Why do dragons hoard treasure


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DominusMegadeus wrote:

I don't know enough about anything to tell you who is or isn't a hack, but I know one thing.

Something is wrong with you if the first thing Dragons bring to mind is your father's penis.

From a psychologist friend of mine when I asked him what he thought of Freud (trimmed a bit).

Quote:

Freud's theories are all wrong. Either that, or they are formulated in such a way that they cannot be tested, and thus not valid by the rules of science. What made Freud such a revolutionary however, was that he was the first person to actually try and understand human behavior in a scientific way

...

What I personally really love about Freud is that he was a complete edgelord; many people were outraged about his theories and he loved every second of it, often wording his theories more explicit just to piss people off. I think that's hilarious

TL;DR: Freud was a pioneer, and like so many pioneers he was later proved to be either hilariously wrong, or in the case of actual exploring pioneers, horribly lost. But he was an unrepentant dickweed, so he had that going for him.


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Sounds like it stemmed from a rocky relationship with his father...


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I theorize dragons hoard treasure to attract adventurous idiots to their lairs.

It's like the draconic equivalent of ordering a pizza, except the pizza tries to kill you, providing entertainment AND a meal! Double win!

Silver Crusade

For the same reason as bowerbirds?


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Ryzoken wrote:

I theorize dragons hoard treasure to attract adventurous idiots to their lairs.

It's like the draconic equivalent of ordering a pizza, except the pizza tries to kill you, providing entertainment AND a meal! Double win!

And likely more treasure as well.


Through a series of unfortunate accidents adventurers who show up to kill the "menacing" dragon die. Slipping off a cliff, stalactite falling through the skull, influenza, the usual stuff. All their junk is then kept by the surprisingly kind dragon for them when they come back. But they never do.....


Dustin Ashe wrote:

Maybe for the same reason people do.

But that leads me to ask: Why do people hoard treasure? It can't buy you love, happiness, wisdom, enlightenment, heaven, or true friends.

C'mon. You all are people. Why do we do it?

Well, from the number of half dragons, I would say that money at least buys an approximation of love. Well, money and kidnapping the occasional princess does that (I would go the money route myself; less likely to have knights knocking on your door).

DominusMegadeus wrote:

I don't know enough about anything to tell you who is or isn't a hack, but I know one thing.

Something is wrong with you if the first thing Dragons bring to mind is your father's penis.

Yeah, ever hear about how the venus fly trap got its name?

Morag the Gatherer wrote:

The answer is very simple.

Dragons, like most other creatures, have their own list of bugs, mites, fleas, etc. that plague them. By sleeping in mounds of hard substances, like gold, they scratch the things that itch & scrape off the bugs.
They prefer gold, silver and gems because, unlike other things, they don't rust, rot mildew, stain or smell bad.

Morag

No, they don't get fleas. They do get dwarf infestations. Those beards cause such a rash on dragon scales. The gold distracts them though.

Grand Lodge

lemeres wrote:


Yeah, ever hear about how the venus fly trap got its name?

I have. It reminded someone of a woman's [REDACTED] and so they named it after Venus, Roman goddess of love.

JLBorges wrote:

For a Freudian take, dragons are symbolic of the primordial malevolent father-figure, the woman-hoarding patriarch Freud hypothesized in Totem and Taboo that dominated ancient human society (if it could be called such at that point). So dragons, big phallus shaped monsters, show up and take women (the source of reproduction) and gold (valuable material that came to ensure survival and prosperity as societies developed) because we all evidently need some mythic symbol of our latent anxiety of our ancient unresolved daddy issues. At least that's what I wrote in a lit. analysis paper over a decade ago.

P.S. Anyone who wants to vent about how Freud was a phallocentric, nutball and how psychoanalytic criticism is inherently reductive, feel free. I don't care beans about any of it or whatever post-colonial, neomarxist, school of resentment perspective I should have used.

You forgot the cocaine. By Jove the cocaine that man consumed...


Ms. Pleiades wrote:
lemeres wrote:


Yeah, ever hear about how the venus fly trap got its name?
I have. It reminded someone of a woman's [REDACTED] and so they named it after Venus, Roman goddess of love.

Yes....but think about it....venus fly traps have teeth/tooth like spiky things.

