[dragonraid] Re: Dragon Battle

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From: "Joe Revesz" <jrevesz@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 08:34:28 -0500
Tor wrote:

> I feel awkward running a dragon battle as an AM.

Quite a few people have, so don't feel bad.  There have been FAQs and other
things posted to help, but I will attach the lastest revision of the text to
the end of this post.  I hope that it helps.  If anyone finds any errors,
ommissions, or problems, please comment.  Sorry if the cahrts do not line up

> The dragon in Rescue of the
Sacred Scrolls has a BA of 4 and a PV of 25, and the first time I tried
running the battle, the dragon was rapidly killed, with mind speech being a
hollow threat. So something was wrong.

Again, your stats were wrong.  Those stats belong to a single sick Muk or a
healthy Skeleton.

> Do LRs only get to defend against the dragon, not attack it?

The limitation at the start of the battle is that the dragon must start the
fight; LRs are not to pick a fight with a dragon - AMM page 29, Section H -
"Fighting Dragons".

After the dragons starts the fight, the LRs can attack and defend according
to the "Effective Response" chart on AMM page 66.

I sometimes make it simpler by having the dragon start with Mind Speech and
run through all of its arguements before it resorts to physical attacks.
That way, the LRs have to refute and/or use WordRunes before their swords.

> Do they only
get to attack during a dragon's fire or physical (body) attack, since normal
weaponry is effective in those cases?

Physically attack, yes, but they can always use WordRunes and TeamRunes.

> I think "my" dragon is more like a gnarling old dog right now ;-)

A bit more than that, but hardly a match for any team of LightRaiders.


Dragon Battle

LightRaiders must remember that the dragons' primary goal is to attack the
soul rather than the body.  Therefore, three of the five types of dragon
attack are aimed at spiritual damage rather than physical harm.  The
following table summarizes the types of dragon attack and effective defenses
a LightRaider can employ.

Dragon Attack Mode      		Effective LightRaider Defense
Breath / Smoke					WordRunes
Fire                                     	Shield of Faith, WordRunes, Normal
Mind Speech                    		Verbal refutation with Scriptural
Physical Attack (teeth, claws, tail)	Normal Weaponry, WordRunes

The LightRaider's method of attack and defense is determined by the dragon's
attack mode.  For example, a LightRaider may not defend against mind speech
with normal weaponry; and he may only attack the dragon physically when the
dragon physically attacks him.

Pride Factors

Dragon Pride Factors are similar to Physical Vitality points --- they both
represent the life force within a creature.  However, as a dragon is
primarily a spiritual creature, it is much more difficult to kill than an
ordinary dark creature.  The following chart shows the approximate Pride
Factors (PF) for dragons of varying ages and an uncertainty factor to add so
that players will not know exactly how many PF points a dragon has.

Age		PF	Uncertainty factor
Hatchling	20	+1 to 4
Fledgling  	40   	+1 SSt
Firewyrm    80   	+2 SSt
Mature      120   +3 SSt
Elder       160   +4 SSt
Eldermost   >200	+5 SSt

Alternately, you can size the dragon to the level of experience or strength
of your group.  Assign the dragon 10, 20, 30, or 40 Pride Factor points per
LightRaider on the RaidTeam.  This will force strong groups to work harder
to vanquish the beast and will give and weaker teams a better chance at

When a dragon sustains damage in battle, its Pride Factor is reduced.
Should a dragon's Pride Factor be reduced to 0, its spirit will be sent to
the spirit world from whence it came.  Its body, however, is usually left
behind to decay, just as any other physical body.  Believing some power or
magical property resides in them, dragon slaves will sometimes try to
retrieve certain parts of a dead dragon's body.  The OverLord may desire a
raid team to dispose of a dead dragon in some way.

Dragon Recover From Injury

Dragons can recover lost Pride Factor points at the rate of 1/10th of their
total Pride Factor score per day.  So, a dragon with 210 PF will be able to
regenerate 21 PF per day.

Running Encounters with Dragons

Running an encounter with a dragon requires material from the following
sections as well as the information contained in the adventure guidebook.
These are general guidelines:

Step 1:  Get Information

Find the type and age of the dragon in the adventure guidebook.  Also find
the Easy and Hard Mind Speech tables in the guidebook for quick or lengthy
encounters, and find the information about the dragon's breath weapon (and
possibly smoke weapon).

