An Adventure Path Featuring -- and about -- Dragons


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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I particuliarly loved one dragon arc. If you are familiar with the adventures D&D put out at the release of 3.0, they featured dragons in some of them, but the most interesting part, was the reference to Ashardalon. In the first adventure "the Sunless Citadel", the character visit a sunken citadel. Hints indicated that it was inhabited by a cult worshiping a dragon named Ashardalon. The second adventure is not quite related but feature a young black dragon. Later on the player face the very same vampire that was staked to the ground under the sunless citadel. That vampire was one of the cultist. Finally, the character must face Ashardalon, while double dealing with a arch-devil.

The dragon theme is always present, but you don't face them a lot until the final showdown.

On a side note, ain't Neil ideas for a worlwound/dragon campaing looking alike to the sotry behind Dragon age??? Just asking, no offense as I really like his AP idea.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Mordo wrote:

I particuliarly loved one dragon arc. If you are familiar with the adventures D&D put out at the release of 3.0, they featured dragons in some of them, but the most interesting part, was the reference to Ashardalon. In the first adventure "the Sunless Citadel", the character visit a sunken citadel. Hints indicated that it was inhabited by a cult worshiping a dragon named Ashardalon. The second adventure is not quite related but feature a young black dragon. Later on the player face the very same vampire that was staked to the ground under the sunless citadel. That vampire was one of the cultist. Finally, the character must face Ashardalon, while double dealing with a arch-devil.

The dragon theme is always present, but you don't face them a lot until the final showdown.

On a side note, ain't Neil ideas for a worlwound/dragon campaing looking alike to the sotry behind Dragon age??? Just asking, no offense as I really like his AP idea.

I've never played Dragon Age, but he did note in his original post that his plot concept was similar to that game.

Grand Lodge

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I also would like an AP with a dragon as the always known BBEG. And I think it would work well to satisfy those who are looking for a Big Damn Heroes path as well.

Of course, I'm also the guy who is interested in seeing something set in Druma ;)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I'm actually less invested in a "dragon as BBEG" AP than in a "you get to fight LOTS of dragons" AP. Obviously, the two going together would be ideal - dragon BBEG, dragons as regular enemies.

I'd rather avoid the standard "one lone dragon at a time" encounter model, as you'd have if the dragon is just the BBEG or the occasional miniboss encounter throughout the AP (like the handful of set-piece dragons you have in Kingmaker). I'd actually like to see more encounters like the tatzylwyrm encounter - they ARE dragons, after a fashion - or the forest drake (IMC that became a youngish green that had sired a handful of forest drakes) or the wyverns. Kingmaker did do a nice job in sprinkling in set pieces with different kinds of dragons (the monster type; they did not have to be DRAGONS the iconic beast), including working them into random encounters. There were more wyverns, several peludas, and a group of black dragons encountered while crossing Lake Hooktongue in my home game.

I think it's entirely possible to have an AP with regular combat encounters with dragons that are not solo/miniboss/boss/BBEG encounters, where you can fight multiple dragons, where you can fight dragons in concert with other creatures, and with an overall draconic theme and (hopefully) end-campaign boss. It's not that every fight would be dragons, but often enough that it represents a theme that isn't just "working my way up the color chart of chromatic boss dragons." That *WOULD* be dumb. The thing is, I don't think you have to choose between dragon bosses and dragon fights; I think a great dragon AP should have both!

Paizo Employee Director of Game Development

I’m super-relieved that some of my fellow Pathfinder freelancers are stoked about some sort of idea about an AP that is dragon-oriented.

The over-saturation of dragons in the 3.x days made them un-sexy, and quite frankly killed a ton of interest in the fanbase for one of the words in the game at the time. I fully admit this dragon apathy was the motivation towards the drakes Mike Welham and myself did in the Open Design Book of Drakes. I was tired of seeing true dragons being chumps and wanted to have easily attainable draconic foes.

That doesn’t stop me from being sad that a dragon-themed AP failed to happen. I think it’s something that needs to happen in the next few quarters, and I think Paizo has the crew to make it happen in a cool way.

Dark Archive

Mr. Spicer: wonderful. I would absolutely love to run and/or play that AP.

Mordo: Good call, I was a big fan of Ashardalon, the Sunless Citadel, et al.

Another thing to look at for inspiration might be the 2nd Ed Mega-Dungeon adventure Dragon Mountain. One of my favorite parts of that adventure was showcasing that the lowliest of all "dragon" enemies in the game, kobolds, can be dangerous even to high-level adventurer's with enough poison, traps, etc. I love seeing the looks on the player's faces when they get their butts handed to them by monsters they were laughing at moments before. :P

PS. Hobgoblins are one of my favorite monsters, glad to hear they will be getting some time in the spotlight.


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Lithrac wrote:
@Jason Nelson: Good thinking. One could even further the reflexion to make the seed of a dragon AP (or modules series) as such: a cult of dragon worshippers aims to open a rift between Golarion and a far away planet where dragons live. They want the dragons to seize power and rule the world.

...dude.

Dahak.

The chromatics and metallics came to Golarion as refugees from Dahak and the chromatics that stayed loyal to him. They're still out there: an army of twisted angry dragons led by one of the most destructively evil deities short of Rovagug.

