Skyrim EP17: Viking Funeral

By Shamus Posted Thursday Mar 20, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 108 comments

Link (YouTube)

Since Chris decided to confuse everything, let me set the record straight: This is Sheogorath, this is Shinnok, this is Shub-Niggurath, and this is Cole MacGrath, who is a superhero and not a country singer. Go figure.

Chris, un-ironically: “You know what sucks about vampires?”


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108 thoughts on “Skyrim EP17: Viking Funeral

  1. General Karthos says:

    I knew Shub-Niggurath! Albeit, not from the Quake mythos. I’m more familiar with her in the Cthulhu mythos by way of “Arkham Horror” (the board game, not the book).

  2. TMTVL says:

    I’m not sure, but I believe there is a variant on light Imperial amour where the body armour is called Studded Imperial Armour or something like that. That might be the “medium” choice.

    1. ET says:

      Wiki confirms this.
      Basically, the “medium” choice gets you a different kind of light torso armour*, and the same light armour for everything else, but also gives you a heavy shield, so you can’t even get the perk bonus for a matched set. :S

      * “Different” here meaning exactly the same, except for the 3D model, and the price.
      Even has the same weight and armor rating. ^^;

      1. hborrgg says:

        You also can’t improve the chest-piece with smithing so it’s really much, much worse.

        1. Michael says:

          Wow, I did not know that. The Unofficial patchs fix that, so I’d been upgrading without realizing it wasn’t normal.

      2. Tizzy says:

        According to UESP, shields do not enter into the matched set formula.

  3. sofawall says:

    Why does Shamus hate the bunny-hopping so much?

    1. Jack Kucan says:

      I assume because on the stream it makes everything look like shit. In the recording it looks perfectly fine, though.

    2. ET says:

      Maybe it makes him motion sick?
      Personally, I think they should do a one-off short episode of Morrowind, where Josh has to level his acrobatics skill as much as possible, before the episode ends.
      While still doing the main quest! :P

    3. Shamus says:

      A lot of people can’t watch the show when he hops. They get motion sickness. But since Josh doesn’t have any social media presence, people complain to ME. So I’m kind of their advocate.

      1. aldowyn says:

        Josh said something on twitter the other day, I checked his feed… and he had a tweet saying something about working on the Shogun 2 LP.

        I nearly jumped out of my seat before I realized it was *months* old.

        1. Humanoid says:

          I think you mean *years*.

          1. aldowyn says:

            Not quite. Pretty close, though.

        2. Grudgeal says:

          Darn you for giving me false hopes. I’ve been waiting for the next update to that for what feels like years now.

      2. Aitch says:

        Yeah, back in the Bioshock days when the episodes ran much longer I very nearly had to give up on the show entirely. More than a few minutes and I’d end up with a nauseous headache for hours afterward.

        Granted, it was entertaining enough to put up with the side effects, and to this day I still can’t find commentary anywhere near as good as what these guys have going on, but nowadays it’s actually enjoyable to watch instead of being forced to listen and occasionally glimpse at the video to figure out what was being talked about on screen.

        So as one of the hopsick vulnerable watchers – my apologies, and deepest gratitude for the consideration.

        1. Humanoid says:

          I had to give up on the HL2 season due to nausea, but can’t recall much bunnyhopping in it, though I didn’t exactly stay long to check.

      3. Basilios says:

        Yup, I’m one of those that stopped watching Spoiler Warning because of Josh bunny hopping everywhere. Also because of the stupid pranks he plays. But mostly because of the hopping.

        1. slipshod says:

          Just to offer some alternative perspective here: I’m a huge fan of both the hopping and the pranking. No reason to feel completely cornered, Shamus.

        2. Jokerman says:

          Whats wrong with pranking?

      4. ET says:

        Too bad video-stabilization software isn’t free/ubiquitous* yet.
        Right now it’s either fiddly/glitchy, or expensive.
        Also, I don’t think anything does it in real-time yet, at least not on a the power-level of a desktop.