Step 2: Select Easy or Hard Mind-Speech Encounter

Decide which type of encounter will give your group the most excitement and
challenge.  Easy encounters have more physical fighting and less difficult
arguments; hard encounters have less fighting and more difficult arguments.
Thus, the easy encounters move faster and offer more overt excitement; the
hard ones are better tools for examining and debating mistaken ideas or
wrong impulses.

Step 3: Dragon Attack Sequence

1  A dragon's first attack is always mind speech, whether easy or hard.  The
dragon picks a victim, but all members of the team can hear the mind speech.

2  The target LightRaider is expected to refute the mind speech with
Scripture or biblical arguments.

3  Target LightRaider comes under the power of the dragon's mind speech or
Belt of Truth damage is applied to the dragon's PV.

4  The Adventure Master rolls on the age specific Dragon Attack Charts each
round after the first to determine which attack mode the dragon will use.

5  The Adventure Master continues the sequence (4) and (5) until either the
dragon or the party is dead or retreats.  Thus, a dragon may use a different
attack each round, keeping players off balance, since certain weapons work
only against certain attacks.  See the chart below.

Dragon Attack Charts

Use the following charts after the first round of dragon combat (roll Shadow
Stone).  For further information, see "Fighting Dragons'' in the Chapter 2 -
the RuleBook.

Note:  Split Attack Charts into Spiritual and Physical

Example: 	Hatchling Spiritual Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech	Hard Mind Speech
1--2    Fire            1        Fire
3--4    Breath          2--3   Breath
5--7    Smoke          	4--6   Smoke
8       Retreat         7--8   Retreat

Hatchling Physical Attack Chart

SSt		Attack Type
1--5     Dragon attacks with claws
6--7     Dragon attacks with tail (use claws if there are no characters
behind or to either side of the dragon)
8     Dragon attacks with bite

Hatchling Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech	Hard Mind Speech
1--2    Fire              	1      Fire
3--4    Breath            	2--3   Breath
5       Smoke             	4--5   Smoke
6--7    Physical          	6      Physical
8       Retreat           	7--8   Retreat

Fledgling Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech       		Hard Mind Speech
1--2   Mind Speech       	1--3  Mind Speech
3      Fire              		4      Fire
4      Breath            		5      Breath
5      Smoke             		6      Smoke
6--7   Physical Attack   		7      Physical Attack
8      Retreat           		8      Retreat

Firewyrm Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech      		Hard Mind Speech
1--3  Mind Speech      		1--4   Mind Speech
4       Fire             	5       Fire
5       Breath           	6       Breath
6       Smoke            	7      Smoke
7       Physical Attack  	8      Other:
8       Retreat                  	1-4  Physical Attack
  						5-8  Retreat

Mature Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech               	Hard Mind Speech
1--4  Mind Speech            		1--6      Mind Speech
5--6  Fire                    	7--8      Other:
7       Smoke                             	1--2  Fire
8       Other:                            	3--4  Smoke
         1--3  Breath                     	5--6  Breath
         4--6  Physical Attack            	7  Physical Attack
         7--8  Retreat                   		8  Retreat

Elder Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech           	Hard Mind Speech
1--5  Mind Speech           		1--6   Mind Speech
6       Fire                        7--8   Other:
7       Smoke                                  	1--2  Fire
8       Other:                                  3--4  Smoke
         1--4  Breath                         	5--6  Breath
         5--6  Physical Attack         		7  Physical Attack
         7--8  Retreat                        	8  Retreat

Eldermost Attack Chart

Easy Mind Speech		Hard Mind Speech
None     			1--7     Mind Speech
				8        Other:
					1  Fire
 					2--3  Smoke
					4--6  Breath
					7  Physical Attack
					8  Retreat

Mind Speech

A dragon attacks with mind speech by imposing an erroneous thought upon the
mind of a LightRaider.  These thoughts are specified in the adventure.

The LightRaider must be able to refute any thought with arguments based on
Scripture or scriptural concepts.  If the LightRaider refutes the mind
speech, he does damage to the dragon's Pride Factor by an amount equal to
his Belt of Truth rating.  If the LightRaider does not refute the thought,
he takes damage as specified in the adventure.  If the character has a
rating of only 1 or 2 in the Character Strength targeted by the mind speech,
he automatically comes under its sway.  The player must then have his
character act as if he believes the vile thought until he is rescued (see
Rescue from Sin Enchantments and Dragon Mind Speech).  Any LightRaider who
has a Wisdom of 8 or more may do double damage to the dragon if he can gave
two arguments against the mind speech.

