Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:20 pm

LoganAura wrote:An idea for Earth dragons:
One with Nature. These dragons are much more in tune with the world of Equestria than their fellow dragons. They have Animal Speak as a Racial without needing the prerequisite Animal Empathy.

Hmm... Yep, I can get behind that. Not exactly the first thing I think of when it comes to dragons, but it should work.

We still need firebreath too. Perhaps something similar to the Thunderbird trait of the hippogriffs? Or has that already been addressed?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  LoganAura on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:45 pm

Fire breath: As a dragon, you can blow flames from your mouth. Based on your Hatchling Heritage your breath does one of the following
Magic: Allows you to do one utility talent from the Unicorn list, chosen at character creation using your breath as a medium.
Air: Allows you to use the flames to create large, thick smoke- akin to the pyroctechnic unicorn talent- without any sort of preperation time.
Earth: Allows you to warm up creatures without hurting them if you so choose. Useful for warming up eggs or frostbitten ponies
Maybe?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:35 pm

The reason I hadn't posted about firebreath before was that I figured that would be covered in combat abilities, but I like Logan Aura's ideas - except for Magic Dragons, because that would mean Magic Dragons' Heritage and breath ability would be the same. Perhaps Magic Dragons could get another bonus for their heritage and the breath would cover the Unicorn talent? Something minor, like a +1 bonus to Aiding Another (and considering Spike is always aiding Twilight, that might be fluffy enough)?

I'm still not a fan of Earth Dragons having Animal Empathy myself, as the shows never hinted towards Dragons having anything like that (maybe the one time Spike took care of Fluttershy's pets? But he wasn't very good at that, if I remember correctly). I'd rather go with free Freaky Knowledge - that is, if we still want to go with the Earth Dragons idea.

And I personally like having three types of Dragon to mirror the three types of pony.

Edit: On another note, if we have a breath ability for each Dragon type, we could probably do away with the 2nd Heritage idea. Fireproof + Heritage + Firebreath would probably make for a powerful enough Racial option (hopefully it wouldn't be too powerful, but I don't think it would currently).
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:42 pm

XandZero2 wrote:The reason I hadn't posted about firebreath before was that I figured that would be covered in combat abilities, but I like Logan Aura's ideas - except for Magic Dragons, because that would mean Magic Dragons' Heritage and breath ability would be the same. Perhaps Magic Dragons could get another bonus for their heritage and the breath would cover the Unicorn talent? Something minor, like a +1 bonus to Aiding Another (and considering Spike is always aiding Twilight, that might be fluffy enough)?

I'm still not a fan of Earth Dragons having Animal Empathy myself, as the shows never hinted towards Dragons having anything like that (maybe the one time Spike took care of Fluttershy's pets? But he wasn't very good at that, if I remember correctly). I'd rather go with free Freaky Knowledge - that is, if we still want to go with the Earth Dragons idea.

And I personally like having three types of Dragon to mirror the three types of pony.

Edit: On another note, if we have a breath ability for each Dragon type, we could probably do away with the 2nd Heritage idea. Fireproof + Heritage + Firebreath would probably make for a powerful enough Racial option (hopefully it wouldn't be too powerful, but I don't think it would currently).

Yes, right now dragons are a bit underpowered.

Hatching method is great, a minor firebreath (could also vary elements like in D&D) ability is good for flavor, but the lack of cutie mark means dragons are going to need an extra punch over pony racial options. Cutie marks are great, they open cutie mark criticals and offer a way to get super-good at one thing.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Zarhon on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:20 pm

Word of Faust should be noted, as far as dragon babies are concerned. Apparently, Spike is pretty much an extreme rarity for ponies. Heck, we haven't even seen any other dragon eggs or babies: Just adults and a few teenagers, who were part of a whole migration. Having Celestia find another dragon egg and have another student hatch another dragon baby seems unlikely, unless events happen far in the future and it becomes "common".
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:22 pm

Zarhon wrote:Word of Faust should be noted, as far as dragon babies are concerned. Apparently, Spike is pretty much an extreme rarity for ponies. Heck, we haven't even seen any other dragon eggs or babies: Just adults and a few teenagers, who were part of a whole migration. Having Celestia find another dragon egg and have another student hatch another dragon baby seems unlikely, unless events happen far in the future and it becomes "common".

