Eberron: Rising from the Last War revives a beloved D&D setting

Eberron is one of Dungeons & Dragons greatest settings. A world still sifting through the wreckage of a recent global war, a place where sorcery and ambition have created technological marvels. The second major campaign setting for D&D 5th Edition is a palate cleanser, a very different flavour to the game’s traditional home in the Forgotten Realms, and 2018’s Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.

Eberron itself is broken up into multiple nations with varying levels of interest and co-operation with each other. Once a thriving beacon of unification, the entire world has been torn apart by a massive multinational conflict. Old grudges still simmer, new nations have risen among the ashes and the survivors are still holding what remains together with both hands. Magic has transformed the world in the way that technology transforms the real one. Arcane airships dot city skylines made up of tall towers. Magic images are projected onto the sides of buildings like some kind of high fantasy Blade Runner.

The war itself is a clear and very pointed allegory for World War 1, a conflict considered so gruesome and apocalyptic in nature that there could surely be another. The broader world is perfect for traditional adventure campaigns, while the giant, layered city of Sharn is ideal for noir or intrigue campaigns. Thrilling new enemy and monster types round out the setting, a sizeable arrow in the Dungeon Master’s quiver.

The book itself is broken into discrete sections. The first is a lengthy history of Eberron itself, its geography, its people, cultures, and current political climate. The second features a suite of new character classes and options. The third provides a layout of Sharn, along with a 1st level adventure set within city. The fourth dives into important figures, monsters, vehicles and their associated stat blocks.

All of this is terribly juicy for DMs hungry for new settings and features to add to their toolkits. It’s also very exciting for players. Eberron brings a number of new race and class options to D&D 5e, some from older editions and others that are entirely new. Fans have waited for the Warforged race to return for years — tall, mechanical automatons built during The Last War that take on lives and adventures of their own. The Artificer, an arcane inventor, is the first new official class to be added to the game since the release of the 5e Player’s Handbook.

For fans of the setting, fans who have been very vocal indeed about its potential inclusion in 5e, Eberron: Rising from the Last War is sure to please. It retains everything long-time fans love about the Eberron setting, while introducing new content that keep it feeling fresh and modern. It works as well for classic dungeon delves as it does for urban intrigue and noir detective campaigns. For D&D groups who’ve grown tired of the standard high fantasy of the base setting, Eberron’s noir flavour will make for a delicious change.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Highlights: Great new setting; Cool new tools for players and DM’s alike
Lowlights: The only lowlight is that it took so long to get here
Developer: Wizards of the Coast
Publisher: Hasbro
Available: Now

Review conducted with a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook provided by the publisher.

David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.