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D&D 3E
PC Dwarf has green/black dragon egg. 
21st-Feb-2005 10:42 am
bitch
One of my players has a dragon egg that they snatched up from when they went in to attack a dragon and killed the mother (while another group they were working with killed the father.) This dragon egg is going to hatch into a green/black dragon mix. I have a few questions.

1) How would the player go about taking care of the egg to make it hatch, if they can?

2) Will this dragon innately grow up with the evil alignment given in its genes, or will the player be able to raise it to be different? I know that a silver dragon can raise a white dragon to be good, but that's dragon vs. dragon psychology. Would this PC be able to do the same thing?

3) Do you have any plot twists/ideas that come to your mind when thinking of this scenario, that you'd like to impart to me? :-)
Comments 
21st-Feb-2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Some sort of "keep it warm" thing would be needed. I think of dragons as being more like birds than reptiles, so I think they are warm-blooded and the eggs need to be kept warm.

I would think the dragon would generally lean to towards evil based on instinct, but it could be raised to be goodish I think.

There is an all dragons 3rd ed book, but I don't remember the title. It probably addresses the issue of PCs trying to raise a dragon.
21st-Feb-2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
Draconomicon.

I want it, just for the pictures. so pretty. @_@
21st-Feb-2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
warning warning..unless you want a very powerful npc in the party, be careful what you let them do...

A "this creature needs to be with his kind, not with us" scene could be a touching way to get rid of it...also could include some scenes about why the beast does not belong...burning down the candle shop, running through town, eating a sheep, etc.
22nd-Feb-2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
I love the ideas of burning down the candle shop and eating the sheep (gah, why are sheep the victims of all things?), but I think that this dragon won't be that powerful at all for many, many years. I'll be amazed if they can keep it alive, really. There's so many people that are going to want to kill it, just for being the green/black dragon it is.
22nd-Feb-2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Dittos from me on your thoughts. I was going to say the same thing. I always thought a really young dragon like that (especially one that JUST hatched) is not as powerful as what a lot of people think. And as you said, it's going to be ~many rp years~ before it would be an npc overthrow.

Couldn't tell you about what allignment the thing is going to be. I guess I would wing it to depend on what the characters do. It they don't take extra measures to keep it from going evil, it'll go evil on them. However if they rp well enough, I would concider altering the alignment.

(btw - sheep are stupid, thus the victimage. Seriously. I had this discussion with my brother a couple times. ^.~ )
21st-Feb-2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
I think the dragon should be evil. Unless you're ready for - breaking the race alignment sterotypes (not that I approve of them) in D&D is a can of worms. What if that was a good orc? What if his mate hiding in the bushes was good?

I'd resist the temptation to let the dragon grow up faster than normal. It could be newborn and relatively helpless through many adventures.

You could have the dragon seem to be nice but betray the characters. They could hardly cry foul after they killed its parents. Or you could have the dragon like them and an evil NPC tell it that they killed its parents - go for the emotional angst! It also makes for a good reoccuring villian. Will they accept any responsbility if they help create a monster? Doubt it.

Put them in the situation where they could get a large reward if they surrender a fatal dose of dragon blood. Will the group kill a baby?

Are they kidnapping the egg? I think so. It doesn't have a choice at this point. Will the baby dragon want to stay with them? Why? How could other parties react to this?

The group could find out that they were tricked into killing the parents and infact they (the dragon parents) did nothing wrong. Will they protect the baby dragon now? Will they try and protect it if powerful forces want it for themselves?
22nd-Feb-2005 04:28 am (UTC)
i'm sorry, but I have this discussion with many many dms. Just because a alignment for a race says "always lawful evil" or "always chaotic good", does that mean that there is never a situation that breaks this?
I mean, Exalted Deeds gives the example of a lawful good mind flayer. There are spells that with a failed save, you gain the alignment of the caster. Then of course there is the card from the deck of many things: "drastically change your alignment."
I say as a whole, yes, stay with the alignments, but on a one on one basis, the possibilities are endless.
About the only exception to this would be devils and celestials, unless they lose their powers. which, in itself would be a source of great roleplaying.
22nd-Feb-2005 09:03 am (UTC)
Good heavens. I'm not suggesting that the rules are sacrosanct. Change them, change them, I think most people do.

