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About this mod

More realistic soul gem crafting as well as optional craft-able star and two new soul gems. Also brings back the Shade of the Revenant.

Permissions and credits
I was never quite happy with other mod's variations of how soul gems could be upgraded without loss/penalty at any level. I also dislike how you could upgrade empty gems and eventually work exclusively with grand soul gems (and in some cases, black soul gems). This mod aims to be more realistic in crafting recipes to make you earn the rewards, and to make the player kill a variety of wildlife to get their souls to upgrade. This mod will be especially nice for hunters/needs mods users who already hunt, as it will be an added bonus. This mod has good synergy with (and was made to compliment) my other mod: Advanced Organized High Level SkyTweak Encounters Patch, which caps all animals to certain soul-levels, as well as redestribute the perks and effects of the other mods into them. Both are now a staple in my load-order. A direct quote from the mod page:

"For souls, prey species will almost universally have petty souls. 1-2 exceptions for lesser souls. Smaller and weaker predators will have lesser souls (wolves), and can level anywhere in the 'lesser' soul range. Atypical wolves may have up to 'common' level souls. Bigger predators will have common and greater souls, such as brown bears, cave bears and trolls. Giants are also capped (but by no means hindered) with greater souls. Apex predators (snowy variants or large predators) and very large prey (mammoths) have grand souls, as usual."

What this mod does:
  • Adds 5 custom Soul Amplification Tables across the base game where you can upgrade soul gems or craft the new gems
  • Allows for lossy/equivalent soul gem upgrading depending on your enchanting level
  • Allows for release of souls in gems and sundering full gems to multiple smaller gems.
  • Supports a weekly non-animated 'shade of the revenant', where you will be able to convert empty grand soul gems to empty black soul gems.
  • Ability to craft the *other* star than the one you chose with an expensive recipe (only shows with Malyn Varen's Grimoire in the inventory if you do not want this feature, and the book is consumed to create the star)
  • Ability to craft custom, reusable petty and lesser soul gems (only with either the Grimoire and/or a Sigil Stone in the inventory)
  • A clean crafting list, only showing the recipes you can make at your level (and not showing the less lore-friendly recipes without the grimoire or sigil stone)

Soul gems and crafting pieces that are used in this mod are from InsanitySorrow's Insanity's Soul Gem Replacer 1.0 modder's resource (Morrowind-style soul gem meshes and textures).
Soul Amplification Table is from RefurbMadness' Cherrywood Dragon Enchanting Table - Resource.
Both mods are listed as open permissions so long as credit is given and no money is charged (please see linked sites for specific permissions before you use their assets for yourself). Please leave an endorsement on their page if you liked their work!

Now to the lore: When Malyn was experimenting on Azura's star, he was also studying how it was made with the aim to create a facsimile in case his experiments failed. He postulated several ways to upgrade soul gems using the soul amplification table located in the college of Winterhold, but was unable to try any of his experiments before he was kicked out. He continued his research in Ilinalta's Deep, and before succeeding in transferring his soul over to the star, he locked some of his strength away in his Grimoire in the event he had to leave the star and retake corporeal form. After his defeat, his knowledge and the last vestiges of his strength found in the grimoire can be used to make a facsimile star, and lower-tier indestructible soul gems. Alternately, for those with high enough enchanting and conjuration levels, they can study a sigil stone and use some of the knowledge garnered to make indestructible petty and lesser soul gems.

You are also able to release souls from gems at any level, or sacrifice the soul to break down the gem into more, smaller gems.

Soul Amplification Table Locations:

Soul Gem Recipes:

Spoilers on Shade of the Revenant:

Possible changes (if there is enough interest):
  • Additional table location on Solstheim (possibly the Skall Village? Bruma patch for when I finally go there, or other widely known/used dlc-style mods?)
  • Additional recipes (possibly not limited to soul gems)?
  • Synergy with the uncapper to boost level requirements? (I allow over-leveling in my game, but I still have enchanting capped at 100 for balance)
  • Other ideas from users on how to improve upon this mod 

Install with NMM or your manager of choice. Alternately drag and drop the .bsa and .esp into the data folder and activate the .esp.
Run Loot.
Enjoy a more realistic soul-gem crafting experience.

*should be safe to install mid-game. 

The reverse of what you did in the install.
Cry, for loss of an awesome, aesthetic workbench. It looks really awesome in Castle Volkihar.

*uninstalling mods mid-game is never recommended, though the impact from uninstalling this one should be minimal in the short-term.

Unlike my other patches, this one drops several workbenches into Skyrim at the mentioned places, and moves a table and two chairs in castle volkihar. I am unaware of any conflicts currently. Please note any in the comments.

Q: The price to make another X star is too expensive!
A: That's not a question.

Q: Can you make X recipe cheaper?
A: Not likely to happen as there are a lot of other mods (usually that add recipes to a smelter) that allow for cheap combining of soul gems, and/or cheap/free stars. We are trying to be more realistic/lore friendly (if not compliant) here.

Q: Can you make it so we can amplify empty soul gems?
A: It's a *soul* amplifier. It uses soul energy to merge the gems.

Q: Can you make it so we at least don't lose charge?
A: That's the price of inexperience. Novices start young. Train more and you won't lose charges.

Q: Why can't I make grand souls at level 1?
A: In older TES games, you couldn't even attempt to pick a lock until you met its level requirements. This is the same. As mentioned before, there are a ton of other mods that let you craft soul gems empty, any kind of soul gem, at any level, etc. Those mods are also all kinds of unbalanced and broken.

Q: Making stars isn't lore friendly?
A: Are you actually asking..? Then put Malyn's Grimoire in a bookshelf. The recipe will never bother you again.

Q: I did that! Why do I still see the empower--
A: Put the sigil stone away. I know it looks pretty, but if it's causing you this many issues...

Q: Can we get experience for crafting soul gems?
A: I would love to, but making one gem usually gets me from 15  to 80+ enchanting for some gems when I enabled the option (trial run before I added level limits).

Q: Why isn't the question I'm looking for shown? I need an answer!
A: Comment away. That section is there for a reason.

My other mods:
Improved Vanilla Xbox Controller Scheme - Adds hotkeys, quick menus, unbound schemes to allow keyboard use, and other features! Lite version available.
Advanced Organized High Level SkyTweak Encounters Patch - AAE, HLE, OBIS, AT, SkyTEST. A patch project made to add all mod-added perks/spells/etc. to all other mod-added enemies.
Mightily Diverse Splendor-Belly Patch - Medium Cooked - Enhanved Mighty Dragons, DDC, ogSplendor, Bellyaches. A patch project made to enhance all dragons to the same or a similar level as Enhanced Mighty Dragons, for a more even play-through.
Sectors - Legendary Unleveled Skyrim - Changes encounter zone levels by location (hold) and type (animal den, bandits, vampires). For a gradual, yet disparate play-through.
TruSectors - Legendary Capped Skyrim - Lightweight overhaul which unlevels Skyrim, but caps each zone; based off of Sectors - Legendary Unleveled Skyrim.
Shields of Ordinator - Edits Ordinator to provide two balanced damage-reduction perks for Legendary difficulty of Skyrim. Works well with Sectors!
Hexhunter Bow - Replacer bow that is weak to most enemies, but deals increasing damage to magic users: the more base magicka an enemy has, the more damage it deals. Aimed for balance in higher difficulties.
Small DLC and Misc Patch for XxAwesome_PotionsxX SSE - A small patch for users of XxAwesome_PotionsxX, a potions re-texture, that covers even more vanilla potions.
Craftable and Upgradeable Potions of Well-being - Allows you to craft and upgrade potions of well-being.