Soteria / Lilyth

Now for the record, I am an instarider here on DF. However I have impressed gold on other games a number of times and played them on and off for a number of years. I chose not to port over my other gold because she would just not fit into DF's theme as well as the one I tailored for Soteria.

Riding gold was a pain in the neck sometimes. I'd have to say that the important thing was to keep things in perspective. This is a game and your dragon is a piece of code. Now beyond that, I think it's really vital that your character have a sense of self beyond being 'a gold rider'. Getting that shiny dragon doesn't magically make you better, prettier, smarter, or better liked. Popularity on a game, like with real life, is often merely illusion.

In the old days, the gold rider was expected to be a leader, assume the major responsibilities OOCly as well as ICly. I think it's honestly a great deal easier these days when the OOC staff is actually running the show. But a gold rider still remains a largely public figure as the books did emphasize their importance and consequently players new and old tend to look towards you in some way.

That's the fishbowl effect. Always having your actions and opinions scrutinized and sometimes blown out of proportion. Being thick skinned helps as well as knowing when to listen to advice as well as when not to take matters too seriously. If you know you're sensitive to how others perceive you or can't stand the limelight? Then perhaps gold is not for you.

There are good points of course. Being a weyrwoman tends to open doors, makes you hard to ignore in crowds, and yes there is that sense of living out one's fantasies, otherwise why are you role-playing about Pern right? You have a better chance at making a significant impact in the history of the game and if you get to have a clutch, you get your name scribbled down on a hatching log somewhere.

Decisions regarding your character might not always be wholly yours to make however. Sounds invasive doesn't it? But sometimes you have to consider what's best for your Weyr before yourself. Maybe you really want to have the next clutch, but your real life is too busy during Search time, then sometimes you might have to sacrifice that chance for everyone else's benefit. Or maybe you have to give permissions for others to powerplay you while you're away. Or maybe you don't get to pick out who gets to win your flight.

In the end, a gold rider is more constrained and limited than other characters. There is only job you really can have. You're a weyrwoman and that's it till the end. So one should really stop and think before you make that final decision, if it's really right for you as a player and right for your character.

Abby (who doesn't ride a dragon at all, but has ridden gold on DF in a past life!)

Ah, gold! The much sought after, much fought over, much bemoaned gold. Gold is the only color that is limited, not because gold is super special, but because there can be only one (or two, in a double clutch). Please know that Impressing gold will not fix your character if you don't already like her, and it doesn't change you as a player. It won't make people like you, and it won't make you popular. The only thing it will do is guarantee that you feel watched pretty much all of the time. It's that dreaded fishbowl. I went for gold for entirely IC reasons, and there were still times after I Impressed that I wished I had gone for green instead. It brings some lovely RP opportunities with it — nobody else gets to play clutchmother! — but it will try you as a player.

So please, if you're gold only, give some thought to if this is what you'd really like. There are always a lot of gold candidates, and so a lot of people who don't Impress at all because we can only give out one. Trust me, if it were up to me I'd give the whole lot of you golds and call it a day!

Also, being gold only doesn't increase your chances of getting a gold. If you'd be happy with another color, please say so. If you wouldn't, then stick to gold only. But above all, tell us what would make you happy, and have fun with your character! Dragons are, after all, only big lumps of shiny code. They are what you make them!

Lastly, I'd like to stress what Arien says below about a sense of proportion. Bookmarking this website, and looking at it often, could be key to keeping this! (I totally stole this from Asher's profile. Thanks, Asher!)

Arien / Katrineth


  • Books feature golds. It's nice seeing a 'slice of life', to not be 'invisible'. And such an exciting slice of life, too! (Of course, all these world-changing events are far, far rarer in gaming, but still it's stirring.)
  • Your character has a built-in role. Talk about job security! Not to mention some of the best tithe. None of that smelly firestone, either!
  • Attention. Good to a point. It's difficult to be ignored, but it's also unclear how much of this is due to being a rider as opposed to a goldrider, not to mention DF folks' general coolness and tendency to pay attention to everyone.
  • Flights. They're a whole lot of fun! There are certainly more constraints than with green, but you still get to go up, up and away, and guide the flow of roleplay within the scene. If you're active, there can develop a special connection between you and the candidates/weyrlings Searched for your queen's clutches, which helps to make up for not being able to Search them.