As player-characters have a license to be uncommon, I don't think this is a significant issue. We've seen more dragons in the series than griffons.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
Yes, right now dragons are a bit underpowered.

Hatching method is great, a minor firebreath (could also vary elements like in D&D) ability is good for flavor, but the lack of cutie mark means dragons are going to need an extra punch over pony racial options. Cutie marks are great, they open cutie mark criticals and offer a way to get super-good at one thing.

So, a lot of it has to do with the lack of cutie mark then?

Hmm...

Brainstorming here -

Dragons could have extra starting stat points like Donkeys. Maybe 2-3? It could make sense too, seeing as they're usually made of tougher stuff than Ponies by the look of things.

Something else that Magic Dragons could have at least is maybe some random element way of getting extra Magic points. Perhaps each day roll a D20 with a 25-50% chance of gaining an extra Magic point for the day? Or they could make a check whenever they use a Magic point - and have a chance of keeping the point if they succeed at the check (again, maybe 25-50% success rate).

Earth Ponies could also be trained in an extra skill, perhaps?

Dragons could also have bonus resistances to other conditions besides just fire, or they could have more HP - though that would be combat related...
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:01 pm

XandZero2 wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
Yes, right now dragons are a bit underpowered.

Hatching method is great, a minor firebreath (could also vary elements like in D&D) ability is good for flavor, but the lack of cutie mark means dragons are going to need an extra punch over pony racial options. Cutie marks are great, they open cutie mark criticals and offer a way to get super-good at one thing.

So, a lot of it has to do with the lack of cutie mark then?

Hmm...

Brainstorming here -

Dragons could have extra starting stat points like Donkeys. Maybe 2-3? It could make sense too, seeing as they're usually made of tougher stuff than Ponies by the look of things.

Something else that Magic Dragons could have at least is maybe some random element way of getting extra Magic points. Perhaps each day roll a D20 with a 25-50% chance of gaining an extra Magic point for the day? Or they could make a check whenever they use a Magic point - and have a chance of keeping the point if they succeed at the check (again, maybe 25-50% success rate).

Earth Ponies could also be trained in an extra skill, perhaps?

Dragons could also have bonus resistances to other conditions besides just fire, or they could have more HP - though that would be combat related...

I'd rather just make the existing ideas more powerful. Fewer, cooler traits is better then more numerous less cool ones.

Play around a bit more with the templates - this is getting close to being ready for polish.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:31 pm

Here's the latest update so far:

Fireproof
Dragons are immune to lava and are unaffected by extremely hot or warm environments.

Hatchling Heritage
Upon character creation, players should choose one Hatchling Heritage, the conditions surrounding the event of their Dragon's egg hatching. Choose from:

a) Magic Heritage - Your Dragon was hatched through magical means (possibly during the initiation ritual of an apprentice trying to get into Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns). Because of this, you can not fly (either because it's wings are under-developed, or because you just lack them) - but you're also imbued with the magic that hatched you, granting one magical effect from the Unicorn utility talents that you can utilize with your firebreath.

b) Air Heritage - Your Dragon was hatched in a traditional Dragon Roost. You have wings and all the trimmings, as well as the racial ability Scions of the Sky.

c) Earth Heritage - Your Dragon was hatched to a family of Earth Dragons. You lack wings (but not because of any fault on your part, your parents were sure to remind you of that). You get a free Freaky Knowledge talent, since you have to find something other than flight to occupy your time.