And now, a cult of Dahakite traitor wyrms is trying to raise a beacon that will draw the Three-Headed God* and his dragon armada down out of the depths of the Dark Tapestry to scour Golarion to a cinder as a minor side-effect of wiping out Apsu's children.

Sound dragonish enough? :)

*Dahak, aka Zahhak or Ahzi Dahaka, is traditionally depicted as a three-headed dragon. See Persian myths, David Weber's Mutineer's Moon, and Suikoden V.


Jason Nelson wrote:
Mordo wrote:

On a side note, ain't Neil ideas for a worlwound/dragon campaing looking alike to the sotry behind Dragon age??? Just asking, no offense as I really like his AP idea.

I've never played Dragon Age, but he did note in his original post that his plot concept was similar to that game.

You're absolutly right, my bad. I'd better read more carefully next time :D


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Interestingly, I happened to be reading Philostratus' Life of Apollonius of Tyana this morning, and it had a section on his visit to India (yeah, I'm still obsessed with Vudra) that included a dragon-hunt.

Apparently, near the city of Paraka (unidentified but perhaps in Kashmir), there was a temple filled with hundreds of dragon-heads. The young warriors of Paraka would hunt dragons in the swamps and mountains - these are creatures that eat elephants, mind you - and take the heads as trophies to be presented to their gods.

Here's the quote:
"[§6] Now as they descended the mountain, they say they came in for a dragon hunt, which I must needs describe. For it is utterly absurd for those who are amateurs of hare-hunting to spin yarns about the hare as to how it is caught or ought to be caught, and yet that we should omit to describe a chase as bold as it is wonderful, and in which the sage, of whom I have written this account, was careful to set on record:

The whole of India is girt with dragons of enormous size; for not only the marshes are full of them, but the mountains as well, and there is not a single ridge without one. Now the marsh kind are sluggish in their habits and are thirty cubits long, and they have no crest standing up on their heads, but in this respect resemble the she-dragons. Their backs however are very black, with fewer scales on them than the other kinds; and Homer has described them with deeper insight than have most poets, for he says that the dragon that lived hard by the spring in Aulis had a tawny back [Iliad 2.308]; but other poets declare that the congener of this one in the grove of Nemea also had a crest, a feature which we could not verify in regard to the marsh dragons.

[§7] And the dragons along the foothills and the mountain crests make their way into the plains after their quarry, and get the better all round of those in the marshes; for indeed they reach a greater length, and move faster than the swiftest rivers, so that nothing escapes them. These actually have a crest, of moderate extent and height when they are young; but as they reach their full size, it grows with them and extends to a considerable height, at which time also they turn red and get serrated backs. This kind also have beards, and lift their necks on high, while their scales glitter like silver; and the pupils of their eyes consist of a fiery stone, and they say that this has an uncanny power for many secret purposes. The plain specimen falls the prize of the hunters whenever it draws into its folds an elephant; for the destruction of both creatures is the result, and those who capture the dragons are rewarded by getting the eyes and skin and teeth. In most respects the tusks resemble the largest swine's, but they are slighter in build and twisted, and have a point as unabraded as sharks' teeth.

[§8] Now the dragons of the mountains have scales of a golden color, and in length excel those of the plain, and they have bushy beards, which also are of a golden hue; and their eyebrows are more prominent than those of the plain, and their eye is sunk deep under the eyebrow, and emits a terrible and ruthless glance. And they give off a noise like the clashing of brass whenever they are burrowing under the earth, and from their crests, which are all fiery red, there flashes a fire brighter than a torch.

They also can catch the elephants, though they are themselves caught by the Indians in the following manner. They embroider golden runes on a scarlet cloak, which they lay in front of the animal's burrow after charming them the runes to cause sleep; for this is the only way to overcome the eyes of the dragon, which are otherwise inflexible, and much mysterious lore is sung by them to overcome him. These runes induce the dragon to stretch his neck out of his burrow and fall asleep over them: then the Indians fall upon him as he lies there, and dispatch him with blows of their axes, and having cut off the head they despoil it of its gems.

And they say that in the heads of the mountain dragons there are stored away stones of flowery color, which flash out all kinds of hues, and possess a mystical power as resided in the ring, which they say belonged to Gyges.[1] But often the Indian, in spite of his axe and his cunning, is caught by the dragon, who carries him off into his burrow, and almost shakes the mountains as he disappears. These are also said to inhabit the mountains in the neighborhood of the Red Sea, and they say that they heard them hissing terribly and that they saw them go down to the shore and swim far out into the sea. It was impossible however to ascertain the number of years that this creature lives, nor would my statements be believed. This is all I know about dragons.

[§9] They tell us that the city under the mountain is of great size and is called Paraca, and that in the center of it are enshrined a great many heads of dragons, for the Indians who inhabit it are trained from their boyhood in this form of sport. And they are also said to acquire an understanding of the language and ideas of animals by feeding either on the heart or the liver of the dragon."

They sound like Black and Red Dragons, actually... Adrienne Mayor believes them to be fossils that were collected as dragon remains, not actual creatures.

