Monday, April 30, 2012

DLC to include crossbows and Snow Elves?

As posted in the Skyrim Nexus's news section, a forum user recently posted about a number of new animations included in the latest patch. These animations are not actively used by any of the new features, so they must be part of a planned DLC or updte. Whether crossbows are simply going to be released in a future update like the killcams and Kinect dupport, we do not know. However, crossbows are quite a major addition. Not only are they an entire new type of item, but they most likely mean the addition of new crossbow-related perks, enchantments, and quests. Such an inclusion seems far too major for an update, and would suit a DLC far better.

Furthermore, there is evidence that the first DLC will be about the Snow Elves (Falmer). Why? Because there is a new group of animations that include "DLC01" in the title that are for "Snow Elves". Put two and two together, and the best guess is that the first DLC will be about the Falmer. I always thought that Blackreach would be featured prominently in their DLC, and it appears that such a guess may turn out to be truth. In addition, there are also new animations with "DLC01" in the title that seem to be for vampire feeding. Most likely, these animations are for the vampire feeding that we saw in the Skyrim Game Jam video.

As far as the animations that are listed last in the Nexus post go, my guess is that they are facial or body-movement animations for a new character or character type. The filenames seem to indicate that they are to be used for various emotional moods. If so, then these animations could be for a new Falmer follower or character.

Theories? Arguments? Nerd ravings? Comment below.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

EBM Update: 25 and 28-4-12

This is very good news for the next update of EBM my friends! I've managed to contact Michael Kirkbride to ask if he would authorize the implementation of the books he wrote for previous TES games in Skryim and I just got his answer! Short and straigth to the point as usual! =D

I've also sent a message to Ted Peterson, I hope he'll answer...! (I'm so happy...!)
[update] I just got his answer and these are good news again! (I am so very happy...!) It's gonna be some work to format all those books, I've already done a good 20 of them and there are many more to go. With just the Lessons of Vivec we'll be over 50 in no time. Goodness... EBM will become the must have for book collectors...! =D

Now I can say that I have plans for the future of EBM. In a first step I'll complete the library of Mzahndarhk and give access to the unaccessible areas of the ruin.
The quest related to the place will only come later, hopefully. It is a very ambitious project with complex events that would require a lot of time and skill sets... But would promise a lot of fun and epic!

So in a second step I would rather give a try to quest design with two possible mods:

  • One that would alter the way you learn spells. Spell tomes wouldn't add a new spell, they would give you a new quest and it's only as you fulfill it that you can learn the spell, train at casting it and master it.
  • The other would be a new faction, the School of Julianos, to serve the divine by educating the masses, retrieving books for the school and for people.

But for now I'm overbooked until June the 15th, working on a small video game due by then. I really need to focus on my energy on this project so that's why I'm much less active currently.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Skyrim is on Pandora!

So, this next post will have utterly nothing to do with my Way of the Monk mod. But it's still about something cool! 

I listen to Pandora a lot. In case you haven't heard of it, it is a free online music player where you create a "station" for a certain band or song. Pandora then plays music from that band and other artists like it. Recently I tried typing "Skyrim" into the search bar, and was surprised that it actually worked! There is a station on Pandora that lets you listen to Skyrim music, as well as a lot of other great game and movie music.

Check it out!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Way Of The Monk - Part 1 Released!

Part 1 of the Way Of The Monk Skyrim mod has been released on the Nexus! You can visit this page to download. If you enjoy it, please feel free to endorse or spread the word if you enjoy it. :-)

Unfortunately I was not able to upload the mod to the Workshop. The Workshop has a file size that my mod exceeded and would not allow me to upload it.

Way of the Monk Lore: The Pillars

In an effort to fit my mod into the game lore, I have written three books that will explain the history and organization of the Cult of the Way, a group of people that specialize in unarmed combat. This book explains the history, uses, and locations of the Pillars. The Pillars are like the Standing Stones and let you gain unique powers to aid you in combat. This book can also be used as a player guide in finding the Pillars. The locations are hidden in riddles. They are not too hard to figure out, and give you a hint as to their location.

The Pillars

A Pilgrims guide to the holy Pillars of our Way

By Gurnjad Shormirisson
Wanderer of the Way

Praise be to our Master, and to the Teachings of the Way.

Hail, Pilgrim! It is to your honor that you seek to learn of the Pillars. They are the guides along the Way, and their sites are holy to our Cult.

Let us speak first of those called the Pillars of the Way:

They are called thus because of their importance. They were the first established by our Master, and they guide us in all that we do.

By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Way, you begin your journey.

By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Progress, you may learn of your progression upon the Way. By consulting it you can understand your distance, and reflect upon all the choices you have made

By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Choice, you may choose how you will progress upon the Way. The powers that we gain upon our Path must be determined and decided upon by us and us alone.

