I'm planning on running 4e and having a few Eberron books want to use that as the backdrop but given the fact I'll have to wait a few months for the campaign and players guide I am setting up this thread to discuss ideas.
The players have designed their characters using the phb and FR player's guide and include a Tiefling Wizard, an Elven Ranger and a Genasi Warlock and have been planning on using some Paizo scenarios along with some adventures I'll write and need to run these ideas here in case there something I've missed.
So as far as magical items are concerned my plans are that they require dragonshards of which bloodstones being the most common are used to fuel and even provide enchantments to mundane items explaining the limited selection in the phb and why things such as rings of protection don't exist anymore.
The backdrop is that its set a couple of years after the Mourning and events have led the heroes to investigate rumours of undead in the ruins of an old fortress built on top of a cliff overlooking a valley which holds the only known means of entering the ruined fortress.
Although the treaty has been signed most of the events of the Five Nations haven't really spread to where the PCs are given they're somewhere in the back of nowhere so much of whats explained in the Eberron Campaign Setting doesn't need to be explained nor why certain races aren't available as PCs (yet) but I was thinking of introducing them to this by making the Emerald Claw being the chief foe behind undead activity and involve the dragonmarked houses when they start looking for either fast transportation, banking, trading, etc...
However I've yet to see anything explaining how they're going to shift Eberron 3.5 to 4e and whilst I'm not looking to compare with FR I would like to know your opinion on these changes in relation as to how they'll effect the game world I'm planning to run this game in and hope to turn it into a campaign.
So what advice would you give?
I'm not too familiar with Eberron so I can't give campaign-specific advice.
First, though, seriously consider scrapping your party. You have no defender and no leader. Even if you scale the encounter building system back for three PCs, they will run into SERIOUS problems due to a complete lack of damage mitigation and healing.
Second, rings of protection do exist in the 4th Edition PHB.
Third, if you want to use dragonshards as part of the requirement for enchanting, I advise against adding them as an extra cost. Instead, simply use them to replace residuum or other reagents that are assumed to be part of the cost of the item. That way you aren't making it harder for them to gain access to magic items for the sake of injecting a little campaign-specific flavor.
I am an Eberron fan so I have been trying to keep tabs on what they are planning on doing with it in 4E. First I can assume that the dragonmarks are going to work something similar to the bloodline from the Damyhr (sp) article from DDI a few weeks back. There has been some mention of how the new races will fit into the setting too such as Teiflings have some origin in the Demon Wastes and the Dragonborn being some races from Argonesson (sp, no book on hand.) I'd suggest reading Keith Baker's LJ for some more information Particular post on 4E and Eberron
As Scott said I wouldn't add the cost of the Dragon shards to the rituals, rather have the PC find shards in their adventures like Siberyis, or Eberron shards and use them in enchanting as part of the cost. You could assign the shard a value when used in enchanting, even make them worth more for the Enchant Magic Item ritual then if they were sold.
Also a party with no leader and no defenders isn't going to live long. Even if you tailor the encounters to them it will get boring quick as you will have to use lots of minions and limit the number of monsters that deal real (read as non-minion) damage. Or you can make them all multi-class or give them a mutli-class feat for free and try it out. Honestly though you are facing an up-hill battle there. That's my opinion though
I've yet to see anything explaining how they're going to shift Eberron 3.5 to 4e and whilst I'm not looking to compare with FR I would like to know your opinion on these changes in relation as to how they'll effect the game world I'm planning to run this game in and hope to turn it into a campaign.
If you're concerned about drastic changes to Eberron for 4e: Basically, the 4E Eberron books will not be advancing the timeline at all, so anything you've got in the existing books regarding important people, secret power groups, and various political issues will still be correct.
When adapting 3.5 or Paizo adventures to 4E, keep in mind that 4E assumes larger numbers of foes than 3rd edition. You'll want to take a close look at the information on building encounters in the 4E DMG. In particular, try to figure out ways to include two or three different types of creatures in (almost) every encounter - don't fall into the trap of presenting your PCs with individual bad guys (except for the rare Solo bad guys, whose stat blocks make them as capable as a number of lesser foes); and likewise, don't fall into the trap of just adding Minions to every scene that would normally include just one bad guy.
(If we knew what Paizo adventures you're considering adapting, we might be able to give some more specific advice regarding converting those adventures.)
As for the concerns the others have raised about having no Defender and no Leader - I say that you should let the players play the characters they want. However, with the lack of a Leader, you may want to consider one (or more, but not too many) of the following:
1) Provide more frequent Potions of Healing than the rules suggest, and don't deduct the value for all of them from the monetary portion of the treasure you hand out. (Keep in mind that potions of healing make the user spend a healing surge but get back exactly 10hp instead of the usual amount; this seems great at 1st level but becomes a problem as the PCs level up and their healing surges should have values > 10.)
2) Give each PC a single bonus Encounter power that is like the cleric's Healing Word (but just one per encounter). (This will scale with level).
3) Give each PC a "free" multiclass feat and encourage them to take one of the classes that grants a daily use of a healing ability. (This would be only a daily power; but it would also let them spend additional feats to get powers with the Healing keyword from the other class.)
4) Combine options 2&3, sort of - grant those who multiclass as Clerics the full Healing Word power (2/encounter) rather than just 1/day.
5) If you do nothing else, consider adjusting the hit points of most monsters down about 25% (to make fights shorter so PCs take less damage overall), and/or reducing the damage some foes deal.
I've already posted them with the suggestion an npc be involved which would either be a leader or defender dependent on their choice.
And as for dragonshards I was figuring that these could be used to enchant the items they already have to a limited degree requiring more to increase the level of the items they feel they really need rather than have a hoard of items that would eventually result in them having to sell their old items when they decide to upgrade them in town.
Perhaps I should have the npc be an artificer to hit two birds with one stone, however since they don't really know that much about Eberron (except for a game where I ran it under 3.5 rules) I was hoping to give them a reason to want to read up on it, perhaps with some luck turn this game into a potential campaign but I have the bad habit of talking too much and putting too much detail into it.
Still thanks for the responses!
I had not idea healers were so vital.
I wouldn't say they (or Defenders) are so vital you absolutely must have them in the group - but it is a definite hindrance to be without them.
4E does give the rest of the party a bit more ability to heal on their own, in the form of Second Wind - healers (at low levels) are generally only adding two extra surges per encounter (plus some bonuses). But they are able to add that healing in without taking up precious actions like Second Wind does - and can often call forth their daily and utility powers to provide vital healing if the tide turns against the party. A group without a leader won't always have that option - and once some PCs go down, there might be no way to get them back up.
Now, this can definitely be compensated for - if the PCs make an effort to have healing potions on hand, and pay attention to the damage they take, and use Second Wind when needed. But if you simply have three strikers charge into the enemy without a second thought, things are likely to get real bloody, real fast.
I just cringe whenever I hear someone has to fill a certain role. For me, it is an indicator that the game will be about the specific challenges the GM provides and less about the characters themselves.
It depends entirely on the type of game you're playing. If you plan to focus on dungeon crawling and combat, then combat roles are important. If you plan to run a more intrigue heavy campaign with very little combat, you can focus on other things. But then, if you're playing the latter, you're probably better off using a system other than D&D...