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Fizban's Treasury of Dragons: An In-Depth Review

Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, the latest D&D dragon compendium, breaks with tradition by not being titled Draconomicon. That's likely to avoid confusion with prior four Draconomicons and follow the 5E trend of supplements having a famous in-world author like Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.

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A Few Disclaimers​

First, I've always loved the dragon side of D&D more than the dungeon part. After all, dragons are cool. Second, I love the gem dragons and was disappointed they weren't included in the 5E Monster Manual. Third, comparing everything in FToD to the previous dragon books would make this review longer than the FToD so as much as I'd enjoy that, it's just not feasible.

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Meet Fizban's​

For those who don't know, Fizban is a character from the Dragonlance saga. Seemingly an absent-minded wizard who tends to show up in the nick of time and is frequently surrounded by seven canaries, Fizban is actually Paladine, the platinum dragon and god of good dragons (the canaries are actually gold dragons in disguise) in the world of Krynn. So Fizban's comments and notes through the text are both well informed and whimsical.

The project leader for FToD is James Wyatt, a long-time D&D and Magic the Gathering designer, who was one of the developers for the third edition Draconomicon. It's apparent this is as much of a passion project for Wyatt as Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft was for F. Wesley Schneider and like that book, it reflects well in the work.

FToD is a book for both players and DMs, and it's dense with content and inspiration. For those who like numbers, it includes 34 creatures with 70 stat blocks (as with the Monster Manual, dragons get stat blocks for their different ages). The Draconomicon chapter is about a third of the book's 224 pages. The Bestiary chapter is roughly another third with the first third providing players options and DM advice.

But the first thing you'll encounter after the table of contents is Elegy for the First World, a one-page piece of fiction that explains the creation of the First World and how both the Material Plane and all the other settings came about. It ties the actual creation of the D&D multiverse to dragons, specifically Bahamut and Tiamat, who then created Sardior, the ruby dragon and first of the gem dragons.

Don't mistake the one-page elegy for fluff. It actually provides insight to where D&D is going with its multiverse, and, I believe, is a hint that Planescape or something similar is one of the settings to come. It also closely ties dragons to creation and explains the echoes of some named creatures throughout the D&D multiverse, such as Paladine and Bahamut. It then follows with specific advice for the classic settings Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Eberron, and, of course, Forgotten Realms, as well as explaining dragonsight. That's an ability some old dragons develop that allows them to see variations of themselves throughout the D&D multiverse.

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Dragonborn “Reborn”

Draconic player options begin with, of course, the dragonborn. We got a glimpse of this earlier when WotC released the Unearthed Arcana on Draconic Races. In the Players Handbook, dragonborn breath weapons inflict 2d6 damage on a failed save. In the UA version that changed to 2d8. The final version in FToD is 1d10 damage.

One thing I liked is that they changed the breath weapon shape. In the PHB half of the breath weapons had a cone shape and half had a line but there was no rhyme or reason as to which was which. For example, brass dragonborn had a fire breath weapon in a line and gold and red dragonborn had cone-shaped fire breath weapons. Now it's simplified to chromatic dragonborn have breath weapons in the shape of a line and metallic and gem dragonborn having cone-shaped breath weapons. Instead of increasing by 1d6 at 6th, 11th and 16th levels, damage increases by 1d10 at at 5th, 11th and 17th levels.

Appropriately, gem dragonborn get different types of breath weapons. While chromatic and metallic dragons have fire, cold, acid, or lightning breath weapons, depending upon their lineage (and green dragonborn get poison), gem dragonborn have either radiant, force, psychic, thunder, or necrotic damage.

As per the UA version, chromatic dragonborn get chromatic warding, which makes them immune to damage that matches their breath weapon type, but only for 1 minute, not the 10 minutes in the UA, and it happens at 5th level, not 3rd. Gem dragonborn get gem flight, which creates spectral wings they can use to fly for 1 minute starting at 5th level, using the same speed as they do for walking.

The extra ability for metallic dragonborn was similarly tweaked from the UA to FToD version and now with cool names. At 5th level they get a second breath weapon that can be used one of two ways until recharged by a long rest (chromatic warding and gem flight also recharge on a long rest). Repulsion breath pushes the target away unless the target succeeds on a Strength save, and Enervating breath incapacitates the opponent until the start of the dragonborn's next turn unless the opponent makes a Constitution save.

