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

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I think they should have enough mechanically in common that they are all recognized as dragons from their behaviors
Then I think it would behoove you, before you even set out, to decide what mechanic or mechanics single out dragons from all other creatures. What do they specifically do or have which makes them special and different, such that, whether beetle, boulder, or butte, someone could quickly be confident that something is a dragon?

You'll want to pick either scaling stuff (so that a beetle could do it), or stuff clearly identifiable without strictly being powerful in itself.
 

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bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Then I think it would behoove you, before you even set out, to decide what mechanic or mechanics single out dragons from all other creatures. What do they specifically do or have which makes them special and different, such that, whether beetle, boulder, or butte, someone could quickly be confident that something is a dragon?

You'll want to pick either scaling stuff (so that a beetle could do it), or stuff clearly identifiable without strictly being powerful in itself.
One thing they'll all do is hoard things.
Some may be able to tap into what they've hoarded.
All will have a breath weapon, which may make me creative in getting new types as the standard rather than fire.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I've worked on reducing the numbers of dragons, no colours just elements (dragons of earth, fire, frost, storm, etc) in total I think I have 5 types for different dragonflights and a few others that receive a calling from one of the other dragon elders that didn't spawn their own dragonflight (platinum, arcane, multifaceted).

Still plenty of dragons, but a little more streamlined. No great difference in general power so a fire (red) would be roughly as powerful as a frost (white) dragon.
 

Shadowdweller00

Adventurer
One characteristic I've used in a number of my games is that dragon color is mutable. Their particular color is determined by their life choices. So a well-disposed dragon might become Gold. Whereas a more predatory dragon might become Red. This has lead to various interactions such as PCs trying to convert hatchlings to their ethos; or kobold tribes raising megalomaniacal variations.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I think one of the strengths of D&D's deep bench of dragon types, to say nothing of the myriad contributions made by third parties, is that it's fairly easy to discard the chromatic/metallic dichotomy in favor of numerous different dragon types. I've seen dragons themed around the eight schools of magic, psychic disciplines, planes of existence, etc. If you know where to look, there are numerous alternatives waiting to be found.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
At the Blog of Holding, Paul went a different route, making a world that leans even heavier into D&D's conventional dragons.


I thought for a bit that this would be my direction, but I'm inspired by Dragons of Wales books.
 

Oofta

Legend
While I rarely use dragons in my game, I guess I'm not sure I see why they need to be redone. How do these dragons vary from traditional D&D dragons? What makes them dragons? Why replace and just just add?

Part of the reason I rarely use dragons is because my campaigns tend to be more urban and the bad guys are generally one of the "civilized" races but also because when I run them they are extremely intelligent and dangerous. About the only change I've made is that adult and older dragons they can polymorph into any humanoid they want. Since they can be centuries old they sometimes have plots that span decades, have infiltrated society as everything from being rulers of a kingdom to being a beggar on the street and everything in-between. There's a secret war for control of society with dragons on both sides working behind the scenes, influencing kingdoms in ways small and large.

Or at least that's my head-canon, it's only been revealed a few times. But I'll go back to my question - if I were to buy the book what do I get out of it? If these new dragons are so varied and different, why get rid of existing dragons?
 



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