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Old Oct 11 2014, 12:11 AM   #1
CuriousFlit
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Egg A crazy idea...

So... I've recently discovered the internet phenomenon known as Minecraft. After seeing all of the amazing stuff other people create with it, and being reminded of Pern via a "dragon riding" mod someone made, I noticed that nobody has ever done anything about Pern for Minecraft. An then I rediscovered my love for Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern, and wishing that the game had been better finished, or even better, updated, and with a sequel if possible.

Cue crazy idea. Try and recreate Pern in Minecraft. The environment, the flora and fauna, the weyrs and holds, the whole works.

I decided, hey why not try and do something about that myself? Learning how to mod has already got me re-interested in math and computer coding (and I can't stand math, so that's saying something!). So now I'm looking up everything on Pern I can find, and I even got the DLG and the Atlas.

I had no idea how over my head this would be...

Oh, the coding I can figure out well enough. And textures and modeling will take some time, but I'm relatively good at art. It's just that there's so MUCH. I'm not sure where to even start with this project. It's the maps that seem to be the hardest for me at the moment. I'm no good with maps.

For example: I found a program called "worldpainter" that will help me draw out Pern's landmasses, and even add the known features (mountains, different climate areas, trees, caves, etc.) to them and then export it as a Minecraft world that I can add more things to later (buildings, animals, and such). But I'm having a big problem with telling how tall everything is, because the closest thing we get to a Pern height map are those little bars along the bottoms of the big regional maps in the Atlas. The ones that compare land heights and sea level. But I have no idea what the numbers for those measurements are.

I also have no idea what time period to set this in. I have in mind a story to go along with this project, optional to play if I can make it that way. A lone scout comes to Pern out of curiosity as to why the Rukbat system was quarantined, and finds themselves stranded after their ship crashes.

So what do you guys think? Too crazy to work? Or just crazy enough? Or just plain crazy? Want to help? I could use it.
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Old Oct 11 2014, 12:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: A crazy idea...

You've set yourself quite a task there and I look forward to the results. Best of luck. I can't make any helpful suggestions but if encouragement is any help, you have loads from me.

(because it's cute)

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Old Oct 11 2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: A crazy idea...

I'm not so sure about the figures in the atlas anyway. The Red Bute scales off at about 8000 ft (2,440 m) and the height (given the stated exageration of 5:1) is only 500 ft (152 m) which does not seem nearly rugged enough.
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Old Oct 11 2014, 10:01 PM   #4
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How did you get 500ft out of that? I got 1600ft.
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Old Oct 12 2014, 04:34 AM   #5
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a) measuring from the rough level of surounding land not from the bottom of the intruding magma.

b) dividing my measurement by 5: the map diagram says vertical exageration 1:5.
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Old Oct 12 2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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a) measuring from the rough level of surounding land not from the bottom of the intruding magma.

b) dividing my measurement by 5: the map diagram says vertical exageration 1:5.
I'm sorry, but I'm still confused. Unless I'm doing the math wrong, which is pretty likely, I keep getting 8000ft / 5 = 1600. And 500ft * 5 = 2500, which is nowhere near 8000. Am I missing something?

On another note, is it just me, or does Pern seem to not have very many roads according to the Atlas maps. Do they use the rivers to travel too? I'm also trying to see if I can figure out the paths of the Runner traces and stations. In Runner of Pern, it mentions that the big station at Fort Hold is number 300- which is weird when you take into account it also says that Fort started the craft... So there are at least 300 of those stations on the Northern Continent.

And from the locations various runners come from throughout the story, I think we can safely conclude that there is a station at each major Hold and Weyr. Since runners are basically the Pernese version of a postal service, would it make sense for there to be a station at each minor hold too, or at least at trace "crossroads"? How far would they be able to run between stations? There are shelters, "holts", for Thread, but those sound pretty much like nothing more than metal booths.

It also says in the story that runner traces always go in a straight line when possible, with the exception we see being the long curve around rocks where Tenna gets knocked into the sticklebush. Thoughts?
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Old Oct 13 2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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I'm not sure runners (a late invention) really work all that well as a Pern concept. One reason you don't see a lot of roads on the Northern Continent is it's an awful lot of mountains and shield rock. Roads don't go well there, even when you don't periodically have to worry about finding shelter from death spores falling from the sky. Then you have places like the marshes in Nerat and I believe parts of Igen, the Igen desert, the Keroon plains, none of which lend themselves to lots of ground traffic.
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Old Oct 14 2014, 12:32 AM   #8
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I'm not sure runners (a late invention) really work all that well as a Pern concept. One reason you don't see a lot of roads on the Northern Continent is it's an awful lot of mountains and shield rock. Roads don't go well there, even when you don't periodically have to worry about finding shelter from death spores falling from the sky. Then you have places like the marshes in Nerat and I believe parts of Igen, the Igen desert, the Keroon plains, none of which lend themselves to lots of ground traffic.
That seems to to make sense, about the lack of roads. That would also explain the mention I found of traders lining their wagon wheels with metal, though I can't remember which book that was in. Runner traces are lined with a type of moss, and they seem smaller than a typical road, so they might have been easier to put down than roads. But as to the runners being a late addition to the series, I just ran a google search through the books, and mention of them seems to begin as early back as the original dragonrider trilogy. Dragonquest, if I'm remembering this page right.

