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Ezra
Hey...

Just a few questions for you dragon buffs out there. *cough*Ancient History *cough*

Great Dragons can change their form into that of a human, right?
Do they maintain the same human form? I mean, Masaru is described as a small Philippino businessman. Was Dunkelzahn also easily identifiable in his human form? <See the guy in the suit with the flashy grey hair....that's Big D>

If so, what was Dunkie's human form? If you guys could give me a decription, it'd help immensely.

Another question......dragons communicate via Thought-Speak....right? A telepathic form of communication. Does this mean that they are incapable of normal (meta)human speech?

Any help / answers / book and page references would help.

thanks.
Ezra
Kagetenshi
Great Dragons can change their form, though as I remember it's still uncertain in-game whether they all can or whether this is a power exhibited by a few. Evidence is that they can change it to whatever form they desire; they tend to choose specific forms, as I remember. Dragons in draconic form are indeed incapable of normal human speech, primarily due to massive vocal cord differences. Dragons of the Sixth World, occurring well after Dunkelzahn's death, lacks any information that I could find on Dunkie's metahuman forms.

~J
hahnsoo
Tom Dowd's story "Wyrm Talk" described Dunkelzahn's human form as the following:
QUOTE
In its place stood a young man, about twenty years old, dressed in a suit cut from the most beautiful blue silk I had ever seen. He had pale skin, and his features were those of Michelangelo's David. His eyes sparkled a sharp silver and blue.
Shockwave_IIc
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Great Dragons can change their form, though as I remember it's still uncertain in-game whether they all can or whether this is a power exhibited by a few.

i was under the impression that it was only greats that could. And Some greats just choose not to.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Shockwave_IIc)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Apr 11 2005, 05:43 AM)
Great Dragons can change their form, though as I remember it's still uncertain in-game whether they all can or whether this is a power exhibited by a few.

i was under the impression that it was only greats that could. And Some greats just choose not to.

I don't think Haesslich was a great dragon, but he certainly could take human form. Same with Perianwyr (who took human form in the story told in Dragons of the Sixth World), who isn't a great dragon. So I don't think it's limited to Great Dragons.
Fortune
It is an inate ability for Great Dragons, but nothing stops a normal Dragon from using a spell to do the same thing.
Ancient History
Great Dragons can choose to develop it as an innate ability (not all do), lesser dragons and greats without the power make do with shapechange spells and sustaining foci.

Dragons can apparently appear as whatever they want, but there are certain forms they tend to prefer and adopt more often.

Dragons aren't much good for vocal communication in dragon form. That's why they have interpreters or appear in metahuman form: microphones don't pick up Dragonspeech (the telepathic conversation you hear in your head).
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Shockwave_IIc)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Apr 11 2005, 05:43 AM)
Great Dragons can change their form, though as I remember it's still uncertain in-game whether they all can or whether this is a power exhibited by a few.

i was under the impression that it was only greats that could. And Some greats just choose not to.

I meant all Greats, not all dragons.

~J
Ezra
Great.... thanks a lot guys. More than enough for me to work from.

So, to summarise....

Great Dragons can choose to develop the power of shapechange. (But not all do.)
Other dragons can duplicate the effect with a spell.
The Thought-speak thing is only a limitation in their draconic form, and once they assume a metahuman form, they can communicate normally.
They have preferences for their human form, but are not bound to appear in the same one all the time.

Correct? smile.gif

Thanks again for all the help.
winterhawk11
Yes, this is correct.

Originally adult dragons seemed to need some kind of focus to maintain human form (see Haesslich's dragon ring) but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

Several adult dragons, including Perianwyr and Haesslich, are known to have assumed human form. Some, like "Damon" (from DotSW) prefer it to dragon form. smile.gif
Ancient History
Adult dragons still need a focus to sustain the spell, as far as is known.
winterhawk11
Do they need one, or is it just more convenient that way? I mean, a lowly player-character mage can sustain a shapechange or mask spell without a focus--sure, they'll take the t-number hit, but they can do it. I would assume a dragon can do the same thing.