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Draconic Subclasses and Feats​

FToD adds two new dragon-flavored subclasses for monk and ranger players, and I like both of them.

I've never played a monk because generally other classes interest me more. However, the Way of the Ascendant Dragon is intriguing. Legend says that the platinum dragon Bahamut, in the guise of a young monk, created this form to allow practitioners to be more connected to the world and its magic. A random table provides inspiration as to how the monk learned this style. Draconic Strike allows the monk to turn their unarmed strike into either acid, cold, fire, lightning or poison damage—a handy trait when fighting something immune or vulnerable to certain types of damage. It's especially useful since there's no limitation on using it. Breath of the Dragon allows the monk to substitute a breathe weapon for one of their attacks. With Wings Unfurled the monk sprouts spectral wings till the end of their turn, and they can repeat that as many times as the number of their proficiency bonus. Aspect of the Wyrm grants either Resistance for protection or Frightful Presence for intimidation. Ascendant Aspect boosts prior abilities into Explosive Fury, Augmented Breath, or Blindsight.

But the subclass getting the most attention is the Drakewarden Ranger. In this case the ranger's connection to nature forges a relationship with a draconic spirit which takes a drake's physical form and whose abilities grow with the ranger. The Drake Companion begins as a small dragon, but it eventually can become a larger winged dragon the ranger can ride. How cool is that? Some of the abilities the ranger gets as they go up in level stay focused on the Drake Companion, like Drake Breath, which gives the ranger a breath weapon that refreshes after a long rest. Others include: Perfected Bond, which provides the Empowered Bite option for the drake; Large Drake, which enhances its size; and Reflexive Reaction.

But the fun isn't limited to these subclasses or dragonborn. A table offers inspiration on how to add draconic flair to any character. New feats are another option. Gift of the Chromatic Dragon allows a martial weapon to be infused with the damage type of a chromatic dragon or Reactive Resistance. Gift of the Gem Dragon allows an ability score increase or Telepathic Reprisal (a telekinetic wave as a reaction after taking damage). Gift of the Metallic Dragon provides Draconic Healing or Protective Wings.

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Draconic Magic​

One of the things the lore in FToD does, especially the elegy, is that it ties dragons closely to the magic of the D&D multiverse, saying that magic is concentrated in them and their lairs. Appropriately, FToD includes seven new spells, ranging from 2nd to 7th level. These spells can be used by monsters or player characters, with the DM's permission. The DM's decision is important, because the average caster isn't likely to just randomly run across draconic spells.

For similar reasons, the 13 new draconic magic items are given a rarity to reflect that the most powerful items should be given for plot-related reasons. Of course, one is a dragonlance and it's legendary tier. In addition to +3 to attack and damage from the lance, it delivers an additional 3d6 force damage against dragons AND lets the wielder grant any dragons they wish within 30 feet the ability to use its reaction for melee attack. So if the wielder is working with a group of dragons against other dragons, it's especially powerful. At the other end of the magic item power tier is the emerald pen, which requires no ink and allows the user to cast illusory script at will and without material components.

Another way players can gain dragon magic is through draconic gifts. These are boons, similar to the options in the Dungeon Masters Guide. One way to receive a draconic gift is by killing a dragon, but I'm happy that that is not the only option provided. A dying dragon could designate a character its heir. Or maybe a dragon grants a boon to reward a great service done for it. Draconic gifts are also ranked by rarity. At the low end of the scale is a draconic familiar gift to Scaled Toughness at the other end. That legendary gift bestows resistance to slashing and piercing damage.

Regardless of how or why the DM decides to grant a draconic gift, the player is marked visually. That can range from their eyes changing to a dragon's appearance to transforming into a dragonborn.

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Hoards – Design, Magic and More​

Hoards, not surprisingly, get a lot of attention. The Hoard Magic Item section in Chapter 2 addresses what happens to items kept in a dragon's hoard (they can absorb magic from the hoard and gain quirks.

Chapter 4 – Lairs and Hoards – dives into even more detail about dragon lairs. The magic of a dragon's hoard and lair can change the region surrounding it. This chapter covers plundering hoards, linking hoards, the age of the hoard and how it affects its power, cursed hoards, quirks, how to create a hoard and what's in it.

Chapter 5 – Draconomicon – has more hoard information. This chapter is broken down by the type of dragon so here you get the specifics of a dragon's treasures and preferred art objects as opposed the broader information in Chapter 4. Personally, I hate having to flip through three different sections while reading about or designing a hoard, but the alternative of putting it in all one chapter could be unwieldy.

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Building a Dragon

Chapter 3 – Dragons in Play – is a fun chapter for DMs. It has advice for how to roleplay a dragon. After all, when you have a dragon show up, you want it to be awesome and not just a routine big bad. DMs get random tables for inspiration on creating the dragon's appearance, mannerisms, name, bonds, flaws, secrets, plus more tips. Goals are also addressed by a dragon's age.

But wait, there's more! This chaper also addresses a dragon's territory, reproduction, dragon egg origins, and half-dragon origins. If there's a chance that the players (or an NPC) kills a dragon there's guidance on a dragon's death throws, passing the mantle, and how a region will recover after the dragon's death. But death isn't always the end in Dungeons & Dragons. Undeath for dragons is also addressed.

Gods and religion is another thorny topic. After all, Bahamut and Tiamat are dragon gods and the primordial creators of the First World. Yet dragons aren't terribly religious. That contradiction is addressed as well as the fact that humanoids may worship dragons, which ties into organizations like Cult of the Dragon and its followers. Mixed in with all of this are adventure hook ideas and ideas for dragon encounters, dragon adventures and dragon campaigns. DMs also get advice on how to run dragon NPCs as monsters, schemers, or power players.

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The Really Good Stuff​

FToD is packed with lots of useful information and inspiration. If you like dragons, chapters 5 and 6 will probably be your favorite. As I said before, chapter 5 is the Draconomicon, but it takes a somewhat different approach than its namesake predecessors. Rather than solely having long paragraphs of details, each entry contains some tables that provide inspiration for aspects of the dragon. This allows the DM to customize the dragon so no two dragons are alike.

The dragons covered in this section include amethyst, black, blue, brass, bronze, copper, crystal, deep, emerald, faerie, gold, green, moonstone, red, sapphire, shadow, silver, topaz, and white dragons plus dragon turtles. Each of those gets information and tables for personality traits, adventure hooks, ideals, connection is by age, treasures, and lair features. Dyson Logos provides lair maps for every dragon in this section, except the dragon turtle because they live in caverns along the ocean floor or among coral reefs. Mixed in are sidebars for named dragons.

The Bestiary chapter has almost everything I've wanted since the Monster Manual was released without gem dragons. Stat blocks are provided for wyrmling, young, adult, and ancient entries for the amethyst, crystal, emerald, sapphire, topaz, deep, and moonstone dragons. To supplement the standard dragon turtle MM entry ancient, young, and wyrmling stat blocks are added for that species. Aspects for Bahamut and Tiamat are also included.

Then Wyatt and team borrow an idea from his work on Mythic Odysseys of Theros. The Chromatic, Gem, and Metallic Greatwyrms are formidable creatures (CR ratings of 26-28). In addition to legendary actions like ancient dragons get, greatwyrms get mythic actions for an epic feel.

Familiar creatures like dragonnels, liondrakes, dracohydras, hoard mimics, and ghost dragons get an update for 5E. Then the creature options get interesting – or weird depending upon how you view them.

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Intriguing Creature Options​

Have you ever wanted to learn more about parasites that target dragons? Now you can! Egg hunters are low level parasites, with egg hunter hatchlings being CR 2 and egg hunter adults being CR 5. The elderbrain dragon, however, is a terrifying concept even before you realize it's CR 22.

Metallic Peacekeepers and Metallic Warblers are made by metallic dragons from the metal they're associated with and animated by their breath. The peacekeepers are created when a metallic dragon wants to protect a community. The warbler is a like a metallic songbird that can watch over the community and warn of threats. Animated Breath is awesome. Some chromatic dragons can harness their magic and use it to focus their breath weapon with an animating connection to the matching elemental plan, creating a bipedal animated elemental.

More powerful is a Draconic Shard. Since gem dragons have psionic abilities, sometimes a gem dragon's mind and will refuses to go and instead inhabits an item in the dragon's hoard, usually a weapon. In its true form, it looks like a spectral dragon but people typically see the item it inhabits. The Draconic Shard will continue to pursue the original dragon's agenda. Formidable foes, Draconic Shards are difficult to destroy, are a CR 17, and have legendary actions.

