Welcome to the ESO Scribing Overview Page. Scribing is a new feature available with the Gold Road Chapter that is often described as the precursor to Spellcrafting.
On this page we are going to create a tool to simulate the Scribing system in ESO, so you can test potential skill combinations here. We also plan to plug this into our Build Editor, so you can include skills created by Scribing in your Builds.
Work will begin on this as soon as we have access to the PTS this Spring, so watch this space if you want a preview of what the Scribing System will look like!
What is Scribing in ESO?
Scribing is a new feature added to the Elder Scrolls Online in 2024 with the Gold Road chapter. It allows players to create and customise skills, collecting various spell effects and combining them to create new skills that can fit your build and playstyle in a unique way.
How Does Scribing Work?
Scribing requires two new resources added to the game - Grimoires and Scripts.
Grimoires are the basic element of new created spells and define how the ability looks and functions (the look can be further customised with the new Styling system). For example your chosen Grimoire may be for a projectile ability or for a leap.
Once you have decided which Grimoire you want to use, you further customise the ability by adding Scripts. There are three types of Scripts, and you can apply one of each to your new skill:
- Primary Script - Defines the crux of the ability's effect - is it a damage shield? Is it a heal? Is it a damage ability? If it deals damage, what type of damage does it deal - poison, fire, frost, or something else? These fundamentals of the ability are defined by the Primary Script.
- Secondary Script - The Secondary effect applies an extra effect to the ability. For example, you can add unique buffs or debuffs to the ability, restore resources to an ally or convert a Soul Gem to Ultimate.
- Tertiary Script - These typically add named buffs or debuffs to your ability - things like Minor Prophecy, Minor Force, Minor Maim, Lifesteal, Off-Balance, etc.
To be clear, the possibilities mentioned above are only a small selection of what is expected to be available, and the Gold Road Chapter is still nearly half a year away, so some things may be changed by the time it becomes available. We will get a much better idea of exactly what Scribing will offer us when the Gold Road PTS becomes available.
What Type of Skills Can I Make with Scribing?
We likely will not have a complete answer to this question until the Gold Road PTS, but we do know some things about the extent of the Scribing system.
At launch, Scribing will allow players to customise Weapon, World and Guild (Fighters and Mages) skills. We don't know if we will get one Grimoire per skill-line or more than one, but for the time being the Scribing system will not interact with class skill-lines.
It's possible that the system will be expanded further in future updates, but this possibility has been neither confirmed nor denied by ZOS at this stage.
Is Scribing Another Term for Spellcrafting?
Spellcrafting has been high on the list of many ESO players' most desired features for ESO for many years, and many are asking if Scribing is simply another name for Spellcrafting.
The best answer to this question is "not quite". Spellcrafting in other games like TES IV: Oblivion gave players a great deal of free reign to reshape the magic system and create spells as they saw fit. Scribing on the other hand gives you some free reign, but you must stay within certain constraints, you cannot freely pick and choose any effects from the game and mash them together, you can only work with what is offered by the Grimoires and Scripts available in the game.
Responding to questions on the matter, Zenimax explicitly stated that Scribing is not Spellcrafting, but a "precursor to Spellcrafting". There are two interpretations of this statement - either this means that Scribing is a test-run and full Spellcrafting is going to be added eventually, or it is merely referring to the lore surrounding Spellcrafting - ESO is set around 1,000 years before the other Elder Scrolls games, and the mages of Tamriel haven't yet attained sufficient mastery over magic to devise entirely new spells as they see fit.
How Can I Get Started with Scribing?
The Gold Road Chapter will introduce a new NPC called Ulfsild, a magical historian researching the precursors of magic. Players can find and speak to Ulfsild to embark on a new quest-line that explains how Scribing works, along with a story arc that provides some of the lore and story behind Scribing.