It would potentially limit how they are called or how we understood their natures. But I'm not sure if it is reasonable that D&D (and its world of magic) would be restricted to a Middle Age conception of science, philosophy, or alchemy.I’m not sure I understand the criticism. Just because we didn’t discover something until the 1700s doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. If dragons were real, nature wouldn’t limit their species only to to things humans had discovered.
Yeah, this.I’m not sure I understand the criticism. Just because we didn’t discover something until the 1700s doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. If dragons were real, nature wouldn’t limit their species only to to things humans had discovered.
This seems closer to the Eberron approach. Some of the deities are depicted as dragons that would not otherwise seem obvious based upon the alignment of the deities or the MM alignment of the dragons. And this phenomenon is likewise encountered with dragons in the world of Eberron. Eberron only suggests that chromatic dragons are more susceptible to the influence of the "daughter of Khyber" named Tiamat.I divorced my dragons from standard colors and "factions".
They still influence or are influenced by terrain, so most "black" dragons like shadows or swamps, and since shadows and swamps are not nice...
However, the characters were surprised and enjoyed meeting "Gazorix Justicarius Rex" a female old red dragon that was the founder of the LG Knights of the Flame.
...and then there was the evil yellow/gold political manipulator behind the throne dragon, Eldeth (The Elder Death).
I don’t think “more fun” is necessarily the right metric to use here. A game with a cohesive setting is not necessarily “more fun” than a game with a hodgepodge setting, but depending on the interests of the people playing, either may be preferable to the other, for reasons other than being more fun. Fun is also very difficult to quantify, which makes proving that a fluff change makes the game “more fun” very difficult, and therefore this metric would seem to strongly discourage fluff changes. Better to ask “how does this enhance my enjoyment of the game?” than “how does this make the game more fun?”Yeah, this.
I mean, I'm all for rethinking assumptions and trying to make the game more fun. But trying to rationalize design ideas by arguing that they are more historically accurate, or more scientific, or whatever, is kinda pointless in my opinion.
So let's say we reconfigure all the dragons to meet the expectations of the OP. How will that make the game more fun? That's kind of all that matters.
(And, no, "inconsistencies in the fluff annoy me and make the game less fun" is not a persuasive argument.)
May not mean anything, but: B&W, RGB. They're primary colors.why the founding nerds picked those 5 colors and 6 metals for the core dragons.
I hope RGB (additive) is being taught as the primary colors today, but in the 1970s anyone who didn't work in television or printing definitely thought of RYB (mixing) as the primary colors. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtractive_color#RYBMay not mean anything, but: B&W, RGB. They're primary colors.
In heraldry you have: argent, gules, sable, azure, vert, and or. With argent pulling double-duty as both white and silver, that covers the chromatic dragons, with gold as a bonus.
I'm not sure I see the difference between those two phrasings. Can you explain? "my enjoyment" seems just as subjective as "fun."Better to ask “how does this enhance my enjoyment of the game?” than “how does this make the game more fun?”
Huh. I never would have even considered that to be a criteria. I can't remember how many hit points an ogre has off the top of my head, either. I almost always look up a monster when I use it.To answer how this change enhances the game, the current set of metallic dragons is arbitrary and confusing. Most people can’t remember the difference between copper, brass, and bronze dragons off the top of their heads.
Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire, Storm. Why those six?Brass and bronze are alloys while copper, gold, and silver are elements. And why those five? With the seven alchemical metals, there’s a unifying theme. Instead of five metals chosen seemingly at random, there’s a reason each one is part of the set. Or if you want to keep it to five, maybe go with copper, silver, electrum, gold, and platinum - the five coin metals of D&D. Or go with dragons for each of Heaiod’s ages of man - gold, silver, bronze, mithril (since “heroes” isn’t a metal), and iron. Or go more historical with it, with stone, bronze, iron, steel, and silicon. Anything that doesn’t leave you without an answer to “why those five?”
Giants:Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire, Storm. Why those six?
Flesh, Clay, Stone, Iron. Why those four?
Oh, maybe I'm misunderstanding your goal. I thought you wanted the specific types to have some kind of symmetry and pattern. Because if I look at "Hill", "Stone", "Cloud", "Fire", "Frost", and "Storm" I'm not really seeing any pattern. That's two elements, a mineral, a geological feature, and two meteorological phenomena.Giants:
- Fire, Frost, Stone (Mountain), and Storm: Norse mythology
- Cloud: Jack & the Beanstalk
- Hill: not sure about them, maybe just overgrown Ogres?
- Cyclops, Titan: Greek mythology
- Ettin: Narnia
- Flesh: Frankenstein's Monster
- Clay: Jewish mythology
- Stone: various myths of animated statues
- Iron: Greek mythology (Talos was actually bronze, but close enough. 1E's Iron Golem drawing is plagiarized from Jason & the Argonauts.)
Thank you for bringing this up. Nearly all of D&D's early monsters have known obvious precedents in myth & fiction (except for a select batch that were derived from a weird set of plastic toys), but not most of the core dragons (red is European myth, gold is Chinese myth, the rest are ???). That's exactly what bugs many of us.
Sometimes the game mechanics are so utterly off from fantasy storytelling that it interferes with my Suspension of Disbelief. For example, Evasion. TV rogue surviving dragon breath completely unscathed by diving behind cover? Awesome! D&D rogue surviving Incendiary Cloud completely unscathed by ... standing inside it on an open field? WTF?On the other hand, if what you're looking for is historical/literary/mythological precedent, why are you going for colors/elements in dragons at all? Where does THAT come from?
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How does it actually affect gameplay, in a negative way?
No, fun just has connotations of exhilaration and joy to me. There are lots of things that I enjoy that I wouldn’t describe as “fun.” But, I suppose it’s only a semantic difference, if by “fun” you just mean “enjoyment” then I retract the objectionI'm not sure I see the difference between those two phrasings. Can you explain? "my enjoyment" seems just as subjective as "fun."
Oh, maybe you thought I meant "universally fun for all". No, I meant it in an entirely subjective sense.
I don’t need to know its HP or whatever off the top of my head, but I do like to know one monster from another. I don’t know how much HP an ogre has, but I know an ogre from a troll, from an orc, from a goblin, you know?Huh. I never would have even considered that to be a criteria. I can't remember how many hit points an ogre has off the top of my head, either. I almost always look up a monster when I use it.
As Frankie pointed out, these all have mythological or folkloric precedent.Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire, Storm. Why those six?
Flesh, Clay, Stone, Iron. Why those four?
For me it’s not so much about a pattern as it is about some kind of internal logic. If the answer to “why this set?” is “cause they’re inspired by these stories,” great. If the answer is, “cause they represent the 7 metals of antiquity,” great. If the answer is a shrug and “I dunno, that’s how D&D has done it for years,” not so great.I dunno. Maybe symmetry in these sorts of things appeals to some people. And I kind of get that, but at the end of the day I don't need it to be designed that way. I just want a variety of monsters that are fun to use as NPCs, and to fight.
Not for me. If I’m suspending my disbelief enough to allow for the existence of dragons, I can easily believe that they would not come in a nice, tidy, color-coded set. To me the issue is not suspension of disbelief, but clarity of design intent. I want a clear design reason behind the set if it does exist.Oh, this is a “suspension of disbelief” thing. I’ll bow out. Good luck.