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About Galandil

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  • Birthday 04/11/91

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  1. Galandil added a post in a topic Arena Equivalent for Skyrim   

    Agree'd. Arena's would feel very roman, and very out of place in Skyrim. With that said, they did find an arena of sorts in old roman ruins in England. The idea that there'd be a some Imperial gladiatorial influence in a city like Solitude for instance would not feel too out of place, but as I've stated before, I want this to feel like your in Skyrim, not Cyrodiil.

    I don't think it should look too Imperial either, put in some astetics that fit the Solitude design, since we're placing the entrance next to the Winking Skeever, we might use some cave parts to make it feel a little gritty while keeping the refined architectural design of Solitude intact. We discussed adding statues of Morihaus, perhaps Stuhn, other warrior gods or "legendary" warriors. I will need to make two statue meshes for the new Solitude walkway so I may as well look into these as well.

    I must have missed the part where Windhelm was built over something. A basement-like place or underworld area where there are fights sound great and all but there's already a functioning pit above ground  . I believe we talked about seperating the concepts of the battles between something more gladiatorial or nobles settling things through a Holmgang, with your underworld where its mostly brawls and less regulated rules.

    I would prefer to keep the archiectural design consistent. I could try to emulate a "Sovngardish" design, but I'd be doing so with a Windhelm design palette. 
    Essentially if your a great warrior naturally those with power and coin would want you to fight for them. Not just for the entertainment of the crowds but also to ensure that should they be challenged then you can fight for them. Essentially you are their champion in all things. Seeing however as we intend to expand the concept of being a Thane(Noble) and what this entails makes the concept a little hard to approach. Having a equally or even higher standing noble fighting for you sounds  alittle fishy.. Means a lot of conditional dialogue I can imagine to deal with the conversations.
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  2. Galandil added a post in a topic Arena Equivalent for Skyrim   

    I think after a while, pit fans would want to come and see "That guy who kept killing so well" and would want a name for him. Going the route of where you being Dragonborn is a secret is a good idea, provided you don't start shouting, but I don't see why we can't throw in the option where you name yourself Dragonborn, or.. simply refuse to take a 'Name' for one reason or another. This could also impact the story to some degree. If your Dragonborn and this becomes known, then some fighters might not want to fight you fairly and will be far more eager to sabotage you, so that they can guarentee a win. Being the one who slays the Dragonborn would mark their names in history. If your just a good killer with a name maybe to the same degree but it'd still be a little different to spice up variety and re-playability. 
    I could see this happening in other sidequests as well. The mission is to piss off a Stormcloak, how you can do this is to order a drink he does not like, and thus pick a fight. Legally thereby being able to beat the snot out of him, or even kill him. 
    I do enjoy Zaric's video's but that statement always confused me. The people living in houses and such aren't true Nords? Bandits are true Nords? In the way of inhabiting caves perhaps and living a life that can be more or less attributed to Stuhn. But aside from Skyrim towns feeling like the majority are farmers its important to note that most of the fighting men probably joined the war effort, for one side or the other. In Holds I've tried to rectify this a little by adding multiple characters who's profession is that of battle, in one way or the other. Skyrim did feel like a watered down and heavily muddled by Cyrodiilic culture and religion, but I doubt this should come off as absolute as it did in the game. Hence I've added the Imperial Cult so that the player can explore this aspect, learn why the priests refer to the gods with Imperial names, why there are halls of the dead attributed to Arkay, over his nordic significant, though loathed "Orkey", and the people themselves would have some noted opinion on this in one way or the other. Showing that the integration of Skyrim into a broader Imperial culture is still underway. In a quest I made where you must help the ghost of Vundheim, the original owner of the Candlehearth Hall, he will speak about his battles with the Dunmer from the period of Oblivion, and will outline what it was about and how the Jarl's were involved. Having bandit clans who do battle is something I want to explore. For the Main Hold Quest idea I have for Falkreath, Falkreath is under siege by bandit clans led by a former Housecarl of who was exiled from Falkreath. Which will eventually lead to a conflict/siege at the town. Adding a new dynamic to the Civil War or to the cities in general. Bandits as I see them strike me as either Nords who wish to cling to an older way of living, or were simply outlawed in their respective hold and fled into the wilderness. Perhaps some generations were born in this way, but yeah. To not make this long rant longer then it already is: That statement did perplex me 
    Bringing back old assets I think would be a great idea, riding on a cart could be cool, or have a nice pass between the holds for story reasons in one story or another. I was playing a bit last night and noticed that the trapped web furniture used for Arvel the Thief in Bleakfalls barrow isn't really utilized anywhere else. Could definitely be used to create some dark effect in a pit with men hanging trapped on pikes or the walls.

