Tabletop Game / Eberron

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Eberron is a setting for Dungeons & Dragons released in 2004. It's a Dungeon Punk setting influenced by pulp serials, Indiana Jones, and Film Noir rather than the more usual High Fantasy. It averts or subverts many tropes common to D&D worlds, such as Always Chaotic Evil and Color-Coded for Your Convenience.

The setting focuses on the continent of Khorvaire, which has just concluded a hundred-year long war between five nations that has left a once-unified kingdom shattered. But even though the articles of peace have been signed, everyone knows that the enmity still lingers, and a new Cold War is being fought in the shadows of the four remaining thrones. The world of Eberron is full of Chessmasters, from the lowly mob boss that wants to rule the underworld of his city to an entire race of extraplanar Eldritch Abominations that have used a century-long plan to effectively bring an entire continent under their control. And above of all this is the mysterious Draconic Prophecy and those who seek to control it; and by extension, the very fate of Eberron itself. Cue the Big Damn Heroes.

Eberron was winner of a 2002 setting search conducted by Wizards of the Coast. When Eberron was announced there was an outcry against it due to its unconventional nature, though this seems to have mostly subsided.

The following works taking place in the Eberron setting have pages of their own.

    Books 

    Video Games 

Contains examples of:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Jaela Daran, high priestess of the Silver Flame and one of the most powerful clerics on Khorvaire.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension:
    • Xoriat has red clouds everywhere, and space seems to be rippling.
    • Dal Quor has buildings floating in the air.
  • Adventure Guild: There are a few, such as the Clifftop and Deathsgate guilds in Sharn.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: An archetype you can use while designing your next character. Common enough to be mentioned every now and then in sourcebooks.
    • At least 90% of the non-natives in Xen'drik.
    • The Prestige Class Extreme Explorer is based on this.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Argonth, a floating castle, has docking towers for airships.
  • Alien Sky: 13 minus 1 moons and a ring composed of Siberys dragonshards. Which makes this a Crapsack World if you're a lycanthrope, since there's at least one full moon every couple of days.
  • All There in the Manual: Common to all D&D settings.
  • Alternative Calendar: 13 minus 1 months. They share their names with the moons.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Notably averted, especially compared to other D&D settings. Eberron is very flexible when it comes to alignment. There is a trustworthy, non-evil fiend in the setting.
    • For example, Orcs are much more spiritual in Eberron — their druidic sect is responsible for keeping the Daelkyr sealed in their can.
    • The setting handbook does indicate the existence of neutrally-aligned mind flayers and/or beholders, though these are usually Lawful Evil instead of Chaotic Evil. Interestingly, the alignment listed for daelkyr is "usually neutral evil," which means that technically there can be good daelkyr.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Dragonshards, chunks of magic crystal used to power everything. Good for everything from making a ship fly to infusing a random scrub with infinite cosmic power to making a flying island crash.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: Eberron provides the page quote, and the setting is a fantastic environment for it. However this trope isn't given any note worthy attention in canon. It is worth noting that the house of Cannith may have learned how to create creation forges from the ruins of Xen'drik, and indeed did according to a sample adventure in the book "Secrets of Xen'drik". Creation forges create warforged. Warforged were used as soldiers toward the end of The Last War. However, Cannith was an arms dealer that did not discriminate who it sold to, so it wasn't really an arms race, and as such it doesn't count. Despite the lack of its presence in canon, this trope can be incorporated into the game with little effort.
  • Arc Number: Everything important follows the pattern of there being 13 of them with one lost/evil/destroyed.
    • By Word of God, the pun on Baker's Dozen was pure coincidence — they'd just independently set two things in groups of (13-1) and thought it would be cool to run with it. Keith Baker didn't even notice the pun until someone pointed it out.
    • Faiths of Eberron (a sourcebook on religion in Khorvaire) makes the pun much more obvious and blatant with the 13 holy days of the Silver Flame, one of which is on its way out as minor and seemingly pointless - "Baker's Night," ostensibly an excuse to celebrate and eat pastries.
  • Arm Cannon: Warforged have this little friend called "Armbow". They also have the Wand Sheath, which might be better, as it can shoot (among other things) -diameter fireballs and bolts of lightning instead of just wimpy little crossbow bolts. Though you could put some supplements to work and create an infinite-ammo armbow that shoots explosive crossbow bolts to really have some fun with it...
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Mostly averted. Keith Baker himself claims that "The general premise in Eberron is that influence does not equal personal physical power. Typically, the king won't be the mightiest warrior in the kingdom (Boranel aside)." Many groups like the Aurum have their power based on money and influence rather than personal power. However, the trope is played straight in the following instances:
    • Jaela Daran, normally a 3rd level character — gains the powers of an 18th level Cleric within the walls of Flamekeep simply by virtue of being the head of the Silver Flame church. To top it off, she is eleven years old. Of course about the only reason she has these powers is Executive Meddling - Baker eventually conceded that this world needs at least one person who could cast True Resurrection.
    • The talking tree Oalian is the leader of the Druid sect called "The Wardens of The Woods" and is a level 20 Druid, making him the highest level character whose level is explicitly revealed in the campaign guide (Erandis Vol has templates that give her a higher effective character level, but that only matters for XP).
    • In 4E, the Lord of Blades is now level 21. They also retained the whole "level 11 is legendary status" thing, so that makes him even more awesome.
