Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eberron Remixed: System

Although in many ways, I'm doing my own thing apart from the directions D&D is going, lately I've been on  bit of a D&D kick, and am more sympathetic to D&Disms than I sometimes am.  For that reason, I've also been reviewing some older posts of mine, and I found the EBERRON REMIXED tag, where I talked about ways to make Eberron seem to conform better to its vision (at least as I understand and view it.)  In a nutshell, although Eberron was designed specifically to be a setting for D&D 3.5, I feel that it always struggled a bit with the system; it really wasn't the system for Eberron.  d20 is very tactical and static, whereas Eberron is a setting that emphasizes pulpish, swashbucklery action and noir-like intrigue.  D&D as seen through a lens filter of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Raymond Chandler, if you will (not steampunk D&D, as many often assert.  That's ridiculous; there's no steam whatsoever and very little of anything that could even generously be fit into a -punk aesthetic.)

One of the things I asserted was that, in spite of the fact that it was developed specifically to be a D&D setting, it feels more like a Savage Worlds setting.  Then again, I'm not all that familiar with Savage Worlds--I've played it a bit here and there in one-shots, but I'm hardly fluent in its idiom.  The setting would also work reasonably well with some older versions of D&D, or retro-style fusions of older D&D plus some simplified and stripped down d20.  These wouldn't necessarily encourage the swashbuckling style of combat, but it also certainly doesn't hinder it--something like B/X D&D often had quite creative, swashbuckling combat, in my experience.  Or, at least it could.

Because it's free and very, very varied, I'm going to recommend Microlite as the system of choice for Eberron Remixed. (Surprising, right?  I'm really into Microlite right now, so I'm recommending it for pretty much everything.) It's got the advantage that you can use (with very little or almost no conversion) your d20 material with it too.  Get the basic Microlite document and the Expert Microlite document; or better yet, Microlite Purest Essense, which already combines the two of them.  You can supplement with other Microlite supplements to your heart's desire (spells, equipment, etc.)  Microlite Psionics would be a good one to add.

I'm not, however, aware of any microlite conversions of the Eberron specific races, other than some I found in a forum post a long time ago.  I'm adding them to the game pretty much as they were originally listed in that post.  There was also an Eberron specific class, the artificier, but given the collapsed and simplified nature of Microlite compared to d20, I think that treating the artificier as simply a subset of existing m20 mage class is sufficient.

I've got some other, and perhaps more dramatic "remixing" to do, much of it previewed in my previous post on the subject (see the tag for more info) that actually change certain elements of the setting itself.

But I think first of all, you need to get the system right, and I've never thought D&D--at least not d20 D&D--really fit the vision of the Eberron setting very well.
—Warforged: +4 to resisting poison, disease, sleep, and anything else that wouldn't normally affect a construct. (Normally warforged are immune to all these things,but a +4 is enough of a bonus to shield them against any level-appropriate attack.)

—Shifters: All shifters have +1 Survival, +1 Physical, and a bonus that triggers when the shifter "shifts"--1/day per every three character levels.
-Longtooth/Gorebrute: 1d6 damage bite/gore, +2 Str
-Razorclaw: 1d4 damage claws (on hands and feet), +2 Dex
-Cliffwalk: Climb at half speed, +2 Dex
-Beasthide: +2 Natural Armour, +2 Str

—Changelings: Change form as move action, +1 Subterfuge, +1 Communication

—Kalashtar: Can spend 1HP to establish a two-way mindlink with a creature it can see, +1 Communication, +1 Knowledge

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