In a few weeks, Dungeons & Dragons will lift the lid on a new sourcebook exploring one of the most fundamental and iconic creatures in its tabletop world: they’re literally in its name. Dragons have always been a huge part of D&D’s fantasy, and now Gizmodo has got an exclusive look inside some of the rules and lore being used to expand their importance.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is written from the perspective of the titular Fizban the Fabulous — Dragonlance’s own human avatar of one of the most legendary of all draconic beings, Paladine, better known across many of D&D’s realms as Bahamut. It’s the latest sourcebook for the game’s fifth edition, exploring a whole host of new rules and mechanics to enhance players’ relationship with the dragons that are iconic to D&D’s setting. Whether it’s expanding options for the Dragonborn playable race, diving into the details of how the most powerful dragons around affect the entire multiverse of D&D’s settings, or simply to add more dragons — big ones, small ones, everything in between! — to your campaigns, Fizban’s Treasury will give you the opportunity.
But also… you do want a reward for venturing into a dragon’s lair and defeating its master, don’t you? Gizmodo has a first look inside the rules for creating your own pile of loot scurried away by a draconic foe inside Fizban’s Treasury: a Dragon Hoard of your own! Check out the rules below for generating your own pile of potentially magical, potentially mystical, potentially just very valuable pile of coinage as a reward for besting the domain of a dragon.
“There’s a couple of cool things going on with dragon hoards in Fizban’s. The first is just helping the DM to make what can be a very hefty chunk of treasure more interesting to the players who find it,” Fizban’s Treasury Lead Designer James Wyatt told Gizmodo in a statement provided over email. “That includes everything from ‘What various nations past and present might have minted the coins in this hoard?’ to ‘What kinds of art objects do sapphire dragons favour?’ Anywhere along the line, there’s opportunities to let the treasure reveal a little more of the story of your campaign, even if the dragon it belongs to is a bit player in the larger story.”
The idea of a dragon treasuring vast piles of gold is a classic fantasy staple, but Fizban’s will take it a step further and connect that love of hoarding to D&D’s positioning of powerful dragons as denizens that exist and traverse across all the different planes of existence in the multiverse. “We also discuss the idea that dragons often divide their hoards among different lairs. Because a hoard serves as a focus for the magic that links dragons to the Material Plane, spreading out the hoard effectively expands a dragon’s territory. You’ll see regional effects spread out around each lair, so the dragon is shaping more and more of the world to suit its own nature,” Wyatt explained. “So then if a dragon has multiple hoard, maybe it has a set of things it has divided up — so the players get to have some aspect of collecting things to complete the set as they discover all these scattered hoards.”
These rewards taking on such a potently magical point of order for dragons means that when your party does loot from a hoard, they’re gaining more than riches — they could be finding magical artifacts that have special affects, or even dire consequences. “Because hoards are sort of focal points for dragon magic, there’s a discussion of the kind of magic that can linger in a hoard even after you’ve plundered it. That might be something like the regional effects that surrounded the dragon’s lair following the treasure around, so maybe a gemstone from a black dragon’s hoard pollutes any water it touches. Or maybe the treasure is haunted, or cursed, or its magic is needed to help repair a dead magic zone in the world,” Wyatt concluded. “All of this goes back to the idea that a dragon’s hoard is a big deal — not just in terms of the amount of money and magic you might find in it, but in terms of its significance in the world. The hoard is a key part of the dragon myth, so we made sure it got the attention it deserves in this book.”
You’ll be able to learn about dragons, the multiverse, and vast, vast piles of gold when Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons releases on October 26.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.