Does anyone roleplay with an in-game journal?

I just started another playthrough and am using this mod for the first time. I've always gotten 50-60 hours into a playthrough and thought it would be cool to start keeping a journal for my character, but I had already done so much I pushed it off.

So I started a new one! At first I thought I would just play like I normally do, but I wanted the journal to mean something to me by the time I was done with my 'journey' (whatever the hell that means in an elder scrolls game) so I've added addition rules and mods that I don't normally use.

For instance, no fast travel unless it is required to fix a bug. I've noticed several direct effects of this:

  1. The passing of time is noticed. When I play normally I fast travel during the day from Whiterun to Solitude, and it's day still/again. I'm left wondering 'Exactly HOW long did it take? It seems like it's still today!' Now that I walk/ride everywhere I'm really starting to feel like I'm experiencing a day in Skyrim, albeit at an accelerated rate.

  2. I'm looking at more stuff. I pay attention to signs so I know which road I need to take. I try and memorize landmarks or note them in my journal so later travel is easier. I also see more random NPCs...I've seen several groups of Thalmor/Imperials escorting previous playthroughs, I may have seen that 1 or 2 times.

I also have a hunger/sleep/thirst mod installed, as well as Frostfall. So traveling to Northwatch Keep, for example, on foot during a snowstorm was more of an event than it normally is. This lead to more journal content.

In addtion, it is artificially adding life to NPCs that normally would have none. Lydia, normally, is just Lydia. She's an NPC in an bethesda game so she breaks and does funny things from time to time so I use those 'events' to create a story that makes sense for it, and it adds to a personality she wouldn't normally have otherwise.

For example, I was traveling to Solitude and left the main road to mine some ore and poke my head inside of a cave. I didn't notice she never left the cave with me. She got stuck there. It also happened to be lightly raining at the time. So I'm passing through Rorikstead before I notice - damn, Lydia is gone. So rather than just use a console command a created a story out of it. We had an argument on the road while a monsoon was falling on our heads because I asked her to carry a cool looking rock I found, she told me to carry my own stuff, I told her she was sworn to carry my burdens, and she left in a huff. I thought, hey, she'll get over it and meet me in Rorikstead...but she wasn't there! I must go find her and make sure she is okay!

I fear I'm going to start rambling... I'm going to stop myself. All in all, it has made a more rewarding experience for me. I'm 22 hours into this playthrough. I'm on my way to High Hrothgar to speak with the greybeards, outside of that, the only side quests I've completed are the Grey-Mane/Battle-Born shenanigans and retrieving the claw for the folks in Riverwood. Normally, just that content would have only taken me 2 hours at most. I would have taken the carriage to Solitude and then rode to Northwatch Keep. Instead I rode the whole way on horseback and had some creative freedom with my journal at Lydia's expense.

For the record, Lydia and I are getting along great now. I attribute our initial hostilities to the distance between Whiterun and Solitude and the fact that the horse I spent 1000g on was killed after being flung into the air by a glitchy dagger.

/r/skyrim Thread