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Thread: Dragon Horde

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Dragon Horde

    I am working on the horde for a Great White Wyrm (CR22). I would like to make the horde more interesting, since the dragon has spent over 1200 years collecting it. The major magic items are things he is wearing (e.g. ring of major fire resistance, ring of evasion, etc.). He is a white dragon, so he wouldn’t have the same type of horde that a more intelligent dragon might have. I rolled up 41,000 gold, 3,400 platinum, and 82 pieces of art with a market value of 90,870gp. I don’t mind changing these around obviously.

    Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.
    Tekeli Li! Tekeli Li!

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Put a hoard you cannot carry, and a minor artifact that propels your players to a quest, or that is sold via your clever manipulations at that price.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Have parts of the horde completley frozen into blocks of ice. Perhaps some of its previous foes too, so it can look at them.

    Remember, a wyrm white still has an 18 int., not too shabby.

    If you want to be something of a jerk, give it a cursed item or two in there. Something neat, like a ring of invisibility, but that does cold damage to the user when weilded/activated. The Pc's will have to choose if they want to use the thing or not.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    I like the idea of freezing it in blocks of ice. Since the dragon can burrow anywhere he wants, the horde will not be accessible by normal methods. It will also be placed in a permanent Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, so divination will not help the party find it either.
    Tekeli Li! Tekeli Li!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    This is an Epic CR 22 or better encounter. It shouldn't be a cake walk. The PCs don't need to know they are facing a ancient wyrm white dragon initially. Spend an hour or two designing it like a PC with access to standard and draconic feats. I don't like playing a very intelligent monster like a dragon nerfed straight from the Monster Manual or D20 SRD. It is a very canny, wise and experienced creature. It shouldn't be a one shot pushover. Tweak it a little bit it has an Intelligence - 18 and Wisdom - 19 sorcerer - 13 which has survived for 1,200+ years.

    Roll 2D4 and then customize the encounter:

    1. It made intelligent feat choices roll a 1D4 and give it useful feats like Craft Wonderous Items which basically doubles it's permanent magic itmes and powers up it's treasure. Have it take Leadership with a Cohort and an organization either a tribe of Kobolds or an organization like a Thieve's Guild or both since it is a BBEG.

    2. Put some obstacles between it like a family of dragons and those loyal Kobold with their traps.

    3. It hides in plain sight. It uses a Hat of Disguise 1,800 GP to pretend to be something else normally. Double identity. Maybe a Red Dragon and a human or elf. It teleports between it's lair and the city where it is a respected local spellcaster and member of the local wizard's guild.

    4. It has a variant useful minor artifact like a Greenstone Amulet which confers a continuous Mindblank.

    5. It has pretended to be another dragon type like a Red Dragon for centuries or a CG Brass Dragon and it is on it's best behavior in town where the authorities take a dim view to murderers of their prominent respected citizens and guild members.

    6. It is an augmented type sorcerer. It used the LA buy down rules over the last millenium and is really a sorcerer 13 + 5 for sorcerer 18. A MotAO would be really nice for a PRC pretending to be an elf.

    7. It made intelligent known spell choices: Alter Self, Rope Trick, Polymorph, Teleport, Flesh to Stone.

    8. It made some basic intelligent use of disposable resources for defense 10 - 20% of hoard/wealth for defense. It purchased one of those divine insurance policies and it will be resurrected if killed or healed if brought to negative hit points. Simulacrums from scrolls. Assorted scrolls and potions. Play to strengths with good useful magic items: +6 Charisma enhancing item, Ring of Theurgy (3 extra known spells to a sorcerer if augmented these could be level 7 to 9) for 20,000 GP, a Headband of Intellect +2 or +4 which makes it smarter.

    What about a family of Dragons with a tribe of Kobolds? What about LA buydown as it aged so it is really a Sorcerer 13 + 5 for sorcerer 18. What about it pretending to be a younger different color type of Dragon like a Red Dragon for the last few centuries?

    Now it probably doesn't need to worry about double Fire damage type spells. With Endure Elements and a Hat of Disguise would easily facilitate this and be comfortable in any climate.

