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General The Eberron PC races outside of Eberron

Kobold Avenger

So how would you implement the PC races from Eberron in a campaign setting that is not Eberron?

I personally think that Changelings and Shifters are the easiest ones to drop into any campaign especially if there are already things like Doppelgangers and Lycanthropes. Warforged might need a little work, but is workable enough with anybody that tinkers with Technology/Magitek/Technomancy. But Kalashtar have always struck me as something that's really specific to Eberron and it's relationship to Dal Quor, though they could be linked to the generic cosmology idea of the Region of Dreams.

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You are correct, Shifters and Changelings are the easiest to add, I have added them to my homebrew world. You just need to say "lycanthropes and dopplegangers mate, too" and it's done. Warforged and Kalashtar are definitely more difficult to justify. No matter how much I like the races, I couldn't bring myself to just steal them and put them in the same world (did a bit of a workaround, made my own "equivalents" of them as golem-kin). Warforged are difficult to add into any world that isn't high/widespread tech/magic.

Theros and other Greek settings are some of the easiest settings to justify them in, as automatons were a thing in Greek mythology, and you could just explain it as being created by the forge deity (Hephaestus/Vulcan/Purphoros/whomever). The same thing mostly applies to the Forgotten Realms. Just say they were created by the priests of Gond for a holy war, or were mechanical mercenaries created by the artificer gnomes and humans of Lantan.
For Ravnica, it's also pretty easy to justify them. They can just be an experiment of the Izzet gone right (or wrong, from a certain point of view).

For the transitive settings (Planescape and Spelljammer), you can just explain that they travelled from Eberron or another world with Warforged.

As for other worlds (Ravenloft, Innistrad, Dark Sun, Homebrew Worlds), it's probably easiest to explain Warforged as the result of a powerful artificer, the casting of a Wish/Animate Objects spell, or something like that. If Warforged are not a race in the world, and a player wants to play one there and you are fine with allowing them, you may want to ask them how their character came into being. It can help a lot if you're out of ideas.

Then, Kalashtar. These are a bit more tricky than the Warforged, Shifters, and Changelings, as they weren't created in Eberron through breeding or artifice. However, in other worlds, you could easily explain it as being warped by a Mind Flayer or other aberration's psionic powers, merging your mind with a Coatl, a mage's experiment, or anything else you come up with.


I'm currently on my second "warforged" PC in the Forgotten Realms. The first was inspired by Groot and was a unique plant-based creature created by a cleric of Gond and a Chultan druid.

The second is more of a Robocop-style "cyborg" created by a wizard of the Arcane Brotherhood as a means of testing out a tougher, more heavily armored body (a la Trobriand).


In the current Forgotten Realms campaign I'm playing in, we do have a changeling PC†... didn't really bother explaining it. It's the Realms, there's more weird shit that's been forgotten then remembered, right?

But as said, shifters and changelings are the easy ones and aren't really tied to the setting. If (as a GM) someone told me they wanted to be a warforged or kalashtar, we'd need a talk about if they wanted to be something thematically similar, something that uses those stats, or if they want that same backstory/racial origin just transplanted. Just what the player was looking for would determine how we'd handle it.

But broadly speaking, I wouldn't be opposed to working with a player to find something that works for them and works in the game world. The whole "yes, and..." rather then "yes/no" approach, ya know?
†Well, sometimes sorta. When we started the campaign we only had two players, so both of us made a "main" character and a "sidekick" character, and one of the sidekicks was a changeling. Who later left the party when we got more players (and thus no more need for sidekicks).


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Shifters I really prefer in Eberron where they are specically not descended from theriomorphs (the proper term for were-creatures in general, while lycanthrope is more specific), but are rather the natural side of the same coin, while lycanthropes are corruptions of nature. Many shifters believe that they came first, and theriomorphs and their curse is a corruption of their gifts, probably by daelkyr.

Anyway, any world that has room for a race of ancient guardians of nature, who see even the elves as interlopers and vassals of the forces of civilization, has a place for Shifters. (and 4e's wilden, which I keep meaning to build in 5e)

Changelings are also easy, in that they can either be a type of doppelganger, doppelgangers can be changelings who have enhanced their nature by letting in monstrous influence or perhaps even are what happens when a changeling does some evil thing, like eating the heart of a sentient creature, or destroying someone's life while impersonating them, or whatever. Perhaps there are rituals that make a transformation more complete for a time, but they are dark and difficult and corrupt the changeling who uses them.

