Skyrim Mod Recommendations?

I'm doing a mod heavy playthrough of Skyrim at the moment, and I was hoping for some recommendations.

Right now, my Character is a Female Orc, and I want her to be built like a tank. I've got a lot of weapon mods like Heavy Armory and Jaysus Swords, but I really want her to look like a berserker. She's too skinny however, even at the largest setting.

Are there any mods that add muscle tone to arms and legs, so warriors don't look like they're limbs are made out of tubes?

There is only one mod that you need.

OH YEAH! MACHO MAN IS COMIN'! God I love that mod.

Winter is coming:

http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/13486

Every awesome game needs a coat or a cloak e.g deus ex:HR.

And ENB, there's many kinds so I suggest you pick your favorite.

Shortswords can be cool for immersion:

http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/18585

And heavy armor for a tank character:

http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/21120

Can you tell us what your experience level with mods is? What I really want to know is, are you comfortable using Nexus Mod Manager and/or a bashed patch through Wrye Bash? These options are generally preferable over the Steam Workshop, at least for advanced users. The Workshop is wonderful for bringing mods to a new audience, though. Also, do you have Dawnguard?

Starting from a clean install is always exciting.

EDIT: Last question I swear: Generally speaking, how do you feel about big overhaul mods? "Whatever" is an acceptable answer lol.

Rooster Cogburn:
Can you tell us what your experience level with mods is? What I really want to know is, are you comfortable using Nexus Mod Manager and/or a bashed patch through Wrye Bash? These options are generally preferable over the Steam Workshop, at least for advanced users. The Workshop is wonderful for bringing mods to a new audience, though. Also, do you have Dawnguard?

Starting from a clean install is always so exciting hehe.

EDIT: Last question I swear: Generally speaking, how do you feel about big overhaul mods? "Whatever" is an acceptable answer lol.

I'm fairly adept at using NMM, and I generally try to manage my load order by selecting mods that don't conflict. (i.e if I'm using one mod for Whiterun, in this case 7k's City Under Construction, I won't use the sexy Whiterun mod to give them the different textures.)

I haven't used Wrybash, since the main authors haven't updated it in months and I'm concerned that the release at the moment is buggy.

I don't have dawnguard.

Make your case for Overhaul Mods. I'm only using the Duel-Combat Realism mod for actual gameplay changes right now.

Soviet Heavy:
I'm fairly adept at using NMM, and I generally try to manage my load order by selecting mods that don't conflict. (i.e if I'm using one mod for Whiterun, in this case 7k's City Under Construction, I won't use the sexy Whiterun mod to give them the different textures.)

I haven't used Wrybash, since the main authors haven't updated it in months and I'm concerned that the release at the moment is buggy.

I don't have dawnguard.

Make your case for Overhaul Mods. I'm only using the Duel-Combat Realism mod for actual gameplay changes right now.

I use Duel Combat myself so don't worry about compatibility. Some of these may provide compatibility patches, and check the Duel Combat page. Personally I can't tell a buggy Wrye Bash release from a "stable" one lol. But you're probably wise to wait for someone to pick up the project again. I used the 299 release and am now using the 300 release. I haven't had any problems but you know how much it varies between users. It might be worth it to try since you are doing a new playthrough anyway.

Use BOSS if you aren't already. It will tell you how to order your mods (and do it for you in Wrye Bash). You might want to double-check the load order all the same, but BOSS gives good suggestions and is very convenient.

ASIS is a good mod. It gives enemies access to perks, spells, potions, and other abilities they wouldn't usually use, and it even works on NPCs from other mods. You can fool around with spawns and all kinds of stuff. All the changes take place at the 'global' level so they affect other mods without conflicting with them.

If you use ASIS, don't forget to find the .jar OR the .bat and run them before you play. Do this every time you change your mods. This is where the changes are applied and you pick your options. Don't worry, you obviously know what you're doing so it will be easy. And don't forget the ASIS .esps belong at the very end of your load order, even after the bashed patch. If you ever get Dawnguard, you will need to do some simple copy/pasting or you will run into issues.