    • An article in Dragon Magazine had statistics for one of the rakshasa rajahs, the fiends the Lords of Dust hope to free (or siphon power from). In a campaign setting where level 10 is considered masterful and level 15+ legendary, the rajahs are level 60. Make note that 20 is the traditional level cap of the system (the epic level handbook lets you reach any level, however). This puts them on par with gods who rarely have more than 60 levels, and only a few are even that high. (they also have other detity-like abilities)
    • And let us not go without mentioning the city of Io'lokar in Argonnessen. A city built of five tiers, each tier with more and more powerful residents. The lowest level tier has an average level for its resident (in 3.5e) of between 8 and 11. That's right. The Lord of Blades is level 12, and the lower to lowest residents of this city can make him sweat. That doesn't even get into the next tiers, which go from 12-15, 15-17, 18-19, and 20+. And the high council that runs the city ranges from high level to epic level in scope. One of the NPCs on the council has twenty-nine levels to his name. 29. He may just be the highest-level character around short of the Rakshasa Rajahs themselves. Woe betide the adventurer, or party of adventurers, who thinks they can attack this city. It's perhaps best for everybody else in Eberron that the residents have little to no interest in the outside world.
    • Sarlona also generally plays this straight, with all of the High Ministers orbiting between levels 13-20.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Warforged are encouraged to do this.
  • Berserk Button: Vadis nia, meaning "disgracer of the blood," is THE worst insult in the culture of the Valenar elves. A human in one of the tie-in novels who is enslaved by a particularly nasty clan of Valenar uses this to get the clan's leader to go apeshit on him before killing him with his own blades.
  • Big Bad: The Dreaming Dark, the Daelkyr, the rakshasa Rajahs, and Vol are some of the most common, but there are a lot of forces out there that can be story-spanning antagonists if rubbed wrong. Even some of the supposedly nice ones, as Secrets of Argonnessen tells us.
  • Big Book of War: Karrn the Conqueror's Analects of War.
  • Bishounen: Many, if not most, male kalashtar and their evil counterparts, the Inspired, who have been deliberately bred to be Bishounen and Bishoujo.
  • Bishounen Line: Daelkyr, the ultimate rulers of the plane of madness, lords and creators of monstrosities such as beholders and mind flayers, resemble "perfectly formed athletic human males, possessing unearthly beauty." Well... mostly. They don't actually have certain characteristics necessary to be considered 'male', after all...
    • Word of God is that the Daelkyr aren't the worst creatures Xoriat has to offer- just the worst that have any interest in the mortal world. Also, we shouldn't think too closely as to why the ultimate EldritchAbominations are so humanlike...
    • The Dragon Below trilogy has a Khyber cultist encounter a daelkyr, and he contemplates some of his cult's lore: "They have no flaws except those that they choose to have..." That particular Daelkyr was called the Master of Silence, and had no mouth.
  • Bizarre Alien Psychology: The Daelkyr are so alien in their way of thinking that in 4th edition any psychic attack against them deals damage to the attacker.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Your PCs are one of the few things people can count on. If that.
  • Black and White Morality: Subverted as often as possible. About the only clear example is Sarlona, where Riedra is The Empire and the people of Adar are peaceful monastic communities trained by noble kalashtars.
  • Black Box: Warforged are based on Magitek used by quori. On a meta level, Divine magic is a Black Box that works for any Cleric who believes strongly enough in whatever it is that they're praying to, even though nobody in the setting has ever actually seen or talked to a (confirmed) god. Some people claim to have done so, but canonically the veracity of this is left deliberately ambiguous and it's possible they were just delusional. Others have spoken to things claiming or assumed to be gods, but these things range from a flame that may or may not actually be a devil in disguise to an admittedly powerful but nevertheless once-mortal lich with no hint that it's possible for one to ascend to divinity.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The armblade warforged component. For that matter, warforged can do it with any weapon, even if it's not actually a sword.
  • Blood Knight: The Valenar Elves, who live for battle, so much that some of them are considering starting another World War simply to get more fighting.
  • Bond Creatures: Kalashtar, who are each bonded with a psionic spirit called a quori.
  • Bread and Circuses: One modus operandi of the Dreaming Dark.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The dinosaur names — "clawfoot" for raptors, for instance. In a world where Latin and Greek don't exist, and science has a lot more mysticism in it, it's no wonder that no-one calls a dinosaur a Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • Inquisitives (detectives) and chronicles (newspapers) also qualify.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The novels and videogames are not canon.
    • From 4e player's guide, the Orcs passed from being a druic/shamanistic neutral race ready to protect the world from nameless horrors and ocassional bounty hunters... into becoming the run of the Mill evil monsters from the last 30 years. Quite the let down.
    • And then changed right back to hunter druids in the DM guide. Indeed, part of the subtext of the guide is that the PCs don't know everything.
  • Canon Welding: You can connect to other settings via the World Serpent Inn.
  • Came Back Wrong: When Dollurh is coterminous resurrection spells might give you unexpected results...
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Averted. Some Elves, however, such as the Valaes Tairn, might get violent about it. The Undying Court is still a good source of information and obscure lore, even if they do mostly have a non-interference directive and don't really care about the rest of the world.
  • Character Alignment: Corrupt Clerics of good religions and Good Clerics of evil religions can still cast spells as long their faith is strong enough. Unlike normal D&D, which has a "one-step rule" for clerics. invoked
    • While the Church of the Silver Flame is based on noble ideals and the binding of evil supernatural beings, the powerful rakshasa rajah bound under Flamekeep is said to whisper ideas into the minds of the faithful, misguiding them to do evil in the name of good.
    • The setting does not believe in "racial alignments" for monsters (except for demons and the like who pretty much are the embodiment of such an alignment). One can't guess a dragon's alignment from his species. A silver dragon—in most setting known to be noble and chivalrous—might in Eberron be a villain of the worst kind while the usually tyrannical red dragon might have an individual who selflessly fights for the lesser races.