Sequence of Dragon Combat

In a confrontation with LightRaiders, dragons always attack first, and will
always begin the battle with mind speech.  The LightRaiders must verbally
refute the mind speech.  Each round of mind speech battle consists of two

Phase 1 - Dragon attacks with erroneous thought.
Phase 2 - LightRaider counter-attacks with scriptural argument.

After the first round of dragon battle, the Adventure Master rolls the
StarLot according to the instructions in the Adventure Master Manual to see
what attack mode the dragon uses next.  The players may have to change their
strategy, depending on what the dragon does; and the battle continues until
the dragon is killed or flies away or all the LightRaiders are under the
dragon's control or are dead.

Damage inflicted upon a dragon reduces its Pride Factor.  When this factor
drops to 0, the dragon is dead.

Sequence of Mind Speech Combat

Phase 1
1) The dragon broadcasts its mind speech attack to all potential victims in
range (usually about 300 feet).

2) The Adventure Master randomly chooses one LightRaider to make the

Phase 2
3) Target LightRaider makes a verbal refutation of the mind speech.

4) The AM decides if the refutation is worthy of causing Pride Factor damage
to the dragon and applies it (or not).

5) If unsuccessful, the LightRaider falls under the power of the dragon's
mind speech.

6) The AM randomly chooses another (unaffected) LightRaider to make a
refutation.  The other LightRaiders may begin to rescue their afflicted
comrade if they are able.

7) Repeat steps 3 through 7 until the dragon makes a physical attack, dies,
flies off, lays quivering on the ground.... or until the entire team is
under the power of mind speech.

Details of Mind Speech Combat

Dragon encounters need not be confusing, even though there are a lot of
things happening at once.  Breath weapons, fire, Mind Speech, and physical
attacks can all happen in rapid succession, so here are a few ideas to keep
things from getting out of hand.

When the dragon attacks with Mind Speech, it attacks one individual at a
time, not the entire group at once.  The Adventure Master can choose the
target LightRaider for the first round and rotate through all of the
characters, so they each have to deal with a Mind Speech attack.  Or, the
target may be randomly chosen each round with a Shadow Stone roll.  The
Adventure Master may want to challenge certain players by choosing them each
time Mind Speech is used.

Players are not allowed to help each other refute Mind Speech attacks.  The
Adventure Master may want to send the other players out of the room while
the target attempts to refute the Mind Speech.  It may be easier to take the
targeted LightRaider out of the room and have him answer out of the earshot
of the other players.  Each Mind Speech refutation must use unique answers,
the players should not be allowed to repeat what others have already said.

When a character is attacked with Mind Speech, he may not do anything other
than attempt a verbal refutation of the erroneous thought.  The character
may not move, attack, or make any other action until the result of the
refutation is decided.  All others in range "hear" the Mind Speech, but they
do not have to refute it, nor are they controlled by it.

If the character refutes the Mind Speech, he does damage to the dragon's
Pride Factor equal to the character's Belt of Truth rating.  If the
character does not refute the Mind Speech, he is enchanted and under the
control of the dragon.  The character will obey the dragon's commands to the
best of his ability.  The dragon-controlled character must be rescued in the
same way he would have to be rescued from a Sin Enchantment (see Rescue from
Sin Enchantment and Dragon Mind Speech).

The various dragon WordRunes, stun effect or Pride Factor reducing, etc. can
be used to attack the same dragon once per LightRaider.  If there is more
than one dragon, each LightRaider may use each WordRune once on each dragon.

When a dragon attacks with Mind Speech, it cannot attack physically.  The
dragon may only defend, since it is concentrating on corrupting the mind of
its victim.  The dragon may be attacked by those not "hearing" its Mind
Speech.  WordRunes, special objects or weapons given by the OverLord may
help block Mind Speech from entering the mind of a character.  In that case,
the dragon will immediately choose another target.

Dragon Fire Weapons

The dragon's fire weapon may consist of fire, hot stones, lava or firewater,
according to the type of dragon.  Dragons may use their fire weapon an
unlimited number of times per day.  While in flight, a dragon may use its
fire about once a minute or two, depending on how strenuous the flying is.

The various families of dragons project their fire weapons in a variety of
shapes.  Consult the following tables.

