CSI: Sharn

SharnOn the German RPG blog “Limited Edition – Gedanken zum Rollenspiel” I discovered a very intersting post called “CSI: Sharn“.

Sharn is one of the most iconic cities in Eberron and a great place for urban adventures. In his last Eberron campaign fellow blogger and roleplayer callme_ishmael had created a necromancer NPC that worked as coroner for the Sharn city guard. She used her spells to question dead crime victims in order to help the city guard with their investigation. And this NPC lead callme_ishmael to the idea of an urban campaign modelled after the popular TV series CSI.

The basic premise of a CSI: Sharn campaign would be that the players are members of a special group sponsored by the King of Breland himself to help the city guard solve crimes. Although some meta plot could be easily introduced into such a campaign, most adventures should be closed episodes which usually start with a dead body where the circumstances of death are unclear or even outright mysterious. Callme_ishmael even provided us with a few story hooks:

  • A man has been found dead, obviously he died by falling from a great height. The problem is that shouldn’t be possible because of the feather fall enchantments that are in effect.
  • A serial killer is stalking the warforged of Sharn, causing them to stop working in the local foundries, which will lead to an economical crisis in the near future.
  • A countess has been killed by an unknown aberration that obviously used the plumbings to escape.
  • In a gang fight several gang members from both sides are killed. When the guard rounds up the surviving combatants they deny being responsible for the deaths of their fellow gang members.

Since the members of the CSI team are working for the king the player characters get a steady income and their equipment is provided when needed. Ideally the group should be assembled from a lot of different races living in Sharn, perhaps even goblins and orcs. Sharn is a cosmopolitan city after all.

This is a really interesting idea on how you could do an urban campaign in Eberron. The next time I run an Eberron campaign I will surely give it a try.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

3 thoughts on “CSI: Sharn”

  1. Ah yes. CSI is the perfect thing to do in Sharn. It's actually one of the more encouraged genre to do in Sharn. I myself wanted to do a CIA/espionage campaign in Sharn (that is also warranted by the King).

    Sharn is quite a great place to run almost all sorts of campaign in and the City of Towers supplement is definitely one of my most referred books for Eberron. It's one of the cities that makes me love Eberron.

    <abbr><abbr>Questing GMs last blog post..Word of Wizards – WWDDGD: UK/Reading</abbr></abbr>

  2. I love the Eberron campaign setting and thing this is a fantastic idea. But I’ve played long-term urban encounters before and I learned that the games become very skills-based and a lot less combat-based. As the DM I relish the opportunity for role-playing, but a few of the guys in my group started climbing the walls after a few games. The result was combat that felt tacked on or unnecessary. Visiting this concept as a one-off when the main game needs a break would be my recommendation on how to approach this type of adventure.

    <abbr><abbr>Amerons last blog post..Skill Challenge: Skinning the Beast</abbr></abbr>

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