Brass-Copper Metallic Dragon art mixup?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I was looking through the Bestiary (I've got the third printing), and found the metallic dragon artwork a little confusing. The copper dragon is brass-coloured, and the brass dragon is very copper-coloured, right down to the copper-oxide-esque streak of green down its belly.

I believe this counter-intuitive art style holds up in Dragons Revisited, but I don't own the volume.

Dragons Unleashed, however, has a copper-coloured copper dragon and a brass-coloured brass dragon. This makes a lot more sense to me, and the fact that it's the newer text certainly doesn't hurt.

I've also got the Bestiary Box, and here's where it gets curious. The pawns for young brass and copper dragons seem to stick to the Bestiary's version, but the adult pawns have the more aptly-named dragons.

So I guess in terms of PFRPG sources, as opposed to older 3.5 OGL ones, we've got one text on either side, and a pawns set that's a wash. In case it hasn't been obvious, if my campaigns encounter brass or copper dragons I'll play them with the more obvious colour schemes, but I'm curious if there was a reason for the switch, and if there are any other thoughts on the matter. If this has been resolved in a previous thread/blog post/errata document etc, my apologies!


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I congratulate you on your perspicacity and analytical perseverance but regret that I have nothing else to add to the discussion.


I think this is a good time for me, as someone with a color perception weakness to point out how it would have been better to go with more distinct metals on the metallic dragons. It's notlike there aren't still plenty of differently colored metals out there, like iron, lead, cobalt etc.

I mean sure next to each other i can se that one dragon is darker and more reddish, another is kind of pale and so on, but I can't tell the colors of gold, brass, bronze and copper apart clearly enough to just identify either color by seeing it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I've always thought that Brass and Copper were probably not the right choices to delineate two distinct breeds of dragon. A lot of people wouldn't actually know at a glance that a particular color was brass or copper.

That was actually kind of a smart move they made in 4E, adding in the Steel and Adamantine dragons and consolidating brass and copper.

Alloys in general should probably be subspecies of dragons instead of a primary draconic race.....


Ssalarn wrote:


Alloys in general should probably be subspecies of dragons instead of a primary draconic race.....

If this were true then you would have to make all color dragons a subspecies of Black Dragons.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

ngc7293 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Alloys in general should probably be subspecies of dragons instead of a primary draconic race.....
If this were true then you would have to make all color dragons a subspecies of Black Dragons.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Gold, Silver, and Copper are not alloys, they're true elements.


ngc7293 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Alloys in general should probably be subspecies of dragons instead of a primary draconic race.....
If this were true then you would have to make all color dragons a subspecies of Black Dragons.

Actually it would be white dragons.


ngc7293 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
ngc7293 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Alloys in general should probably be subspecies of dragons instead of a primary draconic race.....
If this were true then you would have to make all color dragons a subspecies of Black Dragons.
Actually it would be white dragons.
White is the absence of color. White would have no subspecies.

You got it backwards, white is the presence of all color, white light gets split into the visible spectrum, and only the colors that are not absorbed are the ones that you see, as that is the wavelength that gets reflected. When all of the wavelengths are reflected the image comes out white, when all the colors are absorbed you see black.

Dark Archive

Visible wavelengths are easy mode.

Nobody expects the Ultraviolet Dragon.

By the time you realize that you should have prepared See Invisibility, it's far, far too late.


The UV dragon is still opaque. Distinguishing them from black dragons is incredibly difficult, though.

Dark Archive

Set wrote:

Visible wavelengths are easy mode.

Nobody expects the Ultraviolet Dragon.

That theory actually begins to explain her parentage and the source of her unbeatable mojo (link).

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