A recent interview reveals substantial changes are coming to Warforged with the upcoming release of Eberron: Rising from the Last War.
Warforged are one of Eberron’s most iconic contributions to D&D. This race of sentient magical soldiers who were originally built for war but since gained sentience and became enough of a demographic to power a whole Short Circuit cinematic universe, resonates with many people for many reasons. Some people love roleplaying as them to investigate what it means to have meaning in your life or finding a purpose. Other people like playing cool magic robots who have armored plating and integrated weapons and hit things real good without having to spend 1,500 gp on plate armor.
One of the most controversial things about Warforged as they exist right now in the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron is the way their integrated armor protection works.
Pick one of those three options after the end of a long rest, depending on what you need. Already that choice had people wondering about how that worked–but the real kicker was in the Heavy Armor plating, which scaled with your proficiency bonus. It’s certainly the most optimized way to gain AC–you start off with an AC of 18, and can easily get up to a 20 with a shield, and higher depending on what kind of fighting style you pick. And it just keeps growing from there.
There was a lot of looking at the numbers and theorycrafting about how high you could raise your AC, despite the fact that having a high AC doesn’t do as much for you as you think it does–the real key to success in D&D combat is making as many attacks as you can and having lots of hit points, which overpowers Armor Class and Hit Bonus every single time, by like, a lot–but it still feels pretty unbalanced.
Well according to a recent interview with Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer for 5th Edition, those options are no more. Integrated protection has been dropped (presumably due to this perception) in favor of a flat +1 to AC that floats on top of whatever armor you run with. But that’s not the only big change coming with Eberron: Rising from the Last War. The Warforged subraces are also gone. These were three different kinds of Warforged, the Scout, Juggernaut, and Envoy, which were built to a specific purpose (scout, soldier, and specialist). Now you’ll just have a variety of “customization options” which will probably include some of the iconic features from them (integrated tools I’m looking at you), but we don’t know how Warforged will function now.
Other key information mentioned in the interview is a focus on the impact of The Last War, which is exciting. RPGs have come a long way over the last fifteen years, and it looks like they’re taking a different approach to making Eberron stand out. The idea of what kinds of magitech stuff you can get away with has shifted as well–fans of the Adventure Zone will doubtless be familiar with magical elevators–but you might also see Blade Runner style illusory advertisements.
I think a good source of inspiration might be the world of the Legend of Korra, with its own sort of industrialized fantasy take. At any rate, there are more changes in store for the final version of Eberron: Rising from the Last War, and we’ll be keeping a close eye for any other early details. So check back for more as we get closer to release day.
What do you think of the Warforged changes? Let us know in the comments, and Happy Adventuring!