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About this mod

Configurable spell learning and discovery gameplay. Compatible with every spells.

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Skyrim Spell Learning and Discovery Mod


This is a gameplay mod for Skyrim Legendary Edition. It adds realism and configurability to spell learning for the player.

Gameplay diff

Before this mod (Vanilla Skyrim)
  • Merchants are the only source for spells
  • Opening a spell book grants spell knowledge immediately
  • But lore tells us learning magic should require effort
  • Insta-learning breaks our suspension of disbelief
  • What about self-development, research and magic discovery the lore tells us about?
  • When trying to fix Skyrim's economy with "cutthroat merchants", spells may become overly expensive. But buying is the only option.

After this mod
  • Player is prevented form insta-learning from spell books. When buying a book from a merchant or otherwise picking up any spellbook, "Spell learning notes" will be added to the player's inventory instead. (configurable)
  • Corresponding spells are added to his/her todo list, which he/she studies every night before going to sleep. (no in-game representation, just pretend or use the "simple actions" mod)
  • There's a dice roll after each rest (once a day) to check if a new spell has been learned from the books. (configurable difficulty)
  • Learn by practice: The more often the player casts spells, the more chances he/she has to successfully learn new spells
  • Mages are researchers: There's also a chance to discover a spell by oneself without having acquired its book. (configurable difficulty, can be set to 0% chance)
  • Roleplaying a mage also increases chances of spell learning. (configurable)
  •   ** By hoarding a personal library of "Spell learning notes" (stackable in inventory)
  •   ** Discussing "magic theory" with mage NPCs
  •   ** Staying in inspiring locations (Winterhold college, temples, your own study)
  •   ** Consuming mind-enhancing concoctions, with mild or dangerous side effects
  •   ** Learning from daedra spirits through a midnight ritual

More and higher-end spell books can be found on opponent casters' corpses, symbolizing their own ongoing study of the arcane arts.

This enables to be more involved with mage roleplay (various flavours), gives incentive to sleep, enables self-reliance (grow your mastery of the arts by adventuring). Depending on the configuration options chosen, it can add a large difficulty to the base game, or on the contrary be easy/cheaty. The default options aim to add a bit of realism without being a chore.


Mod requires SKSE, FISS and the Dragonborn extension.
(FISS is not a hard requirement, it's only used to backup and restore your study list)

I also suggest using a mod allowing to sleep in temples ("Simple Actions", "You can sleep", etc.) and another to remove the player's starting spells ("Skyrim Unbound", "No starting spells", etc.).

Installation, uninstallation

Installing should be correctly handled by your mod manager of choice.
Uninstalling : First disable the mod in its MCM, save your game. Remove the mod using your mod manager. Launch your game again and make a clean save. Finally use a savegame cleaner to remove the last bits of scripts from your savegame.

Scripts & performance

This mod uses Papyrus scripts. The scripts are event-based, triggering on casting animations, sleep and object pickup events.
They should not pose a stability or performance problem at all in normal use. The only case I can think of an issue is if you pick up ("Take all") dozens of spell books from a container or corpse all at once. Expect a stutter if you ever do that. Pick things up one by one to avoid this potential problem.


Spell learning feature: Compatible with any spell book from any mod, no patch required.
Spell discovery: Uses merchants leveled book lists, so spell mod has to add its content there to be compatible. Most spell mods do that, but for example Forgotten Magic doesn't IIRC.

Incompatible with Better Spell Learning.

A player reported: "A little wonky when used with SPERG. I ended up with two versions of all bound spells [...] had to remove the wrong ones with the console". Some scripted mods like this one might cleverly swap your spells behind the scenes, my mod won't handle that. But it's only an annoyance, you can remove the unwanted spells with the console, Grimy Utilities or any mod to forget spells.


All permissions granted, no crediting required, do whatever you want licence.

Disclaimer & FAQ

I think the mod is feature-complete. 
I honestly have very little time for modding or gaming (unfortunately), you can expect very little from me.

SSE version made by author "nexusishere":

If you often add / remove mods, use the MCM FISS export function to regularly save your spell study list : If it somehow gets borked by changes in your load order, you can probably recover it thanks to the XML export file.


Major credits to legendary mod author kassent who accepted to let me use his bookextension.dll from "Fast Operation System" in my mod.
Major credits to nexusishere for porting my mod to SSE, improving it, and allowing me to backport the improvements into classic.

Credits and thanks to Sjogga, /u/fadingsignal, EnaiSiaion, alex9ndre, and countless others I learned Papyrus from by dissecting their scripts and ESPs.