This is another entry in the Dragon’s Dogma bestiary. So, uh, it’s been a while since I posted one of these hasn’t it? The reason for that is twofold. First, we’re getting into the final stretch of the game’s main plot here, and I confess I haven’t played it much past that point.
Second is that the only monsters really left to cover are dragons, and dragons are kinda hard to stat not only because I feel I have to get them right, but because the Dungeon Fantasy RPG already did such a good job of it that almost anything I tried to do would only end up looking like a straight copy from it. Here is my attempt to do something different.
The path of the Arisen is a long and grueling one, and one of the most shocking revelations many of them face while walking it is that The Dragon is not the only such beast. There are others, smaller in size but still quite large and deadly.
Most people of Gransys ignore the existence of lesser dragons. Not even those who make it their business to study the cycle know much about them. The secret of their origin might only be learned from the dragons themselves, or from an ancient Arisen who survived past encounters with them: every lesser dragon was once an Arisen. One who was defeated by The Dragon, and as a result was reincarnated in a draconic body to be sent into the world during further incursions.
Lesser dragons have the same general body plan as their larger “cousin”. They fight with their natural weapons (teeth, claws, tail, elemental breath) but might also have access to some of the powers they posessed in their past lives. A lesser dragon’s recollection of that life varies from individual to individual, but all feel a compulsion to test the might of the Arisen in deadly combat. How they deal with that also varies from individual to individual.
All such creatures are sapient and capable of speech, though only the Arisen and the Pawns can understand their language.
If you have access to DFRPG: Monsters, the stats for SM+3 dragons contained there are perfectly adequate for representing Dragon’s Dogma lesser dragons. The stats for western dragons found in GURPS Dragons also work nicely.
If you can’t or don’t want to use those, keep reading!
Rather than giving you a “canonical” lesser dragon stat block, I’m going to give you a basic, generic template and instructions on how to customize it. This reinforces the notion that every lesser dragon is a unique individual.
Basic Lesser Dragon Stats
ST 20; DX 12; IQ 10; HT 13;
HP 20; Will 12; Per 12; FP 13;
Speed 6.25; Move 6 (Air Move 13); SM +3
- Bite : thrust-1 cutting, +1 per die. Reach C, 1. Can count as a grapple!
- Front Claw: thrust-1 cutting, +1 per die. Reach C-2.
- Hind Claw: thrust cutting, +1 per die. Reach C-2.
- Horns: thrust-1 cutting, +1 per die. Treat as weapon for attacking and parrying. Reach C, 1.
- Tail: Thrust crushing, +1 per die, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Wing: thrust -1 crushing, +1 per die, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Breath Weapon: Costs 2 FP per use, with no recharge time or limit of uses per day. Can be any one of the types listed in DFRPG: Monsters or lightning (1mx10m cone, burn damage, metal armor only protects with DR 1; dragon has double DR vs lightning). Damage for the cone-shaped breaths weapons is based on thrust for the dragon’s ST.
- Dominate Pawn: As the Charm spell, cast at skill 15. Costs 3 FP and works only on Pawns.
Traits: Bad Grip 2, Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged); High Pain Threshold; Horizontal; Immunity to Disease; Loner (12); Nictitating Membrane 3; Night Vision 9; Penetrating Voice; Peripheral Vision; Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold); Temperature Tolerance 4 (Heat); Unfazeable.
Customizing your dragon
To get a final stat block for your dragon, you’re going to have to decide who they were in life. Choose the DFRPG professional template that most closely matches the original person’s capabilities, and quickly select what advantages and disadvantages that person had. Let’s call that the original character. Combine it with the dragon stats above in the following way:
- ST: For every point ST the original character has over 10, add 2 to the dragon’s ST.
- DX, IQ, HT: For every point over 10 the character template has in these attributes, add 1 to the dragon’s corresponding attribute.
- Secondary Characteristics: Figure the new totals from the dragon’s final primary attributes, plus any modifying traits from the original character. Double any levels of Lifting ST, Striking ST or extra HP - all other such traits apply at the same level.
