Metallic Dragons in SF


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I've been thinking about the Metallic dragons since I saw the Dragon writeup in AA. They're easy enough to build at the age required now, and even easier if you want them not to be fight-able by the PCs. Since most of the dragons listed were chromatic, and evidently there are not a lot of dragons around period, I wonder where the more benevolent ones can be found.

Notice that "benevolent" does not necessarily mean "nice"! I can easily imagine a Metallic that becomes a PCs patron having a bit of fun with the phrase "Have you for dinner" just to see the look on their faces when they realize she's going to chow down on roasted whole cows and she merely wants them for company. And if you give them reason to, a Metallic can make your life just as hellish as any other dragon can -- as much with their economic power as with their physical prowess.


I think the only reason the Metallics weren't written up is they only had so much space, and of the two the Chromatics are more likely to be enemies (being Evil after all). With how NPC-gen works in Starfinder you don't really need in-depth write-ups for both sides so much.

That said, I can totally see both sides being actually involved in society now-days, like at the higher tiers of corporations and such. Possibly even frequently direct competitors in corporations. After all, if there's anywhere that's going to have the economic power required for a successful startup it's going to be a Dragon Horde. Heck, having a successful company might even be the new thing in Hordes, a Horde that's not only massive but actively grows itself rather than just sitting in a cave.


More likely they'd just do the dragon thing and f@@# off to another planet away from everywhere else to do whatever. Above pretty much all else dragons tend to be vain and aloof. Even the more gregarious coppers and brass dragons would probably feel better taking a chosen group of humanoids to an isolated planet than deal with the headache of having so many tiny mammal things with lives blinking on and off like a light switch taking up valuable "me" time.

Sure, a few might become quite powerful. But for other dragons that's like a shark claiming to be lord of the guppies.


The Alien Archive is supposed to be an annual thing, so... we get smaller books at a faster rate.

Metallic dragons aren't presented yet, but more monsters will come. Vampires have been referred, but they're not present. Eoxians have been referred as well, but they will come later.


On the plus side it should be real easy to house rule a metallic if you need it.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
On the plus side it should be real easy to house rule a metallic if you need it.

Just don't splash water on the Sodium Dragon.


That would be bad. Although it would be a good explanation for the dragons with acid breath weapons.


Not as bad as when Plutonium dragons age up from young to adult. Not many creatures have puberty that entails reaching critical mass (I mean, except metaphorically).


Well yeah I guess Plutonium counts it is an actinide metal... I'm just gonna assume it was a DM that wants metallic dragons and not players cause As a player I would be ok if that dragon wasn't an option.

Also Do I have to enrich an uranium dragon to get a plutonium dragon?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Also Do I have to enrich an uranium dragon to get a plutonium dragon?

Yeah, but for them it's the funnest merry-go-round ride ever!


Most expensive too.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Most expensive too.

Meh. It's like they say: "You've got to spend money to atomically annihilate money."


Shinigami02 wrote:

I think the only reason the Metallics weren't written up is they only had so much space, and of the two the Chromatics are more likely to be enemies (being Evil after all). With how NPC-gen works in Starfinder you don't really need in-depth write-ups for both sides so much.

That said, I can totally see both sides being actually involved in society now-days, like at the higher tiers of corporations and such. Possibly even frequently direct competitors in corporations. After all, if there's anywhere that's going to have the economic power required for a successful startup it's going to be a Dragon Horde. Heck, having a successful company might even be the new thing in Hordes, a Horde that's not only massive but actively grows itself rather than just sitting in a cave.

It just occurred to me that the metallic I'm thinking of might have gotten into the shipbuilding business, perhaps because of family history of having to finance custom ships to get as many of themselves and their clan as they could off-planet as the Chromatics gained greater sway. Their wealth, while still extravagant by human standards, is not great compared to their chief Chromatic rival, and they are required to rely on both putting out a superior product and engaging in a constant war with their chief chromatic competitor to remain profitable. In this feud the gloves are off, the claws are out and sharp, and even assassination is on the table. The difference is that our Metallic mistress pays the party fairly and treats them well in her own, utterly alien way. Her rivals use as their chief incentive "Serve us well and we might wait until tomorrow to eat you alive. Serve us poorly and we won't."


Base breath.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
That would be bad. Although it would be a good explanation for the dragons with acid breath weapons.

Grand Lodge

The Shadowrun fan in me wants dragon run corps so bad.


Wait...Adult dragons who have Spaceships? I wonder what they would look like, and how big they would be?