    I have implemented half of the Sewers for Solitude. I still have some area's to go before I'm done. I was thinking of having two criminal factions down there that the Dragonborn can join, or destroy. I don't see why they can't have a pit of some kind. I believe Windhelm was supposed to have crypts or tunnels underneath it, I'd love ti implement that but it does also have a pit that didn't make it into the release of the game. I have linked it to Windhelm so that it is accessible. I don't see why we can't use a variety of pits in one city, we don't always have to use the same one over and over. 
    I do remember last summer being told of an idea of having a Dwemer arena, it could be cool actually. Steam traps, maybe even a maze where you can activate traps that can be utilized against your opponent. The idea was to place this within the mountain, to give it a feeling not too different from the arena in Dragon Age Origins, but I'd love to implement other arena's/pits as well, and they don't always have to be within the city walls.

    The Dawnstar idea sounds cool!!

    Sounds like a good idea, as long as its kept less brutal and less lethal then battles in pits or arena's then I'm all for this.

    The idea of throwing in some stories to why you need to fight is a good idea. Orcs wanting a battle fought or they will X-Y-Z, or .. I don't know, trial by combat! It sounds like good idea's to me.

    Sniping birds competition sounds pretty unique! I am unsure how I'd implement this, without having the bird flee from the competitor but it sounds like a neat idea.

    It is possible that the Imperials wanted to distance themselves from what could be viewed as a bizarre and unclean affair between the birthers of the Alessian Empire. Perhaps they'd want to humanize the Empire and went to great lengths to re-write history. We could utilize a sort of arena priesthood, but I'd want it to be tied in with the Imperial Cult in some assemblance, or.. be influenced by them in that sense. Especially if this is taking place in Solitude which is where the Imperial Cult has its headquarters. I'd still want there to be a clear presence of Nordic Gods, perhaps out of tradition or simply out of team names, but having more gods present then I don't see why we can't do both. We could even throw in some background story with the Imperial Cult struggling to replace these gods or something. I think we ought to throw in some references to Gaiden Shinji as well, or a nord equivalent. 

    The priest sabotaging would throw a new dynamic into it. If say they did it to keep anyone from winning too much, or.. perhaps there's another reason.
    I do think to some extent people would want to see a fighter face off against a beast of some kind. Their favorite warrior facing a bear, or.. something. I'd hate to overdo it though as completing the arena quest-line in Oblivion and being able to face nothing but beasts was a little disappointing. 
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  3. Galandil added a post in a topic Large Scale Open Field Battle System   

    Yeah I figured that when your called into battle, say after speaking to your commander, and perhaps some of the other main characters that are added for the story's sake, your told that you need to hold the line "Here" while they send an army "There" and "there" to create a choke, etc... That way you get the feeling that your not just fighting one small army, the armies are split. It also gives a bit of tactics to the war as well, and not just "Lets capture this fort far out in nowhere before we'll start firing catapults at their capital". Mountains are helpful and I think it is a good idea if we have battles taking place near or on one that enemies are a bit spread out, and you need to reach a certain goal, kill a captain, reach a camp, etc... That way we can extend the amount of troops over a wide area. Or as you say, hold the mountain while enemies creep up the path.

