View Full Version : What's The Deal With My Dragonborn?

Q. Flestrin
2017-03-25, 08:20 AM
So, dwarves are stout folk of the rock and stone, with a love for the beauty of the underworld and of works wrought by hands. Elves are graceful people of the trees and earth, who laugh and sing and dance under the branches throughout their long lives. Halflings are simply short guys who love their large families and small lives, and who will walk through hell to get back to them. Gnomes pursue art in their hollow hills, half-elves and -orcs live between two worlds, tieflings bear a curse on their brow. We're (I assume) humans. It's easy to get a handle on these guys.

But what are dragonborn? The 5e Player's Handbook doesn't give much, just that they're clannish and look like dragons, and, as much as I think crawling inside a giant egg because you love Bahamut so much as per Races of the Dragon is a fun idea, I know that that isn't everyone's cup of tea. Now, there's nothing wrong with just wanting to play a big strong dragon boy, but dragonborn don't seem to have a defined place in the lore that lets me get a handle on 'em, either as a player or as a DM.

So, my question is, first off, do they have more defined lore that I haven't encountered, and second, if not, what can I as a player do to get into the mindset of a dragonborn, and what can I as a DM do to give them a good place in my setting?

(I do have one thought setting-wise, which is that, much as the yuan-ti dragged innocent snakes into their transhumanist social Darwinism b.s., the dragonborn are actually transhumanists who have nothing to do with dragons besides worshiping them. I still welcome other ideas.)

2017-03-25, 09:33 AM
I like Forgotten Realms lore on the dragonborn.

Here, your typical dragonborn PC actually hates dragons. They will proudly recount how their ancestors used to be warrior-slaves of these big flying tyrants, until they fought for their freedom. Kinda like the Jaffa in Stargate SG-1.

There is also the whole deal with Abeir being an elemental twin of Toril, and the events of the Spellplague and the Sundering having moved dragonborn lands from one to the other and back, leaving dragonborn as a lost minority on Toril.

2017-03-25, 12:53 PM
It really is going to depend on setting, though that's true of any species. In the one game I ran with dragonborn, they had a culture that sort of worshipped dragons, but it was more like an ancestral veneration. The religious rites were led by the Emperor of the Dragonborn, and mostly was a method of social control a la the Caesar's position as Pontifex Maximus in the Roman Empire. For every leader and important NPC, I had in my notes "Why do they think they're righteous?" The dragonborn Emperor's entry was "You gotta do what you gotta do to keep order, as order is good for the plebs."