Scrollhammer is a tabletop miniatures wargame that’s been under development off-and-on for a few years. It focuses on skirmish-based tactics that take place in the Elder Scrolls universe. It first began in the early days of 2012, when another internet goer decided to make an Elder Scrolls wargame based on the Warhammer Fantasy system. Not quite satisfied with the limitations in that system, and the lack of canon information on Elder Scrolls militaries, later led to me making this 2nd edition. Rather than Warhammer Fantasy, Scrollhammer 2E is a hack based heavily off of the first version of Infinity: the Game by Corvus Belli. The orders/reactions system are mostly ripped off from their own mechanics, with a few different flairs and additions to more closely align with the Elder Scrolls setting.
This page is copied and slightly edited from the now defunct 1d4chan page.
Playing the Game
Scrollhammer uses a custom* and totally original** ruleset, tuned in to a small skirmishes with only up to a dozen figures. Battles are similar to those you might have seen in playing the actual video games.
Special effort is also being taken to both retain and emulate that special TES charm.
Magicka, as with the last edition, is not huge game-shifting powers, but small abilities that can be used by individual models. Each model gets a quota of Magick to spend on spells over the duration of the game; to cast a spell the necessary amount of points must be spent, and then the mage must normally roll to see if the spell hits home.
Models use round bases, doing away with the rank-and-file and loose formations of most Fantasy wargames.
Each model has two hands with which to equip equipment, but then also gets two actions and a reaction each turn. Phases have been done away with entirely- instead a player selects one of their models to act, declares actions, and then the enemy player may have model(s) react as applicable, all during the first player’s turn. An example model turn might be to Move and Attack, or Sprint, or Cast a spell.
Reactions add a bit of interactivity for the other player- they might decide for their targeted model to Block, Parry, or even strike back at the same time with a Counterattack. Mages, with the necessary spells, can throw back bolts of energy or attempt to Ward an oncoming spell.
A model that is hit can attempt to make an Armor save. But AP, Armor Penetration, serves as a negative modifier to armor saves in Scrollhammer. If you don’t think an armor save is worth it, certain models also have a special Shielded save- there isn’t much out there that can blow through this sort of magical defense.
Many effects from the Elder Scrolls universe translate directly into in-game mechanics. A model hit by a bolt of frost is slowed. An adventurer can chug a Potion of Fortify Strength to hit harder against a particularly tough foe. Dragons can rule the battlefield with a toolbox of Shouts, while Assassins reveal themselves with a flurry of blows and magic.
Armies of Tamriel
Great Houses of Morrowind: A Great House’s army has wide access to different types of units and powerful weapons; it is an elite yet versatile force. Much emphasis may be easily put on speed and skill with magic: that does not mean, however, that the Dark Elves are a pushover when it comes to other styles of fighting. Forces from this list can be elite and meaty, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, an overwhelming horde of slaves.
Sixth House: The Sixth House has an emphasis on wide-spread use of magick and slower, more lumbering bruisers capable of tremendous damage. In fact, it’s not uncommon for nearly all of your models to have some form of spellcasting or ranged attack! It is rare for an opposing army to be able to stand in the open and take all the retribution that House Dagoth has to offer.
Dwemer Animunculi: The Dwemer Animunculi, or centurions, are magical constructs that have persisted centuries after their people. Nearly all Dwemer holds boast a wide variety of these machings, which ever patrol and guard over the ancient halls. Their ranks range from the cheap lowly spider centurion, up to the mighty steam centurion and brazen incinerator. While not intended to be used as an army of them-self, they can be taken by a Dwemer army or used in special scenarios.
Dwemer: Once holding most of North-Eastern Tamriel, the Dwemer were a magical powerhouse. While they existed in Tamriel, they helped drive the Nords out of Morrowind, and later acted as a worthy opponent to the Dunmer and their Tribunal. As a whole their forces are heavily armored and well trained in the use of magic. While the average Dwemer is less physically capable than most, their animinculi more than make up for this, providing solid and hard hitting units.
The Imperial Legion: On the battlefield, the Imperial Legion provides a balanced army, with well-trained, heavily armored infantry. While the Legion has less offensive capabilities than the other armies, they also have a much more solid defense, and an emphasis on Restorative and Shielding magicks. Hard-hitting units are present with the Magus and Orc Auxiliary, neither anything to scoff at.
Holds of Skyrim: The muster of a Hold contains a very solid core of troops: well-armed infantry with great physical prowess and stubborn resolve. A force of Nords is very capable in melee combat, able to trade with any being that might present itself. While their melee prowess is undeniable, the Holds of Skyrim have less emphasis on ranged combat and magick.
Dawnguard: An order of elite vampire hunters, the Dawnguard are sworn to oppose the Undead and related monsters. The force is made up of determined warriors, solid basic soldiers, and some trained beast/monster support. They gain several bonuses and spells useful against Undead, but Undead in return benefit from slightly bolstered numbers. The Dawnguard are the first player-submitted army in Scrollhammer 2E.
Dark Brotherhood: A cult and organization of assassins, the Dark Brotherhood were despised and feared at the height of their power. Each any every one of their Dark Brothers and Sisters are well trained hitmen and murderers, making heavy use of poisoned blades and throwing weapons. Because of their presence in every province, they may take a wide variety of spellcasting and non-spellcasting models from various other armies.
