Dragons are truly awesome creatures. Too awesome in a lot of ways, really. Because of their power, their magnificence and their near-immortal lifespans, a GM might hesitate to include one in a campaign as anything other than an end boss. Here are 30 non-traditional ways to bring these wonderful beasts into your own campaign.
Due to the nature of tabletop RPGs, a campaign will often start with a random group of strangers. Here are some ways to get them adventuring together, without resorting to the old Tavern trope.
The city of Nausopol is built on stilts. Lots of very sturdy stilts and butresses, of course, because it rises about five hundred feet from the ocean. Even the most terrific of storms is only heard in the city as a distant cacophony of blasts as waves strike the solid stonework fathoms below. It has never been attacked because of its isolation and impregnability.
It's not a place for the faint-hearted: vertigo and sea-sickness are not desirable traits. But when you are standing in the middle of the city there is no way you could tell that you were standing above an ocean, separated only by a gulf of air and a few stones.
A thousand steps lead down from Nausopol to the floating docks. These docks are pitch-coated wooden and can be raised by winches during squalls. Trade with other cities and countries is good: Nausopol is built over a sunken atoll whose minerals are still mined by divers, and it was from this that it originally derived its wealth.
But the principal method of getting to and from the city is by riding the giant sea-eagles which have been captured and bred for that very reason.