This is an lesser known alternative to Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. It is a fraction of the size, so doesn't offer as much content, but the re-balancing is similar. Give it a shot, you may like it better than OOO (unlikely).
Adventurers: Oblivion is a complete makeover for Oblivion. It attempts to 'balance' all aspects of gameplay to maximize fun and minimize frustration. Almost all items, NPCs, creatures, and leveled lists have been altered for maximum fun. No quests have been changed, though.
Extensive changes have been made throughout the game, so I can't guarantee compatibility with other plugins. I recommend starting a new game for the best experience.
- Some of the birthsigns have been changed to make them more interesting choices.
- NPCs now have more health per level (FNPCAttributeHealthMult from 0.5 to 0.65). This doesn't have as large an impact as it appears; it's about 10% extra HP.
- Your character has less HP (fPCBaseHealthMult 2.0 to 1.8).
- Can carry a bit more weight (fActorStrengthEncumbranceMult 5 to 5.5).
- Increased amount of experience needed to gain a level in any skill (FSkillUseExp 1.5 to 1.55).
- Training costs are higher (FTrainingCostMult 10-15)
- Changed sneak damage bonus to encourage more backstabbing at higher levels (Novice: bow1.5x stab3x, Apprentice 2x 4x, Journeyman 2.5x 5x, Expert 3x 6.5x, Master 3.5x 8x)
- Firing arrows requires more stamina (fMarksmanFatigueBurnPerShot 5 to 25)
- Light armor expert perk reduced from 100% to 70%. (fPerkLightArmorExpertSpeedMult)
- Light armor master perk reduced from 50% to 30%. (fPerkLightArmorMasterRatingMult)
- Heavy armor expert and master perks reduced by half. (fPerkHeavyArmorMasterSpeedMult)
- NPCs wait a little longer between their own conversations (FAItalktoNPCtimer and FAItalktoNPCtimer doubled)
- There are a few changes to the Birthsigns
- Armor and weapon values COMPLETELY redone. See charts.
- Convenient 'Storage Chests' in most Barracks, Fighters' and Mages guilds, so your loot won't disappear later (look for containers with the name 'Storage Chest')
- Healing potions will be more common (in shops and dungeons) and slightly less expensive.
- New 'Elixir' is a powerful instant healing potion. It will be expensive and rare. 'Tonic' is a slow, cheap 25-HP healing potion that will be very common.
- Arrow speed +40% (fArrowSpeedMult 1500 to 2100)
- Arrows weight more but cause more damage, and bows have less health.
- Better arrows are more rare in dungeons and less plentiful in stores.
- New set of 'Assassin' arrows, with either a 30-second poison or paralyzing effect. All archers have a chance to have one, and the arrows will be found sometimes in boss chests and in tiny quantities on some vendors.
- All bows operate more slowly; some faster than others (bow speed 1.0 to 0.6 on average).
- More likely to retrieve arrows from victims (iArrowInventoryChance 50 to 60)
- Merchants offer slightly less for your stuff (FBarterSellBase -20 to -30)
- The better alchemical equipment weighs less.
- Summon and Bound Item scrolls have longer durations.
- At Blades headquarters, only the items in the armory are available to grab.
- Most expensive items in guilds are only available to higher ranking members.
- Precious stones, silver housewares, and animal pelts are more expensive (2-5X)
- Almost all shops have at least one rare item on display and available for sale now, as high as Orcish and Elven.
- The armor and weapon shops in Imperial City are more specialized now. For example, the shield merchant has mostly shields, the sword shop mostly swords, etc.
- A new set of enchanted rings and robes is available in stores and randomly on NPCs and in some chests.
- See charts for more details.
- Less aggressive versions of bears and boars will be encountered from level 1
- Animals don't carry gold or lockpicks, but sometimes more ingredients.
- There are now small, harmless 'Field Rats' in addition to normal rats and 'Giant Rats'.
- There are now 'Giant' mud crabs and normal, passive versions.
- 'Wild Trolls' are a new, easier variant of troll with a lower health regen rate. Normal trolls are now a bit tougher, but appear at higher levels.
- Many friendly NPCs wear a more interesting variety of armor and weapons. No more level 40 NPCs wearing iron and burlap pants.
- Adventurers hang out in some of the shops in Imperial City during open hours, and then head off to the pubs at night. They should help make shoplifting a bit more difficult.
- Lowering the base rate of Magicka regeneration (FMagickaReturnBase 0.75 to 0.23), but raising the multiplier (FMagickaReturnMult 0.02 to 0.04). So characters who don't specialize in magic (those with low willpower) will have a slower regen and should have to rely more on potions. But mages should quickly see an increase as they work on their willpower stat.