http://books.google.com/books?id=X_u...unners&f=false
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Old Oct 15 2014, 12:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: A crazy idea...

But does she mean runner-horses or runner-guild?

Anyway, I disagree with Anareth even though the message-runners have also never made complete sense to me. I just object because by necessity, Pern must have an excellent road system even if we never see evidence of it. You can't run a quarterly drove across half a continent, or move troops at the speed implied in Dragonflight, unless Pern has some kind of well-maintained road system.

Whatever we think of their tech level, their economy is continental in scope with goods moving from Harper at Fort to Igen with regularity, and almost always without the aid of dragons and riders. Aside from dragonriders holding trading as below their dignity, dragons who go between certainly aren't ferrying glass jars of pickled peppers from one side of the planet to the other on a regular basis.
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Old Oct 15 2014, 07:30 AM   #10
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Sounds like quite a project!

It's quite an undertaking when trying to recreate something accurately and in detail, have been working on a single building for quite a while now!
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Old Oct 15 2014, 04:59 PM   #11
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But does she mean runner-horses or runner-guild?
She means both, but you have to look at the context the word is used in to know which one she's talking about.

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Originally Posted by skywaterblue View Post
Anyway, I disagree with Anareth even though the message-runners have also never made complete sense to me. I just object because by necessity, Pern must have an excellent road system even if we never see evidence of it. You can't run a quarterly drove across half a continent, or move troops at the speed implied in Dragonflight, unless Pern has some kind of well-maintained road system.

Whatever we think of their tech level, their economy is continental in scope with goods moving from Harper at Fort to Igen with regularity, and almost always without the aid of dragons and riders. Aside from dragonriders holding trading as below their dignity, dragons who go between certainly aren't ferrying glass jars of pickled peppers from one side of the planet to the other on a regular basis.
Huh... good points... I'm currently reading through my copy of the Atlas, and in the location descriptions, it does seem to list roads that aren't shown on the map. Will let you guys know when I find out more.
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Old Oct 15 2014, 05:07 PM   #12
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On another topic, (yes, I'm going to be switching topics here to get as much info as possible) I heard that Master Archivist Hans has a list of Pern's flora and its uses, but I'm having trouble finding that. Could I please have a link?
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Old Oct 17 2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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Try here ... http://http://www.pern.nl/pe/pe_covered_2.html

... and go to the Pern Encyclopedia. Click on "Links" About the 8th on the list is "All the Plants of Pern".
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Old Oct 17 2014, 06:05 PM   #14
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Try here ... http://http://www.pern.nl/pe/pe_covered_2.html

... and go to the Pern Encyclopedia. Click on "Links" About the 8th on the list is "All the Plants of Pern".
Is this it? http://www.angelfire.com/on2/menai/pernplants.html#ToC
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Old Oct 18 2014, 12:36 AM   #15
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Yup
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Old Oct 19 2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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I'm glad that list by Becki Stacy alias Menai is still up. I'm pretty sure it was there before my website and the predecessor of the Perm Museum and Archives went up in 1999!
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Old Oct 26 2014, 01:13 PM   #17
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Yup
Thanks!
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Old Oct 26 2014, 10:29 PM   #18
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That seems to to make sense, about the lack of roads. That would also explain the mention I found of traders lining their wagon wheels with metal, though I can't remember which book that was in. Runner traces are lined with a type of moss, and they seem smaller than a typical road, so they might have been easier to put down than roads. But as to the runners being a late addition to the series, I just ran a google search through the books, and mention of them seems to begin as early back as the original dragonrider trilogy. Dragonquest, if I'm remembering this page right.

