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I was wondering. What does everyone think of the Ebberon campaign… 
25th-Apr-2005 01:13 pm
I was wondering. What does everyone think of the Ebberon campaign setting? I'm trying to decide if it's worth me buying.
25th-Apr-2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
It has a number of genre-changing innovations (magic railroads, robots, airships) that don't really fit into my own view of a campaign world, so I haven't picked it up. It seems to be a very niche world, even more so than most of their other campaign settings.

It does have a certain advantage that they're actually publishing modules for it, though.
25th-Apr-2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
not to mention cool pictures.

...All I really want are the Warforged stats, so I can ghetto them into a Wooden Warforged (a wood golem character).
25th-Apr-2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
Thats an interesting idea
25th-Apr-2005 05:27 pm (UTC)

He's an ex-dryad that got mistakenly dragged into a Wood Golem shape.

...he beat up the Druid that did it and stole his clothes.
25th-Apr-2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
why not just use the stats for a woodgolem then? Just give it intelligence.

Sure you have an ECL but all those dryad powers had to go somewhere.
25th-Apr-2005 09:51 pm (UTC)
I found a low-level Wood Golem, and I think it's +2 (whatever).

(too much character background)
Thing is, he dumped all of those powers. He'd just commited ritualized suicide in the name of his god because he was a dryad, which is an all female race, and he was, well, a he.

He was going to be promply reincarnated as a Oak Lord (which I haven't statted out yet, but it basically a physical beatstick dryad) and sorry for the inconvenience, but a stupid druid was making a Wood Golem nearby, and instead of the Earth Spirit, poor Dryad-who-was-supposed-to-be-an-Oak Lord was sealed to it.

(/too much chaarcter background.)
26th-Apr-2005 02:18 am (UTC)
If you want Warforged stats, I think they're included in the Monster Manual III.
26th-Apr-2005 03:12 am (UTC)

...I don't think I have III.

25th-Apr-2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
Races of Eberron has that, and a feat to give him a body made of ironwood.
25th-Apr-2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
gah, beat me to it. After picking up Races of Eberron, I understand why they did not go with the Eberron cover style, because it is designed to be able to take the Eberron races and use them anywhere you want.
25th-Apr-2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
its definatly worth buying.

The quality of the work is really good compared to other WOTC Products.

25th-Apr-2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
It seems interesting and there's obviously a lot of work going on in support of it, but there's just too much divergence from your "typical" D&D campaign world for it to be of much use to me (I run a home-grown campaign). From what I've scanned, its much more into the realm of sci-fi/steampunk than I'd really enjoy for a fantasy world. That's not to say it doesn't have value... if you're into that sort of thing, then its definitely for you.

Lucifer >:}
25th-Apr-2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
its not steampunk
25th-Apr-2005 06:02 pm (UTC)

Do we need to go into this again? We've got a difference of opinion here...

Lucifer >:}
25th-Apr-2005 07:22 pm (UTC)

Main Entry: steampunk
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power; also written steam-punk

Eberron does not take place in Victorian times, nor does it have Victorean Flavor. Eberron does not have steam technology.

Its not steampunk, its not a matter of opinion its a matter of defenition. When you call it something its not it creates a false mental image in the minds of others.

Whatever your opinion is the dictionary doesnt agree.
25th-Apr-2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
Right. If someone invited me over to play in a steampunk campaign, and when I got there he showed me his brand new Eberron campaign setting book, I'd be pretty annoyed. There are steampunk books out there, Eberron ain't it.
25th-Apr-2005 07:34 pm (UTC)

D20 Past, steampunk
Cold Steel Reign, steampunk,
Will Smiths' Wild Wild West, Steampunk

Eberron.....not steampunk.
26th-Apr-2005 11:14 am (UTC)
Apparently, we do. I agree it is NOT steampunk. But it has some elements of the steampunk genre, in my opinion. That the robots, trains and airships aren't powered by steam is irrelevent to me.

"to me" being the key phrase here. It matters to you, I get that.

