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ZEITGEIST Converting Zeitgeist 5th edition to the Eberron world

reighndragon

Explorer
Introduction
At the start of my last campaign (2014-15) the Zeitgeist adventure path was not yet finished and I didn't want to start an adventure path without knowing how it would end. So I converted Curse of the Crimson Throne to 5th edition DND, set in Q'Barra in the Eberron world and started running it. However this campaign is coming to its resolution so I want to start a new campaign. I really love the Eberron world and think the Zeitgeist adventure path is still a very good adventure path for this setting, although because of its conspiracy it needs a lot more work for conversion.

I browsed the internet but couldn't find a conversion yet, so I'll have to start from scratch. Does anybody know if someone already did work for a conversion to Eberron? I expect the conversion to take at least several months.

"Short" stance on where I am now:
I will replace the city of Flint with the city of Passage in Aundair. I wil increase its population to 180.000 which is significantly less than the 800.000 of Flint, but comparable to the Aundairian capital of Fairhaven and the other biggest cities in Eberron. The setting is a lot less industrial and more in the arcane sciences, but this still fits. Magical industry can still have its pollution ;)
Flint has been made the industrial centre for Aundair at the start of the war and has grown a lot through work for people fleeing from the area between Aundair and Thrane, which has seen a lot of battle in the Last War. The industrialization of Aundair has been a big part in the independence of The Eldeen Reaches.

At the moment I think the Obs will be coupled to the Emerald Claw and Vol. Although this could change if I read the later adventures. House Cannith West will also be involved for making a new Warforged Colossus without using a creation forge and thus not violating the treaty of Thronehold.

  • RHC will be the Royal Eyes of Aundair
  • Aundairian royalty has made a pact with the Unseen Court (Unseen Court is situated in the Eldeen Reaches and Aundair), but is still inherited by family lines.
  • No limitations on flight.
  • Teleportation is blocked by Gold as written
  • No guns, but wandslinging and magical siege weapons.
  • No dead magic area
  • Danor will be presented partially by House Cannith and House Orien, and partially by Breland.
  • Ber is represented by Droaam
  • Crisilllyir is represented by Thrane
  • Drakr is part the Mror Holds and part Karrnath
  • Elfaivar is not a nation, but represented by organisations, maybe part Eldeen Reaches.
  • Yerasol are islands in Lake Galifar close to the Blackcap mountains and the city of Xandrar.
  • Srasama, not clear what to do with her. The big apocalyptic part is the mourning, I think the hatred of the Eladrin is changed to a hatred by Shifters due to the Silver Crusade.
  • The Seals will be the seals made by the Gatekeepers to imprison Daelkyr into Khyber. The Ancients will be the Gatekeepers.
  • The Dreaming is a layer of Thelanis
  • The Bleak Gate is a Shadow demiplane of Khyber with connections to Mabar (shadow demiplanes are described in Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker)
  • Eladrin are coupled to Thelanis.
  • Deva will be replaced by Kalashtar. Yes this means the Governor will not be as long in office.
  • Tieflings are extremely rare but I like having the Jierre family being the Dukes of Xandrar. The influence of the Blackcap mountains has caused Tieflings to exist in this city. (This city also has a relatively large Blood of Vol following).
  • The nihilists of the dwarves will be the Puritans of the Silver Flame in Aundair. Not the same philosophy but they do have their radicals.
  • I'm not sure yet which theme is presented by what part of the druidic sects of Eberron. All of them are applicable for a part of a theme, but no one overlaps exactly.
  • All the other planes sealed are shadow demiplanes in Khyber with links to the normal planes and their respective moons as described in Exploring Eberron.
  • Because they are demiplanes connected to Khyber no long term planar travel is possible to these demiplanes. House Orien is funding research how to use these demiplanes to have fast travel to other places linked to the same demiplane, but no significant progress has been made.

Themes:
Dockers - as written, small adjustments
Eschatologists - Puritans of the silver flame
Gunsmith - as written, but focus on magical weapons, wands etcetera, it's a wandslinger.
Martial Scientist - As written, the two largest schools of learning are in Xandrar and Rekkenmark.
Skyseer - not sure yet, but probably connected to the Wardens of the Wood or the Gatekeepers, with use of the Observatories in the Eldeen Reaches.
Spirit Medium - not world specific can be used as written, maybe ties to the Elves of Aerenal as teachers.
Technologist - not a theme, is represented as the artificer or magewrights of the setting.
Vekeshi Mystics - New organisation of former Cyrans after the Mourning.
Yerasol Veteran - Last War veteran
Dragon marked House - A theme connected to the dragonmarked houses.
I would like to keep the amount of themes the same as originally.

Maps
For map purposes I will need to decrease the scale of the city with a factor of 4. I don't think this will give a problem with the adventures time restrictions on travel as stated in for instance the 2nd and 5th installment, allthough I haven't read all adventures yet. Is there a high resolution map of Flint and Central District available without any text and numbers on them?