    • Some of the listed alignments for certain NPCs can be . . . unexpected. Queen Aurala of Aundair is actively preparing to start a war to unite the continent under her rule. Her alignment? Neutral Good, because she's not willing to use underhanded tactics like assassination to win, and few of the countries have rulers even close to as benevolent as she is—her winning would be a step up for most of the continent. On the flip side, King Kaius of Karrnath was the primary proponent of the peace treaty that ended the Last War and is trying to fix the mistakes made during his younger years that cost his people so much. His alignment is Lawful Evil, since he's willing to perform all manner of immoral acts to maintain peace and order.
  • The Chessmaster: So, so many. Hell, there's an entire nation of Chessmasters! To say that trying to outwit their Secret Police is akin to robbing a police station.
    • In a Dragon magazine article, it said that if you asked a member of the Lords of Dust why, if they've been manipulating events for hundreds of thousands of years, they don't rule the world yet, their reply is likely to be, "Don't we?"
    • The Chamber as well. Sometimes. Other times they just are watching, but given that they are dragons that isn't much comfort.
    • As a general rule of thumb, any creature that has a lifespan greater than that of an average half-elf is a Chessmaster. To wit, the Lords Of Dust, the Dreaming Dark and the Draconic Chamber are organisations full of Chessmasters... and naturally, they tend not to get along.
    • The Dwarves might be an exception to this rule, as despite being long-lived by human standards they're considered fairly trustworthy. On the other hand, in the Banking Guild of House Kundarak they have managed to figure out a way to mine gold, trade it to other races for goods, then (and this is the brilliant part) get the other races to hand it back over for safekeeping. Along with various other valuable items. And pay for the privilege of doing so.
  • City of Canals: Zarash'ak, the City of Stilts, built over a swamp.
  • City of Spies: Zilargo. By the way, it's where the gnomes are from, so if you meet one, bring antivenom.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dragonmarked Houses aren't always led by the nicest people.
  • Crapsack World: To make sure there were plenty of varied threats to keep characters of all levels busy and to keep every campaign from being the same battle against the same villains, the world seems on the verge of being wiped out by all manner of ultrapowerful threats. Not to mention the chaos of the world meant to make it Adventure Friendly.
    • The mainland for humans, Khorvaire, has just got out of a hundred years war. An entire country was destroyed, and many other counties have been divided up by various groups vying for independence, leading to the once great empire being a shadow of its former self.
    • Daelkyr, Lovecraftian lords of madness, want to rule everything that is above the ocean. Although they are a Sealed Evil in a Can, they are just waiting for the seal to get loose for them go after everything. And the organization that keeps them sealed is in decline.
    • The Quori, the omnipotent lords of the dreamworld, already control one entire continent, using their psionic powers to keep everyone content. Now they want to extend their control over the rest of the planet. They already have spies in every nation of the world, and their control grows by the day.
    • The Lords of Dust scheme to free the demonic rakshasa rajahs (Beings that would be considered gods in most other D&D settings) from their imprisonment. They've been working at this for tens of thousands of years.
    • Many other organizations conspire and manipulate events, including the Aurum, the Chamber, The Blood of Vol and The Order of the Emerald Claw, to name a few.
    • Death is no release. In 3.5, it's confirmed that people who die end up wasting away to Oblivion in the afterlife that is Dollurh. 4E is a bit nicer, leaving a few exit strategies (one of which requires one to side with the Silver Flame, which unwittingly BEARS A LORD OF DUST). So ya see, even if you die, you're still doomed. Creates the idea that the Blood of Vol and the Undying Court are right.
    • However, Keith Baker states in the appendices of ''The City of Towers" that most religions are aware of how Dollurrh works. They believe that their concepts of an afterlife will "kick in" only after the soul has faded from the plane, making it more like a variation of Purgatory or an Afterlife Antechamber. Some sects of the Sovereign Host also believe that their deities will purify Dollurrh into a golden realm one day.
  • Creating Life: House Cannith did this and created the Warforged. Things went better than expected.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Silver Flame, led by Jaela Daran, is based strongly on the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Cult: The Blood of Vol tends to exist like this in most civilised nations, and it's right in the name of the Cults of the Dragon Below. There are also weirder examples; the Sharn chapter of House Deneith, for example, has developed a cult affiliated with the Dreaming Dark.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Grafts. Some of them are biological symbiotes that try to take control of your body. Or make you go evil and Ax-Crazy.
  • Damaged Soul: When Dollurh is coterminous, this might happen.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ultimately averted. Despite the myriad ways things could go wrong, there is still hope.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: What in most settings would be a "monster" is in Eberron a "tax payer". And the goblin nation is quite similar to the elf nation on the main continent. In the elven homeland of Aerenal, the elves have a culture that revolves around death, produce the most skilled necromancers, and are both ruled by and worship their reanimated ancestors. They also tend toward Neutral Good.
  • The Dark Times: The Age of Demons.
  • Death World: Let's just say that some places are not tourist attractions. At least half the planes of existence will kill an unprotected mortal in a matter of moments.
  • Deconstruction: The classic D&D good alignments are cheerfully sebverted here and most of the evil ones, aside from the Always Chaotic Evil types, as well. Fits the setting, considering that it's a fantasy equivalent of the modern era up to the first two decades of the 20th century.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The goal of the Godforged is to build their own god(s).
  • Deliberately Cute Child: A goblin girl plays this role in City of Towers.
  • Demonic Possession: Possession by extraplanar entities is quite common. Hell, the aforementioned Quori actually designed a drug which sends the user on out-of-body highs—so that they can steal the user’s body.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The rakshasa rajas. They're not actually rakshasas any more than gods are humans—rakshasas are just the most common fiends on the surface of Eberron, so the name stuck. The rajas are the most powerful fiends, which also includes demons and devils.
