Adaptations‎ > ‎

Skyrim

As a fan of Elder Scrolls I have often thought about how to run a game in that setting. I've always felt that a ruleset like Hero is ideally suited for Tamriel, but it is important that whatever the conversion looks like that is at least meets the spirit of the rules as implemented in the video game engine.

As Elder Scrolls has evolved they have continued to refine their approach. I am amazed that in many ways the system they settled on for Skyrim is not only the best implementation of their world to date, but also the most readily converted to tabletop. 

While the more conventional aspects of the game are easily modeled (e.g., Stealth vs. Perception) some of the more unique aspects (e.g., Thunes, magic in general, skill perks) do require some attention and thought.

Warning: Extremely In-Progress
I am sharing my adaptation notes as I work on them so some sections are incomplete

One of the fundamental goals I establish in any such conversion is to ensure that if there is a distinction in the original that such distinctions are maintained in the conversion. This isn't always possible or practical since we aren't managing the world with a computer, but it is an important consideration when deciding wether a tabletop rule is or is not too complex for play. 

Scaling combat is arguably the greatest challenge. How do you convert a game with 80 character levels and armor ratings that range from 21 (basic leather armor) to a cap of 567? To some extent, you don't. The trick is to understand how the original system works, and the behavior that it encourages, and then map that to the tabletop system. Ultimately this means that I start with damage, and more specifically it is stopped. Once we understand how damage and damage reduction work, then we can define the scaling and progression of combat abilities. Once we have that, we can scale the rest of the skill system to match the same progression. 

I hope these notes enable you to bring Skyrim, or any part of Tamriel, to your tabletop. Enjoy!