Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Dragons of Atlantasia

Dragons are the ultimate being on Atlantasia and any should think several
times before seeking out an encounter with one of these amazing creatures.
                                                                                  – John Holland
                                                                                    The Realms of Atlantasia:
                                                                                    The Game Master’s Bible

Although your humble host has touched upon Atlantasian dragons in prior posts, readers of this blog will doubtless appreciate a post dedicated to the “ultimate being on Atlantasia.”  Seeing as how we just discussed Dragons in Adventures in Fantasy, now would seem to be a good time to talk about Atlantasian dragons.  First, let it be known that dragons in Atlantasia are nigh invincible; not even hookers* would stand much of a chance against a dragon.  All dragons are spellcasters and no one can disrupt these spells while they are being cast; nothing must be allowed to diminish the dragons' capacity to overwhelm player characters.

The types of dragon include:  air, fire, water, earth, light, shadow, and chaos.  There are also ‘guardian’ dragons.  According to page 161, “Guardian dragons are the babies of the dragon world.”  It seems that guardian dragons are undifferentiated and they do not become a ‘regular type’ until adolescence (i.e., one thousand rebirths/years).  Furthermore…

Guardian dragons have a habit of choosing another life form and study that form throughout its life (this can lead to all sorts of trouble as the guardian dragon will put this life form through many different tests to see how they will react).  If this occurs, the guardian dragon will stay until the life form dies.

Aww, how cute!  It turns out there is a 5% chance that the guardian dragon will choose a player character to study.  Isn’t that adorable?  Guardian dragons have five ‘attacks’ per semi-segment; they will cast four devastating spells, then turn invisible.  Holland tells us that “not even a mindweaver** can locate an invisible guardian dragon.”  If they were detectable, it might actually be possible to harm a guardian dragon.  Do guardian dragons actually guard anything?  There is nothing that suggests they do; Holland specifically states that guardian dragons do not have treasure hoards.

I guess individual dragons mature at different rates.  The age range for adolescence is 1,000 to 10,000 rebirths but the age range for young adults is 2,500 to 25,000 rebirths and the adult age range is 11,000 to 30,000 rebirths.  There is also a 10,000 rebirth overlap between the elder and ancient age ranges.

Air dragons have 25 attacks per semi-segment, they are immune to “all air-based magic” as well as any spells cast at less than 65th level.  Also, “they will turn into airform before any physical attacks happen.”  I guess Holland means that the dragon will assume airform before anyone attacks the dragon.

While fire dragons only have ten attacks per semi-segment, they are immune to fire-based magic and any spells cast at less than 70th level.  Also, “only fire enchanted weapons will be able to withstand the heat near the dragon.”  Wouldn't 'fire-based magic' include 'fire enchanted weapons'?

As might be expected, water dragons are immune to water-based magic (and any spells cast at less than 70th level).  They have only eight attacks per semi-segment and they can’t even fly.  Like fire dragons, only fire enchanted weapons can hit a water dragon.

Not surprisingly, earth dragons are immune to earth-based magic; however, other spells must be cast at no lower than 80th level to be effective.  “Only dwarven forged weapons with a 90% or better to hit will have any chance of touching an earth dragon.”  To offset these advantages, earth dragons only get five attacks per semi-segment.

Light dragons are immune to “cosmic-based magic” and any spells cast at less than 80th level.  In order to hit a light dragon, the weapon must be (1) magical and (2) “from darkness.”  They get ten attacks per semi-segment.  Long-term readers might recall that light dragons “are beings of light and therefore, in a dragon’s neutral way, are pure compassion.” Has anyone managed to figure that one out?

Shadow dragons “are ominously, [sic] beautiful, shiny, [and] black-scaled.” However, there’s a problem in that “their scales actually absorb all light within 40’ of their body.” So how does anyone know what they look like? Also, wouldn’t shadow dragons be blind if light cannot reach their eyes? Naturally, they are immune to “dark-based magic” as well as any spells cast at less than 90th level. In order to hit a shadow dragon, a weapon must be “made from light.”

Lastly, there are chaos dragons. When chaos dragons mate, they dance through various dimensions and there is a 30% chance that a player character “will be caught” and become “deposited on some other dimension.” Their breath weapon is called “chaos rift” and it “sends chosen targets into chaos.” (Is that equivalent to death?) Don’t even think about magic spells; page 168 explains…

any spell cast at a chaos dragon is absorbed and thrown back at the caster at x 100. Plus, any spell cast at a chaos dragon and the dragon will automatically know that spell…[sic]

Only “a weapon made from a combination of all magic” can hit a chaos dragon. The number of attacks a chaos dragon can perform per semi-segment is randomly determined; it can be as low as two or as many as fifty.

** According to page 67, ‘hookers’ in Atlantasia have 25th level thief abilities and 10th level assassin abilities.  Imagine what the pimps must be like.

** Mage-types with 'mind magic'


  1. Is it possible for a dragon to bite itself to death in a single semi-round? With 25 attacks in one of those, it would be awesome to let it attack and then stand by whistling as it commits unpremeditated hari-kari.


    1. Good question.

      It would seem that adult dragons are incapable of harming themselves. Each adult dragon is immune to its own type of magic, so a backfire will have no effect. Also, each adult dragon can only be harmed by a narrow category of weapons that excludes a dragon's own physiological arsenal. For example, a light dragon's claws, teeth, and tail are not “magical weapons from darkness,” therefore it cannot hit itself.

      On the other hand, guardian dragons can only attack magically and they have no magical immunities. So, like any other spellcaster, they have a 15% chance of backfire (more during the season of chaos). However, since guardian dragons have 300 – 30,000 Life Points, they can endure quite a few backfires.

      Atlantasia trivia: Adolescent air, fire, and chaos dragons have fewer Life Points than they had during their immature, 'guardian' phase.