How much would an Iron Dragon sell for?

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The party has recently captured a level 11 Iron Dragon and they are talking about selling the creature on the black market.

I was going to just set the sale price at the parties average level of 10, so the Dragon gets them 10,000 gold. Or should I base it on the creatures level and make the price 18,000 gold. Any better ideas would be helpful. 

How much would an Iron Dragon sell for?

However much you think a living, sentient being ought to sell for.  Personally, I think you didn't really ought to sell it at all ;)

However, what you really ought to do if you and they are set on this course of action is make it part of their normal expected treasure per level.  Maybe +/- a bit for some skill checks involved in the sale.  Then have it break free and become a recurring villain because damn.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
However much you think a living, sentient being ought to sell for.  Personally, I think you didn't really ought to sell it at all ;)

However, what you really ought to do if you and they are set on this course of action is make it part of their normal expected treasure per level.  Maybe +/- a bit for some skill checks involved in the sale.  Then have it break free and become a recurring villain because damn.



I'm not going to stop the players selling the dragon, that's a player choice. Some skill checks to affect the sale price is a good idea. Having the dragon break free is much to obvious, but I did consider it. That's not to say the dragon might not escape from the person they sell it too and come after them later on.
I'm not into the whole slavery thing either, but in the interest of further deconstructing the question...

If you wanted to look at selling him, who would want him? Iron dragons are unwieldy and dangerous, ill-tempered, brutish, and impossible to control. What would someone want with him? Such a dragon is ill-suited to any form of service, I have a hard time imagining somebody thinking that shelling out big bucks for an iron dragon would be a good investment since the only way to keep them as an ally is to keep feeding them bribe money, it would be a money pit that no wise merchant would go anywhere near. The only person dumb enough to make the purchase would have a lower intelligence than the dragon and how many dumb rich people are floating around in your world? I can't imagine the price would be good and since it seems like an unwise course of action for the players the poor reward seems justified. If you're looking at skill checks for the sale it seems to me like they would all be bluffs.
As with anything in the world, it's worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for it.

Who would be dumb enough to buy something guaranteed to kill them, and how much they're willing to pay to commit suicide, is up to you.
Your party owns an eleventh level Iron Dragon, against it's will I assume.


How is the party not dead? 
As with anything in the world, it's worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for it.

Who would be dumb enough to buy something guaranteed to kill them, and how much they're willing to pay to commit suicide, is up to you.



Unless, of course, the purchaser is a bad guy powerful enough to convince such a dragon to work for them or obey them.  I mean, what sort of person do you think would buy a dragon?

Chainsawhand, I have no idea who would want to buy an Iron Dragon. And I agree with much of what you say. But it serves my purpose and the players if they get rid of the Dragon by selling it, as they wouldn't kill it or let it go.

LolaBonne and masteraleph, you are right I need an NPC, dumb enough or tough enough to buy a Dragon. Do you have any bright ideas?

BuddhaKai, you assume correctly. How the party survived is just a product of the RPG gods complicating my life in a rather amusing way. I put one PC down in round one or two and after that the players figured out how to synergy their powers. The Dragon got stunned for the whole encounter and I rolled some rubbish on the dice for over an hour. The party pounded the creature very slowly as their dice weren't all that great either. I just couldn't see any point going on with it. So when it started getting late, I stated that the dragon surrendered. But what do you know, they didn't kill it or let it go, they captured it.  

At this point I'm not willing to make my DM life difficult and if the players sell it, good.

Someone stocking a dungeon would buy it.  Some alternate-world Rogahn & Zelligar, or a poor man's Acererak, or something along those lines.  A mad man (or woman), clearly.
Without going into the social stuff, make him worth a couple of level appropriate money packages.
Pick up a copy of the 3.5 Monster Manual 5 supplement (however one can do that now adays...) and read up on Xorvintaal. A Dragon for sale would probably attract the attention of another Dragon playing the great game, especially if the Dragon they just so happened to catch was another player.

Happy Gaming
Someone stocking a dungeon would buy it.  Some alternate-world Rogahn & Zelligar, or a poor man's Acererak, or something along those lines.  A mad man (or woman), clearly.

