1. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Dragon Riders?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Ritrezer, Apr 28, 2014.

    So, my work is basically Dragon Riders in our modern world, with Sci-Fi elements, a li'l romance, mystery etc. What do you think of the concept/ idea? Is there anything in particular I should keep in mind? And are there any Do's or Don't's in this kind of thing? I'm not very knowledgeable about it, so any ideas/tips/suggestions?
    Help is appreciated. :)

    P.S- I have only ever read one series with People riding dragons, and that was Medieval fantasy with beating down the "empire" in the Lotr type setting story. (Inheritance Cycle, it's actually pretty good).
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    When you say "Dragon Riders", are you referring to the stories written by Anne McCaffrey, or... something else possibly from the gaming world?
     
  3. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    People who rider Dragons- thus Dragon Riders. I haven't read Anne McCaffrey's work though.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, understood. :) When you put the words with capital letters, I assumed it to be a proper noun (a name) not a general term. ;) Well then, my advice would be to pick up one of McCaffrey's early Pern novels. They are novellas by today's standards, thus a quick read. Her world is not techie or modern, but she handles the trope of dragons living and working with people in a manner that is decidedly un-fantasy in that there is no magic, at all. She creates the setting and world as close to "what if dragons were really real*" as possible, even though the setting is a bit 16th - 17th century-esque.

    ETA: * as in, not Smaug.
     
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  5. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Alright, thanks. :) Will make sure to do so, although my work will have a good amount of magic. :p
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Modern world? Would you be able to get your dragons certified as airworthy? Who would be responsible when a dragon takes a poop when flying over the city?
     
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  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Would the Air Force hate them, or recruit them? (seriously, no snark)
     
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  8. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    There was a cartoon about the masculine Skydancers toys. I think it was called Dragonflyz and it was post-apocalyptic but also futuristic.

    There are a few questions to answer, like why they use dragons instead of helicopters. What purpose do the dragons serve, and why haven't they been replaced? Have dragons always existed, or did they come from somewhere?

    Are the dragons permanently bonded with their handlers, or is it a manner of training? (I remember a Pern book where they had to make riders team with other dragons because some riders were too unhealthy to ride and the healthy riders had wounded dragons.)
     
  9. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    That reminds me of a story about a griffon. He was born to a family of wizards, and transformed into a griffon a few hours after birth because of some weird heredity related to his uncle. He actually had to get both a pilot's license and aircraft certification.
     
  10. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Well, first of all The Riders exist in secret, few people can even see Dragons because of a spell that was put on. Long Story. Haha, the Dragon's are a very intelligent species and don't really do that, they do their pooping properly- though I have yet to invent Dragon bathrooms. :p

    If they could be seen, the Air force would definitely try to recruit them but then a Dragon does whatever it wants, it can't exactly be controlled like a hound, so the Air Force would fail. And then, yes- they would certainly hate them, because the Dragons will play some sort of prank just because they tried to put them under a leash.

    Oh, never knew that. And yup- ton's of questions. The story takes place in our world, our very own world- just that The Dragon's, Riders, Magic- it's all been there- most of us can't see it. The Dragon Riders are unlike usual fantasy, more like Partners, it's not just sit on a Dragon and go- "Fly, you beast, Fly." type of thing. And my Dragons can shape-shift and alter their size, so the people won't always be riding them. The Dragon's came long ago from another Dimension. Again, Long Story. Dragon's Permanently bond to one single rider, but yes that doesn't mean one rider can't ride another's dragon.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first thought here is that McCaffrey's work is so well known that it seems possible that she may have the word/phrase "dragonriders" trademarked. If you're hoping to be published, it may be worth checking on this, so that if you need to use a different phrase, you know that early.
     
  12. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously though, the skies are so crowded these days, the biggest problem would be the risk of collision or injury from jet engines or rotors. The other risk would be the logistics, especially feeding them. The authorities are so nosy about large scale purchases of anything, and if any do-gooders like PETA ever found out you would have protesters all over the place.
     
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  13. Daba
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    Daba Member

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    @Ritrezer
    Dragons in modern world, facing all modern world challenges, of which only a few were mentioned in this thread, could be a story with a potential to be original and perhaps even unique. But you choose to use magic to bypass all those challenges and turn it into a generic dragon story that probably doesn't even need to be placed in a modern setting. Why? Why not face those challenges head on and try to create something different?

