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About this mod

A more flexible and refined skill specialization system for Skyrim.

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In the previous Elder Scrolls titles, your skill choices at character creation would determine how fast skills increase. Skyrim removes the character creation aspect and instead gives you the Guardian Stones to choose a set of skills to increase faster. The new system has advantages in that it is simple and it allows you to change your character's focus over time. However, it is also bad because it lacks flexibility, and having those Guardian Stones co-exist with the other 10 standing stones means that you are forced to choose between skill increases and gameplay abilities, which makes no sense!

Skill specialization in Skyrim is mainly done through the Perk system, and this mod was designed to keep that pattern consistent. It implements a new skill learning system which is inspired by the old class system from Morrowind, but the skill choices are now tied to Perks instead of being determined by character creation or Standing Stones. In addition, the Guardian Stones have been reworked and various tweaks have been made to the Standing Stones in order to improve them.

Dynamic Skill Specialization
Skill learning modifiers are determined by a combination of the level of the skill and investment in the primary Perks of the corresponding tree. Each skill is accordingly classified as Major (35% XP bonus), Minor (normal XP), or Auxiliary (20% XP penalty*). At low levels, only the first Perk is required for a Major Skill, but at higher levels, further investment is needed.
*If you prefer Auxiliary skills to gain no XP, set DSS_HardcoreMode to 1 either in the in-game console or in the plugin itself.

These transitions work as follows:
  • Start: 1st Perk required for Major Skill
  • Skill level 40+: 2nd Perk required for Major Skill, 1st Perk required for Minor Skill
  • Skill level 60+: 3rd Perk required for Major Skill, 2nd Perk required for Minor Skill
  • Skill level 80+: 4th Perk required for Major Skill, 3rd Perk required for Minor Skill

Note that for the Smithing tree, Perks on either side of the tree can count as primary Perks.

Standing Stones
The Warrior
Those under the sign of the Warrior can do more attack damage and block more damage.
  • Weapon Damage, 3 pts
  • Fortify Unarmed Damage, 3 pts
  • Block Incoming Damage, 10%

The Mage
Those under the sign of the Mage can cast spells more easily.
  • Spells from all 5 schools cost 15% less to cast

The Thief
Those under the sign of the Thief are better at sneaking, pickpocketing, and lockpicking.
  • Fortify Sneak, 15 pts
  • Fortify Pickpocket, 15%
  • Fortify Lockpicking, 15%

The Serpent
Those under the sign of The Serpent can use a ranged penetrating poison at the cost of Stamina.
  • Damage Stamina, 50 pts on Self
  • Weakness to Poison, 50% for 5 secs (does not hit automatons/ash spawn)
  • Damage Health, 5 pts for 5 secs (does not hit automatons/ash spawn)

The Lady
Those under the sign of The Lady regenerate Health more quickly but do less damage.
  • Restore Health, 2 pts per second
  • Reduce Weapon Damage, 15%
  • Weaken Destruction, 15%

The Steed
Those under the sign of The Steed can carry more and do not suffer a movement penalty from armor.
  • Worn armor of all types is weightless and carries no speed penalty
  • Fortify Carry Weight, 100 pts

The Lord
Those under the sign of The Lord are more resistant to both Magicka and physical damage:
  • Fortify Armor Rating, 100 pts
  • Resist Magic, 15%

The Apprentice
Those under the sign of The Apprentice have more Magicka and recover it faster, but are more susceptible to Magicka damage.
  • Fortify Magicka, 50 pts
  • Regenerate Magicka 100% faster
  • Weakness to Magic, 50%

The Atronach
Those under the sign of The Atronach absorb a portion of incoming spell damage and have a larger pool of Magicka, but cannot recover it naturally.
  • Spell Absorption, 50%
  • Damage Magicka Regen, 1000%
  • Fortify Magicka, 100 pts

The Ritual
Once a day, those under the sign of The Ritual can reanimate nearby corpses to fight for them.
  • Dead Thrall, 80 pts for 200 secs in 75 ft

The Lover
Those under the sign of The Lover always feel a Lover's Comfort (All skills improve faster, prices are better).
  • All skills improve 15% faster
  • Buying and selling prices are 5% better

The Shadow
Once a day, those under the sign of The Shadow can become invisible and move more quietly for an extended period.
  • Invisibility, for 60 secs
  • Muffle, 1 pt for 60 secs

The Tower
Those under the sign of The Tower take reduced falling damage, and once a day, they can automatically open an Expert or lower lock.
  • Reduced falling damage, 95%
  • Unlock any lock, up to Expert in difficulty

Resting Bonuses
Since the resting bonuses are intertwined with skill learning and Standing Stones, some tweaks have been made to them to improve general quality of life. The vanilla bonuses were a bit too low and didn't last long enough to feel worthwhile, and requiring marriage for the best bonus creates an awkward clash between gameplay and roleplay motivations.

Rested: All skills improve 8% faster for 16 hours.
Well Rested: All skills improve 15% faster for 16 hours.
Lover's Comfort: All skills improve 15% faster, and buying and selling prices are 5% better for 16 hours.

This mod can be installed or uninstalled at any time.

Ability Condition Bug
It is possible that on a long-running save, your Major Skills will get stuck and fail to change when they should. If this happens, follow these steps:
  1. Disable the mod and load your game.
  2. Save your game and exit.
  3. Re-enable the mod and load your game again.

  • Almost all Perk mods require a patch, which may include functionality or just descriptions, depending on how much is changed.
  • Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim - Partially compatible. Load after this mod so it overwrites the Standing Stones. Dynamic skill specialization will be retained.
  • Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim - Patch available. Dynamic skill specialization is reworked so that you need both ranks of the base Perk for a Major Skill; this does not scale.

Special Thanks
ElectricSparx, testing, feedback, and title idea.
Simon Magus, testing, feedback, and ideas.