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Ramaloke
Posting this from this thread to give it it's own topic for discussion:
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Jan 11 2011, 12:29 PM) *
On a side note, how did you get around the fact that dragons can't talk? Even Great Dragons in human form have to use draconic mind speech.
I'm not asking this to be ornery, my players are two sessions away from being hired by Herr Brackhaus and I need to know how to cover that particular meet.

I know it's in Dead Air, but more Shadowrun novels are on next month's paycheck.
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 11 2011, 12:35 PM) *
;D

That is untrue, unless you have a source to back it up.
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 11 2011, 12:40 PM) *
I could swear I read some exchange between Dunkelzahn and Harlequin, Dunkelzahn was in metahuman form, talking aloud.

I'll see if I can dig it up, but basically its Frosty talking to Harlequin about how a dragon showed up wanting to talk to him and asking if she should let him in. He says to ask the dragon and she wonders how he'll be able to fit inside. She asks the dragon if he wants to come in, he changed to metahuman form surprising Frosty and he goes in to chat with Harlequin about making an appearance on his trid show. The topic of this episode would be revealing a bunch of secrets and Harlequin says no because he feels that depriving humanity of the opportunity to discover things for themselves would be bad.
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Jan 11 2011, 12:41 PM) *
Dragons of the Sixth World p. 18 & 178
SR4a p. 303

Dragons don't have vocal cords, so they have to use translators or draconic speech.

If this is off-set by anything it would make my job easier.
Ramaloke
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Jan 11 2011, 12:44 PM) *
I remember reading that too, but I think the chat could have been in draco speech. I don't remember it saying one way or the other.

I'd just like something concrete in case someone throws out that Brackhaus can't be Lofwyr because they heard him talking via recording. If not, then I'll come up with an alternative plan to throw them off base.
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 11 2011, 12:45 PM) *
They cant talk in their true form but if they assume metahuman form via a spell or special ability (like the great dragons have) they are able to do so (as then they have access to vocal chords).
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 11 2011, 12:49 PM) *
Underlined for emphasis.
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 11 2011, 01:00 PM) *
Where did you find that quote? Im looking and I cant find it.
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 11 2011, 01:06 PM) *
I copied it out of my prior post, here's the quote with all its header data.
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 11 2011, 01:07 PM) *
Oh, Duh, I was looking in the books to see if it was a quote from there /facepalm.

Yeah, I cant find anything prohibiting a dragon from speaking in metahuman form.
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Jan 11 2011, 01:12 PM) *
My problem is that I can't seem to find anything that says they can, and I'd rather not come down on one side or the other without some evidence to back me up.
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 11 2011, 01:13 PM) *
Yeah, I was talking back at Fortinbras as I was saying that "can't speak in metahuman form" was blatantly untrue and I wanted evidence. All he supplied was the general "dragon's don't have vocal chords" bit, so I had to emphasis the part I wanted him to back up.
Draco18s
Well its a messy compilation of the side discussion, but it is all there.
The Shuhite
If dragons can talk in metahuman form why do they need translators at all?
Ramaloke
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 11 2011, 01:26 PM) *
Well its a messy compilation of the side discussion, but it is all there.

/shrug, its the best I could do on short notice. nyahnyah.gif
QUOTE (The Shuhite @ Jan 11 2011, 01:28 PM) *
If dragons can talk in metahuman form why do they need translators at all?

Well, the main reasons why I see that theyd prefer to stay in their natural form is they hate hate hate being in metahuman form because it weakens them. Think about this too, if they are talking to somebody via an intermediary it would be easier for them to lie, theyd get the benefit of being a freaking dragon for intimidation reasons, and other things Im not thinking of right now.
Fortinbras
Let me try and sum it up a little better.
My players are fixing to be hired by Herr Brackhaus to do some work for SK. The trouble is I need something concrete to show whether or not Great Dragons can use human speech in their metahuman form.(i.e. when he meets them will he be talking, or simply using some sort of spell to look like he's talking.)
I'm not looking for an opinion, I could easily make a ruling on high as a GM, but I'm looking for something concrete, like Brackhaus in Dead Air, which I have yet to read, for example.
Anything else is going to devolve into flame war over personal interpretations about Shadowrun, which are fine on Dumpshock, I guess, but are something I want to avoid during valuable playtime.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Ramaloke @ Jan 11 2011, 01:30 PM) *
if they are talking to somebody via an intermediary it would be easier for them to lie


Not if everyone can hear what you're saying. The intermediary was only, only, only for when electronic recording devices were being used.
Ramaloke
I dont think so, I mean, yes that is their main function, but I could easily see this situation:

A dragon is talking to a large group in his natural form, he uses his Intermediary to speak so as to let the tridcams pick it up for the broadcast.

"No, we had nothing to do with the deaths of those involved, it was a regrettable incident and we are looking into it."
Semerkhet
Having just reviewed the 1991 piece of short fiction by Tom Dowd here it seems pretty obvious that dragons can speak normally in metahuman form. I would guess the "need" for translators is because it is not widely known (or wasn't in 2050) that Great Dragons can assume metahuman form.
Ramaloke
Yes! That was the short I was referring to earlier. It seems pretty obvious that he was speaking aloud but it never explicitly says so, but thats what I would get from the reading.
Sephiroth
To add to the above example and the Dunk - Harlequin example, Damon in DO6W is explained to be speaking vocally, and also does so in whatever the little short fiction story he's in is. Don't have a link right now, my apologies.
Ramaloke
Here I'll quote the relevant parts Sephiroth.

QUOTE (Dragons of the Sixth World @ page 160 through 161)
We got to talking--he introduced himself as "Damon." I asked him why I hadn't seen him before, since I'm pretty familiar with the club scene and there's no way I'd have missed somebody who looked like him. He laghed and told me he'd only just gotten into town--he didn't stay anywhere too long. "There's too much fun to be had for that," he said.

