Drawing female Dragonborn: Mamaries or no?

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So Dragonborn are in.

Their scaly, have reptilian qualities and are a player race. How should they be drawn?

Reptiles don't provide milk to their young and Reptiles don't have hair and as such don't come equiped with some of the visual ques humans commonly use do differentiate between genders.

This reminds my of the extreme Difficulty I had in drawing in drawing a female Lizardfolk, she was in what can be called the better moments in my DMing carreer and I felt the desire to draw the scene.

This was strange because I can't draw.

After a lot of tries she just came out as "Boyish" and androgenous her only defining female features being her lack of a crest (which no one who hasn't seen a male Lizardfolk would notice) and wider hips.

I think it would be easier to just draw in mamalian mammaries on the Dragonborn rather then invent and teach a new way of identifying gender.
So Dragonborn are in.

Their scaly, have reptilian qualities and are a player race. How should they be drawn?

Reptiles don't provide milk to their young and Reptiles don't have hair and as such don't come equiped with some of the visual ques humans commonly use do differentiate between genders.

This reminds my of the extreme Difficulty I had in drawing in drawing a female Lizardfolk, she was in what can be called the better moments in my DMing carreer and I felt the desire to draw the scene.

This was strange because I can't draw.

After a lot of tries she just came out as "Boyish" and androgenous her only defining female features being her lack of a crest (which no one who hasn't seen a male Lizardfolk would notice) and wider hips.

I think it would be easier to just draw in mamalian mamaries on the Dragonborn rather then invent and teach a new way of identifying gender.

I disagree, it'd be rediculous, because it makes no sense and the second you give them mammaries they become no more than draconic furries
A dragon's reptilian appearance is only skin deep.

Excluding appearance they are closer to felines than to reptiles.

I would rather see dragonborn looking less like 3.x dragonborn and more like half-dragons. That is, as dragoneque humans. Furry-stigma be damned.
Mammal-based races should have to pass a DC 15 Knowledge (Nature) check to tell the difference between male and female dragonborn.
They almost certainly don't have mammaries, but they probably have fatty bumps in the appropriate areas.
If you do start with a human base and then apply draconic features to every part of the body save the face, chest and stomach, it might look neat and you'd have a dragon looking person with identifiable features...

And as a bonus they could then wear halter tops...
I'd be very pleased if they don't have mammaries. I know D&D isn't based on realism, but mammaries on reptilian-looking critters hurts my suspension of disbelief. :P
I'd be very pleased if they don't have mammaries. I know D&D isn't based on realism, but mammaries on reptilian-looking critters hurts my suspension of disbelief. :P

But humanoids who look like reptiles, but are not, following the gender designators of reptiles doesn't?
Call me a goddarn furry, but i prefer a classic 'human-like dragonbeing' shape. With TWO breasts.
I am pretty sure this sorta guestion will come up so I will go ahead and say it,"Well...do Dragonborn have live young...or lay eggs?" I just see that as not really that important unless you want to know EVERY aspect of yoru race. So maybe Dragonborn females will have a set, that doesn't sound too weird to me when compared to a werid animal like the platapus (a mammal that lays eggs...and males have poisonous spurs).

If they don't I am guess maybe it would be that male dragonborn have larger horns than a female dragonborn, or the males scales would be more ordinate like male birds that use flashy colors to attract a mate while a female dragonborn may have dull colored scales.

Again all speculation.
I am pretty sure this sorta guestion will come up so I will go ahead and say it,"Well...do Dragonborn have live young...or lay eggs?" I just see that as not really that important unless you want to know EVERY aspect of yoru race. So maybe Dragonborn females will have a set, that doesn't sound too weird to me when compared to a werid animal like the platapus (a mammal that lays eggs...and males have poisonous spurs).

Interestingly enough, the platypus lays eggs and makes milk for its young.

If they don't I am guess maybe it would be that male dragonborn have larger horns than a female dragonborn, or the males scales would be more ordinate like male birds that use flashy colors to attract a mate while a female dragonborn may have dull colored scales.

Again all speculation.

