Before you direct you attention to the post below can I be so bold as to interest you in a gaming Convention? This November in downtown Dayton, Ohio The RPG Academy will be hosting AcadeCon for their 6th year! Registration is now live and you’d be hard pressed to find a convention this intimate boasting as many special guests as they do, games designers, podcasters, bloggers you name it! Plus, tons of great Game Masters and great games to play. Now, onto the post!
Anyone who has paid any attention to my work over the last few years knows I’m a huge fan of the Eberron Campaign setting. It’s the home of many of my favorite Dungeons and Dragons memories, namely my longest running campaign (a 4th edition run that I meticulously chronicled here). Since 5e hit the scene I’ve spent no small amount of time begging Wizards of the Coast to give us some kind of official content, outside of Unearthed Arcana that is, and not long ago my desires came to fruition! Even better, they went the smart route and tapped Keith Baker as Lead Designer. One can only hope this signals a trend of WotC granting folks the settings they yearn for.
Also, a huge thanks to my good friend John Appleton, someone who truly loves the hobby and wants to spread that love, for purchasing the book for me simply to ensure I had it so I can introduce my love of Eberron to my library club. Thanks again John, the kids will love the setting!
Wayfinders was released digitally with a caveat that it is possibly still a work in process. No reason for concern in that regard though because once purchased you will have access to all the errata in real-time as they make adjustments to the book. From what I see though we have a wonderfully concise write-up of what we need to know in order to bridge The Dragon Between into this newest edition. Namely the fluff of Eberron is only touched upon in enough detail to ensure newcomers aren’t totally lost, but the mechanics are spelled out in excellent detail.
One of the best ideas Mr. Baker ever had with his setting was to make the timeline static. No matter how many editions this setting ends up rolling through it is unlikely we will ever see a version of Eberron set beyond the date 1001 YK, or rather five years after the official end of the Last War. With relative peace in such infancy you open up so many possibilities for a Game Master to make this world their own. All the lore details in this book are more than enough to work with and there are plenty of instances where we are reminded that certain things are left vague with purpose. You get to decode the story about some of the biggest events and people in this game.
Mechanics wise we get to see some things brought to life that I have really been waiting on. New races like Warforged, Shifters, Changelings, and the Kalashtar are certainly welcomed sights. If I ever get to play in a game, rather than run it, I might take another crack at my Changeling Reality Seeker concept or just run a Warforged again, always loved their unique place in the mythos. The rules for the Dragonmarked Houses look to be more interesting in 5th edition than I’ve ever seen them. We see a new Background called the House Agent that really adds flavor to someone going this route. The Dragon Marks themselves allow you to modify a chosen race as their abilities replace the ones you’d typically get. This seems like an excellent direction to run with while not allowing for those in the houses to seem overpowered. Lot’s of great versatility here.
A couple of other nice additions are a section on magic items, and my favorite fantasy city Sharn, City of Towers. In the magic items chapter we get a good look at what makes magic in Eberron so interesting. Namely, we get to see typical magical equipment, yes, but the best part is the flavor of it all. Eberron comes with a bit of Steampunk mixed with its magic so it’s no surprise that many of the creations here also feel a bit like machines imbued with magic rather than your typical mystical items. I really dig the addition of Warforged components. The section on Sharn, the city where I derived my twitter handle’s name from many years back, is exactly what you’d expect in a book that merely brushes the surface of the world. Personally I own Sharn: City of Towers, but I still loved the addition! What is new though are tons of brand new Backgrounds for Sharn, and some that were simply modified for the city.
Wayfinder’s Guide is an excellent mix of player and GM tools. Tomorrow I start my first adventure in years within Eberron, I’m even building off of the story arc created long ago with the Folly Investigations crew. Here’s hoping I can keep just as good of notes this time around. If nothing else I have some cool new 5e rules to work with, and a brand new table of players. What more can a GM ask for? Thanks agin to Keith and WotC for this wonderful gift to my gaming table. I hope to create some great stories!