Inspired by the venerable CRPG, Darklands, (c) 1992 MicroProse, and the sheer beauty and modding flexibility of the award-winning CRPG, TESIV: Oblivion, (c) 2006 Bethesda Softworks, we endeavor to create a new world...
The Dark Lands is a total conversion mod for TESIV: Oblivion, essentially an ENTIRELY NEW GAME (new world, new rules) built using the TES Construction Set, and based in 15th Centruy Greater Germany, then known as the Holy Roman Empire.
From the Introduction to the Darklands (tm) player's handbook...
[The Dark Lands] is based on a real time and place: Greater Germany in the 15th Century. The strange, miraculous, and magical elements simply reflect popular beliefs, superstitions, and myths. This is an era before logic or science, a time when anything is possible. In short, if medieval Germans believed something might be true, in [The Dark Lands] it may actually be true.
Our decision to develop this mod using the TES Construction Set was based on many factors including the power and flexibility of the official and unofficial mod development tools and the vast and experienced community of modders for the TES game series.
While not a true "remake" (nor is it intended to be), The Dark Lands will share many common features with the original Darklands:
- The Dark Lands is an historical fiction mod.
- The setting is circa 15th century Greater Germany, the Holy Roman Empire, and will eventually contain 90+ historically acurate mapped cities and variously placed hamlets, castles, monasteries, and other unique and interesting locales scattered across the countryside.
- While the places and historical events are real, as are the names of various prominent historical figures, saints, angels, and demons, the main- and side quests are of course ficticious.
- The gameplay is heavily influenced by the religious belief system of the Roman Catholic Church as history records its inner workings and political intrigues of the time.
- The fantasy element is thus: "What the people of the time believed to be true probably is true in The Dark Lands." - paraphrased from the original Darklands Guide
- A localized character reputation system, which influences encounters in the world. A character may be simultaneously heralded as a hero in one region while reviled as a treacherous dog in another. Welcome to the "real world." ;-)
- A dynamic character virtue system, which determines what divine abilities (angelic or demonic) can be called upon. Character actions and decisions can affect one's virtue causing either a loss of or gain of divine favor and willingness of angelic or demonic forces to come to the aid of the character.
- An alchemical system that allows characters to learn and even develop new formulae to mix concoctions that can be used to aid the character in various combat, adventuring, and interactive situations.
- A pseudo-party-based system that allows the player to create, control, and develop numerous NPC companions to adventure, grow, and develop their abilities alongside the character.
The historical basis necessarily limits the scope of the game world (which is actually a Good Thing), while the fantasy aspect gives us wide room for interpretation and creativity. By leveraging off the vast sums of historical data about 15th century Greater Germany, religious doctrine, myths, legends, and folklore of the time period, we essentially inherit a pre-constructed lore system. Politics, government, battles, cities, financial systems, and more is all there for us to incorporate, given the proper amount of time and research.
Because The Dark Lands is an entirely independent game world from Oblivion, one based on a very different set of rules and lore, existing Oblivion mods will be largely incompatible with The Dark Lands. This presents a bit of a problem both for our mod development team as well as for potential users of our mod.
We plan to address this issue in several ways, the most important one being that we intend to incorporate many existing mods with the functionality that we desire into our mod (with the authors' permission, of course) by recoding them to fit our game world.
We will release the mod in several "modules" for development and play-testing purposes. The initial module will contain the game structure, including the base map (sans cities), character and companion creation and development, divine aid (magic), alchemy, combat, and other functional components and rules.
Further modules will provide the regions and cities as they are developed. Another module will contain the main and sub-quest lines. Other modules may contain additional enhancements to the game world such as graphical improvements already developed for Oblivion and ported to our mod.
If you're new to either Darklands, The Elder Scrolls, or modding in general, please visit any of the links provided for more information.
For more informaiton on The Dark Lands features, please visit the FAQ page, which will be updated regularly with new information as it becomes available.
For the latest updates on the progress of The Dark Lands mod development and planned release dates, please visit the News page.
Please feel free to register on our forums and provide your own thoughts and feedback, or just general encouragement to our team (with such a large project, we can use all we can get!).
If you're interested in joining the project team, we have a forum specifically for that. Please post your interests, skills, and experience related to modding, and we would be more than happy to discuss your potential role on the project team. The more hands involved at this point the faster (and more likely) that it will get done!
-The Dark Lands Project Team