        * By “ubiquitous”, I essentially mean: a friggin’ checkmark in YouTube, or an option/slider in VLC. :P

        1. Andrew_C says:

          Last time I paid attention to it, an Open Source non-linear video editor whose name I can’t recall, did motion stabilisation in near-real time, so I’m sure the capability exists in professional editors, it just hasn’t trickled down to the iMovie/Sony Vegas end of the market.

          I think it will be a long time before it is practical in playback software though, as from what I understand doing it intelligently without losing a large part of the original image is difficult and often requires human intervention to tell the software what’s OK to lose and what has to stay. And that’s obviously is different for different times in the video.

  4. Nano Proksee says:

    “Excuse me General, but I’d rather take this oath in the tongue of my people…”

    “Okay, I guess… Repeat after me: ‘Upon my honor I do swear undying loyalty to the Emperor,…'”

    “Meow meow, mew meow. Meow…”

  5. Hal says:

    Aw, I was really hopeful you were going to hit up Sheogorath’s quest. Catbert would do well with a Wabbajack.

    1. RTBones says:

      That makes two of us. Given Josh’s penchant for killing chickens wherever he finds them, the hilarity that would ensue when Josh turned a Draugr Deathlord/Wraith/whatever into a chicken – or better yet, actually HEALS the monster he’s trying to kill. Yeah, priceless. Besides, the quest to go get it has its funny moments too.

  6. Warrax says:

    Josh Josh Josh… You don’t have to click on every dialog option, just tab out of the conversation. You had the quests from Rikke and the dawnguard guy as soon as the dialog opened, you didn’t have to listen to any of that awful exposition crud.

    1. Kavonde says:

      I’m sure he knows; the dialogue (and the subtitles) are for the audience’s benefit.

      Well. “Benefit.”

  7. Rutskarn says:

    To answer Chris’ unanswered question in the beginning, vampires were in Daggerfall. Also tons of weird lycanthropes. Like, wereshark weird.

    1. Doomcat says:

      Hang on, Wereshark? can you become a wereshark? I just imagine RPing a hardcore pirate whos also a wereshark now…

      1. Raygereio says:

        In the lore Lycanthropy is a lot bigger then what we saw in the games. Besides werewolves, there are weresharks, werebears, wereboars, werecrocodiles, werelions and werevultures. Most of them are regional or race specific. You get werelions whereever Khajiit hang out and werebears roam around in Skyrim and the neighboring areas.

        1. Hal says:

          That’s one of the things that I liked about the Dresden Files: Lycanthropy was generally just a person who could transform into an animal. Wolves were well known, but anything was possible; for example, Native Americans had werebuffalo in times past.

          When I ran the RPG, I’d planned on introducing an NPC who was a weresquirrel, but the circumstances for introducing him shifted dramatically at the table, and bringing him in felt like it would be both a distraction and a non-sequitur. Alas.

          1. Vermander says:

            Werebuffalo seems pretty impractical. Hopefully you’re outside and in a an open area when you transform or you’re pretty much trapped. It would be really embarrassing if you were upstairs. Also, all the pooping would probably be a problem.

            Wereshark seems even worse, unless you happen to be swimming in the ocean you’re pretty much going to flop around gasping.

            Now transforming into a bird seems like it would be pretty useful though.

            1. syal says:

              It’s the transformation back from a bird that’s the problem.

        2. newdarkcloud says:

          I know it’s not this way in lore, but Skyrim makes a lycanthropy seem like a totally awesome condition to have.

          After all, you control when you change, will never get sick, and the only downside is that you have trouble sleeping.

      2. Kana says:


        If Bloodlines taught me anything, it’s that weresharks are hilarious and hard to kill. Makes me sad they apparently used to have all this cool, amazing, random stuff in a fantastical world and then just stripped it away. For generic fantasy Europe. And then old-timey-time Vikings.

