Oblivion talk:Magical Effects/Archive 1

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Semi Protection
This is an archive of past Oblivion_talk:Magical_Effects discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Purpose of this page

I thought a new page was needed where features of magical effects could be described, in particular focussing on the features that are common to spells, potions, scrolls, etc.

I think this is the type of information most readers are expecting to find when they access the existing Spell Effects page, so I'm going to replace several high-level links to Spell Effects with links to Magical Effects. I will, however, make sure that links to Spell Effects are available in all the relevant discussions (in particular, spell making and enchanting).

Also, I've noticed details of various effects buried in alot of pages across this site. I'd like to collect all those details onto this page, so you don't have to read to the end of the Spell Making page to learn about the differences between Drain Health and Damage Health, for example.

I'm starting out by largely posting the structure of the page, with alot of empty or nearly-empty subsections. Hopefully some of the rest of you will feel inspired to help fill in some of the sections!

Also, I'd appreciate help with the table of contents: it's obviously way too long. I'd like to keep all the subsections of the details section (to make it easy to link to details of a specific effect), but those subsections don't all need to be listed in the table of contents. Anyone know how to customize the TOC?

--Nephele 18:48, 28 June 2006 (EDT)

Feather vs Fortify Strength

I've moved the following comments off the main page to here so we can talk about them, because I'm increasingly convinced some of the facts here are wrong:

  • Tip: Cheaper Feather
Instead of casting Feather, (base cost of 0.60), you can cast Fortify Strength (base cost of 0.60). On first blush, this sounds equally costly. However, boosting strength by 1 point increases Encumbrance by 5 points. All things being equal, you have to cast Feather with about 4.2 times the magnitude (all skills being equal).
  • Added bonus: increasing your strength will increase both your melee damage and the enemy's speed-of-attack (for Blade and Blunt ).
  • Unless your Alteration skill is above 94 and your Restoration skill is 1, Fortify Strength spells will be cheaper than Feather.

My experience in the game says that Fortify Strength is never cheaper than Feather.

  • My character has Alteration=100 and Restoration=61 (and Luck=66). A 100 mag, 120 dur Feather spell costs 8 magicka (and requires Alteration=25). An equivalent Fortify Strength spell (20mag, 120dur) costs 196 magicka (and requires Restoration=75).
  • Calculating the base costs of those two spells (equiv to skill=33 in each) yields Feather=45, Fortify Strength=333. So even for the extreme case of Restoration=100, Alteration=0 the Feather would still be cheaper (Feather=63, Fortify Strength==66).
  • One problem is that the value previously posted on the Spell Effects page for the base cost of Feather has been confirmed to be a mistake: the correct value is 0.01 not 0.21 (and definitely not 0.6).

--Nephele 13:47, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

P.S. I don't have the same problems with the discussion on Burden vs Drain Strength. I've checked those numbers out, and agree that Drain Strength is cheaper than Burden. There were a few minor things in that discussion that I fixed, which in fact make Drain Strength look even better. And I'd like to see some discussion of Feather vs Fortify Strength put back on the page, I just want to hash out what the facts really are before doing so.--Nephele 14:08, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

It turns out that the Fortify Strength enchantments are always better than Feathering.
Note: Except when it comes to Transcendant Stones. Enchanting an item with Strength 12 vs Feather 125. I'm sure the attack bonus is nice, but the weight carrying increase is nothing compared to the Feather effect, and the attack bonus is largely a non-issue for a thief/bow character. --Insaner 19:11, 10 July 2006 (EDT)
A Petty Soul gets you 14 points of Feather and 6 points of Strength, so you get double the lift (plus the attack bonus) with Strength.
At the extreme end, a Grand Soul gets you 49 Feather and 10 Strength, marginally better encumbrance (but Strength wins out b/c of the attack bonus).
Nephele - any thoughts to where this info might go? (Clearly on the enchantments page, but where?) --Tennessee Ernie Ford 03:25, 7 July 2006 (EDT)
Nephele is right and I am quite wrong. I used the base cost for feather from a bad source and never updated my notes/calculations.
  • Fortify Strength is generally more expensive (often much more expensive) to cast than Feather.
  • At the enchantment stage, they are still competitive - rings of Fortify Strength are generally the better option.
(a) anyone who finds a comment by me still promoting Feather over Fortify Strength casting 'should go ahead and update/delete remove (a summary note is all the commentary needed in my opinion;
(b) please withhold judgment on custom enchanted items; I'll post the research here if I add/update
(c) Thanks, Nephele, for challenging my assumptions . --Tennessee Ernie Ford 03:10, 4 July 2006 (EDT)
Glad we could come to an agreement! I do think this is a valuable tip (I've started creating custom spells with both feather and fortify strength, because that 100 pt limit on feather makes it so weak). So I've put a discussion of Fortify Strength back into the Feather section, that I think covers the main points here. --Nephele 19:55, 5 July 2006 (EDT)
Okay... Hope I'm doing this properly. I'm new to wikipedia discussions. One of the advantags of Feather vs. Fortify Strength that I think you folks have missed is the fact that feather can't be drained. If somebody is sapping your strength, a strong feather spell can keep you from getting rooted to the ground in the middle of a fight. Also, strength doesn't contribute to damage if it's already maxed, so you're better off using feather at higher levels if it's a choice between one and the other. I prefer a two minute spell that upgrades both, personally. --Pherdnut 17:16, 14 August 2006 (EDT)Pherdnut
Yep, those are good points. The actual page with information on feather is now Feather; feel free to add your comments to that page. (If you're not sure about the formatting, just take a stab at it; someone else can always fix those kinds of details). Welcome to the wiki! --Nephele 17:28, 14 August 2006 (EDT)

