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Theory about 3E dragons on Mystara

by David Knott

I will try to flesh this out more once I am able to access the Internet at better than 4800 baud (the old-times among you can explain the implications of that problem to any newbies who have not yet experienced it -- basically I cannot access the Web or download my e-mail which includes large binary files, so I cannot immediately answer any replies to this posting).

Anyway: If we compare the 3E MM entries for dragons with the D&D RC and similar sources, we can come up with a very interesting theory about Mystaran dragons. It would seem that Mystaran dragons mature more slowly than standard 3E dragons and (absent some sort of outside intervention) are generally weaker and more brutish (unable to speak, cast spells, or use spell-like abilities). In compensation, they are able to reproduce by age category 2 (which is a major benefit in enabling them to survive since they cannot advance beyond age category 4 without said intervention).

Uplift: Assume that the chromatic dragons (black, blue, green, red, and white) are native to Mystara and were originally of this brutish sort. At some point prior to the events of the Dragonlord trilogy, gold dragons from another plane (all of whom were already of the "uplifted" variety) came to Mystara and started working on converting the native dragons to beings more equal to themselves, starting with the red dragons and ending with the white dragons. The "uplifted" dragons gained superior mental ability scores and effective spellcasting levels in addition to normal access to spell-like abilities. In most cases, "uplifted" dragons should have a CR +1 above that of a "normal" or "brutish" dragon.

Translation to Draconic Cluster: Any "uplifted" Mystaran dragon who manages to reach age category 5 is translated from Mystara to the Draconic Cluster, where he or she may continue to develop without fear of being hunted by mortal Mystarans. Depending on how efficient mortal Mystarans are at slaughtering dragons of a given type, dragons in the Draconic Cluster may be given special permission to breed offspring to be introduced to Mystara as replacements for slain dragons. Needless to say, if later Mystaran heroes slay the replacement dragons, their parents in the Draconic Cluster will note the slayers for future hostile attention.

Immortal Guardians and Rulers: A dragon who reaches age category 8 may become the Immortal Guardian of his dragon type. A dragon who reaches age category 10 may become the dragon ruler of his particular alignment. A dragon who reaches age category 12 may become the "Great One". In all cases, a dragon seeking any of these special statuses may have to challenge the existing holder of whatever honour he or she seeks.