After yesterday's session, naturally folks are curious about my dragons, because a) DF lacks its own line-specific dragon stats, b) I'm known to write pretty good monsters, and c) because dragons are awesome and that's more important than a or b.
I can't reveal much about my dragons, because - honestly - I think I can sell them to SJG as an article or a book. But I will reveal some things here:
- I used the dragons from 3e and from the 3e/4e crossover book Dragons for inspiration. Especially rules for things like splattering (toxic) blood.
- I also took some inspiration from mythological sources, to make them more interesting.
- they aren't purely animals or mundane creatures. They aren't subject to the normal vulnerabilities of a big lizard. Basically because I didn't like the idea you could feint and then one-shot a dragon with an arrow or sword to the eye like it was a big dumb beast.
- some rough ideas of stats - that one yesterday was doing strikes in the 6d+6 to 8d+lots range, and used bite, claw, blunt horn slams, sharp horn stabs, tail swipes, and stomps. It was SM+4 (mostly due to mass, the mini was a bit thin for it), its strikes were parried as 30+ pound weapons, it had a solid Dodge (which is why the PCs were attacking it with -4 to -6 Deceptive Attacks!)
- Its breath weapon was doing moderate damage, but with with armor divisors, large area injury, and with cyclic effects. It did relatively poorly with its breath weapon and still managed to light folks on fire, burn Raggi with corrosion, and severely damage the armor of everyone it got to. And scarred Marc the laborer for life.
- I didn't like the idea that one spell could undo a dragon's main attack, so I gave it a split breath weapon. The one yesterday had either a stream of fire (a cone-shaped burning attack) or could spit globs of flaming corrosive ooze (an area attack with linked burning and corrosive damage). It also had toxic blood which splatters on those near it when it was wounded. So to fully magically seal yourself against its non-mundane attacks you would need at least 3 spells on everyone! The research of the PCs pointed to stories of dragons with poison gas, gets of corrosive acid, lightning, and others. So yeah, I did go with the D&D-inspired approach aped by so many game systems.
- yes, some speak, and some use spells. The one yesterday did neither. The ones that do are really worrisome.
- some of the vulnerabilities of the dragon from yesterday's session were due to Gram and the circumstances of the fight.
- the older they get, the stronger they get, and the more little perks of power they get. The young are just worthy, the older ones boss fights, and the sky is the limit.
- Finally, there are more dragons in the dungeon! Not just because I like to re-use minis, but also because those cheap-o "Alien Force" Chinese-made dragons were like $2, so I got a couple of them. Hurrah for the discount bin!
Basically, the way the dragon was statted yesterday, inside of one second it could reduce a 62-point warrior to automatic death in a second, or light up enough of a group with fire that they'd burn to nearly certain death. Greater heroes would be needed to stand up to it, and no amount of armor or magic or skill would be sufficient to render it truly harmless.
Although the one yesterday didn't kill anything, it wasn't easy, and I think it was about as tough as I was expecting it to be. As much as I generally do fungible monsters, I wanted to ensure the dragon had more impact. I think that it did.
Editing later: Oh yeah, one more amusing thing about yesterday's session. When the PCs arrived, I rolled on my "Where is the dragon now?" table. I came up with "out hunting, back in xDx hours." I rolled, and I came up with 2 hours. So it was amusing when the PCs spent an hour resting after the wizard eye spells, carefully checked the tracks and moved in cautiously, spent 30 minutes dealing with treasure, moved in the dragon hatchlings and spent a good bit of time dealing with them, cutting off bits, and resting . . . and then started to head out very close to the 2 hour mark . . . so I rolled again to see if it came back early or late. Early, just a bit early . . . although it might have been worse for them if it had caught them in the open. As a GM, it was very satisfying. Had I rolled much higher, they may have come and gone without the dragon spotting them, but it would have certainly seen the blood trail from its dismembered young heading out, smelled the humans, and drawn the logical conclusion that the killers came from the town . . .