Frivolous Friday – My Top Five Favorite Skyrim Mods

Welcome to Frivolous Friday!

Frivolous Fridays are our excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may or may not have any connection with social justice. Though let’s face it, folks, just about anything I post could be considered frivolous, but this post is frivolous on purpose. This is to allow us to let off some steam and have a little fun. So let’s go!

 

*stands up* Hi, my name is Niki and I love Skyrim.  I am also like 5 years late on this love.

*sits down because that shit hurts this morning*

So yeah, I finally got Skyrim last year on one of those Steam mega sales, and holy fuck do I likes it.  Normally I’m a Bioware girl, but this, THIS, it’s gorgeous (STILL) and my first taste of an open world game. Don’t want to do the main quest? You don’t have to! Have you done the main quest? You can still do other shit!

And since I’m mostly a PC player (no, I don’t do that ‘Master Race’ shit. Too Nazi for my tastes and frankly I give no fucks about what consoles other people use), after the first or second run through, I started looking up mods. Good thing I already have a Nexus account because Bioware and mods go together like a marriage.  Or a horse and carriage.  Or something.

Skyrim + About 140 Mods = The reason while I’ve logged over 1500 hours on this damn game, playing more characters than I can remember.

Are you still playing? Want to dust it off and play some more? Here are my top 5 favorite mods.  I focus more on immersion, so no “Thomas the Tank Engine dragons” or turning every women into model perfect Tits McGees, or this wonderful bit of WTEF.

And damn sure none of these mods from Lovers Lab (link is so very hilarious and very NSFW).

1. iNeed

So you have food, booze, and taverns with rentable beds in the game, right? In the vanilla game, they don’t really seem to have a point.  I mean, the taverns are safe places to wait, but potions do a lot more for you than eating 20 salmon steaks after three bears fuck with you – what the hell, outside of Riften?

iNeed, and other mods like it, gives these things a purpose. You can get hungry, you can get thirsty (it even provides water skins you can use to take care of that need), and you can get tired.  All of these things affect your stats, so you better take care of them.  Hell, there’s an option that makes it possible for you to die of hunger or thirst. And there’s another option to make the disease you catch from fighting animals even more dangerous and not so easily cured with a potion. ANNNNNND there’s yet another option to have your followers require food and water.

I love it, to say the least.

2. Frostfall

Northern Skyrim is fucking cold, okay? There’s snow, there’s snowstorms, the water up there is probably frigid as all fuck.

So why can your character run around in a fur skirt, barechested or in a fur bikini and be fine?

Frostfall fixes that shit.  Now you need to be aware of what you’re wearing, what the weather is like, and how to deal with it.  They call it a “hypothermia simulator”, I call it “Holy Shit, I’m Freezing and I’m Out of Firewood, FUCK!” simulator.

But don’t you worry, Frostfall also contains ways to cope. Each armor set has a warmth rating, there are cloaks you can make or buy, and there are tents you can hide in when you’re stuck in a blizzard or a thunderstorm.  With the ability to build a campfire, you can keep yourself safe and toasty warm until the shitty weather passes or rough it in the outdoors.

…just don’t run out of firewood, okay? Freezing to death IS a possibility.

3. Interesting NPCs

I love this mod. I love this mod. I LOVE THIS MOD!

This mod is a fucking labor of love.  It adds over 150 NPCs to Skyrim, some can be recruited as followers, some are marriageable, other are just there to give more life to the providence. Each of them are voiced by a coterie of folks, giving them life and personality. There are even new quests that involve these characters.  Every time I play, I see something or someone new and it’s a delight.

(also, there is work on iNPC for Fallout 4, so check it out)

4. Extensible Follower Framework

Notice that I keep saying “followers” instead of “follower”? That’s because of this and mods like it. EFF allows you to recruit up to 100 followers (not sure why you’d need 100. The very thought makes my computer cry. My limit is 3 because that’s how many I can fit into a large Frostfall tent) and allows for easier management of them all.  Want to tell them to wait while you get past a trap trigger? Done in one command – wait. Are you at the tavern and want them to stop following you around? Done in one command – relax. Do you want them to follow you? You get the idea.

There’s also a few abilities that allow you to order them to direct their attacks to one particular thing, and one that allows you to call them to you side. Real useful if you don’t want to get into a fight and they’re charging in anyway or to get them to the other side of the aforementioned trap.

