It all started about three years ago, when I had a little too much time on my hands. Some of my friends introduced me to tabletop roleplaying games, and, before long, I found myself DM-ing a Morrowind campaign. We are now in the middle of our third consecutive campaign. I decided to start a blog to share some of my creations, improve my DM-ing skills, and fill up my spare time.
My aim is to create a functioning module for the Elder Scrolls universe using the rules for Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition (D&D 5E). I plan to start with character creation options, branching out into monsters, magical items, and variant rules along the way. I might eventually create an adventure or two. Some day, I could even compile everything I will have made into a proper module. Who knows.
This project seems monumental, so I will approach it step-by-step. I will not be making everything myself; most of the content is already out there and just needs to be slightly adjusted or put into the right context. Also, there are other people working on similar projects, and I urge you to check out their work while I get rolling.
Here are the links to some of the resources I will be using when creating content for this blog:
- UESP Wiki (Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages) – This page offers detailed information about pretty much everything covered in the Elder Scrolls games, along with a good deal of out-of-game lore.
- Elder Scrolls Wiki – Similar to the UESP Wiki, with slight variations in content. If you don’t find what you are looking for on the UESP pages, check out the Elder Scrolls Wiki.
- 5th Edition SRD – Quick reference for rules and spells, with spell indexes sorted by level, school, or name.
- D&D Monster Maker – A free application that can be used to make stat blocks for monsters.
- Extra Credits – This YouTube channel provides valuable insights into video game design, some of which can be applied to tabletop roleplaying. The Extra History section can be used as a source of inspiration.
- Unearthed Arcana – Official articles from the D&D team that provide experimental content.
- Official D&D Rulebooks – The Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide are the holy trinity of D&D. They are well worth the investment, and I suggest buying them if you want to become serious about D&D (you can find them on Amazon). I will use other books as well: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Tales from the Yawning Portal, and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (once it comes out).
These are the rules I concocted to serve as guidelines, to help me create quality content and focus my attention on what is important when homebrewing for D&D 5E:
- If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. D&D 5E is very versatile and designed to fit multiple settings, but there are things where D&D and the Elder Scrolls are not compatible. For instance, they both have dark elves, but it would be very weird to use the statistics for the Drow to represent Dunmer. In some cases, only cosmetic changes are needed, while in others I will make original content. For most things, such as monsters and magic items, equivalents can be found and I will point them out. I am not below using other people’s work, but will always provide clear references and links when I use content that is not my own or unavailable in the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, or the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Intertextuality is not a crime, but plagiarism is.
- D&D 5E mechanics, Elder Scrolls setting. It is more important that things work in D&D 5E than that they follow the lore of the Elder Scrolls world. For instance, the Elder Scrolls universe has six schools of magic, while D&D has eight. It would be futile to assign a new school of magic to every single spell and rework all the wizard archetypes just to follow the Elder Scrolls mechanics, when the D&D mechanics suffice. When making changes to the core rules, I will always provide an alternative that is compatible with the core rules.
- Minimalistic approach. When making new content, I will try to make it as simple and elegant as possible so players adopting these rules will only have a few new things to learn. However, some things allow for more complex design, namely magical items, feats, and other optional content.
- Word walls. Please note that the content is primarily text and is aimed at Dungeon Masters setting their campaigns in the Elder Scrolls universe. I might occasionally include my own fan art, official concept art for the Elder Scrolls games, or pictures whose authors I asked for permission.
- Thought process. I will provide my thought process behind most of the content I publish here, usually at the end of the page. You can ignore it, or use it to find the why and how that lies behind the what.