A Copper Dragon, possibly one of the most fun NPCs you can run as a DM! We’re going to be 100% honest and admit that we look for reasons to drop Copper Dragons into adventures and campaigns that we’re running.
Why are Copper Dragons so great to run? Well, to start off with IT’S A DRAGON! All but the most powerful or the dumbest characters will tread lightly when a dragon is involved. Second, dragons in general are just tons of fun because they genuinely believe that they are superior to anyone they bump into (and they are typically correct). Third, Copper Dragons love mischief; out of all the dragons Coppers are the most fun-loving of dragon kind. Fourthly, Metallic Dragons gain the ability to shape shift into beasts and humanoids! Let that last one settle in for a while!
Without further ado, here’s 3 ways you can use a Copper Dragon in your adventures!
1) Pesky but oddly helpful donkey/cat/bird… etc, etc, etc! If you have a party that are clearly in over their heads somewhere and you need to provide them with assistance. Imagine, your party is trying to find the secret entrance to some powerful necromancer’s lair. But they’re struggling, or making bad rolls in encounters and getting their butt’s kicked, or now they’re waffling on the mission, whatever is going down… They encounter a whimsical donkey that follows them around, trying to eat their bed-rolls, leaving “road-apples” for them to step in, knocking rocks into water sources when they’re refilling their water-skins. But said donkey also lets them put heavy stuff on it, carries an injured player so they can squeeze in a short rest while traveling, just whatever you can do to make the party NOT hate the donkey. Then it’s also getting stuck in quicksand, when the party goes to save it they find that by working to get the donkey out they’ve found the entrance to a hidden tunnel. Maybe said donkey “accidentally” knocks a PC into some water where they discover in the silt a magic item that can tip the scales for them in the upcoming battle with the necromancer (or whatever your Big Bad is). All along you’ve got a Copper Dragon who wants to see them succeed but is also having a great time! It’s also a way for you to get them out of hot water should they get in over their heads- Copper Dragon shape shifts back into it’s actual form and BAM does some serious clean up!
2) Helpful NPC: EVERY campaign needs a few helpful NPCs, why not make one of them a Copper Dragon in human, or elf, or dragonborn (but it would DEF NOT be a Copper Dragonborn haha), or whatever, form? This is a particularly fun use of a Copper Dragon in a long campaign. Especially if you can sit on the secret for as long as possible. When near the campaign’s end they discover that their dear NPC has been a powerful dragon the whole time.
3) Murder Hobo Repair: Copper Dragons can shape-shift to be nearly any sort of person… soooooooo. You find yourself with a band of straight murder hobos
You’ve threatened them with city/town guards: They killed them all
You threw them in a horrible prison: They killed the guard, and escaped.
You sent noble knights to track them down: murdered
They met an old farmer in need of help: murdered…
then a… murdered…
Somewhere along our merry way DMing a game we’ve all run into a group like this. The sword is the solution to EVERY problem. You’ve done all you know to do to fix it, but alas they murder on. Drop a feeble, but clearly wealthy merchant in their path. He has been sent (in his gilded carriage) to speak some wisdom into these young ruffians’ lives. In reality (obviously!) he’s a Copper Dragon in disguise! If they want to murder-hobo yet again, well… you will then breath weapon and legendary action them into their graves!
Sure, it’s a little “Rocks fall, you all die” but… Occasionally you just gotta do what’s gotta be done!
That’s it for this week! Do keep in mind that Copper Dragons love entertainment, so if you’ve got a bard who hasn’t been used to their full potential- this could be their chance to shine! May you game tables this week be filled with laughter and close dice rolls!