The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons–An introduction to the Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons

Review by C.J. Bunce

Two years ago here at borg we introduced Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, a comprehensive sourcebook on all things dragons, intended for more advanced readers and RPG players.  Now a new illustrated storybook and field guide from Wizards of the Coast is here to serve as an introduction for anyone to the fantasy dragons of Dungeons & Dragons.  The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons is Kendar wizard Sindri Suncatcher’s personal guide to dragons, dragon lore, and dragonkind, stuffed full of enough wonderful dragon artwork and introductory worldbuilding to open the eyes of anyone interested in fantasy.  For D&D gamers already playing, it’s a reminder of 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 order The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons available today here at Amazon.

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, The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons provides the lore to get you on the path to roleplaying with dragons.

If you’ve been around D&D a while, you’ll see that this dragon guide is an expended edition of three guides from 2006-2010: A Practical Guide to Dragons, A Practical Guide to Dragon Riding, and A Practical Guide to Dragon MagicSindri introduces the anatomy and life cycle of the dragon, and explains dragon society, dragon lairs, dragon hoards, and dragon combat skills.  He goes into more detail on dragon magic, identifying dragon breath weapons and magical abilities by dragon type, and you can learn 113 words in “Draconic,” the language of dragons, and learn to write in dragon script.  There’s even dragon etiquette (never taunt a dragon).  The bulk of the book digs into all the dragon types, including full-color artwork, maps of their lairs, and everything you need to know of everything from Black Dragons to Platinum Dragons.  You’ll meet dragonkind, too, including faerie dragons, dragon turtles, pseudodragons, the Dracolich, and shadow dragons, wyvern, and Draconians, dragonborn, and the Kobold.  Then grab your saddle and read what to know about riding a dragon.

The cover artwork was created by Clint Cearley.

Order The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons, available now here from Wizards of the Coast at Amazon.  Much more is coming from Wizards of the Coast for D&D this year, including Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk available for pre-order here, Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse, available for pre-order here, and The Deck of Many Things, available for pre-order soon here.

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