Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

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waylander39
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Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by waylander39 »

I posted this recently over at DF but though I would get some alternate opinions from the good folks here ;) . I heard recently an idea about using the dragon stats from 1e as "lesser" dragons and the stats from 2e as "greater" dragons. I'm considering using this but wondered if anyone else had tried this at all, and if so how successful was it?

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by BotWizo »

I did and continue to do something similar but different in that I use all dragon stats as lesser or greater dragons.

Back when we were playing 1st ed, all the time I would bring any variant dragon "color" (type) to our world. So we had all the classic D&D dragon versions, 1st ed versions, and any that I found in other places. We stopped playing regularly but played a couple times a year even when third was new, so I would take any new dragon types and fit them into first ed.

What I did do was to "normalize" all dragon stats, but vary the powers appropriately. As an example red dragons still dealt in fire and white dealt in cold.

This meant that if you just look at the chromatic dragons a white dragon was now as tough as a Red dragon as far as hit points and damage output. I used the former white dragon stats as young age dragons and the Red as old dragon stats. I am still doing this today in 4th ed.

The players enjoyed this since you couldn't evaluate a dragon by color.
I enjoyed it as a DM because I could have a powerful dragon fit the terrain. For example I wouldn't need to have a red dragon in a snowy mountain because I wanted a powerful dragon challenge and a white dragon would have been a cake walk, the White dragon fit the challenge needed.

So while I didn't do this for second ed I thought my example applied, and I think it sounds like a great idea since 1st and 2nd Ed were not that different from each other.

Have a great day.
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by rendclaw »

The problems I had with 1e dragons was that they did their hit point total in damage with their breath weapons, and that they were a little bit easy combat-wise. 2e fixed these issues, by giving them an upgrade to make them the terrors they should be.

I don;t see a major problem with using both sets of dragons, really.
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Big Mac »

One thing I like about 3e, is that you can advance dragons.

In fact, they have so many advancement options, that they are a bit offputting at first!

I do like BotWizo's idea of using a "bumped up" white dragon in terrain where a white dragon would make the most sense. I think that is the way to go.

I even think you should look at 3e's dragons (in the SRD) and see if you can retro-convert any good ideas that WotC came up with.
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by waylander39 »

It might be worth a look. I have a large pile of 3e and 3.5 littering my games room at the moment. Might be time to put some of it to use!

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by rabindranath72 »

I found 1st edition dragons to be better adversaries, overall. If played correctly they can still give characters a good beating, while still giving a chance for victory to well prepared parties. And their abilities and HD scale quite well with the level of power of the game. Instead, 2e and 3e dragons are too much powerful IMO, so I tended not to use them much; which, for a game called Dungeons & Dragons, is a pity.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Marco Fossati »

Cerilian dragons are very powerful...

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by waylander39 »

That's an understatement. If I remember rightly they start at one of the older age categories and go from there. Very nasty!

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by night_druid »

I kinda like 1e dragons the best; later edition dragons were almost too big (2e especially) and powerful (3e). 1e dragons are small enough so as not be winged godzillas (and therefore not consume the countryside) and weak enough not to overshadow the tarraque itself. I can see adventurers prevailing over a 1e dragon. Against a fully grown 2e/3e dragon? Um, how the heck does your sword cut those 3' thick scales?!?! Same goes for giants, too. :P

1e dragons have the added benefit of being a believable mount. I can easily see a human saddling up on a 1e dragon's back. The other editions? Eh, I know powerwise its not the case, but their size kinda makes me think they should just be used for "godzilla" scenarios...a single dragon shows up and Waterdeep burns to the ground before it shambles off into the sunset.
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by rendclaw »

You beat a 2e dragon the same way you beat a 1e dragon. Preparation, good fighters, better tactics, and plenty of augmentation and protective spells. I learned that from playing the Gold Box games. Haste, Bless, Prayer, Resist Fire/Cold are almost imperative for killing a 2e dragon, as would be potions of giant strength. I had an average 6th level party defeat a mature adult black dragon, only losing a couple of magical items in the process, and I played the dragon intelligently. Oh they were hurting badly in the aftermath but to be honest, in some ways they had more trouble with the water weird in the previous chamber. This was due to their preparation beforehand.

As a player, I was a 7th level ranger in a 7th-9th level party who killed an ancient white dragon. My ranger was the only casualty, but that was because she inflicted a telling wound with her military pick and the dragon decided to take her out.

I always believed that dragons got short shrift in 1e, and 2e made them the terrors that they should be. A party should not go up against a dragon in its lair without thinking the matter through. The only way to survive (no matter the edition) is to reduce the dragon;s ability to inflict damage on the party, while increasing at least the chances the party can hurt it.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by dulsi »

night_druid wrote:I kinda like 1e dragons the best; later edition dragons were almost too big (2e especially) and powerful (3e).
2E boosted their power on purpose. They decided to do away with demons and devils due to past protests about D&D. The dragons became the big bad guys. Later on they added the demons and devils back (well tanari and batazu (sp?)).
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by BlackBat242 »

I always found 1E dragons to be pretty deadly... up until we got into the double-digit levels, then we made friends with some in order to get rid of the bad ones.

Every DM I played with in the 1980s always used their Int (Genius/Supra-genius) to the fullest.

One even had them classed... multi-classed in double-digits!

Of course, that was the "Milty-Haul" adventure series... Milt had us playing uber-powerful bizarro characters... and we still got our butts whipped regularly!
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Marco Fossati »

waylander39 wrote:That's an understatement. If I remember rightly they start at one of the older age categories and go from there. Very nasty!

they are extremely rare (only an handful knon in Cerilia) and since they're very old they're powerful. They're not based on a chromatic scale but are all of a red colour and their breath is only an huge lava-fire breath.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Hugin »

I like my dragons to instill fear, whether that is into the general populace of NPCs or the PCs themselves. And even more so, I want them to be respected for their power and cunning. They shouldn't be invincible, but you'd also better think long and hard about tangling with a dragon, and find a significantly talented group to accompany you. A one-on-one with a dragon is reserved for the mightiest of the mightiest (basically max level).

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by waylander39 »

rendclaw wrote:You beat a 2e dragon the same way you beat a 1e dragon. Preparation, good fighters, better tactics, and plenty of augmentation and protective spells. I learned that from playing the Gold Box games. Haste, Bless, Prayer, Resist Fire/Cold are almost imperative for killing a 2e dragon, as would be potions of giant strength. I had an average 6th level party defeat a mature adult black dragon, only losing a couple of magical items in the process, and I played the dragon intelligently. Oh they were hurting badly in the aftermath but to be honest, in some ways they had more trouble with the water weird in the previous chamber. This was due to their preparation beforehand.

As a player, I was a 7th level ranger in a 7th-9th level party who killed an ancient white dragon. My ranger was the only casualty, but that was because she inflicted a telling wound with her military pick and the dragon decided to take her out.

I always believed that dragons got short shrift in 1e, and 2e made them the terrors that they should be. A party should not go up against a dragon in its lair without thinking the matter through. The only way to survive (no matter the edition) is to reduce the dragon;s ability to inflict damage on the party, while increasing at least the chances the party can hurt it.
Yeah I'll agree with the above, I lobbed a young adult black dragon at a 5th level party a while back and although 1 of them died the others managed to see it off even though they got pretty beat up in the process. Later in the same campaign they fought a huge old green and defeated it without a lot of hassle (although admittedly that time they had a small army helping them out.) It does in the end come down to how well prepared a group are and how they prevent the dragon from causing heaves of damage. I love them though, and find them far more fun than demons and devils when it comes to putting the hurt on a party.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by rabindranath72 »

rendclaw wrote:You beat a 2e dragon the same way you beat a 1e dragon. Preparation, good fighters, better tactics, and plenty of augmentation and protective spells. I learned that from playing the Gold Box games. Haste, Bless, Prayer, Resist Fire/Cold are almost imperative for killing a 2e dragon, as would be potions of giant strength. I had an average 6th level party defeat a mature adult black dragon, only losing a couple of magical items in the process, and I played the dragon intelligently. Oh they were hurting badly in the aftermath but to be honest, in some ways they had more trouble with the water weird in the previous chamber. This was due to their preparation beforehand.

As a player, I was a 7th level ranger in a 7th-9th level party who killed an ancient white dragon. My ranger was the only casualty, but that was because she inflicted a telling wound with her military pick and the dragon decided to take her out.

I always believed that dragons got short shrift in 1e, and 2e made them the terrors that they should be. A party should not go up against a dragon in its lair without thinking the matter through. The only way to survive (no matter the edition) is to reduce the dragon;s ability to inflict damage on the party, while increasing at least the chances the party can hurt it.
SSI Gold Box games were based on 1e, not 2e. I recall the dragons in the Dragonlance SSI games, and they were terribly powerful. There is not much difference between 1e and 2e characters, but the dragons are orders of magnitude more powerful in 2e. I can recall just two or three times in which I used dragons as adversaries in 2e, and every time it was a TPK or near TPK.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Big Mac »

Marco Fossati wrote:Cerilian dragons are very powerful...
The dragons on Athas are pretty powerful too. Powerful to the point of being very similar to the Immortals of Mystara....

...or maybe even the immortals of Highlander! :lol:
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Grimnir »

Personally, I like the 2e dragons as they should be epic beasts that require very careful planning to take on. I am currently running a 2e campaign that is a combo of FR and homebrew (I use the continent of Katashaka) where a family of reds (7 total, the King is a Great Wyrm) have ruled for hundreds of years. the party is working with a resistance and had to quest to find a powerful item to help eliminate the royal family. As of the last session they have found the item, returned to the continent, and are following a lead that may lead to one of the royals.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by willpell »

I take it that the editions you're discussing didn't use age categories?

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Grimnir »

2e does use age categories and in my game the royal family are all at various ages.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Havard »

Grimnir wrote:2e does use age categories and in my game the royal family are all at various ages.
Hi Grimnir! Welcome to The Piazza!
If you have the time later, feel free to introduce yourself to the rest of the bunch in the hello thread! :)

Your campaign sounds interesting. Do you have any more information about it up on the web? :)

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Princess Strega »

Havard wrote:Your campaign sounds interesting. Do you have any more information about it up on the web? :)
Echoing Havard. I would love to read all about it! :D
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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Grimnir »

I have not posted anything about my campaign online yet but I will get to that (I may start a new thread just for the game highlights). I just got signed up on the forum today and still need to say hi in the Hello thread.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by Grimnir »

For those that are interested, I just started a new thread titled "2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants" that details the campaign.

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Re: Dragons, dragons and more dragons...

Post by willpell »

Behold our cutting-edge link technology: 2e campaign - Red Dragon royal family as tyrants.

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