My comment about alignment in D&D is based on the old testament right and wrong aspect of the game. In D&D it's alright to kill (gruesomely and with inhumane weapons and means) evil people. The game encourages action and adventure by tarring hordes of monsters with the same brush; always evil. This means your hero can spy the passing "Monster X" below, leap down from the tree and best the foul horror. This is action and drama. There's no concern here whether the "Monster X" might have been a good guy.

There's an important caveat here. I happen to hate the D&D alignment system for this. I like shades of grey. I dislike strongly the Detect Alignment abilities. In my comment above I was simply highlighting the can of worms which can be opened if you start to step away from the "always evil" road. Personally, I think it's worth doing. I'm a bigot, I don't think your average D&D gamer could cope with it though.
22nd-Feb-2005 10:07 am (UTC)
aaah. I see now. As stated, I couldn't tell which side of the fence you were one. I agree, I enjoy the "grey areas."
I agree however, there are those gamers out there who wouldn't be able to handle the idea. Either they are just too obsessed with the ideal of "the book is law" or can't wrap their minds around the idea that the mind flayer genuinely wants to help you cure that headache.
21st-Feb-2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
I've done some dragon-plots in my campaign.

1) It can take as long as you want it to. In my game I used a year-long hatching period. What can they do to make it hatch? Whatever you decide, incluing nothing. You can just say it hatches. You can say it has to be kept at a certain temperature, or whatever you like. There's no real rule on how it works out som usually you just make something interesting up and make sure thats the rule for any future hatchings.

2) It's up to you. You can have evil gold dragons and good red dragons if you want to. Decide what would be cool and don't feel constrained.

3) The dragon egg (or the hatchling) is stolen by an evil princess, thus inverting the traditional "save the princess from the evil dragon" story.

But then, I'm perverse.
21st-Feb-2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
hehe. i do like the way you think. :)
21st-Feb-2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
I like the dragon/princess idea.

I bet she needs the soft babydragon skin to make a new bikini-armor set. :P
22nd-Feb-2005 05:21 pm (UTC)
Your evil princess idea is hilarious. I will have to seriously think of a way to incorporate that.
21st-Feb-2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
If you have Draconomicon, or can find it somewhere, it gives all sorts of fun things about Dragon eggs and whatnot. Dragons are born with something of a racial memory and propensity towards specific alignments. It could, in theory, be broken, but it's highly unlikely.

And even baby dragons need to eat. A LOT.
21st-Feb-2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
The draconomicon also has a chart of rules on how dragon eggs hatch. It has the conditions needed and the time it takes and everything.
21st-Feb-2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
this is of course some information that ive pulled from the draconomicon, and its beena while since ive read it and its also not in front of me so its possible i might get mistaken on some points.

1) the book mentioned that a black dragon mother would put its eggs in a small thing of acid to keep if warm and make it hatch properly, i dont remember what they said for green dragons though :-(

2) it also mentioned in the book that when the dragon first hatches it already has a personality built and is also smart enough to realize that you arent a dragon (which isnt much but yeah). anyways, they said that when people want to keep the dragon after it hatches they need to roll a diplomacy check to see if it is willing to stay with them.

3) i kind of like the whole evil princess thing that the_never thought up, i personnally would go with that idea but then of course you are the DM so its your decision :-P
21st-Feb-2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
Draconomicon is a good resource for this, they give 'official' conditions that eggs need to be kept in to incubate. :)

As far as can they raise it to be a different alignment, that's up to you. The dragon presumably has a propensity towards evil, but nothing wrong with the characters getting to raise it differently. Heck, if they take the leadership feat and select it as their cohort, then really it should be loyal to them, otherwise it is a matter of roleplaying and what you think would be the most enjoyable for everybody in the game... :)
21st-Feb-2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
1) Presumably, the egg's parents knew the conditions to make it hatch and kept it that way. However they found it, that's more or less what the egg wants, then. (Is this the same dragon that ate the fairy? 'cuz I think you mentioned it being a wet cave with pools of water, maybe the egg needs to be kept moist and warm?)

