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  • Dragons are kinda small, by D&D standards, anyways. They measure 195 centimeters at, what I assume to be, the withers, and normally 295 centimeters at the top of the head when standing.
  • They lack powered flight and aren't decent gliders. Their wings' only purpose is to be a heatsink and an omnidirectional parachute/brake.
  • Dragons have breath weapons, but they aren't better than your average molotov cocktail, distance is a-okay, 3.5 meters.
  • Dragons are intelligent (somewhat above an average human), can use tools (through limited telekinesis), and have access to magic. Unfortunately, it's pretty weak (without prep time), so I won't allow you to use it.
  • Their bones are reinforced with goethite fibers, their bodies are riddled with air sacs, and their skin can easily deflect blows from a sword, regardless, it won't help against semi-automatic and automatic rifles.

So, dragons are powerful when played cleverly, but their size is extremely problematic when facing modern-day firearms.

What can a dragon do to survive, say, a sniper attack (Mosin-Nagant ( decent scope), primitive camouflage), assuming he already realized there's someone trying to shoot him.


  • Try not to rely on the terrain or specific circumstances, instead, state the common objective of the actions (example: obscure the sniper's vision, so he doesn't know where to shoot). Also, it's good if the tactic is self-contained and repeatable.

  • Choosing the third option, eg: surrendering, calling out for help, activating a trap card, isn't possible.

  • The dragon doesn't really have anything (like an item) with him.
  • For all intents and purposes (atmosphere, weather), the planet is completely Earth-like.
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    $\begingroup$ If by "advanced firearms" you mean steel-jacketed armor-piercing rounds, then like Bigfoot, you never ever ever be seen my man. Alternatively, you can be as big as Godzilla, meaning you need a nuke. Otherwise, there's no way to do it. IMO. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Oct 1, 2018 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Is living in zoos or nature preserves an option? $\endgroup$
    – tweray
    Oct 1, 2018 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH The .30-06 Springfield will do the job. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2018 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @tweray Like a hidden valley surrounded by a big big wall and guarded with Metal Gear Ray? Well, if they can make it back to there... $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2018 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Well frankly unless they just magically appears out of blue. Otherwise, assuming the species we are talking about is as intelligent as they are described in most fictions, they would have either: A. Eliminated or enslaved mankind before they can acquire such lethal weapon, or B. Get into agreement with human so they can live somehow safely in exchange of some decent tourist income. $\endgroup$
    – tweray
    Oct 1, 2018 at 18:32

7 Answers 7


The most effective tactic for the dragon here would be a smokescreen, kicking up dirt and breathing fire onto the ground to mask its position. Though useless for flight, their wings sound decently suited for swirling up a cloud of smoke and dust. (Telekinesis isn't allowed in this hypothetical, but if it was, it might be able to assist this through slight manipulation of air currents.) Obscured by the cloud, the dragon can safely find cover and decide what to do next.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's a pretty good idea, here, have a cookie. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2018 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, except if I throw in 50+ grenades I bound to still hit the dragon. $\endgroup$
    – cybernard
    Oct 2, 2018 at 3:16
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    $\begingroup$ @cybernard Assuming it hasn't already snuck out of the cloud and escaped. You're throwing grenades into the smoke, but it's already snuck around behind you? * CHOMP * Or, it just runs away. But - OP specifically asks about avoiding Sniper attacks. If you can throw a grenade ~700m, then may I suggest Olympic shot put? $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2018 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Chronocidal except these events seem to be happening in modern times, so grenade launchers already exist. $\endgroup$
    – cybernard
    Oct 2, 2018 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ @cybernard Okay, so that gets you about halfway there (300-400m) $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2018 at 11:56

The best way for dragons to stay alive is to become domestic.

Just like the family dog, just bigger.

Let themselves be put in zoos even. (If really necessary).

You could take your dragon camping, and he would offer serious protection against bears and wolf packs.

Now the humans won't attack them at all, and even feed them.

They will even get treated by vets or etc.

If some humans decide to use them in war fare, they will armor them against regular bullets with plate armor or etc.

After that as long as they don't attack or kill they will be in no danger at all. Also with such high intelligence some of them might even be able to do valuable human type jobs. Maybe even scientists.

One big question, with all this intellect can they talk? (Even if we don't currently understand their language). Anything as smart as a human can be taught a language or we could use computers AI to figure out their language.

Option #2 isolation

Pick a remote island, and they all stay there and don't bother anyone.

  • $\begingroup$ Dragons are sapient creatures. That's not domestication, that's slavery! I'd hope modern humans could recognize a sapient being and agree that they deserve to not be murdered without needing them as slaves! That also doesn't help in this specific case of one dragon being hunted by one crazed gunman. $\endgroup$
    – dsollen
    Aug 27, 2021 at 17:15

It seems to me that about 13,000 years ago there were many species on Earth that were approximately the size that is described.

