An Adventure Path Featuring -- and about -- Dragons


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There are also many more dragons at this point, in, on, and outside of Golarion, presenting a bigger well upon which to draw. And many of those new dragons don't have the extensive histories and lore that the old standbys do- presenting IMO a larger range of possible antagonists (and protagonists) and motives.

Might definitely be worth giving another look-see.

EDIT: Plus, dragon-kin that have subsequently been introduced. I think the Triaxians would be a great tie-in to an AP like this in some manner, with their abundance of dragon types and politics.

Liberty's Edge

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Cole Deschain wrote:


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.

I'm frankly bored to tears of the Dragon as BBEG or just before BBEG "special" encounter. We've had that in what is now narrowing in on nearly two dozen volumes of the AP and modules. It might even be MORE than that at this point.

I understand that to some people this is what they want. Well, if so, you have it. Countless times over, too.

Why can't we have something else now, for those who are interested?

I want a whole bunch of Draconian foes and themes and variations thereof. I want it turned up to 11.

Gimme a new and improved and better Dragonlance. There; I said it.

It was the first real AP, after all. I've played in WotC's 5E Tiamat homage and it's not recapturing that magic for me.

Bring that magic back, sans too much Choo-choo.


Steel_Wind wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:


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.

I'm frankly bored to tears of the Dragon as BBEG or just before BBEG "special" encounter. We've had that in what is now narrowing in on nearly two dozen volumes of the AP and modules. It might even be MORE than that at this point.

I understand that to some people this is what they want. Well, if so, you have it. Countless times over, too.

Why can't we have something else now, for those who are interested?

I want a whole bunch of Draconian foes and themes and variations thereof. I want it turned up to 11.

Gimme a new and improved and better Dragonlance. There; I said it.

It was the first real AP, after all. I've played in WotC's 5E Tiamat homage and it's not recapturing that magic for me.

Bring that magic back, sans too much Choo-choo.

I'm right there with you SW. I'm tired of hearing all this "cliched" this and "cliched" that crap. Everything that's written these days has call-outs to what's been done in the past because every genre is saturated. Even the authors that write these adventures are constantly making comments about how they're paying homage to this adventure or that author's story . . . . To say that Paizo shouldn't do something because it's been done before is akin to saying that Paizo should just stop doing anything.

Dragons are as iconic as it gets in the fantasy genre, and they have a rich history in real world mythology, as well. They've been beloved by many for a very, very long time! Even a few years ago, there were some seriously awesome authors chomping at the bit to make a go of a draconic AP, but the Paizo developers were afraid they couldn't do anything creative enough to make it worth while. I'd love to see them take a stab at it now, especially with the phenomenal writers that they've got now capable of creating wonderful roleplay experiences. Authors like Jim Groves and Crystal Frasier, who are masters at writing adventures that are roleplay intensive and not just combat fests, alongside older favorites like Neil Spicer, Richard Pett, and Brandon Hodge could put together a draconic AP that would be amazing.

So, enough with the excuses; they've become cliched themselves by this point. I think the time has come to give this some serious thought again!


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

The people who wanted an Evil AP since well before Kingmaker had to wait until 2016 to get one.

I see a desire for "Dragonlance Redux," but that's not much more helpful or specific than my own, "I have no good ideas and when Paizo has an idea they're into, it'll happen."

I see "a whole bunch of Draconian foes and themes and variations thereof."

Okay. How and why?

In Dragonlance, everybody was marching to the orders of an evil goddess bent on conquering the world- or in opposition to her. Part of what made it work was that the binary simplicity was baked into the setting.

Golarion is a bit harder to sort out-and its Dragons are less likely to hang out in color-coded gangs waiting for divine orders.

Mengkare is running Hermea, apparently all by his lonesome.
Kavazon is long dead, but he was squarely in the "Hee hee hee I'm not actually a human" camp.
There's a big red specimen who can swan in after the end of Kingmaker, as I recall, but most other dragons aren't described as being particularly busy.

Do we want a Runelord/Serpentfolk/Storm Giant Tyrant with an Orb of Dragonkind stirring up trouble?

Do we want a self-proclaimed Dragon King somehow how bad enough to control large numbers of incredibly prideful flying magic reptiles?

Do we want a Dragon Prophet heralding an Age of Wyrms?(and somehow pulling dragony things out of the woodwork in sufficient numbers to not just be a crackpot)

Would an Imperial Dragon Warlord in Tien Xia pass muster, or are we wedded to the "four legs, two wings 'true' dragons" based on more European molds?

What are we after? "Lots of dragons" is a wallpaper choice, not an AP.


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Dragons in Tian Xia actually sounds really compelling, and I say that as somebody not terribly interested in either on their own.

In some ways, you get the "dragons in human guise" bit, but it's not a secret. It offers a completely different slant to the way most dragon adventures have been presented, because their cultural influence in that area of Golarion is completely different, and the Asian-influenced setting opens up a new well of narrative history to draw from.

Also, a certain portion of the fanbase has been clamoring for more Dragon Empires action for awhile. We could have an AP very much about dragons, without the oversaturation of cliches and potentially a much wider variety of combat encounter possibilities.


