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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    First of all, I have to clarify a couple important differencies my dragons have with the traditional depictions.
    first of all, i scrapped entirely the color-coded alignment. chromatic, metallic, doesn't matter. each dragon is a person with a personality.
    second, dragons need loot to survive. more accuratey, they feed off the natural magic field, and this allows them to break all kind of natural laws, first of all the square/cube law when they fly. when they are young, the natural magic field is enough, but as they grow older, they need a focus for it, and that's treasure.
    And nothing produces treasure like humanoids, digging gold or making magic items. So, dragons like that there are humanoids making stuff that ends up in their loot. being worshipped as gods and offered sacrifices works even better than loot, but it tend to attract heroes.
    On the other hand, dragon population is limited by the availability of loot to a few tens of thousands of adult individuals. and a high level humanoid party can take on any dragon - not to mention, since the invention of gunpowder, artillery is the bane of anything big enough to make a good target. Humanoids breed really fast compared to dragons, and they aren't so strongly limited in their numbers by external factors. So, dragons are concerned that humanoids growing in number may pose a threat to them. either by encroaching all their land, or by deciding that they actually want the loot for themselves.
    this dual attitude towards humanoids is a key to dragon motivations.

    So, in the climax of my campaign, the mightiest dragon concocted a plan to unite the dragons in a crusade against humanoids, out of concern that their expansionism may marginalize dragons in the long run.
    the party killed him and his closest allies on the spot (I was actually expecting they'd have to flee against 3 augmented great wyrms, which would have resulted in a prolonged war; instead they fought and won, and it wasn't even particularly close). then they forgave his other accomplices, which was a really nice move.
    the campaign ended there, as the planned "dragon army" plot was stopped immediately and the party's kindness gained the alliance of enough dragons that they would curbstomp the (unrelated) secondary villain.

    with all problems solved, the world entered an age of peace and prosperity, with the party being ultimate guardians of said peace and prosperity, until they ultimately ascended to godhood just by how insanely popular they were (absorbing divine energy when they stopped the secondary villain in his ritual to ascend to godhood helped too).

    We decided that we may play a new campaign eventually, set in the same world, in the future.

    I'm thinking that in such a future dragons would want to integrate themselves more with humanoids. on one hand, the party did a lot to bring friendship between dragons and humanoids, so dragons would be more likely to accept intermingling. on the other, dragons are still concerned that humanoids may destroy them eventually (especially after 5 humanoids and one golem defeated the three most powerful members of their races). And what better way to ensure their future than working together with humanoids? the pay also contributes to loot.

    So, that's how I envision thaat dragons would end up taking jobs in human society.
    but what kind of jobs could make better use of a dragon's capabilities?

    - element-related:
    cold dragons could work in markets as refrigerators.
    fire dragons could power steam engines (the technology level is right for those, especially if dragons make working them cheap)
    electricity dragons could generate electricity
    acid dragons could work in the mining industry; several purification processes use acid to separate precious minerals from their ores.

    - selling of spellcasting services.
    however, many humanoid casters sell their spells. the world is high magic, it already had publich schools and a relative abundance of spellcasters. and that before the age of peace and prosperity. this market seems saturated

    - transportation
    a dragon can carry a lot of stuff, and fast. however, the aforementioned abundance of casters also mean that teleportation magic is easily accessible. teleport has limitations on bulk size, though, so maybe dragons can cover some niches.

    - fighting
    despite the age of peace and prosperity, nations are likely to keep armies. however, a dragon mercenary doesn't exactly inspire trust.

    - scholar
    elder dragons have superhuman intelligence, although the strongest wizards are comparable to them. still, there must be ways to turn that high int score into a job. doesn't apply to young dragons, though.

    do notice that while technically they can get many more skill ranks than any human because of their high hit dice, i don't like much the implications, so I'm mostly handwaving this. the best dragon diplomancer is on par with the best human diplomancer, even though he would be able to get a much higher modifier by the rules.
    so, all this considered, i really don't see many promising careers except for the element-related part.

    what do you think?
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    so, all this considered, i really don't see many promising careers except for the element-related part.

    what do you think?
    Dragon, especially the oldest, are functionally immortal (compared to a human, or an elf). So why not set themselves up at the highest rungs of power? In Shadowrun at least two dragons run megacorps (Lofwyr is the 100% shareholder of Saedr-Krupp for example), and one was elected President of the UCAS (and promptly assassinated on inauguration day... maybe).

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Dragon, especially the oldest, are functionally immortal (compared to a human, or an elf). So why not set themselves up at the highest rungs of power? In Shadowrun at least two dragons run megacorps (Lofwyr is the 100% shareholder of Saedr-Krupp for example), and one was elected President of the UCAS (and promptly assassinated on inauguration day... maybe).
    Agreed with this. Dragons will naturally push to be at the top of society. I wouldn't expect any of them to be doing menial labor.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Agreed. A dragon may be stronger than a truck and be able to fly, but they aren't going to be doing airlifts. If you use classical D&D stats, every dragon is an immortal supergenius, and that's a much, much more valuable resource for a society than brute strength. If a dozen oxen can do it, don't use a dragon.

