Last updated at 13:30, 18 Sep 2014 Uploaded at 20:17, 4 May 2014
Please click the "Changes" link in the navigation bar for a full set of patch notes.
Arissa is a Skyrim companion character with over 450 lines of dialogue, professionally recorded and beautifully voiced by the talented Nikkita. She is designed as a game-long companion that can accompany you from start to finish. She is inspired by Emma and Amgepo's Vilja, Bethesda's Serana from Dawnguard, and the kinds of characters found in Bioware games.
Arissa is an Imperial with an independent, rebellious spirit and a gift for making expensive things disappear.
Arissa is a rogue-type character with a dual-wielding combat style. She will readily use blades, bows, and any armor given to her. She levels as the player levels, favoring thief-oriented skills such as light armor, lockpicking and one-handed weapons. She always has the Light Foot perk, so she'll never set off a pressure plate or tripwire in a dungeon. Her level is uncapped.
Enjoy getting to know Arissa along your travels as you take part in her short-but-sweet two-part main quest line, complete with a new dungeon to explore. She earns every bit of her title of "wandering rogue", having criss-crossed Skyrim the better part of the last decade. She will readily chime in with witty, interesting, and insightful comments about over 40 areas across Skyrim as you travel together. If you were searching for a bold and knowledgeable companion to accompany you on your long travels, look no further. She is fully embedded in Skyrim's world and completely lore-friendly.
While Arissa cannot come close to the breadth of features offered by mods such as Vilja in Skyrim, we can promise an obsessive dedication to detail and quality while offering an experience that feels like a natural extension of the normal game. The voice acting and recording quality should sound as good as any NPC you'd encounter in the main game. The recordings are free of pops and wide fluctuations in quality or volume; it needs to be heard to be appreciated. The mod should also be free of typos and other grammatical errors. Every battle cry, "Uh huh", "Sure", "No thanks", and "Lead on" was carefully voice-acted and recorded by Nikkita; all dialogue spoken by Arissa is 100% original.
Special attention was paid to adding a high level of variety to common phrases in order to keep things from sounding repetitive (including "hushed" variations on common phrases when the player and Arissa are sneaking). Attention was also paid to trying to find a "sweet spot" in her talkativeness, erring on the side of staying quiet and allowing the player to enjoy the game. We never wanted her to be annoying or repetitive, and I think you'll be pleased with what we've been able to accomplish. For us, she is a joy to adventure and spend time with, and we hope you feel the same.
Arissa does not use the standard follower system in Skyrim, so she can be recruited in addition to any other follower you might have.
Special Note: Users that are arachnophobic may have a difficult time completing a portion of Arissa's main questline. Please install a spider replacer mod if this will impact you.
Visit the Dead Man's Drink in Falkreath. Arissa will be waiting for you there.
Arissa can talk about the general surroundings ("What do you know about this place?"), as well as her background. She will be elusive at first, but will begin to open up as you move through her main quest. She will even take an interest in the early stages of the Skyrim main quest line and your place in it as Dragonborn.
Arissa has been all over Skyrim, and will offer comments for a wide variety of locations in the base Skyrim game (DLC areas are not yet supported). When you come close to one of these areas, Arissa will chime in. She will only speak these lines unprompted once; however, you can ask her at any time "What do you know about this place?", and she will gladly repeat it. You can also let her know that you'd prefer to just ask about locations, and this "broadcasting" behavior will be disabled.
She will also comment on successfully picking locks, choice of armor, nearby dungeons, and more. She is very aware of herself and her surroundings.
We wanted to give Arissa a mind of her own and add some depth to Arissa's behavior, and have her behavior change over the course of your time spent with her. Arissa features a Regard system which determines how she feels about the player, and what tasks and favors she will be willing to perform.
Arissa will respond naturally to your actions over the course of the game. As her Regard increases, her disposition toward you will improve, unlocking new abilities. Her normal dialogue options will change in tone as well, ranging from dismissive to enthusiastic. Her Regard can also be affected (sometimes greatly) by certain dialogue options.
