Nowadays, the main continent and the nations in it have just finished a civil war that lasted a hundred years. Starting as a conflict on royal succession, enmities escalated in its first years and soon the coming generation just wanted to survive to their enemies. The Kingdom of Galifar wouldn’t be the same ever again, no matter how many war veterans were able to go back home. Entire cities changed their allegiance by force or convenience, and the ones who were but provinces of the kingdom are now fully independent nations on their own might, engulfed in a cold war where espionage and diplomacy have replaced swords and battle magic as weapons.
The igniting spark
After King Jarot, the last of the kings of Galifar, died, his children fought to overcome the others and in doing so, become the new ruler. Each controlled one of the five provinces of the kingdom, and these turned into battling nations as the war broke apart forcing every organization and family in Khorvaire to pick a side. The conflict was named the Last War because it was thought that being so terrible, once it would be finished no one would ever start a new one.
The Forge of War
Written by James Wyatt, Ari Marmell and Wolfgang Baur, with an astonishing cover art by Wayne Reynolds, The Forge of War was published in June 2007. It is a sourcebook that explores the history of the Last War, focusing on the events, armies, battlefields, magic and heroes of the Last War. Campaign seeds help the Dungeon Master introduce the themes and events of the Last War in a current-day campaign or send characters back to their wartime days through flashbacks or actual time travel. A comprehensive overview of the Last War provides details on the events, armies, battlefields, and themes of Eberron’s greatest clash of nations.
The book, which is also designed to help players and DMs in a standard campaign by expanding how the war affected their characters, is divided in four chapters:
- The Course of War shows an overview in chronological order of the major events during the hundred years the Last War lasted. It is written as extracted from academic texts found in the Library of Korranberg, which is super flavorful.
- Guide to the Last War takes an encyclopedic approach in alphabetical order about the key events, locations and organizations that influenced or were influenced by the conflict.
- Not surprisingly, Heroes of the Last War is the chapter with the mechanical elements for playing the game, including not only the usual feats, spells and magic items, but also physical and psychological scars to add depth to your characters and teamwork benefits for characters that know how to fight together.
- In my opinion, The Last War Campaign is the filling of the cake, though, with discussions about campaign styles and giving advice on how to run them and combine them.
Just as stated in that chapter, you can use the Last War in a historic campaign, a flashback episode or a time-traveling quest. Whatever you choose, a game during such a long and terrible war doesn’t mean it has everything to do with the open conflict: there will be of course, ways in which every event will be touched by it, but your characters don’t need to go to the battlefield to be part of the war. Think Mission: Impossible kind-of quests and everything will be framed in place and feel urgent and important.
As part of my “Vision 20/20” plan which I will reveal on December 31st, I will publish some of my short campaigns as one-shots for the DM’s Guild. Today, I’ll offer you a first glimpse in what’s to come, introducing you one of the first titles I’ll publish: Sede Vacante. This whole campaign started when my players asked for a “Game of Thrones” style campaign. I decided to turn to Eberron’s Last War and deviate a little from canon using other sources in a big explosive mix of “what if” history.
Surrounded by people he doesn’t trust, King Jarot summons his children to Thronehold, but he dies before they all arrive. He wants to be succeeded by his eldest daughter, but the kingdom has always have a male ruler.
The siblings don’t know exactly how to react: during their father’s funerals, they found out he recently announced his new wife was pregnant, which can change everything.
Princess Mishann is not only a woman, but single and seen as too old to bear a child and continue the royal line of succession. Her reputation, marked by scandals in her youth, doesn’t help. But there are some who want to see her as High Queen, and to accomplish this, they unlock a secret they swore to bury fifteen years ago…
Welcome to Sede Vacante, a campaign where our heroes have the beginning of the Last War as their background. They will be hired by Princess Mishann’s followers to rescue her son: a child she thought died at childbirth. The baby was promptly hidden as the infatuation that originated him was scandalous. Where has been the son kept hidden? How can anyone prove he’s Mishann’s heir? Who was the father?
Well, I guess you’ll have to wait for Sede Vacante to be available to find out.
Have you ever ran or played a campaign during the Last War? How did it go? Leave your experience in the comments below!