I'd like to preface this blogpost by saying that I've never actually gotten far enough in a campaign to have dragons or fight dragons, but I've always had specific opinions on them. I've never been a fan of the ultra-powerful dragons seen in some media, nor have I been a fan of the ALWAYS ancient ALWAYS clever and ALWAYS magically omnipotent dragons you see sometimes. Basically I read this blogpost about dragons and I agreed with everything.
My current game uses Dominions based magic, and the dragons in that are elemental. But there are a limited amount of them in the game, not representing all of the magical Paths. So let's fix that, and show my personal opinions on doing dragons.
|I love this fat ass Dragon|
Dragons are closely tied to a single magical path, and while they do not cast magic as mages do they have some ability to manipulate their power over their path with their age. Dragons have a personality that is usually associated with their path, but all dragons are egotistical, self serving, and somewhat lazy unless very strongly befriended or humiliated to the point of hatred. All dragons have immunity to their elemental type, and magic of their Path is almost impossible to use against them. Dragons have magical power associated with their Path, but instead of casting spells they have innate powers they call “breath”, which is usually associated with their breath weapon along with other innate abilities.
 -Fire Dragons-
Color- Red, Rust, or Orange. Rarely Pink.
Breath- Flames. As they age, their breath becomes hotter, capable of exploding or simmering as embers in wait for an enemy to pass over them. Their fire can even move as though it was an animal, seeking to destroy the dragon's sworn enemies. Friendly dragon fire never burns or goes out and can be used to forge weapons and armor of great purity and strength.
Personality- Fire dragons are the quintessential dragon. Quick to anger, passionate, and proud. Red is the kind of dragon everyone thinks of first when you think of “dragon'. Their anger is a seemingly limitless well, and they can be forced into bad decisions or rash action if their enemy is hated enough. But even the most fearsome of Red Dragons could be subdued for a moment with a lavish enough declaration of inferiority and endlessly praising and stroking their ego.
Other- Fire Dragons are great in a fight and have the highest to-hit of all dragons, getting a bonus equal to their level +1. Their claws easily find blood and they go for the throat.
 -Air Dragons-
Color- Yellow, Honey, Wheat. They have feathered wings.
Breath- Lightning. They fire great bolts of lightning from their maw, and can control where it lands and how powerful it can become with age. Plus, they can fan their wings to create great gusts of wind, and are known to whisper to create illusions. Powerful Air Dragons can also use their breath like a 'brush' and cast many illusions and glamours across everything it touches for a short time.
Personality- Air Dragons are capricious. Impulsive and sometimes possessing multiple personalities. They are also the most 'cowardly' of all the dragons, though what cowardice means to a dragon is much different then what it means to a human. And calling one a coward is a good way to get a lightning bolt dropped on your head. Air Dragons are also the most likely of all dragons to disguise their true nature and form through illusions, messengers, and are able to throw their voice.
Other- Air Dragons are the best fliers of all dragons, and are extremely agile when flying around. They can outmaneuver almost any other dragon in flight.
 -Water Dragons-
Color- Blue, Aqua, Cobalt. They have finned spines and webbing between their claws.
Breath- Water & Frost. The intensity of the cold increases with age, as does the strength of the water jet they can spout. Their water breath can eventually seek out targets to drown, or rush to fill in space and then freeze to kill whoever was caught in the area.
Personality- Water Dragons are known to be distant and flexible. They hide their true emotions well, and many have complex plots and enjoy playing mind and riddle games. Water Dragons, just like water itself, are very diverse and can live in rivers, lakes, the oceans, or in the frozen North and often pick up many different languages and stories to tell.
Other- Water Dragons are naturally the best swimmers in the dragon world and are resistant to both hot and cold water, frost, as well as the pressure from the ocean depths. The older they get the longer they can hold their breath, until eventually they can grow gills and breath underwater.
 -Earth Dragons-
Color- Brown, Glossy, Copper or Bronze. Their teeth and claws are metallic.
Breath- Sandstorm. Their breath flies forth like sand that rusts and degrades metal equipment, blasts apart fortifications, and they can slam their fat tails so hard that it creates earthquakes. Extremely powerful Earth Dragons has breath that can petrify living things when it touches them, turning them into stone. Sometimes they can vomit up massive boulders to fling at their foes.
Personality- Conservative and lethargic. Unlike other dragons, Earth Dragons may allow a hated rival to simply pass them by due to being lazy or having other things to worry about. They tend not to change their minds about anything, and befriending one is hard, but once you have you will never lose their favor. Earth Dragons also have impressive memories and can remember seemingly every conversation they have had and every time detail of another being's appearance.
Other- Earth Dragons have the strongest claws and hide of all dragons and they know it. They are also known to eat metallic ores and crystals deep in the Earth to keep their claws and scales strong. They can also eat stones and gravel, which they may be able to gain some energy from but mostly eat it to help grind up their food since it takes months for them to digest whatever they eat. Earth Dragons can dig up some of the most valuable and strongest ores as gifts for mortals.
 -Astral Dragons-
Color- Prismatic, Chrome, Crystal. Stars and galaxies are visible beneath their scales.
Breath- Light. Intense light from the sun that can burn undead, or ultra-bright light that can blind anyone caught in it. They can also fire out astral light that saps the strength from those it touches, making them fall to the floor exhausted with several levels drained. Old Astral Dragons are also capable of speaking a decree to the universe and their words make reality change to make it so, if even only for a short period of time.
