Wandering Monsters: Spawn of Tiamat

Wandering Monsters
Spawn of Tiamat

By James Wyatt

Dragons, you say? Where are they? Today James goes over those fearsome beasties known as chromatic dragons. Come read about them and give us your insights about these terrifying opponents.

Talk about this column here.

Fairest of Them All

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I think Wyatt hit the major notes here.

Personally, I'd like to see the Reds better match up to the Golds in overall power. As they are the iconic dragon foe, perhaps they should also be the "alpha" dragon species.

And seeing as a lot of dragons use camouflage, perhaps the Blues could have lighter coloured undersides to blend into the desert skies.
Fun article. Not much new, and a bit redundant though.

The biggest change I made to dragons in my home game was to make them a higher level challenge. To me dragons should be one of the pinnacle monsters of the Prime Material Plane, not something to be fought and defeated by a party of 4th or 5th level characters, which I have seen many times over the years.

This is Dungeons and Dragons, so I get that people want to beat the most famous monsters in the game. But what I think happens is: Beat a dragon. Now what. 

It is going to be what it s going to be, and by all means people have your fun, but I would prefer if dragonslaying be on the itinerary of a party of 10-20th level characters so that they are not looking to the outer planes for a real fight.
1 square =1 yard = 1 meter. "Fits all playstyles" the obvious choice Orzel is the mayor of Ranger-town. Favored enemies for Rangers
58033128 wrote:
Seems like community isn't going to give up calling mapless "Theatre of the Mind".  In the interest of equal pretentiousness, I'd like to start a motion to refer to map combat as "Tableau Vivant".  


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

I found that article pretty vague...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Fun article. Not much new, and a bit redundant though.

The biggest change I made to dragons in my home game was to make them a higher level challenge. To me dragons should be one of the pinnacle monsters of the Prime Material Plane, not something to be fought and defeated by a party of 4th or 5th level characters, which I have seen many times over the years.



I don't mind having various age groups of dragons allowing lower level characters a shot at young dragons, just so long as the oldest dragons present an appropriate challenge for chacters at least into the mid teens and up.

But I'm also okay if dragons aren't the pinnacle monster on the Prime, but perhaps the pinnacle race of monsters. Unique creatures like the Tarrasque should be able to destroy *any* non-unique dragon. That said, I'd certainly pay for front-row seats to Fyrillicus vs the Tarrasque. Cool



5—I'm running in terror from these awesome dragons. Wink

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Sometimes I wonder dragons are too powerful and clever to not impose a feudal regime to humanoids...

Let´s imagine a young dragon who has left his mother´s lair. He is alone, without hunt zone...what would he do to survive? A option would be using a humanoid shape and infiltrarte in humanoid society, to be for example only a jewel trader (jewels cut by kobold vassals). Some ones would adviser of kings and nobles...
 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Fun article. Not much new, and a bit redundant though.

The biggest change I made to dragons in my home game was to make them a higher level challenge. To me dragons should be one of the pinnacle monsters of the Prime Material Plane, not something to be fought and defeated by a party of 4th or 5th level characters, which I have seen many times over the years.



I don't mind having various age groups of dragons allowing lower level characters a shot at young dragons, just so long as the oldest dragons present an appropriate challenge for chacters at least into the mid teens and up.

But I'm also okay if dragons aren't the pinnacle monster on the Prime, but perhaps the pinnacle race of monsters. Unique creatures like the Tarrasque should be able to destroy *any* non-unique dragon. That said, I'd certainly pay for front-row seats to Fyrillicus vs the Tarrasque.






I would be fine with dragons at any level as a solo type monster. A whole party should quake in fear of a single level appropriate dragon...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Ordinarily I'd be bothered by something like All Dragons Have Automatic Magical Fear Aura, because that's not remotely a real dragon trope at all, much less something that should be a universal, but it's something that's just sort of part of D&D dragons, so whatever.

