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 Mod idea for Skyrim

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 10:44 am

I know the release of Skyrim is still aways off but I have been thing about this and maybe we can come up with some ideas and people interested in helping with it.

I envision a mountain village with the house built on the side of the mountain with stairs leading up to them. I got this idea from living in Cincinnati where we had houses like that. There would be an inn, a general store blacksmith and farms.

I have a quest planned out somewhat in my mind need to get together with jez about it. I want it to be funny.

I would like this to be a Belle Sakura Saloon team project. I am terrible at scripting, I do not like programming.

What we can do of course depends on Skyrim. Hope the lip sync works as I want dialogue and voice actors. Smile

Volunteers, ideas, suggestions are all welcome.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 10:52 am

I won't be playin Skyrim, but I could do some voice if needed. I've pre-ordered Rage.
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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:01 am

On mountain slopes it's harder to cultivate unless you're making a tiered terrace system (levelled surfaces to allow for easier work). I don't know how they are going to implement this in game (in the north you don't get to cultivate many things thanks to the permafrost and other niceties). The exception I can think about is planting trees and more especially vines. A vineyard could be weird way up north but we could get around this with some magical explanation or simply natural steam and hot water warming the area.

Also since nobody will refer to the place in the game it could be well to consider making it a hidden village, some hard to find and hard to reach self reliant community. Have you seen The Last Valley? That is excatly the sort of thing that could work really well.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:09 am

Thanks, luv. Thatis good to know. I'll make sure to have a part for you. Smile

Thanks, Cara. Since we don't know what kind of animals they will have it is hard to figure it out now. A vineyard would be good. Sheep farm if they have sheep there must be some domestic animals. Terraces are a possibility if there is something to grow there. Also there must be mining so a working mine is a possibility.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:39 am

That's why I brought up the Iceland thing. Think about Kuldahar in Icewind Dale, that could be a good source of inspiration. Magic forces that bolster growth and provide warmth to the place.

We could even think about the consequences of enforcing such a magic ritual, think about The Wicker Man. That could lead to another quest.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 12:14 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 2:07 pm

Another quest in which the PC stumbles upon a hidden village in which he is welcomed despite being a stranger because once every seven years they need to perform a sacrifice or the crops and the trees will wither.

The rest of the time the village is shrouded in mist and can't be reach from the outside world.

The PC is welcomed and treated like royalty given honour and a warm welcome until the time is right when the truth becomes known he may have to face series of trials to survive the ordeal but by surviving the PC condemns the village to starvation and ruin.

Or something along these lines...

I like the idea of extremely friendly natives who are apparently infinitely superior to other backward villages but conceal a dark secret. The Golden Bough and especially the sacrifice of the God-King can be used as a source of inspiration since it dwells on such practices. I'm pretty sure Skyrim will include some Celtic references (they are hard to avoid in a heroic fantasy game).

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 2:30 pm

Good, Cara, but we want our PC to survive Smile so there must be away to accomodate both sides. This could fit in with my quest idea and be right up jez's alley when it comes to quests. The bad guy who isn't so bad and can be persuaded to do good. I'll PM you what my idea is.

We need a place to get this quest started. A villager leaves to seek a fitting sacrifice goes to a nearby town (not too near) Hangs out in a Tavern until the hero appears. Approaches him or her and gives some story of treasure or trouble. Voice actor needed, I have plans for TON. Accepting the quest our hero heads for the village.

Now we need several trials for the PC before my little quest.


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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 7:00 pm

The classic bait. Smile

The most important thing is to make sure that there is moral ambiguity involved. The bad guys are not that bad but misguided and the good guys are in fact self serving hypocrites.

If for instance they used to get a sacrifice from their own community but ran out of proper candidates or needed a better sacrifice (what better offering than the life of a renowned hero?) then that could make sense (if a hero has to die to insure the survival and well being of an entire community would he accept such a responsibility or run away and let them all to die?).

My favourite DLC for Fallout 3 was the Pitt DLC and it is a very good example of moral ambiguity. Here is a quick summary of the story of the Pitt DLC:

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 10:01 pm

Moral ambiguity fits in well with what Bethesda does. I think our hero would be willing to help them thinking that he can defeat anything. He would not just put his head on the block but be willing to fight things.

Backstory: The members of the community fled the strife going on around them. A wizard sets up the wards on the hidden valley/mountain but has a twisted sense of humour and demands a sacrifice. At first there are people willing to undergo the trials but the village is small and most of the warriors have died so they need to bring in an outsider. Off someone goes to find a worthy sacrifice meets our hero and we go from there.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 10:29 pm

Or maybe the sacrifice requires a warrior and the inhabitants of the village have gone soft even more so since warriors have been sacrificed over the years to insure the defense of the community?

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:21 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:26 pm

It would be great to have a community of hippies in the middle of the Nord territory.

