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In the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), dragons are often depicted as having many different races, each usually based on a particular color of their scales or an affinity with an element. This classification has been used in a great deal of modern fantasy fiction[who?].
- 1 Dragon classification
- 2 Types of dragons
- 2.1 True Dragons
- 2.2 Brass dragon
- 2.3 Bronze dragon
- 2.4 Copper dragon
- 2.5 Gold dragon
- 2.6 Silver dragon
- 2.7 Gem dragons
- 2.8 Ferrous dragons
- 2.9 Lung Dragons
- 2.10 Planar dragons
- 2.11 Other dragons
- 2.12 Lesser dragons
- 3 Dragon abilities
- 4 Dragon biology
- 5 Dragon personalities
- 6 Dragons in campaign settings
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons classifies dragon as a type of creature, simply defined as "a reptilelike creature, usually winged, with magical or unusual abilities"[who?]. The dragon type is broken down into several classifications. True dragons are dragons which increase in power by age categories (wyrmling to great wyrm). Lesser dragons do not improve in age categories and may lack all of the abilities of true dragons. Examples of lesser dragons include dragon turtles and wyverns. Other creatures with the dragon type include drakes, felldrakes, elemental drakes, landwyrms, linnorms, and wurms.
In Dungeons & Dragons, there are many color-coded races of dragons, each of which breathes a different element; for example, red and gold dragons breathe fire, white and silver dragons breathe frost, and blue and bronze dragons breathe bolts of lightning. Some dragons (particularly metallic dragons) have two different kinds of breath, usually a lethal one (fire, ice, acid, electricity, etc.) and another that is typically non-lethal (paralysis, repulsion, confusion, etc.).
Dungeons & Dragons divides true dragons further into three main categories: chromatic dragons, such as green and black dragons, which are evil-aligned; metallic dragons, such as gold and silver dragons, which are good; and neutral-aligned gem dragons, rare creatures that possess psionic abilities.
In addition, there are other sub-species of true dragons that don't fit into the three main categories. For example, mercury and steel dragons would seem to be metallic dragons, but in the Dungeons & Dragons world they are considered to be outside of the main family of metallic dragons because of various biological differences (though the book Dragons of Faerûn does list them as metallic dragons). The "lung dragons" or spirit-dragons of Oriental Adventures are also true dragons. There also exist the 'planar dragons', a very distinct classification. Examples of 'planar' dragons are the Tarterian dragon or the radiant dragon, the chaos dragon, etc. Detailed information about D&D dragonkind may be found in the Draconomicon, a D&D supplement book designed especially for draconic information.
Types of dragons
- Main article: Chromatic dragons (Dungeons & Dragons)
Metallic dragons are typically of good alignment. They are the Brass Dragon, the Bronze Dragon, the Copper Dragon, the Gold Dragon, and the Silver Dragon. Bahamut is the deity of metallic dragons.
- Maximum Height: 16 feet
- Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
- Maximum Wingspan: 60 feet
- Breath weapon: Line of fire, cone of sleep gas
- Habitat: Desert, plains
- Diet: Dew drops
- Preferred Treasure: Objects made of plant matter (For example: a rare piece of wood, a finely woven garment, et cetera)
- Alignment: Chaotic Good
- Image: Wizards.com image
- Stats: OGL stats
- Notes: don't believe at all
Brass dragons are the weakest of the 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.
Brass dragon eggs must be incubated in a nest of open flames. Incubation takes approximately 480 days. The eggs are typically tended by both parents, so that they can talk together as they maintain their vigil. A newhatched brass wyrmling is not remarkable in appearance; its scales are a dull brown. The scales become lighter and more brilliant as the dragon matures. Brass wyrmlings probably learn to talk more quickly than the young of any other sentient species. They talk constantly about anything and everything, and they will talk to anybody: friends, family, enemies, small creatures that cannot talk back, or even to itself if nobody else is near. When exposed to a new language, a brass wyrmling will usually become fluent in under an hour.
As it matures, a brass dragon adds a love of fire to its love of speech. They can stare into burning flames for hours, entranced by their beauty. Older brass dragons often become discouraged with the world, believing that others are ruining it. Yet as they mature, they seem to accept the follies of the world, and may even donate some of their treasures to aid a cause they believe to be worthy. Ancient brass dragons are some of the best - and most willing - sources of advice in the entire Prime Material Plane.