Firebreath
As a dragon, you can breath fire. Based on your Hatchling Heritage your breath has one of the following special effects while out of combat:

a) Magic: Allows you to do one utility talent from the Unicorn list, chosen at character creation using your breath as a medium.
b) Air: Allows you to use the flames to create large, thick smoke- akin to the pyroctechnic unicorn talent- without any sort of preperation time.
c) Earth: Allows you to warm up creatures without hurting them if you so choose. Useful for warming up eggs or frostbitten ponies.

--------------------------------------

We still need to think of something more for Magic Dragons, possibly Earth Dragons - though I like the Earth Dragon breath idea. Maybe their breath would be unique because it's even hotter than the others - like a forge of sorts?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  LoganAura on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:44 pm

Magic Heritage- This type of dragon is endowed with magical might. 1 extra training in any skill?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:42 pm

LoganAura wrote:Magic Heritage- This type of dragon is endowed with magical might. 1 extra training in any skill?

That is a possibility. I still like the idea of giving Magic Dragons some chance to keep their magic points too though. Like a 25% chance whenever they use a point? It just feels more fluffy to me. A Magic Dragon being so imbued with magic - it's hard for them to lose it, thus they hold onto magic like some kind of magnet.

Also, I'm still not happy with the Earth Heritage ability, but I like something my brother thought up considering Earth Dragons -

What if Earth Dragons were like the runts of the litter, Dragons that didn't hatch on time and were under-developed - thus when their parents flew the coup with the other Air Hatchlings, the Earth Dragons were left behind and forgotten? When the ED hatched, they'd be all alone in the world - thus, instead of having Freaky Knowledge, Earth Dragons could have the following ability:

Jaded
Earth Dragons are used to living alone and relying on their own strength to survive. They don't need anypony... Really, they don't. Earth Dragons thus get a +1 bonus to all checks they make, and are also allowed to take the Applejack of All Trades feat - which stacks with the +1 bonus from this ability.

The idea behind this Hatchling Heritage bonus goes back to the jack-of-all trades flavor for Earth Dragons, and I think it feels more satisfying than the ideas we (me included) have discussed so far.

By the way - on a final note, we probably should also note that any dragon's firebreath can be used at will to set things on fire - like firewood, houses, etc., and that the radius of the burst is a cone extending outward _ (3-5) ft.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  LoganAura on Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:58 pm

That ability is a bit broken, Earth dragons all together getting +2?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:11 pm

LoganAura wrote:That ability is a bit broken, Earth dragons all together getting +2?

Or you sure it would be broken, even if they'd have to spend one of their utility talents to get AJ of All Trades? I thought that might be a balancing factor. Plus, they'd only get a +2 on untrained skills, +1 on trained (which would make them have a +4 on those). It's definitely good, but is it broken? (And if the answer's a well-thought out yes, then I'll have to get back to the drawing board...)

Still though, this might be a fair way to counteract lack of cutie marks and cutie mark criticals.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:20 pm

I'm just going to put it out there that I don't particularly like the idea of having three different "races" of dragons. I can see the similarity with ponies, but to me it feels like a forced similarity. But instead of simply criticizing someone else's work that they obviously put time and effort into, I'm going to propose an alternate, unified dragon template. So here's my take on dragons in Equestria:

Wings: All dragons are born without wings, but develop them as they get older. Typically wings develop shortly before the dragon makes the transition from its childhood phase into its "teenage" phase.

With that out of the way, a template for Baby Dragons (standard non-pony stuff applies: no Cutie Mark, but 3 trained skills):

Fireproof: Dragons are immune to any heat below the level of an adult dragon's breath, including natural fire and lava.

Firebreath: Dragons gain the unicorn talent Pyrotechnics for free, and may use it with a preparation time of only 10 seconds.

Inherently Magical: Due to their magical and mysterious nature, dragons may choose one of their talents from the unicorn talent section (but are not required to do so), except for It's Witchcraft, This is Whining!, or any of the Ponykinesis talents.

