log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E D&D Gem Dragons Are Officially Back

So if you're (not) like me and you don't have the time or patience to watch Spoilers & Swag, you may have missed this awesome reveal... Gem Dragons are back! And I don't just mean back in a third-party book like Matt Colville's Strongholds and Followers (great book, check it out), I mean back officially for D&D 5e.

In case you don't know, Gem Dragons are the third-wheel of dragonkind... they are not Good (Metallic) or Evil (Chromatic), they are Neutral. This makes them easily overlooked in the struggle of good vs. evil, but they've popped up here and there in previous editions.

But it looks like Gem Dragons have returned, first to promote the sale of a very expensive sapphire dice set. This little paper fold-out is included (screenshots below), complete with lore for gem dragons and a statblock for the Adult Sapphire Dragon specifically.

Of course, if you don't want to buy a pricey set of dice for a statblock... you're in luck, as Nathan Stewart reveals that everybody else will get access to it "early in 2020, where we [WotC] will have some fun ways to get that out there." So it looks like some product will be released including the Neutral Dragons, a new adventure or maybe a new monster book!

Feel free to speculate, here's the images;

1573671774880.png


1573671794207.png
 

Comments

I don't know if I would fully wager on a Dragons only book...but given the history of the game, there is certainly enough Dragon material for a full book, and it certainly looks like they've tipped their cards for a Dragon heavy book.
If they are going this route, and it does seem to be a reasonable possibility, I'm going to guess that it would have several monster types instead of just dragons, following the format established in Volo's and Mordenkainen's. I'm sure dragons will get a significant part, like fiends in Mordenkainen's (another group a full book could be, and has been, written about), but with some other monster types to fill it out...
 

log in or register to remove this ad

gyor

Legend
In Volo's Guide to Monsters, they mentioned they wanted to do further similar monster books, and mentioned four monster types they were interested in exploring: Fiends, Dragons, Gith and Undead.

Two years later, they did Fiends and Gith in Mordenkein's Tome of Foes. Two years later, another follow-up doing a thorough look at Dragons at least (Dragonborn, possibly) seems likely.
Major make monster types done lore chapters on Gobliniods, Kobolds, Giants, Yuan Ti, Mind Flayer, Beholders, Hags, Orcs, Fiends, Gith, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Gnomes.

For major monsters types that leaves Celestials, Dragons, Aboleths, Undead, Fey, Lycanthropes.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Major make monster types done lore chapters on Gobliniods, Kobolds, Giants, Yuan Ti, Mind Flayer, Beholders, Hags, Orcs, Fiends, Gith, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Gnomes.

For major monsters types that leaves Celestials, Dragons, Aboleths, Undead, Fey, Lycanthropes.
Of the missing ones, it's definitely the lack of Celestials/Fey that hurts the most. There are lots of different options for aberrations and undead from Volo's, and I don't normally need more than the lycanthropes we have already.

But in 5e there aren't really that many options for monsters set in the Feywild or good-aligned planes, making it a lot harder to set a varied campaign there.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Major make monster types done lore chapters on Gobliniods, Kobolds, Giants, Yuan Ti, Mind Flayer, Beholders, Hags, Orcs, Fiends, Gith, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Gnomes.

For major monsters types that leaves Celestials, Dragons, Aboleths, Undead, Fey, Lycanthropes.
More than that, Modrons and Genies also off of the top of my head.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
Indeed. Gem Dragons are highly associated with psionics as well, so there may be some more implementation of those rules.
Yeah, the Gem Dragons' schtick wasn't just that they were Neutrally aligned between the Metallic and Chromatic Dragons, but that they were naturally psionic as well as magical. I really hope that they retain that aspect for them, it was an important part of their makeup, beginning with their very first appearance in Dragon #37 (the Dragon Magazine Archive CD is still paying off, over 20 years later!)

