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For TES V: Skyrim Special Edition, I created a mod, “Necromancer’s Camp” add-on for Chesko’s “Campfire - Complete Camping System”. This mod adds necromancer-themed tents, conjured shelters, weapon, and undead minions to the game. It is, of course, compatible with “Frostfall”. Read the details on my Necromancer’s Camp page, or download on Nexusmods.

I started work on this mod in original Skyrim last summer using Chesko’s Campfire Dev Kit and tutorials. I recommend any player interested in adding more gear to their game, check out the tutorials. Only basic Creation Kit experience is needed as the developer’s kit takes care of the tricky parts. Creating new gear can be accomplished using Nifscope to create mesh-mashups and change textures along with photo editing software, like Gimp, to edit textures. All of my new items were created from existing game assets, some with new textures. More complicated items would benefit from 3D modeling software.

Doing more with Campfire was a minor goal. I ended up granting conjure casting bonus to the new undead minions if the caster has the Campfire Inspired or Uplifted bonus.

Adding skeletons seemed like a no-brainer, but it seemed more natural to animated them through ritual using a skeleton in pristine condition. This means, one shouldn’t raise a skeleton like a zombie since the found skeleton would be too damaged. Corpse Preparation - True Necromancy by Mojo already does a fine job at this, and I figured it would be better to allow players to use his mod in conjunction. I added bonuses obtained via study books, but for players not interested in the details of ritual corpse work, I decided to add simple summoned Skeleton Guards. Since all summoned creatures work very similar, I also wanted to explore alternate strategies. The Skeleton Guard and Skeleton Mage Guard have much longer durations at a much higher casting cost than creatures of similar strength. This makes a good guard, casted outside of battle to follow the player around, but less ideal for casting during the heat of battle. It’s a new strategy I hope players find refreshing.

Since the Skeleton Guards cost a great deal of magic to cast, I added a new item, an unenchanted Necromancer’s Staff, which can be enchanted with the Skeleton Guard summons plus other necromancy spells. This also allows the player to summon a guard during battle if needed, or to simply allow casting at lower levels without wearing enchanted items to reducing conjuration casting cost.

I originally designed the new spell books to be crafted via Campfire’s Resourcefulness as well using paper, ink, and a soul gem along with requirements for reaching certain stage in the mage’s questline. It bothered me, though, that one writes a book then reads the book to learn the spell. I also feel inventing new spells should require some experimenting and later write a book using scribe’s equipment which would make for some neat quests. So, I followed Chesko’s technique of adding new items to the game on nitializing using a very short script and quest aliases. Simple, and places the spell books where players will expect to find them.

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More recently, I made some optimizations reducing the size of my archive and to help make more plain what exactly is being crafted. In the crafting menus, the gear shows up as 3D models, but it’s not always best to display the entire model. My tent upgrade appear nearly identical, too, so I created some picture displays from screenshots to help identify the upgraded item being added to the tent. This helps keep the crafting and inventory menu snappier and saves resources. I created a box with a texture adding the screen capture on front and back which displays in the menu as seen in the image below.

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