Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Badass Dragons

I happen to agree with noisms at Monsters and Manuals that D&D dragons should be more powerful than they are, more godlike and feared.  Thus, as with Arandish vampires, Arandish dragons are much more powerful than the ones listed in the Labyrinth Lord rulebook.  Dragons in fact rarely appear in my campaigns; I am much fonder of using humans and the undead, with a dash of orcs, hobgoblins, and trolls thrown in, as my main foes and villains.  When a dragon does appear -- and I cannot even think of a time in the recent past when one has -- I feel it should be immensely powerful, godlike, and absolutely terrifying.

Therefore I present three badass Arandish dragons

Krakko the Iron Drake
# Encountered: 0 (1)
Alignment: lawful (evil)
Move: 90’ (30’), Fly: 300’ (100’)
AC: -3
HD: 21 (168 hp)
Attacks: 3 or 1 (2 claws, 1 bite, or breath)
Damage: 2d6 / 2d6 / 6d8 
Save: F11
Morale: fearless
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 13,000

[Note that Krakko’s basic stats are based loosely upon Bahamut from MM p. 33.]

Krakko [CRACK-oh] the Iron Drake, the only dragon of his kind ever encountered in Ara, is not a native of the Arandish dimension.    Krakko hails from some unknown neighboring dimension, and can travel inter-dimensionally at will.  Due to his inter-dimensional travel ability and sadistic nature, Krakko occasionally appears in Ara and wreaks momentary but catastrophic havoc. 

Iron scales render Krakko’s hide resistant to almost every form of physical attack. Only magical weapons of +1 or higher, or weapons made of dwarven steel, can harm Krakko.  He is utterly immune to fire attacks.  Krakko's breath weapon is as a red dragon's, a 90' long, 30' wide cone of fire, and his spell abilities are equal to those of a gold dragon.  Krakko loves torture and oppression, and seemingly has no regard for life other than his own, at least not when he visits Ara. 

Certain incomprehensibly powerful summoners are rumored to have first summoned Krakko to Ara during the waning days of the Old War -- in effect showing him where Ara is and royally pissing him off -- but this is the stuff of legend and cannot be verified.   Whatever his origins, Krakko is undoubtedly the most feared creature in Ara.  Though his legend has been in place since the earliest conceptions of the Lands of Ara, I have never actually deployed Krakko in an Arandish campaign -- he is too powerful.

Razgar the Red Dragon
# Encountered: 0 (1)
Alignment: chaotic
Move: 90’ (30’), Fly: 240’ (80’)
AC: -1
HD: 18
Attacks: 3 or 1 (2 claw, 1 bite, or breath)
Damage: 1d8 / 1d8 / 4d8
Save: F11
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 5,250

Razgar [RAZ-gar] inhabits the Novellan mountains in northern Telengard, and is the de facto master of those mountains and the dreaded Ghardash Wilderness just to the south.  Razgar is legendary throughout northern Ara.  He actually does not need to do much to enhance his reputation anymore, so he typically only hunts humans and humanoids for food and to acquire their treasure.  He rarely raids a city or larger settlement unless someone there has directly wronged, challenged, or insulted him.  Besides Krakko, Razgar is the most feared dragon in Ara.

This is one of my favorite illustrations from the Monster Manual.

Bublar the Black Dragon
# Encountered: 0 (1)
Alignment: chaotic
Move: 90’ (30’), Fly: 240’ (80’)
AC: 1
HD: 9
Attacks: 3 or 1 (2 claw, 1 bite, or breath)
Damage: 1d6 / 1d6 / 3d8
Save: F9
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 3,100

Bublar [BOOB-lar] dwells in the northern end of the Great Western Swamp, somewhere in the southern foothills of the Gray Mountains.  He is as ill-tempered a dragon as you could hope to meet, and delights in frightening, terrorizing, torturing, killing, and mutilating almost anyone.  Note that parties traveling in the Swamp and randomly encountering a black dragon are very likely encountering Bublar (100% chance in the north, 60% chance in the southern half, closer to Noffel).

Other Arandish Dragons
Note that since I think that D&D dragons are generally under-powered, even “run of the mill” dragons randomly encountered in Ara should have 2 or 3 extra Hit Dice beyond their standard Labyrinth Lord listing—for example, the typical Black Dragon encountered in the Great Western Swamp should be a 9- or 10-Hit Die monster (like our friend Bublar).

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