Eberron Rising From the Last War: 5 Reasons to Be Excited About D&D’s Latest Book
Following the digital release of The Wayfinders Guide to Eberron on DnDBeyond last year, Dungeons & Dragons fans have been eagerly awaiting the physical copy of the follow-up product. A teaser of what’s to come, The Wayfinder’s Guide presented many exciting new features which have all been fleshed out and built upon in WotC’s latest offering, Eberron: Rising From the Last War.
This book presents an entirely new setting for your D&D games. Eberron is a world recovering from a long, devastating war. It is a land of evolving magic intertwined with modern technology. Action and adventure await heroes looking to explore the ancient mysteries of this noir-inspired place.
Here are the top 5 reasons this book would make the perfect addition to your D&D library.
Artificer and the Warforged
Eberron Rising from the Last War has a whole chapter dedicated to creating new characters perfectly suited to the brave new world. This chapter includes new playable races—changelings, kalashar, shifters, and warforged—new group patrons, dragonmark enhancements, and, for the first time since the 5th edition Player’s Handbook was released, a new playable class—the artificer.
The warforged and artificer are by far the highlights of this list.
Built as cyborg-like warriors for a war that has past (the Last War), a warforged adventurer looks like a really fun character to play. The book includes plenty of optional quirks and odd traits to choose from—I like the idea of playing a warforged wizard who analyzes out loud the potential threat posed by every creature they meet. For those familiar with previous editions of D&D, warforged are one of the most popular races to play and, although included in The Wayfinder’s Guide, this is the first time they’ll appear officially in 5th edition. They have some useful extra abilities too; a built in +1 to armor class, reduced time required to rest, and increases to constitution make warforged all the more appealing.
New races have been filtering through 5th edition for a couple of years now, but a new playable class is something that fans have been waiting for since the beginning. With the artificer, that wait is finally over. Described as arcane scientists, the artificer makes the most of a world suffused with magic. In the world of Eberron, arcane magic has been harnessed as a form of science and deployed throughout society, and artificers learn how to create magical devices and infuse mundane items with magic. There are so many reasons to choose an artificer as your next character. Including being able to attune to 4/5 magic items at once, potentially learning 11 new artificer infusions, creating potions and elixirs, and eldritch canons. Eldritch canons!
Eberron: A whole new world
The word of Eberron is presented and detailed in Eberron Rising From the Last War as a war ravaged place, full of continents recovering from the recent horrors. Chapter two offers the “Khorvaire Gazetteer,” almost 50 pages of content describing the main continent of Eberron.
Beautiful maps set out the landscape full of major cities, twisting rivers and the Demon Wastes. Each place described in the gazetteer has a story to tell and adventures to explore. Just reading through this chapter gets the creative juices flowing as plot hooks and ideas jump out from each section. I’m particularly excited by the Talenta Plains, full of dinosaurs and desolation, where wild warriors and tricksters survive, surrounded by fey spirits and ancient ruins.
As with the majority of WotC’s Dungeons & Dragons recent releases, Eberron Rising From the Last War includes a wonderfully detailed pull-out two-sided map, which will soon be vying for its place on the wall of my office.
Adventures in Sharn
Not only does Eberron Rising From the Last War deliver new player options and a brand new setting for your campaign, it also helps you to build a unique adventure to test out those characters. Chapters 3 and 4 provide enormous amounts of detail for endless adventures in Sharn—a major city of Eberron, where all the significant themes of the setting are manifest. These chapters introduce the sinister forces at work in the world and the impacts from the Last War, as well as giving tips and hints of how to begin your own Sharn campaign.
For instance, your story might kick off with an explosion rocking a local market, sending things flying. Suddenly a monster bursts in looking for food. Then a courier escorts the party to an elemental airship, where a wealthy patron outlines their mission. Only for the party to discover that the valuable item they’ve been sent to recover is actually worthless. Four dice roles and the dungeon master suddenly has the structure for their entire first adventure, all thanks to the four tables on one page of this book (p. 186).
Sharn is a magnificent city, full of towering buildings, crazy lightning trains, airships, and monstrous villains. Like the rest of Eberron, it personifies the noir-like feeling you get throughout this book. The classic tropes are all here. There are shady nightclubs, broadsheet newspapers, mysterious assassins, professional criminals, and mysterious hidden forces.
New magic items and treasure
A world full of magic like Eberron is bound to house an impossible amount of special magical items and artifacts, and chapter 5 describes all such magical treasures found in Eberron. The foremost of these are the dragonshards, crystals imbued with magical energy that play a pivotal role in creating magical items and in particular rituals. Campaigns will be built and forged around the search for these dragonshards. I foresee quests deep into the earth through layers of magma for Kyber dragonshards to power the elemental trains, planes, and automobiles of Sharn and beyond.
But it’s not just dragonshards that you get with this book. There are an additional 25 magic items to be found in chapter 5, from living armor to earworms, and tentacle whips to prosthetic limbs. Personally, I like the cleansing stone—a stone carved with mystic sigils that, when activated, remove dirt and grime from your clothes. Not very useful in a deep dark dungeon perhaps, but I could certainly use one whenever I take my kids out in public.
There are also a number of eldritch machines listed in this chapter which are ideal as plot devices; they represent the culmination of a dastardly villain’s master plan or the end of a mammoth campaign. This I know I will find useful, as it’s not always easy thinking up the big world-destroying thing that your campaign villain is supposed to be working towards. Thankfully WotC has got your back and now your players can look forward to trying to stop a dimensional seal from being destroyed and two planes of existence from colliding.
38 unique monsters
What world would be complete without monsters and villains to populate and terrify your players?
Eberron certainly has its fair share of uniquely terrifying monsters, and this book includes 38 of them. They range from the challenge rating 1/2 Dolgrim—a small deformed aberration, the result of squishing two goblins into one body—to the terrifying Warforged Colossus (challenge rating 25).
Eberron Rising From the Last War also features two of the six Daelkyr—lords of madness and emissaries from another world. These two monsters, Belashyrra and Dyrrn, would make perfect “big bads” should you be searching for something new and unexpected to set against your players. Both with a challenge rating above 20, they are described as the focus of numerous cults, with lairs in places called things like the “Citadel of Lidless Eyes” and the “Palace of Sinew.”
Another fun additional to the monsters list—ones which you could certainly use in a non-Eberron-based campaign—are the Living Spells. Living Burning Hands, Lightning Bolt, and Cloudkill are the spells included here, but there are also instructions on how to modify these to any D&D spell you’d like.
Eberron: Rising From the Last War is a great addition to the D&D canon. If you’re a long-time fan, then you’ll have been waiting eagerly for the chance to explore a new setting in your 5th edition campaign. For newer players there is still lots here. The additional class and playable races alone make this worth the investment.
WE ARE AMAZON ASSOCIATES
Many writers on GeekDad & GeekMom are Amazon Associates, and the links included in some of our pieces will generate a small affiliate bonus from qualifying purchases.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this book for review purposes.