Rising From The Last War: The Warforged

The warforged are one of the defining elements of Eberron. Sentient golems created to fight in the Last War, they must find their purpose and place in the world now that the war is over.

Warforged are often dismissed as “magical robots,” but it’s a flawed analogy. Warforged are formed from wood and metal, but they are living creatures. Their musculature is formed from a rootlike substances, and they have a circulatory system of alchemical fluids. A warforged can be healed, and they can even be poisoned, though it’s not easy. Warforged have feelings, and while this is something that’s debated in Eberron itself, the fact is that they have souls; the real mystery is where those souls come from. Robot or not, a warforged character is quite different from other species. As a warforged you don’t eat, sleep, or breathe. Your armor is your skin. Whether you embrace it or rebel against it, you were created for a purpose and your class features may be reflected in your physical design. A warforged barbarian could describe their Rage as entering an advanced battle mode, while a warforged sorcerer could present themselves as a living wand.

The warforged have gone through multiple design iterations in Eberron, from an early Unearthed Arcana article when Fifth Edition was first released to a more developed version in the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron. The final version released in Rising is quite different from Wayfinder’s, and I want to discuss those changes.

Integrated Protection

When the warforged were released in the original Eberron Campaign Setting, one of their defining features was that they didn’t wear armor; they WERE armor. In that early edition a warforged character used a feat to set their armor class, and once set, they had it for the rest of their life. This added a unique flavor to the race, though it did require a character to burn a feat. In the earliest draft of the WGtE, we mimicked this original model by tying armor type to subrace. The juggernaut subrace had the equivalent of heavy armor, the skirmisher was medium, and the envoy was light. This mirrored that original design; you made a choice at first level and that defined your armor moving forward. But it clashed with the inherent flexibility that’s a pillar of Fifth Edition. So it was shifted shortly before release to a model that allowed a warforged to transform their integrated protection—a bit of an odd idea, but the original warforged juggernaut prestige class had introduced the idea that warforged could evolve their bodies, so it wasn’t without precedent.

While this approach added flexibility, it raised a lot of questions and corner cases. Did Integrated Protection count as wearing armor for purposes of feat prerequisites? How did it interact with class features, such as Fighting Styles? Could it be targeted by heat metal (which was a threat to warforged in 3.5!). Likewise, because warforged couldn’t acquire new armor, we tried out a mechanic that let them add their proficiency bonus to their armor class, essentially self-enchanting as they gained levels. This was INTERESTING, but there were many concerns about its impact on game balance.

This all led to the current approach. In Rising From The Last War, a warforged has “defensive layers that can be enhanced with armor.” A warforged has an innate +1 bonus to Armor Class, and can don or remove armor. It’s noted that to don armor, you must “incorporate it into your body,” a process that takes an hour. Once you do this, it cannot be removed against your will.

Some people feel that this undermines the idea of warforged. But this is a matter of perception. Don’t think of it as warforged WEARING armor as other characters do. You don’t just wear armor; you incorporate it into your body. When a warforged goes through this hour-long process, they are literally peeling off their outer plating, disassembling the new armor and fusing it to their body, piece by piece. It’s like a human peeling off their skin and gluing new skin on. A critical point for me is that this isn’t easy or comfortable, and it’s not something many warforged ever do. MOST warforged live their entire lives using the armor they were first forged with, because it’s not EQUIPMENT for them, it’s their body. However, if there is a need, they are CAPABLE of going through this extreme process of body modification, removing their plating and incorporating new armor.

Ultimately, this approach to armor is cleaner from the perspective of both interaction with other rules elements and long-term character balance. It doesn’t change the IDEA that warforged have a different relationship to their armor than other creatures do. Don’t think of it as “wearing armor”; think of it as modifying your body. It’s also up to you to decide what this looks like. You are incorporating the armor into your body, not wearing it. You don’t look like a person in armor; you look like a warforged.

Warforged Subraces

The original Unearthed Arcana included three warforged subraces. These are notably missing from Rising From The Last War. The simple reason for this is that the subraces were themselves a holdover from the earlier design where Armor Class was tied to subrace. The Envoy warforged was an inherently stronger subrace than the Juggernaut, because originally the Envoy was limited to light protection and the Juggernaut had heavy armor. It was a parallel to the original 3.5 design in which warforged chose feats that locked in their armor class at 1st level. Once this limitation was removed from Integrated Protection, the foundation for subraces was no longer there.

The element I’m sad to lose from the subraces is the idea of the Envoy having an integrated tool. The picture above is of a character I played in a local Eberron campaign—the warforged druid Rose, who has an integrated herbalism kit. I love the idea of a warforged being designed for a specific purpose, and having the tool to perform that function as an inherent part of their body. However, this was never intended to be the default for all warforged. Again, in the original design the Envoy was limited to light armor; they were supposed to be rare prototypes, not the most common design. With that said, I still love the concepts that can be created using integrated tools, so you’ll find some variations of this idea in Exploring Eberron, the book I’m currently creating for the DM’s Guild; the portrait of Rose above is an illustration from this book. One of these is the addition of an integrated tool as a common magic item, parallel to the armblade; with the DM’s permission, a warforged character could begin with an integrated tool, reflecting the idea that it was part of their original design. I’m including the text of that tool below as a sneak peek, but there’s another approach in the book for warforged who don’t want to sacrifice an attunement slot.

Exploring Eberron: Integrated Tool

Wondrous item, common (requires attunement by a warforged)

An integrated tool can be created using any of the following: any artisan’s tools weighing no more than 10 pounds; any musical instrument weighing no more than 10 pounds; a forgery kit; an herbalism kit; or thieves’ tools. When you attune to the item, it merges with your body and cannot be removed as long as you’re attuned to it. While the tool is part of your body, you must have your hands free in order to make use of the tool.