Nearby is a fortress-monastery of the wizard-philosophers (Gymnosophists or Brahmins), who have innumerable magic powers, and are Apollonius' first masters in Hermeticism.

The whole of the story reads like a PF campaign, actually - wandering monsters - secret temples - magical academies - and intrigue with the Roman emperors.


I'd play (or DM) Neil's concept. Gladly.


I made a 1-20 campaign once starting with an adaptation of Sunless Citadel which led into a ripoff of The Rage (silly but makes things easy on exposition/motivation for a party) and it went really well - no one got bored because there are many monsters related to, in service to, that despise, or work well with dragons. I could likely come up with AP ideas too but I won't embarrass myself :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scribbling Rambler wrote:

I also would like an AP with a dragon as the always known BBEG. And I think it would work well to satisfy those who are looking for a Big Damn Heroes path as well.

Of course, I'm also the guy who is interested in seeing something set in Druma ;)

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game. We've done similar APs before, such as Curse of the Crimson Throne, where you find out who the main bad guy is at the start... but in something like Crimson Throne, there's a lot of great reasons why you'd not want to directly oppose the bad guy (I'm being kind of vague to avoid spoilers here).

But if the big bad guy is, essentially, a monster... keeping that bad guy alive and not slain by other NPCs or events in the world and preventing the PCs from trying to race through all of the intervening adventures or treating those adventures as "filler" or "grind" just in the way between them and the obvious goal is really, really tricky.

And avoiding popular dragon-themed storylines such as those presented in Dragon Age, Dragonlance, Warcraft Cataclysm, Dragon Mountain, or several other dragon-themed campaigns/adventure paths that Wizards of the Coast, Warcraft, TSR, or whomever have already done makes things a LOT more complicated.

Basically... dragons are REALLY well represented already in the "campaign" model. That makes us at Paizo less eager to explore that genre than, say, any other AP we've published or announced.


James Jacobs wrote:
And avoiding popular dragon-themed storylines such as those presented in Dragon Age, Dragonlance, Warcraft Cataclysm, Dragon Mountain, or several other dragon-themed campaigns/adventure paths that Wizards of the Coast, Warcraft, TSR, or whomever have already done makes things a LOT more complicated.

My question would be: does Golarion not have its own draconic mythology and secrets that separate it from any of these others? This sounds snide perhaps, for which I apologize if it does, but I ask because I feel it might be possible to explore the dragons of this world with more depth. I know the dragons have their own gods and creation myths and such, but is there enough left unknown about them in Golarion that you could create an awesome AP with it?

I don't have much in the way of dragon stuff for PF (only the treatise on dragons that you printed in AP #4 I think it was), and I don't know how much you've created for the setting. What I do know is that you've got some incredibly creative and talented people out there, and the same in the people you have writing for you.

It would be a crying shame if the lot of you couldn't make something awesome out of the most iconic and majestic creature in the realm of fantasy. ;)


There are dragons in places where you expect them least ...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I, for one, prefer Golarion dragons to be truly mythical creatures, rarely seen or heard and with an aura of mystery and ancient legend surrounding them.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game.

Wait why do AP have to begin at level 1? Hell your best work (in my opinion) Red Hand of Doom did not start at level 1.


Suzaku wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game.

Wait why do AP have to begin at level 1? Hell your best work (in my opinion) Red Hand of Doom did not start at level 1.

They don't want to break free from the format they have been using.


wraithstrike wrote:
Suzaku wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game.

Wait why do AP have to begin at level 1? Hell your best work (in my opinion) Red Hand of Doom did not start at level 1.
They don't want to break free from the format they have been using.

That, and the APs span multiple levels in 6 large installments. Level 16 is a sort of implied "cap" so that challenges of up to APL +4 remain below 21, until there are some 21+ rules to work with. Backtracking from there, they kind of have to start at or close to level 1... I would think no higher than level 3, anyway.

Also, they are designed to be mini-campaigns.. presumably taking new heroes from the start of their careers to the top of what the game supports.

Liberty's Edge

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Urath DM wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Suzaku wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game.

Wait why do AP have to begin at level 1? Hell your best work (in my opinion) Red Hand of Doom did not start at level 1.
They don't want to break free from the format they have been using.

That, and the APs span multiple levels in 6 large installments. Level 16 is a sort of implied "cap" so that challenges of up to APL +4 remain below 21, until there are some 21+ rules to work with. Backtracking from there, they kind of have to start at or close to level 1... I would think no higher than level 3, anyway.

Also, they are designed to be mini-campaigns.. presumably taking new heroes from the start of their careers to the top of what the game supports.

I would prefer to start at level three that way you can start playing veteran or someone with some notary. Besides why have level 20 and bother balancing class caps if you don't plan on letting the players use them.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Dragons are an iconic part of the game but James Jacobs and the team basically scrapped the idea of a "Dragon Themed" AP when they couldn't find the inspiration to tell that story. Who could blame them?

Dragons are primarily a High-Level threat, and the fact is they are solo-style bosses. It's difficult to come up with a Dragon themed AP that can sustain 6 books.

