15. Bestiary: Atronachs

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

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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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11. Worldbuilding: Fighters Guild

A faction for those who live by the sword.

Worldbuilding

Overview

The Fighters Guild (also spelled Fighter’s Guild and Fighters’ Guild) is an Empire-wide organization that regulates the training and hiring of mercenaries. It dates to the second era, and has guildhalls in every major city. Every province has its own branch of the Fighters Guild, each overseen by a Guild Master. This faction should be appealing to those of a martial vocation, and many adventurers join for a steady source of work. This faction is great for barbarians, fighters, monks, paladins, and rangers. The Fighters Guild has good relations with other Imperial factions: the Mages Guild and the Imperial Legion in particular.

Symbol: Two swords crossed behind a kite shield.
Motto:Swords For Hire

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10. Armory: Arcane Spells and Soul Gems

Five new spells and the rules for soul gems.

Armory

In this post I will feature several spells that appear in the Elder Scrolls games but do not have clear counterparts in D&D 5E. I will also include rules and lore on soul gems.

These spells fall under the arcane category (as opposed to divine and nature), and most of them are available to bards, sorcerers, and wizards.

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9. Armory: Magic Items, vol. 1

A miscellany of magic items tailored for an Elder Scrolls campaign.

Armory

Here I will present eight of my favorite magical items I have used in my Elder Scrolls campaigns. Each will have a short description and my commentary. Items will be presented in alphabetical order and are a good mix of different types of magical items.

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