At the time, this was because WGtE is a big document and I wanted to cover it in a single article. Turns out, it also means I have something to talk about today! As I mentioned in the first article, the core structure of dragonmarks is replacement of racial features. The amount of replacement varies by the dragonmark.
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Dragonmarks are physical manifestations of the Draconic Prophecy. They have appeared on seven of Khorvaire's common races. They are more intricate than a birthmark and more distinct than a tattoo. There are twelve families of dragonmarks; originally there were thirteen, but no living creature on Eberron possesses the destroyed mark of House Vol. In addition to being a status symbol in Khorvaire , the dragonmarks provide the bearer with magical talents.
Aberrant Dragonmarks can be clearly distinguished from a standard house dragonmark and no two are alike. The dragonmarks are passed through bloodlines and when two members of different dragonmarked families reproduce it often results in aberrant dragonmarks. The aberrant marks do not manifest identically each time therefore it is possible for two individuals with completely different looking marks to produce the same magical effect using the mark.
Indeed each aberrant dragonmark is completely unique to its bearer. Originally aberrant marked were seen as outcasts and outsiders. Often they were shunned by the houses and eked out a pitiful existence. Many members bearing these aberrant dragonmarks have since united in their differences and formed House Tarkanan , most notably present in Sharn. Dragonmarks typically appear in the bearer's adolescence as they pass through puberty, however, this is not exclusively the case.
There are three distinct manifestations of each dragonmark that correlate in size, intricacy, and power. As the dragonmark gains power from least to greater it will expand in size and complexity rather than forming a different mark. Often the mark will manifest first as the least mark and through study and focus the bearer increases their power and with this increase, the dragonmark also increases granting additional abilities.
However, there are some who will manifest a lesser mark or even greater mark without explanation. House members who manifest even the least dragonmark, however, can expect at least some change in their lifestyle as they find new and better employment opportunities within their house guilds as well as new social avenues to explore. Much rarer are the so called Heirs of Siberys who possess the Siberys Mark , marks that cover much, if not all, of their body.
Siberys Marks are named after the progenitor dragon Siberys. A dragonmarked individual might labor all of their life and never manifest the Siberys Mark, while an unmarked member of a house bloodline might suddenly manifest the mark overnight. It is unpredictable and unexplained despite steady research by top minds across Khorvaire.
The Siberys Mark grants the bearer extraordinary power based upon which house's mark they manifest. These Siberys dragonmarks can lead otherwise unknown or undiscovered members of a house to suddenly rise in importance within their own ranks and those who were formerly unmarked may have a hard time adjusting to this new fame.
In the 4th edition of Eberron, least, lesser, greater and Siberys marks were streamlined into one mark which can be taken as a feat by players. In the 5th edition of Eberron, dragonmarks are presented as variant race or subrace traits. Aberrant dragonmarks are presented as a feat with the prerequisite of no other dragonmark.
There is an optional rule provided for a percentage chance of greater aberrant powers at 10th level or each level afterward if no success on first roll.
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This would justify his setting's dungeonpunk theme and its magitek by way of industrialized magic motif. To do this, he invented two things. The first was the Magewright NPC class. The other was the concept of Dragonmarks.
Unearthed Arcana: Dragonmarks Breakdown