    Rise brilliantly or fail miserably ;)
     
  14. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Actually this is a 5-book story, and at the end, this all changes and Dragons have to cope in the normal world whist all the humans realize their presence. Etc. That would be the final ending. Though, your point is quite valid, perhaps I should tweak a few things. I'll see. :)
     
  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds cool :) I mean, we ride horses even though we have cars, so some people could totally ride dragons, either for funzies or if they were like the Amish and refused to use modern vehicles. Dragons are pretty green too, so dragon owners -- after no longer a secret -- would get tax reliefs for using dragons. They could sell their poop to be made into something akin to petrol/gasoline or for gardeners as manure.

    Are these dragons bigger than elephants? The size might be a bit of a problem. Also, is it expensive to feed a dragon?
     
  16. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    They can grow up to massive sizes, but rarely do- nearly always going up till the size of a house at max, and the size of a car is much more common. But they can shape-shift as well as alter their size, so all the problems size might pose are handled. Not really, dragons eat fish. And with some advanced science, you can mass produce fish. Like multiple clones made to be eaten or something. :p Otherwise, they love cabbages and tomatoes.

    And yeah, the poop usage ideas are pretty neat- that could very well be done. I haven't put a lot of thought into the aftermath though, but so many interesting things that can happen. :D
     
  17. Melanippe
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    Ok, so you called the dragons and humans partners. Why? What do the dragons get out of this? The humans get all sorts of benefits, like a giant flame-breathing air-tank to ride on.

    You said you read the Inheritance Cycle, and good job, those things were monsters. But in those books, Eragon is rather useless up on his dragon's back. A rider would limit the dragons capability to fly (have be be careful they don't fall off) and would be a huge liability in any sort of combat. Dragons are relatively armored, while humans are not. Assuming dragons are larger, it wouldn't be that hard to pick a human off from their lofty perch.
    Plus, what would the humans be doing up there? Swordplay is out, because I am assuming that the wings would get in the way and that would also limit the use of projectile weaponry (arrow, bow, gun…) Magic might work, but you not just hang back and shoot fireballs while your dragon does the melee combat?

    This is assuming there is dragon-combat, but what dragon story doesn't have dragon-combat?

    Who would be the 'leader' in the partnership? The human? Or would the dragon be calling the shots? 'Casue if I were a giant, intelligent lizard, I assure you, the human would be around only for his/her opposable thumbs. Occasionally I might even deign to let the squishy human be on my back as I fly.

    Keep in mind that there is likely to be a lot of fear/justifiable wariness in the people who know about dragons but aren't particularly close to them. You have huge, heavily-armoured, potentially man eating, fire-breathing lizards flying around. This would send a great deal of people's blood pressure shooting through the roof. Mine included. Even potentially, other 'magic' races.

    And then there would be the people who want to try big game hunting and see if they could make it as the next St. George. Seriously, if there were actually dragons (regardless of intelligence) there would be select group of people who want to try a dragon-steak. Mmmm. Steak.

    You also mentioned that this would be an eventual reveal story. So, why haven't the dragon/human groups held out this long? Why now, if they have been managing to hide so far? Why change?
     
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  18. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    As I said, most of the thing is a Long story. I have worked on myths, legends and histories for my work. So I'll try to put it briefly. When dragons first came, there were people willing for peace and ones who wanted to fight. The dragons being a peaceful species in general, weren't so and wanted peace so they immediately sought for peace with the humans willing for it. Thus, the partnership was established. The Dragons preferred not to fight, but however did when it was a must. The dragons strictly speaking got stuck in our world, thus they had to do it, for peace's sake.

    And my dragons are quite different usually staying the size of birds and altering their size, and shape-shifting etc. They're a whole different type. The Aerial Dragon Battles happen yes, but otherwise Dragons and Riders fight alongside each other. And my series isn't so battle-themed, after all we don't do a ton of things we do because of our physical capabilities.

    When a Dragon and Rider come together, they are much stronger than they would be alone. And the Riders don't fly on dragons for long hours, rather Riders travel with dragons in advanced flying pods/ships. They work in teams of 3/4 riders a pod etc. There is no leader, both learn to work together as partners and comrades, as true friends.

    Haha, yeah I do have one or two things you've mentioned in there, like the wariness of certain people for instance. :p

    And they don't reveal deliberately, it's all because of what happens in the Finale, the Villain's actions cause it.
     
  19. Melanippe
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    Melanippe New Member

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    Huh. Cool. Way more SciFy then I was expecting.

    My only question, do the dragons have any real weakness? As far as I can see, they are blessed with all the awesome that comes with being a dragon, plus shape shifting, and they're a peaceful, good people. Where are your societal conflicts? Low birth rates, lack of morality, disrespect for the elders of the race… what makes the dragons not perfect? Tempers, maybe?

