I’m going to start off with what I call
“The Common Foundation”
the programs required to make these mods work properly
The first program you are going to want to pick up for Character Builds is Mod Organizer.
To put it into simple terms, Mod Organizer does the Nexus Mod Manager’s job, better. You can of course add and manage non-nexus mods easily with the button up top. The reason you need this program is to manage the mods between each character build.
Now go into your profile window and separate the save files. This way you won’t accidentally pull up the saves from your Knights of the Nine game in any other mod loadout. Mods you install into Mod Organizer will be visible and accessible to any profile, the difference is when your your Knight profile is selected, the boxes that are checked, and the load order you have will be exclusive to that profile. This is the method by which you can have fun with different character builds easily.
Skyrim Script Extender
Skyrim Script Extender is required by many mods to function properly.
Anyone who has been Modding Oblivion or Skyrim for a while knows about BOSS, the Better Oblivion Sorting Software. The creators have remastered the program as LOOT, the Load Order Optimisation Tool. Mod Organizer has a version of LOOT built into it via the Sort button, but you should use the newer versions found at this link.
- Skyrim Unofficial Patch - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/19/
- Dawnguard Unofficial Patch - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/23491/
- Draonborn Unofficial Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/31083/
- Hearthfire Unofficial Patch - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25127/
These patch files alone are a compelling reason to play Skyrim on the PC instead of the console, while most things come up to personal preference, the one thing that shattered all of the “The way bethesda meant it to be played” preconceptions is the fact they released countless patches that addressed but a FRACTION of the game’s issues, a MAJORITY of them remain unfixed to this day. Luckily we can fix MOST of them with these unofficial patches.
- Proper Aiming - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/13652/
With this fix installed, your aim is more accurate in third person mode, and unlike certain INI tweaks it won’t break first person view.
This mod is NON-Optional because it allows for the use of Mod Configuration Menues. The interface designed for Skyrim was created specifically for consoles in mind, and misses out of MANY features that most PC games have, with SkyUI these features such as sortable options, keybindings for specific sets of items, and more.
- Community Uncapper - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/1175/
This mod is REQUIRED for any builds that use the Skyrim Redone Overhaul. The final Skyrim Patch included the “Legendary Skill System” that allowed players to reset their 100 level skills in order to level up infintely. This method if imposing AMNESIA on your characters to get stronger is STUPID AS ALL GETOUT. Luckily we can fix that, the community uncapper simply allows skills to go passed 100.
There are two Alternate Start mods, I install both into Mod Organizer so either one may be available for activation. Every build will use one of these two mods, because “Caught crossing the Border Illegally” has been played out.
- Alternate Start Live Another Life - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/9557/
This is a more structured start, allowing you to pick specific locations and conditions for your
start, some of them race specific. This will be the most used of the two. This mod has issues
with the popular Adventure Mod, Helgan Reborn, the rule of thumb for using this with Helgan
Reborn is to start the game with Alternate Start, and when you’ve killed your first dragon and
learned FUS, disabling Alternate Start and Enabling Helgan Reborn.
- Skyrim Unbound - https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=169372128
When a build calls for a start that is not supported by Alternate Start or we use any mods that
conflict with it, this is our alternative. Skyrim Unbound takes a hands-off approach for the
story, placing your New Game on a Mod Configuration Menu where you can pick the start
location and starting gear.
- No Starting Spells - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/40410
Removes Flames and Heal from new characters.
- SkyTweak - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/33395/
Every build assumes you can tweak your game in this way. Because many of these builds will give you special powers or abilities not held by Vanilla Skyrim, keeping the game difficult becomes impossible under the default system. This is where SkyTweak comes into play. This very, very compatible and adaptable mod allows full control of the game’s statstics such as Damage Delt, Damage Taken, Magic Damage, Leveling Speed, Jumping Height, and so, so much more.
- Trade And Barter - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/34612/
Some builds may ask you to make changes to the way trading works. A huge part of Roleplay
is the race you choose even if not all people are racist persay, biases exist that influence how
trade and barter occurs. This mod will make shopkeepers react not only to your race in
relation to their own, but your faction status, if you are naked, if your weapon is drawn, and
Some builds will require specific perks that overhauls provide. For that reason I will list all four major skyrim overhauls, it is recommended you install all of them into Mod Organizer so they may be activated or deactivated based on the build in question.
- Skyrim Redone (SkyRe) - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/9286/?
Although for the most part this mod has been replaced by Perkus Maximus by the same author, it has some very particular perks that it’s successor lacks.
The least used of the Skyrim Overhauls, SPERG is also the most compatible with other mods, but it has a few unique perks not seen in other mods, one or two builds are likely to use it, so it dosn’t hurt to keep it in your Mod Organizer Library.
The Main Two
More likely than not the overhauls that I’ll be using with any build of Skyrim boil down to Requiem the Roleplaying Overhaul for a Brutal, old-style gaming experience OR Perkus Maxmus the successor to Skyrim Redone with some of the most interesting Perk Trees Skyirm has to offer.
- Requiem Roleplaying Overhaul - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/19281
- Perkus Maximus - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/59849/
When using the main two, you will have to use a SkyProc patcher after you’ve finished activating all the mods the build will use. To use a SkyProc patcher with Mod Organizer,
The Optional (I use them all the time) Mods
- Helmet Toggle - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/22765/
A great mod for crafting a character that looks how you want. This allows you to at any time hit H to enable or disable your helmet visual while still wearing the helmet itself, and therefore gaining the benefit of the equipment.
- Transmogrification (Copy Armor) - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/33902/
This mod allows you to copy the stats from one armor to another. This will allow you to maintain a character progression even while keeping a build’s “theme” for example.
- Interesting NPCs - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/8429/
- Inconsequential NPCs - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/36334/
These two mods populate the world with countless new NPCs, new quests for them, some of them followers, some of the marriageable, some of them won’t want to talk to you at all. Filling in the cracks of skyrim’s world with both major and minor characters to enhance the overall experience. I recommend these for any build, any playthrough.
- Killable Children - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/774/
When this is allowed in any game it’s assumed to automatically get an Adult Only rating these days, for maximum freedom of Roleplaying your characters, this removes the essential status of all child characters. It comes with an optional plugin that makes it Quest Safe, remember to disable it for Falskaar or it can break the main quest of Falskaar at some point.
- Grimy Utilities - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/36328/
This mod allows you to do countless things that SkyTweak already does for you, but it also gives you access to a spell (if you enable it in the mod configuration menu) that will toggle Essential status on whoever you cast it on. There will be builds that you may feel mandated by your gameplay to KILL an NPC that may not be killed, you cast that spell to turn their essential status OFF, then kill them.
- Race Menu - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/29624/
This is the most Optional out of the list, but it’ll let you customize the appearance of your character far more than is normally possible in Skyrim.
For a more comprehensive list of mods check out my Mod Codex Video, click the video box above.
This concludes the common foundation.
For my first build, Knight of the Nine, click the video box below.