Dragonblood Ooze is the result of misbegotten alchemical experiments. Dragonbone golems are appropriately creepy and at a CR 11, a tough fight. Hoard scarabs, solo or as swarms (both get stat blocks) are another threat to those trying to raid a dragon's lair even if its owner isn't there.

If a beholder obsesses over a dragon, such as a rival, the beholder's thoughts can eventually create an eyedrake. This creepy looking aberration has six rays ranging from freezing to death.

Moonstone dragons are gem dragons touched by the feywild. When the First World was invaded by gods creating their own followers, a dragon hid their clutch of eggs in the feywild, which transformed them. They can inspire artists and poets that live near their lairs by visiting their dreams. They also cherish treasure that doesn't have a material value, like a locket of hair of a beloved person or the memory of a song's heartfelt performance. That said, they're still fond of silver, mithral, and platinum.

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Quibbles & Questions​

I've been a fan of the art and art direction for the last few D&D books and loved what they did with the core trilogy. I much prefer this art over portrayals of gem dragons in other media, where they've been sometimes depicted as having gems attached to them, making them look like growths. The art in FToD is so good. The greatwyrms look fierce. The Animated Breath, Metallic Peacekeeper, and Draconic Shards are inspiring. The Dragonblood Ooze is creepy.

The gem dragons have scales that glint like gems or, in the case of the sapphire dragon, have a depth of color appropriate for its namesake. And yet, if you look at the art that goes with the gem dragon stat blocks and compare it to the counterparts for metallic and chromatic dragons the art doesn't have the same majesty. I can't put my finger on why, but a side-by-side comparison makes the difference noticeable even though the new art is otherwise perfectly fine. It's a small quibble, but the difference is odd.

No art was provided for the dragonic magic items. That's especially disappointing since the magic item art in the DMG is especially good and magic items in the adventure books almost always have accompanying art. It's a strange omission.

I have no quibbles about the exterior art. The cover for the mass market version by Chris Rahn features a battle between a crystal dragon and a red dragon while Fizban tries to protect bystanders. It's perfect. The limited edition game store cover by Anato Finnstark also features battling crystal and red dragons, but the metallic inks give it depth and a luscious look.

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Should You Buy It?​

I love dragons, but that doesn't guarantee I will automatically like a dragon bestiary or every version of gem dragons. In fact, sometimes it means I'm more critical because I want to see it done right.

With Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, Wyatt and his team have built on prior Draconomicons and added fresh ideas. It also looks like it may be laying groundwork for revivals of Planescape and Dragonlance. Time will tell on that point.

I'm also really happy to see the gem dragons restored to the setting for 5E. Regardless of what WotC does with alignments, chromatic dragons being predominantly evil and metallic dragons being predominantly good will probably remain. Gem dragons fill the gap by being predominantly neutral. In my opinion they should have been standard in every Monster Manual in every edition since they first appeared in Dragon Magazine #37.

Should you buy FToD? Absolutely. It contains plenty of content for both players and DMs. Even beyond subclasses and such, if you like to play dragonborn the suggestions in FToD for connecting dragonborn more closely to their true dragon counterparts and the dragon lore will provide plenty of fodder. And DMs get a wealth of inspiration for any method or level of adding dragons to your campaign.

The only way that FToD might not be useful is if you and your players don't use dragons or dragonborn. Still, while FToD is a terrific resource for both players or DMs it's less important in overall gameplay than Xanathar's Guide to Everything is.

Fizban's Treasury of Dragons hits a sweet spot between serving players and DMs. It highlights one of the most iconic aspects of D&D, adding to the draconic information that already exists in 5E, reviving dragons from prior editions, and adding new dragon-inspired creatures. That makes it an A+. for me.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

pogre

Legend
I just wanted to make a quick comment to say thank you for the review. Your review of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight led me to buy a book I had no intention of even considering - and my players are having a blast with it. This review has convinced me this is a book I am not interested in for now. Although you might not intend the latter, (indeed, you say as much), it does mean the reviews are valuable to me.
 

