D&D 5E Keith Baker's Eberron/Ravenloft Crossover Comes Next Week!

Eberron-creator Keith Baker will be launching an Eberron/Ravenloft crossover supplement next week on DMs Guild. It's called Dread Metrol: Into the Mists, and will be released on Tuesday, July 13th.

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The queen watches as the sun sets and the undead lay siege...



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Tall, handsome, powerful...
the undisputed master of House Cannith is also a new kind of artificer...

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The monsters of the mists aren't always the ones with claws or snake hair...
they could be the victims...

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Deals are needed to cross the Bridge of the Dead...
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Faolyn

(she/her)
So, I've skimmed.

For starters, you can put this in either Ravenloft or in Mabar, depending on where you want to run it. So that's nice. And that means you can put other Ravenloft domains in Mabar as well, if you want to.

Metrol is a city that has been under constant siege for four years, and it shows. So many things have been conscripted for use by the state. Stores are practically empty, with no hope of being restocked. Gold and silver coins are basically worthless, while copper is in high demand for weapons-making. You get ration coupons to obtain food (which is always Metrol ragout; don't ask what's in it), and you're incredibly limited in what you can buy. There's basically nothing new in Metrol. If someone were to smuggle in food or clothes, they'd make off like bandits... assuming the government didn't claim it all for themselves.

Metrol is attacked every night by "Karrnath" (clearly creations of the Mists), similar to how Falkovnia is attacked on each month on the new moon by undead. Except that in Metrol, the attacks are different each time and are totally unpredictable, both in how they they are waged and what they involve. One night, it might be a a platoon of seige weapons; another night, a curse-bomb; a third night, a dracolich. Because of this, there is a constant need for soldiers, so press-gangs abound.

Despite, or because of, the constant threat from outside, an enormous amount of paranoia and distrust has arisen on the inside. People are blaming anyone they can think of for their problems, ranging from racial intolerances (halflings and changelings are untrustworthy criminals) to religious intolerances (the Church of the Silver Flame is somehow responsible). And anybody can be a Karrnathi agent.

One entire section of the city has been cut off and is now a no-man's land, filled with undead. There's also a huge undercity. This undercity hasn't suffered from the Karrnathi bombardment, but does have its own problems with plagues and curses, and the occasional undead. There's also the area outside the city--but some of it has been mined by the Karrnathi.

Queen Dannel is the Darklord. She's convinced that she will win this war, if she just sacrifices enough to do so--and if only it weren't for the betrayals and incompetence of those around her. She can create amazing constructs (a gift of the Dark Powers) but has no understanding of the Mists and can't open her domain's borders. She has a full statblock; she's CR 15.

There's a section on how the various Dragonmarked houses are doing in Metrol. House Cannith is making cyborgs and flesh constructs because they other resources (this is an excellant reason to play a reborn from VGR). House Ghallanda runs the Ragout Kitchens (seriously, don't ask what's in it; there's a table). While they can make good food via magic, that food goes to the queen and her advisors and other important people. House Jarasco has taken to using questionable methods to keep people alive, including turning people into golems. House Lyrandar has a weather-control beacon, although they can't banish the Mists. House Vadalis is creating magebred warbeasts and lycanthropes. Other hosues have minimal presence at best.

Other organizations include a Fifth Column, which may or may not actually exist, but people sure think it does; the Queen's Watch, which watches out for treachery; and the Unbroken, who seek to protect Metrol from the horrors within (such as the Queen's Watch).

There's a big section on making adventures in Dread Metrol, including a fun little mix-and-match random adventure generator and several fleshed-out hooks. It also includes info on incorporating dark gifts (from VGR) and fun ways to alter your class, race, and background to reflect the fact you've lived in a siege for the past four years. For instance, if you were made by the joint Vadalis/Jorasco attempt to create people with animalistic/monstrous parts, you can justify having all sorts of monstrous traits.

There's a "reconstructed" template that you can put on people (or animals, or monsters, or a PC) to make them effectively half-warforged. It's basically a new lineage, although it's not described as such.

There's a new artificer archetype: the Mastermaker, where you can make cyborgs. At 3rd level, you can make and animate an apparently unlimited number of prosthetics (they don't have special abilities). You can replace one of your own arms with a Battlefist with which you can attack--using Int for to-hit and damage modifiers. At 5th level, you get Extra Attack. At 9th level, you can use infusions and special abilities on your Battlefist. At 15th level, basically become as much of a construct as you want to be (seriously; you can choose to count as either a humanoid or as a construct when you're affected by a spell or magical effect.)

There's a big adventure I haven't read yet.

