Eberron Background Summary


Eberron is unique among published campaign settings for Dungeons and Dragons. Unlike any other setting to date, Eberron has been built upon one basic concept: in a world where magic exists, society would develop ways to use it. Eberron sees magically-powered mass transit (the lightning rail); cities lit by lamps enchanted with continual flame, airships and elemental-driven sea ships. Eberron is a world of pulp and noir; alignments are blurred, corruption abounds within the ranks of churches and governments, and the player characters have the opportunity to reshape the world. This is another important facet of Eberron – the PCs are heroes, exceptional people who, given the time and circumstances, could intimately affect important world events, all before level 10. So be ready to dive into a world of fantasy and cinematic action.

Unique Rules

Alignment In Eberron, alignments are blurred, and everything is not what it seems. Denizens of Eberron do not have their alignments limited by their race – players are as likely to encounter a chaotic evil gold dragon as they are a lawful good one. Furthermore, clerics need not remain within one step of their deity’s alignment to retain their divine powers, although a cleric always emanates an aura matching their deities, not necessarily their own. All other class alignment restrictions are intact (barring a house rule), for example, paladins must still be lawful good.

Races Eberron includes four new playable races. All new races have a level adjustment of +0. All new races, with the exception of warforged, are true-breeding.

Changelings Descended from humans and doppelgangers, changelings are a free-spirited race that has retained some of their doppelganger ancestor’s shapeshifting ability.

Kalashtar Created long ago when spirits from Dal Quor, the plane of dreams, engaged in a sort of symbiotic possession of human vessels, the kalashtar are now a race in their own right, endowed with a strong sense of morality and justice and imbued with psionic abilities.

Shifters Shifters are the descendents of humans and lycanthropes, and they still keep some of their lycanthrope heritage (manifested through minor shapeshifting ability), although shifters do not carry the disease.

Warforged A race bred for war, warforged are constructs imbued with life and sentience gifted to the warforged by the arcane magics that created them. Warforged have the unique subtype of (living construct), and differ from other constructs in many ways.

In addition to the four new races, many of the races in the Player’s Handbook have a unique flavor in Eberron.

Elves Eberronian elves exist in three distinct cultures (although all have the same racial characteristics). The elves of Aerenal have strong traditions in the school of necromancy, and engage in a sort of living-ancestor worship, the great heroes and leaders of old preserved as deathless creatures that still serve the elven community. The elves of Valenar are militant and aggressive, having strong warrior traditions in addition to the religion of the Aerenal. Khorvairian elves have integrated into the societies of humans and the other common races that make up the population of Khorvaire.

Dwarves The dwarves of Eberron, while retaining their reputation as miners, blacksmiths and craftsmen, have also earned reputations as moneylenders and shrewd businessmen. Although they continue to value the way of the warrior, the power of the coin is well known to the dwarves as well.

Gnomes While the Valenar have power in arms and the dwarves of the Mror Holds have the power of coin, the gnomes of Zilargo are masters of the powers of diplomacy and subtlety. The gnomes are industrious, intelligent and above all, crafty. Besides being excellent diplomats, gnomes have a reputation as master shipbuilders, artificers and scribes.

Halflings The halflings of Khorvaire are a strong-willed, nomadic race that has roamed the Talenta Plains for centuries. More recently many halflings have integrated into the greater society of Khorvaire, notably members of Houses Jorasco and Ghallanda who work as healers and hostelers.

Half-Elves Half-elves are not the homeless, awkward wanderers seen in most DnD worlds. Half-elves have a well-defined place and a large, true-breeding population in Khorvaire. First created when humans and elves encountered each other on Khorvaire many centuries ago, half-elves regard themselves as the children of the continent, calling themselves the Khoravar.

Half-Orcs While many Eberronian orcs fit the traditional mold of the evil, stupid savage, many more did not. Many orcs on Khorvaire have strong druidic traditions, and even helped save Eberron from fiendish invasion once upon a time. Many half-orcs, especially those of the Eldeen Reaches carry on this noble tradition. Other half-orcs fit the stereotypical mold more closely, and still more are an integral part of Khorvairian society.

Classes All PHB and XPH classes can be found in Eberron, in addition to any others as subject to approval by the DM. There is also a class new to Eberron: the artificer. The artificer focuses on the creation and manipulation of magic items of all kinds. Artificers receive many abilities related to creating magic items, plus a list of infusions – a set of powers best described as spells that can only be cast into items or constructs.

Action Points An integral part of the Eberron campaign setting is the use of action points, which serve as means for characters to alter d20 rolls or use class features more times per day, as well as other uses. A character gets a certain amount of action points per level, and these do not carry over from level to level; if they are not used, they are lost. The number of action points gained per level is equal to 5 + ½ your character level, rounded down (see the table below).

