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Keeping it "real"

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Please read this first:- This topic is for general discussion of things which we feel would enhance the "realism" of the Oblivion world - not just cosmetic improvements, but the underlying processes which would allow things like politics, social relationships, trade and ultimately the life and death of the npc's and the player to have real meaning.

This may involve all kinds of discussion - from planning the location of a castle or village, through construction or layout of a house, to the relationships between Khajiits and Argonians in Cyrodiil. Comparison with real-world examples are also encouraged, and discussions of the reasons behind those real examples is even more encouraged.

Links to relevant mods are encouraged, but should be given with a statement of WHY the mod enhances the realism of the world. If you disagree, feel free to say so, but only if you present an alternative for discussion which you feel would improve the mod.

While this thread may eventually lead to the making of a mod or mods, it is not here for people to request a mod to be made - we already have a forum to do that.

Some of the initial posts will probably be copy/pasted from a previous thread which was inadvertently hijacked by this topic - this is deliberate so that newcomers can follow how we got to where we are now in the discussion. The previous thread can be found HERE for those who want to follow the complete version.

Finally, check the whole thread occasionally - sometimes stuff may be added to a specific earlier topic within the thread, maybe by adding to an existing post to clarify something. Check "date edited" for any posts with an edit mark. (Like this one)

Edited by MarkInMKUK, 15 April 2011 - 11:33 AM.



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Idea for basis of realistic creature interactions:

Hunters - Predators and Prey system

Probably based on a resource-per-cell system, with cells allocated a resource by location (height, type of ground, presence of certain vegetation, etc)

1: "Manna" - bottom of food chain - a resource that self-regulates if no predators are present. This is "food" for the smallest prey animal we select. The quantity of "manna" should vary with season, with a minimum mid-winter, increasing through spring to a maximum at late summer, then a decrease in autumn back to the winter level.

2: "Vole" - lowest (possibly visible) food chain animal. Voles breed at 8-week intervals producing litter of 8 more voles which can breed at age 16 weeks, once weather is warm enough (Spring/Summer/Autumn?/Not winter). Each vole consumes X amount of manna per day. If food supply drops below X per vole per day, some form of culling mechanism must operate to reduce the number of voles.

3. Predators (Wolves) - hunt and eat voles. Predator must have supply of Y voles per day to start to breed. Breeding pairs needed. Breeding once per year, litter of two pups takes 6 months to rear. Mother requires additional voles per pup (Y x (month number/6) per pup?) to bring pups to independent size. Hunting for voles - adults must have time to hunt for food - hunting animation needed. Weaning pups - pups may start to hunt themselves at some age - pups then take voles and mother's requirement drops by number they catch.

4: Other prey - Ideally wolves should, once in larger number packs, hunt other animals such as rabbits and deer. Both of these have seasonal food supply based on grass, and breeding should follow above vole pattern but slower and smaller litters.

Interaction with humans: Wolves more likely to attack humans if hungry. Wolf can survive on 80% of Y for winter months, but will become progressively more aggressive as time below 100% of Y increases. If vole population drops below 80% wolves will randomly become starving, and will die in 1 game week. Remaining wolves will have less density of population compared to density of voles so should be able to eat better. If attacking human, wolf will accept dropped meat in place of attacking human as its immediate "prey" - one meat joint will restore "normal" aggression to wolf for 24 game hours, after which aggression slips back to "correct" level over next few days.

Edited by MarkInMKUK, 15 April 2011 - 11:29 AM.



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It would be nice to see more pronounced activity cycles for both animals and specific types of humanoids encountered in the wild. That would also affect hunting behaviors. A lot of the animals in Oblivion are crepescular (most active at dawn and dusk). That group includes undomesticated cats,wild dogs, rabbits, deer, brown bears, and rats.



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I think to see the activity cycles more clearly, you'd need to have a longer day length. That is, of course, not difficult but we'd have to check what quests it broke - I know there are a couple of time-sensitive ones from reading the UESP. Day cycles wouldn't apply underground necessarily - rats in sewers or caves should stay at a single activity level, or on random 24 hour cycle for each rat or group of rats (set per spawn point?).

