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About this mod

Make the Thu'um actually be powerful (but not to game-breaking levels)!

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Author: MadCat221 ([email protected])

NOTICE: It goes without saying, I hope, that this mod will conflict with any other mods that alter Shouts, such as other Shout--rebalancing mods.

Version: 1.2.1

May 13, 2012

1. Introduction
2: List of Alterations
3: Installation and Setup Instructions
4. Version History


Shouts... are kinda lackluster. A lot of them are outright obviated by magic effects, or just plain become useless once the level thresholds are passed. Also... why don't you ever get *better*? The only skill advancement you get is more shouts and shout tiers.

Dragonborn Ascendant aims to correct this, and make the Thu'um something truly powerful: Leveled shouts, more practical cooldowns, even a couple outright replaced in function.

For the base game:
  • Added special ability spell "Dragonborn Ascendant", which will give a Dragonsoul Boost, giving 3% shout cooldown reduction for every 5 dragon souls you absorb, up to 50 souls (meaning 30% reduction). Why not more? Because it can stack with the two vanilla cooldown reduction sources (Amulet or Blessing of Talos) for a total of 70%. If you want to belt off shouts every half-second, break your game balance on your own. :P
  • Fire and Frost Breath shouts now have 25/35/45 second cooldowns.
  • Ice Form also has shorter cooldowns, at 40/50/60.
  • Fire and frost breath now have tiered damage increments every 10 levels, starting at level 20. Each shout word level has a tiered damage. Additionally, Destruction special perk effects (burn panic, freeze paralysis) might be applied. Ice Form is still a more guaranteed way to get freeze paralysis (excluding Hermy's perks in Dragonborn).
  • Unrelenting Force, at full power, can stagger a dragon. Other than that, it's already quite well-balanced.
  • Dismay has a similar leveled-tiered system as Fire/Frost Breath. At all three words of power and at level 50+, you can scare *anything* that isn't already immune to Fear effects.
  • Disarm also has a level-tiered system. At level 50+, you can disarm *anything* with all three words. Drop that sword like it's hot, deathlord!
  • Become Ethereal is rejigged as well. Cooldown is now much like Throw Voice, where more Words of Power mean shorter cooldown, while duration is leveled.
  • Animal Allegiance now, instead of calling for animals that may or may not be there and may or may not arrive on time to be of any use, now instead summons spectral animals. Tier 1 is a wolf, tier 2 a sabrecat, tier 3 a *BEAR*. Cooldown is considerably shorter than the other Summon shout, Call of Valor.
  • Callling for Odahviing is now a "greater power" Shout, meaning you can call your buddy once a day. Counterbalancing, cooldown is now 5 seconds.
  • Many offensive shouts now have "Ward Breaker" powers, taking advantage of how Wards only care about spell magnitudes, not if the spell actually does lasting damage. Hear that sweet sound of an enemy mage's ward shattering with the power of your Voice. Sometimes the Shout may even still have enough oomph to affect them.

For Dawnguard:

  • Soul Tear now has tiered effects.  "Rii" will do a Soul Trap effect.  "Vaaz" will add a Massive Damage effect that will likely outright kill anything weak.  "Zol" does the whole works as normal. Cooldowns have been expanded for the first two Words since they now actually do something.
  • Similarly, Calling for Durnehviir is a "Greater Power" shout with a lower cooldown.
  • Drain Vitality will now also Absorb those vitalities into you.
For Dragonborn:
  • Fire wyrms have been buffed a bit in effectiveness. Watch out for when they pop, still.

Draugr shouts are now completely separated, keeping only the Dragonborn's shouts empowered by this mod. This may cause conflicts, as I had to alter the draugr actor forms to implement the change.