Well, you wouldn't want to try and fit a proper dragon in a Tiny fighter, but I'm pretty sure even a Colossal dragon should be able to fit into any ship from Medium size on up, though they would require varying degrees of customization ( ie, a Medium ship would probably require refitting all four cargo slots into one big Dragon Quarters/Control Room ).


Rahod wrote:
Wait...Adult dragons who have Spaceships? I wonder what they would look like, and how big they would be?

Big enough that unless the dragon in question knew enough magic to shapeshift into a humanoid-sized form (and probably roughly human-shaped, if only for convenience in dealing with humanoids), it would require special facilities simply to embark and disembark. Getting a dragon into space is not for the timid or the cheapskate. Not only do you have to carry around a whopping great dragon, but you also need her food, the attendants needed to prepare it, sanitary facilities (dragons probably value cleanliness, after all their ancestors spent a lot of time in quarters that were very cramped for creatures their size, but still a creature that eats four or five cows at a sitting and washes it down with three barrels of beer or the equivalent is going to have waste to deal with), a crew to fly the ship (unless the ship is a REAL custom job and the Dragon can fly it herself, in which case it would be utterly unmanageable by anyone else), and so forth. The dragon will also be traveling with whatever entourage it sees fit. I'd say a Large ship would be ideal if dragon and dragon-tenders are going to be at all comfortable.

There are places like Absalom Station where dragons simply cannot go -- at least not in their natural forms -- which means they have to rely on agents to work on their behalf there. Since space itself is one of the places where a dragon is at her most vulnerable, it's a significant event when a dragon's ship shows up in orbit. Like in the ancient days of lost Golarion, the day a dragon comes to your world is a day you will never forget as long as you live. Even if that turns out to only be about a quarter of an hour or so....


I'm currently trying to imagine a ship large enough to house multiple dragons (and you know it has to have room for their horde.)

Imagine attacking that ship boarding it and then realizing your mistake...


Metaphysician wrote:
Well, you wouldn't want to try and fit a proper dragon in a Tiny fighter, but I'm pretty sure even a Colossal dragon should be able to fit into any ship from Medium size on up, though they would require varying degrees of customization ( ie, a Medium ship would probably require refitting all four cargo slots into one big Dragon Quarters/Control Room ).

I would imagine that dragons powerful enough to reach colossal size would have access to Interplanetary Teleport, so they wouldn't need a starship, necessarily. Likewise, Outer Dragons would probably be treated as a starship in their own right (like Novaspawns).


Vidmaster7 wrote:

I'm currently trying to imagine a ship large enough to house multiple dragons (and you know it has to have room for their horde.)

Imagine attacking that ship boarding it and then realizing your mistake...

Multiple dragons? No, they're not that social with their own kind. More likely one and their humanoid minions.

BTW, a hoard of treasure, a horde of Mongols.


I Mean I suppose they could just as easily all make their own ships. I even expect one of the dragons to horde ships.


Now you are just doing that on purpose Vid


MUHAHAHAHA DISCOURSE!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Well, you wouldn't want to try and fit a proper dragon in a Tiny fighter, but I'm pretty sure even a Colossal dragon should be able to fit into any ship from Medium size on up, though they would require varying degrees of customization ( ie, a Medium ship would probably require refitting all four cargo slots into one big Dragon Quarters/Control Room ).

It's bigger on the inside!


Sauce987654321 wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Well, you wouldn't want to try and fit a proper dragon in a Tiny fighter, but I'm pretty sure even a Colossal dragon should be able to fit into any ship from Medium size on up, though they would require varying degrees of customization ( ie, a Medium ship would probably require refitting all four cargo slots into one big Dragon Quarters/Control Room ).
I would imagine that dragons powerful enough to reach colossal size would have access to Interplanetary Teleport, so they wouldn't need a starship, necessarily. Likewise, Outer Dragons would probably be treated as a starship in their own right (like Novaspawns).

While the *really* big cosmic-type dragons are starship scale, sure, for more ordinary dragons, even if they do know how to teleport? Might want a starship anyway, not for the transport, but for the firepower. Remember, this is a world with *vastly* higher levels of firepower broadly available. A dragon, even a full grown one centuries old, is nowhere near as invincible as they used to be. A nice big customized space ship helps make up for that change.

And hey, the nature of draconic hordes tends to be variable. Whose to say dragons necessarily keep hordes *on* their ship, rather than making their horde *into* their ship? The size, power, and aesthetics of a dragon's ship is both useful, and the dragon's way of bragging about how vast their wealth is. Starships: money that can fly to other worlds and explode your enemies.


