Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Green Dragon

Big news!  It’s The Daily Bestiary’s first birthday! 

We began this crazy endeavor one year ago today with the aasimar.  Since then, we’ve covered every monster in the Pathfinder Bestiary, Bonus Bestiary and Bestiary 2 in alphabetical order from A to G (along with the Bestiary 3 starting with the letter E and a Tumblr mirror site starting with the letter G).  I’m excited to have made it this far, and thrilled to have plenty of monsters ahead.

I’ll have more to say about this below.  But first, today’s beast…

Traditionally, green dragons have been described with words like “cunning” or “crafty.”  They have to be, for two simple reasons: They are chromatic dragons of only middling power, and they share their forest homes with elves, whose longevity and mastery of magic, archery, and swordplay make even wyrms pause.  Survival demands that they pick their battles carefully, make and keep allies, and be always one step ahead of both rivals and prey.

Pathfinder’s green dragons, however, go beyond crafty; they’re downright intellectual.  The Bestiary calls them “perhaps the easiest to deal with diplomatically” among the chromatics.  Mike McArtor’s Dragons Revisited goes farther, painting them as scholars, archivists, and astronomers, a small percentage of whom even trade evil for cold neutrality.

However you define your green dragons, PCs should fear their brains as well as their breath.

Beset on all sides by the mercantile Free States, the wood elves of the Pinewald and the green dragon Parvox agreed to a century-long truce, mutually defending their forest from outsiders and road-builders.  The truce is set to expire, and the wood elves have suddenly awoken to the fact that their greatest enemy is now part of the fabric of their society.

Explorers stumble upon an ancient observatory of cyclopean scale.  Careful study reveals the site is still in use, and that no giant designed it.  A green dragon cleric searches the stars reverently.

On the jungle planet of Verdis—a world of carnivorous plants and loathsome parasites—civilization versus savagery is the far more important axis than comfortable notions of good and evil.  Here green dragon scholars and bronze dragon steeds ally with the diabolists and summoners of the Inevitable League.  From cities carved out of the hungry jungle, they battle independent tribes of men, fey, and kappas, and fend off black and brass dragon incursions.

Pathfinder Bestiary 96–97

I love notions of evil scholars of any kind, draconic or otherwise.  (I think that’s my MFA scars talking.)

So yeah, it’s the blog’s birthday!  (And I already got a present: a super-nice note from gdsfjkl.  Won’t someone please buy him or her a vowel?)

So, where are we after a year?

What’s changed:

This is no longer a private project.  I kept things quiet at first, wanting to build up an archive before I looked for readers.  But now it’s definitely a public thing, especially with the arrival of my Tumblr mirror.

The style is looser.  Early on I kept this really spare: just adventure seeds.  But I began to want to say more about the monsters, explore their themes, make personal asides, even pimp my radio show…and so I got more casual and comfortable over time (again, especially once I started on Tumblr).

What hasn’t:

Still three adventure seeds a day. Still doing my best to make new monsters familiar and familiar monsters special and strange.  And still thrilled to get your comments and thoughts.

Also, I’m still keeping the adventure seeds PC-free.  Admittedly, there are times I have to do verbal gymnastics to avoid saying “the PCs do x”—using terms like “adventurers,” “sellswords,” “mercenaries,” “apprentices,” “ne’er-do-wells,” etc.—but I never want to force you to use a scenario a certain way, or choose sides for your players.  I present the seeds as if they were real-world scenarios, and it’s up to you if your PCs are the adventurers mentioned, or onlookers, rivals, etc.  The blog doesn’t presume to tell you how to enter the scene.

And I’m still dedicated to making these posts setting-neutral, with no Golarion-specific content.  This hopefully protects me from intellectual property issues (I’m not hear to step on Paizo’s toes) and expands the scope of what’s possible for each monster.  So steampunk, voidjammer, historical fantasy and weird fantasy fans should all find as much pleasure in this as medieval and Golarion fans do.

If you like, you can find out more about my brainstorming and writing process in the gloomwing entry.

Otherwise, thanks for reading; keeping sharing, reblogging, and commenting; and I’ll see you tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment