How to Roleplay a Dragon

July 16, 2023
David Sunnyside

Dragons are among fantasy’s most terrifying villains, combining immense physical strength with genius-level intelligence and shrewd guile. They can also be extremely arrogant and vain, resenting the mortal races they cohabit with, often seeing them as their inferiors. These qualities make them hard to play well, both as players and Dungeon Masters. Whether they are acting out of anger, frustration, or just plain vanity, these monsters have an uncanny ability to transform from a tactical super-genius into a pompous fool or rampaging beast at the drop of a hat. This can be a huge problem, especially for Dungeon Masters who want their dragons to feel realistic.

To help prevent this, it is important to be aware of the RP expectations that are attached to your character’s draconic heritage. First, never reveal that you are a dragon to other players. This is a big no-no, as it allows other players to metagame the situation. Alternatively, it might be fun to give your dragon a weakness that other player characters can exploit in a dramatic way (for example, Smaug fell to the sword because Bilbo used flattery and deception to draw him out of hiding).

Similarly, you should never post information online about your dragon, such as its origin or specific weaknesses. This will allow other players to use this information to metagame or avoid the character, unless it is part of an official storyline.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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