Arissa responds positively to acts of heroism and cunning, such as defeating difficult foes, winning brawls, performing successful sneak attacks, and more. She responds negatively to acts of murder and intimidation. This will make playing with Arissa challenging as an active member of the Dark Brotherhood; her moral outlook will be fundamentally incompatible with your playstyle and she will eventually abandon you.
Open your Magic menu, and navigate to Active Effects while Arissa is in your service. An entry will be displayed that notes Arissa's current regard for the player. You can check it at any time.
Effect: Call of Oakshore unlocked. Summon Arissa from anywhere in Skyrim.
Effect: Will give lockpicks and leveled poisons to player once / day.
Effect: Willing to do favors.
Effect: Willing to Trade and Manage Equipment. Willing to Wait.
Effect: Nothing (Attitude of some dialogue options affected)
Effect: Nothing (Attitude of some dialogue options affected)
Effect: Leaves your service. You can wait and recruit her again.
WARNING: Arissa abhors cannibalism. If you feed on someone while wearing the Ring of Namira while Arissa is in your service, she will leave permanently. You will not be able to re-recruit her after this, so be careful!
Currently, Arissa is indifferent towards vampirism and lycanthropy. She will not currently care if this is your playstyle.
When visiting a major city in Skyrim, you can tell Arissa "You go ahead. I'll catch up with you later." Arissa will the leave your side to freely roam the city while you remain in it. She will rejoin you if asked or if you leave the city gates. Arissa will prefer to hang around and shop in alchemy and general good stores. She will retire to the local inn after dark.
If you allow Arissa to roam past midnight, she may get up to no good... who knows what she might find?
I hope this feature allows you to have some time apart from each other while in cities without disturbing gameplay, leading to a more organic feeling experience.
Arissa will attempt to intelligently get out of the player's way when Arissa and the player are too close, hopefully un-jamming her from doorways and halls.
When riding a horse, Arissa will automatically call her own and ride right behind you. Her horse is dismissed as soon as you dismount. Arissa is also compatible with Convenient Horses! If you would like mounted combat options for Arissa, please use Convenient Horses.
If Arissa starts to lag too far behind when walking, running, or riding, she will jump to a position closer to the player when the player isn't looking while traveling outdoors. If you lose track of Arissa, just keep going, she'll spring close to you soon. This was a compromise to compensate for the normal sub-par pathing behavior that all NPCs exhibit in Skyrim. Edit: Disabled as of 1.3. This feature may be re-enabled if I can get it to work more seamlessly.
Arissa's Weatherworn Burglar armor (equipped shortly after her introduction quest) is sub-par and should be upgraded at the earliest opportunity. Arissa was designed with the modded game in mind, so please upgrade her gear to whatever you find suitable.
To give equipment to Arissa to be worn, select the option "Let's manage your equipment." Arissa will wear her casual clothing from the start of her quest when no other clothing is in her equipment inventory.
Equipment given to Arissa using the option "I need to trade some things with you." will never be worn, so feel free to give her whatever you like in this inventory without fear of disturbing her appearance.
The latest version of Skyrim.
Compatible with other custom follower mods.
Compatible with Convenient Horses.
Compatible with Wearable Lanterns.
Compatible with Amazing Follower Tweaks (use spell "Tweak Make Follower" on Arissa).
Compatible with Extensible Follower Framework 4.0 Beta. Initial support. Author NOT responsible for errors or bugs in a beta version of another mod!
Compatible with iNeeds follower features (Note: You must give Arissa food and beverage using "Let's manage your equipment.", NOT "I need to trade some things with you.")
Wet and Cold: You may need to temporarily disable Follower / NPC behavior, or Arissa may attempt to go back inside during the introduction quest instead of leading the player where they need to go.
No compatibility was added for multi-follower mods; however, your gameplay should not be negatively impacted. Features added by EFF and UFO will not work on Arissa.
Arissa has already been cleaned with TES5Edit and the edits that remain are intentional. Specifically, these edits are intentional:
* Edits to defaultWICommentTRIG
* Edits to WICommentTriggerScript
* Edits to MilitaryCampHaafingarSonsLocation
* Edits to Worldspace Tamriel 00000D74 and Block -1, 0 and children (MilitaryCampHaafingarSonsLocation, MilitaryCampHaafingarSons03, etc)
"I am experiencing some slow-down or graphical stuttering since installing Arissa."
