Fizban's Treasury of Dragons
Updated: Nov 20, 2021
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons
More ink has been spilled on describing dragons than on nearly any other creature. These ancient, noble, yet savage beasts are a favorite subject of guidebooks, bards’ tales, and ancient tomes and scrolls.
True dragons are winged reptiles of ancient lineage and fearsome power. With life spans stretching into millennia, they are a repository for the vast knowledge and ancient secrets. They are most known and feared for their predatory cunning and greed, with the oldest dragons accounted as some of the most powerful creatures in the world.
We will be delving into the lore, player options, and most importantly, how to play as a Dragon in Dungeons and Dragons. Hello Operator will be sharing his thoughts on how Dragons are different in D&D vs Pathfinder as well. His font of knowledge will help aid us all in our ability to play dragons to their fullest in our stories and campaigns.
Origins: The First Dragons
The different dragon families (chromatic, metallic, etc) share a common origin. Most accounts begin with mention of the deity Io.
Io, as legend has it, created dragons in his own shape but without a divine spark, so that dragons might frolic and exult in the new world formed by the primordials. Though they lived in the world, the power of the Elemental Chaos flowed in their veins and spewed from their mouths in gouts of flame or waves of paralyzing cold. They also developed keen minds and lofty spirits that linked them to the Astral Sea.
During the wars between gods and primordials following the world’s creation, Io was slain by the primordial known as the King of Terror. While some claim Tiamat and Bahamut were said to have risen from the two halves of Io’s corpse, others suggest that they were instead Io’s eldest creations and received part of their father’s divine spark upon his death.
The loss of their father forced the dragons to adapt to the changing world around them, which wasn’t easy for their philosophies and lifestyles varied greatly between them, led them to choose to follow either Tiamat or Bahamut.
Those dragons who held onto and embraced their link to the Elemental Chaos, allowed that power to manifest in their actions. Becoming destroyers and wreaking havoc even to this day. Many of these choose to follow Tiamat, whose hatred of the world that killed her father colored her every deed and attracted dragons who celebrated their antagonistic relationships, the chromatics.
A number of dragons choose to follow bahamut, the Platinum Dragon. These became known as metallic dragons. Over the ages, Bahamut upheld justice and opposed evil, and liberated the oppressed. In doing so he became a beacon of justice, protection, and honor. Many dragons revere Bahamut as their originator, but not all worship him.
In both cases, gradually these deities began to draw other races to their cause. Each building their own following throughout history.
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Monster: Nexus Wyvern
Origin Statblock: Basilisk
Lost Features: Petrifying Gaze
Fly speed of 60 ft.
Nexus Aura. Each that starts its turn within 20 feet of the wyvern must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be pulled 10 feet toward the wyvern.
Graviton Dome (Recharge 5-6). The wyvern exhales a 20-foot-radius sphere of purple and blue haze that creates a powerful localized gravity, centered on the wyvern. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is lightly obscured. The area lasts for 1d6 + 2 rounds or until a wind of moderate or great speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses it. Falling damage in the area increases to 1d10 per 10 feet fallen. When a creature starts its turn within the area or enters it for the first time on a turn, including when the wyvern creates the area, it must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw. On a failure the creature is restrained. On a success the creature’s speed is halved as long as it remains in the area. A restrained creature repeats the saving throw at the end of its turn.
The wyvern can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The wyvern regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Detect. The wyvern makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Imposing Figure. The wyvern spreads its massive wings and lets out a roar. Any creature within 30 feet of the wyvern must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of the wyvern until the end of their next turn.
Tail. The wyvern makes a shove action against a creature within 10 feet of it.
The region containing a nexus wyvern is warped by its chaotic gravity altering power, which creates one or more of the following effects within 1 mile of the wyvern:
Random bursts of gravitational energy affect random objects and creatures per the levitate spell. In extremely rare circumstances can even reverse gravity sending random creatures and objects to fall in the wrong direction.
The pull of gravity thickens and doubles the weight of creatures and objects.
The pull of gravity thins and decreases the weight of creatures and objects by half.
Encounter: The Winding Road Best Traveled
Emerald Exchange, a powerful merchants guild seeks to expand its influence. Ulfgar Fireforge, a thick and formal duergar, seeks adventurers to serve as the guild's emissaries. Ulfgar seeks the use of a road that runs through the dense Hollow Timbers forest. Unfortunately, it runs right through an adult green dragon’s territory. As the guild’s emissaries, the characters have to meet with the beast and reach an agreement that will allow any and all flying the guild's colors to pass safely. At the very least not be attacked by the dragon and any of its followers.
