Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

Years in the making, Arcanum is a massive spell mod that aims to combine unique gameplay with visual effects of a quality never attempted before in Skyrim. With 200 spells complete, 300+ spells planned, and inspired by everything from Dragon's Dogma to Planescape, Arcanum may be the most ambitious magic mod ever made.

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Permissions and credits
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  • Spanish
  • Polish
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Changelogs
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RESTORATION UPDATE 2.1a

90+ New spells
More reformulated spells and crafting stations
An entire new dungeon and custom crafted boss
Balance changes, spell adjustments and replacements, and more!


Introduction




Have you ever downloaded an exciting spell mod full of creative and interesting spells - only to find yourself spamming fireballs over and over again anyways? Or wished that all the amazing visuals from a mod like Colorful magic were actually incorporated into something lore-friendly and balanced?

Too often in Skyrim, magic turns into a chore. A finger-tapping exercise of using the same spells over and over again, with no room for creative combos or adaptation. Arcanum seeks to change that. Rather than being just a collection of overpowered lightning bolts, Arcanum is designed to be a journey of magical experimentation. Different schools of magic, and different styles within those schools, have been given unique identities and gameplay mechanics, that lend way to creative combos and synergy. As a mage player myself, the mod is made with full awareness of other popular magic mods in mind, and intended to be a lynchpin that can breathe new life into older spell mods, too. 

And, after years of experimentation, practice, and communication with some of the most prolific and talented artists and NIF wizards out there, Arcanum has some of the most unique and advanced visual effects of any Skyrim mod out there. Fully animated spinning tornadoes, giant crashing meteors and the ability to summon stars at will are only a handful of the powers at your disposal. Of course, powerful magic isn't easy - and many of these spells require arcane rituals or other setup to use effectively. It's up to you to figure out how to make the most of these spells. 


Destruction



When designing the destruction spells, I split the school into three distinct styles along the elements. Each has a different playstyle, strengths, weaknesses, and players may choose either to focus and go all in on one element, or use the others to help mitigate their element's weaknesses. All playstyles will be rewarded with unique combos and payoffs.

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Restoration



How many spell mods have had restoration spells as just a bunch of uninventive heals and plague spells? Arcanum's take on restoration is different. You won't find any overpowered "Fast Healings" in here. God knows there's enough out there - and the vanilla spells aren't bad for healing yourself. No, Restoration in Arcanum takes a different approach. Turn your allies into gods as a battle cleric, protect the weak by sacrificing your own life, or become a dark doctor that turns healing itself into harm. To help guide my design, I divided Restoration into three sub-categories

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Spell List

Destruction

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Restoration

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How to Obtain

Most of the spells contained in this mod can be bought from vendors, and are seamlessly integrated into the leveled lists of magic merchants. 

Dreadwyrm Trance can be obtained by defeating a dragon located in Solstheim.

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Ancient Invocation can be found at the end of a short mini-quest

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Ancient Invocation grants access to the 10 Invocation spells.

Anastasis can be found at the end of a short quest. 

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The remaining are Reformulated Spells, and must be crafted (See below).

Reformulated Spells and Spell Crafting


Reformulated spells are a form of spell crafting I mostly envisioned to make more use out of the assets I developed, but quickly grew into something unique. It's a form of combining spell effects and visuals to create spells that are a fusion of other spells. This number is gradually growing. 

There are multiple stations spread out through skyrim, in Winterhold, in Whiterun, etc. 

Compatibility

Arcanum should play nice with all other spell mods, perk overhauls, etc. Its specifically designed to work with things like spell charging, chaining, etc, or any other magic modifications you have installed. I might make my own perk mod one day, but that's off in the distance and would be a separate mod. 

Things like ASIS should also be fine, the only spell that's scripted to be player-specific is Star of Extinction - but that can be easily changed. 

Note that you shouldn't use mods to add spells directly from the mod. Add the spell tomes instead if you want to cheat. Not every spell is castable and 90% of the spells in the mod files aren't used, they're placeholders or designed to trigger some backend stuff that makes the real spells function. 

Future Plans

After this, I'm going to work on Diverse Dragon Collection with Opusglass for a while, maybe work on some smaller projects too, but I hope to have Alteration out by the year's end. 

Target for next update: 1/1/2020

Special Thanks

To billyro, to mikhail, and so many others for their help with resources. 
To Enaisaion for advice, and elysses for help with brainstorming nif structure
To Trainwiz, for his always relevant advice and scripting help.