The night went on and we hit it off, so he asked me back to his place. He drove his tricked-out Dynamit like a madman, but no body hassled us even though I saw at least two cops on the way. When we reached his building, a high-rise that looked like living here cost more than I make in a year, he got out, looked up at it, and grinned at me. "Up for some fun?"

When I told him that was kind of what I had in mind his eyes twinkled. "First we have to get there, " he said, and I'll be fragged if he didn't start climbing up the side of the building! He stopped about two floors up and hung there, looking down at me.

"Coming?"

Far be it from me to turn down a challenge (thank goodness for cyberware!) so I followed. Every time I caught sight of his face, he looked like a kid at Christmastime. He was eating this up!

Long story short, we spent the night together and he dropped his little secret on me in the morning. I won't say anything more about that (nice girls don't tell) except for this: if this is what it's like to deal with a dragon, then bring on the dragons!
Fortinbras
I think that'll do, but I'd still like something specific on Brakhaus.
Thanks for the reference, chummers.
sabs
This is slightly off-center but..

Mountainshadow is rumored to have a "representative" that speaks for him. But everyone is pretty sure that said Representative is actually MountainShadow, in metahuman form. And noone can tell the difference.
Brazilian_Shinobi
The last Denver Missions appears someone talking to the group via comlink, demanding the Dragon Stone or whatever it was we were supposed to grab. If we refused and asked who the hell was him, the camera moved further away, he turned into Ghostwalker and an Ork appeared in front of the camere, saying 'don't be late'. He actually talked to us via commlink in metahuman form.

And yes, anyone the dragon wishes can "hear" what he "says", but trideo is not dragon-speech friendly.
Doc Byte
QUOTE (The Shuhite @ Jan 11 2011, 07:28 PM) *
If dragons can talk in metahuman form why do they need translators at all?


Don't forget that only great dragons possess the metahuman form power.
The Shuhite
QUOTE (Doc Byte @ Jan 11 2011, 05:07 PM) *
Don't forget that only great dragons possess the metahuman form power.


Dunkelzahn uses translators and he's a great
Yerameyahu
'Can' isn't 'must'. smile.gif
jaellot
Not a game mechanic, but more of a character quirk. They might simply not like speaking in such a mortal and mundane tongue. Pure ego. They ARE (great) dragons, after all. It would be like learning cockroach, or something. Ick.
Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE (The Shuhite @ Jan 11 2011, 07:10 PM) *
Dunkelzahn uses translators and he's a great



QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jan 11 2011, 07:11 PM) *
'Can' isn't 'must'. smile.gif



QUOTE (jaellot @ Jan 11 2011, 07:49 PM) *
Not a game mechanic, but more of a character quirk. They might simply not like speaking in such a mortal and mundane tongue. Pure ego. They ARE (great) dragons, after all. It would be like learning cockroach, or something. Ick.


What Yerameyahu and jaellot said.
Niemand
I always assumed they could speak properly in meta-human form. It's very similar to Drakes (which only the greats can create). While a drake is in (meta)human form they can go anywhere, speak to anyone and that person will most likely not have any inkling that they are speaking to a drake. But, as soon as they go into dragon form they lose their vocal ability and can only hiss and growl.
Draco18s
At least if you're an eastern drake you can still speak in sign language. biggrin.gif
sabs
it seems silly that Great Dragons are incapable of speaking normally when in Meta-human form.

That's just downright silly. They're freaking Great Dragons.
Niemand
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 12 2011, 04:30 PM) *
At least if you're an eastern drake you can still speak in sign language. biggrin.gif

Oh god, that would be a little freaky. Even seeing an Eastern dragon, or drake give you the finger would be soul chilling.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Niemand @ Jan 12 2011, 04:51 PM) *
Oh god, that would be a little freaky. Even seeing an Eastern dragon, or drake give you the finger would be soul chilling.


Hehe.
IcyCool
QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 11 2011, 07:03 PM) *
This is slightly off-center but..

Mountainshadow is rumored to have a "representative" that speaks for him. But everyone is pretty sure that said Representative is actually MountainShadow, in metahuman form. And noone can tell the difference.


If I recall correctly, Mountainshadow's "representative" was named Dark Tooth (aka: Dunkelzahn).
sabs
QUOTE (IcyCool @ Jan 12 2011, 10:43 PM) *
If I recall correctly, Mountainshadow's "representative" was named Dark Tooth (aka: Dunkelzahn).

This is why we always assumed it was really him.
Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 06:33 PM) *
it seems silly that Great Dragons are incapable of speaking normally when in Meta-human form.

That's just downright silly. They're freaking Great Dragons.


In Never Deal with a Dragon Haesslich could speak in human form.
Manunancy
QUOTE (jaellot @ Jan 11 2011, 11:49 PM) *
Not a game mechanic, but more of a character quirk. They might simply not like speaking in such a mortal and mundane tongue. Pure ego. They ARE (great) dragons, after all. It would be like learning cockroach, or something. Ick.


A good possiblity there - in a Stormbinger game I had a melnibonean žNPc who never spoke to teh players in common, though he understood it just fine. When asked about his answer was 'do you bark when speaking to your dog ?'.
Depending on how exactly their native mindspeech work, it's likely they find spoken languages as any comniation of slow, clumsy, unpleasant and innacurate.
Ryu
QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 13 2011, 12:04 AM) *
This is why we always assumed it was really him.

Dragons of Barsaive supports that theory, if indirectly. The Outcast considers him to be an experienced drake, and a comment states that this is underestimating Dark Tooth.


A dragon in Metahuman Form gains the physical abilities of that body, which includes speech. A language skill would still be required, and Dragonspeech would still work.
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