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Last updated on June 03 1997

The Official Dragon Code Page

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Click on any element of the (sample) Dragon Code below to jump immediately to that section of the Code.

DC.H f+ s- df+++ h--- CF a(d- h++) $-- m** o+ d+ WL++ Fr-- L^ Bnone e+ g+ i- u+

Dragon Code News

News O' The Month: Well, the voting is finally officially closed, and the Length Standard has been set. (I know, this was News of the Month last time, too, but this time I've got my act together.)

Race Update: A whole slew o' suggestions have come in, and we've now got DC.'s for: Dolphins (Do), Dwarves (Dw), Elementals (e), Merfolk (M), Demons et.al. (N), and felines (C). The shapeshifter tag has been expanded, too! (Were-creatures -- those who switch between human and animal -- should now use the shapeshifter tag.)

New Page: I'm now keeping a page of Proposed Tags, for folk who think the Dragon Code isn't extensive enough. (They're all highly optional ... but if you like 'em, use 'em.)

Under Consideration: The new Ubiquity element, for dragons with (or without) a history as long as their tail.

Under Consideration: The DragonHold DC added a Gender code after the Race section. If you think this would be a positive addition to the Dragon Code at large, send me a tag proposal! (The format that they're using conflicts with the shapeshifter information.)

The promised CGI-based decoder is still in the works.

Dragon Code Mini-FAQ

[ News | FAQ | The Code | Links/Miscellaneous | Comments | Plain-Text Version ]

* What is the Dragon Code?

The Dragon Code, like many of the "signature file" codes out there on the Internet, is a way of passing on personal information to others in an abbreviated manner. These abbreviations are standardized for convenience and ease of deciphering.

Using the Dragon Code, you can convey a paragraph's worth of standard information about your persona in a single line of text. The code is traditionally used in your "signature" when posting to Usenet or answering mail.

The Dragon Code is not just for dragons! It got its name from its place of origin, the alt.fan.dragons newsgroup on Usenet, but is by and large designed to be used by beings of all races.

* How does it work?

The Dragon Code is a series of one- or two-letter elements and accompanying minuses and pluses, much like the Geek Code seen elsewhere on the Internet. The letter represents a particular topic related to draconity. Minuses and pluses indicate a preference in a particular direction for the given element; for instance, a plus following 'f' indicates the dragon tends more towards carnivorous than a dragon with a minus following the f. Pluses and minuses can be 'stacked': f+ means a slight preference towards meat, f++ means a love of meat, and f+++ means nothing but meat (and the occasional spammer).

* How'd it get started?

The Code was created by Red Dragon, aka. Daniel Hamel. (He can be found on FurryMUCK as Dralen. And he invites you to drop him a line.)

As for its history, the creator of the Dragon Code explains...:

        Well, the whole history is very simple. I was on afd around the
    the geek code became very popular. I decided to alter it a little to my
    own purposes and create the dragon code. I did that, and posted it... a
    few people noticed it and still use it, then I left afd for a while
    other than a couple of e-mails a few months later, that was it. Then,
    suddenly, I find it widely in use... *grin* I must say I'm flattered.

What's with all the changes?

How do I get a change proposed?

As time goes by, dragons have more and more ideas for the information that can or should be transmitted by the dragon code. Normally, this lengthens the code (thus allowing us to save even more space -- go figure). I chronicle on this page every proposal or change I hear about, but what is on here is useless if that's not what people are using. Therefore, I try to make sure the Code on the web page reflects the Code in general use. If you want to change the code, publicize your new proposal as much as possible, and if people use it, it'll become official.

However, please remember that the Dragon Code is designed to express information about who you are on AFD. Not all AFD'ers are the same person in Earthly life as they are in the newsgroup, so codes on human information (for instance: political leanings, time spent on the Internet per week, or religion) are not appropriate to the spirit of the Code.

* What about this or that or the other thing?

Your question may already be answered on the Comments page. If not, drop me a line and I'll tell you what I can!

* Enough already. So, what is this code?

