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by Bruce Heard

In a message dated 96-11-04 20:46:51 EST, Andrew Theisen wrote:

>For my part, I tweaked the numbers a bit- I think I added 10 to whatever
>die roll used for their ages (ex. 1d20x10- I don't know if this is an
>actual number or not, but for examples' sake...) Normally this would give
>an age range of 10-200 years, sort of low for a dragon I'd think. But if
>you make it (1d20+10)x10, you get a range of 110-300 years. This is what
>I did for all the ages, and it seems to get a pretty good age range for
>(what I consider, anyway) seemingly ancient dragon types.

Okay -- I see where you are coming from. I don't recall anything in OD&D that helped determine the lifespans of dragons (anyone -- ???). You don't have to match lifespans in AD&D, but I can see the practicality of doing so. Adding 10 of the basic die/dice roll helps. Here's the original chart :

White Dragon 1d20*6 thus: 6-120 years (hmm, min. 6 year lifespan)
Black 2d12*7 14-168 years
Green 3d10*8 24-240 years
Blue 4d8*9 36-288 years
Red 3d12*10 30-360 years
Gold 2d20*11 22-440 years

Here's your modified chart:

White Dragon 1d20+10 x 6 thus 60-180 years
Black 2d12+10 x 7 84-238 years
Green 3d10+10 x 8 104-320 years
Blue 4d8+10 x 9 126-378 years
Red 3d12+10 x 10 130-460 years
Gold 2d20+10 x 11 132-550 years

...which works better if longevity is what you're after (the minimums are certainly more in line with what one would expect). In retrospect, I would push just a tad further and assume every time a dragon succeeds a Ceremony of Sublimation, increase current longevity score +5%. So for example, if you rolled up a gold dragon with a longevity of 350 years, add another 17 years when it succeeds its first ceremony. If it took its time about it, a great gold could succeed 11 such ceremonies in its lifetime before topping out its HD. Unless I messed up the calculations, this means it could add ...+171% to its original score. Our great gold with a basic lifespan of 350 years could thus survive ...948 years! With a maximum basic lifespan of 550 years, this brings the maximum possible lifespan for a non-Immortal dragon to 1,490 years.

This discussion is based upon the DRAGON magazine article on Mystara dragons (issues #170 and #171).

And one more thing that bugs me about the article has to do with the range of Omens of Coming for neutral dragons attaining Immortality (see page 13 of the article). I had stated that the area of effect was 1d20 miles for a small nation, double that for a large kingdom, and ten times that for an empire. That's clunky.

I would suggest instead rolling a d6. The score indicates tens of percents of the nation's population affected by the philosophical changes (a roll of 4 would indicate 40% for example). The change initially affects only the nation that witnessed the Omen of Coming. All adjacent realms are affected as well within the next 1d20 months, but at half the rate (re-roll the scores and divide by two at that point).

In a message dated 96-11-06 22:01:38 EST, Andrew Theisen wrote:

<< One question though. Is the treasure that the dragon has gathered supposed to be consumed at the completion of every Ceremony, or only during the final, Immortality-or-bust Ceremony? >>

Oh shoot, good question... It doesn't seem right to consume the entire hoard every time. Imagine this: you creep into the lair of the dragon and the floor is... spotless. Not the merest little copper coin to be found! However, a *bigger and shinier* dragon smoking nonchalantly, sweeps off his old dried up scales into a pit at the other end of the lair. He glances over his shoulder and says "Hey, sorry friend, you're a tad too late! Try again later."

I don't remember specifying what part of the hoard gets consumed during the sublimation. Here's a suggestion. Up until the point the dragon becomes Immortal, only part of the treasure is consumed (roughly 10% of the hoard for each HD that is actually gained). If the hoard is worth less than 5000 gp, assume 70% is consumed during the attempt (whether it succeeds or not). From 5001 to 25,000 gp, burn off 50% worth. From 25,001 to 100,000 gp, burn off 30%. Above 100,000 gp, burn off 20% (adjust according to your campaign's economics). When the dragon actually attains Immortality, the entire hoard is consumed as described in the article, save for artifacts which the dragon takes along.