0
\$\begingroup\$

Are the physical features of a Dragon species also the same in Dragonborn and Half-dragon species? Because (obviously, apart from colour) the description of a Dragonborn suggest that they are somewhat "Mongrel" in their evolution:

First generation dragonborn more strongly resembled their ancestors, especially in terms of scale colour, but generations of interbreeding have created a more unified appearance

This would suggest that because I have chosen a scale colour (other than perhaps brass, bronze, scarlet, rust, gold, or copper-green; which are suggested to be the more "common" scale colours), that my resemblance is in fact closer to the Dragon I came from.

For Half-Dragons however, because they are direct descendants of Dragons themselves; it suggests that their appearance is in fact closer to their descendants:

A dragon's magical nature allows it to breed with virtually any species. This sort of conception usually happens when a dragon has been polymorphed or had its form changed in some way.

So is it true that if I choose a scale colour when creating my Dragonborn character, that my appearance is similar to the same species of Dragon?

\$\endgroup\$

closed as primarily opinion-based by KRyan, Miniman, GMJoe, Ruut, KorvinStarmast Oct 7 '15 at 11:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a question for your DM; there is no answer to this question generally. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 7 '15 at 3:51
6
\$\begingroup\$

The first dragonborn had scales of vibrant hues matching the colors of their dragon kin, but generations of interbreeding have created a more uniform appearance. Their small, fine scales are usually brass or bronze in color, sometimes ranging to scarlet, rust, gold, or copper-green.

The blood of a particular type of dragon runs very strong through some dragonborn clans. These dragonborn often boast scales that more closely match those of their dragon ancestor—bright red, green, blue, or white, lustrous black, or gleaming metallic gold, silver, brass, copper, or bronze.

Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation.

When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry.

That's what it says; everything else is up to you.

This would suggest that because I have chosen a scale colour ..., that my resemblance is in fact closer to the Dragon I came from.

Well, I don't read that myself but if that's how you want to describe your character, go for your life.

What it says is that some clans have strong tendencies towards a particular type of dragon and they often have scales that match that dragon; this suggests that most clans don't and, even in ones that do, some individuals don't have those features. Just like some groups of humans have similar features but some individuals in those groups don't share these features.

There is also no suggestion that this is anyway linked to the Dragonborn's breath weapon. There is no reason that a Dragonborn with red scales can't have a silver dragon's breath weapon; genetics sometimes throws up a redhead amongst a brunette family.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your last paragraph seems to conflict with the PHB p. 34: "You have draconic ancestry. Choose one type of dragon from the Draconic Ancestry table. Your breath weapon and damage resistance are determined by the dragon type, as shown in the table." Are you saying scale color and type of dragon aren't the same thing? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 7 '15 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I'm saying there's no reason they have to be. They can be if you want. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Oct 7 '15 at 12:33
-6
\$\begingroup\$

According to the description on the Forgotten Realms wikia, dragon born colors do not match their breath. Not only that, some dragonborn, probably because of the mix between individuals over time, can breath more than one type of dragon breath (and a few can even grow wings). That re-enforces the fact that the color and the breath are not one to one related. It can, of course, happen that you are red and breath fire. It probably does not make you purer though since all dragonborns probably have had about the same number of generations and mixing over time.

The link actually describes the concept of clan and family. As you will see what is important to dragonborns is the clan and thus mixing between individuals will definitely happen frequently.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "This article is about a 4th Edition race." \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Oct 7 '15 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's where the Dragonborn are from. They did not magically appear in 5e just like that... I don't foresee the authors to change the history of the dragonborn in each version. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Oct 7 '15 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dragonborn first appeared in 3e's Races of the Dragon, not in 4e. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Jacobs Oct 7 '15 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ 5e PHB p. 34: "You have draconic ancestry. Choose one type of dragon from the Draconic Ancestry table. Your breath weapon and damage resistance are determined by the dragon type, as shown in the table." \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Oct 7 '15 at 9:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.