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🎨 Creative Ways for a D&D Dragon to Age Faster in a Good Way

Jondera

For SCIENCE!
Validated User
Maybe just state that he was on the age border, and hits his growth spurt into full adult at some point.

Alternatively he goes to the Feywild for a bit and comes back out older as Feywild time is random to how long it's been in the Material Plane.


d20Result
1–2Days become minutes
3–6Days become hours
7–13No change
14–17Days become weeks
18–19Days become months
20Days become years
On a similar note, most D&D versions that I'm familiar with have high-level options for the creation of private demiplanes with customizable traits; variable time flow is one of those traits. Your dragon could have found or acquired access to a demiplane home where time travels much faster than in the prime material; this could couple well with the "larger hoard = age faster but less secure" thing, since the demiplane would give him a very secure place to put his increased horde while he sits on it and grows.

And assuming that it survives the dragon's defeat (and the removal of the hoard) in some meaningful way, it could be an interesting reward for the party; a permanent extraplanar base where they can pop off to rest or do crafting or whatnot and come back and only a short amount of time has passed.
 

Save-vs-DM

Knight of Stumptown
RPGnet Member
Validated User
What about an alternate suggestion - what if said dragon was looking for a mate? So instead of one big, beefy dragon, you now have a bonded pair of younger dragons. That should up the challenge nicely and continue making both of them threats. Could even toss in some possibilities about playing one against the other.

Another possibility - if a dragon consumes the unborn egg of a same-type dragon, it ages up a category. This is often a very dangerous task, as most dragons who lay eggs are quite a bit older. Which is why the dragon manages to con the PCs into stealing the egg for it, promising a good reward in turn. Maybe it even lies that the egg is its own and it just wants the baby back. When in reality it wants the delicious, delicious meats inside.
 

graeyWolf

Bites and Peaces
Validated User
You can always invoke Chronepsis, the dragon god of time.
Alternatively, find a more dragon-y word for 'diablerie'...
 

Schleiermacher

Registered User
Validated User
Alternatively he goes to the Feywild for a bit and comes back out older as Feywild time is random to how long it's been in the Material Plane.
Oooh, I like this one. It's a way to do the time hack that feels in-genre rather than cheesy, and has a good explanation why dragons aren't lining up to do it.
 

Blizzardborn

Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
I like simple. I also happen to like the relationship between hoard (magical or otherwise) size and dragon "age." A dragon with an outsized hoard will grow at a much faster rate. A dragon without his/her hoard will wither. I think it's a nice simple piece of hidden lore that fits dragon nature and can easily slot into a campaign. People may think bigger dragons are older but that's not entirely true. PCs can discover the true nature of Dragons and have their villain stay a bit longer as well.
It also explains why dragons go thermonuclear when people steal from their hoards.
 

Xander

Registered User
Validated User
The simplest answer is that dragons level up just like PCs do - it is a nemesis, after all.

Maybe a dragon can grow more rapidly by killing and eating lots of other creatures - say the players hear that the dragon wiped out a village and stuffed its belly with peasants and militia. It goes out of sight, sleeping in its cave for 2 months and emerging a size bigger (just as a special effect, not by rule).
 

Andurion

Registered User
Validated User
I like the idea of keeping this dragon around at higher levels, but if they run into him at 10th level, they will mop the floor with him unless I do a whole bunch of Sneaky DM Stuff to make sure that they can't. (I know how to do that stuff, and I've done it when necessary, but this is more of a friendly trash-talking game than a deep game of strategic maneuvering, and I'm old and lazy.)
I'd probably take the ultimate lazy DM route and just redefine the dragon's age. I'd tell the players that, on further reflection, the dragon works better for the campaign as an adult and that I sort of regret making it a young adult. Obviously, the PCs won't be able to seriously challenge the dragon until they get more levels. But it sounds like the dragon is more of a patron right now anyways.

If simply using DM powers to redefine the dragon's age won't work, perhaps the dragon is actually an adult but was hiding it's true age. Maybe the dragon is lying low, waiting for the PCs to take out rivals with all the jobs it sends them on. Or, maybe the dragon was under the effect of a curse that diminished the dragon's strength. The various jobs the PCs do for the dragon will help it eventually break the curse.
 

Jade Bells Ringing

have dice, will travel
RPGnet Member
Validated User
well, basically, the dragon was always older, it just used illusions/diminuation to look younger so as not to scare the party away when they were useful....
 

Save-vs-DM

Knight of Stumptown
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oooh, I like this one. It's a way to do the time hack that feels in-genre rather than cheesy, and has a good explanation why dragons aren't lining up to do it.
It's also an excellent jusification for modifying the dragon a bit, even if that modification is something like +2 Charisma and the Innate Spellcasting.
 
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