Table 1: Action Points per Level Character Level Action Point Maximum Character Level Action Point Maximum 1st 5 12th-13th 11 2nd-3rd 6 14th-15th 12 4th-5th 7 16th-17th 13 6th-7th 8 18th-19th 14 8th-9th 9 20th 15 10th-11th 10

Uses of Action Points The main use of action points is to modify a d20 roll. Once per round, a character may declare he is using an action point to modify a roll. This can be done to an attack roll, or saving throw, and can be declared after the player knows what the roll is, but before he knows if it succeed or not. He then rolls one or more d6’s, taking the best value and adding it to his roll. The number of d6’s rolled depends on the character’s level, as shown on the table below.

Table 2: Action Point Dice Character Level Action Point Dice (d6) Rolled 1st-7th 1 8th-14th 2 15th-20th 3

Special Actions The following actions may also be performed by spending action points.

Activate Class Feature: You can spend 2 action points to gain another use of one of the following class features that has a limited number of uses per day: bardic music, rage, smite evil, Stunning Fist, turn or rebuke undead, or wild shape.

Hasten Infusion: On his turn, an artificer can spend 1 action point to imbue an infusion in 1 round, even if the infusion’s casting time is normally longer than 1 round.

Stabilize: When your character is dying, you can spend 1 action point to stabilize at your current hit point total. Spending an action point does nothing for you if you’re already dead.

Other uses of action points may be granted by feats or class abilities.

Feats There are over 70 new feats in the Eberron Campaign Setting book. Described here are just a few important feats and categories of feats.

Druidic Sect Feats: A number of new feats in the ECS allow druid characters to develop their abilities in relation to the sect to which they belong. These feats are Child of Winter, Vermin Companion and Vermin Shape, Gatekeeper Initiate and Repel Aberration, Greensinger Initiate, Warden Initiate, and Ashbound.

Warforged and Shifter Feats: Warforged and Shifters each receive a subset of feats that only they can take. Warforged feats generally alter the warforged’s physical makeup and include feats such as Mithral Body and Adamantine Body, while shifter feats improve the shifter’s shifting abilities with feats like Beasthide Elite, Great Bite and Healing Factor.

Knight Training and Monastic Training: These feats allow paladins and monks (respectively) to multiclass without losing the ability to advance in these classes.

Dragonmarked Feats: The dragonmark feats allow members of the core races to develop dragonmarks: mystical tattoos that grant spell-like abilities. There are three dragonmarked feats: Least, Lesser and Greater. Least dragonmark feats are available at character creation, granting a single spell-like ability of 1st or 2nd level and a +2 skill bonus to a single skill. The specific ability and skill depends on the dragonmark chosen.

The World of Eberron

Eberron is a rich and well-developed world, and it is important that the players have some basic information on the world their characters are living in. Included here is general information about Eberron that should help new players get a feel for the setting.

Lands The main continent of Eberron, at least from the perspective of the humanoid races, is Khorvaire, and it is on this continent that the majority of most Eberron campaigns will take place. Following is a table of each nation of Khorvaire, along with their typical inhabitants, dragonmarked houses, and other power groups.

Table 3: Nations of Khorvaire Country Inhabitants Dragonmarked Houses Power Groups Aundair Humans, Khoravar, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Shifters, Changelings House Lyrandar, House Orien House Cannith Arcane Congress Breland Humans, Gnomes, Khoravar, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Changelings, Goblinoids, Orcs House Cannith, House Medani, House Phiarlan, House Vadalis The King’s Citadel Darguun Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Kobolds, Humans, Gnomes House Deneith, House Tharashk Rhukaan Taash, Kech Shaarat Kech Volaar Demon Wastes Humans, Orcs, Half-Orcs None The Lords of Dust, Barbarian Tribes Droaam Gnolls, Orcs, Goblins, Shifters House Deneith, House Tharashk Daughters of Sora Kell The Dark Pack Eldeen Reaches Humans, Khoravar, Shifters, Gnomes, Halflings, Orcs, Elves House Vadalis Gatekeepers, Wardens of the Wood Karrnath Humans, Dwarves, Halflings, Khoravar, Elves House Deneith House Jorasco The Twelve, Blood of Vol Order of the Emerald Claw Lhazaar Principalities Human, Gnome, Khoravar, Changeling, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling House Thuranni Pirates, Blood of Vol Mournland (Cyre) Warforged None Khraal Lords Lord of Blades Mror Holds Dwarves, Humans, Orcs, Gnomes House Kundarak, House Orien, House Sivis The Aurum Jhorash’tar Orcs Q’Barra Lizardfolk, Humans, Kobolds, Halflings, Dwarves, Khoravar House Tharask Various Lizardfolk Tribes Shadow Marches Orcs, Humans, Goblins, Half-Orcs House Tharashk The Gatekeepers Talenta Plains Halflings, Human, Changeling, Dwarves House Ghallanda, House Jorasco Holy Uldra Thrane Humans, Khoravar, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings None Council of Cardinals, Knights of Thrane Valenar Elves, Humans, Khoravar, Halflings, Hobgoblins House Lyrandar Keepers of the Past Zilargo Gnomes, Humans, Dwarves, Kobolds House Kundarak, House Sivis The Aurum, The Trust Other Lands These are the other continents of Eberron.

