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Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

A few years ago I posted a question on DeviantArt, asking why wizards in fantasy stories and games often live in towers.  I imagine you fine folks here must have some ideas on the subject, so I'm tossing it over to you all.  Suggestions from before include:

A wizard has a tactical advantage against attackers from above

Wizards often study the stars, which is more easily done from a high point

A wizard can keep a close eye on the surroundings from above

It can serve as a metaphor for a wizard's towering intellect

The thousand-step climb discourages annoying visitors

Wizards can brag about how big their towers are

Tolkien's wizards lived in towers, and everyone copies Tolkien

So, what do you think?

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

The most pragmatic reason is studying the stars, their surroundings and having a tactical advantage.

Also could be a symbol for their general distain and arrogance towards the non magic using folk. Or at least general aloofness.

The wizards that travel around on foot getting into adventures tend to be more connected to the plebs.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Yes, I think a wizard who lives in a tower would more likely be aloof than one who travels around.  Gandalf traveled around, but Saruman lived in a tower.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

This seems like a fun thread. I'm going to steal it at some point to ask other Fantasy related questions, seeing as the question you've asked has been clearly answered by you, and fantasy shit is always a fun conversation topic.

Anyhow, in regards to this question, I'd say the towers are a mixture of ego, with these towers making the wizards seem smart, powerful and literally above the filthy non-magic fuckers in the world, and also the practical benefits of having a massive tower, meaning you're pretty much impossible to fuck with as you can just spew fireballs down, so you don't have to deal with common issues like bandits or wandering fantasy beasts.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

I think this is a great site for asking any type of literature preference questions, so go for it!  If this question garners much interest, I'll try another myself.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago
Compensating for something? ;)

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

After an unsuccessful date, a wizard can always add a couple new floors to his tower!

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

they're weak flimsy creatures who'd rather fry their opponents from a distance than get up close and personal. Most can fly or teleport or something like that, so while stairs don't effect them, it's a pain in the ass for everyone else. 

That, and they're the most powerful beings. They have to stay at a distance or they might come too soon and save the day before something big and traumatizing happens to the main character. 

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

If you're physically weak, it surely makes sense to fight from a tower, where you can safely rain death down on your foes

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago
The actual reason is probably just people ripping off Tolkien, since that answers a lot of questions about fantasy.

Practically speaking, wizards usually live alone but also need a lot of space for libraries, laboratories, and collecting all their magical stuff. A tower is the most compact way to do that while still being easy for one person to keep an eye on and defend. A giant mansion or castle of whatever would be too tempting a target for thieves.

Although I suppose caves would make a lot of sense too since I basically consider them being grumpy and paranoid and protective of their privacy, magical items and knowledge in the same way a dragon is of its hoard.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Was wizards in towers a big Tolkein thing? I remember Sarumon had a tower, sure, but of the five wizards, he's the only one who had a tower. Gandalf just kind of fucked about, Radagast fucked with his nature bullshit and rabbit-sleigh, and sure as shit wasn't looking to build a big tower for himself. Alatar and Pallando just kind of fucked about together, I assume doing gay shit.

I suppose there's Sauron's tower, but he's not a wizard, so this seems more like Tokein was doing a "towers are big, scary and imposing" thing rather than "Wizards have towers".

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago
Everything that happened in the series became a thing. One wizard in a tower = lots of wizards in a tower in the fantasy stuff that drew from it directly, and then people copied from that and so on and so on.

Gandalf's appearance in The Hobbit becomes the stereotypical wizard look, and I'm not even sure if wizards throwing fireballs was really a thing before Gandalf, for that matter.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

But the main wizard in that story, Gandalf, didn't have a tower, and the majority didn't. Surely if ideas were being based off wizards, it'd be the wizard with no home that is Gandalf rather than basing it off the one villainous wizard.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Considering Tolkien pretty much invented modern fantasy, that could be said of many fantasy tropes.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Not that I think this is why, but the King Arthur movie represents it in a very interesting light.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

I haven't seen that one.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago
Maybe its the best way to camouflage their doomsday machines.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

I'd think a cave or something might work better for thar.  But maybe,

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Well, then there's the problem  of getting the damn thing out of the cave, whereas a tower is out in the open, you just strip the bricks off the missile and you're ready to go.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Merlin lived in a tower. Western Fantasy traditions draw heavily on Western Literature and Mythology. 

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Did he? I'm relatively fairly sure that Merlin living in a tower is a more recent invention. I don't think there was any mention of him living in a tower in the original myth. The closest thing to it that I know of is that he was nearly sacrificed to build a tower that kept falling down, and he figured out why, and all it really was in a big metaphor for infighting in the Kingdom of Britain.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

From what I’ve read, he didn’t live in a tower. Or at least didn’t choose to. For the longest time he just lived wherever he wanted to, but his mistress, The Lady of the Lake, Vivianne, ended up imprisoning him in a tower. I forget the reason.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Checking that out, he was imprisoned, but it wasn't definitely a tower, as others describe him being imprisoned in a tree, in a cave, in a giant stone or in some mist. Which really, doesn't seem enough to be what brought about the whole wizards in towers thing.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Huh. Could’ve sworn it was a tower. Maybe it was just in Bulfinches account of things that it was.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

It also was a tower in some accounts, to be clear. It's just that that's only one of the accounts, so it's hard to think that would've been the root of this trope.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Not according to Malory, unless I'm forgetting something.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago
Gandalf himself is more based on Odin than Merlin.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Apparently wizards living in towers is more for the European ones.

