When it Rains
Welcome to the World of Eberron
This is your new campaign homepage. First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the world of Eberron. Below is some of the basic info you will need to know in order to find your place in the world.
After that, take a look at the wiki page. There is some more helpful info there.
Finally, when you have your head wrapped around everything, create your character. I’m not too interested in what class your character is, or what cool things he can do. I am more interested in the depth of your character – the sins of his past and his hopes for the future.
THE TONE OF EBERRON
The features that most set Eberron apart are its tone and attitude. The setting combines traditional medieval fantasy with pulp action and dark adventure. Make no mistake – the world of Eberron proudly takes its place among the D&D worlds that have come before, with a cinematic flair and an eye toward the best action-adventure movies ever filmed. The campaign’s story elements were designed with this in mind, and it is built into the game mechanics with the introduction of action points into the D&D game.
The world of Eberron has a rich history built on heroic deeds, evolving magic, and the wounds of a long, devastating war. In the wake of this Last War, action, adventure, good, evil, and a thousand shades of gray paint the landscape in broad, powerful strokes, and ancient mysteries await discovery so that they too can influence the world and its people.
Magic is built into the very fabric of the setting. It pervades and influences everyday life. It provides certain comforts and conveniences unknown in either the modern world or any world of medieval fantasy. Great cities where castles scrape the sky can be found throughout the continent of Khorvaire, and a thriving aristocracy of merchant families controls much of the world’s economy thanks to the edge given them by the mysterious and rare dragonmarks.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, all classes and races. They travel the world, battling villains and recovering fabulous treasure, dealing with over-the-top action, harrowing challenges, cliffhanger situations, narrow escapes, and ominous mysteries that are as likely to shed light on centuries of secrets as they are to threaten the safety of the current day.
The medieval world of Eberron is a place of magic and monsters, where arcane energy infuses the landscape and greatly influences society and industry. Thanks to a mastery of the arcane arts, the great cities of the continent of Khorvaire contain skyscraping castles, elemental-powered coaches and carriages, and all manner of enchanted conveniences. Magic is industry across the face of Eberron, the innovative spark that propels society forward.
The advances and conveniences made possible by magic augment the trappings of a medieval D&D world. Magic and the arcane arts allow for effects that in some ways mimic technological marvels that didn’t appear in our world until the 1800s. Something resembling a magical telegraph provides communication between two locations. An arcane analog of the railroad connects defined routes among the more civilized regions of the world. Magic exists to accomplish tasks otherwise impossible – if you can find the right spell wielder and you have enough gold to pay for the privilege.
As the campaign begins, the world of Eberron is emerging from a long and devastating war. The nations of the continent of Khorvaire were once part of a great kingdom of legend, the mighty kingdom of Galifar. When King Jarot died, his five heirs, each in command of one of the Five Nations that comprised the kingdom, refused to bow to tradition. Instead of allowing the eldest scion to take the crown, the siblings rallied their vassals and individually vied to take control of the kingdom. Over time, this decades-long conflict became known as the Last War, for everyone imagined that when it finally ended, the taste for bloodshed and battle would be wiped from the face of Khorvaire.
The Last War continued for more than a century, with each of the Five Nations alternately fighting against or alongside one or more of the others as animosities and alliances shifted like the wind in the Shargon Straits. In time, other nations formed as deals were made and opportunities presented themselves. After 102 years of fighting, the leaders of the recognized nations of Khorvaire (which now numbered twelve) met at the ancient capital of Galifar to draft a peace treaty. With the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, the Last War came to an end.
Today, the nations of Khorvaire seek to rebuild and prosper as the new peace spreads across the land. While technically at peace, the nations continue to vie for economic and political supremacy. Minor skirmishes break out every so often, especially in the more remote sections of the continent and on the most hotly contested borders. Espionage and sabotage are the preferred method of diplomacy, since the nations engage in trade and discussion in public while working intrigues and double-crosses in the shadows.
TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Everyone needs to know and remember these facts about the world of Eberron.
1. If it exists in D&D, then it has a place in Eberron.
A monster or spell or magic item from the core rulebooks might feature a twist or two to account for Eberron’s tone and attitude, but otherwise everything in the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual has a place somewhere in Eberron. Also, the setting is built entirely from the v.3.5 rules, which will require some tinkering to make it blend with Pathfinder’s rules.
2. Tone and attitude.
The campaign combines traditional medieval D&D fantasy with swashbuckling action and dark adventure. Alignments are relative gauges of a character or creature’s viewpoint, and not absolute barometers of affiliation and action; nothing is exactly as it seems. Alignments are blurred, so that it’s possible to encounter an evil silver dragon or a good vampire. Traditionally good-aligned creatures may wind up opposed to the heroes, while well-known agents of evil might provide assistance when it’s least expected. To help capture the cinematic nature of the swordplay and spellcasting, action points have been added to the rules mix. This spendable, limited resource allows you to alter the outcome of dramatic situations and have your characters accomplish the seemingly impossible.
