The warforged were built to fight in the Last War. The first warforged were mindless automatons, but House Cannith devoted vast resources to improving these steel soldiers. An unexpected breakthrough produced fully sentient soldiers, blending organic and inorganic materials. Warforged are made from wood and metal, but they can feel pain and emotion. Built as weapons, they must now find a purpose beyond the war. A warforged can be a steadfast ally, a cold-hearted killing machine, or a visionary in search of purpose and meaning.
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The warforged are one of the defining elements of Eberron. Sentient golems created to fight in the Last War, they must find their purpose and place in the world now that the war is over.
Warforged are formed from wood and metal, but they are living creatures. Their musculature is formed from a rootlike substances, and they have a circulatory system of alchemical fluids. Robot or not, a warforged character is quite different from other species.
Your armor is your skin. Whether you embrace it or rebel against it, you were created for a purpose and your class features may be reflected in your physical design. A warforged barbarian could describe their Rage as entering an advanced battle mode, while a warforged sorcerer could present themselves as a living wand.
In that early edition a warforged character used a feat to set their armor class, and once set, they had it for the rest of their life. This added a unique flavor to the race, though it did require a character to burn a feat.
In the earliest draft of the WGtE , we mimicked this original model by tying armor type to subrace. The juggernaut subrace had the equivalent of heavy armor, the skirmisher was medium, and the envoy was light. This mirrored that original design; you made a choice at first level and that defined your armor moving forward.
While this approach added flexibility, it raised a lot of questions and corner cases. Did Integrated Protection count as wearing armor for purposes of feat prerequisites? How did it interact with class features, such as Fighting Styles? Could it be targeted by heat metal which was a threat to warforged in 3.
This all led to the current approach. Once you do this, it cannot be removed against your will. Some people feel that this undermines the idea of warforged.
But this is a matter of perception. When a warforged goes through this hour-long process, they are literally peeling off their outer plating, disassembling the new armor and fusing it to their body, piece by piece. However, if there is a need, they are CAPABLE of going through this extreme process of body modification, removing their plating and incorporating new armor.
Ultimately, this approach to armor is cleaner from the perspective of both interaction with other rules elements and long-term character balance. You are incorporating the armor into your body, not wearing it. The original Unearthed Arcana included three warforged subraces. The simple reason for this is that the subraces were themselves a holdover from the earlier design where Armor Class was tied to subrace. The Envoy warforged was an inherently stronger subrace than the Juggernaut, because originally the Envoy was limited to light protection and the Juggernaut had heavy armor.
It was a parallel to the original 3. Once this limitation was removed from Integrated Protection, the foundation for subraces was no longer there.
The picture above is of a character I played in a local Eberron campaign—the warforged druid Rose, who has an integrated herbalism kit. I love the idea of a warforged being designed for a specific purpose, and having the tool to perform that function as an inherent part of their body.
However, this was never intended to be the default for all warforged. Again, in the original design the Envoy was limited to light armor; they were supposed to be rare prototypes, not the most common design. Wondrous item, common requires attunement by a warforged. While the tool is part of your body, you must have your hands free in order to make use of the tool. Thanks as always to my Patreon supporters, who keep this website going! In my opinion, yes, it is painful. Imagine being a ten year going to the dentist for the first time.
Said child, never flossed and brushed maybe twice a day. Having their teeth cleaned for the first time is painful, their gums will bleed and they will feel every prick of the dental tools. Even though the cleaning process is good for them it is uncomfortable and slightly scary for them. I already listen to your take on this in manifest zone. But your first paragraph piqued my interest. To be clear up front, I think both souls and free will are metaphorical or just plain imaginary, as far as the real world concepts of them.
Fortunine only had it done because she felt she needed a major change in her structure to better fit her self-image. I think this is exactly the sort of service you could find at the Red Hammer in Sharn, for example.
And I do think the idea of self-modification for expression is very important for warforged. Among other things, warforged who performed military service are essentially built with the uniform of that nation as their body. Has a warforged character kept that — IE, you still have the crown and bell of Cyre on your shoulder and a recognizable Cyran design — or have you chosen to assert your independence from any nation?
The Integrated Tool was my favorite thing about the warforged, so I am glad you are going to address this in Exploring Eberron. I can, and will, get behind all of this—and I especially look forward to Exploring Eberron. That way most warforged walking around are already established with their proper armored body type but the player can still enjoy the flexibility and game design offered here.
A full day, perhaps, and then only with a Cannith or Cannith-licenses artificer who specializes in warforged physiology. While it makes sense for most warfored to never change up their body, we know that players will want to try on new stuff all the time. Ben, sorta. I for one like the idea of incorporating new armour and changing appearance as a story thing too. A good number of armours in Eberron likely have sigils and markings showing nation, faith and organization, and this allows a warforged to be part of the organization.