http://books.google.com/books?id=X_u...unners&f=false
That's not a person who runs as some separate craft. He seems to be some sort of employee/holder (the mention of Meron trying to 'hire him away') and he's verbally lumped with 'the forest men.' Which makes more sense than a cross-Pern foot-powered pony express; within holds they'd need a way to communicate that didn't rely on dragons, firelizards, and drum codes--if the holdings of one Lord are spaced out, you'd need some way to get messages to and from the main hold to work areas. (Why some holds wouldn't use runners, ie the animal, now...) Running from, say, Ruatha to High Reaches would be implausible enough. Running from Benden to anywhere in the West would be borderline impossible, at least in a time frame that makes any message sent by that route even remotely current. That's also ignoring weather issues (humans jogging would be okay in the North in spring. Winter would kinda suck.)
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Old Nov 3 2014, 02:01 PM   #19
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That's not a person who runs as some separate craft. He seems to be some sort of employee/holder (the mention of Meron trying to 'hire him away') and he's verbally lumped with 'the forest men.' Which makes more sense than a cross-Pern foot-powered pony express; within holds they'd need a way to communicate that didn't rely on dragons, firelizards, and drum codes--if the holdings of one Lord are spaced out, you'd need some way to get messages to and from the main hold to work areas. (Why some holds wouldn't use runners, ie the animal, now...) Running from, say, Ruatha to High Reaches would be implausible enough. Running from Benden to anywhere in the West would be borderline impossible, at least in a time frame that makes any message sent by that route even remotely current. That's also ignoring weather issues (humans jogging would be okay in the North in spring. Winter would kinda suck.)
Oh. Thanks for clearing that up. As for why some holds don't use runnerbeasts, apparently they're expensive, so only the major/wealthy holds use them as messengers. I can't remember the exact quote right now, but I did see a reference to that somewhere...
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Old Jun 29 2015, 10:56 PM   #20
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Found some info on Runners (the people, not horses):

http://www.dragonridersclub.com/drma...g.html#runners

Quote:
REGARDING RUNNERS

"The Runners (from the Runners of Pern in Legends, Tor books) are really the first Crafthall on Pern - since people were trained to run messages of importance. from the very beginning. I do mention 'runners' sending word from a Thread burrow to the Hold. As Pern spread out, their facilities expanded, too, into some traditions which I elucidated in the short story. They don't have a Craft Hall per se, and candidates other than family (though it's the genetic traits they are fostering rather than family) are certainly welcome if they are long-distance runners, or even sprinters. But long distance runners are preferred. They do have Apprentice, Journeymen/women, but Stationmasters are usually retired runners, or ones who have been injured beyond returning to duty. I think you can pickup some other facts from the story and then what I posited in SoP. (Glad you liked it after all the nearly spoilers you were treated to.)

"Each station covers a certain territory, supplying runners, collecting messages and keeping the runner traces operational. (Theyuse a bouncy, cinder/sand/shavings mix, springy but with good drainage. Who needs to slug through mud) And maintain small shelters against Threadfall and dire storms. "Crossing" obviously means how many times one has run across the entire continent. (I myself was a sprinter - 100 yard dash - but my brothers competed for their universities as long distance runners. Our father taught us how to run properly so I really fear for those ladies jogging on the hard tarmacdam and ruining their feet while looking as pained as can be from what should be a pleasurable workout.) That is also why I had the runner traces made with proper footing for all weathers.

"Does that help? Ciao now and thanks for your particular interest."

--from Anne McCaffrey in response to an email from DragonRiders member Lynn Tuer, received 30-May-2001
Odd though that she says the traces are cinder/sand/shavings mix when in the story it's clearly stated as a moss. Or would that be what they'd grow the moss on top of?
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Old Jul 3 2015, 04:10 PM   #21
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Found some info on Runners (the people, not horses):

http://www.dragonridersclub.com/drma...g.html#runners

Odd though that she says the traces are cinder/sand/shavings mix when in the story it's clearly stated as a moss. Or would that be what they'd grow the moss on top of?
Nice find, well they did that they would have rock the one trace that Mallum http://pern.srellim.org/cast/runner1.htm, when he got a stone bruise, from the trace he was running.
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Old Aug 22 2015, 12:21 PM   #22
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I ending up hunting for this Thread

I was listening to the Runner of Pern, and the color was orange, could this be the color of the rank cords?

History and Tradition
Also they have a way to show within rank of the runners the stations.
There runner belt, covered with stitches.

"Word of Mouth", not haven't travel on it. 'Footing', running it them self.

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Old Aug 22 2015, 01:17 PM   #23
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Thanks! Every little bit helps.
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Old Dec 3 2015, 03:55 PM   #24
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Well, I'm still working on my project, and I've made some progress. If I'm doing the math right, dragons are half as tall at the withers as their total body length (including tail).

So, for example if Ramoth were forty five feet long, than she's 22.5 feet tall at the withers.

