Tes4Mod:Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul/Player Character Changes

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In Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul, player character (PC) changes affect the defining characteristics of your characters. The PC changes can be grouped and summed up as the following:

  • Vital Statistics (simulation of physical or mental characteristics)
  • Skills (how PCs use their Vital Statistics to affect the world and themselves)
  • Combat Abilities (how Skills interrelate with actors and items in action‐oriented challenges)
  • Factions (how the PCs interrelate with NPCs and creatures)
  • Magic Abilities (how Vital Statistics, Skills, Combat Abilities and Factions interrelate with the PCs' selves, NPCs/creatures and items through Magic)

Note: OOO is not a mod that focuses on changing the mechanics of how PCs increase their defining characteristics. It is not a so‐called "leveling mod" which handle the mechanics behind your character's level‐up progression. OOO is compatible with these kinds of mods. OOO changes how vital statistics, skills, and combat abilities work mainly through the tweaking of "game settings". These game settings are hard‐coded variables that specify a range of possible actions and their results. For example, the game setting fPCMagickaReturnBase governs how fast the PC regenerates Magicka. The following sub‐sections list the Player Character areas changed by OOO.

Derived Attributes


Special attacks are less tiresome to use than in default Oblivion. This is a balance tweak because of the higher weight of some weapons, and helps you to keep up with the now deadlier combat gameplay. The range of weapons' reach is a bit shorter than in default Oblivion – close quarters combat is the norm for melee players. This change encourages the use of the slower but stronger special attacks in melee.

Fatigue costs for ranged attacks are a bit higher, however. It was previously too easy to use bows and backwards‐running to avoid damage while peppering the enemies with arrows. The power of bows is higher, but their reload time slower. These changes help making Marksmanship a more tactical and involved combat skill.


Player characters have lower starting Health than default. No changes are made to maximum Health gained per level. The player started with a large Health‐pool advantage over enemies in default Oblivion. This change balances the difference and makes it more risky to engage in heavy combat right away. That is something you will have to earn, and not be given right off the bat as it happened previously.


Magicka's rate of regeneration is slower than default but characters focusing in Willpower will gain Magicka faster than before. This change encourages players to focus on magical skills and attributes if they wish to be much more effective in situations where a lot of Magicka will be needed. It also balances out those classes who did not specialize in magic and previously could rival a mage's casting power without any drawbacks characteristic of spellcasters (like having to use light armor, having usually poor Health rating, or having to forsake training in practical skills and attributes of combat and stealth in order to gain an edge as spellcasters).

Your Magicka pool is also larger than before. Expect to gain more than 20 points of Magicka for every 10 of Intelligence. This change will help casters use more costly spells, with more complex, lengthy or devastating effects. This change is designed to allow casters to keep up with the increased lethality of melee and ranged weapon combat.


Descriptions for the notices of skill perks when you reach the various levels of mastery (Apprentice, Journeyman, etc.) are re‐written to reflect a higher sense of pride and accomplishment, rather than the same old text used in the prior perks' notices.

Heavy Armor

Armor skill perks have changed a little. No longer does mastery in Heavy Armor completely negate the movement penalties associated with wearing large and cumbersome armor pieces. This change serves to balance the otherwise obvious choice of Heavy Armor over Light Armor. Previously, you could wear a full suit of the heaviest of armors and remain unencumbered if you were a Master of this skill. Now, a small penalty remains even at complete mastery. The same is true of the perk gained in Expert level of Heavy Armor.

Light Armor

Light Armor does not give a 50% extra damage protection at Master level. This was reduced to avoid making Light Armor a potentially more defensive skill than Heavy Armor. Otherwise, the benefits of faster speed, less weight and lesser penalty to spell‐casting gained by using light armors really skewed the benefits away from heavy armors.

Weapon Skills and Perks

Weapon perks usually add a new special attack type to the player's repertoire. These attacks have, aside from increased damage, other bonuses (like disarm, knockdown or paralyze). The chance of a successful bonus effect per hit has gone up. It is now easier to disarm, knockdown or paralyze enemies (but so it is for them to do the same to you!). This change helps to make combat more tactical. It encourages the use of special attacks, but it ties in with the greater risk of leaving your guard open because now, as mentioned, weapons are slower than in default Oblivion. The relative speed of these attacks is a bit higher to compensate for the overall slower speed of weapons in general. These changes apply also to ranged attacks. Damage has increased for the backwards power attack perk, for all weapon skills. This is an important change because in default Oblivion it was much more difficult to connect back‐attacks. This change will encourage their use (balance the risk vs. the reward of using it).