ACE. It's a modular overhaul, which is the best kind. It makes changes to magic, crafting, all sorts of things. You can balance difficulty, the rate at which you level up, and the rate of skill increases. This mod should also be very compatible. Just pick the .esps you want and skip the rest.

Interesting NPCs adds lots of fully voiced NPCs with lots to say. If that is something you feel was missing, this mod will inject a lot of life into Skyrim. It also adds a few quests. Installing can be a little confusing because they don't explain what the different .esps do (you only use one of course, not all). Pick the "Voiced" .esp if you want the NPCs that have text but not voiced dialog excluded.

Someone suggested Winter Is Coming. I recommend using the "no chests" .esp or you will be drowning in cloaks. Works well with Frostfall. Frostfall isn't for me but it's impressively well done.

Categorized Favorites Menu really improves the favorites menu. That's a lot more important than it sounds, especially for magic users.

Thuumic Shouter makes shouts and active racial abilities more useful, reduces time in menus, and makes combat more fluid. I promise it's not a pointless gimmick lol. Pretty cool, too.

Imperial Legion Armor Variety and especially Stormcloak Armor Variety are great. Throw in RNG Guards and Skyrim starts to look immersive and believable.

I highly recommend Skyrim Monster Mod. If you have already played the game before you need something new in the world. Only get Monster Wars if you want the wilderness to be very difficult and unbalanced, but varied and crazy as hell. Requires Monster Mod.

Alternate Start lets you define your character little bit and choose different starting locations. Most important, it lets you skip the opening sequence. Indispensable if you tend to start new characters.

Scenic Carriages adds new routes and lets you actually experience the trip, WoW style. Don't worry, you can toggle that off and on if you don't like it.

Immersive Armors is great. It should be illegal to play without it.

I have other mods that change the interface, add houses and quests, and affect little things. Let me know if you have anything particular in mind, or if you have any questions about the above. The best advise I can give is hit the Nexus with a vengeance and see what's out there. Try searching through the categories and sorting by most endorsements or downloads.

Rooster Cogburn:
Snip

Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

Soviet Heavy:

Rooster Cogburn:
Snip

Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

Strange, I haven't noticed any problems with categorized favorites. Thanks for the tip about Pure Waters, but I'm already using it lol. WATER looks great in its way but I always feel like I'm looking at hard plastic imitation-water. I also don't like the mods everyone is using to saturate the shit out of the colors. It does look neat, but if that was just intrinsically a better look, they would just ultra-saturate everything. I didn't mention graphics or sound mods because you can see what they do in screenshots and by listening to the sounds. And frankly I'm out of energy already.

I think Dawnguard is a good buy, but even if you don't think it sounds good you may want to buy it anyway. You don't want to be left out once mods start requiring it. I'm interested in other good mods if you come across them. Nothing too graphics intensive though. I need a new rig.

Rooster Cogburn:

Soviet Heavy:

Rooster Cogburn:
Snip

Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

Strange, I haven't noticed any problems with categorized favorites. Thanks for the tip about Pure Waters, but I'm already using it lol. WATER looks great in its way but I always feel like I'm looking at hard plastic imitation-water. I also don't like the mods everyone is using to saturate the shit out of the colors. It does look neat, but if that was just intrinsically a better look, they would just ultra-saturate everything. I didn't mention graphics or sound mods because you can see what they do in screenshots and by listening to the sounds. And frankly I'm out of energy already.

I think Dawnguard is a good buy, but even if you don't think it sounds good you may want to buy it anyway. You don't want to be left out once mods start requiring it. I'm interested in other good mods if you come across them. Nothing too graphics intensive though. I need a new rig.

Try Guard Dialogue Overhaul. There were a lot of leftover sound files that Bethesda never put into the game. It makes the Guards less annoying and gives them a lot more to say. They also give you a lot of respect if you are a dragon slayer now.

