"Story" and "Free-Roam" Modes:
So I have decided not to follow through with the pre-defined character concept... not immediately anyway. Right now, I am developing Realms of Asuron as a true open-world RPG (without a main questline). Yes, I very briefly deviated from that with the presentation of the pre-defined character concept (Rowan), but I have since turned around and decided that the free-roaming nature of the mod should continue to be its most signature trait. The character of Rowan and his/her entire story will be told at a much later date, released as a mod of the mod -- not as a mandatory expansion, but more like an optional 'companion' file. I ultimately feel like this is the best approach, since I do want Rowan's story to eventually be told (and, being a writer, I would absolutely LOVE to have a canonical "campaign" developed in cinematic fashion). In focusing on "sandbox" content first, we establish the basic foundations of the world in which Rowan will be exploring. We buy time for learning new things about the CS and our own personal capacities. We can build Asuron first, learning new techniques and improving upon them all along the way. At the same time, players will be allowed to experience the Realms as they are created. By setting content for imported/newly generated characters as the first priority, this means that the Story mode will have more time to be properly developed, and, in the end, everyone is happy.
Character Importation/Combat System:
Regarding the importation of characters from Oblivion, I am currently in the process of writing a short quest that will get the player character from Tamriel to Asuron in a manner that is as believable as possible. Solutions to the problem of entering the world of Asuron "overpowered" are currently being investigated. If a script may be developed that forces the player's skills and attributes to a pre-determined rank upon entering Asuron, that would be best. If anyone can offer a detailed blueprint for a script of this nature, or perhaps offer an alternative, I am willing to hear it. I would ultimately prefer not to have Oblivion's level scaling carried over to RoA however. If all else fails, then I will use it, but, even then, I will attempt to dwarf its effects as much as possible. Oblivion's character progression system really damages the overall atmosphere of RoA. The theme of my mod is survival. It's about relying on instinct and instinct alone. My proposed design will promote a greater reliance on more "human" factors.. specifically, your unique ability to detect strengths and weaknesses in real-time. The idea of "levels" and "ranks" discourages that theme, and promotes a greater reliance on "non-human" factors like skills, attributes and damage values. RoA aims to keep players away from menus and number crunching as much as possible. It aims to be a game that can only be played by humans.