Dragon Cult: Worshipers of the Dragon Cult, Draugr are reanimated dead from times forgotten. Their forces are made of beefy and hard hitting undead, backed up by fiendish Skyrim beasts. They play very similarly to the Holds of Skyrim list, but gain bonuses from their undead nature. It is possible to have a single Brown Dragon as your entire army.
Witchmen of the Reach: Savage daedaric worshippers that dwell across Southwestern Skyrim and terrorize the civilized folks there. They follow the directives of their monstrous Hagraven patrons and will do whatever it takes to take back their lands. Their armies are heavily undisciplined and bloodthirsty, but cheaper as a result. Their most powerful attack pieces are Briarhearts and Hagravens.
Kingdoms of High Rock: Aldmeri-Nedic descendants, the High Rock People are intrinsically magical, flamboyant, and decentralized. Because of their innate magic aptitude the Mages Guild is intrinsic to the area. High Rock forces are more magic resistant than normal and have bonuses to Conjuration. A force might represent knightly aspirants, murderhobbos, or sanctioned forces of a particular minor kingdom, among other reasons.
Tombas of Hammerfell: Duelers and warriors of utmost excellence, the Redguards have some of, if not the best, fighters in the entire game. Their special ability Adrenaline Rush allows any model to become monstrous in combat, at least for a short time. The archetypical Redguard army makes use of a powerful Hel Korei knight, or Sword-singer, backed up by excellent warriors and archers.
Goblin-Ken of Orisnium: A motley assortment of shunned people and beasts operating under the blessing of Malacath. Their largest constituent race, the Orismer, are a strong and sophisticated people. These orc infantry are particularly hard hitting, and slightly magic resistant, making them fearsome fighters. While naturally melee inclined, a force can sport numerous and regenerating goblins and larger brutish humanoids or daedra.
Aldermi Dominion: The Aldmeri Dominion has a combination of expensive, elite infantry, and less-so Goblins. Their standard infantry are as equally well armed as the Imperial Legion, if not moreso, and have access to at least basic spells. Depending on how a force is constructed, an Aldmeri can hit hard and fast at just the right place or overwhelm an opponent with cheap, disposable infantry.
Wildfolk of Valenwood: Quick in mind and wit, the highly carnivorous Bosmer of Valenwood are utmost masters in forest pathfinding and archery. Their forces are largely ranged, and can take best advantage of this among tall trees and buildings. Although ranged-heavy, they are able to bolster their skirmishers with forest beasts, or ravening half-mer, half-animal specters.
Warriors of Elsweyr: Containing more variety than other forces, but also lightly armored, the Warriors of Elsweyr are more suited for hit-and run attacks or skirmishing. That’s not to say they don’t have heavy hitters- Pahmar, Jaguar Men, and Dos are all plenty dangerous units, and a list can easily be built around them.
Saxhleel of Black Marsh: THE Skirmishers of Scrollhamer and TES, Argonians are guerrilla fighters without compare, able to strike fast wherever it might be needed. Their units are a good combination of skilled fighters, beefy Naga, and supportive mages. Their emphasis on Restoration magick and raw speed makes them perfectly suited for objective scenarios.
Pyandonean Raiders: Fast and agile, the Pyandonean Raiders are a skirmishing force with an emphasis on speed and cunning tactics. Their army is composed of skilled electric and cold magic casters, berserk units, and venomous snakes. While their forces are not heavily armored, they more than make up for it with their superior mobility, versatility, and water-navigating abilities. The Pyandoneans’ most formidable units are the Marauder Brutes, fearsome part-snake elves, and the Serpent Riders, cavalry who ride giant snakes and can strike at the enemy from unexpected angles. Snakes everywhere.
Daedra: Powerful and fickle spirits, the other-worldy Daedra are varied in goal and purpose. The only shared feature among their kind is innate magical powers at odds with Mundus. Their forces might be made up of deranged cultists of the House of Troubles, a particular sect, or the personal forces of a Daedric Prince. As a rule their units are expensive, resistant, and make use of much magic.
Order of the Black Worm: Created by the Altmer Lich Mannimarco, the Order of the Black Worm seek destruction of the Mages Guild, the return of their master, and domination over the living. As the premiere undead faction of Scrollhammer they sport a very large variety of Undead, from the spammable zombie, all the way up to the mighty Worm Eremite and Sload Warlocks.
Vampire Clans: Preternatural beings, the vampires of Tamriel are intelligent undead hunted by nearly all societies and races. Able to spread by transmitting diseases such as Porphyric Hemophilia and Sanguinare Vampiris, the Vampire Clans are undisputed masters of the night. Their forces combine cheap undead filler with powerful and costly vampire characters.
Rulebook and Links
Core Rulebook (v0.725b – 4/20/23)
- Added Recall spell to Mysticiscm
- Added Potion of Recall and Scroll of Recall to equipment
- Added a bunch of rules for running a narrative campaign with multiple players
- Reduced Practice Caster to costing 5 XP
- Removed references to Influence Points in campaigns and swapped that term out for Septims
- Clarified that Summoned/Conjured models do not gain XP
- Added some additional restrictions and info on purchasing Conjure Daedra spells with model XP
- Added some additional info within the Conjure Daedra spell pertaining to usage in campaigns