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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Wizard_Lizard's Avatar

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    Default giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    So I thought of a campaign idea revolving around certain giants and dragons wanting to restart the thousand year war, andthe resulting politics.
    My thoughts are that the chromatic dragons, the fire giants, and the ice giants all want war, with maybe even some sneaky alliances to make sure the war starts. While the stone giants, storm giants, and metallic dragons are desperatly trying to keep the peace. The psuedogiants are more for peace and the hill giants just want food. What are your thoughts? Is there anything you could add?
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Half-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    You might want to give an explanation of the 1000-year war. At minimum the specific setting, if possible the books and other materials that mention it so people can look it up.

    Because honestly this is a new one for me, and I'd don't know what "the resulting politics" would be because of the lack of context.

    In general war is about a overall objective, but fighting one is about a series of smaller objectives that advance the final objective. It seems like the final objective in this case total annihilation or subjugation of the opponent...but what would be the opening moves of the war, or the build-up of resources...material, alliances, espionage, rhetoric...before the war. In mean, what's disposition of forces for dragons versus giants? Given that both sides have aggressors who are aggressive and pretty unethical (Evil alignment), chances are pretty good those opening move would be jerk moves: Try and frame the other side for an atrocity to pull in allies; Invade a neutral third party to gain their resources; Make a deal with some power-holder that's just awful.

    For that matter, is taking and controlling territory even a thing given the parties involved? Neither are a nation with borders or a population...there are giant nations and cities, but more than one; and dragons are generally solitary and there's not a lot of rhyme and reason to where they are. Would this is ever turn into a positional war, with the taking of strategic regions of ones another, or a multi-theater conflict?

    I guess powerful magic items specifically good for hurting one another would be strategic assets that each side would chase before opening up the conflict.

    Personally I'd consider that the start would look more like a gang war than a war war.

    Some dragon get whacked in his lair and his horde taken, then another hit happens and it doesn't seem like a coincidence. So some dragons get together and decide to let the giants know what's up by strafing a city. That's your kick-off. Seizing hordes represent a real material asset giant would need to keep a war running that doubles as a showy propaganda way of going "dragons suck, we rule" if this thing is driven by chauvinism. Dragons countering by playing the roll of long-range bombers up the ante.

    Though again, I think the question is why anyone would join either awful side voluntarily. So maybe the answer is nobody is doing it voluntarily. The dragons are manipulators by nature and have magic enough to screw with powerful political people to have them declare against the giants even if the dragons don't...actually that would be a good move before the open war starts. They also have great wodges of cash. And the giants have persuasive arguments like "dragons are just the worst, no really they are so bad that killing them is like, archetypally a good thing. Break the fourth wall and this game isn't called Giants and Dungeons, is it?" Wouldn't even have to convince nations, just adventurers; put out bounties, leak rumors of dragon locations.

    So when it's not a gang war, it's a proxy war. Those always work great. Huzzah.

    Anyway, the important thing is that none of them can fit in the cockpit of Spitfire which does damper the enthusiasm.
    Last edited by Yanagi; 2019-09-03 at 08:57 AM. Reason: There's a half-formed Merlin the Wizard, Merlin Engine joke I just can't make work and its killing me inside.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Just some off the cuff ideas...

    Who is on which side of this war? The title implies all giants Vs all dragons, but you then reference chromatic dragons, who don't tend to get on with metallic ones.

    I do agree that this war is not going to have much in the way of set-piece battles, unless one side gets proxies in place of course.

    I think this, at least to begin, is going to be less world war and more cold war. Assassinations, perhaps as innocuous as a bunch of adventurers being slipped the location of a politically prominent dragon's lair, to start. Adventurers do happen after all. Then a dragon spots the patterns and agrees with a dwarven king who is suffering economic issues to finance his war against the Fire Giant King. Dwarves hate giants after all, and the Fire Giant King's lands are known for their vast veins of copper and gold and their ruby mines. Its just bad timing. Maybe this has been going on for a while, it is strange how many sorcerers have been cropping up among the Lizardfolk of the black-marsh, maybe that dragonic ancestry isn't as old as it seems. Its certainly possible that the reason The Screaming Horde has access to decent weapons despite not being able to work metal is a secret giant backer, but where is the proof?

