Unless you only play home-brewed adventures, it’s hard to toss a stone in Dungeons & Dragons without hitting some kind of actual dragon. Premade adventures lean on the scaly tyrants a fair amount, using them either as the grand mastermind of a campaign, a daunting challenge, or even window-dressing, and where they don’t actually show up, you can still encounter their symbology or influence somehow. So, they end up being somewhat cliché for some players.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons seeks to alleviate this problem by presenting a veritable hoard of new ideas involving mythology’s most universal creatures. This may just prove to be one of the more interesting supplements to arise from Dungeons & Dragons’ Fifth Edition.
For the most part, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a resource for Dungeon Masters, but there are also some goodies for players to browse through in the early chapters. Chapter One provides new character-building options, in keeping with the system’s recent shift toward looser racial designations. The core Dragonborn race gets further divided into the different kinds of dragons, allowing players to choose either chromatic, gem, or metallic dragons as their new character’s ancestors.
Monks and Rangers, meanwhile, can choose between the new subclasses, Way of the Ascendant Dragon, and Drakewarden, respectively. These are seriously cool new options that immediately had me itching to roll new characters—who wouldn’t want a sidekick drake that you could eventually ride at level 15? The chapter rounds out with background ideas and a trio of feats that could be used more generally, the latter likely as a gift from the DM based on story events.
“For the most part, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a resource for Dungeon Masters, but there are also some goodies for players to browse through in the early chapters.”
Chapter Two covers magic spells and items. All serious casting classes have a handful of new options grounded in draconic history, like the 7th level Transmutation spell “Draconic Transformation” or “Ashardalon’s Stride.” There are also some more gifts the DM might impart on players.
The standard assortment of magic items is nice, but what’s really interesting is the concept of Hoard Magic Items, items that have absorbed magic energy from spending time in a dragon’s hoard. Depending on the dragon who owned the hoard and how long the item stays in the associated energy, these items can unlock extremely powerful enhancements. These effects can also be triggered when a dragon is killed in its own lair, so this section alone deserves any DM’s attention.
Likewise, Chapter Three is sure to come in handy at some point in any DM’s career, as it goes into detail about role-playing dragons. Along the way, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons provides tools to help you create your own dragon NPCs, or characters and organizations that may gravitate around them, or adventures and campaigns centred on them. This handy resource continues into the next chapter, outlining how to design these creatures’ lairs.
“Chapter Three is sure to come in handy at some point in any DM’s career, as it goes into detail about role-playing dragons.
The meat of the tome is in the last two chapters, nearly 150 pages of dragon stat blocks, details on all the varieties that exist, and ways to incorporate them into your adventures. It’s practically a Monster Manual in its own right.
Throughout, you’ll find Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons sticks to the strong design pedigree we can expect from Fifth Edition. Information is laid out neatly and supplemented with beautiful art. The independent game store-exclusive cover is a real treat, as always, with an alternative cover by Anato Finnstark.
However, one qualm I have is that its interior relies heavily on the same artwork featured in the Magic: The Gathering crossover set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. It’s great artwork, sure, but it felt recycled to me, having played my fair share of the featured cards.
“Throughout, you’ll find Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons sticks to the strong design pedigree we can expect from Fifth Edition.”
Small gripe aside, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a supplement I wish I’d had when making a dragon-focused campaign a decade ago. The Fourth Edition tackled this topic with two separate tomes—one for chromatic dragons, one for metallic—but this Fifth equivalent manages to be more concise and thorough with a single volume.
If you’re on the fence about putting down the considerable cash to buy this sourcebook, consider your core play group. Are there players who go nuts whenever a dragon’s involvement is teased? Or do you want to present a really thorough campaign experience based on a particular monster type? This may be just the thing you need.
But if your party rolls its eyes in unison if dragons come up in conversation, it’s an easy pass, as a very focused and specialized sourcebook. If you need to build something heavily reliant on these scaly monstrosities, there’s no better place to turn than Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons.