Sunday, 3 August 2014

Dragons...! (Part One)

Much as I like dragons, I do sometimes wonder whether there might be other choices aside from the 'big scaly lizard with wings' default. With that in mind, I've rustled up a few interrelated designs that I'll add to this blog over the next few weeks, along with an accompanying scribble. As with my 'Edible Monsters' series, these have been written out in a 1E AD&D format, and for fun I've started off with the 'baddie' version.

Chitinous Dragons

These dragons differ slightly from their better-known bretheren by having a tough chitinous hide rather than scales and leathery skin. They exist in three forms, all of which are very rarely encountered: Dragonling, Lesser and Greater. The Lesser and Greater Chitinous Dragons are both forms of the Chitinous Dragonling. The Dragonling lives for around 200 years, during which time it explores and learns about the world and about magic. After this period, depending on what it has experienced and how it has been treated by other creatures, it chooses either the Lawful Good Lesser form, or the Chaotic Evil Greater form. Note that the terms 'Greater' and 'Lesser' only refer to the dragon's size and not its capabilities, and either lives on for 201-400 years.

After death, the carapace of any form of Chitinous Dragon is greatly prized as a source of +1 to +3 armour, when worked by a suitably skilled individual. Similarly, their wings can be included in the construction of +1 to +3 composite bows.

Unusually for dragon-kind, Chitinous Dragons do not make lairs in caves or similar underground dwellings; rather, they prefer somewhat inaccessible places above ground.

Note to Dungeon Masters: Chitinous Dragons do not pass through ages in the same way as other dragons. Aside from that, their other powers and capabilities are as stated in the section dealing with dragons in the Monster Manual.

CHITINOUS DRAGON (Greater)


FREQUENCY: Very Rare
NO. APPEARING: 1-2
ARMOR CLASS: 0
MOVE: 12"/36"
HIT DICE: 8-10
% IN LAIR: 50%
TREASURE TYPE:  H, R, S, T
NO. OF ATTACKS: 4
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-8, 1-8, 2-20, 2-16
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Breath weapon, poison sting
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
INTELLIGENCE: High
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: L (24' long)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
                Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
CHANCE OF:
                Speaking: 50%
                Magic Use: 30%
                Sleeping: 30%

Greater Chitinous Dragons prefer remote forests and woodland, preferably within reach of a lake or similar body of water. Their lairs are usually atop some large ancient tree, with their treasure kept in numerous (2-20), hard to reach nests in the canopy.

Its breath weapon is an acidic gas 6" long, 4" wide and 5" high that attacks organic matter (such as wood, leather, wool, linen, etc) and thus quickly destroys shields, belts, fittings, rope and other such items. A barb in it's very flexible tail attacks with +3 to hit, and any creature struck by it must save versus poison or be paralysed for 2-12 rounds. If the dragon can speak and employ magic, they will know 1-3 Druid spells of 3rd to 5th level.
When attacking, the dragon can opt to fight with a pair of hook-like claws and a bite, a breath weapon, or with a poisonous sting.

Description: The Greater Chitinous Dragon resembles a giant cranefly (albeit one with a long, whip-like tail), covered in a multitude of thorny barbs, and carried aloft via two pairs of opaque wings. Their chitin can be made up of a wide variety of colours, as some of their kind prefer subtle camouflage whilst others employ garish, pie-bald patterns of several hues. Those that can speak do so with a harsh, buzzing tone. If two are encountered, it will be a mating pair.

3 comments:

  1. Clever. I like the idea of a non-standard assumption of dragons. Seems like a kewl vein to explore... especially the scary crane fly direction. I mean, I can imagine prior to the battle, describing a crane fly or two annoying the group around the campfire then, boom...

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  2. Awesome stuff! It's one of those ideas that every serious gamer has had at one point, but I don't think I've seen anything like that before. Creepy as hell, too. :)

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