Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

Dark Souls Combat by TheDriedFinger. In my opinion the true dark souls combat mod :)!

Shoutout to TheDriedFinger, your mod is finally here!


Permissions and credits
I messaged TheDriedFinger for his permission (he is on LL) and he said: "Totally fine. Upload it where ever you wish. Best of luck to you."


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This is the original description by TheDriedFinger, all credit goes to him:

Before we begin, if you do not have at least consistently 40 FPS, this mod is not for you. A high framerate is required to keep up with the scripting demand of this mod.
Dark Souls Combat is a mod for Skyrim meant to bring core elements of the combat system of the Soulsborne series (the Souls series and Bloodborne) to Skyrim. Previous work has focused primarily on the numerical aspect of this series' combat system - stamina regeneration or damage, for example - or has been stunted by a lack tools to manipulate the animation engine at the time of their development. Dark Souls Combat is meant to focus on delivering improvements in terms of new and appreciably apparent mechanics from the Soulsborne series that have not been attempted yet or attempted with this sort of depth. This mod is designed for combat to be played in third person.
Watch the videos for references.
Poise System
This entire mod was built off of my Poise System mod (effectively, this mod renders Poise System obsolete). The poise system of that mod is largely left intact with some minor improvements.
This mod's poise system is primarily based on the rules governing the poise system of Dark Souls, with some differences to better suit the already-present mechanics of Skyrim. Poise is calculated as the total weight of worn items, except for shields and weapons if equipped. Poise is damaged when one is hit by an unblocked weapon, unarmed attack, or arrow or bolt; magic does not damage poise. Power attacks will do more poise damage than regular attacks, by default. Poise damage from weapons is based on their weight. This is all configurable in the MCM.
Once an attack causes one's poise to reach 0, a stagger will ensue. Subsequent hits may cause subsequent staggers - a stunlock. The maximum stunlock combo can also be configured. Over time, if one is not hit, poise can recover; the amount and update time is also configurable. The poise feature can be disabled by setting the poise damage multiplier options in the MCM to 0.
The poise system extends to other NPCs in addition to the player, and to creatures as well.
Critical Hits
If, during the beginning of an attack, an actor is hit with a shield or weapon bash attack, the actor will enter a parried state, indicated by a downed animation. During this temporary state, on the next hit, the actor will take double damage, in the style of Bloodborne. If that hit strikes their front, a riposte animation will play. Ripostes are deadly; they can do large amounts of damage. Using the power of Fore's New Idles in Skyrim (FNIS), we can integrate killmove animations that won't automatically kill. In this way, it is possible to execute a riposte animation that does massive damage to NPCs, but does not outright kill them. The damage dealt is configurable in the MCM. It is calculated based on the executor's One-Handed or Two-Handed skill, depending on the weapon used for the riposte. Though now disabled by default, ripostes to creatures are not supported by this feature; they will automatically kill. Parries and ripostes may be executed by all NPCs.
When an actor is struck in the back with a power attack, the actor will also enter a downed state, in the style of Bloodborne. In this state, the first strike against the actor will also do double damage. If the actor is an NPC and the strike hits their back, a backstab animation will play, killing them. Backstabs can be initiated and executed by NPCs also.
Roll Mechanics
Using the power of FNIS, we can bring an equally powerful roll/dodge system to Skyrim. Previous work on dodge mechanics has relied on developer animation events, restricting both the animation itself as well as the time for dodging. Dark Souls Combat brings a roll system that is meant to complement the poise system. Roll weight is considered equal to the player's poise, in addition to any weapons, shields or torches that may be equipped. Roll weight is divided into three categories: fast, medium, and fat. The fast roll weight affords a greater invincibility time (time in which the player cannot be struck by any hit, as a method of simulating the dodging of an attack) as well as fast speed of rolling. The fat roll weight allows a much smaller amount of invincibility time and longer times to roll. Note that the invincibility time is not the entire duration of the roll animation. The medium roll weight lies somewhere in between. Roll weight thresholds are based on maximum stamina. The threshold for mid-rolling is by default maximum stamina divided by 4; the threshold for fast-rolling is half of that. Rolling can only occur if your weapons or magic are out. Rolling/dodging will prevent a poise break, but only fast rolling/dodging can escape a poise break stagger. In the style of Dark Souls 2, rolling can cancel a attack if it is executed early in the attack animation. Rolling can also break out of poise breaks. A poise break can be broken out of towards the end of the stagger. The window for this decreases with increasing roll weight. By default, 50% of the stagger must play before a fast-roll can break out, 65% for a mid-roll, and 80% for a fat-roll.
