D&D 5E Chronicles of Eberron Is Keith Baker's New D&D Book, out now!

After a few days of teasing, Eberron creator Keith Baker has announced his new book -- Chronicles of Eberron! By Keith and Imogen Gingell, the 200-page book will be available on DMs Guild in December.

Chronicles of Eberron.png

Hektula is the Scribe of Sul Khatesh, the Keeper of the Library of Ashtakala, and the Chronicler of the Lords of Dust. Her treasured tomes hold arcane secrets still hidden from human and dragon alike. What lies beneath the Barren Sea? What powers does Mordain the Fleshweaver wield within Blackroot? Who are the Grim Lords of the Bloodsail Principality? All these secrets and many more can be found in the Chronicles of Eberron…

  • Chronicles of Eberron is a new 5E sourcebook from Eberron creator Keith Baker and designer Imogen Gingell.
  • This book explores a diverse range of topics, including lore and advice for both players and DMs, along with new monsters, treasures, spells and character options.
  • Chronicles of Eberron will be available on the DMs Guild as a PDF and print-on-demand.


But that's not all! There is a collaboration with Hero Forge and new T-Shirts!

Screenshot 2022-11-22 at 9.50.20 AM.pngKeithBakerPresentsShirts_TwogetherStudios.jpg
 
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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
There's no real scientific revolution fuel by a new power source
Don't Eberron Dragonshards fill that exact role?
My biggest grippe with Eberron is that it uses, again, the same tired D&D races, even if they get a new spin at least. Were I to return to Eberron, I'd remove halflings, half-orc, elves and dwarves, putting more focus on goblinoids, harengon, minotaur, hexborn, satyr and yuan-ti, in addition to the more unique Eberroninan races such as shifter and warforged.
I mean, half of those races either didn't exist as playable races when Eberron was first published (Harengon, Hexblood, Satyr) and the others do have pretty big details and differences from the "standard" depictions of the races (Yuan-Ti as the Shulassakar, the Goblinoids having a major role in the history of Khorvaire, Minotaurs as a pretty big part of Droaam). And while I normally tire of the standard fantasy races in other D&D worlds (cough, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, cough), Eberron is one of the few D&D settings I feel actually makes them interesting enough to hold their own.

My biggest gripe about Eberron is probably that I think the Dragonmarks would work better if they were all spread amongst a more diverse array of the setting's races. The Goblinoids and Orcs should have had a few, at least in my opinion. And I do wish that the Dragonmarks' connections to the moons and other planes of existence was made a bit more explicit in the books.
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
My biggest gripe about Eberron is probably that I think the Dragonmarks would work better if they were all spread amongst a more diverse array of the setting's races. The Goblinoids and Orcs should have had a few, at least in my opinion.
I agree with this premise, and the few times I've borked around with Eberron campaign ideas I've done a bit of redistribution myself. I think this almost might be a necessity come 2024 anyway, if the new books do indeed go the route they tested by making half-elves and half-orcs as part of a multiracial subset, rather than their own "race write-up". At that point I think that bringing full orcs into the House Tharashk would be a necessity since the PHB would have Orc as the main write-up.

I also agree that the goblinoids were too prominent a race on Khorvaire to not have a mark of their own. Seems kind of odd that the Humans (who weren't even native to the land) show up from across the ocean and then get 4+ marks given to them... while the gobbos get none. Granted, Humanocentric gameplay is nothing new... but if we look at the distribution of the Houses we see:

Human: 4 1/2 (Cannith, Deneith, Orien, Vadalis, Tharashk)
Elf: 2-ish (Phiarlan/Thuranni)
Dwarf: 1 (Kundarak)
Halfling: 2 (Ghallanda, Jorasco)
Gnome: 1 (Sivis)
Half-Elf: 2 (Lyrandar, Medani)
Half-Orc: 1/2 (Tharashk)

Kinda funny that elves get "two" houses but only one dragonmark (with the second mark for House Vol having been destroyed), but half-elves and halflings get two full houses to themselves each. The humans being a part of Tharashk at this point seems unnecessary and probably could be entirely orc and orc-related. And for goblinoids... it seems to me that giving them the Mark of the Sentinel and thus controlling House Deneith as mercenaries and bodyguards is a little more interesting and gets them into the game more than the humans having it (but that's just me.)