Asian wizards tend to live in huts or caves since they don't want to attract attention.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

According to some website I found, it's because

  • It's a sign of power and wisdom (any fool can build a hut but a 200m tower takes some clever architecture or it will collapse).
  • A tower allows you to see far (so you can hide when your mother-in-law closes in for a new love spell).
  • It offers better protection that a hut or house.
  • It's not as expensive as a whole castle.
  • Astronomy becomes more simple if no leaves disturb the sight.

Wizards and Towers

18 days ago

Definitely some good reasons.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Well, we exhausted that topic, so fuck it, I'm taking over and changing it. 

So, vampire dragons, as in, dragons that have been turned into vampires. Is that a step up? An improvement. With humans, obviously there's a shit ton of drawbacks, but I feel pretty universally it's a step up from being a normal human if you can get through it with your sanity intact. If you're a dragon, however, I feel it's a much more mixed bag.

Obviously the kind of dragon you're dealing with is the question. I mean, the sentience of a dragon, from an animal to above human levels, comes into account. Then, there's immortality. A lot of fiction has dragons as immortal beings. If they didn't have that, it'd be a definite benefit for them, as they could live forever. However, if they did, that negates a huge advantage of vampirism. I don't know, I was wondering what benefits a dragon could or couldn't normally have that would negate the benefits of vampirism, or make them more desirable. 

Then, we have to consider what kind of vampires we're dealing with. That's often a mixed bag. Are some vampire abilities more helpful to dragons than others? Obviously, but I mean, which ones? Vampires tend to be far smarter than normal humans. That seems beneficial to a dragon, while big fangs isn't that fucking helpful.

The biggest drawbacks I'd see are one, the inability to go out in the sunlight, which I feel would be a massive bitch, although dragons do have a tendency in fiction to spend vast amounts of time sleeping, so I don't know how big a change this would even be. The bloodthirst, of course, would be even worse. How much would a dragon need to kill to survive? It'd have to hunt down endless creatures every night to drain them of their blood. 

Oh, and none of that Eastern Dragon, or Christ, Eastern Vampire bullshit. I'm talking Western Fantasy only, people. Anyhow, what's your opinions on the advantages of vampirism for dragons? The Villains seemed to decide it was stupid, so any counters to that would be especially helpful.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I personally think being a dragon would be a step up. In any case, becoming a vampire is more than a step down. You just fell down the staircase.

They're recognizable due to their pale skin and old appearance. Do you know what that would look like on a dragon? it'd be like you turned down the saturation and then ran it through one of those 'what would you look like in 50 years' websites. Plus, the insatiable thirst for blood, as you mentioned. They'd have to basically find another dragon every night, and turn them into vampires, which would only increase competition. Plus, you can't hunt during the day. 

The only advantage to a vampire dragon is you'd be impossible to kill from a knight/hero's perspective. If I were to write a story on this, it would for sure be from the dragon's perspective, and it would be an 8 in difficulty.

 

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

What? Vampires aren't known for looking old. Vampires are renown for their eternal, unnatural youth. Plus, dragons don't tend to age badly, but just get bigger, so looking older would be a plus. Vampires do tend to be pale, but why would that be a bad thing? You'd be a dragon with a slightly more white underbelly? Not a huge loss.

Oh, and a vampire dragon killing another vampire dragon wouldn't turn them into a dragon. Vampires don't turn another person into a vampire every time they feed, so that wouldn't happen.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Maybe we're going off different lore. I assumed that you weren't talking about the pretty vampires. In most media I've seen, the vampire was ancient, and therefore covered in wrinkles. I also assumed it was the bite > infect sequence, like in Twilight (Jesus forgive me for referencing that movie) but I guess you're right about the color thing. I thought of the scales as part of the dragon, but technically yes, only the skin is affected.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

What media are vampires always old and decrepit? I can think of Orlock, sure, but that's about it. Lord Ruthven was hot enough to seduce young women and is inherently alluring and sexual, and that's 1819. Dracula was youngish and charming, growing younger over time as he fed. One of the key things Vampirism is based off, Elizabeth Bathory, was all about using blood to regain youth and beauty. More than often, I think being young is one of the established vampire traits, although more modern day stuff sometimes goes away from it to creature a more feral creature.