Friendship is Dragons: Dragons may have an affinity for two Elements of Harmony.


Credit where it's due, the names Firebreath and Fireproof were too good for me to pass up. Questions, concerns, comments, gripes, complaints, or epiphanies?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:30 pm

I like this template a lot. It's elegant and flavorful. Only Friendship is Dragons seems unusual, I'm not wild about talents that make a race besides ponies 'friendlier' - as in, attuned to 2 or more elements of harmony. Love the trait name though. Perhaps the dragon provides all allies with +1 to skill checks? Spike does seem a bit like a morale boost. Be interested to see other ideas too.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Philadelphus on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:06 am

Friendship is Dragons
Dragons provide all allies with an automatic +1 on skill checks.
[Might be a bit of a nightmare to keep track of from a bookkeeping perspective.]

OR

Friendship is Dragons
Whenever a dragon successfully assists a creature with a skill check, the dragon provides a +3 bonus instead of a +2 bonus.
[Not as good as an earth pony, but better than standard.]

OR

Friendship is Dragons – 3/day
A dragon may provide a +3 bonus to either their or an ally's skill check. This talent can stack with a dragon's normal +2 assist bonus to provide a +5 bonus to an ally. Whenever a dragon rolls a natural 20 while making a roll to assist an ally, they gain another use of Friendship is Dragons.
[I kinda like this one, as it (hopefully) rewards dragon players for making lots of skill assist rolls. I just have no clue if it's balanced or not. Should it start with only 1 use per day? Provide a larger or smaller bonus? Only be able to be used on allies' rolls?]


Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Love the trait name though.
Me too. Very Happy Once it came to me, I knew it needed a talent to go with it.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:33 pm

I'll say this guys, my original idea was to have only one Dragon type, at least in the beginning. I just wanted to get the Baby Dragon PC option out there. I don't mind simplifying the template at all, since we were reaching a bit for Earth Dragons anyway.

-I will say that I think there probably are more wingless Dragons than Phil gives credit for, but that's not a real issue here.

I like the slight change to Fireproof. Making adult dragons still be able to harm Babies with stronger fire seems cool. Just a thought, but perhaps we should call the ability 'Fireborn' instead? It could even be, 'Through the Fire and the Flames.' Not sure which title I like the sound of better.

The Firebreath needs to be tweaked a bit I think, as currently it doesn't say anything about how Dragons can make fire in the first place. Pyrotechnics is supposed to only allow you to control fire once it's there. So Firebreath should read something like:

Firebreath: Dragons can breath fire in a 9 ft cone when out of combat. They also gain the unicorn talent Pyrotechnics for free, and may use it with a preparation time of only 10 seconds.

Inherently Magical seems fine to me - though there was an earlier dispute over whether all Dragons could use magical firebreath, so there may be an issue here.

As for Friendship is Dragons, since this system is inspired by Newbiespud's comic, it only seems fitting to have it. Still, a lot of Dragons are portrayed as not being friendly at all, but mean, nasty, and greedy. I'm not sure if FiD matches with the flavor of the entire Dragon race enough to justify it as a Racial Ability. Again though, it's probably a little too cool to pass up.

Of the three later options you gave Phil:

----------------------------------------
Friendship is Dragons
Dragons provide all allies with an automatic +1 on skill checks.
[Might be a bit of a nightmare to keep track of from a bookkeeping perspective.]

OR

Friendship is Dragons
Whenever a dragon successfully assists a creature with a skill check, the dragon provides a +3 bonus instead of a +2 bonus.
[Not as good as an earth pony, but better than standard.]

OR

Friendship is Dragons – 3/day
A dragon may provide a +3 bonus to either their or an ally's skill check. This talent can stack with a dragon's normal +2 assist bonus to provide a +5 bonus to an ally. Whenever a dragon rolls a natural 20 while making a roll to assist an ally, they gain another use of Friendship is Dragons.
[I kinda like this one, as it (hopefully) rewards dragon players for making lots of skill assist rolls. I just have no clue if it's balanced or not. Should it start with only 1 use per day? Provide a larger or smaller bonus? Only be able to be used on allies' rolls?]