Glad you asked! ]B=8)

The Dragon Code

[ News | FAQ | The Code | Links/Miscellaneous | Comments | Plain-Text Version ]

DC.H f+ s- df+++ h--- CF a(d- h++) $-- m** o+ d+ WL++ Fr-- L^ Bnone e+ g+ i- u+

Kind of Being

Starts with a capital "DC" for Dragon Code, then the code for your race:

* DC.D    For a dragon
* DC.A    For an angelic being
* DC.C    For a cat/felinoid
* DC.dg   For a dog
* DC.do   For a dolphin
* DC.dw   For a dwarf
* DC.E    For an elf
* DC.e    For an elemental (specify type)
* DC.F    For a fox
* DC.f    For a fish (a fish?!)
* DC.G    For a gryphon
* DC.Go   For a goblin
* DC.H    For a human
* DC.M    For a merfolk
* DC.N    For a demon (or devil, or imp)
* DC.O    For an orc
* DC.P    For a pegasus
* DC.R    For a roc
* DC.U    For a unicorn
* DC.V    For a vampire
* DC.W    For a wolf
* DC.X    For a phoenix
For Mixed Races/Shapeshifters:
* DC.D/H  For a half human dragon (You can have any breed mix there)
* DC.?    For a shapeshifter
Shapeshifters who want to specify what race this particular Code describes:
* DC.?(D)    For a shapeshifter in dragon form
Were-creatures (those who shift between human form and another) are, for
these purposes, shapeshifters.

* DC.!    "I don't know WHAT I am!"

If your race is not represented here: Please mail me, and I will add your code to the list as soon as possible.
This section of the Dragon Code has been added to and enriched by so many people that I just can't list all of the names. So, if you've contributed to the Code by suggesting a code for a race, thank you. You know who you are. *bigdraconichugs*


Most dragons eat ... something. This is to determine your favorite foodgroups.

* f---     I'm a vegetarian dragon. (You are?)
* f--      I eat Caesar salads garnished with small furry animals
* f-       I live off of small rodents and grubs
* f        I eat whatever I can catch
* f+       I eat mostly dairy products, like cows...
* f++      I eat large game and the occasional human
* f+++     I live exclusively off of town maidens

Social Life

Some dragons live in secret, but many have told their friends. This element describes how open you are about your involvement with draconity.

* s---     No one knows, period.
* s--      If anyone finds out, I eat them.
* s-       One person knows, but they skipped town.
* s        My closest friend knows.
* s+       A few of my closest friends know.
* s++      All my friends know; so do my parents.
* s+++     All my friends knew, but didn't believe me, so I ate them.

Many dragons have different levels of secrecy with their local circle than they do with their Internet acquaintances. If you wish to split your 's' code to reflect this, give a rating for both Real Life socialness and Virtual Reality socialness, like so: A dragon who told nobody except for some Internet friends might be sRL--- sVR+, or s(RL--- VR+).

The RL/VR split was suggested by The Drachinhaber.

Dragon Friend

Applies primarily to non-dragons under the dragon-code protocol. (All this from the dragon's perspective, of course!)
Dragons (DC.D) should most likely skip this section.

* df++++   Have you noticed?  You've started growing scales...
* df+++    Popular with dragons; you exchange overnight visits
* df++     Reasonably popular; you exchange social visits
* df+      Polite acquaintance; you exchange social pleasantries
* df       Tolerance; they don't eat you, you don't try to slice them
* df-      Irritant; they think about having you over for lunch
* df--     Maddening; they think about a quick snack;  now!
* df---    Infuriating; you're not good enough for a snack.
* df----   Cold fury; they're gonna hunt you, and find you, and then...

Hoard Size

Needs no explanation.

* h++++   Governments quake when they hear you're going to sell
* h+++    You really *_can't_* tell when someone stole one item!
* h++     You're comfortable;  but you wouldn't mind some more
* h+      You're not down to your last copper, but ...
* h       You've got your own lair, unfurnished
* h-      You and the bank own your lair
* h--     The lair is rented, and cramped
* h---    No money, no lair;  at least you aren't starving


Up until early 1997, the way to show your color was to write C followed by the color, like Cred or Cgreen. Cerulean (no address available) suggested a revision which codified the most common colors into single letters.