I like the idea effectively using a magic item to replicate the tool ability. I wonder if a racial feat would have been a better course of action. A character can select various warforged racial feats and modify themselves like aftermarket car parts. A juggernaut would grab the fists and powerful build feat plus other effects to balance and becomes a larger warforged.
Same with skirmisher, and probably other niche aftermarket designs for builds. To me that makes sense since they are purpose built to task, so either you order cheap stock models or some more expensive specialized versions.
But something that is part of you is something that identifies you. Which is why I loved the subraces and felt they should have been kept and just tweaked or whatever. Love the art of Rose. I have a player in my Eberron campaign playing a Warforged paladin Oath of the Ancients named Solitude Soli that incorporated a very similar theme into their character.
Warforged, and the subrace options specifically, felt like they rewarded people for expressing their character decisions with mechanical benefits in the game. Now, I think most would agree that 3. Taking the system as it is, but then asking what would be interesting for us to add? What more can we do with it? Rising did a good job at maintaining some of this, I was genuinely surprised that intuition dice came through almost unchanged.
This brings me to my question. Obviously, those of us with extensive experience in the game will add in elements as we wish better believe Greater Dragonmark is making a comeback in my games , but often what is most appealing to us in new supplements is seeing how the professionals did it first and spring boarding from there. Simultaneously, new players and GMs often depend on seeing those creative design choices to become experienced role-players willing to step beyond the confines of the system.
In other words, how do you balance pushing for the interesting creative design choice that experienced gamers often demand, with the needs for mechanical simplicity and approachability that seems to be the design focus of 5e to attract new players? The mechanics of Rising were almost entirely handled in house by WotC staff; my focus was on lore and story. I find the new version saps a lot of flavor out of the Warforged as do some of the other changes to other races in Rising from the Last War.
I was excited with the UA versions because they had the feel of the original 3. I like the idea of a common magic item taking the place of the integrated tool.
However, it should absolutely not cost an attunement slot — attunement slots are the most precious commodity in 5e. How does the new armor system work with Heat Metal? If a Warforged absorbs full plate can we see that or does it look like other Warforged but just built like tank? A warforged is considered to be wearing whatever armor it currently has attached for all mechanical purposes: feats, spells, class features.
Strip out of your heavy armor! So when you mention mechanics, would Warforged not benefit from features such as Unarmored Movement or other similar features?
Such as a Monk. They can use Defense Fighting Style. There would be a range of positions in and out of the warforged community. Last thing is I really miss the subraces and felt like the Warforgeds lost a lot of flavor with them being one base model now so to speak. End of the day I guess I could have my Fighter Warforged look like a Judgment but like the traits the 3 sub races had even with Envoy being the most powerful game wise.
You know what would have been cool? If the design for utilizing integrated armor had gone the other direction.
Instead of having to take an hour to put on or take off armor, it should take a round. A warforged character should be able to use an action and a move to magically shrug into a set of unworn, unheld armor with which they are proficient.
What are we supposed to believe? There are only a handful of foes that damage armor, much less try and take it off of you. But being able to walk without penalty unarmored and then magically enshroud oneself with that set of full plate in your pack?
History and Folklore-Warforged
The warforged are one of the defining elements of Eberron. Sentient golems created to fight in the Last War, they must find their purpose and place in the world now that the war is over. Warforged are formed from wood and metal, but they are living creatures. Their musculature is formed from a rootlike substances, and they have a circulatory system of alchemical fluids.
Rising From The Last War: The Warforged
The warforged are a relatively new race being created by House Cannith during the Last War in YK for the purposes of warfare. The Warforged are sentient constructs and have free will, which earned them the same rights as human citizens in each of their homelands in YK under the Treaty of Thronehold. Living Construct: Warforged are living constructs and do not need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe. In this mode the warforged only need 4 hours until they are considered fully rested.
What's a living construct? Mechanically, they're an excuse to play a robot in a fantasy campaign without having to deal with level adjustment. Fundamentally, warforged are golems , but they differ from their more mainstream counterparts in the fact that they are actually sentient creatures, created by magically coagulating and blending metal, stone, and wood in a vat. This means that warforged are far smarter than standard golems, and lack certain golem weaknesses, like not being able to benefit from healing magic As detailed in Races of Eberron , all warforged share a common facial design, with a hinged jaw and crystal eyes embedded beneath a reinforced brow ridge with a sigil, called a "ghulra", engraved into the center of the forehead which "are as individual as human fingerprints".