Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 51
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    ... and your job is to help establish the clades/taxonomy of creatures in your setting.

    For the purposes of what I'm thinking wanted to see how say dragons would fit into the current phylogenic taxonomy.

    I figured start at the top:
    1. Life: dragons are alive
    2. Domain: Eukaryota - dragons are multicellular
    3. Kingdom: Animalia - dragons aren't plants or fungus
    4. Phylum: Chordata - dragons havespinal cords
    5. Subphyla: Vertebrata - dragons have bones, specifically vertebrae
    6. Class: and here we stop as dragons don't fit anything currently alive


    So, if we wanted to add something in there we have to recognize that dragons are part of a separate clade from tetrapods - at the very least they're hexapods, if not part of some other clade that covers vertebrates with more then four limbs.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Considering the natural armor of dragons there could be a case made that they are invertebrate hexapods. They're insects. It would have to be a new order since dragons have lungs and hearts which is what allows them to grow so big.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedMage125's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    I'm on a boat!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    I'd start with a new Class for Endothermic Reptiles. Or magical reptiles. Since between scales, eyelids, eggs, and so many other aspects, they are reptilian.
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

    Where do you fit in? (link fixed)

    RedMage Prestige Class!

    Best advice I've ever heard one DM give another:
    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

    Second Eternal Foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I'd start with a new Class for Endothermic Reptiles. Or magical reptiles. Since between scales, eyelids, eggs, and so many other aspects, they are reptilian.
    Very good thought. What do you think of the following? I'm trying to see if I can work in outsiders somewhere, I figured they're probably either another Kingdom or Domain at the highest levels.

    I think it gets funkier with stuff like beholders that are vertebrates in so far as they have skulls (okay only a skull) but not spinal cords so they aren't really falling into chordate, but should be vertebrates.

    1. Life: dragons are alive
    2. Domain: Eukaryota - dragons are multicellular
    3. Kingdom: Animalia - dragons aren't plants or fungus
    4. Phylum: Chordata - dragons havespinal cords
    5. Subphyla: Vertebrata - dragons have bones, specifically vertebrae
    6. Class: Thermoreptilia
    7. Order: Magykosauria - magical reptiles, I like the association with dinosauria
    8. Family: Halitos - Sounds like halitosis, but it has to do with breathing in Latin
    9. Genus: Theres - ancient Greek for "monster", specific connotation of big and scary for the chromatics OR Bipneuma for metallic since they have two breath weapons
    10. Species: Bipneuma jinsedae- Gold dragon: Jīnsè is the transliteration of the Chinese word for gold, and gold dragons kind of have a Chinese dragon look to them so it seemed like a good fit.


    So with that in mind, do we think all dragons are the same genus, or even species? I'm inclined to make them all the same species with a bunch of subspecies, but I'm open to thoughts. Metallics and chromatics as different species?

    As a group the metallics are:
    Gold dragon: Bipneuma jinsedae
    Silver dragons: Bipneuma aegisidae
    Copper dragon: Bipneuma comoedus
    Bronze dragon: Bipneuma fulgurum
    Brass dragon: Bipneuma oratio

    And chromatics
    Red dragon: Theres pyrecagia - literally conflagration monster
    White dragon: Theres pagomenos
    Green dragon: Theres dascalos
    Black dragon: Theres necrocephali
    Blue dragon: Theres eremus
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-05-10 at 08:09 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Draco causticus sputem
    Draco rigidus frigidus
    Draco lmpudentus Gallus
    Draco Gerus Bronzo
    Draco Electricus
    Draco Comes Stabuli
    Draco Orientalus Sino Dux
    Draco Chlorinous Nauseous Respiratorus
    Draco Conflagratio Horriblis
    Draco Nobilis Argentum
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    The problem with dragons is that they have an extra set of limbs in D&D. Other draconic beings, like drakes or landwyrms are easy by comparison, they're just some kind of weird archosaurs that diverged back in the Triassic, probably evolving from some sort of basal avemetatarsalian like the Aphanosaurs or Legerpetids. True dragons though, well, all tetrapods have only four limbs by definition, so either you have to go all the way back to fish and run an entirely parallel evolutionary process of emergence onto land and transition into a winged form later, or you have to posit a drastic realignment of physical structures to produce an extra set of limbs and all the associated bones, muscles, and organs to make them function. The latter is probably the one you have to go with. Unfortunately, true dragon skulls are clearly very highly derived and it is difficult to determine whether they are diapsids or synapsids. Diapsids seems more likely, especially given the clear provenance of drakes and others, but that could be convergence. Assuming they are also nested within the Avemetatarsalia their origin probably lies very close to the dinosaurs, probably within the Dracohors.