What might be interesting is an AP that has dragons as the end-boss for each book of the AP. Perhaps even with two competing dragons - perhaps a Blue and a Red, who are using pawns to fight, and the PCs end up pawns of one of the dragons without realizing it.

This might be an interesting way to do the "hard mode experimental AP" that was talked about in another thread - if the PCs end Book 1 at 6th level, then they're of high enough level to fight a fairly young dragon. Otherwise you probably need to use a half-dragon foe for the first book. And having the PCs fighting two Great Wyrms (likely not at the same time!) at 20th level would probably be a most enjoyable capstone adventure.

It would also be doable to have dragon-themed foes - sorcerers and bloodragers with the draconic bloodline, half-dragons, drakes, and the like... probably as mid-level bosses or the like, while humanoids or other related threats would be the mainstream encounters.

In short... while you don't fight dragons all the time, the AP relates to the conflict between two of the eldest dragons who have come to a proxy war and the PCs getting drawn into that fight.

Liberty's Edge

Cole Deschain wrote:


I see a desire for "Dragonlance Redux," but that's not much more helpful or specific than my own, "I have no good ideas and when Paizo has an idea they're into, it'll happen."

I see "a whole bunch of Draconian foes and themes and variations thereof."

Okay. How and why?

What are we after? "Lots of dragons" is a wallpaper choice, not an AP.

I'm not here to design a "Dragon AP" for Paizo. Assuming even that I could do so, that would be about the worst thing anybody could do. Paizo wants to be original. If it's not their ideas and they are not feeling passionate about them, it won't get done. Ever.

I do agree with your observation that the original Dragonlance was so epic because the entire setting was built for that specific campaign. That's hard to compete with in a plug 'n play setting like Golarion.

But I still think Paizo can do it. They certainly took much of that approach in "An AP all About -- and Featuring -- Giants" in Giantslayer.

Giantlsayer faced the same mechanical challenges in terms of threat level vs low level characters, too. It pulls it all off admirably. Like a proposed homage to Dragonlance, Giantslayer is itself an homage to Gygax's "G" series trilogy in some thematic respects, without aping it with anything more than feel-good, vague allusions.

If they can do that with Giants, they can do that with Dragons and dragonkind, too.

You want me to be more specific than that? Nope. Not my bailiwick. I'm just checking the temp of Paizo's development staff seeing if there is any interest in their finding the "Moar Dragons" dial and turning it WAY up to "11". It has, after all, been quite a while since we asked. From their initial response, they gave it a lot of consideration about five years ago, too.

I appreciate that such a campaign might not be to everybody's tastes. But so what? That's not determinative. Iron Gods, Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance and Strange Cthulhu were/won't be to everybody's tastes, either. Indeed, no matter what they do, they will have a swath of their fans say "Meh, I want [this other cool thing], instead."

That's the nature of the gig and their customer base. It has ever been thus.

I'm confident that if Paizo does a Dragon AP, "Featuring -- and about -- Dragons", that they will make it interesting enough that a broad swath of their customers will be very interested in buying it, reading it and playing it. YMMV, (and clearly does.)

Frankly, I don't think selling the idea of a Dragon focused AP to their customers is the hard part. I think that's a "no brainer", tbh. I think selling it to one of James Jacobs and Rob McCreary is the far more difficult challenge.

Because if neither of those guys are excited about it MORE than some other idea they have (and they have dozens of them) then it won't get done.

And to date, that has been the case.


Tangent101 wrote:

What might be interesting is an AP that has dragons as the end-boss for each book of the AP. Perhaps even with two competing dragons - perhaps a Blue and a Red, who are using pawns to fight, and the PCs end up pawns of one of the dragons without realizing it.

This might be an interesting way to do the "hard mode experimental AP" that was talked about in another thread - if the PCs end Book 1 at 6th level, then they're of high enough level to fight a fairly young dragon. Otherwise you probably need to use a half-dragon foe for the first book. And having the PCs fighting two Great Wyrms (likely not at the same time!) at 20th level would probably be a most enjoyable capstone adventure.

Dragons come in ages and power levels well below "fairly young". It's quite easy to use a dragon as a main BBEG well below level 6.


Yes, but people don't exactly feel enthusiastic about beating up on a hatchling or a very young dragon. Seriously, who'd feel heroic having killed a dragon that hasn't even reached 16 years of age?

Liberty's Edge

Tangent101 wrote:
Yes, but people don't exactly feel enthusiastic about beating up on a hatchling or a very young dragon. Seriously, who'd feel heroic having killed a dragon that hasn't even reached 16 years of age?

I don't have the time right now to look through Bestiaries 1-5, modules, APs, Monsters of the Inner Sea, PFS Scenarios and the rest of Paizo's product line in an attempt to identify those monsters which reasonably fall under the banner "Dragons and Dragonkind". Perhaps I shall do so later this evening in a follow-up.