I can't think of any vampires in anything ever that always turn people into vampires when they feed. Like, genuinely none. They definitely don't do it in Twilight.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Are you sure? I haven't seen it, but from what my friend told me, there's a point where Bella and the vampire (can't remember his name) are wanting to get married, and the vampire wants to turn her into a vamp too so they can be all in love and stuff. Maybe I've just lost it, but okay.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Yeah, they turn other people into Vampires, but they don't do so just through feeding on them. Otherwise, there'd be thousands of vampires in like a few weeks, as every time they feed there's another vampire popping up. It'd just make no sense, and vampires would starve to death from overpopulation in a few years tops.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

It seems like a detriment to me. Picture Joe the dragon. He was a normal dragon until a vampire bit him. At first, Joe thought, "I'm good. I have this giant pile of gold to sit on anyway, and I'm in a cave." One day later, his bloodlust couldn't be held any longer, so he went out to feast. Since he's a giant friggin' dragon, eating five humans is like trying to quench one's thirst with a grape. Therefore, Joe ate all of the humans (except the ones who fled by day) within a night's flight.

Joe also ate all of the animals as well for their blood within a month. He left his gold behind to look a new area to drain, but every sentient creature came together to make an army because... well, what could galvanize the fantasy people more than a vampire dragon? Therefore, Joe was killed. Meanwhile, his cousin Jackie is still happily sleeping on her gold pile on the neighboring continent, for she is not a vampire dragon (just a normal one).

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Well yeah, but look at dragons size. They'd have to eat a metric shit ton anyway, and they're pretty exclusively carnivorous. Vampires don't need usually need to drink nearly as much blood as they would food, seeing as that would be an insane amount, so I feel given the amount of meat normal dragons need to survive, it wouldn't be too different in terms of blood.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

We still haven't addressed the fact that with big fangs, the dragon couldn't ever close its mouth. That alone is a fate worse than death.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Why? Humans can.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Human mouths are different from dragons. Again, difference of lore, but from the best of my knowledge, dragon mouths are closer to beaks, meaning there wouldn't be enough space created by the bottom jaw for the teeth.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

So? Human mouths also wouldn't have space for the fangs normally. Unless they curved in front of the lower jaw, or were retractable, or were any number of solutions.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Retractable fangs? Come to think of it, why don't vampires always have bloody tongues or gums. Unless you had useless, stubby fangs, your whole dental game is done for once you turn.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

The same reason every single creature with sharpened teeth doesn't.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
I'm not even convinced being a vampire would be a good deal for a human. For a dragon, it just makes no sense. You're already a fucking dragon. You're bigger and faster and stronger than everything out there and you live thousands of years and fly and breath fire. What exactly about a fatal sunlight allergy and special dietary needs is a desirable life improvement here?

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Living forever and....uh...

 

Shit. You're right.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Nah, you're not bigger, stronger or faster than other dragons, and even then, dragons get killed by humans all the time. That's shit that could be avoided through vampirism.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Not completely, but for the most part, yes.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Bloodlust would only really be a negative if it had to be dragon blood.

That vampirism stops aging is probably the most stringent step down since dragons tend to get stronger as they age.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Fair point, eternal youth could actually be a massive downside for these guys. Although, Vampires tend to grow stronger with age, so it depends on which one benefits at a faster rate.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

That would definitely be dragons.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

How so?

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

A dragon is a creature often several times larger than a human. Its size alone gives it a huge advantage. The fact that they get bigger as they age only adds to that. Plus, there's flying and the actual muscle mass they gain.

Vampires do gain skills like speed and higher strength, but you're comparing a superstrong human to a colossal, armored beast. 

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

That's not the question. Obviously, a dragon would be better than a vampire. But which one improves faster over time? Would the ratio a dragon benefits from age be the same as a vampire? For instance, would it take a dragon or a vampire longer to improve 10% from where they started through aging?

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Dragons get bigger and faster, vampires just improve muscle mass and reflexes. In my opinion, dragons.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Perhaps, yeah, it'd probably be dragons, thinking about it. The eternal youth thing wasn't a factor in my earlier thinking, it was a good spot by our resident dragon.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Actually, how the hell are you going to GET a vampire dragon? Vampires make other vampires by sucking a certain percentage of blood out of their victim, after charming them. First, forget charming the dragon, they're going to eat you before you get two words out unless they're bored, then you might get three words out.

Next, the vampire has to drink some blood. What damn vampire is just going to walk up to a massive dragon neck and take a bite? Have you seen the scales on those suckers? No. Just, no. I don't care what kind of magic pointy teeth are on that vampire, they're just not getting through the scales. And hell, if they did, how far would those damn teeth have to reach to get blood? It's not like the damn dragon is sitting around with capillaries at the surface of their neck. Otherwise any damn schmuck could already kill one.

And finally, the vampire has to drink a certain amount of blood to turn the creature. Do you know how much damn blood is IN a dragon? I'm picturing the vampire (somehow getting past the dragon, then getting to the neck, then getting past the scales, then with his extra-long teeth) starting to suck...then he gets full... then he gets bloated and sits down: "Hold on Mr. Dragon, I need to catch my breath. I'm stuffed and I'm not even 1% of the way there." It would take friggin weeks for a vampire to drink enough blood to turn a dragon, and that's sucking on the damn neck of the dragon all day, every day.