Legal issues
I want to rewrite the Player's Guide with the Conversion to Eberron. I don't want to get into any problems with copyright issues. I know Eberron as a world is availlable through the DM's Guild, but I don't know what the status is for the Zeitgeist adventure path. If I would post the converted Player's Guide on this forum would that be a problem?

Ending
Sorry for the long post, but if anyone is interested in helping, feel free to reply. I will try to keep this post up to date if any significant changes are made or if more points are added. Maybe make a link to a document later on.
 

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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
It looks like you have read the guide and the first five episodes before doing your conversion,I can't help you with Eberron as I have never read it but before committing to anything in your conversion read all of the adventures so you know what each part does in the base campaign, I am certian that trying to run this campaign without reading all of it is a bad idea so I suspect the same is true of a setting conversion.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
Thanks for the reply, I try to do conversion during the reading of the adventures. This makes the reading a lot slower but it lets me make adjustments to conversion while reading the adventures. It does increase the understanding of what is important for the conversion and what is less important.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
That is what I do for mechanic changes, but given the complexity of the plot and relationship between events early on and later on I think for mapping factions to other factions and looking at how the world works and comparing that you risk wasting your effort as something you learn later on means your earlier mapping of factions does not work in light of later events.
It is worth noting that the plot outline in the GM's campaign guide is not quite accurate it was I think written before the later books were written and details diverge .
In particular I suspect you need to look at the details of the Ob in book 7 , the vekeshi and Ob stuff in book 8 and the world crisis events of books 10-11 to make sure you can fit them in. Also I remember dragons are odd in Eberron so the whole Pemberton/Dragon thing may be an issue.
Given that the nature of the planar mechanics is central to the entire plot you need to work out how the Axis Island ritual and the Gyre are going to work and why the assorted hyper powerful beings of the eberron setting (or Forgotten realms, greyhawk, Krynn, Golarion etc ) let the pc's fix the world ending problem instead of doing it themselves , or take advantage of rebuilding the world to suit their factions goals . The later adventures are critical for defining how you are going to change Eberron to fit the campaign or the Campaign to fit Eberron. A key feature of ZG is that there are no archmages or other high level adventurers except the pc's (and Rock Rakhus) who can save the world where as a typical rpg setting has numerous groups with that level of power to serve as foils to high level pc's and it would strain credibility that they ignore what is happenning after book 9.

Regardless of the above , I hope everything works and you have as much fun as I did running the campaign
 

reighndragon

Explorer
Thanks for the reply, I will surely look into these things and focus on finding the answers. There is a possibility I will only run Act 1 and 2 if it will diverge too much from Eberron in Act 3.

I think it fits perfectly for Eberron, in contrast to the other campaigns it has a wide magic feel to it. 1st to 3rd level spells and effects are widely applicable. Fourth and fifth level spells are known and can be found. Sixth level and above are extremely rare and could be legendary. Only very special persons could reach such levels (the pc's).

The dragons in Eberron have a prophetic vision of the world. They intervened with the giants 40.000 years ago and that didn't go particularly well for the world. As such they will not intervene again very quickly. If there are prophetic lines showing the intervention is not necessary (PC's fighting against the Obs), they will not intervene. As such my thought at the moment is to make Pemberton a member of the Draconic Chamber which keeps an eye on things. I don't know at the moment of this is still reasonable if I read the adventures he's involved. There are also some rogue dragons not part of the Chamber, although those are less powerful.

Let the PC's be the saviors of the world is one of the most important parts of running a campaign in the world of Eberron. They need to be in the spotlight, not some NPC.

At the moment I'm not really converting by just making notes of which could be which. Some factions have multiple options and I will decide when I've read the whole campaign.
 

I am not entirely sure why you are using Fairhaven for Flint, rather than Sharn. The city of Sharn has more of that "industrial city at the center of the world" vibe.

Besides that, this is not the first time such a conversion has been done.
 

For adventure 10, make sure you have some massive threats to keep the party busy in their home country. In Z, they have to deal with fey titans, which keeps them from immediately jetting off and stopping some events from happening in the rest of the world.

For adventure 11, pick three cities you are willing to obliterate, and make sure you set up ways in advance for them to be screwed up. In Z, it's doomsday eschatologists making their way toward the Drakran city Mirsk, intending to test out a superweapon made from the eye of the Voice of Rot that will let them kill everyone; and the Gidim returning to Ursalina in Ber, trying to turn everyone into obedient food sources; and mass hysteria in Alais Primos, capital of Crisillyir, where people try to execute their gods in a volcano and inadvertently conjure a giant lava dragon.
 


reighndragon

Explorer
I am not entirely sure why you are using Fairhaven for Flint, rather than Sharn. The city of Sharn has more of that "industrial city at the center of the world" vibe.

Besides that, this is not the first time such a conversion has been done.
I'm using Passage for Flint, because I think Aundair has a much bigger connection to the Fey compared to Breland. So putting the Fey Titans in Aundair and Eldeen Reaches is much more logical. As such I can use Breland for Danor which is indeed much further developed in industry especially if you take Zilargo into account. As the city of Flint and it's map is quite important for a couple of adventures, I wanted to use the map of Flint for a different city so setting it in Sharn or one of the other capitals was not an option.