My first bet would actually be on a person running an arena. Nothing attracts the crowd more than a big scary monster. Consdiering the nature of the dragon, he might actually like it, especially if he gets parts of the profits. My second bet would be a somewhat mad nobleman who gathers monsters for his zoo, although the society must be pretty corrupt/evil to show sapients creatures in a zoo. It would make a nice addition to the dryad, unicorn, sphinx and blink dog ;) Using the dragon as a guardian would be a distant third. After all, people with the power to bind a dragon to their lair tend to be powerful enough to capture them themselves for a lot less money.

As for the money, there is no one-and-true way to determine the amount. Pick whatever you feel is most balanced for the group. 10,000 gp sounds fine, if not a bit on the high side considering the cost involved in the dragon's transport and upkeep. Just make sure your players are aware it is a one-of-a-kind idea that happens to work now, but there is no guarantee it might in the future. The market for monsters is limited after all ;) (Unless of course, you want to refocus your game on bounty hunters and instead of treasure they get the gold from selling the monsters ;))
A rich decadent heir who wants one for his collection of exotic animals. 
A wizard who does some research about Dragons                                 
A mine owner who chains him to a wheel that operates his pumps and feeds him with other slaves that are no longer able to work.
A cult that sacrifices dragonkin to its god
Another dragon,could be a friend or foe of the iron dragon
A paladin who strongly opposes slavery and wants to free him
Well that's given me a few people who might buy a dragon, thanks for that. I've got four more days to prepare, so I better get cracking.
Without going into the social stuff, make him worth a couple of level appropriate money packages.




I'd actually frontload it a bit, maybe like 3-5 parcels (taking an advance on some next level ones if need be). It means they get a good chunk up front, but then money will be light for a while...
Ask your players who they think would make an interesting and plausible buyer. Urge them to think not only in terms of profit, but also in terms of adventure hooks. Talk in terms of tropes, about how defeated enemies often come back, and would they be interested in that?

Collaborate with them, and offer suggestions that you yourself are interested in. Perhaps they'd be intererested in a djinn lord coming to buy the dragon for his pet, and offering them wealth beyond their imagination - in the form of items that aren't easily tradeable on their home plane. If that doesn't interest them (or you) suggest something else.

If you base what finally happens on player ideas, then the plausibility of it doesn't matter quite as much. Players are less likely to poke holes in their own ideas.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I've go my notes all sorted, with a good 9 options if needed. Thanks very much everyone.
Who would be dumb enough to buy something guaranteed to kill them, and how much they're willing to pay to commit suicide, is up to you.



Kraznys mo Nakloz was dumb enough in Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords
I admit, I kinda love the idea of some guy contacting the group months later and accusing them of a swindle:

"Ya sold me a bum dragon!!!"
I admit, I kinda love the idea of some guy contacting the group months later and accusing them of a swindle:

"Ya sold me a bum dragon!!!"



it'd be even better if he had a hook hand or was convulsing from constant violent electocutions

I'm too late to the party on this one, but I'd suggest 125,000 gp for the selling price of a trained and amicable level 11 iron dragon.

I gain this by reverse engineering the price of mounts in the following fashion.
1) mounts generally sell for the same as an item of 2 levels higher than the mount's level
2) mounts with exceptional capacities however, sell for higher. In particular, flying mounts seem to sell for the same as an item of 4 levels higher than the mount's level.
3) While the game has no precedent for owning a mount that is a solo, it seems reasonable that it should be worth 5 times the price of a standard mount of it's level. (the one elite mount, the manticore, is worth approximately twice what a standard mount of it's level would be worth).
4) Level 11 Iron Dragon +4 = level 15 item (25,000 gp). 25,000 gp x 5 =125,000 gp.


Obviously, an untrained and obviously unwilling dragon should be worth substantially less (perhaps 1/5 or less the normal price). Other posters have already addressed these issues, however. I'd also add that I'd never allow a dragon to be purchased except under the most unusual of circumstances, and that the price above is calculated from a game balance perspective only.   

I'm not allowing the characters to buy a Dragon, just sell it hopefully.

I may allow the characters to find a dragon egg, but that's not really the same as having a full grown dragon.
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