That’s all for now. Thanks as always to my Patreon supporters, who keep this website going!

68 thoughts on “Rising From The Last War: The Warforged

  1. The change is interesting, but very fitting.

    Is the process of changing out armor uncomfortable on a physical level to a warforged?

    • In my opinion, yes, it is painful. It’s not so painful as to be debilitating – IE, you don’t suffer damage for doing it – but I do think that it’s a very uncomfortable experience and it makes sense that most warforged would never do it.

  2. Hi Keith,

    I already listen to your take on this in manifest zone. But your first paragraph piqued my interest.

    Where do you feel souls come from? And I am not even talking about warforged in particlar.

  3. Having the character of Fortunine, who had a rebuilding done, I’m picturing the process of removing their armour to be a greatly personal thing. Fortunine only had it done because she felt she needed a major change in her structure to better fit her self-image. Do you think there’d be artificers, warforged or otherwise, who’d do this sort of modification for warforged who want to undergo it?

    • Do you think there’d be artificers, warforged or otherwise, who’d do this sort of modification for warforged who want to undergo it?

      Certainly. I think this is exactly the sort of service you could find at the Red Hammer in Sharn, for example. And I do think the idea of self-modification for expression is very important for warforged. Among other things, warforged who performed military service are essentially built with the uniform of that nation as their body. Has a warforged character kept that — IE, you still have the crown and bell of Cyre on your shoulder and a recognizable Cyran design — or have you chosen to assert your independence from any nation?

  4. The Integrated Tool was my favorite thing about the warforged, so I am glad you are going to address this in Exploring Eberron.

    I also noticed that they changed Armblade, so you can retract it and that’s nice. But I also noticed that you can’t make them magic anymore with rules as written, and that seems kind of weird, so do you have any words on that?

    • I don’t personally have an issue with it being possible to enchant an armblade, or even the idea that an artificer could convert an existing weapon into an armblade.

  5. I can, and will, get behind all of this—and I especially look forward to Exploring Eberron. I don’t like the new approach to armor with warforged in Rising—because, as you say, the original design had more flavor for the race. In my games, I would accept this new “flexible” method only if:  

    (1) The character is not a traditional warforged but a prototype of a newer, more mutable warforged design that came out of Cannith’s forges only in the last couple of years of the war. That way most warforged walking around are already established with their proper armored body type but the player can still enjoy the flexibility and game design offered here.

    (2) The warforged character in question has to undergo a more thorough process. I wouldn’t make the armor switch-up a mere hour-long process. A full day, perhaps, and then only with a Cannith or Cannith-licenses artificer who specializes in warforged physiology. I’d really want such an armor augmentation/adjustment to feel special and be memorable in the story, not just be something the PC does during a short rest after the warforged happens to find some skimpy elven chainmail he’d like to try on. While it makes sense for most warfored to never change up their body, we know that players will want to try on new stuff all the time.

      • Ben, sorta. For my own games I’ve been using a 5E-ified version of the original 3.5 warforged rules. So the warforged player in one of my games gave up a feat to have an adamantine body, and it’s a done deal. That’s how he was made, just like the body shapes everyone other than changelings have is what they’re stuck with (short of using polymorph magic, I suppose).

  6. I for one like the idea of incorporating new armour and changing appearance as a story thing too. A good number of armours in Eberron likely have sigils and markings showing nation, faith and organization, and this allows a warforged to be part of the organization

    Both the juggernauts and reforged have themes of change too.

    Plus now a warforged can incorporate the “leather armour” longcoat of an inquisitive, which likely wouldn’t have been part of the picture if the armour was fixed at creation

  7. I like the idea effectively using a magic item to replicate the tool ability. I’m not sure if magic item is the right fit since you burn a prescious attunement for what is ultimately a tool (does detect magic pick it up). I wonder if a racial feat would have been a better course of action. A character can select various warforged racial feats and modify themselves like aftermarket car parts. So an “Envoy” is one that has been modified from stock with the integrated tool (among other things). A juggernaut would grab the fists and powerful build feat (plus other effects to balance) and becomes a larger warforged. Same with skirmisher, and probably other niche aftermarket designs for builds. To me that makes sense since they are purpose built to task, so either you order cheap stock models or some more expensive specialized versions.

    • Bear in mind that I said that this is ONE of the approaches in Exploring Eberron – not the only one. It is intentional that the primary cost of this item is the attunement slot; as a common item it’s easy enough to acquire, but as a high level character you’ll want to find another path.

      • Valid. But attunement doesn’t feel like the right fit for something that should be self defining of the character. Eventually you’ll drop the tool in favor of a better item. But something that is part of you is something that identifies you. Which is why I loved the subraces and felt they should have been kept and just tweaked or whatever. Personally I’m leaning towards some form of racial feat or homebrewing some subrace to give them distinct task specific feels.

        But I look forward to seeing what direction this all takes 🙂

  8. Love the art of Rose. I have a player in my Eberron campaign playing a Warforged paladin Oath of the Ancients named Solitude (Soli) that incorporated a very similar theme into their character. To me part of the appeal in playing a Warforged is allowing your character to become far more of an “expression of their class” than one typically does with the “organic” races. With other races it might almost seem two-dimensional to have a character defined by their class, but with Warforged it is the very idea of them seeking an understanding of who they are that instead makes the process of playing “the most fightery fighter that ever fightered” seem to add depth rather than limit it.