There is no mention here of the fact that feather can make your character run faster (technically, it stops the character from being slower while equipped with weapons/armor), while fortiify strength cannot. This makes feather much more attractive. — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 20 May 2009

Umm... perhaps because you're responding to a three-year-old talk page discussion?? Talk pages are not supposed to be a source of up-to-date information; they are supposed to be a place where necessary improvements to the article are discussed. The actual improvements are then made to the articles. Furthermore, as suggested in response to the last comment, the place where this subject now belongs is at Feather -- that's also where any followup discussion belongs.
All of which is why up-to-date information on a comparison of Feather vs Fortify Strength is kept on the Feather article, specifically in a section dedicated to a comparison of the effects. That section already includes information on how each effect alters your character's speed. It's also discussed on other relevant articles, such as Encumbrance. There's no need to now point out that three years ago that information was not included in the first draft of the article, because the problem has long since been fixed. --NepheleTalk 16:37, 20 May 2009 (EDT)

Elemental Shield

Does the 'elemental' part of the shield act like a 'shield' effect or a 'resist' effect? In other words, if you have 20% frost shield, does that mean that every time a 10 pt frost damage spell is cast at you, you receive only 8 pts in damage? Or does it mean that 8 times out of 10 you receive the full 10 pts, but 2 times out of 10 you receive 0 (and that message appears on your screen: "Frost damage resisted"). I know when fighting ghosts I occasionally see the "Frost damage resisted" message on my screen, and I've always assumed that came from my Frost Shield enchantments.--Nephele 16:18, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

Every time I've seen the message "X effect resisted" at the top of my screen is when I'm attacking - it's telling me that my poison or whatever didn't affect the enemy like I intended. I've only used elemental shields once or twice; I've always assumed that they only reduced damage for that particular element, so I always prefer regular shield. -- marbx Sat, 29 Jul 2006
I started off posting this message thinking I had a counterargument, and then realized you are completely right. So situation #1 just now was I ran into a faded wraith, he fired a spell off at me before I did anything, and "frost damage effect resisted" appeared on the screen. Got to be me resisting the effect, right? Actually... no: I have 20% Reflect Damage and 40% Reflect Spell active right now. So the message is saying that the wraith resisted the reflection of his own spell. To test it, situation #2: I took off my rings and shield (now I'm 0% reflect, but my resist frost is unchanged), and let an ancient ghost have at me. I let him get in a dozen hits, and I never saw "frost damage effect resisted". The only way I could make the message appear was if I fired a frost bolt at him, or put my reflect enchantments back on. So the message is indeed saying that your enemy resisted the effect. --Nephele 23:56, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

Weakness to Disease

Can NPCs ever catch diseases? If so, there would be some applications of Weakness to Disease, albeit somewhat obscure. For example, every time you cast a Summon Zombie spell, you could cast Weakness to Disease on your enemy, and increase the chances of them catching one of the many zombie diseases (and in case you were wondering, yes, summoned zombies can indeed cause infections). It would be even more effective with Summon Headless Zombie, since the headless variety have some even nastier diseases. But I don't know whether NPCs are vulnerable to diseases, and I'm not sure how you could tell.--Nephele 16:18, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