    Also, you said in the backstory that dragons are peaceful, mostly. Why? Why had this mindset developed among their race? Is there a splinter group that is more violent?
     
  20. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    I have yet to devise something, but I am pretty sure there will be a weakness, or some substance that dragons despise/are not fond of. And don't get the wrong idea, Dragons are peaceful yes, but that doesn't mean they do peaceful wise-speak. They are fun-driven, natural pranksters at heart, they love jests, riddles, puzzles and mysteries and jokes.

    They all possess unique behaviors much like us humans, they have strong sense of morals, honor, justice, huge pride and ego, but a love for nature and an open mind to things. They also happen to be pretty stubborn and strong-willed, as well as independent. The dragons possess a strong love for shiny things, the prominent being gold.

    And dragons weren't the only ones that got stuck there are a multitude of other beings, Goblins and Gargoyles for instance. I haven't seen Gargoyles used before in any fantasy work(At least from what I've read) And thus, there are conflicts between races, poverty depicted among few, inequality, a little discrimination, etc

    The Dragons don't come from our world, and are from a very different world, a much more advanced civilization. And there, Peace has existed for more than a thousand years. But as I said, the dragons aren't the only beings from the world. And only few beings of each species came over, and after all this time. They have grown in numbers by a LOT.
     
  21. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I would like to point out the cartoon series Gargoyles.

    I'm reminded of a story I used to work on. Basically the world gained magic enough that otherkin would physically manifest their souls; dragons and furries became real. Dragons tended to get jobs with emergency services or replace machinery with their strength. Dragons needed handlers because their telepathy was considered invasive.

    Pern annoyed me until I realized that the rider was there to feed firestone to the dragon mid-flight. Otherwise they should have stayed on the ground during thread and been there for moral support between patrols. (Pernese dragons are senile, and need humans to stabilize their memory problems.)
     
  22. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    I meant no work in literature and writing. :p And I loved that TV show, I thoroughly enjoyed it, that was where I drew inspiration from for my Gargoyles in the 1st place.

    Oh, that's quite an odd story. Sort of reminds me of a Ray Bradbury book, Fahrenheit 451 for some unknown reason.

    I have no clue about Pern, but the concept sounds a little too science-based for my taste. Something like Star Wars is much more to my tastes, it isn't too science based, and makes use of other themes etc. And the Dragons are Senile! :eek: Aren't there any good young ones with no such issues?
     
  23. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The dragons are invisible because of a spell put on them - that does not mean they are not PHYSICAL. So how is it that a plane hasn't collided with a dragon yet? (or birds, or gliders, or hot air balloons) How is it that military radar, satellite and etc haven't detected unseen presences around the sky?

    And what about dragon bodies? They can't all die naturally where they have time to seek out a dignified and quiet place to disappear. Accidents happen. Do they just vanish? Does the spell stay on them even though they're dead? (and wouldn't people bump into them?)

    And I'm gonna go ahead and assume these dragon riders also become invisible when they touch a dragon...? Else you'll have flying people.
     
  24. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I think I read it in the DragonLover's Guide to Pern that the genetic engineers sacrificed the dragon's ability to form memory so that they would have stronger telepathy. Part of the Rider's job was to gently remind them of important things. The good part is that with damaged ability to remember things, the dragons couldn't get PTSD, or I guess it might have been "shell shock" when they were first thought of.
     
  25. Ritrezer
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    Actually, because Riders rarely travel on Dragon-back. They usually only travel on their pods, which have advanced tracking and monitoring systems, as well as stealth abilities. When such pods did not exist, and Riders always flew on Dragon back, they can always move out of the course. The on-lookers no matter what they saw- the memory and the sights would only remain in their memory for so long. After a while, they'd forget it, as if nothing happened- and even if they did not who would believe them?

    The Riders are way ahead with their Tech than ordinary people, so they always one-up us and just simply, do whatever they can to be unseen. Like possessing control of the satellite readings etc, and making modifications so that certain things are not captured etc.

    I've always imagined that the Dragon would most likely turn to ash after a certain amount of hours, and If an accident happens- usually the Rider Disposal Team would come in to handle it. And mind you, they're fast.

    The dragons still remain invisible after death yes. Yes, they would see a flying human, they don't just turn invisible through touching a dragon. There is at least one Rider per town/city, as they are divided that way and assigned to a particular area. So they along with the Disposal Squad will handle it, if any one happens to see things they shouldn't. Ordinarily the memories are automatically warped or gone after a while, but for safety the squad does it themselves.
     

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