The headquarters of House Orien are located in Flint as such it's a logical location for a lot of factories for Lightning rail and other industry for this House. After the Mourning I increased the use of Passage by House Cannith West which gave a big impulse to the industrialisation of Passage. Passage will also be the first city in Korvaire to have a subwaysystem, logical for the seat of House Orien.

I've seen the threat you mentioned, but the amount of conversion was unfortunately not very detailed.

For adventure 10, make sure you have some massive threats to keep the party busy in their home country. In Z, they have to deal with fey titans, which keeps them from immediately jetting off and stopping some events from happening in the rest of the world.
As written above I want to use the Fey Titans as beings coupled with Aundair and in the past the Eldeen Reaches. I'll probably also focus on a renewed try from Aundair to conquer "Western Aundair" (The Eldeen Reaches). A lot of work for the Constables in their homeland.

I'll have to think about the 3 cities to obliterate. I want the Daelkyr and the plane of Xoriat have a big connection to the AP. So it would be logical to exterminate another clan of the Mror Holds as they have connections with the Daelkyr in Khyber. Unfortunately Thrane has no Volcano, but I could let an overlord come out of the quenching of the silver flame in Flamekeep. The armies of Dyrrn the Daelkyr could overrun Graywall the only "respectable" city of Droaam. Details will follow in the future.
 

MarkM

Villager
I would just echo the importance of reading through as much of the adventure path as you can before getting too far down the road on the conversion/localization. I homebrewed a short campaign set 100 years prior to the adventure path, and while doing so I made some adjustments to the world and history. Now that I'm starting to run the entire adventure path and am reading each book of it more carefully I'm realizing how interconnected many things are, and that some of my very minor changes have ripple effects where I now have to change other things down the road. I think you will save time and possibly heartache by reading any version of the path to the end before you spend a tremendous amount of time on the conversion. I think combining Zeitgeist and Eberron will be great and is absolutely doable, so not trying to discourage the project, but just hoping to save you some work.
 

Thanks for the reply, I will surely look into these things and focus on finding the answers. There is a possibility I will only run Act 1 and 2 if it will diverge too much from Eberron in Act 3.

In my experience doing the same thing, and currently underway, I'd advise you to take into account the amount of knowledge the players have of the Eberron setting. If your group has a great deal of familiarity with it, they will assume things and it might be rewarding for them to have their guesses right. The Zeitgeist setting is designed around the campaign path, and therefore everything is closely knit. Integrating "Eberronisms" is possible and rewarding for the player and will make up for the loss of some of the zeitgeist-specific parts that wouldn't port over very well.

I'll echo the general advice of reading everything through not to miss some important details or to keep foreshadowings of things you won't keep in the end, but you're already aware of that. The main points is making your mind on the ritual of the Ob. The 13 planes are integral to the Eberron cosmology, so you may want to determine how extensively you'll port the Zeitgeist cosmoology or keep in compliance with the Eberron one. I'd advise reading the Planes of Eberron section in Exploring Eberron to mine ideas. KB explains there a "thematic" organization of the planes that can be used to imagine the effect of replacing a plane by another, new ones. It's easy to integrate where they come from since the ring of Syberis was designed to seal Eberron and its plane, so probably was the target of the Ob ritual... probably attempted twice in the past, when the giants removed the Quori (and sealed Dal Quor, prompting draconic intervention to wipe out civilization), and then when the gatekeeper sealed Xoriat off (due to draconic intervention by Vvarak). So if you don't know how to fit the Titan threat... [in my version, Galifar unified Khorvaire by making a pact with the Fey after subduing them, and it passed through the bloodline among the five nations, but the assassination of the king voided the pact in Breland, prompting intervention by the players... I have yet to play it this far to tell you how it will work in play].

If you want to develop threats to security, use the dragons, they were involved in the precedent attempt to meddle with planes, they are studying the Prophecy and could know that something is about to happen, they are mostly unknown in Khorvaire (people know dragons exist but contacts with their land is nearly inexistant) and don't mind mass slaughtering civilization when they feel they need to remove a problem. Having two dragons in disguise is a bit much, I think. Pemberton as a draconic observer doesn't fit very well imho with his proactive involvement with high-tech arms and his active involvement in book 6, but YMMV. Having him be a Cannith heir might fit better: the dragonmarked house are prohibited to hold land by the Thronehold Treaty, but it only applies among the signatory nations. Technically, Droaam wasn't an independant nation and didn't sign, so they could very well use it as a legitimate stronghold, so you could maybe consider having the Pemberton part played by Merrix. It also would make the alliance with him easier later in the campaign (especially if you have a Cannix heir among your players).

The endgame features high-level character with world changing players. I don't expect any campaign of this sort to follow an expected script as high level magic, combined with the resource of a kingdom to back the player, will give them a lot of liberty to take the matter in their own hands.

Let the PC's be the saviors of the world is one of the most important parts of running a campaign in the world of Eberron. They need to be in the spotlight, not some NPC.

At the moment I'm not really converting by just making notes of which could be which. Some factions have multiple options and I will decide when I've read the whole campaign.
Are you dead set on having the Ob linked to Errandis d'Vol ? It might set them clearly in the camp of the bad guys (OK, technically there is nothing wrong with the BoV but the Emerald Claw and Errandis herself are not nice... If you want the Ob to be "shade of grey", it might not be the best placeholder. The Aurum's Shadow Cabinet might work better. Plus, it is a way for the players to access information about the Ob (something my players are actively trying to get to expose the Ob), because the Aurum itself isn't secret, only the Shadow Cabinet. The Zeitgeist campaign considers the potential alliance between the players and Nicodemus -- I don't know if it happened in a lot of campaigns run to their conclusions but I suspect it easier for this outcome to be remotely possible to have the Ob presented as rallying genuinely good-willed, if slightly misguided, people among its factions.

That's the reason I kept them as an acceptable power group and didn't make them controlled by the Quori (who would LOVE the Watchmakers faction).

I'm using Passage for Flint, because I think Aundair has a much bigger connection to the Fey compared to Breland. So putting the Fey Titans in Aundair and Eldeen Reaches is much more logical. As such I can use Breland for Danor which is indeed much further developed in industry especially if you take Zilargo into account. As the city of Flint and it's map is quite important for a couple of adventures, I wanted to use the map of Flint for a different city so setting it in Sharn or one of the other capitals was not an option.

The headquarters of House Orien are located in Flint as such it's a logical location for a lot of factories for Lightning rail and other industry for this House. After the Mourning I increased the use of Passage by House Cannith West which gave a big impulse to the industrialisation of Passage. Passage will also be the first city in Korvaire to have a subwaysystem, logical for the seat of House Orien.

Excellent idea. I wish I had had it. Starting in Sharn was a pain, retrospectively.

I've seen the threat you mentioned, but the amount of conversion was unfortunately not very detailed.

I didn't figure there was a lot of interest to elaborate (and since English isn't my first language, it's time-consuming for me to put my ideas in an understable form), but I am happy to discuss it.

I'll have to think about the 3 cities to obliterate. I want the Daelkyr and the plane of Xoriat have a big connection to the AP. So it would be logical to exterminate another clan of the Mror Holds as they have connections with the Daelkyr in Khyber. Unfortunately Thrane has no Volcano, but I could let an overlord come out of the quenching of the silver flame in Flamekeep. The armies of Dyrrn the Daelkyr could overrun Graywall the only "respectable" city of Droaam. Details will follow in the future.
There is a canonical overlord within the Silver Flame. And some faction of the SF would be very happy to prove the Sovereign Host isn't made up of gods but just regular humans by making avatar of them, killing them, and then proving the SF is superior by doing the exact same thing on it... only to snuff it as well and release Bel Shalor who was just "suggesting" this course of action to the SF cardinals.

Be careful when choosing the action of book 11: I think threats of destruction work better when the players feel connected to the place that are soon to be obliterated. The worse reaction possible would be "So, Thrane is going to commit suicide? I never liked these goody two shoes anyway..." Maybe a random Mror Hold clan the PCs never interacted with beforehand will end up being sacrificed on the sake of priorities : "listen, we're saving the world of the Ob right now, we can't spare a day dealing with some subterranean illithids at the other end of Khorvaire." Weave reasons for the players to have a connection with the places. Graywall will work as the heroes will have visited Droaam in book 6, possibly have friends there going back from book 4 on board the lightning rail, and I'd suggest intertwining some Mror love in the story if you want to meaningfully threaten the Holds in book 11.
 
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reighndragon

Explorer
Thank you for the great reply. English is also not my first language so I understand your point and am very grateful for your help. I'm really interested in your conversion and what you did. If your notes are in a different language, I'm dutch and learned french and german in highschool.

For the planes at the moment I'm using the planes of Zeitgeist as shadow demiplanes in Khyber as described in Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker. Each demiplane has a link to the normal planes in the Ring of Syberis. As such the sealing of these demiplanes has been done by the Gatekeeper rituals in the past. Further reading of the adventures might change this though.

In my conversion there will be in alliance between the Fey Titans and the royal family of Aundair. This pact is probably from the start of the Last War, but it could be older. The Fey Titans will rise up to Aundair either in defense of the Eldeen Reaches or too much industrialisation in Aundair.

I agree with two dragons in disguise is too much for Eberron. The minister of magic in Aundair is the brother of queen Aurala and Pemberton is not really fitting for dragon behaviour in Eberron. So maybe no dragons in disguise? The brother of the queen could be replaced by a dragon of the Chamber, because they know something important for the world is going to happen in Aundair and they want first hand knowledge.
I've started reading in the 6th adventure and I was thinking about making Pemberton a rakshasha allied to the Overlord of War (Rak Tulkhesh), a higher member of the Lords of Dust, maybe even Mordakhesh himself. I know the minotaurs in Droaam are servants to Rak Tulkhesh, and I think the gnolls not in the Znir Pact are also servants of Rak Tulkhesh.
I do like your idea of making Pemberton an important member of Cannith South. This might increase the struggles with Cannith West in Aundair. I have to think about this and read further in the adventures before making a decision.

Are you dead set on having the Ob linked to Errandis d'Vol
No I'm not. My first inclanation was using the Aurum also, and I am going back and forth between them. I read about the Blood of Vol religion and thought this fitted better with the Thieves of Life in Aundair. Thus making the Obs be represented by the Emerald Claw and Lady Vol. It's probably better to make this choice after reading all the adventures. Both me and my players like shades of gray compared to black and white so maybe the Aurum will be better.

Thanks for the warning about the climactic end I really need to get these right.

Which cities did you use for the lightning rail route in adventure 4? I'm thinking about starting in Sharn and ending in Thaliost (adding a track to the map between Flamekeep and Thaliost). The biggest issue I have is with Nalaam. As written this would not be a city in Thrane. I'll make it a special line that stops each night which normally is not the case for the lightning rail. Normal stops would be: Sharn, Wroat, Starilaskur, Vathirond, Aruldusk, Sigilstar, Flamekeep, Daskaran, and finally Thaliost. The second issue is the long distance between Wroat and Starilaskur. How did you solve these issues?
 

For the planes at the moment I'm using the planes of Zeitgeist as shadow demiplanes in Khyber as described in Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker. Each demiplane has a link to the normal planes in the Ring of Syberis. As such the sealing of these demiplanes has been done by the Gatekeeper rituals in the past. Further reading of the adventures might change this though.

The plan of the Obscurati is to replace key planes with alternates, based on the premise that to work properly, the material plane must "get" something from the 8 linked planes : fire, air, water, earth, space, time, life and death. Each linked plane also provide smaller traits. So the flight restriction is a small trait of the plane of air, gold blocking teleportation comes from the plane of earth as "minor qualities". Players will get the opportunity to get acquainted with other planes providing other qualities and maybe select some other choice than the original ones. It could be explored more in depth than in the campaign if your players "dig" into the metaphysics and start asking questions... and it's something that doesn't fit the 13 planes system of Eberron. You will have to take that into account. Either by removing the part where the players are presented with another choice than the original, gatekeeper-approved setup [and it could be very valid to have the dragons explain that "if the people of Khorvaire modify the design of the gatekeeper, we will squat the people of Khorvaire like we did with the giants"... but I feel it will remove an important piece of the ending where the heroes are really empowered to change the very foundation of the world. In this case, you can gloss over the details, present the attempts of the obscuraty as misguided meddling and just have the players restore the original design. If you expect your players to like the idea, you will have a lot of work to modify the ending. Even the Ob doesn't need to change everything, so they can have the intention to modify only a subset of the 13 planes. But you still need to have the planes provinding "something" and the Eberron planes aren't aligned neatly on the 4 elements and 4 energy of Zeitgeist. Creativity is called.

You're planning to have the planes as demiplanes of Khyber... It's a good idea but it downplays the "world defining impact" of the planes. It might sound strange that fundamental world-building qualities are provided by Khyberian demi-planes while the original planes only have muted consequences, mostly appearing in key manifest zones.

If you want to map, t's easy to have Irian and Mabar as life and death, the 4 elements aren't really represented... because the four elements are embodied by Lammania. Planes of Eberron, according to Exploring Eberron, seems more linked to the sentiments of the living : Risia isn't the element of ice, but "isolation, preservation, stagnation". In some way, the Eberron planes provide something but more affecting the lives of the people than the building block of reality. I have opted (but I don't know yet how it will play out, my players aren't this far) to do some extensive rewrite to the Ob ritual, saying that

1. the arc of Syberis initially encircled the 13 planes and where supposed to interact freely so it's the Original Design (but lost).
2. each plane was providing energies necesssary for the material plane to work properly... if you don't have them all, you have the Gyre consuming the world, because of low energy to maintain reality.
3. each plane also provide the moral elements as explained in Exploring Eberron. I won't paraphrase what it's in there, but Fernia isn't the plane of fire, it's the plane of destruction and industry. In my game I have pointed out that Fernia has been close to Eberron over the last 100 year, which corresponds to the Last War and the many invention (magitech flight, warforged...) or that Dolurrh provides the idea that "souls fade to nothingness after death"... Hinting at this during the campaign and that Fernia isn't "just the plane of fire with a fancy name" is making it possible for the players to ponder the consequences of their choices in the end...

"So you want to replace Fernia ? OK, you can, you have many alternative... but maybe you'll make technological progress impossible ever... You don't like Daanvi? Remove it, but say goodbye to justice and social organization spanning more than a hamlet... so you'd better be sure that the trait "water is healing and most people recover overnight" or "the world obeys newtonian laws" is worth it to you.