- Other Advantages and Disadvanatages: These all transfer directly to the dragon where applicable, and are modified to apply to the dragon’s natural DR or weapons where it makes sense. Points spent in things like Armor or Shield Mastery would convert into increased DR or defenses for the dragon, and a former Weapon Master might be considered Trained by a Master when fighting with its natural weapons.
- Skills: The dragon has a Brawling skill equal to the original character’s highest melee combat skill, or DX+2, whichever is highest. It also has an Innate Attack skill equal to the original character’s highest ranged combat skill or DX+2, whichever is highest. Points spent on Acrobatics or other such movement skills would transfer to Flight and Aerobatics instead. All other skills transfer directly.
- Magic: Magery, spells and any other magic powers transfer directly!
If you want tougher dragons, the easiest way to get them is to start with a more powerful original character. You can also increase the dragon’s base DR to a level you find appropriate before performing the rest of the operations above.
These are the three lesser dragons you can find in the original game.
This dragon was once a dutiful knight that protected his liege with sword and shield. Now he feels compelled to test the current Arisen’s resolve to face the challenges he himself could not.
The Drake prefers to stay on the ground and engage his opponents in melee combat, making use of Rapid Strikes and Deceptive Attacks. Enemies who try to keep their distance get hit with his fiery breath weapon, or dominated if they’re Pawns. All the while, he taunts them and questions their worth.
The Drake will not pursue foes who choose to flee and escape its chosen territory, unless the Arisen is among them. In that case, or if its opponents stand their ground, he will fight to the death.
ST 32; DX 16; IQ 10; HT 16.
HP 32; Will 12; Per 12; FP 16.
Speed 8.50; Move 8 (Air Move 16); SM +3
Dodge 12; Parry 14; DR: 6 (12 vs fire)
- Bite (20): 3d+3 cut; Reach C,1. Can count as a grapple!
- Front Claw (20): 3d+3 cut, Reach C-2.
- Hind Claw (20): 3d+4 cut, Reach C-2.
- Horns (20): 3d+3 cut, Reach C,1. Counts as a weapon for attacking and parrying.
- Tail (18): 3d+4 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Wing (20): 3d+3 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Dominate Pawn (15): As the Charm spell. Costs 3 FP and works only on Pawns.
- Fire Breath (16): Costs 2 FP per use. 1m-wide and 10m-long cone of flame; 3d+1 burn.
Traits: Bad Grip 2; Born War-Leader 2; Combat Reflexes; Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged); High Pain Threshold; Horizontal; Immunity to Disease; Loner (12); Nictitating Membrane 3; Night Vision 9; Penetrating Voice; Peripheral Vision; Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold); Temperature Tolerance 4 (Heat); Trained by a Master; Vow (never refuse a challenge to combat); Unfazeable.
Skills: Brawling-20; Carousing-16; Forced Entry-16; Innate Attack (breath)-16; Leadership-12; Strategy-11; Tactics-11;
The Wyrm was once a wizard whose spells failed him when he needed them the most. As a lesser dragon he remains quite articulate and fully cognizant of his past life and current situation. He seeks to lair in the ancient ruins of his city and stay out of the conflict, but will still fight the Arisen should the two meet.
In an hostile encounter, the Wyrm will try to lead the PCs to an arena of his choosing before engaging. He will prefer to fight in an enclosed, flooded ruin chamber where his sound and ice spells are extra effective. In combat the Wyrm relies on his spells. He might try to incapacitate his opponents with Daze of Sleep (in single or mass versions), surprise non-Pawns by dominating them with Charm, or cast Resist Sound on himself and attack with Concussion and Thunderclap. His physical abilities remain formidable of course, and so does his breath weapon.
That said, out of all the example lesser dragons here the Wyrm is the most likely to be friendly if the party doesn’t include any Arisen, and could be convinced to impart some important piece of lore or teach some of his magic by sufficiently honey-tongued characters.
