Dragonlance

Dragon (Krynn), General Information

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Dragons are the true children of Krynn, embodying the elemental forces themselves. The most majestic and dignified of all the world’s creatures, dragons are power incarnate, capable of inspiring awe and fear in all who behold them.

While the dragons of Krynn are physically similar to the dragons of other worlds, their personalities, goals, and philosophies are quite different.

Background. In the beginning, the gods created good, evil, and neutrality. Conflict among the gods resulted in the All-Saints war, resolved when the good and neutral gods combined forces to prevent evil from claiming victory. Good, evil, and neutrality persist in Krynn to this day, and their balance is crucial to the harmony of all things.

The development of good, evil, and neutral dragons paralleled this balance. Just as the neutral gods joined forces with the gods of good, the neutral dragons aligned with the good dragons to thwart the plans of the evil dragons. However, the neutral dragons soon grew weary of being drawn into the endless conflicts between good and evil, and ultimately most of them abandoned Krynn.

While little is known of the neutral dragons today, the influence of good and evil dragons remains strong. Black, blue, green, red, and white dragons invariably ally themselves with the forces of evil, while brass, bronze, copper, gold, and sliver dragons invariably ally themselves with the forces of good.

Three Dragonwars were fought during the Age of Dreams, the first era of Krynn. In the final Dragonwar, a young Knight of Solamnia named Huma was given the secret of the dragonlance, a powerful weapon capable of destroying dragons. Flying a silver dragon, he battled the evil dragons in the skies, and they were eventually defeated. To preserve the balance, the good dragons departed the world. For years afterwards, dragons were unknown on Krynn existing only as creatures of legend.

Following the Cataclysm (a world-wide disaster of unprecedented proportions in which the wrath of the gods descended on Krynn), Takhisis, the Queen of Darkness, awakened the evil dragons and took the eggs of the good dragons. The good dragons swore an oath not to interfere with the affairs of Krynn in exchange for their eggs safe-keeping, but Takhisis betrayed them by corrupting their eggs to create the draconians. The good dragons discovered the Dark Queen’s treachery and declared war on their evil cousins. Fighting side by side with the good people of Krynn, the good dragons eventually triumphed in the conflict that came to be known as the War of the Lance.

In the years following the War of the Lance, the good dragons seemingly disappeared again from the face of Krynn. In fact, many of the good dragons had succumbed to a mysterious disease, while others had been summoned to their ancestral home to defend against an anticipated attack. Taking advantage of the absence of good dragons, Takhisis made another attempt to conquer Krynn. But with the aid of the good people of Krynn, the good dragons were able to cure the disease that was killing them, secure their ancestral home, and rally their forces to stop Takhisis. Though the good dragons continue to persevere, their constant vigilance is required to hold the threat of evil in check.

Dragons and Men. Perhaps the most striking difference between the dragons of Krynn and the dragons of other worlds is their relationship with men and women. Where other dragons are reclusive and withdrawn, seldom involving themselves with the affairs of other races, the fates of Krynn dragons and Krynn men and women have been inexorably linked since the dawn of time. This is as true of the evil dragons as it of the good dragons. The evil dragons maintain close ties with evil humans and demihumans and have worked closely with them in the past to realize their common goals of conquest and subjugation. In turn, the good dragons ally themselves with the forces of good to counter the evil dragons and to further the causes of justice and honor.

Further, a mystical bond exists between good dragons and good people. This bond is based on mutual trust, respect, and cooperation. When the bond is strong, both dragons and people flourish, able to function at the peak of their talents and abilities. But when the bond is threatened by doubt, disrespect, or disharmony, both dragons and people suffer and regress.

Dragon Culture. The dragons of Krynn have a rich cultural heritage. Although this is not generally known to the human population of Krynn, brilliant dragon scholars have excelled over the ages in areas as diverse as astronomy, mathematics, history, and philosophy. There have even been a small but notable number of dragon artists who have created magnificent poetry, beautiful music, and stirring literature. Though the good dragons have especially strong academic and aesthetic talents, the evil dragons also have produced scholars and artists whose works rival those of any other race.

Dragons have an oral instead of a written tradition, and most of their philosophy, history, and literature is passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. But like other races with a rich culture, the dragons keep much of their heritage alive by preserving it in sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. These art works not only enrich the lives of the dragons with their sheer beauty, they also serve as permanent records of important ideas and events. They are among the dragons’ greatest treasures.

Age Categories and Die Modifiers: Like the dragons of other worlds, the Hit Dice and combat modifiers of Krynn dragons vary among subspecies and are modified based on age category; this information is listed on the following Dragon Table. Combat modifiers apply to both attack and damage rolls for each physical attack, but these do not apply to a dragon’s breath weapon. Saving throws are also tied to their Hit Dice: each dragon saves as a warrior equal in level to the dragon’s Hit Dice. Krynn dragons’ Hit Dice bases are identical to those of other worlds, as described on the entries for these dragons (see below for links). (For instance, a Krynn copper dragon and a Hit Dice base of 13, the same as his counterpart on other worlds. A hatchling copper dragon subtracts 6 dice, for a total of 7 Hit Dice; it saves as a 7th level warrior.)

Krynn dragons pass through the various age categories at a slightly slower rate than the dragons of other worlds, as shown on the Dragon Table. Though Krynn dragons cause fear in other creatures much like the dragons of other worlds, their fear auras are not as strong as those of other dragons; their fear radii and the modifiers affecting their victims’ saving throws are summarized on the Dragon Table.

Attacks and Defenses: Krynn dragons have the same defense and attack abilities as their other-world counterparts, including spellcasting, breath weapons, physical dttacks. and enhanced senses.