Gold plated starships, just cause


I have a feeling that a lot of modern dragon hoards are tied up in stocks and bonds generating interest. Possibly quite a lot of interest, if the dragon himself is doing the investing. Millenia of experience playing the stock market probably comes in handy. Of course, they’d have some tied up in precious metals too; hedge against inflation and all that.

Nitpick: there’s a difference between “hoard” and “horde”, y’all. Adventurers might want to find a dragon’s hoard. Adventurers would probably run in terror from a dragon horde.


Amaltopek wrote:
Rahod wrote:
Wait...Adult dragons who have Spaceships? I wonder what they would look like, and how big they would be?

Big enough that unless the dragon in question knew enough magic to shapeshift into a humanoid-sized form (and probably roughly human-shaped, if only for convenience in dealing with humanoids), it would require special facilities simply to embark and disembark. Getting a dragon into space is not for the timid or the cheapskate. Not only do you have to carry around a whopping great dragon, but you also need her food, the attendants needed to prepare it, sanitary facilities (dragons probably value cleanliness, after all their ancestors spent a lot of time in quarters that were very cramped for creatures their size, but still a creature that eats four or five cows at a sitting and washes it down with three barrels of beer or the equivalent is going to have waste to deal with), a crew to fly the ship (unless the ship is a REAL custom job and the Dragon can fly it herself, in which case it would be utterly unmanageable by anyone else), and so forth. The dragon will also be traveling with whatever entourage it sees fit. I'd say a Large ship would be ideal if dragon and dragon-tenders are going to be at all comfortable.

There are places like Absalom Station where dragons simply cannot go -- at least not in their natural forms -- which means they have to rely on agents to work on their behalf there. Since space itself is one of the places where a dragon is at her most vulnerable, it's a significant event when a dragon's ship shows up in orbit. Like in the ancient days of lost Golarion, the day a dragon comes to your world is a day you will never forget as long as you live. Even if that turns out to only be about a quarter of an hour or so....

Have you seen the pictures of Absalom station? I bet dragons love flying around in the main dome. Sure, maybe it’s hard to get to, but if your ship can get close enough to dock, even the shortest-ranger teleportation spells should let you jump straight in.


Ouachitonian wrote:

I have a feeling that a lot of modern dragon hoards are tied up in stocks and bonds generating interest. Possibly quite a lot of interest, if the dragon himself is doing the investing. Millenia of experience playing the stock market probably comes in handy. Of course, they’d have some tied up in precious metals too; hedge against inflation and all that.

Nitpick: there’s a difference between “hoard” and “horde”, y’all. Adventurers might want to find a dragon’s hoard. Adventurers would probably run in terror from a dragon horde.

The horde/hoard thing has been bothering me all thread long. I didn't know quite how to respond, but I associate horde more with orcs than with dragons.

A Starfinder dragon's hoard may have started out in precious metals -- a very, very long time ago. And she still might have quite a large stockpile of them at home. But the Pact Worlds and other systems at this level simply don't view gold and silver as money in themselves. Having hundreds of thousands of gold coins actually makes them less valuable than in you had only a few hundred, because their value is to a collector and depends on their scarcity. To fight over gold would be unthinkable to a Pact Worlder. So if all a dragon is doing is hiding out in a cave sitting on a bunch of no-longer-precious metals, he's not very interesting and there's no reason for an adventuring party to bother him.

If, on the other hand, the Dragon had taken an interest in the outside world and got in at the right time to turn her hoard into wealth that translates into the real world's needs, then she becomes powerful indeed. Now combine that wealth with powerful intellect, near-immortality, and a capricious mind-set that is alien to that of humanoids. If you attract the interest of such a being, you'd better hope it's on her good side. And that's the advantage of dealing with a Metallic -- they actually have one.


baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.


Metaphysician wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Well, you wouldn't want to try and fit a proper dragon in a Tiny fighter, but I'm pretty sure even a Colossal dragon should be able to fit into any ship from Medium size on up, though they would require varying degrees of customization ( ie, a Medium ship would probably require refitting all four cargo slots into one big Dragon Quarters/Control Room ).
I would imagine that dragons powerful enough to reach colossal size would have access to Interplanetary Teleport, so they wouldn't need a starship, necessarily. Likewise, Outer Dragons would probably be treated as a starship in their own right (like Novaspawns).

While the *really* big cosmic-type dragons are starship scale, sure, for more ordinary dragons, even if they do know how to teleport? Might want a starship anyway, not for the transport, but for the firepower. Remember, this is a world with *vastly* higher levels of firepower broadly available. A dragon, even a full grown one centuries old, is nowhere near as invincible as they used to be. A nice big customized space ship helps make up for that change.