  • Demon Slaying: The Church of the Silver Flame, the Gatekeepers, and the Chamber.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Byeshk, targath, and crysteel weapons don't exist in all settings. Take care when borrowing Eberron monsters fellow DM.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The Aurum is a club for Diabolical Masterminds to trade schemes, hatch plots, and drink dwarven beer. The Lords of Dust are literally diabolical!
  • Die or Fly: The Test of Siberys for the Dragonmarked Houses.
  • Does Not Like Magic: The Ashbound druids.
  • Doomsday Device: Many Eldritch Machines are this.
  • Double Weapon: The Double-Scimitar of the Valenar.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Daelkyr are in the main Eberron book for this purpose. Though, being CR 20, they would give Vol pause...
  • Dual Wielding: The aforementioned Double-Scimitar, as well as the Xen'drik drow habit of dual-wielding short swords balanced for throwing.
  • Dungeon Punk: Almost defines this trope.
  • Either/Or Prophecy: The Draconic Prophecy works this way. If X then Y, with various groups attempting to cause X.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The Fury is very much on the side of emotion.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: Riedra, kingdom of the Inspired, exists solely to maintain Dal Quor in its present state as a realm of nightmare and prevent the Turning of the Wheel that will end that.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Blood of Vol is remarkably similar to the Undying Court, except for being less patient about it. This is partly because the Vol herself, is, well, an elf, so it is in many ways an offshoot of the Undying Court.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Erandis Vol.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Everice, Flamekeep, Thronehold, the Demon Wastes...
  • Exact Words: The campagin setting guide says "No living thing on Khorvaire bears [the 13th dragonmark]". Turns out someone does have it... but she's undead and as a consequence the Mark doesn't work anymore.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Whoever came up with the Trust of Zilargo may have been on to something-despite the below trope, it's a genuinely nice place to live if you don't mind intrigue.
  • False Utopia: Zilargo. Happy, safe, orderly, and with free speech...and filled to the brim with a race of born Manipulative Bastards who regard Gambit Roulette as a fun pastime, and with a devastatingly effective Secret Police to maintain said order in spite of that. Gnomes think it's a fair trade.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Cyre was apparently destroyed by one of these.
  • Fantastic Racism: There is hatred against warforged, changelings, and shifters. And against goblins, partially because of the events that led to the formation of Darguun. And against all the nasty things that live in Droaam, but that’s to be expected. And the lizardfolk/common races conflicts going on in Q'barra. And the dragons against everyone else, the Inspired against anyone else, the Qualitar drow against everyone else... actually, name a canon character or a faction in this setting, there is a good chance it has racist tendencies.
  • Fantastic Science: Thanks to artificers and forward looking Wizards and others, we get this.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Adar is a mountain land of peaceful monks strongly influenced by Tibet.
    • Breland may come off as a Fantasy Counterpart America with some traits of Eagleland to some, with its patriotic citizens being characterized as loud and boorish when travelling, having a love of democracy and strong belief in fundamental legal rights, and the presence of a Poor Richard analogue called Beggar Dane as well as having Sharn (the fantasy New York) and a general acceptance of most races and classes.
      • Forge of War describes early-Last War Breland in terms that suggest revolutionary France (although with the quirk that the monarch one of the major peoples behind the establishment of the democratic assembly, so there was no deposing and forming of a republic). The Brelish of that time were really enthusiastic about spreading their newly-acquired democracy, and assembled great popular armies to do so.
    • Aundair is France, Karrnath is Germany, Thrane is Italy (or more accurately the Papal States), Riedra is North Korea on steroids, The Talenta Planes is comparable to Native American cultures, The Mror Holds is Russia, The Shadow Marches resemble Vietnamese rice paddies, Valenar is Tenochtitlan with a touch of China, Xen'drik is every Central American and Darkest Africa jungle trope, the Ancient Rakshasa cities resemble ancient India, Cyre was Greece (or Ireland?), and the Eldeen Reaches is the English countryside with more than a little Montana mixed in.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The world is far more advanced than Medieval European Fantasy standards, but no guns. The use of magic wands acts as a substitute for them.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Sovereign Host and the Dark Six. The Rakshasa Overlords arguably qualify, being a group of ~30 beings that would be considered deities in other D&D settings.
    • Some believe that there might be some overlap between these groups, i.e. there are those that say that the Overlord Bel Shalor, The Shadow in the Flame and the Shadow of the Dark Six are the same being [1].
  • Far East: Sarlona in general and Riedra in particular, the thing being that Riedra might resemble North Korea combined with Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Emerald Claw agents use helmets that cover one side of the face.
  • Fembot: Warforged that strongly identify as female sometimes mod themselves to resemble humanoid women.
  • Fictional Zodiac: The Dragonmarked Houses, With 12 Dragonmarked for each Houses. (Phiarlan and Thuranni both use the same Dragonmarked, The Mark of Shadow) and the 12 Moon.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The people of Cyre. The Eladrin in 4E are allegedly this, too.
  • Final Solution: The Church of the Silver Flame executed the "Lycanthropic Inquisition," AKA the Purge, just before the Last War, where they hunted down and executed every were-creature they could find, and took a number of innocents (especially shifters) with them until some shifters turned informant and someone else produced reliable detection magics. The Church tries to justify it with various excuses (some which may hold water, depending on the DM) and even has an annual holiday to celebrate the Purge, but ultimately it's a black mark on their reputation and history with others.