Hand to Hand

The Hand to Hand skill has some modifications. Hand to Hand was sorely lacking at release; its range is very short, its damage cannot hold a candle to powerful weapons, its rate of block was half that of wielded weapons and the player cannot use gauntlets to add offensive on‐hit spell effects as with every other weapon.

Now, Hand to Hand has a slightly increased reach and increased damage to enemies' Fatigue compared to default Oblivion. In addition, its damage to Health is increased, as is the chances to successfully block attacks and stagger opponents during a successful block. Its block rate is lowest of all other weapons, but slightly increased from default Oblivion.


The range and speed of arrows is greater now than in default Oblivion. Not only does this change balance out with the slower rate of fire and Fatigue burn of bows; it also enhances the realism of ranged combat. In addition, arrow physics have been slightly tweaked to reflect the changes in speed and range. The chance of finding used arrows in fallen bodies is increased, as is the maximum number of arrows allowed to remain on the ground.

Sneak Attacks

Sneak attacks now do slightly higher damage at Journeyman and Expert ranks, x7 and x8 respectively. Marksman Sneak attacks in the same ranks are x3.5 (displays just as the normal x3) and x4 respectively. This change encourages players to specialize in Sneak and makes stealth tactics much more desirable. Finally, changes to Sneak perks also appear in the notices brought up when a player reaches a new rank.

Alchemy and Potion Capacity

The number of potions that you can use at once is changed. The progression follows your skill in Alchemy. Previously, there was always a limit of 4 effects at once. Now, it is scaled upwards – 3 for Novice skill in Alchemy, 3 for Apprentice, 4 for Journeyman, 4 for Expert and 5 for Master.

Miscellaneous Game Setting Changes

Note: These changes, while not pertaining to specific skills per se, have a direct impact on how gameplay structures relate to skill usage and viability. Some are, however, independent, and their function serve other purposes.

  • The overall damage done by weapons and creatures is higher across the board – combat is in general a bit deadlier.
  • The rate at which weapons and armors wear down is 30% the value of default Oblivion settings. This change is needed due to the much higher and deadlier incidence of combat.
  • The cost of armor and weapon repairs at shops is much higher.
  • The cost of skill training at specialized trainers is higher.
  • Every message pertinent to in‐game actions about the player and the environment are now changed from the default second person tense to first person tense. This change is conducive to higher immersion in the game, for you are not constantly reminded that your actions are being viewed from the "outside".
  • The maximum jump height threshold is slightly higher than in default Oblivion.
  • The ability to fast‐travel at the beginning of the game to all cities is removed. Now, you need to discover the towns' landmarks before you can fast‐travel to them. That is, you will need to walk at least once to each city in order to open fast‐travel to their landmarks, just like with every other map marker.

Magic Abilities

The magic system in Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul has changed significantly. Almost every spell effect, default spells, enchantments, and potions have been tweaked to enhance gameplay options and flow.

General Spell Changes

Almost every spell effect is now easier to cast (they require less Magicka), including defensive spells such as Reflect Spell, Shield, Resist Magic, Summon, etc. The changes are conservative; do not expect to be able to run around with 60‐second Shield spells at magnitude 100 anytime soon. To add to the already dangerous combat, offensive spells now cost less. This will allow you to deliver more deadly attacks with less Magicka cost than in default Oblivion. It is easier to cast ranged versions of offensive spells, and having them explode in an area‐of‐effect is also less costly.

Every default spell has changed to reflect the stronger potency of their associated governing effects. This means that you could have access to stronger spells as soon as you visit your local spells' store. It also means that NPCs will instantly have access to stronger spells than what they had in default Oblivion.