But off the top of my head, from Kobolds, Wyverns, Dragonnes, Drakes, Hydras, Chimeras, Draconian Humanoids, Jabberwocky, degenerate Dragons, and True dragons, and all variations thereof, my guess is that is one helluva long list.

And we haven't touched upon their allies, cultists, slaves, thralls, and masters -- let alone monsters that Paizo's staff could create as part of a "dragon and dragonkind" AP.

C'mon. Not having enough foes to fight in such an AP is so far from a credible or reasonable objection to same it cannot be taken seriously.


No need to wait on Messrs. Jacobs and McCreary. There are enough good ideas in this thread for people to start homebrewing their own dragon AP.


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Steel_Wind wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Yes, but people don't exactly feel enthusiastic about beating up on a hatchling or a very young dragon. Seriously, who'd feel heroic having killed a dragon that hasn't even reached 16 years of age?
C'mon. Not having enough foes to fight in such an AP is so far from a credible or reasonable objection to same it cannot be taken seriously.

That wasn't what I was referring to. I was suggesting having the first book of the AP end at level 6 so that you can have a halfway decent dragon as the end-boss. The other person was not liking the idea of an experimental "hard-mode" AP (ie, one in which you're not frequently encountering enemies at CRs at or below your level). He probably was also having horror flashbacks to WotR which started out great and then at latter points... well, all APs have some failings. ;)

Liberty's Edge

Well, looking at Giantslayer as a guide, I was just fine with the Orcs in that AP. If anything, what upset me a little was their total removal after the first 2 parts when they had worked so well and been provided some really strong non-player characters.

If there was anything which gelt a but off, it was in not providing ogres, trolls and mongrel Giants and with a more prominent roll in the first 2 volumes.

I'm an advocate for GMs bringing the Orcs back into Giantslayer's later volumes.

So if there was a Dragon AP, not everything has to be a dragon or even dragon-kin. I'd rather there were many more dragons and dragonkin than just end-bosses. I know that doesn't sit well with some people. I get it.

I'm speaking up for those who it DOES sit well with and I'm one of 'em.

That said, I can see many variations and racial types and even kick ass Wyvern or Drake riding uber-Kobold (or some other draconian humanoid) as a final villain in a Vol 1. Whatever.

My point: no need for any designer/developer to feel constrained. The vellum is indeed, quite blank on an AP that does not exist :)


I got inspired by this thread and brainstormed a couple more ideas:
1)Dragon Siege I'd like to see a scenario where a group of adventurers has to liberate a town from a small group of dragons, doing so while keeping the town from being razed. It'd be neat for players to have to use guile and diplomacy to figure out the dragon's motivations and perhaps even turn some of them against each other. This is slightly done in Rise of the Runelords, but I'd love to see it on a more massive scale.

2)Dragon Escort It'd be neat to have a Colossal dragon that the PCs have to defend while riding on its back, a la giant howdah. Perhaps the dragon has to use its considerable speed to reach a certain destination in time, trusting to the PCs to its defense and removing any obstacles that might impede its flight.

3)Liches and Vampires While we have the Ravener, there is nothing in the rules preventing a dragon from similarly becoming a lich or vampire. We do not have any examples of such a creature in Pathfinder lore yet, so it'd be neat to see a draconic enemy that is as much a threat to its kin as it is to everyone else. A vampiric dragon preying upon and turning other dragons into its blood-bound slaves could be the start of a great end-game for a villain.

4)Draconic Stewards I've always been a fan of Dragonlance, so I like the idea of PCs growing with and protecting their own dragon. Perhaps an elder wyrm leaves its offspring in the service of the PCs, giving the PCs access to a powerful mount but one with its own agenda, constantly putting them in situations that they might not normally encounter. The PCs might need the dragons to accomplish tasks (fast travel, protection and all that), but are forced to help the dragons undergo errands that explore the nature of their relationship with their parents and their riders.

Anyways, more fuel for the hopefully still kindled dragon-fire.


Something else that would be fun is an AP set out on Triaxus. We visit it for one book in Reign of Winter but in this secondary world, there is the big setup for a lot of draconic fun. Not sure how you get the party there but we would have a few options and that has really the best spin on draconic interaction out there.

Shadow Lodge

Electric Cat wrote:
Not sure how you get the party there but we would have a few options and that has really the best spin on draconic interaction out there.

Why not simply start the party there? Starting on Triaxus avoids the problem of having to introduce low-level draconic stuff in Golarion, where Paizo wants draconic stuff to be rare and special.


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How about looking at dragons the other way around? Instead of fighting a dragon, why not helping one?

An Occult Dragon is running a museum, he asks the PCs to become relic hunters... but one of them sparks a feud between them and several factions, including another Dragon, as well as having to deal with thieves. Plot twist is that the relics coveted by the antagonist are used for a conjuring ritual.

You can argue that dragons are rare, but they might be because some are disguised.


My own campaign I'm semi-working on, aptly named 'Dragonslayers', deals with the players going against various Dragons (And their allies) in Taldor. One of its centerpieces is a player-ran Keep and Barony, Jousting Tournament, and of course dragons to slay. Also deals heavily with 'classic' enemies such as Kobolds, Bugbears, and Giants, assassins and of course, theres princess to save.

