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4E WotC this is something you absolutely cannot screw up in 5E like you screwed up in 4E


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ferratus

Adventurer
Yeah, definately out of the MM and (most especially) out of the random encounter tables. Dinosaurs and Dragons don't play well together in D&D.

Shouldn't this thread have a less inflammatory title like "Use proper Dinosaur names in 5e?" I don't like the beligerance and phrases like this raise the temperature of the conversation around here.
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
"Latin"? What is this "Latin" language you speak of? Is that anything like Elven or Deep Speech? I don't recall it being an option on the Languages table. ;)

[pun]

What are these "horses", "tigers" and "spiders" they're talking about? They should be called "swiftrunners", "striped fangroarers" and "poisonous webspinners".

And where is this "English" language after all, there is no such thing in the language table either!

[/pun]

Happy gaming ;)


(edit): The reason why names should revert to the real ones is simple: they are real creatures that people recognize on sight (every grammar school kid has seen many of them already somewhere). Changing names to fantasy ones makes all us D&D gamers look silly. What if a 10-yo kid goes to school and in the history/biology class speaks up fantasy dinosaurs' names that he thought he knew right because he's read them from his big bro's D&D book?
 
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Transbot9

First Post
"Latin"? What is this "Latin" language you speak of? Is that anything like Elven or Deep Speech? I don't recall it being an option on the Languages table. ;)

Glendric "Elfsblood" Tes'theroth, paladin and high inquisitor of the Holy Roman Church, is quite fluent in the language. Then again, his ancestors came to dystopian post-apochalyptic Earth from a version of Faerun over-run with a type of divine-immune zombie plague. Gnomes were to blame.
 


Wormwood

Adventurer
Dinosaurs were first given descriptive names in 3e [Eberron Campaign Setting, p280: Bladetooth, Hammertail, Battletitan, etc.]
 
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Kunimatyu

First Post
So you'd hate fighting a King Tyrantlizard, then? What about a Threehornface Horror? Armored Rooflizard?

You seem to think that these Latin names are magical and special and somehow not the same stupid fused-word naming convention we use all the time for animals. I blame Harry Potter.
 


Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Why not just take them out of the game entirely? Problem solved. Sure, you can include their stats in a "lost world" adventure, but do they really belong in the core rules?
Because I like you, I'm going to pretend this never got said. LALALALALA.
 

Jawsh

First Post
So you'd hate fighting a King Tyrantlizard, then? What about a Threehornface Horror? Armored Rooflizard?

You seem to think that these Latin names are magical and special and somehow not the same stupid fused-word naming convention we use all the time for animals. I blame Harry Potter.

I don't know how that sounds to everyone else, but I would be quite happy to see "Tyrant Lizard King" in the Monster Manual. And "Three-horned Lizard" is not bad.

As long as the designers use some common sense, English-derived names can still be pretty good. The problem with WotC lately is that the compound names have been simply bad.
 


LightPhoenix

First Post
The main issue here (IMO) isn't really dinosaurs themselves, but the awful compound name trend that started sometime during 3E (Wormwood mentioned Eberron). However, dancing around that issue...

The renamed dinosaurs make sense from a descriptive and historical point of view. Most creature names are derived from descriptive elements, albeit in another language. However, the images that the names evoke are, in my opinion, stronger with their traditional names versus the new ones. There are certain names that through the history of D&D have built up iconic images (through art, etc) - dragons, beholders, illithids, giants, and so forth. Dinosaurs are not part of that group. When a name evokes a strong image, I've found that immersion tends to be stronger as well. For that reason, I'd prefer to see them use the traditional dinosaur names.
 

Klaus

First Post
I must say, "bonecrown" sounds a lot better than "pachycephalosaurus". And then you have dinosaurs like the utahraptor (which is the actual beast named "velociraptor" by the Jurassic Park movies), argentinosaurus, etc.

Clearly, not every dinosaur wins the name lottery.
 

TwinBahamut

First Post
I don't know how that sounds to everyone else, but I would be quite happy to see "Tyrant Lizard King" in the Monster Manual. And "Three-horned Lizard" is not bad.

As long as the designers use some common sense, English-derived names can still be pretty good. The problem with WotC lately is that the compound names have been simply bad.
I'm not exactly fond of WotC's new names for dinosaurs either. I'm perfectly fine with using the modern scientific names, but if that is off the table then I really would much rather see the direct translation of those names, rather than made up names and terms like "Behemoth" (which, as a Final Fantasy fan, has totally different connotations for me :) ). Heck, the term Behemoth isn't even appropriate for smaller dinosaurs. Also, pretty much anyone will know what a Tyrant Lizard King is supposed to be, but it takes a bit to remember what its 4E name refers to.

That said, is using a latin name really so weird? The English language uses an incredibly huge amount of latin as it is (it is one of the top three sources of loan words). I mean, we don't question words like hippopotamus as being weird, even though it is just greek for "river horse". I don't see a big drive to rename many other recognizable creatures with greek and latin names, so it seems odd to do that for dinosaurs simply because their scientific and common names are the same thing.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
I usually prefer the most realistic version of everything. So...

Since we are talking about a fictional medieval-esque world...which would likely be centuries before any scientific naming conventions...and Latin most likely does not exist as a language in this world...and the fact that dinosaurs have never actually lived at the same time as humans...I'm thinking that if they did exist in such a world, the names that were used in 4E would probably be quite logical given the type of world and the people in it.

I don't see the problem.

B-)
 

Keefe the Thief

Adventurer
Well, the scientific community is not agreed that Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are separate genii. They may be synonymous, just the Asian and North American variants of the same beasties.

And, if you're going to be picky, it'd be Tarbosauri bataar. Italics are typical, and one should not capitalize the species name.

(This message brought to you by your local Pedant's Council.)

:uhoh: I... totally knew that. I did. Rex, king of Macetail Behemoths will vouch for it.
 

Dannager

First Post
It's a tiny change that will make some people a lot happier with the resulting game.

I really don't think it is, actually. It certainly is a tiny change, but I'm inclined to drop this into the category of game features that people like to complain about, but which have little or no impact on a person's decision to play that game. As you note, it's a very easy fix. So easy, in fact, that the DM can just do it himself with almost no expenditure in effort. I'd be honestly surprised if the name "Macetail Behemoth" actually made someone go, "Nope, 4e isn't for me." I think it far more likely that something else turned them off from the game, and creatures like the Macetail Behemoth don't really matter in the long run.

I'm not saying it's not a change that should be made. It might improve the game. But the thread title makes this sound like a critical issue.
 

Hassassin

First Post
You're approaching this from the wrong direction. It'a a matter of linguistic consistency, dammit! How can you have a solid setting with vermisilitude and gravitas when the naming conventions are all over the place.

The thing is: D&D must support not only a setting, but countless settings.

Naming monsters so they are appropriate for all settings is impossible.
 


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