2) I don't think the dragon will have any predisposition towards evil on a genetic level. It will, however, share the same predilictions as all dragons: it will be avaricious and very fond of treasure (I imagine infant dragons like squirrels, running off with anything shiny they can find and burying it for later retrieval and addition to their hoard), it will be an aggressive and perpetually-hungry carnivore, and it will quickly realize that it is different from (and in most cases more powerful than) everything around it. An infant dragon is neither good nor evil, it is truly a-moral. It may try to do things like steal your gold and wonder why that's not okay, and it might not see the problem with killing and eating intelligent beings, especially if the PCs do a lot of killing intelligent beings themselves. Giving a dragon a firm moral upbringing can be a fun sub-plot in itself.

3) Other dragons may wonder why this hatchling is being raised by mortals ... depending on the circumstance, they may offer assistance, "rescue" the dragon, try to kill the future competitor, or take it upon themselves to act as a god-parent and check in on the PCs periodically and see if they're doing a good job.

All that off the top of my head.
22nd-Feb-2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
Indeed, this is the dragon that ate the fairy character. A group of NPCs took care of the other parent while working in unison with the PCs to fight off the weaker parent, and then they went in to destroy the dragon eggs, and the ranger managed to slip an egg into his sack, while the other players decided they weren't going to destroy the eggs, but give them to an ally, as seen below.

They have an emerald dragon great wyrm that further helped them, because she found the black and green dragons to be a nuisance, and the emerald dragon took the remaining eggs minus one. Now the ranger has gone to Pandemonium atop the Howler's Crag - where you can talk to anyone in the cosmos - and fessed up to the emerald dragon that he has an egg, to which the great wyrm replies she knew in the first place (Scrying), and so the PC is asking this wyrm for advice on how to take care of the dragon.

They found the eggs in highly acidic swamp water, so maybe that'll be the living conditions? They've also had the egg out for awhile now without being in those conditions, so now I get to think about if the dragon is born with birth defects or not...or if it's born at all...
22nd-Feb-2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
It sounds like the emerald dragon has nominated herself as godparent. Since she knew the PCs had the egg and did nothing about it, presumably she is okay with them trying to raise the hatchling on their own - probably has some good reason for that (it may be as simple as curiosity - can mortals be good parents to a dragon? - or it may be as complex and long-term as needing to have a dragon raised by humans to help teach dragons how humans think and act as diplomat/liason to keep dragonkind from being gradually eradicated by the great plague that is Man...). She or her agents should check in periodically and make sure the PCs are doing a good job, and punish them if they're not (maybe even reward them if they are, but dragons are notoriously greedy).

I'd say let the dragon hatch - after all, you've spent all this time thinking about plot ideas for her! As far as birth defects, I wouldn't cripple her too bad, but maybe make her a runt or something? A really tiny wyrmling will be useless in combat (good), but good at hiding and easier to keep alive (good) and transport (good).
22nd-Feb-2005 01:47 am (UTC) - Dragons and alignment
What makes a good story?

It's already an oddball (black dragons mating with green dragons? Whoa! Raised by adventurers? Yowsa!) It's an exception, and you can 'justify' breaking the rules that way if you see the need.

It takes hundreds of years to rear a dragon. Unless the party is made up of young elves with nothing better to do for a couple centuries, it's not going to be up to them.

For my money, if a creature description says the creature is "always" an alignment, then that's hard-wired into the monster's existence. If the creature is "usually" or "mostly" a particular alignment, then I'd think you can hard-wire the alignment differently.