So no. No vampire dragon. No way.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

According to Steve, no. They don't turn by sucking blood. i agree with you, but Steve is saying that isn't how it works.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Oh. Sorry. Thought we were talking about typical fantasy vampires, not some eastern vampire crap.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Exactly! Steve is getting his lore from who knows where, I've been going off the following stuff:

>Vampires are hideous, they don't retain youth.

>They spread vampirism through bites. (It's a process, a transformation, not instant)

>They die in sunlight, with holy water, garlic, or stakes through the heart

>They get stronger and all stats are improved (reflexes, senses, etc.) once they turn.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Going by Dracula, the Vampyre and the vast majority of vampire fiction, they do retain youth, and there's never been vampire lore where they always turn people from feeding.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

No, not every time. That's nonsense. Vampires don't always turn someone else into a vampire when they're feeding, that's not in any vampire lore ever, it wouldn't make sense.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

How do they do it then? Are saying every victim has a chance of turning? That would make more sense. How else would vampires infect others besides bites?

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Vampires are pretty much always show to do it on purpose. Besides just biting, often sharing vampire blood is a method.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Definitely not every time! Sometimes they eat, and just drain all the blood. But when a vampire drinks SOME blood, they can intentionally turn someone into another one.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

That's not what I'm arguing with. I disagreed with Ultra because he seemed to think that if a Dragon fed off other dragons, they would all become vampire dragons, even though the initial vampire dragon clearly wouldn't want this.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Yeah, I'm with you on the "not every time a vampire feeds it creates a new vampire" thing.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

And that's all I was saying. How a vampire creates a new vampire varies, but partially draining blood is definitely one of them. Even so, I feel a vampire could do it. A coven of vampires, perhaps, if needs be. And again, this is assuming the dragon is willing. If not, it'd be a fair bit harder.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
And there's the problem with these discussions. Getting everybody on the same page about what variety of fictional creature you're going with in the first place when there's a billion of them and anyone can make up their own additional rules at any time.

I've always seen vampirism as requiring the victim to be killed by having their blood drained by a vampire and then brought back to (un)life by the curse. They don't follow zombie rules as far as I've seen.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Again, it's a broad spectrum. There's far too much lore on vampires and dragons to do that. I pointed out the main vampire examples, being the things that started vampirism. I'd instead ask for a single example where every time a vampire feeds he creates a new vampire.

EDIT: This was for Ultra, don't know what happened there.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Break their neck first, or just don't take enough to kill them. Vampires usually wind up with people who would let them feed off them willingly.

Although it makes sense to make the victim drink the vampire's blood too as part of the process, that's how I handle it in my Buffy/Hellboy rip off universe.

This is really going nowhere without some rules laid down though. I'm out before the pumpkin vampires get thrown in the mix.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
You can't just break their neck, that is NOT how this works! That's not how any of this works! ;)

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Methods of becoming a vampire vary, but going by this way, it's still fairly easily. Dragons often seem to interact with mortals. One allying themselves with a powerful Vampire Lord enough that they communicate is without a doubt possible. Plus, vampires would just go for the soft areas of the dragon, like the belly, if they needed blood. And yeah, capillaries are at the surface, they're everywhere, so the Vampire could definitely find them. Plus, the root of this question is whether it'd be beneficial for the dragon to become a vampire. If the answer was yes, they'd obviously let this happen, and even if the answer was no, a few would try it and just regret the decision. Young ones and runts of the litter, probably.

Besides the point, but speaking of actually vampires draining dragons of blood, in Warhammer Fantasy, Dragon blood is the only possible way to cure the blood thirst, actually, so there's this cool order of chivalric vampire knights that just kill the biggest thing they can find as training to take down a vampire. But that's besides the point.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

What the hell? Classic vampire lore always says they go for the neck, not the belly. That's stomach acid, not blood (depending on location and anatomy of said dragon).

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

No, going for the belly wouldn't mean you'd need to pierce the stomach organ. And they go for the neck because that's the most convenient spot, they wouldn't if it was a creature with an armored neck.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Now I'm just picturing a human walking up to a hundred-foot-tall dragon, and thinking "I'm gonna suck this thing's belly."

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
"I'm gonna suck thousands and thousands of gallons of blood from this thing's belly."

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I hope David G is proud of what he created. I also notice he's not taking part in this heated debate.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
It's like 2am for him so I'd really question his priorities if he was.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
Note that Steve is in similar circumstances but I guess if you have nothing else going on, why not stay up all night arguing about vampire dragons on the internet.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I stayed out til 7 last night, or this morning, I suppose, I can't sleep.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I just woke up to discover all this.  (I'm an American living in England, for people who need clarification).  My understanding of the matter is that there were a variety of vampire legends out in Europe, but that Bram Stoker became the codifier when he wrote his book, Dracula.  Hollywood ran with it when they made the movie, making a few other changes.