"You don't need any weapons here friend, we don't believe in violence. Would you like some goat milk?"

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sat May 14, 2011 11:35 pm

"Oh, by the way we have a little problem. We need someone to do some fighting for us. Would you be willing to help us out. There are some monsters that are plaging us. Nothing you can't handle I am sure "

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 12:00 pm

"Well actually it's not so much fighting as you know like falling down on your sword in the right place and spilling your blood on this altar so that our crops will flourish... I'm sorry, we had to drug you."

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 5:02 pm

Hey, give the poor hero a chance after all if he dies the game is over. Very Happy Drugged? The poor guy a better have a spell or potion to conteract that. The guy has to win and by winning save the crops and village. several quests leading up to the ending quest.

The wizard is an illusionist, able to disguise herself and cast the spell to hide the village and issure a milder climate for the crops . She is hidden in a cave complex that the hero must navigate to find her. The villagers assume that sh is powerful enough to take out anyone. She has demanded the sacrfice because she doesn;t think any thing should be free. Our hero has to presuade her that she is wrong and should forego the sacrifice.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 5:25 pm

NO that's no good. The hero saves the day and rides in the sunset? Hell no...

I suggest that the hero can only survive by condemning the village to starvation and annihilation.

No happy ending.

Or maybe by finding another character to take the hero's place. For instance sacrifice a companion...

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 6:14 pm

I agree -- happy endings suck.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 6:41 pm

TON has spoken, no happy ending. Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 6:57 pm

Happy endings make me sick to my stomach. It sucks to watch a movie, for example, and to have that sappy ending where everybody is happy and everything is well. How about an abrupt, "bad" ending, for a change? The shock effect of the "bad" ending will leave a much more lasting impression than that sappy do-goody full of stinking happiness ending. Damning the village to survive sounds fine with me, and so does sacrificing a companion. They knew the risks involved anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 9:28 pm

Happy endings are even worse when they look like a last minute thing. Deus ex machina and all that.

Moral ambiguity is better than all the heroic crap.

I remember my party slaughtering Xvarts in BG1. What was so heroic about killing an entire village of smurfs? Nothing really.

Let's face it, so called heroes are self serving bastards, nothing else.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Sun May 15, 2011 10:07 pm

jez likes happy endings. We have a problem here. We need a character with a suicide complex. Maybe in the cave we find someone who is fed up with all the slaughter and has killed many innocent people and for some reason has come to regret it and is willing to be the sacrifice. The hero CANNOT die and the village must survive. Maybe losing the hidden status. Entering the real world.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Mon May 16, 2011 12:34 am

I think that the fairy tale version is stale and contrived. I like when things are deeper and when no easy answer can be given. It's more satisfying to me as a player because I'm been through the all hero routine for decades and I hate when you get a convenient weapon or NPC that is the miraculous solution to the problem you've been having. So if you're going for an NPC with a suicide complex conveniently placed so he can take the hero's place and kill himself then I think it would be better to ditch the whole idea and go for another storyline.

The hero won't die (agreed -although it should be possible) but he must make a difficult choice. Going for self preservation should come at a price sometimes.

The village may survive in the short term but it can be doomed and NPCs can be vocal about it, letting the hero know that he/she is the one responsible for the fate awaiting them.

No matter how many monsters or enemy mages you're going to put in a quest, you'll never get an interesting quest if you don't make sure that there is a moral issue at stake. Is the hero going to compromise with his principles? Or simply choose to walk away with a bad conscience?

Happy endings are easy and contrived. Moreover they're not interesting. Have you ever considered that tales always end with the happily ever after because there is nothing interesting after that point in the story -nobody cares about what Snow White/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty's married life is going to be like or if Prince Charming is going to cheat on her with a frog and file for divorce while she will have to struggle to get some alimony and child support so that she can make ends meet and contribute to the Seven Dwarves' latest financial venture that will collapse due to a major crisis in the mining business...

What's interesting is what leads to the ending, not the ending itself.

Think about the Mad Max movies, in the end Max is always alone but he has left a deep impression on the people he has met and in the process has become the subject of many stories but he remains alone. The same goes for the original Fallout. At the end of the game the Vault Dweller is walking alone in the desert with a crippled leg and no home to go back to. That is a memorable ending.

I could go on and on and point out that when a hero faces loss and guilt the main consequence is that he becomes more human.

Even superheroes don't always get a perfect ending. Saving the world and the puppies next door eventually becomes incredibly boring. In other words you can only appreciate success if you've known failure. Anyway that's just my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Mon May 16, 2011 1:39 am

Reallife if ull of failure and choices thatare not perfect. We lose the ones we love, we fail to do what we should do and do what we should not do. Fantasy is popular bgecause the ending is what we want it to be, good or bad. Fantasy is contrived and never quite realistic. The hero lying in the desert crippled and alone will die. In Dragon Age my Dwarven heroine died to save her lover. Wonder if he appreciated it. Now he was alone to try and build his kingdom.