The brass dragon prefers to dig its lair inside a desert peak or spire. They also prefer to have their lairs face eastwards, so that the rising sun will warm the lair for the bulk of the day. A brass dragon's lair is well-constructed and quite extensive, with many twisting corridors and dead ends to confuse and discourage hostile intruders. The centerpiece of any brass dragon's lair is the Grand Conversation Hall, where it spends the majority of its time entertaining friends and visitors. A typical lair will also contain an elegant foyer, a gallery for the artwork the dragon has collected, a sleeping chamber, and a storage room. All brass dragon lairs have several small entrances, known as bolt holes. These multiple entrances allow a brass dragon to easily escape an attack by a blue dragon or other predator.
Brass dragons very rarely engage in combat, preferring to talk rather than fight. If they consider a creature threatening, they will subdue it with their sleeping gas. In the face of true danger, a brass dragon will most likely fly away and hide in the sand. It will fight and use its fire breath only as an absolute last resort.
- Maximum Height: 10 feet
- Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
- Maximum Wingspan: 80 feet
- Breath weapon: Line of Lightning, Cone of Repulsion Gas
- Habitat: Aquatic, Tropical Islands
- Diet: Aquatic plants, shark meat, pearls
- Preferred Treasure: Pearls, coral, intricate shells, and gold
- Alignment: Lawful Good
- Image: Wizards.com image
- Stats: OGL stats
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. 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 large horns protruding from each cheek, pointing back towards the tail. 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.
Bronze dragons mate for life, and take their duties as parents with the utmost seriousness. They will protect their eggs and their wyrmlings at any cost. Although bronze dragons always live near water, they lay their eggs in a dry cave. Apart from a dry, relatively warm environment, bronze dragon eggs require no special conditions for incubation like those of most dragons. Upon hatching, the wyrmlings are raised, taught, and protected by their parents. A newhatched bronze wyrmling appears yellow with a tinge of green, and the scales will gradually shift to bronze as it matures. Bronze wyrmlings love to swim in the ocean, and frolic in much the same manner as dolphins.
Given its exceptional abilities as a swimmer, the entrance to a bronze dragon's lair is quite naturally underwater, and often disguised with seaweed and coral. The bulk of the lair is above water level, however, consisting of multiple tunnels and large chambers, some as much as a thousand feet above sea level. They prefer to make their lairs in an island volcano, if possible.
While bronze dragons are often fascinated with battles, especially fighting to defeat evil, they have strong moral compunctions against killing living beings unless absolutely necessary. They will often join good-aligned armies to fight the forces of evil, either in human form or their own. In battle, their weapon of choice is to breathe repulsion gas, which is so putrid that it forces absolutely everything away. They also like to relocate a foe to a remote location where it can do no harm when possible. When forced to kill, the bronze dragon is a deadly combatant, roasting enemies with bursts of lightning or ripping them open with its clawed forelegs.
- Maximum Height: 16 feet
- Maximum Weight: 160,000 pounds
- Maximum Wingspan: 80 feet
- Breath weapon: Line of Acid, Cone of Slow Gas
- Habitat: Dry, Rocky Mountains
- Diet: Scorpions and other venomous creatures
- Preferred Treasure: Valuables from the earth: metals, precious stones, finely crafted sculptures, well-made ceramics, et cetera
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.
Copper dragons lay their eggs in a nest of cool sand or clay. Both parents watch over the eggs and raise the wyrmling until it reaches adulthood, whereupon the parents separate. When newhatched, the scales of a copper wyrmling are a muddy brown in color, which gradually shifts to a glowing copper as it matures. Adult copper dragons are quite social, mainly due to the desire to play tricks upon each other. A visitor to a copper dragon's layer can expect to be entertained at length, although the dragon will become angry if the visitor does not appear impressed with their tricks, riddles, and stories.
A typical copper dragon's lair is a cave, whose entrance is concealed by rocks and boulders. Upon entering, visitors find themselves in a huge labyrinth of tunnels. Copper dragons compete amongst themselves to see who can design the most confusing layout. If a friendly visitor becomes hopelessly lost (which is rather common), the copper dragon will rescue her before she is actually endangered. Once through the labyrinth, visitors find themselves in a spacious foyer, beyond which is the Main Entertaining Chamber, where the dragon will spend the bulk of its time. Opening off the MEC is a much more straightforward escape tunnel, whose outside entrance is often fiendishly difficult to locate even when one knows exactly where it is. The copper dragon will know, however, and often uses its 'back door' to get into its lair instead of taking the time to navigate the maze. Obviously, it is far easier for a visitor to enter via the secret door if she can find it, but doing so is considered impolite, especially if she is a first-time visitor.
