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Old 05-02-2018, 08:32 PM   #21
Kromm
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

Ssymm represents about what I'd consider an "average" level of customization for a dragon intended as a boss. I'd only use the bare-bones stats for medium dragons intended to be less than boss-like.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:33 AM   #22
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

If your armor suit gets a cold blast and then a hot blast, does it turn brittle and the joints fuse? Or is that a TV cartoon thing?
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:16 AM   #23
Kromm
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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Originally Posted by Not View Post

If your armor suit gets a cold blast and then a hot blast, does it turn brittle and the joints fuse? Or is that a TV cartoon thing?
All temperature-changing attacks would have bad effects on the temper of armor, I suspect, but that's beneath the resolution of the game and this example wouldn't be any different. That said, feel free to invoke the Rule of Cool (heh) and say something like this:
Anyone hit by cold breath and fire breath in the same turn experiences harmful thermal effects: +1 damage per die to whatever breath attack comes second, and metal armor has an 8 or less chance of permanently losing a point of DR due to popping links and rivets.
That's total fantasy . . . but then what's the title of the game?
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:00 PM   #24
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

I like to write that effect into monster stats, such as golems of various sorts. Cold makes them brittle (more damage from cr), but raises IQ and Basic Speed (superconductive silicon), whereas warmth makes them soft (lower DR) but slower. Switching quickly can stack effects.

In turn, that’s great infor for skill rolls to reveal.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:03 PM   #25
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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I like to write that effect into monster stats, such as golems of various sorts. Cold makes them brittle (more damage from cr), but raises IQ and Basic Speed (superconductive silicon), whereas warmth makes them soft (lower DR) but slower. Switching quickly can stack effects.

In turn, that’s great infor for skill rolls to reveal.
That's extraordinary.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:22 PM   #26
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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[I]...Anyone hit by cold breath and fire breath in the same turn experiences harmful thermal effects:
Now there's the dragon a high-powered game needs: a two-headed "Fire & Ice" Wyrm, breathing cold with one head and flame with the other. And totally screwing up knights' fancy armor.

Edit: Aaaand I didn't notice that that's exactly the dragon that was proposed. Skimmed over that part too quickly. Anyway, a fun design!
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Last edited by tbone; 05-11-2018 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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Here's an example of a dragon that has been fleshed out for an encounter:
Ssymm the Just
Medium Dragon
. . .
I enjoyed this sample dragon.

It's a great example because it demonstrates a large variety of traits and magic and how they are composed. Plus it provides some calculations in the description such as the cost for those area spells.

I'm always a bit wary of providing too many additional attacks in a one-second turn. Maybe that will work for some turns, but every turn creates a hyperactive image. I know this concept has been addressed elsewhere, but it got me thinking about an extra problem in Ssymm's case.

Does Ssymm have an issue between very active turns deciding which head will control the next coordinated tactics with the single body? Might that incur some hesitation?

Or since the mind is not compartmentalized, is there a dominant or collective consciousness?

In fact, is there any convention in fantasy for how multiple-headed creatures such as the Hydra coordinate bodily control?

Last edited by Tom H.; 05-10-2018 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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If your armor suit gets a cold blast and then a hot blast, does it turn brittle and the joints fuse? Or is that a TV cartoon thing?
Realistically, the person wearing the armor will be dead long before heat or cold will destroy armor. Other than that, sufficient cold will make metal brittle, and rapid enough temperature change can cause it to shatter.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:26 AM   #29
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

So, I have a different GMing philosophy from Dr. Kromm. Here's roughly how I'd do a basic dragon boss fight (intended for starting characters):
Adult Dragon
This is a relatively basic dragon, intended as a brute boss fight and quest target, but not as a campaign master villain or anything. It is balanced on the assumption that the PCs are hunting it, and will attempt to engage in situations that favor them, possibly including a side quest for something like potions of fire resistance. This dragon is not a mage, nor does it have especially complex mechanics; those are for later encounters.

The dragon's lair is a cave looking out over a cliff. It is in principle possible for PCs to make a frontal assault on the cave, but unless they're all set up with some sort of flight, having the dragon notice you climbing will be fatal. Also, the cliff face is the home of colonies of birds (won't attack unless their nests are disturbed, but will be quite noisy if they notice intruders). The expected route in for PCs is instead through the back, which leads into a dungeon filled with dinomen and other reptilian or fiery creatures that serve the dragon.

The dragon's cave, while large, is not large enough for the dragon to fly in; it's a cave about twenty hexes deep, five hexes wide at the door, expanding to a ten hex nearly circular area, then back down to a narrow passage at the back. The dragon must make a self-control roll (vs Miser) to abandon its treasure and flee.
ST: 50 (Thrust 5d+2)
DX: 12
IQ: 12
HT: 15

HP: 50
Will: 14
Per: 16
FP: 15

Speed: 7.0
Move: 7 (Air Move 20)

SM: +4

Dodge: 11
Parry: 12

DR: 10
Bite (16): 5d+6 cutting. Reach C, 1. A hit lets the dragon grab and worry, but also exposes the inside of its mouth, which is a weak point.
Fire Breath (16): 5d+2 Burning, Acc 3, Range 25/50. Costs 2 FP per use, and requires a 5s recharge. It's a fairly narrow jet that splashes, treat as RoF 7 and Explosive, but will only affect any target once (apply this limit after targets attempt to defend).
Front Claw (16): 5d+6 cutting. Reach C-3. Counts as a weapon. Can use as a dual-weapon attack (two attacks at (12), with -1 to defense).
Hypnotic Gaze (14): affliction vs Will, takes normal range penalties; victim is Dazed. Consecutive attempts are at a cumulative +1 resistance. Sense-based.
Hind Claw (14): 5d+7 cutting. Reach C-3.
Pounce (20)/Slam(16)/Overrun (16): 5d+5 crushing (base); see Exploits 40. Counts as weight 250, so cannot be parried with less than ST 35.
Roar: treat as Terror, but requires the dragon to take a Ready action.
Trample (12): 5d+7 cutting, halved for free tramples.
Wing (14): 4d+2 crushing or double that for knockback only (no damage). Reach C-4.

Traits: DR +10 vs. heat/fire; DR +5 on Head (Face/Skull); Extra-Flexible; Flight (Winged, Stall); Greed (12); Heavy Natural Weapons* (natural weapon weight is BL/20, or BL/2 for slams -- 25 or 250 lb), High Pain Threshold; Immunity to Disease; Night Vision 9; Miser (12), Offset Eyes* (eyes count as face rather than skull for effects of damage); Penetrating Voice; Peripheral Vision; Protected Eyes* (eyes have half of face DR); Quadruped; Temperature Tolerance 6 (Heat); Unfazeable; Weak Spots* (armor chinks applies to its natural DR).

Skills: Brawling-16; Breath Control-16; Diplomacy-12; Fast-Talk-12; Innate Attack (Breath)-16; Tactics-14.

Class: Mundane.

Layout
The dragon is 10 hexes long, and to attack hit locations you need to be able to reach them. On the layout below, A is fore limbs, B is body, G is groin, H is head, L is hind leg (can also attack wings), N is neck (can also attack skull), T is tail (its longer than that, but usually somewhat coiled), W is wings.
Code:
 A A W W L L T T T
H N B V B B G T T T
 A A W W L L T T T
Tactics:
The important thing to remember about large creatures is that they can and should be overrunning; even half of its damage is a lot, it's free, and the most desirable targets are often not in the front rank. Pounce is particularly useful for eating annoying scouts or wizards, but there's also no reason not to step on top of a target before melee attacking them.
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Last edited by Anthony; 05-11-2018 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:26 PM   #30
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: Making dragons slightly tougher

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Here's roughly how I'd do a basic dragon boss fight (intended for starting characters):
Interesting.

Where does the dragon prefer to fight intruders?

Did you intend for its lair to be a tight diameter roughly the length of its own body?
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