Why Dragons Should Never Lose

 Back in the 'aughts, WotC had a forum set up for folks to discuss D&D. I yoinked this little tidbit from one of the user profiles on that old (and either migrated or closed) forum. I didn't save their name and can't find them in archive.org - so I can't attribute it.

Although written for 3e/4e, the mindset herein definitely is something that ALL my BBEVs should be doing... and maybe yours as well. It's just a thought... enjoy!

Why Dragons Should Never Lose

-You think you have the element of surprise,

By the time you reach my lair, I'll have figured out what you're capable of by watching your progress through my traps and guards. If a snot-nosed wizard with a meager 15 Int is smart enough to cast alarm before he goes to bed, what makes your think my lair won't be coated with it?

-Your casting spells and wielding weapons with my elemental weakness?

Okay, I cast protection from elements, or If my DM owns the draconomicon, take a few feats and eliminate it.

-Oh, you've got a a beefy min/maxed fighter of one hit killage.

I can fly

-Oh You've got ranged weapons

Protection from arrows

-Oh, You've got the flight spell on fighter now

Bull rush him into the ground, preferably the same tile as one of your allies

-Oh, You're rogue can dodge my fire breath 95% of the time


-Oh, Your wise enough to protect your arcane spellcaster

Fly, Chomp

-Oh, Your fighter has a high AC and lots of health


-Oh, Your cleric is healing everyone

Grapple, fly 300-400 ft. in the air, release (and hope the arcane caster is dumb enough to waste his featherfall on the fool).

-Oh, I'm down a 3rd of my health

I'll just fly off to one of my emergency back up lairs where I keep multiple healing potions in edible bottles which I obviously had the foresight to prepare ahead of time given my 20+ INT. Once I'm healed, your dead.

-Oh, I'm down to a 3rd of my health, and you've undermined my resources.

I'll retreat. Even your hasted monk has a dice's chance in mechanius of keeping up with an airborne dragon taking double move. And once I'm healed up...

You'll NEVER be able to sleep safely again...

I've been going through my private archive of my previous (and many-times cringe-worthy) blog and finding tidbits that I had forgotten, or wanted to share again.

So more of these might be coming your way in 2022!


  1. Yep, I remember that one. Good advice. Although it's called Dungeons and Dragons, the dragons are a high-level challenge.

    1. Thanks!

      I enjoy challenging even 1st level characters with "dragons in the backyard" - teaches the "run away to fight another day" concept. Sometimes that dragon might be a troll-mage (think of mashup between ogre-magi and a troll) or some other strong opponent, but it is a useful thing to do... and can set up a campaign-level BBEV!

    2. Oh yeah. When I first took on the mantle of DM, back in 1980, my party was gathering rumors in the dwarven kingdom of Thunderhold and I told them about the dragons who'd taken over the old dwarven caverns. My brother told me later that I'd cemented the realism of the world by describing something their low-level party couldn't possibly handle yet.

    3. Nice! Those sorts of things are always fun to have. A show-not-tell approach is also a nice idea... the burning remains of a camp, for instance, with the burn patterns in an arc. Was it a dragon? Maybe? The PCs have to make decisions now...

  2. I said so many times "just leave Father Troll alone". I did.


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