Warforged might be semi-angelic in origin, made as guardians of holy sites and awakened by the angels who created them, or they might have an origin like that of the Hebrew Golem, created by local holy leaders to protect a folk, but capable of outliving that purpose.

Likewise, they might be a form of reincarnation. Families build the body, prepare the ritual space, and hold it in storage for when a valued family member dies. It's not guaranteed to work, and the soulforged has little direct memory, but they have similar feelings toward those they knew, such as affection for the loved ones of the soul, etc, and are a venue for that soul to continue their work, or to keep being a positive influence on the world, etc. SOmetimes, cult leaders and the like are spared from true death in this manner, as well, leading to dangerous golem folk with followings of fanatic supporters.

Going at them from a wholly different angle, they could fill the role of 4e's wilden. They aren't built by mortals at all, but rather grow by the will of primal powers in sacred groves in the wilderness, and are given the sentience of young nature spirits who meld themselves with the new creation, becoming a creature of living wood and stone driven by a deep love for nature and the earth, perhaps coming in strange varieties like a driftwood and barnacle forged of the deep, a moss covered being of redwood and dark grey stone with fragrant "hair" or "beard" of fern or star anise and other herbs.

Kalashtar are going to depend more on whether your world has psionics, and whether it has a wide variety of spirits. I like them as people who accepted Coatl spirits, but are not born from celestials, so are not aasimar. Instead, coatls in ancient days needed mortal warriors to fight with them against a great evil, and bonded with a nation of mortals who were their allies. Each Coatl bonded to one or more families, and their power and some part of their wisdom and will now passes from parent to child in that family line. Kalashtar of a given house tend to have a given set of personality traits, a bit like horoscopes, associated with the coatl that blessed their family.

Twiggly the Gnome

Back during 3e, before I got a chance to run Eberron proper, I added Warforged to a homebrew world. They were a rare phenomenon, resulting from a gestalt of psychic residue from slain warriors bonding with bits of armor, stone and plant matter from a battlefield.

I've used warforged in my heavily-homebrewed Greyhawk campaigns, not as an entire race but as something occasionally built by high-level mages as "soul copies" of the slain. I had an archmage craft one specifically to house the memories of a gnome companion, so that when the gnome died and went on to his final reward the stored copy of his memories (inside a magical gem) were inserted into the warforged and brought to a semblance of life.

In a later adventure, the same archmage (an ally of the PCs) made temporary copies of the PCs' memories and inserted them into warforged bodies so they could storm a demon's lair on the Abyss; as permanent warforged are ridiculously expensive, these were crafted to only "run" for 24 hours, so for that adventure the players ran their "copied" warforged selves on their suicide mission into the Abyss.

My current campaign is a fully homebrewed world but it features the Dreamlands heavily and I intend to do something with the quori and kalashtar later in the campaign.



Warforged were the only ones I imported into my homebrew setting. They were super easy, just making them be created by the combined efforts of a gnome subrace and a dwarf subrace of my setting.

Shifters as-is wouldn't work in my setting, as the default werecreatures don't exist. I have other types of werecreatures, but I don't have the desire to try and make their shifter version.

Changelings I haven't imported, as I can't find a justification for them to exist in a world without humans, and having another "template race" included with the ones I already have (aasimar, tiefling, genasi are their own race technically, but they can look like any other race only with celestial, fiendish, or elemental embellishments).

Kalashtar never interested me even back when Eberron first released

I ended up adding the Changelings via making them "constructs" of the Fey. They were placed in the material world due to fey deals, and lived only in the pursuit of a single goal.... until the goal was finished and their patron abandoned them.

Then a player of mine used a "campaign end" wish to make their changeling rogue the God of Changelings, which potentially caused a whole huge mess, because there was a debate whether or not changelings were simply magical constructs or a designed people.

But, never got to explore any of that, due to things falling apart.

The deity of Changelings in my world is a powerful member of the Seelie Court named Happenstance. They were the one who created their race, taking humans and other humanoids and combined them with some dopplegangers.