...so yeah. Botanists, eh?

Oh, and cocaine is how Freud got started. Just started giving it to patients, and then the patients got all talky about...well the kinds of things that cause 19th century women to want cocaine.

So obviously...that kind of skewed Freud's perceptions a bit.


mating instinct like with bower birds. the male dragon accumulates a horde of shinnies to attract a female dragon to mate with them. after mating the female dragon keeps the horde and lays their eggs there while the male dragon leaves and begins to accumulate a new horde to attract another female dragon for mating. because dragons are intelligent the female dragon keeps the hordes after the eggs are hatched as a keepsake of their mates.


I've wanted to ask billionaires that hoard most of their money in savings accounts the same thing. Maybe it's more of a humanity thing rather than a dragon thing.


cnetarian wrote:
mating instinct like with bower birds. the male dragon accumulates a horde of shinnies to attract a female dragon to mate with them. after mating the female dragon keeps the horde and lays their eggs there while the male dragon leaves and begins to accumulate a new horde to attract another female dragon for mating. because dragons are intelligent the female dragon keeps the hordes after the eggs are hatched as a keepsake of their mates.

Ooo...if we were working with a setting that only had fiery dragons, that could work rather well.

Fire to melt the gold into a mound, and then stick the eggs inside for protection/easy heating. And gold serves well in this role because it is a rather soft metal (allowing the hatchlings to get out with relative ease compared to other metals)

If the dragons were inclined to digging, that would both explain why they like caves (often self made) and would give an explanation of how they lived before humans came around (dug the gold themselves).

And that also makes a fairly easy antagonism with humans. Humans excavate gold veins, taking the dragons' natural habitats. In turn, the dragons decide to steal the gold back from the humans (some may choose to do this rather than trying to dig for their own gold at all, because of the same reasons as human raiders).

Grand Lodge

lemeres wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
lemeres wrote:


Yeah, ever hear about how the venus fly trap got its name?
I have. It reminded someone of a woman's [REDACTED] and so they named it after Venus, Roman goddess of love.

Yes....but think about it....venus fly traps have teeth/tooth like spiky things.

...so yeah. Botanists, eh?

Oh, and cocaine is how Freud got started. Just started giving it to patients, and then the patients got all talky about...well the kinds of things that cause 19th century women to want cocaine.

So obviously...that kind of skewed Freud's perceptions a bit.

Don't explain the joke, lemeres :D But yes, clearly botanists hold some primordial fear of non-pollinating reproductive strategies.


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Rastrum wrote:
If you're looking for a mythological reason, it probably goes back to Fafnir, and the old iconography of dragons as personifications of greed.
LazarX wrote:
Actually Fafnir was a dwarf who became a dragon because of his overwhelming greed and treasure lust. In the original Icelandic tales, Dragons, or Serpents in general are symbols of greed.
Domestichauscat wrote:
I've wanted to ask billionaires that hoard most of their money in savings accounts the same thing. Maybe it's more of a humanity thing rather than a dragon thing.
Ashtathlon wrote:
Because I don't trust banks........

I think these are actually the best answers, at least to my understanding of dragons.

Dragons are like flawed people, with both their strengths and their deadly sins and weaknesses "dialed up to 11" over centuries of life.

They are creatures of superhuman strength, learning, and age... and also creatures of superhuman avarice, pride, vanity, ambition, wrath, envy, gluttony, and (though these don't get emphasized as often in traditional fantasy) lust, sloth, ennui, and apathy.

Toss in a healthy dose of superhuman paranoia and misanthropy as well, with respects to Ashtathlon: dragons don't trust banks... in fact, they don't trust anyone.

Your average dragon is kind of like your average eccentric, elderly neighbor: locked up in a decaying old haunted house completely alone, thinking dirty old man thoughts, hoarding a lifetime of pinched pennies and perhaps ill-gotten loot in a sock under the mattress, afraid to throw away old newspapers and broken appliances and other junk because he might need them some day, certain that everyone else is as greedy and angry and wicked as he is, angrily muttering about the "good old days" of his wasted youth, and dreaming about getting the chance to shoot those damned adventuring kids who keep daring each other to sneak onto his lawn.


Domestichauscat wrote:
I've wanted to ask billionaires that hoard most of their money in savings accounts the same thing. Maybe it's more of a humanity thing rather than a dragon thing.