Likewise, if Ruth is twnety feet long like in the DLG, than he's ten feet tall at the withers.

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Old Dec 3 2015, 08:15 PM   #25
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Are we getting into that controversy about dragons being measured in feet or metres again? With all those scenes where riders leap onto their dragons' necks or backs, even Ruth would be unreachable at 3 metres/10 feet, and Lessa would need a rope ladder to get on board Ramoth.
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Old Dec 3 2015, 09:12 PM   #26
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Are we getting into that controversy about dragons being measured in feet or metres again? With all those scenes where riders leap onto their dragons' necks or backs, even Ruth would be unreachable at 3 metres/10 feet, and Lessa would need a rope ladder to get on board Ramoth.
No, I'm not starting up THAT again. I'm just letting you guys know how the project is going. I'm modeling the dragons for Minecraft. First I'll do them in feet, then I'll do them again in meters. That way both sides are happy. As for ladders, in the DLG it shows that the riding straps have handholds sewn into the parts that circle the dragon's neck, so they can double as "ladders".
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Old Dec 3 2015, 09:49 PM   #27
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As for how I got that measurement, it was from the Dragon Lover's Guide, in the paragraph about the 1st generation dragons. Two measurements are listed. The biggest being 12 feet long and 18 hands high, and another measured at 10 feet long and 16 hands high. Since "hands" are how horses are measured, and that measurement is made at their withers, then it would make sense that the dragons were being measured at the withers as well.

So all I did was convert the hands into inches, and then into feet, and it came out as half the dragon's total length respectively. The 12 foot long came out as 6 feet high at the withers, and the 10 foot long came out as 5.3 feet tall at the withers. So I figured the 9th Pass dragons would follow the same body proportions.

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Old Dec 7 2015, 09:41 PM   #28
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I have to wonder at the original intent of the size, because for a modern riding horse, yes, 18hh is 6' at the withers and almost no one can just leap up. Or even mount from the ground (my horse is 15.3 and I, at 5'3" can't raise my left leg high enough to reach the stirrup, which is hanging about 1 1/2' lower than the withers, and still be able to spring off my right foot.) The dragons can crouch, though, which would put a 12' long, 6' high animal in easy bounding reach, but if Ramoth is even only twice that, Lessa would need, as mentioned, a rope ladder even allowing for her crouching down and reducing it by half. An 18hh dragon could conceivably crouch down far enough it's only 3' off the ground. If Ramoth is 22.5 feet (about 70hh!) at MOST she could probably get down so her withers were 10' off the ground. Set aside even mounting, bathing would be an all-day job. And putting on harnesses and strapping things (like tanks) to them? Yikes.
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Old Dec 8 2015, 01:45 AM   #29
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When Todd was asked about that (namely which measurement was correct, meters or feet) he answered that the dragons shrank a little from Dragonflight to later books. Because Anne wanted to make them huge and impressive, but then she realized just how much work would have to go into caring for such a big animal. So she scales them down a little. As for mounting, it shows in the Dragon Lover's Guide that the riding straps have hand holds so they can be used as a ladder. I'll find the picture of it tomorrow. For now I'm off to bed...
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Old Dec 8 2015, 05:41 AM   #30
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Don't I remember dragons making a step out of their front leg to aid their riders in getting up?
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Old Dec 8 2015, 12:08 PM   #31
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Don't I remember dragons making a step out of their front leg to aid their riders in getting up?
They do, and then the riders vault (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vault_%28gymnastics%29 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vault_...an_movement%29) up the rest of the way, but for everybody else who can't do that trick, they can use the riding straps as a ladder to climb the rest of the way from the dragon's front leg. Here's the picture of them from the Dragon Lover's Guide to Pern. Each one of those black vertical marks on the straps is a handhold:

http://www.angelfire.com/rpg/Klari/ista/straps.html

Here's how they showed the riders mounting in the video game Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern, with the main character's bronze dragon being 40 feet long (at about the 2:00 mark):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDL1...1F51BB21001CCB

Last edited by CuriousFlit; Dec 8 2015 at 12:43 PM.
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Old Dec 10 2015, 06:47 PM   #32
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Don't I remember dragons making a step out of their front leg to aid their riders in getting up?
Yep, Sean Connell, was first, and that how it started, I recall listen/Reading to Moreta in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, was check her queen's straps, and wing's and hide, before Fall. The cold of between eat them, so they change them.. like what happen to Jaxom during the fall in All the Weyrs of Pern.

Thanks for the note.
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Old Dec 11 2015, 01:01 PM   #33
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I always pictured the dragons raising the paw high enough to give the rider enough of a boost so he could grab the straps and haul himself the rest of the way.

