Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Divinity of Dragons

While D&D Dragons often are just big monsters to be killed in the last room of the dungeon, many mythologies connect dragons with the Gods. But Divine Dragons have always been a part of the game as well. OD&D had Tiamat and Bamut as Divine Dragons and BECMI D&D had the Dragon Rulers.  Dragonlance took the concept even further with having both Draconic Gods, but also mortal dragons as messengers of the Gods.

In my Blackmoor campaign I decided I wanted to explore this idea of humans viewing dragons as part of the divine. In this case, I decided to use the Peshwah Horsemen. Since I take some inspiration for the Peshwah from the Fremen in Frank Herbert's Dune series, I thought of the idea of using Dragons as a parallell to the Sand Worms of that series. The Fremen view the Sand Worms or Shai Hulud, as the manifestations of God; their actions being those of reverence, no matter how destructive. My idea was to make the Peshwah feel the same way about Dragons. Additionally I decided that the Peshwah would not distinquish between Good and Evil dragons. All dragons to them are sacred.

In the last session, my players took the concept even further than I had anticipated. One of the player characters had his arm destroyed by dragonfire, only to have it replaced by a clockwork arm. Upon learning this, another player, playing a Peshwah Monk of the Fallen Star (See Dave Arneson's Blackmoor D20 for details), declared that the fact that the character had his arm destroyed by a dragon was a mark of the divine. He believed that the character was Dragontouched, an individual meant for a greater purpose. Introducing the Dragontouched to the Peshwah clan of the Adiel, this character was met with reverence. This could be the thing that could help the PCs convince the Peshwah to join with Blackmoor in the ongoing War against the Egg of Coot. And the war is not looking good for Blackmoor right now. 

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  1. Neat campaign idea. I like making dragons more than the creature at the bottom of the dungeon. I've hesitated using dragons in my past campaign except in rare occasions and always tried to make the encounter one that my PC's would remember for a long time. Defeating an ancient dragon was at the center of my longest run forgotten realms campaign that lasted ~4 years. It turned out that the ancient red dragon had taken a mate, and had babies *insert evil GM giggle*

  2. I have always pictured Dragons as acting like know, preening, confident, all other creatures are there to serve?

    As the old saying goes, "You take care of a dog and love a dog, and the dog looks at you and thinks, 'He must be God.' You take care of a cat and love a cat, and teh cat looks at you and thinks, 'I must be God.'" :)

  3. Solid idea -- and Herbert is an interesting connection to make. Chinese mythology especially would be a good source for ideas about divine dragons.


Happy Gary Gygax Game Day 2023!

  Happy Gary Gygax Game Day 2023!