Basically, Stoker was using the vampire as a symbol for seduction, since, at that time, you really couldn't openly write a story about a man coming into an innocent young woman's bedroom every night for sex.  Neither, of course, could you make a movie about that back in the first half of the twentieth century.  Coming in to suck her blood was perfectly okay, though.

Right, now if we accept Stoker as the codifier (which perhaps you won't) and take his ideas and apply them to dragons, then you'd have a situation in which a vampire dragon would be going around charming his way into various female dragons' boudoirs on a nightly basis so he could drink their blood (wink, wink).  Would a dragon be better off as a vampire?  The only advantage I can see to being a vampire is that they live forever unless they are killed.  Well, according to Tolkien, dragons live forever unless they are killed, so that wouldn't do a dragon much good.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I think it's like tapping a wine barrel 

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Let's change the subject, and hurry.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

The worst part is still the logistics of getting enough blood to sustain oneself.

The vamp dragon needs the blood, the sac holding said blood is useless and actually harmful because eating solid matter of any kind tends to be painful for a vampire. So it can’t just chow down on a city full of humans to get it that way.

Unless the dragon is going through the tedious process of draining cities full of humans by cutting their heads off and squeezing the blood into a giant glass, its just not going to work. (And that wouldn't be efficient anyway)

And that’s assuming the humans are going to just sit around and take it before they start calling in paladins, monks and other holy types to slay the beast. It’s just not worth it all around.

This means ideally the dragon needs to get a steady supply of blood from large creatures.

Hunting other dragons is the obvious solution, but that’s problematic. A normal vampire has the luxury of having a large herd to feed from. Dragons in general don’t tend to hang around each other except to mate maybe and they aren’t very common in general.

I suppose feeding on giants might work, but they’re still not as common as humans. The dragon is probably going to deplete a tribe of them eventually.

There are also all the other weaknesses that normal vampire has that can be applied to the dragon version and I don’t really see it as an advantage for a dragon.

However, I can think of a scenario where it might work out and I”m just making this shit up since this isn’t real life and instead an incredible simulation.

The vampire dragon needs to live in the grim dark north where its going to be night for longer periods of time. That minimizes the biggest sunlight weakness problem. It’s undead so temperature isn’t going to be a problem either.

The vamp dragon is going to have to enslave/dominate the local frost giant tribes much in the same way some normal vampires do to human peasant villages. Giants tend to buckle under anything stronger than they are and probably aren’t going to have holy warrior types among their ranks. With this group of underling it can potentially get sacrifices on a regular basis.

Presumably the giants need to eat as well, so let’s use the old stand by of mammoths. These are pretty big and if the dragon really needed to, it probably could drain a couple of these from a pack once in awhile.

Finally, frost giants have been known to have white dragons as pets, so the vamp dragon might even be able to get some proper dragon blood as well sometimes.

Still even in this ideal situation the vamp dragon is still more or less having to “make due” with inferior food most of the time and not being at full strength. A frost giant or a couple mammoths might keep it fed, but its like when a normal vampire is feeding on rats. It’s mainly doing it out of desperate survival and to keep from going into a vampire coma.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Yeah, but would a vampire dragon even really need that much? Relative to their body size, Vampires don't need to have that much much compared to the amount of calories a normal human would need. As dragons are almost always carnivorous, they'd need a metric shit ton of meat to survive, so it's probably not going to change that much from how much a dragon needs to survive.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago
This frost giant scenario sounds like it needs to be a D&D campaign. Or included in a storygame if nothing else.

Vampire Dragons

17 days ago

Adventure Module EM1

Expedition to the Frostblood Caverns

An Adventure for Character Levels 1-30 (Doesn’t matter, you’re going to die)

Vampire Dragons

17 days ago
Sweeeeet. I'm in.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

Isn't there a rule where reptiles give vampires diarrhea or something and it doesn't count as nutritional blood? Nevermind, that's boring and referenced maybe twice in all of literature as a joke.

Well, assuming we're going on the strength proportions that humans seem to get, they tend to be anything from twice as strong (If you're gonna go with the toned down Dwarf Fortress version) to 100 times as strong if we're gonna go with whatever hollywood superfuckers, to godly if you're the dude in that retarded "Dracula Origin" movie. Depending on how Gothic and true to the source material you'd like to be, Vampires get a lot more witch-like and have vaguely defined but pretty handy magic shit. I would assume being big, and being a magical lizard, would amplify that shit. Twice as strong and durable to match, to megafauna that can flap hard enough to throw itself up in the air, is a lot different than twice as strong to medium-sized ape. Even if these are the hobbling stupid wyvern bat-dragons with wings for forelegs, we're probably talking at least the ability to casually stroll through castle walls or at least knock down towers if they're even Skyrim-sized.