As before, the colour code will be preceded by a C. Following the C will be a letter or letters representing the dragon's colour or colours:

* R  red
* O  orange
* Y  yellow
* G  green
* J  jade
* a  aqua
* c  cyan
* B  blue
* b  brown
* I  indigo
* V  violet
* P  purple
* p  pink
* m  magenta
* t  tan
* K  black
* E  ebon (If you don't like K)
* W  white
* g  grey

* F  flesh (for our humanoid friends)

* A  gold
* S  silver
* C  copper
* Q  mercury/quicksilver
* k  chrome
* Z  bronze
* Mb brass (see below)
If your color is not on the list, go ahead and write it out. If your color is on the list, but you're not the basic hue, these might help:


M  Metallic prefix. (for instance, MB=metallic blue.)
   (Don't bother using M in front of what is obviously a metal.)
T  Transparent. Can be a prefix. (TG=green glass.)
H  Luminous/glowing. Can be a prefix. (HR=glowing red.) [<Gr.halos]
f  Flame/fire.

D  Dark prefix.  (DB=dark blue)
L  Light prefix. (LB=light blue)

-  Colourless. For crystal, ice, or invisible dragons.

Multi-coloured dragons may wish to specify the ways in which their
colours are combined with these symbols:

|  stripes         W|K means white with black stripes.
.  spots           W.K means white with black spots.
@  mottled         W@K is black mottling on a white base.
^  dorsal points   W^K is a white dragon with a black pointy spine.
w  wings           WwK is a white dragon with black wings.
~  tail            W~K is a white dragon with a black tail.
*  stars           Astrals may prefer this to "spots"
:  eyes            Oh, come on. You don't need to, do you?
#  plaid           Greffindel only. #G to be precise.

Those transitioning from one type to another:
>             CW>K is a white dragon whose color is changing to black.

(Theslin suggested @ for mottled.)


Not all dragons age at the same rate, as Auryanne has noted. This category has been changed slightly from its original version to reflect this diversity.
If you prefer to go by your human age rather than your dragon age, here's a simple formula: Teenagers are a-, a is 20 or up, and every 20 years beyond that adds one +.

If you really want to be thorough, you can include both ad and ah (both a dragon and a human age). Format is either: ad+ ah-, or, using the Distributive Property, a(d+ h-).

* a++++   Ancient
* a+++    Venerable
* a++     Old enough to know better
* a+      You're been around
* a       Mature adult
* a-      Young adult
* a--     Still under Mom's wing
* a---    Hatchling
* a----   An egg (nearly hatched!)


Different dragons have different attitudes about their money. How would you describe yourself?
Some people have noted that they see having both "h" and "$" as redundant. I don't think so; h describes horde SIZE and $ is ATTITUDE.

* $+++  The coinage has my likeness on it. I own the whole kingdom.
* $++   Besides humans, I kill other dragons for their wealth.
* $+    Investments in human businesses. I do reposessions
        **CHOMP** personally.
* $     Take your hands off my hoard or I'll take your hands.
* $-    Bought up the weapons smiths. No more dragon-proof
        armor or vorpal swords!
* $--   It was all stolen while I was out hunting hobbits!
* $---  I'm a philanthropist. Gave it all to the poor. I think
        I'm a duck. QUACK!

Those eight elements made up the original Dragon Code. Starting in September / October 1996, many new revisions were proposed. The following have passed the test of time:

Mating Status

by Nazaroth and Baxil (me).

Sure, there are those lucky dragons among us who are mated in reality (code m**), but what about those who have a Special Someone on the newsgroup? Or are looking? Or are hiding from the lookers?

* m+++    Am I mated?  Ask my hatchlings!
* m++     Ask my significant other!
* m+      Ask my mate-to-be!  ]:=8)
* m       Ask me, PLEASE! *hopefulsmiles*
* m-      Don't ask! ]B=8P
* m--     Ask my poker/football/bowling/etc. buddies!
* m---    Here's my XX/XY Conspiracy Card.  Any questions?

* m+-+    Single with hatchlings
* m(w)    Widowed {:=8{
* (m)     Ask me, and I'll ask your snout to meet your kidneys.
* m**     Ask my other half, who is at the keyboard with me! :-)
Narlaq has suggested an additional category:
 * m  ++   (for those who are mated, but are separated from their mate
             temporarily due to geography, lack of ISP, or whatever.)