Also, Project Reality. You don't need those fancy ENB injectors to get the full beauty of this mod. It is really just incredible to look at when you are in the mountains. I went to High Hrothgar on a clear day, no snow, blue skies. The view was stunning.

Lastly, the Bucklers Mod. If you want to use light armor but hate the shields and vanilla outfits, then this mod is a must. It gives you both light armor variants of heavy armors (same appearance, different stats), as well as Bucklers, smaller shields that aren't as bulky looking as the regular ones.

I've got some cool ones that add a little extra to the game.

In no particular order, SKSE Hotkeys (more hotkeys than the pathetic 8 standard ones because Bethesda couldn't be arsed to make a proper PC port), Moonpath to Elsewyr which adds lots of new content and is well made, Sabretooth (which adds a Sabre Cat follower) and LFox Werewolf Overhaul to make beast form not suck quite so much.

I have others, a few armour mods, Jaysus swords for some extra weapons, Sky UI and some form of sorting mod, Skyrim Speeds which speeds up running, riding and beast form, Bag of Holding and a few that remove the enchantments from some of the cooler weapons in the game. One mod hides many of the helmets in the game, I've got some "damage increase" mods for some cool looking, underpowered weapons, Bandoliers adds pouches and satchels, Cloaks (self-explanatory).

I sometimes browse for player homes, but there's so much rubbish and so many WIPs that it's very hard to find the good stuff. There are some very popular ones though. On Nexus you can search categories for files with > X endorsements so might be worth a try to find the most popular stuff.

And of course, my own mods! I have several, but two of which I'm particularly proud:
- The "Daedric Stealth Suit" harkens back to the Chinese-made armour in FO3 - Operation Anchorage.
- The "Unbound Bow" was inspired by the 1980s D&D cartoon. It's a daedric level bow and shoots unlimited arrows!

To fix the UI useSkyUI it is a nice mod.

I also use JaySuS Swords It adds a lot of cool swords.

I also use Balanced Magic it is supposedly the best magic overhaul out there to fix the magic system.

The only 2 mods I say are mandatory for an enjoyment of Skyrim are ASIS http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/18436 and Deadly Dragons http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/3829 . Though a bit of warning Deadly Dragons newest version needs Dawnguard. But it is highly recommend getting it if you have Dawnguard.

The only mod that is a real improvement on anything is SkyUI

Everything beyond that is entirely cosmetic. Most of the Skyrim Modding community is making texture mods and packs for nearly every surface of the game. So the biggest thing you could do is a texture overhaul.

Although, Cloaks in Skyrim is pretty kickass.

Bhaalspawn:
The only mod that is a real improvement on anything is SkyUI

Everything beyond that is entirely cosmetic. Most of the Skyrim Modding community is making texture mods and packs for nearly every surface of the game. So the biggest thing you could do is a texture overhaul.

Although, Cloaks in Skyrim is pretty kickass.

There's also a favourites menu mod that is also in the same league.

Much more useful to categorise your favourites instead of having a small menu.

Bhaalspawn:
The only mod that is a real improvement on anything is SkyUI

Everything beyond that is entirely cosmetic. Most of the Skyrim Modding community is making texture mods and packs for nearly every surface of the game. So the biggest thing you could do is a texture overhaul.

Although, Cloaks in Skyrim is pretty kickass.

That isn't to say that cosmetics are pointless however. If you got a mod that broke up the monotony of several areas, and gave each its own unique feel, it would go a long way to enhancing the gameplay since you are given something new to see.

And since Skyrim has exploration as one of its core appeals, new, prettier looking lands are a strong attraction.

SkyUI for a more PC friendly UI
Complete Crafting Overhaul, for a much bigger, but still balanced, crafting ability
Better Sorting, renames items to be easier to find (instead of Small Potion, Medium Potion, Big Potion, it's Potion - 1, Potion - 2, Potion - 3)
The Dance of Death, just for fun
Weapon and Armor fixes, gives weapons different stats, also makes Destruction worth a shit

Since most of the good mods have been named already, I'm gonna throw ApachiiSkyHair out there.