At some point, it does become nihilistic in nature, doesn't it? Making money to make more money, when you already have more money than you or your children could use in a lifetime.


yronimos wrote:
Rastrum wrote:
If you're looking for a mythological reason, it probably goes back to Fafnir, and the old iconography of dragons as personifications of greed.
LazarX wrote:
Actually Fafnir was a dwarf who became a dragon because of his overwhelming greed and treasure lust. In the original Icelandic tales, Dragons, or Serpents in general are symbols of greed.
Domestichauscat wrote:
I've wanted to ask billionaires that hoard most of their money in savings accounts the same thing. Maybe it's more of a humanity thing rather than a dragon thing.
Ashtathlon wrote:
Because I don't trust banks........

I think these are actually the best answers, at least to my understanding of dragons.

Dragons are like flawed people, with both their strengths and their deadly sins and weaknesses "dialed up to 11" over centuries of life.

They are creatures of superhuman strength, learning, and age... and also creatures of superhuman avarice, pride, vanity, ambition, wrath, envy, gluttony, and (though these don't get emphasized as often in traditional fantasy) lust, sloth, ennui, and apathy.

Toss in a healthy dose of superhuman paranoia and misanthropy as well, with respects to Ashtathlon: dragons don't trust banks... in fact, they don't trust anyone.

Your average dragon is kind of like your average eccentric, elderly neighbor: locked up in a decaying old haunted house completely alone, thinking dirty old man thoughts, hoarding a lifetime of pinched pennies and perhaps ill-gotten loot in a sock under the mattress, afraid to throw away old newspapers and broken appliances and other junk because he might need them some day, certain that everyone else is as greedy and angry and wicked as he is, angrily muttering about the "good old days" of his wasted youth, and dreaming about getting the chance to shoot those damned adventuring kids who keep daring each other to sneak onto his lawn.

As the adventurers trudged over the field of coins they heard a voice say: "Get off my lawn". Lo, there was a great blast, and fiery death overcame them.


yronimos wrote:

I think these are actually the best answers, at least to my understanding of dragons.

Dragons are like flawed people, with both their strengths and their deadly sins and weaknesses "dialed up to 11" over centuries of life.

They are creatures of superhuman strength, learning, and age... and also creatures of superhuman avarice, pride, vanity, ambition, wrath, envy, gluttony, and (though these don't get emphasized as often in traditional fantasy) lust, sloth, ennui, and apathy.

Toss in a healthy dose of superhuman paranoia and misanthropy as well, with respects to Ashtathlon: dragons don't trust banks... in fact, they don't trust anyone.

Your average dragon is kind of like your average eccentric, elderly neighbor: locked up in a decaying old haunted house completely alone, thinking dirty old man thoughts, hoarding a lifetime of pinched pennies and perhaps ill-gotten loot in a sock under the mattress, afraid to throw away old newspapers and broken appliances and other junk because he might need them some day, certain that everyone else is as greedy and angry and wicked as he is, angrily muttering about the "good old days" of his wasted youth, and dreaming about getting the chance to shoot those damned adventuring kids who keep daring each other to sneak onto his lawn.

How about young dragons? They're not all ancient overwhelmingly powerful monsters.


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young dragons head out into the world to raise hell and rebel, before promptly turning into their parents after getting a taste for the shiny stuff.


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Its true purpose is to attract knights. Because free range food just tastes better in its own crunchy shell.


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thejeff wrote:
How about young dragons? They're not all ancient overwhelmingly powerful monsters.

That's a good question.

I've never used a younger dragon in my own games, and, now that you mention it, it sounds like a great opportunity to delve into their personalities a bit.

Thinking back on it when trying to find precedents, I don't see young dragons being given too much characterization very often. More often than not, young dragons seem to either get treated like mindless animals (which seems like such a waste of potential characterization), or at best like friendly creatures.

What would that eccentric, elderly neighbor have been like when he was younger? Perhaps he wasn't always a stingy, greedy, penny-pinching creep? I suspect no young dragon plans to grow up to be like its lonely, bitter, selfish, angry parents and grandparents, and instead start out thinking that it can't happen to them, that they'll do better. And then, as the years pile up along with the disappointments and disasters of age, dragons find that they've turned into their parents after all.

