log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General why brass and bronze dragons?

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
For people interested in other colors and metals, I highly recommend Coins and Scrolls' take on the issue:


 

log in or register to remove this ad

What about the Administratium Dragons?

Somehow they are not necrotic, but they suck the life out of everything within line of sight. They are always surrounded by swarms of ass-ist-ants and morons. And though apparently impotent, they are created when a bold adventurer dons a suit of Administratium Scale Mail.
 

dave2008

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.
The brass and bronze came back in the 4e draconomicon II. So they were not out for long.
 


The reason is because those are the colours and metals that Gygax chose when creating them. Originally he created the 5 evil (at the time, chaotic) dragons and the gold. He later added the 4 other metallics to balance the evil dragons.
To begin with, it seems the chromatics were western dragons, while the gold was asiatic (wingless and sinewy with carp like whiskers). At some point, after the introduction of the other metallics, they started looking like all the other dragons.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
The 5 colors of chromatic dragons are the primary colors of light (red, green, blue), plus black and white for intensity. For metallic dragons, there was initially just gold, and the others were added later to parallel the chromatic dragons. Gold, silver, and bronze are commonly used together as a three-step quality grading - see the first, second, and third place Olympic medals, or the common trend of referring to eras of development for a particular craft or industry. Copper may have been chosen for the weakest variety of metallic dragon because it’s the lowest denomination of currency in D&D. Brass? You’ve got me there, not sure why that one was chosen.

Personally, I prefer my metallic dragons to use the seven alchemical metals: gold, mercury (or “quicksilver”), silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead. For the chromatic dragons, I use albino, ebony, citrine (a sort of yellow-green), and ruby, associated with the four physical elements, the four humors, and the four stages of the Great Work (technically black should be derived from the Latin root, niger, but… yeah for reasons I should think are fairly obvious I’d prefer not to). There’s also a fifth category that’s blue in color and associated with the element of aether, a fifth humor which might best be described as ephemera or ectoplasm, and the metaphysical/spiritual component of the Great Work. But they’re almost unheard of in the material plane, being native instead to the aethereal plane.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
why do the metallic dragons have alloys amongst them is seems super odd as you think dragons would only be from pure metals?

am I just be odd or what?

also, what's with the lack of the other colours for chromatics?

and do not get me started on how odd the gem dragons are.
Bronze would make more sense if it were only it, gold, and iron, the three Ages of Greek legend.

You can add silver if you want to go by comic books.
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Wouldn't that have been red, yellow, blue, white, and black, then?
Yellow is primary in pigments, but not in light. Think RGB values on computer and TV screens, rather than CMYK values on printers. The reason it’s different for light versus pigment is because with the former you’re adding color, whereas with the latter you’re taking color away - mix two pigments and you’re absorbing more wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, and therefore changing what’s reflected. This is why the absence of pigment is white and all pigments combined make black. Mix two beams of light and what’s going on is a bit more complex and involves constructive and destructive interference, but basically you’re “adding colors”, so the absence of light is black and all colors of light combined is white.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Black isn't actually a color.
Depends how you define “color.” In common usage, it pretty much is - it’s a quality of something’s appearance related to what light our eyes detect reflecting off of it. It doesn’t have any specific wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum, but by that definition magenta isn’t a color either.
 




Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The 5 colors of chromatic dragons are the primary colors of light (red, green, blue), plus black and white for intensity. For metallic dragons, there was initially just gold, and the others were added later to parallel the chromatic dragons. Gold, silver, and bronze are commonly used together as a three-step quality grading - see the first, second, and third place Olympic medals, or the common trend of referring to eras of development for a particular craft or industry. Copper may have been chosen for the weakest variety of metallic dragon because it’s the lowest denomination of currency in D&D. Brass? You’ve got me there, not sure why that one was chosen.

Personally, I prefer my metallic dragons to use the seven alchemical metals: gold, mercury (or “quicksilver”), silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead. For the chromatic dragons, I use albino, ebony, citrine (a sort of yellow-green), and ruby, associated with the four physical elements, the four humors, and the four stages of the Great Work (technically black should be derived from the Latin root, niger, but… yeah for reasons I should think are fairly obvious I’d prefer not to). There’s also a fifth category that’s blue in color and associated with the element of aether, a fifth humor which might best be described as ephemera or ectoplasm, and the metaphysical/spiritual component of the Great Work. But they’re almost unheard of in the material plane, being native instead to the aethereal plane.
Given what you've just written here, I strongly recommend those 2 coins and scrolls link I posted, I think you will enjoy them :)
 




Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top