    Giving it a family of dragons and a tribe of Kobolds with the Craft Wonderous Item allows you to basically double or triple the magic items for all the dragons along with low level scrolls. Makes it a little tougher to kill them all off but giving the PCs more treasure.

    I don't like Scry and Die tactics if the BBEGs do not return the favor against the PCs in game as they do not exist in a vacumn. A good minor artifact to discourage this would be a Variant Greenstone Amulet (It confers a permanent Mindblank) with the +6 Cloak of Charisma enchantment. This should not upset your campaign normally if the PCs discover it and keep it. As the DM you set the price for resale. (If they accidentally dispose of it in game you can let them know later). The BBEGs can still scry other party members if discovered and retained.

    A Ring of Theurgy is incredibly useful to a Sorcerer - 13 at 20,000 GP market than a Major (28,000 GP) or Greater (44,000 GP) Ring of Fire Resistance whose effects could be duplicated by a single known spell for Energy Resistance 30 from the Ring of Theurgy while allowing him to know 2 more useful spells.

    As a level 13+ Sorcerer it can use a Rope Trick lasting 24+ hours. Not something most PCs are looking for entering the dragon's lair particularly when there is a simulacrum standing there when they finally make it to the lair and the rope has been pulled up (No size limitation on Rope Trick either the whole family of dragons could be up there). If the PCs Dispel it by accident the dragon can fall on them which would normally kill quite a few of them. Dropping in a few rounds or a few turns after they destroy his simulacrum.
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2007-09-17 at 11:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    If we be talkin' 'bout a level 22 party, that's a bad idea. You'll likely have someone who knows Mordenkainen's disjunction, and a single cast will result catastrophic. Another possibility, which would require extra work tho, is to place an intelligent wep. If the PC's sell it, it might be found in someone else's hands later, and if they keep it, they get a new companion.

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    A dragon horde is a terrifying, terrifying idea.

    Horde = a very large group, hoard = a guarded collection, or the act of gathering into a hoard.

    AKA_Bait's idea for cursed items is a very good one: items that would be fine for the dragon itself to use, but risky for anyone else. Run with that theme, in fact. When you say you want the hoard to be "more interesting", use the negative sense of the word "interesting". Make the hoard almost as big a challenge as the dragon was. Heck, this is making me want to homebrew a construct formed of ice and silver...

    Also throw in things that would personally attract the dragon. Protection from fire would be useful. Ooh, how about a decanter of endless water that deals cold damage? The ultimate cold shower...
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Quote Originally Posted by Scipio View Post
    I am working on the horde for a Great White Wyrm (CR22). I would like to make the horde more interesting, since the dragon has spent over 1200 years collecting it. The major magic items are things he is wearing (e.g. ring of major fire resistance, ring of evasion, etc.). He is a white dragon, so he wouldn’t have the same type of horde that a more intelligent dragon might have. I rolled up 41,000 gold, 3,400 platinum, and 82 pieces of art with a market value of 90,870gp. I don’t mind changing these around obviously.
    Break up the gold and platinum coins so you have heaps of copper and silver that the party will have to sift through. Don't be afraid to convert some of the art objects into gems, since a draconic hoard like this should have all kinds of wealth. In fact, once you've come to a total value that suits you, convert it into anything you want: coins, gems, art objects, magic items, etc. This dragon probably has potions, scrolls, and so forth hidden away in its hoard. Don't let the book tell you what to include; it's just a guideline.

    Since you have a lot of art objects, consider what is likely to be considered art in the dragon's vicinity. In an arctic climate, the hoard might include things like unworked ivory (walrus tusks, mammoth tusks, whale teeth), decorated drinking horns (possibly from exotic animals), statuary (possibly wooden carvings from viking-style long halls), bottles of fine wine (like the ice wines made in Canada and northern Europe), heaps of furs (reindeer, polar bear, and more exotic creatures), mundane weapons and armor, masterwork weapons and armor, a loom (for weaving wool), a whole longship, etc.

    Basically, make the hoard a wild mix of items both easily-carried and nigh-immovable, highly-valuable and marginally-worthless. Dragons can accumulate all kinds of crap from their victims, and this one's been doing it for over a millenium.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    A dragon horde is a terrifying, terrifying idea.

