The Wayfinder’s Guide To Eberron

Eberron was born sixteen years ago. It’s been eight years since I’ve been able to write new material, and in that time I’ve worked on many things… Illimat. Action Cats. Even another roleplaying game, Phoenix: Dawn CommandBut in all that time, my heart’s still been in Eberron. And now Eberron has come to fifth edition.

The Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron is now available on the DM’s Guild. It’s a PDF product, and it’s treated as Unearthed Arcana material. This is Eberron as I’m playing it at my table. The goal is of the book is to give you everything you need to start running Eberron at your table… but also to test these ideas and get your feedback on them. It’s a 170 page book, and the bulk of it is about the world. But it’s also a living document, and the mechanical material—races, dragonmarks—will evolve over time. This is one reason it’s not currently available as print on demand; the PDF will be updated as we gather feedback on the material.

So what is the Wayfinder’s Guide to EberronI’ll start by telling you what it’s not, and that’s a rehash of either the Eberron Campaign Setting or the Eberron Campaign Guide. Both of those books are available on the DM’s Guild, and it seemed foolish to lead off with a book that simply repackages information many of you already have. The WGtE isn’t an encyclopedia. It doesn’t delve deeply into history or geography. Instead it talks about the themes of Eberron, the things that define the setting, and how these can affect your game. How can you capture the feel of pulp adventure or neo-noir intrigue? What impact could the Last War have on your character or your campaign?

The Wayfinder’s Guide includes the following things. 

  • New versions of changelings, kalashtar, shifters, and warforged, along with information and ideas about how the common races fit into Eberron. If you’re a Mror dwarf, why did you leave the Holds? if you’re a Zil gnome, what schemes are you caught up in?
  • An overview of Khorvaire with a focus on ideas for characters and NPCs from each nation.
  • Rules for dragonmarks, the mystical sigils that play an important role in the setting. This includes greater dragonmarks and aberrant dragonmarks.
  • A selection of unique magic items, including dragonshards, warforged component items, and new arcane focuses for your wandslinger.
  • An overview of Sharn, City of Towers with a focus on getting you started with your character or your story. This includes a host of interesting background hooks and story ideas, along with three separate starting points for different styles of campaign… including the gritty Callestan campaign I’m running at home!

The Wayfinder’s Guide is written for both players and DMs. It doesn’t give away any of the deep secrets of the world, but it’s designed to serve as an inspiration both for creating characters and adventures… and I’ll just say that there’s a lot of ideas squeezed into those 170 pages.

What Happens Next?

Eberron has been unlocked for the DM’s Guild. I’m currently working on the Morgrave’s Miscellany with guild adept & Inkwell Society creator Ruty Rutenberg (who collaborated on the dragonmarks and races for the WG). The Miscellany will delve into a range of subjects that didn’t make it into the Wayfinder’s Guide, including Siberys Dragonmarks and some classic Eberron archetypes. Beyond that, there’s a host of topics I’ve been wanting to explore for years now: the Planes of Eberron, Droaam, Darguun, Eberron Underwater, and more. I’ll get to all of these things and more; it’s a question of when. I’ve posted a poll here, on my Patreon site; you don’t have to be a patron to vote on it. Let me know what you want to see first!

In addition to writing new material for Eberron, I want to get back to another project that’s been on a back burner for a long time. Back in 2009—before the age of Kickstarter and Patreon—I bootstrapped something I called Have Dice Will TravelI roamed around the world running an Eberron game for interesting groups of people. I wrote about a few of my adventures for The Escapist, but lack of funding and a creative collaborators caused it to fizzle out. Now with crowdfunding, new support for Eberron, and my partnership with Jenn Ellis and our company Twogether Studios, we’re exploring different ways to bring back Have Dice Will Travel.

We don’t yet know exactly what form this will take. A travel/D&D podcast? A book? Both? What we do know is that we want to capture the diverse people around the world who play RPGs and tell their stories. If you want to make sure you get the latest news, join the Twogether Studios mailing list. And if you feel that you have a particularly interesting gaming group or town we might want to visit on our tour, follow this link and tell us about it!