If those ancient, incredibly powerful monsters are like the worst versions of elderly humans "dialed up to 11", perhaps their younger counterparts are like youthful humans with the exaggerated sins of human youth... ambition, vanity, pride, arrogance, competitiveness, conspicuous consumption, showing off.... I can almost imagine the stories around younger dragons being the stuff of hard-boiled detective fiction, crossed with Jersey Shore reality TV, crossed with gangster films, crossed with the excesses of hip-hop music videos, crossed with the sort of youthful decadence described in "The Picture of Dorian Grey", crossed with the larger-than-life lifestyles of rock-and-roll or sports stars:

Dragons, young and beautiful yet fundamentally corrupt, selling their souls to "Keep up with the Joneses", taking the easy way out to quickly gain the wealth to buy the fantasy equivalent of gaudy "bling", fast cars, expensive clothes, ridiculous mansions they cannot actually afford, and the endless supplies of the drugs needed to keep them running, every day an instant away from spectacularly crashing and burning in gauche tragedy to the smirking amusement of their peers and competition. In fact, ancient dragons are nothing less than the hollow, burnt-out wreckage of the excesses of their short-sighted, mis-spent youth... those who survived a youth of hollow excess, to age and die alone in hollow excess.

Where do young dragons get their hoards? One dragon got his by selling drugs to formerly peaceful Orc tribes who now march on civilization to loot enough money to buy more. Another dragon inherited her wealth from a wealthy uncle, and now squanders it on wild parties that, for kicks, sometimes involve the summoning of eldritch abominations into this world. Yet another married into his wealth, and conspired to have his wife killed so he could use some of the gold to pay off gambling debts. Another dragon has quickly and spectacularly climbed to the top of an intercontinental shipping company by killing off his biggest competitors, and now pays some of his new-found wealth on bodyguards so he can survive the same treatment from his surviving competitors. Another lives on allowance from his parents, and uses some of it to cover up blackmail for the crimes he has committed. All these and more are cautions and opportunities for any adventurers who find young dragons offering them jobs, or who are sent on missions to loot the hoards of young dragons!


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Have you slept on a massive pile of shiny coins? It's like a tempur-pedic that plays a soft, jingling lullaby when you turn over, and you never feel the poke of the +5 holy avenger in your side. Truly lovely.


In our games, I took to having Dragons exhibit more and more extreme OCD traits as they age, yet only upon a single subject. I'd have the horde of one be an exhaustive collection of, and accompanying library on the study and history, of barrels. Another may be obsessed with clergy to the point of massing a library, collecting props and magic items, or even keeping a few for study. My intent was to spread out the wealth of a horde into not a readily salable format, as well to add to the motivations of dragons and why they would interact with the world.

It was well received.


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Abrisene wrote:

In our games, I took to having Dragons exhibit more and more extreme OCD traits as they age, yet only upon a single subject. I'd have the horde of one be an exhaustive collection of, and accompanying library on the study and history, of barrels. Another may be obsessed with clergy to the point of massing a library, collecting props and magic items, or even keeping a few for study. My intent was to spread out the wealth of a horde into not a readily salable format, as well to add to the motivations of dragons and why they would interact with the world.

It was well received.

...I can see an entire side quest with a dragon that hoards cats.

You can even have a themed dungeon where all the monsters are cat related. Sphinxes, chimera, manticores, lamia, catfolk, rakshasa, Shira divs...Maybe a Bastet cleric or two.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lemeres wrote:
Domestichauscat wrote:
I've wanted to ask billionaires that hoard most of their money in savings accounts the same thing. Maybe it's more of a humanity thing rather than a dragon thing.
At some point, it does become nihilistic in nature, doesn't it? Making money to make more money, when you already have more money than you or your children could use in a lifetime.

First: Billionaires don't do savings accounts. They invest.

Second: In my last long term campaign, I tailored Dragons after the Seven Deadly Sins. The more 'Sins' a Dragon embodied, the more powerful the Dragon. Wrath usually came first, gluttony and greed were mid range and pride came last, you know: right before the fall. Needless to say, that incarnation of the campaign had no 'good' Dragons.

