Have you seen the new dragon miniature that Games Workshop put out? It’s incredible, and here’s why you’re going to want it for your D&D campaign.
Dragons are an iconic part of Dungeons & Dragons–they’re in the name, right after the ampersand and everything. But every now and then something comes along that reminds you, “oh right dragons are so much cooler than they are.” Yesterday Games Workshop previewed a new model for their fantasy tabletop wargame Age of Sigmar, and it’s honestly one of the best dragons I’ve seen in a very long time. You already want it for your D&D campaign, and you haven’t even played in person in like, a year, but here’s why.
This is the biggest one. Just look at this majestic beast right here–there’s so much personality in its expression, so much confidence and arrogance. This dragon smirks, and has so much reason to. You get a feel for the majesty of the dragon–as opposed to the kinda generic lizard monster rage thing that’s pictured in so many other dragon minis:
But it’s not just the dragon’s facial expression. There’s so much of its personality in its movement. Look at this over the shoulder smirk:
This is the kind of attitude that makes a dragon (or anyone) stand out. It’s almost Shere Khan from Talespin–quiet menace and charm that you know can turn deadly in a minute. This is just a reminder to use descriptions of body language and positioning as well as the roars or whatever that your dragon makes to convey its intelligence and goals.
The dragon is in the details, or so the saying goes. And this dragon carries with it the scars of its past. And sure, this is a specific sculpt and paint job done for a presentation–but you can and should think about these details for your own dragon, even if it’s just in the theatre of your mind–what scars from past battles does your dragon carry? What encounters has it been through, what triumphs and defeats has it faced, and how have they left their mark?
That will transform any encounter.
Look, clothes make the dragon. And while dragons in D&D don’t typically wear armor, they could–after all they have a hoard of treasure, are spellcasters, and have the ability to use magic items just as much as the rest of us. And this dragon is a fantastic reminder that your dragons can do the same! What do bracers or a magic necklace/chestplate look like on a dragon? Like that! Tip the horns with armor, give your dragon magical rings–make them feel distinct, like a force of nature.
At the end of the day that’s what it comes down to. If you want a dragon or a monster that feels epic, its abilities are a start, but they’re only a small part of the picture. What really makes a creature stand out is specificity. It’s not just “a red dragon from the monster manual” or “a blue dragon adult wyrm” or whatever, it’s Krondis, scion of Dracothion, or Valhavax, the Terror of Empires. Find the story that your details tell, give them some kind of emotional connection–because let’s face it, that dragon draws you in with its expression, there’s something recognizable in there, right? Use that! And you’ll have an epic creature your players will talk about for days.