I would like to see a dragon themed AP that revolved around taking down a dragon that worked mostly behind the scenes. Influencing nations, guilds that sort of thing. The PCs would be struggling with taking out the dragon's minions and infrastructure (I envision this dragon having entire thief & assassin guilds at its disposal) all the while the dragon is maneuvering into a position to take it all over (if anyone has ever read or played the old d20 game Dragonstar the ancient red dragon that currently ran the galaxy wide empire had a plan to bring it all crashing down - his timeline was measured in centuries). There would, of course, be smaller/weaker dragons entrusted to run certain aspects of this plan and their elimination by the PCs eventually brings them to the attention the Big Guy. I've attempted to design something like this but just don't have the time/talent to make it happen anymore. I think it could be awesome.


Suzaku wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Suzaku wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game.

Wait why do AP have to begin at level 1? Hell your best work (in my opinion) Red Hand of Doom did not start at level 1.
They don't want to break free from the format they have been using.

That, and the APs span multiple levels in 6 large installments. Level 16 is a sort of implied "cap" so that challenges of up to APL +4 remain below 21, until there are some 21+ rules to work with. Backtracking from there, they kind of have to start at or close to level 1... I would think no higher than level 3, anyway.

Also, they are designed to be mini-campaigns.. presumably taking new heroes from the start of their careers to the top of what the game supports.

I would prefer to start at level three that way you can start playing veteran or someone with some notary. Besides why have level 20 and bother balancing class caps if you don't plan on letting the players use them.

Many GM's start have trouble with high level play between 13th and 15th level so they try not to go beyond that since it is normally GM's that buy these book.

The books also give ideas for expanding adventures, but the GM has to do the last few levels on his own.

They would also have trouble fitting 20 levels into 6 books since they have a limited amount of space to deal with. Longer stats blocks mean less story, and the higher level you go the longer the stat blocks get.


What about an AP built around a dragon and its brood:

Module 1: Young dragon starts to ravage a small town. It does the standard thing taking over a kobold tribe or simply forcing tribute from a local village. The village doesn't want problems. So it pays the tribute. Adventurers hired to kill young dragon by local government. Sort of like Dragonslayer.

Module 2: Dragon mother is angered its child is killed. So it sends its children to destroy the town that paid for its child to be killed. Players are hired to track down and kill these dragon brothers.

Module 3: Dragon mother is severely angered. She contacts an umbral wyrm she knows to assassinate the group while they're doing some other adventure thinking the whole dragon affair is settled.

Module 4: The mother is enraged now she calls all her brood and allies together and destroys the city that originally hired the adventurers. She puts a bounty on their head that other dragons and monsters are trying to collect. Most of the adventure is spent trying to survive assassination attempts.

Module 5: Surviving characters have to contact a gold dragon and accomplish some tasks for him to call on him and his allies to go to battle with the mother and her allies or they will most likely be killed by the enraged mother's dragon army.

Module 6: Adventurers have to kill the mama dragon or they are most likely doomed. Their backs are against the wall. It's win or have a nearly immortal dragon coming after them for the rest of their lives.

I'd go with something like that. Most of the APs have one BBEG. An enraged mother dragon would make a great enemy.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Maddigan wrote:

What about an AP built around a dragon and its brood:

Module 1: Young dragon starts to ravage a small town. It does the standard thing taking over a kobold tribe or simply forcing tribute from a local village. The village doesn't want problems. So it pays the tribute. Adventurers hired to kill young dragon by local government. Sort of like Dragonslayer.

Module 2: Dragon mother is angered its child is killed. So it sends its children to destroy the town that paid for its child to be killed. Players are hired to track down and kill these dragon brothers.

Module 3: Dragon mother is severely angered. She contacts an umbral wyrm she knows to assassinate the group while they're doing some other adventure thinking the whole dragon affair is settled.

Module 4: The mother is enraged now she calls all her brood and allies together and destroys the city that originally hired the adventurers. She puts a bounty on their head that other dragons and monsters are trying to collect. Most of the adventure is spent trying to survive assassination attempts.

Module 5: Surviving characters have to contact a gold dragon and accomplish some tasks for him to call on him and his allies to go to battle with the mother and her allies or they will most likely be killed by the enraged mother's dragon army.

Module 6: Adventurers have to kill the mama dragon or they are most likely doomed. Their backs are against the wall. It's win or have a nearly immortal dragon coming after them for the rest of their lives.

I'd go with something like that. Most of the APs have one BBEG. An enraged mother dragon would make a great enemy.

Sounds like fun!

I like the fact that the entire AP revolves around the actions of the PCs, rather than "stop the NPC plot." It's a fun twist, and was, I think, a big positive feature of most of the Kingmaker AP (yes, there were NPCs, but their plotting was pretty far in the background, and mostly was designed as a fairly organic response to PC exploration and expansion).


Actually I would like to see a Blue Dragon is Qadira working behind the scenes.

You start out with raiders trying to spark a war between Taldor and Qadira. Next would be Blue Dragon blooded sorcerer, etc. followed by a half dragon. You wouldn't even be sure the Dragon was involved until the 5th episode. There is a lot you could do with that.

Black Dragons with lizardmen and associated swamp related creatures threatening a nearby city would also work.

A Red Dragon building an army and starting toward conquest of a large area also would work.