  • First Church of Mecha: What the Becoming God will be, once the Warforged — a species of mechanical humanoids — finish building him.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Averted. Religion works differently in Eberron. Nobody knows if the Gods actually exist.
  • Flaying Alive: "Excoriation" or what Dragonmarked Houses used to do to when one of their own made them angry.
    • The Flayed Hand, worshippers of The Mockery, do this to *themselves* over a long period of time, without using healing magic, so the can make magic cloaks that only work if when worn by the 'donor'.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: One Blood of Vol sect is called "Cult of Life".
  • Forgot He Was a Robot: Warforged don't have all the features of full constructs, which leads to this trope.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Galifar I.
    • Lesh Haruuc for Darguun.
    • The Daughters of Sora Kell for Droam.
    • Ven ir'Kesslan for Q'Barra.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Artificers are a magical equivalent of this.
  • Gambit Pileup: The raw amount of Magnificent Bastards and Chessmasters both mortal and immortal has an expected result.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Kalashtar work this way. The Quori spirit is bound to the gender of the bloodline. Same goes for Changelings, the child's species matches the same-sex parent (Since changelings can change their sex, the sex they had while conceiving the child is the one that matters, not their real one).
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: This is standard policy in Riedra, where all citizens are indoctrinated and emotionally controlled through dreams. Being unhappy outside of specific times and places is a sign of demonic influence.
  • Glamour Failure: Changelings need to be careful with their disguises. Something as simple as wrong clothing can give them away, not to mention things like bad accents.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Lawful Evil Vampire King? He works for world peace. The Neutral Good Queen? She's planning world domination.
    • The supplemental material unfortunately backpedals a bit on this moral ambiguity and seemingly goes out of its way to excuse or outright Retcon statements made in the campaign book, with the Church of the Silver Flame presented in a more traditionally Lawful Good light and Kaius, the vampire king, coming across as considerably less well-intentioned.
    • Then subverted again thanks to the backlash.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The existence of the gods is not known for certain, even by beings such as angels.
  • Here There Be Dragons: The continent of Argonnessen houses 99% of all the dragons in the world.
  • Hereditary Curse: The Gyrderi elves and all their descendants were cursed into animal forms after they helped their fellow elves rebel against the giants.
  • The Heretic: Quite common for a D&D setting.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Karrnath was apparently in the habit of doing this during the Last War, with the most recent being Kaius III. Except that this is a flat-out lie intended to conceal that Kaius III is a vampire and was once Kaius I.
  • High-Speed Hijack: While not explicitly given rules in the sourcebook, lots of promotional art and related fiction describes hijacking airships, or the Lightning Rail. It's also one of the encounters in the published adventure "Voyage of the Golden Dragon".
  • The High Queen: Queen Aurala, a somewhat unconventional representative of the trope.
  • Hobbits: Some halflings ride dinosaurs. Others are more urbanised, or even corporate - although Houses Ghallandra and Jorasco are at least among the nicer dragonmarked houses.
  • I Am Not a Gun: The warforged. Unless, of course, they embrace it. Which some, like warforged juggernauts, do.
  • Illegal Religion:
    • The Church of the Silver Flame rules Thrane as a theocratic state, and while religions like the Sovereign Host are allowed within its borders, their adherents find life less comfortable, and few other religions, particularly the Blood of Vol whose association with the undead is utterly abhorrent to the Church, survive for long.
    • The only religion allowed within the confines of Riedra is the Path of Inspiration.
    • The Blood of Vol is also seriously disapproved of within Aerenal - which has a strong cultural opposition to negative energy undead - and Karrnath — because Kaius did not enjoy Vol coming there to shaft him in person.
    • Cults of the Dragon Below are generally considered adventurer fodder wherever they spring up.
  • Immortality Immorality: Averted with the deathless, positive-energy-charged elven undead.
  • Immune to Fate: Sarlona is not mentioned anywhere in the Draconic Prophecy, probably due to a dragoncraft artifact that's protecting the land of Adar. This scares the crap out of the dragons, and as a result they generally try to pretend that the continent doesn't exist.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The double-bladed scimitar of the Valaes Tairn elves.
    • Drow also get kick-ass chains that are used like scorpion stingers. And three-pronged boomerangs and short swords that can be used like massive throwing knives.
    • Warforged have an option to graft one-handed crossbows into their bodies.
    • Yuan-ti in Xen'drik have the serpent bow. It is a longbow with a shortsword blade built into one end. Just imagine Legolas with one of those!
    • Goblinoids have various chain weapons. And spikes. And chains with spikes on them.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The (almost) extinct House of Vol bore the Mark of Death. Using the pseudo-French naming conventions prevalent in Eberron, this would make it House Vol d'Morte.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: Kalashtar and Inspired.
  • Interpretative Character: Most major NPCs are deliberately written as this, in order to keep plots fresh and prevent metagaming from players who know their established personality (eg. Cardinal Krozen handles a lot of church business behind Jaela's back, but is he trying to use her as a figurehead or to stop others from doing so? It depends on the DM). Even their official statblocks are based on hearsay, with some NPCs having different stats in different books.
  • Interspecies Romance: Changelings and shifters are the result of this. Less pleasantly, so is Vol.
    • The novels seem to really like playing with this:
      • Blade of the Flame has a Half-Orc/Elven and Human/Vampire relationship.
      • The Draconic Prophecies has a Warforged-Human relationship. Yes, it's treated as just as taboo as you would expect.
      • The Dreaming Dark also has a Warforged-Human relationship, though it's not revealed that Lei d'Canith is a Ridiculously Human Robot until the third book.
      • The Dragon Below has a Kalashtar/Shifter relationship.