    Warforged, and the subrace options specifically, felt like they rewarded people for expressing their character decisions with mechanical benefits in the game. 3.5 was full of these little mechanical additions that made it feel like the cool idea in your head (say a Warforged that was trying to be more organic) could be expressed mechanically (such as with the Reforged, as problematic as that option set was). Now, I think most would agree that 3.5 went too far in that direction, by the end of the run the system had gotten so bloated it was too intimidating for new players to approach (this happened with 4e too, and I think seeing that in both of these editions has dictated a lot of design decisions by WOTC in 5e). But the repeated complaint about 5e is the “blandness” of design choices in the system. Not that you can’t describe interesting character flourishes to add in, just that unless your GM homebrews/house rules something it doesn’t feel like the system of 5e particularly cares (E.G. great your wizard’s Fireball glows blue with the intense heat and is shaped like a skull as you tap into the dark magics of a hell dimension, it still does 8d6 fire damage in a 20 foot radius, please roll). This isn’t a problem for many groups, but for some it is disheartening.

    I feel like Eberron has always pushed D&D to go beyond its creative limits. Taking the system as it is, but then asking what would be interesting for us to add? What more can we do with it? What excited me about Wayfinder’s was that it seemed to strike a balance between maintaining some of the interesting character decisions in its mechanics from earlier editions, while still keeping the elegance of 5e’s design philosophy. Rising did a good job at maintaining some of this, I was genuinely surprised that intuition dice came through almost unchanged. But I was disappointed that several of these aspects were removed (I’m thinking of the feat to progress Dragonmarks from their least form, but I think the loss of subraces for Warforged taps into similar feelings).

    This brings me to my question. When you are designing for/with Wizards, how do you find the balance between pushing for interesting and innovative character design choices and keeping the design approachable for new players/gms? Obviously, those of us with extensive experience in the game will add in elements as we wish (better believe Greater Dragonmark is making a comeback in my games), but often what is most appealing to us in new supplements is seeing how the professionals did it first and spring boarding from there. Simultaneously, new players and GMs often depend on seeing those creative design choices to become experienced role-players willing to step beyond the confines of the system. In other words, how do you balance pushing for the interesting creative design choice that experienced gamers often demand, with the needs for mechanical simplicity and approachability that seems to be the design focus of 5e to attract new players?

    P.S. I’ll spend the next few days trying to find the hundred word version of this question incase you don’t have time to answer it here so I can ask it on Saturday without grandstanding for 30 minutes.

    • This brings me to my question. When you are designing for/with Wizards, how do you find the balance between pushing for interesting and innovative character design choices and keeping the design approachable for new players/gms?
      Unfortunately, I’m not really someone who can answer this question for you. The mechanics of Rising were almost entirely handled in house by WotC staff; my focus was on lore and story. It’s really a question for Jeremy Crawford, who’s not only dealing with it within a single book, but also maintaining the vision for multiple products at once.

  9. Mechanically, there isn’t a huge difference in the +1AC vs previous Integrated Protection (besides cost). Warforged can still get the equivalent of +4 Platemail (which seemed to be a big hate of the previous version). I find the new version saps a lot of flavor out of the Warforged (as do some of the other changes to other races in Rising from the Last War). I was excited with the UA versions because they had the feel of the original 3.5 Eberron races updated for 5e – now most of that is gone and especially for the Warforged (at least to me).

    I like the idea of a common magic item taking the place of the integrated tool. However, it should absolutely not cost an attunement slot – attunement slots are the most precious commodity in 5e.

    I look forward to the release of Exploring Eberron.

  10. Really miss the flavor of the subraces a lot, not a fan of us have one base model now.

    How does the new armor system work with Heat Metal? If a Warforged absorbs full plate can we see that or does it look like other Warforged but just built like tank?

    • How does the new armor system work with Heat Metal?
      A warforged is considered to be wearing whatever armor it currently has attached for all mechanical purposes: feats, spells, class features. If the warforged has metal armor attached, it’s vulnerable to heat metal. The only difference between an armored human and a warforged in this case is that it takes the warforged longer to remove the plating; but given that it takes a human 5 minutes to remove heavy armor and the duration of Heat Metal is only 1 minute, it’s not like “Quick! Strip out of your heavy armor!” has ever been a logical strategy. I’ll also point out that warforged have ALWAYS been vulnerable to Heat Metal; it’s called out in the 3.5 rules.

      If a Warforged absorbs full plate can we see that or does it look like other Warforged but just built like tank?

      In my opinion, it doesn’t look exactly like a human wearing full plate, but you would certainly recognize that it’s a warforged with heavy armor plating. Ultimately, it’s up to the DM to decide how much detail to provide.

  11. There is a whole other layer to this where a Warforged ‘cannibalises’ another warforged for it’s composite plating. There would be a range of positions in and out of the warforged community.

  12. Does Heat Metal work on the new armor system, god knows my DM would use this on my Warforged?

    If a Warforged absorbed full plate do they bulk up, are they same size as a Warforged in chain?

    Last thing is I really miss the subraces and felt like the Warforgeds lost a lot of flavor with them being one base model now so to speak. End of the day I guess I could have my Fighter Warforged look like a Judgment but like the traits the 3 sub races had even with Envoy being the most powerful game wise.

  13. You know what would have been cool? If the design for utilizing integrated armor had gone the other direction. Instead of having to take an hour to put on or take off armor, it should take a round. A warforged character should be able to use an action and a move to magically shrug into a set of unworn, unheld armor with which they are proficient. And if they’ve integrated a set of armor, it takes only a round to divest themselves of it. Snap/meld/blink on, snap/meld/blink off.

    The whole “it takes an hour because it’s part of them” just seems tediious and un-fun. What are we supposed to believe? That warforged, who were mostly built for armored combat, are somehow many times *worse* than other people at putting on armor? And what actual advantage is there to having “unstealable” armor? There are only a handful of foes that damage armor, much less try and take it off of you.

