Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

New answers tagged

3

This would vary a lot depending on the prior relations between humans and dragons, and if those dragons are sentient and if they possess intelligence or not. And the size of the dragons! In any case, we should keep in mind that the dragons wouldn't pop up out of nowhere. If they exist, they probably cohabited Earth with us for a long time. Friendly, small ...


2

It depends a bit on what the dragons eat and whether they are threatening and/or valuable to humans' interests. Assuming that you're talking about a 'traditional' dragon which is reptilian, fire-breathing and carnivorous, then it would at the very least be considered a pest predator by pastoral farmers who would not like dragons stealing their cows/sheep/...


4

It is an unwise act to destroy a potential advantage. If dragons appeared overnight they are very much an unknown quantity and therefore still a potential advantage (notwithstanding their inherent hazards). They clearly have drawbacks, but other than a recent war it doesn't seem as though your characters have explored sufficiently whether they may also have ...


8

It's all in how we perceive them, but regardless it is not a good idea to drive a species to extinction. Take Grizzly Bears. They are aggressive, can kill you if you get close, often exist close to urban areas. They have formed part of the national identity of both the U.S. and Canada - they are protected and endeared by many. Take Taipan snakes in ...


6

So the dragons are effectively very similar to the smallpox virus. The world's a far better place since smallpox was eradicated. Or Ebola. It doesn't flare up frequently, but when it does it creates major problems, and kills a lot of people. Still think it's a good idea to just let them live and do their thing as long as they don't kill too many people (...


4

So dragons are aggressive predators that reproduce fast, probably need a lot to eat to be able to feed all their kids etc. Maybe some dragons will be kept in special habitats but the war will go on till one side is extinct. At least with the information provided. As fast as way reproduce and the amount of food they probably need will make a co existance ...


2

My family had 12 horses during my childhood and had to experience a variety of characteristics and fears and traits in horses over the years. Horses can be as complex as human with different likes/dislikes. But I agree, that horses overall response to threat would be fleeing away. In the world of fantasy however many things (including heroes and various ...


1

For 'historical' precedent it might be worth checking out the various 'Saint George' legends. Saint George is often portrayed as a horse-mounted spear-carrying dragon slayer.


3

The last successful cavalry charge, during World War II, was executed during the Battle of Schoenfeld on March 1, 1945. Short version: Polish cavalry overran german defensive positions. Amidst gunfire, artillery and explosions the charge was succesfull and took the city. Even today horses are still used by some police forces, and their training is rather ...


8

There is honestly no point riding a warhorse into battle if it is not first trained to run towards sharp pointy things, through the smell of blood, loud noises, explosions, scary people, rapid peripheral movement, and fire. It kinda depends on what you mean by "warhorse", though. A destrier should be able to charge right up to that dragon and bite it in ...


71

The older, wiser, more experienced horses might have an easier time of it. The wiser horses will pick up on fear cues from their riders, if they trust their riders. Horses are herd animals. There is rank within the horse herd. Has the group of adventurers that has been traveling together for a while? Have they kept the same horses together for a while? If ...


15

While I have no actual experience riding horses around dragons (dragons being uncommon hereabouts), I do have some perhaps relevant experience. WRT a dragon flying overhead, would you accept a flight of C-130s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_C-130_Hercules or fighter jets flying overhead at treetop (or sagebrush) level as a reasonable proxy? That's ...


3

well.... most horse wont even charge through pointy object like spear wall or phalanx etc even warhorse, except special warhorse breed like destrier as far as i know. (and they even scared of camel.....) so i think it may be possible by trying to breed a type of horse that wont fear fire (the dragon can breath fire right? i more concern about that than the ...


8

Train your horses. Horses are generally okay approaching large non-moving things such as hills, buildings and large trees. The dragon corpse being large is not a problem. I disagree the corpse is reeking of danger. As you said these horses have not encountered a dragon before. So they don't associate anything with the scent of a dragon beside new weird ...


21

Has the horse been desensitized to dragons? Horses can be trained to accept and keep calm in the face of things that go against all their instincts, even plastic bags. For example, a predator attacking a horse would be likely to aim to get on its back, near the neck, where it is safe from both teeth and hooves. The horse's instincts say to buck, rear, spin, ...


0

I like the idea of the dragon kicking up dust with a beat of the wings. Against most animals around their size or smaller maybe the wings could be used to attack the legs. I don't see the wing being the smartest natural weapon with how thin the skin and how hollow the bones might be. And hitting something's legs with wings could get them to fall on them and ...


0

I assume mechanical means physical damage like a kick so just being cautious should solve that problem. As for chemical damage, maybe dragons could wear a leather or hide loincloth to prevent exposure to dangerous materials.


0

If they choose not to fly in fits, then I could see them being knocked out by anyone who can surprise them or is fast enough. Maybe a hit to the windpipe to stop the flame breath and a hit to the noggin to knock it out. Maybe someone more daring could choke out the dragon to knock it out. From there, the wings need to be tied and the muzzle can be tied shut ...


