Follower of the Way
Which is entirely fair.I just think that the gold dragon is boring. It's probably my least favorite metallic dragon.
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.What about the other Metallic Dragons (Copper, Brass and Bronze)? What are they like compared to the Gold and the Silver?
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.)
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.Also, what form does Shen typically assume whenever he's around your party? His true form or a preferred humanoid form?
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.)