You may notice that the 'What's Hot' parallels the 'What's Not' but is a lot shorter. There are two (and three-quarters?) reasons for that. First, gold fever appears to be more common than not, so attraction isn't my focus; some degree of reality-checking is. Second, I should note that I believe all dragons are nifty, so it's hard to pick out the best about gold. Also, Arien was my first character and Katrineth was my first dragon; I had only been rp'ing for less than three months when I Impressed her back in '92. (Times have changed; I would not recommend, now, that someone try to do so outside of very, very special circumstances.)

Since I have lots and lots of fun roleplaying her as she is, which happens to be gold, it's hard to distinguish the fun I have because she's gold and which the fun I'd like to think I'd have no matter which color Kat turned out to be (or for that matter, the fun I'd have if Ari hadn't Impressed at all). I also tend to feel very self-conscious talking about her, due to all the attention golds already get.


  • Books feature golds. Unfortunately, many of the weyrwomen appear to live to be shaken around. Even more unfortunately, many people feel compelled to play a would-be Lessa, who wouldn't be very fun to play with; still others distrust a character who isn't played that way, whether it's the feisty version or the calm, cool, collected version. Ari used to be the CCC version, back when there weren't really any other gaming examples; it took far too long to get her out of it. (Many thanks to friends who've helped!)
  • Your character has a built-in role. You can't ride Search, you can't flame, you can't join a fighting wing, you can't be a weyrlingmaster. Most of a weyrwoman's IC role relates to hides and maintenance and more maintenance, plus some going around to Holds and Halls of the protectorate to make the Weyr look good and caring (aka deserving of more tithe), and then there's breeding.

Breeding is rare, and most of the non-breeding part is off-camera. Luckily, DF is set in an Interval which gives more time for hobbies and secondary occupations (though if you want another primary occupation, like dragonhealer, try another color instead). That said, the person playing a weyrwoman character really needs to enjoy finding her own fun instead of relying on 'what the others do,' since there's not that rich background that the fighting wings have.
Also, once a weyrwoman, always a weyrwoman; to change from junior to senior to retired, someone's character has to be incapacitated. If you apply for gold, be prepared to never ever be senior weyrwoman, or to be senior right after graduation from wings (it happened to me!).

  • Attention. Otherwise known as 'the fishbowl': especially from new players who don't realize we're just like anyone else (and who drop all their nifty former rp to get all formal when your character comes in), but it's certainly not just them. While most people don't treat you differently, there can be some people want the shiny dragon and wonder why you impressed and they didn't, other people idle out because they wanted the gold and weren't straightforward and now aren't happy. The question can come up: are people being nice to you because they like you (most of the time), or because they want something from you (it can happen)? The key here is to not lord it over people in any way, shape or form OOC, and be very, very careful about any of it ICly: page is crucial. Awareness of the need for caution has led to a certain self-consciousness that I don't enjoy.
  • Flights. Flights: you have to consider the Weyr's needs in scheduling and for who catches, particularly for Weyrleadership flights. Unlike a green who can just go up on a whim, you'll need to schedule it around the other golds, especially given that you're sandsbound with clutching; you may need a bronze to sire a gold egg, or to counteract if there've been a lot of golds caught by browns recently. If you don't want to deal with this, a gold isn't for you.

People pay attention to flights (to the point that the night of my Impression, I was paged by one otherwise-cool person who asked who I thought would catch Katrineth in her first flight, and angled to be considered…) and usually there's a lot of gossip surrounding them. Some people have problems collecting enough males for goldflights, although I've been lucky thus far—though part of that is scheduling, and part of that is lots of paging. PC clutches are few and far between (and a timesuck when they do occur), and sandsbound sometimes is fun for roleplay and sometimes is just a limitation. Come to think of it, that holds true for most things. :)


As with any dragon, make sure you enjoy playing your character before you seek Impression; if there are any problems, Impression won't fix them (and may well make them worse). Keep your sense of humor, your sense of proportion, and your support system — and remember, this is a game!

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