Unearthed Arcana: Races of Eberron Analysis

For the month of July, the Unearthed Arcana series highlight the Eberron races.

The Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron is out on the DMs Guild and some of its content will be featured in the Unearthed Arcana series. We begin with the races of Eberron. Some of them already have an Unearthed Arcana version but we get revised versions, as well as the Kalashtar. Let’s begin!

Changelings

Changelings are a race gifted with the ability to alter their physical appearance with a thought. However, due to this ability, they have gained the mistrust of the other races.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma increases by 2 and you can choose to increase either Dexterity or Intelligence by 1. The increase in Charisma makes sense, since Changelings very often have to take different appearances and roles. The other increases are an extra because there are no subraces. Overall it’s better than it’s previous version. I prefer this feature to have this form when there are no subraces.
  • Size. Medium size. Nothing exceptional.
  • Speed. A normal speed of 30ft. Nothing special here either.
  • Change Appearance. This is a better worded  version of the Shapechanger feature. It makes sure to say your stats don’t change and you can’t alter your size either. This is one of the Changeling’s signature abilities and looks fine to me.
  • Changeling Instincts. You gain proficiency in two skills out of Deception, Insight, Intimidation, or Persuasion. That’s really good for a racial feature and definitely an upgrade from Duplicity.
  • Unsettling Visage. That’s a nice feature that also fits the flavor of the Changelings nice. However, the wording needs some work. There’s no reason to say you have to choose to impose disadvantage on the attack roll before knowing if it hits or not. Advantage or disadvantage is always applied before the roll.
  • Divergent Persona. This is a feature that blends mechanics and flavor very nicely. You gain one tool proficiency and make up a persona to go with it. When you’re transformed into that persona your proficiency with that tool is doubled.
  • Languages. You know Common plus 2 more languages.

Overall, the Changeling is a quite strong race. It’s packed with nice tricks and a lot of flavor. Change Appearance has the potential of shenanigan generation but I believe it’s going to be fine.

Kalashtar

Kalashtar have interesting lore. They are the result of the union between humans and the Quori, spirits of the plane of dreams.

  • Kalashtar Quirks. Kalashtar can get interesting quirks due to the connection with their Quori spirit. That’s translated into a d10 table with quirks which are fine.
  • Ability Score Increase. You get a +1 on Wisdom and Charisma. You can also increase one more ability score by 1. Keep in mind you can put that extra +1 on Charisma or Wisdom, since nothing here explicitly forbids it.
  • Size. Medium size. Nothing special
  • Speed. A speed of 30ft.
  • Dual Mind. You can use your reaction to gain advantage on a Wisdom Saving Throw. I like how this feature works.
  • Mental Discipline. Resistance to psychic damage. It definitely makes sense. I’m generally reluctant about resistances but it fits the flavor too well and also psychic damage isn’t that common.
  • Mind Link. This feature allows you to talk telepathically to other creatures up to 60 feet away from you, with no need of sharing a language with the target. Also, as a bonus action you can give the ability to the target to respond.
  • Psychic Glamour. You can pick a skill out of  Insight, Intimidation, Performance, or
    Persuasion and gain advantage on ability checks with that skill. It’s not a bad feature but, to be honest, it feels a bit like a filler.
  • Severed from Dreams. You are immune to effects that have to do with dreams. That doesn’t include putting you to sleep so it’s fine.
  • Languages. You know Common, Quori, and one more language of your choice. Nothing really special here.

Overall, I didn’t find anything that annoys me here. It’s a nice race with a very nice flavor. They focus on their psychic powers and that makes me want to play a Kalashtar Mystic. Hopefully we’ll see the Mystic class make its appearance soon.

Shifters

  • Ability Score Increase. A +1 to Dexterity, which hasn’t changed from the previous version.
  • Size. Medium size.
  • Speed. 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. Regular Darkvision up to 60 feet. No changes here either.
  • Keen Senses. Proficiency with the Perception skill. It’s a new feature for the race and it’s pretty good.
  • Shifting. This is the base feature and the subraces expand on it. The mechanics haven’t changed. You can use a bonus action to shift for 1 minute and when you shift you gain temporary hit points  equal to your level + your Constitution
    modifier.
  • Languages. You know Common.

Changelings come with four subraces.

Beasthide

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 2. Fits the flavor.
  • Tough. Proficiency with Athletics. Not bad and fits the flavor as well.
  • Shifting Feature. When you shift you gain 1d6 temporary hit points and a +1 to your AC. The temporary hit points don’t increase with level so they’re going to be really good at lower levels and just okay at higher ones.

Longtooth

  • Ability Score Increase. This one gives a +2 Strength.
  • Fierce. Proficiency with Intimidation.
  • Shifting Feature. You get a bite attack you can use as a bonus action that deals 1d6 + Strength modifier. That’s not bad. It’s a bonus action attack you can use all the time without any drawback.