Rolling is four-directional. Quickly pressing and releasing the roll key (by default LAlt, the default sprint key; configurable in the MCM) while moving a certain direction initiates a roll in approximately that direction (forward, backward, left, or right). Pressing and releasing the roll key while standing still results in a backstep. In the style of Dark Souls, backsteps afford no invincibility time. The rolling feature also supports gamepad-users, such as myself. Remember to customize your roll key for gamepad! Rolling can be disabled by setting the Roll Key in the MCM to a key you will not use.
Stamina Usage
Normal attacks now require stamina and attempts to swing a weapon with no stamina will stagger. The stamina consumed is a function of the today weight of items equipped in either hand. This applies to bows as well. Stamina does not regenerate while performing most weapon combat actions. There is also a delay on stamina regeneration after rolling and bashing, and critical hits will fail when Stamina is 0. This helps prevent the infinite roll- and bash-spamming that was previous possible. To balance this, stamina regeneration is increased by default for the player. You will notice your stamina usage to be very similar to what you would see in a Souls game. This entire feature can be enabled or disabled and customized in the MCM.
Counter Damage
While attacking, enemies will take 50% more damage when struck by the player. In the same vein, while the player is attacking, he will take 50% more damage as well. This is known as counter attacks in Dark Souls. While I really do hate features that are solely based on numbers and add nothing in the way of visible mechanics, the above is only half of this feature. Dark Souls 2 added a second dimension to counter damage compared to its predecessor: a counter also will do more poise damage to an opponent. In that style, this mod allows counter attacks to deal 50% more damage to poise. This is of course a comparatively minor feature, but one worth mention nonetheless.
SKSE 1.06.15 or later
FNIS 5.5 or later
SkyUI 4.0 or later (optional for mod configuration)
Install the above requirements.
Install this mod's files from the download package. The ESM version is recommended for users.
Generate behavior files with FNIS, using its Generate FNIS for Users.
Enter the game, and optionally configure this mod at that time.
Remember that this mod is meant to be played in third person. The roll mechanics do not work otherwise.
"Updating" from Poise System
Use the "Uninstall" option in the MCM menu.
Save, then uninstall the mod.
Reload the game with the save and wait for the Poise System MCM to disappear.
Save again.
Follow the Installation instructions above.
Adding Sounds to the Experience
Certain combat sounds can be played while performing certain actions in this mod. All sound files played should be located in Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC
You can add sounds that will play during a Fast Roll, a Medium Roll, a Fat Roll, a Parry land, and a Backstab initiation. Remember to convert them to XWM files using a program such as MultiXWM.
Fast Roll: Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC\LightRoll.xwm
Medium Roll: Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC\MedRoll.xwm
Fat Roll: Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC\HeavyRoll.xwm
Parry land: Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC\ParryLand.xwm
Backstab initiation: Data\Sound\fx\BB_DSC\BackstabLand.xwm
This is entirely optional; you may wish to add sounds for all of these events, some of them, or none of them. Note that there are direct audio extracts from Dark Souls on the internet, if that is what you are looking for.
Uninstall the previous version.
Install the new version.
Re-run (regenerate behavior files with) FNIS.
Enter the game and select in the MCM the "Reset" option, under the "Uninstall" page.
In-game, select the "Uninstall" option, under the "Uninstall" page.
Uninstall the mod.
Rerun FNIS.
Installation (for Roll-Only version)
If a Full version is currently installed, perform an uninstallation procedure as described above.
Install the Roll-Only version following the steps described above for the Full package as well.
Updating to ESM versions
If an ESP version is currently installed (this includes all versions prior to v1.4.3 as well as the v1.4.3 ESP versions), perform an uninstallation procedure as described above.
Install the one of the ESM versions following the steps described above.
egocarib, for a fundamental component of the script used for the poise system
Fore for giving me suggestions on working with some of the newer aspects of FNIS
canderes and Reena, for guiding me through editing animations
WorshipTheSatan and urielmanx7, for invaluable testing and suggestions
GIF images made with
Bugs/Other Issues
