Yeah, I get that, but take out the fire damage and the bite difference is only 4 points (which is entirely from Strength), when one is a large creature and the other gargantuan. That is ridiculous IMO.But thats not true, since the bite attack does fire damage too. Pushing the damage to fire means raging barbarians get even more damage for ancient. I don't think its a mistake. (Wouldn't be my first choice since they tried to make damage related to weapon size).
Also, as for the fire damage in the bite, both a wyrmling and a young do +1d6 fire, even though a young dragon's breath weapon is more than DOUBLE what a wyrmling does (16d6 vs 7d6!). So, it would make sense IMO that the young should do +2d6 fire damage. This is an illogical design there that just goes against my grain.
Well, the T-Rex does 4d12, so having a larger (gargantuan) dragon do 4d10 seems appropriate to me.Though I agree the damage is wonky, I disagree that a gargantuan dragon has a larger head than. A huge T. rex. Different body types generally speaking. Though I think an ancient dragon should do 4d10
Anyway, if you look at the artwork for the largest (ancient?) dragons, their heads are often bigger than the heroes fighting them. A T-Rex's head would be a bit smaller IMO, but rationalizing it has an incredibly powerful jaw, having it do more damage is fine I suppose. I certainly don't think a larger dragon's bite should be less than HALF the T-Rex (the default 2d10 vs. the 4d12).
I don't really see it as that hard a distinction.So you go on to explain that, it's not symmetry, it's aesthetics. That seems like quite a hair to split.
Again, I appreciate the props!It's aesthetics > rules function. And from you, someone who has actually come forth with some surprisingly balanced and well-executed house rules or rules designs for PCs, it's utterly bizarre to see this sort of "ignores the rules, ignores the guidelines, ignore balance, aesthetics >>>>> everything" approach with monsters. It's a complete clash of approaches.
Given the points I've made above and upthread, I see the weak adult and ancient dragon bites as unbalanced to the smaller dragons and other monsters and how they have been designed. Larger creatures add more dice for damage--it is a pretty simple design philosophy that is followed elsewhere, but not in dragon bites and claws.
Also, the changes in damage, as I pointed out are not huge or gargantuan (pardon the pun), but keep pace with higher tiers. Also, the young red dragon breath should be a bit lower IMO since it is simply too close to the damage done by an adult.
As for ignoring the guidelines, the CR system (as presented in the DMG) is not very intuitive or accurate for the monsters we see in the material IME. Perhaps I am misunderstanding its nuances?