Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Adds a series of books to apothecaries that tell you what ingredients you need for a given alchemical effect and where specific ingredients can be found.

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LE version

Apothecaries sell a series of 13 books to allow strategic alchemical foraging.
Volumes 1-7 list all alchemical effects and which ingredients provide them.
Volumes 8-13 list all ingredients and tell you where to find them.
Different versions for vanilla, Apothecary, CACO and Alchemy Adjustments.


Vanilla alchemy inexorably draws players toward a boring playstyle in which you harvest every ingredient you find, regardless of whether you actually want it and so removing the need to actually learn to find and recognize specific ingredients. Pick Your Poison changes this, supporting strategic and thoughtful alchemical foraging, by providing an in-game crafting guide. The 13 volume set is sold by apothecaries and lets you know what ingredients you need for any given effect, where to find them and what they look like. All without telling you the four alchemical effects of each ingredient - so no cheating!

The first 8 volumes list all ingredients, broken down into 8 categories, telling you where to find them and what they look like:

Vol. 1: Fauna
Vol. 2: Fishes
Vol. 3: Flora
Vol. 4: Flowers
Vol. 5: Fungi
Vol. 6: Insects
Vol. 7: Miscellanea
Vol. 8: Supernatural

The remaining 5 volumes list all alchemical effects and which ingredients provide them:

Vol. 9: Fortification: Mages & Thieves
Vol. 10: Fortification: Warriors & Misc
Vol. 11: Healing & Resistance
Vol. 12: Poisons
Vol. 13: Weaknesses and Manipulation

You can buy the books from apothecaries, like Arcadia in Whiterun, Sinderion in Windhelm and so on. They are reasonably cheap, but not trivially so. Vendors' inventories only reset every few days, so if you install the mod mid-playthrough it might take a few days for the books to appear. In addition, the number of copies a merchant carries is somewhat random and so a given vendor might not have a copy at any one time, though they will usually have 2 or 3 of each volume.

An Example
Let's say you're playing an assassin and you want to stock up on some poisons of damage health. Your first step is to open "Pick Your Poison, vol. 12: Poisons", the first entry of which concerns damage health poisons and tells you which ingredients you'll want:

Damage Health
Fauna: Falmer Ear, Skeever Tail, Small Antlers, Troll Fat,
Fishes: River Betty,
Flora: Crimson Nirnroot, Nirnroot,
Flowers: Deathbell, Nightshade, Poison Bloom, Red Mountain Flower,
Fungi: Imp Stool,
Supernatural: Ectoplasm, Human Flesh, Human Heart, Void Salts

The ingredients are broken down into categories that correspond to Pick Your Poison, volumes 1-8. Let's say you decide to find some imp stools first. So now you open "Pick Your Poison, vol. 5: Fungi" and look up imp stools:

Imp Stool
Stout cream steams with domed yellow caps. Found in caves throughout Skyrim.

With this in hand you can now go and explore caves looking out for yellow capped mushrooms.


None, though SkyUI is recommended for the book titles to fit easily in the menu.

Install through your mod manager of choice, just download the version corresponding to any alchemy mods you use.

Deactivate the esp. Low risk, but to be extra safe just ignore the books and disable the mod on your next playthrough.


Compatible with vanilla, Apothecary, CACO and Alchemy Potion and Food Adjustments. Different versions of Pick Your Poison are provided for each of these, just download the appropriate one. IamZe has made a version for Powerful Potions and Poisons here.

Synergistic mods

The goal of this mod is to stop the player hoarding ingredients and churning out potions in a mindless fashion, several other mods will help with this:

RAB inventory limits gives ingredients a "volume" that stops you carrying too many.
Economy Overhaul and Speechcraft Improvements makes player made potions less valuable, discouraging players from churning out potions just to sell them.
Trainer's Galore and Gold is XP both disable skill leveling through practice, removing the XP benefit of churning out potions.
Harvest Overhaul Redone adds more ingredients to each harvestable object, it makes foraging more rewarding and less of a chore.

My other mods

Building Your Character - diverse and fun builds with strengths and weaknesses
Master of One - A perk overhaul that transforms perks from generic character progression into a means to craft unique and specialized builds.
Curse of the Firmament - A standing stones overhaul that emphasizes tough choices.
Legacy - A race overhaul that bring strengths and weaknesses to each race.
Acolyte - A progressive-yet-unobtrusive religion overhaul with a long path to divinity.

Enemies and Combat - challenging, varied and fair combat
Know Your Enemy (armor modulepatcher version) - A resistance and weakness overhaul for enemies and armors.
Know Your Enemy 2 (armor moduleintegration patch) - An upgraded resistance overhaul: more damage types, more configuration, more polish.
NPC Stat Rescaler - A patcher that adjusts player and NPC stats for faster, fairer, and less spongy combat.
Enemy Releveler - A patcher that adjusts NPC levels to truly delevel the world.

Stats and stat growth - drawing out character growth to stave off premature godhood
Exhaustion - Incremental Fatigue - An ultra-lightweight injury/fatigue system.
Exercise - Incremental Growth - An add-on for Exhaustion that converts fatigue into stat growth.
Geometric Stat Growth - Stats grow by a configurable percentage on level up, instead of a fixed value.

Challenging Spell Learning
 - Spell Tomes trigger a costly ritual you must pass to learn spells.
Trainers Galore - An expansion of the training system designed for "training only" leveling.
Pick Your Poison - An alchemical handbook to support strategic foraging.
Configurable Perks Per Level - An MCM to edit how many perk points you get on level up.
XP Editor - A patcher that adjusts xp gain and leveling.
Sightseer - Standing Stones - Guidebooks for the standing stones, collectibles to find, and a hidden quest to unite them.

Mod Lists
Thoughtful Skyrim - A small, gameplay-focussed modlist that rewards preparation and planning.


Major thanks to ApoptosisX who provided the information necessary to add CACO compatibility to the patcher.