So many options, Dragons should be feared and have vast pools of expendable underlings to do their bidding.

Scarab Sages

Was those who have not run Guardians of Dragonfall or Blood of Dragonscar these are two great higher level adventures that I have played in. By Paizo & 3.5 but worth it to convert to PF.


Jason Nelson wrote:
Maddigan wrote:

What about an AP built around a dragon and its brood:

Module 1: Young dragon starts to ravage a small town. It does the standard thing taking over a kobold tribe or simply forcing tribute from a local village. The village doesn't want problems. So it pays the tribute. Adventurers hired to kill young dragon by local government. Sort of like Dragonslayer.

Module 2: Dragon mother is angered its child is killed. So it sends its children to destroy the town that paid for its child to be killed. Players are hired to track down and kill these dragon brothers.

Module 3: Dragon mother is severely angered. She contacts an umbral wyrm she knows to assassinate the group while they're doing some other adventure thinking the whole dragon affair is settled.

Module 4: The mother is enraged now she calls all her brood and allies together and destroys the city that originally hired the adventurers. She puts a bounty on their head that other dragons and monsters are trying to collect. Most of the adventure is spent trying to survive assassination attempts.

Module 5: Surviving characters have to contact a gold dragon and accomplish some tasks for him to call on him and his allies to go to battle with the mother and her allies or they will most likely be killed by the enraged mother's dragon army.

Module 6: Adventurers have to kill the mama dragon or they are most likely doomed. Their backs are against the wall. It's win or have a nearly immortal dragon coming after them for the rest of their lives.

I'd go with something like that. Most of the APs have one BBEG. An enraged mother dragon would make a great enemy.

Sounds like fun!

I like the fact that the entire AP revolves around the actions of the PCs, rather than "stop the NPC plot." It's a fun twist, and was, I think, a big positive feature of most of the Kingmaker AP (yes, there were NPCs, but their plotting was pretty far in the background, and mostly was designed as a fairly organic response to PC exploration and...

Kingmaker was cool in that regard. I would love another adventure or two where the PCs have to deal with the repercussions of their acts. It's so rare that it happens when the BBEG decides to focus on killing them and they feel like they are fighting for their lives rather than vice versa. Imagine the paranoia if the PCs have to survive an entire module or even an entire AP with bounties on their head. Everywhere they go someone trying to take a shot at them. That would be a blast.


Speaking of Dragon Adventure Paths, World of Warcraft does have something similar in the original Onxyia/Nefarion related quests. These quests run all the way from the lowest levels (Defais Brotherhood, Dreadmines, Stockade), to the mid levels (Theremore deserters, kidnapping of the king), to the mid-high levels (Dark Iron Dwarves) to the high levels (Black Rock Depths, Onyxia keying, Onyxia) to the end-game (Molten Core, Blackwing Lair). For most of the levels, you are working against the agents who are working for the dragons unaware of the fact they even have a hidden master.

In Golarion, the description for the Blue Dragon seems ready-made for an adventure path.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Lithrac wrote:
I love your idea, Neil, mostly because it wouldn't be an AP only "about dragons"...
That's the part that interests me about this this most. When we were asked to come up with a "Dragons!" AP, no one on staff had been just waiting to make out with this idea, and on top of that we wanted to put it in a place that wouldn't be wrecked by heavy dragon action (Who's just be WAITING for that Isger and Druma AP! WOOT! [/sarcasm]). So the best we came up with kind of felt like a bad 80's NES game: play a gimmicky level, fight a dragon boss, play another gimmicky level, fight a dragon boss that's just a different color than the last one.

A dragon AP would definitely be one that I (and my players) would like to see. There is no reason for a dragon AP to be a series of boss fights against increasing powers of dragons... ("you have defeated me... but you have yet to fight... MY SISTER!")

I see a dragon themed AP as one that taps into the roots of mythological fantasy. So you would be heavy on the Fey, Knights, Kings (& Queens), Villages, Magic, Dreams, Giants, etc. Think of it more like an "Arthurian AP" or a "Golden Age Swords & Sorcery AP". That's what we want to play. You have great opportunities for subverting tropes here as well, which keeps players on their toes.

When you look at it like that, there's no reason to have difficulty in coming up with low-level plots linked in some way to dragons. Dragons are just NPCs at low level and have many minions. And some dragons are friendly too ("or at least claim to be... bwahaha").

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:


And avoiding popular dragon-themed storylines such as those presented in Dragon Age, Dragonlance, Warcraft Cataclysm, Dragon Mountain, or several other dragon-themed campaigns/adventure paths that Wizards of the Coast, Warcraft, TSR, or whomever have already done makes things a LOT more complicated.

Basically... dragons are REALLY well represented already in the "campaign" model. That makes us at Paizo less eager to explore that genre than, say, any other AP we've published or announced.

None of those are 3rd Edition D+D though. Dragonlance is almost 20 years old now. Dragon Age has a distinct *lack* of dragons in it. And Warcraft Frozen Throne was an undead / horror campaign but that didn't stop you writing probably the best AP so far in the form of Carrion Crown. Besides, even if other people have used dragons, you can do it better.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The tragedy is that we won't see a Vikings vs Dragons game thanks to Skyrim and How to Train Your Dragon. I mean Beowulf is a great source of ideas and inspiration.

