Eberron Random Events: Sharn and the Five Nations is a supplement by Michael J. Winegar.
This is a collection of Eberron themed random events that you can use in your campaigns. Random events differ from plot hooks because they provide a complete short scenario.
I call them short because that’s the general rule. Some can easily turn into a small adventure and take up a whole session. They are well written and each one takes up from half to a whole page.
Before I move to the events themselves, I’d like to make a note on the introduction. Apart from providing information on how to use this supplements, it also includes a variety of examples about how a Dungeon Master can handle situations. These may be obvious to more experienced DMs, they are a nice revision and a good read for newer ones.
But let’s get to the events now. They are divided in six groups, as the title of the supplement suggests. We get 20 random events for Sharn and each of the five nations of Aundair, Breland, Cyre (which is also known as the Mournland), Karrnath, and Thrane.
They come in the form of roll tables that you can use if you want truly random events. Of course, you can also handpick the events you want to use in order to fit your campaign and your characters as well as possible.
And that ties well with a note I’d like to make. I would suggest deciding which events you want to use and preparing them before the session. While they come with enough information to help you use them on the fly, some can be a bit more complex and may require some preparation.
For example, an event in the Cyre table is that you meet a person claiming to be a dragon that is trapped in a human form. They ask for help and if the characters decide to help they may have to defend the maybe-dragon during a ritual. The choice of enemies is left to the DM. Also, this event has multiple results and you could tie one of them to your campaign, if you have time to prepare.
The supplement contains a total of three appendixes. The first one has a sheet you can use to track information about the five Nations.
The second one contains a new mechanic called the Wanted Scores, and it’s as the name implies. The mechanic gives each player a wanted score. A high number indicates a character is considered a dangerous criminal.
There are four different statuses a character can have, depending on their wanted level, ranging from “Known Troublemaker” to “Enemy of the State”. Each one comes with sections that talk about public perception, how law enforcement reacts on each level, possible punishments, and ways to reduce your wanted score.
After that, there are two more pages talking about getting recognized, extra ways of reducing your wanted score, and options on punishment. There is also a wanted score record sheet included at the end of this section that seems helpful.
Personally, I like this mechanic because it’s complex enough that, when used, it adds depth to the game but also simple enough that doesn’t bog down play. Plus, it seems like a good way to show players, old and new, that actions do have consequences. Also, if you want to check out only the Wanted Scores, they’re available separately as a pay what you want supplement.
The third appendix includes NPCs and monsters mentioned in the random events.
There isn’t much to talk about when it comes to art. The supplement comes with a beautiful cover. The random event section doesn’t contain any art. There are however, some pieces depicting NPCs and items in the appendixes.
Overall, I believe Eberron Random Events: Sharn and the Five Nations is a well written and useful supplement. It can be used in multiple ways, either to generate filler events or give your campaign an unexpected turn. If you are running a campaign in Eberron this can be a useful tool to compliment what you’re already creating for your players.