Meet the Party: Eberron D&D5E

Welcome to Meet the Party, where you can find an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings!

We’re making a quick return to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, but this time our adventurers come from a world already built: Eberron!

Wizards of the Coast recently released the first of their new Unearthed Arcana articles, and the Eberron setting was the featured event. Eberron, originally created by Keith Baker in 2004, has a number of unique races and mechanics to its name that the article sought to update for use in 5th Edition. From new races like the living contructs known as warforged to completely new abilities like Action Points, Eberron adventurers definitely stand apart!

Dervish, Warforged Level 3 Fighter

HP: 28   AC: 17

Str: 16  Con: 15  Dex: 8  Int: 12  Wis: 13  Cha: 10

Racial/Class/Background Features: Composite Plating, Living Construct, Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting, Second Wind, Action Surge, Martial Archetype: Champion, Improved Critical, Background: Soldier, Military Rank

Gear: Chain Mail, Longsword x2, Handaxe x2, Dungeoneer’s Pack, Insignia of Rank, Trophy Taken From Fallen Enemy, Set of Bone Dice, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 10 GP

Skill Proficiencies: History, Perception, Athletics, Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies: Gaming Set (Dice Set), Vehicles (Land)

Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution

Dervish is Warforged to the core, emphasizing crushing power in melee and unmatched endurance. His ability to make multiple full-strength attacks per turn, which will only increase as he levels, makes him the last thing enemies want to get close to. Dropping him before he closes in himself will be difficult, however, thanks to Composite Plating’s extra AC and the self-healing of Second Wind.

Aaron Jast d’Cannith, Human Level 3 Wizard

HP: 20  AC: 12

Str: 8  Con: 14  Dex: 14  Int: 16  Wis: 10  Cha: 12

Racial/Class/Background Features: Feat: Dragonmark of Making, Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Arcane Tradition: Artificer, Infuse Potions, Infuse Scrolls, Background: Guild Artisan, Guild Membership

Gear: Dagger, Component Pouch, Scholar’s Pack, Spellbook, Tinker’s Tools, Letter of Introduction from the Tinkers Guild, Traveler Clothes, Belt Pouch with 15 GP

Skill Proficiencies: History, Arcana, Investigation, Insight, Persuasion

Tool Proficiencies: Tinker’s Tools

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Aaron can provide the usual spellcasting diversity of a wizard, but as an Artificer he brings increased utility to the party with his ability to create potions (which provide healing and sundry effects) and spell scrolls.  His Dragonmark of Making provides even more utility, granting him the Identify and Mending spells for free. His ability to enhance weapons and armor, the increasing power of his mark, and the eventual ability to create magic items of his own mean that he’ll be an irreplaceable member of the party. Take note that Aaron uses the variant creation rules for humans, which grant him +1 to two ability scores, an extra skill, and his feat instead of +1 to all ability scores.

 Kyria Reachguard, Wildhunt Shifter Level 3 Druid

HP: 24  AC: 15

Str: 12  Con: 14  Dex: 14  Int: 10  Wis: 16  Cha: 8

Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Shifting, Druidic, Spellcasting, Wild Shape, Druid Circle: Circle of the Land (Forest), Bonus Cantrip, Natural Recovery, Background: Outlander, Wanderer

Gear: Wooden Shield, Scimitar, Leather Armor, Explorer’s Pack, Druidic Focus, Staff, Hunting Trap, Trophy From An Animal You Killed, Traveler’s Clothes, Belt Pouch With 10 GP

Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Nature, Athletics, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism Kit, Pan Flute

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Kyria offers the most diversity in her style, fitting for a druid needing to adapt to the challenges of the wild. Whether swinging her scimitar, snapping the teeth of her Wild Shape form, or slinging her spells she has countless ways to hurt and especially hinder her foes. She’s also the party’s best ally in the wild, able to deal with wildlife and provide sustenance as well as healing. Her Wildhunt shifting feature, which grants advantage on all Wisdom based checks and saving throws, is a huge boon that synergizes well with her skills.

