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Dragons in YOUR world


Sirithiliel
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So I was talking to a friend, trying to describe how I viewed dragons in my own personal idea of a fantasy world. 

It got me thinking of what other people have come up with.

So what do you do for dragons in your world, game-play or otherwise? Do you use the D&D dragon concept of 'all this color is evil, all this color is good', or do you have something different?

Here's mine! (for those that i have drawings for, even outdated, I've included them. I should go through and do a proper sketch of each type sometime )

 

Siri’s dragon types

 

My dragons are not separated by color, but rather by the environment they live in and grew to adapt to. Each habitat has a specific ‘breed’ of dragon, that has subtle features different from other dragons and a common range of colors.

This means that I can have good red dragons, evil silver dragons, etc. Their personality and ‘goodness’ are not decided by the color of their scales, but rather by their own actions.

….as it happens, red and black dragons are usually evil and gold and silver are usually good. Maybe it’s social stigma. But blue, green, white, and all the other colors have a varied amount of good and evil.

 

 

Forest/Grassland: Characterized by the wing membrane often continuing along the sides of the tail to the very tip, they do not have any spikes or frills upon their backs, just a series of bump like, blunt protrusions. Predominantly green hues, but gold is often seen as well. Breathes fire.

 

 

 

Forest_zpszmcxscki.jpg

 

 

 

Mountain: These are your ‘classic’ dragon look. Large belly scales, and large scales along the back. Backswept horns, spiked backs. They have unadorned tails, any spikes or frills along their backs do not reach the tip. These are the most commonly seen, as they range far from their mountain homes. Usually red, gold or black. Breathes fire.

 

Desert: These are fairly similar to the Mountain dragons, though they have larger wings and their tails are spiked on the sides. They also have a ‘dewlap’ area of skin under their throats. Colors are usually gold, red, and bronze. They breathe fire.

Sea: Long and slender, they have fish like fins down their backs and on the edges of their limbs, with webbed feet. Their tails are often heavily finned, sometimes like a fish tail. Wings are adapted for swimming or flying. Shorter legs than other dragons. Colors are always suitable for their watery home, being blue, green, a mix of the two, or rarely silver. They breathe steam.

 

 

 

Sea_zpstwy8agp8.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Arctic: These dragons are well suited for their frigid environment. They have furry feet and fur lining their limbs. They have an unusually ‘furry’ fin upon their back, and their tail has a broad spade at the end with dual tips, presumably to help with swimming. The colors match their environment, being mostly white, a very light blue and silver. There has been one recorded viewing of a black ice dragon. They breathe frigid cold frost.

 

 

 

Arctic_zps7t71z2go.jpg

 

 

 

Swamp: These dragons are, in general, very foul tempered. They share similar design to the sea dragons with long and slender bodies, however the similarities stop there. They have finned backs and arrow shaped tails, with nostrils and eyes features more to the top of their heads like crocodiles. They are generally dark colored, usually black or dark green. They breathe acid.

 

Less common breeds:

Storm: These dragons are very rarely seen, it is speculated they either live in the extreme heights of mountain tops, or never land at all and live within clouds (this is considered fanciful nonsense). They have very large wings, and often quite ornate horns and crests upon their heads. Their tails are spined down each side in descending size spikes. They are blue, purple, black or silver and breathe lightning.

 

Frost: A smaller and more rare cousin of the Arctic dragon, these are most noted for their use of feathers over fur. Their backs are covered in downy plumage, as are the arms of their wings. Very skittish and gentle, they often flee instead of fight. Only one has been seen and it was white with pink and gold shading on the wings, with hints of light blue. They live in the deepest area of the arctic, where it is too cold for even the hardiest of explorers.

 

 

 

Frost_zps3vmvpbwv.jpg

 

 

 

Volcanic: A rarely seen and rather frightful dragon, these are best known for seeking out immensely hot places to live, showing a fondness for active volcanos especially. Others have been found in the middle of deserts. They have heavy black scales, but the flesh beneath is bright gold and red. This often makes them appear like cracking lava when the skin is visible between the heavy plating. Not much is known of them, for they are quite aggressive.  

 

Cave: These dragons dwell most often under the ground, often vying with other dragons for cave homes. They are heavy set and bulky, with thick armor and a spiked mace like club upon their tails. They do not often fly, but can when needed. Quite often have jutting lower jaws with large teeth or tusks of some sort and chin spikes, though this shows great variation. Backs have large blunt spikes in clusters, and their neck scales extend out like a blade. They are almost always brown in color.

 

 

 

Cave_zpsjz3psp8j.jpg

 

 

 

Jungle: These dragons are best noted for their extremely colorful scales and flashy nature. Their backs and tails bear large fins rather than spikes, usually with vivid patterns and bright colors. Unlike other dragons, they often will have a mix of colors rather than one hue. They breathe acid.

 

 

 

 

Jungle_zps3kxwbedc.jpg

 

 

Edited by Sirithiliel
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I don't note alignment by color. Each is their own creature, but I do use the colors, but they can vary within those colors. They can also crossbreed creating unique dragons.

