log in or register to remove this ad

 

Fizban's Treasury of Dragons Review Round-Up – What the Critics Say

The delayed release of Fizban's Treasury of Dragons made the roll out of reviews a bit different than usual. Some reviews came out on the original release timetable because those review copies shipped normally. Others came later due to the shipping issues plaguing so many industries right now, and reviewers who bought their own copies were even later

dnd-fizbans-treasury-of-dragons-release-date.jpg

The Really Good​

Geeks of Doom really liked the information on customizing and role-playing dragons. It also singles out the addition of the First World concept as tying dragons to the fabric of the D&D multiverse. GoD unequivocally loved FToD, using words like “great” and “a spectacular read” throughout the review as well the reviewer saying that they “absolutely adore” the book. Rating: A+.

The Good​

Polygon loved FToD. calling it a mini Players Handbook for DMs. Polygon's main complaint is that the options for players feel like an afterthought, though it loved the Drakewarden subclass for rangers. Polygon liked how it empowers DMs to make their own dragons, whether they're villains, mentors or a more complicated NPC option, and the amount of inspiration that supports that. In fact, Polygon suggests that FToD could provide a solution to the common problem of what to do with characters at the end of a published campaign by using this book to create a dragon adversary for higher level characters. It loved Dyson Logos' maps for the book, too. While acknowledging that FToD isn't a book for everyone, the praise Polygon heaps on FToD makes it clearly an A rating.

IGN compares FToD to a thematically focused version of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything with a focus on quality over quantity of player options. Like other reviews, it also praises the maps as being “beautiful” and setting the mood for its typeof dragon. While it likes the variety of dragons presented both mechanically and narratively, it also praises the information on dragon allies as a way to enrich a campaign. It namechecks Tasha's again along with Xanathar's Guide to Everything and FToD as combining to make the ranger class versatile and deep. IGN says that what “makes the book such a hit” is the way it helps a DM incorporate dragons into a campaign in a new way, avoid tropes, and expand creatively. Rating: A

Techraptor had a overall favorable view of FToD. It likes the changes to dragonborn, such as the improvements to breath weapons. It also found the hoard magic options interesting. Then it rightly notes that the bulk of the book is about how to roleplay dragons, calling it “incredible for really getting into the nitty-gritty of playing a dragon” and compare the options presented to character creation instead of just having a stat block and making all dragons of the same variety act alike. It also singles out the maps for being “absolutely gorgeous” and adaptable to any game. Techraptor felt FToD is a gateway to fantastic adventures. Rating: A

Bell of Lost Souls points out the “dragon” part of “Dungeons & Dragons” has been rather lackluster in 5E with often one-note motivations. FToD allows DMs and players to imagine the impact dragons would bring to a world. It likes that the book covers all aspects of dragons, not just stat blocks. BoLS doesn't think the book is as clear or easy to use as it could be but otherwise feels that it opens the imagination to how dragons can be used and role played in a campaign. Rating: A

Comic Book Resources (CBR) likes the fact that FToD doesn't just update older dragon books for 5E. It praises FToD for bringing “these majestic creatures to life” and how to better work them into the world of D&D. CBR singled out the abundance of campaign ideas and the depth of information provided to distinguish between the various types of dragons. It was disappointed by the quantity of player options but liked the quality of what was there. Despite those minor quibbles CBR dubbed FToD “the kind of D&D supplement every DM should have...” Rating: A

The Rest​

Strange Assembly does a breakdown of FToD, paying particular attention to the new dragonborn options. As pretty much every review has mentioned, SA points out that the book is far more geared to DMs than players and makes the further distinction that it's especially useful for DMs with homebrew campaigns. It thought the dragon magic options were a bit weak, but liked the bestiary and all of the supplemental material for hoards, liars, etc. However, SA considered the advice on running a dragon and its motivations to be so broad that it was weak. Rating: B

Overall Rating: A​

Dragons tend to universally be considered cool, and they're a foundational part of Dungeons & Dragons so favorable reviews of FToD really aren't surprising. All of the reviews agree that players get the least options in the book, and that the information on adding dragons to a campaign, make them unique, and how to role-play them are the best parts. Averaging the reviews along with my own Fizban's Treasury of Dragons review nets an A rating. Isn't there a saying that dragons, like the house, always wins?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels


log in or register to remove this ad

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
This was probably my favorite idea in the book. Finally a fresh look at dragons. I really appreciated it.
Yeah. I loved the concept of Great Wyrms being more than just "Ancient Dragons, but bigger and more powerful!". We already have 4 age groups of dragons that just increase in size and get more powerful as they age. We don't need an additional one. Making Great Wyrms be this nigh god-like age group of multiversal awareness and extreme magical power is an awesome concept to add.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
This was probably my favorite idea in the book. Finally a fresh look at dragons. I really appreciated it.
Fair enough!

