Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

This mod is a framework to handle defeat narratives. When you are defeated, one of many random events may occur depending on the context. You may be left for dead, transported to a shrine, have your items stolen, etc. Follower are supported and play an active role in the gameplay dynamics.

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In one sentence: "To offer a narrative of the player character's adventures that include defeat and failures, and increase the active role of the NPCs that populate Skyrim". This permit increasing the difficulty to a more realistic level and thus, provides the basis for a truly immersive gameplay experience. Again, the goal is not to make the player invulnerable in all cases, it is to include stories of defeat as well as those of victories to your personal story, increasing the RP element of Skyrim.

It's been asked often: why is Death Alternative a framework? Many mods listen to Skyrim vanilla events and do stuff under certain condition. However, we never know who else is listening. That's not a big issue if we just want to add a magic effect on the player when an event is received, but what if multiple mods listen to the same event and one mod wants to send the player west and another wants to send the player east when an event is received? In such case, what we get is a complete unpredictable mess, which is the source of many incompatibilities. The Story Manager in Skyrim doesn't have that problem because any mod can register new branch and nodes (e.g. quest) and the manager decides when to start what. However, there is no branch for Defeat-like events. Death Alternative framework is a story manager for defeat-like events: other mods can register new branches and nodes that will be started when the conditions are met. And the best thing of all is that plugins can register new nodes in the same way that new MCM menu are registered in SkyUI i.e. without explicit dependency on SkyUI.

Death and defeat of the player character means reload and continue in Vanilla Skyrim. Many mods increase the difficulty and realism of the combat system in the game but very few give alternative to the ultimate end. This mod is my attempt at providing a fun and semi-realistic way of handling defeat without reload. It provides enough incentive to think about engaging in combat and deepens survival mods (food requirement, cold survival, etc.) by requiring a downtime to recover from your wounds.

How is this accomplished? The first thing is that it adds a bleedout state to the character. Once your HP reaches zero, you enter bleedout mode. In that state, you are on the ground, unable to take any direct action but you are not defeated yet as long as your bleedout HP pool isn't depleted. If little damage is received in that state, you will automatically recover in a weakened state (while weakened, you have slightly less HP regen but you also have less bleedout HP next time you are sent to the ground). If your bleedout HP reaches zero, you fall unconscious. A number of things can happen while unconscious but typically one will be tossed out of the location you happened to be in, as if left for dead. Depending on the type of enemy who defeated you, some of your gear and valuables may be stolen. These events are configurable and expandable with the framework features of Death Alternative. Modders can easily add their own quests and events. When you regain consciousness, you are in an extremely weakened state in which health regen is null and healing is mostly ineffective. If you are defeated in that state, you will die this time (and have to reload as in Vanilla). A few generic encounters can happen when you wake up. A random adventurer could offer some assistance or a random brigand could take advantage of the situation and steal some of your gear (if not already stolen). Any gear stolen can be recovered, either by taking it back from the thief or by finding a pawnbroker (The vendors that sell miscellaneous items and act as fences here) and buying your gear back with gold at a fair price.
(Spoilers) I added a description of all the new quests and events under the readme tab

Brodual gave an incredibly detailed review of the mod v1.0. The general idea remained but many more features have been added since then.
Shinji72 made a review of DA v4.0. It shows many of the updated features including many of the defeat scenarios. Many thanks to him.

