Review: Eberron Player’s Guide

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on June 9, 2009

eberron-players-guide-01Changes are happening in Eberron. The Eberron Player’s Guide hits shelves next week, but we have our copy now and we’re going to share with you all of its greatness. This is the first of two posts that we are publishing today. So if you’re a fan of Eberron already or just curious to see where this campaign setting is going with 4e D&D, then keep reading.

Chapter 1: Life in Eberron

We get a brief overview of The World including a new map of Khorvaire which I hope they will release as a poster map, something not previously provided for Eberron, yet provided over and over again for the Forgotten Realms. In Faiths of Eberron the various deities and religions are described over six pages. The Movers and Shakers section provides one-paragraph descriptions of all the Dragonmarked Houses.

Chapter 2: Races

There are three new entries: Changeling, Kalashtar and Warforged. This version of the Warforged does have some minor changes from the version previously made available through Dragon Magazine.

Changeling

  • Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity or Intelligence, +2 Charisma
  • Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Insight
  • Shapechanger subtype
  • Mental Defense: +1 to Will
  • Change Shape: Changeling Disguise, At-will Polymorph, Minor Action. Alter your appearance to look like any medium humanoid. Detection is Insight vs Bluff (+5 bonus to your Bluff check).
  • Changeling Trick: Encounter, minor action, melee 1. Bluff vs opponents Insight to gain combat advantage until the end of your next turn.

Kalashtar

  • Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma
  • Skill Bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 to any other skill
  • Telepathy 5, silent two-way communication.
  • Dual Soul: Save at the beginning of your turn against each effect that makes you dazed or dominated. If you fail the save you do not make another save against the same effect at the end of your turn.
  • Bastion of Mental Clarity: Encounter, Immediate Interrupt, Close burst 5. If an enemy hits or misses you with an attack against your Will, you and each ally in the burst gain +4 to Will until the end of your next turn.

Warforged

  • Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
  • Skill Bonus: +2 Endurance, +2 Intimidate
  • Living Construct subtype
  • Unsleeping Watcher: You need to rest for 4 hours during an extended rest. During this time you are fully aware.
  • Warforged Resilience: +2 bonus to saves against ongoing damage. When you make a death save you can take the die roll or 10, whichever is better.
  • Warforged Mind: +1 to Will defense.
  • Warforged Resolve: Encounter, minor action. Gain temporary hp (3+1/2 level) and save against one effect that deals ongoing damage. If bloodied, you also regain hp (3+1/2 level).

In addition to these three new races we get an interesting treatment of all the other races in the PHB and PHB2 and how they fit into the world of Eberron. I found the explanation of how the new races (Deva, Dragonborn, Eladrin, Goliath and Tiefling) fit into Eberron very satisfying. I was very disappointed to learn that there are no new Shifter options presented in this book. I think this is a great disservice to anyone interested in playing this race.

Chapter 3: Classes

Presented here is the final rendition of the Artificer. There are some changes from the play-test version previously released through Dragon Magazine, but if you’ve read that build then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Nine new paragon paths, tailored specifically to the new options presented in the Eberron Player’s Guide, are now available.

Paragon Paths

  • Alchemist: Prerequisite, you must be able to make alchemical items.
  • Battle Engineer: Prerequisite, Artificer.
  • Chameleon: Prerequisite: Changeling.
  • Clockwork Engineer: Prerequisite, Artificer.
  • Exorcist of the Silver Flame: Prerequisite, any divine class and must worship the Sliver Flame.
  • Gatekeeper Mystagogue: Prerequisite, any primal class, member of the Gatekeepers.
  • Lightwalker: Prerequisite, Kalashtar and must worship the Path of Light.
  • Self-Forged: Prerequisite, any race except Warforged and must be an Artificer.
  • Warforged Juggernaut: Prerequisite, Warforged.

There are also thirteen dragonmarked paragon paths, one for each house. I found it particularly interesting that for most houses, the powers provided are keyed to one of two ability scores. The prerequisite for each of these paragon paths is the appropriate house dragonmark, which are available through feats.

Dragonmarked Paragon Paths

  • Cannith Mastermaker, Mark of Making (Int)
  • Deneith Protector, Mark of Sentinel (Str or Int)
  • Ghallandra Santuary Guardian, Mark of Hospitality (Str)
  • Jorasco Jadehand, Mark of Healing (Wis)
  • Kundarak Ghorad’din, Mark of Warding (Str or Dex)
  • Lyrandar Wind-Rider, Mark of Storm (Cha or Con)
  • Medani Trueseer, Mark of Detection (Cha or Wis)
  • Orien Swiftblade, Mark of Passage (Str or Int)
  • Phiarlan Phantasmist, Mark of Shadow (Int or Cha)
  • Sivis Truenamer, Mark of Scribing and fluent in Supernal (Int or Cha)
  • Tharashk Wayfinder, Mark of Finding, Ranger, Hunter’s Quarry class feature (Str or Dex)
  • Thuranni Shadow Killer, Mark of Shadow, trained in Stealth (Dex)
  • Vadalis Griffonmaster, Mark of Handling, Ranger, Beat Mastery class feature, powers are keyed to Griffon beast companion.

And to finish off the chapter we get four new epic destinies.

Epic Destinies

  • Champion of Prophecy
  • Dispossessed Champion
  • Mourning Savior
  • Sublime Flame

So there you have the first of our two-part review. Visit dungeon’s Master later today when we’ll tell you all about the Dragonmarks and how they work in 4e. We’ll also review some of the other new feats offered, new magical items including a slew of new Warforged components, and updated information on all the key areas in Eberron. Until then I will tell you that it is possible for a Warforged to bear a Dragonmark in 4e. Want to know more? Come back this afternoon for part two of our review of the Player’s Guide to Eberron.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt June 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Thanks for the preview. I am jazzed about this release. I have been running Eberron in 4e for a while now – but it will be nice to have some more material to draw from. I wish they had thought it through just a bit more and released both the campaign guide and the player’s guide together.

2 Ameron June 9, 2009 at 11:57 pm

@Matt
From a business point of view I understand staggering the release of the two books, but from the point of view of a consumer (player) I’d rather have both books on the same day. Or better yet, just combine them and release one really thick book like we got for 3e.

3 DM Doom June 10, 2009 at 4:09 am

Well… technically Eberron did get a poster map, I have one at least though it lacks detail if that is what you were referencing. I don’t think they got the giant four part poster map treatment FR got in Dragon magazine though.

4 Ameron June 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

@DM Doom
The only poster maps I could find for Eberron were downloads from the Wizards website. My feeling is that if I shell out $30-40 for a campaign-specific book, then I want the pull-out map. This is one of the only things I miss about boxed sets.

5 The Boondock Saint June 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

@Ameron

The Eberron DM Screen released a highly-detailed map of the continent of Khorvaire, with lightning rail routes, trade roads, political borders, and more. Granted, IIRC, it took serious fan outcry to get made.

I, too, would hope to see such a poster map for 4e (hopefully they didn’t alter the geography too much).

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