I can appreciate a new take. Alas, I think part of my discomfort comes from having enjoyed a lot of past D&D lore (even 4E, which diverged in a lot of ways), and worrying that new players are missing out on the old lore. Is it fear that I’m being left behind, or fear that the stuff I loved isn’t good enough anymore? Idk… but somehow I’ve lived long enough in this hobby to now relate to the grognards. It all comes around, I guess.

Anyway, dragons are pretty dope. 🐲
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Fair enough!

I can appreciate a new take. Alas, I think part of my discomfort comes from having enjoyed a lot of past D&D lore (even 4E, which diverged in a lot of ways), and worrying that new players are missing out on the old lore. Is it fear that I’m being left behind, or fear that the stuff I loved isn’t good enough anymore? Idk… but somehow I’ve lived long enough in this hobby to now relate to the grognards. It all comes around, I guess.

Anyway, dragons are pretty dope. 🐲
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in previous editions, weren't Great Wyrms basically just more powerful Ancient Dragons? Like, they didn't have anything going for them that was unique, just literally bigger dragons with more power, right? Because, if so, I definitely wouldn't say that any new players (I'm included in this) are "missing out" on that concept, especially when compared to the new lore. Anyone can come up with Great Wyrms that are just bigger Ancient Dragons, so even if some newer players would prefer that, they're not really missing out, anyways, right?

I can understand the "I liked it in older editions" stance, and that's a perfectly valid opinion, and in that case I can see why you might want Great Wyrm stats that aren't Multiversal, Godlike Hyper-Magic Dragons, but I still wouldn't consider that "missing out" on anything, more just of an appeal to tradition.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in previous editions, weren't Great Wyrms basically just more powerful Ancient Dragons? Like, they didn't have anything going for them that was unique, just literally bigger dragons with more power, right? Because, if so, I definitely wouldn't say that any new players (I'm included in this) are "missing out" on that concept, especially when compared to the new lore. Anyone can come up with Great Wyrms that are just bigger Ancient Dragons, so even if some newer players would prefer that, they're not really missing out, anyways, right?
Pretty much this. They usually got a new spell or SLA or two, but that's about it.

The way I see it, if you don't want to make the new great wyrms multi-dimensional in nature, they still have enough new power to basically be kaiju now.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I gave up on my review, stuff happen. But Adventure League people, just buy one copy for the group. The new lair actions are interesting but some things came close to padding. Dragon x. lair map some charts. Dragon y same thing. If you do like dragons or a homebrew DM this is must buy. Otherwise Christmas present.
 


All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
-Leo Tolstoy
It's a lot easier to write an entertaining review of a flawed product. Any review of a product that succeeds in doing what it sets out to do is going to be much the same.
 

gorice

Explorer
Here's a question: what actually makes an RPG supplement 'good' ?

My impression is that for my needs as a DM (and the needs of others who share my opinions), the kinds of materials WotC releases are basically worthless, or at least contain little of use amidst a lot of padding. Clearly, that isn't true for everyone, though.

For example: what I most need from the game is effective procedures for running it, and content that plugs directly into them in ways that are fun. I don't want ideas, or lore, or player options, or random mechanical tidbits that I have to work to incorporate into my game. Also, if I'm getting statblocks, they need to be as good or better than something I can make in five minutes using giffyglyph's monster maker or a take from a third-party source.

For people who do like this book: what does it do for you?
 

DorkForge

Villager
Here's a question: what actually makes an RPG supplement 'good' ?

My impression is that for my needs as a DM (and the needs of others who share my opinions), the kinds of materials WotC releases are basically worthless, or at least contain little of use amidst a lot of padding. Clearly, that isn't true for everyone, though.

For example: what I most need from the game is effective procedures for running it, and content that plugs directly into them in ways that are fun. I don't want ideas, or lore, or player options, or random mechanical tidbits that I have to work to incorporate into my game. Also, if I'm getting statblocks, they need to be as good or better than something I can make in five minutes using giffyglyph's monster maker or a take from a third-party source.