That’s all for now. Thank you for joining me in this return to Eberron. I look forward to seeing what all of you do with the world!

70 thoughts on “The Wayfinder’s Guide To Eberron

  1. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    Sorry, I’m just that excited to finally have this. Thank you for showing us as soon as possible, Keith, and if you end up travelling on Dice, I’m sure my group would love to host you in South Africa.

  2. I am beyond excited for this long-awaited good news, Keith. It will be such a huge relief to be able to source the DMG for material and to contribute myself. My Eberron game has been a hodgepodge of house rules and off the cuff rulings for too long. It will be great to start building it again with the community!

  3. Hey Keith on p. 56 for the planar graphic – there’s all 13 names but only 12 circles for the planes, it looks like Xoriat is cut off or something? Unless it’s supposed to be the tiny circle in the top right, which is weird

    • Its the tiny circle in t he corner, and its supposed to be strange – representing that Xoriat is both a part and outside of the planes of Eberron 🙂
      The same graphics were used in 4E (though Baator was also there)

  4. this is awesome! you are one of my favorite creative minds and I’m glad your now able to dive back into eberron for some new goodies

  5. I fully admit to internally screaming in joy at seeing this. I’ve been running an Eberron Campaign in 5e for over a year and I’m glad that the world my players and I love so much will be getting some love in return.

    • I’m in a similar state, recently started up a 5e Eberron version of Princes of the Apocalypse and previously ran (before life got in various people’s ways) Out of the Abyss in it too, I’m so, so happy to see it getting official support and eventual release. This lets me flesh out my world with more than just my words, I’m really don’t feel creative enough- or have enough time- to come up with items/monsters and the like on my own.

      • If PF2 doesn’t go according to plan, this could be enough to get my group to move over to D&D 5e. This is great news.

  6. Keith, congrats to you on what I hope is a very successful and busy day! Any sense of a timeline for a hardcover, finalized version? Some of us prefer not to pay for playtest/early access material, but still want to be enthusiastic supporters of your (finalized) works!

    • I don’t know, Logan. I think it largely depends on the response to the WGtE. To be clear, if there is an official hardcover I doubt it would simply be the content of the WGtE in physical form. The WGtE is very much an introduction to the setting and its themes; I’d expect an official hardcover to be, well, more OFFICIAL. The WGtE is entirely written for both players and DMs, and at some point official content would need to include more DM-focused material… the things PCs aren’t supposed to know.

  7. Really happy that Eberron has been opened up at last. I have picked up the Wayfarer’s Guide, and I look forward to seeing all the other projects you mention come to fruition. But please, please do the Planes as the first one.

  8. Amazing! I am so happy to see that you will be able to produce new material (I would add Zilargo and “spy story in eberron to your patreon list).

    I would even ask a question: several times you said that you could play Eberron with different rules: 3.5, 4, savage worlds, 13th age. And every system has advantages and disadvantages. What do you think that 5e ADDS to eberron?

    • several times you said that you could play Eberron with different rules: 3.5, 4, savage worlds, 13th age. And every system has advantages and disadvantages. What do you think that 5e ADDS to eberron?

      A few things immediately come to mind.

      Backgrounds. Backgrounds add a level of versatility to the basic foundation of class and race, and also help inspire stories. In particular, I love the interaction of background with a dragonmarked character. As a dragonmarked noble, you’re heir to one of the powerful families in the house. As a dragonmarked guild artisan, you’ve worked on the factory floor. As a As a dragonmarked urchin, you’re a foundling who never knew you had a tie to the house. You don’t NEED backgrounds to tell those stories, but it’s an easy way to kick it off.

      Rituals. These aren’t unique to 5E, but they were something I liked from 4E and I’m glad to see them carry over. Rituals are a good match for the idea of industrial magic—better than the Vancian cast-one-spell-a-day approach.

