Gran' Paw, what's a dragon?

"Dragon?" Who done taught you that word, y' dang Turnip Head? Let me guess, they also done told you they was a form of thunder lizard, sorted based on the color of their scales. Well. they were right, to a point, but they were also egregiously wrong. Dragons, or a dreki as my grand-sire's grand-sire called 'em, are large and lizard like, but they ain't born that way, nor are their temperament a consequence of their scale coloring, y' kin?

See, they don't start out as no egg, but rather a man, kin to the likes of you or me. Now, we all gots our vices, true enough, but them there dreki-kin (see it was a consonant gradati--oh, shoot, nevermind, you ain't got the head for wording, Turnip), when they was man, loved their vices. Took to 'em more than was healthy like. Imagine them pinnacle of virtue's the preacher man's always telling y' about, then apply 'em to the vices he warns you against. Thems were they folk.

Lowest of the low, y' kin? You ain't gonna be finding the average, or even above average, hooch- nor whore-monger shrugging outta their skins and leaving what few villages we have for the seclusion of the hills.

Now, for whichever reason - I ain't the preacher, ask him - these folks became altered by their chosen evil. Corrupted. Twisted. And depending on the vice sacked up inside 'em, that's what led to the style of dragon. From there, their coloration is dependent upon the environment that they take to holdin' up in, and the diet they take to there. Much like those one legged birds down on the southron shores.

Now, here's what we've got to knowing about each of the sorts, based on a codex I seen in the city a long spell ago. They all take to having a fairly similar shape: monitor lizards heightened to draft horse stature, with the skin of a gator. Though, the older they get the bigger they get, mind y', and I've heard tell truly old ones bear wings, but, honestly, that sounds made up. Their claws do damage as though a Standard Weapon, their bite tends to be equal to a Great Weapon.

Yeah, that's the one.

Most of these tend to be one form of avarice or another, but preacher man swears they're different:

Magics a talent, and with so few of us left, a very few are able to master it. Like boat building, for them shipwrights of old, 'fore they all were called back to the old world. Understandibly, there are them that covet the ability for magicfying when they lack it. The worst of 'em take to hoarding any and all petty magics - scrolls, grimoirs, and like. Major magics too, don't rule them out. They can't use 'em, but boy do they like looking at 'em.

When the Vice finally takes them, they're known to be able to smell magic - from the spells in a magician's head, to the fetishes carried by a wizard. Their very breath is said to cause Maleficence upon them caught within it.

8 HD
Armor: Chain 
   * Smell Magic - The dragon can smell magic upon a creature, or within a place, out to 50'
   * Chaotic Breath - target must Save vs Breath, else roll upon the Maleficence table, suffering the effects
   * Steal Spell - Any castin' sort that comes in physical contact with the beast looses a portion of their magics. Whether it be a prepared spell, free slot, some magic points, or whichever your system hankers to, they're gone until refreshed as normal. 

Thems the ones for hording gold and other material wealth. We all needs a bit of coin now and again, but there are them that are never happy and crave it more than anything. Some even take to killing for it. It's that final murder that tends to do it. Either way, given their propensity to lounge upon their amassed wealth - better to guard, y' kin - their skin tends to stick with gems and coins. Makes them a bit harder to hurt. No doubt they can smell items of value on y'.

8 HD
Armor: Chain + 1
   * Smell Riches - The dragon can smell items of significant value (50+ of money standard) within 50'. The more expensive it is, the better it smells. 
   *  Increasing Hoard - Once per 1d4 rounds, when within 50' of the beast, a random item from the party vanishes from their possession and appears in the collected hoard 

These are the ones that tend to ravage the country side, consuming everything they come across: livestock, trees, houses, coal piles, and so on. The land around their lairs tends to be stripped and left barren. Their lairs themselves are little more than shafts of consumed earth, serving as den and midden. Following 'em, should you have the strange notion, is fairly easy t'do as their swollen bellies drag along, leaving a track.