The dragon shown in the game has the rider standing on his forepaw and then raises the forearm to shoulder-height so the rider can walk onto his neck. A bit like an elevator! Might be the only way they could manage it with the computer graphics of the time.

With the big modern dragons, the simplest way would be to step down on them from a ledge, if available.
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Old Dec 13 2015, 08:18 PM   #34
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How wide around would the point of the neck/shoulders where riders sit be?
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Old Dec 14 2015, 04:37 PM   #35
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How wide around would the point of the neck/shoulders where riders sit be?
That's one of the measurements I'm trying to figure out. I can get how wide the shoulder area is by subtracting the sum of both wing lengths from the total wingspan length. For the neck itself I'm going by horse prepositions, given the shape of their head and that Anne seems to have based the dragons at least partially on horses.

Here's what I've got for Ruth and Ramoth:

dragon total wingspan = total length * 1.665
dragon total wingspan = 1 2/3 total length
each wing = total length * 0.75
each wing = 3/4 total length
shoulder width = total wingspan - sum of both wing lengths

Ramoth: each wing = 33.75 ft
total wingspan = 74.925 ft
shoulder width = 7.425 ft

Ruth: each wing = 15ft
total wingspan = 33.3ft
shoulder width = 3.3ft

Since I'm modeling them in Minecraft, it was easiest to base them (head and neck wise anyway) off the model of Minecraft's horses. But since they'll be all blocky in shape and Minecraft's horses are based on a stocky breed, I'm not sure how much that will throw the measurements off. Still working on those results...
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Old Dec 15 2015, 11:45 PM   #36
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Thing is, you don't sit on a horse's neck (you'd hurt them; you sit behind the withers on the forward part of the horse's back-there's actually a pretty narrow range where you can go without stressing the spine unfairly) but even so, one thing that's always an issue is how much of your leg the barrel takes up. It's very, very hard to sit easily on an 18hh wide-barreled horse if you're short-legged. It's almost impossible on a really hefty draft horse to sit comfortably and the bigger around the barrel they get the harder it is to stay on at all at anything other than a standstill. Basically your legs are being shoved farther and farther apart and you reach a point where you cannot wrap them down, it's just not mechanically possible. I'm trying to image how something at the maximum potential size range could be sat on in a straddled seat rather than side-saddle, cross-legged or kneeling.
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Old Dec 16 2015, 11:00 AM   #37
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Speaking of horses, what does it mean when a horse has a "deep barrel"? In DD, when Sean's Dragon is compared to his horse, the Dragon is said to be "longer in body and deeper in barrel". I'm having trouble picturing that.
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Old Dec 17 2015, 11:55 AM   #38
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Now I think of it, the riders generally take the riding straps off when they've finished riding for a while, so probably the dragon crouches or lies down for the mounting / dismounting process at each end of the trip. In this case vaulting onto one's dragon is not too improbable. (I can see blue and green riders doing this especially, because they tend to show off.)
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Old Dec 17 2015, 06:13 PM   #39
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It's not actually an expression I've really heard anyone use (deep-chested would generally mean broad across the chest.) Deeper barreled would I suppose be broader and rounder around the body.

And vaulting on to the equivalent of 14.3 is one thing. Unless you're a teeny featherweight with huge leg muscles, onto 18+ is quite another. (Jockeys don't just get legged up because the stirrups are short.)
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Old Dec 19 2015, 05:49 AM   #40
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Default Re: A crazy idea...

I suspect a ledge would obviously be preferred, as has been mentioned upthread. But there would probably be occasions where this simply isn't practical so I'm still trying to work out what they'd do then...

I think vaulting onto neck while lying down does sound like the most practical solution so far? Especially if we combine it with the in-built harness ladder.

Of course, the other alternative given I don't believe they have neck/spine spikes would be to have your dragon place it's head on the ground and then hop onto the neck where it meets the back of the head and slide.

(joking, I know this is Very Impractical lol!)

As for the saddle ... any chance it's ...

(struggling for words ...) like a saddle-stool? Regular saddle shape, except rather than an open curve laid flat along the dragon's neck/shoulders - such as this: C
It would be a closed curve mounted atop the dragon's neck shoulders: D

With that gap stuffed with something to help it keep it's shape obviously. This would put the rider in a kinda crouching position on the dragon's neck...

I mean, obviously not very aerodynamic but the best I've been able to think up given the width where the rider is supposed to be sitting. There's no way that's comfortable for a full Fall, especially for older riders.

I've been mulling this question over for years and it's why if I ever write a dragon rider series of my very own they'll be strapped in while lying flat to the dragon's back! Nothing else is practical!
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