Traits: Krynn dragons have the same characteristics, physical appearance, and statistics as their counterparts on other worlds. These similarities include alignment, Armor Class, treasure type, and experience points given in the subspecies listings (see below for links). Ecological details, such as those pertaining to their lairs, metabolisms, and families, are also similar, as are their general combat tactics. However, Krynn dragons have different attitudes and philosophies than dragons from other worlds; these differences are summarized below.

The Evil Dragons

Black Dragons: Impulsive and nervous, black dragons tend to act first and think later. There are fewer black dragon scholars and artists than any other subspecies of Krynn dragon. Black dragons are extremely independent and ally with other races only if it serves their purposes; hence, they are seldom used by evil forces in times of war. Black dragons move silently and strike quickly. Their favorite spell is darkness, which is used to cover their movements during attacks.

Blue Dragons: Although blue dragons live in caves, they prefer to dwell in deserts and arid lands. More gregarious than many of their cousins, blue dragons serve as line quality troops in times of warfare. Blue dragons believe they are the gods’ favorites.

Blue dragons are wise enough to see the importance of cooperation, and thus are valued allies in times of warfare. Most dragonriders are mounted on blue dragons. The loyalty felt among the members of a blue dragon squad can be so profound that loss of a companion can plunge the survivors into deep depressions, sometimes to the point of hindering their effectiveness on the battlefield. Though highly adept spellcasters and skilled fighters with their teeth and claws, the blue dragons’ favorite attack is their lighting breath.

Green Dragons: Green dragons are notorious even among evil dragons for their cruel natures and vicious tempers. Green dragons have few concerns beyond their own immediate desires. Unabashed hedonists, they relish treasure, rich foods and sensual pleasures. They are clever and subtle combatants. Green dragons obey orders only from leaders whom they respect. A leader who loses the respect of a green dragon may soon find himself between the dragon’s jaws.

Green dragons prefer to use trickery and magic on an enemy instead of an all-out assault, but they engage in bloody melee when necessary.

Green dragons are rarely used in major offensives, but are often used for assassinations and other sinister assignments.

Red Dragons: Red dragons are the strongest and most fearsome of all evil dragons. Their intelligence exceeds that of blue dragons. They cooperate with other dragons as necessary, but they refuse to obey orders with which they disagree. Red dragons see no grand design to the multiverse; to them, existence is a random mix of chaos and disorder in which only the strongest can survive.

Red dragons enjoy nothing more than setting cities ablaze, and then rummaging through the rubble for loot. Though leery of most leaders, they are loyal to the Queen of Darkness. Red dragons work well together. Unless it is in their best interest to take prisoners, red dragons hunt down and destroy their enemies to the last.

White Dragons: White dragons are the least able of all the evil aragons. They have little or no interest in art, and only a peripheral interest in the grand schemes of their evil cousins. In most cases, white dragons would prefer to be left alone. In times of war, white dragons are used as scouts or are assigned to defend regions of the least strategic importance. Though slow to react, white dragons can be effective fighters, relying heavily on their breath weapons to weaken opponents before closing to attack with their teeth and claws.

The Good Dragons

Brass Dragons: Brass dragons believe that life is a series of tests and designed to weed out the weak from the strong. Though benevolent and understanding of creatures they consider to be inferior, brass dragons believe that ultimately the superior should be allowed to flourish. Generally considered to be the least sophisticated of all of the good dragons, brass dragons have little interest in art or culture, instead devoting themselves to developing strategies for dealing with the unavoidable hardships of existence. They are good fighters, preferring to attack with claws and teeth, reserving their breath weapons and spells for emergencies.

Bronze Dragons: Bronze dragons are fond of war and fighting. Bronze dragons are also extremely interested in the affairs of mankind. In ancient times, bronze dragons were believed to take the forms of domestic animals simply to study the cultures of men.

Though not particularly deep thinkers, bronze dragons believe that concepts such as good and evil can be understood intuitively. Logic can actually impair understanding, since the universe is not a logical place.

Copper Dragons: Copper dragons adhere to no particular philosophy and are easily influenced by the opinions of others. They are extremely fond of wealth, almost always demanding to know how cooperating with others will benefit them. They seldom make decisions of consequence without first consulting other dragons. In spite of their selfishness, copper dragons are basically kindhearted. They are loyal to their friends, but distrustful of strangers. In combat, they freely attack with both breath weapons.

Gold Dragons: Because of their devotion to the intellect, gold dragons have produced many fine scholars, particularly in the fields of mathematics and philosophy. Though gold dragons respect all intelligent creatures regardless of their species, they rarely associate with other races – the arrogant gold dragons consider such associations to be demeaning. Gold dragons are extremely skilled in magic and prefer to attack with their spells.

Silver Dragons: Silver dragons believe that the purpose of life is devotion to the standards of good. They believe in the sanctity of life and that all creatures are equal in the eyes of the gods. They go to war only reluctantly, but they are fully prepared to give their lives for a cause in which they believe.

Silver dragons are the dragons most beloved by the races of Krynn. They can polymorph into human or elven form and sometimes seem to prefer these forms to their own. They enjoy the company of humans and help them whenever they can.

Dragon Table
Age CategoryAge (in years)Hit Die ModifierCombat ModifierFear RadiusFear Save Modifier
1 Hatchling0-7-6+1
2 Very Young8-20-4+2
3 Young21-35-2+3
4 Juvenile36-70-1+4
5 Young Adult71-120Nil+ 510 yards+4
6 Adult121-250+1+615 yards+3
7 Mature Adult251-500+2+720 yards+2
8 Old501-750+3+825 yards+1
9 Very Old751-1,000+4+930 yards0
10 Venerable1,001-1,200+5+1035 yards-1
11 Wyrm1,201-1,400+6+1140 yards-2
12 Great Wyrm1,401++7+1245 yards-3

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 11:54:56 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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