5E Dragonborn settlements/nations

Xeviat

Explorer
Hi everyone.

I was working on some world building stuff, thinking about how non-human nations would differ from human nations. Questions of population density came up, rural/urban spread, and prevalence of towns.

I realized that there is not much information on what Dragonborn settlements are like. In 3E, they weren't a full-fledged race. 4E didn't really detail this from the books I had, and 5E has even less information in the PHB other than that they live in self-sufficient clans.

How do you imagine Dragonborn nations to be spread out? I imagine dwarves to be more urban than humans, having more population in Grand citadels than spread across numerous villages. I imagine elves having far less towns than humans, since they're not particularly mercantile, and spread more evenly instead of clumping in urban centers. But there's nothing really to go off of for Dragonborn.

What do you think?
 

ninjayeti

Explorer
The fluff says their basic social unit is self-sufficient clans. So as a default I would imagine that each clan has a stronghold that controls some surrounding territory. There are a few small (maybe even temporary) cities that serve largely as trading posts and for clan representatives to meet and to govern the nation as a whole but most dragonborn prefer to live in their clan hold rather than with a bunch of outsiders. Given the potential alignment disparities between dragonborn there may be frequent battles between clans or there may be separate nations for good (metalic) and evil (chromatic) dragonborn.

That said, because there are fewer preconceptions of how dragonborn society "should" work you are free to get creative and do something off the wall. In one campaign I ran the dragonborn were the nobles and soldiers in an otherwise predominantly human society because of a centuries-old conquest. Maybe ACTUAL dragons rule the nation and the dragonborn are just their servants and footsoldiers. Maybe the dragonborn nation was destroyed centuries ago and the remaining clans are a diaspora living as mercenaries, nomads, or gypsies.
 

clearstream

Explorer
Hi everyone.

I was working on some world building stuff, thinking about how non-human nations would differ from human nations. Questions of population density came up, rural/urban spread, and prevalence of towns.

I realized that there is not much information on what Dragonborn settlements are like. In 3E, they weren't a full-fledged race. 4E didn't really detail this from the books I had, and 5E has even less information in the PHB other than that they live in self-sufficient clans.

How do you imagine Dragonborn nations to be spread out? I imagine dwarves to be more urban than humans, having more population in Grand citadels than spread across numerous villages. I imagine elves having far less towns than humans, since they're not particularly mercantile, and spread more evenly instead of clumping in urban centers. But there's nothing really to go off of for Dragonborn.

What do you think?
Do you know the tskrang in Earthdawn? They might be a really fun model. IIRC they lived along rivers and on riverboats. Alternatively or additionally, one might imagine each kind of dragonborn living in an aerie or underground system in the relevant terrain type.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
A big part of the lore behind Dragonborn and Tieflings in 4e was that they had each been powerful civilizations in the past, but the conflict between them drove both to collapse. In the setting’s present, neither race have settlements of their own. They are scattered and divided, having at most, small communities, living either nomadically or within settlements controlled by other races. I pretty much lift this idea straight-up for my own games.
 

MarkB

Hero
I'd be tempted to form them into feudal-style settlements built around very strong fortified structures (often incorporating natural defences such as cliffs, caves and swamps) within which they maintain massive stockpiles of provisions and materials.

If you asked any of them, they could give you perfectly rational explanations for this mode of civilisation - it's not too different from many human settlements, and excellent for defence - but to most outside observers, those fortifications and stockpiles look less like castles and provisions, and more like lairs and hoards.
 

aco175

Explorer
I really like what @MarkB just said. It gives them a bit dragon flair and enough civilization that they can trade and farm.

I never like the bone weapons and primitive look they had in 4e. I would have thought they would have traded for something better.
 
How do you imagine Dragonborn nations to be spread out?
What do you think?
I'm lazy and like to use vague historical analogy. Since there were two great, ancient empires alluded to as preceding Nerath (which I pictured as Roman-ish) in the 4e descriptions of Tieflings & Dragonborn, I fairly arbitrarily decided the Dragonborn Arkhosia analogous to ancient Greece. They had city-states, advanced culture - and blood feuds - and became an empire under a sufficiently great leader. (Tieflings' Bael Turag, then were analogous to Egypt, with a healthy helping or REH's Egypt-inspired, steeped-in-evil Stygia.)

It's really a kinda out-there take, because for the most part the Dragonborn come off very knight-in-shining armor, high-medieval (whacked art notwithstanding).
 

gyor

Adventurer
Read Erin M. Evans novels, she explored the Dragonborn more then any writer and at large parts of her last two novels take place in Dragonborn cities and lands and territory. She goes into a lot of detail in exploring Dragonborn customes and History and explores the major Faerun Dragonborn Nation of Tymanther. For anyone interested in Dragonborn she is a must read.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Explorer
I imagine dragonborn like naive of the demiplane of Io's blood isles, the setting of Council of Wyrms, where metallic and chromatic dragons are the main factions, but there are also oriental/leng, planar, gemstones, outer(sun, moon, star) and others like the forgotten cobra-dragon from 2nd AD&D (Dragon Magazine #146).
 

Coroc

Explorer
Are they reptilian by nature? Do they lay eggs? Do they care for their offspring? These questions would very much influence the kind of how their society and nations could be structured.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Explorer
Theoretically they are "repto-mammals". Any sentient or humanoid can't be cold-blood because the brain needs a lot of calories and then a higher metabolism. No coldblood animal can evolutionate to a sentient intelligence.
 
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Coroc

Explorer
Theoretically they are "repto-mammals". Any sentient or humanoid can't be cold-blood because the brain needs a lot of calories and then a higher metabolism.
ahm but kobolds and trogs and lizardmen do lay eggs and they do not seem to have metabolic probs?
 

LuisCarlos17f

Explorer
Platypus and echidnas are oviparous mammals. Some reptiles are ovoviviparous (eggs remain in mother's body until they are ready to hatch).

And in D&D humanoid tribes could be helped by deities they pray, their clerics and shamans would be their "healthcare". More children means more followers.
 

Coroc

Explorer
Platypus and echidnas are oviparous mammals. Some reptiles are ovoviviparous (eggs remain in mother's body until they are ready to hatch).
.....
Those are not by chance the latin words for kobolds and lizardmen? Nah joke aside, would these humanoid reptiles which definitely procreate by laying eggs be rightfully coldblooded (no matter if they are not for game purposes just deriving from the info from your posts) ?
 

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