Draconic Cities

Hear the wind rush by with each powerful flap of your scaled wings. You are a dragon - majestic, invincible, supreme!
The Book-House: Find Council of Wyrms products.
Post Reply
User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Draconic Cities

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 am

How do others visualize and describe a city build for, if not actually built by, dragons?

I personally have a difficult time visualizing such a city... When doing so, my imagination tends to veer towards something akin to the City of Sharn in the Eberron campaign setting.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 970
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Boneguard » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:48 am

I see it as a valley with sharp Cliffsides on 2 or 3 sides, riddles with caves and passages. An odeon carved in the valley floor where they can meet. That would be several low buildings for the vessels.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 am

Boneguard wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:48 am
I see it as a valley with sharp Cliffsides on 2 or 3 sides, riddles with caves and passages. An odeon carved in the valley floor where they can meet. That would be several low buildings for the vessels.
I can see that. And it makes sense, considering the typical dragon's lair being a cave or cavern of some sort. But what brought me to imagine a more traditional fantasy-esque looking city, was were the books talked about the various clan-nations having some kind of industry:
CoW wrote:The inhabitants of each domain have at least one native industry. Some operate mines; others fashion items of metal or craft beautiful jewelry. Some hunt, fish, grow crops, or raise herd animals. Others produce implements of magic to trade to other clans.
It goes on to say that this industry is handled by the Kindred, saying that the dragons do not so much as lift a claw in anything manual, as the dragons have better things to do with their time.
Cow wrote:Most of the work required to keep the economy moving is done by the clan's vassals. Dragons may supervise, but few rarely—if ever—lift a claw to perform manual labor. Dragons have better things to do with their time—at least according to the dragons.
It's funny... A series of caves along a cliff-side is so obvious a way to imagine a city of dragons looking. Thankfully, I have yet to run a CoW game centered in or around a city.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Coronoides » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:04 pm

Here’s another take. I wrote this for my ongoing conversion of Book 3 of the boxed set. What follows extends from canon. It makes use of the amphibious nature of some dragon breeds.

About Clear Lake
We know from the map that Clear Lake is inland within a cool temperate forest. It is the capital of clan Majyst and is ruled by Gemmenna a female amethyst great wrym.
I have taken cues from the city’s name and location as well as the descriptions of amethyst dragons in the boxed set and 2e MM when describing the city. Given that the Dragonlord is a great wrym and it is a clan capital, the city is probably large and prosperous.

”In the afternoon you reach the lake. True to it’s name the lake’s water is still and clear. The lake is dotted with sailboats with brightly coloured sails and painted figureheads. At first even the keen eyes of dragons see no sign of the city on the northern shore but as you get closer you can make out little doors and windows in the lightly wooded hillocks and narrow cobblestone roads between them. Quite unlike a spired city of elves, this must be a city of gnomes. There are also larger, dragon-sized austere marble arches and porticos on some hillsides and beneathe the glassy waters of the lake. As you spiral down to a clear space by the busy docks gnomes stop their work to make the sign of Io and kneel or bow.”
The city of Clearlake accommodates it’s 20 000 residents almost entirely underground. Just beneath the surface is a winding warren of interconnected gnome burrows filled with comfortable homes, workshops, libraries, mushroom farms and cart tunnels. Dragons live in lairs dug out and lined with marble and limestone to create austere underground palaces. Gnome tunnels never connect directly to dragon lairs for security reasons and the oldest wealthiest dragons dwell beneath the lake away from thieves and talkative inquisitive gnomes.
The gnomes of Clearlake are friendly cheerful people who provide their service to visiting dragons free of charge and direct them to an old empty lair to rest. The gnomes still charge for any goods the PCs buy.
The dragons of Clearlake behave like serious nobles. They are coldly polite to visitors and prefer to be left alone.
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:24 pm

Coronoides wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:04 pm
Here’s another take.
Added to my CoW files... Thank you.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Coronoides » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:15 pm

Digitalelf wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:24 pm
Coronoides wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:04 pm
Here’s another take.
Added to my CoW files... Thank you.
I’m pretty sure there will be more in the future. Watch my book 3 conversion feed.
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23840
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:34 pm

I know that some of the old buildings in the UK have super-tall doorways designed to allow a man to ride in on the back of a horse.

There would probably be some sort of variation in the architecture, but if you want to have important buildings, I'd suggest they follow that sort of rule.

Gigantic arched doors (probably called dragon doors) would be there for dragons to go in and out. They might even be restricted to dragons (and their riders) with humanoid people coming in and out via separate doors.

I really like Coronoides ideas for fitting gnomes around dragons.

If you build dragon cities in other ways (taking different types of geography into account) you could probably build the big dragon buildings first and then fill in the gaps with the companion races.

I like Boneguard's idea of building on a cliff.