By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of Rewalking, we may choose to Rewalk the Way. We are relieved of our previous choices, and may make our decisions anew. Be wise, though, because Talos gives us only one chance to Rewalk our Path.

Let us now turn our attention to the holy sites of the Pillars of Power. These Pillars are unique places of importance, where great judgement of justice was once made. The significance and power of these sites influenced the Master and the Cult to erect Pillars in honor of them. These Pillars bestow upon the Pilgrims and Wanderers a unique power to aid them in their pursuit of justice. 

Pillar of the Shadows

The Pillar of Shadows is the site of a great battle between a Wanderer and a Bandit camp that took place after nightfall. The Wanderer Hod's heart was weighed upon in compassion for the locals who had suffered under the tyranny of the bandit chief. The Orc chief forced a tax upon the village that he had taken by force. He controlled the movements of everyone in the area, keeping them from alerting nearby villages. Their village was small, as well, and could not resist his warband. The blood of many of their sons already soaked the ground from the initial battle. Hod, however, encountered one of their men as he ran from the clutches of three bandits. Hod assaulted the criminals and dashed their brains upon the rocks. Filled with gratitude, the young man told the whole tale to Hod with his dying breath. Hod traveled to the surrounding villages and raised a band of his own to match the chief's force. At nightfall he and his men crept through the shadows and attacked the invaders. All of villagers  were brutally slain by the heroes. The Orc chief himself was slain in his bed as he forced himself upon a local maiden. Justice was served.

Find ye the stone of Shadows
There you will find the Pillar of night

Pillar of the Elements

Avoid the Apostates! For once there was another cult; a cult of Apostates. They were vile and conniving in their deeds, and they turned every thought towards personal gain. Because of their evil, they tempered their powers and became masters of both magic and the Moth combat form. Eventually their masters learned to even combine the styles to form a new mode of fighting. But despite their power, their greed destroyed the new cult. When the temple heard of their apostasy, Master Shormir led a force of Wanderers and Elders to their tower and destroyed every one of their hideous followers. In memory of their downfall, and to warn future generations from following the Apostate Path, the Master established a Pillar that bestows the cult's elemental skill upon Wanderers and followers of the True Way. Justice was served.

Pillar of Dimensions

Vanquish the Dark Brotherhood! As with all men of valor, our Master has encountered assassins from that vile association. Once, upon traveling to Dragon Bridge from Riverwood, he stayed the night in a camp on the shore of the shorter branch of the River Karth. He awoke in the night with blade at his throat. But the wretched assassin was not prepared for our Master's skill. Instead of Shormir's blood upon the ground, he was surprised to find his own when our master stole the blade from his hand. But the evildoer was crafty. Through some arcane sorcery he vanished from the tent. Our Master ran into the night and discovered the man upon a rock, laughing at his own power. "You can not catch a man who is not there," he mocked. But justice is not to be derided. Our master struck the evil man down and learned his power. Now he grants the ability to all who follow him. But beware, for such power is not to be abused. The power is not reliable, and could take you to your grave within the ground. Justice was vindicated.

Pillar of Aptitude

The Pillar of Aptitude was the first Pillar to be established by our Master, and is visited by Pilgrims  more than any other. When our Master first built the Pillars of the Way, he also built the Pillar of Aptitude to guide them upon their way and to speed their progress upon the Path. Justice can be learned.

To reach the Pillar of Aptitude, you need only to find the Guardian Stones.

Pillar of the Healer

The Pillar of the Healer is the most recently established Pillar. During the beginning of the conflict between the Empire and the Stormcloaks, a caravan of Pilgrims was caught between two opposing forces. In desperation, the Wanderer in charge of the caravan called upon his knowledge of the arcane to protect his men and heal them while the battle raged around him. Though arrows flew through the air, and lightening bolts seared ground, not one of the Pilgrims fell dead upon the ground. Finally, as the battle drew to a close, the Wanderer collapsed in fatigue. The noble man sacrificed his life's force to protect the Pilgrims, and in his great honor to the Master build this Pillar. Justice was protected.

Venture ye to the valley of the Sleeping Tree
Look ye then to the rise of the sun,
And to lights of the frozen lands.
Follow the path of their merging,
And the Healer's Pillar will be discovered.

Pillar of the Whirlwind

Honor our Master! For there is no equal of his in the art of the Way form. When he strikes an enemy, the vile wretch is vanquished. When he casts an Apostate down, they are crushed beneath his blows. No rival has he in Cultist combat. Whether with the bare fist, or with the Implements designed by his skill, all who come before his might are destroyed. Fear him in battle, and respect him in debate. For not a Dragonborn could defeat him in war. In mercy and in honor did he establish the Whirlwind Pillar. For he wisely saw that his power must be shared if his followers were to bring the light of justice into this dark world. To meet that end did he build this Pillar. Once a day, Pilgrims of this Pillar are granted his skill and power to pummel their enemies beneath many blows. Justice enlightens the world.