'Course, I'm here at work and DotSW is at home, so I might just be speaking from faulty memory. If so, I apologize. I should really know this stuff, seeing as how I'm a dragon junkie and all, so if I don't it's kind of embarrassing. smile.gif
Cynic project
QUOTE (hahnsoo)

I don't think Haesslich was a great dragon, but he certainly could take human form.

He was using a spell,and masking.
Ancient History
THey don't /need/ one, but everyone I know of uses them if they're going to be spending any amount of time in metahuman form...which is almost all of them.
Sharaloth
I think it can be assumed dragons have the 'Focused Concentration' edge, and might even have a unique 'Compartementalized Mind' edge (Witness Lofwyr watching a whole bunch of tridsets at once while carrying on a conversation. Int of 13+ or not, that's gotta be an interesting ability, though whether this is applicaple to all dragons or just him or just greats is debatable). They might take no modifiers at all from sustaining one or two spells. On the other hand, of course it's always good to throw these things in a sustaining focus. IIRC One of the dragons in DotSW actually didn't have his in a focus, and shifted back to draconic form when he passed out in a bar.
Edward
I was under the impression that dragons have no inherent shape shifting power at all.

They use a version on shape change or transform that allows metahuman shapes to take the form of a metahuman. As all great dragons have every spell in the book and any others they want on there spells known list any great dragon would have the ability to do this.

Further it implies that any constancy of form is at the whim of the dragon involved (isnít everything) a point to consider is hans brachoust being several different metatypes.

Edward
Fortune
It is specifically stated in canon that Great Dragons (only) have this as an inate ability.
Ancient History
It's not inherent. It's learned. Lesser dragons make do with shapechange spells...so do some of the Greats who choose not to develop that power.

All great dragons don't know every spell...although they know most of them and can come up with the others almost on-the-spot if needed.

Hans Brackhaus is a bad example, because while Lofwyr may have initially used it as a pseudoidentity, it quickly became common throughout certain circles to use the name.

As far as has been determined, Great Dragons can manifest as metahumans of any metatype (not sure about gender, it hasn't come up). They tend to show up looking more or less the same when manifesting as the same metatype more than once, but whether this is familiarity, desire to reinforce a particular image, a limitation, or mere whim is unknown.
Fortune
By 'inate', I meant that the power is avalable to all Greats. The fact that not all of them make use of it doesn't mean they couldn't if they so chose.
Crimson Jack
QUOTE (Ancient History)
As far as has been determined, Great Dragons can manifest as metahumans of any metatype (not sure about gender, it hasn't come up).

Isn't there something in Dot6W about Aden's gender and his/her public perception in his/her theatre of operation?
JaronK
Well, Damon is an adult (not great) dragon, and is well known for taking on different human forms. In fact, he does so more than he appears draconic. And he's certainly able to speak.

JaronK
Ancient History
Crimson Jack: Yes, but that's only because the world wants to lift up Aden's tail and know whether or not to insist Aden wears a veil.

JaronK: Damon uses a shapechange spell, in all probability. Possibly with a sustaining focus, especially if he's concentrating on...other activities at the moment. wink.gif
Chibu
The only problem i have with GDs having the "innate" (read: learned or whatever you want) ability of 'metahuman form' (not shapechange btw) is that the Dragons (the ED book) it;s stated, IIRC that the great dragons just used spells to assume metahuman form, and that there was no innate ability (i believe it was said that the GDs got the idea from like one of the Kings of throal (or some other random dwarf))

However, if this is an 'innate' ability, it would be assumed, IMO, to be limited to one form.