    But being able to walk without penalty unarmored and then magically enshroud oneself with that set of full plate in your pack? That would be an actual advantage. It deals with the Heat Metal issue. It deals with suddenly sinking to the bottom of the sea. And brother, you look cool doing it.

  14. I really want to make a Golett-esque Warforged Bard/Sorcerer (only a couple feet tall), and the Skirmisher Warforged from UA seems to be the best fit for the little guy. I understand the rework of Integrated Protection, but I feel like removing the removal of the three subclasses really skewered the class’s variety.

  15. Are the Scorpion Brand, Arachnid Chassis, and swim assisting fins, still things that exist as Warforged Components?
    I like the idea of a Warforged who lives near the ocean, who really likes Lobsters (“they have inbuilt armor like me, and also potentially live for a very long time”), and has altered themselves with those components to resemble one.

    Also, would differently sized warforged be possible?
    i.e one the size of a halfling (stealth and scouting), one rather large (Sieges and moving things)?

    • Also, would differently sized warforged be possible?
      i.e one the size of a halfling (stealth and scouting), one rather large (Sieges and moving things)?

      Both of these exist in in-world lore. Looking to siege warforged, that’s the warforged titan. Small warforged scouts appear in fiction, but the Rising rules don’t cover them.

    • Warforged Scouts (Small Warforged) were in 3.5. They’re introduced in Monster Manual 3 and were legal (with a card) for RPGA’s Eberron stuff.

  16. You could look at changing armor much like body modification in our society. Some may do it, as has been said above, to remove nation affiliation. Others may do it as an expression of ones self-realization, much like Fortunine I’m guessing. Maybe even looking at it like bodybuilding. It’s hard, takes effort, and isn’t really all that comfortable to go through but you need to do it to upgrade yourself.
    The role playing aspects of it are a lot of fun to think about.

  17. I like seeing all the little bits added after the original ECS showing up in the core book. Glad to see Sharn’s population count finally get boosted from the pathetic 211,000 to “half a million people”, plus non-residents and (possibly) those not considered “people” (SCoT 126 aludes to) and an assumption this has been greatly reduced by war.

    Don’t like the new art for the most part, which is largely due to 5E’s art direction. The few new pieces I did like was a picture of Metrol and Prince Oargev’s portrait, though that reminds me that Jaela and Krozen still don’t have any official art.

    Also I remember you mentioned once there was never an official view of Sharn from the side with a scale included. Page 269 seems to provide our first. While only part of the tower is visible, the bridge indicates what we do see is around 300 feet.

  18. On further thought, I actually really like this new “incorporation” of armor for warforged, but how will magical armors work in this regard as well as for removed armor? Will the latter be able to be used again?

    • In theory, yes; I’d rule that it would take some work to reassemble the removed armor into a usable form, but that’s what smiths’ tools are for!

  19. I still, even today, find it a shame that the idea from way back in 3.5 of warforged having different materials for their primary plating didn’t work out in practice. Funnily enough, I actually want to explore one of the ways it didn’t work out as a story in and of itself — namely, the infamous problem of murderhobos killing their own party members to harvest the valuable materials. Forget the shorter-term “but it won’t work that way!” excuses and the longer-term dropping of the concept entirely — what would it be like for greedy people to assume you’re more valuable dead than alive? (This is only one of the themes behind this character concept, but it’s the one that’s most relevant to racial statistics.)

  20. I’m most surprised by the removal of the “living construct” type or any hard definitions for how the warforged’s construct nature interacts with magic in fifth edition. In fact, what IS stated is that the warforged are now “living humanoids”. Can 5e a warforged be raised as undead? Can they be infected with vampirism or lycanthropy? Can one become a medusa? Through ceremorphosis, can a 5e warforged be turned into a mind flayer? Some of these questions had rigidly defined answers in previous editions, while some were left to the DM’s decision, but Rising now explicitly defines warforged as functionally identical to humans exposed to these effects.

    • That’s correct. Personally, I consider lycanthropy to be a supernatural disease, and warforged are immune to disease, so I would rule that they can’t become lycanthropes, but that’s me. By the rules as written, warforged are humanoids and things that affect humanoids will affect them; under the current rules, warforged can become undead.

      This is the sort of thing that happens when editions change. 4E had similar shifts. I believe the goal here was to focus first and foremost on simplicity – to avoid the complexity of “Does thing X work on warforged?” The default answer now is “Yes” – unless it’s say, a disease, or unless the DM rules otherwise.

      I will note that in Eberron, medusas are a true breeding species, and aren’t created from other races.

  21. Integrating armor into your body is less satisfying than it being part of your body, but it at least makes sense for heavy armor. It makes no sense at all that a creature made of wood, stone, and metal becomes more durable by adding leather. I can’t visualize a way that my warforged warlock can integrate studded leather armor into his body without looking ridiculous.

  22. Hi Keith,

    i was kind of disappointed to find subraces and especially the integrated tool gone.
    For the homebrew world of my wife (a post apocalyptic fantasy meets 1920 – kind of the into the badlands series from amazon) i made a warforged monk/cleric with integrated disguise kit who, after loosing his memories by a magical accident was performing at a local nightclub/brothel/variety theater.
    As long as the target he disguised was his hight he did a pretty good job of “beeing what others want him to be”. Everytime he got hit there was a chance of the disguise getting loose and revealing the metal parts behind (much to the surprise of the other players)

    While spending a attunement slot dosen’t sound to bad to get the old wayfinders tool expertise, just getting a tool wich can’t be removed seems a bit lackluster in my eyes

    Would there be “better/magical” tools in your eberron which give better results than just the tool? Like reducing the time to craft something or helping in the creation of magical items. How common would such things be? I imagine it would be pretty hard to find anything not related to war or combat.