22nd-Feb-2005 03:56 am (UTC)
I believe it's hardwired into them. Also, there was a dragon magazine that talked about this. It's the one that commemorates the 30th anniversary of DnD. It has an article about raising different types. Like red dragons will give out an egg or two just to see the chaos that erupts because of the lil dragon's alignment.
22nd-Feb-2005 04:35 am (UTC)
1&2) Draconomicon has info on this stuff if you're looking for "official" answers. But really, it's whatever you want. You're the DM, make the decision. If you want the dragon to be evil, then it's evil. This can be run however you want, whatever you think will make the game most enjoyable for everyone involved.

3) 2e had a version of the Draconomicon I believe. The part I remember best about it was the section detailing how to raise a dragon. The best part: "Teaching your dragon to fly." Imagine trying to explain the process to it. Or getting it to jump off a cliff. And not kill you on the way down. All kinds of good stuff.

This could be very fun, and is a nice way to make the player work for his awesome pet (assuming you go in that direction). I think really that's what you have to decide. Is this going to be a mount for the player to raise, or an NPC hook for some kind of adventure. Or both, but one may restrict the other.
22nd-Feb-2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oooh, danger ... you just said "pet." Dragons don't make good pets. It's a mistake to think of them that way.

Mostly because they're sentient beings and usually smarter than you.

(I have enough trouble with a player in my group kinda wanting a pet gnome).
22nd-Feb-2005 12:21 pm (UTC)
1) Incubate it magically. Jury rigging a rookery for a Dragon egg is no easy task for anybody that isn't a dragon, as all dragons have different requirements for their eggs to hatch normally. For a Black/Green one, I would assume that it would have to be in a reletively swampy climate, as that's the closest environment that the two share. In any case, were it a situation with players in my game I would adjucate that they would need to prepare an area where it could remain mostly undisturbed in an area of a Persistant spell (a highly rare spell, no less).

Trying to track down such a spell for the party Wizard's spellbook might make an interesting adventure, or trying to let him/her come up with it on their own. Who's to say that it won't go wrong if it were a homebrew? Come up with the margin of error before it's cast, and as it's cast roll a d%. If it passes, the egg is good to be incubated. If it fails, determine some detrimental effect.

I think dragon eggs remain in a dormant state while they're not being incubated, so there's really nothing to worry about if they were to leave it alone for a short while.

2) Dragons are born intelligent, but I have a hard time believing that they would be born with a massive amount of racial memory. Some, yes, but not enough to make them predisposed towards evil.

I had a sitution in a game I ran once where a Blue dragon wyrmling was running around with a group of Thri-kreen, and when the party tried to talk to the Wyrmling in Draconic to ask it why it was with them, it responded only in clicks. Why? Because the Thri-kreen stole the egg, hatched it, and raised the Wyrmling since then, and they didn't speak Draconic...they spoke Thri-kreen. :] He just spoke with a heavy accent.

The moral of the story is, as long as you can convince the wyrmling that you weren't the food left there by its mother for when it hatches, you can raise it however you want.

3) The Wyrmling that hatches from the egg isn't an only child, it has an older brother/sister that isn't a full dragon, but in fact a half-dragon (your choice as to which color) that found out that his/her mother/father was killed and her half-brother/sister is in the hands of some adventuring party. Half-dragons having more human emotions would be more inclined to give a damn about the situation and do something about it...like kill the adventurers and show his/her sibling what's what before going back off to do whatever it was that he/she was doing before. :]

OR

The wrymling that hatches from the egg isn't of the dragon variety that the party was expecting. In fact, it was a captured egg that was being raised a perversion/slap in the face to one of the dragons enemies. Choose a color of metallic dragon (let's say Gold), and you'll be set on that. That being said, mama Gold dragon comes looking for her young and, lo and behold, finds it not in the hands of her nemesis, but in the hands of an unkown adventuring party. It'd make for a nice roleplaying situation, especially if the party has already convinced the wyrmling that one of them was its mother.

22nd-Feb-2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
I love the half dragon, half sibling idea. That's just awesome. I might have to play on that one.
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