Build Your Own Skyrim, Part 3: Let’s Have Fun

By Craig Pearson on March 24th, 2012 at 1:15 pm.

Good day, fine sir.
Previously: Part One and Two of our Skyrim modding guide.

My other posts sort of circle-strafe around the crazier ideas that modders have had with Skyrim. Instead we very calmly patched a few holes, and then we respectfully accepted their help to rework the world a bit. It’s taken me a while to have the courage to look at those majestic mountains, curls of cloud hanging off like cotton on the breeze, and say to myself: we need some My Little Pony weapons. I am sorry, Bethesda. Some of the things here are silly, but I can’t help myself. You’ve made such a serious world that, well, there needs to be some fun. Now it’s not going to be a pile of garish nonsense, although one or two will be a bit odd. I’m really just looking at mods that make the world or playing in it a bit more interesting and fun. This collection in a little bit different: fun is not a theme that’s easily quantified, and as such they’re somewhat all over the place and a bit more personalised.

But to begin with we’re not getting terribly wacky. Skyrim’s been out for five months now, and with a world so open and detailed, a lot of people will want to return again and again. If you want to, but you’re put off by the idea of replaying the bloody unskippable cart ride, the dragon battle, and the character choices, then install Alternate Start – Live Another Life – it skips the opening, and lets you choose another route for your character into the game. You could be camping in the woods, or arriving on a ship. You start off in a shack and make your selection from a statue in the corner. After sleeping you begin your new life. Kicking off the main quest requires you to find a dead adventurer near Helgen. Picking his journal up and reading it will set off the dragon attack.

That ought to put a skip in your step, but if you want to augment that then there’s this Leviation mod. Now it’s not really something that makes you float: it’s more of a teleportation, where you aim to where you want to be and your character is launched forwards. I wouldn’t include it if it simply let you do it without any consequences: it costs mana and has a range according to how far you can lob the ball, so you’re not going to be zapped to a mountain top, and if you move too swiftly you’ll take fall damage. Think of it as the Running Water Crossinater, or the Mountain Climbing Easyfier.

But if you’re determined to take to the skies, there’s only one conveyance that makes sense in the world of Skyrim. Can you guess? Go on, just for fun. Fine, be that way. Sadly the mod I’m about to link to has some trouble, but it’s actively being worked on and I’m sure the problems will crumble. The Dragon’s Curse lets you morph into a Dragon. That much is awesome. You have shouts, fire, you’re a terrifying vision of flame-filled terrifyingess, flicking your tail out at puny humans and snapping at them with your mighty jaws. You’ll note I haven’t mentioned ‘flying majestically’, or even ‘hopping slightly’. While flying is an option, it’s still liable to crash the game. You need to save the game when you’ve transformed into a dragon then load that save. After that you can launch into the skies. It’s close to working, and the hefty animation of the great lizard is enough to make me recommend it, but while it’s still more potential than realisation, soon this will be the best damn dragon-transformation mod on the Workshop and/or Nexus.

Similarly, but only that it’s in Skyrim and somewhat involves dragons is Skyrim: Warzones. When Jim talked about the joy of watching NPCs battling it out without your interference this was the mod he was unintentionally imagining and with the power of his thoughts made it be: it creates vast battles in the wilderness, faction versus faction fistycuffing it out. You get to see electricity zapping in the distance as giants stalk past, clubbing at everyone around them, and you’ll be attacked or defended if you have certain allegiances. What’s neat about this mod is just how those battles take place: they’re somewhat instanced, so it’s not an all-out war, but instead pockets of land are given over for the fight clubs to meet: when you know where one is you can come back whenever you’re in the mood for a stramash. It’s a lot of fun.

But not particularly wacky. For that you can turn to Posh Mudcrabs. I think quoting the notes for this will suffice: “Replaces the models of all mudcrabs in the game with a mudcrab with a top hat and monocle.” Quite, and rather. This classy crustacean will make Skyrim 60% extra spiffing. It’s based on Total Biscuit.

Not spiffing or wacky, but fun to let loose on the world is Werewolves of Skyrim – it adds werewolf NPCs to all the holds in the land. They’re rarities, although frankly they’re still a little busy for something considered rare, and come out at day as well as at night, but the impact they make, that you’re aware they’re out there roaming the plains in search of tasty Dovahkiin, put me on the mood of An American Werewolf In London: wandering around in the dark, with a relatively new character was kind of creepy.

But if it gets just too terrifying wandering through the forests knowing there are werewolves out there picking bits of granny out of their teeth, you can seek to restore balance with Jango. What is he? Or your everyday, rideable sabretoothed cat. I swear, more than the dragon shouts and the sillier helmets, Jango has given me that swagger, that style. I blindly crest hills not caring what’s on the other side, shouting “Who’s the Dovahkiin, motherfuckers? That’s right!” He’s a striped white cat with regenerative health. He tears things to pieces in the way only a giant cat made of muscle and teeth can, but he’s been imbued with catlike cuteness: he’ll sleep at your feet. He even has as chewbone. I love the thought that’s gone into him, and he’s by far the best thing in the game.

Now I promised myself that I’d avoid picking at the character creation or dressing scab, reasoning that it’s such a personal decision. I’m also avoiding class and speciality fixes, because they’re too numerous to wade through. If you have any suggestions, please add them in the comments. I won’t even charge for your help, like in Kickstarter. I am going to recommend one set of armour, though, because if there’s anything that can tempt me to care about the look of my clothing over and above the perks it provides, it’s armour imbued with void effects. It has two states: dark and foreboding in the normal stance, and black as David Cameron’s heart in war stance. Best to not use it as an archer, as the living shadow effect tends to waft into view, but for all other occasions it makes a good talking point: “Say, how do you keep your tendrils so evil?”