I have it organized via Paizo's Adventure Paths (six 'books', with the campaign probably ending around level 17-18)

Spoilers for my campaign ideas!:

Book 1: Players start out in a sleepy village (Belhaim was the original idea), end up battling a kobold raid on the village, during which a visiting senator and the baron(ess) and family were captured. Players track down the kobolds to their lair, raid it, eventually battling the creature who militarized the Kobolds (See book 4). The players save the senator and the baron's family, but the baron himself(herself) was ritually sacrificed. *Edit* A lone Wyvaran from Book 4's facility wandered off when his squad was killed and eventually found the kobolds, militarized them, and wanted to make a name of the humans who lived in Belhaim (which was founded by a dragonslayer!).

Book 2: The players, after having saved the town and liberated the captured, are rewarded by being knighted and one of their member being risen to nobility and given the deed to an old, abandoned keep and associated barony; problem is, bandits have taken over the keep rumor holds. Players get there and find out that the keep has been taken not by bandits, but by a tribe of Bugbears fanatically loyal to their black dragon leader. Players must find a way to infiltrate the keep and take out the bugbears' leaders and reclaim the keep.

Book 3: Having reclaimed their keep, the players must rebuild their barony and in order to bring prestige (and wealth) to their lands, hold a grand jousting tournament paid for by the Senator (who remains in contact as a close ally). During this time, various political rivals move in and start harassing the players - this culminates into their new rivals hiring a mercenary army to act as their proxy and attack the players. This army is known for hunting good-aligned dragons and is lead by a trio of youngish Red Dragon Siblings (two females lead by their elder brother). AFter defeating the army the players retaliate and storm their rival's keep, discovering links to a much larger plot - some sort of controlling figure is manipulating events behind the scenes, and evidence paoints to some sort of Draconic facility deep in the forest. Their rival is a Red Dragon Disciple and is secretly a dragon fanatic (he keeps his Dragonic heritage a secret).

(Beyond is much less thought out, but the overall idea I have)

Book 4: The players eventually seek out their leads and discover a Draconci breeding ground and experimentation facility deep in the forest, where a Green Dragon is mass breeding Kobold-Wyvern hybrids known as Wyvaran before sending them off to another facility for training. The players face hordes of kobolds and younger Wyvaran (See: Kobold Troop enemies), as well as various scientists and of course the Green DRagon himself along with his assistants.

Book 5: The players are lead to yet another facility, this time high in the Fog Peaks - this facility is where the Wyvaran troops are trained in military tactics. The pass leading to the mountain facility is guarded by a pair of White Dragons (Icemourne and Mirrorwing - see the pathfinder wiki under Fog Peaks). The facility itself is lead by the son of the BBEG - a Half-Blue Dragon Frost Giant Cleric. The players arrive to the facility to find out that a massive army has left it via teleportation to an unknown location.

Book 6: Not long after the end of Book 5, fighting erupts all over Taldor as the dragons' army attacks - the players Keep is attacked and must repel the invaders before taking their own army and liberating other keeps to gain allies. During this time, Opparra is captured and the mastermind behind this whole plot reveals himself to be one of the senators manipulating the Senate - in reality (and secretly) an ancient Blue Dragon who hates humans and seeks to create an empire in his own name, starting with Taldor. The players must gather an army, attack Opparra, and stop the BBEG from legitimizing his rule via marrying the Grand Prince's daughter, Eutropia, who was tricked into working against her father.

The campaign culminates in a massive siege of Opparra and the players infiltrating the city to attack the BBEG directly, which forces him to reveal his true form and finishes off in an aerial battle above the city. Or at least I'd hope. Heh.

*Edit*: Forgot to mention the assassins. During Book 1 the players end up destroying a hidden shrine to Norgorber beneath the town (the Kobolds allied with this group in order to infiltrate and raid the town), and this in turn pisses off the Church of Blackfingers, which then sends various groups of assassins after the players starting with Book 3.


Overall I don't think that a Dragon-themed AP should be about "Lots of Dragons" because thats not what dragons are about. Instead, it should be about the machinations of dragons. Certainly, dragons should be the main enemies, but they're movers and shakers, not common foes that are to be killed left and right. At least, not true dragons. Let the 'lesser' dragons and the allies of dragons be killed left and right. The dragons themselves should be focused on as memorable encounters and not mooks.

And rarely RARELY should they ever be single encounters - instead let them by the most dangerous enemy in any given encounter, but they should ALWAYS have help - even if its simply more than one dragon working in tandem.