    Horde = a very large group, hoard = a guarded collection, or the act of gathering into a hoard.
    I had that moment, too.
    "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!" -- Conan, on what is best in life

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    Citizen Joe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Consider HOW the dragon got his hoard. If it is a collection of bribes/tributes so that it won't attack a village, then artwork is likely. If it is a known lair, then much of the hoard would be stuff that previous dragon slayers brought with them. Dragons seem to like to sleep on piles of coins, so they won't be conveniently placed in chests. Shattered remains of chests would likely be in a refuse pile nearby, like eggshells. Depending on the nature of nearby settlements, they may have even tried to fake out the dragon by gilding lead coins. It's not like the dragon is actually going to spend the money, it's just his bed.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Quote Originally Posted by Runolfr View Post
    Break up the gold and platinum coins so you have heaps of copper and silver that the party will have to sift through. Don't be afraid to convert some of the art objects into gems, since a draconic hoard like this should have all kinds of wealth. In fact, once you've come to a total value that suits you, convert it into anything you want: coins, gems, art objects, magic items, etc. This dragon probably has potions, scrolls, and so forth hidden away in its hoard. Don't let the book tell you what to include; it's just a guideline.

    Since you have a lot of art objects, consider what is likely to be considered art in the dragon's vicinity. In an arctic climate, the hoard might include things like unworked ivory (walrus tusks, mammoth tusks, whale teeth), decorated drinking horns (possibly from exotic animals), statuary (possibly wooden carvings from viking-style long halls), bottles of fine wine (like the ice wines made in Canada and northern Europe), heaps of furs (reindeer, polar bear, and more exotic creatures), mundane weapons and armor, masterwork weapons and armor, a loom (for weaving wool), a whole longship, etc.

    Basically, make the hoard a wild mix of items both easily-carried and nigh-immovable, highly-valuable and marginally-worthless. Dragons can accumulate all kinds of crap from their victims, and this one's been doing it for over a millenium.
    Those are some good suggestions. I think I will implement them.

    Man I hate misspelling words. Or in this case using the wrong word.

    The background on the dragon is all worked out. He is a Xorvintaal Dragon from MM5. He does have large groups of frost giants and kobolds doing his bidding. The main thing I am working on now is his hoard.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    Tekeli Li! Tekeli Li!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Quote Originally Posted by Scipio View Post
    Those are some good suggestions. I think I will implement them.

    Man I hate misspelling words. Or in this case using the wrong word.

    The background on the dragon is all worked out. He is a Xorvintaal Dragon from MM5. He does have large groups of frost giants and kobolds doing his bidding. The main thing I am working on now is his hoard.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    It'd be cool to know what you finally decide to put in there, if you can post it without giving anything away to your players.
    "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!" -- Conan, on what is best in life

    "A good plan, executed violently now, is better than a perfect plan next week." -- George S. Patton, Jr.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Don't only think if items he could use, or random stuff the players could use later. But also think of including some items that previous foes used on him in the past. Like a Flaming White Dragon bane lance (on a warrior and steed encased in ice), or Shield of Cold Resistance, Uh... Well you get the jist. It allows you to bump up the treasure total with useful items that would have been great to have before/during the encounter, adds a little "Doah! Man, I wish we would have picked up one of those in town..."
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    Default Re: Dragon Horde

    Heh, I've been known to give high level dragon hoards all in copper pieces... like 500,000 copper pieces! Oh man you should have seen the looks on my players faces by the third time that happened! Seriously, there were 3 copper dragons in a makeshift cult all at different levels, so it was like 50,000cp, 200,000cp & 500,000cp! Greedy players took every bit of it too. An epic battle occured from their flaunting of massive copper coins, literally parading through a poor town and tossing it like candy to the peasants. That attracted a lot of attention The were also breaking into peasants' huts and dropping thousands of coins into their living rooms in the night. It was actually fun
    Quote Originally Posted by McMindflayer View Post
    Of course, this still doesn't answer the question... "How does it POOP?"
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    I roll a swim check on the street. Why not, right? Through a series of rolls I rob a bunch of people of 75g. I didn't actually notice their existence but I swam over there and did it anyway because this guy couldn't make sense if he tried.

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