You've seen my old companions, Dawn and Lilith.
Decided yesterday to roll up a couple completely new ones, and see how that turned out.
Originally, I had planned on them being vampires.
I had forgotten an important detail: Oblivion makes vampires look like shit.
So that had to go away. The vampire condition was hastily removed from their custom race...
Oh, yeah. That's better. Still need to do some tweaking of textures around the mouth... but it's at least workable from this point.
For individual introductions:
This is Branwen. She has blue eyes, and pale - nearly white hair. Branwen is a general purpose magic user (Mage class). She's handy with a fireball spell, likes summoning undead when a fight breaks out, and has been known to conjure a Daedric battleaxe for the purposes of brutally mauling her opponents who make the mistake of getting too close.
She collects alchemical components as you travel, and occasionally comes up with her own equipment.
This is Caridwen. She has green eyes. Caridwen is an Assassin, and quite capable with either blade or bow; with a heavy emphasis on stealth. Caridwen too, has her own varying equipment; going so far as to come up with magic arrows for her bow.
What separates these two from most CM companions (aside from the aesthetic), is that they don't have set starting equipment. They use a technique I played with in FO3 - using leveled lists to determine clothing, equipment, and jewelry.
This means that not only will their starting equipment vary based on your level; but they actually swap out their equipment for better stuff on their own, when you hit higher levels.
We were fast-traveling after I hit level eight. When we arrived at our destination, Branwen had gotten rid of her basic blue robe, and replaced it with a higher quality black one.
I'm used to leveled lists doing this sort of thing when you leave a companion someplace, but this is the first I've seen it while they were in tow the entire time. I can only assume the fast travel caused her to be re-loaded from the template, which informed the engine that the LL said it was time for new goodies.
This opens up some very cool possibilities. I think I'm going to construct some custom leveled lists for them; causing the girls to upgrade their weapons and armor/clothing as you progress - to make it look like they're looting and buying as you do. Eventually (haven't decided on a level) they'd start coming up with magical goodies.
The only exception as it stands is weapons: I've set them to start with silver daggers, and a silver bow for Caridwen. I picked this because realism aside, few things suck worse than coming across a ghost or such at low level, when the party doesn't have a silver weapon between them. That said, I'm probably going to revert to a more standard list for weapons, too.
Kind of missing the glowing eyes, though...
If nothing else, it makes them easy to keep track of in a dark room. Those glowing eyes are like a damned IR beacon under a night-eye spell.
I'm also relearning another lesson: that being that more than three companions in Oblivion is a Bad Idea(TM). Why? CM "Partners" are really bad about blue fire.
We end up taking more damage from each other than the enemy. The CM's are prone to simply lobbing volleys of arrows into a melee in progress. I think I picked six arrows out of Maeva after the last ruin-crawl. I caught four, myself - and a fireball spell in the ass.
Further interesting is watching the two sets of combat styles. While Maeva and [CENSORED] use my custom made styles, Branwen and Caridwen are running default CMs for their classes. Branwen and Caridwen seem to hesitate a lot more; and Caridwen is prone to trying to use a bow in close for several seconds before switching to a melee weapon.
I'm not positive exactly what I did to make the others more responsive; but I suppose I'll have to check closer and see if I can't figure it out.