- The best version of some spells will have a more interesting name, like 'Ondusi's Unhinging' instead of a snoozer like 'Open Hard Lock'.
- Speed of magic projectiles +60% (fMagicProjectileBaseSpeed 1000 to 1600)
- Increased amount of magicka by 25% (fPCBaseMagickaMult)
- Base restore health spell (renamed 'Basic Heal') is less efficient and cannot be rapidly cast to heal yourself quickly. The better heal spells require at least a 25 restoration skill.
- The Restoration skill improves at almost double the previous rate.
- Increased the duration (and lowered base magicka costs) for summoned monsters and bound items.
- Light spells are less expensive to cast/create (0.051-0.035)
- Default light spell 'Starlight' is more effective, has greater range.
- Destruction spells are less expensive to cast (about 15% less).
- Drain Health effect removed for spell making or enchanting because it's an easy exploit. For example with a 1-second drain of 100 health, it is a cheap Death spell (their health all returns immediately unless you bring it to 0). However, we're adding custom Death spells that can be bought from powerful mages ('Word of Death' for 65HP or approx. level 6 NPC, and 'Death' for 130HP or about level 11 NPC).
- Number of simultaneous potion effects is determined by alchemy skill. Novice can have 3 potion effects at once, Appr. and Journ. have 4, and Expert and Master can do 5 potions at once. (iMagicMaxPotions)
- See charts for more details.
Leveled List Changes:
- more difficult enemies can be found from the start in 'difficult' areas, like near Oblivion and certain shrines (The leveled creature lists for those areas have a small chance of spawning a more powerful creature right from level 1, and the odds go up from there)
- Most leveled lists for NPCs and creatures will be more focused in scope. For example, instead of having wolves range from level 1 to level 20!, they should stay around level 4-8 the entire game. That way there is more of a sense of progression while leveling up. See charts.
- I'm changing the way NPC levels are determined by adjusting their Offset, CalcMin and CalcMax values. So for instance a bandit boss may have 6-1-13 which would limit them to levels 7-13. Weaker NPCs and creatures would be limited to lower level of course.
- In some areas you might encounter 2 instead of 1 of the following creature types: skeleton, zombie, goblin, imp, scamp and clannfear.
- More changes to leveled item lists. For example: arena fighters won't be wearing all Daedric at higher levels but instead it will range from iron and leather to Mithril and Dwarven; Skeleton archers will max out with silver bows; same for Goblins, bandits, etc.
- the leveled opponents in the Arena are now mostly fixed as far as level, so they should gradually get tougher. Also their equipment won't vary by much; mostly steel and chain.
- Some bosses and rare treasure will be guarded by an extra enemy or two. Check out Vilverin for an example. May extend this to other locations based on feedback.
Rare items are more difficult to obtain :
The most powerful armors and weapons are now harder to find. Normal enemies like bandits for example will mostly wear normal stuff even at higher levels. Bosses, Oblivion and quests are the main source of better stuff.
- Most valuable loot, such as gold, gems and rare items, will be found in the 'boss' containers. Other containers will mostly have mundane, yet useful stuff like potions, scrolls, lockpicks, hammers, and so forth.
Better selection of stuff from the start:
Shopkeepers randomly carry better stuff from the start (some steel and leather), and better stuff becomes available sooner at lower levels.
Note that rare items like Elven, Glass or Daedric will generally not be sold even at higher levels; you have to go out and find those.
- Each armor and weapon shop has a new rare item for sale.
More rewards for exploring and fighting:
- Some ingredients are more expensive (2x - 10x) and flowers and seeds now weigh less
- The random amounts of gold and treasure in dungeon containers are more stable throughout the game
- Many enemies carry more gold (randomly)
- Boss characters are more likely to have rare weapons and armor (they'll use them against you first of course).
- Arena combatants are now leveled according to NPC chart, and they use a different leveled lists for weapons and armor. Cash awards are appropriately larger now.
- No more leveled rewards! Only one possible reward item at all levels, and 3 or 4 possible gold amounts.
- Elven stuff is now mainly found in Ayleid ruins; Ebony, Dremora and Daedric primarily in Oblivion.
- Vilverin is now the official 'beginner dungeon'. The bosses and enemies have been given more attention so as to provide a decent challenge to a level 2 or 3 character.
- See charts for more details.
- All of the play testers that gave me input, especially the crazy bunch that hang out on the official forums. They've saved me weeks of bug testing and provided me with great ideas.
- Bethesda, who made a great game and made it fairly easy to modify.
- My wife, for putting up with my little hobby (so far).