I'm almost certain they can't, which is why I made that statement there. However, even if they could, the usefulness of such a spell is pretty questionable, because in the time it would take to cast the spell on them, summon a zombie, get the zombie to hit them enough that they get infected, and then wait for the disease to weaken them enough to be a serious handicap, well, you could have probably killed them by more conventional means several times over. There's quite a few spell effects whose only practical value in terms of gameplay is that they handicap the player, and are useless anywhere else. Another example would be a Drain/Damage Personality, Speechcraft, or Mercantile. If you actually cast such a spell on somebody, they'd attack you, and thus any advantage you'd gain from them having lowered those skills would be pretty much wasted. --TheRealLurlock 17:25, 30 June 2006 (EDT)
The example given in here is a poor example.
"One implication is that immunities are not guaranteed. For example, all Vampires have a 100% Resist Disease effect and therefore are described as being immune to disease. But it is still very possible for vampires to catch a disease if any Weakness to Disease is active, which could occur if the Boots of the Swift Merchant are being worn or if the Staff of Vulnerability was used, to name just a couple possibilities."
Only the player is able to catch diseases: NPC vampires will never catch them no matter what, and the "weakness to disease" effect is all but useless. As written it is not clear that the reference is solely to a PC who is a vampire. Also, I couldn't find a "Staff of Vulnerability" in the linked page. A better example could be weakness to poison, which is a useful effect: Argonian players could lose their immunity (from wearing the same boots) and Argonian NPCs or more importantly undead could be affected by poison, so this is an actually useful effect to know and a practical example.
"The only absolutely impenetrable immunity is 100% Resist Magic, since any Weakness to Magic spell would have its magnitude reduced to zero, and there are no ingredients with a Weakness to Magic effect. Fortunately, magic-immune enemies are extremely rare."
Name one? I couldn't find any enemies immune to magic or with any combination of resistance/reflection/absorption that would be similar to complete immunity. This should be modified to "Fortunately, there are no magic-immune enemies in the base game."
--Potion Addict
The guy in the arena with the grey aegis shield

Drain vs Damage vs Absorb

(The contents of this section were moved over from the Spell EFfects talk page. --Nephele 00:34, 30 June 2006 (EDT))

Is it worth having a section distinguishing these three types of effects? --TEF 11:08, 22 June 2006 (EDT)

  1. Drain first: I belive if you drain 100 HPs from a 110-HP opponent you get your kill with 10 points of damage.
    Draining second doesn't help enough: if you deliver 10 points of damage and then drain 100, the opponent can get back up after the spell wears out. (Assuming no other action.)
  2. Is there ever a case when you want to choose absorb instead of drain? The base-cost for absorb health is 16 compared to 0.9 for drain health. Unless your Restoration skill is much higher than your Destruction, when would one ever need the absorbed HPs 18 times more than just letting them drain out?
    • I'm not 100% positive about this, but it appears to me as if Absorb Health works a little differently on the target than Drain Health. At the very least, Drain Health loss is temporary, and comes back when the spell ends. However, I've been hit with the Absorb Health attack from Will-o-the-wisps, and that doesn't come back afterwards. I have to heal that lost health.QuillanTalk 23:06, 28 June 2006 (EDT)
I've now convinced myself that I understand Absorb spells. For Absorb Health it indeed is nothing like Drain Health: it acts like Damage Health. I finally realized that one clue to that fact is that it says Absorb Health 5 points on target: nothing about a duration! So for Health/Magicka/Fatigue Absorb is a combination Damage+Restore. For Attributes/Skills Absorb is a combination Drain+Fortify.--Nephele 00:34, 30 June 2006 (EDT)
  1. Damage vs. Drain revisited:
    • Killing the 110 HP opponent is simple with 10 points damage for 10 seconds (10Dam10) plus 10 points damage for 1 second (10Dam1).
      However, after 12 seconds, you still have a 100 HP opponent to deal with using 10 points drain for 10 seconds (10Dra10) as the first spell, since the drain doesn't accumulate.
    • On the other hand, the cost of 100Dra2 & 10Dam1 is approx 88 SPs (= 65 for draining + 23 for the damage) vs. 252 SPs (= 229 + 23 for the two damage spells), a savings of 164 SPs or only 35% the cost. (Costs calculated by ignoring skills).
    • Conclusion: using Drain spells instead of Damage is always much better when you can be sure to deliver the killing blow during the drained time. (This assumes the calculations above are correct.) (This would also apply to various stacking and chaining strategies: if you can drain successfully first (or in the chain/stack), you can reduce the cost drastically of the kill.)

Thoughts? Is it worth adding something like this to the page?

I'd like to see this type of info added somewhere. Damage and Drain get confused alot; I definitely didn't realize that Drain Health couldn't be used to kill someone.--Nephele 02:46, 25 June 2006 (EDT)

Sorry I'm new to this but I have used 100 point drain by itself to kill many things, even at level 20. Mostly mages though. It can kill by itself. Further, if you do 10 points of damage to something reducing it to 100 health and do 100 point drain, it will kill them. It does not reduce the max health, it takes away from the current health. Which is why, at its very low cost, you should always add a 100 point drain over 1 second to any damage spell. It effectively reduces all your enemies health by 100, when it doesn't kill them outright.