    We could go the way of Witcher 2. It would mean ultimately de-spawning fallen enemies after a while, but its not a bad idea for big open landscaped battles. 
    I remember playing this back in the day. Problem with static animation is that you are forced to create invisible walls to keep the player from approaching the animation and thus breaking the illusion of a bigger battle. Not really a fan of invisible walls but it'd be the cost for this. Another thing is that we'd need a graphical designer to create one that loops. I did figure that during sieges you were transported to separate cells, that way we could spice up the architecture and the amount of troops without having to worry about the civilian NPC's bloating the memory. But some might have a problem with that as well, as they like the idea of approaching a siege of say Whiterun before heading directly to Riverwood for the night. A way to make such a siege believable is to use dialogue and to split the forces up. Create closed tents, send units surrounding the city so that you must move about to find them. Get told some units were sent to a fort to hold it, to keep the enemy reinforcements at bay, or sent into the water-canals to break through into the city.
    Personally I think this is the best way to go. Create static objects of the enemies, have an animation thrown in when they march or take their shield-walls, and then despawn and replace with a soldier NPC when the player gets too close or enough of the troops on the battlefield are dead making sending in a new wave of enemies problem-free for the engine. 
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  4. Galandil added a post in a topic Arena Equivalent for Skyrim   

    I do have some quest idea's where various warriors will want to challenge you due to being Dragonborn. To try and get their name into your story, or to be known as the man who kills you. The Arena coming to cheer and see whether or not a warrior will best the Dragonborn could be a cool concept. I always found it a little neat when you get to pick an arena name in Oblivion, It'd be sad to forego that if people know you as the Dragonborn. 
    I found myself really taking a liking to this idea! I can imagine it'd feel a little random if we add it so that if you purchase this sort of drink in this interior causes these people, provided they are in the cell to attack you. An easier work around that'd feel less like a bug, would be to have a dialogue option added to a specific bartender which if used causes the fight, provided that NPC is in the cell. I also really liked the Witcher 1's and 3's brawl system and would like to implement something like that. There's no reason such things can't be going on in taverns or basements like you said

    I actually had this idea for a side-quest. If you fulfill it in the wrong way, you could end up captured and sold into pit-fights. Like in the Conan the barbarian movie or the movie Valhalla Rising. These fights take place outdoors in the wilderness with people cheering for the victor. Because you were captured you do not have your own gear and the only way to get out of this is to find a way to escape, kill your master, or to kill enough people to the extent where your master free's you.

    I do like your idea, perhaps it could be a different way to get access to these pit-fights, or have more of them going on across Skyrim. 
    I really, really liked this idea. To make each battle feel like its actually something tied into Skyrim's culture and political or otherwise feuds. To be a champion called upon to settle stuff is definitely a direction I'd like to take it!

    Someone on the team, I believe Alfred had some stuff to do with it too, wanted to incorporate an arena in Solitude. Accessible from the area behind the Winking Skeever. Personally I was going to use the amphitheater at the Bard's College for a CraftersGuild quest line where the objective is to forge an armor and weapon for your champion who fights the other champion, and as such have you be the owner of a fighter, and since they are knights and don't die in the end, I feel that its a less gritty and brutal concept of what I'd otherwise add in a arena. I can't really see myself having Solitude's amphitheater as a place for a blood sport beyond this, but if we add an arena then we can do it there  Otherwise there's always say basements, ships, down at the docks (provided I can fix the problems there) and so on. 

