The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Catch-All

Eleima wrote:

Rorikstead really *does* have rotten luck. Even in the vanilla game, I routinely travel there only to find it under attack by a dragon.
Seriously, that place is cursed. ^^

Based on my experiences with its people, its full of horse thieves and inattentive goat herders... they deserve what they get!

Makes Dawnstar look like Paris.

davet010 wrote:

Makes Dawnstar look like Paris.

During or post nightmares?

Apparently it looks better while the nightmares are going on, but I've stopped them now. The locals still look like they are huffing that Miasma though.

Whoa, how? That is....damn...

Apparently this is Skyrim, somehow : O


edit: Here's the rest, if you're feeling like modding...


List of mods (from IMGUR comments)

  • Project ENB - Fantasy Climates of Tamriel
  • Skyrim Flora Overhaul
  • Skyrim HD - 2K Textures
  • Ultimate HD Fire Effects
  • Better Dynamic Snow
  • Crimson Tide
  • HD Enhanced Terrain
  • Skyrim Distant Detail
  • Static Mesh Improvement Mod
  • Enhanced Night
  • Better Distant LOD Waterfalls
  • HQ Snow Texture
  • HQ LODs
  • Real Snow

And supposedly all running on a 650 Ti 2GB 0.o

... my 8800 GTS 512 just won't cut it any more.

McIrishJihad wrote:
  • Project ENB - Fantasy Climates of Tamriel

I can state with certainty that this is the one doing most of what you see. The rest are all part of STEP, and while they are great mods that do improve the visuals, that ENB preset is doing the sky, horizon and ice.

Personally I'm a bigger fan of SkyRealism or Project ENB, both of which are great ENB presets.

The various ENB mods always make For extremely pretty pictures, but I've given up trying to actually play the game with them. The performance usually suffers a lot, the game tends to get much buggier, and the balance is never quite right. For all the beautiful vistas you often wind up with pitch black caves that even a torch can't help.

Gorgeous pictures though.

MojoBox wrote:

The various ENB mods always make For extremely pretty pictures, but I've given up trying to actually play the game with them. The performance usually suffers a lot, the game tends to get much buggier, and the balance is never quite right. For all the beautiful vistas you often wind up with pitch black caves that even a torch can't help.

Gorgeous pictures though.

I have a response to this, but it's more appropriate for the Skyrim Mods thread, so I've moved it there.

The back of my head screamed in pain. Forcing back tears, I opened my eyes to see the sun over the mountains to the east, and the wreckage of a caravan to the west.


It slowly came back to me. I had been traveling with goods to Falkreath from Riften. Along the road to to Windhelm we were assaulted by... something but what I could not remember. The pain in my head, and dried blood in my hair, proved that whatever it was had taken what was wanted and left me for dead. I thanked Talos I was still alive, for the same could not be said of my partner laying dead amongst the destroyed wagon and barrels.

Left with nothing, I took in my surroundings. A nearby sign-post pointed the way to Riften and Windhelm. I noticed a note pinned to the post with a dagger. The note warned of a nearby Giant who should be left alone. Looking past the wagon wreckage, I saw the Giant's bonfire and Mammoths. Was this what attacked my caravan? If it was, I had no means of reclaiming my lost belongings. I took the dagger from the post, it was better defense against the wilds than my bare fists.


I sifted through what little remained of my caravan. I salvaged a broadsword and iron armor from my fallen comrade, another stroke of luck in this bad fortune. I decided to take the road to Windhelm, judging that to be a safer place to recover than Riften, and took my leave of the end of my previous life. Along the road, I encountered a Khajiit enjoying the sun by the roadside. I asked his name, he said some call him M'aiq. He also said some claim Alduin is Akatosh, and that he'd been soul trapped once. He was clearly a liar, speaking such nonsense, so I took my leave.


Rounding the next bend, I saw the mountains overlooking Windhelm. I hoped my fortunes would turn for the better once I arrived.


Death Count - 1 (wolves by M'aiq got me)

Nice post. I would gladly keep reading assuming you keep posting.

Buh, hopefully there's a Steam sale soon after we upgrade our internet at the end of the month so I can buy this again and start modding away.

I'll post a list of my mods to the mods thread sometime soon, it was quite the endeavor to get them all running but well worth it.

