Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons features new lore about the draconic beings of Dungeons & Dragons, which includes an in-depth look at the lairs used by the chromatic, gem, and metallic dragons. These lairs are handy for DMs who want to include a dragon as a villain in their game, but they are also useful for setting up homebrew campaigns or one-off adventures.
Dragon lairs haunt the dreams and nightmares of D&D players. Many see Smaug in the Lonely Mountain from The Hobbit as the archetypal dragon’s lair, with its mountains of treasure, that just happen to be the bed of a colossal, fire-breath lizard. The dragons in D&D are some of the most difficult foes that can be faced in battle, and that’s just when they are met in an open field. A smart dragon will fill their lair with guardians and traps, which can whittle down the resources of any potential invaders. The fact that dragons can reside in locations that are uninhabitable to humanoids is also something that can be used to their advantage, as a party that fights a red dragon in its volcano lair risks being dragged into the magma, and this opens up interesting possibilities for DMs.
Fizban has a section dedicated to dragon lairs, allowing DMs quick and easy access to any information they would need about setting up a fight with a dragon on its home turf. Not all of these will be useful to a group, as it contains lairs for metallic dragons, and most good adventuring parties aren’t going to find themselves battling them. The same is also true of the gem dragons, which are typically neutral creatures. The lairs have an additional use for DMs who prefer to run homebrew games, as they can cut down on some of the legwork when planning sessions.
All fifteen lairs come with their own maps, and each of them are easy to repurpose for use in homebrew campaigns, even without the dragons inside of them. The amethyst dragon lair is great for adventures set in underground locations near a water source, which is a common enough location for a low-level adventure. The black dragon lair is a ruined church in a swamp, which is a great location for adventures featuring undead or evil cultists. The blue dragon lair is meant to be set in a desert, but its design is abstract enough that it could fit anywhere, and the fact that its entrance is in the center of the map means that it’s great for adventures where the DM wants to give the players multiple routes. The brass dragon lair is in a canyon that connects to ancient ruins, which is great for adventures that feature constructs or undead. The bronze dragon lair is an abandoned dwarven outpost near a coastline, which would fit well into a campaign where the players have access to a boat, such as Ghosts of Saltmarsh. The copper dragon lair is hidden beneath a hill and consists of several winding tunnels that connect to small chambers, making it ideal for adventures involving (aside from scary boss dragons) goblins, kobolds, and other small humanoid foes.
The crystal dragon lair is set on a frozen mountaintop that is adorned with spires, which has a basic layout on a grand scale, making it the ideal location for an epic final battle, where the players must race against the clock to reach the summit. The emerald dragon lair is an abandoned vault with a structured, manmade design, making it a great choice for dungeons that are found beneath existing cities or settlements. The gold dragon lair is the most welcoming of the dungeons in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, as it actually has living quarters for guests, making it a great choice for a dungeon set in a base or an outpost, especially for a small group of foes, or even as a quick map used for an allied army base. The green dragon lair is within a forest, with the players needing to descend the hollowed insides of a massive dead tree to enter it, making it a great choice for adventures featuring D&D druids or fey. The red dragon lair is within an active volcano, with a massive lake of magma running through the dungeon, making it a great choice for adventures featuring azer, derro, duergar, fire elementals, or djinni.
The sapphire dragon lair is easily the most complicated in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, as it’s a massive complex filled with winding tunnels, overlapping natural land bridges, and chambers with multiple exits. The DMs who are bold enough to whip out this map could use it as an ideal location for an entrance to the Underdark, where vicious creatures like cloakers and grell wait to devour anything that dares enter their halls. The silver dragon lair is a massive temple on a mountaintop, which is the kind of location that a mid to high-level D&D spellcaster would use as a home, with magical defenses and guardians set up to deal with any unwanted guests. The topaz dragon lair is contained with caves near a beach, making it an ideal secret base used by pirates or aquatic creatures that are setting up an outpost to invade dry land. The white dragon lair is a grotto within a glacier, though it’s easy enough to set it within a cave. The lair is on two levels, with a massive upper cavern that would be incredibly difficult to reach without magical aid. This would be the perfect location for a puzzle dungeon, where the solution creates a magical platform that takes the party up to the final encounter.
The reason these lair maps are useful outside of their original context is due to how easy they are to repurpose. Drawing maps for D&D games can be one of the most frustrating parts of creating any campaign, and Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is loaded with ones that are easy to fill with monsters of an appropriate CR level for the party. The maps are also useful for one-off games, where the DM can quickly pull something out on short notice and use as a basis for an adventure. The maps are also handy if the campaign goes off the rails and the party decides to go in a completely different direction than planned, as the DM can use them as the staging area for wherever the group ended up.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is available now.