Elder Scrolls Development Blog #2.5: The Great Plan Part 2
By Gavin Dady
Welcome to the second and a half developer blog for Elder Scroll: A Call to Arms! Second and a half? Yes, well, this is more of a continuation of the last Dev Blog. I’m going to provide some more detail about all the releases in Chapter one and give you some idea of timelines.
Right off the bat we can address the mammoth in the room. Our hoped for delivery dates are likely to slip. The shutdown means we can’t reliably get product out directly or through distributors as many have closed their doors. We don’t know what the final impact could be all as there’s a lot happening in the world right now with delays from shutdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing and enforced home working, all of which can impact on the delivery date of any of these products.
Our UK warehouse is closed for 3 weeks and will review things, if they re-open then it’s likely we would ship the pre-orders in May, and it’s possible distribution re-opens then too but we’ll update you as we know more.
We will be making the PDFs of all three books in the box available from April 2nd – the Rulebook and Escape From Helgen Introductory booklet will be free for all to download, and the Quest book will be free for pre-order customers or $5 to buy otherwise. If you pre-ordered through a store we’ll announce details of how to claim your pdfs.
What I have done is provide a timeline based on a notional Launch Month. I can’t tell you when that will be right now, for all of the reasons above. However, we’ll work on the assumption that at some point we’ll be able to pick up the schedule again.
Core Rules Set
Stormcloak Faction starters
Imperial Faction starters
Bleak Falls Barrow Delve
Markers and Tokens Upgrade
Treasure Chests Upgrade
Bleak Falls Barrow Arches Scenery
Nord Tomb Walls Scenery
Puzzle Door Scenery
Double Sided Play Mat
Retailer Launch Event Pack
We start with a bumper release of sets. The core rule set gives you all the rules and cards you need to play the game with ANY miniatures. Of course, we’d love for you to buy our sets, but you could test out the rules with any miniatures you have lying around, you could pick up the core set and play with just that. The core set contains the cards for the miniatures in the first three launch sets, so that’s five Heroes, six followers and 17 adversary cards, including adversary versions of the figures from the Imperial and Stormcloak starter sets.
The Markers and Tokens and Treasure Chests upgrade packs replace the punchboard tokens from the game. We’ve given you enough to do a 1:1 replacement if you want, so you could assign the random lock and strength values to the bottom of the treasure chest minis if you wanted to.
We’ve previewed the double-sided game matt on many of our videos and streams, so you’ve already seen some of the art. It’s a beautiful, durable, double sided, 3’x3 mousepad style mat with a dungeon scene on one side and the snowy wilds of Skyrim on the other.
We’re also looking to support in-store and organised play by releasing a Launch Event Pack. It’ll be in a similar format to our Fallout event packs and will include an event exclusive scenario and reward card with alternate graphics, plus poster to advertise the event. We’ll be announcing ways to get involved and help your store organised one of these.
Launch +1 Month
Chapter 1 Card Pack: Civil War
Bleak Falls Barrow Tomb Scatter
This month’s releases include ten new adventurers to bolster your dungeon delves in two sets, which we’ll look at in more detail in Dev Blog 3. We also release the Chapter 1: Civil War card pack, which contains over 200 cards to support all the releases throughout Chapter 1. With the Core Rules and this Card Pack you will have everything you need to use any of the figures released in Chapter one, or, indeed, to use your own figures in their place.
The Bleak Falls Barrow Tomb Scatter is our next scenery set, and includes Draugr Sarcophagi, braziers and funerary urns to compliment the Puzzle Door and Tomb Walls.
Launch +2 Months
Histories of the Empire: The Stormcloak Rebellion
Organised Play Event 1
Next we see the release of the first expansions for the Imperials and Stormcloaks, leader figures with some very powerful abilities, plus a further group of Followers to round out the starter set line-ups. Hot on their heels is the first of our Histories of the Empire campaign packs. This is our in-depth look at the Stormcloak Rebellion, or the Civil War, depending on your side in the conflict. We’ll look at this in more detail in a later blog, and have some thoughts and comments from the Dev team on how the built the campaign structure and what went into its development.
This month should also see our first Organised Play event, an ongoing narrative campaign that you’ll (maybe) be able to participate in at your FLGS – shutdowns allowing.
Launch +3 Months
Imperial Legion Reinforcements
Draugr Faction Rules (PDF Release)
Wordwall and Dragon Priest (TBC)
The next sets of releases bring us more forces for the Imperials and Stormcloaks adding some variety in melee troops and some vital ranged attackers for both sides. Cards for these are in the Wave 1 Card Pack released in April.
We also sees the first model expansion for the Draugr in the form of the Draugr Guardians. Six models let you beef up your adversary pool or flex your ancient sinews as you fight back against the interloping delvers.
It’s also the tentative date for the release of our playtest Draugr faction rules. Because the Draugr aren’t a traditional “heroic” faction, they need some special rules to cover how they interact with treasure, how they score victory points and their own Quest and Event cards – it’s unlikely that a Draugr party is going to be getting a courier with new orders, or a message from the Jarl, for instance. We’ll cover the Draugr as a faction fully in a later chapter, including giving them some motivations for venturing out beyond their ancient tombs…
We’ve also tentatively got our Word Wall and Dragon Priest set for this release, with a mini Histories of the Empire campaign set to go with them as a PDF.
Launch +4 Months
Tales of Tamriel: The Thanehold Saga (TBC)
Something, Something, Something Dragons (TBC)
In the final release for our first Chapter we get a further expansion to the Draugr with Draugr Ancients and the creaking Skeleton Horde. It’s also the target for our major narrative expansion which has a placeholder title of Tales of Tamriel: The Thanehold Saga. We’ve mentioned this in a few places, and will cover it in more depth in a future feature. Chris has big plans and loads of really great ideas to bring the narrative experience to the tabletop. You’ll start with a lowly novice and follow them on an epic journey to becoming a might hero, developing their allies and settlements and following a story driven campaign path.
Oh, and, Dragons.