-------------------------------------------------

I kind of like the 1st one as it makes the Baby Dragon a type of rallying banner for the party. The 2nd seems pretty weak, and the third might be a little too complicated.

Perhaps a Dragon can allow an ally to make a reroll to one of their checks once per day?

Or perhaps he can boost one ally's roll as if he had a magic point? That gives a +20 right?
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Philadelphus on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:18 pm

XandZero2 wrote:I'll say this guys, my original idea was to have only one Dragon type, at least in the beginning. I just wanted to get the Baby Dragon PC option out there. I don't mind simplifying the template at all, since we were reaching a bit for Earth Dragons anyway.
I certainly don't want to step on any toes, and thanks for getting the conversation started in the first place. Some of the ideas in this thread were so good I simply had to use them.

XandZero2 wrote:
-I will say that I think there probably are more wingless Dragons than Phil gives credit for, but that's not a real issue here.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. My view was simply that all the dragons in Dragon Quest seem to have wings, however small, so I figured that dragons were hatched without them and grew them later in life, like legs on a tadpole.

XandZero2 wrote:
I like the slight change to Fireproof. Making adult dragons still be able to harm Babies with stronger fire seems cool. Just a thought, but perhaps we should call the ability 'Fireborn' instead? It could even be, 'Through the Fire and the Flames.' Not sure which title I like the sound of better.
I noticed that Spike was singed from adult dragon breath, but was completely unhurt in lava, so I figured that adult dragons can just breath fire that's simply much hotter than lava. "Fireborn" does sound cooler than "Fireproof". (Or maybe "Born of Fire"?) "Through the Fire and the Flames" might be a bit long, but could still work.

XandZero2 wrote:
The Firebreath needs to be tweaked a bit I think, as currently it doesn't say anything about how Dragons can make fire in the first place. Pyrotechnics is supposed to only allow you to control fire once it's there. So Firebreath should read something like:


Firebreath: Dragons can breath fire in a 9 ft cone when out of combat. They also gain the unicorn talent Pyrotechnics for free, and may use it with a preparation time of only 10 seconds.
Oh, good catch. I meant to put something to the effect of "dragons can use their fiery breath in many ways, such as to light small fires or cook food", then forgot. Thanks for pointing that out!

XandZero2 wrote:
Inherently Magical seems fine to me - though there was an earlier dispute over whether all Dragons could use magical firebreath, so there may be an issue here.
That's why it's optional. You can have a dragon with all five utility talents drawn only from the Everypony and (possible) Dragon categories, or you can have a dragon with the Spike, Take a Letter talent (or any other unicorn talent barring a few that don't really fit). I realize that most of the dragons seen so far don't seem to have any magical breath effects, but I like to think that they potentially could.

XandZero2 wrote:
As for Friendship is Dragons, since this system is inspired by Newbiespud's comic, it only seems fitting to have it. Still, a lot of Dragons are portrayed as not being friendly at all, but mean, nasty, and greedy. I'm not sure if FiD matches with the flavor of the entire Dragon race enough to justify it as a Racial Ability. Again though, it's probably a little too cool to pass up.
I guess my defense is that by definition in the setting a baby dragon PC is going to be quite unusual, like Spike. As shown by Spike, dragons are certainly capable of being kind, friendly, and generous, so it made sense to me to give them a racial ability to reflect that, since most likely a person playing a dragon isn't going to be playing them as if they were a wild dragon.

Or, let's see...we're talking specifically about baby dragons here. So far the only real baby dragon seen on the show is Spike. Maybe dragons are hatched naturally friendly, and only become hardened and cynical later in life.

