>>44766218 Dragons are so cool that I just don't mind. I'd prefer if they weren't extremely overcentralizing in whatever story/setting they're in, though. Being mid-upper-tier in the planar powerscale is just right, so they deserve their imposing reputation without just being outright gods.
One of the best parts about dragons though is how much variety has and can be done with them.
>>44766302 I back this. In my homebrew setting, there are only three intelligent dragons (wizards uplifted them, the idiots...), the rest are solitary and territorial beasts that are just, well, beasts.
Not a huge fan of D&D's color-coding for adventurer convenience. Kinda like how they're handled in other settings. I haven't had a lot of dealings with dragons in campaigns, besides finding colored ones and either cutting them up or running like a bitch. I think that's kind of a shame, there's a lot you can do with them.
>>44766218 >humanity went from a bunch of tribal wheel-less barbarians to a space-faring civilization in 8000 years tops, despite suffering numerous setbacks like scientists dying and wars/famine/epidemics/religion interfering with progress all the time >dragons live for tens of thousands of years each, are supposedly very intelligent, yet are still unable to get out of stone age on their own
My DM is a dragon scalie. He's actually a good DM, puts an incredible amount of work into his games and storytelling, and never makes anything awkward or anything. But you know that noble savage race that we need to recruit? Lizardmen. That society of advanced crafters and merchants? Snakemen and Yuan-ti. The downtrodden folk who are trying to make their way in the world? Kobolds. The chosen blade? Crafted by Dragonborn. The ruins we're going to? Ancient dragon ruins. The mystical force guiding our path? It's a dragon god. The NPC we're saddled with? Probably a dragon, dragonborn, snakeman, lizardman, kobold, etc.
The evil enemy we're supposed to defeat though? That's probably some dragon-hating racist elf or something. It gets old sometimes.
It is fully possible for anyone to live for enormous amounts of time, even indefinitely, if they avoid deprivation, violence, or sickness (which is difficult). Magic is the purview almost entirely of beings who have lived for at least a century and managed to learn just enough to heal their bodies of sickness and injury.
A lot of non-intelligent creatures in this setting undergo the same kind of metamorphosis as they age and grow larger and begin to exhibit natural magical tendencies. Very few animals ever LIVE this long, and fewer still to the point where they finally become intelligent, but they do exist, and they're the toughest, scariest things in the setting.
Dragons start off as wyverns and eventually become drakes. Wyverns are basically cliff runners, nasty and dangerous, but still animals.
As a wyvern grows in age, it becomes more and more potent, and more and more territorial. Eventually a drake cannot stand the presence of anything is sees as competition, such as other wyverns, predators, or apex predators. Worse, a wyvern by that age is basically a force of nature. Their arrival is devastating and destructive, on the scale of an earth quake or plague. And the older they get, the more their 'personal space' grows, but also the less they consider things they might have attacked before (say, wyverns, or humans, or wolf packs, etc.) just drop off their radar. They're not threats or competition, they're just more prey to be hunted out of hand, rather than specifically driven off (very few drakes make it to this stage). But OTHER drakes remain on their shit list, as do other magical creatures who reach a similar stage of metamorphosis. So they go after THOSE guys and usually get themselves killed, often mutually. >cont
>>44766696 Hang on, I have something about that...
>Sjachthurkearverthichaoposs turned around, resuming walking. “Nations. Societies. Cultures. These are all side-effects of the real goal of your race, I realized. The real goal is food. Growing it or herding it. Protecting it. Your societies exist to make the production of food more efficient.” He glanced back. “You have a farmer. The farmer needs aid in tending his farm, so he has a family. The family needs protection, so you have soldiers. The soldiers need organization, so you have governments. You produce so much food that some of your kind don’t need to produce their own, so they become artisans, or artists, or thinkers.”
>The dragon looked forward again. “But dragons eat rocks. We do not need farmers. We do not need a family. We are mighty – so we do not need soldiers. We can get our food anywhere. It does not need to be made ‘more efficient.’ So we need no government.” He snorted. “We collect treasure because the greed makes us grow. Because the more we own, the more we have, the stronger we are in our early years – but that makes every dragon competition, trying to take what is ours, to stop our growth. Even our mates are potential rivals.”
>“Our only competition is other dragons – and so, we avoid those other dragons. We isolate ourselves in our lairs. We do not talk to one another. We have centuries of life to us…and yet the thought of companionship fill us with fear. So our language is stunted – so much that many of us learn other languages where we can, because Draconic simply cannot express what we may wish to say to others. And because we avoid each other, we see no need to learn or create letters. Draconic goes unwritten. Our history is distorted or forgotten.”
