Review by C.J. Bunce
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, the latest Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook heading your way from Wizards of the Coast, is the closest of any 5th Edition volume to the original books from when I was a teenager in the 1980s. If you know even a little kid who is fascinated with dragons, this is the book to drop into their hands. They may not understand it all, but it’s stuffed full of wonderful dragon artwork and enough worldbuilding lore to open the eyes of any kid interested in fantasy. For D&D gamers already playing, it contains character-building tools to make your hero steeped in dragonkind, and for dungeon masters, it provides some fun options to incorporate more Dragons or dragons (they’re different) into your next adventure, whether you’re wandering into the Forgotten Realms, Oerth of the World of Greyhawk, Krynn of Dragonlance, Eberron, or pretty much anyplace else. You can pre-order Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons with the standard cover by Chris Rahn here at Amazon now, or order the alternate “soft-touch” edition by Anato Finnstark from your local game shop.
If you love Smaug, Puff, Norberta, Alduin, Elliott, Balthromaw, Spike, Falkor, Stanley Steamer, Stegoman, Gleep, Saphira, Porunga, H.R. Pufnstuf, or Lockheed, or you came to love dragons from Dragon’s Lair, Dragonslayer, or Dragonheart, How to Train Your Dragon or Game of Thrones, whether your favorite is Haku from Spirited Away, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, or the kaiju King Ghidorah, or you were reeled into the dragon realm from watching Mulan’s Mushu or Sisu from Raya and the Last Dragon, or you had your first encounter in Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, or Pokémon, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons provides all the lore and stunningly expansive details on everything you want to know about dragons.
So what’s inside?
First of all, this is a guide to the chromatic and metallic dragons in the Monster Manual, and new gem dragons. These are the small “d” dragons. Other, big “D” Dragons are considered types–tangential, but included to some extent, like dragon turtles and faerie dragons. Dragonsight is a unique power that gives certain dragons a sight into the multiverse–an interesting concept explored here. The guide begins with options to pull dragons or dragon lore into adventures, including three variant dragon-born races, two dragon-oriented subclasses (the Drakewarden ranger and the Way of the Ascendant Dragon monk), feats, and suggestions to connect any class to a dragon theme. Maybe you use an old dragon tooth, horn, claw, or scale to focus spellcasting. Maybe you have protective wings to shield you. It is called Dungeons & Dragons, after all. Now’s the time to make it count!
Readers will be introduced to new spells (like a psychic lance), magic items (like a sapphire buckler made from a dragon scale), new dragon’s hoard items (the power of dragon-touched items is diverse), and supernatural gifts connected to a dragon’s power (perhaps you’ll adapt the qualities of a specific dragon). Chapter 3 includes tips for DMs: build a roleplay dragon, incorporate characters tied to dragonkind, build roles into an adventure or start a full-on dragon campaign. Transform dragons from the Dungeon Master’s Guide from non-playable characters to full-fledged campaign roles. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons includes list after list of traits and ideas to consider. Perhaps your dragon is a crime boss (like Jabba the Hutt) or a powerful Emperor. Lead players to reclaim a lair or steal a treasure.
Options for lairs and hoards are endless, and the guide will get you started. Move beyond a simple sleeping Smaug. Where is the lair, how old is it, and what’s in it? Learn how a hoard itself can hold power and magic. You’ll even have the ability to randomly build a hoard via dice roll and several tables of options.
In the included Draconomicon, meet twenty new dragons, each with detailed maps, traits, ideals, and hooks, connections, and actions. There are faerie dragons, moonstone dragons, and shadow dragons. The Bestiary features thirty creatures, introducing the family of gem dragons, cousins of the chromatic and metallic dragons of the Monster Manual. Meet Bahamut, Tiamat, the dracohydra, the vile dragonbone golem, the dragonnel, eyedrakes, hoard scarabs, the liondrake, and the ancient sea serpent.
The sidebar matter is indexed upfront and a helpful final page arranges creatures by challenge rating and type.
In a big year of new D&D publications, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is an exciting addition, a very different supplement to let you bring dragons to life, following 2021’s Candlekeep Mysteries, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, and The Wild Beyond the Witchlight (plus another adventure is expected by year end–Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos!).
Pre-order Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons with the standard cover here from Wizards of the Coast at Amazon now (or order the alternate shimmering, soft-touch edition from your local game shop). It arrives in just over a week, October 26, 2021. Also, you can pre-order Wizards of the Coast’s next book, Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos, here–it’s coming November 16, 2021. Look for a review of that volume here at borg soon.