First and foremost, this mod does use running scripts, necessary for the poise element of this mod. There are certainly mods out there much more script intensive than this, so on the grand scale, it's not that bad. The fact is that if you really want to change the way your game is played, you need a healthy dose of scripts!
There may be animation issues. It happens; sometimes, and I'm sure you've seen this in un-modded Skyrim, you may see some NPC or creature animating strangely, and it can happen from this mod too. The most common issue (which is actually not common at all) may occur after a roll/dodge. The player character may finish the dodge with their weapons/magic still out but not in the normal combat stance, but rather appearing in a non-combat stance. This can be easily fixed by rolling/dodging again, or by entering first person, unreadying and then readying your weapons/magic again, then re-entering third person. The same issue can occur after a riposte. NPCs may also suffer from this after being downed for a riposte or backstab. However, this is uncommon, but of course a natural side effect of making ambitious leaps with animations.
Depending on how many scripts are already running, staggers from the poise system may be slightly delayed by a split second. In the same vein, rolls may be less responsive, especially if magic is equipped.
The stamina usage feature does not affect the dual-wield normal attack yet.
Version History
- Initial release.
- Added a bit to the backstab and riposte scripts to help to reduce the likelihood of a victim not drawing their weapons. Not something you can fix entirely, but this will help a little.
- Further edits to help decrease the likelihood of borked combat stances from NPCs in the backstab and riposte scripts.
- Decreased the length of the parry window against NPCs.
- Fixed a part of the poise/roll mechanics script that was generating many repeated errors.
- Backsteps are now considerably faster at all roll weights. Previously, there was no advantage to backstep over backward rolling.
- Rolling/backstepping can cancel attacks if they are executed early in the swing (prior to the "preHitFrame").
- Weapons, shields are torches that are equipped now also count towards the roll weight.
- Counter damage feature added.
- Roll Feature-only version added
- MCM option-set roll thresholds removed; replaced with a formula based on maximum stamina.
- Ability of fast-roll to automatically break out of staggers removed; replaced with specific timings to roll out.
- Allowed rolling earlier after the swing of an attack, immediately after the HitFrame animevent.
- Set Actors or Races with the ImmuneParalysis to have virtually infinite poise. I felt that if the developers didn't feel it was appropriate to paralyze these Actors and Races (or perhaps didn't even include the data necessary to properly do so), it would be hazardous to allow staggering, even if it was not necessarily game-breaking. Notable races include the Wisps, Magic Anomalies, and Werewolves (since that playstyle would include having no intrinsic poise yet requiring close combat this change makes sense).
- Improved rolling feature. Previously, spamming the roll key would actually cause significant script delays; this has been mitigated, though it is still not a good idea to try to spam the button. A sort of queuing feature has been added so that a roll can flow nicely into another roll if you tap the button towards the end of the first animation.
- Edits from v1.4.2 added into the main packages.
- .esm version added. .esm (master plugins) are believed to exhibit better script performance than .esp.
- Ripostes on humanoids no longer force the riposted actor into a ragdolled state afterwards. The bug where riposted NPCs cannot attack afterwards is largely resolved.
- Stamina use on attacks that previously required no stamina, and stamina regeneration delay during attacks, bashes, and rolls. This prevents the infinite roll-spamming that was possible previously. It also punishes bash-spamming with a larger stamina regeneration delay. Normal attacks with 0 stamina will stagger the player.
- New MCM options added to customize stamina usage.
- By default creature ripostes are disabled. There is a new MCM option to enable/disable this.
- Stamina cost for attacks now calculated as intended.
- Ripostes and backstabs will fail if stamina is 0.
- Script optimizations based on the suggestions and advice of Borgut1337, FBplus, and WorshipTheSatan. This version features much greater stability than previous versions, but much more work potentially remains.
- Option to disable rolling entirely added to MCM.
- Creatures no longer have a delayed death when they have been parried but subsequently killed normally, while the Creature Riposte option is disabled.
- Creatures not explicitly supported by the mod's poise feature have poise automatically calculated based on maximum health and stamina.
- Weight calculations for rolling weight class and stamina consumption on attack were not being run as intended due to changes made in v1.5.2. This has been corrected.
- Further script optimizations for improved stability.
Please do not reupload, make a derivative work, or use assets from this mod without my permission.
  • Submitter
  • Submitted
  • Category
  • Requires
    SKSE 1.06.15+, FNIS 5.5+, SkyUI4.0+ (optional)
  • Special Edition Compatible