D&D 5E How many dragons do we need?


The same question could also apply to PC races. I would be for a large enough group of dragons to make things interesting, but I also tend to place monsters in certain places or terrain that makes sense.

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Why are there so many types of dragons?

The same reason there are so many types of Elves (in my view/settings). They are magically beings who attune to their environment over time.


Dusty Dragon
I really like an aspect of the Nenthir vale setting: each cardinal point was blocked by a dragon ...

this is a somewhat small setting, so 4 was enough. But the lesson I would retain is that each dragon is unique. It's not "a" white dragon, it's the white dragon.

And with such a model, having several kinds of dragons available is good.

You might need one set of dragons while I need a different set. It makes plenty of sense for WotC to provide a superset of dragons that includes both the set you need and the set I need while including the sets other DMs who are running different games from yours or mine need. None of that inherently makes the dragons in your setting or mine less special.


A suffusion of yellow
True Dragons - I dont like colour coding dragons so all True dragons are a single species with scales adapted to habitat, all breath fire and acid spray. All use magics according to elemental preferences.

Celestial astral Tien-lung dragon (gold)
Radiant rainbow cosmic dragon (silver)
Song Dragons - Weredragon cult who serve the Rainbow Dragon queen

Not Dragons:
Sea Dragon - sea serpents intelligent with acid spray
Faerie Dragons
Dragon turtles there are three worshipped and given tribute by sailors in their respective territories
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Dragon Lover
I can never have too many dragons. My own world has the following.
  • 12 Chromatic dragons
  • 12 Metallic dragons
  • 12 Gem dragons
  • 10 Catostrophic dragons
  • Several shado/necrotic-touched dragons such as shadow dragons, nightshade dragons, ghost dragons, vampiric dragons, Dracoliches, etc.
  • Several Fey-touched dragons such as fairy dragons, mirage dragons, arch-blessed dragons, ect.
  • Primal Dragons/linnorms for every natural biome.
  • Several outer plane dragons such as hellfire wyrms, stygian dragons, radiant dragpns, battle dragons, void dragons, ect.
  • Many lesser dragons such as dragon turtles, sea serpents, drakes, Wyverns, dragonettes, dragonels, ect.
  • 8 Dragon gods and a dozen or so unique dragon exarchs.


It is Dungeons and DRAGONS, after all. You think they ought to skimp on the dragons?
Yeah - I noted the use of Dragons in the name of the game in my starting line ...

But by having so many different yet similar dragons - do we dilute the concept and make it less significant? If the Avengers had fought 40 Thanoses before Infinity War and Endgame, would the battles against him have mattered as much?
do you mean integrated into a setting or as options? as those are separate options.
I thought I was clear on that - especially in my last line. In any setting you can do what you want. In mine, with a world about 23 times the size of the Earth if you include the Underdark - 75% of the Dragons are the Chromatic Evils and offshoots (Wyverns, Hydras, Dragon Turtles). 20% are the Metallic. Then the other 5% are these other dragon types .... and with Dragons being very rare ... well, most non-chromatic and metallic dragons will never be encountered.

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