Races in D&D Excerpts
Warforged in D&D
|"While his comrades get their sleep,
a warforged passes the time by
sharpening their weapons for them."
Although warforged were created for use in the Eberron campaign setting, they make an excellent character race for any D&D game. Warforged are particularly appropriate in a high-magic setting where war has been an ongoing feature in the land. They might be relics from ancient times, only recently reactivated, or they might be new creations still in service for various powerful nations or organizations. When warforged are used, DMs should be mindful of potential controversies regarding the warforged: Do they have a soul? How are they affected by being unable to heal? They are affected as both a construct and a living being, so including aspects or effects that target constructs can be an effective way of including the warforged in the action and getting around any seeming invulnerability the race might have. Warforged are perennial outsiders, longing to be accepted but forever the "other." How do various races in your campaign regard warforged? Are they part of a larger society, or are they too scarce to form any concerted movement? Do they even want to live among other races, or do they look down on those who wish to be something other than what they are? The answers to these questions should provide roleplaying opportunities for warforged throughout your campaign.
Shifters in D&D
With their unique racial powers and outlook, shifters bring fresh options and character concepts to any D&D world. Although created as part of the Eberron campaign setting, the race fits in seamlessly with any fantasy setting. In another world, a world of your own creation, they might ride side by side with their lycanthrope ancestors, united in ways that the history of Eberron does not account for. They might hate their ancestors, leading others in hunting lycanthropes in crusades reminiscent of Eberron's history. In another world, shifters might have no connection to lycanthropes at all; instead, the supernatural ability to shift their form might stem from some interaction with the deities of chaos, great magic wrought in an ancient time, or some other source of power. In Eberron, shifters keep their distance from the rest of society. They might live within the great cities of humankind, but they seem ever to be outsiders. The mechanics of the shifter race blend seamlessly into any D&D setting, so these social concerns are the only issue a DM must address before including shifters in a campaign setting other than Eberron.
Changelings in D&D
Changelings' mutable forms give them preternatural powers of deception, and wherever they go they face suspicion and even a little fear. Changelings, although originally part of the Eberron setting, can easily be used in other D&D campaign worlds. These versatile masters of disguise might be suspected of any number of conspiracies or treacheries, or they might be loyal allies of the humans and elves; perhaps in your world the good nations have been able to survive their wars with more powerful empires of evil because of the intelligence brought to them by heroic changeling spies.
Kalashtar in D&D
Despite their connection to the world of dreams, the kalashtar need not be tied to the Eberron setting. In another campaign world, that connection simply might not exist. The humanlike appearance and mental powers of the kalashtar might be the result of a long-ago offshoot of humanity, the product of careful magical or scientific experimentation, or the result of some other reason of the DM's own invention. The kalashtar are at their best in a world that uses the rules from the Expanded Psionics Handbook, but even without psionics, the race offers considerable potential for intrigue and adventure. What's more, with the kalashtar come the Inspired, and the insidious evil of the Inspired should have a place in any D&D world. When you consider using the kalashtar in a setting other than Eberron, the first question that must be addressed is whether or not the Inspired have also come into the world. The Inspired, gifted with physical beauty, psionic might, and an ancient, unknowable evil, make intriguing villains at almost any level. The scheming and corruption that they bring with them are boons to almost any D&D campaign, but in some worlds, the story of the kalashtar might be better explored without the subtle menace of the Inspired.