      Cantrips. The use of cantrips, arcane focuses, and the Magic Initiate feat all support the idea of the wandslinger—allowing the wand to somewhat fill the roll of firearms in the setting. In the past that hasn’t worked because wands were too powerful and expensive; under the cantrip system the power comes from the caster, and the wand is simply a tool.

  9. A) this is amazing, it’s like a birthday present (how did you know it was my birthday?)
    B) could we get a compiled list of feats at the end of the doc or something? They are scattered and kinda hard to find
    C) seriously amazing dude. Thank you

  10. You may not have to be a patron to vote, but you do need an account… still, count me in as saying that Planes of Eberron is a decade overdue and my #1 pick. It’s an important aspect of the setting that’s only ever received fragmentary coverage.

    My #2 pick would be Eberron Undersea (since that’s received practically no official coverage), and #3 would be Faiths Revisited (since it’s important and misunderstood by other devs on one hand, but you’ve discussed it repeatedly and extensively on the other).

  11. I really would like to see some more support/revised statistics for “monstrous” PC species — goblinoids, orcs, gnolls, etc. Of course, I’m working on my own, but I’m *very* interested to see your take on those statistics for Eberron.

    • I really would like to see some more support/revised statistics for “monstrous” PC species — goblinoids, orcs, gnolls, etc.

      Droaam and Darguun are certainly on my list of places upcoming topics. My thought is to include gnolls and other playable monstrous races in Droaam, and to do a new take on playable goblinoids (“Dhakaani goblinoids”) in a Darguun book.

      Also, I saw on the DMsG that you were troubled by the change to the gender relationship between a kalashtar and its quori spirit. Just to be clear, it’s not my intention that anything has changed; what’s said in the WGtE is simply a simplified outsider’s view of what’s going on. Note that the original 3.5 kalashtar entry in the ECS didn’t discuss this concept at all; it’s something that was initially presented in Races of Eberron, because there was a chance to explore the kalashtar in more depth. So the WGtE touches on it in a very simple way—but the intention is that Races of Eberron remains true.

  12. I’ve been hoping for this day for a long time, and seeing it finally come is deeply satisfying.

    I am so glad to see you working on Eberron again and you have my full faith and trust that what you bring us will make it a richer and more enjoyable setting.

    Good luck and definitely looking forward to see what comes next.

  13. I’ve been waiting for this day since the DMG launched. I can’t wait to see everything you’ve come up with over the last few years and I’ve got stories of my own to share. 🙂

  14. I used to read your Have Dice, Will Travel articles on Escapist way back, before I played DnD myself.
    I think this is such a cool idea and I was sad when the articles stopped. If you start doing this again, come by Vienna!

  15. This was an insta-buy for me last night.

    Today I got notification that it was updated.

    Will there be a running changelog, sir?

    • I hope so. I believe this last change was addressing the appendix, which had the wrong page numbers. The next one will deal with the fact that the Kalashtar aren’t in the table of contents—just a few things that slipped by people.

  16. Awesome! It’s been such a long wait. Not being able to work with the setting you created must have been so frustrating, all these years long… I’m looking forward to what’s going to show up in the DMG, and especially to the eventual hardcovers.

    • Right now, anyone can write content for the DM’s Guild, and I know a number of people are writing adventures (since I helped on one!). Adventures aren’t my specialty, so I prefer to leave it that to others and focus on the world.

      • That’s great that well-trusted minds are busy writing adventures. I can’t wait to see them! I’ve also got Steel Shadows converted and ready to go for a session in the near future. WGtE will help with that immensely!

  17. Hi Keith,

    I’m feverishly reading the content at the moment, it’s awesome and I really like what has been done with the races and dragonmarks.

    Any ideas on the Artificer class? for me it’s a big part of the setting and I’m eager for some of my players to live out their crafting dreams.

    • I believe that WotC will be releasing a new version of the artificer soon in Unearthed Arcana. I have thoughts on the matter, but I’d like to see the latest version WotC comes up with before throwing my thoughts in.

