Monday, March 04, 2019

How I GM Dragons

In my world of Elthos dragons are large, magical, intelligent, flying fortresses with massive attacks and, typically, an army of minions ... they are also secretive, and build fortifications for themselves ... since they are so difficult to combat, none of my players have gone after one in my world so far ... except once about 20 years ago ... but they didn't get far as the dragon caught wind of their arrival and sent minions ... that was enough deterrence for them and after some substantial warfare in the marshy region that lead into the dragon's valley, the surviving stalwarts retreated back to their domain to reconsider.

The End


BaneStar007 said...

I have 'taught lessons' to players of D&D about dragons. My most entertaining is having a once-off, at a convention, where the players get to play 9th level characters, usually 5 of them, maybe 6, the title of the adventure was "A Real Dragon, for D&D grognards". The Players had 2-3 lead up battles with local problems, then for several days, nothing, the scorched plains leading to the mountains were barren of life, they couldn't hunt or scrounge for food.

The Group brought a ballista, had all the trappings ready for some combat, mounted paladin. I let them pick anything that even 11th levels would have. As the group got closer, one player mentioned, he was unsure if they'd have enough time to battle the creature, as he had a talk to attend in 30 minutes.

The dragon swooped in from above, coming at a few hundred miles an hour, firebombed the landscape. They took 18d6 damage from the burning, another 3d10 from being thrown from the ground and rolled along the rocks from the sheer windforce, they managed to quickly load the ballista, get of some healing spells and prayers, but it firebombed the ballista from high in the sky, then swooped down again for another 18d6.

I used to think D&D HP was like regular system HP, and a dex save was 'getting out of the way' so initially, the thought was, you can't 'get out of the way' of a 60ft cone of fire..

Now, I understand that HP is the characters ability to withstand that much pain, and the dex roll is about getting into a safer position.. So we had 1 character survive this far, they downed a potion, activated some shield, as the dragon swooped down and landed almost on top of him.

Like a human looking up a mouse, holding a sword and shield. I asked the table for silence, and asked the morsel "What Now?"

The Player picked up the dice to attack, I understood this to be the dragon 'seeing' the human brace himself, and since it had initiative, it raised its paw and stomped the human, as I would a mouse with my foot. I let the player make a dex save, but having failed, I told him, this is no 'claw attack' this is a semi-trailer of weight pressing down on you, quickly and impossibly heavy, you are crushed to death.

The Table erupted into a mixture of applause from the watchers, and some outbursts of disgust. "This wasn't a proper dragon", blah blah, didn't follow the stats?! I answered with, 'who ever said a DM has to follow the 'guides' given by the book, only brand new DMs without any experience would do that.

vbwyrde said...

Well done, sir. Dragons are to be feared!