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Thread: The Mighty Draconians

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  1. #1

    The Mighty Draconians

    This is the first of the “faction” posts I plan to do. I want to get a little more detail on each of the suggested races because there's a good chance we're going to open the later race selections to a community vote. So, it's a good idea to keep up with the community. (Even you lurkers. You know who you are, lol.) And it's a good idea to weigh in on all these faction posts. We want to make sure that all the factions have a rich flavor and solid game play. This post is to explore what could be done with the Draconian race. I started here because three people had mentioned the Draconians in different posts.

    I'll get the ball rolling by saying I think all the units need some bonus to natural armor class. I also think we can combine the true Draconians with some of the lesser reptilian races to create lower tier units. (Like lizardmen.) All of them should be able to swim and most of them fly. Flying units will have a serious limit on what armor they can equip, so their armor class won't get crazy. I think that higher tier units may also need breath weapons or some magical abilities. We may even want to build some of the highest tier units on the D20 Half-Dragon template.

    Those are my base ideas. What do you guys think? What truly “draconian” elements can we add to make the race feel special.

  2. #2
    One thing I could think of is different land biome bonuses.

    Rather than a static +1 to food for grasslands/ +2 production for mountains etc, maybe have it be race dependent?

    IE, Draconians get certain bonuses for Deserts, Dwarves get certain bonuses for Mountains, Elves/Forests, Undead/Swamps, Humans/grasslands, etc.

    As long as you have tools to help spot good areas to settle I think this type of thing would be great.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Brian View Post
    One thing I could think of is different land biome bonuses.

    Rather than a static +1 to food for grasslands/ +2 production for mountains etc, maybe have it be race dependent?

    IE, Draconians get certain bonuses for Deserts, Dwarves get certain bonuses for Mountains, Elves/Forests, Undead/Swamps, Humans/grasslands, etc.

    As long as you have tools to help spot good areas to settle I think this type of thing would be great.
    I'm not sure this belongs in the Draconian thread but I definitely like various races getting different bonuse in different biomes. I can see Wood Elf/Fey Creatures getting a bonus in woods as you say (though High Elves wouldn't necessarily), Dwarves get bonuses in mountains... in fact in many games only flying unit can even go over mountains and if that's the case here I would say Dwarves should be able to pass, albeit slowly (possibly even build cities on mountains...). I don't know where you get undead and swamps, to me lizardfolk go in swamps and if I have to pin undead to anything they would be desert, perhaps even Egyptian themed but desert is more devoid of life, swamps are filled with life.

    As for Draconians I really don't have a handle on them. In MoM my understanding is they were one of the most unbalanced factions. In D20 they don't exist. Dragonlance had them but while I read some of the books I never played the pen and paper game in Dragonlance so I have no idea what their stats were. I don't believe Dragonlance was released under the open license though so we can't base anything directly off of that anyway. Dragons ARE in D20 as is the Half-Dragon template and the Dragon Disciple Prestige Class. Dragons are no joke in D20 SRD though, an Adult Red Dragon is roughly similar in power to the most powerful Devil (Pit Fiend) and a lone level 20 character (maxed out Champion). Adult is only half way up the age categories too. A Great Wyrm, the oldest of dragons is one of the most powerful creatures in the game and I just can't see how something like that could be put onto a Faction Army list... even at the top. Dragons do already fit in the Biome thing though as D20 Dragons are already associated with Biomes by Color:

    Red/Silver - Mountains
    Black - Marshes/Swamps
    Blue/Brass - Deserts
    Green - Forests
    White - Arctic Mountains
    Bronze/Copper - Hills
    Gold - Plains

    Keep in mind that the colored (evil) dragons HATE the metallic (good) dragons in D20 and vice versa so both would not be on the same side. Even in Dragonlance the Draconians were all colored dragon based. The Metallic dragons are good and I believe all can shape shift into humanoid form so they may well integrate into humanoid societies. All dragons are highly intelligent, these aren't giant lizards to train as a mount or wild animals killing livestock these are plotting, planning, cunning, intelligent beings that may well be smarter than you.

  4. #4
    Okay, so my thoughts on Draconians. I've steered away from any kind of lore I'm aware of, so I may be trampling all over MoM or D20 or whatever. I also am not sure quite what ideas you're looking for, so hopefully this adequately captures the imagery in my head.

    Pros:
    -Hardier than your average comparable unit. Strong and sturdy, without the movement issues the stubby Dwarves may deal with.
    -Many Draconian units can fly. This will allow them an early tactical and strategic advantage that can only be matched by other factions significantly later in the game.
    -Advantage bonus in desert.
    Cons:
    -Individually, Draconians are a quality-over-quantity race. Their units are costlier than your average unit.
    -Culturally, Draconian civilization is not as advanced as the others. They'll expand better early game, but their cities may not have as much potential late game. Also, Draconian late-game units (not counting their unique units like the dragons), may not have all the advantages of their counterparts (IE, Draconian heavy-swordsman may not be as well armored as the Human heavy-swordsman, don't get access to crossbows, etc.)
    -If a flying Draconian unit is shot down (but not killed), they'll suffer crash damage in addition to the original hit damage.

    In other words, playing Draconian means that you have greater early map control and additional tactical options. Your melee units are also better than most others for a good portion of the game. But you also have fewer units, and losing them (especially early on) will hurt you more than comparable losses would other factions. Late game, your top-end units aren't as good as others, and your cities don't have the same potential as their cities, so in a late-game war of attrition, you'll have a hard time coming out on top. Your best bet is to use your early map control and brute strength to claim key resources and opportunities early on, and then keep the momentum flowing into the late-game for the win.