    I might hypothesize that dragons are actually the most derived form of draconic being, with taxa such as Landwyrms being the most basal. In particular, the transition from forelimbs to wings that resulted in the emergence of drakes would have occurred first and then dragons resulted in an event which duplicated the forelimbs and caused the wings to gradually shift position upwards toward the back in response.
    Last edited by Mechalich; 2019-05-11 at 12:51 AM.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    I would also hypothesize that dragons play an integral role in the diversity of the planet's species. Beyond that rampant evolution that D&D settings are know for there is also the normal sexual transference of genetic material. Dragon DNA, being quite magical and dominant with crazy amounts of favorable traits, would lend itself well to any creature it mates with. And what creature hasn't it mated with? Due to their gift for shapechange, dragons have had sex with literally everything from beholders to black pudding. In this way, dragons are actually the ancestors of 99% of the now existing species and many species can trace their origins to common clades originated by dragons.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    ... and your job is to help establish the clades/taxonomy of creatures in your setting.
    This is like saying "you've been transported back to the 19th century and have been tasked with classifying steam engines as AC or DC." The classifications don't fit the things being classified.

    D&D creatures didn't evolve naturally and don't necessarily have any relation to other creatures. The concept of genus and species (or any higher groups like family or even kingdom) is kind of pointless. Sometimes, they just sprang into existence spontaneously because "a wizard did it" or something.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedMage125's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    I'm on a boat!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    I kind the idea of "draco" being the Order for all creatures of the Dragon type. And use something for Family that makes all "true" dragons (metallic and chromatic) distinct from other things, like landwyrms, drakes, and dragon turtles.
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

    Where do you fit in? (link fixed)

    RedMage Prestige Class!

    Best advice I've ever heard one DM give another:
    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

    Second Eternal Foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    well, all tetrapods have only four limbs by definition, so either you have to go all the way back to fish and run an entirely parallel evolutionary process of emergence onto land and transition into a winged form later, or you have to posit a drastic realignment of physical structures to produce an extra set of limbs and all the associated bones, muscles, and organs to make them function.
    The Dragon Eel from MM3 looks rather like a 6-finned version of the prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus:

    Spoiler
    Show


    so - if one were to go with that - it would make a good basal member of the family.
    Marut-2 Avatar by Serpentine
    New Marut Avatar by Linkele

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I kind the idea of "draco" being the Order for all creatures of the Dragon type. And use something for Family that makes all "true" dragons (metallic and chromatic) distinct from other things, like landwyrms, drakes, and dragon turtles.
    Draco metallicus aureus
    Draco metallicus aeneolus
    Draco metallicus aercus
    Draco metallicus auricalcinus
    Draco metallicus argenteus
    Draco chromaticus rubricatus
    Draco chromaticus caeruleus
    Draco chromaticus prasinus
    Draco chromaticus albineus
    Draco chromaticus pulleiaceus

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Phylogeny doesn't really work in D&D, as a majority of creatures arise through magic and have no genetic relationship to anything else. Even if we exclude outsiders, fey, elementals, cocaine wizard experiments, polymorph spells, stone-to-flesh sculptures, etc. we're still looking at a wide variety of cases where the local divinities just fiated some species or another into existence. So instead of genetics and heredity, the system should be more of a phenetic approach, where you look at the phenotype (the size, shape, ability, etc.) rather than speculating on the genetics (which most of the creatures-to-be-classified probably don't even have).

    In the phenetic approach, we have four kingdoms:

    Monads, the creatures who have a combined soul/body, as seen in outsiders and elementals and then further divided into the phylums of Inner, Outer, Transitive, Native and Other (based on plane of origin) and then into specific classes like Archon, Baatezu and Genie. Arguably should include petitioners, but since they're distinctly post-mortal, they get put in under Biad Spiritus Divisus instead of as Monads of the appropriate plane.