For all we know dragonborn could be like drow and trolls, where the females can be distiguished from the males by being noticibly larger.
For all we know dragonborn could be like drow and trolls, where the females can be distiguished from the males by being noticibly larger.



Drow seem to have distinguishable gender traits to me.
Drow seem to have distinguishable gender traits to me.

Well, yes. I was simply pointing out that males of a race having bigger horns or displaying other commonly "masculine" features isnt universal across the board.

Besides, a lot of the drow/elf art over the years has done little to convince me that the males and females usually look any different anyway. ;)
:D I'm sorry, but this seem so silly. It's a good point, but I can't help but laugh.
Besides, a lot of the drow/elf art over the years has done little to convince me that the males and females usually look any different anyway. ;)

Elven androgyny its a fault of the artist, not the fluff.
I remember a very similar thread popping up for the computer games Morrowind and Oblivion's treatment of female Argonians (lizardfolk). I think it would be cool if they were more lizard-like and didn't have breasts; they could differentiate genders instead by crests and colors. It's very possible to draw a flat-chested woman and still make her seem feminine; the artists that rely on breasts and hips as the sole designators of femininity usually draw ugly women. Similarly, I think a decently skilled artist could draw a lizard that looks stereotypically "girly" or "manly" without relying solely on breast and hip size to differentiate the two. I would go for facial structure, coloring, overall body mass, etc.
I remember a very similar thread popping up for the computer games Morrowind and Oblivion's treatment of female Argonians (lizardfolk). I think it would be cool if they were more lizard-like and didn't have breasts; they could differentiate genders instead by crests and colors. It's very possible to draw a flat-chested woman and still make her seem feminine; the artists that rely on breasts and hips as the sole designators of femininity usually draw ugly women. Similarly, I think a decently skilled artist could draw a lizard that looks stereotypically "girly" or "manly" without relying solely on breast and hip size to differentiate the two. I would go for facial structure, coloring, overall body mass, etc.

Then what will differentiate these dragonborn (reptile-looking non reptile humanoids) from lizardfolk (reptile humanoids)?
Personally I would prefer that males and females look pretty much the same. Removes them further from humans. Too many of the races seem to me to be humans with pointed ears (or short).
I like the idea of using the Half-Dragon as a template (art wise) to craft what a Dragonborn looks like. I don't have a problem with Mammary glands. Dragons are NOT reptiles. As has been stated the Platypus lays eggs and breast feeds its young, so why can't a Dragonborn? Also, the addition of Mammary Glands will help differentiate the Dragonborns (especially the Green Ones) from Lizardfolk.
Elven androgyny its a fault of the artist, not the fluff.

Fluff aside, it seems to be a pretty common theme among many artists. Its not like its an isolated situation.

I remember a very similar thread popping up for the computer games Morrowind and Oblivion's treatment of female Argonians (lizardfolk). I think it would be cool if they were more lizard-like and didn't have breasts; they could differentiate genders instead by crests and colors. It's very possible to draw a flat-chested woman and still make her seem feminine; the artists that rely on breasts and hips as the sole designators of femininity usually draw ugly women. Similarly, I think a decently skilled artist could draw a lizard that looks stereotypically "girly" or "manly" without relying solely on breast and hip size to differentiate the two. I would go for facial structure, coloring, overall body mass, etc.

I agree that its quite possible for artists to depict feminine women without breasts but if you take hips away as well youve just removed every traditional biological hint that the form is that of a mature female. Now im not saying that we need every race to have human-like sexual distiguishers, im simplying pointing out that its almost impossible for an aritist to make repilians "girly" without relying on the visual ques that we humans associate with a female body type.
Fluff aside, it seems to be a pretty common theme among many artists. Its not like its an isolated situation.

Thankfully most D&D specific art hasn't really had that problem.
Thankfully most D&D specific art hasn't really had that problem.

I have seen a few picts of drizzt that i thought were female at a glance.
IAs has been stated the Platypus lays eggs and breast feeds its young, so why can't a Dragonborn?

