Survivin’ Skyrim

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Survivin’ Skyrim is an in-character blog that started with a real-life conversation.  A friend and I were discussing our Skyrim mods and how they affect gameplay, and I was trying to explain how several of my mods worked together to create an immersive game that had more emphasis on surviving Skyrim’s harsh environment.  However, I was having trouble communicating just how much it affected the entire game as a whole when you have to pay close attention to cold, wet, hunger, thirst, weather, animal behaviour, etc.


So I offered to start up a blog with a new character to demonstrate what I was talking about.  I let my friend choose the race and starting conditions of my character using the Alternate Start: Live Another Life mod.  He chose a Breton who was “attacked and left for dead”, which starts your character in a random location anywhere on the map with no armour, no weapons, no money, and very little food.  The game started me in one of the coldest areas in Skyrim, which with my mods can be absolutely fatal as it’s quite possible to simply freeze to death.


I also took a lot of inspiration from Christopher Livingston’s excellent series The Elder Strolls.  If you haven’t read it yet and you have a few hours to kill, be sure to check it out!

Other conditions include:

    • No fast travel.  Hiring a carriage is fine for very long trips across the map, but otherwise Morien relies on her own two legs — or a horse if she can get one.
    • No grinding or min-maxing.  It’s pretty unnatural behaviour and relies on knowing how to efficiently work the game system.  Morien wouldn’t know how to do that (even if I might).
    • Three strikes and she’s dead.  If Morien dies three times, then she’s dead for keeps and all her saves will be deleted.  On the first and second deaths, there will be a screenshot of either a black void or a strange visual effect (depending on which seems more appropriate), and a statement that she blacked out for awhile.  If you don’t see that, then Morien hasn’t died yet.
    • Originally, another condition was to avoid most adventures and be closer to an average inhabitant of Skyrim, someone who was just living their life.  However, Morien started the main questline in Chapter 10.  Being the Dragonborn in Skyrim means you become the ultimate special snowflake whether you like it or not, and it definitely means you start having adventures!  Still, she’s reluctant to risk her life needlessly.  She’ll take a certain amount of risk, but if there’s no compelling reason to throw herself in danger’s path, she likely won’t do it. Hence the subtitle “the anti-adventure guide”.

Note: There’s a death counter on the sidebar, under Updates.

Finally, I run quite a few mods, and I’ve listed many of them on the sidebar.  However, this is not a complete list by any means.  I’ve just listed the ones that readers are likely to notice.

I hope this answers any questions.  Thanks for reading!


If this is your first visit, start with Chapter One.
If you’re a regular reader, click here for the list of chapters.