  23. Just curious: from a game mechanic point of view, what difference does it make if quori are deemed aberrations or not? I saw some folks grumbling about this, but I didn’t quite get why it would matter, either in flavor or game mechanic.

    • In terms of game mechanics, it affects the tools that can be used against them. Many spells associated with exorcism—Dispel Evil and Good and Magic Circle, to name two—don’t affect aberrations. A paladin can’t sense them with Divine Sense and doesn’t deal extra damage to them with Divine Smite. Now, you could play this up as a feature; think you can trap them in a Magic Circle, exorcist? Guess again! But that’s the issue.

      For me personally, the story issue is that I like to emphasize the extreme alien nature of aberrations. We can’t understand their minds or motives, and this is one of the defining points of the daelkyr. By contrast, the Quori’s motives are quite clear and understandable, and as shown by both kalashtar and Inspired, it’s easy for mortals to work directly with them. Despite their appearance, they aren’t fundamentally alien; they exist in our dreams.

      • Gotcha. I suspect that many of us now playing 5e might let some 3.5e assumptions sneak into our game … because it is OUR game. Someone else’s game might be different, and that’s what it’s all about.

        Undead warforged? Pffft. Bite your tongue!

  24. How does the AC of a Warforged Monk function now?
    Sidenote: I cant “Integrate” without wearing the armor via DNDbeyond.com

    • Integrated Protection provides two features.

      The first is that you have a +1 bonus to your Armor Class. This is a flat bonus; it makes no difference whether you are wearing armor or if you’re using a feature like Unarmored Defense. You have a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

      The second aspect is that it takes you an hour to don or doff armor, and armor you’re wearing can’t be removed against your will. The STORY behind this is that this is because it’s integrated into your body. But MECHANICALLY—in terms of how it affects feats, class features, spells, etc—it is exactly as though you’re wearing armor.

      So a warforged monk can chose to use Unarmored Defense and not to integrate armor, in which case, their Armor Class will be 11 + Dex Modifier + Wis Modifier, incorporating the +1 from Integrated Protection. Or they can attach armor, in which case this will override Unarmored Protection, prevent them from using Unarmored Movement, etc.

      The FLAVOR is that it’s integrated into your body. But the rules treat it as wearing armor.

  25. I like the concept behind the integrated armor. In my home game, however, I’m thinking of having the first time a war forged dons a new armor take the equivalent of a long rest, to take into account the difficulty of reshaping the armor and the trouble of mounting it to their own body. Any subsequent times of using that same specific set of armor would merely be the equivalent of a short rest, however, as most of the difficult technical work has been done already.

  26. My favorite part of the Envoy was the integrated tool feature. I like the idea of a common wondrous item adding this in (like the arm blades and wand sheathes).

    Would the integrated tool item still grant the 2x proficiency bonus?
    If not, the advantage of using an attunement slot to integrate the tool (cool character flavor and never dropping it) seems a bit small compared to the steep cost.

    • When I try to envision this new armor-swapping body work, I can only picture warforged looking like skinny scarecrows wearing armor. I guess I could imagine specialized armor crafted specifically for warforged, but as written this is really meant for any suit, isn’t it? So a warforged fight could don a suit of half-plate in the morning, then in the afternoon and his human buddy could wear that same suit. It doesn’t harm the armor when the warforged removes it, I think. Silly.

      • Certainly, but at the end of the day, that’s the point: It’s all about how you imagine it. It’s the same principle as the fact that mechanically an artificer casts spells, exactly like a wizard; but in STORY I will describe them as using their tools to produce magical effects.

        Mechanically you are correct. BY THE RULES, a warforged could don a set of half plate in the morning and a human could wear it in the afternoon. But if I were WRITING THAT STORY, I’d consider a few things. First, there’s nothing new about an unarmored warforged. Races of Eberron had the Unarmored Body feat and the Reforged—a prestige class based around the idea of a warforged removing its armor plating and continuing as a viable character. Beyond that, in 3.5 a warforged character could simply chose NOT to take any body feat and have an AC of 12. WGtE had the concept of Darkwood Core, which was the unarmored state. And that’s what you have here. An entirely unarmored warforged still have an AC of 11 – tougher than a human. There’s no reason for them to appear as a “skinny scarecrow” – they have the Darkwood Core below the armor. When a warforged integrates a suit of armor, it is disassembling the armor and fusing the material to that darkwood base, presumably using an alchemical process. Remember that once integrated, attached armor CANNOT BE REMOVED. You can’t pry it off the warforged using a crowbar! They aren’t just wearing it; it has become a part of them.

        And yes, by the rules, they can remove it in the afternoon and someone else can do it. But that’s THE RULES. It is ALWAYS up to us as DMs and players to build the story around the rules. Personally, *I* would say that when a warforged removes armor, that armor can be SALVAGED and reassembled using smith’s tools – not that it comes off in one perfect piece, exactly as it was. Sure, the rules don’t say that; but *I* can add that detail so the rules make sense in my world.

        The rules give us a framework. WE add the story. Now it’s possible for a warforged to modify their body. But as DM, I get to decide what that LOOKS like, what that FEELS like. As DM, I decide if any NPC warforged ever does it. It’s a rule, and if a player warforged wants to use it, I’ll let them. But I don’t have to change MY vision of the world as a whole because of a new rule.

