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Magic: The Gathering‘s most current set explores the Forgotten Realms of Faerûn, and one can argue that it dives into the common lore of Dungeons & Dragons as nicely. How else would you clarify the presence of cards such as the Eye and Hand of Vecna and the archmage Mordenkainen other than the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set is also a celebration of all factors D&D as nicely?
In a press briefing for Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons on Monday, Wizards of the Coast senior game designer James Wyatt talked about his current work on Magic‘s Forgotten Realms set and this new book. He’s worked on each Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering throughout his 21 years at Wizards of the Coast (he wrote two of my favourite D&D books, the 3rd Edition City of the Spider Queen and Draconomicon tomes).
D&D continues to develop, riding its ideal sales year ever in 2020. And that momentum continues to carry more than to people watching actual play shows and streams such as Critical Role’s Exandria Unlimited. Measurement firm StreamElements reports that June was an impressive leap for D&D programming, with 3.8 million hours watching in 2021. In June 2020, throughout the pandemic, the quantity was 1.4 million hours. The development in between 2020 and 2021 is 167% year-more than-year.
Wyatt brought up a superb point about granting characters such as Lloth the status of Planeswalker in Magic. In 1978’s Vault of the Drow module, the old TSR initial introduced Lloth, the Demon Queen of Spiders. And her webs weaved into a wide variety of locations … and planes.
“As you’re exploring Lloth’s layer in the Abyss, this multilayered web, you get to the top layer of web, and it’s full of doors leading to other worlds with material planes,” Wyatt mentioned. “So, she certainly is what ever a Planeswalker is. She certainly is a figure who is interested in conquering several worlds and extending her level of influence all across the material planes. She’s just best in that function.
“And one of the things I love about that adventure … that adventure was the first time that my eyes were open to the possibility that not just the world that I’m playing D&D in, but all these other worlds, could exist.”
And why are these portals critical? At the time, D&D‘s published worlds were basically just Blackmoor and Greyhawk. The Vault’s story requires spot in Greyhawk. While the thought that people would be producing their personal worlds existed, along with a variety of planes of existence (like several material locations), the thought of Lloth going to other planes and lording more than the drow of a lot of worlds was anything novel for a lot of players.
And all of this ties into Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons as nicely. (To understand more about this book and D&D’s other solution announcements, tune into D&D Live starting noon Pacific on Saturday on G4TV’s Twitch channel).
Dragons, as well?
TSR (and later Wizards of the Coast) would play with this thought a lot of occasions more than the years. Paladine and Takhisis of Dragonlance fame? They’re elements of Bahamut, the god of metallic dragons, and Tiamat, the goddess of evil dragons.
One of today’s solution announcements is Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. This new D&D supplement dives into all factors draconic, and its authors are Wyatt (he’s kinda Wizards’ dragonlord at this point) and Amy Vorpahl. It debuts October 19. It brings back gem dragons, the wyrms who take soon after valuable stones such as emerald and sapphire and have psionic powers in addition to their draconic skills (it adds gem dragonborn, as well).
It also introduces the First World, the original home of dragons. Bahamut and Tiamat play a function in its creation … and its destruction. It feels fitting, due to the fact the war in between the two dragon gods impacts many world, specifically Krynn (the setting for the Dragonlance campaign).
Fizban is an additional aspect of Paladine on Krynn. In this guise, Paladine is a doddering old wizard who befriends the Heroes of the Lance and aids them (he also has a fondness for casting fireballs). But his kindness and wisdom also serve as a moral compass for the young adventurers in the Dragonlance saga.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons also alterations how Great Wyrms work in D&D. They’ve often been the oldest and most effective of dragons, usually more than 1,200 years old. But now, their roots go beyond the material plane.
“We have a couple of stat blocks in the bestiary chapter that are Great Wyrms, dragons that have advanced beyond the power of even an ancient dragon in the Monster Manual. These use the mythic monster technology that we debuted in Mythic Odysseys of Theros to be really exceptionally challenging encounters on their own — almost like fighting two monsters back-to-back, both of which are at challenge ratings above 20,” Wyatt mentioned. “They are tremendous forces of magic in nature, that move the world around them and wreak havoc wherever they go. Or, you know, this is a silver one, so it’s probably nice, right?”
But now, they can draw on the energy of their “echoes,” their draconic counterparts in other locations in the D&D multiverse, providing them some planeswalker flavor of their personal.
“There’s an idea of running through this book that every dragon has echoes of itself on other worlds of the Material plane,” Wyatt mentioned, noting that this is not a Dragonlance book. “This definitely is a book about dragons in every single D&D world, and not just any D&D world, but every single D&D world.
“Dragons have these echoes that link them through some mysterious means to dragon some other worlds. And the idea behind the Great Wyrm is that, at least to some extent, some of their enhanced power comes from combining the power of multiple echoes into a single dragon. So dragons that we know from legends, like Ashardalon, Chronepsis, or Aasterinian, who have been presented as dragon gods in the past sometimes, we’re describing them as these Great Wyrms who have managed to extend their power and influence beyond a single world and combine the power of multiple echoes to become incredibly powerful creatures.”
How does this work? Wyatt explains: “A given dragon in the Forgotten Realms might have an echo on the World of Greyhawk, and develop that sense of dragonsight in order to be able to communicate, in a waking dream sort of way, with their echo in another world, and then eventually, perhaps, combine that power into a single being.”
And all of this also ties into how dragons have energy in the lairs, their surroundings, and how even their treasure hordes create magical energies.
What’s intriguing right here, from my point of view, is that with Fizban’s and The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, we’re receiving more into traveling the planes and exploring other worlds in the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Bahamut also seems in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms as a planeswalker, which fits really nicely with this thought of dragons reaching out into the planes.
I have no inside details right here, but by expanding the multiverse and speaking about how a variety of beings draw energy and discover it, I can not aid but assume that one of the two old campaigns that D&D executive producer Ray Winninger teased is going to be connected to either Planescape or Spelljammer.