Inspired by our recent X-Box LANfest, Dave asked everyone what they would do in the event of a Zombie Attack / infestation / outbreak / brunch. Mmmm, Zombie-brunch. 45% of you said you would gladly grab a weapon and start killing – everyone you ever knew, loved, or cared about – because really they’re trying to eat your brains and that’s not cool. 23% of you jumped the gun and have already started repopulating the human race, which I guess is admirable. 12% would stay hidden until the Zombies passed by (we hope), and 11% would all-out run for their lives and hopefully not run to somewhere that there are more zombies. Developing a cure came in at the bottom tied with various other plans detailed in the comments at 5%, it looks like we’re all more about the killin’ and sexin’ than we are about actually solving problems. I can’t say I’m surprised, just a little worried maybe.
I’ve been inspired by Dave’s adventure last night which featured a beautiful mini’s mat titled “Dragon Shrine” and the party fighting statues of each color chromatic dragon (mostly simultaneously) along with a badass statue of Tiamat herself. Not to mention the fact that his entire campaign is built around Dragons and heavily focuses on the colors and aspects of each. This week I’d like to ask what some may consider a fundamental question of IQ, personality, and overall values.
Dragons are a very important aspect of D&D, obviously since they’re in the name, but there are so many different kinds even when you just look at the Metallics and Chromatics. Below I’ll list a short blurb about each one of these for people who’d like to research before they choose.
(I’m copying a lot of this from Wikipedia and other sources, because I’m not insane.)
Black Dragons: Black dragons (a.k.a. “Skull Dragons”) are the most vile tempered and cruel of all chromatic dragons. Physically, black dragons are most distinguished by their horns, which protrude from the sides of their heads and wrap around, projecting forward. A large frill adorns the upper part of the neck. They smell like rotting vegetation and foul water, or like the powerful acid they can breathe.
Black dragons are fierce hunters that will normally attack from the water. They will often prey on fish, crabs, birds, turtles, crocodiles, lizardfolk, chuuls, hydras, and green dragons that are smaller and younger than they are. Their enemies include green dragons and swamp landwyrms.
Blue Dragons: Blue dragons are the second most powerful of the classic chromatic dragons. They are physically distinguished by the single large horns protruding from their heads and also by their ears, which are rather large and frilled. The tail is thick and bumpy, like that of a caterpillar. The wings are more pronounced than most other species’. They smell like ozone or sand.
They are more likely to be mocking and manipulative than outrightly cruel or murderous to ‘lesser’ creatures, aided greatly by their natural talents for hallucination. They are infamous for tricking desert travelers into drinking sand or going miles out of their way to avoid nonexistent dust basins. Blue dragons are orderly creatures, and are unusual for chromatics in that they keep fairly well-ordered, hierarchical societies.
Green Dragons: Green dragons are the third most powerful of the classic chromatic dragons. Physically, they are most notable for the large, waving crest or fin that starts at the dragon’s nose and runs the entire length of the dragon’s body. They also have exceptionally long, slender forked tongues. They smell like chlorine gas and are highly adept at magic.
(Green Dragons are being re-worked in 4th Ed. so that they are more “poisonous” in appearance and more distinguished from other dragons – covered in spines, with a large stinger-like nose)
Red Dragons: Red dragons are the largest, most powerful, and most (in)famous of the classic chromatic dragons. Physically, they are distinguished by their enormous size and wingspan. They have two large horns upon their heads, which point backwards toward their wings. They smell of smoke and sulphur.
Red dragons have an amazing eye for value, and can determine the monetary worth of absolutely any material object at a glance. All dragons are known for hoarding treasure, but the red dragon far surpasses all other species in this regard. The gaining and keeping of treasure is the complete focus of a red dragon’s adult life, and they tend to amass incredible hoards with amazing rapidity. At any given moment, a red dragon will be able to tell you the precise monetary value of all the objects in its hoard, down to the last fraction of a coin.
White Dragons: White dragons are the weakest and the most feral of the classic chromatic dragons, but they are by no means harmless, if somewhat dimmer than other dragons due to the inbreeding necessary to create an animal that could resist the frigid temperatures that white dragons endure. They are still powerful enough to overwhelm most humans and have exceptional long-term memories. They are physically distinguished by several features: their heads and necks seem to blend seamlessly into one another, and their wings appear somewhat frayed along the edges. They have a flap of skin (dewlap) lined with spines beneath their chins. Their heads are very streamlined, and they have a high crest atop their skulls. They have a crisp, vaguely chemical odor.