    Duads, the creatures who have a separable soul/body in the manner of humanoids, giants, abberations, etc. AND who have their souls/bodies currently attached to one another. These would then be divided into phylums and classes according to the pantheon and creator of their most recently created ancestor (ie. most elves would be in Phylum Seldarine, Class Correllon). Upon death, most Duads become some sort of Spirit, often a Petitioner. Despite the name, does not necessarily imply a one to one soul to body ratio - Kalashtar fall under this category, for example.

    Biads, the creatures which are either a body without a soul (constructs, certain corporeal undead, certain warlocks, possibly other things) or which are souls without a body (petitioners ghosts, those unborn souls on the positive energy plane, removed souls). Classified into Corpus (just a body) and Spiritus (just a soul) and into Divisus (for halves of a former Duad) or Innatus (for everything else - constructs, unborn souls, etc.)

    Nonschematia, because the second that you declare your set of categories complete, some annoying mad wizard is going to try to create a living being which is none of a body with or without a soul, a soul with or without a body, a body that is also a soul nor a soul that is also a body. Included in this category are the Unbodied (a psychic entity which contains neither body nor soul), the Caller in Darkness (several souls fused together), Swarms (arguably), defictionalized out-of-schema hypotheticals created using SLAs of Clones/Simulacrums/other similar spells, Shadow Conjurations, Phantom Steeds, certain experimental results using Summon Instrument, Unseen Servants, Dream Larva (briefly and only occasionally), and probably several other daft things that some wizard out there is trying now that they've read about this attempt to classify all life.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Are all Humanoids Homo Sapiens? They create fertile mix-blood.

    Elves have a single Material Ethereal entity, while Humans have split Material and Ethereal entities.

    100% Elf Blood Half-Elf is possible because Half-Elves have split Material and Ethereal entities, while Full-Elves have merged Material and Ethereal entity.
    Level Point System 5E
    Poker Roll

    Tier 1 Master of All
    Tier 2 Lightning Bruiser
    Tier 3 Lethal Joke Character
    Tier 4 Master of None
    Tier 5 Crippling Overspecialization
    Tier 6 Joke Character

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Clistenes's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...


  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post
    Phylogeny doesn't really work in D&D, as a majority of creatures arise through magic and have no genetic relationship to anything else. Even if we exclude outsiders, fey, elementals, cocaine wizard experiments, polymorph spells, stone-to-flesh sculptures, etc. we're still looking at a wide variety of cases where the local divinities just fiated some species or another into existence. So instead of genetics and heredity, the system should be more of a phenetic approach, where you look at the phenotype (the size, shape, ability, etc.) rather than speculating on the genetics (which most of the creatures-to-be-classified probably don't even have).

    In the phenetic approach, we have four kingdoms:

    Monads, the creatures who have a combined soul/body, as seen in outsiders and elementals and then further divided into the phylums of Inner, Outer, Transitive, Native and Other (based on plane of origin) and then into specific classes like Archon, Baatezu and Genie. Arguably should include petitioners, but since they're distinctly post-mortal, they get put in under Biad Spiritus Divisus instead of as Monads of the appropriate plane.

    Duads, the creatures who have a separable soul/body in the manner of humanoids, giants, abberations, etc. AND who have their souls/bodies currently attached to one another. These would then be divided into phylums and classes according to the pantheon and creator of their most recently created ancestor (ie. most elves would be in Phylum Seldarine, Class Correllon). Upon death, most Duads become some sort of Spirit, often a Petitioner. Despite the name, does not necessarily imply a one to one soul to body ratio - Kalashtar fall under this category, for example.

    Biads, the creatures which are either a body without a soul (constructs, certain corporeal undead, certain warlocks, possibly other things) or which are souls without a body (petitioners ghosts, those unborn souls on the positive energy plane, removed souls). Classified into Corpus (just a body) and Spiritus (just a soul) and into Divisus (for halves of a former Duad) or Innatus (for everything else - constructs, unborn souls, etc.)

