An Adventure Path Featuring -- and about -- Dragons


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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Not to wax nostalgia, but Age of Worms did it 100% right.

Age of Worms Major Spoilers:

You had a dragon (Ilthane) that was built up from module 3 (Level 6ish), that you didn't encounter until module 6 (Level 11), and whose lair you didn't get to loot until module 8 (Level 11). Even then, you had to fight her brood that guarded her lair, 4 juvenile black dragons. After that it explodes with dragons in module 10 (Level 18), with the red Dracolich Dragotha assembling 33 dragons to attack the cliffside giant lair guarding his phylactery. You get attacked by flights of dragons, not to mention the five named wyrm+ dragons the party has to face. Cinematically, the cliffside city with the bridges, terraces, and vertical fight dynamics have made for some of the greatest D+D combat encounters I have ever ran (I remember playing Flight of the Valkyries when describing the attacks by the flights of dragons). Even beyond this, there's still Dragotha, the WyrmDrake, and of course one of the greatest dragon villains in my opinion, Lashonna. All said, 41 dragons, all of which are fulfilling a significant meaningful role from the perspective of their personality and backstory.

It would be hard to ever top what I consider, despite its undead heavy overtones, one of the best dragon APs ever made. Nonetheless, Paizo has always done an extensively creative job with their APs, so I expect them being able to do a dragon AP that's better even than that, if there was enough interest.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dragons are the worst unless they are raining fire from the sky, stealing maidens, sitting on a pile of treasure, and getting ridden by insane warlords.

Good Dragons = THE WORST IDEA EVER

Bring on the Linnorms and the Smaugs and the Tiamats!


I have been thinking about this for a long time, and more so lately. I have some friends who are super excited about the idea of playing with dragons.

Ideally, what I would love to see is a world that is involved with dragons. That doesn't mean that there are tons of them, just that you are involved with them.

The way I see this playing out is that you start off at a lvl 1 by being in a dragon cult/retinue. So lets say, following one of the ancient gold dragons. In the beginning you deal with a bunch of stuff that they send you to do. Could be as simple as dealing with some annoying goblins, etc.

Than as you spend time working for them, and learning from them, a war breaks out between the chromatic dragons and the metallic. It can be a quiet cold war kind of thing initially, but eventually you start to see large scale fights. Most of the time you are not fighting dragons, but their flunkies.

Eventually when you get to lvl 20 or so, you can each bond with a metallic dragon that suits their temperament. Then, you have to navigate a massive dragon battle field, think dragon Ragnarok, to get to the far field to kill an ancient Red Dragon that is bringing about the massive battle

It could be a great way to learn a ton of lore about the hidden dragon culture, and the battles would not be non-stop dragons.

Dark Archive

Honestly, not that into "true dragons", I much prefer the dragons outside of metallic/chromatic/primal/outer/esoteric/whatever.

However, I'd be interested in story about that apocalyptic Dragon War between Apsu's and Dahak's forces that they are fated to have one day on Golarion. Though problem with that is that I think it would work much better as Fire Emblem style video game than AP xD

I mean, war stories were players are constantly fighting just small skirmishes aren't really war stories and I don't think pathfinders' mass combat rules are that interesting? Dragon War style story would work much better in D&D Birthright from what I know about Birthright. Also in video games you could probably have two different campaigns or even three, one where you are playing on Apsu's side, one on Dahak's side and one where you are on neither side.

(seriously, if video games spinoffs of Pathfinder ever learn to SRPG genre, someone please do that if paizo agrees on licensing it :D)


I would have to disagree. Having been in a war myself, what I can say is that wars are very different based on your role. If you are in the trenches, I would agree, the Paizo system would be clunky and hard.

However, special operatives as part of a war would be amazing. You could be spies, with a propensity for wet work. Not necessarily assassinations (although that could be an option), but more of dealing with protecting hidden bases (caves, whatever), invading secret research/headquarters dungeons, protecting from assassination attempts (and you don't have to protect a dragon, you could protect an important politician who is siding with the dragons), etc, etc etc. The way you set it up for flavor, is that you work for the dragon in the beginning, and there is no war as you level to lets say 6 or so, and then you become their favored operative, the war starts, and due to attrition and experience, you become the elite forces by lvl 12.

The big battles could be part of the flavor. That is not what you directly interact with, but you are just hearing about it, etc. They would be there to set up the drama. You could even be partially involved in some, where you attack a flank and disrupt formations, etc. The options are huge without actually doing a 15,000 foot soldiers vs 10,000 foot soldiers and 300 heavy cavalry thing.