We had a discussion on seasons in a different thread - it would take some work to give a seasonal look to Cyrodiil. It's possible, of course, that the planet has next-to-no axial tilt, hence the very limited effects of seasons. That would change the whole suggested pattern above, removing the seasonality. However, many of the plants we see in-game require a cold spell to germinate properly, and the broadleaf trees often require a dormant period to grow well, so maybe seasons should be a thing to look at. There is the Enhanced Seasons mod which adds seasonal effects to the game - could be a useful starting point.

Edited by MarkInMKUK, 15 April 2011 - 11:31 AM.



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One thing you can do along with the realism mods is alter the default timescaling so you don't end up having to eat ten times in one gaming session. Obviously switching to a "real time" scale is making the game seem "too small", as you can run across the whole gameworld in under 20 minutes, but setting it so a day lasts 4-5 hours means you only get one days-worth of meals, etc, in a session.

I've been recently reading up on some of the realities of medieval life, and a "full realism" mod based on that time period would be awesome, but horribly complicated. Even running a small village "correctly" would push the AI system to near breaking point, if not beyond. But there are certainly many mods to help with immersion into the gameworld.

Given the setting, and the game limitations, the most immersion-straining aspect for me is how easy it is to get really expensive gear. Based on Medieval wages and values, the relative costs of weaponry would make a dungeon crawl VERY tempting, even if the reward were to only be a better dagger - the costs of the items are THAT high compared with typical daily wages. Second to that comes the lack of infrastructure - where does the food come from, where are the shipments in and out of villages and cities, and why do the NPCs never seem to actually DO anything with their lives.

Within those limitations, though, I try to role play as much as possible. At least I play a very solitary type, so I don't spend my whole time feeling that I'm lacking conversation with real people.

That's a good suggestion, to change the time scale. I have been attracted to the hunger/thirst/sleep mods, but I haven't used them because I felt they would turn the game into a time management game. I like those kinds of games, but I've been concentrating on storyline type rp and didn't think I could do both without sacrificing the storytime. I'll give it a try. Right now I just have my characters eat and drink and sleep when they can.

The NPCs not having to do anything has always bothered me. This mod is really interesting, but someone needs to make a new version because the project is officially dead:

http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=5338 NPCs with Jobs

Just downloaded this one but haven't tried it yet:
http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=19197 Street Sweepers

I've been researching pricing in medieval times, also. Would appreciate a link to any good sites you have found. I am still working on my first mod, which is a pricing mod for my own use at this point. I'm very interested in the difference in pricing between lower class, middle class, and upper class items. I don't think the game did enough there. Class systems are pretty disturbing to play, not for everyone, but it definitely feels more medieval.



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It kinda sucks that you can't have a job in TESIV. I would probably be a lumberjack and cut wood and live in a small hut in a village with my wife and two kids.

DarkArgonian49, you can do almost all those things. Here is a house where you can woodcut: http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=28731
For mods that let you get married and mods that let you have jobs, see my long post in this thread: http://www.thenexusf...hole-new-world/
Big long list of links there. :)
Actually you could probably make some kids as companions by using one of the smaller custom races you can find in the libraries here. They will look more like teens than small children though due to game restrictions.



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@ Mark & Telyn:

The thing to remember is "you" are not a typical wage earner; you are an adventurer/knight/whatever, so your income is going to be much, much higher than the average person. However, based on the value of rewards you get for early fighters/mages guild quests, I'd guess an average wage in Cyrodiil is between 50-100 gold a day. Which means it take ~4 days for an "average" person to earn enough for a medium quality weapon.

Comments on the historical style of Oblivion, and a few notes to give you a feel for the medieval period in England/Europe:

Economy: The wages above would be way over-the-top for a medieval-ish real life setup - typically a skilled craftsman was on 3-5 copper coins (pennies) a day, of which maybe a copper's worth was food and drink for the day. At that earning rate, plus paying for replacement stuff for your job, it would take months to save for a semi-decent sword. That's one reason most people had a general purpose small dagger/knife as their main weapon. Also that explains the appeal of weapons such as a quarterstaff (cut down length of hard wood) or a simple bow (split and shaped yew, gut for a bowstring, straight pointed sticks with feathers for arrows). Of course, the cost of items was tied to wages too - a blacksmith would take a day to make (say) 100 horseshoe nails, so they would cost around a days wages for him - 3 coppers. There's no simple equation for seeing how prices have changed as so much these days is automated, but you could probably get some idea of prices from time taken. A farmer has to trade his crop, less enough for his family to eat from, for enough to buy next year's seed supply, so that's going to trade at (say) 500 coppers or 50 silver or 5 gold for a year's work. That level of wages would be enough to encourage characters into dungeon exploring in the hope of finding even a silver coin or two (equivalent of 10 coppers or so), let alone gold. Of course, that would mean that anything you found which was actually WORTH having would be out of the price range of most itinerant and low-class merchants - you'd be relying on those who supplied the middle/upper classes to be able to trade in gold.

Character ages: While there were a few exceptions, especially among the rich and the upper clergy, the typical maximum age for a human in the 13-1400's was 45. An "adult" population would be mostly in the 18-30 age bracket, which is why it's actually not unrealistic to run a mod which makes most of the characters younger than you might expect.You'd expect beggers to be young too though, but either injured (lost hands/fingers/eyesight/whatever) or diseased to prevent them being forced to work at the menial jobs like gongscouring (mucking out the guarderobes or sewers). Veteran soldiers wouldn't be begging unless they were too badly injured to be of use. The only exception to this might be mental disability, but even then menial labour would be more likely than begging.

People and animals: Generally, humans were shorter in the Medieval period - typically a male would be well under 5' 6" (1.65m) tall, horses were smaller (until the breeding programs that created the destriers and the like for knights to use) and cattle were MUCH smaller - maybe half the size of modern domestic breeds. Sheep were still uncommon - the move over to sheep farming came around the time of the Black Death, and whole villages were cleared of people where it became more economical to turn the land over to sheep farming for the wool. You probably wouldn't want to try and arm-wrestle with a swordsman though - unless you are a blacksmith you probably wouldn't have the sheer muscle bulk that someone training to swing a broadsword since age 11-12 would have built up. Crushing handshakes were probably the norm then, just because they expected other people to be a fit and strong as they were. Fighters tended to be bulky with muscle, traders were probably sometimes a little on the well padded side, and the lower classes were lean and stringy due to lots of work and not much to eat.

Buildings and structures: The churches in Oblivion are somewhat Gothic in style, the pointed arches being a later development than the more simple arches seen in a lot of the human buildings around the game. This would be somewhat anachronistic in a medieval setting, as the gothic style came in later. The ships are also not shaped like medieval cogs, but are more like Elizabethan or later styles - in fact considerably later given how top-heavy ships such as the Mary Rose were.

To make a little more sense of the setup in Oblivion, it's probably more Tudor in style than medieval. Post Black Death, the economy changed a lot as people became a valuable resource, and typical wages rose somewhat. The old class structures were revamped and people generally became richer. Wool brought in more money from overseas, boosting the economy too. Weaponry moved towards the longbow and crossbow, and heavily armoured knights, so horses were bred to be bigger and heavier. The beginnings of industrial processes for things like forging were creeping in, and things like swords became cheaper in real terms. Maybe a comparison with the time of Henry 8th or Elizabeth 1st is a better basis for any "real feel" mods, maybe even later.

@David Brasher - most of the information is culled from the book I recommended to Telyn a few posts back - it's just a very boiled-down version of a few chapter summaries. The rest comes from watching history- and archaeology-related programmes on TV - mostly Channel 4's "Time Team" and Tony Robinson's "Worst Jobs in History" series, plus reading a few well-researched historical series like Ellis Peter's "Cadfael" novels.

History is fascinating stuff, but not always directly applicable to something like Oblivion. Because there's no "cause and effect" in the game world, there are some very odd happenings - like why are there sewers but no drains for storm water or toilets? Where does the sewer water COME from? All you can do when thinking about a mod, and aiming for realism, is which aspects of the approximate time period are relevant, and which just get in the way.

In many ways, Nehrim is far closer to a "real feel" for the RPG world. Probably because it IS a total conversion mod, and the choices have been based a little more on realism and less on console-based hack-and-slash. I'm just hoping that Skyrim allows a more realistic feel to the game world, without wrecking the gameplay or story in the process.