The largest texture in Arissa is 4096x4096, which may be too large for some users to run easily on a lower-end graphics card. Alt3rn1ty has graciously completed a Reduced Textures mod that will assist with this. Grab it here!
"How do I make my Arissa look like the ones in the screenshots?"
To achieve the look that you see in the screenshots, I used:
The Eyes of Beauty
SG Female Textures Renewal
Enjoy! Feel free to use your own female face mods with Arissa and see what you can come up with.
"I asked Arissa to lock-pick a door for me, but she said that she wouldn't do it."
Followers in general cannot be ordered to pick doors for some reason. Perhaps someday there will be a work-around. She will pick chests and disarm traps.
"Arissa seems to be stuck in sneaking mode (crouching)."
This is a bug in the original game that I cannot fix. It has been present since the game launched. A solution is to save your game, exit, and reload. This shouldn't happen any more often than a normal follower; please report any strange behavior.
"I lost Arissa! I can't find her!"
If you have completely lost Arissa, open the console and enter the command: set RecoverArissa to 1. This should resolve the problem and bring Arissa to you, no matter where she may be.
Generally, if Arissa disappears, you can:
* Keep walking. If you lost her while walking across Tamriel, she should spring behind you soon while you're not looking.
* If you told her to Wait and forgot where, she will return to the Dead Man's Drink in Falkreath after 2 days and will give up.
* If you dismissed her, she will be waiting in the Dead Man's Drink in Falkreath.
* If you didn't catch her during the introduction quest, she will be waiting in the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood.
* If you told her to roam freely while in a city, leave the city. She will run to you. You may need to wait an hour for her to catch up to you.
"Arissa said "Excuse me" when I bumped into her, and then cowered, as if frightened."
This is a known issue that is part of her "avoidance" package to try to get her out of your way when you bump into her.
"Arissa started sandboxing / started waiting somewhere, and now she's not following me even if I move away."
Chances are high that your game (specifically your scripting system) is running poorly and my scripts are not being allowed to run. Try a new game or try disabling all other mods and see if it still happens. Arissa uses a system identical to the one used by Serana in Dawnguard to allow her to sandbox around an area when you are standing still.
"Arissa and other NPCs can become stuck when pathing near the Dwemer exit to Skygrove Cavern."
Since I'm extremely hesitant to edit a navmesh in the base game, and since this affects a very small area in the game, this issue may occur and I will not be changing the location or position of the elevator. If you move away from the elevator, any followers that may have become stuck when walking near this elevator should catch up to you.
"I upgraded from 1.1a or before, and Arissa is stuck at the bottom of the elevator shaft at the end of her main quest."
If the problem did not automatically fix itself when upgrading, try entering the following console commands:
set RecoverArissa to 1
SetStage _Arissa_MQ02 100
SetObjectiveCompleted _Arissa_MQ02 100
This should finish the quest appropriately and bring Arissa to your current location.
"Arissa is stuck in Broken Oar Grotto."
This is a bug in the game and I cannot fix it. See link for details. To get Arissa out if she is stuck, please enter set RecoverArissa to 1 into the console and wait a few seconds.
"Can you marry Arissa?"
Not at this time. Making her a fun and pleasing character to adventure with was more important during development.
"I am a cannibal and now Arissa hates me. Is there any way to re-recruit her?"
"I made Arissa angry (killed a bunch of people, attacked her, etc) and now I can't re-recruit her."
Wait 24 hours in-game. If that doesn't fix the problem, you may need to manually adjust her regard in order to get her to agree to join you again. Open the console (~) and type:
"set _Arissa_Regard to 9.8" (note the space between "set" and the underscore)
This should allow you to recruit her again. That said, if your playstyle is this incompatible with Arissa's moral outlook, perhaps it was not meant to be.
"Is Arissa compatible with mod XYZ?"
I don't know. Why don't you try it, and let me know? There are too many things for me to test by myself. Please report incompatibilities.
