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I wonder if there's a well designed and tested, working - and, of course, unofficial (?) - adaptation of Skyrim's Dragon Shouts (Thu'um) to DnD 3.x (or possibly Pathfinder)?

If not, how would you adapt them?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

For a really straight translation of the Skyrim mechanics, you could model those monoliths that have the words of power on them as Magical Locations (Dungeon Master’s Guide II) or Legendary Locations (Complete Scoundrel). They therefore grant you the ability to use these shouts (probably Supernatural abilities), and they cost you some of your Wealth-by-Level as if they were items.

Then you could take the D&D Dragon’s mechanics for their breath weapons, giving them cool downs.

For example, Fus could be as follows:

Bleak Falls Barrow

Lore: This ancient tomb of Nordic warriors is filled with draugr, those very warriors risen again to protect their resting place. Deep within the barrow lies a place of great power, where knowledge of ancient dragons is inscribed.

Description: The barrow is high on a mountaintop, and built in the typical Nordic style. The monolith within is an enormous semi-circular wall, covered in Draconic runes.

Prerequisite: Must speak Draconic.

Location Activation: Reading the runes on the wall inscribes the power of this location within your mind. Activating its effects is a standard action.

Special Ability: You gain a breath weapon, called Fus, that pushes foes back. Those in a 30 ft. cone must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your HD + your Charisma modifier), or be pushed back 10 ft., as if you had bull-rushed them. You do not move with them. Once used, this ability cannot be used again for 1d4 rounds. This is a supernatural ability.

Duration: Anyone who visits Bleak Falls Barrow and reads the runes gains the breath weapon permanently.

Ability Value: This ability counts as if it were a 6,000 gp item for the purposes of determining a character’s wealth.

Then you can let them find these places, and either pay for them, or just let them have them free (or give them a separate “wealth” just for these).

And then Ro and Dah can have prerequisites of knowing Fus and then of knowing Fus and Ro, and improve upon Fus’s effect while extending the cooldown. I think 1d4, +1 per additional word, is probably fair for most effects, though some with long durations should have long cooldowns.

See the Metabreath feats from Draconomicon for more ideas on extending/empowering breath weapons. I’ve explicitly made Fus a breath weapon, so it can take advantage of these.

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Huh. Might I request a review from whoever downvoted? I'm always interested in constructive criticism. – KRyan Dec 13 '12 at 3:31
I like this approach. To calculate the price, the magic item pricing guidelines in the DMG may be useful. For shouts with an equivalent D&D spell, it's straightforward. – Joe Dovahkiin Dec 14 '12 at 0:10
Just curious what level do you think this is appropriate for? I like your ideas on how to gather and..well everything. Just wondering when would be appropriate to award. – Ben-Jamin Apr 3 '13 at 16:52
Also, what do you think of having the wall a one-time use (sort of like a scroll) so that once one person reads it, the wall becomes blank...6 months after their death (if they stay dead) the text on the wall will reappear. This will prevent the entire party from having this ability (and whoever else finds them) keeping their uniqueness. Of course the lore or some other "directions" nearby would need to indicate this. – Ben-Jamin Apr 3 '13 at 16:56
@Ben-Jamin Depends what the DM wants from it, of course. Ultimately if it's balanced, some players will want it and others will not because of the cost, but that doesn't mean that something to keep it unique is out of place. To really replicate Skyrim, the "Must speak Draconic" prerequisite would be more like "Must be the Dragonborn," which would be a template or something that is unique or very rare or whatever. – KRyan Apr 3 '13 at 17:13

OK, I’ve found a whole bunch of homebrew, none of which I’ve read, so I can’t tell you how good any of this is. Most of them are either base classes with new systems, extensions or modifications to the Truenaming system of Tome of Magic, or a new martial discipline à la Tome of Battle.

None of these are exactly what you want, but it’s the best I can find. You can probably pretty easily make these “add-on” by giving the bonus feats for free or giving free access to the maneuvers, or something like that.

Base Classes

Truenaming Modifications

Martial Discipline

New System

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Not an exact duplicate, but the Dracolexi from Races of the Dragon gets to use Draconic Words of Power as spell-like abilities or augments to their spells, which is more or less what the shouts in Skyrim were.

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I don't think there is, have had no success looking for Skyrim SRD or Tamriel SRD on google. I'm also thinking in playing a campaign based on Tamriel world.

I think you could based the Thu'ums area and damage on dragons breath powers. Maybe let 3 feats available to the characters, representing three words of power.

I would use by pre-requisite:

  • Have faced the shout words of power OR have trained with the Greybeards
  • Have killed a dragon in the last x days OR have trained with the Greybeards
  • Have the previously feat (for the second and third words only)

Each of the words could augment the effects, depending oh the shout, like increased damage, range, duration, and etc.

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You're unlikely to find a system reference document for anything in the Skyrim game because that is product identity. Anything based on it is either going to be a licensed game or a fan-work. – Simon Gill Dec 11 '12 at 11:52
Yes, I was looking for fan-work indeed – RMalke Dec 11 '12 at 12:03
There is this; don't know if it's any good - but it's free: Fan made Elder Scrolls RPG:… – Rob Dec 11 '12 at 12:31
Looking for fan-made stuff set in Tamriel is almost always going to work better by searching for "elder scrolls" or "TES", than "Tamriel" or the names of any of the games. – SevenSidedDie Dec 11 '12 at 16:11

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