What to do with dragon scales

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erdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size:12px">So in my group's last session they fought White Dragon. Long story short it was very tough battle with everyone dropping below zero at least once, eventually through they did drop her and then skinned her. They did this under this under the belief that they can go back to town and barter them for items that use dragon scales (I agree with them under this belief). However I am having trouble finding items and I would like some help.
Go to Dragon Land?

In all seriousness, scale armor. Basically any form of protection. Maybe some potions use it as an ingrediant. 
Ant Farm
There aren't a lot of existing magic items that use dragon scales, so what I would recommend is that you just make some up - take some regular magic items (particularly cold themed ones) and jazz up the description to make use of the dragons scales. Depending on what your party is looking for, here are some possibilities (I'm going to assume your party is around level 2, so adjust upwards if they killed a bigger dragon.)

+1 Armor of Resistance (Cold). You can easily call this just about any armor type: leather, scale, and hide are obvious, plate can be from the local smith "hardening"  the skin into plates, and cloth and chainmail can have scales and claws woven throughout it.

A +1 Frost weapon; the edges of the sword are lined with sharpened white scales, giving it a fearsome appearance and a sharp cold bite. A mace, wand, or staff could instead be wrapped in leather made from the dragon's skin.

If one of your party members is a ritual caster, some of the scales (or the dragon's blood, or similar) could be purified into ritual components.
Slowly render the fat from the skin over low heat. When the fat has rendered, increase the heat and deep fry the scales in its own fat until brown and crispy. Drain onto papertowels. Sprinkle with salt and serve accompanied by lime and hot sauce.

These dragonkin cracklings become a consumable item that grants a +2 bonus to Endurance for 12 hours and resist 5 cold per tier until the end of the encounter.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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What to do with dragon scale?
Weigh dragons.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
What NOT to do with a dragon's scales?

-weapons charged with the icy breath of the dragon
-armour that resists cold itself
-a stylish winter hat
-the fanciest pauldrons this side of Fallcrest
-they could be turned into potions or other consumables
-boots! Everyone woman would love to have a pair of white dragon boots
What NOT to do with a dragon's scales?

-weapons charged with the icy breath of the dragon
-armour that resists cold itself
-a stylish winter hat
-the fanciest pauldrons this side of Fallcrest
-they could be turned into potions or other consumables
-boots! Everyone woman would love to have a pair of white dragon boots





boots, haha good one.

What NOT to do with a dragon's scales?

-weapons charged with the icy breath of the dragon
-armour that resists cold itself
-a stylish winter hat
-the fanciest pauldrons this side of Fallcrest
-they could be turned into potions or other consumables
-boots! Everyone woman would love to have a pair of white dragon boots





boots, haha good one.




Good work, boots.
Yeah but everybody knows white dragon hide boots are only fashionable in the summer.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

they could be used for a catalog of things. Dragons are about as magical as it gets, maybe a wizard of some sort is seeking them for his ingrediants? how about a smith looking to use them in a special set of scale armor for a king? 

this has alot of potential to start a good side quest, the PCs have somthing that many people could have a reason to want. i think present a bunch of possibilities and see where they take it. 
I typically allow max of 1 magic item to be created from each monster. In case of the White Dragon scale it would be a scale armor +X of resist cold (Y), where X and Y matches the party level. Depending on the party's needs you might allow for a hide armor instead (especially if a young dragon).
(The Dragon armor simply replaces one item of a treasure parcel).
By allowing only one White dragon item from the dragon that item becomes something special for the character wearing ot, instead of everyone running around in dragon scales wielding dragon-tooth swords... Smile

Either a craftsman does the work (perhaps for a price or a quest), or let the characters create the item themselves (a skill check or maybe a small skill challenge or a small quest) - that give them an even greater attachment to the item, when they have created it themselves.

From time to time, instead of placing just another +Z item in an adventure, I place some one-shot magic item (ritual, runes, fey dust etc.) that allows increasing the enchantment bonus of an existing item to +Z. In this way a character kan keep an item that he has become attached to - such as a White Dragon armor he hs made himself Smile

You might allow skinning of other monsters as well, such as hydraes, wyverns, heavy-hided trolls etc. 

Regards
Nikolaj
These are all valid and workable suggestions; however, I would throw out there that you should always go the unpredictable route. Boots are the obvious choice, as is armor. I would highly recommend doing something the players do not expect, whether that be dragonskin cracklings (consumable) or perhaps have a wizard botch the job and reanimate the skin (see the monster "forsaken shell") and make it into an amusing companion character.

Think of what's more predictable and do something else! 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | The Art of Pacing (Series) | Improvisation Guide | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character
Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!
Check Out My D&D Next Playtest Campaign: The Next World

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

My party did the same thing...skinned a dragon and brought back the scales, hoping something could be done with them.

My DM determined that the local potion dealer, who had a bit of a substance abuse problem, was more than happy to take the scales off our hands. It turned out that the scales were a key ingredient in one of his recreational conconctions and he paid handsomly for it.

So just because you cant find a particular one-to-one use for them, doesnt mean the DM cant just make something up.