Our hero, our hero, claims a warrior's heart
I tell you, I tell you, the Dragonborn comes
With a voice wielding power of the ancient Nord arts
Believe, believe, the Dragonborn comes
By Gavin Dady
Hello friends. Today we are going to be announcing the winner of the Dragonborn competition we announced earlier this year and talking about the progress on the rules revisions we have been working on.
Work is well under way on updating and revising the Core Rulebook. We have collated the feedback from the community, previous errata, playtest feedback and a review by Mark Latham and passed onto our external editor for them to begin the mammoth task for the reorganisation.
Our developers have also been looking again at one of the areas that we have had most feedback on, that of the Adversary AI behaviour. We have decided that this is one area that will most likely get new rules content, rather than the clarifications and errata-ing for the rest of the rules. There won’t be fundamental changes, and the updated rules are more of an expansion than a replacement. We also want to make sure that the changes won’t invalidate any of the existing AI and faction reference cards too, so everything will also be backwards compatible.
We are also looking at some quality of life improvements as well. One such item currently under discussion is rules numbering. Many rulebooks have specific numbered passages for rules – Section 2: Movement, Section 2.1: Movement through Terrain, section 2.1.2: Movement through Hindering Area Terrain for instance. This makes the rules much easier to reference, of course, but it can also make the rulebooks feel quite austere and technical and more like a reference manual. The key is to strike a balance, not so much that it’s of no use and not so much that it feels like you are reading a manual for industrial gravel crusher.
What are your thoughts? Tell us on our forums or on your social media portal of choice.
The Dragonborn Competition
Back in May we launched our competition for you to tell us about YOUR version of the Dragonborn. We asked for interesting and imaginative designs and the Call to Arms community delivered! As a reminder, the winner will receive a $50 store credit and their entry will be used as inspiration for a figure in a forthcoming set.
We received enough entries to fill a Master Chest fit to burst. Jon Webb, our head of creative and studio head, and I whittled the entries down to four potential Dragonborn entries. Our criteria for choosing were firstly something that we knew we could make – the entry of a Dragonborn riding an Elder Dragon was epic, but wouldn’t really fit in the planned expansion box, for instance. We then looked at the imaginative and unique builds. We weren’t just looking for the stealthiest Khajiit, toughest Nord or angriest Orismer, but instead wanted those builds that really showed the versatility of the Dragonborn.
First we have three Honourable mentions:
The Swaggaring Braggart by Dan Zook was a strong contender. Inspired by the “hero” of a bawdy song, he’s more mouth than muscle and likes to talk his way out of trouble:
The next was the Elemental Dragonborn by Jason Davis. This light armoured fighter concentrates on using the Elemental Fury shout to boost her martial prowess:
The third honourable mention was a strong contender for the winner, and features a similar concept. Tim Stoeckert’s Roughneck Dragonborn is a no-nonsense brawler who hasn’t met a problem he couldn’t punch his way out of. The Roughneck was just edged out of first place as we felt he was equipped quite similarly to some of the other models we have in the Chapter:
So, on to our winner. Jon and I both liked this build as it’s a really unique and imaginative take on the Dragonborn. We also liked the options for a mini that we could produce that would be full of character, and the mix of equipment had avoided the trap of just going straight for the heaviest armour available. This Dragonborn knows her skills and wears what she needs to.
Jack Wright describes his Dragonborn Thu’um Weaver like this:
“A youthful female Redguard with a hairless head and lithe build. The model would assume a meditative martial arts pose, as if preparing for battle - likely with an arm outstretched and another by its side.
The Thu’um Weaver wears an adept robe, scaled boots and scaled bracers. Her bracers are enchanted to enhance her unarmed attacks, as the Thu’um Weaver fights with her fists, using the Elemental Fury shout to land overwhelming flurries of blows. As in all things, she relies on the power of her voice for defence, using Become Ethereal, Whirlwind Sprint and Slow Time to weave through danger, or using Disarm and Marked for Death to expose single enemies. Sometimes, the Thu’um Weaver will turn the tides of battle or forego battle altogether with shouts such as Animal Allegiance and dismay. With creative use of her Thu’um, she picks her fights and manipulates them to her advantage.
I love the Thu’um Weaver because she truly embodies my vision of a Dragonborn - the ultimate master of a mysterious art, who can overcome enemies with the utterance of a word. Her frail and elegant monk aesthetic emphasises that her power lies in the voice and the voice alone. The choice of a Redguard complements this appearance, as a faithful, nomadic people known for such spiritual arts like sword singing. The build is great fun and a great challenge to play and once you learn how to get creative with it, it really leaves you feeling like a true master of the voice.”
We really liked that way that Jack has thought about what shouts the Thu’um weaver can use for a lot of situations, and how there is a very clear purpose behind the build – Shouts. Shouts for everything.
We turned Jacks images and his description into a brief for our sculpting team, and our 3d artist Joana Abbott set about bringing her to life. The first thing Joana did was notice that the images and the brief I gave her had different armour. Our sculptors get to know the models they work on very closely, and after sculpting so many models with similar armour recently she spied that the Thu’um weaver was wearing Scaled Bracers and not the Steel Gauntlets I had specified. A mix-up with reference assets meant I had looked at the carvings on the back of the bracers and picked the visually similar steel by mistake. With this resolved and the choice to stick with the version in the images made, Joana began sculpting.
The first step in our process is to block out the figure, and the end result of this process is a T-pose – the reason for the name should be obvious. This allows us to check the things like height, body mass, if the equipment fits and so on. We scale all of our miniatures dynamically to the races in Skyrim, so a Nord will be taller than an Imperial who will be taller than a Bosmer and so on.
Once the T-pose is reviewed and accepted we move onto the posing. Here Joana has taken the instruction for a meditative martial arts pose and applied a variant of a real-world martial arts pose to the model (Kokutsu-dachi, so I’m told):
This is then checked over to ensure we can cast it, so the minimum thicknesses and level of detail are correct and can be cast in resin. Once we are happy with that, we prepare a submission for Bethesda to approve. We are just about at that stage right now, and we’ll keep you up to date with progress.
Congratulations to Jack for his winning entry! That’s all for this month, but keep an eye on Twitter and Gamefound page for further updates on The Elder Scrolls Boardgame. See you next time.