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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Long story short, my players killed a huge dragon, and they seek to cut of it's head and make a trophy out of it in their city/ fort/ home/ whatever. I'm probably going to allow most ideas to succeed as this is fun for them, but I'd like to know how much does the head of a huge dragon may weigh, and how much space does it take? (I'm asking this due to the party's bag of holding, which is their way of transporting loot.)

    Yes, I know it's a weird question, but the people of the playground will surprise you, time and time again! Humor me?

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    An average humanoid-shaped Huge creature made of flesh weighs between 2 and 16 short tons. Since it is not humanoid shaped, we should reduce this number to 2/3 it's original value. If it were a sphere it would be half this value.

    A bite attack from a creature with proportions similar to a human (jaw approximately 1/16 of the total body length) would deal 2d6 damage, but it deals 2d8 damage. A monster whose jaw is approximately 1/8 of the total body length would increase one size category to 3d6, but since it doesn't we can assume it is between 1/16 and 1/8 of the total creature's length. For simplicity's sake, let's assume it is 1/10 of the total creature's length.

    If we estimate the dragon is on the high end of the size category, say 10 tons (15*2/3) and the rest of the body was 90% of it's weight, the head would weigh one short ton or 2000 lbs.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    'Guys, to drag this dragon head we need... another dragon?'

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    I would look at the Snatch and Swallow feat from Draconomicon for inspiration on this. Basically, the logic is that to swallow something whole, the head needs to be able to accommodate it. And as this feat is something any dragon of the appropriate size can get, it doesn't need a strange biology to pull it off. So, a huge-sized dragon should at least have a medium-sized head to consume medium-sized creatures.

    As for weight, less than you would think. Dragon bones are described as being "exceptionally light", and the head is as boney a structure as you're going to find within a dragon. Additionally, if they intend to stuff it, then they want to remove all that grey matter before it spoils and decays, spreading rot to the rest of head. So that's the bulk of the liquid weight removed. I wouldn't go over 100lbs, and it could be half that.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    If we assume dragons are less dense than flesh and bone and are on the smaller side of the Huge creature scale weight-wise and that most of the matter in the head has been removed 20 pounds does not seem too unreasonable. I'd put it closer to 35 pounds with a sufficient taxidermy check.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    First, let us look at what the Draconomicon shows us for a dragon's skeleton (page 8):
    Spoiler: big image
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    Including horns, that skull is about 8/10 to 10/10 the distance between the (for lack of better words) shoulder blades and pelvic bone. Without horns, it is about half that.

    Pages 36 to 56 of Draconomicon give us information on dragons by type and, inside that, by size per type. A huge red dragon had a body length of 18 ft, so we can use the above and assume the head w/o horns is about 8 to 9 ft long and about 16 to 18 ft with horns. The width of a huge red dragon's body is 8 ft and the head is only slightly skinnier, so let's call it 7 ft.

    A huge red dragon weighs 20,000 lbs. This wikipedia page gives estimates of brain to body mass ratios of different creatures. Humans (using int rather then size for the ratio) have a 1:40 ratio. If we assume a dragon is simular to a human, then the dragon's brain would weigh 500 lbs. If we instead use the ratio for a simular sized creature, the elephant, at 1:560: we get just under 36 lbs.

    In addition to the brain, we need the weight of all the bone. If we reference page 8 of Draconomicon again, we see that "Dragon bones are immensely strong, yet exceptionally light." It then goes on to further describe this. The Sandiego Zoo has a fact sheet on elephants which tells us (under the section labeled "skeleton", that the skull averages 52 kg (115 lbs) and has a similar description to a dragon's skull for the bone.

    In addition to the brain and skull, we have to remember the hide and the muscles. Since I'm having a hard time finding data on these parts, I'll just guess that they are 35 lbs so the skull+muscles+hide is 150 lbs.

    So my estimate is the head weighs between 650 and 180 lbs, leaning towards 650.
    Last edited by Lightlawbliss; 2015-01-24 at 12:18 PM. Reason: spoilered image
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    All good things, all good things, but it all misses a very critical problem.
    The skull of a Dragon able to swallow an adult human whole is not going to fit through a 2'x4' opening into a bag. If it does, then it is likely to rupture the bag, what with all the pointy bits of Dragon(horns, fangs, what have you). Mind you, I'm actually leaning towards the lighter end on the weight so I'm certain a Type II or better bag could handle the weight, and 703 feet seems more than sufficient volume for the matter, so if they could get it into the bag and make it not poke holes in the thing, it'd work fine.