Also, Thought-Speech is not a limitation. Mics not being alive is the limitation nyahnyah.gif But, yes, in their natural Draconic forms, Dragons simply do not posses the organs to make (meta)human speech.
Fortune
QUOTE (Chibu @ Apr 13 2005, 05:27 AM)
The only problem i have with GDs having the "innate" (read: learned or whatever you want) ability of 'metahuman form' (not shapechange btw) is that the Dragons (the ED book) it;s stated, IIRC that the great dragons just used spells to assume metahuman form, and that there was no innate ability (i believe it was said that the GDs got the idea from like one of the Kings of throal (or some other random dwarf))

Of course, the Earthdawn Dragons book was mostly written 'in character' by Great Dragons themselves, and could be seen to contain at least some misdirection. Just one example of which is the stated relationship between Wyverns and Dragons.
Kagetenshi
It's stated in canon somewhere, IIRC, that more than a few Greats were miffed at Dunkie for tipping his hand on the ability to take human form.

~J
Fortune
But that still doesn't mean he told the entire truth as to exactly how they accomplished it.
Kagetenshi
I stated that because it lends credence to the notion that it may have been misdirection.

~J
Fortune
Ah ... the way I originally read your post was that you were possibly in disagreement, because other GDs were pissed that he spilled the beans.
Vuron
I thought that Arleesh in Bottled Demon was the first non-novel appearance of a great dragon in human form?

Granted that doesn't neccesarily mean that the runners on that adventure would spill the beans to shadowland but rumors do tend to get around wink.gif
fistandantilus4.0
I was just reading through DoSW today, it states in the back, where it lists a bunch of powers, that some greats have the meathuman form power , similar to free spirits. Basically, they can assume any metahuman form.

As ofr discrepencies w/ ED powers, in ED dragons, it also lists dragons as being able to have the regeneration power. THey don't say this at ALL in SR. Imagine how scary THAT would be! Regenerating fraggin' dragons!
akarenti
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
As ofr discrepencies w/ ED powers, in ED dragons, it also lists dragons as being able to have the regeneration power. THey don't say this at ALL in SR. Imagine how scary THAT would be! Regenerating fraggin' dragons!


Regeneration in ED wasn't quite on the level of Regeneration in SR.

SR dragons have something better than ED style Regeneration: the Heal spell at a base TN between 3 and -2.

Oh, and could the "innate abilty to assume Metahuman form" be an Innate Spell (Shapechange)? Most of the other abilities of dragons (such as advanced uses of Dragonspeech, not to mention their fiery breath) are treated as Innate Spells.

But I guess they would still have to concentrate to sustain a innate Shapechange spell, so I guess you just have to chock the ability up to GD MagicPower ™.
fistandantilus4.0
nope, because it goes on to specify that the non-greats use the shapechange spell to assume human form. And the spell flamethrower is explained as an innate spell. that being the breath weapon of course. The metahuman form powere is GD ability, not a spell. I'll try and dig up my book some time and get some page quotes ( ore more realistically intend to and forget).
amadeus
Quick question for you Dragon buffs out there, (along the same dragon theme) if a dragon stifted to say metaHuman form, with a sustaning focus or some such (so that they do not have to concentrate on it and go to sleep) could they get cyber ware? like datajacks?

I know the question, why would any dragon do such a thing? but, part of the reason why I ask is that the big D has something in his will passing along a sum of money to the first party that develops datajacks for dragons, or something like that...

any way, I don't quite recall it all...

amadeus
hahnsoo
There already is a dragon with a datajack, named Eliohann. He was the subject in the adventure called "Dragon Hunt".

In general, while the surgery for the datajack can be done, I doubt the nanite treatment needed to create the neural/cybernetic interface would be successful.

EDIT: However, there are rules for implanting cyberware in a Dragon in their native, non-shapeshifted form. Dragons of the Sixth World p181.
hahnsoo
Also, there are simply no rules for surgery on a shapeshifted being. There is no canon evidence for or against the question of whether or not a shapeshifted being has the same physiology of the alternate form that they are currently in.
Vuron
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
Also, there are simply no rules for surgery on a shapeshifted being. There is no canon evidence for or against the question of whether or not a shapeshifted being has the same physiology of the alternate form that they are currently in.