My plan is to keep posting those, trying to keep them short and to the point. I'm also going to keep a running total of my deaths, since I'm playing with Deadly Monsters and Deadly Dragons I expect that total will be quite high. My rules for this character are:

- No fast travel.
- No reloading to alter history.

The roads of Skyrim await.

Definitely looking forward to it, Ahrezmendi!!!

Making my way through Dragonborn. Level 79 and just circling counter-clockwise around Solsthiem, doing quests and exploring caves as I go. I've got late stage vampirism so wandering around during the day has become unworkable. I'm incredibly weak to fire, health, stamina, and magicka are reduced, and none of them regenerate unless I'm indoors. That made fighting a serpentine dragon surprisingly tense when I didn't realize what was going on. There aren't a lot of human enemies, mostly Rieklings, Draughrs, and frost trolls. I've found two Black Books and completed one of them. The high level enemies in Apocrypha are a nice challenge while I level up my remaining magic skills. Making block and lock picking Legendary skills has been an easy way to get to level 81 faster. I know the original level cap is meaningless now but I still want to fight a legendary dragon and beat Ebony Warrior. Then I'll work on getting the rest of the Vampire perks. I'll probably cure myself of vampirism after that because it's more of a hassle than anything else.

I really thought the same about both Vampirism and Lycanthropy. Did the stuff to get the trophies, then cured it.

I cured my lycanthropy with vampirism

I liked that vampirism had a quest associated with it, at least with Dawnguard. Choosing a vampire clan in Morrowind was fun, and I don't remember Oblivion having anything resembling that. Vampirism was mostly just something you could try for a different play style.

I basically viewed lycanthropy as "here, turn into something useless!"

I viewed vampirism as "play a mage!" except... I already have a mage, but be ready for the sun!

I enjoyed going from my normal sneaky playstyle to full-on rage mode with the werewolf, but having to change totems at only one location, as well as not being able to switch in and out of the werewolf at will were pretty big annoyances.

Playing as a Vampire Lord specifically is more convenient, but the controls feel sluggish. Again, though, I like the different playstyle. In fact, I just remembered that the higher-stage vampirism you are, the stronger the Vampire Lord form is, so maybe I'll try that out again and wreck some Rieklings for vampire perks.

I arrived at Windhelm as a snowstorm blew in. I breathed a sigh of relief as I shouldered the heavy double doors to reach the town center. I overheard two locals harassing a Dark Elf. When the bullies had finished, the elf approached me and warned me off the town. I wonder if I chose the right place to seek a respite from my bad luck.


Tired and hungry, I spent a night in a bed at the inn. The next morning, I headed to the local market to see what I could purchase to make the trip to Falkreath. The smith had numerous wares for sale, but looking at my coin purse I lacked the septims to afford even his lowest priced dagger. I had lost my caravan, lost my companions, and now was unable to afford to replace a scavenged weapon. I was about to turn to leave, when I noticed the smith had left some good steel ingots lying on the floor. Nobody was looking so I hastily stowed a few away in my pack. The smith still had plenty, and I had nothing. Where was the harm?

I left the town and spoke to the carriage driver. I haggled him down to what I could afford for a ride to Falkreath Hold, and we started the journey west. I slept the entire trip, still exhausted and recovering from the giant ambush. Upon arrival it was raining, and I overheard some locals saying they had heard of a war starting in the nearby settlement of Helgen. Helgen had been a frequent stop for my caravan, the locals always had ample supply of Snowberries and other mountain herbs for trade, so I became concerned for the people I knew there. The walk was not far, so I started east to Helgen.

Not a quarter mile down the road, I spotted a bridge overpass. This seemed odd, as there were no crossing roads in this area that necessitated a bridge. I walked quietly around to the side to see the bridge from above, and spotted two bandits with a boulder trap at the ready! They were well armed with crossbows, so I opted for the safe route and continued past until they were out of sight. What has happened to this land that bandits can construct elaborate traps such as these?

Around the next bend, I noticed a camp nestled away underneath a rocky overhang. The camp was well stocked, with hare, pheasant, healing potions, a chest I couldn't open, and a well-bound book that looked valuable. This seemed an odd assortment for a wilderness camp, I wondered if this was the main camp of the bandits I saw earlier. I decided to wait and see if they returned. After many hours of waiting in the cold wet nobody had shown up. I took what provisions I could hold, and continued on.

