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Why do dragons have this fearsome reputation?

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« Reply #15 on: (09:42:39/10-10-18) »
Yes, the greatest powers on (and above) the planet can occasionally take on even a great dragon.  But even 'lesser' dragons are more power, intelligence, and knowledge in one place than you will find pretty much anywhere else short of possibly a megacorp HQ.  And you don't understand them, and cannot expect any empathy from them.  (with a megacorp or organized crime some members of the organization may have empathy for you, even if the top bosses and organization as a whole doesn't).

On a more practical level:
- You can't damage them
- You won't resist their spells,
- You won't penetrate their masking. 
- They can easily get you to reveal any information they are interested in and then make you forget that happened. 
- They can decide not to honor their agreement with you, and they really won't suffer much in the way of consequences from that. 
- You won't understand their plans, because they are almost always many layers and moving pieces, because their intellect is extraordinary as is the timelines in which they work, and hence you won't understand how much value you hold for them.

As a GM my biggest problem with including dragons in the game is that I can't possibly be clever and cunning enough to fully do them justice.
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« Reply #16 on: (12:05:07/10-10-18) »
Good point about Sirrurg: He was defeated because he was too much of a pain, so they let him get his ass kicked, then ended the fight and took him for sentencing. If any dragon had decided to help him instead...

And good point about how much power they have. Even Urubia has over >100 billion in assets. Mob bosses don't have that much at their disposal to get rid of you.
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« Reply #17 on: (12:38:58/10-10-18) »
...
As a GM my biggest problem with including dragons in the game is that I can't possibly be clever and cunning enough to fully do them justice.

An old trick I hang my hat on for GMing entities smarter than any human ever could be, including myself as the GM, is to not bother fully pre-statting the NPC. Whatever the players come up with, it doesn't catch the superhuman intellect by surprise and countermeasures or contingencies are retroactively in place.

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« Reply #18 on: (14:46:35/10-10-18) »
...
As a GM my biggest problem with including dragons in the game is that I can't possibly be clever and cunning enough to fully do them justice.

An old trick I hang my hat on for GMing entities smarter than any human ever could be, including myself as the GM, is to not bother fully pre-statting the NPC. Whatever the players come up with, it doesn't catch the superhuman intellect by surprise and countermeasures or contingencies are retroactively in place.

Oh, for sure!  Also whatever the outcome of things are, the dragon (or its ilk) has considered that outcome, and it is probably part of some branch of their plan.  i.E. I don't have to know its full network of plans, I can use the power of hindsight to make it look frightfully cunning.
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« Reply #19 on: (15:36:00/10-10-18) »
Retroactively make it into a Xanatos Gambit, then.

Dirty
... but I like it.

Gotta be careful with how you do that though, lest you be called on it
« Last Edit: (15:39:44/10-10-18) by HP15BS »
To Deckers the Foundation really is a crazy place from Alice in Wonderland. How does that stuff just happen? How do they work when everything about them defies logic?
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« Reply #20 on: (17:17:17/10-10-18) »
Retroactively make it into a Xanatos Gambit, then.

Dirty
... but I like it.

Gotta be careful with how you do that though, lest you be called on it

Curse you for tempting me into a TV Tropes wormhole!

I didn't know that term before, but yes, I assume that dragons use Xanatos Gambits as basic strategy, and move up from there.  Yes you have to be careful not to 'be caught' (although I'm quite open in this sort of situation that the NPC is smarter than me and I don't understand all of their plans).  The trick is to ensure that the NPC has broad and nebulously defined interests that that a loss here can always be a win on another front (one not directly involving the players).  And don't have them monologue in too much detail.

So the dragon's agents were thwarted by the players who got to the tarot card first (to use current metaplot).  How might that benefit the dragon?  Let's say that it is trying to build up the frenzy around the cards, making the information that it has about who has this card a more valuable bargaining chip, while getting other parties to pit more resources into this hunt while it consolidates its power elsewhere.  And probably also it was either testing those agents or trying to get them killed off for some reason, or possibly it just wants to find out others who are better than its current agents so that it can recruit them, which drives future plot as it works on recruiting the player characters ....



Jawsey  --
speechthought

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« Reply #21 on: (17:27:27/10-10-18) »
Is it even fair to say that Sirrug was defeated by Aztechnology?  I mean their weapon put him on the ropes, but it sounds like something magical came in at that point and swooped him away while he was weakened.  Didn't a council of dragons then sentence him to imprisonment or something after that?  I've been reading the wiki so I might not have the full picture of the events, but it seems like Sirrug probably wasn't done fighting and the outcome probably wasn't a forgone conclusion.