My camapign as mentioned one post up:
The true dragons in my campaign are not common by any means. Book 1 won't likely see any - just various dragon-subtype enemies (a few Drakes probably). Book 2 will be very dragon-light but will have the boss of that book be a dragon - in this case, he'll be the leader of a tribe of Bugbears who he has taken under his wing to spread terror and misery (because Black Dragons love that sorta thing). Book 3 will have three younger dragons who are in charge of a mercenary company that tends to hunt metallic dragons and wage proxy wars for various nobility. These three will fight in tandem and work together, even if they're weak(ish) by themselves. Book 4 will have an increase in true dragons, but the main one is an older Green Dragon and lead scientist of the breeding facility. He might have a few younger dragons working in his facility, but mostly its filled up with wyverns, a few drakes, and kobolds. He's also very adept at spellcasting and likely employs numerous spellcasters as well. Book 5 will have a twin pair of white dragons who guard the facility - they work in tandem like the trio earlier, but are older and vastly more dangerous. Book 6 would have the most amount of true dragons, many of which are the children of the BBEG who act as his commanders. BBEG himself might even be a mythic blue dragon, or at least a blue with class levels and a few bodyguards.

In any case, the encounters with the true dragons are meant to be memorable and ones the players prepare for, never stumble upon.


That is basically the overall theme of the AP I suggested. Rather than fighting dragons non-stop, the PCs face as an end-boss a dragon. And the entire thing is machinations between the eldest of Red and Blue wyrms... with the Red trying to destroy the political machinations of the Blue (seeing the Blue Wyrm is too-well-hidden to directly attack).


Ah I didn't read the entire thread o.o But yea, instead of two dragons fighting each other, it would be just one dragon trying to take over Taldor (and then expand).

And this wouldn't be any eldest of dragons, just a particularly powerful Blue.

Plus a jousting tournament! :D That is honestly the thing I'd look forward to most in the campaign.

Liberty's Edge

While I don't want to read too much into it, I think the lack of a response from Paizo staffers in this revived thread suggests that their initial response and feelings have not changed.

Consequently, I don't think we are going to get a "Dragon AP" developed by Paizo. Which is less than optimal, but far from terminal.

Just because Paizo staff are not terribly interested in doing one does not mean, however, that we are never going to get one at all. I think there is enough demand for a "lots of dragons AP" that such an adventure path will happen just the same.


Yeah I'm not really expecting one anytime soon myself - thus me taking it into my own hands :D But I'm working on other things at the moment so my Dragonslayers campaign is currently shelved.

Shadow Lodge

Here's a silly idea; genre-savvy dragons. They've been used as mid-bosses by human villains ever since Rise of the Runelords, and they're sick of it. They go on strike, and retreat to some dragony place with their own minions. Maybe to plot revenge against a world that has wronged them, maybe just to get away from it all, who knows. The PCs have to infiltrate said minions, and work to undermine the dragons' resolve. Call it Dragonbreakers.


Being an old fun of The Council of Wyrms boxed set, I always wish to see something like this for Pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge

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You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.


How about starting on Hermea serving as agents of Mengkare. A good excuses visit different faraway locales ( Distant Shores maybe even?). Then more and more getting involved in draconic politics. Other good dragons are interested in what Mengkare is doing and if he has gotten "tarnished" or not. Agents become double agents investigating things in Hermea uncovering some corruption, joining the revolutionary forces on the island and then in a twist saving the dragon from... ??? Corrupt advisors? A hidden master? Something completely different?


Dragonborn3 wrote:

You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.

There's a way around it:

Have the players find an intelligent amulet whose dedicated power is to cast Form of the Dragon I, II or III (III being artifact-level, since a dedicated power cannot be an 8th-level spell... for some reasons). Make it that the spirit of a dragon caused the item to be sentient.


A couple of things:

if there's a dragon manipulating things from behind the scenes, it wouldn't really be so different from any other AP that's out there. If you wanted to have it be Taldor/knight centered with a joust, etc. that's more like a chivalry centered AP rather than a dragon centered AP. Which is a perfectly awesome theme for an AP, but it's not a dragon AP.

Another thing about themes ran into the ground, by now, demons/devils/other evil outsiders have been run into the ground just as much or more than dragons have.

Now I'm not necessarily saying there SHOULD be a dragon AP, but there are those two things to take into consideration. Personally, I'm working on a dual-themed dragon/githyanki incursion campaign, which obviously is not possible with PF/Paizo with an AP. However, if Paizo could identify a dual threat, some kind of monster or evil race plausibly associated with dragons and numerous enough to constitute a threat, then that might work to have an AP with a heavy draconic influence.

Shadow Lodge

JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.

There's a way around it:

Have the players find an intelligent amulet whose dedicated power is to cast Form of the Dragon I, II or III (III being artifact-level, since a dedicated power cannot be an 8th-level spell... for some reasons). Make it that the spirit of a dragon caused the item to be sentient.

That's still not being a dragon, but using the Dragon Shape spell. Just saying.

And it's definitely not from level one.


Pedantic Pundit, The wrote:
Another thing about themes ran into the ground, by now, demons/devils/other evil outsiders have been run into the ground just as much or more than dragons have.

You can keep on preachin' on, my friend. Especially succubi and other such lust demons/devils. That stuff hasn't just been run into the ground . . . it's dug a deep tunnel through the crust and mantle and exploded in the planet's core. If I never saw another lust-related fiend in a roleplaying game ever it would not bother me one iota. And demons are so much more boring than dragons!