A few hours later, I arrived at Helgen to find the place burned to the ground! Absolutely nothing was left, it was as if a firestorm had swept through. Had the place been attacked by Wizards? Nearby I saw a burned body clutching a singed journal. I picked up the journal and read through it. It told the tale of an unlucky adventurer who had been caught by the Imperials while trying to cross the border, along with Ulfric Stormcloak himself. Their group was brought to Helgen to be executed when... By the Nine, a Dragon appeared. I couldn't believe what I was reading, but I pressed on. The final note in the journal said that an Imperial named Hadvar had gone back into the keep to help others. I went in search of this Hadvar, maybe there was a survivor after all.


The main building was collapsing in on itself, it was not safe to go in that way. Walking around the outside, I found a cave mouth that appeared to lead below the building. I went in, hoping it would be an emergency exit from the cellars. In a clearing inside, I found a wounded soldier. He identified himself as Hadvar and asked for a healing potion. I gave him one and we fled the cavern just as the building above collapsed and took the cavern with it.


Hadvar thanked me for saving him. He confirmed what the journal had laid forth, a Dragon had indeed attacked the town. My mind reeled at the ramifications of Dragons returning to the world. Hadvar suggested we head to the nearby town of Riverwood and meet with his uncle the smith. Lacking any better ideas, I followed him down the mountain where we were met and invited inside by his uncle Alvor. After explaining all that had happened, Alvor offered what help he could and I gladly took advantage of it. He suggested going to Whiterun to inform the Jarl of what had happened. I decided to have a look around town before embarking on more travel.

My pack was feeling rather heavy at this point, so I went into a goods shop across the road called the Riverwood Trader. Inside I found the shop keep arguing about some stolen goods with his sister. I inquired what had happened, and they told me a unique golden dragon's claw had been stolen from them. They offered a reward for its return, and given my lack of available septims I gladly accepted the job. After selling a few unwanted items, I set off down the road to find the golden dragon's claw in what the shop keep called Bleak Falls Barrow.


I like the spin you gave your tale, you not being a prisoner. Even though it breaks with Elder Scrolls tradition, it's very refreshing!! Really enjoyed reading!!

I'm addicted. Keep Going!

Eleima wrote:

I like the spin you gave your tale, you not being a prisoner. Even though it breaks with Elder Scrolls tradition, it's very refreshing!! Really enjoyed reading!! :)

I'm using the Live Another Life mod which lets you pick from a bunch of different starts (including the original if you want). This is a 99% accurate retelling.

Oops, forgot my death count. I'm now up to 3

Wolves - 1
Bandits - 2 (the bandits at the bridge got me once, and some bandits actually did show up at the camp and killed me)

Crossbows hurt a LOT.

Eleima wrote:

I like the spin you gave your tale, you not being a prisoner. Even though it breaks with Elder Scrolls tradition, it's very refreshing!! Really enjoyed reading!! :)

I liked the alternate start mods in Morrowind, but with the Oblivion ones I tried having really bad voice acting, I just stopped playing them.

That said, I don't know how I feel about altering them in quite that way. I always enjoyed the idea of you being a prisoner at the start of every game. Why are you a prisoner? (Most of my characters were likely imprisoned for stealing something, truth be told, but I like the idea of my righteous knight being imprisoned by a corrupt guard or some such and rising above that to stay the hero.)

Live Another Life doesn't have any new voice acting, so you do get some unvoiced dialogue but it's very little. I opted for an alternate start mod simply because the intro takes so long, and I wanted to get to the game sooner. In a lot of ways it actually made things a lot harder, because the Helgen intro provides you with a ton of loot you can sell, but starting out by a Giant camp with nothing in my pockets meant I quite literally had to scrounge for everything. I nearly had to go bare-fisted against a wolf once, but I found that dagger just in time. It's a big difference from coming out of Helgen with a nearly full set of Iron equipment, 500 septims, and a bunch of potions.

