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Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
 
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Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
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Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/25/2010 10:06:23
Passing by a couple of pages tabulating and categorising the dragons herein, we come to a Welcome! which explains both that this is the first softcover book in the Legends and Lore series (although preceded by several hardbacks) and something about the contents. The dragon, of course, is THE iconic fantasy monster, and one which characters, however powerful, ought to fear. Some of the dragons presented here are designed to be just that, the fearsome end-of-campaign climactic challenge. Others, whilst still posing sufficient challenge to make any character think twice about taking them on, have purposes such as populating specific environments or meeting particular needs.

Each dragon is presented in a standard manner, with a stat block and considerable amounts of descriptive material. Tables cover the necessary detail pertaining to draconic abilities based on age/size. Most are going to provide opposition to your characters, although a few have sufficient intelligence and inclination to become allies or companion beasts. The aquatic varieties are of particular interest, as is the cavern dragon which is only to be found in the darkest depths underground. This dragon is blind, but has excellent hearing and sense of smell - it is said that one you have attracted the attention of a cavern dragon the only escape is to get above ground, as they do not venture out onto the surface. Their lack of sight provides for some unusual treasure hoards as they eschew the 'shiny' items in favour of those which feel or smell attractive.

Diamondback dragons like mountainous regions near deserts and feature a rattle on the end of the tail, the source of their magical abilities which include hypnosis and suggestion, although they are powerful fighters and have a breath weapon as well. They are crafty and, as they are restless wanderers, ensure that their lairs are protected by ample traps to guard them whilst they are out.

As for the aquatic dragons, a fun one is the dragonshark, which combines the most savage aspects of a dragon and a shark - not something you want circling around when at sea. They number amongst the several 'mindless killing machine' dragon varieties in this book, although some aquatic communities claim to have managed to tame dragonsharks if captured young. There are aquatic 'real' dragons as well, the oceanic dragon poses a threat to ships while the reef dragon is smaller and weaker, using skills, magic and allies to make up for their less-than-imposing stature.

A reclusive and uncivilised group of sentient humanoids, the dragoth, are available as NPCs or indeed characters. Bearing draconic characteristics such as coloured scales (in the hues of the main chromatic dragons) and accessing, at higher levels, breath weapons they could prove an interesting culture to interact with, despite being regarded as mere legend by many.

Drakes are smaller cousins to the true dragons and can prove valued companions if they choose to befriend you. Variants can serve as mounts, guards, scouts or couriers, all exhibiting great loyalty as well as mental communication with their companion being... and, it seems, the drake is convinced that it's an equal partnership, whatever the companion may think!

Tome lizards are strange, although not smart enough to be able to read they love books and are drawn to libraries. They can be trained as guards, provided you can keep them from eating the volumes in their care! Their breath weapon is a black ink, prized amongst wizards for writing in spellbooks, and they can make good familiars. They have more dubious uses: wizards have been known to release one in a rival's library and they can be used to destroy other records that a crafty individual would prefer remained unknown or unavailable.

Amongst the other varieties presented, another intriguing one is the woolly dragon, which lives in extreme cold and is an intelligent and cruel hunter. Although scaled, they also grow fur or wool, hence the name. They do not fly but climb well, and harbour a mutual racial hatred for white dragons.

From the ecological stand-point, this is a fun assemblage of variants on the theme of 'dragon' - you can imagine numerous learned tomes tracing the relationships between the creatures here and the classic dragons we already know. There's plenty of scope for adventure and encounters involving these creatures, in all a neat collection.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/22/2007 00:00:00
Draconic Lore is best described as a Bestiary of Draconic Creatures. That what it says on the cover of the book and they are not wrong. Inside one will find all sorts of Dragons from the big, mean, and evil to the small, cute, and tamable. The books is softbound, 64 pages in length, and costs $14.95. The layout and tables are very nice. Some of the creatures are written up as the like traditional dragons with the twelve age categories, while others of these are written as more traditional monsters. The art in this book is mostly very good. It?s all black and white but I many have a texture about them and are action picks. My favorite is on page nineteen. It is a picture of the Dragonshark chasing a sperm whale. Least I think it?s a sperm whale, it is rather small compared to the colossal Dragonshark.

There are fourteen new dragons that are written up in the twelve age categories way that is seen in the Monster Manual. These dragons vary in abilities like the acid and toxic nature of the Bile Dragon to the blind and sonic abilities of the Cavern Dragon. There are aquatic dragons like the Oceanic and Reef Dragons as well the fire types of the Molten and Rift dragon. Then there are the just plain super tough ones like the Dire and Wild Dragons. The most frightening though is the Chthonian Dragon. They are psionic in nature and have a mindblast instead of a breath weapon. They have tentacles that can reach a long way and picture really makes these guys look scary.

Then there are ten dragon creatures written up like standard monsters. There is the Dragonshark, an eating machine that prowls the oceans. The skulking dragon that is man sized yet hunts in packs. The Tome Lizard that seeks out books to eat and nest in. They can also become a Wizard?s familiar. There is also the waste runner, a draconic creature that is native to the dessert and domesticated by people there to use as mounts.

Then there are the drakes. Drakes have four different age categories and they are a lesser form of dragon. Many of the types are domesticated by humans and other races. There are courier drakes, guardian drakes, planar drakes, scour drakes, and watcher drakes. Many of them would make a good companion to an adventuring party.

There is one dragon template in the book, the Revenant template. This template is used for a dragon that died defending eggs or in some way as to cause the dragon to want revenge even after it has died. The template give some impressive abilities like fast healing and new breath weapon as well as the usually undead abilities.

I really like the dragons in this book, my one complaint is to many evil ones. I understand the need to have creatures that rampage the country side, but I could do with more then one good dragon out of the whole bunch. There are plenty of challenges from CR ? to CR 25 and there are table organizing the creatures by challenge rating for ease of use. So, the bottom line is if one is in need of a wide variety of new dragons, this book is what one is looking for.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Evan M.
Date Added: 06/08/2004 11:48:25
Draconic Lore is simply a bestary of draconic creatures. The true dragons that the book covers ranges from relativly normal to bizarre. The book also includes a number of creatures with the Dragon type and a race of Evil draconic Humanoids. The book does not conatin anything other then the standerd monster entries.
Some of the books most notable features are its rendition of drakes, drakes are a group of small dragons that increase in power as they age just like dragons. However they are nowhere near as big or powerful as the real thing. Draconic Lore also presents a few new breeds of miniature dragons, a draconic steed, and a magic eating dragon that is nearly imuune to magic. I have found this book to be really cool, but I have seldom used it in my home campain. Some of the dragons in the book are thier too wierd to use or have powers that render them nearly unusable. Others are done perfectly. All in all I give the book 4.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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