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I'm trying to gather bones and scales to make armor for one character, and I've come to realize that there's never really any dragons around when you want them to be.

Is there a reliable, continuous source (i.e.: radiant quest giver with a dragon obsession) for dragon locations?

Ideally, this would be a source that still works effectively in end-game scenarios. Such as when you've completed all the major questlines (story, civil war, factions), all of the prominent side-quest lines (daedra, divine, etc.), and found and cleared all of the Word Walls. It would really be perfect if the quest-giver only issued dragon quests but, if there isn't such a person, I suppose I could work with one that asked for other tasks in between now and then.

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I am pretty sure dragons have a cool-down from their spawn point when you kill them. I have gone to old dragon spots [labeled cleared from me], and faced more dragons. – Zero Stack Feb 3 '12 at 20:13
Pretty soon you'll have enough scale and bone that you wont even bother collecting it anymore... I have all my possible followers outfitted in dragon armor and I still have 50+ pieces in a chest that I have no need for. – Christopher Klein Feb 3 '12 at 22:06
@SomeMiscGuy That's presuming you bother collecting them every time and storing them at home. A possible 65 pounds per dragon killed is a lot of extra weight to carry around until you're back home again. – Iszi Feb 4 '12 at 0:34
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Even though you can kill their guardians and get a Cleared Map tag under the location, exterior Word Walls will eventually respawn, both Dragon and Chest.

If you crisscross across Skyrim via Fast Travel, you should get more than enough Dragon Bones / Scales from previously cleared Word Walls that have since respawned.

If you're still looking for more dragons, you can still use the Word Walls, just wait for an in-game week (or however long it takes) then repeat your circuit across Skyrim.

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Cutting out the middle-man. I like it! – Iszi Feb 3 '12 at 21:18

You could use the console if you wanted to, command: placeatme. Or just run around a lot.

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There needs to be a rule about console commands: Not allowed unless explicitly requested. P.S.: I'm on a PS3. – Iszi Feb 14 '12 at 3:51
@Iszi The simple answer there is to specify as such in your question, or tag the question with PS3. – Raven Dreamer Feb 14 '12 at 4:03
@RavenDreamer I understand that but, regardless, the console is still just such a cheap way out. – Iszi Feb 14 '12 at 4:08
true. I was just suggesting a possible way. – Jimmt Feb 14 '12 at 5:13

The radiant Companions quest, Dragon Seekers will have you killing dragons. This is also the case with one of the random radiant Bounty quests (a quest given by an innkeeper, jarl, or steward), and with the radiant Blades quest, Dragon Hunting*.

Note that radiant quests are repeatable and randomly generated, so the quests above are a good, continuous source for dragon locations.

* Note: If you have received the "Paarthurnax" quest and have not finished it, then you will not be able to do the "Dragon Hunting" Blades quest, as well as any quest that the Blades (Delphine and Esbern) give or has given, until you finish it. See the "Paarthurnax" article on UESP for the repercussions of finishing or not finishing that quest. Those playing on the PC can install The Paarthurnax Dilemma mod to get around this issue.

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Note: If you side with the Greybeards in the end-game, Dragon Hunting will no longer be an option. – Iszi Dec 12 '12 at 13:49
@Iszi Added info about the 'Paarthurnax' quest to my answer. – galacticninja Dec 12 '12 at 14:19

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