Traveling through the Cyrodiilic countryside is a fond memory for many Elder Scrolls fans. It doesn’t matter if exiting from the sewers beneath the Imperial City was your first experience in Tamriel or your hundredth; it likely left an impression with you, seeing this fantastic world.
In Legionnaire’s Guide to Cyrodiil: The Gold Coast, we can go back to Cyrodiil and relive some of those moments, but in a completely different way.
Over the four years that I’ve been building resources for Tamriel I’ve had people ask what they can do to help. People have been mostly interested in designing and editing. Legionnaire’s Guide to Cyrodiil gives the opportunity for just that.
I think it’s important to note upfront that this is an unpaid, volunteer opportunity. I also want to point out that I do not, and will never, put any resources behind a pay wall for this project. I can’t even say that it’s for exposure, as our community is relatively small. This is a passion project and a hobby.
For complete transparency, I have seen around $150 worth of donations over those four years from very generous individuals – I am exceptionally grateful and incredibly humbled every time I see that notification. I have used $100 of those funds to purchase software to help improve the quality of the resources I put out. The remaining money is being saved for potential custom cover art, or perhaps another way to improve the content. Hiring a professional editor is also high on the list.
What Is It?
This is meant to work as an introductory setting guide to Tamriel, with a focus on Cyrodiil. It will be era agnostic, so anyone can play at any time. Those that are very particular with their lore may need to do some extra work beyond this, but it is meant to create a fun and entertaining setting that is familiar to Elder Scrolls fans.
So what does a Community Project mean? Listed below you will find an outline of what will be included in the book; and it’s a pretty ambitious project. Most of the content will be created by you, and people like you. In the end, I’ll be there to put it all together, but the I’m hoping the vast majority of the content will be written by people that are specifically not me.
Everyone who contributes will have a credit on the opening page. Anyone who designs pieces or writes entire sections will have their name (or handle) included as part of the heading on that page, with your permission, of course.
How Do I Volunteer?
If there is something that catches your eye–a subject that your interested in, or an idea that you’ve been sitting on–you can reserve that section to write it. If you are interested in editing, let me know so that I can send you completed sections as they come through. The best way to contact me is through Discord. The second best way is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your name will then be assigned to that section.
This will work on a first come, first serve basis. The downside to this is it will favor certain time zones over others if there is strong interest, but it is currently the best way for me to keep organized. I don’t anticipate a lot of people coming forward, but I could be surprised.
Over the next 6 months, design and writing work will be completed, with editing, layout, and writing any missing sections over the next 6 months. The intention is to have this out by December 2020.
Rules and Guidelines
There are a few rules and guidelines to follow when contributing to a group project like this.
- Use lore friendly resources. Anything you find in game is perfect when writing lore and gaining inspiration. UESP and The Imperial Library should be your first reference point. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, the Wiki and Reddit can be used. You can find more suggestions under each topic for specific ideas.
- Plagiarism will not be tolerated. While UESP has great information, copying what someone else has written is not acceptable. Copying directly from an in game book, however, is perfectly acceptable. When using UESP, TIL, or the Wiki, make sure there is a reference to the topic, and then use that reference as your guide.
- If you volunteer to complete a section, do your best to complete it on time. We are all relying on you to do the portion of the work you promised to complete. Group projects are notorious for this, and we all have had our experiences with this in school. Real life does happen, though. If you thought you’d have the time, interest, or inspiration to complete a task, but it turns out that you don’t, let me know right away. You can always come back to it if you feel up to the task again.
Once a section has been requested by someone, their name will appear next to the item. This blog post will continue to be updated to reflect this, so you should be able to keep checking in to see what is still available.
There are a few setting books already available that can be used as guidelines on how to write certain sections. Look at the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, and Eberron: Rising from the Last War for inspiration and ideas on how to put together cohesive content.
Welcome to Cyrodiil
Approximately 4 pages.
Written by Teluusa (me)
The introductory pages will cover a broad description of each of the chapters of the book, along with general information about the setting, including a brief history of the Empire.
Chapter 1: Player Options
Approximately 1 – 2 pages per subclass option
This book will include new subclass options for the classes already included in the Basic Rules. This can include the Warden and the unfinished Priest. (Keep in mind that the Priest will share an identical base class as the Cleric, and the Crusader will be revised to use the Paladin base class.) These subclass options should be influenced by the guilds of Cyrodiil. Those guilds are outlined below, along with example subclass ideas that could accompany that guild. Not all classes need to see a new option.
They can be built with a vague inspiration from the guild, or they can be very specifically created for that guild. Either way is good. Creating a warrior based on the Imperial Legion could also work as an Altmer fighting for the Aldmeri Dominion. A Priest of the Imperial Cult could be built around the specific worship of Mara, but it could also be written in a way that that Priest could worship the Tribunal or a Daedric Prince. In the end, these subclasses should feel inspired by the world of Tamriel.