And hey, the nature of draconic hordes tends to be variable. Whose to say dragons necessarily keep hordes *on* their ship, rather than making their horde *into* their ship? The size, power, and aesthetics of a dragon's ship is both useful, and the dragon's way of bragging about how vast their wealth is. Starships: money that can fly to other worlds and explode your enemies.

I was only saying that it wouldn't be necessary for a colossal dragon to travel between planets with a starship, if people had that in mind. I'm all for dragons having starships, especially their own style.

I mentioned outer dragons doing battle in space instead of chromatics/metallic dragons since they don't live and travel through space like outer dragons do. They would all likely be the same CRs, going by the alien archive, and a CR20+ outer dragon should still be a very high powered challenge for both terrestrial and starship combat. It shouldn't be a case of "high CR monsters are now irrelevant because of technology and starships" when talking about very high fantasy, reality warping monstrosities like true dragons. I used the novaspawn as an example since they are monsters meant to be fought with ships in space, then outer dragons should theoretically do the same.


Amaltopek wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.

Starships made of gold, with a clear protective coating. [Practical? No. Awesome? I think so.]


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Distant Scholar wrote:
Amaltopek wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.

Starships made of gold, with a clear protective coating. [Practical? No. Awesome? I think so.]

I’d recommend Technomantic Hyper-Gold myself. And not just because I’m heavily invested in the company that makes it.


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Technomantic Hyper-Gold? You mean that hot new material that all the socially adequate humanoids are installing on their vessels? Yes, that is a quite useful material that communicates to others of their collective that a humanoid is not only a sensible purchaser of material to protect their fragile meat bodies, but will look superior to others of their inferior species while doing so.


avr wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

I'm currently trying to imagine a ship large enough to house multiple dragons (and you know it has to have room for their horde.)

Imagine attacking that ship boarding it and then realizing your mistake...

Multiple dragons? No, they're not that social with their own kind. More likely one and their humanoid minions.

BTW, a hoard of treasure, a horde of Mongols.

Always reminds me of this


One possibly relevant and possibly not question: how does one get around the seeming paradox of a powerful Metallic being quite old by humanoid standards, yet not having pre-Gap memories that would break campaign secrets like the fate of Golarion? Of course, for many if not most campaigns this simply won't matter -- the PCs will have better things to do with their time and energy than chase down rumors like that, and their draconic patrons will most likely have more pressing concerns. But if it does occur to players to think "Say, the dragon's really old -- maybe she'll know!", how does a GM respond, especially in a way that doesn't especially annoy the dragon (you don't want to annoy dragons -- trust me on this).


Amaltopek wrote:
One possibly relevant and possibly not question: how does one get around the seeming paradox of a powerful Metallic being quite old by humanoid standards, yet not having pre-Gap memories that would break campaign secrets like the fate of Golarion? Of course, for many if not most campaigns this simply won't matter -- the PCs will have better things to do with their time and energy than chase down rumors like that, and their draconic patrons will most likely have more pressing concerns. But if it does occur to players to think "Say, the dragon's really old -- maybe she'll know!", how does a GM respond, especially in a way that doesn't especially annoy the dragon (you don't want to annoy dragons -- trust me on this).

The gods, every single god, have agreed to swear to secrecy the fate of the Cage, only that it is safe. Long lived races had their memories wiped. Of the cage.. of X number of years around that time.. ect.


Amaltopek wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.

Dragons are very old and I think traditional, I think its horde would still tend to be coins of platinum, gold, silver, and copper, lots of jewels, and art objects plus some magic items. Dragons use this treasure horde in part to attack a mate. A smart dragon will also have some investments, but it will have a large inventory of precious metals in its horde as easily spendable emergency cash. I think it will sell some of it for credit sticks if I wants to make a few purchases. Metallic dragons live a long time and can build a tremendous precious metal horde simply from investments and businesses it owns. I think law abiding dragons will pay their taxes, but they will tend to reside where taxes are low so they can build the largest treasure hordes. Sometimes a dragon's lair will be its starship. Dragon starships will have wide corridors and cavernous rooms, so the dragon can easily move about in its natural form. The controls will also be very large, so that a dragon can manipulate they with its foreclaws. Dragons will probably have access to spells which allow them to survive in space rather than rely on a spacesuit for dragons. That is my thinking.


ThomasBowman wrote:
Amaltopek wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.

