In perhaps one of the most anticipated releases from Wizards of the Coast in 2021, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons brings not only a wealth of lore, but also a rich library of tools and optional resources for Dungeon Masters looking to make the most of all that dragons have to offer. Now standing as the greatest resource for dragons and dragon lore in fifth edition, it has felt long overdue for dragons to receive this treatment and there has been a lot of anticipation since its announcement earlier this year. It did not disappoint. As a stellar supplement to any draconic campaign or adventure, and a solid resource for any Dungeon Master looking to make use of dragons in any extent, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons brings variation and unique aspects to dragons and dragonkind, as well as upgraded character creation options, spells, and more to 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.
Changes Old and New
Long needing a special treatment, dragonborns get a huge upgrade right at the start of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, and it is surely a welcome one for players who have felt underpowered or neglected. With benefits to their breath weapons as well as additional ancestral abilities, dragonborn feel much more viable in the diverse field of fifth edition. The damage and scaling of the breath weapon makes it viable beyond early levels, and the draconic ancestry abilities better mirror other scaling racial abilities. The addition of gem dragonborn with their psionic abilities is another good diverse offering, further giving more variety to dragonborn.
The two new subclasses, the Way of the Ascendant Dragon for the monk and the Drakewarden archetype for the ranger, are each thematic and viable options, but are clearly meant to serve heavily in a dragon-centric adventure. Both subclasses will be familiar to anyone who has been watching the playtest Unearthed Arcana material from Wizards of the Coast, though further refined. The Way of the Ascendant Dragon gets a mix of utility and combat abilities, and the Drakewarden has a good scaling for the Drake Companion, affording it dynamic options in terms of both utility and combat.
New feats and Draconic Gifts bring additional options for Dungeon Master to offer their players. These are themed in a way that they can be bestowed by a dragon, or result in a brush with the magic of a dragon, such as by slaying a great dragon. The three new feats each bear the supernatural effect of each type of dragon, which is reflected in their benefits to the character. Draconic Gifts are just as interesting, bringing minimal or drastic changes, varying based on the rarity and age of the dragon from which it was taken or bestowed. There are also suggestions for utilizing feats from the Player’s Handbook as variant draconic gifts.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons also brings new spells across multiple levels and magic items that vary in rarity. The spells are unique and thematic as to be expected, and even give three bonus action spells to wizards. That seems significant, especially as someone who enjoys playing a wizard and hates not being able to make use of bonus actions nearly ever. Magic items get additional abilities and improved aspects when they steep in a dragon’s hoard, garnishing more powerful features based on the age of the dragon who owns the hoard. These additional abilities can vary from slight quirks to channeling aspects of the dragon whose hoard it rested in. And they’re not always beneficial to the wielder. So be warned, an item taken from the treasure trove of a dragon might offer more than it initially seems. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons boasts more than a dozen new magic items in addition to magical features that result from an item resting in a dragon’s hoard.
Mythology and Lore
The mythology put forward in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons draws from the draconic tradition of the First World and the concept that Bahamut and Tiamat together created the First World, which was then splintered in some unnamed cataclysm. After its sundering and the division of both entities, the fractured pieces of the First World then became the scattered realms of the Material Plane. From Eberron to Toril, there is suggested lore as how the ancient draconic poem “Elegy of the First World” fit within each mythology, and how the tradition of dragons being the first inhabitants of the First World can be reconciled or integrated with established (or not) understandings of different worlds. There is a precedent set with dragons being uniquely and powerfully tied to the Material Plane, with their origin being solely on the Material Plane and their presence being so unbelievably ancient. The lore expands to various aspects, such as the most powerful dragons across the Material Plane becoming aware of echoes, or alternate incarnations, of themselves across different worlds of the multiverse. Even places and objects of great power that bear a connection to dragons can have echoes across the Material Plane, such is the far-reaching magic of dragons. There are examples of how artifacts such as Orbs of Dragonkind, or places like the Sunless Citadel might appear or manifest in different ways across different worlds due to their connection to dragons and dragonkind.
Dragons are granted additional abilities and features, some of which offer variability in combat while others expand the capabilities of a dragon within the world that they live. Dragonsight is an ability in some dragons to gain an awareness of multiple incarnations of themselves across the Material Plane. A strange phenomenon, it is most often cultivated among ancient dragons, and more commonly appeared in gem dragons. It is also known, however uncommon, that some dragons form small, tight-knit communities in an effort to draw out their dragonsight. This awareness allows a dragon to coordinate their ambitions to reach beyond a single world, and can begin the process of harnessing multiple echoes so that a dragon might achieve a transformation into a greatwyrm, an entity greater and more powerful than any single ancient dragon.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons has expanded rules and tables for spellcasting dragons, which is useful in creating more nuanced and varied dragons beyond just combat capabilities. It unfortunately doesn’t expand the breadth of what dragons can do with regards to spellcasting as defined in the Monster Manual, but does offer a good starting place when determining which spells fit with different dragons. The expanded tables and mechanics continue with additional traits, abilities, and actions for dragons beyond spellcast, furthering the multiple ways they can be used and varied.
The heart of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is certainly its emphasis on Draconic Adventures and the Draconomicon, a single chapter which dominates more than a third of the book. It has tools for Dungeon Masters using dragons in every way from roleplay to combat mechanics to conniving their ultimate goals. There are details about groups, orders, and cults that are connected to dragons, and how adventures surrounding such groups might come about and what goals might arise for the plays in thwarting them. There are other possible dragon relationships as powerful entities, where rather than remain solitary they could take on followers who could be anything from fervent worshipers, underlings, business associates, or even students.
Dragon-based adventures are certainly what this book was written for, and such campaigns will get the most out of this supplement. The Lairs and Hoards chapter explores a lot in terms of style, mechanics, and variety, but it comes into greater detail in the Draconomicon chapter. Each of the twenty kinds of dragons are given special treatment, which is why this chapter dominates the book. Each dragon is explored in regards to dragon adventures, their lairs, treasure, and additional scattered lore about dragons of legend. These are then further broken down based on a dragon’s age, as an adventure focused on a young dragon hunting beyond its usual territory will vary drastically from that of an adult dragon seeking to dominate a kingdom.
The final addition to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is the Bestiary, which offers both diverse and powerful dragon and dragonkind creatures for Dungeon Masters. Some of the most powerful, such as greatwyrms and aspects of deities, even gain mythic actions, something that is continuously a welcome addition since their first appearance as a mechanic in fifth edition. The Bestiary has stat blocks for the various gem dragons of different ages, as well as everything from ghost dragons that are tied to their hoards beyond death, to the nightmarish elder brain dragons (they’re the worst thing in D&D, bar none). The monster and creature offerings are rounded out by multiple draconian stat blocks (finally!) and NPC stat blocks for followers and dedicated servants of great dragons and draconic deities.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons was definitely my most anticipated release from Wizards of the Coast in a while, and I am very happy with this book. It has tools and resources for Dungeon Masters, whether they are running an adventure heavily themed around dragons and dragon lore, or they simply want to make more use out of the content, such as making a dragon less one-dimensional or expand the opportunities for adventurer’s delving into a dragon’s lair in search of its hoard. The updated options for dragonborn player characters are great additions, and the bestiary is chalk full of diverse and terrifying stat blocks. I cannot wait to put this supplement to use, and I would highly recommend it to Dungeon Masters. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons has certainly earned its place in the library of D&D sourcebooks.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is published by Wizards of the Coast.
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