 

Though I do have some highly unique dragons int he world who are tied to a specific environment and generally guard that environment or area.

 

Like I have a massive silvery white dragon in Eisgen Norden who guards the country and the arctic area at the end. He tends to shimmer and blend with all the ice and snow in his home. An imposing figure to trifle with and very few who challenge him live to tell the tale.

 

Then there is the dragon who guards a sacred forest in Causalevis for her goddess. Her scales look like leaves and she blends with her forest. Like a dryad the scales change color with the seasons.

 

Neither have been names as I still have to finish building them and fleshing them out. There are also more dragons of unique skill an abilities, but I have not gotten to all of them

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 My dragons tend to be unique individuals and I rarely use the same basic concept of dragon from campaign to campaign. I've had both intelligent and bestial dragons in the same game before, and rarely bother to use any of the "official" fluff for them regardless of color.

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I use the standard types for simplicity's sake, but color does not guarantee alignment. The listed alignment is simply the most common one for that type, often for cultural reasons. The main difference for my campaign world (At least my old 2nd ed campaign world that I need to dust off again some time) was that dragons had their own planet that they ruled. Dragons on the planet that the Pc's normally played on were generally exiles from their respective nation on their home world.

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NIce, I find it very interesting to hear what everyone does  ^_^

 

Oh, my dragons populations are varied as well. Mountain dragons are by far the most numerous, followed by Forest, Swamp, and Arctic. Desert, Jungle, and Sea dragons are not seen as much, though this could be just that no one encounters them as often, rather than that there are fewer of them

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My dragons are intensely political and historically significant. They're the only mortal creatures (ie with a soul) that live forever), which pitted them in a fierce rivalry with the gods, whom they refused to worship. This lead to a hatred of dragons by the gods, who wound up recruiting their mortal followers to kill dragons - and arming them with the weapons they would need to do the job. They attacked the Naming Rock - a sort of neutral ground for the otherwise territorial dragons - and slaughtered the eggs being nested there, as well as the nests of several prominent mated pairs. This lead to the Godsfall Wars between the gods and their servants and dragons and the non-religious mortals over rule of the world - and ended with nine in ten gods slain and all but a handful who had allied with the gods exiled far, far away from the mortal planes.

 

Now, the dragons are fiercely intellegent, incredible territorial, and magically potent. They don't tolerate other dragons in their territories at all, but they don't see other mortals as threats - which means that, in the war-torn world that is Fidel, you might have several governments claiming your town as theirs, but you'd only have one dragon. Over time, challenges between dragons evolved into ritualistic things - border villages would set up ceremonial, flower-bedecked wagons for them to destroy to issue a challenge for territory - and the dragons, who viewed it as a point of honor to not allow harm to come to their servants, began to arbitrate village issues (even though most villages had little to do with serving or paying tribute to dragons.) Therefore, while cities and the villages around them might have a human government, towns instead have a dragon whom their human mayor or council can appeal to for aid. Dragons themselves have their elders, who are considered leaders with authority over other dragons, though it is rarely if ever exerted, and may be called upon to arbitrate draconic disputes or help solve problems for younger dragons using their greater wisdom.

 

This has lead to a world where, at the end of the thousand year long Mortal Wars (after the Godsfall Wars; think WWII but 1000 years and no constant sides) rather than having the feudal system reform, or democracy break out, you have a thousand draconic territories and then small villages within them, and then very small fiefdoms. The dwarves still have proper kingdoms, and the largest human trade cities might control a territory the size of Germany, but for the most part, if players want something big to happen, it requires them to appeal to the local dragon.

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My dragons are these massive, legendary creatures. Only a few of any given type exist at a time, their territories are so vast. They are insanely powerful, and do not deign to involve themselves in the affairs of the lesser races. When the dragons come out to play, history trembles at their approach.

 

But, yes, I tie alignment to color in DnD. Not so much in other systems, though.

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I don't approach anything in my game in a cookie cutter way, with the exception of battle fodder for when I need a larger, evil army. Even then, if the party were to engage some random individual, I would roleplay him as a unique person.

 

Same goes for dragons. Though I am likely to stick with alignment for many of them, I am prone to writing extensive backgrounds for each individual, and I will stray from listed alignment if it suits.

 

I prefer twists and I like fairy tales and classic stories/folklore. So you might even find out that dragon is really some other creature cursed into that shape, or vice-versa. Or there might be some MacGuffin in the game that affects the creature/curse/situation in a way that goes beyond the rules-as-written. Our group is truly a Story Trumps Rules group. We've been playing together so long they expect that from me.

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My dragons are these massive, legendary creatures. Only a few of any given type exist at a time, their territories are so vast. They are insanely powerful, and do not deign to involve themselves in the affairs of the lesser races. When the dragons come out to play, history trembles at their approach.

 

But, yes, I tie alignment to color in DnD. Not so much in other systems, though.

To expand on this a little, dragons ARE powerful enough to challenge, and kill, gods. But that would take effort, and dragons are inherently lazy. (Good-aligned dragons less so, but still lazy.)

 

How vast is vast? Let's just say that on a continent the size of Australia, there MIGHT be two dragons. MIGHT.

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