(Or if you committed a crime and need to get the entire gang out of the city. But you didn’t hear that from me)

5. Convenient Horses

Horses had no point to me before this mod. It’s awesome to ride across the tundras and forests and shit, but if I had a follower, they’d be running behind me.  And thanks but no thanks, horsey, I don’t need you fighting along with me.

Because you’ll die and leave me stranded. A thousand septiums wasted.

CH allows for followers to get a horse that is summoned when you mount yours. You can make the horses passive and/or invincible.  There’s a summoning ability in case you can’t find your mighty steed, and a whistle to call them to you if they’re not that far away. You can even toggle a command to make the horse follow you when you’re not riding it.

Also, and here’s the awesome part, they act like a secondary inventory space. Got a haul that’s slowing you down? Load it on your horsey! I use that inventory to carry my Frostfall tents, firewood, books I don’t want, shit I want to sell, shit I don’t want getting accidentally sold, and so on and so forth.

 

So, that’s my bit of geekery for this Friday.  I have no idea what I’ll come up with for next week, but it’ll probably be something this off the wall.

Have a great weekend, folks!

EDIT: Oh shit! Oh shit! I forgot one that I really really really like and it’s very important that I tell you because reasons.  So here’s a bonus number six:

6. Live Another Life

Are you so done with the long ass “you’re a prisoner” beginning? LAL is for you.  You start in a cell with a stature of Mara.  Talk to it, and you have your choice of when/where you actually start the in game. The choices are varied, there’s even some that are race specific. Here’s my Breton Dragonborn as a Forsworn:

She is beauty, She is grace, Kicking Nords all in their face
She is beauty,
She is grace,
Shooting Nords all in their face

You can start off as a vampire or a werewolf, a solider in either side of the civil war, a merchant, a disciple, a witch, the possibilities are a lot of fun (just don’t choose to be trapped in a shipwreck with Frostfall on.  You will freeze to death in the water). Want to start the Main Quest? Just mosey on to Helgen, and Aludin will make his appearance and ta-da, time to go to Riverwood!

Okay, I think I’m done now. For real.

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Frivolous Friday – My Top Five Favorite Skyrim Mods
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6 thoughts on “Frivolous Friday – My Top Five Favorite Skyrim Mods

  1. 1

    I always had crummy luck getting my Steam version of Skyrim to play nice with most popular Mods. But now I feel I must try again because those sound COOL!

  2. 3

    All great mods. I wouldn’t be able to limit myself to such a short list. Of course, you skipped some I know you must have like SkyUI (because who could bear playing without it) because they are mods that sit in the background making the game playable and aren’t flashy and game-changing.

    Here’s another like that called Better Dialogue
    Controls
    which fixes the ‘clicking on the wrong option’ bug in the game. And Jaxonz Positioner which finally allows you to position objects using reasonable controls.

    Another I consider to be a must-have is SkyTEST – Realistic
    Animals and Predators
    which makes the animals MUCH more realistic. For example, the wolves are timid when alone or in pairs, but more aggressive when in larger groups. And animals may even try to disengage from combat and hide when injured.

    What keeps me coming back to Skyrim after all these years is the ability to really change the gameplay. I recently put in some mods to overhaul the way stealth and archery works, allowing me to finally play a stealth character the way I always wanted to. Those mods include Stealth Skills
    Rebalanced
    which makes some skills which used to be useless valuable, Sneak Tools, making you feel like sneaking is not just a way to get close to bash like a fighter, and Hidespots, allowing your character to hide in closets and barrels. Plus several other stealth (and archery) tweaks.

    Amazing game…

    1. 3.1

      Yeah, it was hard limiting it to 5 (6).
      I have SkyUI and I adore it. And now I’m off to download that animal behavior mod, because holy shit I could it. Thanks for all the recs!

  3. 4

    Oh yeah. If anyone is having trouble getting the mods to work, or crashing the game constantly, you really need to use a single mod manager and not use Steam for adding mods. And some kind of load order manager like LOOT is a must. Careful use of something like TES5Edit can help as well.

    And if you have lots of mixed up mods it can be a great help to just wipe everything out and start with a clean install.

    1. 4.1

      Ugh, I had to do a clean install once, and it was such a pain the ass. But my game did run better, so hooray? And I use Nexus to manage my mod, because I’m lazy. I whined about having to manually install iNPC, which is huge because of all of the voice files.

      I’m the worst.

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