Behold the tower of the Dwemer!
Like a sentinel it reaches to the sky from the Reach,
And now it has another ward to guard
The Pillar which our Master bestowed.

Pillar of the Seer

Not long after the formation of the Cult of the Way, an elderly man came from Cyrodil to visit our Master at the new Temple. He was a Cultist of the Ancestor Moths, our father Cult. Though our Master had once been banished from their brethren, they saw that he had now become a great man, despite their initial dispute. Thus, he offered our Master a chance to return to the Ancestor Moths, and forsake the Way. Gently, and wisely, our Master declined. With grace, the elder accepted his decision, and left our Master with a gift. The gift was the knowledge of Seeing. For centuries the Ancestor Moth cultists have read the Elder Scrolls to decipher their meaning. But to do so leaves them blind and nearly mad. To aid in the service of Justice, the elder granted our Master and his followers the ability of prescience vision. Though the user is partially blinded for a short while, they are allowed to see the presence of all creatures in the region, whether dead or alive. Justice was honored.

The Pillar of Shadows was not established nearby,
But seek ye out the city of Wind,
Follow the waters west to the frozen lake,
and there will you gain the power of the Seer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Way Of The Monk Release Details & Plans



Way of the Monk includes many new features. The most important is the addition of two new skills: Unarmed and Unarmored. Unlike other mods, these skills do not replace existing skills, and do not even use the same system. Thus, these new skills will also not conflict with other Unarmed mods. 

These new skills will also level as you use them. As you fight with your bare fists or the new weapons, then your Unarmed will be raised. When you are hit while not wearing armor, your Unarmored will be raised. 

Along with these skills come three perk trees: Damage, Attacks, and Unarmored. The Damage perk tree contains perks related to increasing your damage and offensive abilities, the Attacks tree contains perks that affect how you fight, and the Unarmored tree lets you choose perks that (obviously) enhance your Unarmored usage. There are 9 perks for the Damage and Attacks perk trees, and 10 for the Unarmored perk tree, respectively. The Damage and Attacks perk trees use your Unarmed skill, while the Unarmored perk tree uses your Unarmored skill.

Yes, the Unarmored skill could use some more perks. I know. More will be added in later versions. The perks from both skills compliment each other, though, so it shouldn't feel too neglected. 

Right now, the first bit of gameplay forces you to choose the first perk from each tree before you can choose the second one. Not because there are actual restrictions, but because you get perk points before you get the chance to choose a new perk. This is because I have not yet created a perk to go between the first one and the second one. Doing so will help eliminate the stall in progress. Expect such an addition in a later patch or version.

The Skills are all managed at the Pillars of the Way, which are just up the road from the Guardian Stones. The Pillar of the Way introduces you to the mod. The Pillar of Choice allows you to choose new perks. The Pillar of Progress allows you to check your current stats. The Pillar of Rewalking allows you to reset your perks and choose new ones (can only be done once). In a future edition, these Pillars will be replaced with an NPC that lets you do all of this through dialog. For now, though, you have to manage your stats by using these Pillars.

Every five levels of either of the new Monk skills, you are given a perk point. These perk points can be used at the Pillar of Choice to gain new perks. The same perk points are used for both skills, so you can choose an Unarmored perk even if you got the point by advancing your Unarmed skill.

Unfortunately these are not the same perk points that are used in the normal leveling system. The scripting language for the Construction Kit does not have any way for me to use them. I have pinned hopes on the SKSE team, though, and hope that they will add that functionality. If they do, then I may be able to add more advanced leveling options.

Weapons and Clothing:

There is a plethora of new weapons and clothing. They all fit the customary monk-character, and can be crafted like normal items. There are new enchantments, as well, to enhance the Monk combat system. 

The new weapons are all from tom349's mod, with BloodySunday's enhanced textures. I gained their permission before using their creations. They can all be crafted, improved, and enchanted like normal weapons. While traveling throughout the world you may find them as loot, see enemies wielding them, or buy them from stores. 

The new clothing is a set of monk clothes that were actually created by Bethesda and can be found in the Creation Kit. Despite making them, however, they did not add them to the game. Luck for me! So, you get to see some new robes, while also being able to find specially-enchanted versions of them with my new effects. They have also been added to stores and leveled lists. They are craftable at the forge with linen wrap.

A note on the weapon animations: Unfortunately, the new weapons do not use the hand-to-hand animations and killcams. Why? Because the animation that Bethesda created was not designed to be used by actual weapons. Thus, when I try to add a model to weapon that uses it, the model either does not appear or appears obnoxiously between the player's feet. So, not my fault. :-( If anyone can find a way to fix this, however, I would be glad to do so.

