Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

This is my set of tweaks to the "Classic Classes and Birthsigns" mod created by Kearsage, and ported to SSE by watafuzz. I've streamlined the UX, and I've also changed all the effects to hopefully make each more desirable, so there aren't clear winners/losers. I also expanded custom class creation with abilities.

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This mod is my personal changes to the "Classic Classes and Birthsigns" mod created by Kearsage and ported to SSE by watafuzz. New cleaned and improved ESM/ESL version created by user bobbyclue now available!

  • Alternate Start mods, such as Skyrim Unbound Reborn and Live Another Life. (Random Alternate Start may have some issues, I have not tested it and the original mod apparently had issues)
  • Custom Race and racial ability adjustment mods, such as Aetherius, The Chiss and Imperious (if you don't use the optional racial levelling add-on)
  • Perk overhaul mods such as Adamant, Ordinator, SPERG. and TTRSO
  • Standing Stone overhauls such as Mundus, Andromeda, Aurora and SSE Standing Stones Overhaul - Birthsigns will now stack with any standing stones.
  • Really, this should now be compatible with anything because of my changes.

A "Select Class" book will be added to your inventory when you start a playthrough or install the mod for the first time, read it to (optionally) select or create a class and (optionally) select a birthsign.
There are a total of 21 classes to choose from, or you can create your own custom class. Each of the 21 classes are based on the classes available in Oblivion and Morrowind and are broken down into three specialities: Combat, Stealth and Magic. In my updates, I have moved things slightly further away from the Oblivion/Morrowind classes, but they are still pretty faithful to the spirit of the classes (I believe).

All classes have a specialization; a +20 buff to the attribute associated with them. Combat classes give Health, Stealth classes give Stamina, and Magic classes give Magicka.

Major Skills
Each class has several Major Skills which are improved by 20 points. This represents your character’s profession or skills learned prior to the start of the game. Because of changes to how this effect is applied, your character will always be better with your majored skills - they are treated as if they are buffed to be 20 points higher and show up as green in the skill menu, but aren't actually 20 points higher. This means they'll functionally level quicker and have a higher maximum potential. (Overriding scripts that still use SetAV to simply set the skill 20 points higher (as if leveled by the player) is now available, in the optional files).

The technical explanation - rather than using SetAV to actually change your characters skills (as it was previously), I changed the mod to use ModAV to increase their effectiveness by 20. This means that a skill you've majored in will still technically be at 15 (excl. race bonus) for perks and such, but in calculations it will be treated as if it is 20 points higher. This means you will ALWAYS be better using your majored skills than non-majored, because they have a 20 point boost and they are effectively 120 when you reach maximum. This unfortunately necessitates the use of something like Skyrim Skill Uncapper to get the full benefits once you are exceeding 100 in a skill, since the base-game caps calculations at 100. This also has the knock-on benefit of letting you quickly level these skills in the early game, despite them technically being a higher level, and will mean if you use something like Experience (recommended) you will not have to level up several times to start increasing your majored skills. It has the downside that you'll have to level your skill a bit before you can take perks in it. I think it's worth it, personally. (As stated above, overriding scripts that still use SetAV to simply set the skill 20 points higher (as if leveled by the player) is now available, in the optional files).

Each Class starts with an Ability that gives them a unique bonus over other classes. These are effectively perks, designed to make your gameplay a little more unique and allow you to build a character with some character. You can select any class ability (and also some extra unused ones, lucky you) during custom class creation.

Starting Spells
Characters that start with a Major Skill in one of the magical schools will start with one novice and one apprentice spell for that school. Some classes also gain a special bonus spell relevant to that class.

Birthsigns are now totally divorced from standing stones; you can't choose to start with a standing stone effect, and birthsigns and standing stones stack together. Birthsigns are now just a small extra passive effect that further builds on your character's unique traits. I also changed the flavour text in the birthsign menus to talk about how people born under a sign behave, so you might pick a sign based on your character's personality, rather than the actual bonus (for roleplayers). These aren't from the lore or anything, I just came up with them based on the birthsign bonus.

Racial Leveling (Optional)
Updates the racial skill bonuses to be a permanent 6%/12% faster leveling for that race's skills, instead of a static +5/+10. Designed to be used alongside Aetherius, and uses the skills from that mod for the races rather than the skills from the base game, but you can use it without Aetherius if you like. Comes bundled with a compatibility patch. This extra file will conflict with any other race mod, and I won't make custom patches for any other ones (I built this for Aetherius), so please do not ask. (Also, this extra doesn't rely on the base mod, so if you want a Subtle but Classless that works with Aetherius and doesn't touch the attributes and heights, you can just download that on its own)

Lower starting skills (Optional)
This file sets the base skill level for all characters (which includes NPCs, and even apparently summons) to 5. This is interesting for the player, but can produce some weird effects for the NPCs, such as not having enough destruction skill to cast a spell they come with. Hence why it's optional.

Purely optional
You don't have to pick a class if you don't want to. You don't have to pick a birthsign if you don't want to. It's up to you.

