The way I want to present the Noble Families in my campaign setting is somewhat similar to the way Eberron built up the Dragonmarked Houses, but with several distinct differences.
I thought I would take a closer look about what I like and dislike about the Dragonmarked houses and explain the way that I am going to go with it.
In Eberron, there are 12 Different Dragonmarked Houses. Each one is essentially a massive extra-legal corporate entity which wields a great ammount of political might. Each of the dragonmarks manifests within a single race, but sometimes manifest in other races out of some strange historical cross-breading. They also set the standard for each of their specific talents.
12 Houses is a good round number. I like it. But, in my setting, it seems to be significantly too small.
The Corporate nature of these houses is exactly what I am going to try and go for with my Noble Families.
The Political power element is interesting, but I want to go further with it.
They create a standard for each of their specific talents, but these talents are quite specific. I want to make my Noble families more broad.
I don't really like the racially specific nature of the houses, but I understand the reason that it exists in the game.
I am going to be doing something very different with the Noble Families in Mad Lands. You'll see. It is coming soon.