D&D General Dragons and Dragon Breath (Chlorine Breath and Freakin Lasers!)

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Why did Green Dragons change to acid in 3e and then back to poison gas in 4e without the chlorine? Would the universe have exploded if 4e went sonic?

What's the point of metallic dragons? Why aren't silver ones giant mirrors that shoot lasers (as per @Vaalingrade 's brilliant suggestion)?

Is the Quasar Dragon still greatest of them all?

How about the new (old) ones in Fizban?

Were the orange, purple, and !?!? dragons ever worth looking at back in Dragon Magazine (iirc?)?

What is your biggest concern about Dragons?
 

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Wait, what? 3e green dragons had acid breath? How did I never notice this? What did black dragons have then?

As for for chlorine, it is poisonous gas. But I don't feel there is need to specify exactly what sort of chemical the poison is made of, that's not usually done with other poisons either, and 'chlorine' sounds pretty modern and sciencey for a fantasy game. (I know that alchemists used to produce certain types of chlorine in the middle ages, but did they really call it 'chlorine' back then?)
 
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see

Pedantic Grognard
Okay, edited repost from the kobold thread:

The explicit word "chlorine" was dropped in 3rd edition, but arguably, they never stopped having a chlorine gas breath weapon. After all, 3rd edition didn't include "poison" as a damage type, so, of the 3e damage types, what would you label corrosive chlorine gas other than acid?

The unambiguous breath weapon type changes in D&D for the Original Six (the Black, Blue, Golden, Green, Red, and White were the six dragon types in the original booklets) have been confined to the Gold(en) losing its chlorine gas breath weapon in favor of a weakening gas with 3rd edition. For the Next Four (the Brass, Bronze, Copper, and Silver appeared in Supplement I: Greyhawk), the big changes were the Brass switching from a fear cloud to a heat cloud in 2nd edition, and then from a heat cloud to a line of fire in 3rd.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Too monochrome. I want dragons with elaborate snakeskin-like scale patterns, or magnificent plumage, or squid-like shifting Rorschach patterns. Ditch the Pantone Colour Wheel and shiny wrappers entirely.
Have you checked out Strixhaven's Dragons yet? They're fairly recognizable as Dragons, but look very unique compared to D&D's main Dragons.

My favorite is probably Tanazir Quandrix. I love the fractal-style of her wings:
1648499138083.png
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Wait, what? 3E green dragons had acid breath? How did I never notice this? What did black dragons have then?

As for for chlorine, it is poisonous gas. But I don't feel there is need to specify exactly what sort of chemical the poison is made of, that's not usually done with other poisons either, and 'chlorine' sounds pretty modern and sciencey for a fantasy game. (I know that alchemists used to produce certain types of chlorine in the middle ages, but did they really call it 'chlorine' back then?)

Chlorine is corrosive though isn't it?

Honestly, I don't think I ever realised the changes despite reading about the various dragons in all of the different editions from the BECMI Rules Cyclopedia and 2e onwards.

Black dragons have a line of acid, green a cone in 3.5 anyway.

I taught my son the original breath weapons, and then he grabbed my PF Bestiary and the Green one was different :-(
 

Cruentus

Adventurer
Why did Green Dragons change to acid in 3e and then back to poison gas in 4e without the chlorine? Would the universe have exploded if 4e went sonic?

What's the point of metallic dragons? Why aren't silver ones giant mirrors that shoot lasers (as per @Vaalingrade 's brilliant suggestion)?

Is the Quasar Dragon still greatest of them all?

How about the new (old) ones in Fizban?

Were the orange, purple, and !?!? dragons ever worth looking at back in Dragon Magazine (iirc?)?

What is your biggest concern about Dragons?
My biggest concern is that they have a set taxonomy based on color. Only Red ones do this, only Silver ones do that. For my next game (granted this is 2e Ad&d), I'm making those color based abilities "tales your grandpa told you." You can believe them if you want, but IF you ever meet a dragon out in the wild, good luck if you bet on that Blue one spitting lightning...

The other concern is that most dragons seem too "common". I've seen some 5e write ups of "epic" dragons, mostly named, and find them to be much more my style of dragon. An actual force of nature that wouldn't be easy for anyone to deal with...
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Why did Green Dragons change to acid in 3e and then back to poison gas in 4e without the chlorine? Would the universe have exploded if 4e went sonic?
Only the designers can answer that question, but my theory is they did it because they wanted to define all dragons as inflicting some kind of "energy" damage and poison wasn't defined as an energy. The closest to chlorine gas would have been acid.
3e design was driven by systems and structures for everything - hence "system mastery". Making all dragons do energy damage, having energy resistance, having their damaging breath weapons countered by resist energy - all systematic. A DM/Player knowing how one worked, generally knew them all.
What's the point of metallic dragons? Why aren't silver ones giant mirrors that shoot lasers (as per @Vaalingrade 's brilliant suggestion)?
Counterparts to their evil, chromatic cousins. Plus, not every monster in the manual is there for heroes to fight, trick, or evade.
Were the orange, purple, and !?!? dragons ever worth looking at back in Dragon Magazine (iirc?)?
I had fun with them. I used them in a 1e game I ran. BTW, it was orange, purple, and yellow.
What is your biggest concern about Dragons?
They may have been made too simple for a flagship monster. I'd like some more resistances and interesting powers like the 3e/PF ones.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Dragon change at my table