Just because it's fun to talk about platypuses: they don't actually have breasts per se. They have a patch of skin that presents milk. No breast, no teat, just leaky skin. Then again, the platypus is far odder than most fantasy creatures.
Are they actually reptilian? I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere, but it occurs to me that just because something is scaly (especially in fantasy) doesn't necessarily mean it's a reptile. Even if they're described as that, they may not be true reptiles in real-world terms, particularly if other reptilian qualities are also conveniently ignored (such as the problems which being cold blooded would pose for many campaigns).
There's no reason an egg-laying species can't produce milk for its young. It happens in nature with monotreme mammals, and weirder things have been known to happen.

That said, I'd really rather see sexual dimorphism between Dragonborn expressed in some other way than breasts regardless of what phylogenic class you'd place them in. Crested plumes, size differences, different color patterns of scales, etc. I just don't find the reptile/mammal hybridization of appearance to be appealing in terms of something that I'd want to play or have in my game. Like others have said, it reminds me unpleasantly of "furry" art.
I guess what my earlier point should have been is: I'd like dragonborn to be reptiles. If that makes them too similar to lizardfolk then I suppose I really would rather play a lizardperson! :D

In appearance tieflings are very much like "humans with horns and tails" and I would like dragonborn to be more than "humans with scales" in appearance.

Still, all things said and done it will be a very simple matter to merely say in games "ignore the art, I want them to be reptiles" if I still feel the same way with the finished product in hand.
Yeah, I think is a pretty much non-issue. It is interesting to guess what might happen, but, in the end, if you don't like how they look, just say they are different.

My questions is...was there ever any art of female draconians made? Whatever they have, I am down with.
Not that it's actually directly pertinent, but they wouldn't be the first egg-laying warrior race whose females have breasts (assuming they actually meet both of those criteria). Check out Dejah Thoris, or Red Martians in general.
For those who like pointing out that dragons aren't reptiles:

Their muscular as well as being warm blooded is what's described as being more feline than reptile.

They have athletic builds, and are warm blooded, that's it.

Dragons don't breast feed, they have no nipples, + they lay eggs from which emerge fully functional young that don't even require their parent's care.

So regardless of if dragons aren't reptiles, they still don't have anything about them that would imply humanoid versions of them would, or should have mammary glands. In fact it's just the opposite.

Thank you, have a nice day.
Oooh, did I inspire a thread? :evillaugh

Personally, I consider dragons to be like some more modern theories of dinosaurs - being essentially birds with scales instead of feathers. (This also conveniently allows creatures like the couatl with a mix of scales and feathers.)

Drifting more onto the actual topic: Since the 4e dragonborn seem to be an actual humanoid-dragon race rather than some humanoid-dragon crossbreed, ultimately their biology - especially fundamental things like whether they have eggs* or suckle their young - should be very similar to that of dragons. The 3.5E dragonborn got away with (nonfunctional) mammaries as a vestige of their former life - in 4E, dragonborn should only have mammaries if full-blown dragons have mammaries.

Besides, the *ahem* prominence of human mammaries is unusual even among other placental mammals...

On other means of determining sex:

In general sexual dimorphism: In most of the animal kingdom, the females of the species are larger than the male (it's directly advantageous for childbirth and in defending their young), and sometimes to much greater degrees than species where the reverse is true. The exceptions occur when the males of the species compete directly with each other for mates in one fashion or another where size is an issue. So it can go either way... but which way it does go may well say a lot about the inherent assumptions of dragonborn society. (Likewise, to go on a tangent, the way male elves are of the same height and only a little heavier than female elves may say something about theirs.)

Being (presumably) social creatures, one could guess that the males will be competing and hence there'd be evolutionary pressure for them to grow larger... but it could be amusing to see mammalian humanoids making assumptions based on size only to find out they've got everything topsy-turvy...

On Dragonlance draconians: I don't know of any imagery, but from memory of the descriptions the females were shorter, slighter, had wider hips, and stubbier wings. I don't think it went into that much detail on their courtship rituals, but it did certainly seem (strangely enough...) that the 'alphas' were more likely to be successful. In that case, there is also evidence that the female draconians were engineered as noncombat assets rather than frontline troops (consider that female kapak saliva speeds healing rather than being a poison), so this will likely have been a factor in female draconians being smaller than the males.