Maybe the final battle could be flying on your bonded dragons across a massive battlefield in order to get to a central magic ritual happening in the back of the opponents lines, such as several dragons putting together a ritual curse, etc. You then land, with battle swirling all around you, in a magically protected circle and engage in one last desperate battle for the end of the world. You could be separate from the rest of the battle by the circle, or you could set it up that every 2-3 turns, a random number of characters (1d4 lets say) enters your combat from both sides. You could even have a rule about how the battle is going that would shift one side or the other up or down from 1d4 to 1d4, or 1d6, etc, etc, etc.

To call it epic, would be an understatement. By this mechanism you would avoid constantly playing against dragons, ie always turning it up to 11, but get to have a vehicle where in one campaign 100s of pages of lore about dragons are written, and we learn more about them. And the end, would be just so amazing.

I know this is a very big bombastic kind of an ending. But thats me. One of the self written modules I played ended when we shoved all of our silver coins in a cannon that the DM put there for flavor and blunderbussed a horde of werewolves instead of running away. He had to rewrite the rest of the story.

Dark Archive

I cast Thread Necromancy only to say this: A dracocentric adventure path is relevant to my interests. Would buy.

Liberty's Edge

Cerushad wrote:
I cast Thread Necromancy only to say this: A dracocentric adventure path is relevant to my interests. Would buy.

We've raised this corpse from the dead a few times. It comes down to this:

Paizo has discussed it on several occasions;
For a number of reasons, it has been rejected.

Nothing has happened in the intervening six years to suggest that their views have changed. Most of all, the Devs at Paizo have to WANT to do it in preference over some other idea.

There is little evidence that James Jacobs views have changed on it. And if James doesn't want to do it - it's not going to happen.

Here is what James Jacobs had to say about it in 2011:

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. 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.


Steel_Wind wrote:
Cerushad wrote:
I cast Thread Necromancy only to say this: A dracocentric adventure path is relevant to my interests. Would buy.

We've raised this corpse from the dead a few times. It comes down to this:

Paizo has discussed it on several occasions;
For a number of reasons, it has been rejected.

Nothing has happened in the intervening six years to suggest that their views have changed. Most of all, the Devs at Paizo have to WANT to do it in preference over some other idea.

There is little evidence that James Jacobs views have changed on it. And if James doesn't want to do it - it's not going to happen.

Here is what James Jacobs had to say about it in 2011:

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. 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.

Well, good thing other brilliant writers and game designers feel themselves capable of putting together a dracocentric AP, then!

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2udle?Legendary-Games-Conquest-Rage-of-Wyrms-AP

Sometimes, fantasy designers need to know their limitations, and that's perfectly viable. Paizo's done a ton of great APs. If they feel themselves incapable of creating a fantastic story involving dragons, I think they have the right to bow out of such a story. The good folk at Legendary Games, however, believe they can put something together unlike anything we've seen before that's dragons throughout the AP. I say best of luck to LG, and I'll be looking forward to seeing a magnificent product when the release date finally arrives!

Meanwhile, Paizo will continue doing the quality work they have been doing on other things. It's all good. =)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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It's not that we don't think of ourselves as incapable of creating a story about dragons (The adventure "The Dragon's Demand" is exhibit 1 there, in my opinion), and more that Golarion is simply not a world (like Krynn, Eberron, Dark Sun, or the Forgotten Realms) where dragons are a global/political deal.

AKA: We've chosen to avoid doing big dragon stories in large part because Wizards of the Coast has done big dragon stories a lot, and I'm more interested in going somewhere different with Golarion than retreading a number of really quite good dragon campaigns that have already appeared in numerous WotC properties.

I'm delighted that other companies are going forward with dragon plots. But that doesn't mean I think Paizo and our authors are incapable of them or wouldn't be good at them.


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In other words dragons will remain as pets, stooges, sidekicks, mind controlled fools, and the host to evil fungus, alien creatures, and/or demonic forces.


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As it should be.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Dragon78 wrote:
In other words dragons will remain as pets, stooges, sidekicks, mind controlled fools, and the host to evil fungus, alien creatures, and/or demonic forces.

*Thinks through adventures he's written, outlined, developed, and/or sanctioned*

...and as masterminds, extortionists, scholars, guardians, ravagers of countrysides, overlords of extraplanar bazaars, faction leaders, and defenders of cosmic integrity.

Dragons can and do play a wide variety of roles in the setting. The creatures themselves may not be utterly ubiquitous, yet when they appear, they so often appear in style. I wouldn't sell them short.

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

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Imma just leave this right here.

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