Over the years, Dungeons & Dragons has traditionally focused more on the dungeons element of the fantasy roleplaying game than on the dragons. Now Wizards of the Coast is looking to remedy this imbalance with a new bestiary rich with lore, encounters, and information about these beloved and scaly monsters. Fizban's Treasury of Dragons is mostly geared toward helping Dungeon Masters enhance their campaigns, but players can get something out if it too.
Last year, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything emphasized character creation options, with around two dozen subclasses and a newly refined method to race through custom origins. While Fizban's Treasury of Dragons offers less for the typical D&D player, the sourcebook encourages quality over quantity. And where Tasha covered plenty of elements without a particular theme in mind, Fizban smartly hones in on dragons and their evergreen influence within the universe.
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons comes in six chapters. The introduction is a lore-focused entry narrated by Fizban the Fabulous themselves. The first two chapters offer players brand new character creation tools and dragon-related feats, spells, and items to choose from. Originally from the Player's Handbook, the Dragonborn race gets an overhaul with three unique subclasses from the three types of dragons available, with an additional subclass upgrade from playtesting for Rangers.
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons also introduces a new mechanic around taking magic items from dragons. You get various templates that allow weapons and items to grow in power from the magic of being in a dragon's hoard. The sourcebook is rich in detail and includes nuances you wouldn't likely otherwise consider when creating a D&D campaign, which is one of the book's strengths.
At the heart of this book is the Draconomicon, a huge chunk of content dedicated to around twenty different species of dragons, including gem dragons, which were omitted from official D&D sourcebooks since Third Edition. It's not quite a bestiary in comparison to Volo’s Guide to Monsters, but offers a sprinkle of lore and stat blocks for those looking for a condensed Player's Handbook with DM's in mind.
With the Draconomicon, DM's can visualize what a dragon's lair would look like thanks to the beautifully full-page maps. Each map sets the mood for the dragon's preferred home or backdrop for adventurers. Going further, the sourcebook goes into incredible detail about the dragon's hoard of treasure, which reflects in the species of dragon, both in terms of narrative and mechanics. It's not all about epic fights with scaly beasts either — Fizban's Treasury of Dragons offers direction on how to create dragon allies, such as patrons, mercenaries, or warlords to enrich the overall campaign experience.
Although the sourcebook skews heavily towards DMs, there is content for character players as well. Firstly, you have Drakewarden, which is a subclass offering for Rangers. As the name suggests, the player gains a draconic companion which grows and bonds alongside the character. Through an encounter or discovery in the Ranger's past, the character forms a bond with a draconic spirit that came into being as an infant drake. With this bond, the Drakewarden becomes proficient in dragonkind, giving them the ability to read, speak, and write in the Draconic language.
Admittedly the Drakewarden's companion is small to start with, but offers assistance in combat and takes actions straight after the character's turn. As the Drakewarden levels up, so does the companion, to the point where the Drakewarden can ride it into battle at the seventh level. Drakewarden offers a particular Pokémon vibe to the subclass, in that they find a companion that grows alongside the character, to the point where it evolves into something powerful and epic. Ever since Tasha's and Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Rangers are becoming one of the more versatile and in-depth classes within the D&D universe, and Drakewarden is only adding strings to that growing bow.
Then, you have the revised rule update for the Way of the Ascendant Dragon for Monks, which is a novel way to revere the power of dragons through this class. Monks who follow the Ascendant Dragon include a careful study of dragonkind, offering insight into some of the dragon's known traits, such as breath weapons and those robust wings that carry them swiftly over a battlefield. Through this subclass, Monks learn to speak, read, and write Draconic with a Draconic aura about their presence, which bolsters Charisma aiding their persuasion or intimidation in certain scenarios.
Monks who follow this path will also gain access to the dragon's breath abilities which scale up the more powerful the Monk becomes. At level six, Monks gain the ability to channel the wings of a dragon. This can take them to the skies when using their Step of Wind ability, which allows the player to survey the area before engaging in combat. Despite the changes to draconic ki with the subclass, Way of the Ascendant Dragon is a flavorful and unique way to play D&D.
Overall, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons caters towards DM’s and is a must-have for their collection. What makes the book such a hit is the ability to add more dragon content to games without needing to fall into the same tropes and habits when it comes to creating campaigns. It's as if Wizards of the Coast are finally giving individuality to the dragon species, which feels largely overdue given the age of the fantasy roleplaying game. Either way, if you are looking to emphasize the Dragons in Dungeons & Dragons, then Fizban's Treasury of Dragons is the treasure trove waiting for you.
Where to Buy
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons has a suggested retail price of $49.95, but it's available for less at some retailers.
A review copy of Fizban's Treasury of Dragons was provided by Wizards of the Coast.