Silver Crusade

It's a lie!!! Some dragon's don't horde treasure. [Youtube: Walking in Circles fan movie]


It's called a Hoard for a reason. Also, have you seen a dragon on a shopping trip? Besides, I doubt those caves have internet access... ;)


ngc7293 wrote:
It's called a Hoard for a reason. Also, have you seen a dragon on a shopping trip? Besides, I doubt those caves have internet access... ;)

Eh, dragons are often high level casters with hundreds of years on their hands. If they want internet, they can invent it.

Interesting note- most of the metallic dragons have change shape, and they get it fairly early in their lives. I wonder if that has anything to do with their disposition, and their fondness for humanoids? (even if it is on par with the fondness for a puppy at times)


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Otherwhere wrote:
Barbara Hambly gave them a really cool reason: gold and gems and jewelry make music that only dragons can hear. They are entranced by its melody!

Ah, you beat me to it! That was going to be my suggestion - read Barbara Hambly's Dragonbane series. Dragons need pure gold (thus, refined & worked by those crawling bi-peds with those nimble fingers of theirs) into which they can breathe the magic of their Names and have it reflected back to them. It's like Dragon catnip, I tells ya!


And..I like having nice things, and note..not all dragons sleep on their hoards.
I prefer to sleep in a nice scalding steam cave where a waterfall cascades upon a lavaflow...its good for my great wyrm aches.


Minor point, no hard math but worth thinking about:

At fifty coins to a pound, gold coins will be pretty small, lets say around the size of a nickel.

Fifty of those is a roll of coins.

Dragons aren't sleeping on piles of gold, they MIGHT have a golden pillow.

Sorry.

:D

As for WHY, I always just attributed it to genetic predisposition, with different dragons liking different things as per their terrain.

Or, to put it simply:

Because magic.

Scarab Sages

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I'm going to say thermal conductivity. Dragons are large, presumably endothermic creatures (or they have enough mass that they have high internal temperatures like large dinosaurs) allowing them to be very active. So when they are lounging about at home, they need a way to cool off since most of their lairs don't have air-conditioning.

Silver, Copper, and Gold are great heat conductors, with thermal conductivities 4+ times that of iron and 6+ times that of steel. Diamonds would be even more "baller" as diamonds have a thermal conductivity almost three times greater than gold.

This allows the dragon to enjoy "the cool-side of the pillow" effect, which is a great luxury for them.

Other dragon questions:
Do fire-breathing dragons have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning in enclosed spaces?
How important is ventilation in proper lair design?


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I heard dragons prefer carbon monoxide to oxygen.

Sidenote: Did you know carbon monoxide makes dragon voice's go down a couple of octaves? That's why they have those deep, gravelly voices. They're all about that bass.


alexd1976 wrote:

Minor point, no hard math but worth thinking about:

At fifty coins to a pound, gold coins will be pretty small, lets say around the size of a nickel.

Fifty of those is a roll of coins.

Dragons aren't sleeping on piles of gold, they MIGHT have a golden pillow.

Sorry.

:D

Pathfinder tends to solve this by letting dragons sleep on huge piles of copper rather than gold. I'm running a party through a super-module where they recently killed two magma dragons and found ~84 000 copper pieces, weighing about 1700 lb. What ensued afterwards reminded me of the monkey banana trap - they completely refused to move on without vacuuming up every single coin, coming up with some fairly impressive logistics to bring the whole load in one go. :)


Same reason adventurers do. Greed. Dragons are just better at it.


Why do dragons hoard treasure? It's an interesting question with no clear answer.
I propose a 2 year research effort, sending my graduate students out to question dragons as to their motives and to catalog their hoards, which will help us to correlate various types of hoards with their stated motivations. This project will give us significant insight into draconic psychology.


Mark Hoover wrote:
I KNOW this is the oldest question in the game and I'm sure it's been answered a million ways but I'm wondering if there's a Pathfinder answer. I have searched all through these boards, on the Golarion wiki and on the PFSRD but so far nothing. Does PF have a specific reason for draconic hoards?

If you study Northern Germanic medieval literature, you'll discover that Dragons often embodied greed and avarice. This is most clearly seen in the dragon that appears in the Beowulf poem.