For people who do like this book: what does it do for you?
The art, the tools to flesh out the personality and uniqueness of dragons, the raft of theme-appropriate monsters (don't get me wrong, they're not all hits and the Mythic monsters could be better, but it's overall a pretty good showing IMO), and player options that fall within an acceptable bounds of power (well mostly, looking at you Metallic DB breath weapon) instead of the horrific power creep we've been seeing.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
I was pretty disappointed by things like the lazy retcons to steel dragons,
Mmm.

The thing is, steel dragons kinda had their niche (we're the dragons that live among humanoids!) deleted by 5e giving every metallic dragon the effective ability to do that. And the niche itself doesn't lend itself to "lair effects" like the usual 5e dragon writeup, nor the lair map approach used for other dragons in Fizban's.
 

Here's a question: what actually makes an RPG supplement 'good' ?

My impression is that for my needs as a DM (and the needs of others who share my opinions), the kinds of materials WotC releases are basically worthless, or at least contain little of use amidst a lot of padding. Clearly, that isn't true for everyone, though.

For example: what I most need from the game is effective procedures for running it, and content that plugs directly into them in ways that are fun. I don't want ideas, or lore, or player options, or random mechanical tidbits that I have to work to incorporate into my game. Also, if I'm getting statblocks, they need to be as good or better than something I can make in five minutes using giffyglyph's monster maker or a take from a third-party source.

For people who do like this book: what does it do for you?
All the things you don't need, I want and/or need.
 

ardoughter

Hero
Supporter
I have not read it all yet, I am reading it and really enjoying it. It was perfect timing for me. I accidentally created a dracolich antagonist for 20th level party and this book is giving me some ideas on how to make use of that.
 

renbot

Explorer
I think it's pretty meh compared to Volo's. After reading VGtM I feel like I came away with profoundly different conceptualizations of hags, goblinoids, and to a lesser extent Giants. After reading FGtD I felt like I had been exposed to a lot of "same old" and a bunch of unnecessary and redundant tables.
 

cbwjm

Hero
A lot of the lore I don't like and probably won't ever use, but on the whole I think the book is a good one. The player's options are good, I like the spells and the ideas on running dragons, the creatures are all pretty cool, though I'm thinking I might boost the breath weapons of the great wyrms to be more powerful than ancient dragons (mostly for the chromatic dragons, an ancient red has a decrease in damage which doesn't seem right to me). I love that they brought in draconians, it's something else that is really making me consider running a dragonlance game, though I think it will be an age before we finish the current campaign I'm running. I love the art in the book too, though some of it is a bit derpy, the draconian infiltrator looks like its head is well oversized and it's legs are too small, a little cartoony in appearance.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
Mmm.

The thing is, steel dragons kinda had their niche (we're the dragons that live among humanoids!) deleted by 5e giving every metallic dragon the effective ability to do that. And the niche itself doesn't lend itself to "lair effects" like the usual 5e dragon writeup, nor the lair map approach used for other dragons in Fizban's.
Valid point. In this, I have to complain about WotC bleeding identities together. Why have different metallic dragons at all if they’re all converging on the same identity? If the only difference between a Gold or a Silver is fire or ice breathe weapons, then the game has become more bland.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Valid point. In this, I have to complain about WotC bleeding identities together. Why have different metallic dragons at all if they’re all converging on the same identity? If the only difference between a Gold or a Silver is fire or ice breathe weapons, then the game has become more bland.
The Draconomicon and other sections of Fizban's Treasury of Dragons do well enough work to differentiate Gold and Silver Dragons more than just different breath weapons. Yes, the Great Wyrm uses just one stat block, which is disappointing, but the rest of the book is not at all the same.
 


Really like it as a DM; there's a lot of ideas there that can be repurposed. It sell inspiration as much as it sells rules.

The structure is a bit odd, though. Before reading it I had almost zero idea what gem dragons were, and there's not really a sub-header anywhere there that goes 'this is what gem dragons in general do, this is what sets them apart from chromatics/metallics' like there's in the Monster Manual for chromatics/metallics. You can piece it together yourself but I found it a bit odd. The way the book starts the section on detailed per-dragon lore with a deep-dive on amethysts half a book before you get the Bestiary section explaining their basic gimmick doesn't really help much, either.
 


Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top