        1. Benjamin Hilton says:

          Haha yeah Bloodlines was exactly what I thought of when I saw weresharks

        2. Michael says:

          World of Darkness’ Rokea were just freakin’ evil to fight, even by Changing Breed standards.

          If anyone’s curious, for Bloodline’s settings, the changing breeds are:

          Garou: Werewolves
          Bastet: Werecats (Lions, Tigers, and other big cats) (Also, the werehyenas are technically Bastet, IIRC)
          Garuhl (sp?): Werebears
          Corax: Wereravens (and chatty bastards)
          Rokea: Weresharks (there’s literally only about 50 of these guys alive by the time Bloodlines takes place.)
          Kitsune: Werefoxes
          Nuwesha: Werecoyotes
          Naga: Weresnakes (Who will sometimes use their coldblooded nature, along with their fangs, to pass as vampires. And most of the others think they’re extinct.)
          Mokole: Werelizards, also crocodiles and alligators. Effectivly these guys work as weredinosaurs, though.
          Asanasi: Werespiders

      3. Michael says:

        As far as I can remember, the only lycanthropes that have actually appeared in the games are Werewolves (Daggerfall, Bloodmoon, Skyrim), Werebears (Dragonborn), and Wereboars (Daggerfall). The others have been mentioned in lore books (in Daggerfall and Oblivion).

        So far, only Werewolves have been playable. The Wereboars in Daggerfall were supposed to be, but a bug prevented it… or infected you with the werewolf strain… I can’t remember. I don’t think the werebears on Solstheim can infect you, but I know the Moonlight Tales mod makes werebears playable.

        1. krellen says:

          Strictly speaking, only werewolves have lycanthropy, as the ‘lycan’ part of that word means ‘wolf’. Other skinchangers have therianthropy (‘therian’ means ‘animal’, so technically werewolves also have therianthropy.)

          1. guy says:

            Strictly speaking, that is an accurate description for ancient Greek, and chances are excellent none of us are ancient Greeks

            1. Bryan says:

              …But English doesn’t so much borrow words from other languages, as drag them into back alleys and rifle through their pockets. (Rather like Josh in the next episode on the Imperial lackeys, actually.)

              So we still use lots of words according to their Greek meaning.

    2. Tizzy says:

      Also, as I recall, the way you would find out about lycanthropy or vampirism was when you first got infected. It was pretty much a given that it would happen, sooner or later. And then it was “oh shit”, I can’t go into towns at night any more, what am I supposed to do?

      And then I stopped playing.

      It was a big surprise. Fairly unusual at the time, or even to this day, I guess. Such a major change in your character that doesn’t come from a scripted event, but happens randomly.

  8. imtoolazy says:


    Rutskarn: Would you (or anyone else) have any interest in a Halloween/Spoiler Warning Anniversary special, months from now, to run a game of Malice, with you as GM? (I say SW Anniversary because it seems to be turning into making a mockery of attempts at genuine horror/fright.)

    Josh: Super duper important, but a bit longer: The Spoiler Warning Patreon is currently at 677$ a month, and I’m wondering, would you be interested in offering as a kind of ‘stretch goal’ of (say) 1000 dollars, that you would continue doing the Shogun 2 (important point to follow!) Josh Plays?

    I mean, as far as I remember, you hadn’t stopped because you were bored with or started hating it, or had suddenly lost anticlimactically, right?

    –> And of course, it wouldn’t have to be Shogun 2! <–

    I've done some very thorough analyzing of my kinda vague memories, and I found what I think were some underlying reasons why I read like, almost 20 posts across two or three days:

    -Historical info, telling us more about who was doing what, who had what at the time, and just generally interesting historical stuff.

    -You pitting yourself as the underdog against a game at its hardest difficulty setting, using your near-godly mastery of the system and its rules and mechanics (and the AI's weak points) to go from victory to victory. Luck sometimes showed up, but it's not what was keeping you in the game for so long.

    -Occasionally letting us in on your master plan, that you had been working on for the past few posts, letting us nod our heads and grin knowingly when the AI was playing right into your hands (or be struck with horror, as things took a sudden turn for the worst!).

