View Full Version : Gamer Tales Tales of Draconic Encounters

2015-11-15, 04:34 PM
This is a thread dedicated to telling tales of the biggest, nastiest, hardest, funniest, or most interesting dragon encounters you've ever experienced in a game, from either side of the GM screen. And I think I'll start us off with my own tale.

I was DMing for my group in a fairly high-level Evil D&D 3.5 game, and they were in a Evil-aligned city built in a way so that monstrous races could co-exist with some of the more "normal" races. Our "heroes" were exploring the city when they stubled across a sleeping White Dragon who had made a home in the middle of the city. Now, what I expected them to do was learn a bit more about this dragon before even considering trying to fight it. However, as often happens with PCs, they decided to do something else - mainly, try to fight it immediately.

Of course, they managed to wake it up before even harming it, and they then proceeded to fight. The dragon decided to use the city's buildings to it's advantage, flying from building to building each turn, only stopping to use a Flyby Attack in the middle against the Death Knight (I believe) who served as the party beatstick. The Ranger held back and shot it with arrows, while out Lich Wizard helped maneuver our Assassin around it so he could Sneak Attack. It actually wouldn't have been a bad setup, if not for one thing.

You see, I had statted this particular dragon out, giving it treasure, feats, equipment, etc. long before the party had even encountered it. With a bit more research, the party could have found out come of the contingencies the dragon had set into motion for an attack - such as a Gemstone of Fortification it had to negate Sneak Attacks. The worst part was, it would have been fairly trivial to steal it before the battle, or even during the battle if they knew about it, but I had underestimated the rashness of the party. My bad...

So, the Assassin was doing hardly any damage, not enough to even warrant the dragon's attention. The Death Knight also proceeded to insult the dragon, to which it responded with landing in front of the DK, by about 15 feet, allowing the DK to approach. Followed by a full attack on the next round. Goodbye Death Knight.

At this point, the rest of the party had a collective "Oh Crap" moment. The Wizard immediately fled, which probably saved his (un)life, as he didn't have the right spells prepared to really pose a threat to this dragon. The Cleric of Nerull managed to get herself eaten by the dragon, resulting in her death via digestion. (That one may have actually happened before the Death Knight's death, I can't remember exactly.) The Ranger decided to try and threaten the dragon with a magic item he had - only for the dragon to grin and hold up the same magic item. Which he then used to teleport the Ranger to a volcano and drop him in - I wasn't originally gonna have him use the item, mind you, but the Ranger was screwed anyways and he knew it, so this made for a better story. Finally, the Assassin managed to get away as well, but not without losing an arm to the now very angry dragon. Luckily, the dragons was also to lazy to pursue.

So TL;DR, a high-level party got very nearly TPK'ed by a CR-appropriate dragon, with only the Wizard and Assassin surviving, because they didn't plan out for the fight. And I was being a bit mean that day. So that's why I'm not allowed to throw dragons at the party anymore. :smalltongue:

2015-11-15, 04:54 PM
This one time, the party had split up because of reasons I don't even remember anymore.

Some time ago, they had indirectly caused the death of a Marid by causing said Marid's city to be overrun by a vampire's army of undead. This Marid happened to be allied with a gold dragon, though. I had mentioned the dragon once in passing (the vampire offered to reward the party if they took care of the dragon for him).

So the elven wizard and dragonborn paladin are traveling by boat, while the monk and rogue are traveling over land. Suddenly, a large gold dragon surfaces, threatens the wizard and paladin, and prepares to attack. One rushed diplomacy check later, the wizard has somehow convinced it to fight her one-on-one, somewhere away from the ship to prevent 'any of the innocent crew from suffering'.

The wizard was about 11th level by the time, and I seriously doubted her ability to take on the dragon all by herself. I was wrong.

The wizard, flying by means of a Fly spell, opened with a Disintegrate, got hit by a fire breath but took almost no damage (through a Ring of Fire Resistance the dragon didn't know about), then proceeded to blast away. I believe the fight lasted about three rounds, during which the wizard took only a few hits. I honestly didn't believe what was going on.

So long story short, an 11th-level character killed a CR 10 dragon by herself, then stripped the body and sold all the valuable parts (that is, about everything) in the next town they visited.