    Nonschematia, because the second that you declare your set of categories complete, some annoying mad wizard is going to try to create a living being which is none of a body with or without a soul, a soul with or without a body, a body that is also a soul nor a soul that is also a body. Included in this category are the Unbodied (a psychic entity which contains neither body nor soul), the Caller in Darkness (several souls fused together), Swarms (arguably), defictionalized out-of-schema hypotheticals created using SLAs of Clones/Simulacrums/other similar spells, Shadow Conjurations, Phantom Steeds, certain experimental results using Summon Instrument, Unseen Servants, Dream Larva (briefly and only occasionally), and probably several other daft things that some wizard out there is trying now that they've read about this attempt to classify all life.
    This is neat, I like the idea of a metaphysical scheme, since a biological one just isn’t going to work well. But I don’t think the creatures you list fit so well in the categories. Particularly:
    Fiends. Monads here, but when they die outside the Abyss they reincarnate. Does that mean they have spirits?
    Golems. Biads here, but the 5e MM (you may use a different edition) says they are elemental earth spirits bound in artificial bodies. Other constructs sometimes also are animated by elemental spirits. I think constructs are Duads.
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Imagine a world where a coming of age ceremony involves killing your son five times over. Fun as hell, ain't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeschylus
    Who escapes pain and trouble?
    Who escapes from beginning to end, happy?
    Sorrows either are here now or are coming.
    Time and the gods unfailingly bring them.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    Draco metallicus aureus
    Draco metallicus aeneolus
    Draco metallicus aercus
    Draco metallicus auricalcinus
    Draco metallicus argenteus
    Draco chromaticus rubricatus
    Draco chromaticus caeruleus
    Draco chromaticus prasinus
    Draco chromaticus albineus
    Draco chromaticus pulleiaceus
    Draco is already the genus for a gliding lizard. That's why I didn't pick use it for dragons. Perhaps less phynotyping and more classic Linnean taxonomy works for D&D since its based on observable physical traits rather than a tree of life.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-05-12 at 09:40 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedMage125's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    I'm on a boat!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Draco is already the genus for a gliding lizard. That's why I didn't pick use it for dragons. Perhaps less phynotyping and more classic Linnean taxonomy works for D&D since its based on observable physical traits rather than a tree of life.
    Drakkus, then? From the German Drakken for dragon?

    Also, the guy you quoted misinterpreted what I said. I was suggesting "Drakkus" or whatever for the Order. For all creatures of the Dragon type (which would include landwyrms, drakes, wyverns, and dragon turtles), and then that all "True Dragons" have the same Family (I don't have a suggestion, but maybe something that reflects that they all come from Io, the Ninefold Dragon?). Then all metallics in one Genus and all Chromatics in another.
    Last edited by RedMage125; 2019-05-12 at 12:12 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Draco is already the genus for a gliding lizard. That's why I didn't pick use it for dragons. Perhaps less phynotyping and more classic Linnean taxonomy works for D&D since its based on observable physical traits rather than a tree of life.
    However, those taxonomies are at least 40 years old.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Drakkus, then? From the German Drakken for dragon?

    Also, the guy you quoted misinterpreted what I said. I was suggesting "Drakkus" or whatever for the Order. For all creatures of the Dragon type (which would include landwyrms, drakes, wyverns, and dragon turtles), and then that all "True Dragons" have the same Family (I don't have a suggestion, but maybe something that reflects that they all come from Io, the Ninefold Dragon?). Then all metallics in one Genus and all Chromatics in another.
    That's what I was thinking as well. I figured a class could be thermoreptilia, or "hot reptiles" (really all dragon typed creature have to be endothermic to degree). Magycosauria for an order for magical "lizards" (I like that it is similar to dinosaur) would be anything dragon-like or inherently magical or blatantly impossible, while land drakes and wyverns would be something else. The family is Halitos is for dragon like creatures with breath weapons. Then genus and species, with the chromatic and metallic dragons as separate genus.

    The other thing is that most taxonomy by tradition uses a Latinized words, so the use of a double K atypical. I was trying to find more interesting things to call them as well. Black dragons for example in my proposition are theres necrocephali, which is death's head monster roughly. Which in D&D context makes sense looking at the way they're usually illustrated.