Personality- Indifferent, arcane, and cosmic. They are obsessed with the bigger picture and always seem to have an ulterior motive. You will never meet one by chance. Astral dragons are one of the strangest and most magical kinds of dragon and they take that in stride. Astral Dragons are also the only kind of dragon known to be able to talk telepathically, and seem to know what you think before you even speak it aloud.
Other- Astral Dragons can appear as comets when they fly, and it is unknown if all comets are Astral Dragons in flight or if they merely appear that way to hide their movements. They are highly resistant to enemy spells. Every Astral Dragon has a secret 'calendar' dictating their 'tide'; where they grow or weaken in strength, size, and magical power from the rotations of the cosmic bodies.
 -Death Dragons-
Color- Black, Purple, Dark Gray. They live even in death and may appear as skeletal.
Breath- Death. They exhale black darkness that kills all but the most stalwart. They can also breath out great miasma that spreads disease and terror. By tapping their claw against the ground, they can force nearby corpses to rise as zombie or skeleton servants. Powerful Death Dragons may be able to use breath weapons that copy other dragons but from the realms of the dead; such as Banefire which makes those burned by it feebleminded or black stygian water that inflicts rapid aging. Flapping their wings sends locusts to spread pestilence.
Personality- Nihilistic. Beyond being fatalist, most black dragons know the secrets of death as soon as they are hatched and actually retain their personalities long after the die. They see little value in life and view most mortals as being pawns instead of individual beings. Still; powerful necromancers and mages of other Paths can occasionally attract a black dragon as a bodyguard or lover; though being a black dragon's object of affection can be just as dangerous as its enemy.
Other- Unlike other dragons who become corpses when they die and may be able to be raised by powerful necromancers, death dragons become one with the realms of the dead and act as its guardians and servants. These skeletal dragons are sometimes called reaper dragons and are responsible for forcibly retrieving the most powerful of beings who escaped the tartarian realms.
 -Nature Dragons-
Color- Green, Emerald, Chameleon. They tend to have tusks or antlers and have fur.
Breath- Toxic clouds. Nature Dragons breathe out clouds of poison gas that kills those who breath it. They can also breathe out a great amount of leaves that entangles and ensnares those caught in it with vines and foliage. Nature Dragons can speak to every animal and powerful Nature Dragons can even transform beings into other animals by locking eyes with them and exerting their will.
Personality- Nature Dragons are the oldest and often physically largest dragons. They understand better then all other dragons the struggle of mortal beings and the circle of life. This does not necessarily mean they are kind, as Nature Dragons may very well direct a lost child towards a hungry predator to keep the balance in the woods as they would to send them back to their village. Despite seeming calm and rational Nature Dragons also have very sharp senses and instincts and may pounce on anyone who runs from them, triggering some kind of prey drive.
Other- Nature Dragons have some of the most diversity in their body type of all dragons; some Nature Dragons are fat and huge, others are slender like a snake. Many don't even have wings, but they are known to be able to regenerate body parts over time if gravely injured. All dragons sleep for long periods, but Nature Dragons can hibernate for centuries, and many still lie dormant in the wilds.
 -Blood Dragons-
Color- Fleshy, Scaleless, Crimson. Always distorted and mutated.
Breath- Vile Blood. Anyone struck by their bloody breath is tainted and will have demons flock to them and the victim will have a desire to sin and murder innocent virgins unless they give a confession and are baptized by a high-ranking priest. Powerful Helldrakes have breath that is known to subvert the will of lesser beings, making them into murderous psychopaths or even changing them into lesser demons upon a touch. If weapons are used against them the blood they spill has a similar effect to their breath, corrupting everything around them. Even in death, parts of the Blood Dragon's body will slough off and transform into demons who will seek to revive their original form.
Personality- Pure evil and insanity. There is no reasoning with a hell dragon, as they are not of this world and seek only the destruction of everything good and pure. Blood Dragons are among the most powerful of all kinds of demons, and having even one of them in existence is a threat to all existence.
Other- Blood Dragons are among the most powerful lords of hell, and the only way to summon one into the world is to partake in a massive torturous sacrifice of many hundreds of virgins. The only way to learn these blood rites is through many powerful and manipulative demons; needless to say only a master blood mage has even a chance of summoning one even with the necessary sacrifices.
 -Holy Dragons-
Color- White, with golden claws and armor. Adorned with jewels and a heavenly choir follows them.
Breath- Golden light that restores the wounds of the good and fills the people with hope. Destroys evil utterly and causes the unrighteous to grovel in guilt and lay down their weapons. The wings of a holy dragon can be brought down to their sides and used as impenetrable shields to protect scores of innocents. The glare of an Arch-Angel Dragon can burn a wicked person into dust. Anyone who strikes a holy dragon must make a save or have their own attack turn back against themselves.
Personality- Benevolent and ferocious protectors of the righteous. They do not usually speak except to chant prayers and condemn evil, and to reassure the meek of their protection. Holy Dragons do not exist in this world for very long and only relentlessly seek out their objective before disappearing back into the heavens again. Mighty heroes may occasionally be allowed to ride a Holy Dragon to reach a place of utmost important on a righteous quest.
Other- All Holy Dragons are Arch-Angels sent from heaven, and only in moments of cataclysmic need to they ever appear in this world, usually to face a Blood Dragon or other powerful demonic force. Like all Angels, Holy Dragons are shapeshifters and may appear as a white robed woman to give warnings or prophecies before taking on dragon form to fight. To even see a Holy Dragon is said to be a good omen.