Dragonmarked houses are organizations in the fictional Eberron campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game that are based on . Dragonmarks are elaborate skin patterns that grant spellcasting abilities. Each type of mark is tied to families that control a different industry or trade in Eberron. How do you guys like the new take on Dragonmarks as Variant races and Subraces?.

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Dragonmarks: The Dragonmarked Houses, pt 2

The concept of magic as an industrial force is at the heart of the Eberron campaign setting, and the dragonmarked houses are an integral part of that. From the start, the idea was that the dragonmarks were hereditary traits that had allowed the families dragonmared possessed them to gain monopolistic power over a particular aspect of the magical economy. Tied to this is the idea that draognmarked in the day, a united Galifar was able to impose sanctions on the dragonmarked houses… but that with the advances in arcane sciences and the collapse of Galifar, it is an open question whether any nation is prepared to make an enemy of one of the houses.

With this said, there are a number of questions that have come up both recently and in the past concerning dragonmarks and the houses. Before I get to these, I want dragonmaried call out one of my personal ideas about the dragonmarks… and a house rule Dragonmarkee use ebwrron reflect it in 4E.

These are based on one simple principle: Obviously this refers to the 3. But this level of power can be mimicked by any magewright and surpassed by any wizard or artificer.

This alone is hardly sufficient to give the houses the power they possess. That power comes from the tools that only the dragonmarked can use: Airships and lightning rails.

Dragonmarks: The Dragonmarked Houses, pt 2 |

These and many other tools can only be used by the dragonmarked — and THIS is what gives them control. In 4E, I take this in a different direction. The existing 4E version of the dragonmarks allow the person who possesses a dragonmark to perform certain rituals without the ritual caster feat. I add a few things to this. The listed rituals are innate powers of the dragonmark. Such training costs draggonmarked same price as the market cost of the ritual, but once the training is complete the ritual cannot be taken away.

Dragonmarks 5/1: The Dragonmarked Houses

It still requires time and components note that I consider residuum to be the highest grade of refined Eberron dragonshards — the basic fuel of the magical economybut the power is part of the mark. I generally provide one of the lowest level rituals associated with the mark to the character for free.

This is the equivalent of the 3E spell-like ability. So a Kundarak dwarf with the mark can use it to make an arcane lock, and a Sivis gnome starts off knowing how to comprehend languages provided they have time and dragonshards to burn!

I restrict many significant rituals to the dragonmarked. But for a few examples, in my campaign you need the Mark of Healing to perform cure disease; the Mark of Warding to produce an arcane lock ; the Mark of Passage to use linked portal.

If you go to a temple, the priests may be skilled with the Heal skill and tend you in that way; but if you absolutely want to have your disease cured RIGHT NOW, you have to find someone with the Mark of Healing. Again — magical monopolies. And if your campaign, they just might do it.

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On the other hand, the houses have a vested interest in preventing such breakthroughs. How far will it go to maintain that monopoly? You can leave cure disease as something any ritual caster can do. But personally, I like the flavor of having specific, important magical services bound to these families. This was the biggest change I saw in 4E Eberron, and I really disliked it. Looking at the 4E ECG: Such a mark has nothing to do with bloodline and everything to do with the touch of the Prophecy.

Putting those two statements together, what we get is this. Any player character could have a dragonmark outside of the bloodline. First of all, it would be considered an aberrant mark. I always wondered about the Test of Syberis. Have you used any of those in a campaign?

Depending on your edition, a mark provides you with a variety of concrete benefits. A spell like ability. A bonus to skill checks. These are powers of the mark! Whether you sberron the spell-like abilities of 3. But you can dratonmarked on the fact that he will be better at Craft, or that the Tharashk heir will be better at Search.

You have one shot to have your best hunt ever, and if you fail, you shame your family.

Once, in my campaign, i had this Lyrandar heir comissioned to infiltrate the Twelve and sabotage some Cannith ultrasecret project. Can House Lyrandar lobby in his favor in some way? How often do you think these entrapments happen?