Ability List:
(Abilities marked unused are not used by any classes, but can be selected in custom class.)
Padding - 20% Bonus to light armour (Unused)
Sturdy - 20% Bonus to heavy armour (Knight)
Tough - +50 Bonus health (Warrior)
Boundless - +50 Bonus magicka (Mage)
Marathon - +50 Bonus stamina (Thief)
Ruthless - 10% Bonus to melee damage (Barbarian)
Smite - 15% Bonus to mace + warhammer damage (Crusader)
Swordsman - 15% Bonus to sword + greatsword damage (Unused)
Executioner - 15% Bonus to war axe + battleaxe damage (Unused)
Marksman - 10% Bonus to bow + crossbow damage (Archer)
Duelist - 20% Bonus to one handed with a free hand (Rogue)
Smooth - Persuasion is 20% easier (Agent)
Charm - 10% Bonus to illusion (Bard)
Stalker - 10% Bonus to sneaking (Nightblade)
Snake - 50% Bonus to poisons you make  (Assassin)
Remedy - 10% Bonus to restoration (Healer)
Ruin - 10% Bonus to destruction (Battlemage)
Balance - 10% Bonus to spells, One-handed when using both (Spellsword)
Commune - 50% Bonus summon duration (Unused)
Dragonslayer - 25% Bonus damage to dragons (also dragon priests, but this is a hidden effect, shh) (Unused)
Purifier - 25% Bonus damage to undead, including vampires (Witchhunter)
Mercantile - 15% Bonus to buying/selling (Pilgrim)
Martial Artist - 20 Bonus unarmed damage (Monk)
Nimble - 10% Bonus movement (Scout)
Spry - 75% Less fall damage (Acrobat)
Unconstrained - Take 20% less physical damage when unarmored (Unused)
Hearty - 50% Bonus health regen (Unused)
Potent - 50% Bonus magicka regen (Sorcerer)
Tireless - 50% Bonus stamina regen (Unused)

Class List:
Combat Classes

Archers are fighters specializing in long-range combat and rapid movement. Opponents are kept at distance by ranged weapons and swift manoeuvre, and engaged in melee with sword and shield after the enemy is wounded and weary.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Archery, Block, One-handed, Smithing, Light Armor, Sneak
Class Ability | Marksman - 10% Bonus to bow + crossbow damage

Barbarians are the proud, savage warrior elite of the plains nomads, mountain tribes, and sea reavers. They tend to be brutal and direct, lacking civilized graces, but they glory in heroic feats, and excel in fierce, frenzied single combat.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Archery, Block, One-handed, Smithing, Two-handed, Light Armor
Class Ability | Ruthless - 10% Bonus to melee damage

Any heavily armored warrior with spellcasting powers and a good cause may call himself a crusader. Crusaders do well by doing good. They hunt monsters and villains, making themselves rich by plunder as they rid the world of evil.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Block, Heavy Armor, One-handed, Two-handed, Destruction, Restoration
Class Ability | Smite - 15% Bonus to mace + warhammer damage

Of noble birth, or distinguished in battle or tourney, knights are civilized warriors, schooled in letters and courtesy, and governed by the codes of chivalry. Knights study the lore of illusion and enchantment to better command the battlefield.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Block, Heavy Armor, One-handed, Two-handed,  Illusion, Speech
Class Ability | Sturdy - 20% Bonus to heavy armour
Bonus Spell | Courage

Rogues are adventurers and opportunists with a gift for getting in and out of trouble. Relying variously on charm and dash, blades and business sense, they thrive on conflict and misfortune, trusting to their luck and cunning to survive.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Block, One-handed, Illusion, Alchemy, Light Armor, Speech
Class Ability | Duelist - 20% Bonus to one handed with a free hand

Scouts rely on stealth to survey routes and opponents, using ranged weapons and skirmish tactics when forced to fight. By contrast with barbarians, in combat scouts tend to be cautious and methodical, rather than impulsive.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Block, One-handed, Smithing, Alchemy, Light Armor, Sneak
Class Ability | Nimble - 10% Bonus movement

Warriors are the professional men-at-arms, soldiers, mercenaries, and adventurers of Tamriel, trained with various weapons and armor styles, conditioned by long marches, and hardened by ambush, skirmish, and battle.

