Desperate Housewives of Skyrim

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I ended up marrying Ysolda, but the marriage went sharply downhill after I discovered she had been running an illegal secret narcotics trade in Sleeping Tree Sap with some shifty looking Orc. I played along for a while but now I've found her sleeping in the same bed as Lydia and she's been a bit too friendly with Llewellyn the Bard as well...

I reckon people should try out a mod by the name of Vilja.
That mod is still being worked on, but at the moment has about 4000 lines of voice acting.

There are a whole bunch of features, but mainly the complexity of the mod just goes to illustrate what's possible in the engine.

I married Mjoll the Lioness, seemed like a perfect partner to go adventuring with..... except that Aerin kept following us around. I tried getting him killed "by accident" a few times, it failed and I had to stab him. Mjoll wasn't happy about this.

so is the escapist in scnyc now
first the fake nerd girl stuff, and now the virtual wife stuff
can the escapist stay in sync like this

That is why my character is usually single
Also his love was murdered prior the game, so he is on the path vengeance
One day, on one happy day he'll find that argonian bastard who axed her and then he will use all of his crafting skills to make boots out of him >:(

Robert Rath:
I was perpetually poor

Poor? In a TES game? Is that even physically possible? If you're not richer than every single person in the world combined by halfway through the game you've either been doing some hardcore roleplaying or are simply doing something very wrong. Balancing the game economy is something Bethesda have never come close to managing.

Moosejaw:
It was pretty clear they threw in marriage as an afterthought, just a little thing they didn't bother to do much with.

This is partly why the Hearthfire DLC bugged me. It's not just that it didn't really add much to the game, but that what it did add was just little bits tacked on to the side of a feature that was already just a little bit tacked on to the side of the rest of the game. Homes and spouses don't really do anything, so now you can have another house and a child that also don't really do anything. If your home was any more than a place to keep your storage chest and your spouse was anything more than a vending machine, adding related features could have made sense. But instead we just get the option to add a non-interactive child so they can fail to interact with our non-interactive spouse. If I didn't want to interact with things, I wouldn't bother turning my PC on in the first place.

This was hilarious, insightful, a bit sad and one of the best articles i have read on the escapist. You experiences with marriage in skyring pretty much exactly mirror my own. Right down to the part when you start to actively avoid her because you dont feel you deserve her devotion. Thanks for a great read.

Well that's Skyrim for you: A million things to do, but all of them with the depth of a puddle of piss.

Your wife/husband doesn't even know your name.

Think about it. What have they called you by time and time again?

Gold diggers, all of them.

That was just about the saddest thing I ever read. To the marriage counseling! er, mods!

Ahh yes, my marriage is also not a happy one in Skyrim. Vilkas and I... we were in love once. When I first joined him and The Companions, he wasn't sure I could make it which made me all the more determined. We went everywhere together when I eventually got on his good side. We travelled all across Skyrim together, through ruins, through towns, to Dragon lairs and bandit lairs. He would always rush to defend me. We were so in love. Then one day I wore that Amulet of Mara and instantly he told me he would love to marry me and so we got married. It was such a happy union, I wore my nicest dress to the wedding and he looked so handsome, so happy. We lived happily in Whiterun for a while, but then we agreed to move to Solitude.

That's when things went downhill. I suppose I'm partly to blame for leaving so often, but he couldn't travel with me anymore, he wanted to set up a shop. I missed him greatly on all my adventures and would look forward to coming home to him. He'd greet me with a smile and give me my share of the money from the shop. Then after a while it got awkward. I saw no evidence of a shop. Not once. But he kept giving me more and more money, I was becoming the wealthiest woman in Skyrim. He was never there in the entrance hall anymore when I got home, in fact I always come home and find him in the basement. Not actually doing anything, just standing in a corner with his back to me. I just don't understand. I think he is doing something dodgy to get the money he gives me, I think he has started gambling with unfavourable people. I don't know what to do anymore, he isn't the Vilkas I knew and fell in love with! Yet I can't find it in me to leave him, I know this is my fault for leaving him all the time. But he knew it would be like this, but that doesn't make it easier to handle.

Robert Rath:

Muspelheim:

My solution was to get hooked with someone more adventurous and with a follower-tag. Although it'd still be a very shallow mimic of a real relationship and everything, at least we could do some cozy grave desecrating together. It worked out rather well, until Uthgerd got pummeled by mean dwarven robots. And I turned out to be the world's worst widower, since there's no way to carry off and properly bury dead friends in Skyrim, so I had to leave her to the spiders.