When creating new subclasses, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The subclass should be relatively simple. Use the classes provided by the Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything as an example. The Fighter is a great reference. you can see how a simple subclass like the Champion can fit on half a page, the Eldritch Knight takes a full page, and a complicated subclass like the Battle Master requires a page and a half. Subclasses shouldn’t be any more complicated than that.
Look at other subclasses that already exist for the class you are working on and consider following a similar progression. You will usually notice a pattern to the features gained at certain levels. When a subclass only has 3 features, those features tend to be pretty strong and defines the characters playstyle. Subclasses that have more features than that usually have a feature or two that is more focused on roleplaying, social encounters, or exploration. Consider making features that are useful outside of combat for these subclasses.
Every class has a unique feature that helps create an identity or sets it apart from other classes. Such as the Mage’s Focus Points, or the Warriors Second Wind. Consider building on top of these features if it makes sense or fits with the concept.
Any class could theoretically work for any guild, but it could take a bit of work to fit a Nightblade into the Imperial Cult, or a Warden into the Gold Coast Trading Company.
Barbarians and Warrior are perfect for this guild, perhaps even a pugilist rogue. A bard is another great option, but this could already be considered the College of Swords found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. This subclass should focus on combat and playing an audience. You could get inspiration from Oblivion or fictional stories set in Arenas, like the 2000 film, Gladiator.
Rogues, Thieves, and Nightblades are great options that already work. A Thief Operative or Nightblade Poisoner would work nicely. Even a Bard Listener could be interesting. The subclass could be based on subterfuge, stealth, illusion, or information gathering.
The Fighter’s Guild employs people that can fight. It’s so important that they even included it in the name. That doesn’t mean that person has to be a Warrior or a Barbarian, they just need to prove that they can fight. While it might be rare, a war mage might even find themselves among the ranks.
Gold Coast Trading Company
This might be the trickiest guild to build for. A Bard or Rogue comes to my mind first. Someone focused on business partnerships, getting leads, and deceptive combat could make an interesting character class.
The Imperial Cult is the worship of the Eight Divines (or Nine, depending on who you are, and when you are). Priests and Crusaders often find themselves associated with this guild. Warriors focused on Smithing might be a worshiper of Zenithar, and Wardens might revere Kynareth.
Those that fight alongside the imperial soldiers in war are a part of the Imperial Legion. Subclasses that focus on defending the empire or tacticians skilled in controlling the battlefield are ideal for the Legion. Both martial classes and spellcasters are welcome in their ranks.
Mage’s Guild / Synod / College of Whispers
The Mage’s Guild existed prior to the fourth era. After the guild was dissolved, it fractured into two guilds: the Synod and the College of Whispers. You can create classes based on the general learning of magic, or you can use the Synod or College of Whispers as inspiration. Spellcasting classes are the most obvious choice, but giving non-caster classes the spellcasting feature can create interesting options.
Every subclass of the Thief already fits in this, so creating a new Thief subclass should differentiate itself somehow. Creating a thief-like subclass for a different class can help spread some of those thief skills around.
Chapter 2: Guilds
Each of the main guilds found in Cyrodiil will be introduced in this book. Each of the guilds will follow a similar format so that they appear cohesive when reading through. The best example to look at is Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, which is how these guilds will be written. You can also look at the Cyrodilic Collections faction found in Monsters of Murkmire – which you can download for free. This faction was built using Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica factions as a guide, but the factions in this book will be expanded upon.
Each guild will have a spell list associated with it (even the Fighter’s Guild) which will provide an expanded spell list for spellcasting guild members, along with a ranking system that will provide benefits and character features, and a background. It is best if one individual writes the Spell List, Rankings, and Background for a particular guild, but Backgrounds are likely the easiest to separate. At a minimum Spell Lists and Ranks will be written by one person.
In the coming weeks, I will provide an example guild write-up for the Fighter’s Guild, which will be the guideline for all other guilds. If you are interested in writing these guilds, you can get started with backgrounds, using the Player’s Handbook or Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. You can also use Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica to start thinking about the ranks. If you don’t have access to Ravnica, the sample will be shared soon!
- Spell List
- Spell List
Fighter’s Guild Teluusa
- Spell List
Gold Coast Trading Company
- Spell List
- Spell List
Imperial Legion TheMadMonk
- Spell List
Mage’s Guild / Synod / College of Whispers
- Spell List
- Spell List
Chapter 3: Locations
The following locations will be included in the Legionnaire’s Guide to Cyrodiil: The Gold Coast, which will be shown on a map of the Gold Coast and have a description of the area. The two cities, Anvil and Kvatch, should come with larger descriptions, along with a map, while the smaller locations, like Gweden Farm, will likely have much smaller descriptions and no map at all.