    -It was well-written.

    So you know, like, a post every two weeks, maybe even once a week, of Shogun 2, or Rome 3, or Chivalry Medieval 4 (whether your own, long game, or just your part of a dynasty one), or Civilization 5, or whatever you want to do.

    Just a thought.

    1. Humanoid says:

      The stretch goals would be for Josh to quit his day job. At $1000, Josh quits work on Fridays. At $2000, he quits Thursdays. At $5000, Josh quits his job altogether. Get on it! :P

      1. The Rocketeer says:

        To paraphrase Order of the Stick, if he quits one of them, I think he’s going to end up quitting all of them.

  9. Kavonde says:

    I love that little unmarked bandit hideout just outside of Whiterun. It’s a nice little piece of world building, and at the same time, it’s totally dumb.

    On the one hand, it’s actually a pretty brilliant place for bandits to hide out; it’s really close to a major trade hub and the roads leading to it, while being pretty well-concealed. (It helps that there’s no map marker for it, of course.)

    On the other hand, since distances in Skyrim are scaled down to make travel between regions manageable, it literally exists right under the city walls–and that seems ludicrous. It could be handwaved away by hinting at corruption within the Whiterun city guard, and that would actually be pretty interesting, but the only indication that there might be anything shady going on with the guards is that Captain Miles is willing to sentence dudes to life imprisonment for accidental food poisoning.

  10. BitFever says:

    In relation to what ya’ll are talking about at the 20 minute mark, there’s a rather fun text based game called a dark room where you slowly grow and manage a small town. It’s well worth checking out if you want to spend a few hours on a modernized text based rpg. :)

    1. aldowyn says:

      huh, that sounds interesting. Might want to check that out.

    2. ET says:

      I assume you mean this game?
      OK, this is pretty fun, for having like…zero graphics. :P

      1. BitFever says:

        Hey when I said it was text based I meant it was text based lol

        1. Tharias says:

          I just tried it as well. Fun game, but it’s a bit jarring when 20 people is called a modest village (technically accurate), when the cities in Skyrim aren’t that populated!

  11. aldowyn says:

    Solitude being properly the capital of Skyrim is the only reason I can think of for it to be the legion stronghold

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      That, and it’s the most fortified, entrenched defensive position aside from maaaaaybe Markarth. Windhelm is relatively indefensible, considering it can be assailed from every direction and there’s high ground overlooking its walls to the south.

    2. Hal says:

      I can think of a few reasons:

      -It has access to open water, a useful way for the Empire to bring in more troops without having to physically cross the borders.

      -When Torygg was killed, Elisif was likely the first Jarl to petition the Empire for aid against Ulfric and the Stormcloaks.

      -Also, Elisif being the most likely contender for “High King,” protecting her would be tantamount, so making Solitude the chief garrison of the Empire would make sense.

      1. Vermander says:

        Yeah, it’s a major port, with a relatively mild climate. It’s an easy place to bring in reinforcements and supplies, compared to Dawnstar, which looks like it’s perpetually ice locked, or Riften, which built on a swampy marsh and is mostly made of wood.

    3. Michael says:

      It’s also adjacent to High Rock, which is still part of the empire.

  12. Tychoxi says:

    So I haven’t really played Skyrim, but as an Obsidian fanboy I must stress how they dealt with DLC in New vegas, in contrast to “Dawnguard? WTF are you talking about?”

    They set up the characters and locations throughout the main game. Wow!! That’s such a *difficult* thing to accomplish. And while each DLC pack had a very specific theme and atmosphere, they also tied to and built on each other. It’s like we are dealing with some kind of literary geniuses…

    ..or maybe they just look like so because Bethesda sucks balls.