I've seriously been laughing at this story all day. So I Left Her To The Spiders needs to be the final line in every story about a past relationship. e.g.: "She wasn't willing to move states when I got my new job, so I left her to the spiders."

To be honest, I never played Skyrim with any sort of strategy guide (it's more fun to figure out on my own, since it's the mistakes that make it interesting) so I had no idea at first that I could marry a follower and have my wife come along on adventures. In fact I never got into using followers much--I acquired one by accident once, but she got lost in the wilderness while following me and I never saw her again. I finally found her mangled remains after backtracking for 20 minutes, and after that I decided followers were more trouble than they were worth and that my Nord was more of a loner anyway.

On balance, losing your wife in a dungeon raid then just leaving her to rot on the floor is almost more disturbing than the domestic containment scenario I encountered.

That's a good point, I'll use that expression in the future.

Aye, it was a bit disturbing to just leave her like that, but there wasn't much else to do. I'd like to think it's part of the tomb raider lifestyle, though. If the ruins claim you, your arse stays down the ruins, it's part of the risks in the graverobbing lifestyle, like how you aren't supposed to recover the bodies of people who die on Everest. I did salvage and memoralise her sword, though.

But again, I think her dying like a true Nord woman in glorious battle with dorf robots is preferable to a slow, drawn out death in Breezehome. Even if it does entail having frostbite spiders laying eggs inside your robo-battered corpse.

However, at the end of the day, my closest Skyrim-friend is always going to be my horse. And despite having gone through about thirty of them, it never ever gets any easier... It's interesting how I felt so attached, considering they never actually talk to you.

"Gunvald! Noooo! Please, get back up, Mr. G! Why? *Sob* Why...."

See, that's why I never bought a horse. I was perpetually cash poor for whatever reason (read: constantly buying metal to level smithing skills) and didn't want to invest in something that was just going to get murdered in front of me.

Besides, I found a lot of cool places traveling on foot...
In heavy armor...
Under constant threat of attack...
Unable to outrun trouble...

Yeah, I probably should've bought a horse.[/quote]

That's the feature that won me over, if there's a random assassin or an inconvenient dragon or something, I can just gallop away in (relative) peace. They do get a bit expensive, but to their credit, they can usually take more hits than you'd think. Hell, early on, I'm pretty sure the horse is technically stronger than you.

The third time Gunvald ran off and massacred an entire bandit camp before I could catch up, I wondered if maybe he was the actual Dragonborn instead of me. Perhaps we should switch roles, he'll do the heroic world resquing, I'll be the little Khajiit pointing him in the right direction and working as his emissary when dealing with the other twainleggers.

SirCannonFodder:
What I did with Lydia was put her on one of those big stone tables you find in tombs, engulfed her in Flames, then deleted her body with the console, basically giving her a viking-style burial.

I did do something similar, arranging her neatly where she fell and leaving some bits of food for the journey to the afterlife before I left. If nothing else, it'll be more loot for the next generation of tomb raiders popping in.

On my first true character, one I saw through to the end, Damet the Imperial master archer and skilled thief, I actually married Aela the Huntress. I had barely batted an eyelash at Camilla or Ysolda, I married a woman with a temper and skills akin to my own; adventuring, hunting and archery.

It was oddly appropriate, she was always with me, both of us technically Blade Agents as well as Companions, but the distance between us physically and emotionally wasn't out of place. Why? Because she was distant and cold to everyone, she had her happier sounding messages and such, but usually she was quite formal and cold, and I was fine with it.

However, despite the fact I rarely get emotional attachment to any character, when we ran into Krosis and his pet dragon, I rushed at the dragon priest in hopes to dispatch him quickly, before he could fireball my wife into Sovngarde. However, though I figured she was strong enough to hold off a Blood Dragon by herself, I slew Krosis, took his mask and killed the dragon in a handful of shots, his health already lowered significantly.

Smoke cleared, I was victorious, with the prize of the Krosis mask, the most useful one for an archer, and with a new shout and some fresh dragon bone and scales. But I saw Aela no where. I maybe circled the mountaintop for times and even rested for an hour in hopes she had fallen off and would climb back up to meet me, then I discovered her behind a large engraved stone. I felt sick, not with the intensity as I would in true romance, but enough for me to stab the corpses of our enemies again. I dragged Aela into Krosis' coffin, and left her there, stripped bare, alabaster skin matching the surrounding snow. I killed everything I came across on my path back to Riften, and I'll never forget that amateur burial I gave her.

Kahani:

Robert Rath:
I was perpetually poor

Poor? In a TES game? Is that even physically possible? If you're not richer than every single person in the world combined by halfway through the game you've either been doing some hardcore roleplaying or are simply doing something very wrong. Balancing the game economy is something Bethesda have never come close to managing.