-Bleedout state for the PC makes it impossible to be one-shotted by powerful enemies. The PC has a bleedout HP pool equal to his normal HP pool. This bleedout HP pool gets damaged while in bleedout mode and takes a long time to recover naturally. While it recovers, the PC is affected by the Bleeding debuff which slightly reduce normal HP regen. A Widget bar displays remaining bleedout HP (just over the normal HP bar). iHUD will hide that bar when out of combat (same restriction as with the frostfall widget.
-Party gameplay. If the PC is knocked to the ground, he/she remains in bleedout (or get up again) as long as the follower is standing, just like follower do while the PC is still standing. Follower can therefore literally save your life now! Once in bleedout, followers will remain incapacitated until the end of the fight. Multiple followers are supported.
-The mod features a quest registry system where third party modders could register new quests (from separate plugins) associated with certain enemy faction that could then be triggered on defeat. This makes Death Alternative (DA part) into an easily modular-able and expandable framework that provide the core mechanic (bleedout) as well as a few default quests and events (the YMOYL part which can be entirely turned off). One interesting possibility would be to use this system to seamlessly introduce new followers to Skyrim where they would first save you then offer their service, and so much more.
-Generic method for losing and recovering your gear. Bandit are more interested in taking your money than your life. Bandit also have a good eye for valuable and those items are more likely to be stolen. All Item can be recovered one way or another, or you can decide to discard them. The only thing that is lost for good is gold and gold paid to recover items. This offers a new, much needed, gold sink in the game.
-Varied scenarios. When defeated, the PC is typically left for dead in the vicinity, or thrown out of the current location. There are also a variety of random "Radiant" events that can occur. Adventurer will sometimes stumble on the unconscious PC and offer assistance. The downside is: Bandit will sometimes stumble on the unconscious PC as well, and offer to relieve you of your hard earned loot! A list of all the encounter is provided under the Readme Tab.
-Player in werewolf or vampire lord form will revert to their human form if their HP reaches zero. This introduces an element of danger in beast form, since your attacker is now a witness to your shapeshifting abilities.
-A MCM configuration menu full of buttons! Almost all features and quests are customizable or toggle-able.
-Commit crime and face the consequences. If you are defeated by a NPC in a crime faction with whom you have a bounty, they will drag you to prison while you are unconscious. You can then serve your sentence and be released later as in vanilla. This solves the problem where, in some situation in Vanilla, guards and citizens wouldn't accept you yield even after minor offense.
-Handling of knockback effect and support for "natural" cause of death (i.e. Frostfall exposure, falls and the likes)
-Works perfectly well in brawl mode, your opponent will disengage and let you go as soon as you enter bleedout. You will then recover normally after a few seconds. No other special event will be triggered in this case.
-No conflict in Dragonborn's Apocrypha. As soon as you enter bleedout the world will fade and you'll be kicked out (vanilla behavior). I expect that any other mod using OnBleedout event should always have precedence since DA always require at least one more hit to trigger its own blackout.
-No polling, everything is "event based" which means that there is barely any performance cost during normal gameplay. The condition for trigger is the simplest and fastest one can expect (a single "if" statement with a single non-compounded operand) and "event based" means that when you are not in combat, there is absolutely zero performance cost! This makes DA extremely script-light during normal gameplay. However, it does require available resource when it does trigger!

-SkyUI_SE for the Configuration menu.
-Fuz Ro D-oh is recommended for the silent dialogues. It appears Fuz Ro D-oh is required or some fragment will not trigger properly. It is unknown what the behavior of some of the dialogue with be in Skyrim SE with the current absence of Fuz Ro D-oh.

By design, this mod should be compatible with almost anything that as long as something doesn't try to do the same thing. Since it has been asked a million times, Death Alternative IS COMPATIBLE with Requiem, SkyRe, CWO, DCO and many many many many others. I've been informed that for Requiem, it is best to go to the MCM menu, in the combat tab, and change the death reload delay to 10 seconds, or to the maximum (whatever that means).

Manual: Copy the archive content in your Data folder.

Make sure you turn the mod inactive in the Menu. This will remove the essential flag from the player if he's flagged as well as the HP buffer if you had it. Save the game and exit. Uninstall. Reload, save, clean that last save using a clean save tool to remove all orphaned scripts. Reload.


-I recommend leaving the player essential in the configuration menu. This way, if your HP drops to zero due to a powerful hit, the game won't reload before the mod has had a chance to trigger. Note that setting the player essential in the menu doesn't mean that the player is actually essential, since another mod could remove the flag at any time. This is the sort of thing to look for for incompatibility. One can confirm that the player is essential and that all system are operational under the utility tab of the menu, diagnostic section.

-In the configuration menu, the HP threshold can be set to zero. It will work iff the player is essential. In any case, if the PC's HP reaches zero, there will be a slight hiccup in the animation (not a big issue) as the game automatically enters vanilla bleedout and exits right away.

