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How to Role Play a Dragon

Updated on January 21, 2017

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?

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.
  • Curiosity
  • Love of conversation and riddles
  • Seeker of knowledge
  • Tend to be loners
  • Magic
  • 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

Dragon Looks

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 Abilities

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.

Dragon Size

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.

Dragon Art by Molly Harrison



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    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Very interesting stuff. Voted up and shared. :)