D&D 5E Considering Bigby's Big Book of Giants: How much use did you get out of Fizban's Big Book of Dragons?

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
I'm pretty sure those are both books' names. No, I'm not double-checking.

So, I got the digital version of Fizban's, partly for a player who's running a Dragonborn in one of my games, but partly because I had a lot of good memories of the 3E Draconomicon, which is one of the all-time great D&D books. Completely gorgeous, tons of lore about every aspect of dragons, a ton of player-facing content and so many great monsters.

Fizban's, let's say, did not measure up for me. It's fine, don't get me wrong, but boy, it does not measure up. It is a C/C+ book when I was hoping to see another A+ book.

But maybe that's just me. I have one major dragon in my main campaign, and while I will be throwing in every trick in the book when the PCs finally fight her, beyond that, there's not much draconic content I can see using after that.

Considering that Bigby's is likely to be very similar in structure to Fizban's, am I alone in this? Did you get a lot of value out of Fizban's? If so, what did you do with it? If you're excited about Bigby's, tell me why.
 

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Hmm, I'm of a much higher opinion of Fizban's, maybe B+/A- range, even loving the 3e Draconomicon like yourself. But, then again, that book was way bloated, as there were 120 3e (in other words, very long) statblocks, one for every age category of chromatic and metallic dragon (the book skipped out on the gem dragons, which another knock against it in my book, while Fizban's went up in my estimation by including them), which took up a significant amount of the page count; one person would likely never use 85% of them. As much as I originally disliked the drop in dragon age category granularity from 3e to 5e, over time I've come to accept that 12 categories were just too much, and 5e's 4 categories are a better base (which the Monster Manual Expanded series builds on if I want more intermediate ones) for the game in general. In any case, the 3e Draconomicon isn't an A+ for me, now that I look back upon it from a different edition viewpoint and seeing sections of it as examples of typical 3e bloat.

As for Bigby's heck yeah, I'm stoked for it! Giants are one of my favorites, and the minimal coverage they got in Volo's irked me to no end. In fact, due to the lack of giant variants in Volo's and SKT, I created literally dozens of 5e giant variants posted to this very site. I'm very excited to see new official variants in this book, as well as the expanded giant lore. There hasn't been a dedicated giants book since 2e's Giantcraft, so this is long overdue...
 
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As for Fizbans - I've found it rather useful. I ran The Book of the Raven recently, which features
a map with a number of locations on it, that the adventure fails to provide any encounters or content for. I foolishly showed this map to my players, who of course wanted to exhaustively visit all of them. The 'example red dragon lair' and maps from Fizbans were instantly useful for the 'Scar of the Red Wyrm', or whatever it was called.

For Bigby's, I'm hopeful - I've never found giants to be particularly inspiring monsters to build an encounter around, so hopefully the new book can cast them in a light I find interesting.
 


Stormonu

Legend
Was given it for Christmas, don't expect to use anything - unless they don't reprint Draconians in the upcoming DragonLance book.

Compared to the 2E & 3E Draconomicon and AC10 - Bestiary of Dragons and Giants, I wasn't very impressed, and preferred the 3E Draconomicon.

I suspect the the giant book will be mostly a rehash of 2E's FOR7 - Giantcraft, with some 4E twists.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
As for Fizbans - I've found it rather useful. I ran The Book of the Raven recently, which features
a map with a number of locations on it, that the adventure fails to provide any encounters or content for. I foolishly showed this map to my players, who of course wanted to exhaustively visit all of them. The 'example red dragon lair' and maps from Fizbans were instantly useful for the 'Scar of the Red Wyrm', or whatever it was called.
I will plug the Lazy DM's Workbook here, which has page after page of example locations -- not just maps, but detailed rooms -- minus monsters. It's fantastic when your players suddenly say, for instance, "OK, we're going to explore the sewers" when you weren't ready for it.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I'm hoping the giant book gives us more options. Dragons should be so much more than claw, claw, bite. Let's hope they give us something to make giants interesting in combat. I'm not holding my breath, though. I have gotten less use out of the book than planned, but that's partly on the group and partly on the book.
 


Fizban's was a pretty mixed bag. There was some good ideas with lair ideas and possibly motivations and plot hooks etc, but dragons have never really been monsters that get used heavily or routinely, at least in my games, so a lot of the ideas are going to go unused. I found the multiversal background material, the lore about greatwyrms and prime material plane connections, the background to the gem dragons etc, to be not to my taste, so that rules out another big chunk of the book. Would I buy it again? Probably not, on balance. It's not BAD exactly, but I put it aside after first readthrough and haven't really touched it again.

As for Bigby's ... probably not. I've never been a fan of D&Ds elementalist take on giants, and this book looks to be following up that side of things hard if the UA previews are any indication. Plus I'm in the very late stages of a Storm King's Thunder campaign right now, and I'm not real interested in MORE giants right now...
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
The only part of Fizban's that seen play so far are the Dragonborn variants, because my two oldest kids exclusively play Dragonborn.

The book has earned a high place in my esteem for my oldest's use of it as an art refefvook to fill reams of Notebooks with fresh dragon designs.

We like Dragons in these parts.

Also, it has the 5E version of the objectively best D&D Monster, the Dragonne, so it's pure S tier territory, forget lowly A+.

As to Bigby's...I like Giants, amd Giants are more, how you say...expendable...than Dragons are, so I think theybwill se some use. Like Dragona, Giants can also be pretty fleshed out NPCs, so James Wyatt's extra flavor material and maps (because he loves tables and maps, I'm sure they will be present) will be appreciated.
 

I was happy with Fizban's.

I have used: Dragon Wing Bow, Topaz Annihilator, Dragon's Wrath Battleaxe, Draconic Gift (as a reward option), Moonstone Dragon*, Deep Dragon, Dragonbone Golem*, Elder Brain Dragon.

And I'm planning on playing a dragonborn PC from this book the next time I get to be a player rather than a DM.


*The players never encountered these, but they were in.
 

wedgeski

Adventurer
Fizban's isn't the equal of the Draconomicon, I completely agree.

It is a good book, though, and I poured a lot of content from it into some recent campaign prep (dragonflesh grafters, a white dagon lair, some other random monsters). I'd need to build a dragon-focused campaign to get absolute value for money.
 

Agreed on the Draconomicon. I've not really used Fizban's at all, but I'm still excited for Giants to get their Due as it were. In my homebrew campaign world the defining conflict which has marked the ages thus far as been the wars between Giants and Dragons. Both of which are Heavily homebrewed and modified, but regardless, having additional support material and inspiration is always a plus.
 

Reynard

Legend
I reread Fizban's over the weekend and it is a really good book with lots of practical tools as well as big fun ideas. Best GM book of 5E so far. I am looking forward to Giants in the same vein.

Now if they could just fix their stat block problem. CR 30 Aspect of Tiamat breath does 9d12 damage? Come on.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I've used several creatures, a few spells, and considered the feats. It was a low usage, and was a reason I only got it on D&D Beyond.
 


Voadam

Legend
I have not yet gotten Fizban's but it is on my Amazon list for family to consider when Christmas rolls around. A 5e giant's book would be the same.

I enjoy monster lore books so both are on my list, but I don't buy myself hardcopies any more.
 

Weiley31

Legend
I like Fizban's but I also agree that you need to supplement it with the 3.0 Draconomicon and Races of the Dragons for maximum effect.
 
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