One has to understand that Oblivion actually covers a lot of different cultures/time periods. Here's what I see:
Government: Pre-Christian Rome/Victorian England/Gregorian British North America.
Architecture: Mid-17'th Century Germany
Social Infrastructure: Late 19th/ Early 20th Century England. (Well, London to be more accurate)
Economy: Mid 19th Century England
Fashion: Mid 19th Century England, with some Italian and German influence.
Armor/Weapons: 18th Century France/Germany with some Viking.
Religion: Pre-Christian Greece/Rome

Great post up there MarkinMKUK. I hope to have that book in my hands soon at which point I am going to try to incorporate as much as possible into the economy and see how it plays out.

The mix is clearly due to market pressures. They had to satisfy the needs of fans of several hot genres. If there had been a recent dinosaur fad, it would have a dinosaur DLC, too. It's amazing they meshed all the genres together as well as they did.


I think you may do better looking at the Tudor period for a representative economy - other than the Legion, almost everything else fits better as 15/16th century or a little later. Elizabethan/Shakesperean England would probably be a lot easier to research too, given we have so many more records regarding that time.

There are a couple of TV series you might want to look for as well - "Tony Robinson's Crime and Punishment" looks at the historical foundation of the English legal system from the Romans onwards, and "What the Tudors did for Us" looks at the impact the Tudors had on modern life, which is a good way to see which items may be anachronistic and which are just unexpected.

One thing that may take a little tinkering in the Oblivion engine is coins, and getting the correct "change" in the minimum number of gold, silver and copper coins. Also exchanging coins for higher or lower denomination with no profit or loss on the trade - unless it's "foreign" coins (do Elsweyr/Morrowind/Skyrim coins have a different value and need an exchange rate, hence buying and selling at different costs?)

However, if you DO decide on a medieval setting, I'll certainly give it a try - the economic changes and challenges would be interesting to say the least. I'd also love to try and play a Cadfael-type character - an ex-warrior cleric puttering about his herb garden, but also doing detective-type stuff on quests, which a medieval background would be FAR better for than the later setting. Maybe I'll have to learn modding myself... :(

I thought about Tudor. There are a few drawbacks for me. First, there is a very strong ancient Roman theme going on with the Imperials, and it's a bit easier for me to deal with Roman traditions in a medieval setting than a Tudorlike setting. The technology level is a mix of eras, some even later than Tudor, but the production of goods seems more medieval to me than Tudor. It's complex, because it's hard to imagine how real magic might have changed Tudor society had it been a pervasive as is the case in Oblivion. The thing is, the astrology thing fits nicely, but it's not a big influence on the economy. The magic items in Oblivion are a huge part of the economy, and I have difficulty here working the flavor of them into Tudor. Oblivion has a polytheistic faith, an emphasis on nature, etc. Everyone in Oblivion believes in magic and almost everyone practices it to some degree. It's not formally scholarly. Originally some animals in Oblivion were meant to have spells. It does have some of the trappings of later practices, such as the alchemical tools. Hourglass wasn't common until late medieval, but alembics and mortar/pestle are much older. This is an example of Elizabethan era magic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee
So there we do have alchemy, and astronomy, and summoning. However, the alchemy was a philosophical/spiritual endeavor and Oblivion alchemy doesn't seem to have much of that. It's less abstract and symbolic. In terms of economy, only the alchemy has a major impact, and magic weapons and armor have at least as much. I think that's why I am leaning to loose medieval here. You may be right though, it might turn out to be much more workable to go with a later era.

Love Cadfael. The character I am playing most right now does mostly putter around in an herb garden and occasionally solve mysteries, though she apparently also feels it is her duty to do the religious type quests. I am not really fond of the main quest at this point, but this character is insisting.

I guess I will just play with pricing and see where it goes. Once I have a better idea how it plays in game, everything I am currently thinking of doing will probably change. The Local Economy feature in Enhanced Economy might simulate the exchange rates you're wanting, indirectly. http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=25078

For the economy stuff, having a quiet word with TheNiceOne will probably pay dividends - he might already have worked out how to add in smaller value coins.

