Quintessential Eberron themes for a One-Shot High Level Adventure

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Gabriel Jansen
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Quintessential Eberron themes for a One-Shot High Level Adventure

Post by Gabriel Jansen » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:26 pm

Hi Everyone!

I need advice for my next campaign adventures. I plan to make my players travel through different campaign settings of D&D, as they search for the pieces of the rod of the seven parts, to prevent the end of the multiverse.

My players have passed through Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms settings, and I have the spelljamer adventure ready to go, but I intend to also take them through the worlds of Birthright, Mystara and Eberron ( and I know very little about the last 3 settings).

So, I need ideas to make memorable and distinct adventures and encounters in the world of Eberron.

I don't know those settings well, so I need help to understand what makes these worlds unique? What characters, events, locations, metaplots, and source material are quintessential to the setting, and would help me make a one-shot "end of the world" adventure in the Eberron campaign setting?

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Beoric
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Re: Quintessential Eberron themes for a One-Shot High Level Adventure

Post by Beoric » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:13 am

Its a no-brainer that it should include Sharn, the City of Towers.

Also, there was a continent-wide civil war which effectively ended four years ago when an unknown force caused the destruction of one of the provinces and the death of its entire population: that is the Mourning. The former nation of Cyre (which was previously a province in the Kingdom of Galifar) is now a Texas-sized wasteland of bizarre magical and planar phenomenon known as the "Mournland". Nobody knows who or what caused the Mourning, and everyone is concerned that it will spread. After the mourning, the dozen or so nations that had splintered off the formerly united Kingdom of Galifar (which was really a continent sized empire) stopped fighting and have fallen into a sort of cold war.

So for locations, Sharn and the Mournland, and for themes, world war, cold war, détente and espionage. A bunch of nations that could collectively do something to stop the apocalypse are so distrustful and squabbling that they can't even see it coming, or think it is the fault of a rival. Also the rise of global corporations (the Dragonmarked Houses) and the erosion of national sovereignty as those corporations grow in power.

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Big Mac
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Re: Quintessential Eberron themes for a One-Shot High Level Adventure

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:39 am

Gabriel Jansen wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:26 pm
So, I need ideas to make memorable and distinct adventures and encounters in the world of Eberron.

I don't know those settings well, so I need help to understand what makes these worlds unique? What characters, events, locations, metaplots, and source material are quintessential to the setting, and would help me make a one-shot "end of the world" adventure in the Eberron campaign setting?
There is a wiki for Eberron, called Eberron Wiki, so head over there and piggy-back off of the back of some of their research. An hour or two randomly following links will get you hitting some pages where you say: "I need to know more about this!"

Eberron is not connected to other D&D worlds as obviously as the 2nd Edition Era worlds were.

Eberron also has different backstories for monsters and races than other D&D worlds. (So don't assume you can use standard tropes for monsters like illithids.)

Nobody on Eberron is able to communicate directly with the gods, like they are in most other campaign settings. That means that a Planescape-Eberron crossover or a Spelljammer-Eberron crossover is not something that your PCs should be able to stumble onto without some major work. (So do some serious foreshadowing of them getting "sent" to Eberron and make them fall into a dimensional rift or use some sort of weird contraption.)

Eberron is inspired by film noir, so things like Cassablanca and Raiders of the Lost Arc should be the sort of sources you look to for inspiration.

Eberron has something called Dragon Marks (basically magical marks that appear on people that look like big tattoos or birthmarks). The Dragonmarked Houses marry within their own families and children can get the marks from ancestors. (Sometimes they skip generations.)

The Dragonmarked Houses use their marks (and regular spellcasters) to create magical services and each work a bit like a multinational corportation. Magic items are common on Eberron, but it is something that Keith Baker calls "wide magic" rather than "high magic". (Basically the Dragonmarked Houses mostly create low level magical items.) This means that the Rod of Seven Parts would be a super-rare thing that other groups might want to get hold of. (You need to research the Dragonmarked Houses and work out what service each one provides and where it is based. You will need to include agents from some of them in your plot.)

Two of the unusual things about Eberron are airships (ships powered by elementals, rather than real-world blimps) and the lightning rail (which is a fantasy version of a train that hovers over lines of magical stones). You will want to make your players travel by one of these things.

Beoric told you about the civil war. That was basically a single continent-wide nation splitting up into five nations (after five children argued over who would be the one to inherit the country).

The Mournland, that Beoric told you about, has cut off part of the lightning rail route and it is inadvisable to fly airships over what was Cyre.

Monster races split off their own countries, when the Five Nations went to war. You might want to research them, to see if you want to hide part of the Rod in one of their lands.

There are also other continents. You could hide part of the rod there.

There is something called the Draconic Prophecy. Dragons are waiting for some big thing to happen to Eberron. If you are going to have a world-shattering plot, it should tie into that and dragons should probably become involved.

The number thirteen (a "Baker's Dozen") is important to Eberron. There are thirteen planes in the Eberron cosmology and thirteen moons that orbit Eberron. But it's mostly 12+1, with twelve things that work properly and an extra one that is dangerous or destroyed.

One of the thirteen Dragonmarked Houses used to have some sort of dangerous power in it's dragonmarks and was destroyed by the others. (IIRC, the lady that used to run it survives as an undead, but can not use her dragonmark, because it only works for living people.) If you brought back survivors from that house and activated their dragonmarks, that could be a major game changing plot.

One of the thirteen moons was made to vanish, because it was dangerous. Bring that back and you can screw with the world.

The same goes for the thirteenth plane.

Either the missing moon or the missing plane could be a place to hide part of the rod, with forces from outside Eberron being willing to risk Eberron's destruction, just to get at that item.

Dragons could either aid NPC forces trying to get to the rod (because they want the missing dragonmark to return) or they could help the PCs (because they want to keep the dragonmark away). Or they could have their own complex agenda, helping and hindering the PCs at different times, depending on how well the PCs actions serve the dragons.

Oh, one of the human nations and the elves have the power to use dead people to help their nations. The human nations has a fort full of zombies and another fort full of skeletons. The elves have Undying Councillors that are kind of the opposite of undead. (Go look that stuff up and see if it would fit in with your plots.)

Good luck.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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