Dungeon Builder

Saving your (Follower) Relationship - CloudedTruth

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Today we are talking to CloudedTruth - author of the very popular Relationship Dialogue Overhaul for both Skyrim and Skyrim Special Edition as well as various amazing follower mods.

Thank you for joining us today, it’s truly appreciated. We like to start these interviews off with a bit of a personal introduction, so could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm 28 years old from the United States and currently work in manufacturing dealing with parts and materials for creating circuit panels/electrical boxes & breakers.

Relationship Dialogue Overhaul is an immensely popular mod of yours for both Skyrim LE and Skyrim SE. How would you describe that mod for those who have yet to try it out and what inspired you to set out and create it?
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul (RDO) is an attempt to make the NPCs in the game feel slightly more alive and human-like. Make friends, spouses, and rivals talk to you in a way that makes them seem more appropriate. It also restores some dialogue that was originally cut from the game. The original inspiration behind the mod came from the mod Amorous Adventures. I remember the first time I heard NPCs use custom dialogue that had been edited together I was just awestruck. For some reason such a concept had never come to me until hearing it from another mod, but as soon as I did it sparked me to learn how to create my own dialogue.

 What was your journey from mod user to mod creator like?
When I started playing and modding Skyrim on PC I was like most others and began with the Steam workshop, then transitioned to the Nexus. After getting adapted to a different way to install and use mods I began in dabbling with NPC edits and customization, which ended up being the first mod I made and uploaded (which has long since been deleted because it was not very good...)

From there I really started to learn how to use TES5Edit tool and the Creation Kit much more effectively and began to make changes to mods I had downloaded to suit my own tastes. Following some time doing this, I first got introduced to Amorous Adventures from a video by Shinji72, and inspiration from that really kicked off my mod creating journey.

I created several small dialogue mods before finally ending up with Relationship Dialogue Overhaul. During the process of creating RDO I was messaged by a very talented character creator, rxkx22, and together we created an attractive follower that has unique dialogue. Since then I've been able to work with him add some extra features and functions to his follower mods. I've created several other small mods - not dialogue related - that are more of my own personal taste and which are also available.

Several of your mods are what would be considered follower mods, in one form or another. In your opinion, what are the core ingredients for a good Skyrim follower?
That all depends on what you want. There are some extremely expansive follower mods available that really end up being more like quest mods instead of follower mods (which is fine, if that's what you want). And there are others that are a little more subtle and just have a small (back)story and that's it. As long as the follower fits into your Skyrim world and doesn't drag you out of it, then I think it's good follower mod. 

The term “immersive” has become a bit of a meme in modding - Skyrim modding in particular. Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that there is definitely such a thing as an “immersive” mod. What does that mean for you and do you have examples of mods that truly add to an immersive experience?

To me, what makes a mod immersive is if it makes your playthrough more enjoyable. People will argue day and night on if a mod's "immersive" but really it's down to each user and their choice. One way that's been approached is by saying if the mod had been in the original game and you would have enjoyed it, then it's an "immersive" mod. I do have several pet peeves when it comes to custom voiced audio, and one is if it's really poor quality. For me, that completely ruins the experience. Also, if the dialogue is spoken with zero emotion when it needs to have some, that also ruins it for me. Those two things would make a mod very "un-immersive" for me.
What are some games other than Skyrim you enjoy playing? Have you ever tried modding other games?

Other games I enjoy playing are Battlefield 3, the occasional Chivalry, and Rocket League. There are others but those are the main ones. I have not modded any other game besides Skyrim.
What are your favourite hobbies outside of gaming/modding?

I'm quite a fan of motor racing, particularly open wheel, and participate in go-karting when I can. I also enjoy traveling around and listening to a variety of voices on a wide range of subjects and topics.
Do you have any tips for budding mod authors who want to follow in your footsteps?

My best advice I would give to people is to learn how to use TES5Edit and the Creation Kit, those are the tools you will use the most. The internet is your friend, use it for any questions you have. Ask other authors for help. Have patience, learning this can take time. For those wanting to do audio, you will need even more patience if you're going to be creating new dialogue out the games audio files, it's not something you'll be able to get on your first try. Don't get easily discouraged.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our community?

I know I've been out of modding for quite a time, and that's simply due to both getting burned out and other obligations. If the time is available and I have the creative energy I will get back to it. Thank you for your understanding.

A big thank you to CloudedTruth for taking the time to talk to us! If there's an author or mod project you'd like to know more about, send your suggestions to BigBizkit or Pickysaurus


  1. graywinds
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    Big fan of his mods too btw
    1. TheRealJonWarden
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      Now why the f*** did you have to do it in comic sans.
    2. graywinds
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      cause i wanted to ?
    3. CyniclyPink
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      Graywinds, I wish there was a like button   lol
    4. graywinds
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      and you deserve my grandma's special cookies
    5. wearenumberthree
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      why wouldnt you use comic sans xD
  2. GrenndelDB
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    All mods add options to create your personal ideal game. 
    All options are good to have. 

