In Anticipation of Eberron

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 29, 2009

Eberron is coming. When Wizards launched 4e all eyes were centered on the Forgotten Realms. Now it’s Eberron’s turn to take centre-stage.

Eberron is the core campaign setting the Dungeon’s Master team plays in. We still follow the Forgotten Realms (especially through the LFR games) but we’re eagerly anticipating the new Eberron books. We feel that Eberron represents a more mature D&D game. It has all the comforts of a modern society recreated through magic. It’s not the traditional D&D you may be used to, and that excites us a lot.

Before the new books come out we’d like to share a list of things that we’re most looking forward to reading about when Eberron gets the 4e treatment.

Dragonmarks

In 3e Eberron, Dragonmarks were restricted to very specific races. At GenCon last summer Keith Baker and James Wyatt told us that in 4e Dragonmarks will no longer be limited to any one race. As cool as this sound from a character creation standpoint, this will mean big changes to the social atmosphere in Eberron.

How will the mechanics of Dragonmarks themselves work? Will they still be feats? Will they grant at-will, encounter or daily powers? What sort of pre-requisites will be required to take such a feat? Can you retrain a Dragonmark feat once it’s selected? Will they be divided into least, lesser, greater and Siberys? Will they each represent a different adventuring tier?

Dragonmarked Houses

The Dragonmarked houses are the leaders of industry. They have very controlled bloodlines and those possessing marks are treated like royalty. So how will a house of refined Half-elves (say Lyrandar) look upon a Dwarf who now bears the Mark of the Storm? How will a character bearing a Dragonmark not typically associated with their race be treated? Will their own race forsake them? Will the race traditionally possessing the mark welcome them? Will their mark be considered an Aberrant mark? I expect that the houses will be in for a rough ride initially.

Warforged

The Warforged were first introduced in the original Eberron Campaign Setting. They were created as a slave race to fight a war that raged for a hundred years. The war ended and now these fighters are left without purpose. They were granted freedom as part of the Thronehold Accord, but not everyone is so willing to let their property go free. The Warforged are a unique and complicated race. What changes are in store for them with the 4e release of the Eberron books?

Will there be a shift in the general attitudes of the people of the Five Nations towards Warforged? Will any new laws be implemented to better the Warforged or restrict their rights? What happens if war breaks out once again? Will the Warforged be conscripted back in to battle, loosing their freedom? Or will they be given a choice to fight – possibly even to rejoin their old military units?

What of the mechanics of 4e on the Warforged? I’m most curious to see how armor and healing are handled in 4e. We’ve already seen a sneak peak at Warforged-specific racial paragon paths, can we expect more?

Mournland

Keith Baker said he’ll never provide an explanation of what caused the events of the Day or Mourning. He’s deliberately left this vague so that each DM can make it whatever will work best for their own campaign. But Wizards will no doubt plant a few more seeds of possibility throughout the new books. I’m curious to see what new information is provided.

House Cannith

What’s going to happen to House Cannith? The house was split into three factions. Are there any plans to have the three factions merge back into one dominant house? Doing so would arguably make Cannith the most powerful Dragonmarked House? Perhaps they have recovered something important from beneath Whitehearth in the Mournland? Will they try to setup a creation forge in Xen’drik, outside of the jurisdiction of the Thronehold Accord?

Lord of Blades

The Lord of Blades is the most powerful Warforged in Eberron. What is he planning within the Mournland? Is he preparing for all out war against the living races, or is he striving to create a nation for his people within the Mournland? Is he secretly an agent of House Cannith? Was he in any way involved in the cause of the Day of Mourning?

Draconic Prophecy

The Draconic Prophecy is very important to the events in Eberron. I’d like to see more details about it. So far the references in the sources books have been vague. It wasn’t until I read the novels that I got a better idea of how to incorporate the Draconic Prophecies into my game. More direction in this regard would be tremendously useful.

Manifest Zones

Next summer we’re going to see psionics become a bigger part of core D&D with the release of the PHB3. The entire continent of Sarlona in Eberron is based around psionics and psionic races. Will we see details in the new Eberron books that sets the stage for the incorporation of these new rules? Will there be more detail about manifest zones? Will the cosmology of the world be affected at all?

The Bigger World

Although most of the focus is on Khorvaire, there were 3e materials on the other continents. Will these places get a 4e treatment? Will it be included in the initial release or will it possibly come later in the form of new supplements? More details on Xen’drik may be very important if the Dragonmarked Houses continue to branch out, away from existing laws and limitations.

