The modder has put the ingenious Nemesis system of Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor in Skyrim, which means that now you can set yourself up to take revenge on the dragons (or mud crabs, or whatever) that are killing you.
The Shadow of Skyrim: Nemesis and Alternative Death System mod from Syclonix turns almost any enemy that defeats you into retribution. This nemesis gets a unique name, gets stronger, steals your weapon (and can even use it) and puts a debuff on you. The only way to remove this debuff and get your gear back is to find your enemy and kill him. Conveniently, the mod creates a quest in your log so that you can easily track your revenge.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — Official Anniversary Edition and update review, video transcript
Fashion design tries to combine situational stories with your enemy. For example, if you are killed by an Argonian vampire, he may become known as the “Destroyer of Many Shields” and receive the “Destroyer Shield” buff as part of improving his stats. A debuff imposed on you during combat can also cause you to be unable to use shields. And then, as part of your revenge quest, your nemesis can be found in the vampire’s lair, as the Breaker-of-Many—Shields is a vampire.
As the name suggests, the system requires Skyrim to use an alternative approach to death. Instead of being killed and forcing you to recharge, death instead revives you in the world. This means that the data about your sworn enemy will not be lost, and this will help to maintain the smooth operation of the system.
You can have up to five sworn enemies at the same time, although Syclonix has wisely limited their number to enemies within 25 levels of you so that you don’t get a sworn enemy that you have no chance of defeating. You also can’t turn a quest-related or main character into a sworn enemy.
Syclonix notes that Shadow of Skyrim is a “homage” to Shadow of Mordor, and not a copy of the real Nemesis system. Their inspiration also includes bagels, Crusader Kings, and character trait systems in more modern role-playing games. They note that this does not infringe on the rights of Warner Bros.’ a patent for the Nemesis system.
To learn more about the cool improvements for Elder Scrolls, check out the cooperative mod for Skyrim, which has been downloaded more than 80,000 times since its recent release.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK news and articles editor.