For further reading, see here and here. Also here is the Dragon statblock I use. Now, on with the show.
There are only three types of Dragons, babies, full grown and Epic.
Babies are young dragons. They are between the size of a large dog and a horse, brightly colored, and childlike. You should be able to fight one of these at first level, and a pack of these by level three. You might still die though. Intelligent, cruel, yet immature in both intelligence and cruelty. These are usually protected by their parents and have no hoards of their own.
Full Grown Dragons are the rank-and-file. They are between the size of a two story house and a small church. Bullets ricochet off them like rain off a tin roof, and most swords are utterly useless unless stabbed into a soft spot like an eye or underside. Intelligent, greedy, arrogant and insane. You know the drill, they breathe fire or something equally hideous, hide in caves, etc. These are tough to kill, but not impossible. They can be overcome.
Epic Dragons are the ones that populate Myth and Legend. These are the Dragons of Chaos, the King of all Reptiles, things like that. You're unlikely to fight one of these unless you're seeking one out or already level 20. Even if you do fight one, you'll probably lose.
First, all Dragons have a name. Dragons name themselves after the greatest treasure in their hoard. For example, Dawnbreaker, the Dragon of Quills and Queens is named after the magical Mace of the same name, as when he discovered its existence, he stole it from The Radiant Emperor 270 years ago.
Secondly, all Dragons have a title. This title is two parts, phrased like this: I am X, the Dragon of Y and Z. See above for a good example of this.
Thirdly, All Dragons have a Breath Weapon. They are usually immune to whatever they spew out of their mouths.
Fourthly, all Dragons hoard things. Most hoard something valuable, or at least, possibly valuable, but it can be almost anything. Two Dragons that live near each other will not hoard the same thing, as that would lead to conflict.
Fifthly, All Dragons have a Drakencult, a tribe of Humans or other short-lived beings that the Dragon rules over as a vengeful and merciful God. The Drakencult are usually as insane as their Dragon master, and loyal to a fault. In some cases, perhaps you could turn them against their God, but this is unlikely to work, due to the years of indoctrination and the subtle rotting effect caused in mortals when they're around a Dragon for two long.
Sixth, all Dragons are insane, and have a Delusion. This Delusion is something they believe, and will not go against. The only way to speak to a Dragon is to agree with their madness, and play along. To go against their delusion is the fastest way to get yourself killed.
And finally, all Dragon treasure is cursed. Anyone who steals Dragon treasure or takes it without explicit permission will be cursed. These curses count as normal, and can be broken. However, even if they were not cursed, the Dragon will go in pursuit of its treasure, either going on a rampage or sending teams of assassins after you, to slay or capture you and recover the treasure for the Dragon.
"Behold! You stand before the Great One..."
"The Dragon of..."
2- Burning, sticky Tar.
3- Clouds of poison gas.
4- Freezing Wind. Ice damage.
5- Life. Heals you past the point of helpfulness, then a bit more. Gives you cancer, mutations, and worse.
6- Death. The cold chill of the grave. Saps your Strength, leaving you a husk of your former self.
8- Dessication. Its breath is the hot wind of the Desert, which sucks the moisture out of you and mummifies you on the spot.
9- Toxic sludge. Poisonous and sticky.
10- Hallucinogenic Smoke. Like fighting the ghost of your long lost zebra father in the middle of a Bob Marley concert.
11- Radioactive Dust. Save vs cancer.
12- Shards of glass or sharp crystals. Does slashing damage. Strips the flesh off bone like a sandblaster.
13- Ultraviolet Radiation. Invisible and enormously lethal.
15- Green Gamma Beams. Does radiation damage, and causes you to save or mutate.
16- Anti-Fire from the Antiverse.
17- It spits giant balls of stone or iron from its gullet.
20- It doesn't have one, but is instead a level 1d6+2 Spellcaster.
This Dragon hoards
4- Taxidermed Animals
6- Religious Relics
8- People of some variety
17- Animals of some variety
This Dragon's Drakencult is made up of...
1- Horrible old men.
2- Beautiful women in sparkly dresses.
3- Identical Twins.
