D&D General Companion Thread to D&D Survivor: Dragons, Metallic

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I just think that the gold dragon is boring. It's probably my least favorite metallic dragon.
Which is entirely fair.

What about the other Metallic Dragons (Copper, Brass and Bronze)? ;) What are they like compared to the Gold and the Silver?
Well, if you believe their hype, copper dragons are the humorists and artists; brass are the conversationalists and diplomats; and bronzes are tacticians and justiciars (effectively "policemen"). In the best cases, this means coppers are witty, fun, and creative, filling the world with joy and beauty; brasses are advocates and uniters, giving others motivation toward virtue and common cause to rally behind; and bronzes are warriors and protectors, putting down evil and ensuring that the good are protected from the cruel whims of chance and fate.

Cast in a negative light, coppers are frivolous and capricious, exploiting their superiority over mortals just to get a good laugh or out-do whatever artistry a mortal might attempt. Brasses love the sound of their own voice and are exactly the faux-humble type to declare that they're the most humble dragons in the world. And bronzes, well, they're the worst type of moral policemen, the ones who personally meddle in everyone else's affairs and have a savior complex.

As I said, one can play this game with essentially anything. Even chromatic dragons can almost surely be re-cast in, if not a "good" light proper, then at least a neutral one. (Though it might be a challenge with white dragons. They're pretty much always depicted as brutish and stupid.)

Also, what form does Shen typically assume whenever he's around your party? His true form or a preferred humanoid form?
Because he is undercover (his quarry would flee if his true identity were known), he spends essentially all of his time looking like a gold dragonborn priest, looking very similar to the linked image. He revealed his secret to the party after they had proven themselves to be stalwart and trustworthy allies, and has twice appeared in his "true" form, though that's kind of a weirdness for this particular setting.

TL;DR: As a "Guardian," a being specially empowered by an oath made to celestials or great spirits, Shen (like all good dragons) is partially multi-dimensional, so his really fully "true form" can't even be seen by regular mortal eyes. In the first instance, he was there in his full draconic body, acting as a guarantor of safety and justice for a judgment-circle of Kahina (in this case, a druid/shaman pair from each of the cardinal directions, passing judgment on a wayward druid), out in an isolated part of wilderness so no prying eyes would see his natural state. In the second instance, a party member who was in a sort of celestial in-between space could partially see what celestials and Guardians truly look like; Shen and a couatl named Tlacalicue ("Daylight-her-Skirt" in Nahuatl) appeared, and the PC could tell that Tlacalicue was "bigger" than Shen in the polydimensional sense, but both of them were to some degree having to "squeeze" into the appearance of being three-dimensional.

So, in one sense, Shen is technically never seen in his "true form," because you would need to be polydimensional yourself in order to see it (and truly seeing actual outsiders or Guardians tends to be deeply disturbing for mortals, even when said being is completely benign.) In another, he only very rarely assumes his "true form" because he's on a covert mission. If it weren't for that, he would be quite content using whatever form is more convenient at the time. Most likely he would stick to his dragonborn form while in the city, simply to avoid unnerving or upsetting the populace, but he might switch to dragon form to enjoy a good flight around the Tarrakhuna now and then. (It's also a lot easier to smooch his fiancee, Hafsa, when he's in dragonborn form; he likely took her flying more than once when the two of them took a vacation to his homeland for a couple weeks.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Shen, the Dragon of Doom?!
View attachment 312926

Here is my take:
View attachment 312927
Hah, not quite. Beautiful picture though.

His name is Tenryu Shen, surname first since his homeland is my pastiche of fantasy Japan and China. (Just as the Tarrakhuna region has "Jinnistan" as the country in the elemental otherworld of Al-Akirah, so too does Yuxia have "Fusang" as the elemental otherworld, with both terms drawn from IRL myths about magical lands, one Near Eastern/Indian Subcontinental, the other Chinese.)

He's a gold dragon, who normally protects some particular area of Yuxia, the "Jade Home." Currently, however, he is on assignment (implicitly from the Jade Emperor or some functionary thereof) to hunt down a treacherous black dragon, who had been thought killed, but who actually snuck away to the Tarrakhuna, where there are no Guardians to oppose them (as the Genie-Rajahs abandoned the world for Al-Akirah long ago.)
 

Well, if you believe their hype, copper dragons are the humorists and artists; brass are the conversationalists and diplomats; and bronzes are tacticians and justiciars (effectively "policemen"). In the best cases, this means coppers are witty, fun, and creative, filling the world with joy and beauty; brasses are advocates and uniters, giving others motivation toward virtue and common cause to rally behind; and bronzes are warriors and protectors, putting down evil and ensuring that the good are protected from the cruel whims of chance and fate.

Cast in a negative light, coppers are frivolous and capricious, exploiting their superiority over mortals just to get a good laugh or out-do whatever artistry a mortal might attempt. Brasses love the sound of their own voice and are exactly the faux-humble type to declare that they're the most humble dragons in the world. And bronzes, well, they're the worst type of moral policemen, the ones who personally meddle in everyone else's affairs and have a savior complex.
You got me wondering if the Dragonborn share the same personality traits as the dragons they happen to resemble. I can imagine that this probably isn't the case in 5e. But since Level Up mentions that the dragons have had a claw in their creation, they might have those same personality traits. ;) Which means that a Copper Dragonborn could be a bit of a prankster at heart, and wishes that everyone would just lighten up and not take things too seriously. A Brass Dragonborn could be someone who wants everyone to get along and a trivia buff who likes learning about all sorts of things. Lastly a Bronze Dragonborn likes it when a plan comes together. ;) Of course, they would also have the same negative traits associated with these dragons too. Nobody is perfect. 😋
 