*Yes, there are reasonably closely-related varieties of snakes where one undergoes live birth while the other lays eggs. However, this form of live birth is quite different to placental mammals - the snake simply carries the eggs (complete with yolks) in its body rather than laying them. The difference is much less than between traditional egg-layers and placental or marsupial mammals.
So Dragonborn are in.

Their scaly, have reptilian qualities and are a player race. How should they be drawn?

Reptiles don't provide milk to their young and Reptiles don't have hair and as such don't come equiped with some of the visual ques humans commonly use do differentiate between genders.

This reminds my of the extreme Difficulty I had in drawing in drawing a female Lizardfolk, she was in what can be called the better moments in my DMing carreer and I felt the desire to draw the scene.

This was strange because I can't draw.

After a lot of tries she just came out as "Boyish" and androgenous her only defining female features being her lack of a crest (which no one who hasn't seen a male Lizardfolk would notice) and wider hips.

I think it would be easier to just draw in mamalian mammaries on the Dragonborn rather then invent and teach a new way of identifying gender.

They could get away with having mammaries if they are actually hybrids of mammal and reptile (just as gryphons are hybrids of mammal and birds). Otherwise no, it would just be silly, and against fluff for something not even part mammal to have something that is a characteristic exclusively of mammals.

Honestly I think lizard people with breasts looks a bit silly anyhow, unless they are overall much more human than reptile in appearance.

Someone mentioned the lizard folk in Oblivion and how their were debates over the issue of their females having breasts, I remember saying that perhaps it was because they were actually both mammal and reptile.

But really, why should races that aren't even related to humans necessarily be easily to tell the gender of? In real life there are many animals which it's hard to tell the gender of, in a lot of cases DNA testing is necessary. It would be interesting to have a really inhuman race which humans would have a really hard time telling the males from the females, or even confuse one for the other.
They could get away with having mammaries if they are actually hybrids of mammal and reptile (just as gryphons are hybrids of mammal and birds). Otherwise no, it would just be silly, and against fluff for something not even part mammal to have something that is a characteristic exclusively of mammals.

Honestly I think lizard people with breasts looks a bit silly anyhow, unless they are overall much more human than reptile in appearance.

Dragons are not... NOT... NOT reptiles. They are unique genetics. They have the mind of a humanoid, musculature of a feline and the layered scales of a snake. Dragons are unique.
Dragons are not... NOT... NOT reptiles. They are unique genetics. They have the mind of a humanoid, musculature of a feline and the layered scales of a snake. Dragons are unique.

I suspect any dragon that heard a humanoid character say they had the inferior mind of a humanoid would be reaching for the ketchup and/or dipping chocolate.

A good-aligned one might not follow through on the implied threat...

:surrender
I find this debate hilarious.
I suspect any dragon that heard a humanoid character say they had the inferior mind of a humanoid would be reaching for the ketchup and/or dipping chocolate.

A good-aligned one might not follow through on the implied threat...

:surrender

Yes, but I be they would take greater offense to being compared to a lizard.
True. They might understand after the fact that comparing their mind to a humanoids may actually have been a clumsy attempt at a compliment, while there's no way they'd take to being called a lizard well...
I don't interpret dragons as being reptiles, personally. I see them as combining features from numerous earthly creatures, as well as some traits that are wholly alien and fantastic. They might have scaly skin, but that doesn't neccesarily make them reptiles.
I figure, if they gave catfolk two breasts instead of six (or is it eight?), they'll give dragonborn two instead of zero. After all, many fantasy artists apparently don't know how to draw a female character fully clad from the waist up, so they'll have to have some cleavage to show off.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

I figure, if they gave catfolk two breasts instead of six (or is it eight?), they'll give dragonborn two instead of zero.

Between 7 and 11, odd numbers only, just like dogs.

Wait, do dogs go up to 13?
Vote for no cleavage.
My guess: Dragonblod females will look like human females with scales. Until now allmost every mainstream depiction of the females of a somewhat humanoid race in any mainstream publication looked like human females with some skin texture. They would risk too much if they would depart from that aproach, no matter how silly it is if you try to apply a little biology.
Ceterum censeo scrinium puniceum esse delendam