When it comes to combat, copper dragons prefer to avoid it. Rather than fighting openly, they prefer to taunt, humiliate, and tease their opponents until they simply give up and run away. Their ability to dramatically slow opponents often gives them ample time to run away. When forced, however, a copper dragon will fight to the very end, and is an incredibly devious antagonist. Their acid breath is not to be taken lightly.
- Maximum Height: 22 feet
- Maximum Weight: 1,280,000 pounds
- Maximum Wingspan: 135 feet
- Breath weapon: Cone of fire, cone of weakening gas
- Habitat: Anywhere, although they prefer secluded lairs
- Diet: Small gems and pearls; they do not eat any living creatures
- Preferred Treasure: Art, especially paintings and sculptures
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.
Gold dragon eggs must be incubated in a nest of open flames. A newhatched gold wyrmling appears similar to an adult, except that it lacks horns or tentacle whiskers. Both parents tend the eggs, and then take intense interest in their wyrmlings' care and education. At some point, however, the biological parents may send the wyrmling to live with foster parents; this allows the parents to undertake their own quests, as well as exposing the wyrmling to new experiences.
Unlike many species of dragons, gold dragons have a very firm and hierarchical social structure, encompassing all members of the species. This structure always has one gold dragon as its leader, who serves until he/she either dies or steps down. At that time, all gold dragons congregate and choose the next leader of their kind. Sometimes two dragons may be chosen; in such cases, the two will share the duties of leadership. The position of leader, or 'top dragon,' does not so much involve the maintenance of order - gold dragons are famous for their good behavior - so much as the dispensing of advice and wisdom to any dragons who ask for it. Gold dragons are voracious learners, and they tend to become very wise and worldly as they age. They freely share their knowledge and experience to anyone who asks, dragon or not. In fact, it is not unknown for a gold Great Wyrm to take the form of a scholarly professor in order to spread its knowledge at some human center of higher education.
Unlike most other species of dragons, gold dragons devote immense time and energy to the construction of their lairs. The layout of their lairs often resemble those of elegant human mansions, albeit buried underground. Rooms are well-constructed and elegantly decorated with the many art treasures the gold dragon has collected over its lifetime. Typical rooms in a gold dragon's lair include a main hall, a banquet hall, a resting chamber, a study, a kitchen, a lobby, a storage room, and perhaps even a lavatory. Many gold dragons even have a glass-walled observatory, especially if they live underwater.
Combat-wise, gold dragons prefer to talk rather than to fight. They will never engage in combat if they believe it is unnecessary. Once they believe it is necessary, however, they are amazingly powerful opponents. Their ability to breathe fire rivals that of the eldest red dragons, and they will pour their entire being into a battle against evil. Gold dragons dislike killing, but they do not hesitate to do so if it is necessary in order to defeat an evil foe.
- Maximum Height: 22 feet
- Maximum Weight: 1,280,000 pounds
- Maximum Wingspan: 150 feet
- Breath weapon: Cone of Cold, Paralyzation Gas
- Habitat: High Mountains (the colder the better)
- Diet: Almost anything; love tasting new things
- Preferred Treasure: Beautifully crafted jewelery or finely woven fabrics
Silver dragons (aka "shield 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.
Silver dragons lay their eggs in a bed of snow. A newhatched silver wyrmling has scales of a bluish gray, which change to silver over time. Silver wyrmlings are intelligent, kind, extremely curious, and adorable.
Unlike the gold or bronze dragon, the silver dragon does not usually go out of its way to bring justice on the world. Instead, it waits for others to ask them for help. They will attempt to right an injustice if they see one, but they have no inclination to intentionally seek evil out and destroy it. Silver dragons are more interested in protecting the humans or elves it has come to care for than in looking for evil. Like most metallic dragons, silvers do not enjoy combat, and are averse to killing. If forced to fight, however, they are as deadly as any other dragon.
A silver wyrmling’s scales are blue-gray with silver highlights. As the dragon approaches adulthood, its color gradually brightens until the individual scales are scarcely visible. the pupils of the oldest silver dragons resemble orbs of molten mercury
They are very intelligent, more so than most humans, extremely powerful, breathtakingly beautiful, and have lifespans which can stretch up to 4,200 (as stated in draconomicon, the book of dragons)
The silver dragon is regal and statuesque, an unusual trait they offer is the love of human dining, and will use the ability of alternate form to take part in large feasts.
