Friday Night D&D – Looking for Love in Eberron Places
So I just picked up the Eberron source book for fifth edition. And I’ve been waiting for it for a while. With the games that @evilsanscarne and @Mundangerous have run or played in that they talk about on the @TPTCast (Total Party Thrill) podcast, I wanted something for fifth edition that I could run and easily get the information for Eberron. That’s out now in the form of the Eberron: Rising from the Last War setting book.
There are so many games that you can run in Eberron, and I’ll probably do a series on the setting coming up here soon. But just quickly about the setting, it’s pulp, noir, and magic punk. Magic is in place of technology, but they are more advanced with magical flying ships and magical trains than your standard D&D settings, mainly because we’ve only had The Forgotten Realm to this point, and Ravenloft in The Curse of Strahd.
So, what sort of campaign are we going to be running?
In Eberron the Last War has wrapped up two years ago when the day of mourning happened. This was some massive event that destroyed and contaminated the land of Cyre. At that point in time, because of what is basically a cold war standoff, because no one knows what happened in Cyre to cause the day of mourning, the war stopped. That’s the setting that we’re jumping into.
Going with something that is more classic noir, our adventuring party is going to start a campaign where they are a team of private detectives or adventurers for hire who are getting called into a situation where they have to find and rescue the love of the damsel in distress. That seems like a straight forward job, but in this setting, nothing is going to seem as simple as it looks.
This is going to be a less combat focused campaign, but when you have air ships and trains racing around the main city of the land of Khorvaire, you are going to have some good settings for those set piece combats. Especially since the Sharn, the city, is built up, rather than built out. You’re doing combat on top of a train that is doing it’s circuit 2000 feet above the ground. Doesn’t matter if you have a sigil of feather fall, it’s going to have run out well before you hit the ground.
I’d layer in the intrigue. And I’d even throw some red herrings into a game like this. I feel like that standard noir and standard pulp. If it seems obvious that it was someone who did it, suddenly they will have an air tight alibi. Or do they, was some magic employed or is something not what it seems. Keep the intrigue high, create multiple cases for the players to be working on at the same time, and then tie them all back together.
There are plenty of bad guys to choose from in Eberron because while there are definitely bad people, the good guys are even more shades of grey, again leaning into that pulp and noir sort of feel. In my campaign, I think that I would make it that one of the Outsiders, who are evil beings and bound beneath the surface in the underdark is influencing the mind of a noble into doing a bunch of kidnappings or things that will improve the outsiders place in the world and give them more influence, and they hope eventually free them.
At the same time, the reason that the outsider and exert so much influence, it’s because there is a cult worshiping that outsider and giving them more power through their worship. So the players are going to have to deal with the cult. Because if they just deal with the noble, the events start up again and the players will realize that maybe there is something greater going on than just this.
And at the same time as that, there is an artificer of some renown who has come to down and claiming to be able to create this amazing magical effect. And they are setting up equipment to show off the newest and latest and greatest thing. But, they are actually part of the cult of the outsider, just from a different location, so working independently to get the outsider freed.
And finally, it turns out that the missing damsel isn’t actually missing, or possibly doesn’t even exist. The person who hired the adventurers is actually part of a secret organization who is trying to keep the outsiders influence from spreading further, but is not allowed to act openly until the time is right. But also isn’t as competent at what they are doing as they should be and they should seem suspicious themselves, to the players.
You can see how you can tangle everything together. In Eberron, you want to set-up a lot of drama, a lot of pulp action and feeling for the players. While this is clearly more of an intrigue sort of game, do definitely have the big set piece combats and make it so that the adventurers and the bad guys can throw people off the edge of high buildings, go adventuring outside of Sharn if need be, meet powerful people, and generally have way more trouble going on than they should. Give it an epic feel, but make it feel different than your normal fantasy.
So as always, would you want to play in or run a game like this one?
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