Partially it was a function of how I decided to play, which in retrospect actually was roleplaying. Basically, since I majored in European history and am Norwegian-American (among other things) myself, the main attraction to Skyrim for me was being able to be a Norse warrior of the type I read about in nonfiction books and historical novels like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories. (PS: Read Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories Uhtred of Bebbanburg is THE MAN.)

Basically, that came with a set of rules that covered everything from fighting style to behavior. I was a one-handed weapon and shield expert wearing heavy armor, for example (to be a shield Dane). I also wouldn't attack anyone without cause and I refused to kill anyone who was unarmed or disarmed, since that would unfairly shut them out of Sovngarde. However, the thing that affected my cash flow the most was that I refused to steal from the living. Spoils of combat were legitimate, but any kind of theft was completely unthinkable. I also blew lots of money on health potions since I didn't want to use magic, though I later walked that requirement back for healing spells, and enchanted weapons were always ok. Another thing that kept my pocketbook empty was my obsession with smithing my own armor, since I was constantly buying new metal, leather, etc. to improve increasingly expensive suits then selling them at a loss to re-make and re-enchant more powerful versions of them. Making everything worse was the fact that I refused to sell dragon bones because OMG I TOTALLY NEED THOSE FOR THE SET OF DRAGON ARMOR I'M GOING TO MAKE ONE DAY AND I NEED TO PACK THEM AWAY LIKE A SQUIRREL PACKS AWAY NUTS but of course I never even played long enough to get Ebony, much less Dragon, armor.

So in other words, yeah I was doing some pretty heavy role-playing, but I was also just not very smart with my money. I don't regret that play style for a moment though. It made for an incredibly fun play through, especially when I'd do something the game didn't expect and set a quest totally off the rails--for example, when Astrid kidnapped me and tried to get me to join the Dark Brotherhood, I immediately beat her to death with my mace because: A) I don't kill unarmed people, and B)I don't like being kidnapped and told what to do. Then I killed the rest of the Dark Brotherhood. With Astrid's sword. Because that's how you send a message.

That was funny. I think the developers more than anyone else realize this failure on the part of the game.

Brilliant article. I found this exact problem with my Argonian husband (my character's female.) Always the same lines of dialogue over and over. It's almost like any mere semblance of personality that they might have had previously, vanishes the moment you marry them.

The biggest problem was when I played the Dawnguard DLC and Serana asked my character if she had anyone she loved. Because I was married I should have said yes. Suddenly I realised how little I felt for my husband and regretted marrying him. It was quite the poignant and self-revealing moment and quite possibly the most emotion I'd ever felt for my spouse during our entire marriage.

Robert Rath:
when Astrid kidnapped me and tried to get me to join the Dark Brotherhood, I immediately beat her to death with my mace because: A) I don't kill unarmed people, and B)I don't like being kidnapped and told what to do. Then I killed the rest of the Dark Brotherhood. With Astrid's sword. Because that's how you send a message.

But for this to happen you must have killed Grelod the Kind. I'm pretty certain, as detestable as she is, she is neither armed nor hostile.

Proverbial Jon:

Robert Rath:
when Astrid kidnapped me and tried to get me to join the Dark Brotherhood, I immediately beat her to death with my mace because: A) I don't kill unarmed people, and B)I don't like being kidnapped and told what to do. Then I killed the rest of the Dark Brotherhood. With Astrid's sword. Because that's how you send a message.

But for this to happen you must have killed Grelod the Kind. I'm pretty certain, as detestable as she is, she is neither armed nor hostile.

Grelod was armed--with an orphanage, with her fists, with a closet full of shackles. Yes, she didn't fit my usual definition of "righteous killing," but in Grelod's case I decided to be flexible. Sovngarde, I decided, would be more pleasant without her.

Anyway, by being a serial child abuser she clearly fell into the category of "gave me cause," the same as if she were an oath-breaker, a lord who harries peasants, or someone who questioned my honor.

Robert Rath:

Besides, I found a lot of cool places traveling on foot...
In heavy armor...
Under constant threat of attack...
Unable to outrun trouble...

Yeah, I probably should've bought a horse.

I did the same thing and had no need for a horse. Steed stone my friend.

Steed stone and Warhammers. The black knight fears nothing for he has a hefty chunk of demon metal on the end of a stick with which to smite all befor ehim.