    For the metallics the bipneuma means two-breath, since all metallics have two breath weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    However, those taxonomies are at least 40 years old.
    True enough, these are super complicated when it gets to phenotypes and clades for taxonomy. Like, super, super complicated. I was looking at the clades for vertebrates and tetrapods are like eight branches down from the first vertebrates, so that means hexapods needs to branch much earlier, or be a separate branch from the tetrapods but have the same common ancestor, which seems wacky. So, I'm going to say classic non-phenotyped/genomic Linnean classifications based solely on a creatures physical traits both internal (when known) or external should work since it actually makes sense in many ways to do it that way.

    I was thinking though, what is a shambling mound, or a myconoid? In theory myconoids are fungus at the highest classifications, and a shambling mound should be a plant (I think), but how do we classify a sapient fungus? From fungus on down myconoids are entirely their own thing, sharing only the most basic commonalities with common fungus. Maybe phylum is magical fungus to encompass all D&Dish fungi and then break down further for things that look like mushrooms versus other types.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-05-12 at 02:18 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    1. Life: dragons are alive
    2. Domain: Eukaryota - dragons are multicellular
    3. Kingdom: Animalia - dragons aren't plants or fungus
    4. Phylum: Chordata - dragons havespinal cords
    5. Subphyla: Vertebrata - dragons have bones, specifically vertebrae
    6. Class: Thermoreptilia
    7. Order: Magykosauria - magical reptiles, I like the association with dinosauria
    8. Family: Halitos - Sounds like halitosis, but it has to do with breathing in Latin
    9. Genus: Theres - ancient Greek for "monster", specific connotation of big and scary for the chromatics OR Bipneuma for metallic since they have two breath weapons
    10. Species: Bipneuma jinsedae- Gold dragon: Jīnsè is the transliteration of the Chinese word for gold, and gold dragons kind of have a Chinese dragon look to them so it seemed like a good fit.
    Its kind of fun to see all these groups and separations, all with there special names, laid out like this. But I'm not sure we could just strap this onto a fantasy setting. Well I guess we could if we are just talking about animals but if we extend it to all life... Domain (and maybe Kingdom) are going to get more entries.

    For instance, I don't think a fire-elemental has cells. In some settings (I don't recall where D&D goes on this) they are magical constructions like robots, but others they are a sort of life on there own. So domain: <Latenish word for elemental> would have to be added. And so on down the line for a bunch of these things. And that's not even getting into undead, which are not alive but are a type of... thing that might belong in this system.

    That being said I think people are doing a good job of fitting creatures that were never considered when making this system into it.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Its kind of fun to see all these groups and separations, all with there special names, laid out like this. But I'm not sure we could just strap this onto a fantasy setting. Well I guess we could if we are just talking about animals but if we extend it to all life... Domain (and maybe Kingdom) are going to get more entries.

    For instance, I don't think a fire-elemental has cells. In some settings (I don't recall where D&D goes on this) they are magical constructions like robots, but others they are a sort of life on there own. So domain: <Latenish word for elemental> would have to be added. And so on down the line for a bunch of these things. And that's not even getting into undead, which are not alive but are a type of... thing that might belong in this system.

    That being said I think people are doing a good job of fitting creatures that were never considered when making this system into it.
    If one considers elementals alive, and a completely new domain I'd be inclined to include anything that is at least partially composed of thought stuff/something other than biological in the sense of a thing that has bones, and blood and cardiovascular systems we can at least understand (or pretend to understand in the case of silly things like beholders and dragons).

    Incidentally, Latin for elemental is elementum, which from a Roman point of view would actually be the classical four elements.

    For outsiders, or planar creatures like elementals, fiends and celestials I'd add another domain along with Eukarytos and the rest into Exteridae, a spin on the Latin exterus (literally outsider). I'm loath to use the Greek, which is xenos because it makes it sound sci-fi rather than fantasy with a natural philosopher twist.