0

There has been plenty of humanization of dragons and maybe working those into a human society. I picture a society seperated into small clans. Being mindful of others could be a universal trait in dragon culture. Maybe there could be an emphasis on the material possesions of a dracotaur as a show of some kind of prowess. Maybe skins or accessories. I ...


3

If he is weaker than a horse then combat should not be his thing. Horses survive battle by smart usage and tactics from their commander. Even the best cataphracts in the world would turn into shredded paper against a line of phalanx/spear men if they insisted on a headlong attack. With that being said I think the best usage is a special unit doing odd ...


8

Reconnaissance. Gyvaris spends the days catching thermals like a big vulture, flying large lazy circles high in the clouds. This suits his temperament fine, and making it even more suitable is the fact that since he is a captive, he must be fed by his captors so he doesn't have to hunt. If Gyvaris sees something interesting, he will (eventually) report ...


51

The Dragon does not store FOOF in its body. It stores Fluorine and oxygen separately in PTFE organs. It has “standard” dragon fire breath capability allowing it to preheat an internal chamber with an opening at one end to 700 degrees C. It then squirts a stream of oxygen gas around the walls of the chamber and a stream of fluorine through the centre. Some ...


15

Terminally fluorinated stuff. FOOF will add its fluorine to anything which can accommodate fluorine addition. That includes some things, like water, which are already terminally oxidized and so impervious to oxygen radicals. As I understand it the fluorine displaces the oxygen to form hydrofluoric acid. One would therefore contain FOOF in a terminally ...


34

If you search about FOOF you will find: you run a mixture of oxygen and fluorine through a 700-degree-heating block. “Oh, no you don’t,” is the common reaction of most chemists to that proposal, “. . .not unless I’m at least a mile away, two miles if I’m downwind.” This, folks, is the bracingly direct route to preparing dioxygen difluoride, often referred ...


11

Short Answer: Magic The only way that FOOF can be stored is at cryogenic temperatures - it even decomposes to fluorine and oxygen at those elements' liquefaction temperatures. Unless your dragon has no metabolism to speak of, there's no way it radiates enough heat away to biologically chill something to less than a hundred degrees Kelvin. So, reality-...


3

A good mix of different reagents would be very potent. Fire off different substances in sequence. Best have those materials as hot as possible to ensure the maximum reactivity as chemical reactions are accelerated at higher temperatures. I suggest starting the fire fest with Fluoroantimonic acid. That should dissolve most things by virtue of the fluoronium ...


5

Hydrazine Not the most dangerous of substances, (though, please don't get me wrong - it's plenty dangerous) but I wanted to pick one which wouldn't kill the dragon in the process of exhaling it. It's a simple liquid made up of N2H4, but reacts very violently when catalyzed, typically using a sheet made of iridium and aluminum oxide, forming hydrogen gas (...


4

Why do you want flammable material? The most powerful weapon on earth uses water as it’s fuel (deuterium, actually). Make your dragon’s breath a thermonuclear bomb (it’s very small, & very easy to distill the fuel from regular sea water). The dragon only needs to have lithium deuteride in his mouth, and lots of heat, and he becomes Godzilla. OK, let me ...


7

What you want is florine or more specifically dioxygen difluoride (FOOF). “Being a high energy oxidizer, dioxygen difluoride reacted vigorously with organic compounds, even at temperatures close to its melting point. It reacted instantaneously with solid ethyl alcohol, producing a blue flame and an explosion. When a drop of liquid 02F2 was added to liquid ...


-1

I agree with one of the people. Just use electric eel genes to make a dragon have electric powers. Since the dragon is bigger, it probably will create a much bigger charge.


0

Not all bridles have a bit. You could design a variant on the hackamore which doesn't use a bit but rather external surface pressure. This saves you from the problem of heat resistant bits. Now you may feel that this wouldn't pass the necessary strength of intent, but they can also be mechanically amplified in much the same way as a pelham bit so they can ...


0

If I were riding such a dragon, I would want something around the creature's neck that would make it impossible for it to snake around and bite or use it's breath weapon on the rider. Aside from that, the only other requirement would be to make sure the rider is harnessed in from falling in all directions in case the dragon goes upside down or other rapid ...


3

Can I introduce you to the recognised concept of a Highly Sensitive Person who has: "an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli". The trait is characterized by "a tendency to 'pause to check' in novel situations, greater sensitivity to subtle stimuli, and the ...


1

There are many possibilities. The people might well excrete a chemical signal from their skin as you describe. This might take the form of a distinctive smell, an odourless pheromone or simply be a chemical that the “mutant” humans use for one purpose that the dragons use for another. It is also possible that the people have mutant vocal cords and their ...


8

Pheromones. These are chemical agents similar to hormones, but are excreted from the human body and used externally on other creatures of the same species, rather than internally. The thing is that humans have very weak pheromones, if at all, though numerous online retailers will do their best to convince you otherwise. That said, it's very easy to say ...


2

There's precedent for animals which can detect medical problems by scent, for example dogs which are trained to identify the smell of malaria. There are also plenty of genetic mutations which could cause a difference in scent. For example, the ABCC11 gene can differentiate if a person has underarm sweat or the consistency of their earwax. It wouldn't be ...


Top 50 recent answers are included