The clothing we have is late 1300's leading into 1400s at it's earliest - the sleeve as a separate part of clothing didn't come in til nearly 1400.

Housing is timber or half-timber in many of the rural areas - but not a bay-type construction very often, so it's a later developed style than about 1650. Before then you'd have a series of cross-sections joined into one structure, each one being raised separately and fixed on with wooden pegs. Thatch is a very early development, so the roofing could be any time. The fittings on doors would appear to be some very solid wrought iron, so could easily be earlier than 1400. Glass blowing for the alchemical stuff would be rather later though, to get the quality of glass shown - Renaissance era maybe?

Pick and choose, I guess :)

Edited by MarkInMKUK, 14 April 2011 - 03:38 PM.



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I didn't aim for any kind of realism on my first play-through, and that was fine, but by the second or third time I was beginning to realise what COULD be done. So now I run assorted realism mods to force me to eat/sleep / whatever, and to some extent the world around me is forced to work that way too. Playing a stealthy character, I'm always on the lookout for mods to add things like climbable walls, upper windows you can enter, etc.

I'm running a low level female Bosmer character having just restarted. During the day (when not adventuring) she dresses in "nice" clothing, to blend in. "At work" she currently wears a nightblade armor (I'm running a full FCOM install so get the pick of the OOO armors), which she "liberated" from a dead body in the tutorial dungeon (he was duelling with a mythic dawn assassin in the sewer, and when he lost she shot the victor before she could heal). She always changes back out of the nightblade stuff before interacting with non-enemy characters, as a real person would. She even returns to her house to change if possible, before selling loot off, as a real person wouldn't lug excess clothing around when adventuring, unless they expected to HAVE to be interacting.

One mod I intend to try (if I can find one I like) is one to change the way npc's react depending on how you are dressed. Social status should change their reaction, as should armor type - Dark Brotherhood clothing should drop Imperial disposition to a VERY low level ideally, and even if they then see you in vanilla clothing, it should take a long time to recover, if ever. Of course, the problem there is if ONE imperial sees you, they ALL have their disposition changed instantly, rather than the information spreading slowly (say at shift change within a city, or at distance-related intervals if travelling), but implementing such a radical change would (I believe) involve each and every guard being a separate named npc not a generic character as a bare minimum. NOT a simple, easy mod.

OK, ok - I'm a pseudo-realism freak.

This names the guards: http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=7260 in case it helps you create that. Wrye BASH has a tweak for it too.

Will PM you some research links regarding glass in ancient and medieval times when I have time to list them up. :) What mod gives you upper windows you can enter?

I honestly can't remember which mod it was, and I haven't found it again since I reloaded Oblivion some months back. It may have been a pre-release one - I remember it was buggy as anything. If I find it again, or a similar working one, I'll let you know.

Edit: I think it was probably this mod, but I used it ages back so I'm not sure, I just vaguely remember dragging ladders around by using the Z key. at the time it was Anvil only. The bugginess may well have been other mods I was trying.



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There was a suggestion in Oblivion Mod Requests for the burying option ... the two would be a perfect marriage in such a mod. If you don't bury them within a certain time you get sick from being around one. The only fly in the ointment is all the persistent dead bodies that Bethesda leaves laying around for us. I'd need to take off my 'Paramedics of Cyrodiil' hat and put on my 'Gravediggers of Cyrodiil' hat. Pretty soon I'll need a backpack to carry all my hats on my travels (I also have a 'Defender of Tamriel Travelers' one that gets worn quite often).

I think I'll look into that. I don't think it would be that difficult but I may be underestimating since I am just starting to learn how the scripting works. Right now I am using Decompose Corpse spell to get rid of them. Has not caused any issues in my game. http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=4139