>“We are dragons,” Sjachthurkearverthichaoposs said. “We are mighty. We are the strongest of the mortal races. We have no equals. And because of that…we are dying.”
>>44766798 See that hive ship on the top? Not exactly star-sized, it's still fuckhuge, bigger than a Star Destroyer. He blew up at least one (one more if you count novelization). And he captured the flying city too, although plotarmored protagonist managed to stop him.
>>44766800 Impossible, the world is set up that the age of dragons is beginning to rise, their super progressive society will unite the countries of the world and all the oppressed races and enter everywhere into a golden age. Stopping it would involve being treated like Hitler, and having the entire world declare war on you and your evil anti-dragon ways.
Knowing him, he would probably get too disinterested in continuing the campaign if I tried that anyway.
>>44766818 Entire countries can be wiped out by a 'monster mash' where the carnage and roaming fight just drifts across the land scape, and other 'mid tiers' start piling in on the wounded and vulnerable 'victors'. Basically entire areas of the world turn into Kaiju warzones.
Now the final stage is Dragon, and Dragons are intelligent, and have usually survived at last one 'monster mash', or some how managed to avoid them entirely. They can speak, use magic conciously, and retain their massive physical strength. They're akin to gods in many cases. I think at the time of the campaign I ran there was only 1 dragon, who became a dragon right after managing to kill off the previous one in his drake form. He was actually sorta bro in his own way, because he felt it was a senseless waste, so he tried to find ways to prevent other drakes from killing HIM so someday there might be TWO dragons in the world.
There were like, 9 or so other beings who were at that level, one of which was a "Sidhe", which was the final stage for humans (Humans go Human > Elf > Sidhe, and experience EXACTLY the same erratic problems, which is why most elves/wizards hang out in secluded towers and are generally asshole recluses, because the aging process, up until they hit Sidhe stage, makes them hyper paranoid and territorial. A lot of Elves go on killing sprees if they can't get far enough away from the few pockets of civilization, and most of humanity is nomadic)
>>44766832 Just imagine what effect would any modern ideology have on a disjointed, culturally backwards species. Pick ten younger dragons, tell them that the elite (read, older dragons) oppresses them unfairly and intentionally keeps them divided and weak, then sit back and enjoy a local Red October.
>>44766883 It certainly was a compelling thing to write about, anyway.
>>44766884 In the story that I wrote, which I pulled that from, younger dragons are fully aware of what older dragons do. They're fully aware because to even GET to adulthood, they had to, themselves, do as much to their fellow whelps. From earlier in the same chapter:
>She shook her head. “No, I mean…” she thought a moment. She was pretty sure she had figured dragons out, and was pretty sure she had done so because of her anger problems, because she had a part of her that just constantly wanted to fall into fight-or-flight instincts and heavily favored the fight part. “Okay. Imagine being a dragon whelp. You hatch and from the moment you do that, you can only look out for number one. Yourself. Every other dragon sees you as competition. You spend your entire childhood…whelp-hood, whatever…just trying to get a one-up on all the other whelps. You probably only learn how to speak at all because figuring out what other whelps are saying gives you a better shot at surviving. Maybe you join a gang of other whelps since working together you’ve got a better shot at surviving, but even in that gang all you’re ever trying to do is get to the top and keep any other dragon from reaching where you are.
>“And then, even after that, even if you make it to be the biggest and meanest whelp around, you’ve got…” she waved a hoof after Hesjingrasvim, “that to deal with. Adult dragons.”
>>44766899 Human xenophobia is instinctual too - a product of fear mixed with personal experience. It is, nowadays, an atavism (for the most part), but it didn't appear just 'cause, it had a reason. Unless dragons were intentionally created to be hostile to the point of being inviable as a species, their xenophobia can be suppressed by the need to unite against a greater threat.
Humans had their primal impulses suppressed all the time. In besieged Leningrad, soviet biologists saved the rare (edible) seed banks, despite starving to death, in the name of science. Surely, if a person can be indoctrinated (not that this was a bad thing) into choosing certain death so that scientific wealth could be preserved, one could convince a dragon to bear with its equals for a while so that their mutual enemies would be dealt with.
>>44766987 The trick is - what's a mutual enemy to the Draconic race? For an adult dragon, entire armies need to form to face it and kill it. Most of the time the lesser mortals find it easier to simply appease the dragon. And the lesser mortals dare not unite in some grand crusade to slay dragons, precisely because that might unite dragons - and lead to uncountable deaths amongst the lesser mortals as a result.
>>44766943 You're on /tg/. Though some of our little hivemind will gladly loathe you for this when they wake up, there are many that enjoy a good story, no matter the connotation, Many enjoy story for story, and some enjoy story for the ability to rip it apart and explore new ventures with the concepts presented. Just don't make a thread about the fanfiction here.