Each location should describe the main points of interest and inhabitants, along with any rumors or lore that might be associated with it. Cities should briefly describe some of the main businesses, guilds, and important characters. The mermaid statue in Anvil is a great example, as well as the arena in Kvatch.
Adventure Hook. It is important that every location also comes with an adventure hook or two. These should be written as somewhat open ended ideas that can give the DM opportunities to create interesting stories. These hooks can be used be the DM when the player characters arrive, or as rumors to entice the player characters to seek out the location.
These adventure hooks should be written with enough definition to create an easy to understand idea, while also being vague enough to give the players and the DM plenty of latitude to create an interesting story to suit their game.
It is great to use existing lore from Oblivion and Elder Scrolls Online to help find inspiration for the locations, but you do not need to adhere to what exists in these games. One thing I personally disliked about Oblivion was how hollow much of the world felt. Many of the elaborate caves or ruins seemed completely void of character and interest. It is best to give each of the locations an interesting reason for existing. It is not expected that every game will include every idea presented here. If it did, it would be overwhelming. The adventure hooks and locations are meant to be used to spark interest in GMs and players alike. GMs can use what perks their interest the most, and discard the rest, or they can make notice boards in Kvatch and Anvil, and let the players decided what they want to explore.
Some places that appeared as ruins in Oblivion may now be a well established bandit hideout. Perhaps an ancient Ayleid ruin is being used by the Aldmeri Dominion or the Thalmor as a hidden base of operations to spy on the Legion. A farmhouse could have been raided by wereboars two generations ago and now the family that lives there are lycanthropes living in secret. Maybe an old mine is currently being excavated after being collapsed long ago, with the excavators unaware that the mine was collapsed on purpose to bind what lurks below. An old fort may have been converted into a library for the College of Whispers, and is now a training ground for mages with lots of work available to adventurers with the hopes of restoring the mages guild to its former glory.
An example description and adventure hook for Crowhaven and The Withered Rose will be provided in the near future.
Gold Coast Locations found in Legionnaire’s Guide to Cyrodiil: The Gold Coast
- Belletor’s Folly
- Brina Cross Inn
- Brittle Rock Cave
- Crowhaven Teluusa
- Dasek Moor
- Dunbarrow Cove
- Fort Strand
- Fort Sutch
- Garlas Agea
- Gottshaw Inn
- Gweden Farm
- Hrota Cave
- Lord Drad’s Estate
- Shetcombe Farm
- Smoke Hole Cave
- The Withered Rose Teluusa
- Whitmond Farm
Chapter 4: Deities & Daedra
The gods of any setting create a baseline for much of the lore, and Tamriel is no different. The Aedra and Daedra influence the world both directly and indirectly. Information about the immortal figures will be included in this book.
Gods of Tamriel
Both Aedra and Daedra will be included. A list will appear similar to the Deities of the Forgotten Realms, as seen in Appendix B of the Player’s Handbook page 294. Each god should also have a brief description, similar to gods listed in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.
This is the list of Deities of the Imperial Pantheon which will be included in this book.
This is the list of Daedric Princes which will be included in this book.
- Clavicus Vile
- Hermaeus Mora
- Mehrunes Dagon
- Molag Bal
Chapter 5: Doom Stones & Wayshrines
Throughout Tamriel, you can find ancient standing stones and wayshrines that are capable of bestowing fantastic magic upon an adventurer. While only a few of these can be found within the Gold Coast, each of the available stones will be found in the guide.
Each stone should provide a temporary boon that can empower a player character in a small but meaningful way. To find an appropriate boon, look at what the games provided for similar stones in Oblivion and Skyrim, and to a lesser extent, ESO and Legends. Consider the power level of each of these, along with the duration.
An example Standing Stone can be seen below.
When you activate this stone, your Willpower or Endurance attribute (your choice) increases by 2 for the next 24 hours. After you gain the benefits of this stone you are unable to do so again until a week has passed.
Birthsign Stones provide short term boons to skills or resources, such as temporary hp or magicka, or they could provide small bonuses to attributes or armor class. They could also give characters one-use abilities or spells that stay with them until they use them.
- Apprentice Stone
- Atronach Stone
- Lady Stone*
- Lord Stone*
- Lover Stone
- Mage Stone
- Ritual Stone
- Serpent Stone
- Shadow Stone
- Steed Stone
- Thief Stone
- Tower Stone
- Warrior Stone
Heaven Stones should provide short term bonuses to skills or resources, such as temporary hp or magicka. They could also provide small bonuses to attack rolls, attack damage, or armor class.