    I have an idea revolving Morihaus that takes place in Morthal. While I look favorable on the theory that Morihaus was a Minotaur demi-god, there are conflicting theories that state he was a man with a horned helmet. Because of this, you find what is "allegedly" Morihaus's barrow within the cliff, and upon touching a bowl of water lying still on his sarcophagus, you get teleported to a magical realm. Upon escaping you will find the sarcophagus open and with nothing but ash within, but you get access to a reward. You can read more on it here if it interests you:
    Why I bring this up is because I'm not entirely sure what Morihaus is. In Oblivion for instance he is depicted in a statue as a man holding chains. It makes me a little unsure just what the man was, and while I wouldn't mind creating a Minotaur statue, I'd have to ask a Minotaur model creator for permission to do so, so that I wouldn't need to start from scratch.
    I think if we were having a priesthood dedicated to a warrior god, it should be one that relates to the Nords. Despite being in Solitude, the idea I had was that the Imperial Cult that has sunk its tendrils across Skyrim, hasn't entirely rooted out the Nordic Religion and culture. While Skyrim vanilla presented a very watered down and close to non-existing version of it, I want it to be far more pronounced. While Morihaus can be present, after all, Morthal was named for him. I'd love for it to be more relating around say.. Stuhn, or Tsun, or Kyne. Morihaus could naturally be involved too, but I'd like to be far more Nord centered. 

    I otherwise like the idea. I must admit that the idea of great clans/houses risking dishonor at losses etc.. is something I had in mind for Windhelm. The idea I had was that aside from betting on matches like in Oblivion, as well as a side-quest where you help a Housecarl win the hand of his Thane's wife, you can fight in the pits. And while at first closely relating to the cut content from Skyrim with voice acting etc... Perhaps drawing some inspiration from the pit-fighter mod for Skyrim, where you got various location fight differences and ranks, trophies etc.. To add a story in. Perhaps similar to the Grey-Prince one, without the vampirism but that you'd be killing the grand champion, who've you've grown a sort of respect for. Also to spice it up a little with men seeking to sabotage you, or other competators. Brawls, perhaps even a murder mystery, and a few neat ways to get involved in the pit-fights, either by breaking the law, or by joining by speaking to the battle-master. 

    I personally don't see why we can't have more variations of this concept elsewhere, in Riften like you said, or Solitude.
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  5. Galandil added a topic in Civil War   

    Large Scale Open Field Battle System
    Skyrim can only handle a certain amount of NPC's at once. Because of this the engines ability to simulate big battles is limited and requires certain work arounds: Like respawning and despawning enemies. Now this works fine in forts and cities as the battle would be layered between districts seperated by walls and buildings. In open battles however this is just not possible, and occationally spawning enemies from thin air or behind a ditch would make a battle feel rather ... odd. Like the enemy arrived late.

    Because of this: large battles in the fields seem impossible. Taking inspiration from Civil War overhauls that create large battles, like Warzones... you can have battles... with spawning enemies, but I think a war requires a polished system where soldiers aren't respawned and despawned behind tree's to toss themselves into a moshpit.

    I suggest enhancing the feeling of facing a big army by using static objects. Soldiers in the lines are static, in say a shieldwall position, until either the player hits the triggerbox(Essentially charges too close, hits the object with an arrow or... sword) which makes the first say two lines turn to NPC's and do battle, provided enough units have been slain and despawned, making the next line turn NPC. This way you can cheat a little bit and give the impression that your facing down a big army. 

    Another way to go about this is to have NPC's inform the player that the armies have been split into numerous battlefields, thereby giving off another impression that this is just one army your facing. This would also make it less surprising if say another army of static dummies arrive and join the battle in some capacity.

    Because Static Objects don't put as much strain on the engine as NPCs that put a ton of strain on it in large quantities. This should allow us to simulate big battles
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  6. Galandil added a topic in New Locations   

    Dragontail Valley
    An isolated Nordic city resides in the middle of a frozen valley. With frozen ruins, frozen people standing inaminate leads to the conclusion that whatever happened here was instantious and killed everyone in the valley. The further one travels from the center the less frozen the valley becomes. The valley consists mostly of the ruins from this ancient city venerating the dragons. Within the valley there are also large chunks of ice crystal seemingly lying in the middle of nowhere. 

    Ice Wolves, snow bears, ice giant, ice wraith and dragons. 
    Society and Settlements:
    An abandoned Nordic ruin city with its ancient inhabitants frozen in place.

