D&D General Start by eliminating D&D's traditional dragons. Then add dragons back to the game.

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I'm a huge fan of Dragons of Wales. I just received my copy of Dragons of Deep Time, and was thinking I would love to integrate those dragons into my world.


Now, my world is nearly ten years old and has featured traditional chromatic and some other dragons. But I like the concepts of the waterfall dragon and others from Deep Time.

So first I need to eliminate the chromatics from my world. That will be difficult to write in the story, but I'm capable. The hard part will be creating dragons as ad hoc monsters that aren't all similar. Some are waterfalls, others castles, others trees -- the joy of building out a system for dragons that are as small as insects and large as mountains is going to be a blast.
 

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the joy of building out a system for dragons that are as small as insects and large as mountains is going to be a blast
This "a blast" seems to be sarcastic due to the context, so I'd ask, why do you need one system for such diverse beings? Couldn't you just build each as it is required, like any custom monster? Or is it non-sarcastic and you want a system for the sake of a system, as it were?

That book looks pretty cool, I have to admit.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I’ve kept the the concepts of chromatic and metallic dragons in my default setting, but changed the details quite significantly. My dragons are deeply tied to alchemy, with the metallic dragons corresponding to the 7 alchemical metals (lead, tin, copper, iron, silver, quicksilver, and gold), and the chromatic dragons corresponding to the four stages of transmutation (blackening, whitening, yellowing, and reddening). I also removed the association between dragon metals/colors and alignment. I tend to think of dragons like forces of nature - powerful and dangerous, but not really moral agents you can meaningfully describe as good or evil.
 



EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I have intentionally kept dragons a "sometimes food" for my game. There have been exactly four dragons in the entire run thus far, though (presumably many) more are known to exist on the other side of the ocean in Yuxia (or its elemental otherworld equivalent, Fusang.) For dragons, somewhat like Celestials, gender is elective, so while some identify as male or female, this is not fixed nor inherent.
  • Tenryu Shen ("family" name first, so he goes by Shen), a gold dragon from Yuxia who is tracking down the next on the list. Close ally of the party but has to keep his head down to avoid alerting his quarry. Has strong "team dad" energy.
  • An unnamed black dragon. They don't know Shen is present but are keeping their head down to ensure the success of their mission: making Al-Rakkah (main city) their "hoard." They have had 200 years to get their plans in motion and could be anyone or even pretending to be several people. While it is not known exactly how, this dragon and Shen are connected somehow.
  • An origami dragon "statue." It has bound to it a sleeping "spirit dragon." Whoever they are, they will grant a wish for the person who can wake them.
  • Oleander Pierpont Mortcombe, a time dragon from outside the circles of the PCs' world. They aided him by "pulling" him through a magical barrier which is designed to prevent outsiders (who are multidimensional beings) from escaping the world the PCs live on. He then travelled back in time to before that barrier was built and left, but made sure to leave some rewards for the party to find as gratitude for his rescue.
And that's it! Four dragons. I have endeavored to show restraint and build things up in a meaningful way.

In the case of the gold vs black dragon, this color difference occurs because, being like Celestials, true dragons physically reflect the nature of their souls in their natural form. Thus, it is not that chromatic dragons are evil; it is that evil dragons are chromatic. The black dragon the party is chasing USED to be a good dragon, but fell from grace and now must be stopped.

Dragons, in this setting, are beings of the same class as genies and (apparently) eladrin (or, as the locals would say it, "el'adrin"): all are called "Guardians." A Guardian is a formerly mortal being that has taken on power from a celestial or spiritual source in order to protect and nurture creation. It confers functional immortality (no death by age nor sickness) and powerful magic, but it is a pact, with requirements, and failure to uphold those requirements can lead to problems. (However, much of that power can be inherited without the pact proper; this is how sorcerers happen, and most modern-day Jinnistani nobles are basically supercharged sorcerers who got more of the power than most do.) Unlike (almost all of) the genies, the vast majority of dragons have upheld their end of the exchange, which means they are probably slightly more powerful, but much more constrained by da rules. Like the difference between Gandalf and the Balrog: both Maiar, one stronger but fettered, the other weaker but unrestrained.

Perhaps there is special significance to the colors of dragons beyond what I have already mentioned. Nothing has been explicitly said about that yet. We'll find out!
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
So you want dragons to be dinosaurs? Or elemental manifestations of nature?

its all very doable since You are the one describing your dragons. Personally I’ve never used the DnD color-coded dragons because I think the colour coding is stupid and unfun. I do use the Tien Lung celestial dragons and rainbow dragon and song dragons, all as unique and mythic beings.

Btw DnD already has wingless Landwyrms and elemental drakes that manifest natural terrain in their forms if thats what youre looking for
 

Richards

Legend
According to the official record in my current campaign, the royal family drove away all dragons from the continent of Armaturia hundreds of years ago. In their 54 adventures in this campaign thus far, the PCs have encountered a few greater drakes on the continent, but only one true dragon - and that was a crystal dragon in a deep chasm underground, so it wasn't like it was making a public nuisance of itself and flaunting the falsehood of the official record in the royal family's face.

But what's unknown thus far is that in this campaign, all dragons can take on a specific humanoid form, and the PCs have already met up with several dragons, they just don't realize it. As for the dragons, they go out of their way not to be spotted in dragon form and they all hide their origins, content to allow the royal family to continue on in their beliefs - for now....

Johnathan
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
This "a blast" seems to be sarcastic due to the context, so I'd ask, why do you need one system for such diverse beings? Couldn't you just build each as it is required, like any custom monster? Or is it non-sarcastic and you want a system for the sake of a system, as it were?

That book looks pretty cool, I have to admit.
I think they should have enough mechanically in common that they are all recognized as dragons from their behaviors
 

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