The Great Wyrm
2015-11-15, 11:24 PM
Red Hand of Doom, fight with Abithriax:

Cleric is a healbot, healing Druid, Ranger, and Rogue.

Ranger is generally ineffective.

Rouge is also generally ineffective, but manages not to take a single point of damage (evasion ftw).

Druid spams Call Lightning and sends a flying rhinoceros (animal companion) at the dragon. The rhino does some damage, but Abithriax rips it to shreds/incinerates it in three rounds. Flaming chunks of rhino fall from the sky.

Wizard becomes a tank by taunting, having Protection from Energy (fire), and using Abrupt Jaunt. Protection from Energy runs out just before Abithriax dies, but Wizard only takes ~15 points of damage throughout the whole encounter.

2015-11-17, 01:45 AM
Was playing D&D 4E as a Goliath Barbarian. our 3rd level party was getting ready to help a magic college defend against a large bandit raid when a dragonborn riding a white dragon came in.

The wizard won initiative, followed by me. Before initiative the dragonborn had dismounted. The wizard casts some damaging spell first.

I get a crit. And roll good. And cleave the enemy in half. He was meant to be a mini boss.

The dragon only took a few rounds to finish off. It was pretty cool though.

The Fury
2015-11-18, 09:57 PM
This one was a little bit of an anticlimax but I still think it's funny. Our party was walking along the road to town, like you do. When we can see the town we're heading to and some mountains in the distance the DM asked us for reflex saves, naturally the rogue got the highest one. So the DM said, "I'll make this brief," pointed to the rogue's player, "you didn't make it."

Our party suffered the full-force of a Red Dragon's breath weapon and glimpsed them flying overhead off to one of the mountains. They didn't bother to circle around and burn us again. As far as I could gather they weren't really interested in killing us or anything, they were just kind of a jerk.

Kid Jake
2015-11-18, 11:59 PM
This is from my Pathfinder journal. It's one of, if not THE, only times I've ever actually used a dragon. The setup:

The kobold investigator has tracked a young green dragon to its lair, wanting to use the beast to seize control of his clan. He knows that he's no match for it in a straight fight, so instead he goes invisible and hides among the stones of the cave to get a better sense of it. Eventually he gets up his nerve and calls out to it.

"What is your name dragon?" Eadric asks from his impeccable hiding place. "I mean you no harm!"

"Ro'than'dur." it replies, its eyes scanning the room for the trespasser. "Come out little..." it sniffs the air, seeming to savor the scent. "Kobold. Prove your good intentions."

Ignoring Ro'than'dur's suggestion Eadric calls out "I hear that dragons are among the most clever creatures in the known world. If you are as clever as you believe yourself to be then I challenge you to a game of wits! Winner takes all."

The dragon's mouth moves into some semblace of a grin and it says "Very well. What are the stakes?"

"If I win, you serve me and the human village I now call home until I release you from your debt." Eadric says. "If you win-"

"If I win the game, I'll gobble you up. Bones and all." the dragon finishes, crawling off its pile of treasure. "I am too clever for you alone little kobold; call your friends. If ANY of you can outwit me then I will serve you."

"I will defeat you alone." Eadric insists.

"I am very, very good at this game." the dragon ensures him. "It will take all of you."

"There's only two of us, but I will be enough." Eadric says, sliding down the wall where he'd scurried up for cover. "The other is waiting outside. Come and we'll-"

Eadric stops as he notices the dragon is laughing. "I win." it says cruelly. Before the kobold has a chance to react he's pinned beneath a taloned claw that's nearly as large as he is; he tries to shout a warning for his partner, but nothing comes out.

2015-11-19, 07:13 AM
Several memorable encounters over the years.

In 2e Disintegrate was surprisingly useful. the first time we noticed this was the party's wizard who was off on his own and ran into a big black dragon. Can't remember exact age category but it was closer to 12th than 6th. He had exactly one useful spell - Disintegrate. So he fired it off and got through magic resistance and the dragon failed its save. If the wizard had lost the initiative or the dragon had succeed on one of those rolls, the wizard would have been dead meat.

