Dragon Lord (known as Dragon's Breath in Europe) is a turn-based strategy game of raising dragons and sending them on missions with the eventual goal of finding the three missing pieces of a talisman that will grant the secret of immortality. The player competes against two other human or AI dragon-raising alchemists that have the same goal.
The three pieces of the talisman are hidden in towns and villages represented on a map. Consequently, the main missions the player sends her or his dragons on are missions of conquering and pillaging, both for the long-term goal of locating the pieces of the talisman, and for the more immediate goal of gaining income in the form of taxes or loot from the local populace. Dragons will also engage in dragon-on-dragon combat when they encounter enemy dragons in the larger world, and such combats can be purposefully sought out, in order to undermine enemy alchemists' plans. Combat can be handled automatically by the computer or played out by human players. Missions are given to dragons on each players' turn (each turn being one month), and then are all resolved simutaneously when the dragons carry out their orders.
A central feature of the game is its complicated alchemy system. Various alchemical formulas, all of which contain ingredients that must be purchased, can be used to affect dragons in a wide range of ways, including boosting their speed, strength, intelligence, health, and eyesight (useful for locating talismans). A range of other game factors can also be affected by alchemy. However, alchemy formulas have detrimental as well as positive effects, so by boosting a dragon's strength, one may at the same time decrease it's eyesight. Usually there is a meaningful net gain to using an alchemical formula, but the general idea is that proper use of alchemy requires some experimentation and skill.