Set in the late 14th century CE A decree by King User MMMMMMDCCLX is issued to purge all dragons from his kingdom. Anyone who can solo an adult male dragon will be bestowed a royal title along with handsome rewards. However, the effort to drive the dragons out seems futile because these dragons can swoop in at their targets and shred them asunder in a blink of an eye.

Anyway, let's cut straight to the point: I am thinking of paralysis, like the modern equivalent of a stun gun, to stop these dragons in their tracks, then tie them up afterward. Is it possible to create this shock trap thing to aid my hunt or I should stay to collect their poops for my rice field?


Genus: Dragon

Family: unknown

Order: unknown

Phylum: should be Chordata

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Generally speaking carnivore poops are dangerous to use as fertilizers, especially if said carnivore has consumed members of your species. If I understand correctly it has to with the likelihood of coming in contact with biologically compatible pathogens. Not a microbiologist though, so I'm willing to hear that I'm wrong. $\endgroup$
    – user8827
    Nov 22, 2019 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ More to the point, I think I need to know how big your particular flavor of dragons can get before I answer, because I think there may be a way. $\endgroup$
    – user8827
    Nov 22, 2019 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ With specs like that pre-industrial tech really won't be able to accomplish what you are trying to do, even monumental effort, in any kind of non-fantastical method. That it to say, someone might write you an answer that you like, but being an engineer it's not really in my wheelhouse. If you want I can submit a more detailed 'not without magic' answer. $\endgroup$
    – user8827
    Nov 22, 2019 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ @SeanBoddy: may not necessarily be electrical and magical. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Nov 22, 2019 at 5:54
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @user6760, MMMMMMDCCL should be writen as VMDCCLX. Romans were not that stupid! $\endgroup$
    – ksbes
    Nov 22, 2019 at 6:39

6 Answers 6


With the sort of setting you have in mind, there's no chemical power source strong enough to create a jolt that would take down a large animal. That said, nets work just as well against fliers, and siege weaponry could fling nets. The real difficulty is luring the dragon into the path of the net, but there's always some likely lad who'll ride out for that royal title.


Humans have a long and (in retrospect) not entirely proud history of eradicating bigger, badder, faster and hungrier predators, and there are a huge range of techniques that can be used.

The simplest thing that springs to mind is bait and poison. You'll need quite a lot of poison to kill something that big, but with a bit of practical research it can certainly be achieved. Perhaps you could feed Bessie the cow or Flossie the sheep a really substantial meal of water hemlock, monkshood, foxglove, nightshade and whatever else your local environment can provide. Dragons hunting for themselves will consume the bait and not fly far, or for long. Dragons hunting to feed their family will quickly wipe out their current brood.

Dragons feeding their family have to eat too, especially if they have to spend a lot of energy on flying around. Either both parents of a brood will poison themselves, or one will and the other will have to leave the nest to feed themselevs and their young, and some enterprising climbers can go up and either dispatch any surviving live young or steal or break the eggs as they see fit.

Electrical shock traps would be somewhat anachronistic, but the actual manufacture of an electrical motor (or generator) or capacitor isn't necessarily that difficult. The scope of these anachronisms is of course yours to handwave in. If you wanted "real" 14th century technology though, you're probably out of luck.

Also, having come fresh from a gunpowder weaponry question, and seeing your mention of rice, have you considered the benefits of gunpowder? Rockets and bombs and cannons firing clouds of shot would all have been achievable. Even if big shotguns aren't your thing, then the prospect of a sheep-bomb exploding in mid-air whilst held in the mouth of a big dragon should surely interest you. Much more technologically plausible than electrical mechanisms.


If your dragons can fly while being this big, then (realistic) physics dictate that their bones must be extremely thin and fragile for them to be able to take flight in the first place. Just look at birds' bone structure for reference.

With that in mind, dragons could simply have their bones crushed by catapult or mangonel fire, or even have their legs, wings or ribcage broken by some lad delivering a hearty blow with a hammer.

This would render them almost immediately unable to fight or fly, or even survive for long in the wild in the case they do manage to escape. Weighted nets wuold work just as well.

Instead of a complex (and impossible tbh) shock trap, you could just devise an extremely simple trap like the one pictured below, that would easily break a dragon's leg upon stepping into it.

enter image description here


Maybe consider adding magic into your world since you have dragon anyway?

You could have dragon hunting company(mercenaries maybe ?), equip with harpoon launchers with chains attached. A small group of magicians will transmit electric shock once the harpoon penetrated the scales.

You can add some backstory about the leader of the mercenary band hated dragons because he lost his family to dragon attacks and swore to hunt down every dragons he can


Electrical paralysis is hard. Better to use a neurotoxin that inhibits either exocytosis or Acetylcholine reception. Or, of course, both. Such poisons are available in a low-tech setting -- in the mouths of snakes.

If they have access to something like an inland taipans or nose-horned vipers, they should be able to get paralysis somewhere between 10 and 100 μg/kg. Quetzalcoatlus has been estimated at 300kg, so assuming dragons are a similar size, 3-30mg should be a sufficient dose. This quantity can easily be produced by a single snake in a short time.

Too low a dose will still leave the dragon uncoordinated. Too high will kill it (though maybe that's ok). LD50 is only a rough guide, so people attempting this would need to experiment.

I think you can just coat a metal spike in the venom and manipulate the dragon into stepping on it. You might need something more subtle.

At first, only the injection point will be paralyzed, but the effect will spread at the rate of the dragon's blood flow. Bites of humans have taken as long as 45 minutes to fully paralyze. What that means for a dragon I don't know. Probably not a linear scaleup.


Unless you somehow are aware of the existence of lightning rods (which were invented in the 18th century in our world), set up a trap in a stormy day and pray for a well-timed thunderbolt... No, I don't think you can.

In the medieval time there was no way to store or generate sufficient amounts of electricity.


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