    Ice caves and Nordic Ruins. 
    Possible Problems:
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  7. Galandil added a topic in New Locations   

    Velothi Mountains
    A mountainious region in the far northern portion of the mountain covered by ice and snow. Due to the hot steam coming up from below the mountain, the steaming hot water that runs in the mountain is dyed green and deadly. Aside from the ice and snow the area is also littered with ancient dragon bones that appear to hold the chunks of ice and rock togheter.

    Frostbite spiders, giants, ice trolls, snow bears, ice wolves, cave bears and dragons. 
    Society and Settlements:
    The Velothi mountains does not sport any civilization. It is however possible to find the idle hutt or mountaindweller.

    Ice caves and a subterranean Nordic Temple. 
    Possible Problems:

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  8. Galandil added a topic in New Locations   

    Jerall Valley
    A remote an isolated valley between two mountain tops in the Jerall's. An un-assuming an frozen place, either unknown or avoided by travelers. Within the valley resides one village of no importance, comprised mostly of farmers and hunters. The valley itself is frozen over, sports a frozen lake and mountainpass between Skyrim and Cyrodiil.

    Wolves, bears, stags, cave bears, snow bears, ice wolves, ice wraiths, ice trolls, ice giants, ogres and dragons.
    Society and Settlements:
    In the valley is one idle Nordic farming village of isolationist Nords as well as a few idle hutts here and there in the valley. The inhabitants still worship the dragons, have a priesthood and would unsurprisingly be linked up with the extension planned for the main quest in Holds. 

    The Jerall Valley consists of many caves that are inhabitated by feral animals as well as nord barbarians. There is one Nordic Ruin which is part of the main story. There may or may not be an Imperial fort that is supposed to represent the Pale Pass, but it may or may not be included due to wanting to avoid conflict with the Beyond Skyrim project.
    Possible Problems:

    Pale Pass which might make an apperance might be included in the Beyond Skyrim project Bruma, and therefor may or may not be included. 
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  9. Galandil added a post in a topic Story Synopsis   

    Re-Record the voices? Theres a ton of un-used dialogue that can be used, as well as one can always use Audacity to cut and paste dialogue togheter. Though it can be hard to make it sound .. normalish.
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  10. Galandil added a post in a topic Story Synopsis   

    I never did notice that. Good to know Bethesda thought of this as well, even if it didn't quite work out. I thought we'd add header markers and make the NPC's if they are within a trigger box head to these header markers and face the mountain during this sequence, and face it for atleast an hour. Just to really show that this hasn't happened before in their lifetime.

    Your working on the SMQO?

    From what I've gathered. Shor vs Akatosh happens once every kalpa. It started with Akatosh usurping Shor and Trinnimac shooting his heart into the air causing the red mountain to appear. Akatosh however got seperated into four fragments. One of which is Alduin. As I understand it, Divines can die. Daedra can't. Your job as Dragonborn, killing Alduin can have some tie in into the battle between shor and Akatosh as I've also heard an unconfirmed rumor that the Dragonborn may be a shezarine. But it'll be a lot of speculation.
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  11. Galandil added a post in a topic Civil War Story Concepts   

    That is actually a very interesting idea. I'd love to implement that!  As an optional way of defeating Alduin I mean. Otherwise the idea I had was that upon defeating Alduin he would fly off. And land at a distant area, the other tounges who fought with you are incapable of following and you go off alone to slay the dragon. Upon reaching Alduin he is too wounded to fight and you can either kill him, or talk and explore an alternative conclusion to the Dragon Crisis. If Alduin is the world eater, (A fragment of Akatosh), and devouring the world is in his nature, then while allowing this to happen will just end the game with a narration screen before sending you back to the main menu. Perhaps having a quick save before the decision so you can go back and re-do the decision. Sending Alduin back in time also sounds very clever, I'd love for that to be do-able either during the battle itself by just using the scroll, or during the dialogue at the end.
    This is what I had in mind too. Adding new quests within the Civil War that needs to be completed before the Civil War itself carries on as usual. This includes sieging towns, battles, and just normal quests. I want the Civil War to be far more story driven and to have little things here and there happen that forces the player to make decisions which will impact either the few named NPC's the Dragonborn works with, or the war itself. Thank you for uploading a hook mod, it'll give me a good overview over how to do this! Thank you!
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  12. Galandil added a post in a topic Civil War Story Concepts   

    We need to preserve a balance, but its not about making one better then the other?