Perks and Enchantments:

ALL of the new perks have been created by me. A number of them have entirely new effects that were scripted and design by myself, as well. The enchantments are the same way, though some of the weapons that you find will be enchanted with default enchantments. In total, there are 45-50 new perks, and around ten new enchantments that have been created entirely by me. That number of perks includes all of the different levels of perks, as well as those that are added for Pillars and items. Some of these perks give you powers and abilities that are entirely new to the game, built from scratch to enhance this mod. Others are unique twists of already-existing perks. Either way, they will all add unique aspects to your playing experience.


(Part 1)
To compliment the addition of all these new features, an enemy faction called the Apostates has been created. The Apostates are a group of Monks that use their power for personal gain. They are usually not organized into groups, but instead mix with the bandits and lowlifes of Skyrim. There are melee versions and magic versions. The melee versions focus on using the new weapons and close-combat perks that are added to the game, while the magic versions mix magic with unarmed. Both versions wear the new clothing and use the new items, providing an excellent way of finding the new weapons and clothing. 

They are also leveled so that you will not encounter ones that are two easy or difficult. There are the basic "Apostates" that are level 1, the "Apostate Apprentices" that are level 10, the "Apostate Masters that are level 20, and the "Apostate Elders" that are level 40. The Apostate Elders are the most powerful and will only be encountered at high high levels. Bring all that you've got, though, because they are powerful!

In addition to using the new items, they also take advantage of the Monk perks. Don't be surprised if they use some of the same tactics that you do! 

(Part 2 and 3)

Read the Plans for information on new NPCs and factions that I hope to add.


My plans are somewhat tenuous, but are outlined below. Some of the features that I want to add may prove either impossible or too difficult. For now, though, they are what I desire to give you. 

Also, new enchantments, perks, and items will be added as I think of them or am supplied with new material, so they are not included in the list. Assume that I will add them whenever I get the chance.

Part 1: (current)

  • New Unarmed and Unarmored skills
  • New melee weapons
  • New monk robes
  • New perks
  • New enchantments
  • New enemies
Part 2:
  • Monk follower(s)
  • Joinable Apostate and Cult of the Way factions
  • Radiant quests for both factions
  • A mentor that lets you manage your stats, tells you the backstory, and can train you
  • New scaling options to balance my leveling system with Bethesda's default system (may be impossible)
  • New combat animations (I will contact the owner of the Marital Arts mod)
Part 3:
  • Bases for the new factions
  • Faction questlines (possibly hundreds of hours of work)
  • More backstory in books
  • Unique NPCs with quests
I can not specify exact dates, unfortunately. They will simply be released as they are completed. Part 3 will likely take the most amount of time, if I am even able to complete it. Hopefully, since summer is coming up, I will have a ton of time to mod. Real life gets in the way, though, so I can not know for sure what will happen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Way of the Monk beta-testing begins now!

Beta-testing has begun!

The beta version of  Way of the Monk has been completed and is ready for testing. Please read the rules and advice below to learn how you may become a beta-tester, how to report bugs, and what is new in the mod. Please read the whole post before applying to become a beta-tester. It is fairly long, I know, but you need to know this information before testing the game for me.

Since this is a beta version, there will most likely be bugs. Please be patient with me as I work to fix them. 


To apply to become a beta-tester, simply contact Woverdude and request beta-testing privileges. I will e-mail you the .zip folder that contains the .esp plugin file and the .bsa archive. Export those into your Data folder and you should be able to load the mod. I had some trouble getting the .bsa created, so if you have trouble with the models and scripts, then e-mail me and I will recreate the .bsa.

How to report bugs/make suggestions:

I have created the two forms for reporting bugs or making suggestions. I will send them to you in my e-mail. Fill them out when you find a bug or want to make a suggestion and your input will be added to a database.

Please keep your suggestions related to the content that I have already added, rather than suggestion a new kind of content. For instance, instead of suggestion several new perks, you can suggest a way to improve current perks. If you want to suggest new ideas, please post on the WIP thread.

What to test for:

Primarily what I need to know is whether the new items, enchantments, leveling system, and perks work.

You can either choose to test each item and perk individually, or you can run a playthrough as a Monk and see how it all fits together. Either way works and helps me out. :-)

What is in the Mod:

First, there are a ton of new items, all of which are craftable. These new items can be found in stores, crafted, looted from enemies, or found in dungeons.

There are around 10-15 new fist-weapons, and many enchanted variations of each of those. A few of the new weapons are not found in the game as loot, but will be used in later versions to create unique items for quests or bosses. The weapons can be crafted and improved normally. The animations are a bit wonky, but that is not my fault. Bethesda designed their handtohand animation strangely, so when weapons use it they do become invisible on the right hand. Their issue, not mine...

There are also new enchantments with new effects. These enchantments can be found on the new weapons and clothing.

There are also a new set of robes. These are monk robes that I found in the Creation Kit, but were not used in the vanilla game. Which was quite lucky for me. You can find them or craft them. They use 1 linen wrap to craft and are in the Misc. category.