After reading this mod's comments, it may be really difficult after all to give a PC or NPC that collects rotting bodies a disease just for having them lying around in the necromancy laboratory or unrolling a bedroll next to a heap of corpses. It sounds like your character would need to activate the corpse, but perhaps there is some way around that. Diseased Corpses http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=9758 Comments there indicate activation may be the only way.
Had a look at theVector's description (best known disease mod) and again, it seems your character activates the corpse to get infected. However, it does mention getting diseases from "lurking in unhygienic places" like sewers. I think it detects what kind of location you're in, like dungeon or sewer, rather than detect all those rotting bodies stashed under the bed, but I could be wrong. http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=25835
Communal Graves and Freshly Dug Tombs http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=4619 could be used to dispose of fresh bodies before you get exposed to diseases maybe, but I haven't tried it yet.
Graverobber BETA1 already lets people rob graves, http://www.tesnexus....ile.php?id=8942 and it has a digging into graves animation apparently. Maybe if I look at that I can figure out how to do it in reverse. It would actually be sort of nice from an RP standpoint to be able to have burials and funerals. I have seen that requested once in awhile. Maybe if there isn't a bounty on you for killing said person, you could drag them to an undertaker and pay a fee to have them buried and a priest chant.

Actually...hmm...check out Buried Treasure. http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=16129 You get to make 3 holes with dirt mounds, and you can store anything in your inventory in there, as much as you like. Something like that altered to allow items to be dragged into it instead/in addition would work perfectly, wouldn't it? That mod also has a feature that makes pirates and thieves sometimes turn up up, which could be interesting. I wonder if Da Mage would be at all interested.

Aha! This mod lets you put corpses into inventory and drop them elsewhere, so it may work with Buried Treasure already. Corpses Collector: http://www.tesnexus....le.php?id=30248 They don't decay, though, which isn't very realistic, but would get rid of the problem of what to do with them to prevent illness.

If anyone does feel an urge to make this mod that encourages the PC to bury bodies or get a disease unless you get rid of them somehow, go ahead. I'd probably break a lot of things trying.

Whew, my most morbid post ever. I usually make mod lists on the lighter side of immersion. LOL.

<evil grin> You could integrate the burial mod with a gardening one - many plants grow faster and better if you plant them over a corpse. Traditionally (in some areas of the world) grape vines are planted with a dead cat or dog under the roots...

Diseases ... could you check for the presence of a corpse in the cell you are in, and would that give you sufficient localisation to be likely to be infected by it? I also think that a timed corpse decay is good, and maybe 2/3 days after death start to hear flies buzzing if nearby - that's the start of the infectious stage. Once partially rotted, the corpse should maybe have a chance (or an option if a spell cast) to reanimate as a zombie, and once the flesh is gone, as a skeleton. If it's outdoors it should also attract predators if fairly fresh - say a day or two old - so you'd have to fight off wolves or bears to get to the corpse if you need to return to it.

And once buried - how about necromancers employing grave robbers to get more bodies? The Burke & Hare mod...

Well since this is set in a "dark age's" setting wouldn't mass graves or large scale cremation be more common for the average citizen who rarely earns more then enough to eat much less pay for a funeral.

Telyn, as always, you are the Queen (or King, as the case may be) of SEARCH!! I could only dream of bending a search engine to my purpose like you. Of particular interest while perusing your picks was this (from Graverobber BETA1):

Disturb the dead
Be careful while digging up graves during the night, because you can disturb the dead!
When you are digging between 19:00 and 05:00 it's possible that some ethereal enemies spawn near you!

Now if you're burying 'some of your own work' you should need to be careful around that spot in the future. To incorporate some of MarkinMKUK's idea (and I was ROTFLMAO on reading your post Mark) some time down the road you're picking flowers (or better yet some of those not so common so you can't pass them up grows where someone has died Cairn Bolette) for alchemical purposes and you forget you planted Alval (who so pissed you off with his arrogance you didn't even wait for the DB contract to 'cash his chit') right there. Look out behind you ... he's not happy!! :tongue:

Give a man an idea and you'll perk his interest for a day.
Teach a man to mod and the whole world will cease to exist for him for days at a time.

Sorry Mark ... couldn't help myself. Plagiarism is my sin, but I've loved your sig for some time now.

