How to Role Play a Dragon
A Dragon Mask
I have a real connection to dragons, more than enjoying dragons in fiction and role playing games... I AM a dragon. I was born in the year of the dragon. I don't especially care to mention which year at the moment, however.By the Chinese zodiac, every 12 years there is another year of the dragon. Dragons are the only sign in Chinese astrology which are not a "real" animal. If you think about it, most of them are farm animals, the dragon is the only magical creature in the group.
Dragons are mystical, mythical, magical, monsters... or are they? How do you play a dragon in a role play game (RPG)? Is your dragon a great gamer or on the sidelines? Have you ever designed your own dragon?
(Mostly) Free Games for Dragons to Play Online
There are web-based games with a lot of players. Dragon Fable and Dungeons & Dragons being two I know and have played. Dragon Fable comes from the Adventure Quest series of games. If you are on Steam, you can find the new Adventure Quest 3D, dragons included.
I have not played Istaria, but the game is active and updates about servers are posted to their Twitter account (which you can find on the main page of the site).
Legend of the Green Dragon is quiet but not gone.
If you want something simple and text-based try Dragon Hearts.
I'm listing these smaller (less well known) games in hopes they will be found and gain new players. Free games need fresh players to keep them active and actively in development with new features and better gameplay. Without players they tend to wind down and fade away.
Things to consider if you want to be a dragon in a role playing game:
- Colour, patterns or textures
- Scales or other armour
- Age and wisdom
- Hatchling or elder
- Hoard of something: gold, books, etc.
- Love of conversation and riddles
- Seeker of knowledge
- Tend to be loners
- Wings/ Flight
- Fire breathing or some other type of substance/ energy
- Element: Fire, Water, Air, Earth
- Shapeshifting or were-dragon or dragon/ human hybrid
- good or evil or something in between
Making a Dragon Character
Look at patterns on other scaled animals like lizards and snakes. See which colours and designs your dragon could (or should) have. Keep in mind the type of climate your dragon lives in and how much time they spend outdoors versus inside a cave or house. An outdoor dragon is going to look far more rugged and weathered than a dragon living softer, gentler life.
You might want a pretty dragon, based on fantasy more than a realistic looking dragon. Scales can be a rainbow of colours or patterns. Some dragons have horns and some don't. Some dragons have extremely long tails and huge wing-spans, some are more compact.
Dragon characters must have both strength and weaknesses. No dragon should be all powerful. The weaknesses make the character more interesting in game play.
Consider the sort of armour your dragon has. Maybe your dragon even wears extra armour created by a blacksmith or wizard. A dragon may have thick scales which mean it will be heavier and less able to fly high or for long distances. Or, a dragon who flies far and well is likely to have thinner scales and huge wings which will not be so great for hand to hand combat situations.
Dragons can be so many sizes, mammoth, larger than life Godzillas or teensy little dainty butterflies, or even smaller. When you create a dragon as a character keep in mind the practical aspects of the game. You don't want a character that will be too big or too small for the other gamers. If your character is exploring caves your dragon will be pretty bored sitting outside, alone, waiting.
A huge dragon will be mighty and intimidating. A smaller dragon will interact better with the other characters in the role play game. For one thing, they won't have to tone their voice down from a massive boom to a gentle whisper. A teeny dragon who lives in flowers may be too timid to speak to anyone at all but they could be excellent at dodging when in combat, if they have to fight.