Robert Rath:

Proverbial Jon:

Robert Rath:
when Astrid kidnapped me and tried to get me to join the Dark Brotherhood, I immediately beat her to death with my mace because: A) I don't kill unarmed people, and B)I don't like being kidnapped and told what to do. Then I killed the rest of the Dark Brotherhood. With Astrid's sword. Because that's how you send a message.

But for this to happen you must have killed Grelod the Kind. I'm pretty certain, as detestable as she is, she is neither armed nor hostile.

Grelod was armed--with an orphanage, with her fists, with a closet full of shackles. Yes, she didn't fit my usual definition of "righteous killing," but in Grelod's case I decided to be flexible. Sovngarde, I decided, would be more pleasant without her.

Anyway, by being a serial child abuser she clearly fell into the category of "gave me cause," the same as if she were an oath-breaker, a lord who harries peasants, or someone who questioned my honor.

I followed a similar code of ethics, but a bit more gray, with a "if you utter the words "arrow to the knee" or "did someone take your sweetroll?" you will meet death by cliff-shouting" clause thrown in.

"Marriage" is defined as "hey you're wearing that amulet and I think you're cool let's get hitched" in Skyrim... did you really expect some sort of meaningful relationship out of that?

Gorgeous world, fun dungeon crawls, world completely devoid of any life, that about sums up how I felt about Skyrim...

OH GOD, THE UGLY!

I'd forgotten how terrible Bethesda's basic females look without mods. Thank you Bella for making the females of Skyrim far less shitty.

I hear divorce in skyrim is pretty quick; A shovel, a sack, and some night-diggin'

bigfatcarp93:
Bethesda: Extra dialogue and story roles DLC for Skyrim. NAU.

Seriously, I could plan that out. Honestly, it's easy:

Go through and add about nineteen or so extra lines for each marriable character (It's not that much).

For fighting spouses, have them come forward with a mission connected to their backstory or character arc that the player can help them with at some point in the game.

For non-fighting spouses, have them, I don't know, get kidnapped and need rescuing or something. Yeah, that could work. In fact, it would really add to the whole classic fantasy-epic feel of TES games: what's more "Authentic fantasy" then killing a dragon? Rescuing a damsel in distress.

BOOM. That's about five months of work by my best guess, and PEOPLE WOULD BUY IT.

this is a good idea that i support, but i cant see it happening for several boring corporate reasons
also, the whole 'damsel in distress' thing is supposed to be accounted for by your housecurls
and you are supposed to be genuinely feared and respected once you attain the voice so only
a comic book super vilian would be stupid enough to attack you or your partner anyway
other than that i approve, go make the mod :P

They added a bit more interactivity to the child adoption feature. You can bring them gifts like toys or cakes, play games like tag and hide and seek or get them a pet. You can ask them to do chores or tell them to go out and play, they also ask you stuff like asking for an allowance and they stop you for other random conversations. Its still pretty weak and basic but Bethesda did put a bit more effort into it than marriage.

My Skyrim home life is funny though, the wifes a drug dealer and hangs around with dodgy Khajiit traders and she keeps getting kidnapped by vampires trying to get at me and I need to keep rescuing her. I adopted that poor kid from Windhelm whose Stormcloak parents where killed and she was trying to survive by selling flowers she picked *sniffs* and everyone lives together with Jordis the Sword-Maiden and a wolf called Bran (you would think the Housecarl and the wolf would solve the vampire problem) in a mansion in Solitude.

bigfatcarp93:
For non-fighting spouses, have them, I don't know, get kidnapped and need rescuing or something.

If you have the Dawnguard DLC and join the Dawnguard there are side missions where you have to rescue your partner from Vampires and/or Necromancers. Not sure if it mirrors over and the Dawnguard kidnap them if you join the Vampires though.

I married Ysolda purely because she was the only woman who didn't look like she'd break everything in my house. And Mjoll's attachment to Aerin was nothing short of unnerving. Grimm is away a lot. He has the Empire to fight, and vampires to hunt. He doesn't wanna come home and put up with Aerin's shit. And you know what else? I don't CARE about how that bandit soiled his armour. Okay? There. I said it. You're boring, Mjoll. You're not some big, strong warrior. My horse could take you in a fight. Just leave me the fuck alone, alright?

And for the love of god, Ysolda, why? WHY are you running a tree sap operation out of my back door and WHY am I finding out about it from a goddamn note I found in a goddamn cave? It's not like it could slip your mind. You saw me stashing bottles of that stuff, if that didn't remind you of it then nothing would. You're a liar too. You sit there reciting the same 'good wife' lines, but you're so passive aggressive it hurts. Okay? I might be the Dragonborn, Ysolda, but I feel pain too!