Dragons and their Fire Weapons

Type of Dragon 	Shape of Fire Weapon
 Crystal           	Line
 Dream            	Cone
 Gaze              	Cone
 Fluorescent       	Fireball
 Firedrake*         	Line, Cone or Fireball
 Mirror                 Fireball
 Prism           		Firewater:  Fireball
 Sea Serpent       	Firewater:  Line, Cone, or Fireball
 Shadow            	Cone
 Slime             	Hot Stones or Lava Flow
 Urth Wyrm           	Line

*NOTE: The fire weapon of Firedrakes is 50% more powerful than other
dragons, consult the Dragon Fire Weapon Attack Ability and Range chart, find
the correct age of the dragon, and add half of the Range and Attack Ability
values to their attacks.  Do not add to the width of the fire weapon.

Width of Dragon Fire Weapons

Shape of Weapon      	Width
Line    	            10 feet
Cone           	   	30 feet
Fireball       	   	15 feet
Hot Stones   	     	50 feet
Lava Flow     	    	10 feet

Dragon Fire Weapon Attack Ability and Range

Age of Dragon  	Attack Ability   	Range
Hatchling           	4 points          		20 feet
Fledgling         	8 points          		40 feet
Firewyrm          	12 points         		80 feet
Mature            	16 points         		120 feet
Elder             	20 points         		160 feet
Eldermost         	12 points        			120 feet

So, an elder dream dragon would have a 30 foot wide cone, 20 point attack
that can reach 160 feet.  An elder firedrake would have a 30 foot wide cone,
30 point attack that can reach 240 feet.

The line and the lava flow may be made to extend from one foot to the
maximum range for the age of the dragon.  The other forms of fire weapon can
also have a variable length, with the exception that as the length
decreases, the shape of the cone, etc., will narrow slightly.

The damage done by a dragon's fire weapon is determined by its Fire Attack
Ability.  For example, if a fledgling dragon uses its fire weapon, the
Adventure Master must roll the Shadow Stone eight times (i.e., once for each
point of the dragon's Attack Ability as shown in Table 3 above) and add the
results.  This sum is the damage done by that fire weapon.  For a Firewyrm,
the Shadow Stone is rolled 12 times, etc.

A LightRaider's Shield of Faith is his only real defense against dragon
fire.  His Shield of Faith deflects 1 point of Attack Ability for every
point the Shield has.  For example, if a LightRaider's Shield of Faith has 4
points and he is attacked by a mature dragon's fire weapon, the damage he
incurs is found by rolling the Shadow Stone only 12 times (16 - 4 = 12)
rather than a full 16.  Two or more LightRaiders may combine their Shield of
Faith ratings to resist dragon fire, provided they are all within its range
and width and are positioned next to each other.  A LightRaider in range of
the fire weapon, but far behind the LightRaiders who deflected the blast
will receive a fire attack equal to the remaining strength minus his own
Shield of Faith rating.  If this LightRaider has a Shield of Faith of 6,
using the example above, 12 - 6 = 6.

Here is another example to help you understand the use of these tables:

Your party has just met an eldermost crystal dragon that attacks you with
his fire weapon.  First, the Adventure Master must look at Table 1 to see
what shape the weapon takes.  It happens to be a line.  Going to Table 2, he
sees that the line is 10 feet wide.  Then he looks at Table 3 and finds that
the attack ability is 12 and the maximum range of an eldermost dragon is 120
feet.  So if any party members are within 120 feet of the dragon, it will be
able to flame one or more of them depending on where they are positioned.
Remember, however, that the width of the line is limited to 10 feet.  Also,
if two members of the party with SF 5 and 6 are within the flame and next to
each other, they will be able to add their Shield of Faith ratings for a
total of 11.  Subtract 11 from 12 and the fire attack strength will only
equal one roll of the Shadow Stone.

A dragon can use its fire several times each day, though it may have to wait
a moment (a few rounds - Adventure Master's discretion) between uses.

Combating Breath and Smoke Weapons

Dragons represent the demonic forces of the Evil One and their breath and
smoke weapons can devastate a RaidTeam if LightRaiders are not diligent to
defend against them.  The effects of the breath weapon vary according to
dragon families; the effects of the smoke weapon depend upon the individual
dragon.  The enchantment transmitted by smoke weapons will be specified in
each adventure, as well as the results of falling under the enchantment.

While in flight, a dragon may use its breath or smoke weapons once every
minute or two, depending on how strenuous the flying is.

A LightRaider may use WordRunes to attack a dragon that has used its smoke
or breath weapon.

Breath Weapons

All breath weapons work the same way; a dragon breathes out a visible cloud
of vapor, and the characters caught in the cloud suffer its effects.  There
is no Success Roll to pass; only WordRunes and the power of the OverLord
(Possibly Battle Prayer) are defense against a breath weapon.