    I personally do not use RDO, but that's because I've gone Seriously Over the Deep End with "Take Notes: Journal of the Dragonborn" and write novelizations of the game as I play, crafting personalities and backstories and manners of speaking for each NPC that no mod will ever perfectly do for me. It does mean I frequently ignore actual text spoken by the game and decide my headcanon overrides anything I see on screen or hear through my speakers. 

    But I get that that's not something everyone is going to want to do. 
    If RDO works for you?  Absoluetely!  Use it!  Enjoy it!
    If it conflicts with how you personally imagine how characters speak? Dispense with it.
    There is no right or wrong recipe of mods.

    EDIT:  that said, I cannot imagine playing any game without Tocatta replacer for Elisif, or several others.
  3. KenjiKurai
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    thank you for all of your hard work! we truly appreciate it! 
  4. atroxs21
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    can it be use with serana add on dialog mob ?
    1. oyvveg
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  5. DemonicWinna
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    RDO is bug filled and labeled dangerous on reddit.. Haven't used it in years.
    1. SkunkGhoti
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      I always use it and have never experienced any issues with it, for what it's worth.
    2. vihanxero1
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      Used it for the longest time and it works like a charm no bugs whatsoever, def a bunch a BS on reddit.
    3. sukhbir4200
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      I ran this mod with several major Gameplay overhauls, STEP, SRLE, LotD guides. And hundreds of other mods that I liked. 
      Never had an issue with it. 
    4. Blackieees
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      I Concur with the others, I've used it from my first playthrough in every playthrough and have never had any issues. 
    5. Avallach1
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      Same as the above people, used it since release in probably around 6 playthroughs without any issue, worse that happened was some manual conflict solving in TES5Edit, nothing else. 
    6. Copestetic30
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      Is that really what you want put out there after a great little interview with a good mod author? Come on, man. Take it to the mod page and have a little class.
    7. TheGreystone
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      "RDO is buggy and dangerous' says redditman with 400 unsorted active mods."
    8. mk24440000
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      doesnt have any issues either , ur just edgy or something cringy ass motherf***er 
  6. Ashes2Asherz
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    there are a few mods that I will not play Skyrim without, RDO is one of them.

    thank you!
  7. georgejbps
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    In all the years I have played Skyrim, RDO gave the game "life" I can have my Followers interact with me as a "friend/lover" not just as an "employee". It makes the game more personal. When I first saw Minerva and heard her, I was extremely in awe. The voice was so real, the inflections so spot on, it was like SHE was real! I have had RDO in my NNM ever since it came out  along with Bijin Warmaidens  And I bring back Minerva at some point every time I start a new game! Mods Come an go, but some mods ..like RDO and Rxkx22 mods,  are some of the mods you keep!    
  8. Sunegami
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    RDO is an absolutely essential mod. Thank you so much!
  9. ZanderAlchemist
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    ?.  (Beers emoji)
  10. Skybroom
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    RDO is absolutely necessary in terms of immersion to encrease. The one fact that it makes all the default voices available as followers is an awesome improvement. To be honest, after years of having RDO in my load order I haven't tried out all of those new voice packages. But I love the feeling I still have the possibility to explore something new. So, this mod still got a potential to me. It's important. Thank you.

    Besides, it's perfectly done, with a perfect sense of proportion. Nothing too odd or extravagant, only the things that could be in the original game.

    BTW Making NPC "more alive and human-like" is the thing Follower Live Package helps a lot with. I use both RDO and FLP. (and FCO but tweaked via Tes5Edit)
    And, yes, to me the quality of voice acting is the most essential point when it comes to estimating a custom voiced follower mod. Bethesda's voice acting cast is GLORIOUS. With those guys in my ears I never get bored. So, in the most cases it is an unfavourable comparison to have a customly voiced character in your game next to the default NPCs. Different weight classes, you know. Usually it's no longer than a few days that a custom voice can stay in my game before I remove it. Sofia, Vilja, Inigo, etc.... sorry guys, but... bye!

    The only voiced character I left be in my Skyrim is Adrak. I think the guy who created and voiced his character is just living in Skyrim. He isn't immersive, he is immersion. A total masterpiece. Wish he kept up with the work to add the combat dialogue etc.
    Okay, I think that's it for today. Thank you guys! That was a wonderful conversation! See you!
    1. jspee1965
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      "I haven't tried out all of those new voice packages".  What voice packages??  Follower / NPC voice packages?  Where on Earth are they??
    2. Skybroom
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      I mean default (vanilla) Voice Types extended for followers to have. So, for you that was the most interesting part in my comment?
    3. Juqu
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      That was definetly the most interesting part. Wild ride from "What RDO has option to change the follower voice packages!? that sounds awesome!" to the cold realization that it does not have that feature.