XandZero2 wrote:
Of the three later options you gave Phil:
[snip]
I kind of like the 1st one as it makes the Baby Dragon a type of rallying banner for the party. The 2nd seems pretty weak, and the third might be a little too complicated.

Perhaps a Dragon can allow an ally to make a reroll to one of their checks once per day?

Or perhaps he can boost one ally's roll as if he had a magic point? That gives a +20 right?
The first one is kind of nice, but I could see it getting difficult to keep track of if everyone always gets an automatic +1 to their rolls. It may be fine, I don't know, that's just me trying to predict how it would go.
I personally really like the third one because it introduce both an element of choice, and an element of chance. Specifically, choosing to assist an ally results in a chance to get more uses of a bonus to help either yourself or an ally, which hopefully rewards such assistance, hopefully leading to lots of it. Essentially the dragon ends up helping his or her companions a lot either way, but in the second case, they feel more like they're actually involved and doing something rather than just standing around being useful. ("I'm being useful...really, I am...I'll just go stand in the corner and be useful, shall I?") Those are just my thoughts, though, I'd be interested in what Dan thinks of it.

Your re-rolling a check idea could be good, especially if it were something like re-rolling a critical failure. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the second idea; a Magic Point can be spent to provide a +10 bonus to a check, so do you mean having a skill to do that, independently of a Magic Point? That might work...
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:32 pm

Phil,

Sorry if I seemed a bit short with you in my last post. I don't mean to be snappy. I was just getting a little too caught up in this project. I really want to be helpful, but I kind of hit a writer's block while everyone else just kept coming up with better ideas - and it got me discouraged.

But yeah (:

I didn't realize you were thinking of Magical Firebreath abilities as being optional. That might be a great way to make everyone happy in that respect.

You make a good point in defense of the Friendship is Dragons ability, as far as Baby Dragon PCs being unusual cases. I can accept that.

Philadelphus wrote:Maybe dragons are hatched naturally friendly, and only become hardened and cynical later in life.

^I like this concept. That's kind of what I was leaning towards with the Dragon fluff I wrote in another thread.

Philadelphus wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by the second idea; a Magic Point can be spent to provide a +10 bonus to a check, so do you mean having a skill to do that, independently of a Magic Point? That might work...

Yeah, that last part's exactly what I was thinking, a skill to give a +10 bonus independent of a Magic Point. You know though, after considering what you said about your 3rd option, I agree. It would be cooler for the Dragon player to actively choose when to use their ability instead of passively giving a buff to the entire party.

Also, going back to the wings/no wings discussion - it did strike me that most (if not all) of the dragons in Dragon Quest had wings, that's true - but on the other hand, the drakes (that's what I call the dragon hoodlums) also seemed surprised that Spike didn't have wings (so wingless Baby Dragons must not be that common).

Plus, there were two episodes where Spike grew - either through magical means when Twilight first hatched him - or through greedy means when Spike horded all that stuff and turned into Godzilla. In either case, if Dragons did grow wings when they got older, then why didn't Spike grow wings when he got bigger? MLP seems to have hinted to the fact that Spike will never grow wings no matter what happens - and that's why I think that either Spike is a very rare case (maybe because of the magic that hatched him), or he's one of a rarer race of wingless Dragons.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Flutterknight on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:48 pm

XandZero2 wrote:Plus, there were two episodes where Spike grew - either through magical means when Twilight first hatched him - or through greedy means when Spike horded all that stuff and turned into Godzilla. In either case, if Dragons did grow wings when they got older, then why didn't Spike grow wings when he got bigger? MLP seems to have hinted to the fact that Spike will never grow wings no matter what happens - and that's why I think that either Spike is a very rare case (maybe because of the magic that hatched him), or he's one of a rarer race of wingless Dragons.

