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Is there any official reference inside a 5e book that makes specific note of any dragon (or dragonborn) shedding or molting their scales naturally?

The Dragon Scale mail is the closest thing I can find in official 5e material, which uses the term "cast-off" which is very vague and not definitive, as it could just mean they fell off due to action taken on the dragon's part or were purposefully torn off by them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Cast off" is close enough in meaning to "shed" or "molt" to where I think you may be over selling any distinction. Why is this a problem? What problem will an answer to this question solve? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 22 '18 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I realize DM fiat can simply decide on the "do" or "do not", but dragons naturally shedding can change a loot list for instance. Slaying a dragon in a lair would provide the chance to skin them, but would there also be a host of naturally shed/molted scales simply lying around? As a sometimes DM, I want to decide this based on official ecology if possible, rather than speculation or applying real-world reptile logic to dragons. So in essence it doesn't solve an immediate problem but rather one that may come up in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert 'Jet' Rowe Jan 22 '18 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was gonna write an answer explaining how if dragons are like lizards or snakes what they shed (even if they do shed) wouldn't actually be what you would expect. Since they shed a strange sort of skin rather than individual scales. see e.g. goo.gl/2S7Z7o. But it turns out that there is at least one lizard (genus) that does shed scales Geckolepis and particularly Geckolepis Megalepis that sheds them in a very interesting way. see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geckolepis_megalepis. \$\endgroup\$ – DRF Jan 22 '18 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I will also check the draconomicon when I get home. While it's a 3.5 source not a 5th ed, it might at least give some idea. And just as an afterthought don't forget that dragons are inteligent so they might be intentionally destroy the scales to stop other species exploiting them. I remember that at least one D&D source had dragons angered by seeing dragon scale armor due to it being indicative of a dragon slayer. \$\endgroup\$ – DRF Jan 22 '18 at 15:41
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Yes

Aside from the Dragon Scale armor that you mentioned, there's the "Who Created It?" table in the section about rolling random details for magic items (DMG p.142), which says, in part:

6: Dragon. This item is made from scales and talons shed by a dragon.

(emphasis mine)

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that the use of the word 'shed' here could be used in such a way as to mean 'other than passively'. E.g. if a dragon gets sliced by some magical sword, it could be literally "shedding scales". Though it's much more likely the DMG means shed in the traditional sense of molting. \$\endgroup\$ – TylerH Jan 22 '18 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TylerH As with any piece of the game, we are meant to interpret english words in the most direct and clear way, and as anyone with a pet knows, shedding happens on its own. If two references to what would normally be interpreted as a natural process of losing and replacing scales aren't sufficient, then this question represents a demand for an extraordinarily specific statement that just isn't going to happen. It's clear to me that the intent of these lines was to specify that making dragon-scale items don't implicitly require the murder of a dragon. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Jan 23 '18 at 17:52
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This quote from the Dungeon Masters Guide entry on dragon scale mail seems to confirm that they do.

Dragon scale mail is made of the scales of one kind of dragon. Sometimes dragons collect their cast-off scales and gift them to humanoids. Other times, hunters carefully skin and preserve the hide of a dead dragon. In either case, dragon scale mail is highly valued.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "The Dragon Scale mail is the closest thing I can find in official 5e material, which uses the term "cast-off" which is very vague and not definitive, as it could just mean they fell off due to action taken on the dragon's part or were purposefully torn off by them." This seems to sort of invalidate this answer.... \$\endgroup\$ – Feathercrown Jan 22 '18 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The OP disagrees; he has already found this quote and determined it to be "very vague and not definitive." \$\endgroup\$ – Feathercrown Jan 22 '18 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Feathercrown I"ll offer the same comment to the OP, fair point. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 22 '18 at 14:08
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Yes in dungeons and dragons as well in real life reptiles (or dragons and dragon-born) shed scales. Also in the description of dragon scale mail it states it is made from "scales and talons shed by a dragon." also I like the fact you researched your question before asking yet if you had the right materials cough cough the D.M's guild you could have easily found out.

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