  • I am enchanting a bow and considering a Absorb Health 8points range10 duration1, and there is no mention of the effect of range on Absorb in the article. It would seem to me that if there are multiple actors within 10ft of my target I should absorb 8 health from each on each shot, I should work the same way with spells IMHO. If this is the case, Absorb Health could be a bang for the buck winner in situations where there are multiple enemies attacking. 20:17, 13 November 2006 (EST)
You must be within a certain distance for absorb to work. When the spell is cast, an orange light thing emanates out from the opponent to the character. If the proximity is not maintained (character or opponent walks away) the spell is cut prematurely. As a bow enchantment, it is pretty useless.


Has anyone ever found any hard evidence that enemies can use poison? Admittedly it'd be hard to tell just based on how much damage you were taking from attacks and such. (Enchanted weapons can have similar effects, of course.) I know you occasionally find them on corpses, but that doesn't mean they know how to use them, just means they carry them around. (In fact, finding them on corpses might be good evidence to the contrary - if they knew how to use them, they presumably would have done so before you killed them.) The only way I think you could be sure is if you:

  1. Pickpocket somebody and plant a couple (weak) poisons on them.
  2. Fight them, making sure to give them ample opportunity to use the poisons before killing them.
  3. Check their corpse to see if they're still carrying them.

You may have to do the same for both melee and archers, in case they treat them differently. Anyhow, if it turns out that enemies don't use poisons, I think we could safely say that all Resist Poison, Weakness to Poison, and even Cure Poison effects are completely irrelevant to the player, and that of these, only one is potentially of any practical use whatsoever. You could hit an enemy with Weakness to Poison before hitting them with a poison to increase its effect. Otherwise, the rest are useless. (This is in contrast to Morrowind's poison, which was treated as a seperate type of elemental damage, like fire, frost, and shock. In Oblivion, all poison seems to come from applying a poison bottle onto a weapon, and from no other source - with the possible exception of some traps, not sure on those.) --TheRealLurlock 09:22, 13 July 2006 (EDT)

NPCs and goblins definitely use poisons. After fights I've had drain effects that were active on me, and when I checked the active effects page the source was listed as a poison; the only way to get rid of that drain effect (other than just waiting it out) has been to use Cure Poison. I've also retrieved weapons from both NPCs and goblins that had poison applied to them (if I was able to kill them before they got a chance to hit me -- helps to be playing a non-melee type character); i.e., a mace with a 'Drain Fatigue 30 pts for 30 secs' poison on it. It seems to me that poisons are one of those items that get randomly selected for enemy inventories, and that if they have a poison they will use it.--Nephele 11:47, 13 July 2006 (EDT)
I myself have picked up weapons that have been poisoned by NPCs. It's difficult to find weapons this way because the poison is easily consumed in a single blow/shot, and the poison tends to not be applied until you're close enough to get hit. As a magic user, it is not fun to be struck by a 45sec poison of silence, especially when you forgot to bring a cure.--Bobucles 15:20, July 27, 2006 (EST)


Alright, I know I put this page together and chose to mash together all the different effects onto a single page, but now I'm starting to second-guess my decisions.

I'm wondering whether it makes sense to create a mini-page describing each individual effect (i.e. Oblivion:Feather, Oblivion:Cure Disease, etc.), then transclude all those little pages together onto the Magical Effects page. One rationale is just laziness: I'm getting really tired of typing, i.e., Oblivion:Magical_Effects#Feather|Feather every time I want to make a link to a specific effect's description. 'Oblivion:Feather|' is just sooo much shorter. The other is viewing speed: if someone wants to follow a link to find out what exactly Feather does, the page will pop up alot more quickly if it's just loading that one section.

One downside is that loading the whole page will be slower (if I understand things correctly); however, I'm starting to think that alot of hits on this page will just be for individual sections. Another downside is that I'll also have to create alot of redirected pages (i.e. pages for fire shield, frost shield, and shock shield that redirect to elemental shield).

Anyone else have thoughts on this?--Nephele 01:42, 8 July 2006 (EDT)

The idea of splitting up this page continues to appeal to me. Now that I've let the idea percolate some more, I'm inclined to think that the individual effects would not be transcluded onto this page; they'd each be set up to be fully independent pages. The main Oblivion:Magical Effects page would still have the tables and the "general notes" sections, but then just have links to all the subpages. I've set up a demo of what the individual effect pages could look like at Oblivion:Absorb Attribute. (If we go with this, I'll set up a template to do all the formatting). --Nephele 17:47, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
I like the idea. I think that every individual effect should have their own pages, and I like the look of Oblivion:Absorb Attribute. --Aristeo 16:51, 23 July 2006 (EDT)

Chameleon more then 100%

with oblivion unpatched: I have made a chameleon enchantment 109 %. I received a very high significant rendered figure, but the effect of being unseen to the other actors remained the same. So basically it seems that the 100%+ chameleon reverses the rendered image of being below 100%. however it seemed that 100+9% seemed to be more visible than 100-9%. Any other experiences?