Most of the theories I've seen as to why Spike didn't get wings in either of these cases essentially boil down to magical growth vs natural aging. In the first example, he was quite clearly affected by an accidental growth spell, since he basically just looked stretched, and was completely out of proportion for a physically adult dragon. While it's slightly harder to explain away the second example, it's entirely possible that greed growth simply doesn't add body parts that the dragon doesn't already have, but might grow later. This is, admittedly, a bit of a shallow answer, and it is entirely possible that he's simply a kind of dragon that is wingless, or that his magic based hatching caused him to essentially mutate to be more adapted to being around the type of creature that hatched him, in this case Unicorns, who do not fly (wing spells not withstanding.) Other than these two examples however, I can't really see where MLP has implied or hinted at Spike never growing wings, and only one of these examples really gives any kind of indication as such. Though, hay, he could always be related to Crackle, and just end up with teeny tiny wings that serve no purpose. =3
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:31 am

Flutterknight wrote: Though, hay, he could always be related to Crackle, and just end up with teeny tiny wings that serve no purpose. =3

^This made me laugh out loud.

Now after we get done with Baby Dragons, you know we have to make a race of Crackle, right? 'Cause you know he's something special Razz

One of his racial abilities?

I can see it now...

Ugly as Sin
Because of your... er... uniqueness... you get the lava pool to yourself at Dragoncon... yay!
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:01 pm

XandZero2 wrote:Phil,

Sorry if I seemed a bit short with you in my last post. I don't mean to be snappy. I was just getting a little too caught up in this project. I really want to be helpful, but I kind of hit a writer's block while everyone else just kept coming up with better ideas - and it got me discouraged.

But yeah (:
No worries, it's all good. I think we all just want to see the Baby Dragon template be the best it can be. And I know what you mean about the writer's block, it took me over a day to think up the ideas in my post – and I still couldn't really improve upon Firebreath and Fireborn.

XandZero2 wrote:
I didn't realize you were thinking of Magical Firebreath abilities as being optional. That might be a great way to make everyone happy in that respect.
I think it works pretty well since it's just one, optional ability. So dragons aren't just re-skinned unicorns, but have the option of using a bit of magic if the player wants to.

XandZero2 wrote:
Philadelphus wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by the second idea; a Magic Point can be spent to provide a +10 bonus to a check, so do you mean having a skill to do that, independently of a Magic Point? That might work...

Yeah, that last part's exactly what I was thinking, a skill to give a +10 bonus independent of a Magic Point. You know though, after considering what you said about your 3rd option, I agree. It would be cooler for the Dragon player to actively choose when to use their ability instead of passively giving a buff to the entire party.
Hmm, a daily +10 bonus to an ally's skill check could be an interesting bonus. Kind of like an extra Magic, point, except you can't use it to activate Magic talents.

Maybe the passive buff idea could be a utility talent for dragons. That way, it's still passive, but it's the player's choice to get it. I'm gonna go start a "dragon-specific utility talents" thread.

XandZero2 wrote:
Also, going back to the wings/no wings discussion - it did strike me that most (if not all) of the dragons in Dragon Quest had wings, that's true - but on the other hand, the drakes (that's what I call the dragon hoodlums) also seemed surprised that Spike didn't have wings (so wingless Baby Dragons must not be that common).

Plus, there were two episodes where Spike grew - either through magical means when Twilight first hatched him - or through greedy means when Spike horded all that stuff and turned into Godzilla. In either case, if Dragons did grow wings when they got older, then why didn't Spike grow wings when he got bigger? MLP seems to have hinted to the fact that Spike will never grow wings no matter what happens - and that's why I think that either Spike is a very rare case (maybe because of the magic that hatched him), or he's one of a rarer race of wingless Dragons.
Here's my take on it: maybe greed acts like a magical growth hormone for baby dragons in the FiM universe. Baby dragons are born hatched (why do I keep typing "born"?) naturally friendly, but in a setting where greed kicks in early (probably in a parent's cave, with all their hoard). This greed acts to increase their growth speed as a child (and makes them less friendly), but is kept in check by the competition from parents, siblings, friends, etc. (It's hard to be greedy if other people keep taking your hoard. At least that's how I see it.) Note that greed only aids growth, not development, a key distinction (basically, getting bigger doesn't turn a tadpole into a frog or a caterpillar into a butterfly; getting older does). Since dragons seem to have a sort of natural maximum size, I'd be inclined to think that greed stops effecting growth about the time a dragon reaches adulthood.