ST 20; DX: 14; IQ 15; HT 14;
HP 20; Will 16; Per 13; FP 16.
Speed 8.00; Move 8 (Air Move 16); SM +3
Dodge 11; Parry 13; DR: 3 (6 vs cold)
- Bite : 2d+1 cutting. Reach C, 1. Can count as a grapple!
- Front Claw: 2d+1 cutting. Reach C-2.
- Hind Claw: 2d+2 cutting. Reach C-2.
- Horns: 2d+1 cutting. Treat as weapon for attacking and parrying. Reach C, 1.
- Tail: 2d+2 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Wing: 2d+1 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Breath Weapon: Costs 2 FP per use. 1m-wide, 10m-long cone of cold, 2d-1 burn damage. Won’t set fires.
- Dominate Pawn: As the Charm spell, cast at skill 15. Costs 3 FP and works only on Pawns.
Traits: Bad Grip 2, Energy Reserve 8; Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged); High Pain Threshold; Horizontal; Immunity to Disease; Improved Magic Resistance 1; Loner (12); Magery 4; Nictitating Membrane 3; Night Vision 9; Penetrating Voice; Peripheral Vision; Stubborness (12); Temperature Tolerance 4 (Cold); Temperature Tolerance 2 (Heat); Unfazeable.
Skills: Brawling-16; Innate Attack-16; Alchemy-15; Diplomacy-13; Hidden Lore (Demons, Magic, Magical Writings and Spirits)-14; Occultism-15; Teaching-14; Thaumathology-15; Writing-14.
- Create Air-17
- Shape Air-17
- Body Control:
- Lend Energy-17
- Recover Energy-17
- Breathe Water-17
- Create Water-17
- Destroy Water-17
- Shape Water-17
- Resist Sound-17
- Mind Control:
- Mass Daze-17
- Mass Sleep-17
- Weaken Will-17
The Wyvern was a scout, quick and nimble, who zigged when she should have zagged. Only recently reincarnated, she is still confused and running on little more than instinct.
The Wyvern will fight any who approach her by taking to the air and doing strafing runs with her lightning breath or front claws, which don’t incur any of the usual penalties for Move and Attack. These can include attempts to grab a target and drop it from a great height. She will only fight for long enough to discourage pursuit before flying away to look for a safe place to rest, unless the party contains an Arisen - then, as usual for lesser dragons, she will be compelled to fight to the death.
The Wyvern departs from the generic template a bit more by trading the ability to dominate pawns for a beefier than usual breath weapon and the enhanced skirmishing ability described above.
ST 22; DX 16; IQ 11; HT 15;
HP 22; Will 13; Per 16; FP 15;
Speed 9.25; Move 9 (Air Move 18); SM +3
Dodge 13; Parry 13; DR 5 (10 vs. electricity)
- Bite (18) : 2d+2 cut. Reach C, 1. Can count as a grapple!
- Front Claw (18): 2d+2 cut. Reach C-2.
- Hind Claw (18): 2d+3 cut. Reach C-2.
- Horns (18): 2d+2 cut. Treat as weapon for attacking and parrying. Reach C, 1.
- Tail (16): 2d+3 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Wing (18): 2d+2 cr, or double that for knockback only. Reach C-3.
- Breath Weapon (20): Costs 1 FP per use, with no recharge time or limit of uses per day. 1m-wide, 20m-long cone doing 2d+2 burn damage. Metal armor protects with only DR 1.
Traits: Absolute Direction; Bad Grip 2, Combat Reflexes; Danger Sense; Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged); High Pain Threshold; Horizontal; Immunity to Disease; Loner (12); Nictitating Membrane 3; Night Vision 9; Paranoia; Penetrating Voice; Peripheral Vision; Temperature Tolerance 2 (Cold); Temperature Tolerance 4 (Heat); Unfazeable.
Skills: Aerobatics-16; Brawling-18, Innate Attack-20; Flight-16