Pedantic Pundit, The wrote:

A couple of things:

if there's a dragon manipulating things from behind the scenes, it wouldn't really be so different from any other AP that's out there. If you wanted to have it be Taldor/knight centered with a joust, etc. that's more like a chivalry centered AP rather than a dragon centered AP. Which is a perfectly awesome theme for an AP, but it's not a dragon AP.

Another thing about themes ran into the ground, by now, demons/devils/other evil outsiders have been run into the ground just as much or more than dragons have.

Now I'm not necessarily saying there SHOULD be a dragon AP, but there are those two things to take into consideration. Personally, I'm working on a dual-themed dragon/githyanki incursion campaign, which obviously is not possible with PF/Paizo with an AP. However, if Paizo could identify a dual threat, some kind of monster or evil race plausibly associated with dragons and numerous enough to constitute a threat, then that might work to have an AP with a heavy draconic influence.

Yes and no. Its not centered around knights and chivalry. That one is a major theme of the second and third book, but the campaign is every bit about dragons - but not so much as to where you'd be able to pick Favored Enemy: Dragon, Dragon Bane weapons and Dragon Defiant armor and be set. Instead, Dragons, while the main enemy, won't be the only enemy - just as any themed campaign should be so as to not be boring and repetative.

Wrath of the Righteous had a large amount of cultists, undead, and vermin for example - though the demons were in the forefront. Giantslayer is mostly giants but only after the 2nd book. During the 1st and 2nd books they had a great mix of enemies.

Personally I don't believe Dragons should only be behind the scenes - thats just the big bad evil guy, a dragon who is effectively the one who caused the entire ap to unfold, much like other BBEGs. Dragons would certainly play a big role in my campaign; starting off with Kobolds, leading into a singular dragon who owns a cult of bugbears, then into dragon-allied humans (with a few true dragons thrown in) and the 4th book onwards is hugely about dragons.

And as for not being different than any other AP out there, I don't see what you mean. There has to be a BBEG doing something to cause the entire campaign, no? My campaign doesn't just have one big dragon at the end. It has a whole slew of dragons - and a big dragon at the end, surrounded by his allies.

*Edit* I'd also like to throw out there that in my campaign as I was writing the first book, the players fought a dragon at 1st level. A river drake that had a kobold on it (before the drake got pissed at the kobold and ate him.. ) Not a true dragon, but certainly dragon enough! Heh


Dragonborn3 wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.

There's a way around it:

Have the players find an intelligent amulet whose dedicated power is to cast Form of the Dragon I, II or III (III being artifact-level, since a dedicated power cannot be an 8th-level spell... for some reasons). Make it that the spirit of a dragon caused the item to be sentient.

That's still not being a dragon, but using the Dragon Shape spell. Just saying.

And it's definitely not from level one.

Well, playing a creature is rather problematic... if 3.5's Level Adjustment wasn't testament of that.


Steel_Wind wrote:

While I don't want to read too much into it, I think the lack of a response from Paizo staffers in this revived thread suggests that their initial response and feelings have not changed.

Consequently, I don't think we are going to get a "Dragon AP" developed by Paizo. Which is less than optimal, but far from terminal.

Just because Paizo staff are not terribly interested in doing one does not mean, however, that we are never going to get one at all. I think there is enough demand for a "lots of dragons AP" that such an adventure path will happen just the same.

Maybe it's because Golarion doesn't have any iconic dragon, unlike Faerun, which had a LOT, or Eberron, which had an entire continent FILLED with dragons in addition of the Draconic Prophecy.

If Golarion had a city or territory ruled or protected by a dragon, I think it might have gone in a different direction.

Say that there is a huge political meeting in the Inner Seas regions. Well, you're not gonna see a dragon prime minister, emperor, king or such at the reunion.

BTW, for the record, the only dragon ruler I could find is His Supreme Draconic Majesty, Dragon King Pham Duc Quan, a Neutral great wyrm sovereign dragon, often seen in humanoid form. He's the ruler of Xa Hoi, one of Tian Xia's regions.


Don't forget Hermea! Mengakare is a Gold Dragon that rules over his nation of Hermea in order to create better Humans.


As far as I got it, Paizo is not content with simply a themed campaign. They always try to introduce something new: New concepts, new challenges and new rules. Giantslayer has the new concept of focusing on a single type of foes, the new challenge of having to battle giants most of the time (with their superior reach and strength) and new rules about item resizing, giants' resistances, mongrel giants etc..

While they showed they can pull a creature type based campaign, the concept of doing it is used now. I still think there is enough material for a new approach to do a complete dragon campaign. Probably it could be less about combat, but more about behind the scenes manipulations (hello Ultimate Intrigue...).


I do have to say that the lack of dragon themed campaigns (except for Dragon's Demand, which was great) in Pathfinder has almost saddened me enough to get me to look into D&D 5e. I'll never have to worry about there being too few dragons over there.

I never really got to play the older editions of D&D as much as I would have liked so I never got to experience the 'draconic overload' in D&D that apparently got everyone at Paizo so sick of dragons in their rpgs, lol.