New enemies. There is a new enemy faction called "The Apostates". They are a breakoff of the Cult of the Way that will be expanded on in later versions. They can be found in encounters and use the new fist weapons. They have a unique combat style, as well, that mixes magic and unarmed combat. They are very lightly armored (if at all), but are very quick. There are different types and levels of these new enemies.

New Unarmed and Unarmored skills. The Unarmed skill is raised by using any of the new weapons or by fighting without a weapon equipped. The Unarmored skill is raised by taking hits while not wearing armor. These skills do NOT replace existing skills, but are instead entirely new and operate through a series of scripts that run in the background. They also include new perks.

Perks. The perks can be gained as you level your Monk skills. You choose and manage your perks at the new Pillars.

Pillars. The Pillars are like the Standing Stones, in the way that they give you new abilities. There are two types of Pillars. There are the Pillars of the Way that allow you to manage your stats, and there are the Pillars found around Skyrim that give you unique powers. The Pillars of the Way are where you manage your stats and are probably the first place that you want to go. Here is a screenshot of their location:

They are just up the hill from the Guardian Stones, marked by a stone archway. Between the Pillars will be three books that explain some of the lore and provide you beta testers with the locations of all of the Pillars.

All of the new items can all be found in the QASmoke testing room. To get there type coc QASmoke into the console and press enter. When the game is finished loading, you will see a table in front of you. The containers with them are on the other side of the table and all have the prefix "WoM".


Skyrim and all of its component are owned by Bethesda. All of the Way of the Monk work is reserved be used by me and those that I give permission to. Do not send the beta version to anyone without my permission. Do not upload the files to any website. Do not claim the files to be your own. Doing any such things will result in the loss of your beta-testing privileges and you will be reported for piracy to any website that you have illegally uploaded the files to.

Have fun!

Though my post seems pretty serious, I want you to have as much fun as you can with my mod. Go thou therefore, and have fun! :-) Though you may not pirate the files, feel free to make videos, or write posts/reviews about my mod as long as you mention that the mod is still in beta and give a link to this blog. Have fun!

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Way of the Monk: Lore - The Apostates

In an effort to fit my mod into the game lore, I have written three books that will explain the history and organization of the Cult, a group of people who specialize in unarmed combat. This book is about the Apostates: men who left the Cult and now use their powers for personal gain.

The Apostates

By Gurnjad Shormirisson
Wanderer of the Way

Apostates are foul men of greed. They were once men of the Way: Initiates, Wanderers, and Elders. But they abandoned justice for power!

There are some of us who, once they learned what power the Way teaches us, saw how they could abuse that privilage for personal gain. Such are the Apostates. They did not depart all at once, but each as they saw opportunity to please their own greed. Occasionally they do find leadership and form a new Cult. More often than not, however, they become outcasts. Their hearts are so vile and corrupted that not even the baser members of society accept them into their Guilds. In addition, who would, when they wield such power as we do? 

Avoid the Apostates, you Initiates! Apply justice to them, you Wanderers! Scorn them with wisdom, you Elders! Shun them, you Pilgrims! Avoid the Apostate, and your Path will be safe and without corruption. But if you stray upon their Way, then you will veer from the Path, and your heart will be corrupted.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Way of the Monk: Mod Diary #3

Work has been a bit slow recently because of end-of-semester school, but I have been able to put in a fair amount of modding hours on the weekends. Last weekend I added a whole ton of new craftable weapons, as well as some enchantments.

You can take a look at the Screenshots page for pics of my progress.


The new weapons are from tom349's mod Fist Weapons. I was given permission from him to use his models, as well as from BloodySunday's to use his retexture of tom249's mod.

They are all lore-friendly, craftable, and enchantable. The animations and killcams on them are a bit weird, but that is not my fault. For some reason, any weapon that uses the default Hand-To-Hand attack animation neither appears on the right hand when it is equipped, or is on the body when sheathed. This is not my fault, but the Creation Kit's. The way they designed the animation, it's not built to have models that use it. I am going to try my best to find a way to get the weapons to use the default animation, but I may not be successful. If you think you can help, feel free to contact me.


As you can probably tell from the screenshot, there will also be some new robes. There was actually an entire set of hooded and non-hooded monk robes in the Creation Kit that were never used in the game. Fortunately for me, this means that they wont conflict with current items and will be new to players. Since they were all monk robes, they will also fit well with my mod.


There were two perks which were not working properly. One of them suddenly decided to start working, though. I could not find any reason why it was not working in the first place, and since it is working now, I won't complain. The other one is still not working, but it should be fixable with some more coding.

Nearly done!

I'm mostly done! I just need to finish adding enchantments, fix that one perk, add some new characters, and write some backstory before sending the first version off to beta testers. Compared to the total amount of work that I have done, what is left is not very much. I have yet to decide whether I will add a follower for the first version. I'm not entirely sure how to do that, so I don't want to begin working on something that will extend the release too far. It may still be a few weeks because of beta testing and my own busy life, but it the first version should be complete soon.

