Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons review: A PHB for Dungeon Masters

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, the latest sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons, is a bit of an oddity. It’s certainly not a full campaign, like Icewind Dale – Rime of Frostmaiden It’s also not a book about a specific setting, like Eberron: Rise from the Last War It does offer some new ways to build characters, but the resource options available for players feel like an afterthought. Fizban’s TreasuryIt is a unique book, made especially for Dungeon Masters.

The core of Fizban’s TreasuryThe Draconomicon section contains nearly 80 pages dedicated to the 20 species of dragons. That includes gem dragons — amethyst, crystal, emerald, sapphire, and topaz — which have been absent from official D&D books for nearly 20 years. It’s not a traditional bestiary, however, filled with stat blocks and snippets of lore. This is covered later in the book. The Draconomicon, on the other hand, is a miniature version of the real thing. Player’s HandbookBuilt specifically for DMs.

An image of a drakewarden subclass with its pet drake.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Draconomicon is a riff on the darklord-creation system, which was published for the first time in Van Richten’s Guide to RavenloftThis was followed by the expansion of the Download-only version. Domains of Delight. DMs pick a dragon type — say, a brass dragon — then, just as a player would when making their character for the first time, DMs roll some dice to determine the dragon’s personality and ideal. A brass dragon could enjoy learning new things or marvel at the use of magical weapons. The dragon could become obsessed with knowledge accumulation or ensuring all creatures have the right to their own self-determination. It slowly but surely becomes a complete non-player character (NPC).

The lair of a Crystal Dragon

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

From there, DMs can daydream about what that dragon’s lair might look like. Fizban’s Treasury is filled with gorgeous full-page maps by Dyson Logos, each one beautifully setting the mood for each dragon’s preferred home. Other sections of the book detail exactly what a lair and a dragon’s hoard of treasure mean, both narratively and mechanically, to each species of dragon. Before long you’ve got a compelling villain that can be dropped literally anywhere in the D&D multiverse, ready for players to butt heads with. Or maybe your dragon isn’t a villain at all. Fizban’s TreasuryIt also gives guidance about setting up your dragon as an ally (or a local crime boss), a warlord (or even as a patron).

Fizban’s TreasuryThere are some good parts for players characters. It’s exciting to see the drakewarden as a subclass of rangers. Who doesn’t want their own dragon spirit that they can ride into battle? This book is more powerful than any sourcebook that Wizards of the Coast has published over the past few years and empowers DMs with the ability to create their characters. You can find plenty of information and adventure ideas in the remainder of the book to support this premise.

This is to me what that means Fizban’s Treasury There are two main uses for it.

Many publications dump players around level 8-10. The next Call of the Netherdeep – Critical RoleThis is an exception, initiating players at level 3. Even that book will end at level 12. It can prove difficult for DMs to continue the story after a campaign has been published. Many people, including myself, choose to delete existing players characters and launch a new campaign level 1. With Fizban’s TreasuryInstead of going to the ground, DMs could create a customized, high-level villain for dragons (or allies) to help them defeat powerful opponents. Using the source material from the last campaign as well as all the bits of lore in this book, canny DMs should be able to generate another five or more levels of gameplay after just a few hours’ work.

Alternately, DMs might use Fizban’s TreasuryThey can be the starting point for an entire new adventure. One strategy is to hold a long-term night of character creation. Once all the conflicts have been resolved, DMs will be able to go to Draconomicon and create the villain or ally that is needed to move the story forward.

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons isn’t a book that every fan of D&D needs to own. Instead, it’s a book that skilled DMs can use to level up their existing games, or to create a thrilling new world of their own. The book is available at most local game shops and online from October 26.

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons Wizards of the Coast provided a retail copy of the final version for review. Vox Media also has affiliate relationships. Although these partnerships do not impact editorial content, Vox Media could earn commissions on products sold via affiliate links. Here are some links to help you find. additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here

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