Most dragons "rule you" and "encourage you to think like it"--even within that party, you can bet your britches the silver dragon is going to be manipulating people toward the ends it thinks are best. Demonizing the silver dragon is simply a matter of painting it as "ah, these weak mortals can't take care of this themselves, guess it's up to us to actually save the day," or worse, as "ah, time for a little vacation as a mortal," heedless of the emotional cost that can take on folks who believe the lies the silver tells in order to join them.
At this point, I'm mostly curious what gold and silver dragons in novels and video games you're getting that characterization from. Heart was exceedingly kind in my opinion. Lectral was rather distant but still joined the war and didn't look down on people. Maya was commanding, but befriends you easily outside her wartime duties. Silvara was an incredible healer who couldn't stand to see people suffer and frequently volunteered her time. Even the son of Huma was rebellious but tried to do the right thing.

Of course, it could just be a difference of opinion. Their behaviors seem pretty different to me, while it sounds like you see them as fairly similar.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
At this point, I'm mostly curious what gold and silver dragons in novels and video games you're getting that characterization from. Heart was exceedingly kind in my opinion. Lectral was rather distant but still joined the war and didn't look down on people. Maya was commanding, but befriends you easily outside her wartime duties. Silvara was an incredible healer who couldn't stand to see people suffer and frequently volunteered her time. Even the son of Huma was rebellious but tried to do the right thing.

Of course, it could just be a difference of opinion. Their behaviors seem pretty different to me, while it sounds like you see them as fairly similar.
My point was not that any specific one does act that way. It was that we can always cast aspersions, turning benign actions into twisted ones purely by re-framing the context thereof.

The gold dragon can be viewed as a mustache-twirling chessmaster who simply sees people as pieces on the board, who cares nothing for the lives and person-hood of the people she manipulates. Someone who coldly, calculatingly rules, but always stays in the shadows, never allowing anyone to exercise oversight or criticism. Ensuring things work out exactly how they want, no matter what the vict--recipients want.

Or she can be viewed as a benevolent advisor, someone trying to weave many disparate lives into the most beneficial state she can find. Someone who wants to respect the autonomy and individuality of others, while still building up what they believe are the best characteristics in those people. Nudging, inviting, aiding, equipping, but never usurping a person's ability to choose for themselves.

Exactly the same actions, but one presented as uncaring, haughty, cold, perhaps even cruel, while the other is presented as caring, supportive, hoping to build others up so they can stand on their own.

Likewise, the silver dragon's stance can be easily twisted. Compared to a dragon, mortals are practically children: small, immature, impulsive, ignorant. To be so focused on such things, to the exclusion of associating with their own kind, is kinda weird. It bespeaks of a paternalist attitude, potentially even taking away the achievements of said children because, y'know, you can't trust the kids to get it done themselves.

Again, this isn't how I see it. I'm just calling out what I see as a pretty obvious bias: the gold's actions are interpreted in the worst, most monstrous light possible, while the silver's are given the kindest, best light possible. Comparing apples to apples, both are either lofty goals and major positive forces, or pretty damn questionable acts and shady characters.
 

Again, this isn't how I see it. I'm just calling out what I see as a pretty obvious bias: the gold's actions are interpreted in the worst, most monstrous light possible, while the silver's are given the kindest, best light possible. Comparing apples to apples, both are either lofty goals and major positive forces, or pretty damn questionable acts and shady characters.
I'm talking about dragons with actual characterization and what those characterizations tend to be. Not quantum dragons that can be whatever the DM makes them.
 

My point was not that any specific one does act that way. It was that we can always cast aspersions, turning benign actions into twisted ones purely by re-framing the context thereof.

The gold dragon can be viewed as a mustache-twirling chessmaster who simply sees people as pieces on the board, who cares nothing for the lives and person-hood of the people she manipulates. Someone who coldly, calculatingly rules, but always stays in the shadows, never allowing anyone to exercise oversight or criticism. Ensuring things work out exactly how they want, no matter what the vict--recipients want.

Or she can be viewed as a benevolent advisor, someone trying to weave many disparate lives into the most beneficial state she can find. Someone who wants to respect the autonomy and individuality of others, while still building up what they believe are the best characteristics in those people. Nudging, inviting, aiding, equipping, but never usurping a person's ability to choose for themselves.

Exactly the same actions, but one presented as uncaring, haughty, cold, perhaps even cruel, while the other is presented as caring, supportive, hoping to build others up so they can stand on their own.

Likewise, the silver dragon's stance can be easily twisted. Compared to a dragon, mortals are practically children: small, immature, impulsive, ignorant. To be so focused on such things, to the exclusion of associating with their own kind, is kinda weird. It bespeaks of a paternalist attitude, potentially even taking away the achievements of said children because, y'know, you can't trust the kids to get it done themselves.

Again, this isn't how I see it. I'm just calling out what I see as a pretty obvious bias: the gold's actions are interpreted in the worst, most monstrous light possible, while the silver's are given the kindest, best light possible. Comparing apples to apples, both are either lofty goals and major positive forces, or pretty damn questionable acts and shady characters.
so the silver dragon's burden so to speak with all the horror that would mean.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Wow, only the garbage dragons are left. Oh well, it's a race to the bottom of the barrel!
Honestly, did you expect anything else? This sort of thing happens all the time in this kind of thread. Anything even vaguely nontraditional gets destroyed; even if it's one of the good, well-made ones, it'll get bombed to oblivion in the proverbial semifinals. When people dogpiled the Stars Druid simply because it was nontraditional, that pretty much broke my will to ever really see anything fun or interesting come out of these threads.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top