Soviet Heavy:
Try Guard Dialogue Overhaul. There were a lot of leftover sound files that Bethesda never put into the game. It makes the Guards less annoying and gives them a lot more to say. They also give you a lot of respect if you are a dragon slayer now.

Also, Project Reality. You don't need those fancy ENB injectors to get the full beauty of this mod. It is really just incredible to look at when you are in the mountains. I went to High Hrothgar on a clear day, no snow, blue skies. The view was stunning.

Lastly, the Bucklers Mod. If you want to use light armor but hate the shields and vanilla outfits, then this mod is a must. It gives you both light armor variants of heavy armors (same appearance, different stats), as well as Bucklers, smaller shields that aren't as bulky looking as the regular ones.

We obviously have similar aesthetic tastes. I already use Project Reality too lol. Bucklers sounds like a nice addition and I'm pretty excited about Guard Dialogue Overhaul.

I'm sure you've heard of Build Your Own Home. It's a little more interesting than the vanilla houses, and I like living in the woods so I can waylay travelers. I never do it, I just like knowing I can.

Realistic Ragdolls and Force is a classic carry over from Oblivion. It goes a long way toward making the game a little less like a Road Runner cartoon.

Don't forget the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.

I usually don't bother too much with followers but Ultimate Follower Mod should make them a lot more useful and interesting. I have it installed, but I really haven't put it to the test, yet.

Weapons of the Third Era keeps the weapons interesting.

word of warning. not sure what I did wrong, but Scenic Carriages broke my game.

I use Deadly Dragons (listed above)

Vals crafting meltdown (http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/874)

and a few different sky, night texture enhancements
http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/1704 - Aetherian Sky and
http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/85 - Enhanced Night

I always recommend No NPC Greetings. It's a damn great mod that shuts up all of the inane blather. People only speak to you when spoken to, not when you're within three feet of them.

kuros_overkill:
word of warning. not sure what I did wrong, but Scenic Carriages broke my game.

It's very possible you did nothing wrong. Do you mind if I ask what happened to your game?

Rooster Cogburn:

kuros_overkill:
word of warning. not sure what I did wrong, but Scenic Carriages broke my game.

It's very possible you did nothing wrong. Do you mind if I ask what happened to your game?

carriages stopped working all together. (To fix it I had to un-install, and revert to a save from before I had installed it)
- you could board the carriage, but nothing would happen, and you would be stuck. I tried setting the modes between scenic and the vanilla style, but only un-installing worked.

Rooster Cogburn:

Soviet Heavy:
Try Guard Dialogue Overhaul. There were a lot of leftover sound files that Bethesda never put into the game. It makes the Guards less annoying and gives them a lot more to say. They also give you a lot of respect if you are a dragon slayer now.

Also, Project Reality. You don't need those fancy ENB injectors to get the full beauty of this mod. It is really just incredible to look at when you are in the mountains. I went to High Hrothgar on a clear day, no snow, blue skies. The view was stunning.

Lastly, the Bucklers Mod. If you want to use light armor but hate the shields and vanilla outfits, then this mod is a must. It gives you both light armor variants of heavy armors (same appearance, different stats), as well as Bucklers, smaller shields that aren't as bulky looking as the regular ones.

We obviously have similar aesthetic tastes. I already use Project Reality too lol. Bucklers sounds like a nice addition and I'm pretty excited about Guard Dialogue Overhaul.

I'm sure you've heard of Build Your Own Home. It's a little more interesting than the vanilla houses, and I like living in the woods so I can waylay travelers. I never do it, I just like knowing I can.

Realistic Ragdolls and Force is a classic carry over from Oblivion. It goes a long way toward making the game a little less like a Road Runner cartoon.

Don't forget the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.

I usually don't bother too much with followers but Ultimate Follower Mod should make them a lot more useful and interesting. I have it installed, but I really haven't put it to the test, yet.