4- Dozens of clones of the same person.
7- Some sort of Beastman.
8- Clockwork automatons or Golems.
9- Tough street urchins who regard the Dragon as a sort of parental figure.
10- Warriors, berserkers, former knights, ronin or dudes with tattoos and axes.
11- Actors. They wear masks and wander around, putting on plays and performing improv with anyone nearby.
12- Musicians. They play music. Some of them may be able to weave magic into their songs.
13- Thieves. They will pretend to be normal servants, but expect to be missing your pocketbook and most of your jewelry by the time you leave.
14- Ancient people displaced from their time of origin. They could be cavemen or squatting primitives, or people from long-fallen empires, kept in the dark about how much time has passed.
15- Undead. They are bound to the Dragon with magic. They know no pain, fear, or hesitation. They burn in the sunlight, and flee from holy symbols.
16- Lepers or those with the Plague
17- Lycanthropes. Fairly normal except for when they get angry, then they transform into animals.
18- Young Vampires. They need blood, but have few Vampiric powers. Some have drank the Dragon's blood, and may have even survived the process.
19- Philosophers. They will challenge you to rhetorical debates and entrap you in chains of logic. You can just kill them, but if you do, aren't you proving them right?
20- Lesser Wizards (Magelings). No, not that kind. This kind.
This Dragon, like all of them, is actually insane. This Dragon believes...
1- One piece of its hoard is actually a forgery, and the Dragon is desperately searching for it
2- That it knows you, and you were hired to a job for it. The Dragon will mis-remember the job every few minutes. It expects results.
3- That their are rats in the walls, who are spying on it. It wants you to find the one controlling the rats, and kill them.
4- That it is actually a human, hiding in a cave from a Dragon. It will ignore the fact that it is actually a massive lizard.
5- That it is being hunted by the Shadow of a Tiger it once killed. The Shadow is stalking the Dragon, waiting for it to weaken. The Dragon is hallucinating, and sees the Tiger's Shadow everywhere.
6- That the Sun is actually a great, glowing jewel. The Dragon desires to possess the Sun, and is currently using its Drakencult to build some sort of fantastically elaborate and doomed device to reach the Sun, so it might claim the treasure for itself.
7- That the Stars are spying on the Dragon. It refuses to fly at night, except for in the most desperate circumstances, and tries to only go out during the day.
8- That its minions are incompetent. It will demand your help, then when you fail to meet its high and ever-changing standards, it will turn on you
9- It is having strange, prophetic dreams. Interpret them for the Dragon, and you will receive a boon. But if you interpret them in some way that the Dragon does not like, the Dragon will eat you.
10- The Dragon believes it is actually a destined child of prophecy, and one day it will receive the summons that dictate it to finally bring about the end
11- The Dragon believes and acts like it fills some important position of power, such as a King, Chancellor, etc. It issues useless dictats and has decorated its lair like a Palace worthy of the position it believes it fills. If the Dragon was ever sufficiently motivated to go actually check, it would find an usurper in its place, and that its totally sensible and useful declarations were not being followed. This would make it quite mad.
12- The Dragon believes that you are here to kill it. It will plead with you and make a few requests of you, and try and talk you out of fighting it. It doesn't expect you to accept though.
This Dragon's treasure is cursed. Anyone who steals it will suffer...
1- "A terrible, debilitating fear of the dark." The Cursed will be terrified of the Dark, and will avoid all Dark places, such as outside at night, caves, etc. This curse is broken by descending into the Veins of the Earth and returning alive.
2- "A ravenous desire to consume human flesh." The Cursed will develop a compulsion to eat human flesh. Eventually, they will dine exclusively on it. They will then eventually become a Wendigo or some other sort of once-human supernatural cannibal. This curse is broken by cutting off a limb and feeding it to someone else.
3- "An early, hideous death." The Cursed will die soon, and automatically fails all saves against death. Additionally, if they are reduced to zero HP for any reason, they die, no save. This curse is broken by someone sacrificing themselves for the cursed.
4- "By having the ghosts of those they kill haunt them." Anyone the Cursed kills now will pursue them as a Hungry Ghost, seeking to slay them and drag them down to Hell.