      • The kicker has to be The Thorn of Breland though, with a rakshasha that's been in (mostly unrequited) love with a dragon ever since the Age of Demons.
  • In the Doldrums: Dollurh. While only some evil people (and the occasional adventuring party) wind up in Hades, everybody winds up in Dollurh.
  • Knight Templar: Many of the followers of the Silver Flame, especially in their anti-lycanthrope inquisition, which killed thousands.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: The kalashtar practice kung fu psionics. Some of them. Others are just Squishy Psions.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: House Medani and in certain areas, House Deneith.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map: Averted. Both coasts are shown.
  • Legacy Immortality: King Kaius I poses as his descendants.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Church of the Silver Flame. The Silver Flame is an amalgamation of several good spiritual entities. It's also a prison to demonic forces.
  • Lilliputian Warriors: The halflings of the Talenta Plains.
  • Low Fantasy: Compared to other D&D settings, though only in the sense that it isn't High Fantasy. It is often stated that magic is weaker but significantly more common in Eberron than standard settings (to the point that nearly every blacksmith and baker can cast at least a couple spells), not to mention the flying ships, lightning train, intelligent Magitek robots. High-level and Epic magic are possible on Eberron, but fewer characters are of levels capable of using them.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: In 4th Edition Eberron, the Dragonmark of Detection allows one to roll twice on perception checks and pick the best result.
  • Made of Iron: Warforged. Literally (though they can mod themselves to remove the plating, as it can interfere with spellcasting and keeps them from wearing armour or magic robes). They can have plating upgrades at first level that cause them to be made of mithril or adamantine. Both are much stronger than normal iron.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: Eberron's Dungeon Punk world comes to mind as an especially obvious example of this trope. Without that magical-flavored Phlebotinum, everything in that world would fall apart hard.
  • Magitek: Eberron has widespread use of magic, to the point where it is used as technology.
  • Man in the Iron Mask: The real king of Karrnath is one of these. The current king, er, was the real king, but technically died two generations ago.
  • Massive Race Selection: Everything in D&D has a place in Eberron.
  • Medieval Stasis: Averted. Society advances in Eberron, which is described as "post-medieval". Things like the Lightning Rail and elemental airships are fairly recent innovations, and House Cannith continues with R&D to develop new and better Magitek.
  • Medusa: They have a culture of their own and various customs relating to the eyes. Most live in Droaam.
  • Metaplot: Averted. The setting does not advance with adventures, novels or new sourcebooks. Some executives tried to impose this on the setting for 4e, but they backed off when the fans strongly indicated their displeasure.
  • Mission Control: Steel, an intelligent (albeit unimaginatively named) dagger, wielded by the Dark Lanterns.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Changelings, thanks to their doppelganger heritage, can assume fully functional female forms, even if their "natural" form is male. It does render them stuck in female gender until they give birth, though.
  • Monster Town: Entire "monster" nations, like Droaam and Darguun, are inhabited by species that are traditionally antagonistic in D&D, like goblins and orcs.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Played straight. In the Sovereign Host, Aureon the god of Lore and Onatar the god of Craftsmen are both males. Arawai is the goddess of Life, and is female.
  • The Multiverse: Thirteen planes, one of which has been severed from the rest and remains unreachable through conventional magic. And for good reason, as it is currently the plane of nightmares. Another is going to be out of close contact with the main world for the next twenty thousand years, which is also good, as it is the plane of insanity and non-Euclidean geometries and the sort of place Cthulhu might fit in very well.
  • Mundane Utility: The Magewright NPC class, which is a kind of Blue-Collar Warlock who only uses utilitarian spells.
  • My Grandson Myself: King Kaius III (aka King Kaius I), who poses as his son to avoid uncomfortable questions about his lack of aging.
  • The Nothing After Death: Dollurh. It's a realm where everything fades to gray and the only beings other than the souls of the dead are their keepers. It's the afterlife, known to many people on Eberron as the only place that the souls of the dead go where they slowly fade into oblivion. The Sovereign Host is the only religion that accepts it as just what is, choosing to emphasize having a good life. Every other religion tries to attract new followers by promising some form of escape, be it union with a transcendent force or simply cheating with undeath.
  • Ominous Fog: The "dead-gray mist" surrounding the Mournland.
  • Omniglot: Changelings are capable of becoming this easily—in 3.5 terms, Speak Language is always a class skill. And in fourth edition, the Mark of Scribing makes one close to this.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Numerous. The Trust of Zilargo is a small-scale one, while the Aurum supposedly has power over the economy of a whole continent. The Lords of Dust take it up a step further as the secret rakshasa masters of the world, matched by the Chamber who fancy themselves the secret dragon masters of the world. The Dreaming Dark cross this with State Sec in Riedra, officially serving the Inspired Lords but actually being the quori's more direct agents in the world.
  • One-Man Army: By the time you're 5th level, you've seen more than a city guard will have seen a lifetime.
  • One-Word Title: Also The Place, because Eberron is the name of the world.
  • The Only One: Most NPCs are low level characters with NPC classes. Thus the PCs are the only ones capable of handling any major disasters.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: Averted. There are no restrictions in using Good, Evil, Lawful or Chaotic spells.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They’re just as clueless as the rest of us.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Scorrow, drow torso on scorpion body.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons and devils are actually native inhabitants of the world rather than extraplanar beings, and they ruled the planet for millions of years before being ousted from power by the dragons. Also, "demon" is a term that can is applied to either Chaotic Evil fiends specifically or all fiends in general (true demons, devils, rakshasas, yugoloths, etc.). The most common fiends (on the surface of Eberron, at least) are actually the tiger-headed rakshasas.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Unlike dragons in other D&D settings, the color of Eberron's dragons is not linked to their alignment — you can have Chaotic Evil gold dragons and Lawful Good red dragons as easily as the more traditional combinations. They live on their own in the continent of Argonnessen and spend their time studying the Draconic Prophecy, a worldwide natural phenomenon that can be used to predict and manipulate the future.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Except that they are also bankers. And they make sweet confections!