Weapons of the Third Era keeps the weapons interesting.

I'm avoiding the Unofficial Skyrim Patch at the moment. I encountered a known bug in the patch that causes the game not to load face meshes. It corrupted two of my saved files and after I uninstalled it had to delete them both.

As for Player Homes, I'm quite fond of Riverside Lodge.

kuros_overkill:

Rooster Cogburn:

kuros_overkill:
word of warning. not sure what I did wrong, but Scenic Carriages broke my game.

It's very possible you did nothing wrong. Do you mind if I ask what happened to your game?

carriages stopped working all together. (To fix it I had to un-install, and revert to a save from before I had installed it)
- you could board the carriage, but nothing would happen, and you would be stuck. I tried setting the modes between scenic and the vanilla style, but only un-installing worked.

I had a similar problem and it turned out I had just been lazy about updating. I installed the latest version and everything worked fine. I even forgot to make a clean save, but don't tell my mother on me. I think in my case I paid the driver but nothing happened and I could not get on the carriage. Of course, you could be suffering similar symptoms but caused by something totally different. But it may be a good idea to make sure you are using the latest versions of the game and the mod if you want to try it again.

Soviet Heavy:
I'm avoiding the Unofficial Skyrim Patch at the moment. I encountered a known bug in the patch that causes the game not to load face meshes. It corrupted two of my saved files and after I uninstalled it had to delete them both.

As for Player Homes, I'm quite fond of Riverside Lodge.

Sucks about your saves. Generally I prefer crafted homes to modular or customizable ones, but in this case I got curious. I haven't tried others for Skyrim yet. Maybe I'll try Riverside on my next character.

If you're going for a berserker character, I'd recommend the Warchief Armor mod. I use it myself on my orc.

And this is just a personal preference, but I'm also a fan of the Flags of Victory mod. This just adds banner and flags over cities to declare their allegiance to either the Stormcloaks or Imperials. Just an aesthetic mod I like to have.

Soviet Heavy:

Rooster Cogburn:
Snip

Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

That is caused by not having SKSE installed as well. The mod author for the Categorized Favorited Menu mod only briefly mentioned needing SKSE but except for the screen cut off (which isn't by much) and a couple other minor features SKSE is not needed to get the Mod to work.

The7Sins:

Soviet Heavy:
Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

That is caused by not having SKSE installed as well. The mod author for the Categorized Favorited Menu mod only briefly mentioned needing SKSE but except for the screen cut off (which isn't by much) and a couple other minor features SKSE is not needed to get the Mod to work.

Well, that would explain why it's working for me currently with no issues. I do use SKSE.

The7Sins:

Soviet Heavy:

Rooster Cogburn:
Snip

Thanks. Some pretty neat stuff in there. However, categorized favorites currently has a problem. It hasn't been updated for some time, and the favorites menu is cut off by the top of the screen, and you have to move it back down manually every time you open the favorites menu.

And I have a mod to recommend. Pure Waters.
Bar none the best Water mod I have seen. Better than WATER by a long shot.

That is caused by not having SKSE installed as well. The mod author for the Categorized Favorited Menu mod only briefly mentioned needing SKSE but except for the screen cut off (which isn't by much) and a couple other minor features SKSE is not needed to get the Mod to work.

I am using SKSE, and I still get the problem.

I see WARZONES: Civil Unrest hasn't been mentioned yet.

I admit I didn't really notice at first, but when you think about it, Skyrim is supposed to be in full scale civil war! Only, you never see it except on specific missions. It's like the civil war is everywhere except where you happen to be at the time.

With this mod, you can find yourself in the middle of skirmishes between ~40 men, or small fights with a handful of men on each side. Sometimes it's Stormcloaks vs Imperials, sometimes either "official" army will battle bandits, forsworn or necromancers/mages.

It's pretty hilarious stumbling into a huge Stormcloak/Imperial battle when you haven't joined either side. I choose a group at random and I start throwing "heal other" and "courage" spells around.

 

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