Lucifer >:}
25th-Apr-2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
Technically, it isn't steam punk. Its a high fantasy world, and technology is powered by magic, rather than natural forces.

On the other hand, its got the mechanicical and engineering aspects, rail roads, powered fantisiful items, and the like.

The only significant difference from a standard steam punk setting is the addition of truly supernatural items. But by that argument, Deadlands isn't steampunk (and Shadowrun likewise isn't Cyberpunk).

25th-Apr-2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
Eberron is much more a reflection of Pulp action stories circa 1920-1930. The Last War is analogous to WW1 (The Great War) and it emulates a lot of the elements of pulp heroes like Indiana Jones or Sam Spade. The only major differences is that it's a development of magic instead of science. Similar ends have been reached by different means. Not quite similar to steampunk.
25th-Apr-2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
it's what my group is playing now. It's definately different - but in a good way. We've been playing for about 15years now, and it ranks up there with Dark Sun and Planescape for our favorites.
25th-Apr-2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
The Dragonmarked Houses, The way magic is balanced through the setting in a way that makes sense, the lack of divine saturation (FR is an example of that), warforged, changelings, shifters, kalshatar.....

Eberron truly is an incredible world in which you can fit any D&D concept, or ignore any D&D Concept. From the Dinosaure riding Halflings of the Talenta plains and the Deathless worshipping elves. To lost giant civilizations and Dragons who watch the world pass by and the prophecy play out. To the blasted landscape of the once vibrant nation of Cyre, The Mournland. to the Magical Tower City of Sharn which rises miles into the sky. To spells which have been brought to life by magical disaster and now stalk the lands looking for targets to work their effects on. To the incredible lightning rail and airships. An unexplored continent to the south. A forbidden continent to the east filled with psionic wonders. A mysterious Dragon Continent to the south East from which nobody has ever returned. To the myserious Elven Island continent where "good" Undead (deathless) rule and advice their elven decendants. To the 12 dragonmarked houses which make the foundation of economics in Eberron.

I could go on and on, but frankly, you need to pick up the campaign setting and just read it.

25th-Apr-2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
I have yet to pick it up, but the more i hear about it, the more it screams "final fantasy 9" at me.
25th-Apr-2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
Yea, I feel the same on that.
25th-Apr-2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
Certainly worse FF's it could scream about.
25th-Apr-2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
It's a "kitchen sink" setting... but it is one of those rare kitchen sink setting that works. I haven't been that inspired by a setting since Fading Suns, which is high praise coming from me.

You can run pretty much any genre and adventure in this setting, and it all fits. Wilderness exploration, urban mysteries, pulp action, cosmic horror... it's not only possible to do all these, but easily so, and all is fully supported by the main book.

And unlike (say) the Forgotten Realms, there are no high-level NPCs to run to when you are in big problems. No, here you need to cope with everything by yourself...
25th-Apr-2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
That almost makes it sound worth it
25th-Apr-2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
The highest-level NPC mentioned in the book is a 20th level druid... who happens to be an awakened great pine. So he (it?) is unlikely to go around much and meddle in the affairs of adventurers...

Next up is a little girl who is an 18th level cleric of one of the most important religions in the world... as long as she stays within the main cathedral of her faith. Outside of it she is only 3rd level.

There is also a 20th level NPC in the "Sharn: City of Towers" supplement - a 20th level commoner (an elf who got a bit obsessed with mastering the art of cooking)!

In general, if you reach 10th level, you are on equal terms with the most powerful human movers and shakers. There are more powerful beings out there than you - but almost all of them are either evil or disinterested in human affairs.
25th-Apr-2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
In some ways that sounds like a really good thing, but I have a feeling it could cause problems. What happens when the PCs get to the stage(if they are that way inclined) of causing trouble in town? There aren't going to be people powerful enough to easily stop them from their rampage.
I know this will be something that occoured to you too, so I'm wondering what your "take" on it is.
25th-Apr-2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Well, if they want to play villains, then that is fine with me. If they can live with a reputation as scum and outlaws, then I let them live with it.

