Ever since the world of Eberron was created by Keith Baker, a veteran of the gaming industry, way back in 2002 as part of a WoTc Fantasy Setting search, I’ve had a particular fondness for one particular feature of this campaign world: the warforged.
The idea of living constructs as a playable race, with a well thought-out rationale for their existence to boot, is extremely appealing. Offering a blend of high-fantasy with a steam-punk feel, warforged are a great way to add modern and futuristic artifacts to any fantasy setting. Couched in the idea of recovered ‘tech’, warforged have just enough mystery to their origins that their existence in more traditional fantasy settings seem entirely plausible.
The great thing about the warforged as a race is that they have also ushered in a sea of home-brewed versions of the race, arcane and divine spells devoted towards their existence and a host of monsters that represent similar warforged tech put to nefarious purposes.
I am currently working on a new campaign setting where warforged and other modern era/futuristic tech are prominent and have pleasantly found a great deal of online content, both WoTc cannon and home-brew that further ‘flesh’-out this mechanical race and similar beings. I thought I’d share some of what I found below if anyone is looking for similar aids in their 5th Edition campaign building. Enjoy!
Wizards Official Doc’s
The progenitor volume to the warforged race and THE introduction to the awesome tech-fantasy world of Eberron, is the Eberron Campaign Setting for 3rd Edition. This is a great primer on what a high-fantasy, high-tech campaign world should look like.
The Eberron Player’s Guide for 4th Edition does a great job of expanding on the world of Khorvaire, including spending a good deal of time on ‘fleshing’ out the warforged and their place in that setting.
5th Edition Wizards of the Coast Unearthed Arcana for the Eberron Setting, with a 5th edition updated Warforged racial option.
5th(& earlier) Edition Third Party Doc’s
Kobold Press’s 5e Tome of Beasts by the great Wolfgang Baur has some great warforged monsters, including the Warforged Templar and various clockwork abominations and beasts like the clockwork beetle, clockwork watchman and the clockwork weaving spider. If you’re looking for automaton enemies, this is your sourcebook.
A really fun and indepth look into the idea of Clockwork magic, Deep Magic: Clockwork, also from Kobold Press (no I don’t work for them, I swear!) for 5th edition. The guide includes a Clockwork Domain, a clockwork Warlock entity, a whole new Wizard school and a TON of mechanical spells. This is the best 5e supplement I’ve seen to fully ingrain constructs into your campaign world.
A nice little adventure module from 4e and Pathfinder, Zeitgeist’s Gears of Revolution is a campaign world that does a good job of incorporating technological memes into a fantasy setting. The first campaign book introduces a very rich world of intrigue and politics.
Available on the DMSGuild, W.A. Frick’s The Age of Wonder – Steampunk Characters and Magic (5e) has some interesting class options and a new class entirely, the Engineer, which has already been done many times before, for 5th edition. However this guid has a good deal of spells and flavor that helps flesh out the way in which warforged tech may have permeated an entire fantasy world. The companion guide, Ethereal Gaslight – Steampunk Campaigns & Monsters (5e) also a good deal of NPCS, traps and more.
A steam-punk adventure by the venerable DMSGuild trailblazing writer M.T. Black and Remley Farr, The Clockwork Queen – Adventure is a 3-5 hour adventure for 5th edition characters of 3rd-5th level found on the DMSGuild where players must scale an ever-changing clockwork tower of weird magic and mechanical mayhem.
A nicely done montage of 5th edition tech-creatures from reddit user Lynesth, [5e][Monsters] Clockwork Golems Compendium.
The following are some great home-brews for all things warforged/animated constructs found on Pinterest, which is an excellent resource (for those not already using it)!
- The featured image of this blogpost is “Captain Hook” by Brian Patterson; you can find it originally on Prismatic Art here.