Dragon age categories

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Chiaramonte
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Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:55 pm

I hope this is the right section for this question. I'm thinking of introducing a recurring npc dragon to the campaign I'm running and I don't want him too overpowered for the group. How do the dragon age categories relate to humanoid races, specifically young/juvenile/young adult? I know an adult dragon is quite powerful. This will be a metallic dragon that "needs an escort" on their first meeting. Given that he will be in polymorphed form, I want to put him in an appropriate age category. Thanks.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by willpell » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:33 pm

This information is extensively detailed in the book "Draconomicon" for 3rd Edition D&D. The exact age category you want for this is going to depend on the level of the PCs, but in general, you'll be skewing very low, particularly for metallic dragons (since they have innate magical abilities, they go high on Challenge Rating and thus on Effective Character Level). A Wyrmling or Very Young is most likely, unless the PCs' levels are well into the double-digits.

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:53 pm

Thank you. I wasn't sure if those ages were capable of self-reliance yet. I don't think I still have access to that book, but I'll check.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by willpell » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 pm

Dragons can pretty much take care of themselves within a few *hours* of hatching; the parents typically keep them in the nest for several years, but this is more an attempt at "college prep" than it is a matter of tending to their basic needs. If necessary or desired, a wyrmling of 5 or fewer years is absolutely capable of going and carving out an ecological niche for itself, and any dragon of less than a century of age might well be engaged in the kinds of activities that involve adventurers, before they settle down and get serious about raising their own brood.

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by timemrick » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:42 pm

I'm not familiar with the Draconomicon, but it's for D&D 3.5, and you posted the question in the Pathfinder forum. So be aware that you may need to do some conversion work if you go that route.

And for everyone's reference for this thread, [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary/dragon.html[/url] is the Dragon entry in the PRD.

Silver dragons get change shape as wyrmlings, so they're probably the best choice for silver dragons masquerading as human (and are also the species best known for doing so). Gold dragons get change shape at Very Young, so are a viable option, too. Other dragon types will have to rely on polymorph spells, but most lack the caster level for that until they're at least adult age--and thus far more powerful than you want.

As willpell stated, dragons are pretty self-sufficient from very soon after birth, but it may take them a while to gain the social skills to interact constructively with humanoids unless trained for it from birth (as some silver dragon families are).

After the first age category or two, dragons are unlikely to advance in size appreciably within the timeframe of a typical campaign. However, dragons are intelligent enough to take levels in adventuring classes, which will help them scale in power with the PCs. Class levels are also a perfect opportunity to make your NPC a more distinct individual from the rest of dragonkind.
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Chiaramonte
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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:33 am

Okay, thanks to both of you. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for (for which I was looking? 😆). I was leaning toward Silver anyway, I just wanted to explore my options.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Chiaramonte
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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:56 am

One more thing; in its changed shape, is it detectable by a sword with that special ability? Or how can he bypass that?
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by willpell » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:53 am

True Seeing will detect the true shape, yes.

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:09 am

I figured that, I just didn't know if the standard detect ability of swords couted as that.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by willpell » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:23 pm

Chiaramonte wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:09 am
I figured that, I just didn't know if the standard detect ability of swords couted as that.
I'm not aware of such a special ability, unless it's an intelligent sword, and even then I'm not sure what you mean. Can you cite the text you're referring to?

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:19 pm

Under special purpose powers, the first listed is detect any special purpose foes witin 60 feet. Does this mean that the sword has true seeing, or just regular senses?
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by timemrick » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Chiaramonte wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:19 pm
Under special purpose powers, the first listed is detect any special purpose foes witin 60 feet. Does this mean that the sword has true seeing, or just regular senses?
The rules aren't very explicit about how this works. It's probably easiest to treat it like detect undead, but substituting the creature type or subtype that the item can detect. Since polymorph spells and the change shape ability don't actually change the creature's type, they should still detect as being their real type.

Nondetection and misdirection are essential spells for shapeshifters who don't want their true nature discovered. True seeing would see through the latter, but it's also a rare and powerful spell.
Tim Emrick, Green Ronin Freebooter and Keeper of the Freeport Errata
Time of the Tarrasque: My homebrew Pathfinder campaign (2017-).
Studded Plate: My blog about RPGs and LEGO.
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Chiaramonte
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Re: Dragon age categories

Post by Chiaramonte » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:02 pm

Okay, thanks. That clears things up a lot. I appreciate all your help. Sometimes it's difficult to find just what you want in all the resources out there.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Cinneadd Fletcher- highwayman, archer, adventurer

"I am sorry I never got to meet you, Cinneadd." Shahrzad Fialka Parandeh - Sword Dancer, Adventurer, Madame, Deposed Princess of Azriban

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