Sarlona: In the distant past Sarlona was the birthplace of humanity, home to a dozen different human kingdoms, but today there is only one: the Empire of Riedra. The Riedrans participate in a minimal amount of trade and diplomacy with the nations of Khorvaire, but for the most part Sarlona is an insular land of mystery. Kalashtar characters likely know more about Sarlona than what is given here.

Xen’drik: Xen’drik is a vast continent far to the south of Khorvaire. A wild place full of promise and danger, Xen’drik is covered in ruins from once-great civilizations. Many organizations are interested in mounting expeditions to Xen’drik to find ancient artifacts and secrets.

Argonnessen: Less is known about this continent than perhaps any other. Argonnessen is the home of the dragons, but they suffer no trespassers. Just north of Argonnessen is the island of Seren, which is home to vast tribes of barbarians who worship the dragons and are also not welcoming to visitors.

Aerenal: The large island of Aerenal is just of the southern coast of Khorvaire and is home to the majority of Eberron’s elf population. Aerenal is a vast jungle where the great cities of the elves lay hidden. The elves are not hostile, and trade extensively with Khorvaire, but they discourage visitors.

Dragonmarked Houses The economy of Khorvaire is largely controlled by the thirteen dragonmarked houses. These houses are centered around the dragonmark that the members of each house holds. These dragonmarks grant spell-like abilities that have allowed each house to dominate a certain area of commerce in Khorvaire. The following table gives the twelve dragonmarks and the thirteen houses that hold them. Legends tell of a thirteenth dragonmark, but that mark disappeared long ago.

Table 4: Dragonmarked Houses

House Mark Race(s) Country(s) Guild(s)

Medani Detection Half-Elf Breland Warning

Tharashk Finding Half-Orc / Human Darguun, Droaam, Q’Barra, Shadow Marches Finders

Vadalis Handling Human Breland, Eldeen Reaches Handlers

Jorasco Healing Halfling Karrnath, Talenta Plains Healers

Ghallanda Hospitality Halfling Talenta Plains Hostelers

Cannith Making Human Aundair, Breland Tinkers & Fabricators

Orien Passage Human Aundair, Mror Holds Couriers & Transportation

Sivis Scribing Gnome Mror Holds, Zilargo Notaries & Speakers

Deneith Sentinel Human Darguun, Droaam, Karrnath Blademarks & Defenders

Phiarlan Shadow Elf Breland Entertainers & Artisans

Thuranni Shadow Elf Lhazaar Shadow Network

Lyrandar Storm Half-Elf Aundair, Valenar Windwrights & Raincallers

Kundarak Warding Dwarf Mror Holds, Zilargo Banking & Warding Religion Many different religions can be found throughout Eberron, and the major ones are detailed here. Religion is different and much more realistic than in many Dungeons and Dragons settings; gods, where they exist at all, are beings far beyond the comprehension of mortals, and are not simply high-level NPC’s.

The Silver Flame The lawful good deity called the Silver Flame is an abstract, disembodied force closely associated with a once-human woman named Tira Miron. Herself now immortal, Tira (now known as the Voice of the Silver Flame) serves as the intermediary between the holy Silver Flame and the mortals who follow it. The Church of the Silver Flame, which also serves as the government of Thrane, is dedicated to protecting the common people against supernatural forces of evil.

The Sovereign Host The dominant religion on Khorvaire, the Sovereign Host is a pantheon of nine good and neutral-aligned gods. Many Khorvairians do not worship one Sovereign over any other, but hold them all in equal respect, and may call on different gods as per their situation. A blacksmith working his forge may ask for the blessings of Onatar, while a farmer might call on Arawai to bless his crops. Clerics may follow one member of the Host, or the pantheon as a whole. See Table 5: Religions for more information.

The Dark Six In some ways, the Dark Six can be considered a part of the pantheon of the Sovereign Host. It would be more accurate, however, to say that these deities have been cast out of the pantheon because of their evil ways. The Dark Six are the patrons of criminals, outcasts, and villains, as well as of various kinds of monsters.

The Blood of Vol The Blood of Vol is a cult that attracts those interested in death and the undead. Members of the Blood see death as the ultimate evil, an evil which intelligent undead such as liches and vampires have conquered. The teachings of the cult also center on blood as a source of life. While the Blood of Vol has many sinister undertones, many normal people are members, especially in Karrnath. The Order of the Emerald Claw is a fanatical and violent sect of the Blood, and its members are almost entirely evil. The Blood and the Claw are both strongly opposed to the religion of the Undying Court.

The Cults of the Dragon Below The Cults of the Dragon Below consist of a diverse group of fanatical sects that revere the power of the subterranean realms. Some of these cults seek to draw Khyber, the Dragon Below, up from the depths of the world, while others traffic with demons conjured from the deep regions (in Eberron, the Underdark is known as “Khyber”).

The Path of Light The kalashtar of Adar follow no deity, but they do revere a universal force of positive energy they call il-Yannah, or “the Great Light.” This force is lawful neutral. Most followers of the Path of Light are psions and psychic warriors, seeking to perfect their bodies and minds through meditation and communions with this light to prepare themselves for the conflict with the forces of darkness.

The Undying Court The elves of Aerenal revere their ancient dead as incarnate deities, seeking advice from deathless councilors and petitioning their favor. Unlike undead creatures, the deathless elves of the Undying Court are animated by positive energy and are powerful beings of neutral good alignment.

Table 5: Religions Religion AL Domains Favored Weapon Typical Worshipers Silver Flame LG Good, Law, Protection Longbow Thranes, paladins Sovereign Host NG Longsword Any Arawai NG Good, Life, Plant, Weather Morningstar Farmers, sailors, druids Aureon LN Knowledge, Law, Magic Quarterstaff Sages, scribes, arcanists Balinor N Air, Animal, Earth Battleaxe Druids, barbarians, rangers Boldrei LG Community, Good, Law, Protection Spear Any Dol Arrah LG Good, Law, Sun, War Halberd Warriors, paladins Dol Dorn CG Chaos, Good, Strength, War Longsword Fighters, monks Kol Korran N Charm, Commerce, Travel Mace Merchants, traders, thieves Olladra NG Feast, Good, Healing, Luck Sickle Gamblers, rogues, bards Onatar NG Artifice, Fire, Good Warhammer Artisans, smiths, artificers Dark Six NE Kama Any The Devourer NE Destruction, Evil, Water, Weather Trident Sailors, sahuagin The Fury NE Evil, Madness, Passion Rapier Hedonists The Keeper NE Death, Decay, Evil Scythe Undead The Mockery NE Destruction, Evil, Trickery, War Kama Evil fighters, monks The Shadow CE Chaos, Evil, Magic, Shadow Quarterstaff Evil arcanists The Traveler CN Artifice, Chaos, Travel, Trickery Scimitar Shapechangers Blood of Vol LE Death, Evil, Law, Necromancer Dagger Karrns, necromancers Cults of the Dragon Below NE Dragon Below, Earth, Evil, Madness Heavy pick Any Path of Light LN Law, Meditation, Protection Unarmed strike Kalashtar Undying Court NG Deathless, Good, Protection Scimitar Elves, necromancers

Cosmology Eberron has a unique cosmology that is very different from the default Greyhawk multiverse. Thirteen planes orbit the Prime Material Plane of Eberron, and the distance each plane is from Eberron may have an affect on Eberron. For example, when Fernia is coterminous (very close) fires are hotter and more dangerous, and when Syrania is remote (far away), the skies are grey and good spells are harder to cast. The thirteen planes are:

• Daanvi, the Perfect Order • Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams • Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead • Fernia, the Sea of Fire • Irian, the Eternal Day • Kythri, the Churning Chaos • Lamannia, the Twilight Forest • Mabar, the Endless Night • Risia, the Plain of Ice • Shavarath, the Battleground • Syrania, the Azure Sky • Thelanis, the Faerie Court • Xoriat, the Realm of Madness

In addition to the normal coterminous and remote effects each plane has on Eberron, areas called manifest zones are scattered across the plane. These are places where the barrier between Eberron and a certain other plane are particularly thin, and manifest zones cause some of the qualities of the other plane to spill over into Eberron.

History As the campaign begins, the year is 998 YK, 998 years after the founding of the Kingdom of Galifar. Two years ago the Last War, a mighty conflict that lasted for over a century and involved all the nations of Khorvaire, finally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold. The Day of Mourning prompted the signing of this treaty with the mighty storm of arcane magics that destroyed Cyre and created the Mournland. The cause of this disaster is unknown.

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Eberron Background Summary

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