Reasonings and musings: Fire/Frost Breath were so badly outclassed by the Destruction Adept AoE spells it was pointless to use them. Now, they're very useful burst damage attacks. Not something to rely on as a mainstay damage dealer still. At higher levels, they actually are useful against boss encounters!
Full-power Unrelenting Force can knock a Drac upside the head now, but Dragonrend is still a far better dragon attack disruptor. It's basically there for early game time. Also... it won't work on Alduin. ;)

More changes will happen as I figure out how to keep them balanced.


Just load the module. A new method to add the Dragonsoul Boost effect has been devised that doesn't involve Papyrus, so no more weird instructions involving the Console.

It still won't show up in your effects list until you get at least 5 dragon souls.


Initial Release.

v1.0.1 (May 17, 2012):
Added Ice Form cooldown shortening to the list. Forgot to mention it before, it was still present in 1.0.
Added a note to the instruction image that the Dragonsoul Boost power won't appear int he magic effect list until you have at least 5 dragonsouls.
Fixed the Draugr shouts inadvertently getting added to the Player list. If you accidentally had either added, use the console command "player.removeshout xx002596" for Frost Breath and "player.removeshout xx00259c" (where the xx is the load order prefix of the mod, which you can find again with the Dragonsoul Boost instructions).

v1.1 (October 16, 2012):
I have discovered how to bust magic wards! It's not *completely* reliable, but more often than not you'll hear that sweet satisfying glass smash sound of an enemy ward breaking when you nail them with the shout. And oftentimes, you'll also peg them with the shout effect.
The following shouts now have Ward-buster power in all three tiers: Unrelenting Force, Fire Breath, Frost Breath, Dismay, Marked For Death, Soul Tear (DG), Drain Vitality (DG)
The nitty gritty details are that I have a Drain Speechcraft 1000 for 5 secs (Speechcraft is useless to NPCs as far as I can tell and it's temporary anyway) with conditionals that they have a ward in either hand and are casting. It essentially will overwhelm any barrier it hits. With the newly released TES5Edit, I rejigged all their spell lists so the wardbusters are first in the effect list so they have a nonzero chance of also applying the shout effect (it was zero if they were the last effects in the list).

v1.1.1 (November 7, 2012):
Oopsie... When displacing all the spell effects so the Ward Busters are at the top of the spell effect list, some values got mixed up, and Fire Breath tiers 2 and 3 got a massive damage boost at level 40-50 range, doing the damage they should have dealt in an instant instead as per-second... over 15 seconds. I found that out when I started one-shotting Frost Dracs with Fire Breath. Derp. Also, Frost Breath's Deep Freeze destruction perk effects have been lengthened to 1/2/3 seconds depending on how many words you use.

v1.1.2 (November 29, 2012):
I fixed the Wardbusters so you don't get message spam anymore. Also, I implemented dragon staggering for the top-level Fire/Frost Breath shouts when used against a dragon who favors the opposite element. Frost-breather drac got you down? Smack him upside the horns with Fire Breath! Fire-breathing drac burning your butt? Tell him to chill out across his face with Frost Breath!

v1.2 (February 9, 2013)
A new method of applying the Dragonsoul Boost that isn't convoluted and console-requisite has been devised using a barebones quest with a single alias for the Player, containing said Dragonsoul Boost spell.
This will work on first-load of the module or on a new game. Presumably, since you already have the spell in running games with a previous version, it'll just go "Player already has spell".
Fire/Frost Breath Stagger on Dragons has been pulled since it wasn't working correctly. Alternate methods for getting the effect are being explored.
Animal Allegiance has been reverted to its vanilla function, and its cooldown has been reduced as well.
Durnehviir and Odahviing calls in base and Dawnguard plugins now made once-a-day instead of 300-sec cooldowns. Once the source for Dragonborn comes out, I'll figure out how they make usage of one tier of power expends it for all three tiers on Dragon Aspect and apply it to Call of Valor as well.

v1.2.1 (February 14, 2013)
Discovered that the actual call for Odahviing got nixed somehow. Reinstated.
Animal Allegiance spectral animal summoning was reinstated as well by popular demand.