The Elder Scrolls

Conjuration (and other schools) need a total revamp.

TheElderScrolls1 - Conjuration (and other schools) need a total revamp.

With the news of the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI game and the coming supposed revamp to the magic system, I wanted to get my two cents in. I often imagine scenarios that take place in an Elder Scrolls universe, especially the fourth game, Oblivion, which has probably come closer to an open world magic simulator than any other game. Including some of the later games.

Conjuration has always been one of those skills that leaves much to the imagination. And its depiction in the lore is quite different from how its often depicted during game play. This is a brief bulletin of some of the elements I've always imagined would help flesh out the skill and bring it closer to the dark realism that people are secretly wishing for with Conjuration and Necromancy.

  • Necromancy, Conjuring Familiar Spirits, and Conjuring Daedra should be separate, specialized schools. (This is my opinion for destruction magic as well. It doesn't make sense that mastering ice ALSO masters fire. Maybe they could be sub classes)

  • You should be able to Conjure Familiars using any captured soul in a soul gem.

  • More powerful souls should straight up cost more mana, rather than a flat rate. That way it will take more power to summon something like a bear, even though you'd use the same spell to summon something smaller like a deer or a wolf. (Again, this is my opinion for destruction spells, too. Instead of getting higher level spells, instead you scale up your efficiency/power of the skill and a stronger skill equals a proportionately larger effect. A fireball skill you can't yet master for example should just produce a puff of smoke or a tiny flame instead)

  • You should be able to summon the ghosts of NPCs to do your bidding. And if the ghosts have magicka, then their available magicka pool should add to that cost of conjuring them, that way it takes more skill to summon mages than warriors.

  • You should be able to Conjure and interact with the souls of corpses. Like scrying for the dead. And there should be more of a focus on mediums that can communicate with the dead, and secretly offer their services.

  • Necromancy needs to be revamped so players can actually raise permanent followers that can exist independently from its mage, and slowly raise an army. And truly differentiate Necromancy from Conjuration that way you're not just summoning skeletons as if they're familiars.

  • I always thought mana reservation placed a good, natural limit on summoning. That way you could summon one large thing if you're strong enough, or several smaller things. Which wouldn't apply to undead due to their differing mechanic.

  • Undead should also pick themself up again after a short time. After all, they are undead, they should be for the most part virtually unkillable. Except by magic or silver or whatever.

  • Due to the obvious risks of necromancy, and its alleged illegality though out the series, there should be more pressure against the use of necromancy by both guards and mages. Guards would track you and call for reinforcements if they see you using it. And regularly raid camps of necromancers. More noble schools of magic would kick you out or place penalties on you if caught using it.

  • Much like the summoning ghosts of NPCs, the literature often talks about contacting or communing with dremora. There should be a way to just crack open a door to oblivion and call out to whatever's out there. And perhaps reward you with a contract to a random summon, or a questline involving dremora. But of course it does not come without risk. Sometimes what comes out is not what you called for. Which would really help to add to the experimental aspect of these schools that's often alluded to in the literature.

  • More direct involvement and participation with some of these daedric worshiping cults. For example, you might learn how to make black soul gems but joining a cult and going through initiation first. Or ally with a particular Daedric Prince, summon their particular daedra, and place yourself at odds with rival daedric cults.

  • Daedra from past games should be summonable even if those planes are never accessed by the game questing system. People want to explore as much of the various planes of oblivion as possible, and even if travel is impossible as described in the book "The Doors of Oblivion," some interactive continuity between the games would give conjuration so much more depth.

  • Some form of recall needs to be brought back to the game. Conjuration ultimately builds upon a knowledge of teleportation in the game lore. It kind of leaves a gaping hole in the lore to remove it from the game completely. Even if it was prone to abuse in Morrowind. Perhaps its time for a more balanced version of it.

  • Everyone misses Spellcrafting!

  • You should be able to craft Bound Object spells. Just like you'd be able to summon souls captured in soul gems and eventually craft spells to summon those specific souls instead of using gems directly, (which has a chance of breaking a soul gem on use) you should be able to send objects like weapons, or enchanted weapons, into oblivion and conjure them again. Destroying the real artifact in the process. Or just straight up summoning a physical object from another real point. Could be useful for more than just weapons, too. Imagine a skilled NPC conjurer conjuring a chair from across the room urging you to sit.

  • Master rank permanent summons should apply to every kind of conjuration spell, including animal, warrior or mage familiars, bound armor, daedra, etc. Again, this could cost less depending on the spell, so it might be easier to fix bound weapon or armor spells permanently than a whole familiar. This is inspired by mystic dawn robes in the original obvlivion game, who never carried actual robes and thus could never be incriminated by them.

  • See life, see dead and see daedra should be brought back and revamped with their own mini games. You should be able to see a heart beating and gauge the anxiety of an NPC with a see life mysticism spell. Good for detecting lies. And see dead and see daedra could play a role in scrying, allowing the player to peer past the veil. Like tracking the murderer by summoning the ghosts of their victims. Or like being able to see the true face of a dremora while disguised in human form. Some mediums could even claim to be able to talk to long lost loved ones using this skill.

  • There should be more opportunities to lose your gear temporarily and make use of whatever skills you have. Like if you're sent to a prison cell, or say for example your daedric cult attempts to "ascend" into a plane of oblivion and all you end up doing is astral projecting like that one quest in oblivion and end up leaving all your Earthly possessions behind. The inverse of this could be a curse that silences your magic and leaves you to find another means of completing the quest. (I had an idea for a Quagmire dlc that revolved around this. It put a lot more emphasis on alchemy)

  • Also, alchemy needs slash potions. Turn it into an offensive skill system that wouldn't necessarily require poisoning a blade. Like a witch throwing a banishing potion to fend off ghosts or daedra. Or potions that trigger the critical effect of a destruction spell, like a potion that instantly freezes an enemy for a few seconds.

  • Warding could be expanded on too. Like being able to block off an entire passage way, or protect a home from being entered by vampires. Maybe by placing sigils.

These are just a few suggestions. I hope you guys enjoy. And feel free to share some of your own hopes in the comments for changes in the coming magic revamp.

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