The Exigent Duality
Daggerfall and Unreality - 19:14 CDT, 2/12/23 (Sniper)
I started playing "The Witcher 3" yesterday with all of the ray tracing features enabled. The game just wasn't doing it for me: pre-canned character, too much emphasis on story. I decided to try going the opposite extreme, and got "The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall" running in a more modernized form.

Daggerfall in Modern Times

I wrote about Daggerfall a decade ago. I quite liked the game back then, but ran into too many game breaking bugs to make it worthwhile for the long haul. Thankfully, "Daggerfall Unity" exists today. Here is a dump of my mods directory. Think I went a little crazy?

-a--- 2/11/2022 15:00 5186 actions.dfmod
-a--- 4/13/2022 16:56 7648 basicmagicregen.dfmod
-a--- 7/22/2021 14:38 10516 convenient quest log.dfmod
-a--- 12/23/2021 12:16 387700458 dream - cinematics.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:54 327680414 dream - commoners.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:10 258538585 dream - handheld.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 8:33 133672327 dream - hud & menu.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:57 798169713 dream - mobs.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:57 272690976 dream - music.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:13 482726945 dream - npcs.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:02 1130945188 dream - paperdoll.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 16:19 192185492 dream - portraits.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:03 62160610 dream - sound.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:39 201295085 dream - sprites.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:05 1349636751 dream - textures.dfmod
-a--- 8/5/2022 16:08 29711134 dream - transparent windows.dfmod
-a--- 1/27/2023 12:54 3031398 dynamic skies - carademono's hd clouds.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 9:22 454639 fixed dungeon exteriors.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 29974204 handpainted models - buildings.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 79825394 handpainted models - main.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 7938959 handpainted models - treasure piles.dfmod
-a--- 9/27/2019 21:36 11572 mountains and hills.dfmod
-a--- 12/28/2019 15:41 517315 npchealthindicators.dfmod
-a--- 2/11/2023 12:24 73 readme.txt
-a--- 9/10/2020 6:46 896799 realtime reflections.dfmod
-a--- 11/12/2022 20:36 628963 roleplayrealism-items.dfmod
-a--- 6/8/2022 23:36 108784 roleplayrealism.dfmod
-a--- 12/18/2022 2:33 8163 villagerreactions.dfmod

I created a custom character class for my newfound interest in the game. Behold!

My Custom Class: Axe Magician


  • Str: 60
  • Int: 55
  • Wil: 60
  • Agi: 50
  • End: 45
  • Per: 40
  • Spd: 40
  • Lck: 50
Primary Skills

  • Axe (Str)
  • Destruction (Wil)
  • Restoration (Wil)
Major Skills

  • Thaumaturgy (Wil)
  • Mysticism (Wil)
  • Alteration (Wil)
Minor Skills

  • Climbing (Str)
  • Medical (Int)
  • Lockpicking (Int)
  • Daedric (Int)
  • Illusion (Wil)
  • Critical Strike (Agi)

  • Expertise In - Axe
  • Increased Magery 1.5x Int

  • Forbidden Weaponry - Blunt Weapon
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Hand to Hand
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Missile
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Short Blade
  • Forbidden Armor Type - Leather
  • Phobia - Undead

My Experience

The game sure is beautiful looking, take a look at these screenshots I captured.

Unfortunately, my very first attempt at doing a temple quest for Mara resulted in the game generating a static mesh in front of a doorway, with no other way to progress in the dungeon. Not only that, but it spawned five skeletons in there: with my character's phobia, I can barely kill one at this point let alone several at once!

And this is always how efforts to play Daggerfall wind up for me: something game-breaking occurs. My other issue with the game is that as I've gotten older, I've become less patient for the "space trader"-style titles, with millions of identical looking trading posts, space stations, planets, or what-have-you. Daggerfall is in that same genre with the same kind of game loop, just not set in space. As I said, it's the polar opposite extreme from "The Witcher 3". I guess I like more of a middle ground.

I'll reload a prior save and see if I can get the game to generate a new-and-actually-playable quest for me. I may also re-create my character anew, without the phobia-- I can barely hit skeletons, so I have to kite them in circles while swinging my axe for almost ten minutes to destroy one.


Long-time readers will know that I've suffered from a kind of permanent mental illness for the past decade called "derealization". Nothing in my life feels "real": it's as if I'm watching a movie. I can see a beautiful sunrise, or my daughter getting baptized, and it's like watching Netflix. I have very little emotional connection to anything going on. At any given juncture, I would not at all be surprised if I suddenly woke up, and found out that I'd been in a coma for the past ten years, and that none of those memories actually occurred. Sometimes I pinch myself or splash my face with ice cold water, just to make sure I can feel it.

I don't get much sympathy from anyone, because it's nearly impossible for a sufferer of this disorder to actually describe it! However, two evenings ago my wife got out of the bath and had a strange psychological episode for about thirty seconds. She was terrified, and came to me with questions. On hearing her explanation, I immediately surmised that she'd had a derealization episode. For the first time, she understood how much I've been suffering: "You're that way permanently? How do you even survive?"

That's a good question. I approach each day by just putting one foot in front of the other until bed time. Then I repeat the process the next day. Everyone has crosses that they bear: some people are blind, or deaf, or have crippling arthritis-- yet they go on. My affliction is the same thing. God made me this way for a reason, and I've made wonderful accomplishments over the past ten years, in part because the condition lets me "put myself out there" in ways I otherwise couldn't. He has a plan for me. Maybe some day he'll lighten the cross and take away this malady. I'm resigned to being this way forever, but who knows.

Other Musings

My mother and step-father are coming to my house this upcoming weekend to paint the kids' bedrooms. I'm looking forward to that, I don't see my family in the Twin Cities as often as I'd like, ever since I relocated the family to the rural area. I'm very close to my mother, and I really like my step-father. I've always gotten along with him naturally. So it will be good to see the two of them.

Unfortunately and in total contrast, I'm also about to enter into a protracted period of possibly two straight weeks of my father-in-law being here, possibly even more. I do not like my father-in-law. He's a selfish, crude, Christian-hating, radical Democrat-endorsing heretic with disgusting personal habits and an abrasive personality. His youngest daughter wishes he would just keel over. My model is to just avoid him when he's here, as much as possible. He was the only "con" to this multi-generation rural living arrangement, out of two dozen "pros". I need to just keep reminding myself of that fact.

On an unrelated note, I've been studying this book a lot, while taking many notes. I haven't gotten the call yet from my church to undergo training, but I know it's on their radar because I've had a few people remark about my interest to me before the last couple of Sunday Masses. I've also been following some events with interest. Vee has been keeping me up to date about AI, concerning developments there. I'm also watching with curiosity to see if the next scam from the elites takes the form of a purported alien invasion. It might sound far-fetched now, so did the WuFlu Scamdemic before it happened.

On a happier note, I really enjoyed reading this. Lots of similarities with how I met my wife, although his story is even less likely and more bizarre than mine.