- Aetherius Stone
- Dragon Stone
- Jone Stone
- Jode Stone*
- Magnus Stone
- Nirn Stone
- Shezarr Stone
- Sithian Stone
Wayshrines are generally straight forward. These provide a bonus, or fortification, to a certain attribute, for a short period of time. They should all be consistent with that time frame. Perhaps a +2 bonus to the appropriate attribute, or the ability to reroll a roll in place of luck. This should last for an amount of time to be useful. Given that these shrines may be out of the way, it might make the most sense for them to last until your next long rest, or for 24 hours. It might take an hour just to get to the shrine, so having it last for 1 hour, or even 8, might not provide any useful benefit, but if it lasts too long, it becomes too great of an incentive to consistently delay the story to come back for these buffs.
- Wayshrine of Akatosh*
- Wayshrine of Arkay*
- Wayshrine of Dibella
- Wayshrine of Julianos
- Wayshrine of Kynareth
- Wayshrine of Mara*
- Wayshrine of Stendarr
- Wayshrine of Talos
- Wayshrine of Zenithar*
Stones and wayshrines with the * symbol indicate that they can be found within the Gold Coast.
Chapter 6: Bestiary
All good resources come with the iconic monsters and threats in that world. The creatures listed below are either known throughout Tamriel or are native to Cyrodiil.
Each individual monster should take up approximately one page with a description and a stat block. When making a monster, consider what makes them interesting. A creature that just has a couple of attacks can be useful, but won’t be exceptionally memorable. Think about what sets this creature apart from others. How does this creature fight? What’s unique about it?
Consider if this creature is likely to be fight alongside other creatures. If a creature, like a scamp, is likely to be found in mobs of one or two per player character, they should be relatively simple to run. Tracking resources, reactions, or refreshing abilities for each enemy can be incredibly difficult with lots of monsters on the battlefield. Complicated stats should be mostly reserved for monsters that are meant to be bosses or single threats.
That doesn’t mean that mob creatures, like scamps, need to be boring. Scamps by themselves aren’t terribly threatening, but scamps don’t fight alone – they retreat. They only fight in packs, so giving them something like pack tactics makes them scary when encountered in vast numbers, which encourages the players to find ways to control the battlefield. Their attacks are relatively simple, claws when in close range, firebolts from a distance. This is a good start, but it’s does seem like it’s missing something. In the ESO trailer videos, you can see scamps jumping around, being mostly ineffective, but you can see how they can overwhelm if given the chance. Perhaps they have one more ability that if they run 20 feet feet toward a creature and hit with a claw attack, they creature is also grappled by the scamp. Essentially, the scamp jumps onto the character and digs its claws into its back. Suddenly, these little guys can be terrifying in the right condition, but they continue to be simple. Two actions, two abilities.
Some of these creatures have already been created or can be found in other UESTRPG resources. Most of these creatures already exist in creations like the Tamriel Adventurer’s Guide. This can be used as a reference or an inspiration, but copying must be avoided.
- Clannfear CrimsonAllah
- Stunted Clannfear CrimsonAllah
- Daedrat Teluusa
- Daedroth CrimsonAllah
- Scamp Teluusa
- Spider Daedra
- Winged Twilight
- Land Dreugh
- Goblins of Cyrodiil can receive a bit larger section, with each of the goblin tribes being outlined. Perhaps each tribe also gains a special action or ability that sets it apart.
- Tribes throughout Cyrodiil: Bitterfish. Bloody Hand, Dust Eater, Rock Biter, Sharp Tooth, Skull Breaker, Three Feather, White Skin
- Goblin Shaman
- Goblin Warlord
- Goblin Brute
- Goblin Skirmisher
- Goblin Berserker
- Imp Teluusa
- Minotaur Enemies of Elsweyr
- Minotaur Shaman Enemies of Elsweyr
- Minotaur Lord
- Ogre Enemies of Elsweyr
- Skeleton Monster Manual
- Skeleton Guardian
- Forest Trolls
- River Trolls Monsters of Murkmire
- Colovian Badger Teluusa
- Antelope Enemies of Elsweyr
- Black Bear Monster Manual
- Brown Bear Monster Manual
- Daggerback (boar) Enemies of Elsweyr
- Deer Monster Manual
- Dire Wolf Monster Manual
- Dog Monster Manual
- Giant Forest Spider
- Heron Bestiary of Summerset
- Mountain Lion
- Mudcrab Monsters of Murkmire
- Timber Wolf
- Wolf Monster Manual
Many of these character types are already present in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters. NPCs that would be included in this book would likely represent the guilds of Tamriel.
If you have any other ideas that you think could fit in this guide, please suggest them and they may be added! Quests, Treasures / Magic Items, and new mechanics that really define Tamriel are welcome!
Thank you, everyone, for your continued interest in this little project and I can’t wait to see what comes together in 2020.