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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Keith Baker speaks on Races Cover

Keith Baker has had something to add to the discussions about the book covers. Over at Enworld he has had the following to say...

Keith Baker:
I think that some people are jumping to conclusions based on a picture and a marketing blurb, which let's face it, wasn't written by any of the authors of the book. If you're remotely interested in Eberron or any of the races, pick it up and look at it in a store if you have the chance. I think you'll find that it's not chock full of reprinted material, that it expands upon Eberron, but that it also presents interesting races that can be adapted to other settings.

As I've said on other boards: Any new race requires adaptation. Take goliaths. Their culture is described. Their religion is described. They don't fit into ANY setting: if you want to use them, you'll need to decide where to place them, how to fit them into the history of your world, and what to do with things like their religion, which may not mesh with your cosmology.

Races of Eberron is the same thing, except that the races DO already fit one setting: Eberron. Their history, religion, culture, legends, etc provide information that automatically fits into and expands an Eberron campaign. If you're going to use them in another setting, there will be things that you'll either have to ignore or adapt: but you'll still be able to use the central idea of the race, its mechanics, and you'll have an insight into culture, traditions, and behavior. The lycanthropic purge is an event in Eberron that has had some impact on Shifter culture, and RoE addresses that. But it hasn't had SUCH a major impact that you can't choose to ignore it. We discuss folklore, famous shifters who fought in the purge on one side or the other - as a non-Eberron DM, you can decide to ignore this or to adapt the idea of the purge to your game. The warforged chapter discusses the history of the warforged, and that means the Last War and House Cannith. If you want to use the warforged in a different setting, you'll either need to adapt that to a new war or just ignore their history - but the book will still give you all the rules you need to use them and ideas about their psychology and traditions.

It's not generic material. It's based in Eberron, and adds more depth to the world (for example, shedding far more light on the kalashtar than you get in the ECS). But with some adaptation, it can be used outside of Eberron - just as with some adaptation, goliaths and illumians can be used IN Eberron.

I can't convince you that it's a worthwhile purchase. But I know what's inside, and that goes beyond a marketing blurb and a cover image. If you've ever been interested in the book and are now turning away because of the cover, I hope you'll still take a look and give the content a chance to speak for itself.

On a related note the petition has reached 234 signatures.

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