Dragons are a big part of the fantasy game. They are rare, powerful creatures that are often the focus of adventures and even some campaigns. Dragons have a sense of awe from them. Everyone knows and most seem to own Draconomicon by Wizards of the Coast. However, there is another lesser known book about dragons called Dragons. It is almost four years old and made for 3.0 but I have gotten a lot of use out it in the many years I have owned it.
Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has recently been doing less d20 work then in previous years. But they had a great series of books people referred to as the One Word Titles. Simply they were single word names and they covered one single topic but did it well. The book is paperback and over two hundred pages. The paper is not high quality, the art is so so, and the layout is okay. The table of contents is not that great and there is no index so finding things in the book is not that easy. In fact if you sit this book next to the hard bound full colored glossy page Draconomicon it is hard to see how it could compare. The Draconomicon is a great looking book, a coffee table book if you will. But I don?t have a coffee table and I am more interesting in the ideas in the book then how well it looks.
Dragons is a book filled with some interesting ideas. My favorite of all though oddly enough has nothing to do with dragons. It is a very cool zero level Bard spell called Sharing the Ancient Lore. It allows others to see share a memory of the caster. It is a simple neat spell that really has no combat ability or is powerful. But in the four years I have had this book I have made good use of the spell. It Is the little things like this that make this book for me.
Now some of the rules in the book are not that good. The prestige classes are pretty cool my favorite being the Student of the dragon a monk oriented class that gives some neat dragon inspired abilities. Others like the dragon Slayer have been done by others but still are not that bad. The feat collection is an interesting variety again including some like Dragon Friend and Hamstring that have been seen in other products at least in name and basic ability.
One area that the book shines in is Dragon Alchemy. This section suggests using dragon parts to craft certain items. It has uses for the blood, bones, brains, claws, crests, ears, eggs, eyes, glands, heart, horns, kidneys, livers, ligaments, lungs, muscles, necks, tongues, scales and hide, stomachs, tails, and teeth of each of the ten common dragons. There is a lot of information and it makes for some good alternate treasures and reasons for hunting dragons. It also is one of the few products that basically lists power components for creating magical items an alternate rule that does not get enough print.
Another area I like that some probably will not is the Dragon Classes. These are five level base classes of increased power. So, instead of having the dragon take fighter levels to boost his power, give him draconic fighter levels and he gets a feat each of the five levels. The classes are stronger and made for NPC dragons to make them more powerful as Dragons should be. The classes are a little stronger then the base classes and nicely more focused on the dragon. The Draconic Rogue gets treasure sense and the Draconic Sorcerer gets his spell like abilities as known spells.
Third book despite being a little outdated still has some good options and ideas between its covers. I mentioned a few of my favorites but there is more that this book offers. Many of the other books in the series are like this one, not great on appearance but high quality in the ideas contained in it. Dragons is not going to serve as a replacement for Draconomicon but will serve as a good companion piece.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>