    1. Hal says:

      It’s at least better than it was in Oblivion, where the quests just “appeared” in your queue. If you started a new game with all of the DLC installed, it was kind of ridiculous: You’re still in the midst of the tutorial dungeon when a prompt pops up saying, “Oh, by the way, you’ve received a letter indicating you’ve inherited a wizard’s tower, and there’s an archaeological dig for Mehrunes’ Razor in eastern Cyrodiil. Also, there’s a weird island out in the middle of the lake, you should go check that out.”

      1. Tychoxi says:

        Well, to be fair, you also get this in New Vegas. When you start the game you get prompts by every installed DLC and in lieu of letters you receive radio messages. The difference is that, unlike FO3 or TES, Obsidian put care to integrate the DLCs with some simple foreshadowing and narrative links, so they don’t feel like disjointed amusement parks.

      2. Michael says:

        The weird island pop up can’t happen in the starting dungeon. Once you leave the tutorial, and advance the clock 24 hours, THEN it can pop. But, you know, it did do that with literally every other DLC piece.

  13. McNutcase says:


    You’ve run out. Seriously. Buy some potions.

    And the rest of the crew: bug him to buy potions. He needs them.

    1. Mumbles says:

      Jooossssh, McNut says to eat more pppeeeeeooopppleeeee you better listen to hiiim

      1. Eruanno says:

        *Chewing noises*

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        BTW, you guys totally need to get the Daedric Ring of Cannibalism from that one quest if you can.

        I forget which Daedric Prince gives you that quest.

        1. Jakale says:

          I think it’s the mausoleum area in Markarth or something. I remember going in to help a guy get rid of someone creeping around the coffins and the second I walk in it’s all “Oh hi, you sure don’t seem spooked by this place. You must be a cannibal. Come by cannibal hall, sometime. We’ll eat people. It’ll be good times. Toodles.” It’s nearly as bad as the start of the thief guild questline.
          I say nearly because at least I can argue that being covered in blood from the bandits and forsworn I killed on the way over may have confused him.

          1. guy says:

            Unlike the Thieves Guild quest, if you decide your character isn’t a cannibal you can just kill the recruiter on the spot and tell the crypt keeper he’s got a cannibal problem.

      3. Veloxyll says:

        People are healthy, right. It’s like a kind of health potion you can find on the ground.

        Kill person, receive health. What’s not to like?
        AND you get to hang out with people like Mumbles.

    2. RTBones says:

      Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s carrying around the ingredients (or most of them – the rest of which could be “acquired” in an alchemy shop) to MAKE a couple/three health pots, given his penchant for taking anything not nailed down and crowbarring out more than a few things that are.

      If he does that, though, there is a chance that we’ll miss some hilariously silly death scene that was completely unintended because Josh was off the rails to begin with – you know, like bunny-hopping down a mountain sideways after FusRhoDah-ing a wolf corpse into the air while trying to pick up a fallen iron arrow that gravity has taken from mountain top to top of giant head at the bottom of the mountain, where Josh falls, picks up the arrow, and gets squished like a bug by the giant who doesn’t like his day being interrupted by flying cats.

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        perhaps health potions are this season’s Incinerator.

        Come to think of it, this season seems to have many Incinerators.

    3. Tizzy says:

      Also Josh, great job of ignoring BOTH the Enchanting table and the Alchemy station in the hall leading to Tulius’s war room. Never mind that these two have to be the most conveniently placed one in Solitude, go ahead and get lost in the Blue Palace instead. ( Why is it called that anyway?)

      Nicely trolled…

    4. Benjamin Hilton says:

      Keep in mind this was a similar complaint in the New Vegas season, and he almost never died regardless.

      besides health potions go against his chaotic-stupid motif.

      1. syal says:

        Buying them does, anyway.

  14. Eric says:

    Dark Souls and the original Deus Ex have really ruined games where you constantly manage your inventory so you can sell stuff for me. I enjoy having merchants who only sell stuff so I don’t have to bother with whether or not something is valuable.