During plagues there were certainly mass burials, if you were lucky and got buried at all. Sometimes an entire village would be wiped out and there would be nobody left to bury anyone. Plague epidemics were frequent. There were plague cemetaries in cities. As for common citizens, you may be thinking of "potter's fields," which I believe were more for strangers or people who had no land and no family to see to their burial, also sometimes for criminals. A poor family would probably do most of the preparation themselves, and priests traditionally did not charge for funeral services, though a donation is certainly traditional to this day and was encouraged more strongly in some places and times than others. Being a debtor was a crime which you could be imprisoned for, so I am sure the poor were well represented in communal burial sites. Some of the mass graves whch have been discovered actually turned out to be reburials. It has been common historically in many cultures to move old remains out of burial places to make room for newly deceased.

You can read general information about funeral traditions throughout history with a strong emphasis on Britain here at Spoilheap. http://www.spoilheap.co.uk/burintr.htm Oblivion has several of those. In the IC and churchyards there are cemetaries, and there are dungeons which have both coffin and catacomb style burials. Possibly the small aeyleid casks might be for ashes, though I have never seen any ashes or bonemeal in them. Necromantic practice in Oblivion seems to depend on lack of cremation.

@Striker879 Thank you. We are pleased. LOL. But seriously, the only trick I have is I use the advanced search and try as many keywords as I think relevant. The search function here is quite good, but it's easy to miss the advanced features.

@ MarkInMKUK Some good ideas there. Maybe grape vines for men? I'd think roses for women, but Oblivion is sorely lacking in roses (why IS that?). Morning glories seem to be the flower that takes their place. Or they might plant herbs like garlic that have legendary warding properties.

@Telyn - Talking of warding properties, garlic planted on places you interred most characters should prevent them rising as a vampire. Werewolves, however, we'd need wolfbane. It MIGHT make sense to add preventative items to the corpse's inventory to "keep them dead", or at least built the idea in as a later expansion.

Accidental production of undead: I suggest that the most suitable way to deal with this is pick up on the "death of an innocent" as used to start the Dark Brotherhood questline. The general concept of "uneasy spirits" fits well with a character being haunted by the ghosts of those he killed without warning, or those with unfinished business. And as a really fun twist, how about rigging it so if YOU kill the adoring fan, you are haunted by him until you can find a way to lay his ghost to rest?

Burial practices: Cremation would lead to a minimal number of physical undead, and a lot of bonemeal :) If you think back to the Morrowind tombs, often opening the urn with cremation ash in would trigger a ghost - and that makes sense. Suspected werewolves would be buried with wolfbane, and more would be planted around tomb doors (I'm thinking the old Lon Chaney, Jr. "Wolfman" movies too here). Suspected vampires were buried with stakes through the heart, and/or garlic necklaces, and often a brick between their teeth. Any suspected potential undead were also buried face-down so that they could only dig away from the surface. I believe there's a mod which gives killed undead a percentage chance to rise again - this may be a useful idea too. Mass graves have great potential in a mod with a mad necromancer and a zombie invasion plot - endless waves of the undead raised from the pit. I certainly think there's mileage in adding a "disturb the tomb, disturb the dead" script, with a chance that you will have to fight the occupant if you open a coffin.

Plague: The simplest plague to mimic would be Bubonic, as there appear to be plenty of rats around. Maybe a specific "black rat" which carries plague would be a good idea - it could have a specific script added to check probability of contracting it. You could also have a "rat population" script that could check for cats and other rat-killers, and keep the population down if there are cats around (Yes, we'd need to add a variation on a cats & rats mod). Plenty of long-term things to think about, but I suggest nothing immediate, it's too reliant on a "working world" to make it a really good mod. One problem with massed death is the lack of a usable wagon - you have to haul out the dead somehow and currently you can't do that easily. Also the population of places like the Imperial City is way too low for a pre-plague set-up, the density of people is more like a modern housing estate than a primitive near-slum. It's a shame we have no children in Oblivion - kids playing and singing "Ring-o-Roses" would be nicely chilling and drop an early hint as to the reason for a rash of unexplained deaths.

Maybe a "Pied Piper of Hamelin" quest to remove the rats from the town?

P.S. Is there a prize for the most thoroughly hijacked thread on the forum? We may well be able to compete for it!

There, I think we're up to date now!



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Here's a link to another post about positioning dead bodies ... a good tip that may disappear down the thread list in time, archived here now.

Edited by Striker879, 14 April 2011 - 06:45 PM.

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