D&D General why brass and bronze dragons?


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Faolyn

(she/her)
I guess that brass and bronze sound more ancient and more expensive than metals like nickel or aluminum. I'm just surprised that one of the original metallic dragons wasn't iron.
 

Dausuul

Legend
They did try to rationalize this in 4E. Brass and bronze dragons were out, iron and adamantine dragons were in. Not only did this result in all metallic dragons being single elements (assuming adamantine is an element), but it made it possible to give them all a distinctive coloration.

I think it was an improvement, but evidently WotC felt it was not enough of an improvement to be exempted from the Great Lore Rollback of 5E.
 

Like others, I really wonder why they went with brass instead of iron. The metallic dragons fall into certain patterns: platinum, gold, silver, copper (coinage); gold, silver, bronze (Olympic medal materials). If you needed another dragon type beyond those, another useful sequence would be: gold, silver, bronze, iron (Ages of Man), which would give us an iron dragon. Brass really doesn't fit into any pattern I can think of...

(Now I'm thinking about just replacing brass dragons with iron dragons in my campaigns - no real stat or other changes beyond the color (yes, I know there are actual iron dragon stats out there from previous editions, but they are so rarely used/seen that it's not really an issue). At least iron and silver are easier to tell apart than brass and bronze - silver would be shiny and reflective, while iron would be dull with rust highlights. Come to think about it, in nearly 30 years of DMing, I'm hard-pressed to remember if I've ever used a brass dragon, unlike all four other metallics, as well as even some gem dragons, which I definitely remember using).
 
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Bronze probably came from medals. Gold, silver, bronze
Copper is a good fourth choice for coins

Brass? That one always seemed lazy to me. Same color as gold. Platinum makes more sense to keep with coins
It was probably a joke from some early game. Like the adventurers met a golden dragon that wasn't as smart or noble as a real gold dragon. Because it was actually a brass dragon
 


Iry

Hero
As a Transformers fan, Electrum of course means that you are immune to laser beams and shine brilliant gold

They did an Electrum dragon in 2E, didn't they?
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I guess that brass and bronze sound more ancient and more expensive than metals like nickel or aluminum. I'm just surprised that one of the original metallic dragons wasn't iron.
Yeah, I've often thought the same.

When I played in a deity game, my five dragon types were Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, and Cobalt (which I fluffed as blue-tinged even though IRL it's usually not.) I also had a sort of inverse relationship between the overall power of a dragon and the commonness of its breath weapon/resistance: fire is not a very good offensive tool but a good resistance to have, while sonic/thunder is a powerful weapon but not all that useful as a resistance. I chose to make Iron electricity-aligned while Cobalt picked up sonic/thunder, though it could've run the other way.

(In a fantasy setting in my head, where Yellow and Purple are also chromatic colors, there would also be Tyrium and Wolfram dragons, which would be purple- and green-tinged metals, respectively. "Tyrium" is a made-up name off Tyrian purple, while Wolfram is the old Germanic name of tungsten, which gives it its elemental symbol, W.)
 


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