Considering there is some evidence that they don't inherit the stats of the form that they take (eat maximum body 6 Lofwyr!) it seems more likely that alternate forms are like an extremely advanced version of masking etc in which the Dragon molds his form into an alternate shape. For the most part cyberware doesn't interact well with draconic forms in thier natural shape so it shouldn't work well with draconic flesh that just happens to resemble human flesh.
SpasticTeapot
Another question for the Dragon buffs:
What would the charicteristics of a half-shapeshifted-dragon half-metahuman be? Would they goblinize into...something? Is this even possible?

Ancient History
Yes, it is possible. They're called dragonkin, and making them has been outlawed for about 8,000 years.
Vuron
QUOTE (Ancient History)
Yes, it is possible. They're called dragonkin, and making them has been outlawed for about 8,000 years.

I've always assumed that dragon-metahuman spawning was a pretty decent concept and I wonder if making Drakes is more of a way of simulating them.

It's not canonical by any means but an interesting possible method for dragon reproduction would be instead of laying eggs like reptiles that the immature form of dragons would actually be metahumans with peculiar abilities. Only after significant karma and time have passed would they transition into thier true draconic forms.

That way you could deal with issues like where were the eggs during the downcycle and you could explain dragon interaction with metahumanity.

Of course it would be a massive shift from accepted SR/ED but it would still be an interesting alt setting reasons for IEs etc.
Ancient History
Well. if your tastes run to the slightly unusual, take a look at R.A.MacAvoy's Tea with Black Dragon, where a dragon becomes more human as he associates with them.
Vuron
QUOTE (Ancient History)
Well. if your tastes run to the slightly unusual, take a look at R.A.MacAvoy's Tea with Black Dragon, where a dragon becomes more human as he associates with them.

Not that hard to believe that dragon brains allow a degree of neural programming like human brains. Exposure to new stimulus does tend to burn changes into the neural structure of the human mind over time.
Ancient History
No, I mean he physically comes to resemble humans. Great book.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Ancient History)
No, I mean he physically comes to resemble humans. Great book.

You were waiting for that, weren't you? nyahnyah.gif wink.gif

~J
fistandantilus4.0
On another tangent (yay tangents!) ,there are two types of drakes, bred and created (aka true). The bred drakes are ( I assume) from the Book of Blue Spirits/ Aardelea (however you spell it). She was the root. So how many descendants can she really have? Does the 'Drake gene' automatically become dominant when the mana is high enough?

And then there's good ol' Scale. As I understand it, drakes DO eventually die of old age (and go back to the pro-matter-whatever from which they sprang). So he was created during the 6th world, since the other drakes (bred) didn't manifest until '61, and he appears back in '57 (in the Tir). I though the magic level wasn't high enough to make them yet, which was why the Greats were scrambling for the manifesting drakes. So is Lowfyr just cool enough that he gets to brake the rules?
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Apr 10 2005, 10:52 PM)
Tom Dowd's story "Wyrm Talk" described Dunkelzahn's human form as the following:
QUOTE
In its place stood a young man, about twenty years old, dressed in a suit cut from the most beautiful blue silk I had ever seen. He had pale skin, and his features were those of Michelangelo's David. His eyes sparkled a sharp silver and blue.

That was the same form he had also assumed in Stranger Souls before he died (Makes sense. The ballroom in the hotel at the Watergate is actually rather small).

In Preying for Keeps Lofwyr assumed a human form, and while I can't recall what he "wore" (I want to say a black suit) the striking feature about him were his golden eyes.
fistandantilus4.0
Intro to Blood in the Board Room had Lowfyr appearing as an elf w/ silver hair if I recall
winterhawk11
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Intro to Blood in the Board Room had Lowfyr appearing as an elf w/ silver hair if I recall

In Worlds Without End he appeared as a human with long silver hair and golden eyes.
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