    The player still decides for the same reasons as before. The option to influence the leaders isn't something that just happens. Its a player choice, and doesn't really have to happen for you to finish the Civil War.

    And I have responded to this a few times now. I do understand what your saying, I just don't agree. I mean.. are you saying you would choose the Stormcloaks if there was a chance for you to make Ulfric a better person?
    I have absolutely no idea what your on about. We can add meaningful choices, but they can't have any influence or anything on the story, or the land? Then whats the point?

    We are going to add an option to spare Alduin's. Read the main story topic. 
    Unless it has any impact on the world in any shape or form? ... No thanks
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  13. Galandil added a post in a topic Civil War Story Concepts   

    I did not misunderstand you. This is what I responded to.
    .. Aha.


    So when you say: "I am not saying the Imperials aren't racist" your still insinuating there's an important decision balance which requires us to forego any possibility of the Dragonborn having an influence with the Stormcloak that might make it a little more tolerateble. Its not like there are things about the Empire that can be made more tolerable for a Stormcloak player that we can add in?

    The balance as far as I'm concerned has nothing to do with racism, Ulfric or Elisif. Its about what do you think is best for Skyrim. Independence or not. Yes, is Ulfric a charismatic and strong-headed leader figure. Yeah. Is Elisif as intelligent as a wet plank... ... ... yeah. When you make the decision of joining a side the Dragonborn has not influenced anyone yet. So the choice still comes down to whether Skyrim should be independent or not. If players decide to use knowledge cause they prefer turning Ulfric Stormcloak into a nicer person then so be it, that's entirely up to them. Someone might find it far more appealing to turn Elisif into a stronger and wiser leader for the province. It really comes down to preference. 

    And if this in the end upsets a balance Bethesda has set up, then I think it is a stupid balance. Its not what the decision should come down to, in my opinion.

    N O

    Adding more choices and letting the player have a lasting effect on the world is something Skyrim sorely needs. Your decisions in the vanilla game feels lackluster and aside from choosing Empire or Stormcloak, none of your choices really matter- even with the few times you actually get choices. Adding choices and consequences is exactly what Holds is going to be about.
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  14. Galandil added a post in a topic Civil War Story Concepts   

    ... Wat?

    Did you read what I posted above? If not then let me put it this way: There's no balance in a choice like this. Its either you prefer the Imperials 'Because' X. Or you prefer the Stormcloaks because X. If that choice bases itself solely around is this guy a dick or not, then... well.. too bad then. I'm gonna upset that balance. But for most people Ulfric and Elisif are irrelevant. It comes down to what is best for Skyrim, or what is best for the Empire as a whole. None of that gets unbalanced if you can influence the faction you join, if anything it allows you to have a lasting footprint on the storyline.

    ... No. ^ Read the above.

    And again: If the choice comes down to racism or not, well... 'kay. Its not like the racism will get removed. You only get to have an influence if you first choose to fight for the Stormcloaks. What your insinuating here is like: "I voted for Trump cause I believe that he'll change his mind on immigrants when he wins the election" .... No. And besides, you have many ways of influencing it in a worse direction. Lets say because of the Dragonborn the Dunmer are driven out of Windhelm after the civil war. Or something or other. .. Build a wall to Morrowind, and let the Dunmer pay for it.

    Also: The Imperials are also racist to a degree. Have you even played the games? They have the same high opinion of themselves and their culture and believe its only through them that the world can be civilized and ruled justly.
    Elisif being incompetent was actually the reason why I chose to lean towards the Stormcloaks.