In RHoD with PF rules, the big blue dragon (can't remember its name). we were on a bridge and vulnerable and no flying magic active and not much juice left. I took a chance and cast Sound Burst at it. it went through SR and the dragon rolled a nat 1 on the save, fell, took lots of damage and the sorcerer cast Dimension Door to the bottom of the cliff on the cavalier, who then supercharged it. We went from probably TPK to an easy encounter thanks to one spell.

Another black dragon, slightly under CR for the APL, showed up as a lesser scripted encounter. The party waltzes in unprepared and the dragon swoops in from the darkness and snatches the sorcerer, who fails the concentration check to cast spells while grappled, eats a full attack next round and dies. It does this two more times taking out the cleric and one of the paladins, taking minimal damage in return. The last paladin managed to slay it while taking some serious damage. I rolled slightly better than average and the party rolled slightly worse than average but it still was an unexpected outcome, considering most other dragons the party encountered were taken out rather easily.

Most memorable was probably RHoD. The aforementioned group failed to stop Tiamat, and since the adventure was adapted to Mystara in the general area I was running my primary campaign, i adopted it and let the other PCs handle the fallout of Tiamat's summoning. Since the party was 16th level, I had to up the power a bit and to tie in with the general theme of achieving Immortality (and Mystara's generally unusual take on established gods in general), the RHoD DM and I felt that Tiamat was a dragon attempting to achieve Immortality in Entropy rather than the aspect of an established god. So the high-level party gets to meet a 5-headed dragon with 20th level casting and a godly number of hit points who is on the verge of becoming a god. After something like five or six deaths divided among 4 people and the wealth of a small domain in components and magic items being used, the party succeeded in stopping her.

2015-11-19, 07:41 AM
1E - young white Dragon, still learning how to hunt - and what not to hunt.

The Party is trekking through the Wilderness, in an open area not far from the Forest's edge. They notice a Dragon flying in their general direction, it sees them and flies closer to investigate.

The Dragon spends some time circling the party as they, panicking a little, decide whether to split up or stay together. The Dragon lines up for a strafing run a few times, only to turn away and resume circling. The tension in the group is palpable

Finally one member of the party has had enough and breaks from the group aiming to take cover amongst the trees.

The Dragon lines up to try and attack the lone individual. It flies in and swoops, only to roll a 1. I rule that it has fumbled and crashed into the ground. Falling Damage > Dragon's HP so the Dragon is dead.


2015-11-22, 09:50 AM
I have three I guess?

So for one game, we're basically just a two person party in 3.5. I was playing this kind of silly rogue/fighter build I'm rather fond of. I picked up the habit when playing with a group composed of half new people who don't make super effective characters and experienced players who want to try some convoluted character concept to see how it plays. So we end up with a lot of weird magic and not much else, so I'm stuck trying to decide on skill monkey or tank and choose a not especially happy medium. I take a few fighter levels for HP and BAB, and weapon proficiences, then start taking rogue levels. CHA and WIS are my dump stats, but I can take one or two hits and I tumble for the flanking ALL the time.

Anyway, in the game, it's just myself and my friend, who's playing a VoP Monk who apparently had a feat that let him take...CON damage to heal people? I dunno, never checked it out. Anyway, so we bombed around righting wrongs and were given leadership fo' free and were basically allowed to start developing a small keep. And we actually did pretty well in combat together, made a good team. I took Improved Sunder and had a Shatterspike, which was surprisingly useful in this particular campaign. But yeah, we did well, until we drew the ire of some blackguard, who decided to gather up an army and attack our keep. It wasa fun battle and we actually spent a good deal before the battle setting up our defenses. Oh, and we didn't have cohorts, but we had like a Paladin as our guard captain and he was like level five when we were just hitting twelve I think? And we kept giving him any appropriate loot we thought he could use, so he had like enchanted adamantine full plate and like a +3 or +4 longsword.