And depending on where you put "Eastern", there's a fair bit of space between Greece and Moscow where vampires by any other name gain a lot of other weirdly specific perks, like teeth, claws, and bones made of iron or steel, and, y'know bringing unstoppable plagues that wipe entire villages off the map in 6 days or less.

So, even if this is the usual big dino with wings and nothing particularly special, we immediately go from a dangerous nuisance to a terrifying apocalypse monster that's unkillable through combat... But probably pretty easy to starve to death if you all live scattered pretty far apart and retreat with your livestock into an underground complex during the night. Assuming they're intelligent,and that whole plagues thing can be controlled, you're likely going to end up with very familiar civilization-sized cults who bring in loads of prisoners to create blood sacrifices for the Great Serpent. Assuming they're not intelligent, they might actually be pretty sought after by master vampires if this happens to be something like World of Darkness where there's a magically enforced hierarchy where the guy who turns you is in charge. It'd be an easy way to get a supernaturally enhanced fucker-of-cities who isn't even human enough to scheme against you and plot your downfall. The problem, of course, is maintenance, though they'd probably be able to sustain themselves for a bit on cattle and human villages.

I'm really gonna assume cows count if people do. I know in a lot of vampire shit animals don't count or human blood is much more efficient in order for drama, but if it's only dragon blood, I really don't think it'd be a problem, because dragons tend not to have law enforcement or live in groups. If you lived an entirely solitary life without a society of your own species, even if you were magical and in charge of a load of henchmen that individually stand up to maybe half your shins, if somebody twice as strong and fast as you, with /extra/ magic powers, that can't be killed except in rather specific circumstances comes after you, you're basically fucked unless you can run far enough that it's just more efficient for them to find somebody else's house.

Even so, I doubt you're gonna find vampire dragons that have been vampire dragons for a long time unless they get an Aztec Stockholm Syndrome thing going. This would definitely be a case of burning twice as bright for half as long sheerly by logitstics. I can't see a sentient dragon that isn't insane, suicidal, or war-crazy seeking this out.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

That Dracula film wasn't that bad, everyone just seemed to whine about it for some reason. The only complaint I ever heard was "Ugh, origin stories" even though this was legitimately one of the origins of a character I had no idea.

Vampire Dragons

18 days ago

I'm probably being harder on it than I should be. For what it is, it's probably fine, but I didn't enjoy it for other reasons. Honestly I remember it just feeling like a medieval version of 300, complete with an opening exposition about how the main guy's a child supersoldier. That should have been awesome, except it was slower, with shaky-cam, and with one of the most ridiculous sociopaths and religious zealots in history being bowdlerized into Every Action Dad who only does vampire thing because he's just too good. And instead of 300-style action where things are clear to see and see again for how awesome they are, there was shaky-cam, lens-flare, and fucking bats blurring everything out. Frankly, I would've been much happier to see the movie following Lannister being real regular Vlad and everyone else conspiring to stop him before he gets too powerful or ends up killing too many or whatever the plot's going to be. Hell, it might even have been forgivable if movie Vlad was a different character who took up vampire shit to stop Lannister, but overall it just felt unimpressive, and like everything interesting about the actual Dracula and any folklore surrounding him had been bent and rewritten to suit the same premise we've seen in pretty much every action movie, all for the sake of making a below-average action movie. It set up a lot of hype for itself and then just felt like a disappointing cockblock.

Vampire Dragons

17 days ago

In what way did it feel like 300? Like, given that 300 was a military piece based entirely around a band of sociopathic warriors, while this was far more of a drama with Vlad having morals rather than just mindlessly killing, far more focus on the supernatural unlike 300's "The Persian Immortals like kind of like monsters. The only possible connection between this and 300 was, I guess, the action sequences were sort of similar. Oh, and I guess the fact that they were both child soldiers, which doesn't really matter in the slightest, given they were entirely different in what they were saying, given that Leonidas' time was shown as a glorious thing unlike Vlad's hatred of war and how that led to him wanting better for his son.

Besides that, apparently a problem is that history is that Vlad isn't evil enough as he was in history? Which , since the movie's about fucking vampires, wasn't a huge concern to them, and they kept in the beats of Vlad impaling thousands of people and sending children off to become slave-warriors, but apparently, him being a selfish prick and not wanting to sell his kid when he'll sell others is apparently him being "just too good". If that's a complaint, you might as well toss out Gladiator, Braveheart, Lincoln, Gone with the Wind and pretty much every story based on real people before the 1900s, since everyone in history is shitty by our standards and making a story where we don't try to shine them up ends up with us just watching sociopaths killing each other.

Anyhow, I sure as shit don't see what was taken away from the actual vampire folklore. The vampires were treated as impressive, terrifying creatures who were definitely really cool to watch, it was a setting that I don't think has been covered much by film in any major way, and it was actually an origin story that I'd never actually heard of. The acting was pretty good, the supernatural elements were done pretty well, and it seemed like one of the best bits of Vampire fiction I'd seen in a while.

