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D&D 5E A reptilian world?


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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Another one: anthropomorphic Tegus (lizards that are not strictly cold-blooded, and can heat their blood without sources needed by other reptiles) that have a higher speed or can do bursts of unusual speed as compared to other denizens of the world.

Which makes me think…is this world warmer than typical, like prehistoric earth? Or when winter comes, do other species rise up and threaten the more reptilian civilizations?

Or is there a race like the Silurians of Doctor Who fame who live deep within the warmth of the earth?
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In D&D? The only one I can remember from official sources are the troglodytes, but they are always depicted as less advanced than other species/cultures.
I remember the Trogs, but I was thinking a LOT more like Who’s Silurians- advanced, civilized, etc.

Of course, nothing wrong with having the Trogs being a fallen civilization, unaware of their ascendancy that was so long ago, EVERYONE has forgotten.

…except for the settlements of “The Deeper Ones”- Trogs so far down they haven’t been seen in so long, no one remembers them either. And like the Silurians, they plan to return…
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Another one: anthropomorphic Tegus (lizards that are not strictly cold-blooded, and can heat their blood without sources needed by other reptiles) that have a higher speed or can do bursts of unusual speed as compared to other denizens of the world.

Which makes me think…is this world warmer than typical, like prehistoric earth? Or when winter comes, do other species rise up and threaten the more reptilian civilizations?

Or is there a race like the Silurians of Doctor Who fame who live deep within the warmth of the earth?

Thats a fascinating factoid about Tegu being able to switch between ecto and endothermic metabolism, I’d always imagined Lizard folk as endothermic too (more saurian than lizard) but it seems squamates might have the edge afterall.

Another factoid I was reminded of is that because of their ‘cold blood’ metabolisms reptiles can survive on significantly less food than mammals of equivalent size (and a hibernating Crocodiles can survive 3 years without food) - what is the implication of that in a world of sapient anthropomorphic reptilians?
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Thats a fascinating factoid about Tegu being able to switch between ecto and endothermic metabolism, I’d alsways imagined Lizard folk as endothermic too (more saurian than lizard) but it seems squamates might have the edge afterall.

Another factoid I was reminded of is that because of their ‘cold blood’ metabolisms reptiles can survive on significantly less food than mammals of equivalent size (and a hibernating Crocodiles can survive 3 years without food) - what is the implication of that in a world of sapient anthropomorphic reptilians?
They don’t need to invest as much land in animal husbandry, for one.
 

dave2008

Legend
Another factoid I was reminded of is that because of their ‘cold blood’ metabolisms reptiles can survive on significantly less food than mammals of equivalent size (and a hibernating Crocodiles can survive 3 years without food) - what is the implication of that in a world of sapient anthropomorphic reptilians?
From fossil data we know that predator to prey rations are much more equal. While with endotherms you need a lot more prey animals.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Eating your foes might be a bit more common, too. In some cultures, it might even be analogous to slavery- practiced by some while vilified by others.

Agriculture might be different as well. Since most reptiles and their kin are carnivores, there would be little call for true food crops as we know them. Some crops would be feed for food animals. Some would be for “industrial” use, like timber or hemp. Some crops would be for seasoning & spices. Others for medicinal or ”pharmaceutical” use. They may or may not have versions of plant-derived teas, coffees, or alcoholic beverages.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I've considered doing this before but never really got it out of the "thinking about it" stage.

Not 100% sure which analogues I'd use but maybe I'd have dragonborn replace humans as the most populace race. Kobolds would replace gnomes, specifically tinker gnomes. I have an image of kobolds as artificers that are the equivalent of wild magic sorcerers, they love making things and often those things blow up.

Yuanti will always be the bad guys, essentially the snake men from Hyboria, except they're out in the open as the rise of man has not yet driven them underground.

Lizardfolk are the primitive cousins to dragonborn or perhaps they just prefer a nomadic primal existence over the cities of the dragonborn. In fact, that would be cool to see tribes of nomadic lizardfolk with giant lizards as pack animals.

This would be a setting where I'd also be keen to have dinosaurs. I normally don't use them unless I'm including a lost world section of the setting. I think I would also want to update saurials to 5e. I kind of see them as wise philosophers, I'd probably create a loose caste system for them where each specific type of saurial gravitates to specific areas, similar to their 2e class level limits. They'd also have a reputation as being some of the best spellcasters in the world.

And as a bonus setting, after playing in the scaled world, you can advance the setting thousands of years to a point where man has risen and spread out, great dragonborn and yuanti empires have crumbled, and now their former homes become sites for humanity to explore and plunder.
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Not 100% sure which analogues I'd use but maybe I'd have dragonborn replace humans as the most populace race. Kobolds would replace gnomes, specifically tinker gnomes. I have an image of kobolds as artificers that are the equivalent of wild magic sorcerers, they love making things and often those things blow up.