So when the battle actually happens, the blackguard comes at us on a really small dragon. Something a little bigger than a horse but that could fly. And he has a whip dagger so he can poison us at a distance. When I say us, I mostly mean he poisoned the ever loving $#!% out of me. For this session and the one before, our friend notable for making complicated characters that were just shy of effective had joined us, playing a half-giant cleric. So after the blackguard gets to go first, and starts poisoning me, the cleric's player, who normally loves things like grappling, disarming, tripping, etc, even though he never makes characters very good at it, finally considered something I had been telling him for a while, that his strength and size will sometimes serve him better than being a monk with improved grapple. So he readies an action to jump up and try to grapple the dragon as it flies over. A great jump check and grapple check later, he and the dragon go over the side of the wall and he manages to land on top of it, taking much less falling damage than it did. I get in some good swings with my shatterspike and destroy the blackguard's whip right before the poison kills me, so I'm laying dead on the wall while my friend's monk dukes it out with a blackguard who was too dumb to grab my sword and had like a backup light mace or something, and the cleric spends the next two or three turns punching the dragon to death with his guantlets.

In another game, is was entirely newish players other than myself and the DM. We had a wizard that picked kinda bad spells and was not specialized, a bard who's player got dejected super easily, and an archery ranger who did well mostly due to the experienced DM's questionable understanding of some archery feats. So once again, I was playing a fighter/rogue. This time I think I had a bigger sword, and after reading about it in a novel, got the idea to get proficiency for harpoons. We had fought some creatures that moved around too much, so it seemed like it might help. But we did a thing where for one session, we had the others DM. On the week that the ranger was DM, she showed up drunk and it slightly annoyed me. She decided to throw a big blue dragon at us. It was pretty stock from the MM, but it was maybe a stronger one than might have been appropriate.

So right away in the battle, while the bard and wizard are buffing the normal DM's melee whatever (I can't remember), I get like last in initiative because I always roll terrible initiative or reflex saves as a rogue. Anyway, the dragon goes second to last and makes a bee-line for the wizard. But the thing is, the DM didn't know what harpoons do and all the new players always had to be reminded how AoOs work, so the dragon rushes right past me and I had the harpoon in my hands anyway because we saw the dragon flying overhead like an hour earlier when we were climbing the mountain. So I managed to hit it with my opportunity attack and by the harpoon rules, as we understood them anyway, that halved the dragon's movement, which made it unable to complete its charge at the wizard.

On my turn, I think I attacked it some or something, and for some reason I kept ahold of the rope tied to the harpoon? I don't quite remember. But on its next turn, rather than like whirling around and full attacking me, it took off, and I went up with it on the rope. I think I spent the wrest of the fight dangling from the rope by my foot, shooting it with my +1 bow while the wizard blasted it with spells.

And for the last story, it was my second ever character. For most of the campaign, I was the comic relief and the distraction. In this instance, we were in some really big battle and our spellcaster and our dwarven defender were absent, so we had a cleric, another, much better and higher level fighter than the one I played, and a gnome bard. The cleric was doing...something...I think he was where the armies were actually fighting, trying to counter an enemy spellcaster or something. The bard and I were shooting mundane arrows at a very powerful druid that was there for some reason. Then the other fighter, who was the character that was always very headstrong and also our party face, somehow had gotten like a mile away from us. Some flying creature had snatched him up. And the bad guys had a dragon scouring the battlefield with its breath weapon.

I end up getting killed pretty nastily by the druid but I think I gave the bard a chance to get close. The bard manages to get Otto's Irresistable Dance off on this druid, but the druid somehow signals the dragon for aid. So the dragon starts making his way toward us. At that point, the other fighter kills the flying thing that's holding him and goes into a freefall. It was going to drop him anyway, so he figured why not. But it just so happens, and the DM didn't really notice this with his map set up, the dragon was flying under the fighter as he fell. So the fighter pulls some miraculous DEX checks and manages to aim at the dragon, falling at terminal velocity with his greatsword. The DM rules that he ends up doing half his falling damage in addition to the greatsword attack, which was pretty megical, and due to a high CON and lucky HP rolls, the fighter survived and on one of his next turns landed a crit to kill the dragon.

One the ground, the bard managed to brain the druid to death with a small sized light mace, and then comes this dead dragon that crashes into the ground like a plane doing an emergency landing. And the other fighter guzzled a couple strong potions before the landing and survives that, too.