A couple days ago some folks asked me to clarify what went so wrong with my Eberron outing that I'm prepared to nix it after just a couple sessions. It wasn't any one big sweeping problem, just a number of minor things that led to this clear feeling that the game just wasn't clicking. Let me explain. No, let me sum up.
I Thought We Were All Pirates On This Bus - Was I expecting horrible Long John Silver or Captain Jack Sparrow accents? Goblins forced to walk the plank? Betraying the Ms. Johnson in the stupid intro adventure? Interparty fisticuffs? I'm not sure, but I know that the piratey-ness was just laying there dead.
Airships? Huh! What are they good for? - I did quite a bit of searching and tinkering trying to find some way of making airshipery work to our advantage, but it never it panned out. In the end I came to the conlusion that putting any focus on the ship rather than the people was probably a bad idea from the get-go.
Crunchy Eberron vs. Fluffy Eberron - Half of the Eberron Campaign Setting is golden. New races, new classes, new feats, new items, new templates. All the crunchy stuff that my players and I love. But the fluff doesn't really do that much for me. My favorite part of the setting is Xendrik, simply because it's a big unknown. If the book had been half as big and relied on a new implied setting rather than an explicit one it would work much better for me. As it stands I feel like I'm playing in someone else's sandbox. I stopped running Greyhawk because I didn't like that sensation and with Eberron the feeling was even more intense.
So there you have it. What wasn't working in Sky Pirates of Eberron? The sky part. Also the pirates. Oh, and the Eberron part. Everything else was aces.
Stay tuned for details on my next big crazy idea. Here's a hint: it will involve both swords and orcs.