    So, dragon scholars, dragon politicians, dragon generals, dragon merchants maybe. Depending on their interests.
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    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
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    For as long as I shall live.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    And now I have a new dragon conspiracy: infiltrate human society and take control of it from the inside.

    that was actually an elven conspiracy, but i never found a good place to make something with it.
    Last edited by King of Nowhere; 2019-09-06 at 09:09 AM.
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    though actually, most dragons in my setting die between mature adult and old - for lack of enough loot -, and their intellligence is not so above human level by then.

    also, i don't think they would be trusted too much with positions of power. even if a century passes, people are still going to remember that an important dragon tried to start an extermination war and a significant amount of his brethren were ready to follow, and that most of those dragons are still alive.
    those dragons that sided with the humanoids, those would be trusted. young dragons that weren't yet born at the time, a bit less. but any elder dragon trying to carve a position of power in human society would be very suspicious.
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    - for lack of enough loot -
    How does that work? Because if access to wealth is needed, biologically, for a dragon's survival then I have the very best possible idea for a job. Its one that makes use of their terratorial instincts, their need to be near large amounts of precious metals, their desire for power and influence and their general desire for solitude.

    Bankers.

    Turn bank vaults into timeshare residences for dragons, so each is "on shift" sleeping in the vault for 8hrs a day. They are easily smart enough to manage the financial side of things and have the power to make robbing them difficult.
    GNU Terry Pratchett

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDMMk3 View Post
    How does that work? Because if access to wealth is needed, biologically, for a dragon's survival then I have the very best possible idea for a job. Its one that makes use of their terratorial instincts, their need to be near large amounts of precious metals, their desire for power and influence and their general desire for solitude.

    Bankers.

    Turn bank vaults into timeshare residences for dragons, so each is "on shift" sleeping in the vault for 8hrs a day. They are easily smart enough to manage the financial side of things and have the power to make robbing them difficult.
    Or as I mentioned with Shadowrun, you don't get much better on the loot scale that the only shareholder in a banking conglomerate. I mean, you hold all of the cards as a dragon if your loans don't get paid back, who wants to be in debt to a dragon?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    They could work as chefs?
    or bed warmers?
    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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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    And most older dragons can take human shape, if humans distrust them that much.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDMMk3 View Post
    How does that work? Because if access to wealth is needed, biologically, for a dragon's survival then I have the very best possible idea for a job. Its one that makes use of their terratorial instincts, their need to be near large amounts of precious metals, their desire for power and influence and their general desire for solitude.

    Bankers.

    Turn bank vaults into timeshare residences for dragons, so each is "on shift" sleeping in the vault for 8hrs a day. They are easily smart enough to manage the financial side of things and have the power to make robbing them difficult.
    actually, the dragon villain of the campaign was doing something like that. the merchant union has monopoly on banking and trading of high-end magic items because they are the only ones who could afford a safe extradimentsional vault. this dragon bartered that he'd guard the treasure in exchange for living over it. that's how he managed to live longer and grow more powerful than any other dragon.

    in the meanwhile, he manipulated a greedy, power-hungry member of the merchant union into trying a coup.
    nobody liked the new leader, and the old leader (an honest, trustworthy and competent guy who was elected to the position specifically for it) had actually planted a backdoor to be able to access back in case he was ousted like that. so he hired the party, promising them support with the merchant stockpiles of goods for the war they were fighting (it included some 60 million gp of diamonds for resurrections).
    when the party went in, the dragon pretended to ally with them. together with the party, they destroied all the defences that were actually capable of stopping the dragon, and they restored the old leader as an ally of the players.
    then the dragon used his cronies to sabotage a vault that the players were controlling. they decided to stockpile all their war supplies in the merchant's vault, the safer of all.
    shortly afterwards, the dragon took control of it all, intending to use all the wares in his war against humanoids.

    Most successful villainous plan ever!

    too bad he got himself killed shortly afterwards
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: jobs for dragons integrated in humanoid society

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Agreed with this. Dragons will naturally push to be at the top of society. I wouldn't expect any of them to be doing menial labor.
    Particularly in a setting where they need a big pile of loot to survive. It's literally get rich or die trying for them.

    So I agree, positions of power or maybe highly skilled work, like say a master craftsdragon in the magical crystal industry. But I can't see them making a fortune doing something a group of low level wizards could do in a high fantasy setting, like playing refrigurator.

    This could in turn be a big plothook for the setting. Some humanoids are unhappy that the dragons occupy so many well paid positions (decide for yourself how far into real world conspiracy theories about for instance Jewish people you want to go, I'd try to steer away as much as you can), and/or there's a crackdown on young dragons trying to make it big in crime, causing a surge in illegal substances flooding the market and criminals and cops alike being found dead.

    It's a potentially explosive mix if you're willing to be pessimistic enough.
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