log in or register to remove this ad

 

4E Things wrong with 4e: Dragons

Grimmjow

First Post
You can tell dragons are the big thing in a game when the word "Dragon" is in the name of the game, but i feel like they could have put more work into the dragons, namely the chromatic dragons and the catastrophic dragons. i mean how hard is it to come up with colors and natural disasters. Orange and yellow come right to mind with colors, and tsunami, tornado, thunderstorms all come to my mind with natural disasters. They only gave us three catastrophic and 7 chromatic, while the metallic (which are my favorite so i don't complain about this too often) had a whole 12 dragons for DMs to use. I really hope more gets put into the dragons in DDN.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Not for core...

Dragons are about right in 4e. Only the monsterbook not listing good monsters like metallic dragons was a big mistake...
 

Grimmjow

First Post
i don't think it has to be in core (although i do agree that they need my silver dragon in MM1) i just think they need to be added in. I mean they had three monster manuals and two books devoted to dragons, but the chromatic and catastrophic dragons were cut short.
 


Ramaster

Explorer
When you said: Things wrong with 4e: Dragons I thought you were going to talk about PCs Stun-locking them, or that they suffer from action economy related issues (like most Solo Monsters). Those, in my opinion, are the Things wrong with 4e Dragons.

Disclamer: I actualy like the design of 4e, but I always thought that Solo monsters were not very well implemented.
 

Grimmjow

First Post
I'd rather have a dragon customising system instead of the traditional Rainbow of Doom. The current setup sends a confusing message.
That would be nice but i think a lot of us would still like the basic dragons that they have giving us. I'm sure they could find a way to do both

When you said: Things wrong with 4e: Dragons I thought you were going to talk about PCs Stun-locking them, or that they suffer from action economy related issues (like most Solo Monsters). Those, in my opinion, are the Things wrong with 4e Dragons.

Disclamer: I actualy like the design of 4e, but I always thought that Solo monsters were not very well implemented.
No stunlock is lame and should be fixed in DDN but i feel like the colors/catastrophic needed work too (i should have addressed that right of the bat sorry) i mean how hard would it be to take the radiant dragon from 3.5 or w/e and say its a yellow dragon sometimes called radiant (which if i needed to i would do)
 

Klaus

First Post
You can tell dragons are the big thing in a game when the word "Dragon" is in the name of the game, but i feel like they could have put more work into the dragons, namely the chromatic dragons and the catastrophic dragons. i mean how hard is it to come up with colors and natural disasters. Orange and yellow come right to mind with colors, and tsunami, tornado, thunderstorms all come to my mind with natural disasters. They only gave us three catastrophic and 7 chromatic, while the metallic (which are my favorite so i don't complain about this too often) had a whole 12 dragons for DMs to use. I really hope more gets put into the dragons in DDN.
Isn't Black, Blue, Green, Red, White, Gray, Purple and Brown enough? It's easy to pick up a new color, but what would a Burnt Sienna dragon add to the game? Is there an environment missing?

As for the Catastrophics, I don't think those really caught on with the D&D crowd. I'd prefer the wingless linnorms to have a shot at the spotlight, for that added Norse vibe.

And 4e was the edition that got dragons most right, because they now feel like actual dragons, breath weapons a-blazin'. In 1e and 2e, their breath weapons were too limited (to the point where Dragonlance had to introduce a new rule to let Krynnish dragons breathe more often). In 3e, they were too much "dragon-shaped sorcerers", to the point where the Xorvinthaal template had to be created (in MM5) to make them feel draconic.
 

When you said: Things wrong with 4e: Dragons I thought you were going to talk about PCs Stun-locking them, or that they suffer from action economy related issues (like most Solo Monsters). Those, in my opinion, are the Things wrong with 4e Dragons.

Disclamer: I actualy like the design of 4e, but I always thought that Solo monsters were not very well implemented.
Have you seen the Monster Vault dragons? The ones with an Instinctive Action on their initiative +10 (with about the power of a Standard Action) that if they can't take causes them to shed the stun. And every MV monster has a way of shaking stunlock. (That said strong or stacked debuffs will still do really nasty things to solos).