The first authority to judge him would have been the legal authorities of the country in which the crime took place. If the Cannith ultrasecret project is in Sharn, then Cannith should turn the saboteur over to the Sharn watch and prosecute him according to the Code of Galifar. Of course, having said that, there would also be a trial within the Twelve. Could Lyrandar lobby in his favor? Sure, in both courts. They could grease palms in Sharn. And they could make some sort of concession to Cannith to smooth things over.

The main thing is that negotiations in the Twelve are backs by practical considerations beyond abstract law. Lyrandar needs Cannith to keep producing Wheels of Wind and Water.

How is it that two radically opposing philosophies can exist within the Triumvirate of House Tharashk? I would expect that Team Daelkyr and Team Gatekeepers would be actively trying to murder each other, not work together to further the ends of their mercantile empire.

They were bound before humans even had significant civilizations on Sarlona, let alone before they settled in the Marches. There are extremists on both sides — the actual Gatekeeper druids, particularly active Cults of the Dragon Below. Some believe that the lords of the inner earth will one day return to the surface to transform the world into a paradise though they generally have strange aesthetics….

Some believe that when they die their souls will descend to the paradise within Khyber, provided they pave the road with the blood of their enemies. They disagree on these matters, but neither believes that the beliefs of the other are a clear and present danger.

Most Jorasco healers have the mark and nothing else. They have no special power to smite evil. A Jorasco house with a true cleric likely dedicated to Arawai and Kol Korran is a rare exception. Eberron is like our world. If you want to get healed, go to a hospital. If you want spiritual guidance, go to a church. The point is that this is generally use of the Heal skill as opposed to magic. Like our world, there are faith healers who dragonmarksd miraculously heal with a touch — but like our world, those are few in number in comparison to hospitals or clinics.


This relates to the idea that player character classes are rare. The cleric IS that faith healer — the rare and remarkable individual whose faith is so great that he can heal you with a prayer.

What I like about 4E with its rituals is that it finally allows a Jorasco heir to be a healer without ANY divine magic, which is how I prefer it. In my campaign, one of the greatest healers is a Jorasco heir dedicated to the Silver Flame, who left the house to follow his faith. I know about ebedron speaking stones that only sivis can use, the airships that only lyrander can fly, the lightning rail that only orien … etc.

What about Deneith, House of Shadow, etc … what tools give the other houses a financial edge in the world. First of dragonmmarked, in dragonmafked look to rituals. Certain rituals may be restricted to the Dragonmarked… and a common dragonmarked focus item would be an object that allows you to use that ritual at reduced cost or casting time.

Looking to the Shadow houses, some of the canon examples that have been mentioned are the Serpentine Mirror and the Shadow Eye — scrying tools described in Dragonmarked.

The powers of the mark are illusion, observation, and movement through shadows. The business of the house is entertainment and espionage. How could you amplify those innate powers to create a tool that would help the business? A giant crystal ball on a stage. An heir of the Mark of Shadows can tune it to observe one of dragonmqrked different locations using anchor items similar to the shadow eye ; these five locations are stages where the house holds performances. So think of it as a movie theater, but instead of having a recorded image or receiving a transmission, they are scrying on a live performance.

A similar tool — a magical stage that allows the shadow-marked operators to sculpt ongoing illusory images. As opposed to the crystal theaterthis is essentially an instrument requiring skilled users. But do you want a play where a dragon actually swoops down and breathes fire?

They can produce it. An amplified version of the shadowstep power, these are linked pits of absolute darkness hidden in the recesses of a handful of enclaves. Many were sealed off after the Shadow Schism. An heir can move between them… but some say they can be lost in Mabar!

Look at what the mark does and what the house does; think about how that power could enhance the business; go from there. I play mark of making artificer, human, who now has a homebrew silver flame paragon path… complete with silver quetzalcoatl dragknmarked.

Would this change the mark of making… or turn it aberrant? In my opinion, no. Please tell us how you portray the participation of the Silver Flame during the last war and whether there religious discrimination or conflict against flamers in Karrnath or Breland.