Jaela Daran Fan Club
Eberron is the swashbuckling, high pulp fiction world, and the latest campaign setting sponsored by WotC. It’s a world rich in political intrigue, complicated alliances, and backstories. The general feel of the setting, however, is swashbuckling, over the top stunts, and general awesome of adventuring parties.
It’s a setting with a fresher and new feeling than the old rustic Greyhawk and the epics of Faerun (Forgotten Realms). It’s a setting where everything from the old world exists… and is acceptable.
Speaking as a DM and world creator, Eberron is a perfect setting for our group.
It’s a setting where high adventure is encouraged. Magic exists and systems are set so that it can coexist with the world. The world exists in shades of grey, where not all rulers are wise, nor are they cruel, nor dragons are lawfully good, or revel in the chaos of evil.
Hilariously, the reason Eberron turns away many veteran players is this swashbuckling fact. They want dirt and grit. They want the struggle. They want the peasants to have never seen magic and to cry in fear. And also, for some reason, veteran western RPG players have allergic reactions to anything that resembles over the top JRPG weaboo shit.
But Eberron enthusiasts like myself can argue against all of that. Dirt and grit exists in Eberron, what with the war ending only a few years ago, tensions running high. The struggle in Karrnath or Thrane as a first level party is no joke, oppressed by the Spartan government, watched closely by inquisitors for heresy. Fear and uncertainty exists, for magic is everywhere, expected and unwelcome. And anyway, just because Eberron aims for pulp fiction, think hollywood, not weaboo.
We play a campaign setting because there’s so much that can be pulled from it, from both PC and DM. We play Eberron, however, because of its acceptance and because of its stereotypes.
Eberron, in my opinion, is a style. And because of our group, I’m proud to say, that we can run Eberron as a JRPG. Our game is alike to a beautiful and deep anime, with a hundred facets of humor, drama, and most of all, epic adventure.
Changes to Race/Species
In according to the style, instead of the draconic-humans known as Dragonborn, our Eberron uses humans with draconic blood flowing through their veins, Dragonblood, are a rarer breed… Able to use thier melee weapons as implements to channel their “dragon’s breath”-like attack. Their look is mostly human, and sometimes, a few rare signs of something more. Do colored scales appear on the skin? Does a certain element react strangely in their presence? And horns are surely abnormal.
Dwarven females, instead of being portrayed as gruff and very male-like, we again take a nod to J-anime archetypes and to a Korean game called Lineage. And with this, we have young children, seemingly aged 8-16, with the strength to hold enormous weapons, and coexist with taller male athletes. But at the same time, you must never doubt a dwarven woman, nor ask her her true age. The only things that the staunch, immovable dwarves fear is the rage of their women.
Tieflings, like Dragonborn, are also treated as of human bloodline, exactly like Tieflings of the campaign setting Planescape. As such, their appearances vary, and many are able to hide their heritage. As in both anime and Planescape, the beautiful and alluring succubus is from where the blood stemmed from. Cloven hooves, vestigial wings, and a strong odor of brimstone are some of the quirks for these tieflings. When the Eberron book comes out, we will treat the hook for those Tieflings as a new sect, coexisting, but not replacing other Tieflings.
Devas, with their new and rich histores, are a bit far from the Aasimar of Planescape. Like Tieflings and Dragonblood, there’s much more character options. A voice like a choir of angels, a halo, soft feathers that arbitrarily appear on your clothing, beautiful vestigial wings, are all signs of an angelblooded creature. Though the genderless vageuly human face of an Archon Angel is the norm for 4e, I believe it to make sense that there are still many angels who prefer a more human form.
As such, Dragonbloods, Tieflings, and Devas, all may take Human feats.
Warforged, the atypical sentient golem race are another race whose style can be seriously revamped by anime. Many warforged modify their own appearance, putting them apart from one another, as soldiers, for safety, efficiency, and many times for power. Though the magic of Eberron is far from perfect, many Warforged put on detailed metal faces, similar to a human’s, or permanently attach a certain army’s helmet. Further, the development of simple illusory spells can give a Warforged a voice modulator for a perfect human voice. With this in mind, many armored knights that are also warforged cannot be identified as such. And, though their facial features would not function in a field devoid of magic, Warforged that vaguely resemble actual people do exist. On the other hand, staying true to the setting, Warforged upon closer inspection are always, always obvious. See Phantasy Star Online CASTs and the animes Solty.Rei and Chobits for reference.
Another facet of J-Anime that we often use is the use of the Polymorph Self spell by powerful creatures. Most often, an Angel, Demons/Devil, or Dragon disguises themself as a humanoid creature in order to mask their presence. When a powerful creature comes to fight the PCs, the question of the day will be, “is it human?”. If it is too powerful, it may not be. And then what will happen?
Death and dying is usually final in J-Anime and manga, at least for the good guys. Of course, a character has to actually be seen dying, and they usually have a kick-ass death speech. This carries on to our game with the Highlander rule. The easiest way to prevent a resurrection is to take off its head. Taking off an enemy’s head is the same action as a coup de grace. Also, resurrection cannot be completed if a body is unrecoverable or has been destroyed. Also, like in 3.5, a planar creature cannot be resurrected by normal means (a Deva who is actually an angel in human form, as opposed to a human with angelic heritage). Resurrection comes at a storyline price, and the body carries many of the same scars it had at and during death. Resurrecting with the head, but not the body is possible, but may be interesting. Perhaps you might need to sacrifice another body as an equal trade.
More to be written later…
- Dragonborn = Dragonblood, humans with a slight draconic heritage, and sometimes slight draconic features.
- Dwarven females sometimes appear outwardly as 8-16 year old human girls. Like Elves, someone familiar with Dwarves can usually tell one’s age by the way they act.
- Tieflings are humans with slight infernal heritage and infernal features. Tieflings also encompass lesser devils with a favored human form (greater devils are more powerful in their normal form).
- Devas usually have a favored, more human form. Some Devas are actually humans with a slight angelic heritage.
- Warforged have varying appearances.
- Polymorph self is used liberally by powerful spellcasters and planar beings. Included in this list are liches, dragons, angels, and devils. Their power level is usually diminished in their lesser form.
- Cut off their head to prevent resurrection. Try not to die, especially if you’re not mortal.