In that case Knights vs Dragons is the next logical step. I think Lastwall (The orcs are using dragons as weapons, or the dragons are using the orcs as an army), Taldor (an empire in decline seeks a return to glory, by questing for the end of dragonkind) or Mendev/Worldwound (Demons and Dragons!) or Brevoy (return of the red tyrant)

I think a big (CR 10-14) red dragon burning down the PCs home village at level 1, while the PCs scramble to get themselves and fellow citizens out of the town and to safety through Kobold filled tunnels would be grand.

Scarab Sages

OK..Resurrecting an old thread. Been thinking of a home campaign which would be "dragon themed". Here was my initial thoughts, and I would appreciate any input from the community.

I was thinking about it being a mythic campaign, with either a dragon, or someone controlling dragons, trying to recover the Orbs of dragonkind, and various other "dragon themed" items.

My first thought was a mythic red, who found his destiny was to be slain by a group of heros who wielded great "items of power" related to dragon slaying. So, he is trying to gather all the items in the land that could be harmful to him and his kind before the PC's can...kind of a race....My thought was the PC's could fight a ton of cool stuff in trying to recover the items....Allies of the dragons....maybe kill some nasty dragons of the evil types, and deal with the neutral, and seek out good ones for help...traverl all over the land and fight dragons of every color and their allies, all the while fending off attacks by the BBEG...

I'm just in the beginning stages of thinking about it, and would really love any good ideas people may have...I know there are several really cool legendary dragons in Golarion out there, and it would be cool putting them all into play...

:et's come up with some cool ideas...thanks

Patrick


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

How about becoming a Linnorm King?

The PCs start out as "hired help" protecting a small town from minor threats and progress to leaders expanding that town against increasingly tougher threats (many of which can dragon-themed), leading raids to increase their reputations, etc. Eventually, they have to square off against one of the existing Linnorm Kings (probably Opir Eightfingers, as his claim is the most tenuous); they can defeat him, but to be recognized as "legitimate" rulers, they have to defeat a linnorm.

If you want to take it even farther, they can attempt to unite the Lands of the Linnorm Kings under their rule... requiring that they defeat the Fafnheir, the Father of All Linnorms.


Dragonchess Player wrote:

How about becoming a Linnorm King?

The PCs start out as "hired help" protecting a small town from minor threats and progress to leaders expanding that town against increasingly tougher threats (many of which can dragon-themed), leading raids to increase their reputations, etc. Eventually, they have to square off against one of the existing Linnorm Kings (probably Opir Eightfingers, as his claim is the most tenuous); they can defeat him, but to be recognized as "legitimate" rulers, they have to defeat a linnorm.

If you want to take it even farther, they can attempt to unite the Lands of the Linnorm Kings under their rule... requiring that they defeat the Fafnheir, the Father of All Linnorms.

I [b]LOVE[/i] this for four reasons:

1) It's definitely feasible to be dragon-oriented throughout.
2) The draconic aspect is stooped in Golarion lore.
3) It's all about Land of the Linnorm Kings (aka Vikings!).
4) It can be another Kingmaker-esque AP!

There's a ton of upside to this idea.


I've always thought a dragon as the overall villain of an AP would be pretty awesome, since dragons are both smart and physically powerful. So a dragon can be a plotter/schemer as well as an overwhelming physical threat, like M. Bison (Dictator) from SF. Throughout the campaign you'd be dealing with the dragon's minions and machinations, and then actually having to go up against Big Red (or whatever) once you'd foiled his plans to destabilize the geopolitical region. In this case, I imagine a dragon villain as a sort of James Bond-esque villain. You could have Mengkare decide that the only way for his perfect society to work is if all of the rest of human civilization is destroyed, since it keeps screwing up the sterility of his perfect experiment. Since he doesn't want to attract undue attention, of course he works through intermediaries to throw all of Avistan into a self-destructive cycle of rebellion and war. And it's up to the PCs to find the man behind the curtain and eventually defeat him.


My favorite module ever put out for any incarnation of D+D/PF remains 'Kings of the Rift', and in my opinion is the pinnacle of what a "Dragon" module should be. Dozens of dragons, with the unique ones all being utter badasses with their own personality and flair. Seriously, nothing is cooler than strafing PCs with a half dozen breath weapons as part of a random encounter, only to have the dragons part away to make room for some named, ancient menace.
In PF terms, it'd be sort of like if Kazavon, Arkhyryst, and Ithuliak gathered all their children and then were lead by Choral the Conquereror in an attack on Kaer Maga for some artifact.
Any chance we'll ever get something like this again? From a sheer state of coolness, nothing is better than adventuring in a city while its being attacked!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Patman wrote:


OK..Resurrecting an old thread. Been thinking of a home campaign which would be "dragon themed". Here was my initial thoughts, and I would appreciate any input from the community.

I was thinking about it being a mythic campaign, with either a dragon, or someone controlling dragons, trying to recover the Orbs of dragonkind, and various other "dragon themed" items.