I have found that, approaching 100% Chameleon, a character's transparency increases proportionately, to the point where at 100% you cannot even see your own weapon/shield if you draw them out. However once you go over 100% I believe it reverts to a default appearance comparable to that which you get by casting Invisibility, that is to say, you can still make out the features of your character, but for all intents and purposes you are completely invisible to any living thing in game. SteVB 08:01, 21 April 2009 (EDT)


I've started in on trying to move all the individual effects to their own page (see Restructuring). This process may take a while, however. If you would like to edit anything in the tables or 'General Notes' section, just do it. In the details section, if you notice that the title (i.e., the effect name) is a link. If so, that's a link to the new page. If you'd like to make some changes, please try to use the new page. If the title is not a link, I haven't gotten to that effect yet, so just edit the Magical Effects page, and the change will get copied over to the new page. If you're confused, just do whatever, and I'll try to go through this page's history after I've finished all my editing and make sure I did miss any one's contributions. --Nephele 18:45, 23 July 2006 (EDT)

It's been done... mostly. I rushed through setting up the last few pages, and I've really only done the bare minimum to set up links to use the new pages (although what I've done should be pretty effective, because I've been using templates for these links as much as possible). I'll come back over the next few days and clean up odds and ends, but if anyone comes across links or whatever that need to be fixed, feel free to take care of them (or add it to my todo list). Just so I remember later what I need to come back and do, here's the todo list:
  • create redirect pages for fortify attribute, damage attribute, bound weapon, bound armor
  • search out links to magical effects page that now need to be links to new individual pages
  • decide on how to describe effects: defensive/offensive doesn't really work
  • double check the last few pages I created to make sure all the links are correct
  • clean up templates (I've been using oblivion effect entry instead of oblivion spell effect; just means there are alot of dysfunctional span tags floating around)
  • create anchors for links on several pages (generic staves, enchanting, potions)
I may add to this list as I remember other bits. --Nephele 17:30, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
You're doing a great job, Nephele. I like what you've been doing. --Aristeo 18:41, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
Todo list all crossed off! Of course, I've thought of some other, minor things in the meantime, but I won't bore everyone by listing them. --Nephele 18:28, 9 August 2006 (EDT)

Armor and Weapon?

How about we change the "Armor" and "Weapon" enchantment uses on the "Enchantment Usage" parameter on the tables to "Offensive" and "Defensive"? That way, we won't have to mark so many things as "*". --Aristeo 03:14, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

That's where I'd been thinking of going with that column (i.e., match what I just did with all the individual pages) but I'm not sure offensive/defensive really works so well either. For example, a spell like charm: you cast it at someone else, so I labelled it as offensive. But casting it at someone is not considered an attack. Some others that just seem awkward with offensive/defensive: Dispel, Telekinesis, Night-Eye, Detect Life. So that's why I put it on my todo list up above. I'd like to find some set of terms that gets used in the tables and on all the individual pages that seems as unproblematic as possible. Any input is welcome. --Nephele 10:32, 28 July 2006 (EDT)
At last, done. I forced myself to stop procrastinating and just make a decision, for better or for worse. So the name of the column has been changed to "Type"; I went with offensive/defensive/healing as the possible types. Then I added a notes column to fill in comments such as offensive spells that actually are non-hostile, and to indicate which effects are not available for enchanting. --Nephele 18:25, 9 August 2006 (EDT)
Speaking of Type, defensive and offensive are suitable types for most spells. For most, but not for all. And I think healing should be renamed to restorative (for everything that ails you). Dispel is not offensive and neither is it defensive; it looks more like restorative (to me in anyway) in that it removes, or at least attepts to strip, all active either negative or positive magical effects from the target, but with no harm to it whatsoever. So it could be accounted for as restorative. Such spells like Night-Eye, Detect Life and Charm just don't seem to fit in any of those categories spoken of earlier. So, you might also want to append a forth type called Other to those existing ones which would accommodate all the leftover spells and you'd need to write some kind of annotation or explanation to it as well. Consider changing Type into Category, as an afterthought. Hope it helps! Brightone 16:33, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
I think Cursed Enchantments should be moved to Enchanting. I'll get round to doing it eventually if needed.--Brightone 12:17, 16 September 2006 (EDT)