By the way, if you want to beta test Way of the Monk for me, contact Woverdude and you will be added to the list. I ask only that you not distribute the files before I release the mod, and that you promote the release when you get the chance.

I will post more information on the release soon, including a detailed brief of all the new features and a plan for the release and second version.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

And Bethesda's big announcement is... Kinect?

Bethesda's developers and blog have recently been hinting at big news to be revealed in April. Well, that announcement seems to have been made today. But it is probably not what most of us were thinking it would be...

Having discussed the Tweets and blog posts of Bethesda's with other Elder Scrolls fans, I know what most of us were expecting. A DLC announcement, new Game Jam content, Elder Scrolls Online, something of that sort. But Kinect? Many of us already knew that Kinect support was available or about to be because of a video on Youtube that showed Bethesda developers using Kinect to play Skyrim. But that this would be the great big April reveal, most of us did not consider.

Personally, I'm unsure about this new Kinect option. Would it really be any better than normal gameplay, or would it cause more annoyance than enjoyment? I've never used a Kinect, so I'm not sure. The Kinect could greatly improve Skyrim's gameplay, especially since it would eradicate a lot of hotkey problems. If you're a Kinect owner or player, do you think that Skyrim would play well on the it? 

What do you think?

What do you think about this announcement? Was it as exciting as you thought it would be? Would you rather that they announced a new DLC or similar content? Will you play Skyrim on the Kinect? Do you think that this was a wise use of Bethesda's time and funding?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Google+ and Template Change


The Skyrim Modding Blog is now on Google+! Come take a look at our page and 'follow' us to get our latest updates.

Template Change

You may have noticed a change in the looks of our website. For some reason the Sidebar view was malfunctioning and messing up the post links. We have changed the template to the basic version for now.  We know that this look can cause lag because of the large amount of images and data that is displayed on one page, and are looking for a new template. We will either use a different default template, or create one of our own with a snazzy Skyrim background. Please have patience as we try to fix this issue.

[ update]

I've tested out some changes in the layout, I hope you'll appreciate them. I tried to keep things rather clean though it's not as minimalist as it was for the moment.
The wallpaper isn't definitive either as the image is a little noisy. I'll try to make a new clean wallpaper asap.

Tutorial: Leveled Lists, Part 1 - Adding Items

Object: To add objects to a leveled list

Difficulty: Easy

Time Needed: Less than 5 minutes

Things you will need:
  • Creation Kit. The Creation Kit is the modding tool for Skyrim and can be downloaded for free on Steam.

Note: This is the first part of this tutorial and teaches you what you need to know to add an item to a leveled list. The second part will be more advanced and deal with the types of leveled lists, globals, using leveled lists with containers and NPC's, and other advanced functions.

First off, let me define the function of a leveled list. A leveled list is a list of items that randomly determines which item will be placed into the world, based upon the level of the player. For instance, in the LItemWeaponDaggerBest, you will find a list of items. There are six normal items and one other leveled list. There are also two columns titled "Level" and "Count". The number in the "Level" column determines what minimum level the player must be to get that item, and the number in the "Count" column determines how many of that item the player receives.

For a detailed description of each part of the LeveledItem window, read this wiki page.

In this tutorial, the premise will be that you are creating a new leveled list for all daggers, along with the random chance of finding an enchanted dwarven dagger.

1. Open the Creation Kit and navigate in the Object Window to the Items > LeveledItem category.
2. Create a new Leveled Item.

3. Navigate to the Items > Weapons category and drag the basic, unenchanted dagger of each type into the Leveled Item box.

4. These items have now been added to the list. Now, however, we are also going to add another leveled item to the list.
5. Find the LItemEnchDwarvenDagger and drag it to your new item.

6. The next part is to set the level requirement for each item. When you do this, you need to make sure that the levels are balanced so that the player does not receive overpowered weapons. If the level requirement of the daedric dagger was set to 1, for instance, then the player could find a daedric dagger at the beginning of the game! The best way to find out what level requirement you should give each item is to look at the default leveled items and see how they do it. For this item, we will copy the level requirements for the LItemWeaponDaggerBest leveled list. I will also set the required level for the enchanted dwarven dagger leveled item to 16 so that the player will receive it sometime between when they start finding dwarven daggers, and sometime when they start finding elven daggers.
7. Now you need to decide whether you want to modify the "Count" (the amount of the item given to the player), and if you want to add a "Chance None". Generally only arrows and other bundled items are assigned a Count higher than one. The "Chance None" determines if and how much of a chance there is that the player will not find anything at all. A 50 "Chance None" value will add a 50% that no item will be found, a 20 will add a 20% chance, and so on. Loot leveled items are the most likely to have a chance that no item will be found. I will give this leveled item a 15% chance that the player will not find anything.
8. To test your leveled item, you can use the "Preview Calculated Result" button and the "Preview Level".
9. Your items have been added to the leveled list. Enjoy the outcome. :-)

