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D&D’s latest sourcebook revives a long-lost dragon species

As the name “Dungeons & Dragons” suggests, dragons are one of the most important components of the game, featuring heavily in the lore and providing challenging fights for players. The game’s next planned sourcebook, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, will include new insights into the role the iconic creatures play in the game’s world, and it provides plenty of ways for players and game masters to integrate them into their campaigns.

“Dragons are an essential part of the Material Plane,” game designer James Wyatt said during a press conference Monday. “They were there when it was made. That’s why they have such a tremendous influence on the world around them when they establish their lairs. Their magic seeps out into the terrain, with their hoard as a focus of that magic.”

The book, slated for release October 19, invents a new cosmology for the most powerful dragons, known as great wyrms or dragon gods. The book introduces the concept that echoes of the same being exist across all the worlds of D&D, such as the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. The most powerful dragons can communicate with alternate versions of themselves, and eventually pool their power together until they take on a single form. The book is named for one of those extremely powerful entities: Fizban, avatar of the dragon god Paladine. He’ll be providing color commentary throughout the book, in a model similar to Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.

The bookstore-exclusive alternate cover
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

The primary cover
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

“He’s got the inside scoop on dragons,” Wyatt says. “His perspective is sometimes eccentric or inexplicable, but always entertaining.”

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons marks the return of gem dragons, psychic dragons with crystalline scales that haven’t been featured in a D&D book since 2002’s 3rd Edition Monster Manual II. There will be stats for four age categories of all five varieties of crystal dragons, so they can be used in adventures of any level. The book also includes stats for Dragonborn characters based on metallic, chromatic, and gem dragons, plus dragon-themed subclasses for monks and rangers, and new spells and magic items. DMs will get a wide variety of new monsters, lair maps, and adventure hooks.

During the press conference, D&D’s principal narrative designer, Chris Perkins, also revealed new details on the game’s next published adventure, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. The campaign for levels 1-8 begins at the whimsical Witchlight Carnival, which serves as a gateway to the wondrous realm of the Feywild.

First-level characters will start out by exploring the carnival and interacting with its denizens. An included poster map features attractions including an Almiraj ring toss, where you need to land the ring on the horns of the teleporting unicorn bunny, and a roller coaster that bears a striking resemblance to the ride in the opening of the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons series.

“There are a lot of nods to the past in this adventure, including nods to the D&D cartoon,” Perkins says. “You will run into one or two characters that appeared in that show.”

Characters will then cross into the realm of Prismeer, a Domain of Delight ruled by an archfey in a parallel to the Domain of Dread Barovia that serves as a prison for the vampire Strahd von Zarovich in Curse of Strahd. Players will encounter a wide variety of fae creatures, including a treant who carries a treehouse that serves as a home for a group of runaway children and their mascot, a displacer-beast kitten.

“It’s a very lighthearted adventure,” Perkins says. “All of the challenges in the adventure can be handled without combat. It’s easier to get through this story with a smile than with a sword.”

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight releases on Sept. 21 alongside a custom dice set. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons will be available on Oct. 19. Versions of both books with alternate covers will be available exclusively at local gaming stores.

The Wild Beyond The Witchlight

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