5- "By being pursued by a shadowy, implacable predator." The Cursed is now being relentlessly pursued by a cold, invisible intelligence that only they can see. The Predator cannot use tools or vehicles, but it never, ever stops. This curse is broken by passing the Predator off on someone else, by getting someone to steal one of your possessions.
6- "By being fated to perish in flames." You take double damage from fire. This curse is broken by killing a Dragon, or serving one for a year.
7- "By being rejected by their friends." All friends of the Cursed now begin to subtly resent them, and after some time, will cast them out and reject them. People who do not know the Cursed are not affected by this, but as soon as they start to know the Cursed, they will become affected by this. This curse is broken by performing a selfless act toward someone you don't know.
8- "For they will never be seen again." The Cursed's body becomes invisible. None of their equipment does. They also become blind, because sunlight passes right through their retinas. This curse is broken by giving away all your possessions, and not retrieving any of them.
9- "For they will lanquish in darkness, forever." The Cursed becomes unable to see natural light. To them, the sun and stars vanish, leaving the world lit only be fires and other, artificial lights. This curse is broken by speaking to a powerful Fire Elemental, and making a pact with them.
10- "For they will burn in the sunshine, as it reveals their sin." The Cursed takes damage from sunlight, as if they were a Vampire. This curse is broken by being set on fire.
11- "By being forever aware that I am in pursuit, and will never allow them to escape." The Cursed comes under the Delusion that the Dragon is right behind them. They will see signs of the Dragon's pursuit, hear its servants spying on them, see its shadow in the night, etc. They will develop an incurable and crippling paranoia. And the Dragon is pursuing them, but now they develop a nervous compulsion and paranoid delusions. This curse is broken by the Cursed changing their name and identity.
12- "By being unable to control to control their rage." The Cursed now cannot control their wrath, and flies into a rage whenever appropriate. I would recommend using something like this. This curse is broken by forgiving someone who doesn't deserve it that has wronged the Cursed, and giving them a chance at redemption.
13- "For their sword will fail them when they need it most." The Cursed, when they most need to strike a fatal blow (Referee's discretion) will miss. This curse is broken by sparing the next person the Cursed would have killed.
14- "By being transformed into a deformed freak." The Cursed is transformed into a piteous caricature of themselves, with a CHA/EGO of 3. They are pitiful, ugly, and strange, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This curse is broken by cutting off your face and having a new one attached.
15- "For under the light of [A celestial body significant to the Dragon], they will transform into a monster and rampage through the town, hunting their own kinsmen for food." As it says on the tin. The monster will have a malevolent intellect and personality separate from the Cursed, but will be as strong as them, and have their abilities. This curse is broken by being annointed by a Priest, Angel or Spirit.
16- "For they will forget everything, except for their crime." The Cursed immediately suffers total amnesia, with the exception of the fact that they stole Dragon treasure.
17- "By being branded with my seal." Any who bring their bones to me will be rewarded handsomely. The Cursed is branded with the Dragon's seal. Evil beings near them will know they can kill the Cursed and deliver their bones to the Dragon for a reward. This curse is broken by selling yourself into slavery.
18- By becoming immortal. This based on Death becomes Her logic. The Cursed is immortal as long any part of their body remains intact, and their soul cannot depart from it until not a scrap of them remains. Their body cannot heal except based on its usual properties, and the curse does nothing to dull pain or fear.
19- "By transforming into a child once more." The Cursed is de-aged until they are a child again. Their mind will follow the body, and within a few months, they will have forgotten everything about their life from before they returned to their youth. This curse is broken by getting married.
20- "By being pursued by storms." The Cursed is pursued by storms wherever they go. These storms bring constant rain, hail, lightning, and other terrible weather phenomena. This curse is broken by making a pact with a Lord of the Earth.
I don't know exactly how this came up, but this is an idea that has never really occurred to me. You see, I have a problem. My games...
Monks have been a fascination of mine ever since I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. I thought the idea of playing a foreign martial ar...
by Will Burke Hopefully, this is the final word for me on Angels, Demons and...