3. A world of magic.
The setting supposes a world that developed not through the advance of science, but by the mastery of arcane magic. This concept allows for certain conveniences unimagined in other medieval timeframes. The binding and harnessing of elemental creatures makes airships and rail transport possible. A working class of minor mages uses spells to provide energy and other necessities in towns and cities. Advances in magic item creation have led to everything from self-propelled farming implements to sentient, free-willed constructs.
4. A world of adventure.
From the steaming jungles of Aerenal to the colossal ruins of Xen’drik, from the towering keeps of Sharn to the blasted hills and valleys of the Demon Wastes, Eberron is a world of action and adventure. Adventures will draw heroes from one exotic location to another across nations, continents, and the entire world. The quest for the Mirror of the Seventh Moon may take the heroes from a hidden desert shrine to a ruined castle in the Shadow Marches and finally to a dungeon deep below the Library of Korranberg. Through the use of magical transportation, heroes can reach a wider range of environments over the course of an adventure, and thus deal with a diverse assortment of monsters and challenges.
5. The Last War has ended – sort of.
The Last War, which plunged the continent of Khorvaire into civil war more than a century ago, ended with the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold and the establishment of twelve recognized nations occupying what was once the kingdom of Galifar. At least overtly, the peace has held for almost two years as the campaign begins. The conflicts, the anger, and the pain of the long war remain, however, and the new nations seek every advantage as they prepare for the inevitable next war that will eventually break out on the continent.
6. The Five Nations.
The human-dominated civilizations on the continent of Khorvaire trace a lineage to the ancient kingdom of Galifar, which was made up of five distinct regions, or nations. These were Aundair, Breland, Cyre, Karrnath, and Thrane. Four of these survive to the present day as independent countries; Cyre was destroyed before the start of the campaign. The devastated territory it once occupied is now known as the Mournland. A common epithet among the people of Khorvaire is “By the Five Nations,” or some version thereof. The Five Nations refers to the ancient kingdom of Galifar and harkens back to a legendary time of peace and prosperity.
7. A world of intrigue.
The war is over, and the nations of Khorvaire now try to build a new age of peace and prosperity. Ancient threats linger, however, and the world desperately needs heroes to take up the cause. Nations compete on many levels – economic, political influence, territory, magical power – each looking to maintain or improve its current status by any means short of all-out war. Espionage and sabotage services create big business in certain circles. The dragonmarked houses, churches both pure and corrupt, crime lords, monster gangs, psionic spies, arcane universities, royal orders of knights and wizards, secret societies, sinister masterminds, dragons, and a multitude of organizations and factions jockey for position in the afterglow of the Last War. Eberron teems with conflict and intrigue.
8. Dragonmark dynasties.
The great dragonmarked families are the barons of industry and commerce throughout Khorvaire and beyond. Their influence transcends political boundaries, and they remained mostly neutral during the Last War. While not technically citizens of any nation, the matriarchs and patriarchs of each house live in splendor within their enclaves and emporiums located throughout Khorvaire. These dynastic houses of commerce derive their power from the dragonmarks – unique, hereditary arcane sigils that manifest on certain individuals within the family, granting them limited but very useful magical abilities associated with the trade guilds the family controls.
Ancient legends and creation myths describe Eberron as a world in three parts: the ring above, the subterranean realm below, and the land between. Each of these world sections is tied to a great dragon of legend – Siberys, Khyber, and Eberron. Each section of the world produces stones and crystals imbued with arcane power – dragonshards. With dragonshards, dragonmarks can be made more powerful, elementals can be controlled and harnessed, and magic items of all sorts can be crafted and shaped. These shards, however, are rare and difficult to come by, making them expensive and often the goals of great quests and adventures.
10. New races.
In addition to the common player character races found in the Player’s Handbook, players can choose to play changelings, kalashtar, shifters, and warforged in Eberron. Changelings are a race that evolved from the crossing of doppelgangers and humans, giving them minor shapechanging abilities. Kalashtar are planar entities merged with human hosts who are capable of becoming powerful wielders of psionic power. (To fully utilize the kalashtar and other psionic elements of the world, I strongly recommend the use of the Expanded Psionics Handbook.) Shifters developed from the mixing of humans and lycanthropes, a union that grants them limited bestial abilities and feral instincts. The warforged are sentient constructs created during the Last War who developed free will and a desire to improve their position in the world. And now, as the lightning rail pulls into the station at First Tower, it’s time to explore the world of Eberron and see what adventures await us. Grab your sword, gather your companions, and make sure you’re ready – for anything.
All text quoted from the Eberron Campaign Setting