5E What's to Like about Eberron?

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
I heartily agree with everyone's excellent points!

For me also, I really like that Eberron is morally grey and even evil has its place in society, within reason. I really appreciate that in Eberron, nothing is presented as objectively good or evil - each nation, culture, race, religion is presented as having many layered facets. "Evil" nations can pursue goodly objectives to accentuate their evil deeds, and "Goodly" nations can enforce evil actions to maintain altruistic ends.

I really like the fact religions in Eberron, while widespread and monumental pillars of society, are also deeply personal and based in faith and belief rather than any concrete manifestation of a deity. You can't prove the existence of the gods in Eberron and so personal faith is deeply important.

I also really like Eberron's deeply rooted sensibilities in the pulp and noir genre, and its leanings towards the late-19th and early-20th century. This is makes for more a fantasypunk setting rather the traditional high fantasy of the Forgotten Realms, the grim fantasy of Greyhawk, the post-apocalypse of Dark Sun, and the gothic horror of Ravenloft.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
The reason I am planning on setting my next campaign in Eberron has more to do with what it isn't than what it is.

It isn't pseudo-medieval.

Quite frankly, I am bored with the same old sub-Tolkien pseudo-medieval tropes of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Krynn etc.

And, if you strip away the noir style plots, it asks interesting science fiction questions about what effect the existence of D&D style magic would have on society.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
And, if you strip away the noir style plots, it asks interesting science fiction questions about what effect the existence of D&D style magic would have on society.
I feel it also asks interesting questions about what it means to have purpose in life, and what it means to be an individual, especially in the cases of the warforged. It asks also interesting questions about identity, whether this is cultural or individualistic or something forged by something else.

It also raises some harsh questions about the aftermath of a world war, and its flow-on effects that ripple throughout the continent and throughout different nations and races.

These are all things I really appreciate and like.
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
I pitched an Eberron campaign to my adopted sister (not my biological sister though, because she HATES D&D) and two family friends after my dad’s game ended as:

Imagine a kind of Star Trek mirror universe, with Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and Firefly all thrown into the mix of a 19th century where guns never existed.
If you enjoy the world of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, you might enjoy Eberron.
Oh, and one other thing. Eberron is the one official setting where you can fight robot zombies.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
Then you need to watch Raiders again, and this time pay attention, and forget about the later films. It's a story about two initially grey characters - Indy and Belloq - one of whom eventually chooses light, and the other dark.
I don't know. In the opening adventure he was taking the idol for a museum to protect it against people like Belloq. Belloq killed the guide who led him to Indy. Indy went out of his way to save his guide. It was pretty clear to me who was the villain and who was the hero.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
My top 5 things about Eberron?

1) Xen'Drik
B) Xen'Drik
C) Xen'Drik
5) Post WWI/Lead up to WWII feel (kinda like Phantom Menace without JarJar and Anni).
E) Twists on "classic" (ie. overdone to death) D&D creatures - The Drow, Elves, Giants.
G) Lack of High Level NPCs
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
One of the things that I like is that Eberron escews the medival European vibe of most fantasy settings for a more post-industrial, quasi-modern vibe.

Also, dinosaur-riding halflings. I never wanted to play a halfling until Eberron.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hmm. I've never seen that connection. I guess I would just run it in Hollow Earth Expedition, Savage Worlds, or something like that. D&D just seems like you have to change too much about the assumptions of the game - like forcing a square peg into a round hole.
I really prefer dnd for Eberron. DnD (4e and 5e, at least) does fantasy pulp very well.

Tangent: Eberron doesn’t need guns. It doesn’t need to be “fantasy 1930s”. The 1930s are one of the primary inspirations, it isn’t the whole setting.

Remember, Eberron also has chivalric knights, is mostly ruled by absolute monarchs, has inventors more inspired by steampunk than anything 20th century, and delves into cyberpunk themes of Uber powerful megacorps and questions of what it means to be “human” in the face of truly sapient synthetic people, etc.