I like them, but they've been around in fiction and mythology for so long it's really tough to still make them feel fresh. I like them as an elemental force of destruction, hunger and greed, like the Wyrm and its Banes in WtA. Some of them might be intelligent, even reasonable enough to strike deals with, but they're most definitely always malevolent and self-serving. Also, young dragons are absolute garbage, they're creatures of raw chaos and malevolence, they aren't hatched like some fucking lizard and they certainly don't mate. They are born from ash and rubble and blood and bones and greed and hunger, they congeal into existence on the site of razed towns after a war, or in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
>>44767007 I was talking about using Marxism to goad younger dragons into wiping out "the elite" - elder dragons. The elite is quite clearly oppressing the "underclass" in most fantasy settings. Since practically all the NPCs in fantasy realms are culturally backwards, such ideology, despite all its IRL drawbacks, could spread like wildfire. Socialism's impact on somewhat educated western world in the 1900s was limited, but uneducated peasantry of the East instantly went into frenzy. A player could manipulate both the dragons' and the mortals' fear, pride and greed into offing their rulers/strongmen.
>>44767031 Name something that looks like a human, goes through those three stages, and actually has multiple stages.
Also 'better' is a weird idea. Yesssss. In theory they're better, they live longer and can do magic. But they're not literal forces of nature like dragons or a lot of other animals become.
Elves tend to get killed off or in the tribes when you get too old you're expected to wander off into the wilderness and die killing something that could threaten the tribe. There's not a lot of elves in the world, and they're more like dirty, grumpy old men and women than 'the fair folk'.
The only reason they get good at 'glamour' is that Elves can totally qualify for 'starting a monster mash' as far as most other beast species are concerned, and so they get -really- good at hiding themselves.
The only other sapient mortal race in the setting is the Goblin, who become Orcs, and then Dwarves.
I don't count dwarves in the number of races because they keep to their kingdom under the mountains and have actually built up a significant population due to orcs and goblins having a weird hive mind. Orcs leave in massive war bands, rather than killing each other off, and all their magic goes into making them regenerating, super-berserker soldiers as a rule.
But yeah, elves = better humans because I couldn't be arsed to find another name for what was BASICALLY going to be a damn elf at the end of the day.
>>44767068 Considering the dragons in that setting were bringing social and scientific progress, there would be no reason at all for the society to revere you. And mass media being absent in fantasy settings restrict your ability to brainwash the population.
>>44767087 >but uneducated peasantry of the East instantly went into frenzy.
wut? you mean jewish youths right. because the moment when communists started talking about no private property and no land ownership they were hanged. That is why staling and his bros went so hard on peasents.
>>44766302 >>44766696 Depending on your tolerance for British military period fiction, you might enjoy the Temeraire books. They're set during the Napoleonic Wars, and each book find an excuse for the principal characters to go to a different region of the world and see how dragons fit into society there (or don't).
The interesting thing about it is the way it, for lack of a better word, humanizes dragons. They're portrayed as being very powerful, but also subject to the cultural biases of their nations. For example, in Europe dragons are very rare, so they're pressed into military service at birth and never really interact with regular society. China, by contrast, has shitloads of dragons; so while a few are glorious philosopher beasts, the majority are peasant laborers working and living alongside the human population. And in a few places there are feral dragons that operate on instinct, forming hunting packs and dicking over the local farmers.
They're also portrayed as having a human-like range of intelligence. Some military dragons could teach calculus. Others are literally retarded from all the selective breeding. Most of them, like most humans, are somewhere in the middle.
For a dude with a handful of farmers who are too busy escaping regular Wraith culls to build actual planetary defense, that is still very impressive. Tyranid-style enemy will bring whole planets together, while Kolya had just one, admittedly huge, bunker under his command.
>>44766302 My setting's dragons are basically flying reptilian bears. They've got smarts close to that of H. Erectus, have rudimentary culture and are basically one of the world's top apex predators. Most live away from the world's civilizations, taking up residence in caves and mountains, having set territories and hunting grounds that small family units claim as territory.
There are a few among their kind that not only stray from their normal habitat, they actively attack civilized areas. Often farmlands for the abundant food there, but some will even launch "campaigns" on fortified settlements. A dragon that can attack such a settlement successfully, gaining treasures for its horde, gains fame among others of its kind. It's strong, successful, and a good potential mate. The most impressive thing for dragons is one which can not only attack fortified settlements, but actually take them over. A dragon that's taken a castle as its own, treasures and all, and keep it for any long period of time, is truly the strongest of its kind.
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