Finally, the speed of magic attacks is significantly higher than before. These changes will let you cast better offensive and defensive magic with a greater range of tactical options. They make it worthy to spend the extra energy in casting targeted area‐of‐effect spells. This also means that it is easier for the inhabitants of Cyrodiil (and Oblivion) to cast powerful spells against their foes.

Changes to Exploitable Effects

Some spells, due to the ease with which they could be exploited, can no longer be made into custom spells or enchantments. The notable case here is Drain Health, which was extremely easy to abuse. Now it is not possible to create new spells or enchantments with the Drain Health effect. To compensate, new spells using this effect are available in merchants and treasures across Cyrodiil. The new line instantly kills creatures below a certain threshold of Health. The spells are Kill (weak), Kill (moderate), Kill (potent), Kill (superior) and Kill (master).

In a similar light, but in the defensive‐spells camp, it is much more expensive to enchant items with Chameleon effects. In addition, the enchantments have a lower magnitude cap. Spells of Chameleon are very Magicka‐intensive now. The same is true of Invisibility. The potency and duration of Invisibility is now reduced to 25% of the original's efficiency. This means that the player will have to be extremely skilled in Illusion in order to cast long‐lasting invisibility spells, and that this will be done at an increased cost. The changes to these effects were necessary because they could previously be exploited severely (they would render consequences to the player's actions irrelevant because they could always escape or avoid detection by the repeated use of these spell effects. The Shield spells' possible enchantment values have been decreased from 25% to 15%.


Enchanting now is much more expensive. Custom enchants will spend the Soul Gem's enchanting points quickly in proportion to increased magnitude, and the monetary cost is also much higher.

Many default enchantments associated with the changed effects are changed. Defensive enchantment effects have been toned down, while offensive enchantments are left as they were by default. The higher costs of enchanting items make the default enchanted gear found while adventuring or thieving more attractive. This was a necessary change because, previously, enchanted items were mere vendor fodder. Now you will actually find them useful until you can afford to enchant better items on your own. The enchanting capacity of Grand Soul Gems is now much higher, as it is the enchanting power of Grand Souls. This will allow you to craft some of the most powerful enchantments available, but only if you earn that right through ingenuity and skill.


Potion effects remain the same except in a few special cases. Health, Fatigue, and Magicka potions are now based on regeneration rather than instant effects. This means that you will not be able to pause the game in the middle of a fight and heal immediately to your maximum limit of Health, Fatigue, or Magicka. The regenerative power of these potions encourages more tactical approaches to combat and leaves less room to exploit their use. To compensate for the loss of instant healing while the game is paused, potion effects are overall stronger – although dispensed over time, their magnitude is greater. There are now several new types of these potions. Each increases its power significantly over the previous in line, but also become more expensive. Finally, there is one type of potion for each of these effects that acts immediately – it replenishes Health, Fatigue, or Magicka instantly. These potions are prized and very expensive, but are also the best that can be afforded when you face the strongest of challenges. The savvy and experienced adventurer always keeps some of these potions in stock, for those situations that require that last push to victory.


Birthsigns have changed. The original spirit of each constellation is kept, but existing effects have been modified and new ones have been added to balance them out. Descriptions of Birthsigns differ so as to include the changes and additions. Birthsign effects are:

  • Apprentice: +130 Magicka, 100% Weakness to Magicka
  • Atronach: +200 Magicka, 50% Spell Absorption, Stunted Magicka
  • Lord: Restore Health 90 pts (Lesser Power), 40% Resist Frost, 25% Weakness to Fire
  • Lady: +10 Willpower, +10 Endurance, 15% Resist Paralysis
  • Lover: Lover's Kiss (unchanged), +10 Personality
  • Mage: +30 Magicka, +10 Willpower
  • Ritual: Restore Health 200 pts Ability, Turn Undead Ability, 15% Resist Disease
  • Serpent: Serpent Spell, +10 Willpower
  • Shadow: Invisibility for 60sec (Lesser Power), +10 Agility
  • Thief: +10 Agility, +10 Speed, +10 Luck
  • Steed: +20 Speed, increased Fatigue Regeneration (2pt/sec)
  • Tower: Tower Key Power, Tower Warden, +15 Resist Poison
  • Warrior: +10 Strength, +10 Endurance, increased Fatigue Regeneration (1pt/sec)