A quick word about the mods I’ll be using — no real need to read this unless you’re actually interested in Oblivion mods, or if you notice some things in my Oblivion that aren’t in yours.
I already use a number of mods for Oblivion — one to make the natural environments a little prettier, one to make the weather a little more realistic, one that supplies you with a keychain (you pick up a lot of keys in Oblivion, and they tend to clog your inventory page), some UI mods, and a couple others. To give my NPC the best chance for a mild-mannered existence, however, I’m gonna have to make some core changes to the way Oblivion plays.
First stop — the immense mod called Oblivion Modular Enhanced. It has so many facets that I won’t even try to list them all, but I’m mainly using it for one big one: The Main Quest Delayer Plug-In.
See, Oblivion starts you off in a jail cell in Imperial City, and thrusts you right into the main quest of the game. It’s true that once you’ve escaped the prison you never have to revisit or continue the main quest, but still, it’s hardly the start my run-of-the-mill NPC is looking for. He’s no son of prophecy, he’s just a Random Joe Tunic.
The Main Quest Delayer plug-in takes care of that problem. You start the game in the coastal city of Anvil, fresh off the boat, with just a handful of coins, a dagger, and an apple. The Dragonfires are still lit, the Emperor is safe in the Palace (I understand you can even go see him).
The main quest just doesn’t start at all — unless you want it to. Get arrested by an upper echelon officer in Imperial City, and you’ll wind up in that fateful jail cell, thus kick-starting the true beginning of the game. But, I won’t be doing that.
The Mod also has some other neat-sounding features I’m not enabling, but that some of you might want to check out — increased fines for serious crimes (and executions for severe ones), you can play as new races like werewolf, Lich, or even as a Dremora, they have a new pricing and weight system for items in the game (I’m going to stick with Oblivion’s original econmics), and there’s a ton of new character classes (I’ll be using a custom one).
I’ve got a mod called Primary Needs, which affects my health unless I eat and sleep, something just about all NPCs do in Oblivion.
I’ve installed another Mod, called Crowded Roads, that adds some adventurers on the roads between the cities. I just think this is a nice touch — the roads are generally empty except for monsters, the occasional soldier, and you. Since I’m not playing the hero in this game, it makes sense that there’d be more explorers and adventurers around to fill the void. Plus, if I do need to travel between cities, it might be a good idea to tag along behind a real brawler, in case I run into trouble.
There’s a mod that lets you experience the effect of drunkeness when you drink to much — not essential but another nice touch, I think.
Finally, there’s a mod that adds cats. I think having some cats running around in the game would be good. Cats are nice.