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RavinRay

Explorer
  1. Also, I really dislike "Crystal Dragons". Crystal isn't a type of gemstone. Diamond would work better. Actually, I think it would work better if Sardior was the Diamond Dragon, and then the main types of Gem Dragons were Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Pearl Dragons. I've never been much of a fan of Topaz or Topaz Dragons, and I really don't understand why Topaz dragons do Necrotic damage. (If I were to redo the Breath Weapon damage types for this array of Gem Dragons, Amethyst would be Psychic, Emerald would be Force, Ruby would be Radiant, Sapphire would be Necrotic, and Pearl would be Thunder.)
As anyone might guess, I go crazy over gem dragons so:

Collins may have gone for "crystal" because it is actually an archaic name for quartz (from the Greek "krystallos" to refer to completely clear quartz that was assumed to be permanently frozen ice), but the latter just doesn't give off that precious gemstone feel. I rule out pearl for two reasons: 1) it's an organic gemstone (like amber); and 2) it's more strongly associated with aquatic settings (as I recall the 2e pearl dragon was a coastal beast that enjoys diving into the sea). The gems ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz are almost always are associated with a single color (red, green, blue and yellow respectively), so we got the color-coded dragon species name going on.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
1) it's an organic gemstone (like amber)
So what? Dragons are organic. Surely a Gemstone Dragon can be based off of an organic gemstone.
2) it's more strongly associated with aquatic settings (as I recall the 2e pearl dragon was a coastal beast that enjoys diving into the sea).
I mean, I was kinda intending that. I would have Pearl Dragons be the "Aquatic Gemstone Dragon". There's an aquatic Chromatic (Black/Green) and aquatic Metallic Dragon (Bronze/and kinda Gold).
 

darjr

I crit!
I just wanted to make a quick comment to say thank you for the review. Your review of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight led me to buy a book I had no intention of even considering - and my players are having a blast with it. This review has convinced me this is a book I am not interested in for now. Although you might not intend the latter, (indeed, you say as much), it does mean the reviews are valuable to me.
Seconded, about the review.
 

  1. Fully agreed. I also never liked how two of the different types of Metallic Dragons were alloys (Bronze, Brass). I think a grouping of 5 Metallic Dragons would be way more fitting if it was "Copper, Silver, Gold, Mithral, and Adamantine", instead of "Copper, Copper-Alloy, Copper-Alloy, Gold, Silver". Hell, I'd even go for Iron and Mercury (or perhaps Tin) over the Brass and Bronze.
  2. Also agreed. I feel similarly about Bahamut being the Platinum Dragon. Also, I really dislike "Crystal Dragons". Crystal isn't a type of gemstone. Diamond would work better. Actually, I think it would work better if Sardior was the Diamond Dragon, and then the main types of Gem Dragons were Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Pearl Dragons. I've never been much of a fan of Topaz or Topaz Dragons, and I really don't understand why Topaz dragons do Necrotic damage. (If I were to redo the Breath Weapon damage types for this array of Gem Dragons, Amethyst would be Psychic, Emerald would be Force, Ruby would be Radiant, Sapphire would be Necrotic, and Pearl would be Thunder.)
  3. . . I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Striped-body Tiamat would be weird.
Gold - Silver - Bronze is something of a natural progression because of the Olympic Medals and the Ages of Man. And gold - sliver -copper makes sense as the traditional currency order. Brass is always what gets me; it just doesn't seem to fit anywhere and is just kind of random. If anything, they should have continued the Ages of Man order and added Iron at the end as the fifth metallic type.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Gold - Silver - Bronze is something of a natural progression because of the Olympic Medals and the Ages of Man
I see your point, but also would like to point out that dragons are not Olympic Medals or based off of the Ages of Man. They're based off of colors, metals, and gemstones.
gold - sliver -copper makes sense as the traditional currency order
That, and because of how the Periodic Table works. Those three are all in the same column.
Brassss is always what gets me; it just doesn't seem to fit anywhere and is just kind of random. If anything, they should have continued the Ages of Man order and added Iron at the end as the fifth metallic type.
Yeah, Brass is the one I dislike the most, especially because it gets Fire as a breath weapon, but I'm also not a huge fan of Bronze being one of the core types of Metallic Dragons. Iron and Platinum, or Adamantine and Mithral would have worked better, IMO.
 
