28 April 2021

d6 Schools of Draconic Art

1. Vaulting - massive and elaborate fortifications; the archetype of this is huge reinforced doors. The message of this is to imply the fabulous wealth of the dragons hoard when all this visible effort has been put into the barriers around it.

2. Relief-work - typically seen in the carving of scenes glorifying the dragon onto the sides of mountains or other suitable rock-surfaces in its territory. The symbolism here is that the dragons control of its territory is so unquestioned, it could take the time to carve all this undisturbed.

3. Trophy halls - the display of vanquished foes - typically in a great cavern near the entry to their lair, sometimes deliberately put near a high-traffic location so more will see. The creating of the display requires a certain patience not all dragons have. Systems for ordering their conquests change over their long lives, the lack of worthy foes leads to a heap of trophys from minor opponents, the tedium of cleaning and separating trophies after hunts becomes tedious - all these aspects mean that it is a rare dragon that keeps a hall its whole life.

The school has fallen out of favour recently as a victim of its own success - upstart dragons found it easier to loot abandoned trophy halls and claim those kills for their own. Now only the oldest halls of the most known dragons are respected and recognised.

4. Stacked hoards - among the more flashy of schools - here the dragons hoard is assembled into a towering, near-to-collapse pile to form an enormous exhibition piece. The most garish and brash of all the art schools, here the dragon puts its hoard on display for all to see both as a conspicuous demonstration of its wealth and to express confidence in its reputation that noone would dare to steal from it.

Often dragon-lairs of less dominant dragons will find see smaller or hidden versions of this. If you find one be wary, the dragons with such hidden displays are likely to slay any who lay eyes on such a shameful sign of weakness.

5. Shrines - this school involves making and placing draconic shrine markers along the travel-ways of the lands nearby and counting the tithes and sacrifices made there as the measure of the dragons glory. Among dragons it is viewed like gardening - you need to plant the shrine, carefully watch it and nurture it by visiting disaster on those who ignore it, then in the fullness of its maturity you can sit back and enjoy its beauty.

Collecting the shrine-markers of other dragons and replacing them with your own has become a past-time among a certain group of dragons. The ultimate coup is to request a tour from another dragon and be brought to what they thought was a shrine of their only to reveal it is your own. Delicious!

6. Captured cities - keeping lair in an empty, captured city as a monument to their power. Once the dragon drives off the previous residents the city is left untouched to show the might of those who were vanquished by the even-mightier dragon. There is a break-away school where a dragon will build a false city and spread rumours of its one-time might, this is viewed as contemptible by true city-keepers because it can be effective given dragons long life-spans compared to many other races.

There is bitter debate among dragons on whether it is acceptable to 'polish' your city by repairing and improving it so that it appears better than when it was captured. One line argues that without maintenance, it will fall to rot and not be a true sign of the foe they faced. Others argue that the decay is its own message, and if your legend needs a physical marker to speak for it, you are insufficiently glorious.


  1. Really dig this! I'm imagining a city keeper with servants to upkeep the city and welcome adventurers, only to be spied upon and lead around to the various signs and shows of the keeper's power. Then lead into a pit trap.

    1. Thanks! I had thought a fully abandoned city but of course, servitors to glorify their draconic overlord make a lot of sense.