    1. ET says:

      Deus Ex: HR was pretty awful for the looting/selling thing too, since you could get the most money by selling guns, but the guns would evaporate if you already had that type of gun, leaving only the ammo.
      So you had to drop your modded/preferred gun, then constanly run back and forth, to sell all the mercenaries’/gangsters’ guns, one at a time.
      Metro did the same friggin’ thing, although at least the guns didn’t evaporate…the game just crashed all the time, and only had one merchant who wasn’t behind a one-way door. ^^;

  15. The Rocketeer says:

    Funny coincidence: Reginald swears into the Imperial Legion on the same day one of the 1-men in my section re-enlists.

    1. Tizzy says:

      And of course Tulius sounds bored administering the oath! Can you imagine just how many times he’s had to do it?

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        I was going to make a joke about him not delegating but remembered you mostly take your commands from Rikke in the field (and in a couple of cases a step further down with Hadvar), and when you do take orders from Tullius, its because you’re presumably relaying reports from the field.

        Though this could explain why his entire army is maybe 40 guys.

  16. Thomas says:

    When you found the hole in the world it felt like it could be a piece of the mythology. I could imagine folks travelling for miles to see the hole in the world and try to understand what it means for them.

    Some people would sit there for days just staring at it. Kids would toss sticks through it…

    1. ET says:

      I’m actually wondering why there hasn’t been any game, which uses things like this, which would ordinarily be called a “glitch” or “mistake”, to build up a fantastic world.
      Like, we get generic fantasy stuff like Skyrim, and possibly even Morrowind’s crazier stuff, where it’s very structured, and just a “normal” world, from the eyes of the inhabitants.
      Then on the other end, we get stuff like Antichamber, where there’s basically no story, but the world is chock full of weird glitches!
      Where’s my open world RPG, which takes place in a fever dream?!? >:P

      1. guy says:

        Well, Eternal Darkness has its sanity meter result in glitch-like effects. Also, Dwarf Fortress has made crawling animate skin and hair part of the setting on purpose after a glitch with selecting “corpse” targets for necromantic reanimation.

  17. Thomas says:

    General Tullius is the most spineless man ever! He’s letting his own underling delegate minor chores to him.

    I think he clearly went through some horrible traumatic event and Legate Rikke used the opportunity to put the pressure on him and fully break his mind. Now he wanders around the entrance to his own fortress feeling slightly confused and doing whatever Legate Rikke tells him. The map isn’t their real map, but someone put it there as a joke and General Tullius took so much pleasure feeling important and examining it that no-one had the heart to remove it.

    It’s a really awkward situation, the legionnaires all know that he’s no longer fit to lead them and it’s a constant source of embarrassment the way he personally insists on inducting all their new recruits, often giving them completely insane tasks, but he was once a good general and they don’t want to throw him to the rules.

    And everyone hates Legate Rikke for what she’s doing, but no-one can do anything because the General is too under her thumb and she’s free to punish anyone who opposes her in whatever manner she wants.

    1. Thomas says:

      I mean look how the conversation goes around 7 minutes ish.

      Legate Rikke: Oh you want to join the army? I don’t have time for that but I’m sure General Tullius would love to give you the oath.

      [Oath is Taken]

      General Tullius: um so Legate Rikke will tell you about your mission, she’s the one who decides that sort of thing.

      Also this is what the Skyrim wiki says about Legate Rikke

      “Legate Rikke is the Chief Lieutenant of the Imperial Legion “

    2. Grudgeal says:

      I like to think Tullius is this doddering old man, going half-senile, who only got the job because of nepotism and isn’t even sure what he’s doing half the time. On days where the Dragonborn aren’t around to observe him he goes shuffling through the corridors of the fortress looking for his slippers.

    3. Cinebeast says:

      Personally, I thought Tullius was just drunk off his ass the whole time, or else in the throes of a constant, blistering hangover.