        My apologies if I sound pedantic. I’m just saying that the rules only ruin the story if you let them. Unarmored warforged have always existed. The ability to remove armor has always been an option, even if it was not something that could be done casually. The 3.5 Sharn sourcebook suggested that warforged could get cosmetic modifications at the Red Hammer. So don’t dwell on this. MY vision of the warforged hasn’t changed at all. Yes, they can put on armor in the morning and a human can wear it in the afternoon. But I still decide how to tell that story, and I’m going to find a way to make it satisfying.

        • Oh, I’m just bemoaning the minimal wording given to us. Which isn’t on you, Keith. I know that! Of course we CAN provide whatever story we want to around these mechanics. Can and should, if we’re DMing it right. But it sure would have been helpful, even in sidebar fashion, to give players some of these very ideas we’re talking about….because without them, new players to Eberron who are reading only page 37 of Rising from the Last War will probably not do any of what you and I would do to make the mechanics gel with the setting, and the purpose, of warforged as devised by their Cannith creators. (And I know that’s not your fault; if it were up to you, there’d have been plenty more page space allocated to warforged.)

          The best example of what would have been great is precisely what we get in that Magic of Artifice sidebar on page 56. It’s not talking mechanics, just cosmetics, but it’s helping DMs and players get a better picture of what sets artificers apart from other spellcasters. That would be enough for warforged, if they got the same treatment in regards to their physical makeup.

          Warforged, as presented, are still perfectly workable. I’m merely lamenting the minimalist approach WotC has taken to the warforged. As presented to gamers completely new to Eberron, with no prior notion of warforged, a newcomer might well see the Integrated Protection racial feature as a hindrance, an impediment, and hardly a boon. “So…I’m supposed to be a construct built FOR war, and I get a +1 AC, and if I want to wear armor like all my fighter and paladin buddies, I have to spend an extra hour to put it on or take it off?” That’s how I’d read that, if I weren’t well-read on all things Eberron. 🙂 Sure, a built-in +1 to AC is nice but even the barbarian’s Unarmored Defense which they get at the start is probably going to be much better than that and never requires extra time to accomplish. Warforged just seem flimsier unless you hurry up and get them some good loot to put on. Again, just as presented.

          • That all makes sense, and I agree: it would have been good to have a sidebar like the artificer explaining the concept, and it’s not clearly presented in the way I’m describing here.

            “So…I’m supposed to be a construct built FOR war, and I get a +1 AC, and if I want to wear armor like all my fighter and paladin buddies, I have to spend an extra hour to put it on or take it off?”

            Again, I know we’re debating what’s actually presented, but here’s my point. Imagine you’re playing a 1st warforged barbarian with scale mail. How *I’m* saying you should look at that isn’t “I was made, and then someone handed me some scale mail and I put it on, but it took an hour.” Instead, you should look at it as “I was built with a body that is the equivalent of half-plate” (as your AC is 15+Dex — better than a human in scale mail). You were built as a weapon of war with half-plate for skin. And for most warforged THAT IS YOUR LIFE AND ALL YOU WILL EVERY HAVE. But you’re not most warforged. In 3.5, a Juggernaut could improve their armor; a Reforged could strip it off. When you get a suit of platemail and attach it, you’re cannibalizing the armor and using that material to strengthen your body — just as a juggernaut used to. And after all, at the end of the day, your AC will be better than a human in plate armor! And if you DO strip off your armor, you’re following the path of the Reforged; you just don’t have to invest class levels to do it.

            The main point for me is that just because it CAN be done doesn’t mean most warforged ever do it, any more than most warforged in 3.5 became Juggernauts or Reforged. It’s NOT just “wearing armor”; it’s modifying your body. And it was always possible for warforged to modify their bodies and change their AC in the process, moving it up or down.

            But again, I get that your point is that the rules don’t PRESENT it in this way. Unfortunately, I think that comes back to the primary goal of WotC, which is NOT TO CONFUSE ANYONE. Already, just in this comment thread someone asks “So how does integrating armor into your body interact with a monk’s Unarmored Defense” and the point is that IT DOESN’T; as far as monk abilities are concerned YOU ARE WEARING ARMOR JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE. They’re 100% trying to make a situation where there are no questions, because it’s just like they’re wearing armor.

            Again, I’m not arguing – you are absolutely correct, there should have been a sidebar. There’s nothing I can do about that now, so I’m just trying to present it in a way that works for me.

  27. I’m very sad to see the subraces go. I think I will likely keep them but make a mixture of the new and old versions. I’ll change to the new integrated armor BUT only the Juggernaut will get the +1 to AC, remove the iron fists and keep powerful build. Envoy would stay the same. I think I’d increase the bonus move on skirmisher to 10 feet instead of 5 and keep Light Step. Seems a lot more balanced and keeps the diversity.

  28. So as a humanoid and not a construct, do they need to breathe now? Same with eating and drinking? Just wondering as everything i seem to read glossed over this.

    • This is clearly stated on page 36, under the racial feature Constructed Resilience: “You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.” Warforged are humanoids with some of the traits of constructs, but not the full creature type.

      • Sorry i haven’t had a chance to get the book yet. Was just reading up on it and no one had said it where i read. Thanks for the clarification and hope to get the book soon

  29. how would you go about a warforged integrating with the new symbiont living armor? seems weird to destroy the somewhat sentient armor and patch it to yourself. Though the thought of a warforged trying to become more “human” by replacing parts with fleshy bits is interesting

    • Giving that it’s living armor, the armor could reshape itself to integrate with the warforged. It’s made of muscle and chitin, so it could certainly be more flexible than metal.

  30. Regarding Warforged in the Mournland, my understanding is that in original Eberron, Warforged weren’t killed in the Mourning because they were constructs, and could survive in the Mournland because mending/repair magic still worked there while natural and magical healing was inhibited. This was a neat emergent narrative that came about from the logic of the Mournland and Warforged, but the new book initially threw a wrench in these (at least for me).