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They might have evolved from rodents.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Giants used to be a unified race, but a magical cataclysm changed them.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins used to control most of Khorvaire. Now they're either tribal barbarians or city dwellers working lower class jobs and whatnot.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: The artificer can create homunculi sooner than other classes. Eberron also introduces a few specialized homunculi.
  • Our Liches Are Different: The deathless are powered by Positive Energy and good-aligned.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Eberron is pretty good at this. Especially with Droaam, in which a horde of ogres and minotaurs and whatnot united under a covey of hags to make a monster nation!
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Most ogres in Eberron follow the D&D standard, but the ogres of Sarlona are mostly peaceful and docile, having been pacified by centuries of occupation by the Inspired.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: In Eberron, one of the oldest druidic traditions is orcish.
  • Pass Fail: This is something changelings want to avoid.
  • Patchwork Map: The geography can sometimes be a bit odd. Xen'drik, despite being just one continent, is stated to be large enough to contain at least one of every possible biome and/or temperature zone.
  • Path of Inspiration: Eberron is the Trope Namer. The Path of Inspiration is the state religion of Riedra.
  • Physical God: Mostly averted, as described below; the main pantheons of the setting (Sovereigns and Dark Six) don't like to manifest physically, assuming they actually exist as discreet entities at all (except for the Traveler- maybe- but being a Trickster Archetype you'll never be sure if the person you met really was the Traveler or not...) Played more or less straight with the Rajahs/Overlords; unfortunately, they were all Gods of Evil.
  • Physical Religion: Eberron mainly averts this. There are legends and myths, but nothing solid for the Sovereigns and the Dark Six.
    • The Undying Court are the actual deathless ancestors of the elven people.
    • Some Warforged revere Lord of Blades.
    • The Lizard Folk of Q'Barra revere the Dragon Rhashaak, who rules over them as a god.
    • The Silver Flame has a physical presence in Flamekeep, the capital of Thrane.
  • Pirate: The Lhazaar Principalities is responsible for most piracy, with the Seren raiders coming in a distant second.
  • The Place: Also a One-Word Title. Eberron is the name of the world.
  • The Plan: The gnomes of Zilargo do this as a hobby. The dragons make them look like amateurs, though.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Daelkyr can do this to those who try to read their minds.
  • Petting Zoo People: Shifters are sometimes portrayed as this.
  • Power Creep: In Khorvaire, there is one 18th-level character and she's a major special case. A 12th-level warforged fighter-artificer with a Prestige Class is one of the greatest and most horrifying threats to civilization around. Move over to Sarlona, and any of the quori leaders of the Path of Inspiration would quickly reduce the Lord of Blades to scrap; some are level 20.
  • Power Fist: The battlefist warforged component.
  • Power Tattoo: The dragonmarks. Which are really more like birthmarks that appear later in life.
  • Praetorian Guard: There are a lot of examples of these.
  • Privateer: Breland hired privateers during the Last War. But now that the war's over letters of marque have been repurposed as Adventurer Archaeologist licenses.
  • Private Military Contractors: Various. House Deneith is the most famous.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: The Draconic Prophecy foretells every single possible event that has happened or can happen... with the twist that they tend to take the form of "If X happens, then Y will happen" instead of, "X, Y and Z will happen in exactly that order". This means that you can manipulate fate to a certain extent: if you want Y to happen, then you'd better make sure X happens. (This is a fact that has not escaped the attention of the various Chessmasters of the world.)
  • Prophet Eyes: Kalashtar and the Inspired.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Xen'drik, Zharash'ak, Q'Barra... the list goes on. Subverted in that the ' is explicitly stated to represent a glottal stop... it's not just thrown in to make the word look all exotic-y, it's actually supposed to be pronounced.
  • Psychic Powers: Psionic powers are more common than magic on the continent of Sarlona due to the influence of the quori (psychic spirits from the dimension of dreams).
  • Red Light District: Sharn has three of these.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. There is a lot of public use of magic.
  • Reincarnation: The reincarnation spell is available as in most D&D settings, but is not the natural destiny for souls, most of which go to the plane of Dollurh after death. In Riedra, though, the citizens are indoctrinated in the Path of Inspiration, which tells them that they will be reincarnated in a higher caste after death, which helps them accept their lot in this life and keeps them from rebelling against the Inspired.
  • Released to Elsewhere: You live in Riedra? Don't go around saying bad things about the Inspired.
  • Religion of Evil: The Dark Six. Though the 4E campaign guide points out that they're really more like the Greek gods (i.e., still epic Jerk Asses, but really more the embodiments of destructive nature than truly malicious). Even before then, one of them wasn't really evil, just... mysterious. Terribly mysterious.
    • The cults of the Dragon Below, especially as seen in the Dragon Below trilogy.
    • The Blood of Vol zigzags this. Most followers of the religion are not evil, and there's nothing inherently evil about the religion's tenets (seeking the Divinity Within, revering life and blood, and Depending on the Writer, immortality through undeathnote ). The priesthood, however, is a vehicle for the power of the lich-queen Vol, and nearly all of the clergy are in fact evil.
    • The Lord of Blades seems to be working towards this, what with his "destroy all non-warforged" policies.
  • Religious Robot: Many warforged adhere to the faiths of other races, such as the Sovereign Host and the Silver Flame. In addition, some warforged have their own Robot Religion in the form of the Lord of Blades.
