Fizban's Treasury Chapter 4

Dragons in play

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I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 3: Dragons in play.

This chapter is all about what part Dragons might play in your campaign. In my opinion, the first 2 chapters have set the stage for that quite effectively. Already, this book has provided me with ideas on how to use ancentry, subclasses, spells, items, and gifts to incorporate draconic lore and presence into my game world. What more could chapter 3 provide?

Roleplaying Dragons

Despite the name of the section ("Roleplaying Dragons"), this doesn't give you stage direction or step-by-step instructions on how to "become" a Dragon while playing your game. What this section does have is a good 18 pages (or 9 two-sided pages, if you prefer) on how, essentially, to build a Dragon NPC. It provides tables for a Dragon's appearance, bonds, flaws, goals, and so on. Any time a topic is discussed in this level of detail, there's evidence of lore. Intentionally or not, a chapter describing how to build a Dragon NPC for D&D also reveals a lot about how D&D "sees" Dragons. Granted, a lot of it reads like someone describing an expanded universe for Tolkien's Middle Earth, but because there are more dragons in D&D than there ever were in Tolkien's worlds, there are significant differences, and those come through in this chapter.

My favourite table in this section is the Dragon name section. It provides parts of names that you can assemble into a cool Dragon name. For instance, I just rolled 4d20 and got Endariyliamguthualin. Sounds like a Dragon to me.


The section on followers betrays yet more lore, and comes up with some fascinating potential relationships a Dragon can have with the world around it. I haven't played nearly as many modules as I want, but I do feel like the most common ways people in D&D worlds interface with Dragons are as targets or as crazed worshippers. It's nice to get some fresh ideas on how a Dragon manipulates the intelligent creatures within their territory.

Encounters, adventures, and campaigns

The rest of the chapter contains ideas for Dragon-themed adventures. This includes story-starters, broad themes, specific plot elements, and all kinds of interesting ideas. These could be interesting seeds to justify side quests, or they could be the kickoff of a major homebrew campaign. I don't personally run custom long-term campaigns, but many of my one-shot games are custom dungeons. These story ideas are great backdrops for a custom dungeon, and I can see them serving as a quick and easy setting for the world around the dungeon my players are delving into. I like when there are bigger stories happening outside the dungeon, because it not only breathes life into the experience, but for new players it also hints at how much bigger the game can be.

Sidedeck lore

This chapter isn't quite as proscriptive as the first two. The first chapter is something players can use to build and level-up their characters, the second chapter has lists of stuff the DM can give to players. This one has some tables for building a Dragon NPC, but that's just a disguise. This chapter is generic D&D lore, and it helps you get comfortable with dragons as an element of the game.

I have to admit that dragons aren't essential to D&D. You can have lots of fun in D&D without ever encountering a dungeon or a dragon. But dragons are a fun and exciting element to have around, even if only as part of a mythos that's only heard about and never experienced. This chapter makes sure you're ready to add Dragons into your game.

The next chapter is about lairs and hoards.

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