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RavinRay

Explorer
So what? Dragons are organic. Surely a Gemstone Dragon can be based off of an organic gemstone.
Of course we can base a gem dragon from an organic gemstone. Just that including them among the five main gem dragon species leaves them the odd man out. I homebrewed the converted 3.5e amber and pearl dragons as a sister branch to those five gem dragons. They're not psionic out of the egg, but develop psionics in later age categories.
I mean, I was kinda intending that. I would have Pearl Dragons be the "Aquatic Gemstone Dragon". There's an aquatic Chromatic (Black/Green) and aquatic Metallic Dragon (Bronze/and kinda Gold).
They're more like terrestrial dragons with aquatic adaptations, basically just giving them the water breathing ability and enhanced swim skills. The Oceanus and Styx dragons in the 3.5e Draconomicon are the aquatic true dragons that we had in 3.5e. I homebrewed an entire group of aquatic metallic, chromatic, and gem dragons such as quicksilver (which I differentiated from mercury), sepia, and aquamarine as respective examples. I did it mostly as a spin-off from the lore of Bahamut's Children: if Medrinia is his representative to the good aquatic dragons, where are they? Granted, bronze dragons could fall under her dominion as well, but that's it? Makes her feel kinda lonely not having an entire group of species to watch over.
 


Kurotowa

Legend
Gold - Silver - Bronze is something of a natural progression because of the Olympic Medals and the Ages of Man. And gold - sliver -copper makes sense as the traditional currency order. Brass is always what gets me; it just doesn't seem to fit anywhere and is just kind of random. If anything, they should have continued the Ages of Man order and added Iron at the end as the fifth metallic type.
There's also the problem that the Brass - Bronze - Copper trio just don't have a distinct identity.

Green dragons are the poison dragons that live in forests. Black dragons are the acid dragons that live in swamps. Red dragons are the fire dragons that live in mountains. Clear, iconic, easy to remember. Copper dragons are acid dragons that live in rocky uplands. That's less memorable and a lot more niche. Same with Bronze dragons being lightning dragons that live in coastal regions. And Brass dragons being the fire dragons that... wait, aren't Gold dragons the metallic fire dragons? Well, yes, but apparently we can't have good poison dragons so Brass are fire too. And they prefer hot dry areas like deserts, which makes total sense for dragons described as especially social and gregarious.

Chromatic dragons get very distinct identity hooks and are associated with major biomes. Gold and Silver dragons dispense with the biome links and focus on being shapeshifters who meddle in mortal affairs as their central hook. But the Brass - Bronze - Copper trio just feel like dollar store knockoffs. Their elemental associations aren't reflected in their appearance or attitudes. Their biome associations are the crummy leftovers after the chromatics took the good ones. There's few good hooks for who they are or what they do or how you keep track of which is which. I've been playing D&D for 30 years and I had to look up which was which for this post!

Now, maybe Fizban's will offer some more compelling identity for them. I'm open to being convinced they have some value. But right now, I don't believe I've ever seen one of those three types in actual play in my 30 years, and I don't expect that to change any time soon.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
There's also the problem that the Brass - Bronze - Copper trio just don't have a distinct identity.

Green dragons are the poison dragons that live in forests. Black dragons are the acid dragons that live in swamps. Red dragons are the fire dragons that live in mountains. Clear, iconic, easy to remember. Copper dragons are acid dragons that live in rocky uplands. That's less memorable and a lot more niche. Same with Bronze dragons being lightning dragons that live in coastal regions. And Brass dragons being the fire dragons that... wait, aren't Gold dragons the metallic fire dragons? Well, yes, but apparently we can't have good poison dragons so Brass are fire too. And they prefer hot dry areas like deserts, which makes total sense for dragons described as especially social and gregarious.

Chromatic dragons get very distinct identity hooks and are associated with major biomes. Gold and Silver dragons dispense with the biome links and focus on being shapeshifters who meddle in mortal affairs as their central hook. But the Brass - Bronze - Copper trio just feel like dollar store knockoffs. Their elemental associations aren't reflected in their appearance or attitudes. Their biome associations are the crummy leftovers after the chromatics took the good ones. There's few good hooks for who they are or what they do or how you keep track of which is which. I've been playing D&D for 30 years and I had to look up which was which for this post!

Now, maybe Fizban's will offer some more compelling identity for them. I'm open to being convinced they have some value. But right now, I don't believe I've ever seen one of those three types in actual play in my 30 years, and I don't expect that to change any time soon.
I actually think that Bronze Dragons are the most compelling of the Brass - Bronze - Copper trio, but I still don't think that they should be one of the 5 main Metallic Dragons. Coastal Dragons that breathe lighting is more interesting than . . . whatever the purpose of Copper and Brass Dragons are. I do think that Copper has potential, but it's not great right now, IMO. And Brass is just plain boring and redundant, in more than one way. The only interesting thing it has going for it is the line of fire that it breathes, and that isn't enough to justify it existing or being a core Metallic Dragon.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I see your point, but also would like to point out that dragons are not Olympic Medals or based off of the Ages of Man. They're based off of colors, metals, and gemstones.