I do think it needs elemental blasting rods or something that fill a niche similar to guns without just being guns, like the lightning rail and airships. Wands don’t quite get there, because only select people can use them at all. That misses one of the biggest distinguishing features of guns. Still, not having them helps distinguish Eberron from a generic “fantasy 1930s” world.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I pitched an Eberron campaign to my adopted sister (not my biological sister though, because she HATES D&D) and two family friends after my dad’s game ended as:

Imagine a kind of Star Trek mirror universe, with Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and Firefly all thrown into the mix of a 19th century where guns never existed.
If you enjoy the world of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, you might enjoy Eberron.
Oh, and one other thing. Eberron is the one official setting where you can fight robot zombies.
You had me at robot zombies. ;)
 
Eberron doesn’t need guns. It doesn’t need to be “fantasy 1930s”. The 1930s are one of the primary inspirations, it isn’t the whole setting.
You could argue that if default D&D was technologically consistent it ought to have guns too, because plate armour and polearms were around at the same time as early gunpowder weapons.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You could argue that if default D&D was technologically consistent it ought to have guns too, because plate armour and polearms were around at the same time as early gunpowder weapons.
Sure! And I do any time someone tries to use historicity as an argument against guns in dnd in general.
And dragons were around too, right? ;)
Eh, the game has historical elements. The argument isn’t that only things from a period can be included, but that if it was around “back then” there’s no real reason to exclude it.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I really prefer dnd for Eberron. DnD (4e and 5e, at least) does fantasy pulp very well.

Tangent: Eberron doesn’t need guns. It doesn’t need to be “fantasy 1930s”. The 1930s are one of the primary inspirations, it isn’t the whole setting.

Remember, Eberron also has chivalric knights, is mostly ruled by absolute monarchs, has inventors more inspired by steampunk than anything 20th century, and delves into cyberpunk themes of Uber powerful megacorps and questions of what it means to be “human” in the face of truly sapient synthetic people, etc.

I do think it needs elemental blasting rods or something that fill a niche similar to guns without just being guns, like the lightning rail and airships. Wands don’t quite get there, because only select people can use them at all. That misses one of the biggest distinguishing features of guns. Still, not having them helps distinguish Eberron from a generic “fantasy 1930s” world.
The nefarious corporations and the synthetic people are part of the 20's-30's element ("Rossum's Universal Robots" debuted on stage in 1920). The elements that are not 1920's-30's are not unique to Eberron (and absolute Monarchy still had serious cache in Europe after the war).
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The nefarious corporations and the synthetic people are part of the 20's-30's element ("Rossum's Universal Robots" debited on stage in 1920). The elements that are not 1920's-30's are not unique to Eberron (and absolute Monarchy still had serious cache in Europe after the war).
Those elements are absolutely not part of the pop culture understanding of those decades. Warforged aren’t inspired by 20th century pulp adventure or noir stories. They’re inspired by dnd itself and by cyberpunk and other futuristic stories and genres.

International megacorps are a staple of cyberpunk.

This is like saying that gadget inventors are drawn from Hellenic stories because Archimedes existed.
 

vpuigdoller

Explorer
Eberron provides shortcuts for a lot of the travel, through airships, the Lightning Rail, and well maintained roads throughout the more civilised lands. So you can still make travel a focus, or you can turn it into no more than a brief cutscene, the equivalent of the Indiana Jones style red-line-crossing-a-map scene.

And there are several organisations considered unequivocally bad, at different levels of play. The Order of the Emerald Claw, the Cults of the Dragon Below, the Lords of Dust, and more.
It is very set in a pseudo magical industrial world representing late 19 century / early 20th century. Hence why pulp related stories fit so well with it.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Those elements are absolutely not part of the pop culture understanding of those decades. Warforged aren’t inspired by 20th century pulp adventure or noir stories. They’re inspired by dnd itself and by cyberpunk and other futuristic stories and genres.

International megacorps are a staple of cyberpunk.

This is like saying that gadget inventors are drawn from Hellenic stories because Archimedes existed.
On the contrary, the whole synthetic life anxiety in fiction draws from sources from that period, including the creation of the term "robot" itself. Metropolis is another good period example.

Large multinational corporations were emerging at that time in history, and the Dragonmarked houses are more like the corporate interests of the post-War period than they are like Shadowrun.
 

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