Hello and greetings my friends, chums, and comrades. Welcome back to Come Roleplay With Me, my weekly column that gives you full access to read about my roleplaying experiences in games, and my many epic failures at completing the challenges I set myself.
Last week, I played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind as a dirty dirty thief. I actually enjoyed it so much that I decided that I’d play The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion this week. Rather than going into this playthrough with an idea as to what my character would be, I thought I’d complete the tutorial dungeon, see what class it generated for me, and then roleplay accordingly. My only challenge was to reach level 5 all in one sitting and with permadeath, just to try and make things a little easier for myself.
I chose to play as an Imperial called Old Jim, simply because the randomly generated face looked really old. After working my way through the dungeon I was informed that my playstyle was most similar to an agent. Feeling suitably like James Bond, I imagined Old Jim to sound like Sean Connery, and just generally be a suave bastard. So keep that in mind throughout.
Well, those Oblivion gates aren’t gonna shut themselves, let’s get to work!
The Name’s Jim… Old Jim…
Old Jim awoke in the Imperial Prison after being roughly dragged there the night before. He’d been working on a case to try and infiltrate the ranks of the Gray Fox, the most prominent thief in Cyrodil. While he was staking out, waiting for his contact in a tavern, he suddenly realized that he might have had a little too much to drink. After attempting to seduce several fine looking Argonians, and removing his leather grieves (he wasn’t quite sure why he did that now) he found himself cornered by the city guard for disturbing the peace. Old Jim tried explaining that he had a job to do, but they dragged him down to the cells none-the-less.
Now here he was, sitting in a stinking cell, trying to ignore the throbbing hangover he was suffering. After sitting up, he realized that he’d been awoken by a commotion outside his cell. The Emperor was standing looking at him with an entourage of three blades. At first he thought he was hallucinating from a skooma binge, but he hadn’t touched the stuff last night. They told him to back away, so he complied. They passed into his cell and opened a secret passage. The Emperor Uriel Septim spouted some prophecy at him, mostly speaking in riddles – sadly Old Jim was too hungover to understand and simply nodded his head when it seemed appropriate.
The Emperor and his blades then descended into the secret passage, and Old Jim followed behind, making sure to sneak in case he wasn’t supposed to follow. He split away from the main group down a side passage and began to make his own way to freedom. Everything that happened next was a bit of a blur, he remembered fighting through a lot of rats and goblins with a bow that he’d found. He only fully came to his senses after he came across the Emperor again.
Sadly, Old Jim had found a barrel of ale since he’d last seen the Emperor, so he’d suitably topped up his drunkenness (thankfully the pounding headache had lessened slightly though). The Emperor began talking in riddles again, mentioning star signs and assassination plots, sadly Old Jim was too far gone to make anything of it. All of his training as an agent, investigator and bounty hunter were lost in a haze of alcohol. He had to cut his conversation with the Emperor short so he could find a quiet corner to throw up a little.
He was getting too old for this shit.
After a few more encounters with assassins, Old Jim’s instincts kicked in and he realized they’d cornered themselves into a trap, worse still, he was out of ale. He tried to fend off the Emperor’s attacker, but he was too late – the Emperor was dead. Even in his alcohol fueled haze, he wept for his failure. Before his death, the Emperor had given Old Jim the amulet of kings, the symbol of office for every Emperor. He also told him to find Jauffre at Weynon Priory, this would set him along the path to saving the Empire. Old Jim swore to complete this quest, although he might not remember any of this in the morning.
He made his way out of the secret passage, through the sewers, and finally out into the open air again. With the stench of human waste still fresh in his nostrils he began to take in his surroundings. There was an old Ayelid ruin directly across the lake from him. He reasoned there’d probably be enough loot in there for him to be able to afford a horse. He swam across the lake and crouched by the opposite shore, he could overhear a conversation outside the ruin. After recognizing the familiar shite that bandits usually talk about, he readied his bow and crept towards the ruin. Two dead bandits later, Old Jim had a rummage around their camp. Nothing worth taking.
God he hated bandits.
