The game plays out like a combination of a board game and a card game, where each player enters a match with "scrolls" that are randomly drawn, then can be used to summon either creatures, structures, or enchantments onto a tiles on a battlefield. The main objective is to knock down three of the enemy's five idols, which are at their side of the board, and at the far end of each of the board's five rows. In order to aquire scrolls, you pick a faction starter pack, and from there on you must purchase all of your scrolls from the shop using either gold or shards, the former being the earned in-game currency, and the latter being the purchased with real money currency.
There was some minor controversy about the initial name after Bethesda objected to Mojang trying to trademark Scrolls claiming it infringed on their own Elder Scrolls trademark - the upshot was that the name could remain but no sequels could use it so Scrolls 2 or Scrolls: The Second Coming are out.
On 20 June 2018, Mojang announced that the game is going free-to-play and that Scrolls has been renamed Caller's Bane.
Caller's Bane provides examples of:
- Alpha Strike: Summoned units have cooldowns before every attack. Scrolls exist that can force this cooldown to 0 or down a fixed amount. With great timing, your large and otherwise un-coordinated army will attack with sheer numbers all at once.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Mostly averted. Shards can be purchased with real-life currency, but can only be spent on starter decks (and only one copy of each) and six specific cards that refresh each week. A player will get cards much more quickly by playing matches to earn gold or by trading.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Averted by Energy, but only by Energy. They have a number of gun-toting tribesmen, a couple of automata with built-in guns, a (horribly inaccurate) mortar, and a good variety of explosives.
- Mook Maker: A few units and structures are able to create mooks. Brother of the Wolf, for example, has the option of summoning a Ragged Wolf instead of attacking. Energy has the Automata Forge, which periodically summons Gun Automatons. The unique Decay character Nuru, Flesh Seamstress summons zombies instead of attacking, though these zombies die after attacking once.
- Order Versus Chaos: Order speaks for itself, with Growth falling on the chaotic end of the spectrum. Energy falls somewhere in the middle.
- Shoot the Medic First: Structures exist that constantly heal their allies, or any similar buff of that calibur. While it's often behind one or two extra units, you might just need to blow through to it to shatter their defences, and indeed, to reach any idol behind it.
- Stone Wall: Varies on the scale of figuratively to literally. You can summon actual stone walls (such as Waking Stones from the Order faction) to act as defensive structures protecting anything behind them on the row, as well as other structures with similar functions.
- The Undead: The fourth faction, Decay, has many undead units (though the majority of Decay units are nevertheless humans).
- Zerg Rush: Growth sets veer on cheap and quicker to deploy units. There are still expensive scrolls in its kit, though they most likely benefit from other units to directly provide it with buffs. A scroll even allows you to summon bunnies that do nothing but make extra bunnies when it's supposed to attack unless it gets buffed attack.