You can tell dragons are the big thing in a game when the word "Dragon" is in the name of the game, but i feel like they could have put more work into the dragons, namely the chromatic dragons and the catastrophic dragons. i mean how hard is it to come up with colors and natural disasters. Orange and yellow come right to mind with colors, and tsunami, tornado, thunderstorms all come to my mind with natural disasters. They only gave us three catastrophic and 7 chromatic, while the metallic (which are my favorite so i don't complain about this too often) had a whole 12 dragons for DMs to use. I really hope more gets put into the dragons in DDN.
Red and yellow and pink and blue. I can sing a rainbow... And I normally use the catastrophic dragons for elementals. Dragons should be what they are. Scary. And the rainbow gets silly unless you're playing something like Dragonlance. (12 metallic dragons?)

I'm much keener on interesting dragons like Calystrix the Three-Headed (who grows a fourth when bloodied).
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Have you seen the Monster Vault dragons? The ones with an Instinctive Action on their initiative +10 (with about the power of a Standard Action) that if they can't take causes them to shed the stun. And every MV monster has a way of shaking stunlock. (That said strong or stacked debuffs will still do really nasty things to solos).
Actually I haven't!

I stopped buying 4e after MM3 (not because it don't like the game, I just started playing Pathfinder more often).

But, in light of this new discovery, Monter vault might be worth a look!

The fact that I have to BUY it to know how the monsters are built annoys me... why can't it be like pathfinder??? Everything is on the SRD (And I mean EVERYTHING, even 3rd party stuff) and if I see anything I like, I buy the respective book!

Sorry for the rant!
 

jshaft37

First Post
The Dragons in MV and MV:TttNV are awesome and interesting. 4E's dragons, and monsters in general (imo), are the best of any edition. With quick adjustments cribbed from MV, the two Dragon splat books are completely usable.
 

It's easy to pick up a new color, but what would a Burnt Sienna dragon add to the game?
A Burnt Sienna dragon would rock! A red-brown hybrid that breathes fire but is not itself fireproof.

And 4e was the edition that got dragons most right, because they now feel like actual dragons, breath weapons a-blazin'. In 1e and 2e, their breath weapons were too limited (to the point where Dragonlance had to introduce a new rule to let Krynnish dragons breathe more often). In 3e, they were too much "dragon-shaped sorcerers", to the point where the Xorvinthaal template had to be created (in MM5) to make them feel draconic.
Indeed. The most important thing about dragons is do they feel "dragonish" - big scary firebreathing (or whateverbreathing) bundles of raw power. Here 4e wins.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
Color-coded dragons should be kept to a minimum, in my view. Red, black, white, green, and maybe blue, but that's it. If they publish any more than that, they need to do something new. Maybe look to Slavic myth for inspiration, with its weird multi-headed dragons.

Slavic dragon.
 
Last edited:

The Shadow

Adventurer
I'd rather have a dragon customising system instead of the traditional Rainbow of Doom. The current setup sends a confusing message.
"Dragons - color-coded for YOUR convenience!"

Amen. I've been annoyed with the Rainbow of Doom (good term, btw) since forever.
 

Janaxstrus

First Post
Red, Blue, Green, Black and White
Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze and Brass
Sapphire, Amethyst, Emerald, Topaz and Crystal

Then the few oddballs: Shadow, Deep, Fang and Song

Should be enough dragons for any of my campaigns :)
 

A

amerigoV

Guest
If there is not a Periwinkle dragon in core, then its not D&D to me!

:p

I would have the classics in there plus a method to build your own. That keeps them special and unique since you never know if the DM built their own or swapped out a few options in the classics.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I don't like 4e dragons.

It's not because there aren't enough of them. I don't think we really need an entire menagerie.

It's not because they're not good in combat. They pose a threat in 4e, and they do it fine.

It's because they are unimaginative and simplistic in design.

The poster-boy for this is the blue dragon. Pre-4e, they were illusionists and deceivers, who wore a party journeying in the desert down over time, using their environment and their potent illusion skills to their advantage.

The 4e blue dragon shoots a lot of lightning. It is conceptually identical to a Dire Pikachu.

This is not the iconic villain that I want out of a dragon. Decent combat stats aren't good enough.

I need dragons that are complex, motivated villains. I need dragons with a variety of powers and abilities (not just elemental damage spam). I need dragons that threaten the party in all three pillars -- with difficult lairs, with vicious combat ability, and with dynamic personal presence. I need dragons the party will anticipate facing, and who will destroy a party who simply stumbles on them.

Dragons in 4e only become that if you put a LOT of extra effort into making them that way. I need dragons in 5e to be that right out the gate.

And, please, let's focus on getting the classic five right before you just drop more dragons into the game. White, Black, Green, Blue, Red (+ maybe Gold). Make these the definitive and iconic villains of the game, and I might be mostly happy.