EDIT: I'm giving up on maintaining a death count. The mods I've installed make the game very, very challenging. A single enemy can kill me in 2 hits, and if I get outnumbered I'm all-but assured death. I died 5 times just getting to Bleak Falls Barrow, to give an example. Encounters are much more interesting now, I have to be very strategic. Anyway, more story to come tomorrow.

I stared up the steep slope leading up the mountain to Bleak Falls Barrow. If my past experiences on the road were any indication there would be dangers waiting for me around every turn. I started up the path, being cautious to keep an eye out for wildlife and bandits from the cliffs above. The weather took a turn for the worse as I rounded the first bend, limiting my visibility. After traveling for what must have been a half mile, I saw the silhouette of a lookout tower ahead, with a few lights burning inside. My employers in town had made no mention of there being a lookout, and considering the townsfolk spoke of the Barrow as a long-abandoned ruin I did not think it likely anybody at the tower was like to be friendly.


I spotted some rocks that looked scalable to my right. I climbed up them and found the path heading left back to the tower, or right on to the Barrow. My previous encounters with bandits left me with a taste for some vengeance, so I kept low and slowly moved back down the path to the tower. As I approached, I saw one bandit leaning against a tree while his ally patrolled the tower bridge. I waited in the shadows until the patrol turned to head back to the tower, then I struck. With a single slice to the back of the neck, I silenced the bandit by the tree forever. Quick as the wind, I moved down the bridge to take out the patrol. Just as I reached him he heard me and turned. Our blades clashed, but my blow was the stronger leaving him staggered. I swung with all my might, slicing through his armor and sending him plummeting down the mountainside lifeless. I took what valuables I could from the tower, including a crossbow and bolts, and continued down the road. Around the next bend, I saw the Barrow looming above me.


As I approached, I heard a shout from the Barrow announcing my presence. I sighed as I saw two more bandits coming down the stairs. I quickly ducked into the shadow of a nearby pillar. I overheard them saying they'd seen something, which I assumed was me, and were conducting a search. As they walked by my hiding spot, I took out my crossbow and aimed at the rear bandit. One shot and he was down. His partner turned, but having not seen where the shot came from he didn't know where to look. I loaded another bolt, and with a second well placed shot he went down as well. I found more salable items on these bandits, but my pockets were full to bursting. I decided to return to Riverwood to trade for potions I would almost certainly need in the Barrow. The return trip was thankfully bandit free, and I arrived shortly after the sun had set. Since the shops were closed, I rented a room at the Inn for the night and had a rest.

The next morning, as I exited the Inn, I saw three oddly over-armored men coming in my direction from down the street. They were not guards, and their scars told of many battles fought. I must say I hated the sight of them.


I was not about to be taken by surprise after all I'd been through. From the Inn porch I armed my crossbow and shot one of the men. Enraged, he charged ahead of his partners into my second bolt. I quickly took out my daggers, deflected his attack, and ended his life with a stab through his armor.


His comrades were fast approaching, so I ran down the street as I took out my crossbow once again. Well armed these men were, but I proved faster as I fired three more bolts at the first. He fell as my next shot took his partner in the shoulder. Unable to reload in time for another shot, I armed myself with my emergency Battleaxe and faced down my foe. His strikes were strong, but I deflected them and ended his life with a strike to his neck.

Searching through the belongings of these thugs, I found a contract note indicating they had been paid to exact revenge on me for the items I had stolen back in Windhelm. It appeared word of my deeds travelled quickly, I made a note to be more careful in the future. I sold what valuables I had at the Riverwood Trader, hiked back to the Barrow, and steeled myself for my dungeon delving ahead.

Really well done, ahrezmendi, you're totally making me jones to go back into that world.

I make myself sound more awesome than I felt at times. Those thugs, who actually were hired to kill me because I stole something, successfully killed me 5 times. I had to kite them down the street, 'cause there was no way I could win a 3v1 fight against them. I felt badass after I won, but it took a while to get there.

I highly recommend the mods I'm using to alter combat, if you're wanting a world that presents a better challenge. I'm 99% sure the one making humans harder is ASIS, which unlocks all items/spells/abilities for use by all NPCs. That's why I'm encountering bandits with crossbows at level 2.

It's hard, and it's only getting harder, but it's a lot more rewarding than walking into a group of 4 bandits armed with a dagger and annihilating all of them with barely a scratch.