Shadow Lodge

JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.

There's a way around it:

Have the players find an intelligent amulet whose dedicated power is to cast Form of the Dragon I, II or III (III being artifact-level, since a dedicated power cannot be an 8th-level spell... for some reasons). Make it that the spirit of a dragon caused the item to be sentient.

That's still not being a dragon, but using the Dragon Shape spell. Just saying.

And it's definitely not from level one.

Well, playing a creature is rather problematic... if 3.5's Level Adjustment wasn't testament of that.

Not really. Introduce dragon classes and boom, done. Level up as a green, black, bronze, silver, whatever. Start as a hatchling. Done.

And level adjustment was always a joke, so the less said about that the better.


Dragonborn3 wrote:

Not really. Introduce dragon classes and boom, done. Level up as a green, black, bronze, silver, whatever. Start as a hatchling. Done.

Nah. Start as hatchlings and level up the way dragons do, through the passage of time. Long periods of downtime as you move up age categories.

Be interesting to play out a campaign over centuries.

Grand Lodge

Tangent101 wrote:
Yes, but people don't exactly feel enthusiastic about beating up on a hatchling or a very young dragon. Seriously, who'd feel heroic having killed a dragon that hasn't even reached 16 years of age?

Let's see, a red dragon hatchling is a CR6 monster. An average small town militia (if we go by Sandpoint militia as representative) can only die in a fire against it. That's even if he's not commanding anything, or actively using magic items (with triple treasure he can have some neat stuff).

Even a hatchling red can burn down a minor village in a pretty horrifying manner.

Killing defenders of the town, landing to demand virgin sacrifice, etc.

There, you have a start of an adventure with a dragon boss in sight (and for a level 1 party, no reliable way of beating him). Even if he's small, he's still a murderous monster most people are helpless against. Naturally, killing any dragon would establish PCs as dragon slayers, who would naturally be asked to handle other people's dragon related problems (it helps if the pay is good).

Codex Draconis books have some interesting ideas for dragon builds, some of which are pretty innovative. They also give ideas on how a dragon can maximize minions (which is not a bad idea, it avoids turning them into a stereotype).


And it's also a small-sized monster. So you're beating up on a fire-breathing dog.

Admittedly you do have the end-result of the heroes having fought and killed this thing... and looking at it. "You know, guys... it looked a lot bigger when we were fighting it. What are we going to do, skin it and make fireproof slippers?"


Tangent101 wrote:
And it's also a small-sized monster. So you're beating up on a fire-breathing dog.

Yeah, and it's killing you.

There are other small sized monsters out there, including some pretty nasty dogs.


"Fire Breathing Dog" is an understatement. Oh sure he's the size of a fire-breathing dog, but he's as intelligent as your average human, yet is less than 6 years old. Physically he's well above average in strength, dexterity, and constitution of an average human. And he breathes fire hot enough to kill a group of commoners in a single breath.

Alternatively, have the players encounter him just after he's hatched; he's literally a newborn hatchling that could wipe the floor with low-level players. Show them just how dangerous a dragon is, even when its newly out of the egg. That'll get them to fear any encounter with an older dragon.

Of course killing a newborn dragon hatchling might not go well in the long run once its parents find out ;)

*Edit* Size doesn't necessarily matter with a creature. You could have a tiny Tooth Fairy that inspires fear and anger into players if you do it right. Its all about how you present it. Present it well, and it'll be a lasting memory for your players; randomly throw in a dragon hatchling in there with no personality or in an unmemorable way, and it'll be just another piece of meat waiting to get killed by the players.


Okay.

The idea for Book 1 of the Dragon AP just changed, and it explains the conflict between the Red and Blue Great Wyrms.

The Blue Great Wyrm wishes to weaken a region so that his proxies can take it over more easily. Thus he sends one of his minions in to steal a couple of eggs from a female Red dragon - the great granddaughter of the above-mentioned Red Great Wyrm.

One of the eggs are hidden (with magic used to make it near-impossible to track down the egg) in the region where the PCs live. The egg hatches and the hatching, ravenous, goes after a nearby farm, torching the farmer and devouring his cow. The PCs are introduced at this point as they find the burned-out farm.

The baby dragon proceeds to start bullying a local tribe of kobolds into being its minions as it continues to ravage the countryside, culminating on an attack on the local town (preferably when the PCs are away). When the PCs reach level 4, they face down the baby Red dragon who isn't stupid and has kobolds with it during the final battle (thus ignoring the problem of lone foes vs. large groups of adventurers). (8 Kobolds and one newborn Red dragon is a CR 7 encounter.)

BTW, this infant dragon does 2d6+10 damage for a Vital Strike Bite Attack using Power Attack.

As for why the PCs don't go after the dragon first thing? Have them learn of a dragonslaying weapon hidden in the hills. They are desperately seeking a weapon that will provide them with an advantage against the dragons.

Book 2 has one of the Wyrmling's older siblings having heard of what the PCs did (due to the machinations of the Blue Great Wyrm). It attacks the region as well, and after the PCs repulse its first strike it flees and then starts building up a force of humanoids to use against the PCs.