Also, I want to say that Lofwyr's IQ is listed as being around 300, which should be frightening for any opponent.  He would have a broader and longer-term view of the machinations of the world than pretty much any other being that isn't a great dragon.
Sirrurg was heavily injured and cornered. He tried a big magic spell to end the battle, but Atzechnology countered with a massive blood magic ritual (I still think Harlequin had a hand in that as he needed Aztechnology troops freed up to attack Ghostwalker in Denver). If the ritual had worked correctly it would likely have killed Sirrurg, but it failed and pretty much everything in the area died or was at least knocked out. Sirrurg was as good as dead and only got rescued by a big spirit send by the other dragons which carried him away.
That and the sentencing is unknown to the public and only known to few in the shadows thanks to Frosty.
The public celebrates Aztlan as dragon killers, or at least has having defeated a great dragon, twice even as they also won against Hualpa and Amazonia. For a time maybe even a triple victor as they also forced Ghostwalker to surrender in Denver.

And thats what I am talking about, as far as most people, even shadowruners, know dragons have lost again and again in the past decades. So why do they retain their special reputation? Shadowruners regularly deal with very dangerous entities. Megacorps, extensive crime syndicates, etc. All of which are nearly guaranteed to kill any runner who annoys them enough (see what happened to Dankwalther), same as dragons. And many of them have a much better success ratio than them in the past few decades.

Good point about Sirrurg: He was defeated because he was too much of a pain, so they let him get his ass kicked, then ended the fight and took him for sentencing. If any dragon had decided to help him instead...
Sirrurg had several adult dragons in his army. They ended up as Blue-227 advertisement.
« Last Edit: (17:38:16/10-10-18) by Ixal »

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« Reply #22 on: (17:45:06/10-10-18) »
Ok, let me see if I understand you.....


It takes an ENTIRE ARMY just to WOUND a single great dragon.... and you are wondering why they are feared....



I think that alone speaks for itself...
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

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« Reply #23 on: (17:56:03/10-10-18) »
Curse you for tempting me into a TV Tropes wormhole!

Bahahahahahaha!

IKR?!

I started down that wormhole myself when I saw a reference to the Batman Gambit. Then I saw Xanatos, and just had to read what they had to say about my all-time favorite villain.  ;D

And then, I had to see how that related to Slade, and then, and then, and then....
« Last Edit: (17:58:50/10-10-18) by HP15BS »
To Deckers the Foundation really is a crazy place from Alice in Wonderland. How does that stuff just happen? How do they work when everything about them defies logic?
Then a Techno comes, high 5's Caterpillar, takes a swig of Mad Hatter's tea, & wanders away chatting up White Rabbit.
- Marcus Gideon

Ixal

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« Reply #24 on: (18:59:04/10-10-18) »
Ok, let me see if I understand you.....


It takes an ENTIRE ARMY just to WOUND a single great dragon.... and you are wondering why they are feared....



I think that alone speaks for itself...

And how often does a Great Dragon come after the runners in person? About as often as the head of Aztechnology decides that you have to die, so basically never. And still, why be more afraid of a GD than Aztechnology? Aztechnology seems much more competent.
And if you go down a level why would an adult dragon be more dangerous than the local crime syndicate?

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« Reply #25 on: (20:53:35/10-10-18) »
Ok, let me see if I understand you.....


It takes an ENTIRE ARMY just to WOUND a single great dragon.... and you are wondering why they are feared....



I think that alone speaks for itself...

And how often does a Great Dragon come after the runners in person? About as often as the head of Aztechnology decides that you have to die, so basically never. And still, why be more afraid of a GD than Aztechnology? Aztechnology seems much more competent.
And if you go down a level why would an adult dragon be more dangerous than the local crime syndicate?
For the same reason that Doctor Doom is a better villain than the Green Goblin. Doom has wheels within wheels, and you never know quite when something failing serves another of his purposes. The only people that can match them for intellect and planning are other immortals.
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« Reply #26 on: (04:06:46/10-11-18) »
Ok, let me see if I understand you.....


It takes an ENTIRE ARMY just to WOUND a single great dragon.... and you are wondering why they are feared....



I think that alone speaks for itself...

And how often does a Great Dragon come after the runners in person? About as often as the head of Aztechnology decides that you have to die, so basically never. And still, why be more afraid of a GD than Aztechnology? Aztechnology seems much more competent.
And if you go down a level why would an adult dragon be more dangerous than the local crime syndicate?
For the same reason that Doctor Doom is a better villain than the Green Goblin. Doom has wheels within wheels, and you never know quite when something failing serves another of his purposes. The only people that can match them for intellect and planning are other immortals.

He also got beaten up by Squirrel Girl.

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« Reply #27 on: (23:06:47/10-11-18) »
Ok, let me see if I understand you.....