  18. Abnaxis says:

    I don’t remember vampires being that much of an Easter egg in Morrowind. Didn’t you take a penalty for talking to people with a full helmet on, because if they couldn’t see if your eyes were red, they didn’t know if you were a vampire? I thought I remembered one of the first people you talk to after leaving the boat telling you that…

    1. ET says:

      I remember vampirism, amoung the other diseases, all gave you a penalty when talking to NPCs.
      Pretty sure it was a tip/hint at the beginning of the game.
      Or maybe just a tooltip-like thing, where you got the info if you hovered over the disease in your character page?

    2. syal says:

      Townsfolk talked about it a lot, but in the same way they talked about necromancers, Dagoth Ur cult members, Corprus, and the Camonna Tong. You knew they existed, you knew they were enemies, but you only found out you could become a vampire by getting infected.

  19. Grudgeal says:

    I hope you do realise you’ve just committed yourselves to playing the Dark Brotherhood questline to its end, here. There can be no other non-Cuthbertian response.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      I’d like them to play this, the best designed of the Faction Quests and then play the worst Faction Quest, the Thieves Guild, for comparison.

      I guess you could argue that the Bard College is the worst faction quest but its such a nonentity that I don’t think about it that way.

    2. bucaneer says:

      The one true sequence is Dark Brotherhood first, Legion afterwards.

      1. guy says:

        What happens if you join the legion after completing the Dark Brotherhood quest? Did they think to put in special dialogue for that?

        1. bucaneer says:

          The oath doesn’t mention Titus Mede II by name, you swear loyalty to just “the Emperor”. That’s about it. On the one hand, it seems way too little reactivity for an event of this caliber. On the other hand, it does help drive home the idea that the Empire in Skyrim is just a shadow of its former self, as suggested many times elsewhere in the game. In Oblivion, the Emperor dies and all hell breaks loose, literally. But now, with the line of dragonblood emperors extinct, the Emperor is just some guy who sits on the throne – you kill him and some other dude takes his place, no big deal. The Empire is just a state without any divine or magical legitimacy it used to have in the past.

          Of course it could just be laziness or bad design, but at least it’s the kind of laziness that makes its own sense.

  20. Prometheus110 says:

    I’m sorry if this has already been answered before –I’m somewhat new here– but what are the criteria for a game to “feature” on spoiler warning?

    Also, has the disconnect between the in-game presentation of the Elder Scrolls world and the in-universe presentation been discussed yet? By in-game presentation I’m talking about what you see and hear when playing the game and by in-universe presentation I’m talking about what is written in the books and treatises that you can find in the world.

    I’m asking because from what I understand, the universe according to the in-game books is utterly at odds with the one we actually see while playing.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Well, that’s a pretty vague comment… I’ll just mention that the books you find in the game are from the accumulation of the games in the series. So that, while many were written specifically for Skyrim and very relevant to the world, others were clearly written for the earlier games, the most recent of which takes place over 200 years prior.

      The tone of the books is all over the place, and it is very clear that the world has changed a lot. Even for a player new to the lore as I was, figuring out whichh books were directly relevant to the game and which were legacy was almost immediate. I thought the Skyrim-specific books were usually more utilitarian: there was an effort made in the style, but few were as entertaining as some of the older books. Some of those are really hilarious/creepy…

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      As far as I’m aware, the only criteria for a game to be on Spoiler Warning is “Does the cast have enough interesting things to say about it?” and “Would the style of play clash with the long-form review style that SW has?”

      In other words, whatever they think would be best for a Spoiler Warning season.

  21. Nalyd says:

    Shamus, you mentioned the Crash Course on the Mongols and I watched it, and. . . maaaaaaaan, that is some revisionist history bullshit. It’s about as accurate as you’d expect something with nyangenghis at the end to be.

  22. SlothfulCobra says:

    In pointing out the weirdness of Roman legionary-type armor in Skyrim, Josh touched on one of the things that bugs me the most about fantasy in general. It’s always some pseudo-medieval setting that’s supposed to encompass everything from Charlemagne to Napoleon except for gunpowder. A millenia of human history all existing at once, so you’ll get dudes wearing cuirasses designed to deflect arquebus fire alongside dudes who go into battle bare-chested, or rapiers, claymores, and katanas all existing side by side.