4. The giants cast Dal Quor away, sealing it off, but they didn't remove it. So it is still providing individual dreams and aspiration... but dreams can't become true easily as they could before, therefore there is no more "heroes" [except the PCs], a foundation of Eberron.

5. The dragons didn't like the giant intervention and wiped them and replaced a plane (now forgotten) with Kithri, the constant change, to make sure than no civilization can last long enough to rediscover the secrets of magic able to shatter the world [hence the Xendrik curse and the collapse of Galifar]

6. The Gatekeepers sealed off Xoriat but kept it as an energy source in the ritual. It's difficult to get inspiration and great artists are rares because of that [and the invasion by Daelkyr was stopped, so maybe the trade-off was good enough: I made sure the players get this information to get the idea that not all meddling is necessarily bad...)

The Obs are divided into factions and a fun part of the campaign will involve discovering their plans... My decision was to keep the goal of each faction, "keep" the new planes they are pushing into the system and suggest they just replace planes they don't feel needed to "make way" for their choice of planes. So the Arboretum wants to control nature for the greater good? OK, they will need to remove Kithri (constant change is bad) and Lamannia (nature is wild and untamable) by to planes of their own. And so on. If your players express some preferences, they will have the opportunity to be active players in the grand finale, especially as they will have the opportunity to "find" planes in the Gyre in the latter part of the campaign. If your players dig this part, it's worth thinking about it much earlier because questions will arise during the campaign, and probably earlier than expect. I notice you got rid of the "limited flight" aspect of the Zeitgeist setting, I'd even go all the way and have Syrania gives the trait "flight is easy, things don't fall like they should" explaining Sharn. So basically, if someone wants to "make room" for a plane of their choice, the consequences of removing Syrania would be long-term (less trade... it might not be very bad) and short term (architectural collapse of the largest world metropolis). I'd advise imagining consequences both good and bad of removing each of the 13 Eberron planes in case players asks questions and love this aspect of the endgame (I can provide my list later). From what I have read in threads of actual play, interest is usually high. If you just remove the third part of the campaign, you won't have to think about it, but I feel it's a loss. The Zeitgeist ending is truly a masterpiece fitting level 20 characters, something very few AP can achieve (nearly none, actually).


In my conversion there will be in alliance between the Fey Titans and the royal family of Aundair. This pact is probably from the start of the Last War, but it could be older. The Fey Titans will rise up to Aundair either in defense of the Eldeen Reaches or too much industrialisation in Aundair.

By the time they rise up, the world is in such a sorry state anyway that industrialization isn't a major problem. By the time of adventure 10, magic has become wonky, the sun has been turned off, planes are being dragged into a churning chaos in the sky and hiveminds are taking over the thoughts of sentient beings. I think windmills will be quite low on the list of concerns. Defending their "natural domain" in the Eldeen Reaches will undoubtably feel better.

I agree with two dragons in disguise is too much for Eberron. The minister of magic in Aundair is the brother of queen Aurala and Pemberton is not really fitting for dragon behaviour in Eberron. So maybe no dragons in disguise? The brother of the queen could be replaced by a dragon of the Chamber, because they know something important for the world is going to happen in Aundair and they want first hand knowledge.
I went with no dragons in disguise. Especially since I made dragons the origin of the ritual to fit Eberron lore, it wouldn't be convenient to have two dragons available to provide information. If the players want information, they are free to travel to Argonessen (from which no one has ever returned, so it won't be the easy way out).

I've started reading in the 6th adventure and I was thinking about making Pemberton a rakshasha allied to the Overlord of War (Rak Tulkhesh), a higher member of the Lords of Dust, maybe even Mordakhesh himself. I know the minotaurs in Droaam are servants to Rak Tulkhesh, and I think the gnolls not in the Znir Pact are also servants of Rak Tulkhesh.
I can see it working: Pemberton would try to jumpstart another war involving Droaam because the draconic prophecy connects it to the release of the Overlord. It didn't work during the Last War because there was no Droaam as an independant player, so they are trying to correct the problem to see if they can enact the prophecy. But... wouldn't the Overlords SIDE with the Ob or try to influence it to a planar arrangement that would free them? If you make the minister of magic a Chamber dragon, and the goal of the dragons is to preserve the statu quo, then the goal of the Overlords would be to disrupt it. Unless you remove dragon involvement altogether and the minister of magic is just the regular brother of Aurala.

I do like your idea of making Pemberton an important member of Cannith South. This might increase the struggles with Cannith West in Aundair. I have to think about this and read further in the adventures before making a decision.
Yes, because Cannith South + a Droaam army + access to a forge of creation (nothing in Thronehold prevents forge of creation to be created on another plane of existence) = instant win for becoming the patriarch. Legitimately, Cannith West would want to stop this effort. He'd be operating in Aundair because it's the only place where the Dolurrh manifest zone allows transit to his creation forge, and relying on criminals for his materials because (a) he doesn't want the project to be linked to House Cannith too early [even if it's TECHNICALLY LEGAL, it's better to keep a low profile] (b) he doesn't really trust the Colossus ordered by the Obscurati but they provided invaluable help to fund the rebuilding of a creation forge so he didn't have to draw on Cannith funds and expose himself to an audit. So he's partly rolling with us in the beginning, then trying to consolidate his power base, but still spying on the Obs because he's not sure what they will do and finally siding with the PCs when he realize that the threat of destruction is too high. Deciding on his exact role will be easier when you have read further ahead.