    Undead might need their own system given that the base of an undead thing is always the remains of a living creature. So a zombie is just an animated corpse of creature.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-05-12 at 03:38 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Malphegor's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    I think trying to categorise a ecosystem that includes both tieflings and diaboli (one is a regular native outsider devil person, the other is a native outsider devil person but from lineage coming from a realm of nightmares rather than hell), beholders literally dreaming more vicious versions of themselves into existence, and mad druids creating abominations, plus the concept of discrete species that cannot breed with each other being a suggestion at best, would make this endeavour...Tricky.
    Atomic laser breath!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malphegor View Post
    I think trying to categorise a ecosystem that includes both tieflings and diaboli (one is a regular native outsider devil person, the other is a native outsider devil person but from lineage coming from a realm of nightmares rather than hell), beholders literally dreaming more vicious versions of themselves into existence, and mad druids creating abominations, plus the concept of discrete species that cannot breed with each other being a suggestion at best, would make this endeavour...Tricky.
    And thus classical Linnean based on only observable phenotypes, rather than genetics. The particular process of reproduction isn't as relevant for beholders so much as they exist at all and are fall into X, Y, Z categories as a creature. I'm most going for for amusing rather than serious, thus all dragon like creature with breath weapons are the Halitos family. Because halitosis.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulsutyr View Post
    This is neat, I like the idea of a metaphysical scheme, since a biological one just isn’t going to work well. But I don’t think the creatures you list fit so well in the categories. Particularly:
    Fiends. Monads here, but when they die outside the Abyss they reincarnate. Does that mean they have spirits?
    Golems. Biads here, but the 5e MM (you may use a different edition) says they are elemental earth spirits bound in artificial bodies. Other constructs sometimes also are animated by elemental spirits. I think constructs are Duads.
    (2e bias, btw) IIRC, fiends are just souls; elementals (which "power" most / all golems) are just spirits… which are somehow different things, tied to the outer and inner planes, respectively.

    So, outsiders (including deities) not slain on their home plane come back (because reasons). Constructs are one part physical, one part physical.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    (2e bias, btw) IIRC, fiends are just souls; elementals (which "power" most / all golems) are just spirits… which are somehow different things, tied to the outer and inner planes, respectively.

    So, outsiders (including deities) not slain on their home plane come back (because reasons). Constructs are one part physical, one part physical.
    This interpretation opens up a host of other problems then. If golems are physical+physical than the elemental spirits can't be Monads, they have to be Biads, thought whether Spiritus or Corpus I don't know.

    Also, fiends can't be just souls because they have physical bodies. Is there an explanation for that in planescape?
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Imagine a world where a coming of age ceremony involves killing your son five times over. Fun as hell, ain't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeschylus
    Who escapes pain and trouble?
    Who escapes from beginning to end, happy?
    Sorrows either are here now or are coming.
    Time and the gods unfailingly bring them.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Malphegor's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulsutyr View Post
    This interpretation opens up a host of other problems then. If golems are physical+physical than the elemental spirits can't be Monads, they have to be Biads, thought whether Spiritus or Corpus I don't know.

    Also, fiends can't be just souls because they have physical bodies. Is there an explanation for that in planescape?
    Don't fiends work in that weird pre-Socratic monism 'their soul is the same their body' way, which is separate to the more Platonic dualistic distinction between soul and body most creatures have?
    Atomic laser breath!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Spore's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Drakkus, then? From the German Drakken for dragon?
    Drakken is not a German word. Drache would be German. And if you use Lindwurm, you are describing a different creatures.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malphegor View Post
    Don't fiends work in that weird pre-Socratic monism 'their soul is the same their body' way, which is separate to the more Platonic dualistic distinction between soul and body most creatures have?
    I believe they work in that Patrick Swayze sort of way where being a soul doesn't stop them from killing you.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post
    Phylogeny doesn't really work in D&D, as a majority of creatures arise through magic and have no genetic relationship to anything else. Even if we exclude outsiders, fey, elementals, cocaine wizard experiments, polymorph spells, stone-to-flesh sculptures, etc. we're still looking at a wide variety of cases where the local divinities just fiated some species or another into existence. So instead of genetics and heredity, the system should be more of a phenetic approach, where you look at the phenotype (the size, shape, ability, etc.) rather than speculating on the genetics (which most of the creatures-to-be-classified probably don't even have).

    In the phenetic approach, we have four kingdoms:

    Monads, the creatures who have a combined soul/body, as seen in outsiders and elementals and then further divided into the phylums of Inner, Outer, Transitive, Native and Other (based on plane of origin) and then into specific classes like Archon, Baatezu and Genie. Arguably should include petitioners, but since they're distinctly post-mortal, they get put in under Biad Spiritus Divisus instead of as Monads of the appropriate plane.