A previous post mentioned Smaug, but Smaug was merely Tolkien's retelling of the Sigurd/Sigfried/Sigvar cycle where Sigurd killed the dragon Fafnir by attacking Fafnir's soft underbelly since the scales on Fafnir's back where impenetrable.


Ok...just to satisfy some of the little folks curiosity as to why we "hoard" as you so clumsily put it.

Dragons are POWER..we fly, breath death...kill as we wish and are armored from head to tip of tail.

This visual expression to ourselves of this power is our amassed riches and baubles taken from slain and dominated foes..when we cast our gaze over the assembled wealth..we remember every exploit that caused that bit of shine to be in our clutches.
And maybe for my more soft-hearted brethren they recall all the good deeds to naughty things they smote to now be in possession of said items.
So our Horde..is also Power, and some of us use it as such..dabbling in kingdom building or exercises in business..(living many centuries and with a vast intellect..you do need some distractions.)

Also..the Ladies love the horde...and I love a lady with a "adequate " horde as well, equal hoarding rights and all have been a improvement on Dragon culture..

In some ways we are the ultimate culture of collectors...vast time..and capability, but instead of collecting one coin from a years run...we collect the entire run.

And yes we have quite good internet in our lairs..but typing is a b#!$@, so I use dragon..and just talk to type this...:)

Regards
Ashtathlon (semi retired Dragonlord and enforcer of the material plane for natives movement.)

Scarab Sages

Zangar wrote:
Chromatic dragons are born knowing that all of the world belongs to them. Every piece of treasure that exists rightfully belongs to that dragon, even if it's inconveniently in the hands of others (for now). In a sense, everything that everyone else possesses is on loan to them from you, and it's already overdue to be paid back. Blood is acceptable interest.

I like to see this as the most sensible answer. If dragons had the intelligence of animals, I would've supported the idea that dragons use hoards of treasures as nesting materials, but since dragons are as smart as (if not smarter than) most humanoids, I believe that they use hoards of treasures to pretty much say, "Hey look, I took all of this treasure for myself, worship me". Smaug from The Hobbit fits into this answer the best. Though I also wouldn't be surprised if both the ideas for nesting materials and sign of superiority can be applied.

Liberty's Edge

Vyranos wrote:
Zangar wrote:
Chromatic dragons are born knowing that all of the world belongs to them. Every piece of treasure that exists rightfully belongs to that dragon, even if it's inconveniently in the hands of others (for now). In a sense, everything that everyone else possesses is on loan to them from you, and it's already overdue to be paid back. Blood is acceptable interest.
I like to see this as the most sensible answer. If dragons had the intelligence of animals, I would've supported the idea that dragons use hoards of treasures as nesting materials, but since dragons are as smart as (if not smarter than) most humanoids, I believe that they use hoards of treasures to pretty much say, "Hey look, I took all of this treasure for myself, worship me". Smaug from The Hobbit fits into this answer the best. Though I also wouldn't be surprised if both the ideas for nesting materials and sign of superiority can be applied.

Even intelligent beings can have strong instincts. It's easily possible it is both and any explanation a dragon gives you will emphasize the intellectual reason and deemphasize/ignore the instinctual one.


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

I think it all comes down to, are you going to tell them they can't? Because frankly I don't want to be there when you try.

Scarab Sages

StabbittyDoom wrote:
Vyranos wrote:
Zangar wrote:
Chromatic dragons are born knowing that all of the world belongs to them. Every piece of treasure that exists rightfully belongs to that dragon, even if it's inconveniently in the hands of others (for now). In a sense, everything that everyone else possesses is on loan to them from you, and it's already overdue to be paid back. Blood is acceptable interest.
I like to see this as the most sensible answer. If dragons had the intelligence of animals, I would've supported the idea that dragons use hoards of treasures as nesting materials, but since dragons are as smart as (if not smarter than) most humanoids, I believe that they use hoards of treasures to pretty much say, "Hey look, I took all of this treasure for myself, worship me". Smaug from The Hobbit fits into this answer the best. Though I also wouldn't be surprised if both the ideas for nesting materials and sign of superiority can be applied.
Even intelligent beings can have strong instincts. It's easily possible it is both and any explanation a dragon gives you will emphasize the intellectual reason and deemphasize/ignore the instinctual one.

