You asked, and I’m doing my best to answer. Now, please remember I am not an oldie in the D&D scene, and sadly, my access to the 3e Eberron books was only through my old DM. So if I tell you things you already know or don’t quite get the answer you’re looking for, don’t shoot the messenger!
Off to the Races!
Tell me about the races. Are the Changelings and Warforged much different from their previous incarnations? What’s the Kalashtar like? Does it say anything about the new core races (Dragonborn, Eladrin, Tiefling, Genasi, Goliath, Deva)?
“Anyone, anywhere, hidden in plain sight”
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity or Intelligence, +2 Charisma
(I like this option. You can be a sneaky rogue type or a cunning caster type.)
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Insight
Changeling Disguise: You alter your form to look like another person. At-Will Polymorph (minor action)
Changeling Trick: Your feint tricks a foe into giving you an advantage. Encounter (minor action).
“Refugees from the realm of dreams whose minds are as sharp as their swords.”
Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma
Skill Bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 to your choice of skill
You get telepathic abilities with any creature with a language that is within 5 squares and in line of sight.
Dual Soul: Can roll to save against dazed/dominated at the start of your turn.
Bastion of Mental Clarity: You erect a psychic shield to protect your mind from assault, and you ward your allies as well. Nice power bonus to Will for you and your party!
“Built for a war that has ended, searching for a purpose.”
Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
Skill Bonus: +2 Endurance, +2 Intimidate
Unsleeping Watcher: Do not need to sleep, just remain inactive for 4 hours. No penalty to perception when inactive.
Warforged Resilience: Bonus to saves against ongoing damage, can take 10 for death savings throws.
Warforged Mind: +1 to Will defense.
Warforged Resolve: It’s difficult to take you down, even when you’re faltering. Encounter (minor action). Personal healing power granting temporary hit points and an extra saving throw against ongoing damage.
New Core Races
Devas are rarely found in Eberron. They usually live among humans and sometimes can live an entire lifetime without seeing another deva.
Dragonborn are from Argonnessen but migrate to other parts of the world. There are evil dragonborn that worship the Dragon Below. (Oooooh, that could be so much fun!)
Eladrin have been around since Eberron was created. They live in the feyspires, which are/were connected to the Feywild. The spires used to come in and out of the world, but some got stuck and now the Eladrin are here for good. (An interesting story. Hmmm.)
Goliaths used to chill in Xen’drik but got kicked out when the giants took over. (Because seriously, what race HAVEN’T the giants messed with?) They moved other places but never in numbers, so they’re mostly in small tribes here and there in Khorvaire. (Someone needs to start an Eberron campaign log called “Here and There in Khorvaire.” Thank me later.)
Tieflings lived in Sarlona until The Inspired showed up. If you’re looking for tieflings now, you can find a bunch of them in the Demon Wastes.
Genasi are super rare and have no idea how they got on Eberron in the first place. Something about dwarves and a volcano? Your guess is as good as theirs.
Doppelgangers vs. Changelings
“How are changelings distinct from the doppelgangers playable out of the monster manual?”
#1 Changelings have way better hair. Doppelgangers have greasy flat hair, while the changeling has hair straight out of a shampoo commercial. Clearly, this makes the Changeling the class of choice for shapeshifting.
#2. Doppelgangers appear to have lower INT/WIS , favoring DEX/CHA. Changelings appear to give you the option of a bonus in INT instead of DEX. I think this opens up the caster options (bard, sorcerer, warlock) whereas the traditional doppelganger is more of a rogue/assassin type.
#3 The Changeling Trick racial power gives you combat advantage if you succeed in your bluff check. The Doppelganger appears to get sneak attack damage when they have combat advantage.
#4 It says right on the first page of Changeling info: “Changelings are shapechangers, a people able to assume the features of other humanoids. Known also as doppelgangers…”
There’s your answer. Same thing! (Better hair.)
What’s Up With The Artificer?
I’m coveting knowledge of the changes to Artificer. Did they get rid of the awful second healing power? Is there a sound melee option? Paragon Paths? Combined weapon/implement options?
“I see the secret patterns of magic, and through the items I carry, I can use that magic to protect you, heal you… or make you explode.”
The artificer is an arcane leader with bonuses to fortitude and will. They’re into implements – rods, staffs, and wands, but can also wield simple melee and ranged weapons.
Class Features: Arcane Empowerment (can recharge magic items or infuse things with energy), Arcane Rejuvination (infuse allies’ weapons with healing energy), Healing Infusion (special healing powers), Ritual Casting.
