Relearning D&D Through The Eberron Setting

My kids and I have been playing through an Eberron campaign since early 2021, and to my surprise my kids enjoy it more than our previous campaign, but as the DM I also have re-learn many things. Previously, I wrote about my review of the 5th edition Eberron sourcebook, and I’ve made good use of this book.

However, I also found a very handy set of videos interviewing Keith Baker, and how Eberron rethinks the traditional tropes of fantasy races:

As someone who frequently plays Elves, I found this video particularly handy:

But also what makes the Eberron setting so fascinating is how it is founded on a World War I-like historical event called the Last War, and how societies not only changed, but the nature of warfare as well:

Including the warforged race:

Indeed, the key to really getting the most out of Eberron as a backdrop is to think about how your characters were shaped by the war (even if they didn’t live through it), and also how nations were forged, or ruined, by it. But it also means learning to let go of existing high-fantasy tropes and redefine them more on a 1920’s style historical setting.

For our campaign, since my kids party is too small, I introduced a couple sidekick characters that have traveled with them throughout (making a party of four total):

  • Borsheg, son of Gorsheg. He is a cleric of Aureon, god of Knowledge, but secretly wanted to be a wizard. He has been learning lessons from a private mentor named “Dak”, but the kids (and Borsheg) are unaware that “Dak” is actually a Rakshasa (e.g. a Daelkyr) who is slowly corrupting him.
  • Malbus 414. Malbus is a former soldier of the 523rd platoon based in East Breland, and like the rest of his platoon was secretly conditioned by his gnomish creator to kill any member of a rival gnomish house if in proximity.
I have started painting miniatures for Malbus and Borsheg, too, featuring the emblems of our military unit or church affiliation.

The kids recently had a tearful moment as they paid an artificer in Sharn to undo the conditioning in Malbus 414, but it came at the cost of Malbus losing some of his memory and not remembering who they were.

Further, in another subplot, the kids were strong-armed in a smuggling operation of some powerful technology from the Last War, but disposed of it through some people they thought they could trust. However, little do they know that the technology has fallen into the hands of something much worse.

It has been a fun adventure so far, so I hope we can keep it up in 2022.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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