    ... ... What? ... Others will rule with her so they are fine with it? Can you name someone who thinks having a very bad leader surrounded by lesser leaders who are very ambitious and corrupt is a good idea? If you ask the citizens in Skyrim you will hear it often said that Elisif is but a puppet, and no they are not too happy with that. Making her a strong leader is an equal footed development due to the Dragonborns choices influencing the leader as the Dragonborn influencing Ulfric Stormcloak. But again; These are but choices the player can make. It doesn't mean we're changing the default outcome to always mean that Ulfric becomes less hostile towards outlanders, or Elisif suddenly starts her brain engines.

    And no. The entire rebbelion revolves around the issue: Whether Skyrim should be independent and self-governed. Ulfric like.. say Donald Trump is only a catalyst and figurehead. No one voted for Trump the person, they voted for his policies and idea's. Same goes for those fighting for Ulfric. 

    ... No she does not support Ulfric's cause. And no she does not fight to prove anything to the Empire. She explains her position quite clearly in the campaign. She fights because she believes the Empire benefits Skyrim. Not because Skyrim benefits the Empire. Shes not out to prove anything but to keep her country secure, and prosperous. She does not secretly wish she is a Stormcloak, shes a Talos worshipper. Like Jarl Balgruuf. The Thalmor's anti-Talos policy is not the Empire's policy. Its a forced treaty that they have to abide by until the next war breaks out.
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  15. Galandil added a post in a topic Civil War Story Concepts   

    Sure you can. Ulfric is a good example of someone who comes off as someone you can influence and sway in a direction. But he's opponent, isn't really General Tullius, or Legate Rikke, but Elisif the Fair. Now Elisif is a dumb cow. No one really respects her, she relies on her advisers, her Thane's are laughing all the way to the bank and will likely find ways of politically replacing her in the future. So as the Dragonborn, giving some advice, helping her toughen and smarten up, would definitely go a long way towards giving Skyrim a respectable and wise ruler.

    Beyond that there's Legate Rikke, a secret Talos worshipper and nationalist. I can imagine many ways of influencing her view of her country and her views of the Empire. 

    Then there's General Tullius who's a stubborn mule and practicalist. In vanilla, it is clear that Tullius slowly goes from loathing being in Skyrim and being surrounded by stupid mountain barbarians, but upon the end says he has come to respect the people, and see Skyrim in a different light. I can imagine many ways the Dragonborn could lean in and have some lasting effect here. What if instead of parting with Skyrim with his mission complete and trusting the new Jarls to rule favorably for the Empire, he declares martial law? Maybe you convince Tullius to go rouge and turn on the Thalmor; To say an extreme example. 
    @Edit; As for Ulfric being racist being the only argument against joining the Stormcloaks. ... Eh- NO. The Stormcloaks may be extreme nationalists who want their country to be self-governed and as free as possible of other cultures and races. Self-governing is the positive that draws people to support them, and the "Build-a-Wall"-esc is what makes people less inclined to support them. True. But there are other reasons. For one, Skyrim finds itself in a bad spot. It is clear there'll be another war with the Aldmeri Dominion and the wise choice is to preserve the Alliances that are to have a stronger bulk against the coming war. There's the matter of trade, exchanging of cultures, resources and breakthroughs. However, then there's the argument of the Stormcloaks: The Jarls of Skyrim are useless, grown to their station puppets who when asked to jump, asks how high. Speaking to people around Skyrim shows a great resentment towards this, and an un-ease at having their country so firmly under the thumb of an Empire. Foreign Laws, Foreign Gods, Foreign Treaties, Foreign Customs. All of this creates discontent. To pull this into a real world sense: The European Union is something very unpopular and while there are benefits to being a part of it, it still creates a lot of resentment. Now, who's in charge of a country, the people or the Jarls. A Jarl still needs to listen and act on the discomforts and fears of her people, if she refuses to do this, or fails to explain why she cannot do this, then yes, civil wars will erupt and the person will be exchanged for someone who is far more willing to please he's people. So yes, if Ulfric stops being racist, Ulfric the man will become far more likable but anyone who chooses a side simply because they detest one person, clearly shouldn't have anything to do with politics. Its like the election, you vote on policies, not the person, and there are always far more nuance to each parties position then the superficial.
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