  18. The book was great to read, and I’m especially excited to see more item creation rules.
    However, I do have a few questions: The first is that you’ve given rules that allow divine and nature-based casters to use a more appropriate skill, but those rules don’t cover non casters creating magic item recipes. I could be wrong, but I believe non-casters could craft items in xanathars other than scrolls, so this change surprised me a bit. Is this a missing detail, or are non-casters only capable of following recipes?
    Secondly, on the more mechanical side, I’m curious if abilities that grant expertise (or maybe even permanent advantage counting as a +5 like with passive checks) like that of the knowledge domain cleric or rogue would apply to the bonus.

    • The first is that you’ve given rules that allow divine and nature-based casters to use a more appropriate skill, but those rules don’t cover non casters creating magic item recipes.

      My intent wasn’t that the creator has to be a spellcaster, as much as that the skill has to reflect the style of magic being used in the item. Essentially, Eberron treats arcane magic as a science. There is a form of energy in the world that responds to particular methods of invocation. Arcana reflects an understanding of the principles that relate to this. You may not be able to CAST a spell, but to create an arcane item, you need to be proficient in Arcana.

      You don’t have to be a cleric or paladin, but if you’re creating a holy item, as a general rule I’d expect you to be proficient with Religion. With that said, DIVINE magic doesn’t always follow scientific principles, so I could see someone creating a divine magic item driven purely by faith – but the point there is that they might not be able to make another one.

      Essentially, the skill can be seen as the “engineering” knowledge. What sort of engineering are you doing? If you’re manipulating arcane energies you should understand Arcana. If you’re driven by faith, use Religion. If you’re channeling primal energies, use Nature. Whether you are actually a spellcaster could be secondary. But again, it’s always up to the DM to approve a specific act of creation, and I could see requiring a particular creation TO be the work of a wizard/artificer or cleric/paladin. Part of the point is that player characters are remarkable; the wizard/artificer is a prodigy who has skills a simple magewright can’t match, and I might allow a wizard to create a a magic item that can’t be replicated in the general economy.

  19. Very happy to see my favourite D&D setting making its official return, I’ve never stopped using it mind, but seeing it in the new edition brings hope of new materials as well. The DMsGuild support is *really* interesting as well.

    Looking forward to a bright and expansive future for Eberron!

  20. Thank you for getting this done. Bought it last night and read about a third of it already. Eberron is what got me into D&D, in the first place. Now, to get a new game running this fall.

  21. Hi Keith. I’m an Eberron newbie, so looking forward to what the setting has to offer. After perusing what folks have been saying about it, it really looks exciting. Still mulling whether to get the pdf or wait for the POF. But I’ll be getting Wayfinders either way.

    Two quick question – as a living document, will it largely be the mechanics side that gets changed/updated/expanded (with the Artificer, etc.)? So the setting/flavour side is basically finalized.

    Second, will there be any Eberron-specific monsters added to it, even just a small selection? That could be really useful, both for flavour and mechanics. Thanks!

    • Two quick question – as a living document, will it largely be the mechanics side that gets changed/updated/expanded (with the Artificer, etc.)? So the setting/flavour side is basically finalized.

      That is correct. The only changes I expect are revisions to mechanics based on feedback, and potentially the addition of the artificer once it’s released for UA.

      Second, will there be any Eberron-specific monsters added to it, even just a small selection?

      I don’t believe so— it’s largely a player-forward book and I haven’t put in things that are DM only. However, I’m already working on another book that will include my take on some of the iconic Eberron monsters, and in the mean time there’s already some other conversions posted by other authors.

  22. Hi Keith, love your stuff!

    For the upcoming Ravnica book, one of the features is that the Background system is getting a lot more meat. Have you thought about the cribbing some of that for Eberron?

  23. I play Pathfinder, and haven’t played 5th edition. But what excites me about the return of Eberron for 5e is that hopefully WotC will commission some more novels to be written for the setting. This was always my favorite campaign setting, and I love all the stories that are told for it.