    Both giants and dragons are powerful, but there is a power disparity. Have you considered a few titans as top tier members of the giant faction? Otherwise you will need to make the giant leaders much more powerful than the rank and file, which works too.

    I would certainly try and make the first actual, out and out, dragon attack feel devistating. If it were me I would choose the city the PCs had been operating and have them come over the hill on the way back from an adventure to see nothing but smoldering ash.

    THEN hit their world harder with the first major giant raid. They may be smaller, but 100 giants is enough to wipe out even a duchy if the Duke isn't ready.

    THEN, as the campaign reaches its most desperate moments, have The Red Disaster, Xath'onrax the Great Wyrm take out the capitol of the giant's allies.

    You know, apocalyptic escalation. World wars are terrifying, so keep the PCs just behind on the power curve. Make them feel vulnerable.

    There is a very interesting opportunity here however tone wise. While the PCs will, naturally, be as powerful as many of the combatants, they are going to physically smaller. What is it like for people to get caught between two super-powers on the march? With those superpowers being physically larger too it really drives home what being caught in the middle is like.

    If you want to explore that then I would advise keeping the PC neutral and make the two sides, whoever may be morally in the right, terrifying on the scale of natural disasters.

    I may just go ahead nick this idea...
    GNU Terry Pratchett

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    It is more sort of trying to stop the war from happening...
    The pc's don't want war. neither do the storm giants and netallic dragons. Tiamat sees this as a way to get more power.
    Some giants see it as a way to regain their gods favour.
    Both sides who want war think that they will win.
    The ones that don't want war know that the real losers will be everyone, because the world can't handle a war of this scale. Some metallic dragons might be sort of with the chromatics on an enemy of my enemy basis.
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Half-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    As Yanagi mentioned, some context would help.

    Was the Great War a thousand years long?
    or a thousand years ago? Both?
    Was it effectively a stalemate?
    If not, what did the losers do to prepare for revenge? Why did the winners let their guard down?

    Next, is current population sizes.
    Just how many of a given type (both Dragons and Giants) exist in the entire world?
    How often do kids happen? and how are they kept safe long enough to take care of themselves? (Mostly from other Dragons and Giants)

    Also, are you going older Editions for both Giants and Dragons? Where each specific type is (mostly) found in a specific environment?
    (Black Dragons in swamps; Hill Giants living up to that name)

    This can determine how often Encounters between types occurs normally.
    Spoiler: example
    Show
    Fire Giants and Red Dragons. Both favor volcanic environments, but even so Encounters between the Red Dragons and the Fire Giants are not common. The Fire Giants band together for mutual protection, which makes a Dragon's frontal assault deadly to them (and Red Dragons being Chaotic Evil, they don't cooperate much with each other), and with Fire Giants being immune to Fire, the Red Dragon's prime weapon is useless.


    I tend to go more with EvilDMMk3's idea. There is a Cold War going on, with more than just two sides.

    Spoiler
    Show
    between Metallic and Chromatic Dragons:

    The Lawful Dragons (on both sides) are mostly using Proxies and planning the Long Game.

    The Chaotic Dragons tend to be less patient, but are not being stupid. These are the ones that personally go out and kick things into motion. Evil Dragons might motivate Orcs to start building The Horde (an Ability of old Barbarians). Good Dragons might inspire otherwise reclusive Races to join against the impending threat.

    But, on the flip side, the Giants don't all get along. Frost and Fire can't stand to even be in sight of each other. Hill are uncaring about war and are mostly hand to mouth thinkers. Stone just want to be left alone. And no one really trusts Cloud Giants (because there's an equal chance of one being either Good or Evil) and all the other Giants view Storm as snobbish tyrants. The pseudo-giants are also "just leave us alone" types.
    (As always, Individuals can differ)


    As EvilDMMk3 pointed out, knowing where the other Races stand in this war can be important. Which Race is serving a Dragon - or a Giant - and is that voluntary?

