It’s not easy being good in gaming. Helping others, slaying warlords and rescuing princesses seems to have little reward when compared to being evil, and with little or no consequences that will result from such actions, its easy too.
Bethesda has developed a new AI system for Skyrim, one that drastically alters the world around you based on your actions, and will either aid or hinder your mission progress. One such example of this is when players join the Dark Brotherhood, who aren’t going to be so easy to get along with this time in the latest Elder Scrolls game.
Anyone joining the Dark Brotherhood will have to adhere strictly to the five tenets of the evil organization, as these will require your complete obedience. Tenet 3 in particular states that a player may not “disobey or refuse to carry out an order from a Dark Brotherhood superior”.
In previous Elder Scrolls games, refusing such a mission would just leave the Dark Brotherhood leader to shrug his shoulders, and bar you from accepting the mission if you changed your mind later in the game, but this time, the consequences will be a tad bit more severe.
Refusing a tenet means an instant dismissal from the Brotherhood, while also invoking the wrath of the Sithis, a being that will come for you in your sleep and attempt to murder you, according to local legend.
Another downside to following the ambiguous tenets of the Dark Brotherhood, is that performing their evil deeds will see towns and villages become wary, and downright hostile towards you, further impeding and hampering your mission success rates. Village residents have a longer memory this time around thanks to the Radiant AI feature, and they’ll pay particular attention to that madman who came running into town with a sword in one hand and a fireball in the other, who also happened to slaughter half of the patrons in a bar.
So it seems that choices in Skyrim will have some measure of consequences for players, depending on their alignment and position within a guild or organization. Personally, I’m going to adopt the tone of neutral jerk-ass, and undergo enough training to let me survive anything that gets thrown my way when I eventually go on an epic rampage.