At the present time many of those species are extinct, in many cases as a result of hunting by humans and many others still exist and are listed as being endangered to various degrees - or not.

So individual dragons might not have any way to make themselves absolutely safe from hunters but it is possible that various factors that have helped other species of the same size survive will also help dragons survive.


TrumooChees's Answer relies on a surrounding full of soil or sand, and is best to use when available since it has the highest chance to evade a sniper attack.

I'll be using ostriches and cats in my example, and using a urban setting during the attack.

They can use their wings, like ostriches, to execute high speed zig zagging maneuvers while using their tails, just like cats, to increase their balance while turning, making them harder to shoot at.


Enhanced skin camouflage seen on chameleons, as they are lizard like creatures. For better results, something like octopus, that can also mimic texture. It wouldn't depend on the terrain as they can mimic any.

After being spotted, it's hard for every existing creature that we could reference. The best option would be the smoke screen as TrummoCheese already stated. Let me add just this, they could be able to regulate the amount of oxygen on their breath and exhale a dark dense smoke that would cover a large area.


If a dragon can't fly, there must be a reason for it.

  1. First, they have wing but they are too heavy to fly or the wings is too small. Usually this kind of dragon compensate with a heavy armored scales, or maybe fat or flesh ( thus the weight ).

  2. Second, they lose it on purpose because its not good for them. For example, water dragon transform it to be a fin. Earth dragon maybe lose their wings for a big scale or bones to help them dig. Or maybe a speedy type lose it and evolved it to become an aerodynamic scale ?

The dragon you described is a flawed creature. Dragon in my opinion is a creature of great strength, too be feared and awed. If the dragon cant fly, why it kept it wings ? Don't tell me in the long age of it's life he just sleeping and eating ? Never battle ?

Battling with a dragon with useless wing is like battling with a knight with a shield but never use the shield and use their nails and tooth to fight. This kind of dragon will die out and became extinct way before modern guns come into being. Maybe killed by human using more advanced sword or magic ? Killed by another dragon that evolved ? If the dragon can't evolve then it highly possible that they will be killed when the first musked and cannon is out.

For the sake of answering, I think that kind of dragon will slowly lose their wing and replace them with harder and more durable scales. The more human ( the food ) evolve the more the dragon ( the hunter ) need to evolve, or stave out to dead. By the point humans invent a sniper rifle, dragons will have a passive magnetic field from their scale, or maybe reinforce them with healing magic? They are intelligent to they can evolve and invent to.


Your dragons are smart. The only reason they might not be technologically on par is because they dont have the numbers or society to divide the labor like humans do. So the first thing they would try would be to simply integrate into human society. They are smart, big and strong so they would have no problem finding work in construction or farming or other labors. Their limited telikinesis also allows them to do labor that needs finesse without the hands obscuring the view or needing equipment like tweezers to work.

That said, the dragon will eventually find himself under attack, and it doesnt have to be a human with a gun but could just as likely be a dragon when they integrate themselves. Since the dragon isnt armed his best bet is to make a smoke screen by setting things nearby on fire and running away. The gunman (or gundragon) wont be able to simply give chase as the dragon could hide and surprise him, which is historically why a fleeing person/armygroup is unlikely to be killed as the risk of chasing is too high. The dragon then goes and looks for weapons for himself, or looks for armor plating he can place on his wings (since he can glide each wing can carry about half his weight in armor) so he can get in close. Put some Razor edges on those wings and start swingin, biting and clawing...

  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain what, exactly, is a gundragon? Is it a dragon with a gun? I don't understand why a dragon would need a gun if it has fire breath. Is it a dragon-gun hybrid, as in its head is a gun or something? $\endgroup$
    – John Locke
    Oct 2, 2018 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ @John Locke a gunman is just a man holding a gun. A gundragon is just a play of words and would logically be a dragon holding a gun. The reason the dragon is holding a gun because his firebreath has a range of 3.5m while a gun has many meters and while another dragon might have immunity or resistances against fire they arent resistant against bullets as mentioned in the question. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Oct 2, 2018 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ I was just about to say something like "Why would they be fighting? Dogs don't fight." when I realized that dogs do fight. With the high-level intelligence you describe, I suppose they could use guns. $\endgroup$
    – John Locke
    Oct 3, 2018 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ @John Locke dogs fight, but its a common misconception that dogs are dangerous enough to bite. Theres only two reasons dogs fight and bite hard enough to puncture the skin: they have genetics that encourage it (we are talking about the same chances humans can be sociopaths, not the type of breed), or the owner doesnt know how to handle the dog. (or the other dog owner forces a confrontation by accident). 'intelligent' humans are the one's who bring a knife or pistol "for protection", and these dragons are higher than average human intelligence so they are more like humans than dogs. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Oct 3, 2018 at 8:27

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