At the end of the day... there is nothing intrinsically wrong with keeping the Marks and their Houses as-is, like Keith originally created. But as the idea of Races has moved on... being more inclusive as to what races are "worthy" of Marks, or indeed the idea that the same Mark can manifest on multiple different races and there doesn't need to be this "Racial purity" angle anymore would not be a bad thing either. However you choose to run it would be fine.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I agree with this premise, and the few times I've borked around with Eberron campaign ideas I've done a bit of redistribution myself. I think this almost might be a necessity come 2024 anyway, if the new books do indeed go the route they tested by making half-elves and half-orcs as part of a multiracial subset, rather than their own "race write-up". At that point I think that bringing full orcs into the House Tharashk would be a necessity since the PHB would have Orc as the main write-up.

I also agree that the goblinoids were too prominent a race on Khorvaire to not have a mark of their own. Seems kind of odd that the Humans (who weren't even native to the land) show up from across the ocean and then get 4+ marks given to them... while the gobbos get none. Granted, Humanocentric gameplay is nothing new... but if we look at the distribution of the Houses we see:

Human: 4 1/2 (Cannith, Deneith, Orien, Vadalis, Tharashk)
Elf: 2-ish (Phiarlan/Thuranni)
Dwarf: 1 (Kundarak)
Halfling: 2 (Ghallanda, Jorasco)
Gnome: 1 (Sivis)
Half-Elf: 2 (Lyrandar, Medani)
Half-Orc: 1/2 (Tharashk)

Kinda funny that elves get "two" houses but only one dragonmark (with the second mark for House Vol having been destroyed), but half-elves and halflings get two full houses to themselves each. The humans being a part of Tharashk at this point seems unnecessary and probably could be entirely orc and orc-related. And for goblinoids... it seems to me that giving them the Mark of the Sentinel and thus controlling House Deneith as mercenaries and bodyguards is a little more interesting and gets them into the game more than the humans having it (but that's just me.)

At the end of the day... there is nothing intrinsically wrong with keeping the Marks and their Houses as-is, like Keith originally created. But as the idea of Races has moved on... being more inclusive as to what races are "worthy" of Marks, or indeed the idea that the same Mark can manifest on multiple different races and there doesn't need to be this "Racial purity" angle anymore would not be a bad thing either. However you choose to run it would be fine.
I 100% agree with everything here. Moving Deneith/Mark of the Sentinel to one of the Goblinoids (probably Hobgoblins) is a great idea and works very well with the backstory of Darguun (a group of Goblinoid mercenaries that were hired to protect Cyre declared independence and formed their own nation. If a Dragonmark were involved, it could help explain why Cyre hired them and also how the Goblinoids were able to keep sovereignty).
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Don't Eberron Dragonshards fill that exact role?
arent they more like spell focus than direct energy source for engines and gadgets? My Eberron lore is not on point, but I thought most innovations came from magic itself, not from a device replicating a given effect.
I mean, half of those races either didn't exist as playable races when Eberron was first published (Harengon, Hexblood, Satyr) and the others do have pretty big details and differences from the "standard" depictions of the races (Yuan-Ti as the Shulassakar, the Goblinoids having a major role in the history of Khorvaire, Minotaurs as a pretty big part of Droaam).
IIRC, as part of the contest, Baker had to include the 3e (?) PHB stuff in the setting, so he had to include the classic races. At least he went all-in in subverting the tropes. And, let's be honest, he would probably not have won if the setting did not have the usual race people expect from D&D. People arent quite open to change.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
arent they more like spell focus than direct energy source for engines and gadgets? My Eberron lore is not on point, but I thought most innovations came from magic itself, not from a device replicating a given effect.
Nope. They're basically a magical fuel source. Not involved in spell focuses in any way, from what I know. They can be used in place of regular costly material components for spells and can also be consumed to create weak magical items, decreasing the time and money required to make them. I'm pretty sure that they have a part in fuelling Eldritch Machines, too.

