JP On Gaming

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dragon in D&D

Dragons are awesome creatures and have always served as great masterminds and group leaders for. Their look, feel, story and the terror they should instill in most players is great to see. And as a writer... they just feel GOOD.

My favorite dragons in adventures have been Duskmaw (Black Dragon, written into the storyline of the County of Urnst), Kerridzar (Red Dragon, written into the Tusmit storyline) and the dracolich in Curse of the Azure Bonds. I have strong memories of those guys. Each of them was very different in outlook, goals, means and were part of an intricate story that made them unique and memorable.

I was one of the few lucky authors who was able to write one dragon of almost every color (except blue) in the Living Greyhawk campaign. They ranged from antagonists to allies, from masterminds to army generals to wannabe gods. They just have so much potential.

In 3e dragons were scary and that made them just awesome. Finally gone were the pussy 1e & 2e great wyrms with 80hp. Those things earned my respect quick and I again became enamored with them...

I remember running the Dragonlance Classic adventures (using 2e) where Sebastien Marquis's Knight of the Rose went in and kicked Verminaard's mount in the face three times and then proceeded to kill it in a single turn using the red dragonslayer found in the tomb earlier. I mean it was a joke... That was the last dragon I put in a 2e adventure...

In 4e however, after the 50th round of combat, dragons just become an endless series of meaningless dice rolls (they lost any meaning after round 40). When all the goodies players have were used and all that's left are the at-will powers (because the dragons won't *REALLY* threaten a party other than by extended boredom or a long series of good/bad dice rolls).

Still... stat and edition aside, I believe dragons should be written into storyline and introduced over the course of a number of adventures. This makes the players aware and excited about the upcoming confrontation with the dragon. In a built-up confrontation, the PCs will be on lookout for items or favors that could help them and when the time comes, they are ready to tell a story worth telling their grandkids...

Ahhh... Dragons...


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