Even though the release of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons has been slightly delayed by the ongoing shipocalypse, Wizards of the Coast still got preview copies out on time. What did I enjoy most on my first pass through the book?
A Gem of an AncestryThe first chapter features a lot of cool player options such as dragon themed subclasses, spells, feats and magic items. Of the things you can use in an ongoing game, I liked the Draconic Gifts. These feat-like abilities can be given to characters by dragons or possibly taken, Highlander-style, by a slayer, depending on how the Dungeon Master wants to use them. But my top choice is the Gem Dragonborn Ancestry. Telepathic communication, some personal flight at fifth level and breath weapons that deal out some of the more exotic damage types? This is my new obsession when I make random D&D Beyond characters for fun.
Custom Built DragonsChapter 3 discusses the details of dragons and how they fit into your game. Much like Van Richten’s Guide To Ravenloft contained discussions of the horror genre, this book is focused on building dragons that are a part of your world. What roles can they fit, like rules and crime bosses? How do they reproduce? Do they fit in with the gods or are they rivals? This section is filled with charts, hooks and discussion empowering the Dungeon Master to make unique dragons for their table.
Dragon Type ToolboxesOne of my favorite bits from Mythic Odysseys of Theros were the god write-ups and how they focused on actionable information rather than pages of lore. The dragon type writeups in the book follow a similar format. Each dragon type is given a selection of personality traits, adventure hooks, connections to other creatures and unique treasures for slayers to take home. The dragons introduced in the volume get a little bit of lore, while those dragons already covered get more lair actions to customize big boss fights. Some famous dragons are mentioned in scattered sidebars, but if you’re looking for deep dives on dragon trivia, this is not that book.
Dragon and Dragon Related AccessoriesThe bestiary has the usual writeups for the new dragons, monsters related to dragons and Draconians for fans of Dragonlance. The ones I found most interesting were creatures that were connected to specific parts of the dragon. Equip a master spellcaster dragon with an animated breath to do some elemental bidding. A dragonblood ooze combines dangerous elements of its namesake. Dragonflesh grafters have tried to integrate the magical parts of a dragon into their own body with twisted results. Entries like this broke up the grand dragon stat blocks and offered some smaller challenges to use with players.
Fizban’s CommentaryI’ve always been a sucker for asides in gaming books since I cut my teeth on Shadowrun 30 years ago. Many of the comments in this book from the titular wizard had me laughing out loud as I read the book. They were authored by Amy Vorpahl, who also wrote the zany “Kandlekeep Dekonstruction” in Candlekeep Mysteries. Her writing injects a fresh sense of silliness that D&D needs every once in a while.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons releases on October 26th.