I've been running and homebrewing Eberron for 5e for several years now, so I was ecstatic to see this get an official release. Now that I've had to opportunity to full disgest it, I figured I would give my feedback on the mechanics here.
I had originally been resistant to the idea of dragonmarks as subraces when I first heard about it, because I was laboring under the assumption that the dragonmarks still worked like they did in the original Unearthed Arcana article about Eberron, where the dragonmarks just gave a few castings of a spell as is. In my homebrew I had decided to give all characters a bonus feat at 1st level to accomodate for what I felt was the necessity of allowing all races to start with a dragonmark if one was available to them.
But! In their current form, as fully-fledged subraces with their own Ability Score Increases and whole suites of abilities, I am loving it. It makes so much sense, and it really makes the world of Eberron "fit" into 5th Edition seemlessly without having to tweak game rules (like granting a bonus feat).
There are only two things missing from the dragonmark rules:
- The ability to suddenly, spontaneously develop a dragonmark (other than an aberrant mark) at higher levels, due to the story concept of delayed manifestation until later in life. I understand that we might be getting this in the upcoming Morgrave Miscellany product, so that will be great to have!
- The ability to play an Aberrant Dragonmark from level one. Currently only humans can do it. Perhaps there should be a rule that states you can give up +2 or +1/+1 of your racial ability bonuses to take the Aberrant Mark feat, to represent the negative aspect of having an Aberrant Mark causing pain or madness (sacrificed physical or mental ability scores). Whatever is ultimately decided, I think there needs to be mechanical support for the background of having had an Aberrant Mark already for a while when you start the game.
Unique Eberron Races
I am digging all the updates to the main 4 unique Eberron races (didn't really expect to see the Daelkyr half-blood, haha). The kalashtar look great, and it is really interesting to see Keith's thoughts on Changeling personas being given mechanical weight. The Shifter looks good too, and I'm hoping we'll see more of their classic Traits being included in future updates to the WGtE.
So, that leads me to the Warforged.
Now, we can talk about how I feel about them being mechnaically humanoid and not constructs, and gaining full effect from healing, but that's all opinion and I wouldn't blame you for not caring about my opinon.
However, Integrated Armor is game breaking because it makes one simple mechanical error: It assumes it has to replace magical armor that all other PCs are getting.
In 5e, the system math DOES NOT ASSUME such a thing ever happens. If this Warforged racial trait takes magical armor into consideration, it will be the only mechanical element for players to specifically take into account the aquisition of magic items. This is a mistake.
The better course of action would be to design Integrated Armor as if it has to keep up with regular armor, maybe provide a minor net +1 bonus over regular armor to make the racial feature an actual perk instead of power neutral. Then if a Warforged wants to improve their Integrated Armor, bring back the Armor Enhancement Disc component from 3rd edition like so:
ARMOR ENHANCEMENT DISC, +1 , +2 , OR +3
Warforged component (requires attunement by a warforged), rare (+1), very rare (+2), or legendary (+3)
When you atttune to this dragonshard-studded metal disk, it becomes embedded in your chest and magically reinforces your body. While it is attached, you have a bonus to AC. The bonus is determined by its rarity.
You need to leave it up to DMs whether they want to deal with warforged with legendarily-high AC. It's not a given that every human fighter will have legendary +3 full plate by level 20.
Other than those critiques, which I hope have been taken in the constructive spirit they were meant, I am INCREDIBLY EXCITED to finally have Eberron for 5th Edition and the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron is an AMAZING first step back into my favorite D&D world!
[5 of 5 Stars!]