I am going to start playing Eberron for the first time.

I have never played any D&D as I am not a fan of the series, but my friend is planning on doing some storytelling in the Eberron setting. I saw some interesting new races and classes and I want to know:

What kind of character would let me see the most unusual stuff that can only be found in Eberron?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Which edition of D&D is it? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 23 '12 at 9:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you've never played D&D, how will you know what can be found only in Eberron and what is "generic D&D"? :) Just curious. \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Sep 23 '12 at 10:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "What kind of character would let me see the most unusual stuff that can only be found in Eberron?" I actually don't think there's anything to answer there since it has nothing to do with your character. I could play Human Blacksmith Joe Brown The Very Average And Unremarkable who wanders the world as a travelling smith and sees tons of crazy stuff, or I could play Aggajagga the Dragonmarked Half-Elemental Heir of Et Cetera who never leaves the dusty wine cellar he maintains. What kind of character you are is sort of a non-issue: just make sure he's someone who wanders around and sees stuff. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Sep 23 '12 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Given the OP's aversion to the D&D "series" and the focus on storytelling, I believe thye're looking for non-murderhobo PC options that might give inherent roleplaying reasons to see the world and its unusual bits. Just because Joe Blacksmith can take up wandering doesn't mean a player who is very invested in the storytelling will want to make Joe Blacksmith act so out of character as to suddenly become a vagabond. Standard D&D (non)reasons to adventure don't apply here. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 24 '12 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @all_the_above ;) I will play a game in the Eberron setting. I absolutely don't care about the character's efficiency and leveling patterns. I just want to explore the universum. The focus on the question is about a character being able to do unusual stuff and cause unusual situations. \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 25 '12 at 13:34

One character archetype I'm surprised wasn't brought up is the Inquisitive; basically Eberron's version of a private detective. Inquisitve-type characters (which can practically be any kind of race or class) can find themselves embroiled in adventures on the grittier, pulpier side of Eberron, and can get mixed up with any number of the campaign setting's unique figures and groups vying for power. They can chase down marks to any corner of the world, or be tasked with bringing back relics from any long-forsaken ruins.

If I had a player who wanted a whirlwind tour of Eberron and wanted to know what type of character would best facilitate that, absolutely my first answer would be inquisitive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's the exact answer I was looking for, but I didn't know that yet :) The tick is yours \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 26 '13 at 15:14

The first answer that comes to mind is the Warforged, certainly. These are living automatons, similar to golems, that are playable character races. I played a Warforged Paladin for a while, and it was fun both for game-mechanics reasons (built-in weaponry! Installing a bag of holding inside my chest compartment!) and for roleplaying reasons (As a construct, how can I believe in a deity? Do I have a soul?). They're different enough from other settings' races to be very interesting.

Another nice character option is Dragonmarked, which isn't a unique race, but are "physical manifestations of the Draconic Prophecy" that can manifest on members of any race (though not on Warforged). This is nice both because it gives a nice game-mechanics twist (can give you powers) while also tying you into the setting, since having a specific dragonmark makes you a part of a Dragonmarked House, leading to many plot hooks and roleplaying opportunities.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Or shifters, or... All the stuff that's in the Eberron book; since it's in there and not in the corebook it's unique to Eberron... \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Sep 23 '12 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ depending on what edition you play, dragonmarks won't manifest on "any races". Dragonmarks follow bloodline of specific races in the original setting. \$\endgroup\$ – user4000 Sep 23 '12 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrJinPengyou specific marks might be found only on specific races, but playing dragonmarked, as a whole, doesn't restrict you to specific races. That's what I was trying to say. \$\endgroup\$ – lisardggY Sep 23 '12 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok so you mean working for a Dragonmark House? \$\endgroup\$ – user4000 Sep 23 '12 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I already had a look at the book before I asked the question. I know there's a lot to choose from, but I haven't read about Dragonmarked yet. Thanks. I considered Warforged, but they don't seem to be good carriers of virtues like intelligence or wisdom ;) Correct me if I'm wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 25 '12 at 13:42

The first thing you must know about Eberron: It's a medieval setting with magic easily available to the point that it mimics our 1800s tech level. If it existed in 19th century, it probably exists in a weird way in Eberron.

A really interesting concept unique to the Eberron setting is a journalist for the Korranberg Chronicle: following the players around, doing interviews and painting pictures of you gloriously beating up bad guys, boasting about how much you saved the lives of the party, writing a false story about this or that party member who is in love with you but your love is only for the readers. Basically, a Bard of any race you want.

The Dragonmarked houses are mostly like corporations selling services and even experimenting with weird stuff. You could be working for one of them (publicly or in secret) and report to them from time to time. You don't have to have a Dragonmark to work for a House, but having one is a big plus.

Artificer is a nice option introduced in Eberron. They are basically magic item makers and they can temporarily boost the weapons and equipment of the PCs with infusions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Journalist, there's an interesting character idea. Sort of like a modern war correspondent. It's very Eberron, because regular fantasy doesn't normally don't have newspapers. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Dovahkiin Sep 23 '12 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 For character ideas unique to Eberron, not just character options unique to the books ... \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Sep 23 '12 at 22:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like that you posted whole character ideas. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 25 '12 at 13:37

There two ways to go with a character, with what's uniquely Eberron, though in my opinion one is still borderline "vanilla" D&D.

The most unique race in Eberron is the Warforged, a magically created machine-man of sorts. There have been Golems or Constructs in other games, but they were fairly unthinking. This race is the embodiment of Eberron and its magic-saturated world.

The class that is new to Eberron and very unique is the Artificer, which can create magic items or cast spells by understanding their underlying energies. They're not a wizard, they're not a cleric, but they're somewhere in between.

These two combined is a class/race combo unlike anything in any other D&D game of the past and what I would consider iconic for the setting.

The other unusual aspect of Eberron the greater emphasis on psionics, instead of just divine or arcane magic. This has been done in earlier game settings, so it isn't that new. There are races (e.g., Kalashtar) which really work well with Psionics and are new.

Ultimately, the Eberron setting is about magic being so ubiquitous that it's in everything and isn't as fantastic as other worlds. Additionally, it's very pulp-noir, encouraging a world more like Indiana Jones' where you're finding ancient cultures and artifacts. My own label for the world though is "mana-punk" which is where Steampunk meets Magic.

In any case, this is my favorite campaign world yet created, and just embracing the shift to include technology and adventure makes any combination of race and class quite fun to play.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like how you sum up your answer. A little followup: Isn't WArforged Artificer a bit weird? It's a guy handling the same power that created himself, right? Is it common in Eberron? \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 25 '12 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @naugtur It's a good idea actually. Some warforged may have worked as assistant during the Last War, helping other artificers to create magic items and other warforged. \$\endgroup\$ – user4000 Sep 25 '12 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrJinPengyou I haven't thought about it like that. That's really convincing. Thanks \$\endgroup\$ – naugtur Sep 27 '12 at 17:17

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