    I tend to see "the enemy of my enemy" deals happening between the Races and either Dragons or Giants. Maybe the Dwarves have a deal with the Fire Giants for protection against those Red Dragons roaming the mountains. (But secretly hire Adventurers to harass both)

    But, the Kobolds must serve those Red Dragons as part of an ancient pact for power.

    *****
    Once the war is actually started, Apocalyptic Escalation really should be a thing the PCs need to be aware of - and (hopefully) work to stop.

    All sides (and not just the local Duke) would try to recruit the PCs; and failing that, either try and manipulate them - or outright eliminate them.
    *******************
    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-09-04 at 10:51 AM.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    okay I see two major paradigms here

    first is that it is more a low level guerilla, proxy, and local war that is only "large scale" because it becomes the social norm within various giant and dragon groups.
    but it wouldn't really be of epic scale. I see little reason why PC races would get involved on any reason scale especially since you basically have the evil giants and evil dragons going after each other (basically to the benefit of all good folk anywhere)...interesting in a way. Could nicely explain why giants and dragons DON'T dominate a world that it seems they should etc.

    second is that the the giant have a society instead of the random homesteads of classic DnD. And so do the dragons (go ahead and pull from Council of Wyrms or Eberron's Argonessen for ideas) and these two political units go to war over some issue. Both sides have enough force to take over most human/demihuman lands and use them as resources to fight the other. This could lead to more of a WWII vibe. The PC's may be more like the Indians of the British Empire fighting the Romanian conscripts or Libyan levvies in terms of both being colonized/dominated peoples fighting on behalf of others. Both groups would need homelands, reasons for others to rally to them etc but could be done. A lot more needs to be true for this idea to work but it may be easier to run at the table and get you the big epic sweep. Also the idea that "the X giants want Y" or "the chromatic dragons" as a unit already implies a widespread society and political unity. Otherwise if the dragons gets pissed at a couple of citadels of fire giants they would go attack those citadels and not expect any local stone, mountain, hill, or storm giants to get involved. Not would a warband of Ice giants expect the local green dragons to get involved in their hunts of the black dragon families of the frozen mire unless the black and green dragons had some sort of social connections.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    So I thought of a campaign idea revolving around certain giants and dragons wanting to restart the thousand year war, andthe resulting politics.
    My thoughts are that the chromatic dragons, the fire giants, and the ice giants all want war, with maybe even some sneaky alliances to make sure the war starts. While the stone giants, storm giants, and metallic dragons are desperatly trying to keep the peace. The psuedogiants are more for peace and the hill giants just want food. What are your thoughts? Is there anything you could add?
    What about the World War II part? What side do the giants and dragons fight on? Do they fight with the Axis powers or the Allies?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    It is more sort of trying to stop the war from happening...
    The pc's don't want war. neither do the storm giants and netallic dragons. Tiamat sees this as a way to get more power.
    Some giants see it as a way to regain their gods favour.
    Both sides who want war think that they will win.
    The ones that don't want war know that the real losers will be everyone, because the world can't handle a war of this scale. Some metallic dragons might be sort of with the chromatics on an enemy of my enemy basis.
    If the scenario is to be "preempt the war" then ignore all that stuff about grand strategy and disposition of forces and focus on opening moves--events that create casus belli--and the kind of pre-planning a group with a secretive end would do. Then the scenario becomes the PCs and allies disrupting these groups' plans to trigger total war, but also to disrupt behind-the-scenes plots...assassinations, making secret alliances, smuggling weapons, dirty tricks and false flag attacks.

    This has the advantage of narrowing the focus down to a level where it kind of makes sense for a little team of adventurers to be central: actually making the PCs a kind of espionage-plus-commandos organization like Special Operations Executive gives an explanation for how they're partly in the know and why as members of neither side they'd be engaged.

