Released October 26th, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a highly anticipated book by both players and dungeon masters. A tome that is one part bestiary, and one part adventure hooks, with a sprinkle of player options. Here is some of the material you can find inside, to help you determine if it is a book your table needs.
Prologue: Elegy for the First World
A simple introduction to the book, giving us a chapter breakdown and sets the tone for the tome. My favorite part of this chapter also runs through the whole of the book; little quotes and commentary from Fizban. Probably the most interesting part of this chapter alone though? A new creation myth for the multiverses of Dungeons and Dragons, one that is Dragon-centric, putting Tiamat and Bahamut front and center.
Chapter 1: Character Creation
While the book is mostly for dungeon masters, there’s a lot of useful player tools as well. Chapter one features new options for Dragonborn characters, even providing further options for those characters wanting to have unique flavor based on their draconic heritage. Further, it introduces a third variety of core dragons; the Gem Dragons. With awesome design aesthetics, cool abilities like Psionic Mind, and the powerful energy types associated with them, Gem Dragonborn are probably about to become very abundant.
For the non-Dragonborn, that want to get in on the draconic fun, there are some new class options. The Way of the Ascendant Dragon monk adds some cool dragon abilities like breath weapons and wings to the monk’s already formidable arsenal. Drakewarden Ranger lets you trade your furry friend for a little dragon buddy. Finally, a trio of feats allows all players some spiffy dragon-flavored options, and come in chromatic, metallic, and gem options.
Chapter 2: Dragon Magic
Dagon Magic is kind of a loose term. In the context of this book, it covers spells, magic items, and rules around magic items. The spells portion is fine, offering some cool thematic spells from various dragons. Some useful, some just make the air smell like apple pie. Both are valid and awesome, but I don’t see much mileage out of the seven spells presented here.
The magical items are a whole different story. There is a myriad of iconic and just fun magical items and weapons in this tome, from the legendary Dragonlance to the dangerous Flail of Tiamat. As cool as these items are, the most interesting rules here are for the Hoard Magic Items. Here we have a system that displays the almost mythical power dragon hoards hold. A magical weapon or item can gain new and unusual powers based on the age of the dragon associated with the hoard. A Dragon’s Wrath weapon, for example, can cause a burst of elemental damage to adjacent enemies, or potentially add a cone attack similar to a breath weapon!
Finally, we have Draconic Gifts, which are not dissimilar to the Epic Boons from the dungeon masters guide. However, instead of being tied to experience gain and progression in that realm, they are more akin to magic items. Dragons can bestow these gifts to characters, their benefits ranging from a Psuedodragon familiar to resistance to piercing and slashing damage.
Chapter 3: Dragons In Play
This chunk of the book is purely for the dungeon masters. Containing tons of tables, anecdotes, and advice for how to roleplay your apex predators. It’s pretty straightforward, allowing you to flesh out a Dragon if you’re adding them as a one-off for an adventure, or a major player in a campaign. Whether ally, antagonist, or just a random NPC, there’s all sorts of advice here. I wish I had more to say, but it is pretty straightforward.
Chapter 4: Lairs and Hoards
Chapter four is devoted to the stage of your draconian piece. It gives solid advice on how to build a dragon’s lair, and the hoard it protects. From set dressings to dire traps, this section gives a myriad of ways to make a lair more lovely.
What’s a lair without the Hoard though? Much like the Dungeon Masters Guide, Fizbans has tables dedicated to building a dragon’s iconic hoard. Coins, art, jewels, and magic items abound on these tables, providing either a quick build or inspiration for your own custom draconic home.
Chapter 5: Draconomicon
This is our potatoes of the meal. This lengthy chapter provides detailed information for understanding more common and recognizable dragons. Your basic true dragons, gem dragons, even faerie and pseudodragon. Plot hooks, adventures, maps, specialized treasure, and art, it’s all here. My only real criticism is this feels like many parts of chapter four could have been lumped into parts of this chapter.
Chapter 6: Bestiary
Now we get to the real fun. Part six is the full bestiary of this tome of dragons, providing stats and information for not only the new true dragons but draconic-associated monsters. There are honestly too many fantastic monsters here to go over, but I want to talk briefly about one of them. This leathery, slimy nightmare, the Elder Brain Dragon.
The EBD is what happens when a Mind-Flayer Elder Brain attaches to a Dragon and becomes a flying psionic nightmare. The EBD can disrupt the concentration of not just spells, but abilities in general, grapple with its tentacles that do psychic damage. But it’s worst, most terrifying ability? It’s Brine Breath Attack. This attack creates a massive line of disgusting elder brain brine as a 15-foot wide line. This attack not only does psychic damage but infects the targets with mind flayer tadpoles. If left untreated, through one of the various ways, the victims will become mind flayers themselves.
Fizban’s is a great book overall. While I wish it offered more in the way of player options, it more than makes up for it with the sheer amount of cool DM stuff between its covers. I’d wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who plays 5e. Pick it up today at your local game or comic store, or on D&D Beyond. Personally? It’s worth getting just for Fizban’s little notes throughout the book.
In a little over a month, we’ll have our next big D&D release. Coming December 7th will be Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos. A book I believe is similar to the Witchlight book that was recently released, in so far that it’s an adventure with some cool player options. This book is based on the Strixhaven Magic: The Gathering set, bringing even more official Magic material to Dungeons & Dragons. I know I’m interested in checking it out.