Cipher, Changeling Level 3 Rogue

HP: 18   AC: 14

Str: 8  Con: 10   Dex: 16  Int: 13  Wis: 12  Cha: 15

Racial/Class/Background Features: Duplicity, Shapechanger, Expertise, Sneak Attack, Thieves’ Cant, Cunning Action, Roguish Archetype: Thief, Fast Hands, Second-Story Work, Background: Urchin, City Secrets

Gear: Rapier, Shortbow with 20 Arrows, Burglar’s Pack, Leather Armor, Daggers x2, Thieves’ Tools, Small Knife, Map of City You Grew Up In, Pet Mouse, A Token To Remember Your Parents By, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch With 10 GP

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Acrobatics, Insight, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth

Tool Proficiencies: Thieves’ Tools, Disguise Kit

Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

While Dervish relies on multiple blows rained down upon his foes Cipher prefers the elegance of a single well-placed strike. The rogue will be able to deal punishing damage to the surprised or outmaneuvered with a slash of a rapier or a deadly shot with a bow, while also providing the party with a dizzying variety of skills, the shapeshifting ability of the changelings, and an innate knowledge of the backalleys of Eberron.

As per usual neither Aaron nor Kyria have their chosen cantrips or spells listed above, all the better for their players to shape their play style. Kyria’s calling as a druid (and the druid spell list) makes it somewhat easier to stay on theme, but Aaron’s player should keep in mind that he will often be using spell slots to make potions, scrolls, and infusions. Cipher’s Expertise skills, which get their proficiency bonus doubled, are also not chosen so that the player can choose exactly which skills the rogue is more focused on.

It should be noted that all Eberron characters have something that their compatriots in other settings, by default anyway, lack: Action Points. Not to be confused with the Action Points of 4th Edition, the 5th Edition Eberron Action Points are effectively a pool of bonus dice gained every time a character levels. This 3rd level party will all start play with 6 such points, each of which can be spent to add a single d6 to a single d20 roll. They are a valuable resource that should be saved for big moments, the cinematic highlights of a larger-than-life adventuring career, but shouldn’t be allowed to linger for too long: when a character levels, they lose unspent points and gain a new total based on their level.

It is more important to note that the Unearthed Arcana series is “similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest”, meaning that the Eberron material has not yet gone through the crushing gauntlet of thousands of players working out the kinks. It’s distinctly possible that Eberron will be revisited at a later date with revised rules based on feedback from players using the article’s content (another Eberron race, the psionic kalashtar, are completely absent for the moment). While the 5th Edition Eberron party of today might not end up being the final product, it is possible that their experiences determine the final shape of Eberron parties of the future!

Who They Are

Dervish fought for the nation of Cyre during the Last War, but not for pay or patriotism. He fought because House Cannith had made him and Cyre had bought him, and his purpose was to fight. At least, that was how things started. Originally carrying only a serial number the warforged was nicknamed Dervish by Cyran soliders, a first step towards humanizing the construct that gave him a better reason to fight: comradery. Dervish was lucky to survive the mysterious Day of Mourning that obliterated Cyre, having chased retreating Karrnathi troops over the border; most of his comrades were not so fortunate. With Cyre gone and the warforged emancipated by the Treaty of Thronehold, Dervish is left in control of his future for the first time since his creation.

Aaron Jast d’Cannith was doing his duty as a dragonmarked scion of House Cannith when the Day of Mourning happened, doing his tour of duty in the Tinkers Guild in Breland. House Cannith lost its hometown of Making and its patriarch in the Mourning, and has since become divided into factions that can no longer agree on who should lead the House. Sickened by the loss and the infighting Aaron simply never stopped his stint in the Guild, avoiding the situation, but he has now decided to start adventuring instead of just fixing things. They say a Dragonmark is part of the Draconic Prophecy after all, and it would be a shame if such a gift were to be wasted fixing trinkets or fighting his own family.

The Eldeen Reaches declared their independence from Aundair during the Last War, and the Wardens of the Wood led the charge to save the Reaches from the War’s depredations. Kyria Reachguardwas among them, a nightmare for the Aundairans that struck from the deepest woods with spell and blade and fangs. Now, with the uneasy peace granting a reprieve from defending the borders, the Great Druid Oalian has sent Kyria out into the world to do the Wardens’ work. Eberron is a much larger place than just the Reaches, and if the Wardens are to protect their home then they must insure that the world around it remains safe.