Eberron Dragonshards are basically a magical fuel source. Part of the reason why House Tharashk is so involved in mining Eberron Dragonshards is because of how rare and useful they are.
IIRC, as part of the contest, Baker had to include the 3e (?) PHB stuff in the setting, so he had to include the classic races. At least he went all-in in subverting the tropes. And, let's be honest, he would probably not have won if the setting did not have the usual race people expect from D&D. People arent quite open to change.
Agreed. But I'm still glad that we have the subverted versions of D&D's standard races. KGB Gnomes are great, and I actually like normal D&D gnomes.
 

Staffan

Legend
arent they more like spell focus than direct energy source for engines and gadgets? My Eberron lore is not on point, but I thought most innovations came from magic itself, not from a device replicating a given effect.
Lore-wise, Eberron dragonshards work sort of like a universal magic component for making items. For example, you could make a wand of lightning bolt from the wood of a tree struck by lightning, and affix a behir's tooth as the tip to channel the magic. And you could make a broom of flying from the heart of a soarwood tree, and travel to the highest peak in Khorvaire to channel the power of Syrania into the item, and bathe it in the essence of air elementals.

Or you could just use dragonshards.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I 100% agree with everything here. Moving Deneith/Mark of the Sentinel to one of the Goblinoids (probably Hobgoblins) is a great idea and works very well with the backstory of Darguun (a group of Goblinoid mercenaries that were hired to protect Cyre declared independence and formed their own nation. If a Dragonmark were involved, it could help explain why Cyre hired them and also how the Goblinoids were able to keep sovereignty).
That was exactly my thought as well.

My other main edit would be to find a better race to take Vadalis. Always seemed weird to me that the Humans got perhaps the most nature-based mark. Granted, I'm sure Keith et. al. wanted to play against type and not give Elves the "animal handling" mark that everyone probably thought they would get... but I do think if we want to cut down on the Human marks... Vadalis makes the most sense to transfer somewhere.

To me... Cannith is the most obvious one to me to stay with Humanity as it is the "Industrial" mark, which speaks of human ingenuity... and also especially with the House being divided currently into thirds because none of the human relatives can stand working with each other and they all want to be in charge, LOL. Some might think that the "tinker gnomes" would make sense for the Mark of Making, but I think just like Vadalis, pigeonholding gnomes in that way does them no favors. Orien? Can stay with Humans, I'm fine with that... but all told I would make Tharashk just orc, Deneith for goblinoids, Vadalis I'd give to Elves because I personally really like the idea of the urban dragonmarked elves in competition with their Tairendal sibilings over who makes the best horses. And as I personally am not a huge fan of "half-races" myself... I would probably move Lyrandar to the gnomes (as that way of getting the "tinker" bit of gnome lore into the game as they built the airships) and Medani to the dwarves to go hand-in-hand with their banking bretheren. One House makes the Banks, the other secures them.

I have no idea if/when I'll run another Eberron game, but if I do... something like this will be a change I might aim for.
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Maybe with Shifters? Or Orcs? Bugbears could work, too?
I'd go with Orcs. Even with regular D&D lore, Orcs are pretty good hunters and tamers and each of their god as its favored beast serving as an emblem. So in Eberron, having the Orcs already close to nature with the whole Gatekeepers thing, you could have them be breeder of war beasts to fight for the highest bidder.

As for the Mark of Finding, I'd give them to the Minotaurs of Droam, with their labyrinthine recall ability.

Mark of Shadow for Bugbears would be sick, given their weird penchant for stealth and squeezing into tiny places.
 

ChaosOS

Legend
Regarding the marks: from a design perspective, the goal was "make the [3.5] phb races interesting again, then add monstrous races as playable"; so orcs and goblins unique hook is they're valid playable choices.

Changing the racial makeups of the marks would require a decent amount of lore reconfiguration; Vadalis for example has a heavy dominion-over-nature angle, it's an arcane Science approach not primal magic. Similarly, the Mark of Shadow is on elves because they are the entertainers of high society. And regarding Khoravar (half-elves) and Jhorgun'taal (half-orcs), both of them are well liked by people I know who IRL identify as mixed, they were extremely upset about 1D&D's proposed removal and would doubly be upset if that impacted Eberron's much better handling of mixed narratives. I will say there I make the Mark of Finding available to half orcs and orcs rather than half orcs and humans, as it was presented in the ECS; the core focus though is always half-orcs.
 

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