Posted by : David Guyll September 15, 2010
I remember back in the days of Old Editions Past when dragons had hard-wired personalities based on whether their scales were made from metal or simply gone over with a Crayola, with metallic dragons usually having a Good component appended to their alignment. Like most "Always X Good" monsters, this meant that if you wanted to throw them at the party you had to get "creative", which is another way of saying using a cliche. Popular ones included a case of mistaken identity/gross misunderstanding, mind control, or just because. 4th Edition makes this easier by having most monsters be unaligned at best or changing their origins, making them easier to justify as opponents.
The Wayward Wyrmling is a level 3 adventure in the Chaos Scar written by Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel that tells the woeful story of an adamantine dragon hatchling who loses his mother to adventurers, only to befriend a band of kobolds while meandering about the Chaos Scar region. This might make a good Disney movie except for the part where the kobolds kidnap humans and feed them to the dragon. They also do goblins and other kobolds, but those are monsters so no one gives a fuck. The party can be thrown in the mix by either being re-hired by the dwarf that sent the first party in to fetch some scales, or retrieve the corpses of the good-for-nothing husbands that figured going into a notoriously dangerous region to fetch wood was a capital idea (I do like how if the party helps out the wives for free that they get bonus XP).
The adventure isn't long, reaching delve proportions, but then quality over quantity is paramount when avoiding a KotS-worthy grindfest. The adventure consists of two encounters tackling kobolds doing what they do best: cower behind shit while trying to goad the party into traps or hazardous terrain, while the last encounter includes a dragon with a
twist skill challenge that allows you to--mid combat no less--convince it to change sides. As a bonus if you don't kill it (the pathological pastime of all adventurers), it can team up with you for a few levels while you tour the Chaos Scar as your personal pet dragon. This is a very well written, short adventure with a twist that's not too predictable.