Options for Healing

AFAIK, Dispel doesn't remove Drain effects from enchantments (seen many times when fighting summoned Dremora with enchanted maces and in alot of other cases). Moreover, Spriggan's Curse doesn't drain Luck, it damages it, if the truth be told.--Brightone 12:35, 16 September 2006 (EDT)

You're probably right on the enchantments; I haven't really tested dispel vs enchantment at all, but based on how dispel seems to work, it would make sense that it wouldn't work on effects from enchantments. As for Spriggan's Curse, however, I'm pretty sure it is a drain luck effect. See Spriggans for Lurlock's dump of the CS info. Also, in game there is a "drain" icon that appears for a while on your screen then disappears. --Nephele 13:44, 16 September 2006 (EDT)
That's weird. I could have sworn I saw a Spriggan damage my Luck attribute. Can't remember to what degree thought. What I do remember is that I had spend a lot of time travelling afterwards before I noticed my Luck was in the red. I didn't know then that much about Damage and Drain Attribute spells as I do now. I tried to rest for 24 hours. Nothing! Eventually I made several Restore Luck potions and drank them all. That was it! So if that information from the CS is correct, what could have damaged my Luck attribute then? I'm going to need to check it unless you mind.--Brightone 16:25, 16 September 2006 (EDT)
No, the curse does indeed drain luck, not damages it. I apologise for my bold remark.--Brightone 04:47, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

Latest Page Changes

I like some of the most recent changes that were made to the page, including changing the name of the one category from "Healing" to "Restorative". But I have a few concerns about the new layout:

  • A critical problem is that the information on "Not hostile" has been completely removed from the table. Therefore spells like "Calm", "Command", and "Frenzy" are now labeled as offensive, with no indication that the target will not attack after this spell is cast on them. I believe that is a critical distinction that needs to be in these tables
  • I'm concerned that the new columns on "Custom Spell" and "Custom Enchantment" end up combining two separate issues. Originally the "No custom spell" label was specifically used for effects that are disabled at the spell-making altar (as determined from the effect settings in the construction set). Now this new column is also including the secondary issue of how easy it is to acquire the spell. (And the same thing applies to the enchantment column). I can see that the distinction may seem somewhat academic, and the details are still available in each case on the individual effect pages. But to me it at first seems somewhat inaccurate.
    • One symptom of this problem is that the treatment of difficult-to-acquire effects now seems inconsistent. For "Reflect Damage" the asterisk under "Spell" has been removed; the asterisk now appears in the "Custom spell" columns. For "Fortify Skill", asterisks now appear in the "Spell", "Custom spell", and "Custom enchantment" columns. For "Lock", the asterisk still appears under "Spell", but the "Custom spell" column is empty; however, if you were to go to the trouble of getting the lock effect, you would in fact be able to then make custom spells with it, just as for reflect damage and fortify skill.
    • It's possible that I'm the only one who cares about these distinctions/inconsistencies, and that it's mainly just me adjusting to seeing things organized in a different way. If that's the case, just let me know; I can adapt to whatever the majority thinks makes the most sense.

But, overall, good work Brightone. I'm glad that you've been stepping in and improving all these magical effect pages, since I haven't really had the chance to do much with them lately. --Nephele 13:15, 30 September 2006 (EDT)