When the cloud of a breath weapon touches a victim, it immediately causes an
physical condition in the victim.

Crystal: Cloud of cold causes d4 freezing damage to Physical Vitality.

Dream: Mist causes double vision (d4+1 images), weapons skills suffer -2
penalty for entire encounter.

Firedrake: Heat cloud causes all those touched to fall asleep for 5*SSt

Flourescent: Causes horrific hallucinations for d8 rounds, weapons skills
suffer -2 for 2*SSt combat rounds.

Gaze: Character's Listening ability drops to 1 for 4*SSt combat rounds.

Mirror: Electric shock causes d4 Physical Vitality damage.

Prism: Fumes stuns all non-dragon characters (except Celestial Guardians)
for 2d4 rounds.

Sea dragon: Acid mist causes d4 Physical Vitality damage each round for one
SSt roll of combat rounds.

Shadow: Fumes cut Endurance in half.

Slime: Poisonous gas causes one Shadow Stone of Physical Vitality damage.

Urth Wrym: Dust causes blindness for d4 combat rounds.

Range of Dragon Breath Weapons

All dragon breath weapons have certain ranges that are randomly determined
and have nothing to do with age or family.  The dragon may use its breath
weapon several times each day, but it is limited in the number of times.
Roll the Shadow Stone and add two to find this amount.  Each dragon has a
different breath weapon range.  Consult the following table (rolling the
Shadow Stone):

Breath Weapon Range Chart


SSt       Range
1--3     up to 20 feet
4--6     up to 30 feet
7--8     up to 40 feet

All Other Dragons

SSt       Range
1--2     up to 30 feet
3--5     up to 60 feet
6--7     up to 90 feet
8	   up to 120 feet

Smoke Weapons

Dragon smoke weapons are breathed out by like a breath weapon, except the
consistency of the cloud is much thicker.  Smoke clouds can be as thin as a
foggy mist, as dense as smoke from a smoldering pile of leaves, or any
density in between.

Smoke weapons target a specific Character Strength, Ability, or Armor
Rating.  The target is specified in the adventure text.  Anyone enveloped by
the smoke must make a Success Roll to defend against its effects.  If he
rolls a number less than or equal to the targeted rating, the LightRaider
character successfully defends himself.  If not, the character must act as
if he has fallen under the power of the smoke weapon.

For example: LightRaider Kareth has a Self-Control of 6.  He is attacked by
a dragon's smoke weapon; the player running Kareth must roll 6 or less to
save Kareth from the effects of the smoke.

Range of Dragon Smoke Weapons

The smoke weapon of a dragon is emitted from its nostrils and forms a cloud
of up to a 50' x 50' in front of the dragon.  Light winds may move this
cloud in any direction, heavy winds may disperse it quickly; if either is
the case, the Adventure GuideBook will give details, or use common sense.  A
dragon may use its smoke weapon a number of times equal to one roll of the
Shadow Stone.

Dragon Physical Attacks

Dragons may use their teeth, claws, or tail to attack.  All three can do
great amounts of damage.  LightRaiders use their Shields of Faith to defend.
WordRunes and normal weaponry may be used to attack a dragon while it is
attacking physically.

Dragon Physical Battle Abilities

Age              Battle Ability  	Claws     Bite    Tail		Carry (lbs)
Hatchling     	5        		SSt-4      SSt     SSt-3	20
Fledgling     	15       		SSt        2SSt    SSt+2	150
Firewyrm     	30       		2SSt       3SSt    2SSt+4	250
Mature        	45       		3SSt       4SSt    2SSt+6	500
Elder            	60       		3SSt       4SSt    2SSt+8	1000
Eldermost		45       		2SSt       3SSt    2SSt+6	750

Generally speaking, a dragon prefers to attack with its claws, not its bite,
for the claws are less vulnerable than the head.  Note, however, that all
four claws can be used only when the dragon swoops over or lands on its prey
from the air.  To determine damage, roll the Shadow Stone twice as many
times as indicated in the chart above.

A dragon can attack with its tail only if someone is behind or to either
side of it.  A dragon's tail may reach up to 15 feet (one to three squares),
while its neck can be about ten feet (one or two squares) long.

Use the following chart to determine which physical weapon a dragon will

Physical Weapon Attack Chart
SSt	Attack Type
1--4     Dragon attacks with claws
5--6     Dragon attacks with tail (use claws if there are no characters
behind or to either 		side of the dragon)
7--8     Dragon attacks with bite

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