    And then the setting will remain stagnant throughout hundreds and thousands of years of history, so they’ll never develop more advanced technology, the feudal system will always be relevant, and nobody ever develops an alternative to monarchies. If anything, technological and social progress is normally happening in reverse, which is just silly.

    1. Grudgeal says:

      That’s probably my second biggest issue with it, right after the complete lack of any visible agriculture or how the economic system could possibly sustain itself. Modern urban living is a, well, very *modern* concept and most people in the medieval age lived on farms that tended to cover the entire landscape; the whole ‘giant walled-in cities with no urban sprawl and thousands of inhabitants in the middle of wilderness’ thing just makes my head hurt to think about. What do they eat, dead monsters?

      1. Vermander says:

        Most fantasy settings put little thought into the agricultural systems. Farmers are generally depicted as owning their own land and livestock and raising their own crops to sell. There no real evidence of a Feudal system. Nobody is ever a serf or thrall or a cottar or whatever, all of them are freeman. We never meet a reeve, a beadle or a bailiff. Nobles are just rich people with big houses or officials in charge of cities.

        Everyone appears to be free to move from one village to another, start a new business, and even carry weapons and armor whenever they want. You wonder exactly how Kings and Queens are able to maintain any authority at all.

        I get that crop cycles and grain counting aren’t the stuff of thrilling adventures, but you’d think it would be an important aspect of world building. Most fantasy settings seem to combine the agricultural and political structure of 18th century America with the military technology of the Renaissance.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      I made a similar comment in an earlier episode about how the world seems to not have developed at all in the 200 years between Oblivion and Skyrim.

      You’d think by now that the world of Tamriel would be at least on the way to some Thief-esque Medieval/Steampunk world. Even better, make a society where advancements are more along magical lines. Since magic appears to be the stand-in for academia in TES, I’d imagine that there would be a lot of advancements in that realm that could make life easier for all.

      It’s just, I’d like the world to somehow feel like it is developing.

      1. Disc says:

        It’s kind of a thing in the setting though. It’s been several thousands of years and the tech level hasn’t really been implied to go forward a lot. A good example is this:,_The_Last_Year_of_the_First_Era

        “The other was the Emperor’s son, Prince Juilek, in ebony armor with a savage Orcish helm, shield and longsword at his side.”

        Considering if ebony armor was the apex of armor tech, then it’s been definitely not been going much forward in the thousands of years between 1E 2920 and 4E 201+. Not really realistic IMO either, but it seems to be the status quo.

      2. Jokerman says:

        Maybe Tamriel is as static as it feels in game…

      3. Tizzy says:

        Yes, I would like to see more obviously magical technology, besides the Dwemer stuff. Maybe Restoration mages standing in the fields working on making the crops grow…

        There would be an interesting out to judtify stagnation, but that would need to be worked explicitly into the setting: the presence of deities that actively participate in human (and mer) affairs. It’d be fun to see technologies simply fail because the gods decided to break the magic that made it work. Because. Just because.

        While we’re at it, nothing in the setting addresses (satisfactorily, at least in my view) the effect of the vastly different lifespans of the various intelligent races. Shouldn’t this have a huge impact on the various civilizations?

    3. Ciennas says:

      It’s possible and easy for somebody to do that, but it’s very hard for them at the same time.

      Compare Avatar the Last Airbender (The cartoon,) With its sequel, Legend of Korra.

      In these games though, moving forward means stripping out the entire hierarchy they’ve developed. These games seem to be remakes, in a mechanics sense.

  23. Annikai says:

    That’s like 2 InFamous references in as many episodes. Did Shamus play InFamous or something?

  24. Michael R. says:

    OH SNAP, Shamus watches Crash-Course! Did they help him pass the AP History test, too?

  25. Tony Kebell says:

    Yeeeah, Mumbles, YEAH!

  26. Lord ZYRK says:

    Khajiit House? Would that be the μμμ Frat?

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