Eberron continues to enthrall me despite the fact that I have yet to read the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron. I’ve read great things from Guild authors though and Eberron fascinates me. It’s high-magic, high-stakes, and brutal. Contrast this with the hopeful tone of the Forgotten Realms and what you’ve got is an ideal campaign setting for a survival-of-the-fittest style of play.
Eberron: Sharn’s Bounty Hunters
Writer: Christian Eichhorn, (edited by Christopher Walz)
Publisher: DMs Guild
Product Length: 23 pages
Sharn’s Bounty Hunters is a collection of 10 NPCs that you can hunt in the Eberron campaign setting. The more successful you are at hunting these marks, the more you progress through the ranks of the bounty hunters’ guild. If you’re lucky, you may work your way up from a “Blank Sheet” to a highly respected “Adept” and be awarded a title that can never be stripped away.
This accessory is short but it’s oozing with originality. It’s not simply a description of 10 NPCs who have bounties on their heads. You get that, certainly. But you also get wanted posters/cards and a template to make your own (complete with a link to the font Christian used to make his). There is a full description of the Guild Organization including the ranks and what it means to be any given rank and what rewards you enjoy at each rank.
You get the guild’s history, it’s leaders, and houses in Sharn who are friendly to the guild as well.
Christian was involved with Storm King’s Barrows that I reviewed before and while I enjoyed his writing in Geschmalig’s Tomb I have found this to be stronger work. When I sat down to skim this over (I’d planned a full read later) I soon realized I didn’t want to put it down and I couldn’t bring myself to merely skim. I absorbed every word and kept thinking that my half-elf rogue, Buriso, would love to join this guild.
As with the aforementioned Storm King’s Barrows, this product is top quality. The cover has Eichhorn’s familiar style of a weathered book with dog-eared corners, creases, and worn edges. The pages within are also immaculate. There is a parchment background that is not overbearing and the words pop off the page effortlessly. Great organization of the material should be a given for any product and this one does not disappoint. However, a clickable table of contents is just icing on the cake and a pleasant surprise.
Each NPC gets a wanted card, a detailed background, and, in the Appendix, a useful stat block.
The editing by Christopher Walz should not go unacknowledged. The material reads well and I didn’t find any glaring errors of syntax, grammar, or spelling.
There are no new mechanics to concern yourself with but the attention that Christian gave to each NPC, the leaders, and the guild in general make for a short and captivating read. You may initially get confused with how the payment scales for a 1-skull target to a 3- or 5-skull one. But after you realize there are no 2- or 4-skull ones then it comes together and you realize there is no algorithm you have to remember.
Sharn’s Bounty Hunter nails it. This is a handy accessory to have. You can use the framework and adapt it easily to Forgotten Realms or any other setting you’d like. You could even use it to create an entire campaign arc. The PCs can be charged with bringing in each and every mark, dead or alive. Be sure to add this one to your list!