God, why do Skyrim wives suck? Or...well, why don't they? Is there anything they DO?

Captcha: "CBS: Describe this brand with any words."

I'm British.

I am now more emotionally invested in your Skyrim marriage than the 10th Wheel of Time book. Way to go.

This is why my most recent character has no relationship in Skyrim.

Best video game relationships I've had, romantic or otherwise were all from Persona 3 Portable. I could go through it all but it would be a really long spoiler and anyone who's finished that game likely knows what I'm talking about already.

Runners up would be Liara (Mass Effect), Alistair (Dragon Age: Origins), Heather Poe (Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines), Tohsaka Rin (Fata: Stay Night), and Tezuka Rin (Katawa Shoujo).

I dunno... maybe because I'm really married I don't spend this much time on this side of role playing games. Maybe I feel like it would be "cheating" on my real flesh and blood wife. So I have hard time seeing Skyrim's virtual relationship as anything but a cheap tacked on gimmick. I can understand where players are coming from, wanting a deeper, more engaging story and setting on all levels. Although it gets increasingly hard with each feature.
(imagine if every character you could possibly marry had 4000 thousand lines of dialog and extra unique quests for every character. thats a lot of time, a lot of gigs and simply not in the budget)

I think Bioware in terms of Mass Effect had the idea, keeping only a few central characters, and expanding on them, their personalities and how you interact with them. I feel that Lair the Shadow Broker, and the interaction of Shepard and Liara was brilliant, worked out perfectly (my shepard went for Liara). It seemed very real, it was a story that I had to finish. (To understand me my wife hadn't met during ME1, were dating during ME2, and were married when ME3 came out). Funny enough I even talked to her about this, asking her what she thought about my virtual girl friend, explaining to her I just had to finish it. She agreed, she found the whole thing very cute, but she understands what it's like to want to finish a story. The made me really believe that games could garner an emotional response beyond frustrating anger and the joy of simply "winning".

Sandbox games like Skyrim, will never be able to truly achieve that. You can't spend a lot of time or money on characterization because you have to complete a HUGE world. Some most parts are only given so much depth. Would you rather have dragons to slay? Or petty squabbles to get into with your fake spouse? Want 100+ dungeons? Or 20 very deep dungeons? Want 100 plus quests? Or one very deep well written quest? You can't have both, thats the sad truth, maybe one day you can but I don't see that happening soon. Games already have HUGE budgets and have a hard enough time shipping finished product, trying to appease fans, consumers, and bean counters alike.

So the choice is, do you want a deep all though superficial feature? Or a whole world the size of Skyrim to explore? No answer is wrong, but its what you want out of the product.

Perhaps attempt a lobotomy or two. Might bring you two closer together :P

Moviebob did a video on relationships in comics I believe.

Why I married my combat companion.

After awhile running across the land without her following me around lobbing firebolts everywhere just didn't feel right anymore. Though in Dawnguard it was a bit grating having vampires kidnap her literally out from right under my nose.

Sadly the only game to give me the "romantic feels" is that brief bit in The Darkness where you celebrate Jacky's (you) birthday with his girlfriend Jenny. I won't spoil it, but it was a little moment of pure beauty in an ugly monochrome shooter and the game is like five bucks now so go out and buy it.

Skyrim: I've heard the word "soulless" used to describe the game, but nothing really cemented it like my marriage (both of them, really) to Ysolda across two characters. I picker her twice. She makes the most sense to me as a marriage prospect. Why, then, can't I tell her I love her?

Also, all these ad-hoc funerals for battlefield romances lost. Gonna lift a bottle of Nord Mead in your names next time I'm playing. I salute you, you sentimental lunatics. :')

You described my marriage with Ysolda to a par. And I try! I hung up the flower I held at our wedding (Sanguine's Rose) right besides our doorway. Whenever I come home I make sure I'm wearing the gilded elven armor I wore when I proposed to her, and then I go straight up and change into the white dress I wore at our wedding! She doesn't even notice :( I never take off my Bond of Matrimony, but I peeked in her inventory and she isn't even wearing hers! She's just keeping it in her pockets. I've tried cooking her meals and placing them besides her, but she won't even touch them. And it's not just how little she cares about me, it's that she doesn't care about herself. She's always dreamed of running an inn - that's part of what made me attracted to her in the fist place - but she does nothing to reach that goal. I have a giant mansion in Solitude that would make a perfect inn, but we tried moving there and she still just mopes about the house. When I found out about her selling drugs, I'll admit, I was happy. At least it meant she was still doing something with her life. Oh Mara, why did you make me your agent if you won't even bless my home with love!?

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