I have never understood the reluctance of people to have psionic/psychic powers in D&D and its reduction to a later supplement book in every edition beyond 1st; it is such a narrow, limited view of the Fantasy genre that doesn't allow any room for psychic powers. I've heard so many people claim psionics/psychic powers are "too science-fiction", which is an argument I have simply never understood. Nevermind the fact that the divide between Science-Fiction and Fantasy is an artificial construct that only developed over the past few decades, the Weird Fiction stories that D&D was inspired by and is modeled after would happily mix everything together such that they would have wizards with psychic powers wielding rayguns and fighting demons in space.
 


Aebir-Toril

Creator of the Elfgrinder Mech
Honestly, given the type of RPG player and product consumer I am, I would not at all mind having a more focused book, such as one on Dragons, Fiends, or Undead.

In fact, I believe that such releases might be excellent for the hobby as a whole.

However, this model does not seem to align with WotC's current release paradigm.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
It's funny, I think part of the speculation is muddied because there are very likely multiple books in development, so it's hard to compartmentalize all the hints being given.

But where can a gem dragon fit in a book? It could appear as a one-off in an adventure (a few custom statblocks are made for adventures), but I would be very surprised if more than one type of gem dragon appears in an adventure book, but even more surprised if only a Sapphire Dragon was developed (both can't be true, so I find an adventure for this unlikely).

So that leaves this being in a Monster Book (Volo's, Mordenkainen's), or a setting book (Ravnica, Eberron). This is the only hint so far we've gotten for a monster book that I've seen so I'm still leaning on this being in a setting book for Planescape or Spelljammer. But it looks highly likely that at least one book next year will be a setting book, or a monster book.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
Do you know Chris Perkins homegron world Iomandra? It is like a reboot of "Council of Wyrms". I imagine that planet and crystal sphere as a space where all dragons (even the forgotten cobra dragon) can visit.
Ha, that series on Iomandra inspired me a lot. But I could not wait for Chris to flesh it all out. I ended up making my own map and developed the setting further all based on Chris's initial ideas. I have kept a very draconic theme to that setting. Most beasts have been cross-bred with draconic elements for example. A normal boar in the woods is an exotic beast ;)

If interested: Iomandra Home - Connors' Settings
The whole setting with linked pages in the left hand nav bar.
Campaign set in Iomandra is the Waves of Destiny Campaign in top nav bar if you are interested.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
I don't think they get used that often. Most DMs (I'm assuming) use chromatic dragons to fight, with the occasional good metallic dragon thrown in as an NPC. Maybe when you get to the mid-teens then dragons pop up more, but I don't play that high a level. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing some gem dragons and swap them out for a chromatic or good dragon. Or, you could have a whole setting with just gem dragons. Were they a part of Dark Sun with the psionics angle? I can't remember.
That's what I was thinking. Rather than a setting with all dragons, sometimes a setting is defined by what is NOT there. I would like to develop a mini-setting where the gem dragons are 'the' dragons of the setting. Dark Sun was perfect for that and I did use psionic dragons in that setting.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've never used any of the true dragons except the Chromatics. And at this point, I know I've had white, black, green, and blue, but I'm not sure that I've ever used the iconic red dragon in a combat. (I've fought one as a PC, but that's a different matter.)
I've used all five Chromatics each on numerous occasions as opponents, plus Shadow and a few others. As for Metallics, gold and silver have appeared all sorts of times (there was a silver involved just last session), with brass and copper much less frequent.

I say all of that as a preface to my question, "Am I really wierd?" I mean, do lots of DMs out there really feel the need for gem dragons? Do gem dragons show up a bunch in your games, and if so what are they doing? And do most DMs go through far more many different monsters than I do?
I'm always on the lookout for cool new monsters!

After all, monsters are something - along with character pieces, dice, and adventure modules - of which a DM can simply never have enough. :)
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
I don't know if you could make a whole 5e book entirely centered around new dragon monsters... Volo's added monsters from all sorts of categories, and Mordenkainen's added devils, demons, Gith and more.

That said I definitely think a new monster book is possible, I just doubt it'd be dragon specific.
It has been done previously, so I imagine a whole draconic-themed book is a possibility. The 3E Draconomicon was a brilliant book and 4E even did two of them - splitting into Metallic and Chromatic books. I quite liked all the extra dragons in those too, especially the iron dragon and my favourite chromatic dragon, the brown dragon :)
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I have never understood the reluctance of people to have psionic/psychic powers in D&D and its reduction to a later supplement book in every edition beyond 1st; it is such a narrow, limited view of the Fantasy genre that doesn't allow any room for psychic powers.
My problem with PC psyonics is that a) I don't want to shoehorn them into a separate psyonicist class but b) I've yet to, after numerous top-to-bottom redesigns over the years, find a non-class way to have them work for PCs without tossing balance out the window (and I say this as someone who's not often concerned about balance!).

But psyonic monsters? Hells yeah! A slew of new psyonic Dragon types sounds real cool!
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
That's what I was thinking. Rather than a setting with all dragons, sometimes a setting is defined by what is NOT there. I would like to develop a mini-setting where the gem dragons are 'the' dragons of the setting. Dark Sun was perfect for that and I did use psionic dragons in that setting.
If I use gem dragons, I think I'll be using them as a force of "balance" (like Mordenkainen's worldview, just for dragonkind). That they try to force everything into being in cosmic alignment, regardless of what that actually means on a micro scale.

If I'm trying to limit dragons in my homebrew, I might use the "lesser" neutral dragons... they are the Amber, Jade, Jacinth, Moonstone and Pearl dragons... they are honestly so weird, and much more beastly, that they alone would give a setting a more distinct feel. Plus they can fit a wooded Norse setting nicely, which I'm thinking about.

It has been done previously, so I imagine a whole draconic-themed book is a possibility. The 3E Draconomicon was a brilliant book and 4E even did two of them - splitting into Metallic and Chromatic books. I quite liked all the extra dragons in those too, especially the iron dragon and my favourite chromatic dragon, the brown dragon :)
I doubt this solely because 5e has focused on giving books that tend to be larger and more diverse than previous editions have (at least the non-adventure books). A dragon-specific monster book would be a departure from the 5e style of hitting multiple targets in a single book to please a broader audience.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I have never understood the reluctance of people to have psionic/psychic powers in D&D and its reduction to a later supplement book in every edition beyond 1st; it is such a narrow, limited view of the Fantasy genre that doesn't allow any room for psychic powers. I've heard so many people claim psionics/psychic powers are "too science-fiction", which is an argument I have simply never understood.
My view on them is somewhat the other direction. I consider 'psionic' and 'psychic' just other words for magic, and that the powers are not sufficiently distinct from magic to justify a whole other subsystem.

The division between psionic and magical powers in D&D has always been a wholly mechanical one.
 

dave2008

Legend
For major monsters types that leaves Celestials, Dragons, Aboleths, Undead, Fey, Lycanthropes.
FYI, the bolded monsters are not 'types' per page 7 of the MM. Types still to be covered would be:
  • Celestials
  • Constructs
  • Dragons
  • Fey
  • Monstrosities
  • Oozes
  • Plants
  • Undead
Aberations were covered wiht the Beholders in Volos and Mind Flayers in Volos, but you could definitely do something with Aboleths as yoiu mention.
 
Last edited:

Parmandur

Legend
It's funny, I think part of the speculation is muddied because there are very likely multiple books in development, so it's hard to compartmentalize all the hints being given.
Yeah, there are 3-4 books probably, plus who knows what else. It will seem obvious in hindsight, but we'll see soon enough.
 

Parmandur

Legend
giving books that tend to be larger and more diverse than previous editions have (at least the non-adventure books). A dragon-specific monster book would be a departure from the 5e style of hitting multiple targets in a single book to please a broader audience.
On the other hand, Dragons might be one of the few things central enough and widely selling enough for a "targeted" book. I think we'll get a monster book that dives deep on Dragons, but mixing it with other topics would fit the current house style.
 


Advertisement1

Latest threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top