6/21/2015

d30 Challenge Day 21

d30 Challenge Day 21
This is my 21st entry in the d30 Challenge, which is a bastardization of an idea I first saw on Mark "CMG" Clover's feed. Now I'm a sucker for these things and I know some folks aren't so while I'm committed to answering one question about my favorite hobby each day, and putting together a d30 table before the end of the month, I know not everyone is so interested. I'll put the question & answer after the break, posting late in the day, and not promoting this on G+ so those who don't like this kind of thing should be exposed only minimally.

I think this is the best I can do....
Day 21's question is "Favorite Dragon (Color/Type/etc.)".

Ok, first of all I have to admit I'm not a fan of color-coding dragons so you can tell what their abilities are without having to suffer the consequences of discovery first-hand. The D&D concept of rigid dragon hierarchies based on color is a bit much for my tastes. I want a red dragon that spews forth lightning and actually has a vulnerability to fire.

I haven't read it firsthand...yet, but I believe that Dungeon Crawl Classics randomizes dragons...why wouldn't it, they randomize everything else.

To me dragons are the epitome of the Big Bad Guy pulling strings for the entire region behind the scenes. They are the top predator that has more of an effect on the environment than anyone realizes, due to direct and indirect manipulation. Not all of these effects are malevolent.....

My favorite dragon is the young dragon, the brood of these world-shapers that struggles to find their niche. These creatures, while still powerful in their own right, aren't at the top of the food chain.....yet. They make good foils or even allies for the party.

If I was to look back as a player I'd say my favorite dragon was a large female Gold Dragon that my adventuring party managed to rescue in a longer tournament adventure (HackMaster 4th Edition). One of the most fun tournaments I've ever played in. The setup was that we were going in as slaves to investigate something for the local king. Every ounce of magic was stripped from us...I even had to have my Gold Tooth of Purify Beverage removed, which did not make my paranoid DS Invoker too happy.

Once enslaved by the bad guys we had to scramble to escape and investigate what was going on. As a magic-user I had to be on the hunt for spell components. By the end of the 1st session (it was a two-session, or 8 hour, tournament) we had gotten a fair amount of magic items for the group, mostly potions and weapons. We were doing a good job clearing out the slavers, but hadn't yet discovered the power behind the scenes.

Early in the second adventure we discovered what was really going on. Essentially some bad guys were colluding with a male Red Dragon to abuse/torture/rape (?) a captive female Gold Dragon. They were experimenting on her eggs and creating abominations, as well as harvesting spell components. The small army they were trying to form was responsible for some of the kingdom's problems, but it was the tip of the iceberg.

At that point in the adventure we had two choices: try to free the Gold Dragon & thwart the plans of the Red, or just run and try to save ourselves. Taking on the Red Dragon and his allies was basically a suicide mission, but to a man we decided, "fuck it" and were off to fight the good fight. Now remember this wasn't some one-off with pre-gens, every one of us were playing PCs we'd been running for years, so we were aware this could be the final game with our PCs. We did end up hedging our bets a bit, much to the chagrin of one player. Our resident BattleMage was pretty much spent on spells, so we used a teleport spell to send him safely to inform the King what was going on and where we were.

Urddas Nerthol (uninked) from the Fraim Brothers
It was a long and horrific battle where life and limb (literally, one of the thieves lost hist arm to dragon breath) were sacrificed to stop this great evil. We were a round or two away from a TPK when one of our own was able to use the distraction of battle to free the Gold Dragon. Once she was released ol' Red didn't stand a chance.

Most of us miraculously survived the battle, but we didn't get as much loot as one would expect...mostly because so much had been derived from the Gold Dragon. As part of my spoils I got the Red Dragon's femur which I had fashioned into an exquisite staff. The staff is engraved with the name of the Red Dragon it was taken from and the name of the Gold Dragon who had bequeathed it to my PC. Dragons generally don't take kindly to humans walking around with dragon bits, so a little explanation might save me some grief later on.