That, and because of how the Periodic Table works. Those three are all in the same column.

Yeah, Brass is the one I dislike the most, especially because it gets Fire as a breath weapon, but I'm not a huge fan of Bronze being one of the core types of Metallic Dragons. Iron and Platinum, or Adamantine and Mithral would have worked better, IMO.
Bronze and Brass are metallic. They're just alloys and not pure metals. So yeah, I think that will echo the sentiment that I would almost want Metallic dragons to follow the legendary ages of humanity from Greek myth rather than the current set-up. But "tradition!" is a thing, so I doubt that we will escape the yoke of tradition for something that makes more sense.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Bronze and Brass are metallic. They're just alloys and not pure metals.
Yup, and while they are alloys, they are alloys of metals. Steel is traditionally an alloy of iron and carbon, a nonmetal. So it makes sense that the steel dragon feels different from the 100% metallic dragons. Also both bronze and brass are alloys of copper, one of the three gold group of metals (Cu, Ag, Au) that form a column in the periodic table of elements. So at least the five main metallic dragons are based on the gold group.
 



FireLance

Legend
Copper dragons are acid dragons that live in rocky uplands. That's less memorable and a lot more niche. Same with Bronze dragons being lightning dragons that live in coastal regions. And Brass dragons being the fire dragons that... wait, aren't Gold dragons the metallic fire dragons? Well, yes, but apparently we can't have good poison dragons so Brass are fire too. And they prefer hot dry areas like deserts, which makes total sense for dragons described as especially social and gregarious.
I recall that up until 2E, gold dragons had a chlorine (poison - same as a green dragon's) breath weapon in addition to their fire breath weapon. I guess the idea that the "good guys" shouldn't use poison kicked in during the transition to 3E, and it got replaced with the current weakening breath.
 

I recall that up until 2E, gold dragons had a chlorine (poison - same as a green dragon's) breath weapon in addition to their fire breath weapon. I guess the idea that the "good guys" shouldn't use poison kicked in during the transition to 3E, and it got replaced with the current weakening breath.
Didnt the Old Gray FR boxed set for 1E also state that Faerunian dragons could use their breath weapon every round as opposed to the normal MM dragons. I dont recall the actually frequency they could breathe but pretty sure it was more than dragons on other worlds. .
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Weird thought about Dragon sight, what happens when a Dragon created by True Polymorph tries to do Dragon Sight?
Polmorph does not create something new. It plunders the multuverse for something to copy; this is why you can't attach arbitrary class levels to anything, it must exist.

The polymorphed dragon is a new incarnation of a being elsewhere, a thread of fate stolen from another tapestry.
 

We should remember the possibilities of new species created "artificially" by powerful spellcasters (or as divine reward) who wished enjoy the dragons' longevity. For example a yuan-ti cult creating the cobra dragon as the ultimate war beast.

An elysian dragonborn with that duck beak would be very funny as April's Fool (and later as a toy for children). And the infernal (lower planar) dragonborn are perfect as "guests" for Ravenloft and Innistrad.

Elysian.jpg
 

Bitbrain

Location: Arrakis
And since we're on the topic of D&D dragons...
  • Sardior being a unique ruby dragon. Ruby dragons should be a common species. And the deity of all gem dragons ought to be crystals shimmering across the spectrum.
  • Likewise, Tiamat's body should not be predominantly a single color.
Obviously nothing all that hard to alter at home, but this doesn't change the fact of the official fluff - and to varying degrees crunch - irking me. It's honestly why I've never even included gem dragon cameos.

From Mystara
1) Ruby dragons are a thing. They breathe fire and hire themselves out as mercenaries.
2) Tiamat’s equivalent in this setting is Pearl, a dragon immortal whose scales refract all the colors of the rainbow.

Also agreed. I feel similarly about Bahamut being the Platinum Dragon. Also, I really dislike "Crystal Dragons". Crystal isn't a type of gemstone. Diamond would work better. Actually, I think it would work better if Sardior was the Diamond Dragon, and then the main types of Gem Dragons were Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Pearl Dragons.

There actually is a dragon Immortal in the setting of Mystara called Diamond. He’s kinda-sorta the Bahamut equivalent.
 


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