The last in the Expansion category is Eberron, Rising from the Last War, from Dungeons and Dragons.
Eberron is not a new setting, many of the judges have the original back at home, and the challenge for judging this particular entry was ensuring that we judged it on its own merits and not on the fun we had when we played it originally.
What we have here is everything that you’d need to play in the world of Eberron, from the unique classes and races to the Dragonmarks and Patrons that you’d find within. There’s a separate section on the world, one for Sharn, city of towers, and then a separate section for building adventures. Added to that is a full listing of the sorts of creatures that you’d be likely to encounter, and how best to play them.
Production values are excellent, there’s full colour artwork all the way through, maps for the areas that are noted, and adventure hooks at various points. It’s everything you’d expect from a remake of one of the most popular settings that was ever brought out.
But what about those who weren’t around when the first version of this came out? Does it still hold up as a place to go adventuring, or has it changed sufficiently that it’s no longer the place of legend that it once was?
The responses from the judges who weren’t around when it came out the first time were very much that it’s a complete setting, there’s a lot of information packed into the book, and while there are sure to be some questions left unanswered as the players get into the setting, on a first pass through, it’s very much everything that you’re going to need.
From those who were around when it first came out, it’s clear that the new book focuses on the things that have become more popular from several years of feedback, and that there’s a lot more towards the making of a campaign in the world and the factions that might be making an appearance in the game. There are things recognisable from a number of the Eberron original sourcebooks, and it’s good to see that the fans have been listened to.
A curiosity for this one was that it was originally submitted in the adventure category, which we did question, because it’s clearly an expansion. There are many adventure hooks, and there’s plenty to allow you to build your own adventures, but nothing that could be used as an out of the book adventure.