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Exploring Eberron
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by River R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2020 09:29:30

I was waiting for a long while for this book to come out, and at long last, it's here with us, and it is the single greatest 3rd party D&D product I've gotten my hands on, easily rivaling (and frankly surpassing) a lot of the official material in terms of quality - the art is beautiful, the writing is stellar in being both expansive yet actionable, inspiring and concise, the layout is great, and the PDF is very accessible, with full bookmarking, alt text for every image and toggleable layers.

The book delves into a lot of topics that were either left out, misrepresented, underexplored or bogged down by executive meddling in previous sourcebooks for the setting, and here in ExE, Keith is finally able to give them the spotlight they deserve, with plenty of interesting material for both players looking for new character ideas (both in mechanics including new races, subraces, subclasses and spells, and in lore) and GMs and adventure writers looking for plot hooks and new campaign concepts, monsters to use, and items to hand out.

If you've ever wanted more information on the unique Eberron cosmology, how the Last War was actually fought, what's up with nations like Droaam, the Dhakaani and the undersea denizens, or just what the hell this whole "wide magic" thing actually means or what the Blood of Vol is actually like from an unbiased perspective, this is essentially a must-buy. You don't even need to be running Eberron in 5e to make use of the majority of this book - though there is plenty of neat rules content, it is a lore and worldbuilding resource first and foremost.

I've still not fully made my way through it - it's a massive book, longer than Rising from the Last War in pure wordcount, and every page that I read inspires at least one (and often more) ideas for characters, adventures and perhaps entire campaigns, and it's well worthy of the price point. While I cannot afford it in hardcover, I am certain that it makes for a very worthy addition to any Eberron fan's bookshelf or digital library alike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exploring Eberron
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Thank you River!
Eberronicon: A Pocket Guide to the World
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by River R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2020 15:58:59

The team behind the Across Eberron: Convergence Manifesto adventure path has put together this amazing little supplement, a perfect introduction and summary of the world of Eberron.

I'm a relative newcomer to the setting myself, but quickly fell in love with it, but it's fair to say that like many I had several misconceptions coming into it - it is after all a world that has quite a few intricacies and twists to it that it can feel very difficlt to unravel it all sometimes - that it's not "high magic", it's "wide magic"; that it's not "steampunk", it's ..."dungeonpunk?", etc.

Luckily, this is no longer a problem - the authors of Eberronicon really know the setting in and out, and tasked themselves with the challenge of bringing together almost two decades' worth of canon and boiling it down to the absolute essentials that could fit in a fifty-page booklet - and truth be told, they genuinely succeded.

The book presents the information about the world very gently - it starts off with presenting the top-level distinctive features of the setting, followed by an overview of the races, major regions and locations, factions, and faiths - never delving too deeply, but always giving a good enough idea of what the item in question is like, with useful hyperlinks and references for those who wish to delve deeper.

This is the one supplement I would recommend just about anyone interested in the setting to have a skim-over of - possibly even before getting the big hardcovers like Rising from the Last War - while it doesn't feature any mechanical content, it is simply that good of an introduction into Eberron, whether you are a player, a GM or an adventure writer.

Now to wait for Keith Baker's Exploring Eberron to come out so the new and juicy information from that book can make its way here and make it that much more complete!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eberronicon: A Pocket Guide to the World
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The Korranberg Chronicle: Psion's Primer - A Complete Psionics System
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by River R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2020 14:02:11

When it comes to psionics, I'm usually a bit of a skeptic when it comes to people's implementation of it in 5th edition - I firmly believe that psionics should not be some entirely different, mechanically esoteric subsystem that clashes with how magic is already mechanically presented within the existing game rules.

From the same person who brought you Adventurer's Almanac however comes the Psion's Primer, which presents a version of psionics that is both novel yet within the established parameters for how such a system should work in D&D 5e, not merely as a generic lore-agnostic ruleset , but in an Eberron-first way (though a number of sections talk about how to use this book elsewhere) - while Eberron might not be the first setting one might think of when they think about psionics, but there is a significant chunk of it (a whole continent!) that is very difficult to properly represent without some form thereof, and the Primer is an excellent resource for that very purpose.

The basic workings of psionics build upon the existing rules for spellcasting, but rearrange and tweak things just slightly enough to feel different without being oddly complicated, but the book contains far more than just simply how psionics operate.

Firstly, it provides two completely new classes, who manage to be meaningfully different from each another, beyond simply being "psionic fullcasters" - the Psion who's of thought and logic in the vein of a wizard, and the Empath who's of emotion and belief (like a cleric). This is a pretty clever distinction to what in another similar book might have been rolled under a singular class - comparable to there being simply one "Mage" class for regular magic, which we know isn't how D&D handles it. You also get three new subclasses for the existing classes (the Lurk rogue, the Soulknife monk, and the Adamant fighter), allowing them to tap into the new options presented in the book.

Beyond that, you get a number of new racial options - fans of the 3.5 XPH (and even 2nd edition DS) psionics will immediately recognize the likes of thri-kreen, blue goblins, elans and the gith, while 3.5 Eberron fans will appreciate the return of properly-psionic kalashtar, Akiak duergar, the psiforged, and some technically new but perfectly-fitting daelkyr madbloods and dreamscarred goliaths.

