The White Dragons : maybe my favorite "chromatic"

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The White Dragons : maybe my favorite "chromatic"

Post  BenevolentDevil on Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:13 am

White Dragon

Type Dragon (Cold)
Environment Cold mountains
Organization Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2-5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (1-2 and 2-5 offspring)
Challenge Rating Wyrmling 2; very young 3; young 4; juvenile 6; young adult 8; adult 10; mature adult 12; old 15; very old 17; ancient 18; wyrm 19; great wyrm 21
Treasure Triple standard
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Advancement Wyrmling 4 HD; very young 7 HD; young 11 HD; juvenile 14 HD; young adult 18 HD; adult 22 HD; mature adult 26 HD; old 29 HD; very old 33 HD; ancient 36 HD; wyrm 40 HD; great wyrm 44 HD
Level Adjustment Wyrmling +2; very young +3; young +3; juvenile +5; others —
The scales of a wyrmling white dragon glisten like mirrors. As the dragon ages, the sheen disappears, and by very old age, scales of pale blue and light gray are mixed in with the white.

White dragons prefer sudden assaults, swooping down from aloft or bursting from beneath water, snow, or ice. They loose their breath weapon, then try to knock out a single opponent with a follow-up attack.
Breath Weapon (Su)
A white dragon has one type of breath weapon, a cone of cold.
Icewalking (Ex)
This ability works like the spider climb spell, but the surfaces the dragon climbs must be icy. It is always in effect.
Freezing Fog (Sp)
An old or older white dragon can use this ability three times per day. It is similar to a solid fog spell but also causes a rime of slippery ice to form on any surface the fog touches, creating the effect of a grease spell. The dragon is immune to the grease effect because of its icewalking ability. This ability is the equivalent of a 5th-level spell.
Other Spell-Like Abilities
3/day—fog cloud (juvenile or older), gust of wind (adult or older), wall of ice (ancient or older); 1/day—control weather (great wyrm).
Hide, Move Silently, and Swim are considered class skills for white dragons.

( thats info Oda posted in another thread, I was browsing to get a sense of a project I think I am going to try to help with. )

While I kind of have misgivings about "dragons" being able to be slain if they lived long enough to be considered "great" , as such is a thing of Legendary proportions, not a bunch of spellstacks and weapon clicks ...
And i honestly think Dragons after a certain age, would be extremely territorial ( even kill each other ) , or at best a mated pair with hatchlings for a short time ( short for dragons anyways.) ... there's simply not enough treasures or food in flying range ( which is vast) for two greats to share the same relative space.

I do wish to help provide some nice things for players to sink thier teeth in.

I disliked how 3rd edition nerfed Dragons , even more so how NWN , made em so "junky". Postures on dragon, are all "wrong" in NWN ... I hat ethey are "sitting" , or stomping around on two lower legs. Yes they are huge , but NWN make seem seem slow because of this, when large lizards are notorious for surprise/ambushing, and rapid lighting fast attacks. The brainless alligator and crocodiles of our modern times here are prime examples, that weight/size doesn't truely equal maneuverability and quick reflexes.
I also dislike, how 3rd "introduced" defining specific traits for appearance and scales as dragons age. Most of em , they kinda seemingly got "backwards".

back in days of first edition, the White dragon was WHITE , as white as white could get. If you put a glass of milk, on a paper plate in a snow storm, on top of the white dragon, they'd "show up" not being absolute white/snow/icy colored ... if you catch my drift there.
Greats are allegedly "magnificent beast" , a portion of thier "terror" is they are also elegant and beautiful to behold ... , striking awe and wonderment , shortly before snatching the life out of you.
If anything, a White dragon as it aged, wouldn't get "less white" lose it's sparkling icy luster , but probably more like scales turn to an Icy-looking tipped , almost transparent things.

By 3rd edition description ... by the age of Great Wyrm, it's no longer a white dragon, it's a dull grey and blue-tinged dragon.
So, is it a white, or a grey-blue one?

has anyone else, ever encountered "snow blindness?"
Or how about a "after-image" of looking at something white in bright light , that last for a while, even after not looking at such for a bit?

I can easily imagine, the White's scales and hide, being similar ... which is why I simply cannot "agree with" dulling of coloration as it ages.
I can also easily see, a dazzling array of colors and bright points of lights attacking the eyes of normal spectrum , if such a dragon was hit with bright light, like rays of sunshine. Possibly blinding, and disorienting as well. Given that dragons are capable of spells, or spell like abilities ... I can easily see whites using illusions and spells of light to further trick or confuse the eye as well.

The White gets a bad rep.
They get "stereotyped" as the "weakest" of the chromatics, the "dumbest" of all Dragon kind ...

If one takes a look at life in severe cold climates , top dog predators, have to have smarts and skills to survive. Life is harsh, so are such creatures.
Just scraping a living by, for a massive hungry polar bear , is a chore ... yet they do it, and do it well.