    Duads, the creatures who have a separable soul/body in the manner of humanoids, giants, abberations, etc. AND who have their souls/bodies currently attached to one another. These would then be divided into phylums and classes according to the pantheon and creator of their most recently created ancestor (ie. most elves would be in Phylum Seldarine, Class Correllon). Upon death, most Duads become some sort of Spirit, often a Petitioner. Despite the name, does not necessarily imply a one to one soul to body ratio - Kalashtar fall under this category, for example.

    Biads, the creatures which are either a body without a soul (constructs, certain corporeal undead, certain warlocks, possibly other things) or which are souls without a body (petitioners ghosts, those unborn souls on the positive energy plane, removed souls). Classified into Corpus (just a body) and Spiritus (just a soul) and into Divisus (for halves of a former Duad) or Innatus (for everything else - constructs, unborn souls, etc.)

    Nonschematia, because the second that you declare your set of categories complete, some annoying mad wizard is going to try to create a living being which is none of a body with or without a soul, a soul with or without a body, a body that is also a soul nor a soul that is also a body. Included in this category are the Unbodied (a psychic entity which contains neither body nor soul), the Caller in Darkness (several souls fused together), Swarms (arguably), defictionalized out-of-schema hypotheticals created using SLAs of Clones/Simulacrums/other similar spells, Shadow Conjurations, Phantom Steeds, certain experimental results using Summon Instrument, Unseen Servants, Dream Larva (briefly and only occasionally), and probably several other daft things that some wizard out there is trying now that they've read about this attempt to classify all life.
    I'm not sure that works, since many of those creatures are more like metamorphoses of others. Like, many monads are the soul of a duad, in your classification, separated from its body. That's like classifying the imagines and nymphs of the same insect in different kingdoms. The same of many undead.

    I'd say we would do best with mostly restricting ourselves to "natural" life, so to speak, and for now not consider the million forms that are metamorphosed life, like most outsiders, undead, templated creatures and so on. Many of them are more like terratogenic forms or diseases anyway.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: You're part of a taxonomic research team in <insert D&D settng here>...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Very good thought. What do you think of the following? I'm trying to see if I can work in outsiders somewhere, I figured they're probably either another Kingdom or Domain at the highest levels.

    I think it gets funkier with stuff like beholders that are vertebrates in so far as they have skulls (okay only a skull) but not spinal cords so they aren't really falling into chordate, but should be vertebrates.

    1. Life: dragons are alive
    2. Domain: Eukaryota - dragons are multicellular
    3. Kingdom: Animalia - dragons aren't plants or fungus
    4. Phylum: Chordata - dragons havespinal cords
    5. Subphyla: Vertebrata - dragons have bones, specifically vertebrae
    6. Class: Thermoreptilia
    7. Order: Magykosauria - magical reptiles, I like the association with dinosauria
    8. Family: Halitos - Sounds like halitosis, but it has to do with breathing in Latin
    9. Genus: Theres - ancient Greek for "monster", specific connotation of big and scary for the chromatics OR Bipneuma for metallic since they have two breath weapons
    10. Species: Bipneuma jinsedae- Gold dragon: Jīnsè is the transliteration of the Chinese word for gold, and gold dragons kind of have a Chinese dragon look to them so it seemed like a good fit.


    So with that in mind, do we think all dragons are the same genus, or even species? I'm inclined to make them all the same species with a bunch of subspecies, but I'm open to thoughts. Metallics and chromatics as different species?

    As a group the metallics are:
    Gold dragon: Bipneuma jinsedae
    Silver dragons: Bipneuma aegisidae
    Copper dragon: Bipneuma comoedus
    Bronze dragon: Bipneuma fulgurum
    Brass dragon: Bipneuma oratio

    And chromatics
    Red dragon: Theres pyrecagia - literally conflagration monster
    White dragon: Theres pagomenos
    Green dragon: Theres dascalos
    Black dragon: Theres necrocephali
    Blue dragon: Theres eremus

    I'm not totally sure I'd classify dragons as endothermic. Their heat is usually thought to be generated from their breath weapon, but that weapon turns off in an area of antimagic (being a Supernatural effect). Then you have the example of the White Dragon, whose Cold breath weapon kind of throws the whole thing off. Maybe call it thaumothermic? Endothaumic?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •