D&D 5E Keith Baker: Exploring Eberron

Eberron creator Keith Baker has been busy recently! He has unveiled the cover to his new book, to be released in July on DMs Guild in PDF and Print on Demand hardcover. It will dive into parts of Eberron that have received little attention in prior books, including the undersea civilizations and the planes.



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Keith sent Sly Flourish a PDF copy of the book, which Sly flipped through


Also, check out the KB Presents Twitter for past previews
 
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I do not think that being dragonmarked but not connected to the according house is happening often (or at least it should not happen often).

Indeed. Even inside a house sions with dragonmarks are rare. Outside of a house they should be incredibly rare. Player character exceptionalism is a base assumption in Eberron. If a previously unknown someone suddenly shows up waving a dragonmark around the House is going to take an interest.

Association with a house no matter if PC or NPC usually brings more advantages than disadvantages.
Indeed, the houses aren't evil, they just pursue self-interest (a cynical view human nature is predicated on the "noir" aspect of the setting - this isn't Star Trek). Being a member of a house is like being a noble, no need to ever pawn your sword, just flash your dragonmark and say "the House will pay".
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
while I'm this necro'd thread, I've been wondering how exactly do the houses enforce this whole anti-fraternization thing among people with dragonmarks? or is it not something that gets enforced very well?
The fact that it 100% means that any resulting child who develops a mark will develop an aberrant mark and aberrant Mark's are subject to some pretty heavy scorn+propaganda likely puts it in a box similar to "how do nations that ban incest due to high genetic mutation results in children enforce it".... scorn and condemnation are strong forces against so they kinda don't need to unless you get caught .
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Well that's as vague as an incomplete strand of the Draconic Prophecy.

Is this gonna be one of those cases where one person is running with a pants-on-head interpretation of RAW in questionable faith, and the second person is trying to explain RAI and designer intent to them but is getting the piss taken out of them? Is this a "Card says Moops"? Only with setting lore this time?

Because I feel like I'm the second person right now.

And people wonder why diehard Eberron fans place Word of Keith above Word of God. Usually because Word of God (WotC) isn't vetted all that well.

I don't think this is nearly as bad as you are making it sound. I think it is just a great deal of nuance here.

For example, in the text @Paul Farquhar quotes, it mentions the House Ghallanda having it's mark in every inn to ensure "quality" .


So, on one hand, it is explicit in the setting that if you set up an inn to compete with House Ghallanda, they aren't likely to do something like kill you out of hand or arrest you for simply opening a business. They aren't to that level.

But, on the other hand, that inn will likely fail and leave the owner bankrupt, because everyone in Sharn knows that Inns without the House Ghallanda mark are inferior, they do not have the same services, they charge more, you can't have the stablehand transfer your horse from one inn to a different one for free because you bought the rewards program, ect. You can't be just good to run a business without the House's approval. You have to be the best, better than people literally boosted by magic.

But then, we get into some interpretation. Let us say you are boosted by magic (by having the mark) and you are successfully cutting into profits. What do they do? Well, it depends a little on the personality you give the people in House Ghallanda in your version of Eberron. If they are more like the Robber Barons and corporations from 1920's America, they likely will get the Watch on you. Perhaps the Watch just constantly gets tips that there are smugglers staying at your establishment, because of course an unregistered inn would attract seedy folk. Perhaps vandals break in and break all your tables, you just don't have the same security after all.

It is a legitimate view of the text, they are a monopoly, labor laws are not in existance, and they are cut throat in their competition. It is reasonable they use some of the same tactics we know businesses have used for centuries to take out their rivals.

But, your view is also right, if the business actually isn't cutting into profits, if the cost of breaking them is more than the cost of just ignoring them, then they probably won't get involved beyond just market pressures that cost them nothing. Because you are too small to be worth their effort.

It depends on how you approach the scenario.
 

There is another factor though: people with dragonmarks are a House's most valuable assets. For example House Lyrandar needs two people with the Mark of the Storm for every skyship service they run. If they see the opportunity to get another dragonmarked employee they are going to grab at it with both hands. Which is good if a PC wants a job, but bad if they value their independence.
 


Coroc

Hero
There is another factor though: people with dragonmarks are a House's most valuable assets. For example House Lyrandar needs two people with the Mark of the Storm for every skyship service they run. If they see the opportunity to get another dragonmarked employee they are going to grab at it with both hands. Which is good if a PC wants a job, but bad if they value their independence.

Why they would need two? (Sorry I am not so versatile in Eberron lore like in other settings because I never DM it, I only always play it in DDO but I am autistic level curious so I tend to ask a lot of questions)
 




ChaosOS

Legend
Since this got rezzed I should probably update the OP to indicate that all signs are pointing to the book coming out in March.

Also, here's what I wrote in the Eberronicon
While the dragonmarked houses might bring to mind the dystopian corporations of cyberpunk, they actually reflect a much older economic organization: medieval guilds. Structured around families and bound by limited technologies, the houses have not commercialized and primarily rely on licensing to regulate industry, rather than doing everything themselves.

The point being, the house's reliance on family lines limit their ability to be true monopolies.

Furthermore, the houses don't cover all commerce. Natural resource extraction depends on land rights, which belong to the wealthy. So agriculture, mining, and logging are all the purview of the nobility/Aurum. Furthermore, plenty of manufactured goods (eg textiles) are ultimately going to be made by local shops that may buy Cannith looms and even hang their Gorgon-stamped license in the window, but are still run by an unaffiliated family.
 

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