Aside from that, though, this is the best monster article in a long time. I love that dragons aren't automatically all powerful spellcasters, and I love the focus on their characterizations. Well, two adjectives each, but that's better than nothing. The actual characterizations do make the largely meaningless alignment categories plastered at the top of the article look a little bit like they're past their sell-by date, but any remotely nuanced characterization (even if it's just two adjectives) is going to inevitably do that.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Liked the article

Just one issue

In the desert, it is not Blue dragons vs Brass dragons.

It's Blue vs Brass vs Brown in the desert.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

What about brown, orange, purple, yellow and gray dragons?


* I could bet later or sooner some gamer will wish play a dragon PC...I suposse the solution would be a sourcebook like "Council of Wyrns player handbook". 


* Why dragons don´t rule humanoid kingdoms if they are clever and powerful?  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I personally liked the way chromatics worked in the 4th edition Draconomion more. It wasn't simply chromatic = bad, metallic = good. The dragons also had more interesting personality types I felt.
I agree that reds should match up with golds.

I also wish that blue dragons could be associated with coastlines.  Someone in the comments section of the article suggested that blues should be attracted to wide open expanses.  So they would enjoy the flat expanse of the desert as well as the wide horizon of the coastline (and perhaps even wide open plains like Montana's "big sky").  That way you can keep both desert blue dragons and coastal blue dragons.

I don't think purple, yellow, orange, brown, or grey dragons will be in the initial release.  That will likely have to wait for a Draconomicon supplement. 
I like this description of dragons. The reds seem to be equal only to gold dragons, and possibly mithral dragons if they return. The only problem I have is that I had hoped for gray, brown and purple dragons to return. Those ones were cool, especially the gray/fanged/feral dragons.

EDIT: Also, it sounds like we will be getting some more customization for dragons, especially since they have stated that every dragon should be unique. THis is good. I loved the 4e Draconomicons' customization rules. They made for some memorable fire-breathers (or ice-breathers, or lightning-breathers, etc.)
I like gold being above red. Usually, the metallics have two breath weapons to a chromatics one Giving them a slight edge.  Plus silver I fights with cold, red with fire.  They match up nice.

ive been wondering recently if solo encouters should have a different resolution mechanic to most other encounters.  Dragons would be a neat way to explore that. 
I think red's should be above other's in pure power.  But they are so excessivly savage and arrogant that they will loose due to other factors.  Like a gold fighting with his allies, while the red is fighting on a full stomach.  Or waste his breath attack on a illusion while the blue hides.  Or being goaded into fighting in a rainstorm by a black.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

flightalso flight maneuverability needs to be a factor too.  Some dragons are faster, some can dogfight better, some might be good at both.  In the air, little should challenge a blue.

i could get on board with reds being more physically powerful to a gold.  I do think golds should still be at the top of the pyramid; quite aloof and somewhat removed from other dragons.  Attacking a gold in their eyes could be seen as high blasphemy, rallying any golds in the relative area to lay waste to the attacker and possibly surrounding area.  Golds are lawful good but very big picture lawful good.

i always liked silvers as the hero dragons who interact/ protect/ and possibly lead mortals. 
I like most of the article. But I really want them to pull the blue dragon out of the dessert abd put him back on the mountain tops and storm-wracked seas. I liked how 4E did dragons best and it was that editions take on the dragons that made me love the blue dragons most of all. That and I. Just can't imagine blues burrowing through the sand and poking their head out to peek around.
I don't understand why D&D tends to ommit oriental dragons. They may be sometimes associated with divinity taken from Chinese and Japanese folklore. Even D&D has dragons for gods such as Bahamut and Tiamat. But they are just as deserving to be a part of the game as the chromatic and metal dragons. Oriental dragon are usually at harmony or union with one of the basic world elements (fire, water, air, earth, metal, wood).
Did they add them in oriental adventures?

also, the gold alternate form was that of a Chinese dragon. 
If they leave blues in the desert, then the entry has to mention the awesome draconic gourmet of the brown dragon. No need for an entry in the system at release. But a mention. Sand breath > Other breath.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I think Wyatt hit the major notes here.

Personally, I'd like to see the Reds better match up to the Golds in overall power.

There is no reason not to do this. The 'staggered' tiers across the dragon families really serves no useful purpose.
Sometimes I wonder dragons are too powerful and clever to not impose a feudal regime to humanoids...

