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

Will Doyle

Explorer
I prefer the new names too.

Also, some of the newer fossil finds have names that wouldn't work at all well for D&D. The largest identified titanosaur, for example, is called an Argentinosaurus. I'd love to see one in a game (perhaps with a howdah on its back), but I'd probably call it a Goliath Drake, or something.
 

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Storminator

First Post
Far more important than what they call them is how they sort them, and if 5e has a database, how they're tagged (does the compendium use tags?).

There is currently no search criteria you can use in the compendium to pull up all the dinosaurs if you're making a lost world adventure. This is ludicrous.

PS
 

Stoat

Adventurer
I don't care for using the scientific names in D&D because I think it raises too many nit-picky issues about how real dinosaurs actually lived versus how iconic "lost world" dinosaurs lived:

"There's no such thing as a brontosaurus!"

"Apatosaurus didn't live in swamps!"

"Velociraptors had feathers!"

"Dinosaur X and Dinosaur Y lived millions of years apart from each other. They would never fight!"

Non-science names help emphasize the fantasy aspect of including dinos in the game, which I like.

That said, a lot of WotC's dino names also suck.
 

Ashtagon

Explorer
Latin names break immersion.

4e style names just sound silly.

How about plain old English names?

Brontosaurus thunder drake

Tyrannosaurus king drake

pterodactyl wing-finger

Triceratops three-horned drake (lizard)

Allosaurus lesser king drake (literally: other lizard)


Much more readily understandable, without hurting anyone's brains.

Although I quite like the idea of calling them all "drakes" instead of the more-technically-correct translation of "lizard".
 
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The only reason to use a dinosaur in your game is because of the name. Fighting a Tyrannosaurus Rex is cool.

Call it a Swordtooth Titan instead (or whatever 4e chose to name it), and all you're left with is a creature of animal intelligence with no ranged attack, no magical or special abilities, and no intelligence to speak of. It's nothing but a bag of hit points, which even a fairly low-level party should be able to handle with relative ease.
 


S

Sunseeker

Guest
Personally I find fantastical "common names" to be far more endearing than latin names. Especially psuedo-latin names. I HATE it when they try and make up latin-sounding names by combining what is essentially gibberish but to the lay-person looks believable!
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Personally, I've never liked having Dinosaurs in the monster manual at all. I'd much prefer a separate book dedicated to them and other real-world megafauna.

That said, I want a module for giving them feathers.
 


pemerton

Legend
I cannot just look up stegosaurus or tricerotops stats in my Monster Manual or monster builder software when I want one in-game
To be able to locate it in play so that I can have ankylosauri stats when I need them: first I have to work out that a Macetail Behemoth is an ankylosaurus (I think). Then I have to add a note in the index under 'A' - see Macetail Behemoth page XX. Then I have to load up monster builder and create an edited version of the Macetail Behemoth with the correct name.

Far more important than what they call them is how they sort them, and if 5e has a database, how they're tagged (does the compendium use tags?).

There is currently no search criteria you can use in the compendium to pull up all the dinosaurs if you're making a lost world adventure. This is ludicrous.
These are good points that I haven't though of before, because I've never built a lost world scenario, or tried to include a dinosaur based on its real-world identity.

It's interesting to see 4e, on this occasion, going the wrong way not because it's too metagame-y, but rather isn't meta-gamey enough (ie doesn't present the monsters in a way that supports one important use GMs want to make of them).

Double-coding/double-indexing would be one obvious compromise.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
What people seem to be not understanding here is that the Latin name for dinosaurs IS the common name. It's English. Tyrannosaurus Rex appears in English dictionaries. If you put it into Google Translate, Latin to English, it gives you Tyrannosaurus Rex back again, not "Tyrant Lizard". Using the Latin name for a dinosaur is NOT analogous to calling bears Ursus arctos; it's analogous to calling bears Northwild Brownkillers or something stupid like that.
 




the Jester

Legend
Personally, I strongly prefer calling them "dinosaurs" (behemoth is taken by a hippo-like creature in 1e). I also strongly prefer listing them by their dinosaur names; the compound names are silly and contrived, IMHO.

However, I have no problem with listing them under both their classic names and their compound name (or perhaps a better version of them); an ankylosaurus might indeed be called a "macetail" by the people in its territory.

One thing I would absolutely HATE is putting them in a campaign specific monster supplement. I HATE it when awesome classic monsters are suddenly pushed into one campaign's book (and it seems to happen a lot: the peryton, gibberling, revenant and others were shoved into the 3e FR monster book, the death knight moved from generic monster to DragonLance in 2e, etc).

The thing is, I don't want to have a book with a bunch of campaign-specific monsters in it. Generally, those are a waste of space for a homebrewer like me. While I'm happy to use stuff that fits well into my campaign, a setting-specific book inevitably has stuff that is just flat-out unusable from my perspective (even if a particularly good one- the 3e MoF, the 4e Dark Sun book, etc- has a lot of useful stuff in it). Why not just make it all actual campaign-specific stuff for the FR or DS or whatever players and leave my aaracokra and firenewts and death knights and so on in the MM and subsequent monster books?

Dinosaurs should NOT be relegated to an Eberron book. I'm fine with a generic "Monsters of the Lost World" book, though- one that would include a plethora of dire animals, dinosaurs, therapsids, etc, as well as primordial and ancestral versions of oozes, dragons, elementals, demons, etc.

(Also, lots of apes and savages. Including intelligent apes.)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
However, I have no problem with listing them under both their classic names and their compound name (or perhaps a better version of them); an ankylosaurus might indeed be called a "macetail" by the people in its territory.

We have a winnah!!!!
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
However, I have no problem with listing them under both their classic names and their compound name (or perhaps a better version of them); an ankylosaurus might indeed be called a "macetail" by the people in its territory.

One thing I would absolutely HATE is putting them in a campaign specific monster supplement. I HATE it when awesome classic monsters are suddenly pushed into one campaign's book (and it seems to happen a lot: the peryton, gibberling, revenant and others were shoved into the 3e FR monster book, the death knight moved from generic monster to DragonLance in 2e, etc).

The thing is, I don't want to have a book with a bunch of campaign-specific monsters in it. Generally, those are a waste of space for a homebrewer like me. While I'm happy to use stuff that fits well into my campaign, a setting-specific book inevitably has stuff that is just flat-out unusable from my perspective (even if a particularly good one- the 3e MoF, the 4e Dark Sun book, etc- has a lot of useful stuff in it). Why not just make it all actual campaign-specific stuff for the FR or DS or whatever players and leave my aaracokra and firenewts and death knights and so on in the MM and subsequent monster books?

Dinosaurs should NOT be relegated to an Eberron book. I'm fine with a generic "Monsters of the Lost World" book, though- one that would include a plethora of dire animals, dinosaurs, therapsids, etc, as well as primordial and ancestral versions of oozes, dragons, elementals, demons, etc.

Unable to XP you at the moment, but I would if I could.
 

Ratinyourwalls

First Post
Well I was looking through the bestiary for the D&DN playtest and it would seem that WotC took the right path here and went with the actual dinosaur names this time around.
 

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