Council of Wyrms
"How can you have something called Dungeons & Dragons and not allow people to play as dragons?"
- – Bill Slaviscek to Gary Gygax
And thus, Council of Wyrms was born.
Simply put, you get to play as the Dragons. No, you don't get to play normal dragons in a normal D&D world, having your hoard targeted by would-be adventurers or fighting for control of puppet governments. That would be too cool. You play the thrilling game of democratic dragon politics on an island chain populated mostly by dragons, their demihuman vassal races, and the half-dragon offspring of dragon/vassal mating.
The Races and Classes
- Dragons: Of course, you can play as legit dragons, though you're not gonna be as broke-ass powerful as the guys you've fought against. You're generally restricted to the varieties of Chromatic, Metallic, and Gemstone dragons, each with some truly drastic stat adjustments. However, your dragons are limited to specific classes: Dragon (a generic template of a kit that permits their development), Dragon-Priests and Dragon-Mages (though limited to using specific kits to not hamper your development), and Dragon-Psionicist (Using kits exclusive to the Gemstone Dragons), and your levels are dictated by how many magical items are in your hoard. You could also play a Dragon-Sage, which gives you access to both cleric and wizard spells, but only Divination and Conjuration spells from both classes.
- Kindred: Of course, there are other races besides the dragons. These are the vassals, the various servants each dragon accumulates to manage all the boring stuff while they go take care of business. Each dragon species has their own preferences, but you're stuck with either dwarves, elves, and gnomes for vassal races, and all can select a kit that lets them ride their masters.
- Half-Dragons: The result of a tryst between Dragon daddy and Vassal mommy, these don't quite look like dragons, but definitely aren't like their mother race either. They're only found between Gold, Silver, and Bronze dragons.
Unlike the CRB, proficiencies are mandatory here, and the proficiencies available are drastically different to the core book's, mainly to cater to the unique lifestyle of the dragons.
The Io's Blood Isles
The adventure takes place on a chain of islands created by Io to stop the various types of dragons from killing each other. To accomplish this he forcibly separates the dragon types from each other. Eventually the different clans decided to make an island into a neutral seat. This island is populated by the Platform of Wyrms, which has representatives of every clan with a dragon of at least 1000 years, and the Platform of Dominates where dragons of any age can debate (and just debate).
One thing that should be mentioned is the scale of the islands. Going by the map, the chain is over 2500 miles top to bottom. That's larger than the continental US flipped on its side. Accordingly, the top of the map holds the world's north pole and the bottom holds a tropical ring of fire. The only outside locations in the setting are said north pole and tropical fire land, home to the Frost and Fire Giants respectively, and "far off" continents inhabited by humans, including dragon slayers.
Whilst the dragons and their "Vassals" get all the attention, there's actually quite a lot of intelligent races running around the Io's Blood Isles according to the random encounters charts, so this'd actually be a perfect place to run "weird race" centric campaigns. These races include:
- Frost Giants
- Fire Giants
- Quaggoths (an arctic-adapted surface-dwelling race which hunts dragons with the aid of pots of brown mold as throwing weapons)
- Wemics (at war with the hobgoblins who share their terrain)
- Firbolgs (Neutral Evil in the isles, strangely)
- Goblins (ride giant spiders)
- Hill Giants
- Aquatic Elves
- Manscorpions (bitter enemies of the thri-kreen)
- Thri-Kreen (bitter enemies of the manscorpions)
- Yuan-Ti (at war with the other swamp-dwellers)
- Lizardfolk ("Advanced" cultural variant, working at controlling reptilian Gargantua)
- Bullywugs (psionic, True Neutral, with a druidic cultrual belief, control and ride giant swamp worms, breed carnivorous plant guardians)
- Spriggans (dwell in the underdark, all but indistinguishable from svirfneblin)
- Kuo-Toa (dwell in surface waters, unaffected by sunlight)
Additionally, certain monsters take on more unusual forms here. Cave Fishers are fully sapient, rather than mere predatory animals, and capture humanoids from the surface to sell as slaves to the Aboleths in the Underdark. Manticores are characterized as "wise, but stingy and hard bargainers". A species of fire-breathing canine, described as "Hell Hounds, but True Neutral" are common in the deserts and trained by local hobgoblins.