Of course, even though there might no one be around to stop them in this instance, it doesn't mean that there won't be any consequences. While the lawful rulers of the realm will not aid them in any way and send their underlings after them (even though they won't be effective), all sorts of evil organizations and cults will try to recruit them as henchmen, patsies, or even leaders.

Eventually, the PCs (and the players) will have to figure out what they want - support the lawful rulers of the realms, create and rule their own realm, or become involved with some evil organization and its plots. And whatever direction they choose, there will always be plenty of potential for adventures...

Frankly, I don't see it as necessary to stop the PCs from doing things they seem to enjoy at the moment. Sure, their actions will have repercussions later on (they always are), but if they are powerful enough to waltz through the opposition in some cases, then coming up with some arbitrary plot device to stop them only weakens their accomplishment and the power they have gained so far. In my experience, it is always better (and more fun for the GM) to give the PCs enough rope to hang themselves with it than brow-beating them into going in some direction they don't like to go in the first place...
25th-Apr-2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
I agree with the idea of letting them do what they feel is appropriate and letting the consequenses fit. I haven't actually played in games where the sort of thing I mean has happened, but I can imagine the realisation that they can possibly kill everyone on the continent may go to some PCs heads. I tend towards the levels of town guards theory, ie that there are a "SWAT" team of significantly more powerful guards as well as the usual spods.
I also tend to prefer "humanoid" opponents though, and I can see them becoming insignificant after a, admitedly fairly long, time. Although the setting's official NPCs etc probably aren't that relevant to such things.
26th-Apr-2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Well, eventually PCs are the SWAT team.

I mean, I play quite a few different RPGs. And to me, D&D is the RPG where you can eventually waltz through hordes of lesser foes - where most humans simply have no chance of stopping you.

If I wanted experienced PCs to be stoppable by large numbers of other people, I'd play GURPS, WFRP, or something similar...

(In fact, I'm running Eberron with GURPS right now, but that's another story.)
25th-Apr-2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
How many campaigns actually get to level 20+?

I mean, I've never been in one. And I've been gaming for (well, now I feel old) 20 years.

Ignoring that, take a look at literature. When a 'good' PC gets to level 15+, they're well renown heros. When an 'evil' PC gets to that level, they're the arch enemies in the books. Only in DnD-based worlds are people capable of casually destroying cities common.

Although, there still is plenty to occupy the PCs at that level. There are a few world-level plots that could befuddle PCs of any level.
26th-Apr-2005 12:11 am (UTC)
Not many, but looking at the example people mentioned you're not looking at 20th or even 15th level PCs, 7th to 12th isn't that rare, and a party of eg 4 10th level PCs is going to be a world shaking group.

Absoloutely, I don't really like that aspect of D+D either. If we take an example that everyone can recognise; Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings would be a very powerful individual as would the rest of the fellowship(bar, at least to start with, the hobbits), renowned fighters, elven princes, and dwarven lords; PCs often(I'd guess at usually) come from much more humble backgrounds and should really have those sort of people to look up to still.

The last D+D game I played in finished at about level 12. At that point we were still relatively not that poweful, few people had heard of us, although some important ones had as had our families and friends from our village. We still had the impression of being relativley small cogs in the machine, which I felt was right. If I understand correctly what people have said here, we'd have been in the top 10-20 most powerful people on the planet.
26th-Apr-2005 10:11 am (UTC)
Well, we had a campaign going on to 17th level. In the end, it became increasingly hard to write adventures that could cope with the power level of the PCs...
25th-Apr-2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
you forgot Vol :-p
26th-Apr-2005 04:51 am (UTC)
Not really. After all, she is unlikely to help the PCs with any problems - she is more likely to be the cause of said problems... ;-)

I wholly approve of powerful antagonists. But it should be the job of the PCs to fight them. NPCs are only there to die heroically while fighting them (perhaps giving the PCs a Cryptic Clue in their passing).
25th-Apr-2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, there are a number of high level Characters around.