My first thought was a mythic red, who found his destiny was to be slain by a group of heros who wielded great "items of power" related to dragon slaying. So, he is trying to gather all the items in the land that could be harmful to him and his kind before the PC's can...kind of a race....My thought was the PC's could fight a ton of cool stuff in trying to recover the items....Allies of the dragons....maybe kill some nasty dragons of the evil types, and deal with the neutral, and seek out good ones for help...traverl all over the land and fight dragons of every color and their allies, all the while fending off attacks by the BBEG...

I'm just in the beginning stages of thinking about it, and would really love any good ideas people may have...I know there are several really cool legendary dragons in Golarion out there, and it would be cool putting them all into play...

:et's come up with some cool ideas...thanks

Patrick

I don't know all of the details, because I am a player in it, but I assume that the recently released module, Dragon's Demand features a dragon as the BBEG @ 7th level. Also, Dragon's Unleashed has some good information if you want to make it specific to Golarion, or are just looking for information on some influential dragons.


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On the other hand, one could have an adventure path where the PC's themselves play as dragons. That could be pretty intense. Like the old Council of Wyrms.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I think one of the ways to do a Dragon AP is to break one of the central Golarion taboos and use half-dragons. Especially if you do it in a way that doesn't involve promiscuous dragons.

I would dig an AP where fiends use magic to make half-dragon and half-fiend monsters. Half-dragons get the central conceits: flight, breath weapons, mellee nastiness, etc, but are stunningly diverse.

Plus, qlippoth dragons would be awesome.


How about, i'unno...

An AP set in Quain in Tian Xia where the pcs must gather strength to defeat Burning Devil King or whatever his name is and his growing alliance of Underworld Dragons and their minions from interrupting the ceremony in which that Celestial Dragon grants the king of Quain a wish in exchange for their daughter, a princess?


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
In that case Knights vs Dragons is the next logical step. I think Lastwall (The orcs are using dragons as weapons, or the dragons are using the orcs as an army), Taldor (an empire in decline seeks a return to glory, by questing for the end of dragonkind) or Mendev/Worldwound (Demons and Dragons!) or Brevoy (return of the red tyrant)

Instead of a fractured Taldor instigating a grand crusade to wage genocide vs dragon kind, flip it around: they see the success their former vassal state Cheliax is having militarily with their Devil-alliances, so they offer up their vast riches of old to a series of dragonlords. The dragons move in and become essentially regional governors of Taldor and the unified nation of Taldor wages a war of reconquest vs Andoran, Galt, Cheliax, Nidal, etc etc. Or turns their attention to their ancient foes in Qadira. The AP revolves around the growing threat of Taldor resurgent, then all out war across the inner sea to stop the dragons when they inevitably enslave the native Taldans and move to conquer all the lands around the Inner Sea.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TwoWolves wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
In that case Knights vs Dragons is the next logical step. I think Lastwall (The orcs are using dragons as weapons, or the dragons are using the orcs as an army), Taldor (an empire in decline seeks a return to glory, by questing for the end of dragonkind) or Mendev/Worldwound (Demons and Dragons!) or Brevoy (return of the red tyrant)
Instead of a fractured Taldor instigating a grand crusade to wage genocide vs dragon kind, flip it around: they see the success their former vassal state Cheliax is having militarily with their Devil-alliances, so they offer up their vast riches of old to a series of dragonlords. The dragons move in and become essentially regional governors of Taldor and the unified nation of Taldor wages a war of reconquest vs Andoran, Galt, Cheliax, Nidal, etc etc. Or turns their attention to their ancient foes in Qadira. The AP revolves around the growing threat of Taldor resurgent, then all out war across the inner sea to stop the dragons when they inevitably enslave the native Taldans and move to conquer all the lands around the Inner Sea.

That would be a very exciting AP indeed. Would the PCs play Taldorians holding out against such an obviously dangerous plan? Or members of a neighbouring nation?


wow...80's posts and no one suggested tieing the dragon AP into Brevoy? We know the nation was founded by a dragon-riding warlord. What if said Warlord was using a dragon orb? And what if the disappearance of the royal family was related to dragons trying to retrieve the orb from human hands.

Granted a Brevoy AP wouldn't be ALL DRAGONS ALL THE TIME, but you could have dragons be a major theme of the AP.


An ancient feud between two dragon family lines and an ancient pact disallowing the two families from direct confrontation leads to a clandestine thousands-year chess match between those two families.

Enter the PCs who, unbeknownst to the, get sucked into this chess game, pawns destined to decide the checkmate.

One of those families could be good or neutral, or it could be a feud between two chromatic families. Most of the combat would be with other pawns in the chess game. There may be a draconic feel to many of the other pawns (kobolds, Dragon Disciples, draconic bloodlines, half-dragons) but certainly not all.

There could even be an ancient power source (Mythic?) belonging to the power that originally forced the pact in the first place added in for good measure.

Shadow Lodge

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MMCJawa wrote:

wow...80's posts and no one suggested tieing the dragon AP into Brevoy? We know the nation was founded by a dragon-riding warlord. What if said Warlord was using a dragon orb? And what if the disappearance of the royal family was related to dragons trying to retrieve the orb from human hands.