Answering your question about the new Custom Spell and Custom Enchantment columns. If a magical effect DOES exist as a standard spell (i.e. purchasable from vendors) AND the player is ABLE to access it via any of the altars we put 'Yes' under the said culumns. If the effect is NOT available for purchase but can be acquired from other sources (EG: doomstones, racial abilities or whatever) we mark it as '*' (labelling it as 'rare' and meaning that not everyone will be able to use it). If none of these conditions are satisfactory, we fill in '--' (meaning the player cannot use it under any circumstances). I dunno why(?) you think there should be any mention about the CS. If we used 'Yes', '*' and '--' to also mean whether this or that magical effect is or isn't disabled at any of the altars according to the CS, who would care whether it is or isn't? The important thing is, if the player can access it through any means (no matter what actually) at any of the altars, we put the asterisk with no reference to the CS and therefore there is no distiction (concering '--') between "disabled at the altars as determined from the effect settings in the construction set" and "how easy/difficult it is to acquire the access to a particular magical effect at any of the altars" because the meaning is fairly straightforward. Do I make myself clear? Hope so. Maybe I'm wrong on something?
Moving on to "the treatment of difficult-to-acquire effects". Concerning Lock, if you'd read the 'Spell' column description, it reads: "shows whether this effect exists as a standard spell." So? Does Lock exist as one? AFAIK, no. Then there should be no asterisk describing this effect under the Spell column at all. As for Fortify Skill, it would seem that in the vanilla version of Oblivion this spell CANNOT be purchased from vendors and therefore there should be no '*' describing Fortify Skill under the Spell column, too. I dunno for what reason '*' was used under Spell in the first place (note that I haven't severely changed its description; u can still look it up in the prev version of the page). Because I clearly see Spell with only two meanings (taking into account that: "it shows whether this effect exists as a standard spell"): 'Yes' (meaning it DOES) or '--' (meaning it DOES NOT). If you could clarify what precisely '*' would mean under these circumstances within this particular column I'd be delighted to hear u out. The only reason why there is '*' used to describe Fortify Skill under Spell is that someone (on the Fortify skill page) mentioned that this effect as a spell COULD actually be bought from vendors if you installed the mod - The Thieves Den apparently (See here).
Now the most difficult question and this does seem like an issue. I mean of course Non-hostile. Actually, Nephele, I think your wrong about Frenzy becasue this is a hostile spell. I mean when you cast it on town folks, they become driven out of their minds and attack any random person within sight including the player. So this a hostile spell. As regards 'Calm' and 'Command' you're right! although they are offensive spells, none of them is treated as hostile. I dont have any suggestions at the moment but I'll try to come up with a solution eventually.
And thanks for the credit :) --Brightone 16:31, 30 September 2006 (EDT)
What does the spells column mean? Since I originally wrote this page, I know very well that the description says "shows whether this effect exists as a standard spell". But the original description of this column also said "Some spell effects are very difficult to acquire, as described on the individual effect pages;" if you are going to argue about the definition of this column, I would say that deleting an entire sentence is an important modification. In any case, asterisks were being used for spells that are NOT available as standard spells, but are nevertheless available somehow. An asterisk is not saying "YES, this is a standard spell", and to try to argue that an asterisk equals yes, and that somehow there are only two possible answers here (yes or no) is false.
Lock spell. Any player on the PC can enter one command, and have access to the Lock spell. Is this cheating? Yes. But it is still an option that is available to a significant fraction of the people playing the game. And for anyone who does that, they then might be interested in knowing whether they can create a custom version of the spell.
For custom spells (everything is equally applicable to enchanting). There are two requirements that must be met for a custom spell to be possible (a) you must be able to acquire the effect as a spell and (b) the effect has to be enabled at the spellmaking altar. In my opinion, the "Spells" column covers (a). What you're now doing is combining (a) and (b); but in the process you are losing independent information about (b).
Although you seem to not think much of the CS, the CS fundamentally sets the rules that the game is played by. I have seen lengthy discussions from people trying to make custom spells using unavailable effects, assuming that the problem was just that the effect was difficult to acquire. Stating unambiguously that it is not possible would prevent people going to all this effort. Therefore I feel that it is important to provide this information to the readers.
Frenzy is defined as a non-hostile spell in the CS. If a person casts a hostile spell at a target, that target will start to attack the caster. Furthermore, casting a hostile spell at someone is considered an assault and is added to your statistics page. Neither of these applies to Frenzy. Yes the target will get violent, but it is not directed at the caster. That is why Frenzy is valuable: it is a way to get someone to attack other people, not you.
--Nephele 19:08, 30 September 2006 (EDT)
On the Spell column I see you like complicating things, Nephele. there is no (b) in this column whatsoever. It does not suggest ANY information about (b) namely the effect has to be enabled at the spellmaking/enchanting altar and it doesn't suggest how difficult/easy it is to acquire a particular magical effect, either. Why would it? This information is displayed under Custom Spell if we are talking about the Spellmaking Altar. But even if there was (b) under Spell how would you say which(?) altar it'd belong to? The Spell column has only yes/no values because it only provides information on whether a particular magical effect DOES or Does not exist (i.e. can or cannot be bought from vendors) as a standard spell.
Here is my point of using Custom Spell and Custom Enchantment:
'--' means that this effect is DISABLED at any of the altars regardless of whether it is or isn't available as a standard spell. Some effects under this category can and some cannot be bought from vendors. For example:
Spellmaking Altar: Damage Magicka (although it can be purchased it is disabled at the altar)
Enchanting Altar: Resist Paralysis (it does not exist as a standard spell and neither is it enabled at the altar)
Basically, it is the same as those notes "no custom spells" and "no enchanting" used earlier.
'Yes' means this effect's ENABLED at any of the altars and it does exist as a standatd spell (no extra effort is needed to use it at the altars). All effects under this category are purchased from vendors. So custom spells are possible and easy to make. Examples are:
Spellmaking Altar: Detect Life (exists as a standard spell and enabled at the altar).
Enchanting Altar: Dispel (same as Detect Life).
'*' means that this effect is ENABLED at any of the altars but its acquisition is difficult or nearly impossible, if not impossible. Under this category go all the effects obtained through racial powers, doomstones and so on, which are particularly difficult to gain access to. This category also includes those magical effects which are not normally accessible through any means (EG: Lock for both altars) but if one managed to get access to them, they would be able to make custom spells and/or enchantments.
And thats the way I see it at the moment although it is quite possible that i'm missing something.
On offensive non-hostile spells we could simply use (n) next to offensive meaning non-hostile (EG: Calm - Offensive (n)) for those spells which are deemed to be offensive but non-hostile under the Type column or even use the whole word enclosed in brackets instead. --Brightone 14:18, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
Sorry, I didn't explain myself clearly yesterday. I was not trying to say that the "spell" column (column #3) has an (a) and a (b). Rather I was trying to say that the "custom spell" column (column #8) is adding two separate factors, which I labeled (a) and (b). The information on (a), namely spell availability, is being provided in the spell column. By creating these new columns, you're losing the information on (b), enabled at the altar, that used to be independently available in the notes column. Although some of (b) can be inferred from the new columns, it is not directly available.
I can see that you may be making these changes because you feel that is an unnecessary complication to directly provide information on whether the spellmaking/enchanting effects are available at the altar. That's acceptable, given that the tables are supposed to be summary information. But I do feel that this information must be kept in some form on the individual effect pages.
I still don't see why the spell column has to have only "Yes" or "-" as possible options. Why can your two new columns have "Yes", "-" or "*" as options, and not the spell column?
Your solution for the non-hostile spells would work; I would suggest still spelling out "Non-hostile" on the individual pages, though, just to make the meaning clear. --Nephele 15:41, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
And what do you think '*' would mean for the Spell column? --Brightone 16:03, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
I had been using a '*' in the Spell column to mean that the spell is not available as a standard spell, but can be acquired through some means, as detailed on the individual effect page. --Nephele 16:07, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
But why Spell? To me it looks as though your explanation of '*' for Spell said: "this effect is not available as a standard spell, but can be acquired through some means and then become available as a standard spell??, as detailed on the individual effect page." Since we re talking about availablity of effects as standard spells (btw,what do you reckon a standard spell is?) for Spell, giving at the same time information on acquiring magical effects through other means under the same column when infact this information has nothing to do with 'availablity of effects as standard spells' (if I do get access to eg Fortify Skill through doomstones will merchants in one accord begin to sell new STANDARD spells with this effect?) is irrelevant. wouldn't you agree? The question is, where (in the table) do we place this information on acquiring magical effects through other means if they are not available as standard spells? Maybe there's no need to because this information (foa, unique for each effect) is covered on individual effect pages and those concerned should refer to those pages in order to know more? If there is an '--' for a particular magical effect under Spell, it does not mean there is no way to gain access to it, it simply means that it cannot be bought from merchants. --Brightone 14:31, 2 October 2006 (EDT)

