Saturday, December 6, 2014

Neo School Hack: Dragons

So, since Old School Hack is a hack of the original Dungeons & Dragons, I thought it only appropriate that I do some dragons for my Neo School Hack.  I've never quite liked the later D&D rules  with a wide range of ages of dragons from small young ones to ancient ones.  I prefer the idea that if you have the misfortune to meet a dragon it should be something really big and scary.  Thus for Old School Hack that means classing them as "Freaky Big" monsters, with stats something like:

HP: 20 to 25
AC: 14 to 16
Attacks: one 2d10 bite/extra heavy; two 2d10 claws/heavy; one 2d10 tail whack/heavy [but cannot use bite and tail whack in the same round]

Also from D&D we have it that there are multiple colors of dragons.  For my games I prefer to have just five types of dragon, based on the Chinese traditional five elements: water, earth, metal, wood, and fire.  These elemental natures will affect the HP, AC, breath attacks, and set of talents.  Each type of dragon has an innate vulnerability, flight, and a breath weapon talent, and then a set of unique six talents just like a character class.  Dragons will always have the two innates (vulnerability and breath weapon) plus at least three of the uniques when encountered, making their powers unpredictable.  In addition, one of the talents in all the lists is Scaly Wizard which allows them to learn from one grimoire of spells like a wizard.

And because dragons are a "boss" creature each should have a personality.  So on top of the physical/elemental characteristics above, there will be a set of twelve general dragon talents from which the dragon will take three.   In addition, dragons have Attributes like player characters (which also opens up the possibility of a game where all the PCs are dragons), but for dragons these are rolled with 1d10 +12.

So, here's the first dragon:

Water Dragons (Ebon Dragons)

Absorbed/innate, constant: water dragons are vulnerable to elemental earth and take an extra wound from this type of magic

Saurian Soaring/innate, constant: dragons have large, powerful wings which give them the power of flight.

Frost Storm/innate, focus, encounter: an ice storm breath weapon; covers a 45 degree cone out to 60 feet; damage of 4 wounds, halved if make a Daring save; victims frozen and unable to move for that round and the next

Of The Deeps/constant: water dragons breathe water and are comfortable and at home

Longfin/constant: You have very fine fins, making you an exeptionally fast and agile swimmer; +2 to any checks involving swimming
Cloud Chill/encounter: magically create a dense cloud of cold fog out to a 100 foot radius from you which blocks sight for anyone but water dragons and other elemental water creatures; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
Black Ice/encounter: placing one claw on the ground, you create a sheet of slick ice out to a 100 foot radius; creatures without claws or other serious form of traction must make a Cunning save each round or slip and fall down, and another such save to stand back up if they do fall
Wall of Ice/focus, encounter: with a bit of concentration, you create a wall of ice up to 600 square feet in height and length and 6 inches in thickness; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
Scaly Sorcery: the dragon has studied a wizard grimoire and can cast one spell from it; dragons only become fascinated with one grimoire and will learn only spells from that one tome; this talent may be taken once for every spell in that grimoire.

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