  24. I will be on the lookout, tho, for more Eberron supplements for 5e. I own all the Eberron pdfs and hardcovers for 3.5 and 4e (they’re the only 4e things I bought). So I have those for world source material. But if anything new comes out, I’ll be getting it for sure.
    Just have to figure out how to use it in the upcoming Pathfinder 2nd edition.

  25. I picked up WGtE on DM’s Guild and was not disappointed!

    I’m really happy that it feels worth the price even for a playtest document, I didn’t expect it to be over 150 pages! Even as someone who’s been DMing and playing (mostly DMing) in Eberron from its launch (me and my friend from high school submitted a setting to the setting search so we followed that closely and I pre-ordered the ECS from my FLGS) and has absorbed a lot of Eberron content from the strategy game to the novels, I was still pleasantly surprised to see these interesting takes on how to inhabit people of different nationalities, races, etc. and I’m REALLY glad we have this focus on how one would FEEL or THINK. That’s so crucial.

    I think even when a hardcover comes out (fingers crossed!! I think 5e is PERFECT for Eberron!!!) I could see myself referring new players (especially players new to tabletop I want to run through a 5e Eberron one-shot) to this document just because it gets across that as a role player thinking within the context of what has shaped your perceptions of the world around you and your sense of self is key, and does so in a really engaging way (I think anyway).

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! What you describe is exactly what we were trying to create, so I’m glad it worked for you.

  26. Hi Keith,

    I am curious about a certain change WGtE seemed to do with Warforged. One of my favorite aspects of Warforged in original Eberron (3.5) was the notion that they did not heal naturally but also didn’t diminish in health without some external cause. Allowing them to be essentially dormant when unconscious for incredibly long periods of time (something that could be quite alarming and frightening for a creature that otherwise is never truly unconscious)

    I understand one of significant changes of 5e is a greater sense of “reset” with things like long rests etc and it may not be feasibly balanced to have warforged not heal like other races. In my own home game I intend to say that instead of six hours of stationary rest that a warforged may gain the benefits of a long rest with six hours spent on self repair and maintenance.

    My question is did you explore other options in order to preserve that previous aspect of the warforged? If so what were they? If not was that because it was an aspect you for some reason regretted including in previous iterations?

    • 5E has embraced a simpler approach when it comes to healing; as you say, a long rest is essentially a “reset.” Adding in a system closer to 3.5—in which warforged had an entirely different system of healing (with repair spells, crafting, etc) introduces a level of complexity that doesn’t fit well with the design goals of the system. So it makes sense for the warforged to reset as others do. However, the EFFECT is a reset-on-long-rest as others do. What that LOOKS like is up to you. Personally, I envision the warforged long rest as being six hours of minor self repair—not as them just standing still for six hours while their body creepily repairs on its own.

  27. Hi Keith, loving the Wayfinder’s Guide. I have some feedback about the Mark of Shadow, which includes proficiency with a musical instrument or the Performance skill, and Intuition dice for Charisma (Performance) and Dexterity (Stealth) check.

    My understanding is that Phiarlan and Thuranni are both renowned across many artistic disciplines (in addition to the performing arts) which in D&D would be represented by various Artisan’s Tools.

    The art history nerd in me sees the possibility of Phiarlan agents patterned after Peter Paul Rubens as painters-slash-diplomats… and wants to see that supported by the mechanics. Personally, I would see the following as Mark of Shadow bonus proficiency options and maybe Intuition dice:

    * Carpenter’s Tools – wood architecture, set-building, fine woodworking (everything *but* the details)
    * Disguise Kit – stage makeup, costuming
    * Glassblower’s Tools
    * Jeweler’s Tools
    * Mason’s Tools – perhaps the best stand-in for stone architecture and sculpture
    * Painter’s Supplies
    * Potter’s Tools
    * Weaver’s Tools – textile arts (tapestry etc), fashion arts, costume design/production
    * Woodcarver’s Tools – sculpture in wood, fine woodworking (details)

    Calligrapher’s Tools and Cook’s Utensils could likewise represent artistic calligraphy and the culinary arts, respectively, but probably fall more under the purview of Sivis and Ghallanda.