To me, standard spell means one that can be bought from a merchant in an unmodded version of the game. So that would be any spell listed on Oblivion:List of Spells by Effect.

I'm not sure where you are reading that the spell column ever said "this effect is not available as a standard spell, but can be acquired through some means and then become available as a standard spell??, as detailed on the individual effect page." My original description of this column and of the asterisk were:

  • Spell: is the effect available as a standard spell in the game? In most cases, customized versions of the spell can also be made at the Spellmaking Altars (exceptions are noted in the Notes column). Some spell effects are very difficult to acquire, as described on the individual effect pages.
* means that under rare circumstances, the effect is available (see the individual effect's page for details).

Neither of these says anything about the effect turning into a standard spell once you acquire it.

I don't see why it is so confusing to use an asterisk in the spell column to indicate cases where a non-standard spell provides this effect. It is not saying "Yes" this is a standard spell; it is saying that there is something unusal going on. And I think it is useful to have this information provided in the column. If, for example, a reader is interested in knowing how to cast fortify skill spells, it is much more useful to have an asterisk saying that they should read the page (and learn about how to acquire the spell as a doomstone power), than to have the column say "--" and have the reader think that this spell is completely unavailable. Acquiring the doomstone power is something that readers may be interested in doing even if they have no interest in making spells or enchanting. In other words, I don't think that readers should have to use the spell making column to then guess about whether or not a rare spell effect exists. --Nephele 15:10, 2 October 2006 (EDT)

Ok, if you insist on using an asterisk for Spell to mean that the effect is not available as a standard spell but can nevertheless be obtained, you might want to consider changing its description to:
Spell: shows whether this effect exists a standard spell or, in some cases, is available as a non-standard spell or ability.
I'm leaving the discussion for now. --Brightone 11:27, 4 October 2006 (EDT)
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