Vampire Dragons

10 days ago

1) Sunlight would definitely be a bitch, because most dragons need fire and sunlight is a precious factor in getting some of it. Hell, if the fire actually replenishes by sunlight or light in general affects the dragon, bye-bye dragon. SOLUTION: Being a ice/dark/psychic dragon or something like that, that doesn't need light to function.

2) Vampires generally die or are weakened by some stupid things such as holy water, garlic... and dragons are bigger targets, so that would be a problem.

3) If we are talking Dracula/Nosferatu vampires, the dragon could be an even bigger threat due to increased power. If we are talking Twilight/The Vampire Diaries, it would still warrant power but he would be ridicularized, and dragons like fame and that kind of stuff.

4) Kind off-topic, but what about dragon vampires? That's an interesting topic too.

I know it was kinda confusing, but my end result is that it would change nearly nothing. If the dragon is already immortal and/or can fly, two of the most important aspects go down. The rest is irrelevant.

tl;dr: It would only make the dragon a bit more powerful, but more susceptible to attacks.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

I mentioned it in passing farther up, but I'm coming back to it now that I'm thinking of doing a story about it. So give me Yes's or No's or whatever else you folk think is appropriate. Anywho, here it is...

In the most recent King Arthur movie (the one with Jude Law as the villain) the most powerful mage became the most powerful by taking control of the mage king's tower. He then proceeded to nearly conquer everything, but excalibur stopped that and other some such happened. Skipping forward, Arthur is kinda exiled and his uncle, Jude Law, is the evil mage king of Camelot. In order to become more powerful he begins creating a tower, because apparently that is a thing you do if you want to be more powerful.

After thinking about this idea further, I've decided it could be a really cool story idea.  You would start out as a mage with little to no power, but as the story progresses you would build your tower larger and larger to gain more power. All the while resisting other mages attempts to take your own. There would be many more plot points to exploit, but that is not what I would like to ask you guys about. 

Rather, I would like to know if basing all of your magely power on a tower would be viable at all.  If you left your tower at all you would expose it to being knocked over in your absence, thus losing all of your power. 

In short, How do you think would they work, what are their flaws, etc.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago
Maybe your soul is literally tied to your tower, giving you the ability to sense and somewhat control things going on around it even when away. The larger the tower the larger your range of influence. Almost like a lich in a sense since you'll regenerate there when killed as long as it's still standing.

To expand the tower in this manner maybe you need some particular kind of rare crystals or other item to channel your soul or magic or whatever, this meaning you have to leave periodically to get more if you want to keep getting more powerful.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

But like, how much power would you have if your power is based in your tower?  Surely it would just lead to no mages leaving their tower as then everyone would jump on the chance to destroy one, so it's just a bunch of tiny line of sight areas around these super-powerful towers that no one goes to, and outside of that no one gives a shit.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

I haven't seen the recent King Arthur movie, so I can't say anything about it.  As for you idea, it seems to me quite believable that a mage could derive power from his tower,and that building it properly could enhance those powers.  Certainly, if a mage's main powers came from the tower itself, leaving the tower for any reason would leave him highly vulnerable.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago

About that idea, I personally think it's not so good. A mage wouldn't be so dumb to deposit all their strength in one place.

Maybe it would be better if he would have a network of different towers spread across a region, each with one different alignment and every time he wanted some new power, he would go to that tower, and maybe some backup lairs to not lose all of his powers.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

Mark Twain published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in 1889. In it, the time traveler Hank Morgan convinces the people of Camelot that he is a greater wizard than Merlin by blowing up Merlin's tower with gunpowder. Twain was a bestselling writer in his day and the date of publication was a little before the time William Morris in the UK  wrote the very first High Fantasy novel. The Wood Beyond the World wasn't published till 1894.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

Yes, despite what I wrote up at the top, the idea of wizards living in towers was around even before Tolkien.  Washington Irving wrote a story about an alchemist who lived in a tower, and there's Rapunzel's witch who kept her up in a tower.

Wizards and Towers

17 days ago

Since we're talking about towers again, wizards being in them, here's more. I figured a lot of them served to highlight the surreal and eccentric nature that scholars would have had in a dark age, and perhaps a little more goofy than regular people. It's the same thing with the old man in the tall floppy hat blowing smoke rings, or the guy in cosmic blue pajamas messing with chemicals, or the apothecary/alchemist hanging an alligator from the ceiling. It's bizarre. And, from an architectural standpoint, it's isolated and strange, and not like a normal house at all, especially not in the medieval setting they're usually in. You're usually gonna see extra towers coming out of it on struts, pointy Disney-castle rooves, glowing windows with glass in them. The archetypal wizard's tower looks out of this world in a way that surrounding, more medieval architecture typically does not if it's not high-fantasy... And if it IS high-fantasy, you can expect to find a lot of really fucking opulent and elaborate wizard towers. Rather than serving as a metaphor for something as basic as being wise or intelligent, a tower probably signifies something much more integral to being a wizard- The tantalizing mysteries, the things just beyond your reach, the magic of being a wizard.