Swiftstride

  • Ability Score Increase. A +1 to Dexterity and a +1 to Charisma. This may allow more flexibility in what character you want to make.
  • Graceful. Proficiency in Acrobatics.
  • Swift Stride. 5 feet of extra walking speed. Not bad.
  • Shifting Feature. While shifted you gain another 5 feet of extra speed. Also, when an enemy ends their turn within 5 feet of you, you can spend you reaction to move 10 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity. Keep in mind this doesn’t protect you from attacks enemies will make during their turn because you can use this ability when the enemy ends their turn. Still it’s nice because it gives you more flexibility when your turn comes.

Wildhunt

  • Ability Score Increase. A nice +2 to Wisdom. I like Wisdom as a stat.
  • Natural Tracker. Proficiency in Survival.
  • Mark the Scent. You can mark a creature that’s within 10 feet of you. and then your proficiency is doubled on rolls when trying to track it. You also know the creature’s location if it’s within 60 feet of you. It’s not a bad feature, to be honest. I like the flavor and how it goes well with the +2 to Wisdom and Natural Tracker.
  • Shifting Feature. When shifted you have a nice advantage on Wisdom checks.

Overall, the Shifter subraces have gotten extra features giving them more flavor. They all follow the same idea and I don’t know how I feel about it. However, I don’t really have any issues with them.

Warforged

And there we have the best race ever. I really love Warforged. They are badass robots with a conscience. Also, their lore is amazing.

  • Warforged Quirks. I like how this table of quirks is presented as the result of possible flaws in their creation. I’d take it one step further and call it logical errors in their coding.
  • Ability Score Increase. You get a +1 to Constitution. There used to be a +1 to Strength as well but the second ability score increased is now moved to the new subraces.
  • Size. Medium size.
  • Speed. A speed of 30 feet.
  • Warforged Resilience. Warforged aren’t as weak as fleshlings so they get some cool buffs.
    • Advantage on saving throws against being poisoned and resistance to poison damage. I don’t see them as 100% machines since healing magic, for example, affects them and that’s why I believe they don’t have immunity. Which is fine in my opinion.
    • Disease immunity makes sense. Though nobody said you can’t create diseases that affect only the Warforged…
    • No need to eat, drink, or breathe. However, the idea of a Warforged drinking alcohol as a fuel is funny to me.
    • You don’t need to sleep, magic can’t put you to sleep, and you don’t suffer exhaustion caused by lack of rest. Keep in mind this doesn’t include other effects other than lack of rest so Warforged can get exhausted.
  • Sentry’s Rest. Your long rest needs 6 hours in order to take effect but during those hours you don’t sleep.
  • Integrated Protection. You can’t wear armor but after every long rest you can change your body’s built in armor. There are three different types of armor. All options look good but keep in mind you can’t use magical armor, or at least nothing is mentioned about it here.
  • Languages. You know Common.

The Warforged have three subraces.

Envoy

  • Ability Score Increase. Two different ability scores get a +1.
  • Specialized Design. You get a skill proficiency, a tool proficiency, and know another language.
  • Integrated Tool. One tool you’re proficient with is integrated into your body and your proficiency is doubled when you’re using it. This is a nice idea and I’m expecting to see a lot of wackiness with this, flavor wise.

Juggernaut

  • Ability Score Increase. A nice +2 to Strength because you’ve been created for destruction.
  • Iron Fists. You unarmed strikes deal more damage, 1d4 + Strength modifier. I’m not sure how often it’s going to make a difference but it’s nice to be there and also fits the flavor.
  • Powerful Build. This isn’t a new feature(see Goliath). It let’s you carry more stuff.

 

Skirmisher

  • Ability Score Increase. A +2 to Dexterity.
  • Swift. Your speed increases by 5 feet.
  • Light Step. You can move stealthily at a normal pace when you’re travelling alone for more than 1 hour. This has issues. How often do you travel alone in D&D? Also, what happens if you’re a squad of Warforged Skirmishers? This definitely needs work.

So, I have a few notes. The base race of the Warforged is pretty fine to me. However, the subraces feel a bit unbalanced. The Envoy is a rock star when the other two seem okay at best. One could even argue that the only useful feature for the Juggernaut is the +2 to Strength. Also, as I said above, Light Step needs a rework.

Overall, the Eberron races are better than their previous versions. The new race, the Kalashtar looks good as well. As I mentioned above, there are issues here and there but they can be fixed.

Eberron is my favorite published setting. This means I’ll probably be stricter than usual with the reviewing of content that has to do with it, because I want its content to be the best possible. Soon the survey for this Unearthed Arcana article will come out and I urge you to fill it in, after taking a look at this document yourselves. More quality feedback means better chances to shape the content to our liking.

You can read the full article here and download the PDF here.

And until next time, have fun!

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