How the Elder Scrolls Skyrim Board Game Explores the Past

Gamers never seem to tire of exploring the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim, which makes the upcoming arrival of a tabletop game set in everyone's favorite frigid region of Tamriel even more exciting. For ten years, Dragonborn have been battling Alduin, stopping civil wars and unearthing boundless secrets, but many have wondered what happened in the events leading up to the rise of the Dragonborn.

In the upcoming tabletop game successfully crowdfunded by Modiphius Entertainment shortly after its launch on November 2, fans of The Elder Scrolls can dive into the past and explore events that took place before the Dragonborn's arrival in Skyrim. With the crowdfunding campaign still going strong on Gamefound, fans have already managed to surpass the original funding goal seven times over with just under a month left to go.

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As a group of the Empire-abandoned faction known as the Blades, players set out to unearth and potentially stop a plot that threatens to destroy not just Skyrim but all of Tamriel. With six of The Elder Scrolls' well-known races, including Nords, Khajiit, Orsimer, Dunmer, Altmer or Imperial, to choose from, more races can be added in the planned expansions for the game. However, there are no set player classes, which means players can build their skill set as they advance through the game, picking up items, equipment, spells, and components designed to enhance their abilities.

While Modiphius claims that a single playthrough can take up to twelve hours, the game's design guarantees hundreds of hours of play featuring new quests, objectives and fun every time a new game is started. One of the interesting things about the game is that every time it is played, the actions taken in past games influence the world setting. For example, killing a jarl in one of the holds means that the next time players dive in, that jarl is still dead and the consequences of that action are still relevant. Players who aren't interested in ongoing legacy games can put the cards back into the deck when launching a new game to start fresh, changing outcomes and making entirely different choices the next time around.

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With two campaigns to start, each of which has three chapters, players can explore the twenty-five-year period leading up to the launch of Bethesda's iconic video game. There are also two planned expansions: The Dawnguard and From the Ashes, both of which add in additional playable races like Bosmer, Redguard, Argonian and Breton, as well as additional campaigns, mini-campaigns, quests, objectives, events, tokens and minis.

The ongoing and constantly growing history of The Elder Scrolls has always been one of the most intriguing features of the franchise, allowing players to follow threads sewn long ago to a tapestry of rich world-building and mythology. Just like the video games, players can build their own stories within that framework, creating a world and imaginative story all their own.

There is no precise date yet on when backers can expect to hold it in their hands, but Modiphius estimates fulfillment to be completed by August 2022. That gives gamers plenty of time to brush up on their Elder Scrolls history and dust off the Dragonborn to take another run through Skyrim to gear up for a new adventure.

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Jennifer Melzer (414 Articles Published)

Artist, writer, avid gamer, lover of comics, manga and anime and all around nerd, Jennifer has been creating online content for numerous websites for over 15 years. She can generally be found on Tuesday nights playing Drow Warlock Zaelien Vel'rai in the So Many Levels D&D campaign on Twitch!

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