In Fizban’s, you’ll find a whole lot of dragons including seven brand new dragon types — the gem dragons and the deep dragon.
Like most recent hardcovers released for Dungeons & Dragons’ 5th edition, it stands as a sourcebook for both players and Dungeon Masters. But it’s mostly for DMs and gives instructions on how to create new adventures, tips on how to roleplay dragons, suggestions on creating dragon-based stories and even features 70 new monsters, most of them draconic and dragon-like creatures.
(Warning:Yar! There be spoilers ahead! This is one of our “spoiler-filled reviews” after all…)
You can build entire campaigns around dragons, their hoards and their secret lairs more easily than ever before. You can play as three new types of dragonborn ancestry. And if that’s not enough, you can add some draconic traits or one of three draconic feats (essentially reactions — breath weapon, magic protective wings — to being attacked) to any character.
There are also two draconic subclass options: The Drakewarden ranger and the Way of the Ascendant Dragon monk. With the Drakewarden ranger, your connection to nature manifests as a dragon-like spirit. As your power grows, your drake’s power grows as well. You will learn Draconic and be able to summon your drake to fight alongside you. Later, the drake grows more powerful and you can ride the drake. Eventually, you or your drake can use a breath weapon, and your drake grows to great power.
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Among the 70 draconic creatures in Fizban’s are ghost dragons, greatwyrms, elder brain dragons, draconians (basically evil dragon creatures). Plus there are aspects of both Tiamat and Bahamut, a dragon blood ooze and a dragon hoard mimic, a truly devious monster to throw at your players.
Of course, there are also the gem dragons: amethyst, crystal, emerald, moonstone, sapphire and topaz. The gem dragons are, essentially, the psionic dragons, and their stat blocks reflect those powers. Amethyst dragons have a gravitational breath weapon, a psionic teleportation ability and an explosive gem attack. Emerald dragons use their powers to deceive and manipulate, plus they can burrow and hide while firing off a psychically disorienting breath weapon and green motes of flame. Topaz dragons are militant fighters, using a sonic breath weapon to disorient its enemies and using its psionic abilities to telekinetically toss opponents across the battlefield.
Then there’s the deep dragons, nightmarish and twisted subterranean dragons that reside in the Underdark. They have smooth grey skin and pale eyes, and their attacks include nightmare breath and poisonous spores.
D&D’s 20 types of dragons (chromatics, metallics and gems plus deep dragons, faerie dragons and dragon turtles) are explained in-depth in the Draconomicon, a massive 83-page portion of the book. In that chapter, each dragon type is explored in great depth. Their personality traits. Their connections to other creatures. Their ideals. Their lairs (with sample maps). Their favorite treasures.
If you want to invade a dragon lair, this is your chapter. If you want a dragon as the big bad or as an important NPC, this is what you need. And the chapter doesn’t even get into their stats, saving that for the bestiary section.
The book also explores the lore around dragons, especially how. dragons exist across the D&D multiverse. Different versions of each dragon, it is said, inhabit each plane, and powerful dragons such as Ashardalon gained their power by traveling between plains and defeating the alternate reality versions of themselves.
That leads to perhaps the most exciting part of the book: In-depth guidance on creating dragon-based encounters, adventures and even whole campaigns.
Fizban’s has sections all about roleplaying dragons, building dragon lairs and hoards, the intricacies and eccentricities of various types of dragons. There are tables to create all kinds of dragons including dragon name suggestions and tips on manipulating a dragon’s standard stat block to fit its personality.
The sourcebook provides adventure hooks, details about the creation of dragon eggs, the effects of a dragon’s death, the types of followers a dragon might have and the particulars of how dragons shape-shift. (Since Fizban and Bahamut are featured prominently, this is an important detail.)
Do you want a heist adventure where dragon eggs need to be stolen? Do you need to convince an ancient dragon to take your side? Determine what happens to the adventurers after they slay a dragon and try to haul off its hoard? Fizban’s has you covered in all respects.
There’s even a lengthy section on dragon organizations, which includes the dragon cult from Tyrrany of Dragons, as well as what sorts of plot hooks you can create surrounding the death of a dragon.
One of our favorite things comes in the epic section on magic items, which includes a weapon known as a Dragonlance. While that’s cool, we’re talking about hoard items, magic weapons that rest so long in a dragon’s hoard that they absorb magical energy from the hoard itself. One example is a sword that starts by dealing extra damage on a crit. But the longer it sits in a hoard, it gains powers such as dealing elemental damage, increasing its damage output and firing out a dragon breath weapon.
There are also draconic gifts, marks of power given to the killer of a dragon or its chosen heir. They include gaining a draconic familiar, gaining frightful presence or growing dragon scales.