Dragons have the resistances of their scale color and breathe of their eye color
Colors and damage makes more sense (to us)
  • acid- Bronze (Metallic Yellow-green)
  • bludgeoning (water)- Blue
  • cold- White
  • fire- Red
  • force- Silver
  • lightning- Copper
  • necrotic- Black
  • piercing (wind)- Iron (Darkish Metallic Gray)
  • poison- Green
  • psychic - Gem
  • radiant- Gold
  • slashing (sand)- Brown
  • thunder- Brass (Metallic Brownish Yellow)
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
What is your biggest concern about Dragons?
How can there be so many types and ages of Dragons without them taking over the world?

How many dragons can a single campaign world reasonably support?

What do the dragons get out of a world with all of these bipeds walking around thinking they control the place?
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think my biggest issue with dragons is that stat wise they are too similar. A lot of dragons are really just number changes. I think some 3pp monster books do a better job of differentiating the various dragon types.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Counterparts to their evil, chromatic cousins. Plus, not every monster in the manual is there for heroes to fight, trick, or evade.

Is there anything about the myths with Bahamut (with one head) that makes there need to be a correspondence though? Symmetry is nice... but here it just feels lazy to me I guess.

I had fun with them. I used them in a 1e game I ran. BTW, it was orange, purple, and yellow.

Yellow was what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure. I wonder if the Orange, Purple, and Yellow ones wonder why the three famous ones are from the additive light rules, but they're a mixture of paint and light (or are Orange and Purple just glad they aren't Cyan and Magenta?).

Do you remember the breath weapons?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Dragon change at my table


Dragons have the resistances of their scale color and breathe of their eye color
Colors and damage makes more sense (to us)
  • acid- Bronze (Metallic Yellow-green)
  • bludgeoning (water)- Blue
  • cold- White
  • fire- Red
  • force- Silver
  • lightning- Copper
  • necrotic- Black
  • piercing (wind)- Iron (Darkish Metallic Gray)
  • poison- Green
  • psychic - Gem
  • radiant- Gold
  • slashing (sand)- Brown
  • thunder- Brass (Metallic Brownish Yellow)
What are the eye colors? Or do they have all the scale/eye combinations out there somewhere?
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Is there anything about the myths with Bahamut (with one head) that makes there need to be a correspondence though? Symmetry is nice... but here it just feels lazy to me I guess.
Bahamut isn't a dragon outside of D&D. Bahamut was probably the Biblical Behemoth reimagined into Arabic and then passed into lore that way. In the Arabic IIRC Bahamut is a giant sea monster of some sort. I honestly have no idea how Gygax (or whoever) linked Tiamat and Bahamut together - Tiamat's opponent would more naturally be Marduk if you're going by myths (who also wasn't a dragon).

But of course it needed to be symmetric - it was 1e AD&D - almost everything had some kind of opposite.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
What are the eye colors? Or do they have all the scale/eye combinations out there somewhere?
Back in 4e, we did our grids with Magic cards and fake printed Magic cards

Since many of our table's NPCs were meme characters from books, shows, and movies.... The DM had Seto Kaiba showed up with freaking Blue Eyes White Dragons. Blue Eyes for lightning breath White Scales for cold immunity.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Why did Green Dragons change to acid in 3e and then back to poison gas in 4e without the chlorine? Would the universe have exploded if 4e went sonic?
I'm not entirely sure, but I'm fine with the Green Dragon having poisonous gas as their breath weapon.

What's the point of metallic dragons? Why aren't silver ones giant mirrors that shoot lasers (as per @Vaalingrade 's brilliant suggestion)?
Whatever you make them I suppose. For me, Metallic Dragons are more divine in nature while Chromatic are more arcane in nature (and/or more devilish in nature in regards to my homebrew world).

Is the Quasar Dragon still greatest of them all?
Astral, Force, and Prismatic dragons are the greatest of them all! :LOL:

How about the new (old) ones in Fizban?
I am glad they introduced the Gem Dragons for 5e and I like some of the other inclusions like Moonstone Dragons.

Were the orange, purple, and !?!? dragons ever worth looking at back in Dragon Magazine (iirc?)?
I thought they were really cool. Though I'm also the one with 12 different types of Chromatic, Metallic, and Gem Dragons, 10 different types of Catastrophic Dragons, as well as Linnorm and other draconic creatures.

What is your biggest concern about Dragons?
I don't have concerns per say, but I wish that dragons were a bit more complex and unique mechanically like in earlier editions. Though I have no problem homebrewing dragons for my games.
 

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