Brass Dragons: Brass dragons are one of the weakest metallic dragons, and one of the most benign of all species of dragon. They love to talk, to the exclusion of much else. They love to engage friends and foes alike in hours of long-winded conversation. It is not unusual for a brass dragon to be fluent in several hundred different languages, although they (obviously) prefer to converse in Draconic whenever possible.
Physically, the brass dragon is highly distinctive. From below, its outstretched wings form a triangular shape, as they are attached to its body all the way to the tip of its tail. The wings are longest at the shoulder, and taper gently as they reach the tail. Their scales seem to radiate heat and light. The shape of the head is quite unusual, as it includes a large, curved plate that extends from the dragon’s eyes and cheeks on either side and curves upwards into two points. They have two sharp horns on the chin, which become steadily pointier as the dragon ages. They smell like metal.
Bronze Dragons: Bronze dragons are the third most powerful of the metallic dragons. They truly enjoy observing and interacting with smaller creatures, most especially humans. They will often go out of their way to help them, such as rescuing humans from a shipwreck or a dangerous foe. Most bronze dragons despise Sahuagin . In many of these instances, the bronze dragon will transform itself into a human, so that those who it helps never know who really did the rescuing. They never seek payment for their help, in any form. They always seek justice as best they can, and cannot abide to see any creature being treated with cruelty of any sort. The older the dragon, the more pronounced that this passion for justice becomes. They are probably the most social species of dragon, and often swim and play together in groups. They also love to attend human festivals and parties, although usually in human form.
Physically, the bronze dragon is quite fierce in appearance, despite its good nature. While most of its body is a reflective copper color, the wings are often tipped with green. The dragon has three main large horns protruding from each cheek, pointing back towards the tail. It also has a couple more smaller horns. The tips of these points are black and very sharp, and are often used for grooming. The tongue is purple-gray, long and pointed, and not forked. A large frill runs down the upper part of its neck. They smell like sea-spray.
Copper Dragons: Copper dragons are the second weakest of the metallic dragons. They are born tricksters and jokesters. They are quite devious and clever, but their intent is purely benign. They do not seek to harm ‘lesser’ creatures, but merely wish to impress them with superior intelligence and wit, and to fool them with clever pranks.
Physically, the copper dragon is very striking, with scales of a warm copper color tinged with blue. Like the brass dragon, the copper dragon’s wings connect to its body all the way to the tip of its tail. However, its wings have a pronounced bend to them, giving them the appearance of a “V” from below, rather than the brass dragon’s triangular appearance. Copper dragons are powerful jumpers and climbers, with massive thigh and shoulder muscles. Their two horns are broad and flat, pointing backwards towards the tail from the top of their heads. They also have a distinctive frill protruding from either jaw. When the mouth is closed, the teeth are completely hidden. They exude a stony odor.
Gold Dragons: Gold dragons are the most powerful of the metallic dragons, and the most dedicated to defeating evil. They spend the bulk of their lives in human form, seeking out evil and punishing wrongdoers to the best of its considerable abilities. Its typical mode of operation runs roughly along the lines of a sting operation: the dragon will listen for stories of dangerous or evil creatures or persons, then reveal its true form and mete out punishment. They prefer to turn villains over to law enforcement if available, but will ultimately take whatever actions they deem necessary in order to see justice served. They are best summarized as the paladins of the draconic world.
Physically, gold dragons are quite spectacular. Several large horns tipped with umber shoot sideways from their cheeks, and two very prominent horns point backwards along their heads. The most obvious feature is probably the tentacle whiskers that sprout from the top and bottom of the gold dragon’s jaw, giving the appearance of a beard of sorts. Their wings, like those of brass and copper dragons, connect to the body all the way to the tip of the tail. From below, the overall shape resembles that of a brass dragon, but the different coloring and dramatic difference in size enables easy differentiation. When in flight, the gold dragon’s wings ripple, giving the appearance of swimming rather than flying. They smell of saffron and incense.
Silver Dragons: Silver dragons are the second most powerful of the metallic dragons, and are true friends to all. The silver dragon enjoys the company of humans and elves so much that it will often take the form of a human or elf and live among them for the majority of its life. It should be noted that silvers, like all dragons, believe themselves the most superior creatures in the world. However, apart from the ability to fly, which they enjoy greatly, they tend to prefer the physical forms of humanoids for everyday life.
At first glance, the silver dragon appears very similar to the white dragon. The wings are more curved than a white’s though, and the silver has two talons on its wings rather than the single talon of most dragons. The silver dragon also has a beautiful frill that begins at the top of its head and flows all the way down its neck and body to the tip of the tail. The frill is silver towards the body, fading to a purple hue at the edge. They have two long, smooth silver horns with black tips, pointing up and back from the head. They also have a pronounced sharp frill under the chin, which has the rough appearance of a goatee. They smell like rain.