5e Eberron and The Purpose of Unearthed Arcana

Big news from Wizards today as we receive our first tidbit of information ever on Eberron content for 5th Edition!


The information on Eberron has been rolled out as a part of what Wizards is calling their ‘Unearthed Arcana’ article series that is to be promoted as a “monthly workshop where D&D R&D shows off a variety of new and interesting pieces of RPG design for use at your gaming table”.  Essentially we are getting a behind the scenes look at what the folks are working on over on the coast, and I was of course delighted when I found they are working on Eberron.


Sharn: Kind of a big deal…definitely a big place!


I’ve made many a mention regarding Eberron being my favorite D&D setting.  My twitter handle incorporates the name of the setting’s largest city and location of my most successful campaign to date, Sharn, and I’m even running a 5e game there as we speak!  It is easy enough to do but the players have been limited to what’s been available thus far regarding character choices and I’m certainly ready to incorporate certain races and classes into my NPC pool.

Eberron is not only popular but is certainly a setting that will require little in the way of an update, so it is natural to be a first choice when deciding to add to their pool of settings.  The world of Khorvaire has always been at its best set a mere five years after the close of the “Last War”, and that’s not just my opinion but one held by its prime creator Keith Baker.  So we’ve no need for a large update on lore, simply some mechanics. 

So it is with no more fanfare that I provide you with the LINK to the article so you can download the pdf yourself.  Now, lets see what is being offered as the rough cut for Eberron rules!


CHANGELING: Looks like getting that amazing Shapechanger ability caused some pullback on Ability Score benefits.

SHIFTER: Shifting is a Bonus action! They also brought back the many Subraces of Shifter, nice.

WARFORGED: Pretty standard stuff here, they get an extra +1 AC (bigger deal in this edition). No mention of how that works with Armor though.  5e’s emphasis on removing fiddly bits may just mean they start at a base of 11 AC.


ARTIFICER: Looks like the Artificer, who has been a class all its own in previous versions, has been rolled into the Wizard pool of Traditions to choose from.  Looks pretty damn cool too, spending spell slots to brew potions, infuse scrolls, and infuse Weapons/Armor.  Lots of rules that try to keep you in check from spamming such things though.


ACTION POINTS: Looks like Action points inspired the “Hero Points” optional rule in the DMG.  Hell, I’d forgotten about Action Points.


DRAGONMARKS: It was initially odd to me to see these as a feat rather than a Background until I remembered that Backgrounds are reserved for what your characters used to be, not who they are now and many would like to actually play out their inclusion in Dragonmarked houses.  Looks like Dragonmark Benefits give you a group of spells to pull from and increases in power without ever having to spend more feat slots.  That’s a nice change, it was pretty dismal in 3.5 having to spend copious amounts of much needed feat slots just to make your Dragonmark stronger.  Also, to represent an Aberrant Dragonmark all one needs to do is choose the “Magic Initiate” feat from the PHB.


As excited as a Warforged Juggernaut geting to take out a puny wooden door!

As excited as a Warforged Juggernaut geting to take out a puny wooden door!

I’m liking the rules provided after my initial scan, and honestly wondering why we would ever need much more than what is provided here.  Maybe it still needs some tweaks, I’ll see for myself playing these out, but the lore is already expansive so I doubt anyone would need to actually buy a book on it.  I still maintain we’ll probably see an Adventurer’s League series based in Eberron where all of this will be introduced.  Who knows, I like what I see though!  what about you?



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