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I have been using my experience with the game so far to try and imagine what a battle with a dragon will look like. As someone with zero experience with 5e or other Larian games, I am likely to be wrong about many of the details, but I suspect the conflict will be brutal. So based only on my 80 hours of game time, here are my thoughts.

The way I see it dragons have six possible ways of attacking: 1) claws 2) bite 3) breath weapon 4) wing buffet 5) tail swipe and 6) spells. I think the typical round will provide the dragon with 2-4 claw attacks, a bite, and an extra action such as tail swipe or wing buffet. Wing buffet will knock all the enemies away from the dragon, where pits will be conveniently placed to provide insta death opportunities. If you try to sneak behind the dragon for advantage, it will use its aoe tail swipe to knock you back, again with pits waiting. Both wing buffet and tail swipe will also knock you prone. Breath weapon will be available every 3-4 rounds and will also set the floor on fire. There is also the possibility it knocks you back and prone. Spells will be primarily used for buffs and defense.

If I am right, these battles are going to be near impossible. I think Larian will provide various environmental elements to help us down it. I envision there being loose boulders that we and hit with fire bolt, which will cause massive damage. Maybe the dragon will be shoveable into a pit.

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An interesting proposition you raise here, one which I had not even considered. Personally I would see the plethora of environmental effects toned down hugely, so that not every battle is determined by height advantage, explosions or shoving. At first they are a novelty, and admittedly a fun one at times, but when every battle is determined by such mechanics combat soon gets very repetitive.

Anyway, jumping over dragons to get advantage will be interesting.

Last edited by Etruscan; 12/04/21 07:10 AM.
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Jump+disengage behind the dragon without triggering any AOO, standing on a rock to shoot arrows and dip our weapons on candle for additionnal damages, eat a lot of pig head to heal our characters !

Barrels or shove to OS him.

Another common combat in BG3 crazy

Last edited by Maximuuus; 12/04/21 08:34 AM.
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We won’t need candles. We will have an entire field burning after breath attack we can dip our weapons in. Although dragon will almost certainly be immune to said effect, so it won’t do you any good!

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It'll be awesome
dragon battles are always awesome
because
dragons

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It'll be like this, attack from stealth, pass stealth checks and keep attacking, and eventually dragon will die. How about throw stacking barrels to one shot it, pushing dragon off the edge, or picking the dragon up and throwing him/her across the map. More than likely you will see characters jumping over the dragon for backstab advantage.

You can name whatever creature and apply Larian homebrew to it and that's what is going to happen.

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Larian have made a big deal about the verticality of the game so hopefully the Dragon will fly in, Dragon breath the party, and then continue flying around swooping in occasionally for a grab and drop attack. Only spells and missile fire will have any effect and you'll always be on lower ground than it. Barrels, jumping, pushing, backstab, will all be useless.

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As long as its not any iconic dragons, it should be fine. Difficult but possible. Otherwise prepare for 9th level magic missile spam lmao. The fewer spell the dragon uses the easier it will be. Some breathe weapons can wipe a party too, but spells usually do it. Physical attacks you can tank mostly...kinda......if you are built for it.......maybe.

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They should probably change the Frightened status to what it is in 5e instead of the complete panic mode we have in BG3 where you have to flee drawing AoO's and can't fight back at all.

Otherwise it could be a party wipe on sight with a DC 19 or higher AoE menacing attack that lasts for 10 turns.

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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Jump+disengage behind the dragon without triggering any AOO, standing on a rock to shoot arrows and dip our weapons on candle for additionnal damages, eat a lot of pig head to heal our characters !

Barrels or shove to OS him.
Was about to write that.

Though they did create special rules and stages for the Hag fight, maybe they will do something similar for a Dagon.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
They should probably change the Frightened status to what it is in 5e instead of the complete panic mode we have in BG3 where you have to flee drawing AoO's and can't fight back at all.

Otherwise it could be a party wipe on sight with a DC 19 or higher AoE menacing attack that lasts for 10 turns.
Or the alternate, where you land one successful Menacing Strike on the dragon and then get a free round (+opportunity attacks) to wail on the dragon. Possibly doing it again next turn.

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To add: Dragons generally have Legendary Actions, which are 2-3 actions they can take between PC turns. This helps with action economy, enabling 4-6 PCs vs a single dragon to be a somewhat fair fight. This is different than adding 2-3 actions to the dragon's turn, as that would easily enable the dragon to TPK the party (or instakill a PC) during a single of its turns. Spreading out the dragon's actions gives the PCs a chance to react, heal, reposition, etc.

It will be interesting to see how Larian adapts these Legendary Actions. They're not exactly the same as reactions but are in the same ballpark. If Larian changes dragons to have their normal 3 attacks (or breath weapon) + the LAs all on the same turn, then yeah they're going to have to adjust a lot of details to make balanced fights.

Also, default 5e dragons don't have spellcasting (there is a MM variant where they do). So it'll be interesting to see if Larian gives them spells.
Also also, dragons have a decently high flying speed. I assume that Larian will change this into a jump/pseudo-fly, probably with a simultaneous disengage. Maybe with the Wing Attack (which has a knockdown effect) upon landing?

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I would say dragons will have minimum 4 attacks. A gnoll in this game gets 3 right. There is no way a dragon gets the same number of attacks as a gnoll. I think fly will look something like the Minotaur jump, probably followed by a knockdown effect. Hopefully there will be plenty of areas to take cover.

Last edited by JJRX5; 12/04/21 04:58 PM.
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by 1varangian
They should probably change the Frightened status to what it is in 5e instead of the complete panic mode we have in BG3 where you have to flee drawing AoO's and can't fight back at all.

Otherwise it could be a party wipe on sight with a DC 19 or higher AoE menacing attack that lasts for 10 turns.
Or the alternate, where you land one successful Menacing Strike on the dragon and then get a free round (+opportunity attacks) to wail on the dragon. Possibly doing it again next turn.
I can see a party of 4 Battlemasters spamming Menacing Attack backstabs to take down bosses.

Maybe Gale can Shove a dragon off a ledge with 100% success rate from Invisibility with 9 Strength.

Probably the Larian version of a dragon will jump teleport somewhere every turn just because and you end up having to chase it around the battlefield where floor is lava everywhere for a really epic boss fight. eek

Last edited by 1varangian; 12/04/21 05:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by 1varangian
They should probably change the Frightened status to what it is in 5e instead of the complete panic mode we have in BG3 where you have to flee drawing AoO's and can't fight back at all.

Otherwise it could be a party wipe on sight with a DC 19 or higher AoE menacing attack that lasts for 10 turns.

Frightened is working just fear status does in DOS2

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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Barrels
Yes, that's how you do it:

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Who's the istik now!

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Wait, does the dragon's "corpse" de-spawn after being blown up? Cause it is funny to think those barrels are so powerful they vaporized a dragon.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
Wait, does the dragon's "corpse" de-spawn after being blown up? Cause it is funny to think those barrels are so powerful they vaporized a dragon.

Ether there is no death animation for a dragon yet or there will be a scripted one "Getting impaled on a spike when falling down" or something.

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This build didn't anticipate you'd drop a nuke on it so there's no dragon death or corpse programmed in.

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