I have to say, out of ALL the chromatic Dragons, the White's little "cone of cold" blast ... is role-playing wise, one of the most "powerful" ... but 3.0 and NWN really left a lot to be desired with these blast ...
It's not just cold ... like brain numbing, insta freezing cold ... it's got ice particles, and hard packed snowballs and hail stones in it. Yeah, so you got some cold protection on, or reduction ... but a PART of the Breath SHOULD be bludgeon damage at the very least. Imagine, even if in full armor, getting nailed with one hard packed "ice ball" the size of a basketball , it' s going to bang you around, probably knock you down ...even if it didn't hurt you outright. Now imagine a spray of these things, banging you around from a relentless full blast ... on top of it being cold, which is also freezing what moisture is in the air ...
Water is heavy, 8lbs a gallon ... Ice is water frozen. So that coating is going to make you heavy. If in it' s blast area. it doesn't have to "hurt you" to beat you ... in other words. Freezing you in place, forming frost that cracks leather, makes clothing stiff, freezer-burns exposed skin, or sticking skin to metal ...
slowing you too... it's cold. Molecules just don't move fast when they are cold.
These things are simply ... not accounted for in NWN's crappy mechanics system. NWN's way is a save throw to resist damage, and thats all it focuses on, the damage .. not the effect.

I read a book once, where a white had taken to sky above ships, it didn't attack the deck, it didn't have to, it simply blasted the sails and mast, making the ships top heavy, so they tipped over, and the crews drowned horribly in cold waters.

Back in days of first edition, my group and I came upon a White Dragon lair ...
Fighting the dragon, at our level was difficult, we did lose a couple members early on, just die to breath weapon damage ...
but it was the thing's lair/home that posed a remarkable challenge in it's own right.
The mage's fireball explosion, cause large ice chunks to fall on us as well. The terrain was slippery , treacherous .. you could "fall down chutes", that had razor edged ice shards along em.
The dragon't treasures, weren't laying in piles on the ground, with a bit of snow on em ... they were frozen, suspended in thick deep ice pillars of the cave, as well as previous wanna be dragonslayers, frozen in horrid time as testament and tribute to the Dragon's supremacy.

Getting the treasures out, also problematic ... breaking the pillars wasn't all that difficult, but ... those pillars also held up tons of overhead ice laid by the dragon, to crush anyone doing so. A thief, certainly wasn't going to sneak in, nab some baubles, and slip out that way. It was a most excellent trap, and burglar alarm lol too. Very practical.

and imagine being in Antartica ... inside a glacier or ice or snow cave ... , you'd never see the Dragon until it was too late. Perfect camouflage for the terrain.

Whites also can swim , they will burst from under ice covered lakes, rivers, ponds, or frozen oceans ... , heck one wouldn't usually have to do much, beyond just breaking up the surface ice, to doom even epic level characters ... Best case scenario, if crossing such on foot or by mount, you manage to get and retain balance on a larger chunk of ice flow, ... then you are a sitting duck with no where to go.
They are given an "ability" to walk on slick surfaces via 3.0 ... , I think this is just natural adaptation, and work of powerful claws myself.
Pretty scary though, to imagine a bulky great beast, perfectly camouflaged hanging upside down in a cave, while the would be dragonslayers run around the ground, under it looking for the beast, ...

People forget, caves are 360 degree environments more or less usually.

Whites also live in places not hospitable to most "intelligent races", and even less readily accessible ones.

Got a Volcano nearby?, ... where guess where old ancient Red might be hiding his lair. Those famed desert ruins, no one ever returns from ... hrmm, wonder where the great Blue is hanging his hat? I wonder, what's been eating all our livestock, and why the locals fear the great scary dark swamp next door? Is it a green or a black?

Whites though ... isn't like a neon flashing sign pointing to something tell-tale ... it's usually in places that change with weather and winds , in hospitible places, had to travel to, harder to travel in , and blanketed by ice and snow. Even rocks are made denser by ice coverings ... even if you manage to find a "cave" in such an environment ... it could be just a cave, or a polar bear den , or an odd formation in a glacier or packed ice ...
It' s not like, Whites build ginormous igloos as lairs lol ... , the luckier or un-luckier adventures, find old ruins or old castles frozen up and possibly discover a lesser intelligent White living in such.

Smaller and "weaker" than other Chromatics ... physically yes. In a straight up, dragon to dragon fight ... sure a red would tear up a white no issue there.
But if a Red tried tackling a White on it' s own turf ... with the white using guerrilla style , hit and run tactics, using it's environment against the red ... it stands a great chance of winning such a confrontation easily. A red, after-all is confident in it's might, size, and flaming breath ...
a breath while , unmistakably devastating ... it would make water and steam in the white's environment , and moisture of any sort just aids the white's cold capabilities that much more.

Imagine, the look on the Hero's faces, traversing in an ice cave of some far off frozen place, and see in the transparent Ice, an entire great red, frozen in death in the thick ice.
If it was my character, and I knew we were tracking/hunting a White in the area, seeing a red dead/frozen in such a place, might make me second guess why I was with these idiot dragon hunters

I suppose, I've always liked the "under dogs" , the obscure creatures, the ones everyone normally over-looks to use.

To me, the white is a very interesting and more complicated beast than readily apparent.
If all one does is look at stats and game mechanics ...

Out of all the "evil dragons" ... white ones are my favorites. Maybe because I real life, I hate the cold. I hate being cold. I despise snow, and winter ... so to me, it more horrid of a creature, more loathsome, and what death it offers ... smothered in ice, frozen stuff until organs fail , drowned + freezin cold water ... crushed under tons of ice ...
Just flat out ... horrifying in my minds ye.

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Re: The White Dragons : maybe my favorite "chromatic"

Post  GM_ODA on Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:29 am

Benevolent Devil,

VERY nicely done. Kudos you.

Be well. Game on.
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