Draconomicon: The Book of [awesome] Dragons
In November 2003 the OGL for Wizards of the Coast’s D&D 3.0 was in full swing. The game was a monster hit, at least among the public, and supplements for the game were coming out at a record pace. Enter Draconomicon.
This 286 page full color hardcover gives you pretty much all the detail you could ever want on the standard version D&D dragons, as well as adding in specialized dragons, Prestige Classes [for both player AND dragons], and all types of dragon related creatures and sample lairs.
Truly, a more dragon-tastic book could not be found when looking for information, and a dragon campaign could easily be spun off this tome in a hundred different ways.
Still, I’m here to check out the art, so let’s get to it.
With a stunning wrap-around cover by artist Todd Lockwood, the book starts off with a bang. If there is one thing Lockwood may be known for [other than Drizzt] it would be his work on dragons, and this book shows focuses on that to great reward.
Aside from Lockwood, who appears often, a plethora of artists were also used to bring life to these incredible creatures. With art direction by Dawn Murin, the book features twenty-two astounding talents including names like Wayne England, Rebecca Guay, David Martin, Steve Prescott, Vinod Rams, and of course Lockwood’s 3.0 partner in crime, the incomparable Sam Wood.
Sam does many of the superb full-page dragon legacy spreads that take the creature from wyrmling to adult and hits a home run with each. Another favorite image [which I feature] is the Hidecarved Dragon by Vinod Rams who has such a distinct ‘block’ style I’ve always enjoyed.
Cartography of some spectacular lairs is done by Todd Gamble, and it makes you want to find a way to either invade one or hang out there with the wyrm in question.
On the whole, there isn’t much to complain about with this volume other than so many artists also means a vast amount of artistic style which can become a bit fractured in the overall final package. However, Murin does a nice job of smoothing the edges and keeping it as tight as one could.
Artistic Rating: 4 [out of 5]