Dragons. In a fantasy setting you immediately get the mental image of a slumbering siege engine of scales and magic on a hoard of treasure, quite possibly terrorizing a countryside from its hidden lair. Smaug casts a very long shadow. But in Starfinder the place dragons occupy in society is very different. On the one hand, the physical and magical advantages of a dragon are ameliorated by technology in large part, making them not much more of a threat than a well manned assault hovercopter. On the other hand a creature that lives several thousands of years, of genius intelligence and with a tendency to accrue resources, and in many cases exercising a very loose set of morals (if any at all), is the kind of being all too likely to rise to the top in a capitalist political and economic landscape. From that sense, dragons have gotten WORSE. No longer a monstrous other, carving a fiefdom from outside the systems of the rest of society, they are very much part of society but with all the advantages to take the top spot then comfortably settle in for 10 lifetimes while everyone else exists either as part of their long term machinations or as a footnote at the end of an earnings spreadsheet. Trying to take down a dragon is now either an act of revolution, bucking the laws and systems of society (likely crafted over the years to further protect the dragon from the lesser folk), or a complicated legal and economic process that could take lifetimes. The future favors the scaly kind.
Perhaps that’s why we don’t see many explicit mentions of dragons in the Pact Worlds lore. Let’s look at the few that are called out (I’m skipping kobolds and dragonkin for brevity here, and to avoid spoilers won’t be going into the APs or SFS adventures):
Chromatic (AA1) are typically some flavor of evil and are usually CEOs, warlords, or strongmen. Metallic (AA2) are philosophically opposed to their Chromatic brethren, but are still often CEOs, political leaders, or trusted advisors. Outer dragons (AA2) pursue their own esoteric agendas, operating largely outside society. Likewise Starmetal dragons (AA3) are mysterious and their motives are mostly unknown. Robot dragons (AA4) are much like androids in that their artificial bodies are so complex they attract the souls of true dragons, becoming independent weapons of war with agendas all their own.
There’s no reason to think that Apsu, Dahak, and Tiamat have gone away by the time of the Pact Worlds, but they don’t get specifically called out either (with the exception of Dahak’s Claw on Triaxus, mentioned in Pact Worlds). We do have Ragadahn, Father of All Dragons, as part of the Eldest in Galatic Magic though.
Introduced in Distant Worlds and further fleshed out in the Reign of Winter AP, Triaxus is a world largely shaped by the conflict between dragons and their allies/thralls. As of AG 323 much of the planet is part of the Pact Worlds, though the Allied Nations and Drakelands are still carved into fiefdoms by the various draconic overlords. No where in the setting is more densely populated by dragons, and the conflict between metallic and chromatic dragon philosophies has shaped the history and culture of the world. If you are looking to run a dragon-centric Starfinder game, you could do worse than set it on Triaxus. Refer to the CRB and Pact Worlds for more information on Triaxus.
There is a black dragon down in the ghost levels that rules an entire section of the station (Drift Crisis page 78).
Numerous linnorms live in the depths of the icy Brethedan moon Kalo-Mahoi (Interstellar Species pages 82-83) Linnorms, of course, are primordial dragons with an affinity for curses. You can find linnorm stats here, and here.
Telasia, an ancient transport hub of aiudara portals, is ruled over by the green dragon Urvosk (Pact Worlds page 35-36)
A volcanic moon of Bretheda known to be frequented by red dragons (Pact Worlds page 120).
The ancient Izalguun city of of Izald-Mar is being explored by the Triaxian megacorp Frozen Trove Labs, once overseen a powerful white dragon, who is recently passed away (Ports of Call page 77).
That’s all the ones I can find. I expect we’ll get significant changes in Starfinder 2E, both because of the move away from alignment, as well as Chromatic and Metallic dragons. I still expect Triaxus to be a hotbed of dragon activity and politics, but how everything else with shake out, we’ll just have to see.
This will be the last post of 2023, as I’ve got lots of RL stuff going on in the rest of December. We’ll be back in early January 2024 though. Have a great holiday season!
As always, if you like this or any of the other content here on Solo Run Studio I would welcome a little of your support through Ko-fi. Until next time Starfinders!
Artist and Writer