Designed to be used as a supplement to the Mating code, above, this would measure the number of offspring separately from mating status. It would only be used, obviously, by beings who wished to acknowledge their young'ns in their Dragon Code.

Tephra explains the intent of the 'o' tag:

     Aury, Quen, and I made a fuss about including hatchlings in the
mating status portion of the dragon code.  I *think* the final out come
was that there should be no reference to hatchlings in mating status
because of the implication that you aren't *really* mated unless you
have hatchlings.  One of us, perhaps me *shrug*, suggested a hatchling
section (designated 'o' for offspring or some such) with +'s for the
number of hatchlings.  Those with large numbers of hatchlings may
shorthand the +'s with the number of hatchlings.  There was some noise
over distinguishing 'real', 'RP', 'adopted', etc, but I pointed out that
hatchlings are hatchlings and they all should be loved equally and it
sort of died off.  Maybe someone else bothered to note all this stuff
down somewhere.

This is still in the experimental stage, but if you do have offspring and you think the 'o' tag is a good idea, feel free to put it in.

Draconity Index

Please!! read the extra information available on this.

Your Draconity Index mainly measures real-life draconity. A good guideline is to think of d+++ as "I am a dragon spirit, stuck in a human body," of d as "I'm really not sure," and of d--- as "Look, I love dragons, but I'm not one."

* d+++    Wanna see my scales and fangs? :=8)
* d++     I'm just waiting for my wings and tail to grow in!
* d+      Ask my Inner Dragon.
* d       I have draconic tendencies
* d-      It is possible a distant relative was a dragon
* d--     Certified greggil
* d---    Now, I like dragons and all, but don't you think y'all are
           taking this a little too seriously?

* (d)     Don't ask, don't tell.

Wings / Legs

Shadowdragon offered a format for information on your dragon's number of limbs. (You can mail him here, if the homepage link is down.)

* You use symbols after WL to 'add' wings and legs, like + for a pair of legs and * for a pair of wings. Since examples explain better than words:

* WL     No wings or legs            (can we call you Slither?)
* WL++   Two pair of legs; no wings  (Earthbound wyrms or Eastern dragons)
* WL*    One pair of wings; no legs  (e.g., Quetzalcoatl)
* WL++*  4 legs and 1 pair of wings  (The traditional Western)
* WL**   4 wings, no legs            (A butterfly dragon?)
It has also been suggested, by Kaijima, that the caret ("^") be used to represent a pair of arms. Therefore, a winged human could be represented by either WL++* or WL+^*. Limbs which are used for walking should still be counted as legs, even if opposable-thumbed.


What is a fruit?

It's one of the great running jokes of alt.fan.dragons that there are two types of dragons: Old Fruits and Young Nuts. Nobody really knows what makes a Fruit (also variously called Olde Fruites); it's been the subject of much debate. Generally, though, if everybody knows your name, and people generally listen to your rants, you're a Fruit.
I've been told I was a Fruit from the time I joined AFD, so fruitiness doesn't always come just with age. But nearly all of the dragons who have been around for a year are Fruits -- those who can't outgrow their Nuttiness generally leave. (Trust me, there are a lot of nutty fruits around, though.) ]B=8)

Two fruitiness standards were eventually proposed. One is based on the length of time that you've been here, and one is based on general fruitlike attitude and tendencies. Both of them provide useful yardsticks, but I don't think one has any inherent advantages over the other, so I've kept both. My personal recommendation is that you choose the standard that works best for you, and then just give yourself +/-'s based on that standard. You are under no obligation to reveal which standard you are judging yourself on. :-)

This is the first proposed Fruitiness standard (by Shim):

* Fr++++ I remember when humans ruled the newsgroup
* Fr+++ I remember Dalvenjah posting regularly
* Fr++ I've been here for well over a year
* Fr+ I've been here a year or so
* Fr old fruit people know my name and what i'm like
* Fr- my name is known, but that's about it
* Fr-- they're still responding to my welcome post
* Fr--- I haven't even posted yet, i'm lurking
* Fr---- I've never heard of a.f.d... (how'd you get the stupid Code???)