This is a challenge. D&D, for all it has dragons in the title, hasn't done dragons up to my monstrous standards...really ever. 4e's dragons are waaaaay too simplistic, and tend to jettison their pre-4e flavor and abilities. Earlier dragons with their spellcasting are too complex, forcing me to make an entire spell list if I want to run one (not fun times).

When someone looks at the chromatic dragons of 5e, they should not see a random rainbow of catch-as, catch-can abilities. They should see distinct personalities, powers, and abilities. They should see entire power structures. They should see vast lairs, epic battles, and cunning villains. The reaction should not be, "Hur hur, let's add yellow and pink dragons," it should be "The White Dragons are assembling a barbarian army in the North! The Black Dragons are spreading plague in the South! The Blue Dragons are causing civilizations to disappear into the desert! The Green Dragons render the forests impassible! The Red Dragons are blowing everything up looking for their missing treasure!"

...or somesuch.

Bland dragons are unacceptable.
 

Actually I love the idea of a "Dragon customization system."

Here's a dragon fit to fight a party of level X. It has Y HP, and Z defenses.

It starts with a bite attack that does M damage, and a land speed of N.

Now pick 5 things from the following list, including flight, a breath weapon, claw attacks, spellcasting, an extra head, and various supernatural abilities. These options come in tiers, so low-level dragons are mostly physical beasts with some magic, while epic dragons get options like evoking volcanoes or being composed entirely of shadows and antimatter.
 

fenriswolf456

First Post
A Burnt Sienna dragon would rock! A red-brown hybrid that breathes fire but is not itself fireproof.
It's called a Volcanic Dragon (though maybe not entirely correct, as even though it's not fireproof, it does seem to be immune to all-encompassing natural gas explosions that it causes) ... how this creature lives in volcanos (at least for very long) is beyond me, though.

I don't like 4e dragons.

It's not because there aren't enough of them. I don't think we really need an entire menagerie.

It's not because they're not good in combat. They pose a threat in 4e, and they do it fine.

It's because they are unimaginative and simplistic in design.

The poster-boy for this is the blue dragon. Pre-4e, they were illusionists and deceivers, who wore a party journeying in the desert down over time, using their environment and their potent illusion skills to their advantage.

The 4e blue dragon shoots a lot of lightning. It is conceptually identical to a Dire Pikachu.

This is not the iconic villain that I want out of a dragon. Decent combat stats aren't good enough.

I need dragons that are complex, motivated villains. I need dragons with a variety of powers and abilities (not just elemental damage spam). I need dragons that threaten the party in all three pillars -- with difficult lairs, with vicious combat ability, and with dynamic personal presence. I need dragons the party will anticipate facing, and who will destroy a party who simply stumbles on them.

Dragons in 4e only become that if you put a LOT of extra effort into making them that way. I need dragons in 5e to be that right out the gate.
A monster is what you make of it. If a dragon is used as a simple brute that just attacks the party, then sure, it's not very interesting. If you want your dragon to be the big bad villain, then work is going to have to go into it, just like any other BBEG. No dragon comes out of a Monster Manual fully developed with impregnable lair and peons to do it's dirty work.

I prefer the more 'elemental' type dragons, they seem more primal to me, and combined with their keen intelligence, feel more viscious and frightening. Sure, it's more work to make them truly villainous material, but if you want a memorable dragon, it's usually worth it.
 

Holy Bovine

First Post
"Dragons - color-coded for YOUR convenience!"

Amen. I've been annoyed with the Rainbow of Doom (good term, btw) since forever.
:mad::mad::mad::mad:

Hey! That's my line dammit! My players grew to hate dragons in my Year of Rogue Dragons campaign. Nothing was coloured "correctly" to them! They just about had a heart attack when i threw an acid breathing black dragon at them!
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
fenriswolf456 said:
A monster is what you make of it. If a dragon is used as a simple brute that just attacks the party, then sure, it's not very interesting. If you want your dragon to be the big bad villain, then work is going to have to go into it, just like any other BBEG. No dragon comes out of a Monster Manual fully developed with impregnable lair and peons to do it's dirty work.
I have to put a lot more work into making 4e dragons interesting villains than I had to put into 2e or 3e dragons to make them interesting villain.

Also: Monster Manuals should come with fully developed lairs and peons. One shouldn't have to invest extra time into the game just to get an awesome dragon out of it.
 

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top