This is supported by how you'll often see quests starting, or the towers themselves characterized by strange noises and the occassional explosion or unexplained weird shit happening due to magic mishaps happening there... Which brings me to another point I don't think was mentioned- A really high place that's relatively isolated and can be locked up and easily defended is probably a great place to experiment with dangerous spells, creatures, and forces. I mean, if they were just the guy in a hut at the edge of the village, those things might be too close to people who would get injured or scared enough to burn you at the stake otherwise. There are other ways of keeping the inside in, sure, but seeing as people were commonly imprisoned in towers or in dark and/or subterranean places throughout history, and dark and/or subterranean in Fantasy often serves as visual shorthand for evil, having a tower is a nice, more morally ambiguous, and practical way to keep things contained.

Wizards and Towers

10 days ago

My suggestion is that wizards like to live alone so they can practice their spells, and a tower is the best way to do so. A castle would be too attracting, a cave would be too cramped and they need space to practice their stuff, walking around would be too dangerous if he was wanted... the tower would provide that - nobody looks at a tower the same way they look at a castle, the tower can have some kind of training room or he can practice from the balcony, and all the other aspects makes reaching them difficult.

A secondary hideout, to be good, would have to provide all these stuff - only replicable by a skyscraper. And skyscrapers are not available in fantasy.

I personally think of towers as secluded though, maybe your ideas are different.

Wizards and Towers

10 days ago

Yes, the typical wizard's tower usually is located in a pretty secluded area.  Most wizards seem to be pretty solitary individuals, with the exception of certain wanderers.  I imagine this overcomes the difficulty of the neighbors complaining about the noise or damage to their property when spells get out of hand.

Wizards and Towers

10 days ago
I always picture them as paranoid af about thieves or rival wizards sneaking a peek at their research.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago
Towers are for exercise. When you're a lazy wizard that doesn't travel around the country and just stay in your tower all day, you need some built in function that will make your lazy ass move around a bit. How do you think all these wizards grow so old? It's not magic. It's because they either exercise by walking all over the place, or they walk up and down a bloody tower every single day.

Magic can't fix being a fat slob.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago

Fuck that, just become a necromancer. Takes care of all age and weight concerns forever.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago
Freddie Mercury was never old and fat. There're a lot of ways to get there, but they all have their drawbacks.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago

Didn't you make an entire storygame detailing the cons of being a necromancer at every turn?

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago

So there was a minor disagreement on how you can’t have fat wizards due to them needing high willpower to be wizards in the first place. To that I say, wizards are probably the only class that could reasonably become grossly fat berks and not really suffer any loss in power.

The fat fuckers could just sit around doing research, levitate or teleport when they want to move about, have magical minions do all the heavy lifting, and summon succubi to suck their dumb fucking dicks. (Or cast charm on the local peasant girl, whatever)

To top things off they got more flesh to tattoo their spells on. So even if they couldn’t get to their spell book in time because they’re taking a giant shit while the adventurers are bashing their door in, they still got countless spells under their folds.

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago
That sounds great! I can totally see an absolutely obese wizard who casts little spells all the time so he absolutely never has to get off his fat ass.

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago
Just as long as they're sure to research Greater Unclog Artery and Summon Insulin early on in their career.

Thinking about it I guess I could get behind the idea of a powerful wizard with their adventuring days behind them reveling in being a grotesque lardass that no one could say shit about without getting incinerated. Runic tattoos working like those little anti-gravity gizmos Baron Harkonnen has should be doable too.

It's just getting fat if they don't want to be that I wouldn't buy, I sort of picture them more as guys who spend 30 hours researching and forget to eat, or else they're wandering the world having adventures.

Would it be possible to polymorph themselves into someone who could climb stairs under their own power if needed, or how does that work exactly?

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago

I would imagine they'd rather just polymorph the adventurers into pigs and have their oven golem cook them, than use the spell to change themselves.

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago

I doubt very many wizards have high willpower to be honest. I mean, since the basic requirement in gaining wizard powers is maintaining your virginity until age 30, you only really have to be an autist with no upper body strength to see yourself joining the ranks of the supernatural.

That doesn't necessarily mean you have a high willpower, unless you're an otherwise attractive and functioning person that wanted to be a wizard since he was a child. In fact, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find wizards that aren’t hideous greasy neckbearded slugs. As they say, the Fedora is the new floppy gandalf cap.

Wizards and Towers

4 days ago

An interesting point.  Wizards are definitely the nerds of the adventuring world  In past times, nerds were inevitably portrayed as scrawny, due to the fact that they (supposedly) spent so much time studying they'd forget to eat - and to accentuate that they were pretty hopeless at anything physical.  Nowadays, nerds are more usually portrayed as being fat, due to the fact that they spend all their time sitting in front of their computers - and again, to accentuate that they're pretty hopeless at anything physical.

So, I can definitely see a wizard sitting in his tower, growing nice and fat.

Wizards and Towers

9 days ago

Just like real life scholars at that!