Dragonriders in Golarion?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Are there any nations/cities/schools that train their warriors or knightly caste to ride and bond with dragons, as described in the SSG dragonrider class?

If my GM allows, I was thinking of building a dragonrider character but was wondering where on Golarion his backstory could be set. Of course, I can always go with the Eragon egg-found-in-the-woods deal.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No there isn't really. The Dragons of Golarion are leagues above the comparatively dumb beasts in Pern masquerading under that name. They simply have too much ego to be used as mounts.


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

Not true dragons (or the even more primal linnorms). Cases where a dragon consents to serve as a mount would be determined on an individual basis between the dragon and that rider (alliance, magical or moral strictures, one-time situation, etc.).

However, powerful (and most likely evil) organizations may be able to coopt/subjugate drakes or wyverns to serve as mounts in limited numbers. The same way other groups may use giant eagles, griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, etc.


The closest Golarion analogue would be the planet known as Triaxus with Dragonkin and their riders.


No there isn't, in my Golarion there are a few (though only one with an adult dragon) and it's done by finding dragon eggs and using an orb of dragonkind to "rear" the dragons as they grow up.


In addition to SSG's Dragonriders, you should also consider Geek Industrial Complex's Companions of the Firmament which are all the PF flying/falling rules, plus new flying mount rider archetypes, and special rules for spear-chuckers (special attacks against flyers) and a variety of other mechanics specific to flying riders.

You could also look at Rite Publishing's In the Company of Dragons that feature dragons as PCs. Note, for example, the only belt magic item allowed for dragons from this supplement are saddles, so there is kind of an expectation that dragons are indeed mounts, in addition to their other more egotistic abilities.

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Riding drakes might work. Drakes are no where near as intelligent or egotistical as true dragons. Balance-wise, it's also more manageable. It might make sense if there existed a league of knights that raised drakes to be valorous.

Riding true dragons, however, raises a very important question. What does a true dragon gain from having a rider? Dragons are smarter and both magically and physically more powerful than even some of the most heroic humanoids. Some dragons can even shapeshift into humanoid form. Why would they ever want some monkey on their back telling them what to do? Even companionship isn't much of a reason as dragons can live up to a thousand years.


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Cyrad wrote:
Riding true dragons, however, raises a very important question. What does a true dragon gain from having a rider?

Action economy.


As previously mentioned, there are no dragon riding cultures on Golarion. However, one of the other planets in the same solar system as Golarion, Triaxus does have dragonriders. So while Golarion does not, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting does.


There's also the orcs of the Wingripper tribe of the city of Wyvernsting. They ride and train wyverns, which are sort of like dragons.


The game has drakes, wyverns, linnorms, creatures with the half dragon template, and a bunch of other creatures with the dragon type. You don't necessarily have to use those reality warping monstrosities like true dragons.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Actually, Brevoy was born after Choral conquered it and he was raiding red dragons...

Possible spoiler:
and most probably was a red dragon himself...


I recommend Half-Dragon Axe Beak

Sovereign Court

There was the TAF, in ancient Xin-Shalast (Thassilonian Air Force).


Dragonrider from Super Genius or Rogue Genius Games. The dragon doesn't get spellcasting, scales in size as the Dragonrider goes up in levels, and can only use their breath weapon 3x day with the standard 1d4 recharge time. Also, paladins and knightly types can get young dragons as cohorts/mounts.

Contributor

Cyrad wrote:
Riding true dragons, however, raises a very important question. What does a true dragon gain from having a rider? Dragons are smarter and both magically and physically more powerful than even some of the most heroic humanoids. Some dragons can even shapeshift into humanoid form. Why would they ever want some monkey on their back telling them what to do? Even companionship isn't much of a reason as dragons can live up to a thousand years.

That's a question that I set out to answer when I wrote the Dragon Companion Handbook.

Using the Draconomicon (WotC, 3.5) for inspiration, I decided on two key points for draconic "society" in order to justify it. Prestige among dragons is based on A) how old you are and B) how much wealth you've accumulated. Since dragons can't magically make themselves older and expect to be recognized for it, the best way for a dragon (particularly a very young dragon) to quickly amass influence among other dragons is to gain a lot of wealth in a relatively short amount of time. And who comes into a lot of wealth quickly? Adventurers!

So as a result, dragons stand to gain a lot of indirect power by working with active mortals. You're not going to see a dragon lounging in a king's throne room; you're going to see dragons working with mortals who are doing things that will lead to a serious influx of cash for the dragon. I imagine that dragons would be particularly interested in working with heroes to topple down rival dragons with large stores of wealth already attributed to them so the dragon could take it for herself.


Cyrad wrote:
Riding true dragons, however, raises a very important question. What does a true dragon gain from having a rider? Dragons are smarter and both magically and physically more powerful than even some of the most heroic humanoids. Some dragons can even shapeshift into humanoid form. Why would they ever want some monkey on their back telling them what to do? Even companionship isn't much of a reason as dragons can live up to a thousand years.

Who says a dragon allowing a rider on its back is being treated as a mount? In my games, when a dragon carries an adventurer, he doesn't allow the rider to tell him what to do. He decides for himself, where to go, how best to handle an aerial encounter. The rider is there for the ride, however, in no way is the dragon being subserviant to the rider. The dragon is a member of the adventuring party - and played by a player (we're using In the Company of Dragons to accomplish that.)

Actually using that latter mentioned publication, dragons grow in size faster through being a "mount", than the natural growth rate based on aging.


The Dragonrider from Rogue Genius Games also takes care of that issue. As the Dragonrider levels, his mount becomes larger. Given a standard 80 year lifespan for a human rider, a dragon can gain very old age category 520 years faster then they could without a rider. Once the rider dies, the dragon gains all of the powers that had been sublimated becoming the rider's companion. Evil dragons often do this to get power quickly, and good dragons could do it in order to gain the same benefit to further the cause of good.


Dragonlance has mortals "partnering" with dragons to ride into battle.

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