A mod is only a small part of a game. Should it end in darness and despair? The game goes on as long as the hero is alive, it ends when the hero dies. Whether I am here or not life goes on. People are born and die, wars are fought and won or lost. People want closure although it can never be achieved. Dragon Age was good at the moral choice, side with the wolves or the clan leader. The ending is still contrived.

The hero walks away and the villagers go find another hero. A convenient NPC with a suicide complex or the ancient wizard decides enough is enough and sacrifices herself thus ending the curse of the sacrifice but also ending the protection of the villagers who must now face the real world. The hero survives because the game must go on. In real life it wouldn't matter but in the game it does. Briega Doom *(spelling) ends by sinking back to where every it came from. Bethesda leaves their games open ended just like real life.

Laughing I started out with a simple mod idea and now we are facing the crux of life. The future is always unknown. The hero walks away not knowing what the future of the village is or what his future holds. Should the village remain in game or vanish when the hero makes his choice? If he dies the game is over: if he survives the village vanishes. Its fate is unknown. There is no going back. There is no happily ever after that we know about.

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PostSubject: Re: Mod idea for Skyrim   Mon May 16, 2011 10:15 am

Dragon Age Origins succeeded at times in introducing moral ambiguity but miserably failed on other occasions.

The example you've referred to is flawed because if you look around you can find a solution that makes everything right for everyone, you lift the curse and end the problems of the Dalish with the werewolves, they become human again and the Elves get a new Keeper, one who will be able to care for his clan without being blinded by hatred.

The Connor situation had great potential for what I'm saying. Unfortunately they decided that since there is no way of measuring time in the game that you could simply stroll along and take your time to get to the Circle and solve this without any problem whatsoever. The moral conundrum was interesting though but the execution was pathetic.

I could go on and list situations from DAO that could have worked better. Even if you are deep into your character the problem is that we don't get to experiment the consequences of these actions. I really like Morrigan's quest in which she asks the Grey Warden to kill Flemeth. If you stop to think about it that is a very difficult decision to make (I'm sure most players didn't even think about it as a moral choice though).

The best example is the end of Dragon Age Origins. The hero has two possibilities, accepting Morrigan's loophole or acting like a true hero. One option means life the other leads to a hero's death (for the Grey Warden or his Grey Warden companion). What is so contrived? The only happy ending is the one with the feast in the palace and that's only possible if the "hero" has cheated to live (with consequences that can't be foreseen) or left someone else give the final blow. In both cases the protagonist stepped back and let someone else pay the price (the unborn child or the fellow Grey Warden) and that's not very heroic. The only heroic ending is the one in which the Grey Warden dies and this death only happens if he or she refuses to compromise or surrender.

IMO that is the best part of Dragon Age Origins. The only problem is that the happy ending doesn't remind you about the fact that your character is a coward who is willing to indulge a powerful sorceress and curse an unborn child or at the very least one who is willing to let another one sacrifice himself to save the world...

Exactly what I was saying before about so called heroes being self serving bastards.

Quote :
Fantasy is contrived and never quite realistic.

I can't agree with that statement. What you're saying is only true about cheap fantasy written for kids and stories that tend to infantilize the audience by erasing the relevance of the genre to life and humanity. Great fantasy should lead to more philosophical concerns if nothing else it should explore the nature of Good and Evil.

The best Fantasy story ever written, The Lord of the Rings, is not contrived and is quite realistic (in the sense that it depicts a world that mostly follows the rules of the real world).

Never never land with fairies and stuff is a possibility but even in The Lord of the Rings, when the Fellowship visit Lorien they do know that it is a glimpse of a world that is fading away and that will soon disappear and no longer be there.

Nostalgia for lost innocence and lost youth is a potent element of fantasy. The word circles the world and takes characters from the womb to the tomb. That's the way things are.

Fantasy is not necessarily about escapism. What is so fanciful about Mordor? Is there a happy ending in store for everyone? What Frodo's fate proves is that the ones who struggle to ensure peace are often the ones who won't be able to enjoy what they've lost so much to achieve. Back in the Shire Frodo doesn't even get any recognition or credit for what he did since most hobbits are too busy admiring Merry and Pippin's attire and stature. Frodo is mutilated, crippled, haunted by the memory of the Ring and plagued by old wounds. The only salvation for him is beyond this world in the afterlife. Sam is the one who gets the real happy ending, marrying his sweetheart and having a bunch of kids but even then he has to lose/let go his best friend.

Unmitigated happy endings are crap because they simplify everything and make everything right. Things are never that simple.

Happy endings cheapen everything that went on before. They turn everything into a Hollywood blockbuster in which the hero must get the girl and ride into the sunset. In other words they suck.

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