Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dragon Scales

The wife and I were watching a History Channel program about gods and monsters and various myths. It's more or less understood that (sadly) there is no evidence that dragons ever existed, but the notion of them likely comes from ancient peoples seeing partial dinosaur skeletons and making up the rest.

It got me to thinking 'wings and tails have some of the smallest; therefore, hardest to find preserved bones'. So how do we know for certain that dragons weren't some breed of flying dinosaur? We know that there were all shapes and sizes of dinosaurs, we know some pteradons had wingspans of up to 65 feet, and we know that many of the great lizards had bird-like anatomy.We like to think we know lots of stuff...until new evidence is found to change or utterly refute what we held so dear.

All this made me wonder just how big a dragon could get and still get off the ground. So I did me some Googling and Wiki-ing about dinosaurs and wingspans and what have you. This is what I came up with:

In one of many worlds that I have built I had an idea that jungle tribes of gnomes/halflings used to worship and ride dragons. However, as mounts the dragons could only get so large before the tiny riders could no longer control them. Below are the notes I dug out on the matter.

Category Age in years Size
Wyrmling 0-5 Tiny
Very Young 6-15 Small
Youngling 16-25 Medium
Juvenile 26-50 Medium
Young Adult 51-100 Large
Adult 100-200 Large
Mature Adult 200-400 Huge
Old 400-600 Huge
Very Old 600-800 Huge
Ancient 800-1000 Huge
Wyrm  1000-1200 Gargantuan
Great Wyrm 1200-1500 Gargantuan
Colossal Wyrm 1500+ Colossal

Since Halflings never break 4 feet tall they are perpetually considered Small. This means that they cannot ride anything bigger than a Large dragon, also meaning that dragons only bear riders until age 200. After this it is both difficult to accept “agedness” since a normal dragon life is only about one quarter over and to go into retirement from the Halfling family that a dragon has served with for 3-4 generations. Flying with a rider is considered only a station for youthful dragons.


  1. You may be interested in the Draconomicons that WotC published.

    1. Actually I already have one. It's the 1990 AD&D 2nd Edition version. I like it, but I also wanted to do something of my own(ish).

  2. Of course, just though I'd mention it as a possible inspiration/reference work.