Armor: Chain
   * Rending Bite - Any bite attack made by the dragon that is blocked by armor, but still touches the target, does half damage to the target's armor instead. Armor damaged in this way has a lower AC rating until repaired. Should the AC drop to touch value, the armor is destroyed.
   * I've Eaten Worse - Anything that finds it's way into the dragon's mouth does no further damage to the beast. Poison, fire, pointy bits; all are consumable to it. 
   * Vomit - The beast can expel the contents of it's stomach, burning anyone caught within the deluge as if acid. 

Thems be the ones kidnapin' all those princesses in the stories. Y' see, when a man and a woman...that is t'say, you're at the age where you'll, I had to tell your pap 'bout your age, it's his turn to tell you. Pester him for this one.

Armor: Chain
   * Pleasure or Pain - As the sublimating azure breath washes over the target, the target is given a choice. Either take the damage to HP or accept the effects of Hold Person (no save). 
   * Obsession  - The spit of the beast is laced with a powerful chemical that makes any touched by it feel an uncontrollable longing for their greatest desire. If'n they don't have one, one may be provided for them. 

Them there one that take to riddling and yammering on 'cause they thing they're better'n you? Thems the pride ones. They're magnificent and they'll make sure you know it. Their scales are shinier, their voices are a rich alto/bass.

Armor: Chain
   * No Higher Power - The beast is so devoid of humility that any, and all, divinely inspired abilities cease working within their presence.   
   * Pride Prevents the Fall - Any compliment paid to the beast - and it'll fish for 'em - will be "stored" and act as a shield, being sacrificed to prevent damage taken from a future attack. 

More of the "acedia" sort, than the "lazy" sort. These are the ones that take to brooding in solitude. Doesn't sound much harm, sure, but they do it to the point where it gets to infecting the very land itself. Green, healthy forests turn to black, dying woods forever choked in an unmoving fog. Sparrows leave, replaced by overlarge bats. Gloom. Doom. You're gettin' the picture.

Armor: Leather
   * Invasive Thoughts - Anyone the dragon is aware of tends to be plagued by invasive thoughts of failure, unable to act. All affected by these thoughts must save versus Magic every round. Those that fail will attempt to harm themselves to the best of their abilities. Poisons, cliffs, nooses; anything convenient. Probably most convient'll be the very weapons they're holding, autohitting themselves. All affected characters (still standing) must save successfully for the Thoughts to end. 
   * Slowing Touch - Anyone struck by the dragon must save vs Paralyze, or suffer a level of encumbrance and the effects that come with it. Effect lasts until a long rest.  

Thems the sort that go around breathing fire on everything. Theirs eyes literally burn with hatred, glowing as embers. Smoke constantly billows from their nostrils, and their scales are scorched, covered in soot and melted metal. You'll feel their heat long before you ever see 'em. Should you ever find a cave glowing with heat and surrounded by scorched earth, you'll probably be wanting to leave, as it'll most like be a den of wrath.

Armor: Plate + 1
   * Fire Proof - As living furnaces, they ain't inclined to be burned themselves.
   * Torrent of Flame - If'n you hear 'em start to suck in a deep breath, you'll be wanting to get out from in front of them, as they're about to breath out a 40' worth of flame. Not just normal flame, mind you. It's hot. Damn hot. Any one dumb enough to be caught in it while in metal armor will be burnt the next 1d4 rounds for 1d6 each.
   * Blind Anger - For whichever reason, should the beast's Intelligence be damaged (spell or what not), it's Constitution increases by that much damage. Should it's Wisdom be affected, it's Strength is adjusted. 

So why slay these creatures?

Because it's doin' a kindness to the poor souls trapped within, Turnip Head. Also, there's some that take to the fame and glory of it. And the loot. There's also a rumor that cooking and eating the heart will get y' strange knowings and doings. It's probably true.



  1. Found this blog from the google doc, and I am loving every bit of it. This article in particular.

    1. Hey, thanks! I'm glad you like it. I meant it to be the slow introduction to an "Eldritch Appalachia" styled setting I'm tinkering on, but then life took to sapping what time I had to work on it away from me. More's coming though, hopefully.