The monsters are mostly reprints of existing ones, for use in the adventure. There's a few new ones (or new to me, though), though: burster bugs, which implant larva; deadwings, which I imagine are undead stirges; spider-horses, which do whatever a spider-horse does; shredderfish (magebred quippers); wargoyles; and vulgres. Strangely, there's no description or lore on any of these monsters. I have no idea what a vulgre looks like. The only artwork, which is in the adventure, is for something that's clearly a hook horror. The statblock for the vulgre doesn't include hook attacks, though.

The rest of the book is maps.

So, all in all, interesting. At the very least, a good read, and I think that it would be a much better replacement for Falkovnia from VGR. Beyond that, I'm not entirely sure it was worth the $18. I had some cash from an art commission I did so I didn't mind buying it. If it had better descriptions of the monsters, preferably with art attached, I would have liked it better.
 

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Well I'm adding this to the wishlist: I'd get it now but I'm seriously debating on getting the AiME: Mirkwood Campaign for $60 bucks plus $6.02 shipping. Perhaps probably the cheapest I've found it for new.

Also, ooooh the Leader/Head of House Cannith is a Mastermaker? Interesting and neat. yes I know this is Keith Baker's "canon" of Exploring Eberron/anything related to it, but it something the creator of a setting himself is never consider canon, then I sure as heck don't know what is at this rate if that's the case.
 


Richards

Legend
Hmmm. I'm of two minds about this: one, initial excitement that the spider-horse (a creature from the AD&D 2E days) is being updated to 5E; two, disappointment at the changes they made to its structure. The original spider-horse had two pairs of spidery legs between its normal two pairs of equine legs, allowing the creature to travel in the manner of horses (galloping across the plains) or spiders (scrambling up vertical surfaces) by merely tucking the unused legs beneath its body. I fail to see how a hybrid creature with eight spidery legs ending in hooves is going to climb up a wall or across a ceiling. I also count seven eyes, which is either one too few or far too may if there is any kind of symmetry over on the other side of its head.

I'm afraid disappointment is winning out here. Bummer.

Johnathan
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Hmmm. I'm of two minds about this: one, initial excitement that the spider-horse (a creature from the AD&D 2E days) is being updated to 5E; two, disappointment at the changes they made to its structure. The original spider-horse had two pairs of spidery legs between its normal two pairs of equine legs, allowing the creature to travel in the manner of horses (galloping across the plains) or spiders (scrambling up vertical surfaces) by merely tucking the unused legs beneath its body. I fail to see how a hybrid creature with eight spidery legs ending in hooves is going to climb up a wall or across a ceiling. I also count seven eyes, which is either one too few or far too may if there is any kind of symmetry over on the other side of its head.

I'm afraid disappointment is winning out here. Bummer.

Johnathan
It's not the best art, but. First: they climb via magic, or by being able to secrete gooey stuff from the underside of their hooves. Second: the two eyes furthest from the viewer are the central eyes, with five more on either side. Thus, it actually has twelve eyes. You just can't see five of them.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Yep, 12 eyes. That's how I see them : it's not an exact view from the side.

For their climbing speed, the young ones climb faster than the large one, so maybe, yes, there is room for improvement. Your spotting of the ideal way to position spiders' leg on the horse body will certainly bode well for your continued employment at the Vadalis kennel. Failure to continue providing good ideas will of course make you eligible to contribute to the war effort differently, to the best of your ability.

Edit (to address the point about gooey stuff):

Real spiders use small hair and rely on the Van der Waals force to climb... but it doesn't scale well with larger animals. It would be apparently impossible to just scale an ant leg the size of a horse and expect that horse to climb. Hence the gecko being the largest animal able to do that. AS the intent is to have horse-spider hybrid but not have players questions whether they solved the scaling problem, adhesive membrane is probably the way to go... [maybe the first prototypes didn't work as well as the Vadalis expected...])
 
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Richards

Legend
I greatly prefer the original concept as illustrated by George Vrbanic:

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That looks more like a creature capable of climbing up a wall. I'm not really fond of hooves that secrete gooey stuff from their undersides, especially when a spider's legs are already perfectly designed to do allow it to climb vertically. A hybrid creature should be mixing and matching between existing capabilities, not redesigning things from scratch.

Johnathan
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
That looks more like a creature capable of climbing up a wall. I'm not really fond of hooves that secrete gooey stuff from their undersides, especially when a spider's legs are already perfectly designed to do allow it to climb vertically. A hybrid creature should be mixing and matching between existing capabilities, not redesigning things from scratch.
IMO, a horse able to climb up walls is scarier than a spider that can climb up walls.
 




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