Builds: Tinkerer Artificer (you make weapons and armor cooler and create allies out of inanimate objects). INT, WIS, CON. Battlesmith Artificer (you make your parties’ stuff stronger, faster, badass-er). INT, CON, WIS.
Melee possibilities: Assuming you get a high enough CON score to not be extremely squishy (since both the suggested builds mention CON, I’d assume you would!), here’s a list of some of the melee powers:
- Level 1: Aggravating Force (INT vs. AC), Magic Weapon (INT vs. AC), Static Shock (INT vs. REFLEX), Burning Weapons (INT vs. AC), Scouring Weapon (INT vs. AC).
- Level 3: Force Infusion (INT vs. FORT), Repulsion Strike (INT vs. REFLEX).
- Level 7: Icy Weapons (INT vs. AC), Vampiric Weapons (INT vs. AC)
- Alchemist (must have Alchemy)
- Battle Engineer (Artificer)
- Chameleon (Changeling)
- Clockwork Engineer (Artificer)
- Exorcist of the Silver Flame (Divine class, worship the Silver Flame)
- Gatekeeper Mystagogue (Primal class, member of the Gatekeepers)
- Lightwalker (Kalashtar, worship the Path of Light)
- Self-Forged (Artificer, any race but Warforged)
- Warforged Juggernaut (Warforged, duh)
Dragonmarked Paragon Paths
- Cannith Mastermaker (Mark of Making)
- Deneith Protector (Mark of Sentinel)
- Ghallandra Santuary Guardian (Mark of Hospitality)
- Jorasco Jadehand (Mark of Healing)
- Kundarak Ghorad’din (Mark of Warding)
- Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Mark of Storm)
- Medani Trueseer (Mark of Detection)
- Orien Swiftblade (Mark of Passage)
- Phiarlan Phantasmist (Mark of Shadow)
- Sivis Truenamer (Mark of Scribing and fluent in Supernal)
- Tharashk Wayfinder (Mark of Finding, Ranger, Hunter’s Quarry class feature)
- Thuranni Shadow Killer (Mark of Shadow, trained in Stealth)
- Vadalis Griffonmaster (Mark of Handling, Ranger, Beast Mastery class feature)
Where’s The Awesomesauce?
1) What do you think is the coolest new magic item in the book?
2) Any good movement improving powers?
Coolest Magic Item
You know, this is totally biased to my own wacky ideas, right? Hmmmm… I’d have to say it is the Final Messenger warforged component.
“This warforged communication device is built to resemble a small winged animal, yet it is an intricate assembly of clockwork pieces.”
Make a little birdhouse in your soul, warforged friends. You can use your little buddy to record important information, send him away to deliver said information, and then return to you. When you are killed, he will fly off to your next of kin and fill them in on all the gory details. (Who plans ahead in D&D for their death?)
Feats: Some of the dragonmarks allow you to shift. Mark of Finding lets you shift to retain combat advantage, Mark of Sentinel allows you to shift before or after an opportunity attack and Mark of Passage gives you the ability to move an extra square if you shift or teleport.
Powers: Okay, this one is just super fun. The Artificer has a level 2 utility spell called Arcane Springboard. It’s essentially a magical trampoline! When you or an ally step on that square, they can jump the number of squares of your WIS modifier AND then do their regular move action. How is that for awesomesauce?
The Planes: Shadowfell and Feywild
How much detail is there on the planes and how they fit in? The Shadowfell and the Feywild seem to be pretty central to 4e.
There are two pages that mention the Planes directly (10 and 25). Beyond that, there’s some sprinkling of the planes here and there where it’s appropriate to races, etc. I’m expecting that will be more a part of the Campaign Setting book.
Lord of Blades
“Is the Lord of Blades mentioned at all?”
Not in the Player’s Guide, nope. Word on the street is that he may make an appearance in the Campaign Guide…
Comparisons to 3.5 Eberron
I’d just like to hear your overall impression of the 4E version versus the 3.5 version – what’s different, what’s better, what’s worse, what’s missing.
Also, is there enough in this book to run a campaign on, or do we need to wait until the DM’s guide?
I think it’s too early to tell how the 4e Eberron is going to stack up to 3.5. We only have one book thus far, so I think some patience is needed before we jump to any conclusions regarding awesomeness or suckitude.
I’d say that if you’re a fan of Eberron, you probably have enough between the 4e Players Guide and your 3.5 books to be able to run a campaign. Besides, half the fun of being a DM is making shit up when you don’t know the real deal!
Anything else you wanna know?
Hit me up in the comments. I’m at your service, dear readers. You single? I can help change that, too. I’m full of magical abilities, I am.