So that’s Skyrim all modded. What’s next?

__________________

« | »

, , , .

40 Comments »

  1. Hirmetrium says:

    I heard that TotalBiscuit refused to take his top hat off (and show his bald patch) at US customs, and almost resulted in his arrest and that of his work colleagues traveling with him.

    I found it a highly amusing story myself. Mudcrabs remind me of it every time.

    • caddyB says:

      Yay for TB mudcrabs. and Yay for TB, because I like the guy.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I heard there was a time in which tophats and monocles were a joke by themselves, and not somehow a direct reference to a youtube commentator… oh well, cats playing pianos is still safe, right?

      • Innovacious says:

        This. The mod itself NEVER mentioned total biscuit, nor the author.

        The link (the very loose link in that total biscuit really overplays the British thing) to total biscuit was added much later by the guy in that video who has nothing to do with the creation of the mod.

      • Lemming says:

        I thought the same. I’m not knocking TB, I like the guy but lets not retrofit internet history around him.

  2. Soapeh says:

    These mods look interesting, it’s always fun to spice up a game during a second playthrough. The only novelty mod I’m using during my first playthrough is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bifmj1O3D24 – the spritiual successor to the Macho Tank mod for L4D.

  3. LuNatic says:

    I would recommend this little gem. It lets you either limit the range from which npc’s will talk to you, or silences their idle banter entirely. It’s definitely required to preserve player sanity.

  4. Navagon says:

    Definitely some worthy additions here. I like the sound of many of them. Especially the big kitty cat.

  5. dsch says:

    And I was wondering why the spell is named after a classic of political theory.

  6. Dreforian says:

    Aristocrabs

  7. UnravThreads says:

    SKOIRYM.

  8. ThirteenthLetter says:

    What gives you the impression that every single one of your readers has the same opinion about David Cameron, and/or doesn’t mind getting sideswiped with politics in the middle of an unrelated article?

  9. Roshin says:

    I find it a bit offputting that Warzones makes a big deal out of being on the Nexus, but not on the Workshop. Is it really necessary to pit one against the other?

    Of course, it could also be that the Nexus wont let me register an account for whatever reason.

  10. Quinnbeast says:

    I do like the commentary on the Warzones video – “Oh gosh… freakin’ getting air on that one, SO righteous”. You said it bro!

    I’ve been playing for a few hours with Wars In Skyrim installed, might see how well it integrates with Warzones for an NPC Extravaganza.

  11. marcusfell says:

    If you want mods with great characters, I have to add The Hobo King Of Whiterun. I don’t know if it’s on nexus, but you can find it on the workshop under the same name.

  12. speedwaystar says:

    since my comment from part 2 is STILL awaiting moderator’s approval (!) i’ll repost it here. so it can await approval some more.

    i use and recommend the following (in no particular order):

    got wood? got feathers? make arrows: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1178
    bumpmapped roads: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=4304
    enjoy a favourites menu that does not make you want to die: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=4862
    prevent your horse from barging in front of you to charge up spiral staircases the better to get at your enemy and be chopped into horsemeat: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1522
    Cryostasis demonstrated once and for all that one cannot simply walk around in sub-arctic conditions wearing only your smalls and expect to live. these mods uphold that principal: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1522 and http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=6745 you probably shouldn’t enable both at once. or should you?
    Gopher is well known from the Fallout modding scene. he’s ported his immersionerating HUD invisiblerator (iHUD) to Skyrim. hurrah! http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=3222
    another Fallout regular, Imp of the Perverse has ported his More Complex Needs mod to Skyrim, so that you can die of hunger and thirst. http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=10639
    smith all manner of stuff, without breaking game balance (more that it already is, cough, cough): http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1020
    you’ll also want this non-game-breaking smithings perks fixer: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=6047
    and this weapon/armour subtype fixer: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=4719
    pack? sorted: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=4873
    if you are a Khajit, you need this mod. trust me. http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=2565
    you’ll also need this: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=951
    hit people with rocks, papers and shotguns in a MythBusters-approved, toned down knockback physics kind of way: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=601
    walk at a sensible, non-gelatinous pace. run at slightly less insensate speed: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1931
    enough with your “i saw a mudcrab the other day” banter already: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=746
    speaking of which, i saw a mudcrab the other day. disgusting creature: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1709
    skyUI, natch: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=3863
    guards are watching you. with their eyes. except they have none. oops: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=4120
    an alternative (and for mine, very pretty indeed) sky remap. because as everyone who has played a recent space sim knows, the entire universe is simply chockers with nebulas: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1704

    enjoy.

  13. Svant says:

    Deadly Combat and something to rebalance destruction damage is a must and if you use Deadly Combat you basically have to get Dualwield Parry so you can block when playing as a spellsword etc.

  14. Masked Dave says:

    There is one mod that occurred to me in the shower and I wish I had the graphic design skills to make it:

    Iron Man’s armour.
    Captain America’s shield.
    Thor’s hammer.
    Hawkeye’s bow.
    Hulk beast form.

    Avengers, Assemble!

  15. Archangel says:

    Why in the name of all that is holy would you NOT have top hats and monocles on your mudcrabs? It’s so blindingly obvious, I’m ashamed that we didn’t insist upon — nay, demand — its inclusion in the game.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>