Granted a Brevoy AP wouldn't be ALL DRAGONS ALL THE TIME, but you could have dragons be a major theme of the AP.

Kingmaker spoilers:
Choral was not merely a "dragon-riding warlord" but was himself a red dragon. He wouldn't have needed to use a dragon orb.

Neil Spicer wrote:

Personally, I'd suggest a Worldwound crusade AP whereby the BBEG at the end is a demon-possessed ancient wyrm...preferably a red. The campaign would have undertones of "Dragon Age" to it (obviously)...but not a simple duplication, mind you. It would just play well for those already familiar with that game.

The AP would also avoid having dragons in every adventure. But I'd spend the "capital" provided by the BBEG by demonstrating the dragon's handiwork in every adventure. That way, the PCs know from the beginning what they're up against. In fact, I'd make it a "dragon hunt" on top of the crusade. And, the PCs would very likely have to set off on that adventure already assuming they'd give their lives to defeat such evil and protect their friends and family back home.

General Outline:
** spoiler omitted **...

Mythical dragon BBEG incoming in Wrath Of The Rigtheous ? :D

Liberty's Edge

Would a Hermea AP count?


HER-MEA!!!

Scarab Sages

tyrran wrote:


Mythical dragon BBEG incoming in Wrath Of The Rigtheous ? :D

Wrath Spoiler!:
James posted over in Wrath that you get to fight an undead version of Teredelav, the ancient silver dragon protector of Kenabres, as a CR 21 battle in one of the later books.
Liberty's Edge

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

We recently spent a few weeks working on ideas for a dragon themed AP. The end result was a no go.

The biggest problems were how to retain a sense of awe with dragons when you have to use them in six adventures, how to keep things interesting when you're seeing the same breed of monsters in every adventure, how to keep dragons feeling as rare and wondrous as they are in Golarion but still having one in every adventure, how to do six distinct plots using monsters that all do about the same thing, and how to do all of this and make it distinctive when there are numerous well remembered adventures (some of which members of our own staff wrote) that draw from the exact same creative well.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but after numerous long discussions and some really neat ideas - some that got as far as being foreshadowed in published works - we decided the path we were on wasn't taking us toward a place with ground fertile enough to grow a healthy Adventure Path. Aka we said "Screw it, lets do pirates!"

Maybe we'll take another hack at a dragon themed AP in the future, but the consensus of the current staff is that if we're dedicating 6 months of our lives to each of these campaigns we'd rather work on and tell the stories that we're really passionate about (of which we have about a dozen in the hopper) rather than trying to stretch a gimmick.

James Jacobs wrote:


The BIGGEST problem with this is keeping the PCs interested in that big bad end dragon from 1st level to the end of the game...

But if the big bad guy is, essentially, a monster... keeping that bad guy alive and not slain by other NPCs or events in the world and preventing the PCs from trying to race through all of the intervening adventures or treating those adventures as "filler" or "grind" just in the way between them and the obvious goal is really, really tricky.

And avoiding popular dragon-themed storylines such as those presented in Dragon Age, Dragonlance, Warcraft Cataclysm, Dragon Mountain, or several other dragon-themed campaigns/adventure paths that Wizards of the Coast, Warcraft, TSR, or whomever have already done makes things a LOT more complicated.

Basically... dragons are REALLY well represented already in the "campaign" model. That makes us at Paizo less eager to explore that genre than, say, any other AP we've published or announced.

RISE my Unthread Minions!! RISE!!

It's been 4, going on 5 years since the above quotes were written in this thread.

There were lots of meaningful comments by both Paizo editorial staff and several of the better known Paizo freelance authors, too.

The point to take away was that it had been seriously, very seriously, considered and there were reasons it had not happened and wasn't going to happen for quite a while, if ever.

And when James Jacobs says "nah, I really don't want to do it" I'm wise enough to figure out that discussion isn't going to end in a happy place.

BUT...

It's been nearly five years. Giantslayer has shown us that there are no mechanical challenges to this that cannot be faced and that a whole lot of monsters of the same type might be fun. Lots of fun!

And Giantslayer opened the door as well to the Orbs of Dragonkind being a potential focus for such an AP as well. Maybe the BBEG isn't a dragon after all.

So, I'd like to insert a thermometer into the ear of the Paizo editorial staff and take their "Dragon AP" temperature again.

What about now? Are we there yet? Can we go there now?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm in no hurry...

The best use I could think of to keep Dragons both awe-inspiring and relevant would be to give almost no hints at all of Draconic involvement until they party confronts the BBEG... who grins and goes, "oh, you thought I was a human/elf/dwarf/whatever? I have some bad news for you."

But that's also highly cliched at this point.

Draconic over-saturation has done its share of damage- really, only a zombie apocalypse AP would have more "wait, is this like that bit in _____?" landmines to avoid- but perhaps more importantly...

What makes dragons cool?

It's not having them peeking up over every hedgerow. Even a relatively dragon-heavy setting like Pern makes them rare as far as the average population is concerned- yes, the PCs in a campaign are hardly "average" members of society, but familiarity still breeds contempt.

I figure Paizo will eventually get around to something cool and thematic, but since I'm somewhat at a loss as to what would be both cool and thematic, I'm content to wait.

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