Silver dragons employ a breath weapon of extreme cold similar to that of white dragons. They also have a second breath weapon, a cone of paralyzing gas.
Silver dragons are extremely rare and elusive, preferring to take the guise of kind and elderly humanoids or very attractive and young humanoids. They very much like to associate with elves and humans, not necessarily because they prefer their company over other races, but because they try to learn from the shorter lived humans.
Silver dragons' favored enemy are red dragons because these chromatic dragons are almost always evil and have a talent for destruction. Additionally, silvers and reds favor the same sort of terrain for lairs, which leads to territorial disputes on top of having attitudes and philosophies at odds with the others'.
Dragons may live for two millennia, while humans only live a few decades. This vast difference in time leads to inherent psychological differences concerning time. Dragons tend to think things through for years at a time, using their razor-sharp intellects to hone a plan to perfection, solve incalculable puzzles, or other such things. Silver dragons, however, note that humans are able to accomplish much in their short life spans because of their ambitious drive for success. When a silver dragon can combine its own long-term perspective with a quick and ambitious attitude, the benefit is undeniable.
Most silvers group together in "clans," a loose organization of dragons who choose to live together as a family. Clans take communal responsibility for protecting and raising their wyrmlings. A senior member of the clan may act as a leader, but no true leader actually exists. Silver dragons do not feel the need for a strict social structure, since they are most content to live as honestly as possible. However, many silver dragons leave their clans for long periods of time to live among nondragons. They tend to live for many years with the same group of humans or elves, having grown attached to them. As members of the family die, the silver dragon, grieved by the loss, often chooses to stay with the family, remaining a true and loyal friend and champion through many generations. If the dragon feels comfortable enough around these nondragons, it might even decide to reveal its true self.
A silver dragon's lair is typically found within an icy mountain, with the main entrance only accessible by air. The lair itself is similar to the gold dragon's in its sophistication and design, although the silver dragon's lair tends to be far less intricate. A typical lair will contain a main entertaining area, a storage room, a vault, a sleeping chamber, study, library, shrine, and two clinic rooms where the dragon can offer help and protection to those who need it. The lair will also have a concealed back entrance for use in emergencies.
- Main article: Gem dragons (Dungeons & Dragons)
Gem dragons are typically of neutral alignment. They are the Amethyst Dragon, the Crystal Dragon, the Emerald Dragon, the Sapphire Dragon, and the Topaz Dragon. Sardior is the deity of gem dragons.
Ferrous Dragons are typically of lawful alignment. They are the Iron Dragon, the Nickel Dragon, the Tungsten Dragon, the Cobalt Dragon, and the Chromium Dragon. They originated in Dragon Magazine.
Lung Dragons are based upon oriental (Chinese and Japanese) dragons as opposed to the western-based True Dragons, and appear in correspondingly themed settings such as Kara-Tur or Rokugan. Lung Dragons are spirits that embody and empower aspects of nature rather than being normal, physical creatures, and they are mostly True Neutral in alignment.
- Main article: Planar dragons (Dungeons & Dragons)
Planar dragons inhabit the outer planes.
- Main article: List of less common dragons in D&D
Other dragon species that exist outside of the main dragon families include: Steel, Mercury, Pearl, Amber, Cloud, Mist, Fairy, Drakes, and many more.
Various types of lesser dragons exist, including:
- Ambush drakes
- Dragon Turtles
- Elemental Drakes
- Faerie dragons
- Spiretop Dragons
In D&D, dragons grow stronger and stronger as they grow older (they become bigger, more resistant to damages and magic, have a more dangerous breath, and so on). Old dragons can cast draconic magic which is a special form of D&D magic (dragons can cast spells with just a few words, they don't need a sometimes long and complex ritual involving words, gestures and components like other D&D wizards), and radiate a mystical fear aura around them. After a millennium or two, a dragon reaches his maximum development. In the Draconomicon, there is also an article about Advanced Dragons, dragons that have reached their oldest age category but can still advance "virtual age categories", and become larger and stronger.
All D&D dragons have some innate magical abilities, but they vary from race to race. Metallic dragons are often able to shapechange into small animals or human forms, and use this ability to secretly help or watch over humans. Dragons also have some innate powers upon the element they are linked to. For example a red dragon (fire) will have some control over fires. Like all other draconic powers, they gain more as they grow older.