That was my point when I said that kobolds should be "the gnomes" of this setting. Kobolds are intelligent and creative creatures. They would the tinkerers and engeeniers of this world, much like the Zil gnomes of Eberron.

And as a bonus setting, after playing in the scaled world, you can advance the setting thousands of years to a point where man has risen and spread out, great dragonborn and yuanti empires have crumbled, and now their former homes become sites for humanity to explore and plunder.

There couldn't be a setting that has no humanity as the dominant species? I mean, there are a lot of those already, either official or fanmade. Why "ruin" this setting with that concept?
 

cbwjm

Hero
That was my point when I said that kobolds should be "the gnomes" of this setting. Kobolds are intelligent and creative creatures. They would the tinkerers and engeeniers of this world, much like the Zil gnomes of Eberron.



There couldn't be a setting that has no humanity as the dominant species? I mean, there are a lot of those already, either official or fanmade. Why "ruin" this setting with that concept?
I'm not, this is essentially two settings separated by timelines. Play in one doesn't affect the other, the earlier time of the scaled folk just serves as a springboard for the history of the later setting and explains why there are all these ancient ruins to explore.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
And as a bonus setting, after playing in the scaled world, you can advance the setting thousands of years to a point where man has risen and spread out, great dragonborn and yuanti empires have crumbled, and now their former homes become sites for humanity to explore and plunder.

Thats essentially what I did with one of my homebrews, in the modern era the PCs started uncovering ancient ruins with statues and hieroglyphs of serpent headed ‘snake people’ and eventually uncovered a tomb of mummified snake men (called Lamia imc) who of course were undead. The Church however suppressed any suggestion that they were signs of an ancient serpent civilisation.

essentially the worlds prehistory was dominated by the Lamia Queen Nakasha, high priestess of the ’Great Devourer who Encircles’. The Lamia empire was a theocracy where females were priesthood and males were warrior-overseers who conquered and dominated other races. The Lamia enslaved the Saurials (Lizardmen and Tri-horns) to build their Ziggurat temples and made alliances with Dragons (leading to Lamia/Dragon and Lizardman/Dragon crossbreeds).

Anyway when mammalian races started to appea they were initially treated as food and then as enemies, but then some mysterious cataclysm occured and the Queen Nakasha fell into a slumber and the Lamia Empire collapsed, ther Lizardmen rebelled and the Dragons withdrew from the mortal world. The Lamia who remained become tyranical despots and were eventually overthrown and forced into hiding, using their shapechanging ability to live among the warm-bloods Leading to legends of dopplegangers and vampires.

Nakasha has slept for thousands of years but is now awakening and wants to reclaim her empire …

That however was backstory to a otherwise standard fantasy world, not one created from the ground up to be dominated by reptiles
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
That however was backstory to a otherwise standard fantasy world, not one created from the ground up to be dominated by reptiles

This is my point. We are trying to create here a world meant to be dominated by the scaled ones. Not a world that would become the backstory of Standard Fantasy world #th.

I have a few ideas to share here, that I hope I can share when I get home.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Of the ideas here so far, the idea I like least is using the Dragonborn in the human niche. To me, with their abilities and the lore of their origins, they’re a better fit to replace elves.
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Of the ideas here so far, the idea I like least is using the Dragonborn in the human niche. To me, with their abilities and the lore of their origins, they’re a better fit to replace elves.

This depends. Are dragonborn in the human niche of the "most common race" or in the niche of "the dominant species of this world". I think that dragonborn can be the dominant humanoid species in Reptorth (placeholder name for now), under their masters (and true dominant species of Reptorth), the dragons. While, yes, I think they will be not as numerous as lizardfolk.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
This depends. Are dragonborn in the human niche of the "most common race" or in the niche of "the dominant species of this world". I think that dragonborn can be the dominant humanoid species in Reptorth (placeholder name for now), under their masters (and true dominant species of Reptorth), the dragons. While, yes, I think they will be not as numerous as lizardfolk.


Humans are defined not just by their ubiquity but also by their mundanity and that’s something Dragonborn lack, even more so if they are the servants of True Dragons. Even in Reptileworld Dragonborn are an elite race not the mundane base that humans represent.

Personally I’d be inclined to start from a Finhead/Lizardman base (Human stand in) and diversify from there - Dragonborn as elite Lizardman/dragon hybrids, Crocodile men as savage Lizardman and Trogs as degenerate Lizardman etc.
Hornhead Saurials as firbolgish “wise giants”, kobolds and Urds/Pterafolk ...
 

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