The 20th level druid awakened tree (name lookup failure), for instance. But they're not a lot of them, and they aren't on the same power level as Eliminster or the like.

The generally no-one-can-fix-it-for-you affect has an interesting effect on the shape of the world. you run into things like Sharn, the largest city in the world, explicitly doesn't have a single NPC in it that can cast Resurrection (much less True Ress). (It does not state that you couldn't find a high enough level Artificer, who could make an item that would have the effect of Ressurection, but that would be bloody expensive, and still wicked hard to find. If Artificers can even do that, which I can't recall).

I love the setting. Not enough games in it to really judge, and thats still heavily DM affected, but it fits together very well.

My one major objection is that there is no separation in the books between what characters should be allowed to know and what they shouldn't. In a sidebar in the middle of an otherwise fine section of the world atlas, for instance, the book tells everyone that the king of a realm isn't who he claims, but really a vampire who killed his grandson (the would-be king) and took his thrown back.

25th-Apr-2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of love for steampunk so it sounds cool...I may have to look into it. '
25th-Apr-2005 09:32 pm (UTC) - I'm not a fan.
I must admit it's at least partially due to the hype -- Eberron fans constantly boast that their setting of choice is low-magic (rare magic, really) compared to FR and lacks Elminister (and constant divine intervention). The same is true of virtually every setting except for FR. The only other virtues of Eberron one typically hears praise for are the Warforged race and the Artificer class, but again neither is tied to the Eberron setting.

When there are other settings out there with rich, interesting worlds (Ravenloft, Iron Kingdoms, heck, even Dragonlance), there's very little reason to choose Eberron. But that's just me. ;)
25th-Apr-2005 11:12 pm (UTC) - Just saying
Eberron is high magic, but low power. The average blacksmith in a small town is using magic, but not much more than level 1 spell or two.
26th-Apr-2005 04:59 am (UTC) - Re: I'm not a fan.
Well, there's also plenty of Cosmic Horror, which I dig a lot - plenty of evil and powerful entities from other planes trying to influence this world.

Then there is the whole post-war situation and the resulting political tensions. I did a lot of research on the Weimar Republic, and much of it is immediately applicable.

And there is all the moral ambiguity. You rarely know where other people (and creatures) stand on the alignment axis, so people who are your enemies one day might be your allies the next.

And goblinoids aren't just monsters to kill - they have their own kingdom, and there are plenty of them living in the slums of human cities.

I could go on and on, but I'll just say that Eberron is a very well-designed setting which I can wholeheartedly recommend.
25th-Apr-2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
Extremely high magic and very prone to power-gaming. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I find it lacks balance.
26th-Apr-2005 10:13 am (UTC)
I'm confused. Are you talking about the Forgotten Realms now?

Because that doesn't sound like Eberron at all...
27th-Apr-2005 05:21 am (UTC)
The few times I ran it, that's how it played out.

Mostly because of Artificers' tendency to make everything enchanted.

Forgotten Realms is unbalanced for other reasons.
26th-Apr-2005 01:35 am (UTC) - Eberron, easy entrance
Let's suggest this: pick up the Monster Manual III, and the "Races of Eberron" sourcebooks. If you like the Eberron feel for them, then Eberron might be a worthwhile purchase. If your opinion is "These are okay, but I'm not all that interested in the background that spawned them" then you can still use the races (I am particularly fond of using the Changeling race, which should surprise no one who knows me) and the munsters in some other campaign.
26th-Apr-2005 03:30 am (UTC) - Re: Eberron, easy entrance
"the munsters"

ooh! Dibs on Herman!
26th-Apr-2005 04:27 am (UTC) - Just ran my first session in Eberron tonight.
It's a noir investigative game in Sharn. I really like it so far, there are a lot of really nifty noir things you can do with Sharn in general, and then expand to do other 30's era pulp things in a magical setting. Just a great amount of flexibility. WotC did good with this one.
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