D&D dragons are able to eat almost everything, but each race have a preferred diet (some prefer flesh, other prefer to eat precious metals or gems, and so forth).
Dragons are inherently magical beings, and in no case should dragons be considered reptiles, despite obvious similarities such as a scaled epidermis and reproduction by laying eggs. In fact, Dragons are more akin to feline creatures than reptiles, particularly in regards to their posture and movements, as well as being inherently warm-blooded and an eye composition similar to felines, although far more complex. A good example of this is the placement of the legs: Reptiles have their legs placed on the sides of their body, while most mammals have them placed underneath their body- dragons also tend to place their rear foot where their front foot was previously, much like most stalking feline predators.
The number of eggs laid each time depends on the race of the dragon, but is usually low (between one and ten). Dragons can also cross-breed with virtually any other creature, creating a half-dragon. The most commonly heard of are in the humanoid races, particularly with human and elves. Any combination is possible, however, even with devils or angels.
As far as senses, which varies slightly depending on species due to each one, they are superior in most ways to other creatures- like any predator, they have exceptionally acute senses, which only increase with age. Like avian creatures, they have excellent depth perception and comparingly good peripheral vision, able to see twice as well as a human in daylight- unlike avians, they have great night vision, and are able to see even when condition have no light to offer, the only drawback being that there is a lack of color in such circumstances.
Dragons can also pick up scents very well, utilizing both their sensitive nose and forked tongue, much like a snake. Their hearing is on par with human hearing, although their minds can filter what noise it hears. They are capable of "blindsense", the sense in which eyes, ears, and other senses are used to detect invisible persons or objects. Dragon taste is also refined, although they do not respond well to sweet flavors, and most dragons do not discuss the matter as to why. Of all its senses, a dragon's sense of touch is the only one to decrease throughout age, thanks mostly to the development of thick, hard scales.
All dragons are intelligent beings, and most of them exceedingly so. Dragon personality varies from dragon to dragon, but dragons of the same subrace tend to have similar mindsets. This is not always true; several exceptions exist in official D&D material. In the Forgotten Realms a good-aligned red dragon is involved against his will in the Fall of the elf city of Myth Drannor.
All dragons share a common desire to collect treasure, be it precious, beautiful, magical or just shiny- indeed, the treasure in question needn't always be gold, and may sometimes be aesthetic in nature, ranging from popular artwork or sculptures or even rare books and tomes that might otherwise have an overwhelming monetary value. For evil-aligned dragons, this generally directs a greedy attitude to achieve such wealth by whatever means suit them. For good dragons this lust for treasure is tempered, although they are certiainly not averse to earning such wealth, and still appreciate gifts (while being insulted if offered an obvious bribe).
Being stronger, faster, generally smarter, and possessing longer life than humans, dragons tend to consider themselves superior creatures. For good-aligned dragons, this may only mean they often consider humanoid races as children, trying to take care of them and educate them; for evil-aligned dragons, they consider humanoids as mere animals, or as toys to play with- at best, they are minions and slaves.
The longevity of dragons is evident in their often lackadaisical attitudes. Good-aligned dragons, while concerned with defeating evil, are able to see a much broader scope of the world, and although certain crises arise that may seem extremely important to good-aligned humans, their dragon counterparts are able to see the event as an unimportant hiccup that will pass in mere centuries- even those that adventure with others tend show a sense of incredible patience, even in situations where all others feel they've not a second to lose. Similarly, evil-aligned dragons that are crossed by belligerent adventurers may plot for dozens of generations before exacting revenge on the trespasser’s line- it is not uncommon for those descended from the mentioned adventurer to find themselves the target of a dragon based simply on their lineage.
Dragons in campaign settings
In many settings, the god-king of the metallic dragons is Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, and the goddess and queen of the chromatic dragons is Tiamat, the Five-Headed Dragon. The progenitor and supreme deity of all dragons is known as Io. Other deities often included in the draconic pantheon of gods include Aasterinian, Chronepsis, and Faluzure. Other draconic gods may be present in different campaign settings. Dragons were named after the god dragona. She was a animal lover and loved the way animals look and act. Therfore, dragons were named.
