Why we're excited for... Eberron: Rising from the Last War

In 2002, Wizards of the Coast sent out the call to fans of Dungeons & Dragons - create a one-page pitch for a new, unique setting. After 110,000 (!!) different entries, and multiple stages of internal and community-based selection, the only pitch left was Keith Baker's Eberron, a world that created a hybrid of fantasy and future.

Next month, the classic role-playing game is bringing Eberron up to code with a new, fifth edition campaign book - Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Here's why you should be excited to embark on this adventure!

A break from the usual high fantasy themes

The bread and butter of Dungeons & Dragons expansions are pretty obvious from the name. After all, where better to have both dungeons and dragons than in a world with all the other signature trappings of medieval times? Because of this, when playing with the official expansion literature, you'll seldom get a break from those classic themes. Of course, for some, this is great. High fantasy is fun! It's exciting to explore a world teeming with castles and monsters! Where there's adventure around every corner! Where the lands are controlled by everyone's favourite system of government - monarchy!

However, if you're part of Team Something Other Than High Fantasy Please, then Eberron: Rising from the Last War is calling your name. For those that don't know, Eberron is a world that blends the magic of traditional D&D with old world-esque technology - imagine steampunk, but with magic instead of hot water. Instead of wide-open vistas and little shanty towns, you'll be adventuring through Sharn, a massive industrial town of skyscrapers and airships.

Eberron is also famous for its blend of exciting new races and its subversion of usual fantasy races. Instead of hiding amongst the trees, the elves of this plane prefer to live in the desert. Halflings domesticate and ride dinosaurs. The continent's traditional lycanthropes have almost entirely gone extinct, replaced by shifters, who can morph their bodies to gain animalistic features. The kalashtar, once incorporeal alien entities who would exist by possessing humans, are now true alien-human hybrids. Originally built as mindless automatons for the Last War, warforged are a race of robots that gained sentience during experiments to make them the ultimate fighting machines. As they were built for battle, their adaptation to post-war life has been a mixed bag. Some have taken to the finer pursuits, while others continue like the war never ended.

A classic story reimagined

In the past, the continent of Khorvaire was locked in the Last War - a century-long battle that saw fifteen nations fighting for the throne. While the Last War may have ended in a treaty, the conflict rages on underneath the surface. The throne remains unclaimed, and until it is, there can be no true peace. Subterfuge runs rampant in the streets of Sharn, which will keep your play sessions exciting and lead to twists at every turn!

Like previous campaign books, Rising from the Last War brings you to this war-torn Eberron. Side effects of the war left the land rife with new breeds of monsters, who want nothing more than to make you their next meal. The people of Khorvaire, too, have been left scarred - their lives have been torn apart by ceaseless conflict, and your interactions with them will reflect that. The Mournland is an obvious remnant of the war - a land that's little more than a spilt corpse and magic smoothie. Adventuring through Eberron will reveal to you the lasting effects of the war, and it'll be your job to adapt and survive in this still-hostile climate.

The artificer makes its official debut

For those that like their character classes with a hint of "unplayable in D&D Adventurers League events", playing as an artificer won't be new for you. This class has been doing the rounds in online playtesting for a couple of years now, but has never made its way into official D&D material... until now.

Eberron: Rising from the Last War introduces the artificer, the first new class in fifth edition since the Player's Handbook. Artificers use a blend of magic and machinery (a bit of a recurring trend on Eberron) in their day-to-day lives. Instead of blasting your opponents with a fireball, or hacking them apart with swords and such, you'll be constructing machinations on the fly to help you take down your foes!

If you're looking for a break from the standard rotation of classes, the artificer could be just the fix you need.

Keen for your own stories in the world of Eberron? You can preorder the campaign book here! Alternatively (pun intended), if you'd rather a more ornate cover, the alt-art version can be found here.