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.

New Prestige Class: Reachrunner

"If the reaches are home to more deadly creatures, none are swifter. If the reaches are home to swifter creatures, none are more deadly."

-- Mallai Swiftstep


Since days lost in the antiquity of the forest, shifters and their lycanthrope ancestors have moved through the wilds of Eberron with an ease and instinct unrivaled by the other civilized races. Known for their mastery of the untamed world, some shifters rise above others in woodslore, physical ability, and stamina to claim the revered mantle of the reachrunner -- the greatest of shifter trackers and scouts.

Becoming a Reachrunner

Advancing as a ranger is the easiest way to qualify for the reachrunner prestige class, but many barbarian or rogue multiclass options offer interesting benefits to those following the reachrunner path. Reachrunners with one or more levels of barbarian can combine their shifting racial ability and the barbarian's rage ability to great effect, boosting their physical prowess for short periods of time. Attaining rogue levels slows a character's entry into the class but allows more opportunity to perfect important skills such as Hide and Move Silently, as well as adding sneak attack damage to the reachrunner's already-effective combat abilities.

Entry Requirements

Race: Shifter.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Listen 5 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Survival 8 ranks.

Feats: Endurance, Track.

Table 7-5: The Reachrunner Hit Die: d8

Level Base
1st 1 2 2 0 Athletics, fast movement (+5 ft.), wild senses
2nd 2 3 3 0 Nature's stride
3rd 3 3 3 1 Swift tracker, shifter endurance
4th 4 4 4 1 Fast movement (+10 ft.), Run
5th 5 4 4 1 Pouncing ambush

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival, Swim, and Use Rope.

Playing a Reachrunner

You are a reachrunner, an elite tracker and forester. You can live in the wild for months at a time, and your heritage and extensive training have hardened your body to amazing levels of strength and resilience. Though many seek you out for your tracking abilities, you have always been an individual, content to pursue your own aims and adventures. Although you are a ferocious warrior in any situation, you are at your best when using stealth to ambush a foe, particularly in concert with your shifting abilities.

While the reachrunners have no formal or cohesive organization, they are respected throughout all shifter lands and communities. Small groups of reachrunners sometimes form tight bands to adventure and travel together for long periods of time, but these are exceptions. Reachrunners often have a more formal role in their homes or family groups, called on to lead raids or defend the community when necessary. For the most part, though, you and your fellow reachrunners share a loose specialist bond and little else.


As a reachrunner, you are typically a solid combatant, as comfortable in a long running battle as in a brutal slugfest against physically powerful foes. With their high speed, some reachrunners take the Spring Attack or Shot on the Run feats, but more often than not they choose to perfect their shifting abilities over other fighting forms. Reachrunners take full advantage of their ambush ability when they fight with paired weapons (or claws if they have the razorclaw shifter trait) and maximize their abilities to Hide, Move Silently, Spot, and Listen. A combination of keen senses, tracking abilities, stealth, and multiple weapons makes it likely for you to surprise and drop an opponent quickly.

Other reachrunners make use of their high movement rates by keeping away from their foes. These cagey fighters usually pursue the Shot on the Run and Manyshot feats in preference to shifter feats, moving each round of combat and making it extremely hard for enemies to close with them before falling to a hail of arrows.

Whatever fighting technique you choose to perfect, as a high-level reachrunner, you combine extreme speed with hardiness and agility, allowing you to dictate when and where most encounters occur. Your combination of speed and resilience is augmented by precisely placed attacks and deadly ambushes, and when an encounter turns bad, you can fade into the woodlands faster than even the most gifted scouts of other races.

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