* Fr* I got flamed off the newsgroup for yelling at Shim ;)

...To which someone protested that fruitiness was a state of mind, not a number, and the following revision was suggested by Nazaroth:

* Fr+++  I am well into the fermentation process
* Fr++   I have accidentally been used in food fights
* Fr+    Friends have spotted me in fruit salads
* Fr     Squeeze me!  I'm ripe!
* Fr-    Haven't fallen off the tree yet
* Fr--   It can be said I have appeal (a peel)
* Fr---  A squirrel tried to horde me the other day
* Fr---- Still tend to lurk

* Fr^    Have joined, left, returned (repeated as necessary)
* And I still like Fr* from above. :=8)


(Visit the Length Standard Page to see all of the originally-proposed standards and their history.)

The Length tag has a great deal of flexibility: You can give your exact length by using the Wyrm System, below; the Baxil System, right underneath it, is for those who don't know an exact length and just wish to specify an approximation (or those who are sensitive about their height).

Please note the tag is "L" (capital L) -- the lower-case L is too easily mistaken for Irritability's "i" or for the number 1.

Numerical System

(Based on Wyrm's proposal)
* L<number>f   That number of feet (for mid-size U.S. dragons)

The Metric System is highly encouraged:

* L<number>m   That number of meters      (1  m ~= 3.25 feet)
* L<number>c   That number of centimeters (1 cm ~=  .4 inches)
* L<number>k   That number of kilometers. (1 km ~=  .6 miles)

Quantified System

(Based on Baxil's proposal)
* L+++  Sorry, Mr. Battleship, I didn't see you!  (Mistaken for mountains)
* L++   Can you say "jungle gym"?      (Can't see own tail on a foggy day)
* L+    They look up to me.  Literally.                   (Godzilla-sized)
* L     About as normal as dragons get.                      (Draco-sized)
* L-    Please, don't step on the tail ...                   (human-sized)
* L--   Please, don't step on *me* ...                         (dog-sized)
* L---  Please, don't sneeze ...            (Pocket Dragon-sized or below)

* L*      Whatever suits me at the moment
* L^      Long enough to reach the ground.

Measurements are nose-to-tail. (If you want to be specific about how long your tail is, use a format like L40t15, for a forty-foot dragon whose tail was 15 of those 40.)

Breath Weapon

There is also a "Breath Weapon" element:

Wyrm suggested using a format similar to the original coloration tag:

* Bchlorine (chlorine gas breath weapon)
* Bskittles (Skittles breath weapon)
* etc.

"No breath weapon" would be B- or Bnone.

Cerulean (no address available) codified many of the more common elements into single-letter codes. (Credit goes to SoKhar for "P".)

A    acid                   R    rot
C    cold/frost             W    wind
E    enchantment            Sm   smoke
F    flame/fire             St   steam
I    ice                    Su   sulphur
L    lava/magma             Z    lightning/electricity
P    plasma

At the moment, those who breathe Skittles or whatever will have to spell it out as per Wyrm's suggestion.

Magical Experience

Drekana has proposed the following structure for your experience in magery (or whatever you choose to call your control over the paranormal):
* e?     What's magic?  (none)
* e---   The hand is quicker than the eye!  (Pre-school)
* e--    It just fizzles and dies.  (Kindergarten)
* e-     I did it and the neighborhood's still intact!  (Elementary)
* e      Most of my spells work, but who knows when ... oops.  (Junior High)
* e+     Passed my magic final!  (High School)
* e++    Building my own laboratory!  (College-bound)
* e+++   Not quite there...  (Bachelor's)
* e++++  Archmage (hehehe!)  (Ph. D.)

* e!     You can call me "Almighty One!"  (Says it all!  ];=8})
I am inclined to treat the "!" as a modifier to any of the other +/- elements, so someone who isn't technically an Archmage but considers themself at the top of their trade can add a "!".

