Over the last weeks we’ve been reading the discussion in the community. We’re just over 18 months into the line’s release schedule, but for us at Modiphius it’s an investment of nearly three years of work. We recognise the concerns and pain around rules issues, errata, frequently asked questions and the impressions that rules updates are not consistent or consolidated. We recognise the concerns around card quality and availability of printed versions of cards. We recognise the desire to have a single place to get all the information about the line. So, we have considered the current position and are proposing the following:
Firstly, we are pausing development and releases for two months from the end of July. We are bringing Histories of the Empire Volume One: The Stormcloak Rebellion release forward to the end of July from the end of August, as we have stock in hand for it.
This will allow us time to both ensure that some of the shipping issues we’ve been having can be mitigated, that US distribution can catch-up with releases that have been delayed in sea freight, and so the US web store (which is going to launch soon) should have the same stock as the UK web store. The delay will give us the time in our internal development schedule that we can use to address some of the concerns.
We will use this time to update and consolidate, with the community's assistance, the errata and FAQ’s into one list. We will then apply this list to the existing rulebook to update and correct it. We are not proposing to make wholesale structural changes to the book at this time (but see below) but will ensure that the errors are fixed, contradictions resolved, ambiguities removed and page references are updated. We will include the expanded quick reference sheets that are available in the PDF so if you want it, everything will be in one place.
The updated rulebook will be made available for free in PDF and sent to all customers. For retailers it will be available via the Bits & Mortar scheme to give to their customers. We will then print this updated rulebook and will offer copies FREE via the Modiphius web store to all customers who purchased the game, you will only have to pay postage. Modiphius will work with distributors and retailers to get the books out to stores. Stickers will be added to existing stock of Core sets advising how to get the updated rulebooks. Unfortunately we are not in a position to swap out the rulebooks in the Core sets already produced but we hope the availability of the updated PDF’s and the free rulebooks will offset this.
With regard to the card packs, we recognise that changing suppliers has not given the best results. These changes have, unfortunately, been beyond our control, and whilst there has been some variation in the card quality, we feel the card packs are still fit for purpose. However, we are looking at returning to our original printers if possible, who had suffered a fire. There are implications on timing that changing back to our original printers in China may have. It may mean we have to delay the Chapter 3 card pack until after miniatures have launched. We’ll monitor the timings and update more as the situation develops. It’s possible the delay in releases may alleviate that, but with the on-going delays in sea freight out of China we don’t want to make any promises just yet.
We have also decided that cards that were previously going to be print and play only from Into the Dark, Stormcloak Rebellion and the Elder Scrolls Online Character Pack will now be included in the Chapter 3 card pack. We are not in a position to offer PDF versions of the full card sets and releasing physical cards in a pack to support a new Chapter will be our ongoing method of curating content. However, we will look at publishing set lists for each card pack as well so you can see which cards are included in which Chapter packs.
Dragons and interim Draugr faction rules remain as print and play products for now, but will be released as physical card sets as part of Chapter 4: Rise of the Dragon Priests* in mid 2022. It was always our intention that both Dragons and Draugr would need a full chapter to themselves, but we also wanted to give the community rules to be working with and to give us feedback on. Dragons have taken longer than we expected because, well, doing justice to Dragons is a complicated business and we want to get it right.
With regards to communication, we have already taken steps to start centralising collection of issues and errata into our Forums and will be refining that further. Modiphius, whether it be the official Modiphius accounts, Chris, the Devs or I cover most social media platforms and we intend to ensure that whatever your preferred method of gaining information, you still can do. However, what we will work to avoid is having to check EVERY platform to make sure you are up to date. To this end we will be launching an Elder Scrolls landing page that will have the latest announcements, blogs, releases, getting started recommendations and so on.
Looking to the future, I had always planned that we would offer an updated, deluxe hardback rulebook that would include all of the published community scenarios, painting guides, scenery tutorials and more bonus content. We are continuing with those plans and will include all the lessons and feedback from the updates to the current core rulebook. We will also look at larger structural changes that we don’t have the opportunity to do as part of the update at this stage. We will take best practice and design elements from our experiences, your feedback and our peers in the industry to create a core rulebook that is easy to use and is an asset for players. The deluxe rulebook is currently scheduled to be released as part of Chapter 5: Forgotten and Forsaken* in mid-late 2022. Chapter 6: Dragonborn* and Chapter 7: Twilight God* in early and late 2023 would round out our time in Skyrim and Chapter 8 would see us casting our eyes at other parts of Tamriel in early 2024.
The whole team at Modiphius are deeply invested in The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms and we believe that it is a great game and want to present it in the best possible way. It had a difficult launch straight into the teeth of COVID-19 crisis that required shutdowns of our development team, shipping disruptions, loss of any organised play or retailer support programme and the cancellation of every trade and wargames show for pretty much 2 years. I am very proud of the dedication and effort the whole team at Modiphius has put in to continue through this difficult time.
We hope that the steps we have detailed above will serve to demonstrate both our commitment to the game and that we do listen to our community. Some of these steps will take time to implement, and we may not be able to achieve all of them in the ambitious timescales we have described here. We will remain part of the dialogue, though and will keep the community updated on progress as we proceed.
Gavin Dady, Senior Project Manager, July 2021
*Name Subject to Change