If you actually excavate a series of stacked dragon-sized caves into a massive cliff, you could have small carved steps on the edge of the cliff or boarded walkways between the cliffs, that humanoid races have to use to get to the caves. Take a look at this real-world cliff walk in China for inspiration.

If you have underground races, like dwarves, you could build their cities around a series of dragon sink-holes that simply vanish into the ground. Dragons could drop into those holes...and fly out of them, but everyone else that fell into them would be killed by the fall. Dwarves could cut their own tunnels down into the ground.

I think if you brainstorm a few other ideas for building dragon caves into different types of terrain, you can make most of the entrances difficult (if not impossible) for humanoid races and then think about how they would adapt those cities. :)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3201
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by willpell » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:38 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:34 pm
Gigantic arched doors (probably called dragon doors) would be there for dragons to go in and out. They might even be restricted to dragons (and their riders) with humanoid people coming in and out via separate doors.
Humans would likely stick to balconies and mezzanines, maybe even scaffolds.

User avatar
Digitalelf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: United States

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Digitalelf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:26 pm

Awesome ideas. Thank you.
-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Coronoides » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:40 am

willpell wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:38 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:34 pm
Gigantic arched doors (probably called dragon doors) would be there for dragons to go in and out. They might even be restricted to dragons (and their riders) with humanoid people coming in and out via separate doors.
Humans would likely stick to balconies and mezzanines, maybe even scaffolds.
Of coarse in the Io’s Blood Isles humans stick to the jungles and other inhospitable wilderness. For a human to wander into a dragon settlement is almost certain death. ;)
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3201
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by willpell » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:35 am

Coronoides wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:40 am
willpell wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:38 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:34 pm
Gigantic arched doors (probably called dragon doors) would be there for dragons to go in and out. They might even be restricted to dragons (and their riders) with humanoid people coming in and out via separate doors.
Humans would likely stick to balconies and mezzanines, maybe even scaffolds.
Of coarse in the Io’s Blood Isles humans stick to the jungles and other inhospitable wilderness. For a human to wander into a dragon settlement is almost certain death. ;)
HumanOIDs, whatever.

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Coronoides » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:04 am

Here’s flavour text written for my Book 3 conversion. Not very inspired but this and my last example demonstrate how every dragon city has its own style.

”As you pass over the foothills and the sun begins to set the peak of a mountain ahead gleams as if it is on fire. This is your first glimpse of the City of Gold. Spiralling up on the winds until you are level with the distant city you are so high you can see your home All Clans Isle to the South. Closer you can see the burning light is from many gold dragons flying over the city and from the gold coating many of roofs, columns, and huge statues. The wealth, size, and power of this metropolis carved from the rock of the mountain is staggering. The circling gold dragons pay you no mind as you approach their city.”
Should you need it more information on Clan Exaurdon is given CWB9-10 and Book 2 of this conversion. The Clan is so powerful that it has no overt enemies. Golds are also arrogant. For these reasons I decided that a few young dragons would be ignored as not a threat and not important by the golds. However once the PCs land vassals will recognize that a mixed-breed group of young dragons must be from the Custodians. Vassals will make the sign of the eight-pointed star (CWB24) and generally try to be helpful, though they still charge the PCs for lodging, food, and other services.
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 970
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Boneguard » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:40 pm

Karst formation can be a great help as you have a naturally forming cave-system often with sinkhole.

Now another more unique city would be marsh mounds. In the deeper part of the bog, massive mounds are scattered about, between them, on firmer grounds, trees or on platform above the waters are various buildings linked with "bridges". Several swamp barges can also be seen. The mound themselves will often house stone structure on their plateformed top. Gathering halls, temples, etc.

Beneath the water, the bedrock is crisscrossed with tunnels, with occasional waterfilled sinkhole, that leads to dry chambers within the mounds. These chambers houses the clan's dragon.
Last edited by Boneguard on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Coronoides » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:14 pm

Boneguard wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:40 pm
...
Now another more unique city would be marsh mounds. In the deeper part of the big, massive mounds are scattered about, between them, on firmer grounds, trees or on platform above the waters are various buildings linked with "bridges". Several swamp barges can also be seen. The mound themselves will often house stone structure on their plateformed top. Gathering halls, temples, etc.

Beneath the water, the bedrock is crisscrossed with tunnels, with occasional waterfilled sinkhole, that leads to dry chambers within the mounds. These chambers houses the clan's dragon.
This would be a great fit for the Black Dragon city of Boghold.
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 970
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: Draconic Cities

Post by Boneguard » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:53 pm

Coronoides wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:14 pm

This would be a great fit for the Black Dragon city of Boghold.
Yeah, I was definitely thinking Black Dragon for that one, but I didn't have any specific clan or city in mind though.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

Post Reply

Return to “Council of Wyrms”