Which cities did you use for the lightning rail route in adventure 4? I'm thinking about starting in Sharn and ending in Thaliost (adding a track to the map between Flamekeep and Thaliost). The biggest issue I have is with Nalaam. As written this would not be a city in Thrane. I'll make it a special line that stops each night which normally is not the case for the lightning rail. Normal stops would be: Sharn, Wroat, Starilaskur, Vathirond, Aruldusk, Sigilstar, Flamekeep, Daskaran, and finally Thaliost. The second issue is the long distance between Wroat and Starilaskur. How did you solve these issues?

KB has in an IFAQ about transportation supported the idea of several stops "not on the map" and even LINES not on the map, as if the cities mentionned along the rail route are the one "express trains" stops at, with the possibility of many local trains having a much more leisurely pace, including stops. The outrageous cost of the lightning rail (compared to the wages in Eberron, making it difficult to have anything other than uberfirst class to be realistic] is only for the most express route, and many more options exist. Because adventure 4 feature a voyage long enough for the lightning rail to cross the whole of Khorvaire... In my Eberron, only higher dragonmarks allows operating the lightning rail for long shifts, and therefore the lines on the map are operated as is on the most costly lightning rails only. Most rail activity is operated on shorter shift, with regular dragonmarked conductors, who needs a long rest and a good night's sleep.

I solved it by having the stops be Sharn, First Tower (military garrison being changed, this is a mandatory stop even if it's very close to Sharn and Wroat, and regular passengers are expected to stay in the Orien enclave) as Keskay (Eleanor is on her business trip with high ranking officers, Oliver Boone and Verzubak have background that would fit being in First Tower and not travelling in coach with the soldiers and I moved the racist incident with the Grietnos one station early as it was more fitting for a border garrison town to have disgruntled soldiers acting this way), Wroat as Cherage, Orithea as Orithea, which I decided was a town south of the dragonwoods, Trekholm as Hatheril (in my Eberron, the rail line goes to Hatheril, where part of the train continues on to the north toward passage, and the rest of the train continues eastward, it's more economical than having two separate trains). For you, it's also a close stop to Aundair, so it will be convenient to have the supply ship, converted to a supply support group, meeting there in a border town), non-eventful stops in Starilaskur was mentionned in passing, Nalaam as Sterngate border station. (Technically Sterngate is Brelish, but wouldn't you want the train to stop right at the zil border? I found that the idea of using criminal as workforce was very Zil and especially The Trust, and it was however far enough from Korranberg to be a den of villainy (near the disorderly brelish, you see) Sid Minos as Zolanberg and finally the Korranberg terminus.

On adventure 4, my main caveat would be "pray that the PCs actually don't think the travel is just a short diversion (and don't forget to make that clear)". Because if they think the important part will be the information they will get at the end of the trip, hoping to infiltrate the Ob by following the other leaders, they will be disappointed. And if they hop on the rail thinking that, they will not "buy" all the interesting things happening on the trip.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
I really like your ideas about the planes and I think I will use them in my campaign. I do think Shavarath as the plane of War being close during the Last War is more appropriate than Fernia. Do you have a list of the planes of Eberron and which qualities you gave them? I would be very interested. To let my players shuffle with the planes sounds really epic and something they will remember for a long time.

As I read in your post you made the Bleak Gate part in Flint a manifest zone to Dolurrh. I think a manifest zone to Mabar would be more appropriate, although souls go to Dolurrh and it is the realm of the dead. Why did you choose for Dolurrh and not Mabar?

After reading your points I'm convinced the change of Pemberton to Merrix is the most Eberron way. It fits the story and it fits the setting. Now let's hope one player will be a member of Cannith West. The no dragon option is better I think. Let the brother be the minister of magic. He'll be someone with a stomic ailment. This is why he never eats in public, but let the party members guess why.

Thanks for your input for adventure 4. I think I'm going to put Nalaam in Aruldusk. This is a former Brelish city and as such could be a lot less "Thranish". Trekhom can be Vathirond, so the monster attack is by monsters from the Gray mist just before the train enters the city.
 

amethal

Adventurer
I'm enjoying this thread.

I've gone from thinking a conversion couldn't be done, to thinking it would be a lot of work, to now thinking it could be a lot of fun.

Unfortunately Thrane has no Volcano.
It does if you want it to!

Maybe the volcano has always been there, maybe it appeared as a side effect of one of Eberron's many past crises, or maybe it appeared last week when a Manifest Zone went into overdrive.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
I'm having a lot of fun reading and thinking about conversion. At the moment reading part 6, but it needs some serious adjustment to put the adventure in Droaam. Not for the story, but the background is quite different without the dragons.

