Excerpts 04/08/2005

Races of Eberron Excerpt
By Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Keith Baker,
Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel

If you have a shifter, changeling, kalashtar or warforged player character (or nonplayer character, for that matter), Races of Eberron can be a helpful resource for you! New options and rules abound in this rules supplement for both the D&D game and Eberron setting. (Note: Enterprising DMs definitely can use this book in any setting if they choose. You won't need the Eberron Campaign Setting book!) Our sneak peek of this book includes a look at warforged, shifters, changelings, kalashtar, drow, sample feats, and a couple of prestige classes.

Changeling Leisure

"You can be poor and miserable or rich and miserable. Only a fool would think that there isn't a choice in that statement. The wealthy can afford to be comforted in their misery."

-- Changeling adage

Passer, becomer, reality seeker

Almost all changelings would prefer to live a life of ease. They work just as hard as they need to in order to ensure fine comforts they crave. Changelings enjoy fine food, drink, clothing, equipment, and accommodations. Why make do with just the necessities when you can have luxury? When possible, changelings live in the finest style available, often gaining things on credit (their own or that of an assumed identity).

Pets: Changelings of all types tend to have pets that change their forms. Creatures such as frogs and caterpillars fascinate them.

Collections: Most changelings manifest their individual passions and proclivities in collections of items. Some like quantity; others go to great lengths to acquire specimens of the best quality. Almost every changeling has something that he prizes and for which he is willing to make sacrifices.

For example, Fel collects shoes and keeps a sizable collection on display, decorating his two-story home. He owns more than two hundred fifty pairs. While he prefers a male form most of the time, he will change his gender for the sole purpose of showing off some of the daintier and more feminine shoes in his collection to the best advantage.

Roleplaying Application: Pick something to collect. It could be a single feather from many different types of birds (leading you to seek out achaierai and rocs), jewelry (driving you to find long-lost heirlooms), or books (inspiring you to build a huge stronghold just to store your impressive library).

Experiential Indulgences: In addition to possessing the finest things, changelings enjoy supremely extravagant activities. Hot, herbstrewn baths, relaxing massages, stylish haircuts, manicures, pedicures, servants, and any other life-enhancing services are sought and enjoyed. Changeling adventurers would rather not camp "in the rough."

Roleplaying Application: Why camp in the woods if an inn is an option? Why eat trail rations if a restaurant is nearby? Indulge yourself as often as you can. Life is short; fill it with good things.

The "I'm You!" Game: Almost all changeling children have played the "I'm You!" game. It's such a universal, natural game for members of the race that it can be found even among isolated groups or communities of changelings.

A child uses his minor change shape ability to impersonate someone else. Usually, the game begins with impersonating a peer, such as going to a friend's home for dinner disguised as the friend and trying to fool the adults or other children not in on the deception. Knowing the other child well, the changeling finds it easy to play the part for short durations. Success tends to embolden the child into impersonating one of his parents. This often leads to stressful encounters and repercussions, even if the exact nature of the deception isn't found out.

Passers strenuously discourage children from playing this game. It puts the passer's life in jeopardy. Often, a child will be punished or even sent away for a time until he outgrows the urge.

Becomers and reality seekers both encourage their children's experimentation with assumed identities. A becomer parent views this type of game as a manifestation of growth toward adulthood. The becomer adult uses the skills the game teaches as part of his daily life. One might even say that an adult becomer plays a version of the "I'm You!" game every day of his life. A reality seeker parent regards a game such as this as part of a child's immature phase, rather like the activity of playing with dolls.

Roleplaying Application: When playing a becomer or a reality seeker, occasionally impersonate an ally or one of your ally's friends. This is usually done in a spirit of fun and generally without maliciousness and in circumstances that would not cause harm. Why not take advantage of an invitation to a party that your ally turned down? If you have a shy friend, why not break the ice by having a first date with a prospective romantic partner for the friend? Of course, it can be quite convenient to visit exclusive places to which your ally (or enemy) has a membership.

Sample Changeling

The Spy Master of the Royal Eyes of Aundair employs several changelings as agents. She often assigns specific personas to her changeling spies. Frequently, even when working as a team, they don't know the real identities of their allies.

Royal Eye of Aundair: Female or male changeling rogue 3; CR 3; Medium humanoid (shapechanger); HD 3d6; hp 11; Init +6; Spd 30 ft.; AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15; Base Atk +2; Grp +3; Atk or Full Atk +4 melee (1d6+1/19-20, short sword) or +4 ranged (1d6/x3, shortbow); SA sneak attack +2d6; SQ changeling traits, evasion, minor lore, racial substitution levels, social intuition; AL N; SV Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +0; Str 13, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Balance +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +5 (+7 acting in character), Escape Artist +8, Forgery +5, Gather Information +8, Intimidate +7, Jump +3, Knowledge (local) +8, Listen +5, Sense Motive +6, Spot +5, Tumble +8, Use Rope +2 (+4 involving bindings); Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse.

Changeling Traits (Ex/Su): +2 bonus on saves against magic sleep and charm effects; minor change shape.

Evasion (Ex): If a Royal Eye of Aundair is exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, she takes no damage with a successful saving throw.

Minor Lore (Ex): A Royal Eye of Aundair gains a +1 bonus on all Knowledge checks.

Racial Substitution Levels: Changeling rogue 1st, changeling rogue 3rd.

Social Intuition (Ex): A Royal Eye of Aundair possesses an uncanny awareness of the tone of any social situation in which she finds herself. See the changeling rogue substitution level class feature in Chapter 6: Character Options.

Possessions:+1 studded leather armor, masterwork buckler, short sword, shortbow with 20 arrows, vestment of many styles*, oil of magic weapon, 2 potions of cure light wounds, potion of invisibility, 2 potions of shield of faith +2, 34 gp.

*New magic item described in Races of Eberron.

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