Book 3 is the Dragon's mom coming to take vengeance against the PCs. Meanwhile, the Red Great Wyrm has taken notice, is realizing the machinations at work, and starts to figure out who is actually to blame. While she loathes the PCs, she also realizes these are pawns which could take down a hated rival who dared use her own flesh and blood, and kidnap and enslave her great great grandchildren.

Thus we start out with a dragon actually razing the region. The dragon remains a viable threat throughout the entire first book. And in the 2nd and 3rd books the PCs have a weapon that may do something nifty like protect them from dragonfire, but which the dragons themselves are aware of and start finding ways of working around it.


So this weapon that protects against dragon fire quickly becomes less and less useful, and doesn't do a thing against the real villain because he breathes lightning? Might as well just give them a wand of Resist Energy(Fire).


I'm sorry. Does the concept of a monster being smart enough to try to work around the enemy's anti-monster weapon offend you somehow? ;) (I know it offends my players. :D They dislike when the enemy doesn't just let itself get killed off easily! ^^ Then again, they were spoiled by some effective uses of Strangling Hair and related spells wiping out several boss-encounters...)

If all a Dragonslaying weapon did was provide Protection from Breath Weapon (area effect), and maybe a bonus to Dragonfear, then it remains a viable and very useful item even into later parts of the adventure. Besides, why should a magic item (even a minor artifact) continue to be invaluable throughout an entire six-book AP?

(That said, this would be a handy use of the Scaling Magic Item rule for such an item. In fact, at various parts of the AP, the adventurers could find elements that enhance the dragonslaying weapon. Perhaps the item had all the gems pried off of it by greedy relatives after the dragonslayer had died, and those gems can be used to enhance the Scaling Item... or sold off and let the item remain relatively underpowered.)


Oh, don't get me wrong, it doesn't offend me at all. Your suggestions just now are much more PC friendly.

Your original post wasn't, in terms of that one item. It's like getting a Ghost Touch weapon, killing the Ghost in book one, and then have to wade through legions of corporeal, living things to get to the Big Bad Ghost in book six.

Dark Archive

Dragonborn3 wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

You know what would make a good Dragon AP? Being able to play a dragon. Not playing a Wyvaran, not taking levels in Dragon Disciple, and not using the Dragon Shape X spells.

Being. A. Dragon.

There's a way around it:

Have the players find an intelligent amulet whose dedicated power is to cast Form of the Dragon I, II or III (III being artifact-level, since a dedicated power cannot be an 8th-level spell... for some reasons). Make it that the spirit of a dragon caused the item to be sentient.

That's still not being a dragon, but using the Dragon Shape spell. Just saying.

And it's definitely not from level one.

Well, playing a creature is rather problematic... if 3.5's Level Adjustment wasn't testament of that.

Not really. Introduce dragon classes and boom, done. Level up as a green, black, bronze, silver, whatever. Start as a hatchling. Done.

And level adjustment was always a joke, so the less said about that the better.

If they decide to do an Adventure Path where you can play a Dragon, part of the work has been done already. IN THE COMPANY OF DRAGONS.


Steel_Wind wrote:


But looking back over the past 37 years -- the central premise that dragons are the most iconic monsters in the game remains true.

The observable facts disagree.

The dragons got fanboyed by the rules too much. That was already noticeable in 2E, but got out of control by the times of 3.5. Battles against high-level dragons became as complex, difficult to run, optimization-sensitive and potentially punishing for PCs as battles against high-level spellcasters. Even dragons of mid-to-low CR, if used according to their mental stats, forced severe mobility/ranged offense checks on a party, that a good deal of characters were set to fail. In short, true dragons became just not very fun to use in games. I've noticed that I'm almost always using relatively simple monsters of the dragon family, like linnorms, when I'm in need of throwing something dragonlike at my PC, ever since I've switched to Pathfinder. I've also noticed that published adventure paths use true dragons quite infrequently, with Giantslayer the only one I can remember having more than three.

Dragons can't be iconic when they aren't actually encountered in the game all that often.

Grand Lodge

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FatR wrote:
Battles against high-level dragons became as complex, difficult to run, optimization-sensitive and potentially punishing for PCs as battles against high-level spellcasters.

They often are high level spellcasters, especially red dragons, who are full 9th level casters (blues and greens go up to 8th level spells, black dragons 7th level, whites 6th level) as great wyrms.

Metalic dragons are all full casters, and all of the lawful metalics are shapeshifters.

I already mentioned Codex Draconis, they have stat blocks for every age category, based on the statblocks on d20pfsrd.com, with several variant versions (often some focusing on brawn, some on spelcasting or crafting (if you want to have a weird shopkeeper)). Minions and tactics are often suggested. It would be easy to make a campaign based on going up against one of the major ones.

The one for black dragons has a version of great wyrm that is simple to run, but effective, as well as one that is highly optimized, but has more confusing options.

They got pretty creative with white dragons.

It also has advice on running dragons more effectively. Treasure on some of them is more gear than normal treasure.

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