd suggest referring to that first, as that's in a core rule book, and then referring to XGtE since that's got a bunch of optional rules (some of which are very good) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18, 2019 at 15:08

Jack's answer is great and already explains that there are no official rules for that kind of thing made by WotC. Instead I want to show a way of handling such situations, as I do it with my players usually:

Players will want to take things apart, no matter their age-group. They have just killed a pack of wolves, or bested a dreadful owlbear and now they want their spoils. Some want to get cuts of meat for the victory meal, others want feathers & claws as decorations for their gear. The party wizard might want to fetch some rare magical ingredients for potions & spells. And the ranger or druid might wish to render the rest of the corpse so as not to waste the life they've taken.

In order to facilitate this, I have them roll Survival and/or Medicine checks then they make to take the carcass apart. I tend to use a scale with steps of 5, to measure their potential success and thus their possible spoils.

E.g. they want to take apart your dragon. They would make a Survival roll to make cuts of meat and take off the skin, and might wish to harvest magical ingredients with an additional Medicine roll:


0-4: You manage to cut off some great looking pieces of meat, enough for more than one feast for you and your companions. Sadly in the process you weren't exactly adept. Most of the dragon's skin lies around in bits and pieces that might make for a good mug-warmer, or saddle cushion - but you will have to find a master-skilled armor-smith to make anything more from the remains.

5-14: With a few decisive cuts you cut the meat and skin off the bones, it doesn't look pretty, but it's not that easy to practice butchering a dragon anyway. You can secure enough edible meat and bits to feed everyone at the banquet that will be held in your honour after you return. A skilled armor-smith should be able to craft some dragon-leather armor and comfy mittens for you easily.

15+: You dig into the carcass, an hour later you 'emerge' from your task with a neatly cut up and cleaned out dragon. You left little to no meat on the bones, and managed to keep the skin in one piece - head attached. Imagine what a king might pay to have a dragon rug in their throne-room!


0-4: You can easily pull out some teeth and claws. But you somehow managed to bash in the dragon's skull when trying to get hold of a bigger tooth, the delicate eyes, tongue and brains of the dragon are ruined for good...

5-14: You fill a whole bag with teeth and claws of the dragon. The tongue and venom-gland you removed so adeptly will be highly sought after by the local alchemist; it might easily fetch you a small chest of gold or some curious potion(s) in return.

15+: The above results, and:
Going after a hunch you dig into the intestines of the beast. Inside its stomach you find a bezoar the size of the barbarian's fist!


Our group had the same issue. There is no 5e resource for this that we could find, but we are using the 3.5 version of the Draconomicon as an aid for preparing a dragon for sale of its parts. Starting on Page 5 of the book, it talks about all the different parts of a dragon's anatomy and includes internal anatomy and major internal organs. The book even includes rules on rearing a dragon.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already. This is a good start to an answer, but it would be improved by summarizing the relevant information from the book or pointing out where in the book it appears. (Or, if it's not directly stated in a way that answers this question, you should explain how the information given there could be useful to OP's situation.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 1, 2019 at 19:42

The DM's Guild has a great small supplemental rule book for collecting materials (animal, plant, and mineral), called the Wilderness Survival Guide. It’s only about 6 pages and is $5.

The skill check is based on the creature’s CR, there is a chart for the time harvesting takes based on size, the amount of material is also based on size, and there is a chart of material values. There is even a breakdown of how to craft things using said materials, and a chart with consequences of failed checks, such as poisoning yourself when trying to harvest poison.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please don’t copy and past non-free material for others to use. That’s copyright violation and something RPG.se should not be assisting. We also don’t suggest doing the “wrong thing” and pirating stuff. People can buy the book if they want the rules; put the energy into a good pitch for why it solves the problem enough to be worth buying it, instead. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2019 at 19:48

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