So you’ve all seen the last (finally…) Hobbit movie, right? The one where Thorin goes half-crazy with greed looking for his gem? Good, that’s what today’s post is based on.
Dragons. They’re big, and magical, and scary. They live for a looooong time, and are wicked, cunning, proud, and greedy. They probably don’t get along with each other very well for very long, and therefore, it is conceivable that they don’t reproduce like in Game of Thrones. Perhaps, they are more magical than you originally thought.
Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that dragons are more supernatural than natural. More magical than mundane. More outsider than native. Let us suppose further, that instead of hundreds of dragons roaming around the world, there is one Platonic Dragon hanging around in the aether somewhere, seeding the Material plane with magic that will turn an ordinary mortal into a vessel for the Platonic Dragon’s will.
What does all that have to do with Thorin jumping off the deep end? A little something I’ve come up with called Dragon Fever.
Dragon Fever is a magical disease, spread by contact with dragons or dragon’s hoards. It first drives a subject mad, and then slowly transforms the afflicted into a dragon. And, since it is primarily connected with the hoard of the dragon, it works as a sort of backup measure if some mighty hero should manage to slay a dragon.
For each day spent in/around a dragon’s hoard, a character must make a will save with a DC equal to the number of hit dice the dragon who owned it possessed. Thus, a red wyrm’s hoard will have a Will save DC of 37. Failure indicates the character has been infected with the magical disease.
After infection, the disease begins to progress rapidly. A Will save must be made each day against the same DC as the original save. Failure indicates the subject takes 1 Wisdom damage as the Platonic Dragon floods the victim with dragonish thoughts. This damage persists as long as the disease infects the victim. Succeeding on 4 saves in a row will mean the character has fought off the disease and will begin regaining their lost Wisdom score at the normal rate.
Spells cast on the victim of Dragon Fever which directly affect the disease or the effects thereof must succeed on a Caster level check to beat the SR of the original dragon.
If a character is reduced to 0 Wisdom by the disease, the character’s soul is then severed from the body and the spirit of the Platonic Dragon invades the body and begins transforming it into a true dragon. At this point the original character is considered dead, and may only be raised by a Reincarnation or True Resurrection spell. A Wish or Miracle may be used to evict the Platonic Dragon for a time, in which an ordinary Resurrection or Raise Dead spell will work to restore the deceased to life.
The disease is insidious, however, as the victim will seem to recover, regaining wisdom slowly, and returning to a somewhat altered version of the original personality. What is in fact happening is the magic of the Platonic Dragon is working through the mind of the vessel as a defense mechanism and mimicking the personality of the victim. The charade will be maintained long enough for the dragon to secure isolation to complete the transformation. The vessel’s ability scores will (at the rate of one point per day) shift towards the stats for a dragon of the same size as the infected creature. Over this time, the creature’s appearance will slowly change into a more and more draconic form, which transformation will be complete when the ability scores have finished shifting. Then the dragon is wholly draconic, and not even a Wish or Miracle will banish the draconic mind from the body.
Does that make dragons a little scarier? I hope so…