The Dragonlance novels and campaign setting helped popularize the D&D-derived perspective on dragons. Here the Platinum Dragon is called Paladine, and the Dragon Queen is called Takhisis. Dragons are divided up into good and evil groups, known as the Metallic Dragons and the Chromatic Dragons, respectively. Paladine leads the Metallic Dragons and Takhisis the Chromatic. The Metallic Dragons rarely became involved in the world other than to oppose the actions of Chromatic Dragons, who often joined into war as their goddess Takhisis instructed. However, in the "Fifth Age", massive Chromatic Dragons who were not native to Krynn emerged and took over many of the humanoid-controlled nations of Krynn, as well as slaying many of the native dragons. They are known as Dragon Overlords. There was one from each race of Chromatic Dragons; red, green, black, white, and blue. Four of these have been slain, and only the White Overlord Gellidus remains.
Dark Sun setting
In the world of Athas of the Dark Sun campaign setting, normal D&D dragons do not exist. Dragon-like drake races exist, one for each classical element, but for most people the word dragon refer to the Dragon of Tyr, who is a very powerful sorcerer-king (the tyrannic leaders of Athasian cities, who are both masters of magic and psi abilities) who transformed himself into a dragon-like creature using very powerful (and painful) magic. However, this dragon (Bors or Borys) was eventually killed in Troy Denning's book "The Cerulean Storm" by his former master, the sorcerer Rajaat.
Forgotten Realms setting
In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, dragons are very close to the ones in Dragonlance. A sect of cultist called the Cult of the Dragon believe that dragons, particularly undead ones, will rule the world, and are trying to convert evil dragons to become dracoliches--undead lich-like dragons, which are partially bound to the cult by the rituals which grant them their undead status. Plus, in the D&D Supplement book "The Draconomicon" several other undead varieties of the dragon - ghost, skeleton, vampire, and zombie make an appearance.
A popular series called Wyrms of the North ran in Dragon magazine issues #230 through 259 and was later updated to third edition rules on Wizards of the Coast's website (see external links). Each article detailed an individual dragon of significance in Faerûn.
Lately, an ancient affliction that attacks dragons and rendering them mad, the Dracorage, was invoked, causing countless dragons to rampage throughout Faerûn. A novel trilogy, the Year of the Rogue Dragons set (The Rage, The Rite, and The Ruin) by Richard Lee Byers, as well as a game accessory, Dragons of Faerûn, details the exploits and deeds of several dragons as the Dracorage swept the continent.
World of Greyhawk setting
- Main article: Steel dragon
The Greyhawk campaign setting features the standard types of D&D dragons, except that in this setting steel dragons are referred to as "Greyhawk Dragons." Although these dragons are rarely encountered, they are somewhat more common in the World of Greyhawk than in other campaign worlds.
Council of Wyrms setting
The Council of Wyrms campaign setting is the only one that allows for dragon player characters in its base rules. (The Draconomicon introduces rules for dragon PCs in standard Dungeons & Dragons.) The setting is based around a society of dragons and their servitors and uses the standard D&D dragon races and dragon gods. It has detailed rules for creating and playing dragon PCs and NPCs, including various draconic character classes.
In the Eberron campaign setting, three dragon gods have created the world: Siberys, Eberron and Khyber. Siberys and Eberron waged war against Khyber and imprisoned it within the depths of the earth. In the end, all three dragons merged with the land: Siberys becoming the sky, Eberron the continents and Khyber the underground world.
Dragons are apart from civilization, which is mostly concentrated on the continent of Khorvaire. They live on the continent of Argonnessen, a rather unknown place, since dragons are very territorial, it makes exploration often hazardous. The dragons used to rule over Eberron many centuries ago, but at the end of the Dragon-Fiend war, against the demons and devils of Khyber, they departed from Khorvaire to go to Argonnessen.
Dragons are immersed in the Draconic Prophecy, a legend which all bits of information are scattered throughout the world and that the outcome is unknown. They see every event as an important event in the Prophecy, and they even form an organization called the Chamber, where they send their brethen in search of clues. They can be of any alignment, like any creature in Eberron, so a good red dragon (usually evil) is as common as an evil gold dragon (usually good). This rule might throw some players off-balance. Dragons also consider themselves superior, treating all other races as inferior. Furthermore, any half-dragon spotted by these dragons is vowed to be hunted, as they treat these half-breeds as a disgrace to their image.
- Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun (Wizards of the Coast, 2001).
- Dragon Types - A description of each of the chromatic dragon types, including pictures.
- Wyrms of the North Archive
fr:Dragon (Donjons et dragons)