How would you convert the Council of Wyrms setting to 5e?


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Title says it all. Inspired by the thread on "when did you want to play a dragon", I thought it might be cool to talk about the possible ways one could revive the original dragon-playing setting of D&D to the latest edition of the game.

Speaking personally, I'm not sure if 5e could handle a "Dragon Class", with subclasses for either the original Common/Priest/Sorcerer/Psionicist Dragon kits of the original game, or for the distinct breeds of dragon.

Perhaps a better angle might be to go with refocusing the game on playing "draconic races" - dragonborn, kobolds, and spellscales to be the Fighter/Mage/Thief trinity in dragonoid format, plus half-dragon inspired subraces for dwarves, elves, gnomes and halflings for those who want a more conventional PC race. Now your party serves as elite agents for the Council of Wyrms, officially neutral to the machinations between the dragon clans, and charged with doing things that the dragons cannot do (or don't want to). To add with this, a larger focus on the idea of the Io's Blood Isles being invaded by dragon-hating humans might be in order as well.

What do folks think?


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It might be fun to use the setting as far-distant inspiration in that way, but I don't know that rewriting the setting to focus on players using completely different types of PCs from those intended in the setting would qualify as a "conversion", or that it would be fruitful to approach the problem with a "conversion" in mind.

And that's probably a good thing! I like Council of Wyrms and have enjoyed running it in a couple of long-lasting campaigns over the years, but it's far from the only way to design a campaign world run by dragons. It's a very peculiar idea of that world built for the purpose of accommodating dragon PCs under a variant of the AD&D 2nd Edition rules.

One of the points of this particular campaign setting, not just in flavor but in gameplay, was that the social structure depended on a (usually) strict division between the dragons at the top and the demihumans that served them. It's meant to reflect a campaign setting where dragons, not humans, are the dominant "people" of the region or world, in which humans proper are frightening invaders from some distant land. And as concerns your idea for a campaign, it's a setting where anything that is sort of like a dragon, but not really a dragon (e.g. a half-dragon or an undead dragon) is a distasteful prospect to most of the dragon ruling class.

In terms of play, that means players took on the dual role of a dragon PC and a demihuman "kindred" PC in a standard campaign, but usually only played as one PC or the other in a given adventure. Playing a half-dragon instead of a set of two PCs was another option offered, but even in circumstances where their dragon parent acted as their patron, half-dragons were shunned socially. There was no great favor shown by dragons toward non-dragon, dragon-like things in Council of Wyrms, and the way the rules were written reflected that; a whole ton of dragon-oid, non-dragon things around (kobolds were not generally treated as mini-dragons in this edition) would probably require the equivalent of writing a new campaign world altogether.

The point here is that if you built a campaign around using dragonborn, spellscales, etc., the sort of vague gang of dragon-ish types from later editions, as your PCs, you'd have to drastically rewrite the setting from the ground up, from how it plays, to how a campaign works, to the politics and history of the place, to the place of these new creatures in the society that you've pretty much redesigned from scratch. Not even the description of the different clans and their politics would really transfer over, because none of them account much for the role of beings on the islands other than monsters, the dragons' demihuman servants and the dragons themselves.

So, if you don't plan to run a campaign for dragon PCs, and you do plan to run a campaign for dragon-ish-type humanoid PCs where dragons are dominant, I'd suggest just coming up with your own campaign world that fits that description. It would be pretty much the same amount of work, and it would allow for a greater amount of creativity and freedom in understanding how these non-dragon peoples fit into a society led by dragons.


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I haven't looked at it in ages but I think what I'd do is making the dragons more homogeneous. Red Dragons wouldn't be innately better than white. Metallic Dragons wouldn't get extras Chromatics don't. Breed would provide some different stat boosts but try to remain equal between each, as well as provide your basic spells you get for being a dragon. Shapeshifting, secondary breath weapons, and such would be the realm of feats. I would have classes like arcane specialists, divine followers, psionic seeker, and such. I would probably have two martial classes: one a buffing warlord type class and one that focuses on enhancing your breath weapon or giving a Rage-like boost for melee. The rogue style class would be a trickster who'd probably get shape shifting feats for free.


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I wish this was converted for a later edition. I would then buy 5E and run a campaign. Dragons though is what I want not dragonish types.
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