Let´s imagine a young dragon who has left his mother´s lair. He is alone, without hunt zone...what would he do to survive? A option would be using a humanoid shape and infiltrarte in humanoid society, to be for example only a jewel trader (jewels cut by kobold vassals). Some ones would adviser of kings and nobles...

That sounds like a perfectly workable plot hook to me.
The king's secretly a dragon! The jeweler is secretly a dragon! The town priest is secretly a dragon! Even that ditch-digger is secretly a dragon!
Someone in the party is a secretly a dragon!
I think Wyatt hit the major notes here.

Personally, I'd like to see the Reds better match up to the Golds in overall power.

There is no reason not to do this. The 'staggered' tiers across the dragon families really serves no useful purpose.



I don't mind having golds more powerful provided they are more rare and few in number.    


The ditch-digger can´t be really a dragon because he was killed and replaced by a changeling impostor and the town priest is a mind-controlled puppet, a thoon infiltrator (monster manual V).

Spoiler: (really it is totally lie, I have just invented it, but it doesn´t matter) noble house Targaryen from Westeros was really dragons. Tongue Out

And the king... really he was human, but he wanted live for centuries and he spent lot of money to become a dragon, like socerer-kings from Arthas....(A uncle of the third cousin of king´s brother-in-law become a great god emperor, a giant sandworn, by means of great ammounts of spice melange from Arrakis). 




 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The one thing I enjoyed most about this article was that dragons will now start as size rating huge.  No more dinky little dragons for my party to be embarrassed to beat into submission.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.


The one thing I enjoyed most about this article was that dragons will now start as size rating huge.  No more dinky little dragons for my party to be embarrassed to beat into submission.



Wait.  So are you telling me this was a fraud!?


 
Did they add them in oriental adventures?

also, the gold alternate form was that of a Chinese dragon. 



The original Gold Dragon was called Draco Orientalis.

As for other dragon types (brown, yellow, purple, chartreuse, etc), I'm sure more will appear, they just want to get the iconic 10 down. 
Don't forget the mauve dragon.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Don't forget the mauve dragon.




One of the most powerful, apparently they run Hollywood.
No Ender dragon, 1/5

Did you know the rainbow dragon was canon? 

 (Dragon Magazine #146, and it was evil)

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Did you know the rainbow dragon was canon? 

 (Dragon Magazine #146, and it was evil)


Pelor help us... IT BURNS! IT BURNS!
The one thing I enjoyed most about this article was that dragons will now start as size rating huge.  No more dinky little dragons for my party to be embarrassed to beat into submission.

I liked 4e's Large+ sizes, but huge is a bit big as the minimum starting size. It means that they'll likely only be suitable for very high level characters.

The majority of players will thus never get to encounter the creature that the game is named after.

... and most of WotC's dragon miniatures are made useless.

Apparently Colossal-sized is coming back.
I liked 4e's Large+ sizes, but huge is a bit big as the minimum starting size. It means that they'll likely only be suitable for very high level characters.



Huge does not necessarily mean high level.
The one thing I enjoyed most about this article was that dragons will now start as size rating huge.  No more dinky little dragons for my party to be embarrassed to beat into submission.

I liked 4e's Large+ sizes, but huge is a bit big as the minimum starting size. It means that they'll likely only be suitable for very high level characters.

The majority of players will thus never get to encounter the creature that the game is named after.

Yeah, this was the only thing that really stood out to me as completely not how I envision dragons.  I really liked how 3E had dragons at every size category from Tiny and up, but I can see why some people might not be afraid of a super-powered intelligent and evil housecat.  I could see the smallest wyrmlings being as large as Medium.  Anything larger than that, though, and I really have to question the size of these eggs.

Also, fifty feet is really, really big. (Also, apparently fifty feet is Huge now?)  That's more in line with what I see for an ancient dragon.  That's ridiculously terrifying already, without quite being Godzilla just yet.  I can buy a dragon who is Godzilla-sized, but that really should be the exception rather than the rule.

The metagame is not the game.