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Old 06-30-2016, 01:32 PM   #21
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Thoughts On Dragons

Well, why should a dragon follow deals made with individual humans? They have such short lives with descenedents/successors usually acting as if that deal made just last century was forgotten. Back stabbing lying monkeys, the lot of them.
But like ants, it's less hassle to placate them with promises not to wreck their little nests than to risk the swarms that make such a mess and might even kill a proper dragon or two.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:36 PM   #22
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...
This should allow a campaign world where everyone goes on about dragons - maybe even build dungeons as dragon resistant fortifications - but you never actually see one. Until some silly fornicator summons one - and then you may have more luck banishing it than killing it.

Potentially such a world can also include dragon like animals, possibly precursor made, and trading on the psychological value of real dragons in warfare.
At least with pure spirit dragons, you don't have the biological questions of breeding populations, nestlings, and required caloric intake. They eat princesses etc. as magical blood sacrifices. This also brushes away the problem and potential of draconic body parts though.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:36 PM   #23
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In my world, dragons are the first of four races to exist in the world and the race of which the dominant religion's Christ figure was born. They're people like any of the other groups, but tend to be larger, more powerful, and slower to breed. Humankind eagerly breeds with them, thus leading to the proliferation of half-dragon races such as lizardmen and nagas who vastly outnumber pure dragons.

There are also dragon-like animals subject to the same targeted weaponry, but as with apes and humans, or elves and pansy flowers, have no shared ancestry. These are about as likely to be called dinos, saurs, or just reptilian animals as they are to be conflated with true dragons.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:26 PM   #24
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I've always looked at Dragons as one of the top "monsters" in a fantasy universe. May be not the end all be all of things, but they definitely should be frightening and dangerous to tangle with. I don't know if they have to necessarily be indestructible or battleship tough, but they really should be quick and have raw devastating power.

I like to imagine that the size and speed of flight of such a creature causes even the stout to flee to safety. The aftermath of a fire blast should sap the will to fight and cause conviction to fail in the most battle hardened veteran. I doubt I would make the fear aspect a supernatural attack even the heroes have to roll save against, but I would definitely make the NPCs auto-fail or have to make a roll. Force the players into the role of the only ones capable of stopping the menace.

So for me many would fail to even dare to challenge such a thing after they've seen what it could do. Given the tactics it could employ outside of its hidden lair, it wouldn't really need that many hit points.

The what they are, for me, is the big deal. I feel like if its just an animal, its hard to fit into a semi-realistic world given the average person's notion of what it would likely need to eat (every day even). In High-Fantasy they're just there. But when you get lower than that and the world is wrapped in more common concerns, it will make it hard to wonder why the Dragon hasn't destroyed everything yet. So I always lean towards Dragons as magical for one reason or another.

I like how D&D: Dark Sun had the sorcerer kings wish to change into Dragons for more power.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:26 PM   #25
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But he apparently fell short of Ancalagon the Black.
No doubt. Shelob falls far short of Ungoliant, too. The lesser dragons of later Ages are to Smaug as the lesser Spiders are to Shelob, but both the Third Age great ones pale in comparison to their primordial ultimates.

For that matter, Ancalagon is not in the same league as Ungoliant. She appears to have been more like the Valar than dragons, part of the ancient primal order somehow corrupted.
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Old 07-01-2016, 05:41 AM   #26
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I personally prefer the notion of dragon as animal, albeit a particularly smart and deadly animal. If my players walk away thinking of dragons as several thousand or even just several hundred pounds of devious winged death then I have done the job properly. As a net result my dragons tend to look a lot like large, venomous and particularly smart pterosaurs.
I have approached my dragons similarly when ever I've used them in GURPS.

I prefer dragons as mute beasts, not too much larger than real-life (or prehistoric) apex predators, and I often substitute poison for fire. This works well in low-fantasy and sword and sorcery campaigns. It allows for St. Georges and Sigurds to do their thing while being too much for the local villagers to hand on their own.

Some day I may model my dragons on Le Guin's from the Earthsea books, instead.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:24 AM   #27
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At least with pure spirit dragons, you don't have the biological questions of breeding populations, nestlings, and required caloric intake. They eat princesses etc. as magical blood sacrifices. This also brushes away the problem and potential of draconic body parts though.
I just assumed that the princesses were an extension of the desire to horde valuable property ... extraplanar dragons can leave you dragon parts if you also allow demon parts to be retrieved ... perhaps the dragon must actually incarnate rather than just manifest for parts to remain...
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:15 AM   #28
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honestly, the most influential text for me was the monster manual. metallic, chromatic and then the gem/psychic ones. but when i made my own worlds, i used eastern dragons, nature gods.
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:43 PM   #29
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The what they are, for me, is the big deal. I feel like if its just an animal, its hard to fit into a semi-realistic world given the average person's notion of what it would likely need to eat (every day even). In High-Fantasy they're just there. But when you get lower than that and the world is wrapped in more common concerns, it will make it hard to wonder why the Dragon hasn't destroyed everything yet. So I always lean towards Dragons as magical for one reason or another.
The thing is that in a low fantasy environment dragons don't have to be the size of a comuter train to pose a credible threat (assuming that they ever need to be). With this in mind you can get away with some very plausible dragons with body weights between a few hundred pounds and a ton.

Dragons on this sort of scale can be modeled based upon real world predators so many of the issues go away quietly, food demand remains heavy but it is achievable and nobody asks how they haven't destroyed everything.

This is actually the big selling point of dragons, they remain easily recognisable despite being capable of being tailored for a variety of roles and contexts- something that is true for very few other large mythical or fantasy creatures.

Last edited by Frost; 07-02-2016 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:36 PM   #30
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honestly, the most influential text for me was the monster manual. metallic, chromatic and then the gem/psychic ones. but when i made my own worlds, i used eastern dragons, nature gods.
I have all those appearances in my setting, but it's purely the differences in shape that are what we'd call races within the greater race of dragonkind; personality, coloration, and natural weaponry not being color coded in any way.
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