He guessed that the rest of them would be down in the ruin, so he thought he might as well take a peek. Right at the entrance there were a couple of guards, each finding a swift death from a well placed arrow. Old Jim may have been getting on in years, and very drunk, but he was still quiet as a mouse and a crackshot from any range. He continued through the ruin, dropping bandits as he went. After dealing with the bandit chief using a poisoned arrow, he allowed himself to relax and take in his environment. As he suspected, the bandits had made a mess. There was pretty much nothing worth taking on this upper level.
He continued further down and quickly realized that something wasn’t right here. The place stank of death. No wonder the bandits had stayed in the upper halls. After a little searching he found a secret passage that led further into the ruin. Just inside he could make out a figure watching him. He tried to greet them, but soon realized that it was a zombie that suddenly rushed towards him. Many arrows later the abomination lay dead at his feet, it had landed a few good hits on him too though. He’d have done anything for an ale.
After searching a little further, Old Jim finally found some valuables and made his way upward, hoping to find an exit. Thankfully he did find one, but standing between him and it was a necromancer. One poisoned arrow and the bastard was down. He quickly ran for the exit, cursing his decision to explore this ungodly place.
When he emerged in the bandit camp again it was night time. He reasoned that it would be safer to rest here in their tent and make his way to the Imperial city tomorrow.
Old Jim awoke feeling slightly refreshed, but mostly hungover. He couldn’t remember a time that he wasn’t either drunk, or suffering after being drunk. He began his journey up towards the Imperial City, hoping to sell his wares and buy a horse. On his way he found a cave that was protected by an imp. The little blighter didn’t cause much trouble and soon lay motionless at his feet. Since he hadn’t found all that much from the ruin, he decided to take a quick look inside. Places like this usually had something of value.
He crept through the cave for hours, dealing with each imp one arrow at a time. He almost started feeling sorry for them after he’d killed twenty or more. As it turned out, the cave led into another Ayelid ruin, so Old Jim decided that he’d rather leave than risk more necromancy.
Old Jim left the cave and continued on his way to the capital. Thankfully his journey was fairly uneventful, other than a few mudcrabs. He quickly located the market district and pawned off all the loot he’d found. He used the money from this to buy a better bow, some leather armor and as much mead, ale and wine as he could carry. He stayed the night at the Merchant Inn and set off toward the stables the next day.
After drinking a suitable amount of wine (shaken, not stirred) he found the stable, only to find that they weren’t selling any horses. He was on Imperial business though, so he commandeered one of them and made a hasty escape from the guards.
Just before reaching Weynon Priory, Old Jim was set on by three wolves. He dispatched them with ease, although they did spook his horse. Having to hike the remainder of the way on foot (and stopping every 5 minutes for an ale break) he finally found himself at his destination.
After entering, he had a quick conversation with Jauffre about Martin, the illegitimate and hidden heir to the Septim name. Old Jim was told that he’d have to travel to Kvatch to find this Martin and try to understand what the Emperor meant about saving the Empire. So Old jim gathered his gear together, found himself a new horse and readied to go on his way to Kvatch.
Sadly, this is where Old Jim’s tale ends. You probably think I’m about to tell you that he was killed in some horrible way, but that isn’t the case. The real reason is that… (drum roll)… I reached level 5! That’s right, I actually completed a challenge for once. I don’t actually believe it myself. Where’s my celebratory music? Where’s my award? Who knows? In any case, I’m very proud of this playthrough and I had such a great time doing it.
This week I took my character much more seriously. He was supposed to be an excellent agent, very skilled at sniffing out trouble. That’s why I didn’t just explore dungeons or do quests for the hell of it. I took my time making every decision, which is probably why I managed to not die for once. You’ll be happy to know that Old Jim won’t be retiring anytime soon, I’m going to continue playing as him in my own time.
Next week I’ll be roleplaying in Mount and Blade Warband, which is one of my favourite games ever. It’s a third person medieval combat game which puts you into a world and gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. There’s no story at all. You can be a general, a bandit, a tournament master, a king or even a lowly thief. The choices are (almost) limitless. I’ll decide at the time exactly what my character will be like, I’m thinking they might be quite a scumbag though.
As always, let me know about your own roleplaying experiences or if you have any suggestions for me in the comments. Have a great week and come roleplay with me again next time.