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Exploring Eberron through the Circle of the Forged Druid for 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted ride the lightning rail and continue Exploring Eberron through the character options included in the Dungeon Master’s Guild book produced by Keith Baker, the megapopular Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting’s original creator. Eberron is an extremely rich and detailed setting beloved by D&D players from its very beginning. Exploring Eberron illustrates wonderfully how curating character options creates a tremendous opportunity to show, rather than tell, what is special about your world. Exploring Eberron includes several subclasses for 5E D&D characters to choose from specially tailored to the setting, and Nerdarchy plans to explore them all like we do. In the case of the Circle of the Forged druid I’m going through the book to find the connection points between the Druid Circle and the larger world it comes from. So let’s get into it.

Circle of the Forged in Exploring Eberron

Unlike Way of the Living Weapon did for monks, Circle of the Forged doesn’t draw quite so much from other areas of Exploring Eberron. Nevertheless druids hold a special place in Eberron as protectors of the natural world. Ashbound, Children of Winter, Gatekeepers, Greensingers and Wardens of the Wood represent different approaches druids follow in the setting. Starting here for your Circle of the Forged druid plants them firmly in the world of Eberron.

“All druids look after the natural world, but they act in different ways. Five well-established paths define most of Khorvaire’s druids. In creating a druid character, consider whether you have ties to one of these traditions, and what led you to leave your order. Are you on a mission? Are you exploring the world? Have you been banished, with good reason or otherwise?” — Eberron: Rising from the Last War

  • Way back before recorded history three Progenitor dragons created the planes. The creation myth is known to all and some traditions give it more weight than others but even druids (who consider the myth as literal truth) don’t worship these Progenitor dragons as gods.
  • Gatekeeper druids emerged during the Age of Monsters, sealing the daelkyr in Khyber.
  • The greatpine Oalian became the Great Druid, a spiritual authority respected by all druids. Centuries later the Wardens of the Wood are declared protectors of an independent nation guided by Oalian.
  • Any creature capable of casting druidcraft can produce an additional effect allowing them to tell the time. (This applies to prestidigitation and thaumaturgy too.)
  • Magewright equivalents for other sorts of magic include adepts for clerics and gleaners, who master simple druid magic.
  • Changeling druid characters, perhaps following the Circle of the Moon, might represent those whose shapechanging powers evolved rather than reflect a bond with the natural world.
  • Druids are among the champions of shifters, attuned to the beast within themselves. Shifters may follow a druidic prophecy, pulling them from their home in the Towering Wood to pursue an ancient evil. Shifter tribes from this region believe the beasts within themselves are totem spirits like Grandmother Wolf and Grandfather Rat. Shifters possess strong ties to druids.
  • Warforged druids discover a bond to the natural world within themselves, or perhaps the potential to change shape and bond with natural creatures arises from their design by an eccentric artificer.
  • Circle of the Forged provides a path for warforged to explore a connection to the natural world and remain a living creature of wood and stone.
  • It’s not uncommon for merfolk to speak Druidic, which they consider to be the language of the wind and water. This is usually a result of being able to use druid spells to some degree.
  • Some scholars believe druids manipulate the essence of Lamannia, a primordial plane of existence, when their wield primal magic. Druids who travel to this realm might become overwhelmed by the natural forces infuses the plane, also called the Twilight Forest.
  • Circle of the Forged allows a warforged druid to become a beast of steel. Only a handful of druids follow this Circle.
Exploring Eberron 5E D&D Circle of the Forged warforged druid

We know a little something about warforged druids and Wild Shape courtesy of ol’ Treebark here from Friends, Foes and Foils Foilo. Click the image to check it out and sign up for Nerdarchy the Newsletter for a special $9.99 coupon for anything in your cart. [Art by Nelson Vieira]

Your Exploring Eberron stories

Two down, five more subclasses to go from Exploring Eberron. Forge Adept, Maverick and Infusions artificers, College of the Dirge Singer bards and Mind Domain clerics remain. Circle of the Forged didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped. It’s a pretty specific sort of 5E D&D subclass designed primarily for a single race so there isn’t as strong of a tie to the campaign setting.

At any rate discovering ways to immerse your character into the campaign setting you’re playing in adds new dimensions to how they view the world and how the world views them. Exploring Eberron contains tons of interesting information and tidbits about the world enough for any player to find cool and interesting ways to help bring characters to vibrant life. If you’re interested in finding out more about this campaign setting Exploring Eberron is a big 250 page book available at Dungeon Masters Guild in both PDF and hardcover options here.

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Doug Vehovec

Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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