Eberron Player \/\/TOP\\\\
The Good: Comprehensive mechanical support for all character options. Good coverage of key setting elements, especially for players more interested in how the setting shapes their character than the finer background points of Khorvaire.
The Bad: Shifters have been previously presented, and while I don't care for repetition it is unfortunate to have to turn to a different supplement for one of the key setting additions. Dragonmarks aren't quite as significant in terms of their social consequences since so many more Races can sport them.The Physical ThingAt $29.95 this 160 page full color hardcover showcases the same excellent production values found in other Dungeons and Dragons products. Easy to read formatting, beautiful artwork, and good editing come together to make a very presentable gaming book. The artwork does a particularly nice job of bringing the unique feel of the setting to life, with plenty of practical magical applications and swashbuckling adventure depicted.Under the CoverEberron Player's Guide sets out to do two things: orient players to the Eberron setting and offer up a variety of new mechanical options. Note that I'm assuming you are already at least casually familiar with the Eberron setting. If you are not then see my review of 3E Eberron. Let's start out by looking at the new bells and whistles introduced here and then move on to how the product supports the setting.
This product includes everything a player needs to create their character for a D&D campaign in the Eberron setting, including new feats, new character powers, new paragon paths and epic destinies, and even a new 4th edition version of a classic Eberron class: the Artificer.
Continuing the Campaign Settings. The D&D 4e publication plan called for the release of one campaign setting a year as a trilogy of books: a hardcover player's book, a hardcover GM's book, and a softcover adventure. Wizards of the Coast published the Forgotten Realms in this format in 2008, then in 2009 they repeated the pattern precisely for their second campaign setting.
A player's book and a GM's book had already been published for Eberron in its previous incarnation: Player's Guide to Eberron (2006) and Eberron Campaign Setting (2004) for 3.5e. However the designers of 4e Eberron were adamant that the new 4e books were not just translations. The previous books had included a fair amount of duplication because they weren't planned as a coherent set. The new books were, which allowed the designers to create a complementary pair of releases, with the player's book including material intended for the player or both the GM and player. (It also was the crunchier book of the two.)
Changelings are a shape-shifting race that was first introduced in Eberron Campaign Setting (2004) as a hybrid of humans and doppelgangers. Doppelgangers themselves dated back to OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk (1975) and were later featured in one of the first monstrous ecology articles: "The Psychology of the Doppleganger" in Dragon #80 (December 1983). They also appeared in some of the earliest Monster Manuals for each edition of D&D and finally became a player character race in the 3.5e Monster Manual (2003) and Races of Destiny (2004). As of the 4e Eberron Player's Guide (2009), doppelgangers and changelings were now the same race.
However, the 4e designers decided that the 3e dragonmarks hadn't served their intended purpose. Most notably, players didn't take them often enough! This was in part because the marks' powers were often more interesting for NPCs of the dragonmark houses than for adventuring PCs. It was also the result of players not liking the racial restrictions. Finally, many characters never reached high enough levels to take the prestige classes that made the dragonmarks really powerful. Worse, when players did take marks, the designers thought they were often the "wrong people": the marks weren't very useful to classes that already had the associated powers, so they ended up being used as minor abilities for different classes. The designers explained the problem by saying: you never saw a cleric with the Mark of Healing.
The new class, the Artificer, is the first official new class since the Player's Handbook was released in 2014. Somewhere between a wizard and a mad inventor, the Artificer melds magic with technology, imbuing their inventions with a powerful arcane essence. The book will also include an adventure path for players that will take them through the world of Eberron, which will also be released for the D&D Adventurer's League.
Speaking of your players, we should, of course, include a solid session zero for our game. You can learn more about session zeros in chapter 17 of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. In short, before your campaign begins, sit down with your players, discuss the themes of the game, have the players build their characters together, and tie them to a group faction to get them started. Here's a sample Eberron session-zero handout I used for my own games.
Because it's rich with character options, your players likely want to buy their own copies of Rising From the Last War. When they do, recommend to them that they read the introduction to the book and as much as they can of chapters 1, 2, and 3. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 are player-facing chapters. It's safe for them to read and will give them a much richer understanding of the world in which they will be playing. Few players will likely read three whole chapters of the book but if they get through the introduction and skim-read the interesting parts of the rest, they'll get a lot out of it. The more you and your players read the book, the more they'll get out of the campaign.
A fighter decides to take the Mark of Passage. What does this mean? What social obligations do the dragonmarked have, and what impact does a dragonmark have on the life of a player character?To answer this question, dragonmarked characters need to define their roles within their house. To bear a dragonmark, characters must have a blood connection to a dragonmarked family, but this connection can take many forms.
Excoriation is reserved for serious acts of treason, or for those who violate the fundamental principles of a house and bring shame to its name. Excoriation can be decreed only by a council of viceroys, and only a patriarch can rescind it. The excoriate is a strange role for a player character to choose from the start, since it closes many doors. At the same time, it does create a certain dark romance, especially if the punishment was undeserved. Alternatively, a scion or an agent of a house (see below) could become an excoriate through her actions over the course of a campaign. This is the dark underside of the power wielded by the dragonmarked houses.
Being an orphan is a good choice for a player character who wants to have a dragonmark without the baggage of house membership. Depending on his backstory, an orphan could have a specific set of enemies within his house or might have had a perfectly amicable parting of the ways (even retaining use of the Favored in House feat). However, an orphan is restricted from using his family or house name. He might not be an outcast, but he has surrendered his birthright just the same.
In D&D Insider's character builder, both Eberron and D&D Home campaign presented as separate options when creating a character. Does choosing Eberron vs. "D&D" actually make any changes or restrictions (similar to those for the Dark Sun setting) in character builder? I ask because my players have rolled their characters in the default setting and I recently decided that our next campaign would take place in Eberron since its a much better fit for their characters and the tone of the campaign I am going for.
All player characters must be good or neutral aligned. No evil characters or antisocial edgelords. If you have difficulty controlling yourself or working well on a team, you wouldn't make it past the Wayfinder membership interview. Your character will be sent on important missions with a team of fellow Wayfinders, and is expected to be a well-adjusted functioning member that contributes well to the mission as well as establishing camaraderie among teammates.
In addition, these third-party licensed supplements for Eberron offer player options such as races and classes that are approved for use on the server (including multiclassing). These are not required but if you are interested, you're encouraged to purchase them:
In-character common races: Regardless of their mechanical racial statistics, your character should be from one of the following races in-character: changeling, dwarf, elf, gnoll, gnome, goblinoid (goblin, hobgoblin, bugbear), half-elf, half-orc, halfling, human, orc, shifter, or warforged. All true dragonmarks are available for player characters, but aberrant dragonmarks on any race require specific moderator approval.
All new players will build a character starting at level 5. Your character is not a new adventurer--by the time they join the Wayfinder Foundation, they are a seasoned explorer with five levels of experience under their belt!
Your old character will become an NPC under the general control of the DM community (a retired NPC may not be later returned to the player's ownership and sent back out missions). After retirement, you are free to create a new character. Your new character will have all of the play bonuses of your previous character.
The Player's Guide to Eberron contains everything a player needs to know about the Eberron campaign setting. Presenting information in an innovative spread format, this comprehensive gazetteer covers key topics a character should know about, from Aerenal to Zilargo, house politics to the Last War, dragons to the Lords of Dust, without revealing information meant for Dungeon Masters only. New feats, prestige classes, magic items, and spells are included in the relevant entries. 350c69d7ab