    I don't know how deep you want the scenario to resemble WW2, but I'd consider expanding your frame just a little and look at WW1's messy launch and Cold War spy chess if you want inspiration.
    Last edited by Yanagi; 2019-09-05 at 09:16 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanagi View Post
    ... actually making the PCs a kind of espionage-plus-commandos organization like Special Operations Executive gives an explanation for how they're partly in the know and why as members of neither side they'd be engaged.... and look at WW1's messy launch and Cold War spy chess if you want inspiration.
    Yeah, I'd recommend Guns of August here....especially for the majority of metallic dragons or storm giants etc who are against the war in theory but are getting dragged in anyway...(which they would likely need to be because otherwise why would you need the players? The metallics would be able to stand up for themselves and the dramatic tension would drain out)

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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    the reason that I said ww2 was not because it has anything to do with the irl world war 2, it is because the giants and dragons have already had a massive war beforehand.
    Current characters:
    Drakirr (Blue Dragonborn Warlock)
    Alyfyldyr Hyalythki (Rock Gnome Wizard)
    Harilidir (Half-elf Bard)
    Kazaharad Akaztkl (Goliath Barbarian)
    Luft (air-genasi druid)
    And of course Lizard Wizard (Lizardfolk Sorcerer)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus
    What about the World War II part? What side do the giants and dragons fight on? Do they fight with the Axis powers or the Allies?
    I think Wizard_Lizard was going for Chromatic Dragons as being the Axis (with Evil Giants being a separate, but related to the war, problem) and the Good Giants and Metallic Dragons as being the Allies with the World caught between the conflict of the two.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-09-07 at 11:50 AM.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
    No offense is intended by anything I post.
    *Limited Playtest Group - I'm mostly Stuck in the White Room.
    *I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: giants vs dragons dnd ww2

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    the reason that I said ww2 was not because it has anything to do with the irl world war 2, it is because the giants and dragons have already had a massive war beforehand.
    Okay then.

    Unless the dragons and giants are contiguous nations, the jump into a total existential conflict is going to involve a lot of skullduggery and politicking...which is good if the point of the scenario is an adventurer group stopping the war before it starts.

    How this manifests on the ground will break roughly into goals of:

    - regime change to push the political environment toward war
    - accumulate critical resources for war fighting
    - destabilize opponents through terror, assassination, and subversion
    - create a cultural climate in which war seems both necessary and inevitable

    What you need is individuals and/or organizations, both dragon and giant, who are pushing this war, and what kind of powers and strategies they have to push a conflict. In the world context, there will be understood "lines that should not be crossed" that will push each community towards war, and the pro-war people will be actively line-stepping wherever they can, and creating the appearance of line-stepping by others, and try and present line-stepping as necessary and/or heroic.

    For example, if either group has a common political forum, then the pro-war faction are going to remove or disgrace any anti-war individuals with more power. Initially, it will not be "dragon versus giant" fighting is isolation, but "target strong anti-war individuals regardless of kind, including third party species." This doesn't just mean assassination but extortion, blackmail, fabricating evidence of a crime...all the stuff spies and crooks do to get leverage. In which case adventurers are performing counter-espionage in a very direct form.

    Each pro-war group will have a pro-war cultural project. War with the other side will be seen as a function of racial pride, a necessary remedy to the injustices of the past war, divinely-inspired or prophesied...any existing cultural notion or source of authority that can be bent towards war will be. In which case, the adventurers are performing actions that keep this capture of culture from happening, which is a mixed bag. They might find themselves doing their own skullduggery--discredit the new religious figure, blackmail the publisher to quash an incendiary new tract, go forth and finding an artifact so the pro-war factions can't display it as a sign of holy endorsement.

    Each pro-war group will have a direct action wing doing or planning terrorism. Striking directly at the intended opponent, violently and indiscriminately, is necessary to maintain the group-internal feeling of rightness and inevitability of violence, to create hate that points towards war in retaliation and self-defense, and to create fear of opposing the pro-war faction. Sometimes the objective is no deeper than "create fear and uncertainty, which is exploitable." In which case, adventurers are the action heroes trying to stop the thing from happening, mitigate the damages, and expose the underlying causes.

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