Part Two:

Part Two (coming soon) will teach you the more advanced functions of leveled lists and their various uses. It will not be written in the step-by-step manner that I have used for previous tutorials, but will be an extended explanation. Check back regularly for sequel.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How I Play Skyrim -Video Feature

So, this video showed up in my subscriptions on Youtube. Check it out. Total awesomeness. :-)


Later today I will be posting a CK tutorial on leveled lists. I have also completed  a great deal on my mod since my last update, and will be sharing news about that. Check back for the posts!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

WIP Screenshots!

A new Screenshots page has been added to the navbar at the top. Pre-Alpha Way of the Monk content screenshots and teasers are on it, and new pictures will be added as I complete the mod. Check out the page regularly for new screenshots of the WIP mods of our modders!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Need A Dev Blog For Your Mod?

Need a development blog for your mod? Want a place to post Creation Kit tutorials or Skyrim news?

One of the original intents when and Woverdude created this blog was to open it up to the larger Skyrim modding community. Updates for upcoming mods, new project announcements, modding tutorials, general Elder Scrolls news, we'd like to see all of it. If you have want to write about any of those topics, and are dedicated to your work and writing, then please contact us and if we accept your request then we will give you posting privileges.


  • Prove to us that you are dedicated to your mod. We need to know that you will complete your mod, rather than wandering off to another project. The last thing we want is for a modder to stir up excitement about their great new mod, only to disappoint by not delivering.
  • Don't stay out of contact with us for more than 15 days. "contact" means anything from commenting on a post, to e-mail, to posting on a forum that we will see. We just need to make sure that you wont disappear.
  • Post at least one tutorial a month.
  • Be easy to work with for us and our readers. 
  • Write interesting, entertaining, and informational posts. If you need help with your writing, feel free to contact one of us and we can give you tips.
  • Your mod MUST be for Elder Scrolls related. No mod for a game outside of the ES series by Bethesda will be allowed.


  • As a poster, you will be allowed to post updates or news regarding Skyrim and Skyrim modding.
  • As a poster, you will be part of a larger community with an established reader base and other dedicated modders.
  • As a poster, if you need help with your mod, then you can write a post on the blog asking for help from other modders.
  • As a reader, you will be able to keep updated about Skyrim, as well as your favorite Skyrim mods.
  • As a modder, you can find and request detailed, informational tutorials for the Creation Kit.


We are also going to add advertisements to the website. They are going to be placed as unobtrusively as possible and will be restricted to gaming-related ads. So far we've managed to get between 200-300 views per day, which is pretty high for only being online for a month or two.

We understand that advertisements can be annoying. Please keep in mind, though, that we are spending many hours working on mods and this blog. All of those hours are unpayed. We are also both unemployed and in school. Any extra cash that we get means we can spend more hours working on mods, since we have to spend less time working or looking for a job. Though they may be a bit of a nuisance, they will allow us to run this website and build our mods.

Way of the Monk Update: 4-4-12

First off, let me state that I've been taking a bit of a break from modding. I have two tests that I must take tomorrow and have been preparing for them. I have, however, managed to accomplish quite a bit since me last update.


The script that manages all of the power-giving Pillars has been completed, the Pillars are planned and organized, and several of them have been added to the game. You can find the script for them here. It's based off of the powerShrineScript from the vanilla game that manages the Standing Stones.

I've written a list of all of the Pillars that I plan on adding to the first edition. Some of them are proving to be troublesome to code and figure out, but I am confident that I can complete them with enough work. The Pillar that I've added and am currently working on is the Pillar of the Elements.

Here's a screenshot:

I'm having some trouble getting the effect to be applied. I've found that for some strange reason, all weapons that use the HandToHand attack animation have trouble with perk effects and are not considered Weapons of the normal sort. I'm not sure what's going on, but it has somewhat crippled my perk and item designing. I hope to find a workaround or fix soon, though.


I've gained permission from tom348 at the Nexus Forums to use his mod Fist Weapons, as well as Bloodsunday's permission to use his retextures of tom349's weapons. I'm not sure that I'll use all of the models in my mod, but a good number of them will be going into the game. I'm having some trouble with the weapons being mysteriously invisible when equipped in the right hand, but other than that it's all going well.

Unarmored Skill:

I have also added in a separate Unarmored skill in addition to the Unarmed skill. Along with this skill are a number of Unarmored perks and enchantments that will be added. The perks will be chosen independently from each other and will level with use.