Body Shape

Just as humans, when they gain weight, grow both up and ... uh ... that other direction (*grin*), so do dragons. Ignightus proposed (half-jokingly) a Girth element ("in honour of Athelind"):
* g+++++   I AM Athe and my belly is now several galaxies wide ... while I'm
              only a few hundred feet long <G>.
* g++++    When my belly jiggles the orbits of planets shift out of its way.
* g+++     Planets have been known to crack in half with my arrival. >:)
* g++      My digestion of food has been known to cause earthquakes.
* g+       I move by rolling and flying has always been an effort for me.
* g        What can I say ... I'm normal except for a few feasts here or there. >;)
* g-       I'm slightly on the slim side ...
* g--      Ever heard of serpentine?
* g---     I've been known to slip into small places. >;)
* g----    Whoah!  Whaddaya mean I look like a long string with wings?
* g-----   I'm made of really long superstrings, ie i'm one dimensional, all
			  length and no width or depth.  Beware, I can even slip in
			  between atoms >:)

New Proposals And Ideas

Irritability Factor

This was an element which the Dragon Hold added to their Dragon Code. I found it meaningful enough to submit for the Code at large.
A great warning of who NOT to pick on!! Do you have a quick temper,
or are you slow to anger?

i---  You could stab me and I wouldn't blink 
i--   I take it all in stride
i-    Just don't call me lizard lips and you're fine
i     I will defend my honor, but I won't attack for no reason (unless it's
          a good no reason!)
i+    Call me grumpy
i++   Come too close and you're a cinder
i+++  I'd eat my mother if she looked at me wrong

Add ! for the statement "...and when I DO get mad, hope you like
Mail me comments!


A friend and fellow dragon, Kyremius, mailed me a preliminary version of this almost as a joke. But many dragons have a long and noteworthy history.

How much have you done prior to making yourself known around the dragon community? And how much of it can you still remember to brag about?

U--- : "I'm the Vanisher.  Odd beholder creatures of which I have no
       memory whatsoever fight holy wars over me.  I'm not a god!"
U--  : When I tried to do a past-life regression, I got a "404 not found --
       access denied."
U-   : I'm pretty sure I did something, somewhen, but I haven't much of a
       clue as to what it was.
U    : I've done some soul-searching, and got real results.
U+   : I can remember several past-life names, and am occasionally
U++  : See that book over there?  I wrote that in a different life.
U+++ : Not only do I remember everything I ever did, but I remember a
       few things about you, too.

U? : I have no idea what you're talking about.
U! : trick question - this is my first life.
U2 : My name is Bono.  ;-D
Mail me comments.

Downloads, Links, and Miscellany

[ News | FAQ | The Code | Links/Miscellaneous | Comments | Plain-Text Version ]

The link to the plain-text version of the Dragon Code page has been moved to the navigation tabs. It's up to date as of June 3, 1997.

I'm now starting to maintain an archive of tag proposals. I receive a lot of suggestions about the Code. Not all of them are completely appropriate to the spirit of the Code; some are good but unimplementable; a few just get into minutiae.
All of the tags in the archive are optional; if you find one you like, feel free to include it with your Code. (But don't be surprised if people have to look it up or ask you what it means.)

We're Looking For A Few Good Sapients!

...For original artwork, that is. Got an urge to have your name on the Dragon Code page but don't have any elements to submit? Take some work off my hands by helping me beautify this page! Send me art!

Please ... non-animated and relatively small images preferred.

From The Rumor Mill

I haven't heard any decent rumors lately regarding further updates to the Code. (To be honest, I'm a little out of the loop lately; school has kept me away from the alt.fan.dragons newsgroup.) Mail me if you have a tidbit you'd like to share or see posted.


Got comments? Mail me, and be added to the feedback page!!

Other DC Pages

There is also a Dragon Code page at Pendragon's Lair (DOWN LINK).
(Pendragon's page has moved, unfortunately, and I can't find it. Information on where it's gone would be appreciated.)

Seraim maintains a mirror page of this Dragon Code information.

Dragon Hold Dragon Code: The Dragon Hold has a slightly different version of the Code for Hold members. It's maintained by Tserisa.

Related material

Personally, I don't have the time to build my code in either, but these are good to get some idea of what other groups around the Net are doing. :-)

And finally

If you also have a Dragon (or Otherkind) Code web page, please mail me, and I will acknowledge it here.

* * * * *

Take a look at: The Rest Of My Site | Baxil's lair
* * Like the Dragon Code? Check out the ClaWrite page * some dragon links * my Reader Pledge * *

This page maintained by Baxil, who is DC.D f-- s+++ h- CG a(d++ h-) $ m---(XY) d+++! WL++* Fr++ L12m B- e++++ g--- i--! U++.