    Now, Warforged are essentially living humanoids which can heal and be healed normally, and are not affected by mending/repair magic. The new Mournland effects include some localized healing restrictions which also inhibit Warforged healing. Without these advantages, I’ve felt the need to re-think through why Warforged weren’t eliminated in the Mourning, how they survive, and why they choose to remain.

    Below is what I’ve come up with, hopeful for your feedback and suggestions on fleshing out this relationship between Warforged and the Mournland. (Also hopeful it is interesting to others reading!)

    The Mourning’s effect on the living: Death.
    The reason Warforged weren’t killed immediately by the Mourning like other living creatures can be simple – They do not need to breathe! Warforged can exist in a vacuum, so when the dead-gray mist permeated the whole land over the course of a single day, every breathing thing was affected – but not the Warforged. Any effect of the Mourning had on living things – death, mutation, etc., could be blamed on the mist, at least at first.

    The Mourning’s effect on objects: Animation and Enchantment
    Many objects came to horrible animation after the mourning; swarms of swords swirl in Eston, for example. But since Warforged were already animated by a spirit/soul/living force, so they were not further animated or affected by the mourning. Perhaps unfinished Warforged indeed were animated by the Mourning – maybe with monstrous, unformed, or alien consciousnesses, or with intelligence at least matching how complete their mechanical ‘mind’ was upon animation.

    The Mourning’s effect on magic: Agency and Sentience
    Living spells are common in the Mournland, so why didn’t the magic animating a Warforged bust out of their shell as a living spell of some kind, or become a mutated? Easy – Because they are already sentient, the animating magic of the Mourning couldn’t make Warforged more alive than they already were. Perhaps dead Warforged were re-animated by the Mourning. Maybe they become ‘undead’ warforged if their mind-machine was too badly damaged, or if not are resurrected as who they were before. Maybe they are re-animated as someone or something else entirely. The Lord of Blades could have woken up after having been discarded in a scrap heap of defeated Warforged on a battlefield, and marveled at his second chance…

    After the Mourning, it was very dangerous – living spells, mutants, undead, storms. How do they survive? Mainly, their combat training and discipline to work together as military units made survival nearly inevitable for the Warforged. This is what they were made for. They do not need to eat, so the lack of crops didn’t bother them – and there were plenty of resources and plenty of land to occupy and reform into perfect strongholds.

    So they can survive and thrive – but why do Warforged stay in a desolate wasteland? The first reason is Security. The Mournland is dangerous, but the Warforged there have managed the risks and carved out safe space through their cooperation and military discipline.

    Outside attackers have no obvious weaknesses to exploit – the Warforged have no vulnerable populations to threaten, cannot be easily poisoned, are immune to disease, have no food or water supplies to disrupt or sabotage, never need rest, and are all fully armed trained combatants at all time. An organized community of Warforged are basically inpregnenable. The dangers of the Mournland seem almost secondary to the raw challenge of fighting Warforged, but make it additionally super risky to even approach them. The mists rule out many lines of attack, forces would be hampered by the lack of accessible food, and the attrition of the roaming monsters and storms work in the Warforged advantage.

    A second reason is Privacy. Most other living creatures died in the Mourning, so Cyre is up for the taking for those who can – and the Warforged are the only ones who have both the ability and discipline to do it. Most of Khorvaire is already owned and occupied, but in Cyre, they can forge their own country. It is a place to explore the nature of being Warforged – to develop a culture, explore their spirituality, and build a community not owned or controlled by other creatures.

    I was disappointed at first about the lack of mending/repair magic for Warforged, but after thinking about it more it feels like that was an ‘easy out’ to explain why Warforged are in the Mournland. Their relationship to the Mournland is much richer than just a mechanical healing advantage.

    What do you think? My group just spent a lot of time in the Mournland, and I expect them to return and encounter an old hireling of theirs that has possibly joined with the Lord of Blades (or even the Godforged), so I’m trying to flesh out the reasons for Warforged to be there as much as possible beforehand 🙂

    • I missed this when you first posted it. I think this is very logical and well thought through. I personally go in a different direction for a few reasons — but don’t take that as a criticism of your ideas!

      For me the #1 feature about the Mourning is that its effects are unpredictable. it’s already well established that there ARE humans and other humanoids who were caught in the Mourning and survived; Stormreach has a community of such people. So I wouldn’t apply any rule universally to the Mourning; this is also why, in Rising, we note that healing isn’t UNIVERSALLY impeded in the Mournland.

      The change in warforged healing does remove one of the obvious grounds for the warforged claiming the Mournland. However, again, in 5E we no longer have an absolute blanket restriction on healing in the Mournland. To me, the facts that warforged don’t eat, sleep, or breathe and that they’re immune to disease still make them uniquely suited to colonize the region, as it’s a place where pure food or water are extremely hard to find and where any number of vile diseases could be found. So there’s still the principle that they can thrive in a region where most humanoids would starve and die.

      A side note to this is that I’ve never assumed that all of the warforged in Cyre survived the Mourning. I think it’s reasonable to think that MORE of them survived the Mourning than other creatures, but my vision has always been that the warforged inhabitants of the Mournland are largely immigrants who have followed the Lord of Blades to the Mournland – not that they were already in it and chose not to leave. I like the idea that there are many inert warforged scattered around the Mournland waiting the be revived – and that one of the things the followers of the Lord of Blades and the Godforged do is to find and restore these “sleeping” warforged.

      But again: everything you’ve suggest is a great foundation to use for your campaign and makes a lot of sense; it’s just not the path I personally follow.

