Puff The Magic Dragon
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Basic Information

In 1959, a college student named Leonard Lipton at Cornell University wrote a poem, inspired by an Ogden Nash verse, about an immortal dragon and a little boy; and borrowed a friend's typewriter to type it out. His friend was Peter Yarrow, later of the musical group Peter, Paul & Mary; who recorded the poem and made it a hit record.

Puff the Magic Dragon tells the story of a little boy named Jackie Paper who is friends with a mighty dragon named Puff. The two of them battle pirates and have magical adventures in the Land of Honalee. But although dragons live forever, the same is not true for little boys. Jackie eventually grows up and forgets his friend, leaving Puff desolate and alone. Some presentations of the song try to suggest that Puff finds another child to befriend, but the song ends with Puff slipping sadly back into his cave.


See Also

From the same wiki entry, the name was also whimsically applied to the AC-47 Gunship. Given the location of their base at Da Nang, Puff the magic dragon did indeed live by the sea.

Game and Story Use

  • Puff might fit in a lighter, more whimsical campaign.
  • Naming a dragon "Puff" means you are inviting your players not to take him seriously.
    • Maybe he really is a friendly dragon, and the name suits him
  • If the players call one of your dragon's "Puff", feel free to have the dragon eat them.
  • The idea of a dragon abducting children to keep it company though …
    • Of course, in a suitable culture a dragon might make a good foster parent or tutor for a child, perhaps even acting as Chiron the centaur is said to have done for many of the heroes of Greek mythology. Just like Chiron, a dragon's longevity may allow it to mentor generations of humans.
      • On straight myth, this might suit a Chinese style dragon best - although they'd probably expect a more advanced student (high end sages and above) … still, an emperor or Confucius expy might be accepted as a child pupil.
    • Indeed, you could play this both ways - as a hatchling the dragon lived amongst humans (maybe even being raised by them after the death of its parents) and perhaps even adventured alongside some early hero, and then it served first as an ally and then as a mentor and patron to the descendants of its original friend and caretaker.
  • Could Honalee be related to various Fairylands? Jackie didn't die, or drift apart from Puff, he forgot his adventures.
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