Dragon – what is the deal with their “immunity”?
TL;DR: The whole “dragons are immune to normal weapons” thing comes mostly from the 16 HP Dragon example but everyone uses this when explaining things in DW; isn’t that weird?”
The 16 HP dragon is one of the most iconic fights for Dungeon World. A lot of it hinges on the fact that “Dragons are immune to normal weapons”. This trueism has kind of been adopted across the board because the example given in that blog post is so compelling and helpful.
I don’t know if it should always be true though. Based on the Volley discussion I took a look at the stat block again and there is nothing there that inherently supports that.
Dragon Solitary, Huge, Terrifying, Cautious, Hoarder
Bite (b[2d12]+5 damage, 4 piercing) 16 HP 5 Armor
Special Qualities: Elemental blood, Wings
They are the greatest and most terrible things this world will ever have to offer.
Instinct: To rule
Bend an element to its will
Act with disdain
Nothing in that statblock directly points to Dragons having that right? No of course such a statblock isn’t everything. There is a lot that is implied with the monster itself but if we look at the
Iron Golem – Special Quality: Metal
Apocalypse Dragon – Special Qualities: Inch-thick metal hide
Swamp Shambler – Special Qualities: Swamp Form
we have direct example of statblocks pointing out: This can’t be easily harmed.
The GM in that game (or a player) could have easily established that Dragons are all immune to normal weapons and that is fine.
I don’t know if that is a trueism we should adopt in every example we use as the book doesn’t directly support that.
I also like dragons being able to be damaged by normal weapons. The real problem with a dragon is getting close to them and into a position where you can hurt them without getting in danger. Requiring a special weapon also asks a lot and rules out a dragon encounter in a lot of moments. I guess you could just ask your Cleric to _Magic Weapon_ your Axe but that depends how you have set up Magic Weapon in your fiction. If it is just a slight magical enhancement it will probably not help. If it is a divine blessing that makes the weapon glow with aweful light then it’s different.
Dragons; immune to normal weapons? Yes or No?
(It depends on your game of course)