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Eberron - things to watch out for?

tetsujin28

First Post
I just picked up Eberron today, and I like it a lot. But I don't have any prior experience playing it, so I'm wondering if those who have played/run it have any caveats or monitory advice?
 

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Wycen

Explorer
If you have Grasp of the Emerald Claw, one of the Eberron modules, there is an encounter with a dire shark that should pretty much finish off the entire party unless you change it or they are very well prepared or lucky.

Beyond that, I think not spoiling the mystery of things is an important point. Do not reveal how warforged are made. Sure, a hint or unverified rumor, but don't spell it out like our DM did. Same goes for who the Lord of Blades is. Keep his real background a mystery.
 

Ryltar

First Post
If you refer to the shark I'm thinking about, there's a replacement for that encounter on Bruce Cordell's homepage somewhere.
 

Glyfair

First Post
tetsujin28 said:
I just picked up Eberron today, and I like it a lot. But I don't have any prior experience playing it, so I'm wondering if those who have played/run it have any caveats or monitory advice?

It's pretty straight forward. People will quibble about a few things in the later books, but the first book is solid.

A few recommendations:

1) Make sure you understand the artificer, if one is played. It's pretty easy to abuse if not played as written. It's also susceptible to abuse even as written, but not much more than any other spellcasting class.
2) Find the "Ask Keith Baker FAQ" on the WotC Eberron forums. There is a lot of background available there. The Dragonshards articles on the official site are excellent information, too.
3) When coverting other adventures to Eberron, you'll likely have to tone down non-villian NPCs. NPCs are largely lower level than in other settings and NPC classes are much more common. Many of the heroes of the last war have NPC classes (say a warrior/fighter).
4) Try to flesh out some differences soon, before players pigeonhole certain concepts. For example, describe the warforged as living golems (focus on their wooden sinews and less on their armor) before the players pigeonhole them as "robots."
 

lior_shapira

Explorer
I'm currently playing an Eberron campaign and enjoying it very much! However I must give you my personal warning about the trilogy of adventures published by WOTC for Eberron (shadows of the last war, whispers of the vampire's blade and the 3rd one whose name I don't remember). They are (in my opinion) not good, they string the players along a nice railroad with very little option. The emphasis is not on an appealing story but on driving new and bizarre vehicles (ship, zeppelin, submarine...) and chasing bad guys which can't be caught ('cause its written they can't be caught).

Use Eberron, but write your own adventures :)
 

frankthedm

First Post
Wycen said:
Beyond that, I think not spoiling the mystery of things is an important point. Do not reveal how warforged are made. Sure, a hint or unverified rumor, but don't spell it out like our DM did. Same goes for who the Lord of Blades is. Keep his real background a mystery.

Could you tell me? I have a bet is like>>>>>
dragon star's soul mechs: spirits who are offered ressurection, BUT are shoved back into artificial bodies.

use {spoiler}{/spoiler} tags
 

mhacdebhandia

Explorer
Well, the thing about the warforged is that there are no answers per se. Same with the Lord of Blades - the books present theories.

However, here are two theories:

Warforged
appear to have first been developed by the ancient and long-dead giant civilisation on the wild continent of Xen'drik. Items have been found there which fit into or onto warforged bodies in modular fashion, and it's thought by some that House Cannith (who made the warforged alive in the world today) found the secrets of their construction there. As for the question of where their souls come from, it's not answered anywhere even in theory, but it is something with which many people in the setting would be and are concerned.

The Lord of Blades,
well, there's a theory in Races of Eberron that he might be a warforged known as Bulwark, onetime advisor to King Boranel of Breland and credited by many with having influenced Boranel's proclamation of warforged freedom and his insistence that universal warforged freedom be written into the Treaty of Thronehold that ended the Last War. After the treaty was signed, Bulwark left King Boranel's service and was never seen again - divination magic cast to learn about him fails, but also fails to prove that he is dead. Boranel very covertly encourages efforts to discover the true identity of the Lord of Blades.

Nothing is for certain - part of the Eberron design philosophy is that they'll never answer all the questions in the setting. It reminds me of AEG's approach to revealing the identity of the Kolat Masters in Legend of the Five Rings - they named all but one, Master Tiger, and explicitly said that Master Tiger should be whoever the GM needs him to be.
 


Jürgen Hubert

First Post
mhacdebhandia said:
The Lord of Blades,
well, there's a theory in Races of Eberron that he might be a warforged known as Bulwark, onetime advisor to King Boranel of Breland and credited by many with having influenced Boranel's proclamation of warforged freedom and his insistence that universal warforged freedom be written into the Treaty of Thronehold that ended the Last War. After the treaty was signed, Bulwark left King Boranel's service and was never seen again - divination magic cast to learn about him fails, but also fails to prove that he is dead. Boranel very covertly encourages efforts to discover the true identity of the Lord of Blades.

Another rumor mentioned is that
he is actually the inventor of the warforged, Aaron d'Cannith (if that was his name) who either wears a suit of armor that make him look like a warforged, or who has transferred his soul into a warforged body.

I think I prefer this explanation - it's cooler. ;)
 

Deadguy

First Post
Turanil said:
Can someone tell which are all the books released for Eberron, with some info about their contents? Thanks.
The hardback books released for Eberron so far are:
  • Eberron Campaign Sourcebook: the main setting book, with enough information to run a campaign if you wish. Gives additional rules material, ideas for games to run in Eberron, and a basic gazetteer for the primary setting location, Khorvaire, and bits about the other continents.
  • Sharn: City of Towers: lots and lots of information about the largest city on Khorvaire, Sharn, inlcuding lots of bits about history of the site. The book can be a bit dry, but does give a fuller idea of running games in Eberron.
  • Races of Eberron: printed as a brown-cover Races of... style, the book describes the four new Eberron races: the Shifters, the Wardforged, the Changelings and the Kalashtar in much more detail. Not always smmothly integrated with the ECS, nonetheless it does serve to give a deeper feel for things. It also ccovers the cultures of the standard races in Eberron, which is very handy, though it is a short chapter.
  • Five Nations: the basic history and current state of the Five Nations, the remnants of the Kingdom of Galifar. A touch hit-and-miss in terms of 'accuracy' but a good source of adventure ideas, which is what most DMs would really ask for.
  • Explorers Handbook: largely three sections make up this latest book - how to travel, vehicles for the Eberron setting, and lots of locations that PCs can travel to or through. Lots of nice ideas, including some for treasures from the Giant and Dhakaani Empires.
Hope that helps.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Glyfair said:
Make sure you understand the artificer, if one is played. It's pretty easy to abuse if not played as written. It's also susceptible to abuse even as written, but not much more than any other spellcasting class.

And FOR GOD'S SAKE don't let them have or build any magic items that boost their Use Magic Device Skill. I paid for that one greatly. An artificer build with a modicum of thought to him will have a very good chance to activate magic items of their level, and a smaller chance to activate and build items of higher level. An artificer with a +5 or +10 to their UMD skill will be creating and using items much more powerful than their party warrants at any given level. I let one pass, and I lived with it, and learned to deal with it, but were I starting a new campaign, I would ban all UMD-boosting magic items from existing.

Also, make sure to give an artificer downtime between adventures to restore their magic items. Eberron is not a high-level magic setting, but it's not a magic-poor setting either. The artificer lives and dies by magic item creation, so give him/her time to replenish magics.

Otherwise, an Artificer works just fine as a valuable contributing and support member of the party.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Turanil said:
Can someone tell which are all the books released for Eberron, with some info about their contents? Thanks.

Eberron Campaign Setting - you need this. :) The world. New class: Artificer (and NPC Magewright). New races: Changeling, Shifter, Kalashtar, Warforged. Dragonmarks. New Monsters. Lots more on the world. The first adventure - the Forgotten Forge. = 4.5 out of 5

Monster Manual III - while not strictly an Eberron book, later books make reference to new monsters in this book. It has plenty of notes for many creatures on their place in Eberron. = 4.5 out of 5

Sharn, City of Towers - information on the biggest city in Eberron, and the likely home base of many campaigns. Mostly a description of the city, the politics and who lives in it. Little in the way of game mechanics. = 3.5 out of 5

Five Nations - information on the five nations that fought the Last War. (Little to no information on the other nations of Khorvaire). Details of important NPCs, politics, power groups, ways to get PCs involved with each group, organisations, important places, and a prestige class for each nation. = 4 out of 5

Races of Eberron - expanded information on the new races of Eberron, including much in the way of background and role-playing notes. Expanded game mechanics (feats, prestige classes, substitution levels). Some material on the more standard Eberron races (human, gnomes, elves, etc.) = 4 out of 5

Explorer's Handbook - fluffy descriptions of how to get around the continent. I don't have this yet, so I can't tell you much.

Shadows of the Last War - adventure; PCs travel into the Mournland to recover a schema, sequel to "The Forgotten Forge" in the ECS. Includes a short-story by Keith Baker. = 4 out of 5

Whispers of the Vampire's Blade - adventure; PCs hunt a rogue spy as he flees from them. Somewhat railroady; needs a good DM. Some nice set scenes, though. = 3 out of 5.

Grasp of the Emerald Claw - adventure; PCs recover the last schema and discover their purpose. Some forced events. = 3.5 out of 5.

(I've run all the adventures, btw).

Cheers!
 
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Desdichado

Adventurer
frankthedm said:
Could you tell me?
No, not really. There are several theories mentioned in the official books, and none of them are either confirmed or denied. One of the things about Eberron is that it introduces the potential for weird secrets, and then doesn't follow through and answer them, just gives a number of competing rumors and theories. It's generally considered to be a good thing. Those two questions you posted are two such secrets, but there are several others as well.
 

stevelabny

Explorer
I do believe that frankthedm was specifically asking wycen to tell him what happened in wycens game and not looking for an offical answer. That's how I read his question.

And on that note, I disagree with Wycen, I think a DM SHOULD be willing to answer one or more of the secrets of Eberron if the story requires it. Just don't go giving them ALL away, because you'll still want one around for the nex campaign.

Mark of Death, Day of Mourning, Warforged, Draconic Prophecy, Silver Flame, Xen'drik theres plenty of major mysteries to explore.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
MerricB said:
Shadows of the Last War - adventure; PCs travel into the Mournland to recover a schema, sequel to "The Forgotten Forge" in the ECS. Includes a short-story by Keith Baker. = 4 out of 5

Is the short story still included with the adventure? I thought I read somewhere that it was only for the first print run or something like that...
 

D'karr

Adventurer
stevelabny said:
I do believe that frankthedm was specifically asking wycen to tell him what happened in wycens game and not looking for an offical answer. That's how I read his question.

And on that note, I disagree with Wycen, I think a DM SHOULD be willing to answer one or more of the secrets of Eberron if the story requires it. Just don't go giving them ALL away, because you'll still want one around for the nex campaign.

Mark of Death, Day of Mourning, Warforged, Draconic Prophecy, Silver Flame, Xen'drik theres plenty of major mysteries to explore.

That is one of the things I like about Eberron, there are secrets and they are left up to the DM to fill out. Some of the information in the books can even contradict your campaign information and it doesn't affect it because most of the information in the books is composed of rumors.

For example in my campaign the Lord of Blades is not "one" person.
 

Jürgen Hubert

First Post
D'karr said:
That is one of the things I like about Eberron, there are secrets and they are left up to the DM to fill out. Some of the information in the books can even contradict your campaign information and it doesn't affect it because most of the information in the books is composed of rumors.

Reminds me of Shadowrun. ;)
 

HeapThaumaturgist

First Post
Watch out for Warforged, I'd say.

Their immunities alone would pretty much warrant a +1 LA, and they get Light Fortification on top of that. There are some role-playing restrictions, some functional restrictions (all of them have armor, even if you wanted to play a wizard), and a net -2 Stat adjustment (like Half-Orcs).

They only get half-healing from divine magic, but the system helpfully includes an arcane Cure set for constructs ... which, honestly, I think MORE than makes up for half-healing from divine because, unlike flesh and blood characters, they can depend on TWO class types to heal them.

I understand the design reasons behind not wanting to make the "new cool race" a +1 LA race, and that they HAD to put alot of that stuff in there to make them "living constructs" but they're, IMHO, overpowered.

I'm an unholy minmax freak, myself. Which is alright, as I usually GM ... I like to know what's going to be coming at me and what's possible within the rules. It's sort of a hobby, I guess. Warforged is a dance through a candy park, as far as I'm concerned. I could do SO many absolutely horrific things to somebody else's campaign with those things. It adds whole new dimensions to things, so be ESPECIALLY mindful of non-core feats and abilities, which can interact a little oddly.

Personally, I want to try an Artificer with some feats out of Complete Arcane. That could be horrific as well.

--fje
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
mhacdebhandia said:
Well, the thing about the warforged is that there are no answers per se. Same with the Lord of Blades - the books present theories.
Well, there are some answers. Five Nations doesn't explain the origin of the Lord of Blades, but it does include his statblock.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Oddly enough, in our group we were all in agreement that the Warforged were a bit underpowered as a race, actually. We ended up giving the 'forged character darkvision as a consolation prize to make up for it.

In play, I'd think we all came to believe that maybe he didn't really need it after all, but we still never, ever considered the warforged an overpowered race. At LA +1, it would have been ridiculously underpowered to the point of unplayable, IMBO.
 

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