For the green dragon Meoleirreilth to agree to the character's proposal, they must convince it that allowing regular passage through its territory will benefit it more than raiding the guild’s caravans.
A character with the Sage or similar background or that succeeds on a DC 21 Intelligence (Arcana/History) check knows the following:
Few dragons are as utterly reviled among humanoids as green dragons, Although green dragons might not be as powerful or as destructive as some of their kin, they are innately and instinctively deceptive. They lie as easily as people speak, and they are good at it.
They love intrigue and prefer to achieve their goals through guile and double-dealing over any other means. Any brute can hunt, but it takes skill and intelligence to trick one’s prey into offering itself for dinner.
The favored treasure of green dragons is hand-crafted items ranging from sculptures and artwork to ornate weapons and magical armor. The more work involved in the item's creation, the more value green dragon’s place on them.
Magic Item: Ring of Draconic Knowledge
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)
This platinum ring is fashioned in the form of Bahamut wings spread and tail looping around to form the ring. While wearing this ring, you gain the following benefits:
Your Intelligence score increases by 2, to a maximum of 20.
You can speak, read and write Draconic.
You have advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks made to interact with dragons.
You have advantage on Intelligence checks to recall lore and other knowledge about dragons and other draconic creatures.
Disintegration Breath. As an action, you can exhale a beam of platinum energy from your mouth to a target within 60 feet. The target can be a creature, an object, or a creation of magical force, such as the wall created by wall of force. A creature targeted by this feature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 10d6 + 40 force damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, it is disintegrated.
A disintegrated creature and everything it is wearing and carrying, except magic items, are reduced to a pile of ash. The creature can be restored to life only by means of a true resurrection or a wish spell.
This feature automatically disintegrates a Large or smaller nonmagical object or a creature of magical force. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of force, this feature disintegrates a 10-foot-cube portion of it. A magic item is unaffected by this feature.
Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until the next dawn.
In addition, while attuned to the ring, you have a 50 percent chance each day at dawn of growing platinum scales, or visibly more brilliant scales if you already have them.
Dungeon Master Tip: Shining with Dice
Dice are the most obvious sign of success in D&D and most roleplaying games for that matter. While there certainly are other ways to identify success, this is the most clear. As DMs when a player character rolls high it’s our job to make the player’s character shine. Giving the players as many opportunities to shine and look cool while they do it. This encourages engagement and proactive playing by the players. This isn’t just limited to high rolls though. It has been my experience that low rolls tend to be met with sighs and loss of tension and excitement. Instead of using the low dice rolls to reflect a failure on the character’s part. Instead, turn it around so that it is a moment where the defender shines in a glorious moment.
Your tall lanky blademaster rushes toward the black dragonborn with a blade flurry of almost impossible to see strikes. The dark dragon-like figure manages to answer your flurry with quick footwork, and is able to avoid some of the blows. The few that do hit home have their impact weakened by its dance and are unable to penetrate its scaly hide. A toothy grin stares back at you.
Player Tip: Conjuring Trickster
The Rogue is certainly one of the highest and most consistent damage dealers and most mobile in the game. But we can greatly increase their versatility and strength with just two levels into wizard. The arcane trickster subclass allows you to delve into the wizard’s spell list, but with very few options, most of which have restrictions. The two levels into wizard allow us to broaden our tools for offense and defense.
First, we gain some extra spell slots and access to ritual casting, which means now we can use find familiar as a ritual without expending a precious spell slot.
Secondly, we can now pick up spells such as absorb elements, shield and most importantly, mage armor which can significantly boost our AC with a 13 + Dexterity modifier, putting it higher than Studded leather, which is the highest AC for mundane light armor.
Lastly, we pick at our second level in wizard we pick school of conjuration. This grants our conjuring trickster the minor conjuration. This allows our trickster to create ANY nonmagical object we can think of that isn’t larger than 3 feet or 10 pounds. This means, infinite thieves’ tools, keys to doors we can see, and even a weapon if we need one. My personal favorite, conjure a healer’s kit, or arcane focus, caltrops? How about ammo? With this, our rogue becomes a lean, mean conjuring machine. Need a fork? Got it. Need a rest? Create a stool. Nature calls? Leave a stool. Want to entertain your friend? Poof, an instrument. Whatever it is, you always have it on hand.
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