There you have it, our wish list. In just a few short weeks we’ll have the answers to some of these questions. No doubt it will in turn raise additional questions. With the launch of 4e Eberron source books, Dungeon’s Master will start running regular Eberron-centric articles.

What questions are you hoping to have answered when the new Eberron books are released?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shinobicow May 29, 2009 at 10:54 am

I never even played in the Forgotten Realms, i went straight from my original campaign setting into Eberron, mostly because the setting turned out to be something very similar to what i was working on and thus i’m really looking forward to the 4e update to the Campaign.

I’m very interested to see what the Dragonmarks turn out to be mechanically speaking; my prediction is a series of MC feats, similar to that of the Spiked Chain Master, which allow the use of new abilities via other feats ie. Novice, Adept, and Acolyte Powers. I hope i’m wrong though to be honest as that would severely limit the number of dragonmarked characters (though to be honest, it would make sense as there aren’t millions of dragonmarked people running around the world of Eberron, they are an exclusive bunch those houses).

The warforged are awesome. More there would be great. I’m interested to see how the Lord of Blades levels up… what tier he would be etc. Looking at forgotten realms characters from the R.A. Salvatore books was an interesting thing to see in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, so i’d love to see how the Lord of Blades turns out in this update to the setting.

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2 Suddry May 29, 2009 at 9:51 pm

In addition to the excellent points brought up in the article, I have to say that I am really itching to hear how they handle the cosmology of Eberron. Is Eberron just another world floating in the Astral Sea or is it its own baby? The issue also ties in with the manifest zones quite a lot. Moving from plane to plane can happen quite easily during times of coterminus.

I’m also happy with the amount of warforged found in MM2. The warforged Titan would be an absolute nightmare during the Last War.

3 fireinthedust May 30, 2009 at 2:00 am

The Planes: I heard they were moving away from the highly original 3e cosmology, and tying it more directly to the 4e Astral Sea vs. Primordial Chaos. I hope this was changed in R&D, as the old system of multiple, rotating planes was cool.

Dragonmarks: PCs aren’t everybody, but I see what you mean. Maybe they’ll have the marks appear on other races, and have the houses be… I don’t know, more like guilds?

I got into Eberron after GenCon 2005, when I met Steve Prescott. His art drew me in, so I hope he’s involved in the 4e books. In general, I enjoyed the 3e incarnation. I hope 4e keeps or even expands upon the Pulp classic feel of Eberron. While some aspects could be aimed at the kids, I think others are great for a mature group. Then again, just about any setting could do that, depending on the group.

4 Questing GM May 30, 2009 at 4:43 am

I would just like to add Sharn into the list. I can’t run a campaign in Eberron without it being set or started in Sharn.

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5 Feeroper May 31, 2009 at 1:09 am

I actually never got into Eberron. I always played either a homebrew setting, or Forgotten Realms. When Eberron launched during 3e, I was interested, but never did pick up any of the books. I will be picking up this one though, as I am curious. Ill be comming into it brand new to the setting altogether.

From the research Ive done into Eberron lately, I am certainly intruiged, so i may even gran the old Eberron books for 3.X, even just for flavour purposes (I found the 3e Realms book is great for flavouring with 4e – however I also really liked what they did with it in 4e as well).

6 Ameron June 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

@Shinobicow
Thanks for visiting Dungeon’s Master. Sounds like you and I will both be at our local gaming store grabbing the Eberron books the day they come out.

With any luck we’ll see 4e treatment for the Lord of Blades, King Kaius III and a few Scions from the Dragonmarked Houses. There aren’t as many high level characters in Eberron compared to the Forgotten Realms so I’m curious as to who will be the biggest and baddest.

@Suddry
See fireinthedust’s comment.

@fireinthedust
Interesting take on the possible new directions for Dragonmarked Houses, we’ll know for sure in a few weeks.

And I have to agree that the Eberron art is pretty good. It’s stylish enough that you immediately associate the world with Prescott’s work (or at least I do).

@Questing GM
I agree that Sharn will continue to be an important place in Eberron. However, I’ve found that the Sharn: City of Towers sourcebook from 3e is so comprehensive that I’d rather they focus on other new parts of Eberron before retreading on familiar ground. But we’ll see what the minds at Wizards decide.

@Feeroper
If you’re looking for 3e books, may I recommend the following sourcebooks: 1) Dragonmarked, 2) Sharn: City of Towers, 3) Secrets of Xen’drik. You should be able to find them cheap (since they’re 3.5e) and they are unlikely to get 4e treatment any time soon.

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