Your race is the heart of your character. It is who they are at their core. Their thoughts, feelings, and upbringing are influenced by their race. In this series we’ll be taking a look into the races of D&D and how they shape your character. Today we’ll be talking about the mighty robots of Eberron, the Warforged.
Hailing from the Eberron setting, the Warforged were built as soldiers to fight in the Last War. But ever since the war’s end, they have been aimless as a race. Without a battle to fight, the Warforged are forced to discover who they are. This identity crisis can serve as the core of your character’s conflict. Some Warforged may struggle with becoming more than the soldier they were made to be, while others may find difficulty in convincing others that they are more than war grunts. The concept of an open destiny versus one others have determined for you makes for a great start to a hero.
The Warforged appear to be magical robots, though their physiology is far more complex than that. The core of a Warforged’s body is made of muscle like wood, enchanted to move as though it were the same as any other human’s body. This wooden core is protected by a series of metal plates, acting as a sort of exoskeleton. These plates give some form of individuality to the Warforged, and it’s not unusual for them to seek out the help of a craftsman to forge a new look for them. This body is not without its limits, however. The Warforged can still feel pain like any other race, and while they are resistant to more fleshy races, they are not immune from harm.
Building a personality for a Warforged can be a unique challenge. You’re trying to do something for this character that they may still be doing for themselves. Having been nothing but soldiers made to focus on the war, the Warforged find themselves with a void of purpose and personality. This leaves you with a blank slate to work with, and perhaps that work will be done in game. You may find that your Warforged is unable to control the emotions that they encounter, leading to exaggerated reactions. Or the may be more stoic, robotic. Gender identity is another big question for the Warforged. Their bodies are built sexless, so it’s up to you to determine how or if this gender is defined. The journey to discover one’s gender can make for a great story arc by itself.
The Warforged don’t have any subraces. Instead they have a more modular design. Much like humans, the Warforged can choose which stat they want a bonus in, as well as focus on a skill, tool, and language. These choices can be fun to design in your character. Since Warforged are physically made, these specializations can be physical additions to your character. Proficiency in athletics may come from spring systems embedded in the heels, while knowledge of the Dwarven language may come from a tome that’s literally built into the head. The options here are endless, and I cannot wait for clever players to explore these possibilities.
The Warforged are a great choice for many players. They can be played for their existential discovery, or they can be played for just being rad robots. This race holds a slew of possibilities for those ready to investigate them. What character will you create? Will it be a Warforged, or one of the other races that we’ve covered? Let me know in the comments below.