ComicBook.com has a sneak peek of a fiery new spell from the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons book Fizban's Treasury of Dragons. Set to release later this month, Fizban's Treasury of Dragons is a new draconic compendium containing a variety of dragon contents for both players and DMs to use. Not only is the book steeped in dragon lore collected from across the multiverse, it also contains two new subclasses, new spells and magic items, and brand new statblocks that expands the type of foes players might encounter in a campaign.
Ahead of the book's release on October 26th, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to preview one of the new spells from the book. Ashardalon's Stride is a new 3rd-level spell that grants its caster explosive speed as draconic flames spill from their feet. You can check out the full verbiage of the spell below, along with a piece of artwork of a red dragon using the spell to chase down its prey and some commentary from Fizban pulled straight out of the book.
Additionally, ComicBook.com also had the chance to speak with James Wyatt, the Lead Designer of the book, about the new spell along with a deeper dive into how the D&D design team picked out which dragons got mentioned in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, and how the book addresses the history of spellcasting dragons in past editions of the game.
Dungeons & Dragons obviously has had a ton of iconic dragons over its history. How did you select which dragons to use for named spells?
In the section of the book where we discuss each dragon kind in depth, sidebars throughout the section highlight some important named dragons from across the D&D multiverse. There was no way we could touch on all of them, and we were limited to no more than one per kind, so Klauth, Ashardalon, Infyrana, Pyros, and Imvaernarhro (to name just a few) were all competing with all the other red dragons of D&D lore for that coveted spot. We tried to focus on dragons whose reach is more than just local, in one way or another, including powerful dragons who have been described as gods in the past. Once we'd chosen them, they became our resource for spells named for legendary dragons.
For those who aren't familiar with Ashardalon, what's his importance to D&D lore?
Ashardalon comes up in this book a number of times. His story was first told in the series of third edition D&D adventures that began with The Sunless Citadel and ended with Bastion of Broken Souls, and it provides a bit of a throughline across those mostly unconnected adventures. He's mostly known for his efforts to preserve his own life after he suffered a mortal blow, which he accomplished by implanting a balor demon into his chest in place of his injured heart, and then his efforts in Bastion of Broken Souls to feed on preincarnate souls by establishing a lair in the Positive Energy Plane. He also gave his name to a board game (Wrath of Ashardalon), and Tales from the Yawning Portal, by suggesting that the Sunless Citadel might appear on any D&D world, sort of hinted at the idea that Ashardalon might exist in some form or another on different worlds as well, and we ran with that idea in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons. He's now a great example of a chromatic greatwyrm—a red dragon who has managed to harness the power of several of his sort of parallel lives across different worlds of the material plane to become even mightier than other ancient dragons.
Dragons in previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons were spellcasters in their own rights. Does Fizban's Treasury of Dragons reflect that history in any way? Will we see any examples of dragons able to use draconic magic in the book?
The traditional spellcasting ability of dragons is reflected in two different ways in their fifth edition incarnations. First, it often shows up in their lair actions (and occasionally in legendary actions or even regional effects). For example, in third edition, black dragons had spell-like abilities to create darkness, to corrupt water, and to cast insect plague and plant growth. In the fifth edition Monster Manual, they have lair actions to make darkness and to summon swarming insects, and their regional effects include the corruption of water and plant growth hindering movement near their lairs. Second, there's a sidebar in the Monster Manual explaining how to add some spellcasting to a dragon, similar to the way that dragons could cast sorcerer spells in third edition.
So in Fizban's, we've expanded both approaches. There's additional lair actions and regional effects that add to the magical repertoire of any dragon. And then each kind of dragon has a list of suggested spells that fit within the guidelines of that sidebar in the Monster Manual, reinforcing the traditional feel of each dragon kind through those spell choices.
That's not counting the gem dragons, who have psionic spellcasting as a built-in part of their stat block.0comments
Fizban's Treasury of Dragons will be released on October 26th. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now.