If necessary I will add a Volcano to Thrane. I'm already adding islands in Lake Galifar, an island with a volcano on the shore of Droaam, adding an extra Volcano to Thrane will be done if necessary. I would like to add all these geographical features before starting the campaign though.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
Reading through adventure 6 I noticed one thing I also noticed before. I don't like the large amount of the use of the spell Teleport, both by the party and by their opponents. As written earlier in Eberron, 7th level spells are legendary. And not as common as written in the description. I think I will change this to the use of the Teleporation circle spell. This means the progress will be less vast, and I have to determine a new time schedule. But I think this will be more in line with the setting.

@RangerWickett Why did you choose to use the Teleport spell so often in the adventures? I understood high level wizards in the Zeitgeist world are also more rare compared to the other D&D settings. In Eberron the great amount of teleportation could be done by a Syberis marked heir of House Orien, but these are also rare.
 

Don't be shy to add details. Lake Galifar is
I really like your ideas about the planes and I think I will use them in my campaign.
I'm glad if it can help.

I do think Shavarath as the plane of War being close during the Last War is more appropriate than Fernia. Do you have a list of the planes of Eberron and which qualities you gave them? I would be very interested. To let my players shuffle with the planes sounds really epic and something they will remember for a long time.
I can see Shavarath being intuitive, but it's the plane embodying the perpetual fight of good vs evil... I think Fernia is closer to random violence, like the one of the Last War (puny motive, civil war... really pointless for 99.9% of the participants who couldn't care less who is sitting on the throne).

As I read in your post you made the Bleak Gate part in Flint a manifest zone to Dolurrh. I think a manifest zone to Mabar would be more appropriate, although souls go to Dolurrh and it is the realm of the dead. Why did you choose for Dolurrh and not Mabar?

I wanted the creation forge to be in a layer of Dolurrh. As it's the places souls go after death, having there a reflection of the last creation forge, destroyed by the Cannith after the treaty of Thronehold, was fitting. It was slowly losing its purpose, slowly being forgotten... I felt it was as good as Mabar (the plane actively trying to destroy things). Plus, when reading Exploring Eberron, I decided that no party can survive a trip to Mabar except at the highest level with the 10d6 necrotic damage per minute... I could have made it a Manifest zone, but the idea that it is outside the reach of the Treaty wouldn't work. So I picked Dolurrh.

If necessary I will add a Volcano to Thrane. I'm already adding islands in Lake Galifar, an island with a volcano on the shore of Droaam, adding an extra Volcano to Thrane will be done if necessary. I would like to add all these geographical features before starting the campaign though.

Lake Galifar is huge, like the Caspian Sea, it's not a stretch to imagine islands not on the map due to scale... The setting is here to serve the story, I don't see any problem with a volcano in Thrane. Have the players meet a Silver-Flame sponsored fundraising effort to provide relief for citizen affected by the sudden apparition of a volcano in adventure 3 or 5 if you want to add a foreshadowing (but two years later, when your players will reach the place, they will have forgotten ;).

With regards to the planar effect, I only made a few mechanical changes because I have to emphasize that the delinking of the planes and linking of other was having after the Ob completes the ritual. I didn't thought all the possibilties of the players-imagined change as I have yet to decide on the details. I'll provide what I have in a later post.

Reading through adventure 6 I noticed one thing I also noticed before. I don't like the large amount of the use of the spell Teleport, both by the party and by their opponents.

The problem is both "rulewise" and "story-wise". Rulewise, in 3.5 teleportation was prevalent. It was the edition that made "scry-and-die" infamous. I think it was the mindset of it. 5e made it "out of reach" for the Eberron setting and considerably higher level. As a work-around, you could have the party accompanied by a high-ranking NPC with a greater dragonmark, hired by Aundair to help them in their mission, and whose only function is to be able to cast Teleportation, if needed, and Teleportation Circle more often. It is not a service House Orien regularly provide, but by adventure 6 the PC should start to have access to ressources regular customers don't consider. Also, I didn't think it was really a problem, because teleportation beacons are more like teleportation circles which are canonically operated by house Orien.
 

Why did you choose to use the Teleport spell so often in the adventures? I understood high level wizards in the Zeitgeist world are also more rare compared to the other D&D settings. In Eberron the great amount of teleportation could be done by a Syberis marked heir of House Orien, but these are also rare.
We wrote both a Pathfinder and 4th edition version of the adventure. The 5e version is usually a conversion of the PF version, and in PF, teleport is a 5th level spell.

In 4e, it was teleportation circle, a ritual that could only go to certain locations, and it allowed for a more patient timeline. But for PF players, while it's obnoxious how fast stuff happens when the players can zip around the world, we had to accept that the rules allowed it and work around that.

I prefer the 4e version, where PCs teleport to, like, the cities at either end of the railroad and have to take a train to the railhead. And you could, I guess, remove that too, but at that point there's not much narrative difference between "you teleport and travel for a day" and "you travel for a week."
 


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