It takes an ENTIRE ARMY just to WOUND a single great dragon.... and you are wondering why they are feared....



I think that alone speaks for itself...

And how often does a Great Dragon come after the runners in person? About as often as the head of Aztechnology decides that you have to die, so basically never. And still, why be more afraid of a GD than Aztechnology? Aztechnology seems much more competent.
And if you go down a level why would an adult dragon be more dangerous than the local crime syndicate?
For the same reason that Doctor Doom is a better villain than the Green Goblin. Doom has wheels within wheels, and you never know quite when something failing serves another of his purposes. The only people that can match them for intellect and planning are other immortals.

He also got beaten up by Squirrel Girl.
Name a villain that hasn't been beaten up by Squirrel Girl, and I'll show you a villain she hasn't met. She defines 'deus ex machina'.
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« Reply #28 on: (04:20:34/10-12-18) »
I have come to the conclusion that this topic is simply Azzie-propaganda, and since I hate Aztech I'm off. Y'all have fun now! :P
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« Reply #29 on: (17:59:27/10-12-18) »
So, I think Ixal you made a good point but you may not realise it. Namely propaganda. Shadowrun is a game of conspiracies, plans within plans, and no one ever having all the pieces of info. This works equally well for different groups depending how they use what they know and what they take away.

Take the war against Sirrurg from 3 different points of view, Aztechnology, Shadowrunners, and Sirrurg/other Great Dragons.

First Aztechnology. As far as their own citizens and the rest of the world at large know, Sirrurg repeatedly attacked military AND civilian assets(Aztechnology had bases within civilian population centres), and finally after a protracted battle the brave Aztechnology forces defeated and nearly killed the Terrorist Dragon, and he only barely managed to flee in order to survive.

However, the public will never know that about 60% of Aztechnology/Aztlan(is there really a difference?) Military got absolutely MAULED during this conflict, they lost 80% of their food production, something the Corp is known for, and their Secret Anti-Dragon Superweapon, while successful, also caused massive casualties and collateral damage in that it makes non-dragons go completely fucking homocidal-crazy for a while after they've been exposed. So they technically won, but they were in a very, very rough spot afterwards, and so they HAD to use it as a PR Victory.

Second, Shadowrunners. So, it's mentioned in a few different places that there were a TON of "irregular assets" used  by Aztechnology as backup, scouts, and to clear out one of Sirrurg's lairs in order to goad him out into the open. Now in an operation of this importance, info would be compartmentalised to an insane degree, and most Runners wouldn't know what they were involved with until the very end if at all. So they wouldn't know how monumentally high their expected mortality rate was going to be. A lot of them got pulped in the battle and the ops leading up to it, but by that time they never had a choice. You really think once you accept a high-paying job only to find out the Azzies hired you to help take on a Great Dragon and his party pals, that you can back out? You say no, they kill you for now knowing too much. You cut and run, they hunt you down afterwards as a liability. So in this case, the rule is Never Deal With Aztechnology.

But for Runners that weren't involved directly, all they really know is Sirrurg fucked up a lot of Azzies over a couple years, then got stomped by the ENTIRE AZTECHNOLOGY MILITARY. It doesn't matter if you were on one side or the other or just in the area, it wasn't safe for nobody that day.  So just by association, Dragons and whatever they're involved in is fragging dangerous, Omae. Best to stay away.

And then look at the Great Dragons. So, they "rescued" Sirrurg, got to see what effect he had on Aztechnology's concentrated forces and vice versa, and they got to see and know all about Blue-227 and it's effectiveness(and side-effectiveness). And they waited and saw how the Azzies spun the story, what they revealed and what they lied about. And the takeaway here is, if you push the metahumans to the point of desperation, they have the ability to rise up and threaten even the Greats. Granted, not all at once, and not without catastrophic damage to themselves, but a threat nonetheless. And that's information that absolutely CANNOT be known to the world at large.

So let Aztechnology claim the victory here. Let the public see them as heroes for a moment. I guarantee you the Dragons won't oppose Aztechnology so soon, at least openly considering Sirrurg was Public Enemy #1, but you better believe their info and shadow game just went up like crazy.  Which means you really never know when that balding middle-aged fixer is actually on a dragon's payroll. Heck HE doesn't know it. And that certainly means you have no clue if what you're being paid to do is ACTUALLY what you're being paid to do, or who your real enemies and opposition on the run is.

When it comes to dragon's, all you know is that they're dangerous, their enemies are dangerous, and you'll never see their true plans unless they want you to. THAT is why you never deal with a dragon. Because Shadowrunners live and die by the information they have, and if a dragon enters the picture, you'll never have all the pieces, or the right ones. Live or die, the decision isn't up to you anymore at that point. It's up to Them.

And it was made before you ever got the call from your fixer.
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