-Your gear can be stolen at any time, even when you haven't recovered your previously stolen gear. However, only the last set of thing that were stolen can be recovered by killing the thief. Any stolen items can be recovered from a pawnbroker (e.g. Belethor). However, not all stolen items appear in the (custom) vendor chest at all time and may require you to pay or discard the first batch to see the next one.

-Some locations have been blacklisted to prevent the mod's OnBlackout events from triggering. You'll still enter bleedout but you'll die if defeated in Helgen (for the vanilla intro sequence) and in Skuldfarn (or whatever is the name of the last nordic ruin in the main quest) and Sovrngard. Maybe more depending on reports.

-Looting may take a while (up to many seconds if you have an extremely large inventory). Looting mostly occur under the cover of the blackscreen so bear with it or keep your inventory more tidy.

-You cannot pickpocket your stolen items out of the thief's inventory. This is because your items are in fact safe in an inaccessible container. However, you can pickpocket an activator (stolen gear knapsack) linked to that container. Upon acquiring this activator in any way, it will be replaced by your stolen gear.

-Is is only possible to recover your stolen gold from the thief itself. The merchant will only have the items. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. You can take your items from the merchant without paying and sell the items to pay the merchant. If you leave without paying, after one day, the merchant will put a bounty on your head.

-Some users have reported that the screen remain black after waking up. I added a debug button under the Utility tab in the menu to force a reset in such case.

-There is a rare set of circumstances in which the animation state may become broken when ragdolling, in which case the only solution is to reload as if the player had died. This is indicated by the low humming sound of the ragdolling camera view staying on forever. If it happens often, use the "Bleedout Only" animation method.

-Ragdolling is always finicky due to an engine limitation. Any ragdolling + animation can result in a completely broken animation state. DA takes care of not doing both at the same time but another mod can animate the player or ragdoll him which is why the issue would need to be fixed at the source. Anyone who has used paralysis on enemies and killed them while they are getting up have seen the sort of problem this causes. The same thing can occur to the player and can be very frustrating. This is a vanilla issue. Again, since the cause involves random coincidence and bad luck, it shouldn't happen often but if it does, using the "Bleedout Only" animation method will be preferred.

-Some ENBs prevent some ImageSpaceModifiers from appearing as intended. This may result in no blackscreen at all and some visible awkward transitions, but nothing gamebreaking.

-Animation options are as follows:
"None/External" : No animation (the character will just stand and run around). This is to allow external plugin to define their own sequence, if they so desire, using the event sent by Death Alternative.
"Bleedout and Ragdoll" : Bleedout anim when HP reaches 0, ragdoll when bleedout HP reaches 0. Forced 3rd person view. Will switch automatically if you are in 1st person but need to be brought back manually.
"Bleedout only" : Uses only the bleedout animation. This may be preferable if, for some reason, you often end up floating after waking up (which is a result of the bad interaction between the animation and ragdoll systems in Skyrim's engine) since this would only use the animation system.
"Ragdoll only" : Player ragdoll when hp reaches 0. Skyrim forces the camera to switch to 3rd person view but will come back to 1st person automatically if the player was in 1st person.

-Bethesda for creating Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls series
-Thanks to Chesko whose widget script has been used as a template for the DA's bleedout widget, with permission. 
-Thanks to the SkyUI Team fort the incredibly useful configuration menu and widget framework.
-Thanks to GhostAgent who graciously offered the lovely banner above.
-Thanks to ReeseHolmes for some detailed typo check.
-Thanks to Tascani for testing, suggestions, and helpful contribution.
-Thanks to Shinji72 for testing and many great mod review of DA and my other plugins. 

-Death Alternative - Captured by yours truly. Comming Soon for Skyrim SE

MY OTHER MODS (for Oldrim, coming soon on SSE):
Death Alternative - Captured Extra scenarios involving capture and enslavement of the PC.
Alternative Crafting System - I don't want to be a blacksmith Smiths can craft any item for you.
Functional Bags Add functional bags and items to Skyrim.
Simple Action - The floor is as good a place to sleep as any allows sleeping, sitting and meditating anywhere at the push of a button.
Toxicity - A witcher-like toxicity system Dynamically adds toxicity value to any potion which limit potion use over short period of time.