    On the other hand, I can understand wanting to avoid too much overlap with Cannith, and a lengthy paragraph that calls out several specific Artisan’s Tools as options for Mark of Shadows bonus proficiencies might not be much better. And it’s not too much of a stretch to just say those Houses are good at/known for those things because they have a long history of adjacent artistic endeavor, or due to the other powers of the mark; personally, as a real-life painter/illustrator, I would be frickin’ *delighted* to have the minor illusion cantrip to assist in rapidly and dynamically visualizing compositions before picking up a brush.

    • Thanks for the deep analysis! I certainly get where you’re coming from, and many of the things you describe would indeed fall under the scope of Phiarlan’s Demesne of Shape (http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20050207a). However, I don’t think it’s a change we’re likely to implement into the WGtE. As you say, we want to avoid too much overlap with the other houses and a detailed explanation of the Demesne of Shape would be more detail than I’d want to delve into here. So as a DM, I’d certainly allow it if a character said “Can I have my Natural Talent with Woodcarver’s Tools, because I specialize in artistic carving?” But like I said, it’s probably not a change we’ll make to the WGtE.

      Nonetheless: It’s an interesting point and I’ll certainly think about it.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply. Understandable if it’s not a level of detail that makes sense to delve into; a book like WGTE needs to provide the big-picture view of the world as it relates to a broad array of adventuring player characters without getting bogged down by exhaustive detail.

        If anything, it might be simplest to just say the Intuition Die can apply to *any* tool (or just any artisan’s tool) utilized in creating a work of art that isn’t mostly utilitarian. So if it’s a regular ten-foot pole you want to make with your woodcarver’s tools, Intuition doesn’t come in to play, but if it’s a finely crafted artisanal ten-foot pole carved with elaborate scrollwork that takes you months to complete (a great gift for the adventurer who has everything), then sure.

        That might have the side effect of leaving it open to people saying they use their Alchemist’s Supplies for some really avant garde conceptual art, which… actually sounds great, now that I think about it: “This vat of acid slowly dissolving a finely wrought adamantite candelabra is a commentary on the erosion of our own humanity in the the Last War.” Definitely an underutilized medium.

  28. Hey Keith, I was wondering if you had any ideas on the Gnoll as a playable race. They weren’t in Volo’s Guide, and I kinda understand why not – they were presented as a natural disaster as much as a sentient species: puppets of a demon lord, but the Znir Pact gnolls would be appropriate. Unfortunately there isn’t an official set of racial traits anywhere. Do you think you might come up with some for the WGTE?

    Chris

    • I like gnolls. When I have time to write a sourcebook on Droaam, it will definitely include rules for playable gnolls. But I don’t see those being included in the WGtE. The Wayfinder’s Guide is primarily flavor, and only provides mechanics for the absolute core features of the setting—warforged, dragonmarks, kalashtar. Znir gnolls are a PART of the setting—but you can definitely play it without them. As I noted in a previous post, the Znir gnolls were just as playable in fourth edition, but rules for playing them weren’t included in the 4E Player’s Guide for Eberron; they became playable when I wrote rules for gnolls in Dragon Magazine.

      So: I think Eberron should have rules for playable gnolls, and I’ll write some of my own when I have time, but I don’t see that as being part of the WGtE.

  29. Actively rereading Sharn: City of Towers. Most of the movers and important people have NPC classes in 3.5. How do you handle those in 5e?

    • There’s nothing to handle. In 5E, NPCs don’t have classes at all; they have the statistics you want them to have to serve the story. It’s the same idea we were going for in using NPC classes: player characters stand out. But if you look at the suggested approach to magewrights in the WGtE, being a magewright simply means that the NPC can cast 2-4 cantrips or rituals; we don’t have to calculate all the other elements that would normally go along with being a “7th level magewright.” It’s what we wanted in 3.5, but even simpler.

      • Thanks. I was just rereading the DMG and seeing that. It might be so simple that my mind, looking for detail, can’t wrap itself around the concept. I do that for so many other games that I run. But could not for grok it for D&D.

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