Dragonmarks: Ask Questions Here!

Welcome to my website. My goal is to publish a new Dragonmark every Wednesday (by evening, Central time) with occasional time off for good behavior and travel. If you’ve got a question or topic, this is the place to ask it. However, I’d like to clarify exactly what Dragonmarks are and what they aren’t.

These articles aren’t canon in any way. This is NOT a place for me to provide the sort of Eberron material you’ll get on the WotC website. The Eye on Eberron articles I write for WotC are essentially content you could find in an Eberron sourcebook. By contrast, Dragonmarks are more what it would be like if you had a chance to ask me a question at a convention: informal and just my personal opinion. If I’m going to answer your question, it needs to fit this format. If you just say “I’d like to know more about the Lhazaar Principalities” I’m going to say “And I wish I had the opportunity to write more about them. If you say “What’s the relationship between House Thuranni and the Bloodsail Principalities?” I’ll say “It’s actually something we don’t discuss at all, but given that the ancestors of both fled from Aerenal following the destruction of the Mark of Death, I think there’s room for something interesting. I might do this…” Of course, it will still be conversational in tone, as opposed to a sourcebook-ready chunk about Bloodsails & Thuranni.

I’m also happy to have questions or issues that people want to discuss. Someone’s brought up what might happen if Boranel died. When I answer this, I’d love to see anyone else who’s had Boranel die chip in with their experiences. Where Eye on Eberron is an article, this is more of a conversation. We’ve always encouraged DMs to make Eberron their own. I’ll tell you MY answer, but I’d love to hear yours.

SO: The following questions would be great.
“Why doesn’t the Dreaming Dark kill PCs early on while they are weak?”
“Why’s the Church of the Silver Flame allow evil people to be priests?”
“What’s your favorite theory about the Mourning?”
“What’s the point of having the Mourning in the setting?
“Who do you think would win the next war?”
“Why is Queen Aurala so unlikeable?”
“Do planes like Fernia have civilizations?”

The following questions AREN’T so likely to get answered.
“Can you tell us more about the planes?”
“I’d like (game system) stats for the (insert thing here).”
“I’d like to know more about Zilargo.”
… again, either too general or too concrete (in the case of stats).

I look forward to your questions!

35 Responses to “Dragonmarks: Ask Questions Here!”

  1. deadorcs says:

    Quick. (and probably weird) question. If I was to encounter a spelljammer type junkyard (think Watto’s from Phantom Menace), where on Eberron would that be most likely? Thank you!

  2. Paul Gipson says:

    Dwarves … This seems to be a neglected area. It would be nice if Mror Holds, the politics, its relationship with the rest of Khorvaire, etc. I guess, in short, I would like to know how to treat the dwarves in Eberron differently from Dwarves found in other D&D settings … and perhaps a few other cool and fun tidbits.

  3. In which regions are tribex found?

    Also I’d still like to know more about the quantity of Khyber shards that can be typically found when discovered. We know the range of values for dragonshards, but we don’t know how many are found.

  4. Who is your favorite canon NPC and why?

  5. Has King Boranel ever died in one of your Eberron campaigns, what was the cause, and what happened next?

  6. Keith Baker says:

    Just as a quick answer, Kevin, one of the subjects I pitched for a 2012 Eye on Eberron article was “Boranel is Dead!” discussing how he might die and what fallout his death might have. However, that one got passed over, so it’s not going to happen this year.

  7. jalapeno_dude says:

    What’s the craziest explanation for the Mourning you’ve used in a campaign?

  8. Gonz says:

    Dragonmarks! I always wondered about the Test of Syberis. Depending on the stress of the test, a heir may or may not develop a dragonmark according, but it’s hard for me to imagine a stressful situation involving the marks of Making or Finding. Have you used any of those in a campaign?

    Besides, have you thought about how the Edicts of Korth are still enforceable, being that the Kingdom of Galifar is no longer?

  9. Keith Baker says:

    @Gonz, Dragonmarks and the houses are certainly a good subject for a post. Any more questions on one of these topics?

  10. Gonz says:

    On the othet hand, where do I register so I can show a profile picture?

  11. Christopher Adams says:

    I agree with Paul that I’d like to hear a little more about dwarves – especially the difference between “Galifar” dwarves, dragonmarked houses, and the clans of the Mror Holds.

  12. Gonz says:

    Yes, one more. Once, in my campaign, i had this Lyrandar heir comissioned to infiltrate the Twelve and sabotage some Cannith ultrasecret project. The question is: if he would have been caught, who do you think will be the authority to judge him? Can House Lyrandar lobby in his favor in some way? How often do you think these entrapments happen?

  13. I have never gotten a campaign far enough to deal with Boranel’s death. My personal favorite spin on it is Kaius or Vol or someone trying to turn the old bear into a death knight, a lich, or something to keep Breland from plunging into democracy or worse.

    The Aundair-Breland relationship has got to be the hardest one of the Five Nations to depict. How do you depict two nations with good rulers who are rivals? Despite US-France allegories in both nations, the real world relationship is nothing similar. For my money, the current US-Russian relationship best mimics Breland-Aundair. Not enemies, not friends, but both want the other weakened. Like Five Nations says, it’s not that Aurala likes Boranel, it’s that he’s a known quantity. She can handle him.

    Kaius on the other hand is an autocrat. Brelish idealism, their culture is a threat to the control Kaius believes is necessary to prevent war. Without a strong leader, all bets are off in Breland.

  14. Talae says:

    I would love to hear about various organizations and how the PCs might interact with them.

    Currently, my PCs are dealing with Daask, Boromar and the Sharn Watch primarily. I realize that this is likely something more suited to “Eye on Eberron” or similar, but I am interested in hearing what you have done. Maybe encounter ideas, personalities of various NPCs, etc.

  15. Talae says:

    Also, is there any way to still get a hold of the Dolurrh’s Dawn charity adventure? I missed it and would be willing to purchase it/donate if need be.

  16. @enrique_medina says:

    Hi Keith! I want to know more about geography in Eberron. Are there two hemispheres?
    How is weather in each region at differents times of the year? Are there seasons?


  17. This may be a bit of a personal question, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on the effect of winning the setting contest on your life.

    From the outside, it looks like your life took a major turn at that point. Do you think so as well? What do you think you would have done if you had not won that contest? Do you think you would have been on the same path, just slower and more fraught, or do you think you would be doing something completely different?

  18. Kaodi says:

    Given that your rule about not asking questions about stuff that would be suitable for sourcebook treatment, how much can you tell us about your own underwater campaign arcs? And more importantly, what sort of inspirations did you have for your take on Eberron’s aquatic races, cultures, and empires?

  19. Keith Baker says:

    Perfectly valid questions, Rohan and Kaodi – they’re both on the list!

  20. Søren Staun says:

    Quick one: Do you do any special “plane-mapping” in your campaigns if you run D&D 4E? I find the Shadowfell, Feywild etc. to be mildly confusing compared to the Eberron cosmology.

    So I guess the question is, what’s your cosmology mapping for 4E? :D

  21. balard says:

    +1 for more info into dwarves.
    What about a “What you thing of X” with the rulers of the nation. For each you describe how he sees and feels about the other 11.

  22. Dylan Ramsey says:

    There’s been a ‘Group of Eleven’ mentioned several times in regards to Xen’drik and giant civilization during their golden age, but nothing besides that: a mention.

    So, I was wondering, who exactly were they? What were they all about?

  23. Johnny Gamer says:

    With a new D&D edition being in the works, how do you expect Eberron to evolve?

    Being that 5E’s ideal is a modular design, you have (in theory) more freedom to build Eberron as you say it without worrying about system assumptions, so I’m curious what you’d like to do with it now that you have more freedom.

    As a related question – Since the next edition of the game may not necessarily share some of the same assumptions as 4th Edition, are there things you might remove or change from the current Eberron?

    For example: removing dragonborn (not saying I have a problem with them; just an easy example which was added due to 4E’s assumed parts)

  24. Keith Baker says:

    There’s a lot of good questions so far. Some I’ll be able to answer quickly (tomorrow’s post will probably be a grab-bag of short answers) – others are going to require a week of their own. Keep ‘em coming, and check in on Wednesdays for new posts!

  25. Michael O'Connor says:

    2 questions for you.

    1. Where would you place the Tarrasque on Eberron? I have some ideas since I intend to use the treat of the thing in my campaign.

    2. What are some devious ways to use the Dreaming Dark?

  26. Darrin Katz says:

    How is it that two radically opposing philosophies can exist within the Triumvirate of House Tharashk? I would expect that Team Daelkyr and Team Gatekeepers would be actively trying to murder each other, not work together to further the ends of their mercantile empire. Thanks!

  27. Darrin Katz says:

    Ditto on Kaodi’s question above about your underwater adventures!

    My question in particular was about the relationship between House Lyrandar and the sahuagin of Shargon’s Teeth: when the House makes deals in order for their ships to travel through the region, what do the sahuagin get out of the bargain? Thanks!

  28. [...] you have a question you’d like to ask or a topic for a post, please leave it on this thread. There’s been some great questions so far, though I’m afraid many of them will require [...]

  29. Kevin says:

    How do you handle a Changeling PC in your campaign? I find it difficult to balance how to fairly treat one in my games sometimes. Especially in 4e where it can be really easy to skyrocket the few skills now necessary to maintain a cover.

  30. Chris Handforth says:

    What are your favorite five to seven religious sects (aka minority religious groups that have either altered practices or altered beliefs from the general population/that religion’s majority worshipers) in Eberron and why?

    May be quick, may be long, totally your call on how you answer.

  31. [...] questions about the Dragonmarked houses below, and if you have questions on other topics, post them in this thread! [...]

  32. Chris Handforth says:

    On the Ashbound: do you see there being room in the Ashbound doctrine for members who oppose not arcane magic, but the mundane pollution of Eberron? How would the Ashbound regard an arcane caster who draws thei magic from nature, such as the Pathfinder witch?

  33. Seelenquell says:

    In an article called “Crossing Valenar” for Wizards you wrote the first thing you see in Valenar are the Taer fortresses. How high are we talking here? The picture implies Sharn tower kind of heights, but I suppose a 500 ft. tower in the middle of the blade desert would kind of stick out too. In general, what goes in these towers and how are they used ?

  34. Jim says:

    Two rather specific questions about House Kundarak:
    In Dragonmarked, it states that there are 6 hereditary non-Kundarak bloodline chieftains of the House, but later states that Lord Kundarak is chieftain for his own bloodline. Does that mean that there are 7 chieftains in total, or is Lord Kundarak supposed to be counted as part of the 6?

    On a related note, later in that section it states that there are 9 bloodlines within House Kundarak. This means that there are 2 or 3 bloodlines without a chieftain. How are the bloodlines without a chieftain included in the House organization?

  35. Chris Handforth says:

    Some more dwarfy questions:

    - Each race in Eberron seems to try and subvert some aspects of that race’s traditional fantasy stereotype will upholding others. These subversions seem the least pronounced in the cases of the dwarves, possibly because they’ve gotten the least air time. Which aspects of the dwarves stereotype did you try to play straight and which did you try to subvert?

    - What was dwarves worship of the Soverigns life before being absorbed into the Host’s mainstream? Do unique aspects of Dwarven worship survive?

    Thanks as alway Keith!

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