I’m interested in running a 4E Eberron Campaign for a group of my friends who are experienced with the 4E system and have expressed interest in playing in an evil campaign. However, they have no experience with the Eberron Campaign and I’m having difficulty trying to setup a first adventure for these characters. For one thing, I think that I would like for my characters to work under an up-and-coming crime boss in one of Eberron’s larger settlements where they will be doing odd-jobs to try to improve their positioning as I believe the structure will help to reduce in-fighting. With their first few adventures, I’d like for them to learn more about the world of Eberron through encounters with a few dragonmarked houses, the Lightning Rail, and corporate espionage. Do you have any suggestions for good introductory Eberron elements? Thank you.
Start them in Sharn. It's got the history of the Goblin Empire in its foundations. Have an adventure down there to introduce that Goblins once ruled the world and aren't evil. Merrix d'Cannith has a secret Forgehold in Sharn as well. An adventure to destroy it can start to illuminate the dragonmarked houses, the Treaty of Thronehold, and the Warforged.
Sharn also has the Boromar clan, Sharn's own answer to the Mafia. Your PC's could be working their way up the food chain.
For another idea is have them all take Abberant Dragonmarks and they can be in House Tarkanan. They get to be illegal by the very nature of being alive.
Or, since it's an evil campaign and they might want to be monsters, make them part of Daask. Everyone thinks its just a monster crime syndicate, but in reality its a spy group working for the Daughters of Sora Kell. They can start out breaking legs and work their way up to being the Daughter's prefered agents in acting on Sora Tereza's visions of the future.
I think a good way to get them going is to get them involved with the gangs in Sharn.
First off, Sharn is a mega-example of the game: an entire city that's built apon a magical leyline that is connected to a plain of air, has a floating city hanging above the actual city, lightning rail, etc, and has all the major factions available, so you can weave stuff in and out as you want. And since it is a major transportation hub, if you need to send them to a different city/country, it's not going to be a big deal: everything is either a Lightning Rail or Elemental Airship/Galleon away.
Personally, I LOVE using Clan Boromar. Seriously, a gang of brutal halflings running the city. You can start with little stuff, like disrupting rival gang's operations (Draask, for example). Then, they could be co-opted by some other group, like the Dark Lanterns or House Phiarlan or whatever.
Thank you for the suggestions. I read up on Clan Boromar and I think that Sharn and its seedy underbelly would be an excellent start.
Now I have a question of what types of tasks would Clan Boromar use to initiate prospective individuals without revealing too much about the organization upfront?
Hmm, something to be kept in mind is the Boromar's nature as a Clan. They would have to earn the trust of the central family or another respected member to actually get into the main group. They generally accept Halflings easily, others they ask to preform a simple service to prove their talents.
I'd say that simple service could be theft, undermining of rivals of the Clan or an attack on Daask.
Really, I think they don't care about revealing too much about their organisation to those who've gotten this far-...
However, if you think you need a task for the players to earn the trust of this respected member, twist things around a bit, say they saved his life, whether on purpose or unintentionally.
When I ran a campaign that started as members of Boromar, their first task was to collect the debts made by a professor from Morgraive University at a warehouse in the harbor. It appeared to be a simple job, except that the professor had borrowed money from the Daask, who came collecting at the exact same time. The professor used the ensuing struggle to stage her own death. While this particular setup worked well for my non-evil campaign (I used it to introduce the Dreaming Dark through the insane paranoid professor), something similar should work for a Boromar clan orientated campaign.
Most likely the adventure will remain in Heroic.
I like the warehouse idea as it will give them an immediate antagonist in the Daask that should serve to keep them focused for the next 3 or so levels. After that, given the nature of my players, they will most likely attempt to take control of Clan Boromar at their earliest convenience.
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