The changeling that will, on occasion, answer to the name of Cipherdoes not have a life story. It is rather more of an anthology. The changeling philosophy of the Becomers believes that changelings are supposed to fully embrace their shifting nature, considering the identities they adopt to be ones they should make real and full. Gender, nationality, and morals are a fluid thing for Cipher, who only reveals the changeling behind the multitude of names and lives to those that can be trusted. Cipher has been a hero and a villain, a romantic and a cynic, a braggart and a coward. Having now adopted the adventuring lifestyle it remains to be seen what sort of person Cipher’s latest creation will be in the end.

How They Interact

Dervish gives Aaron a certain amount of respect, both for House Cannith having created him and for the artificer’s ability to keep Dervish in working order. There is also a wariness, however, as not every Cannith agreed with the decision to free the warforged. Kyria is somewhat disconcerting for the construct, being so different from what he is familiar with, but he considers her duty to the very world a worthy one that is perhaps worth emulating. The mutable Cipher is often outright confusing for the stolid warforged, but the changeling’s drive to choose a future at will is an inspiring one that might hold valuable lessons for Dervish’s own choices.

Aaron considers Dervish as something of a son, or perhaps more of a nephew. A large, metal-and-wood, longsword swinging nephew, perhaps, but none can deny that the Warforged are House Cannith’s children. The artificer believes he (and his House) holds at least some responsibility for the construct’s fate, but has to resist his natural urge to treat the warforged as a science project in the making. Kyria and Aaron often get into debates about magic and its place in the world and, although their philosophies and methods differ wildly, Aaron considers her an arcane equal and comrade. Cipher is considered a valuable ally when Aaron’s  House connections cannot open the right path, but Aaron has a hard time coming to grips with the changeling socially. At one point they’re arguing and at another they’re the best of friends, with little warning from the changeling of an upcoming switch in mood.

For Kyria, the very existence of the warforged is a mystery; beings made of the metal and wood of the world but given life by arcane rather than primal magics. Still, Dervish’s quest to find his own path in life resonates with Kyria’s participation in the Eldeen’s fight for independence. Aaron is a troublesome prospect, for arcane users often do awful damage to the world; one only has to visit one of the many wasted battlefields of the Last War to know that. Aaron’s determination to remain neutral in the House Cannith infighting proves that he’s got more of a level head that Kyria expected, however. Cipher is Kyria’s opposite in many ways, and she cares little for the cities that the changeling is so adept at navigating, but she does offer her respect for adapting so well to the urban environment as Kyria adapted to her own.

To have been ‘born’ as a blank slate, and to have been granted the opportunity to do whatever you willed with it, and to not even have to rest for more than a few hours a day while you’re doing it! Dervish couldn’t have been given more freedom after the Treaty without being a changeling himself, and Cipher‘s glad to help the construct in Becoming whatever he wishes. Having a Dragonmark has all sorts of rules attached to it. The Korth Edicts that keep their power in check, the various taboos and social restrictions from the ancient War of the Mark, the political and economic games necessary for survival, the supposed connection to the Draconic Prophecy. That Aaron has struck out on his own strikes Cipher as a very enlightened move on the artificer’s part. Kyria is fascinating, her lycanthropic nature and wild shaping an interesting variation on Cipher’s own inborn abilities. A shame she keeps moving between them without settling down for a bit, but it’s still nice to have someone else who isn’t locked into one form around.

The Future

Eberron is a world of big players and tough choices. Nations work in the shadows to position themselves for a second round of the war that everyone sees as inevitable, Houses and conspiracies make power grabs, with the Kingdom of Galifar divided into the post-war nations and unable to enforce the old laws. Ancient and secretive evils worm their way into the world, trying to manipulate it so they and their masters can once again rule all before them. Dragons make playthings of mortals, all in the name of making some obscure fragment of the Draconic Prophecy a reality.

Can Dervish, Aaron Jast d’Cannith, Kyria Reachguard, and Cipher survive among the danger and intrigue, and maybe even chart their course towards a destiny of their own devising? Or will they end up as small fish gobbled up by larger powers, food for the ambition of others? That’s for you (and your dice) to determine!

Originally Posted 2/27/15 on the Mad Adventurers Society!

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