      • ” I like the idea that there are many inert warforged scattered around the Mournland waiting the be revived – and that one of the things the followers of the Lord of Blades and the Godforged do is to find and restore these “sleeping” warforged. ”

        Speaking of this, if i recall correctly, a Warforged can stay Inert near indefinitely, as long as they don’t get damaged more.
        what are the specifics to this?
        If an Inert Warforged is chucked off a ship, would the movement and impact of the water kill them?
        if one was rendered inert after being picked up and stabbed, would the impact from being tossed to the ground do damage?

        • This is a holdover from a previous system that *I* like, but isn’t addressed in the rules as written.

          Under 3.5 rules, when a warforged dropped below 0 HP, it automatically stabilized, but it wouldn’t naturally heal. It could remain in this inert state indefinitely until someone restored it.

          This is a tricky thing to adapt to 5E, as both healing and dying have different mechanics. However, even if you don’t adopt it for PC warforged, it could be used specifically in this Mourning situation. In any case, I’d be inclined to say that an inert warforged is treated like any other stable character at 0 HP; it’s not entirely immune to damage and could be killed by massive damage.

          A weird option would be to say that “inert” is to a warforged as “dead” is to a human, but that warforged don’t decompose. If I followed this path, I might say that Raise Dead doesn’t work on warforged, but that a 9th level artificer could use 500 gp worth of components and perform a ritual that restores life to an inert warforged; essentially, trading standard Raise Dead for an artifice version, with the bonus effect of built-in Gentle Repose. But that’s ENTIRELY off the top of my head.

  31. I love the reworks and I only have one question, in the Warforged Resilience Trait, the wording changed in the last bullet point

    • You don’t need to sleep and don’t suffer the
    effects of exhaustion due to lack of rest, and
    magic can’t put you to sleep.

    to

    • You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep

    why was the wording changed? Does the warforged need to rest?

    • I wasn’t involved in this decision and I don’t know the exact intent, so this is a question to put to WotC. Personally, as a DM I would rule “You don’t need to sleep” to mean “You suffer no ill effects for going indefinitely without sleep” — but I can’t say with certainty that this is the intent of the rules as written. Under the WGtE version, the point was that the warforged suffered no ill effects for going without sleep, but had to enter a six-hour resting state to gain the benefits of rest.

  32. I just started an Eberron campaign using Eberron: Rising from the Last War. My player’s characters are:
    1. A Warforged Artificer, named Lucky Laughter. He is a Battle Smith, and works as a House Agent for House Kundarak, investigating why new Warforged that have no memories keep appearing in Sharn. He is the last Warforged made in Cyre before the Mourning happened, and is going to take the Aberrant Dragonmark Feat, and how I’ve explained this for him is that one of the people who made him, an Battle Smith Artificer named Gerrith d’Cannith was trying to transfer his consciousness into Lucky’s body, but at that exact moment the Mourning happened, warping the process, and trapping his mind in part of Lucky’s mind that can only be unlocked when Lucky sleeps (which warforged can’t do), or is rebooted (dies and is resurrected). When this happened, the Mourning transferred part of Gerrith d’Cannith’s dragonmark onto Lucky Laughter, creating a semi-aberrant dragonmark, that looks like a normal blue-green Mark of Making, but with cancerous red-orange tendrils growing off of it, as the aberrant part of the Mark.
    2. A Firbolg Monk, Yarke Hugnar. He is a Way of the Open Hand monk, and he is similar to our world’s wrestler, and he fights in professional arenas against regional champions (in my Eberron there is an organization that awards chain links for winning championships, chains add up to create bracelets, or necklaces, or whips, and are a sign of power and honor). Yarke (home name Tall) comes from an island near Xen’drik, and was captured by Cyran slavers and forced to serve in the Last War for Cyre, and was fighting in a battle outside Cyre when the Mourning happened.
    3. A Mark of Making Wizard, Neirena d’Cannith. She is a War Mage, and doesn’t have a good relationship with her district of House Cannith, Cannith West. She was ordered by her Aunt, Jorlanna d’Cannith to become an Artificer, but she disobeyed them and fled to Arcanix, and learned to be a wizard. She is slowly regaining the trust of House Cannith, and may try to join another district of House Cannith, possibly Cannith South, as she lives in Sharn for the time being.

    These are the characters, and I wanted to ask a few questions:
    1. Does my explanation for how Lucky has an aberrant dragonmark make sense? Should some warforged who were in Cyre when the Mourning happened have developed aberrant dragonmarks from the Mourning? What would you change about how Lucky got a dragonmark? What other ways could a warforged gain an aberrant dragonmark?
    2. Where do Firbolgs come from on Eberron? Would they come from Xen’drik where giants are from, or would they come from Thelanis where fey creatures come from? Does the chain links award system make sense? How would you have professional fighting matches work? Would it be taken care of by the government, possibly established hundreds of years ago when Galifar was united, or would a dragonmarked house?
    3. Can a member of House Cannith West join a different branch of House Cannith? Could a leader of House Cannith order a member of their house to become an artificer? Would they be disowned if they didn’t?
    4. The players are going to go into the Mournland in the near future. I’d like for the Lord of Blades to make an appearance, possibly be a villain. How would you roleplay him? Does he want to kill all other humanoids that aren’t Warforged? It is rumored he has the ability to make new Warforged. Would these Warforged be any different than normal Warforged, or would the Lord of Blades modify them in a certain way?
    5. What do the Chamber think of the creation of Warforged? What would their reaction to a Warforged with an Aberrant Dragonmark be? Did the Draconic Prophecy predict the creation of Warforged in any way?

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