    Theme (Aesthetics):
    Draconians are a tribal race, though far from primitive. The main idea in my head is that, while most of the fantasy races borrow aesthetically from the medieval world, Draconians resemble a fantasy version of the Greeks. (The Orcs, were they to make an appearance, would be closer to the classic barbarian image) Musically, Draconians have that combination which is at once tribal and simple (compared to the more complex medieval melodies and instruments), yet civilized and proud. Draconian armor is similarly Greek, with small elaborate shields, armor that leaves much space for superior mobility, and weapons that harken back to a slightly earlier era (example: gladius and scythian bow, vs. the more traditional longsword and longbow). When built to last, Draconian structures use lots of marble and white sandstone from the desert. They love displaying their power and prestige, so expect to see statues of former great chiefs, treasure hordes, and tokens taken from battle, like an enemy flag or standard.

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    The mighty draconians don't swim. That's lizardmen, so I guess don't have the lower tier units also fly?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Krakizbad View Post
    The mighty draconians don't swim. That's lizardmen, so I guess don't have the lower tier units also fly?
    I'd say just have the lower tiers swim and the higher tiers fly. I agree that the lizardmen and draconians should be combined, it just makes sense.

  7. #7
    I believe all of them could swim if they wanted to, lol. My thought was that we could work in lower tier units that couldn't fly. As an alternative we could just make the lower tier units more expensive. I like that idea of having some non-fling units at a lower cost, but that's me.

  8. #8
    OK, you guys said a mouthful Let me see if I can answer some of this point by point. (If I miss something say the word.)

    First, different races will get different biome bonuses. These will effect things like max population, production values and movement. For the moment that's all I have time to say. We will be getting to this stuff in the future, however. (I will say this: undead have their own “biome” and yes, lizardmen are from the swamps if they end up in the final cut.)

    I played Dragonlace for years and although the Draconians have not been published under the Open Game License we can still use them for inspiration for our own draconian race. In truth they were similar (again, I'm not trying to start a huge D&D battle here, this is just my opinion) to half-dragons in D20. Each of the different variety were hatched from a corrupted metallic dragon egg. Baaz were hatched from brass dragon eggs IIRC and Auraks from gold eggs, etc. My point is that they were similar to half-dragons and the ideas are all tied together.

    Dragons are already associated with biomes and I see no reason to change that. We don't have any plans to “produce” dragons in an city. They are just too powerful. They will be monsters placed on the map to guard this or that. Now, you can potentially get them in your army by using diplomacy, POWERFUL charms, etc. But we want it to be the kind of thing where every time it happens the player is all “NO WAY! I just convinced a red dragon to serve me!!!”

    Dragons are intelligent beings and have to be reasoned with, not trained. However the mechanic works it will be like dealing with any other intelligent race.

    The animosity between the dragon groups will probably be maintained, although I'm not sure what effect that will actually have in game yet. Concepts to code to play testing.

    Draconians should be hardier than other races as well as having higher armor class. (A d12 hit die perhaps...) Most, if not all will be able to fly. They will get a bonus in whatever biome they end up in.

    I certainly agree that they should be quality over quantity. I think this should be implemented both in cost of unit and number of members per unit.

    I'm not sure about the cultural limitation yet. We're going to need to get more of the city management details fleshed out before we can make a real decision. Still, I see your point and it would absolutely change your mid to late game. It would make them a race likely to enslave other races, lol.

    If a flying unit is forced to the ground it should take fall damage. (There will be several ways to knock em down.)

    As for themes I think it's good to get ideas in the hat. This is very much an aesthetic issue. So, I think it would be a good idea to get some concept art for the popular ideas and see what we like the most.

    I think I hit the main points there, lol.

  9. #9
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    I like the idea of basing the Draconians on D20 lizardfolk (since there are no draconians in the D20 SRD)
    The base unit would therefore be an unarmed lizardfolk (natural armor, claws and bite attack) which you could just call Draconian Warrior
    Their priest class would be a Lizardfolk adept which you could call Draconian Shaman (like Goblins they have the shrine based adepts in place of the cleric based priests)
    Their arcane magic class would be a Lizardfolk Sorcerer with appropriate level that you could call Draconian Sorcerers. (note if the chance to create hero is implemented these units would become heroes as Lizardfolk with the Dragon Disciple prestige class)

    For ranged attack is where things get fun, instead of ranged weapons this is where we introduce breath weapons but they actually have several units that depend on a cities terrain. These units would all be be Lizardfolk warriors but with the half-dragon template applied (as a medium creature they would not get wings via this template.)
    Buildings required (all require shrine is already built):
    Fire Temple - Requires a volcano in the city range - Red Dragon
    Ice Temple - Requires tundra in city range - White Dragon
    Water Temple - Requires swamp in city range - Black Dragon
    Earth Temple - Requires desert in city range - Blue Dragon
    Air Temple - Requires forest in city range - Green Dragon

    In place of cavalry and siege weapons would be follow on buildings to the prior list. The difference here would be that the units this unlocks would have wings and be fighter based instead of warrior.
    So for example you need to build a shrine for Draconian Shaman, then a Fire temple for Fire Draconians (Lizardfolk half-dragon warriors... with breath weapon but no wings) then a Cathedral of Fire for Draconian Fire Lords (Lizardfolk half-dragon Fighters with breath weapon AND wings)

  10. #10
    Dragons are going to be wandering monsters/guardians. Draconians might have some diplomatic advantage in talking to them, but they will be too powerful for a trainable unit.

    Still, those are some very interesting ideas. We're going to be putting together "maybe" lists for the Orc and Draconian units soon. We'll have to keep this entire discussion in mind as we do so

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