    Or, mount that new trophy on the front/top of a wagon and ride that thing into town like the Great and Powerful... Trixie! *Cough* sorry. Dragon Slayers you are! Perhaps even supply the wagon, or a fancy carriage, as part of the loot. They want a trophy, put that thing out where everyone can see it. Don't hide it away in a fancy magic item that it's likely to damage anyways, flaunt that trophy!

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    I agree that getting the head into the bag is a problem into itself. As to the weight, I'm surprised at the varied answers. (Karl Aegis, you give 2 very different assumption- 2,000 or 35 lb?)
    I'm currently leaning towards the last estimate, of roughly 600-ish lb.
    Any other suggestions?

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    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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    Barstro's Avatar

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    I suggest using the weight of a standard lizard skull and multiplying that weight by the increase of size x8 (cube rule). But, I have had a difficult time finding anywhere that actually gives the weight of just a skull for an alligator/iguana/etc.

    If you do find it, I'd take the weight as given. While dragon bones are probably hollow like a bird's to reduce weight and allow flight, that is offset by horns that are not found in today's lizards.
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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    The head of a T-Rex (also Huge size) would have weighed around 1100 pounds according to National Geographic. Like dragons, dinosaurs had a lot of empty space inside their skulls which made them very light for their size.
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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The head of a T-Rex (also Huge size) would have weighed around 1100 pounds according to National Geographic. Like dragons, dinosaurs had a lot of empty space inside their skulls which made them very light for their size.
    Hmm, if I had search "head" instead of "skull", I would have found that article earlier. Note, "A T. rex head, for example, would have weighed more than 1,100 pounds" implies that National Geographic used the flesh and brain weight. Still not sure what only bones would weigh.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I agree that getting the head into the bag is a problem into itself. As to the weight, I'm surprised at the varied answers. (Karl Aegis, you give 2 very different assumption- 2,000 or 35 lb?)
    I'm currently leaning towards the last estimate, of roughly 600-ish lb.
    Any other suggestions?
    Size categories are weird like that. You can take off 85% of the weight of a bigger creature and it would still be Huge.

    The first 2000 lbs estimate was for a quadruped with higher than average strength (therefore its body could support more weight) for a creature its size with all of the muscles and bones still intact. The second estimate was for a smaller creature with average strength for its size, bones less dense than the average creature and most of the organs carved out.

    Either way, a Greater Floating Disk spell should be able to carry the dragon head out of its lair. A wizard might have one prepared or still in effect, as it is a decent way to avoid the traps in the dragon's lair.

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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The head of a T-Rex (also Huge size) would have weighed around 1100 pounds according to National Geographic. Like dragons, dinosaurs had a lot of empty space inside their skulls which made them very light for their size.
    T-Rex had a rather big head for its length. And was fairly long for a Huge creature. This might be why some D20 games have it as Gargantuan rather than Huge. D20 Modern and Pathfinder, for example.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    We had a similar discussion in my group not too long ago. The way we figured it was thus: according to Enlarge Person when a character goes from medium to large you multiply the weight of the character by 8. The average weight of a human head is 10 to 11 pounds. 10x8 (med to large ) is 80. 80x8 (large to huge) is 640 lbs (290 Kilos). Seems right to me

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Long story short, my players killed a huge dragon, and they seek to cut of it's head and make a trophy out of it in their city/ fort/ home/ whatever. I'm probably going to allow most ideas to succeed as this is fun for them, but I'd like to know how much does the head of a huge dragon may weigh, and how much space does it take? (I'm asking this due to the party's bag of holding, which is their way of transporting loot.)

    Yes, I know it's a weird question, but the people of the playground will surprise you, time and time again! Humor me?
    Since Demiliches are typically skulls and have rules for what size of demilich that Medium+ creatures will become, that should give you a rough idea of what size the skull of a Huge Dragon would be, which shouldn't be that different from the size of the entire head.

    So I'd have that head as equivalent in size to a Small size creature, so roughly on par with a Gnome or Halfling, going by that metric, anyway.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2015-01-27 at 05:07 AM.
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: How much does the head of a huge dragon weigh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Since Demiliches are typically skulls and have rules for what size of demilich that Medium+ creatures will become, that should give you a rough idea of what size the skull of a Huge Dragon would be, which shouldn't be that different from the size of the entire head.

    So I'd have that head as equivalent in size to a Small size creature, so roughly on par with a Gnome or Halfling, going by that metric, anyway.
    A few problems with this: the demilich isn't just the skull, things of the same size category can have very different weights, and demilich can only be applied to humanoids (because it requires lich and lich requires humanoid) so it isn't necessarily the right ratio for a dragon.
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