I definitely agree with intelligent beings having strong instincts. It's human instinct to be a little unnerved by dark areas-especially if you have no idea what is/can be in the area. It's the instinct of preparing oneself for any kind of danger, no matter how big or small.

And also, in real life, male lions patrol the boarders of their territories not only to shoo away unwanted predators, like cheetahs, leopards or hyenas, but also to make sure no other males are wanting the pride. The behavior of any creature (real or imaginary) does not have to be one answer.

Shadow Lodge

because they can

Scarab Sages

Kudaku wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

Minor point, no hard math but worth thinking about:

At fifty coins to a pound, gold coins will be pretty small, lets say around the size of a nickel.

Fifty of those is a roll of coins.

Dragons aren't sleeping on piles of gold, they MIGHT have a golden pillow.

Sorry.

:D

Pathfinder tends to solve this by letting dragons sleep on huge piles of copper rather than gold. I'm running a party through a super-module where they recently killed two magma dragons and found ~84 000 copper pieces, weighing about 1700 lb. What ensued afterwards reminded me of the monkey banana trap - they completely refused to move on without vacuuming up every single coin, coming up with some fairly impressive logistics to bring the whole load in one go. :)

I stand by my thermal conductivity reasoning

I stand by my thermal conductivity reasoning:
Material / Thermal Conductivity (Watt per Meter Kelvin)
Diamonds / 1000
Silver / 406
Copper / 385
Gold / 314
Iron / 80
Steel / 50
Ice / 1.6
Water / 0.6
Air / 0.024

Higher numbers are better at transporting heat away from the dragon. You'll need large masses to dissipate the heat for this.


StabbittyDoom wrote:
Vyranos wrote:
Zangar wrote:
Chromatic dragons are born knowing that all of the world belongs to them. Every piece of treasure that exists rightfully belongs to that dragon, even if it's inconveniently in the hands of others (for now). In a sense, everything that everyone else possesses is on loan to them from you, and it's already overdue to be paid back. Blood is acceptable interest.
I like to see this as the most sensible answer. If dragons had the intelligence of animals, I would've supported the idea that dragons use hoards of treasures as nesting materials, but since dragons are as smart as (if not smarter than) most humanoids, I believe that they use hoards of treasures to pretty much say, "Hey look, I took all of this treasure for myself, worship me". Smaug from The Hobbit fits into this answer the best. Though I also wouldn't be surprised if both the ideas for nesting materials and sign of superiority can be applied.
Even intelligent beings can have strong instincts. It's easily possible it is both and any explanation a dragon gives you will emphasize the intellectual reason and deemphasize/ignore the instinctual one.

Much like humans do. :)

Scarab Sages

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New theory/questions.
Dragons have big claws, coins are small, are they only able to easily manipulate them using mage hand? Do they then use mage hand to rifle through the pockets of the people they kill or do they usually just eat creatures whole?

If they eat a creature whole, then possibly:
A) They're like owls, and the hoard is likely from their pellets
B) They would end up defecating the items out.

Long story short, dragons are gross and the hoard is really just their filth, which they wallow in.


Because the WBL system is a broken setup that...


B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

If they eat a creature whole, then possibly:

A) They're like owls, and the hoard is likely from their pellets

Huh, that's the most plausible answer I never thought of. The hoard is really just the remains of all the humanoids they've eaten over the millennia.


When I was a kid I read a kind of "sciencey" book on dragons that I loved. It said that dragons gather and sleep on this hoard because their natural armor protect everything but their stomach. So they would sleep on the gold and gems so they would stick to their soft stomachs and provide protection for their biggest weakness. Obiously not a pathfinder answer just a thought that I think fits pretty well.


B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

New theory/questions.

Dragons have big claws, coins are small, are they only able to easily manipulate them using mage hand? Do they then use mage hand to rifle through the pockets of the people they kill or do they usually just eat creatures whole?

If they eat a creature whole, then possibly:
A) They're like owls, and the hoard is likely from their pellets
B) They would end up defecating the items out.

Long story short, dragons are gross and the hoard is really just their filth, which they wallow in.

Almost choked on my dinner.

+1 this is why.


Actually there would be little to nothing in most dragons leavings..as it has been mentioned many times that their stomachs are like hyper efficient furnaces capable of digesting almost anything...
Not much chance for coins..and magic items to survive that trip.

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