The next few weeks are going to be pretty hectic and busy for me. I have two tests tomorrow, am moving in a week, and have finals later this month. So, I wont be able to do nearly as much modding. :-( I will, however, be writing tutorials. Also, keep watch, because I'm soon going to announce a great new opportunity/project for all of you modders and players. I will post the news soon. :-)

EBM Update: 4-4-12

EBM Update:

Well, well, here are few sceenshots of the current advancement of the ruin of Mzahndahrk that will host what seems to be the largest secret library of Skyrim, and few screenshots as well of the ABCs for Barbarians, now available ingame!

As you can see I'm far from being done with the lighting among other things XD There are still minor issues to be fixed soon but it takes shape! And as you can see on the down-right screenshot of the library, there are the +235 books of the games that can fit in a library, sorted by categories and series completed. Wasn't easy to find the right angle to have them all fit in one screenshot!

Still, a moral question came to my mind. It's about the completion of original TES book series such as 2920, A Dance in Fire, the Wolf Queen etc. I don't understand why all the books weren't implemented in Skyrim, is it a mere miss or is it because Bethesda didn't want to pay royalties for all the books written by a same writer they weren't hiring any longer? I have no idea but it's true most of the missing books are those of Waughin Jarth (same irl writer thus).
Hence I'm not sure it's morally acceptable to add the books in the mod. I believe that it is okay to do it for my own enjoyment as I own legal copies of Morrowind and Oblivion which feature those texts but I fear I might be infringing publication rights by putting those texts in Skyrim and sharing the mod. On an other hand those texts are found publicly on the web, both on the UESP and the Imperial Library, and those sites weren't sued by Bethesda. Still, it might also be because they represent a massive fandom's dedication and most of all, those websites are very useful to Bethesda as well, they never hide that even them use this amazing data base to shape the new games.

One possibility I think of is to still implement the book but demand that the mod is used only by players who own a legal copy either of Morrowind or Oblivion (plus this mod is more likely to interest fans who've played those games). I won't perform checks of course but it's more to prevent myself from troubles as I want to keep as clean as possible and take this issue with great serious. I know Bethesda once sued a modder for implementing lots of content made by other modders without asking them, I would not do such a stupid thing.
I had first thought of not placing the books ingame for the public release but then it's sad and the books would still be available through the console with the Help and Player.Additem commands.

I will try to contact Bethesda about this issue to know what's their point.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

EBM Update: 1-4-12

EBM Update:

EBM will soon be available for download, currently I'm waiting for LaggyCreations on deviantART to send me the image files of her ABC for Barbarians. Thanks to her kindness EBM will bring back this awesome book and expand it! As you can see LaggyCreations designed illustrations for the whole alphabet:
Gorgeous, huh? And soon in Tamriel!
I'll make sure to place it in fitting and amusing locations, I already have ideas but I'm not telling, you'll find out on your own. Also most of the books will be found at the Arcaneum and Bards College. There are few ones that are a little more rare, like the tomes 4 and 5 of Males Witches. But you should find them in a quite obvious location it I give you this clue: they're found in the home of a VIP who's more than probably a witch, in a swampy city.

Now there are still some books that you won't be able to find in Tamriel. They are unique and will only be found in Mzahndahrk. Don't search for this Dwemer ruin on your map, it's a new one! With some chance it'll be ready for the release. Actually the level building is about done, it's now a matter of ending to place the furniture and items, and make a nice lighting and effects. I also have to finish the Navmesh (the polygonal floor that tells the AI where NPCs can walk), I'm doing it all by hand because there are quite many gateways and likes that confuse the generator. Big work but not big deal, I find this very interesting to do, paying attention to how I compose the polygons... Within one hour I got the major part of the main room done. I just wish it was possible to copy/paste Navmesh islands. If someone knows how to do this (if it appears it's doable) I'd love to know XD

I also wish I could populate the area a little. After some tests, few troubles I solved quickly *proud* I now have a test fox wandering everywhere, a pacific Sphere centurion patroling (it's adorable) and a certain Dunmer named Sothis Andas whose action so far consist into pouring himself some mead, sitting on a chair, playing the lute (it doesn't make sounds), reading a book, ...well few minor actions that loop. Easy as fun.
Next step will be giving Sothis some dialog. I'd like to see if I can give some dialog to the Sphere as well.

Today I've also proceeded to completing book series such as the 2920, Wolf Queen, Mystery of Talara, Dance in Fire, etc... that are for some unexplicable reason incomplete in Skyrim. This makes a litlle more than 20 more books. I plan to add more books from Morrowind and Oblivion.
For now I've also sorted all the books (over 235), it took me a little time as there were few ones I hadn't read already, or had read in French... but in the end they are classified by topic and will be found in dedicated shelves. Seeing the amount of book, seeing there are MANY that can be added from Morrowind and Oblivion, I can say that the hundreds of bookshelves found in the library will be well employed XD
I consider having to move the library to a seperate cell in case it's heavy perf-wise. For now it's smooth on my laptop.