Dicing Up a B/X Dragon

Monochrome dice would actually be hard to use for this

Monochrome dice would actually be hard to use for this (h/t grognardia.blogspot.com)

This was a side project from a while back: Building on an earlier post, I wanted to lay out a small system for generating a dragon out of a handful of dice, with the idea of running some one shots that pitted whoever showed up against whatever dragon I generated (I think I was inspired by a short story in Dragon magazine in the early 90’s, I forget the name. Middle-aged dragon hunter.).

It’s actually not especially fast, but that was part of the point: I wanted to write the charts up by hand on a big, yellowed piece of paper, and play up the oracular reading of the dice.  I actually like how most of it turns out: Rolling six dice determines the hit dice, breath weapon, alignment, gender, lair type, whether the dragon can cast spells, and (this is the weakest part) name.  It’s also some fun with different ways to generate distributions with dice… In any case, maybe it inspires someone else to do something clever-er…

Dragon Dice Oracle


8 Responses to “Dicing Up a B/X Dragon”

  1. 1 FredH
    June 19, 2012 at 4:57 am

    This is pretty cool. I take it, though, that you’re setting aside the established red/gold/white/etc. statted dragon types in B/X?

  2. 2 Charlatan
    June 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    You could elect to stick with the traditional scheme, and just have the breath weapon also indicate color.

  3. 3 Glenn Jupp
    June 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Now I want to combine your elegant “one handful of dice” thing with E.G.Palmer’s unexpurgated dragon generator for even wilder beasties.

  4. 4 Jesse
    June 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Is that the story about the old knight, and they need the blood of the dragon to rejuvenate the realm, but the knight accidentally gets the one drop of blood (from the probably 1 HP wound he manages to cause) on himself instead of the ground, so he gets younger but fails to save the kingdom? Whether or no I haven’t thought about that in YEARS.

  5. June 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Love, loved, loved this. Already used. It’s a classic.

  6. 6 Charlatan
    June 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Glenn: If you do, I hope you post it back. Palmer’s generator is nuts.

    Jesse: No, this one was about an older knight who had “retired”, and then gets called out when the king is up at arms about a recently discovered “last dragon”. I think they end up killing each other. But apparently “tragedy befalls middle-aged dragon hunting knight” was a genre.

    Citycrawl: I’m glad it found a good home!

  7. 7 Adam
    June 24, 2012 at 2:13 am

    I think I can remember at least one other dragon-hunting quasi-tragedy story about a middle age knight from Dragon magazine. I think Charlatan’s assessment that it was a mini-genre is pretty accurate. :)

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Past Adventures of the Mule

June 2012

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