  • The Remnant: Warforged are sometimes this. Darguun is the remnant of the ancient empire of Dhakaan (sort of). Cyre has a lot of dispossessed citizens wandering around.
  • Resurrective Immortality: According to Keith Baker's Blog [2], all truly immortal spirits, i.e. rakshasa, devils and quori, will eventually reform after being destroyed. This is why the Dreaming Dark want to wipe out the Kalashtar, they can be re-integrated when they return. Certain circumstances can prevent the resurrection for a while, however.
  • Robot War: The Lord of Blades is trying to start one of these.
  • Rule of Cool: Warforged and halflings that ride dinosaurs. Bedouin elves with double-ended scimitars. Viet Cong drow who worship scorpions. Elementals making longships fly. Half the setting is based on the Rule of Cool, for Flame's sake!
  • Saintly Church: Despite the corrupt clergy and atrocities associated with the Church of the Silver Flame, it's still a powerful force of good. The Sovereign Host is a straighter example of this trope. At least it tries.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Zigzagged. Wizards of the Coast multiplied most distances and dates in the setting by a factor of ten, to give it a more "epic" feel. This results in such oddities as traveling by rail across Khorvaire costing some 10,000 GP, and the Goblin-controlled Dhakaani empire of the distant backstory lasting longer than the entire history of human civilization on earth.
  • Screw You, Elves!: The elves in Eberron can be argued with quite... "eloquently" by almost every race known in the world. Some, like the Valenar and House Phiarlan, will need more impolite methods.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Worn by the example member of the Dragonmarked Heir Prestige Class from the 3.5 Eberron Campaign Setting book.
  • Shape Shifter Mode Lock: When the elves, most of which were the slaves of the giants, rebelled, the Gyrderi, who were the free elves, decided to help their kin. Being druids, they had an ability called wild shape, which lets them shape shift into animals. "The giants enacted a terrible curse that forever bound them in the wild shapes they were wearing, trapping them and their descendants in the forms of animals."
  • Shrouded in Myth: Xen'drik. Partially because of the Traveler's Curse (things will never be in the same place twice).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Rakshasa Rajahsnote , quorinote , daelkyrnote ... and the list goes on.
  • Secret Police: Fun fact — the registered crime rate in Zilargo is suspiciously low.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Changelings have one. And, despite how easily they can change it, they actually do have default genders as well; a changeling is born a gender-neuter, then takes on one gender at around 6 years of age, not gaining the ability to use the Gender Bender aspect of its shapeshifting powers until early puberty. This first gender is the changeling's "true gender".
  • Social Darwinist: Children of the Winter, type 2. These guys are crazy, they go around causing plagues and other harsh conditions to kill of the weak. They are also trying to bring about a apocalyptic winter that will wipe out all but the strongest. They even engage in cannibalism.
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: Gnomes like to collect information. Just in case.
  • Space Jews: Dwarves control the banks. Or rather, House Kundarak does. And House Kundarak is composed of dwarves. (And dwarves also happen to rule a sinister organization of bankers and financiers, secretly pulling the strings of Khorvaire's economy...)
  • Space Whale: Seen in the Dreaming Dark trilogy.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: Might become a bit tempting.
  • Spikes of Villainy:
    • The Lord of Blades. Erdis Cai in the Blade of the Flame books also has very spiky armor that drains your soul if you touch it.
    • The Demon city Ashtakala has every building covered in spikes
  • Star Scraper: Sharn, the city of towers.
  • Stealth Pun: One of the recurring themes in the setting is groups of 13 sans one, or a Baker's dozen missing one.
  • Tastes Like Purple: Dal Quor might cause this, and kalashtar might have memories of this.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Eberron used to have thirteen moons, thirteen Dragonmarks (with associated lineages), thirteen coterminous planes, thirteen dwarven clans, and the continent of Khorvaire had thirteen regions. One of the moons has vanished, one of the dragonmarks had the entire line who had it exterminated by dragons and angry elves (though it lives on in one person; however, that person - being undead – can't use her mark), two dragonmarked houses now share a mark, contact with one of the planes was severed forever (when its horrific inhabitants tried to invade), one of the dwarven clans mysteriously disappeared, and one region in Khorvaire was rendered a wasteland.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A few prestige classes, like the Extreme Explorer or the Heir of Siberys. Manifesting a dragonmark can also lead to this.
  • Traintop Battle: One of the reasons why the Lightning Rail exists.
  • Trauma Inn: The "Last Chance", a co-operation by Ghallanda and Jorasco. Situated in Xen'drik
  • True-Breeding Hybrid: Half-elves are considered a distinct race, as in most cases their purebred human and elf ancestors were several generations ago. There are even two Dragonmarked Houses composed of half-elves.
  • Two-Fisted Tales: Eberron takes a lot of inspiration from these.
  • When Trees Attack: Oalian, the strongest known NPC, is a tree. Not a treant, just a tree. Awakened by druids into sapience, to be more specific.
  • Witch Species: Kalashtar can be seen as this, with psionics replacing magic.
  • Wizarding School: A lot of these exist. The school at Arcanix even has floating castles.
  • Wretched Hive: Stormreach, and many of the lower levels of Sharn.
  • Written by the Winners: The War of the Mark; and the Lycanthropic Inquisition, aka the Purge (though most non-Flame scholars are now getting on the Church's case about it).
  • You All Meet in an Inn: This old trope is actually honored in supplemental rules. Sharn has at least one inn in one of its Adventurer's Quarters that knowingly services this trope. It was created by a retired adventurer...
  • You Are Number 6: Some warforged are known by numbers instead of names.

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