Next up we have some new psionic feats, equipment and magic items - a nice selection of options that play well with the rest of the book's contents. Some random examples of the items include crysteel weapons, a new category of magic items in the form of tattoos, and new psionc ioun stone options.

Following that, we get to what's probably the meatiest part of the book - the psionic powers themselves. Split between talents (which function like cantrips) and augments (which further empower them), you get a little over 50 pages' worth of powers - enough to execute a vast array of psionic character ideas, but not so many that your mind starts taking psychic damage. The preceeding chapters all hook into this one in some form or another, meaning it is not simply a 56-page appendix for the Psion class alone.

Last but not least, we get to the more DM-oriented chapter featuring stat blocks for a number of psionic NPCs and monsters - from characters that utilize the new psionic class and subclass options, to properly-psionic mind flayers and daelkyr, to cerebrelith demons, the gith and more.

Overall, this is not just a way of handling psionic characters in 5th edition, but a complete psionically-themed package for Eberron and other settings - it touches on every major facet of the 5e ruleset, and is just barely shy of a full-length professional 3.5 or 4e-era supplement, and the overall quality of writing and design on display is on par with some of the best that Wizards of the Coast might have put out back then - if not better, depending on how you feel about the recent attempts at bringing psionics to 5e through the Unearthed Arcana playtest articles. And you can get it for only ten dollars!

Final verdict? If you want to play a psionic-oriented campaign, or give your players some psionic options in an ongoing campaign, make sure to grab this book - especially if you play in Eberron, where these will slot in with no hassle.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Korranberg Chronicle: Psion's Primer - A Complete Psionics System
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your in-depth review! I'm glad you like the new options, alongside the classic ones.
Morgrave Miscellany
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Marta R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/17/2019 20:34:17

I'm a relative newcomer to Eberron, having only really gotten into it in 5th edition, after Wayfinder's Guide arrived, however I've been in love with it ever since, so I was very eagerly looking forward to the release of Morgrave Miscelanny.

On the whole, the book is great, chock full of Eberron lore and mechanics both new and familiar, though it's a bit rough around the edges in some places, especially on the mechanical side of things.

So what do you get in this book?

Chapter 1 has excellent lore writeups for each core 5e class and ways to integrate them into the setting in both traditional and new, Eberron-specific ways (ever wanted to be a warlock without a patron, or a non-musical bard, or a non-savage barbarian?), as well as a new subclass for each (two for fighter), some of which harken back to classic 3.5e/4e Eberron prestige classes such as Extreme Explorer (now a barbarian subclass) or Bone Knight (a fighter subclass).

Beyond that, in Chapter 2, you get more options for dragonmarks, expanding on the options presented in WGtE - Siberys marks (superior forms of the dragonmarks, though many of them have somewhat questionable mechanics), fledgling marks (feats allowing you to gain a dragonmark later in your adventuring career, something that WGtE's marks-as-subraces don't let you do), Khyber marks (superior forms of aberrant marks), Children of Khyber (for when you want to start out with an aberrant mark at level 1 without playing a variant human and using a feat). Notably there's the option of the mysterious Mark of Death, as either an elf subrace or a fledgling mark feat - however it's called out as non-canon and to be used by players and DMs responsibly. Thank the Flame!

Continuing the crunchy bits, there's extra backgrounds (as well as ways of incorporating standard PHB backgrounds into Eberron, which is very nice), new subraces for shifters, halflings and tieflings, and a curious new addition in the form of the dragonforged - rare warforged made with dragon bones and scales, built in a single, hidden forge by a House Cannith renegade. Very much non-canon and probably not everyone's cup of tea, but it's a unique option without any precedent, which in itself is interesting. There's also a number of non-dragonmark-related feats for some of Eberron's races (warforged, kalashtar, shifters, changelings, elves and halflings).

Chapters 3 & 4 talk about fantasy noir, exploring how to make it work in Eberron, how to structure a noir campaign, what themes are worth keeping in mind, and provides some optional mechanics to help reinforce the noir feel - including rules for playing level-0 characters - your mileage on those however, may vary, if you're not interested in low-level, gritty and morally-grey noir adventuring.

Beyond the aforementioned problems with the rules part of the book, there's a number of smaller issues - typos, wording issues, the fact that the book refers to content outside the PHB (and doesn't re-print it, and in one specific case doesn't even say where it comes from - looking at you, Bone Knight's dread warrior which is from Tales from the Yawning Portal of all things, yet the book isn't even on the list of books that Morgrave references!).

The thing is, I'm knee-deep into Eberron. In general, I love this book. If you enjoy Eberron and specifically Wayfinder's Guide, there's a good chance you will find this book useful as well, but it really has a number of issues that I hope get amended in some way or another in a future update. Until then, I'll consider it merely good as opposed to very good, and won't tell you go to buy it immediately. Wait for an update, or a sale.

Cheers.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Morgrave Miscellany
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