PDA

View Full Version : Dragons Unleashed! But under a Truce.



DMMike
02-18-2011, 02:55 PM
I just found a collection of special dragons, eight of em, who need to be dropped in my campaign world. Now for context, this campaign world is low-magic, low-level, balanced ecology, and anthropologically consistent. That is to say, it's fertile ground for heroes and villains.

Now I've wanted to use sleeping dragons as impending-doom plot hooks, but it doesn't make sense to have some sleeping/cursed dragons and have eight of their peers roaming free, so I might call the sleeping dragon(s) great wyrm(s), while the free ones are younger. But to maintain the low-level and ecology aspects of my world, the free dragons are going to have to be self-regulating - like real world humans who draw political boundaries and pass some semblance of environmental laws.

To make the low-level and low-magic aspects more interesting (for PCs), the free dragons will have a span of challenge ratings, probably 10 to 20, and be the keepers of powerful magic.

With that in mind, I'd like some suggestions on:
-how these dragons maintain their truce/monitor each other
-how they spend their time, in people lands and in the wild
-reasons why these dragons aren't procreating (metagame answer: so they don't destroy the world like humans)
-what an encounter with one of these dragons might entail.

yukonhorror
02-18-2011, 03:40 PM
With that in mind, I'd like some suggestions on:
1-how these dragons maintain their truce/monitor each other
2-how they spend their time, in people lands and in the wild
3-reasons why these dragons aren't procreating (metagame answer: so they don't destroy the world like humans)
4-what an encounter with one of these dragons might entail.

1- like cold war politics and nuclear bombs. You fire, we fire. Simple as that.
2-playing, counting their money, taxing the people (pay us or you will be eaten). As for eating, part of the taxing is cattle and such.
3-the gestation period/menstruation cycle is over 50 years (and they are only fertile for a week), procreation is PAINFUL/deadly, and/or actual fertilization is highly improbable.
4-same old same old. Intrigue, torture, slaughter, etc...

Dolanar
02-18-2011, 05:20 PM
What is the overall alignment of these dragons? are some good like the metallics? are some evil like the chromatics? the good ones, *could* be inside human politics, many dragons pass for humans with their massive polymorph abilities, perhaps, one is a chancellor for a powerful King, playing the political intrigue game from the sidelines. the Evil ones could be vying for control of a particular hilltop, I always found sending PC'ing into a dragon battleground to be an interesting challenge. Do they help one? Do they stay out of it? always interesting roleplay.

DMMike
02-22-2011, 11:01 AM
Cold war. Interesting...
So, Yukon, the dragons actually do procreate, but it's just too slow/infrequent to notice? That could be fun. And put the price of a dragon egg through the roof.

Dolanar- alignment in my game is closer to choosing sides with deities than an objective balance/axis. So this bunch o' dragons will be defined more by their personalities than their alignments. But to answer your question, they can be considered to cover any or all of the alignments.
So do the good ones get involved in politics? (Insert politics snark here) I think that would be a breach of the truce, since it involves creating a network which could have influence. Or we could pull a cold-war factor into it: proxy war. The dragons aren't allowed to fight each other, but their proxies are. Still, this seems to lead to dracocracy, which is a bit too fantastic for my tastes.

Maybe a different perspective would help: you're a dragon-immortal. Centuries ago, your race nearly destroyed itself and the world. You and about seven other survivors gathered (hoarded) up the magical artifacts you could, and made a truce...

The best way to keep dragons from fighting, like children, is to give them separate domains. When societies do this, they just expand until they argue about overlapping areas. The tricky part about this is that dragons tend to be very smart, so you might expect their agreements to be ingenious. That should at least preclude the problem of domains eventually overlapping. But if their reproduction is sexual, they'll have to meet sooner or later...

Dolanar
02-22-2011, 07:07 PM
My thought process was simply: Dragons can have thousands of years of experience, so perhaps to prevent mistakes of their past, they help human kingdoms, guide their kings into prosperity under the guise of a wise adviser, though that really depends on what their ultimate motives are, it always seemed an interesting & plausible plot point for the PC's to find the adviser of the king they have been working for turns out to be a wise old dragon.

DMMike
02-26-2011, 01:08 PM
That might explain how Merlin grew young, huh?

Yeah dragons are tough - at least D&D dragons are, with adults being at least 100 years old, and the oldest (and biggest) hitting 1200 years or more. And they cast high level spells. And they tend to be as smart or smarter than humans. So - obviously on top of the food chain, and obviously needing lots of consideration.

So my group of eight (G8?): what if they're all male, and if they want the queen to bear an egg for them, they must behave well? And the queen knows what happened the last time those wiley dragons misbehaved. Maybe not - it requires an even bigger beast than the eight dragons, and I'm trying to keep things in balance. But...if that bigger beast is actually a dragon-god, then it can't upset a food chain since it doesn't need to eat.

Maybe an analogy would help. What's more powerful than humans, but doesn't much meddle in human affairs, and doesn't upset ecosystems?

nijineko
03-06-2011, 06:11 PM
I just found a collection of special dragons, eight of em, who need to be dropped in my campaign world. Now for context, this campaign world is low-magic, low-level, balanced ecology, and anthropologically consistent. That is to say, it's fertile ground for heroes and villains.

Now I've wanted to use sleeping dragons as impending-doom plot hooks, but it doesn't make sense to have some sleeping/cursed dragons and have eight of their peers roaming free, so I might call the sleeping dragon(s) great wyrm(s), while the free ones are younger. But to maintain the low-level and ecology aspects of my world, the free dragons are going to have to be self-regulating - like real world humans who draw political boundaries and pass some semblance of environmental laws.

To make the low-level and low-magic aspects more interesting (for PCs), the free dragons will have a span of challenge ratings, probably 10 to 20, and be the keepers of powerful magic.

With that in mind, I'd like some suggestions on:
-how these dragons maintain their truce/monitor each other
-how they spend their time, in people lands and in the wild
-reasons why these dragons aren't procreating (metagame answer: so they don't destroy the world like humans)
-what an encounter with one of these dragons might entail.

1) distance. cold war. truce agreement-uses third party to harass each other. grow weaker in each other's presence. illuminati. asleep/suspended animation, and using avatars out in the real world.

2)roaming the planes. hobbyist. domain portfolio concept. in other forms spending time how those forms spend time normally. playing chess races as pieces and with the world as the board.

3) they are all male, and the wyrm of the apocalypse is the female - they are killing time until she wakes up and they become fertile, highlander style.

4) depends on which of the various suggestions are chosen. on one hand you said biologically probable, but on the other hand they are keepers of magic too, which kinda allows for rules breaking.

tesral
03-07-2011, 02:05 PM
I recall (vaugly) a Fantasy story in which two Wizards had an interesting effect. The further away from them, the stronger their magic was. Deadly rivals though they might be sitting in the same tavern was perfectly safe for both of them. Rest of the tale didn't stick.

Take away what you will.

gaming poet
03-20-2011, 12:24 AM
Maybe an analogy would help. What's more powerful than humans, but doesn't much meddle in human affairs, and doesn't upset ecosystems?

Weaponless humans? Damn near everthing.

With weapons? Dude, we kill our gods when we have the chance!