"Is Arissa compatible with Dawnguard / Dragonborn / Hearthfire?"
We have not yet added any special content related to areas and features added by these DLC. Base game only.
"Can Arissa die?"
Only during a certain segment of her introduction quest. It is a choice the player must make and is not accidental. After that, she will be Essential and cannot die.
"Why won't Arissa do what I tell her to do?!"
Because her Regard is too low for what you're asking her to do. See "Regard", above.
"Is Arissa compatible with multi-follower mods such as EFF, UFO, and AFT?"
AFT is compatible via the use of the "Tweak Make Follower" spell.
EFF 4.0 Beta is compatible (initial support).
UFO is not compatible, and probably never will be.
"How do I max out her Regard from the get-go?"
Open the console (~) and type "set _Arissa_Regard to 10". Note the space between "set" and the underscore. Then, go kill an enemy of some kind or wait 24 hours. All features should be unlocked.
"If I clean-save or uninstall Arissa, will all of her progress be lost?"
"How do I check my current Regard with Arissa?"
Open your Magic menu, and navigate to Active Effects while Arissa is in your service. An entry will be displayed that notes Arissa's current regard for the player.
"I don't like the Regard notifications. How do I disable them?"
They can currently be disabled through the console (~) by entering:
Disable changes to Regard notifications: "set _Arissa_Setting_ShowRegardChanges to 0" (note the space between "set" and the underscore)
Disable Regard level notifications: "set _Arissa_Setting_ShowRegardLevels to 0" (note the space between "set" and the underscore)
Set either of these to 1 to turn these features back on.
"Will you offer new hair styles in the future?"
Probably not. The over-the-shoulder braid pretty much -is- Arissa at this point. There are alternate hair color options available in the download section.
"How do I start the second part of Arissa's main quest?"
Travel in the general area of the Haafingar Stormcloak Camp and she will prompt you. She will also approach you automatically after about 3 in-game days of gameplay. You can also use the Wait key to wait about 7 in-game days, after which she should offer you the next leg of her quest.
"How do I get past the barred gate?"
You need to pull on something near the gate. There are two of them; one opens the way.
"That's it? That's all there is to her quest?"
I am sorry if it is disappointingly shortlived. I started an indie game studio around the half-way point of Arissa's development, and some things ended up getting cut a bit short. Please make sure to talk to Arissa following her second quest and have her talk about her past in order to get an idea of what she's been through. I hope that exposition will help wrap things up.
"What is the full list of things that increase Regard? What is the full list of things that decrease it?"
Her Regard is increased by:
Days spent together
Dragon Souls Collected
People Killed (but not Murders)
Words Of Power Learned
Her Regard is decreased by:
Attacking her (Removed in 1.1+; may be re-added in the future)
Feeding as a Cannibal (results in permanent disband)
* It's been a great privilege to work with someone as talented as Nikkita. Thank you for breathing life into Arissa; without your hard work, she would have never been possible.
* Thanks to Gareth for the excellent music track that opens her first quest.
* Thanks to Lorelai's 3D modeling and texturing support.
* Thanks to TheRoadStroker for use of his excellent-looking Rogue Sorceress Outfit (old default outfit) and ZZJay for the Huntress Outfit from ZZJay's Wardrobe (new default outfit).
* Thanks to Apachii for use of Arissa's hairstyle.
* Thanks to Mitchalek, for Convenient Horses compatibility.
* Thanks to Alt3rn1ty for the additional texture options.
* Thanks to Vulon, for additional voice contributions.
* Thanks to ff7legend, for helping other users with tech support issues.
* And last but not least, thanks to YOU for your patience and for playing Arissa. I hope you have great adventures together and that we get to hear about them.
Let us know what features you'd like to see in Arissa; we're listening. We will continue to fix bugs as identified and to add some features slowly over time.
As mentioned up above, I started an indie game studio during Arissa's development. We are hard at work on Hazewalker, a game that I think will be a ton of fun for fans of Skyrim, and especially Castlavania: Symphony of the Night fans. Please check out our site below! I hope to continue modding well into the future, but for now the bulk of my sweat and effort is being poured into making a great game. Thank you everyone for your support!