Dragons are very old and I think traditional, I think its horde would still tend to be coins of platinum, gold, silver, and copper, lots of jewels, and art objects plus some magic items. Dragons use this treasure horde in part to attack a mate. A smart dragon will also have some investments, but it will have a large inventory of precious metals in its horde as easily spendable emergency cash. I think it will sell some of it for credit sticks if I wants to make a few purchases. Metallic dragons live a long time and can build a tremendous precious metal horde simply from investments and businesses it owns. I think law abiding dragons will pay their taxes, but they will tend to reside where taxes are low so they can build the largest treasure hordes. Sometimes a dragon's lair will be its starship. Dragon starships will have wide corridors and cavernous rooms, so the dragon can easily move about in its natural form. The controls will also be very large, so that a dragon can manipulate they with its foreclaws. Dragons will probably have access to spells which allow them to survive in space rather than rely on a spacesuit for dragons. That is my thinking.

They throw coins at each other to get in the mood?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I imagine it was the dragons who started the first banks, and probably still run them today.


got-dot


Ouachitonian wrote:
ThomasBowman wrote:
Amaltopek wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.

Dragons are very old and I think traditional, I think its horde would still tend to be coins of platinum, gold, silver, and copper, lots of jewels, and art objects plus some magic items. Dragons use this treasure horde in part to attack a mate. A smart dragon will also have some investments, but it will have a large inventory of precious metals in its horde as easily spendable emergency cash. I think it will sell some of it for credit sticks if I wants to make a few purchases. Metallic dragons live a long time and can build a tremendous precious metal horde simply from investments and businesses it owns. I think law abiding dragons will pay their taxes, but they will tend to reside where taxes are low so they can build the largest treasure hordes. Sometimes a dragon's lair will be its starship. Dragon starships will have wide corridors and cavernous rooms, so the dragon can easily move about in its natural form. The controls will also be very large, so that a dragon can manipulate they with its foreclaws. Dragons will probably have access to spells which allow them to survive in space rather than rely on a spacesuit for dragons. That is my thinking.
They throw coins at each other to get in the mood?

Im certain they meant Attract, not Attack. That said... Maybe? Dragons are weird sometimes after all. A pair of dragons, skipping around on a mountain of gold like it is a snow drift, throwing balls of gold at one another...


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Am I the only one who imagines larger dragons with space-ship scale power armor?


Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine it was the dragons who started the first banks, and probably still run them today.

You know, that was my thought exactly long before Starfinder. Why just sit on a big pile of gold doing nothing when you have such a powerful intellect? The appeal of playing chess with thousands of human pawns must be enormous. I imagine it might start as a few dragons starting a competition to see who can grow their hoards the fastest in investments, while playing to specific rules (you can't openly raid your opponent's properties, but financing armies is OK). They could well be the force behind the equivalent of the Renaissance, with dragon money supporting the building of great nations, patronizing the arts, etc.

Of course, since the dragons would be rivals it would be a time full of skulduggery that leaves plenty of opportunities for enterprising PCs to get in on the action and -- once they find out what's really going on -- a chance to really upset the apple cart.


Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine it was the dragons who started the first banks, and probably still run them today.

Vampires, on the other hand, started the first blood banks. Why kill people for their blood and risk a torch-wielding mob when you can con people into giving it to you for free?


So shouldn't a dragon have a ship in case say his planet gets invaded or would he just relocate?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
So shouldn't a dragon have a ship in case say his planet gets invaded or would he just relocate?

Depends if he's big enough (or good enough) fighting without it, or he's bad enough at flying a starship, or if he has minions to do that for him. Fighting seems likely one way or another though.


I just really want to see a dragon ship I think.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just really want to see a dragon ship I think.

I haven't quite wrapped my mind around shipbuilding in SF yet, but I'm easily thinking that the Silver Dragon in question (she even has a name now -- Billantrix) would have a Drift-capable ship. She keeps her main residence in the Disp because she's an exile from the Chromatics on Triaxus, but owns shipyards and other enterprises scattered across the Pact Worlds and in a few other systems as well.

Billantrix is a CR17 Silver Dragon, which should be enough to prepare her stat block. You wouldn't want to fight her anyway. She is cultured, polite, witty, and even somewhat friendly -- or at least as friendly as a 125-foot-long dragon can be. She does, however, have an overarching goal -- to return in triumph to Triaxus and settle her unfinished business with the Chromatics. By her calculations, in two or three millennia those plans should be ready to come to fruition. It's a shame nobody else around her is that patient....

Oh, and don't ship Billantrix. The one pairing she was in ended up badly, her son never visits, and she's sworn off mating. Her typical response to the onset of mating season is to hide in a cave for four weeks and not see anyone.... WHAT?

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