18. Character Options: Vampirism

Become an undying abomination using these rules.

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Character Options

Vampirism has been a staple of modern fantasy, including both D&D and the Elder Scrolls. The only job I had to do was adjust the rules given for player vampires in the Monster Manual. I made it a bit more complicated, but a lot more flavorful.

This post will cover the general rules for vampires, including generic vampire traits, feeding, interactions with other creatures, and six different bloodlines: Aundae, Berne, Quarra, The Nameless Tribe of Cyrodiil (The Order), Volkihar, and Whet-Fang.

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17. Bestiary: Fey

Stat blocks for a number of nature-related Tamrielic creatures.

Bestiary

Unlike fiends or constructs, fey creatures have few traits that link them together. According to the Monster Manual, the fey are closely tied to the forces of nature and can be found on both the material plane and some Outer Planes. Examples are also quite various, but largely humanoid: pixies, hags, dryads, and satyrs. Therefore, both lore and mechanics offer quite a lot of space for selecting fey creatures from the Elder Scrolls lore.

I started by finding equivalents to existing D&D monsters. Obvious ones include dryad/spriggan, and hag/hagraven. Elder Scrolls imps have more in common with the fey than fiends, as scamps take the place of lesser fiends. Lurchers are corrupted nature spirits somewhat similar to blights or shambling mounds, but I decided to give them the fey type due to their origins. Lastly, I included wisps and wispmothers as they have a strong fey feel to them.

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16. Character Creation: Exotic Races (Part 2/2)

Racial traits for exotic Human, Beast, and Elemental races.

Character Options

It’s time for part two of exotic races. This post will cover four human races (Atmoran, Kothringi, Nede, and Reachman), two beast races (Imga and Lilmothiit), three elemental races (Flame, Frost, and Storm Atronach Scions), as well as several different variants for the Khajiit race.

Some of the content here is not Elder Scrolls canon. Reasons for this may vary from lack of information as some races are (I assume) deliberately left mysterious, to my effort to make as many options as possible. I admit I might have gone out of hand on this one…

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15. Bestiary: Atronachs

Stat blocks for the three most common types of elemental Daedra.

Bestiary

Here’s a quick post regarding atronachs. This term can be loosely translated as golem or elemental, and is used to refer to both elemental Daedra and humanoid constructs. This post will deal only with elemental Daedra, however, Atronachs are an integral part of the Elder Scrolls lore, to the extent having their own constellation and birthsign.

This post will cover only basic atronachs: flame, frost, and storm. These appear in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, even though their design has changed through the games. The profiles below can be used to represent the atronachs from any of the games. Flesh atronachs have been left out as they can be perfectly represented by Flesh Golems from the Monster Manual.

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14. Character Creation: Exotic Races (Part 1/2)

Racial traits for exotic Daedric and Elven races.

Character Options

It has been over a month since my last post, but I hope to make up for it by making two posts concerning exotic races of Tamriel (and beyond). The first will be centered on Daedric and Elven races, while the second will deal with Human and Beast races. Each race comes with one or more of its own racial feats. The Elven races presented here can also pick the Elven Accuracy feat.

The Elder Scrolls setting features ten main races that are playable in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim games. However, there are other races that are less commonplace for a variety of reasons. Some are not native to the material plane, some are extinct or presumed extinct, some are few in number and live in remote locations. If you wish to include the following races in your campaign, make sure you work out the character’s background and the campaign’s setting. Here are a few suggestions.

An Ayleid princess who wakes up from a 3000-year magical sleep.
A Dremora exile who was banished from his clan for sparing a mortal’s life.
A Chimer spellcaster who discovers that her teleportation spell had an unfortunate temporal dimension.
A Golden Saint beta male who would rather spend his time among mortals than be derided by his peers.
A Dwemer who went to a pocket dimension to finish writing a 15.000 page series of novels (The Symphony of Frost and Flame), only to find his race gone from the Material Plane.
A Snow Elf who is a time traveler from the future, when the Falmer have risen up and regained their former nature.

By setting the campaign at an earlier time in history (1st Era or even Merethic Era), you can make some of the races far more common, thus changing the dynamic of racial relationships. You can also run a campaign that has little to do with Tamriel and is primarily set in the Planes of Oblivion.

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13. Bestiary: Dwemer Animunculi

Profiles for ancient constructs of Dwemer design.

Bestiary

Dwemer animunculi, also known as automatons, centurions, or robots, are steam-powered constructs created by the Dwemer as guardians and war machines. Made from a special Dwemer metal, they continue functioning centuries after their creators’ disappearance. Without the Dwemer to control them, the animunculi revert to their default settings, maintaining their underground cities and attacking intruders. A construct may never hurt a Dwemer without being ordered to do so by another Dwemer. Some adventurers use this to their advantage, masking themselves with illusion magic.

In combat, the animunculi deploy surprisingly effective tactics such as ambushes and coordinated attacks. They focus the most threatening and vulnerable targets before moving on. Knowing no fear or sympathy, they ignore casualties on both sides. However, they will retreat if doing so is tactically advantageous.

Scholars and mages find these constructs fascinating and many try to uncover the secrets behind these technological marvels. Each of these constructs is powered by steam, but some of them also use electricity or soul gems as a backup or auxiliary source of power. All artifacts taken from Dwemer ruins are considered to be the property of the Emperor by Imperial Law. This includes Dwemer constructs, which means that honest merchants will not buy the remains of destroyed animunculi. Smugglers and fences, however, will gladly buy anything a daring adventurer brings from a Dwemer city.

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12. Character Options: Way of the Voice

A remake of an unappealing monastic tradition.

Character Options

The Way of the Four Elements monastic tradition is widely considered to be underpowered and unappealing. I analyzed this subclass and looked at the ways others tried to fix it (here is one example) in order to come up with my version of an update. This is what I came up with.

The core of the problem, in my opinion, lies in the fact that the only bonus this subclass gives to a monk is the ability to cast a limited number of spells using the same resource that powers their other abilities. This is very problematic because they are given a choice: use regular monk abilities, or use the Elemental Disciplines, as a monk does not have enough ki points for both, especially at lower levels.

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