Contrast that with Spike: he's hatched somewhere where there's no incentive to greed, so he never loses that friendliness he hatched with and grows (and possibly develops) at a much slower rate. However, when he does discover greed, it's sort of a massive delayed reaction; he's probably at least a few years old, so all that greed magically grows him to adult-size in a fraction of the time it would take a wild dragon to do so. But it doesn't aid his actual development. It'd be like taking a tadpole and magically enlarging it; it wouldn't necessarily grow legs and turn into a frog, it'd just get bigger. Spike's proportions also seemed a bit off compared to other adult dragons seen on the show, suggesting that his body didn't have enough time to develop naturally while it was growing.

Summary: greed helps dragons grow, but not develop. There's still a set amount of time it takes for a dragon to develop to adulthood. Greed helps them grow larger, but is generally held in check in childhood by competition, until they reach adulthood at which point it stops affecting their growth mostly or entirely. Similar thing with Twilight and her magic, she simply made Spike grow bigger, not older or more developed. So he will at some point develop wings, but it may take him a lot longer than it would a wild dragon.

The depressing flipside to this viewpoint is that by being taken out of his natural habitat Spike's growth and development have been severely affected. Sad

And there I go again, putting waaaay too much thought into Equestrian magic science.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:15 pm

Here's my template for the Baby Dragon thus far.


Baby Dragon
Firebreather
Baby dragons are immune to any heat below the level of an adult dragon's breath, including natural fire and lava. Baby dragons can also create puffs of flame at will. These puffs of flame are identical to a torch in many respects and care capable of burning objects and lighting fires outside of combat just as a torch might. Puffs of flame are ordinary fire, they extinguish quickly without tinder.

Spyrotechnics - At Will
Preparation Time - 12 Seconds
A baby dragon can turn a puff of its flame into either a burst of blinding fireworks (blinding all creatures that see it within 120-ft of the fire source) or a thick cloud of smoke (extending 20 feet in all directions from the fire source and lasting 18 seconds).

Inherently Magical
Due to their magical nature, dragons may choose one of their utility talents from the unicorn talent section (but are not required to do so), except for It's Witchcraft, This is Whining!, or any of the Ponykinesis talents.

Friendship is Dragons
Baby Dragons provide a +1 morale bonus the skill checks of all allies the baby dragon can see.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  XandZero2 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:40 pm

^Looks good enough to me short of a dry run, although I would like to read the part of Firebreather that was cut off.

I am also a little bummed out we merged Fireborn and Dragon Breath together, since "Fireborn" sounded cool - but that's not a big deal.

@ Phil: Hm... I think we're both going off of hypotheses here. I would really like it if MLP picked Dragon maturation up again in a later season. It would give us RPers more to work with.
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Re: Dragon Quest - Baby Dragons as PCs

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:41 pm

Two minor spelling/grammar errors ("and care capable of burning objects" and "provide a +1 morale bonus the skill checks"), but otherwise looks great. I like the consolidation of Fireproof and Firebreath, though perhaps "Born of Fire" would work better to capture both the immunity to fire and the ability to breathe it than Firebreather does. Just a minor nitpick, though.

I love the name Spyrotechnics, it sounds like it could be an achievement in Team Fortress 2. ("Ignite 3 enemy spies with your fire breath.")

@XandZero2: Indeed, we don't really have that much to go on, and it would be nice to see it explained further. I think my explanation is logically consistent, but this is magic we're dealing with here, even if magic does seem to follow some sort of rule in the FiM universe... *shrug*
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