Specialization | Combat
Major Skills | Archery, Block, Heavy Armor, One-handed, Smithing, Two-handed
Class Ability | Tough - +50 Bonus health

Stealth Classes

Acrobat is a polite euphemism for agile burglars and second-story men. These thieves avoid detection by stealth, and rely on mobility and cunning to avoid capture.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Archery, One-handed, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak, Speech
Class Ability | Spry - 75% Less fall damage

Agents are operatives skilled in deception and avoidance, but trained in self-defence and the use of deadly force. Self-reliant and independent, agents devote themselves to personal goals, or to various patrons or causes.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Archery, Illusion, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak, Speech
Class Ability | Smooth - Persuasion is 20% easier

Assassins are killers who rely on stealth and mobility to approach victims undetected. Execution is with ranged weapons or with short blades for close work. Assassins include ruthless murderers and principled agents of noble causes.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Archery, One-handed, Alchemy, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Sneak
Class Ability | Snake - 50% Bonus to poisons you make

Bards are loremasters and storytellers. They crave adventure for the wisdom and insight to be gained, and must depend on sword, shield, spell and enchantment to preserve them from the perils of their educational experiences.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | One-handed, Enchanting, Illusion, Alchemy, Light Armor, Speech
Class Ability | Charm - 10% Bonus to illusion

Monks are students of the ancient martial arts of hand-to-hand combat and self defence. Monks avoid detection by stealth, mobility, and agility, and prefer to solve conflict by arrow or by fist.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Archery, Alteration, Alchemy, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak
Class Ability | Martial Arts - 20 Bonus unarmed damage

Thieves are pickpockets and pilferers. Unlike robbers, who kill and loot, thieves typically choose stealth and subterfuge over violence, and often entertain romantic notions of their charm and cleverness in their acquisitive activities.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Archery, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak, Speech
Class Ability | Marathon - +50 Bonus stamina

Pilgrims are travellers, seekers of truth and enlightenment. They fortify themselves for road and wilderness with arms, armor, and magic, and through wide experience of the world, they become shrewd in commerce and persuasion.

Specialization | Stealth
Major Skills | Block, One-handed, Smithing, Restoration, Light Armor, Speech
Class Ability | Mercantile - 15% Bonus to buying/selling

Magic Classes

Battlemages are wizard-warriors, able to resolve most conflicts with either spell or sword. They are a deadly mix of scholar and soldier, supplementing melee attacks with elemental damage and summoned creatures.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | One-handed, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Alchemy
Class Ability | Ruin - 10% Bonus to destruction

Healers are spellcasters who swear solemn oaths to heal the afflicted and cure the diseased. The ancient art of restoration is their ally, and the deadly art of destruction is their weapon.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | Alchemy, Alteration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration, Speech
Class Ability | Remedy - 10% Bonus to restoration
Bonus Spell | Healing Hands

Most mages claim to study magic for its intellectual rewards, but they also often profit from its practical applications. Varying widely in temperament and motivation, mages share but one thing in common - an avid love of spellcasting.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | Enchanting, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration
Class Ability | Boundless - +50 Bonus magicka

Nightblades are spellcasters who use their magic to enhance mobility, concealment, and stealthy Close combat. They have a sinister reputation, since many nightblades are thieves, enforcers, assassins, or covert agents.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | One-handed, Light Armor, Illusion, Destruction, Alteration, Sneak
Class Ability | Stalker - 10% Bonus to sneaking

Though spellcasters by vocation, sorcerers rely most on summoning and enchantments. Unique to these mages is the bodily stamina to be armed with the thickest armor.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | Alchemy, Enchanting, Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Heavy Armor
Class Ability | Potent - 50% Bonus magicka regen
Bonus Spell | Bound Sword

Spellswords are spellcasting specialists trained to support Imperial troops in skirmish and in battle. Veteran spellswords are prized as mercenaries, and well-suited for careers as adventurers and soldiers-of-fortune.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | Heavy Armor, One-handed, Alteration, Destruction, Enchanting, Restoration
Class Ability | Balance - 10% Bonus to spells, One-handed when using both

Witchhunters are dedicated to rooting out and destroying the perverted practices of dark cults and profane sorcery. They train for magical and martial combat against vampires, witches, warlocks, and necromancers.

Specialization | Magic
Major Skills | Archery, Destruction, Enchanting, Conjuration, Alchemy, Lockpicking
Class Ability | Purifier - 25% Bonus damage to undead, including vampires

Birthsign List:
The Warrior - Warrior's Prowess - 10% increased damage with melee weapons
The Lady - Lady's Care - Health and Magicka regenerate 25% faster
The Lord - Lord's Fortitude - Health regens 100% faster, but 10% more vulnerable to fire
The Steed - Steed's Fleetness - Move 10% faster
The Thief - Thief's Cunning - Pickpocketing, lockpicking is 10% easier
The Lover - Lover's Protection - Take 10% less physical damage
The Shadow - Shadow's Veil - Sneaking is 10% easier
The Tower - Tower's Stability - 10% reflect damage
The Mage - Mage's Wisdom - 30 bonus Magicka
The Apprentice - Apprentice's Zeal - 10% better spells, 10% weakness to magic
The Atronach - Atronach's Skin - 10% chance to absorb spells
The Ritual - Ritual's Oath - 10% bonus to restoration
The Serpent - Serpent's Bite - Poisons you make are 20% stronger

Differences between this mod and the original, straight up:
Bonus spells are now correct - in v1.53 of CCB the Healer and Knight spells given by the mod don't match the mod description or in-game menu description.
Included setting base skills to 5 right into the mod, rather than doing maths in the script like it was previously.
Since I changed how the script adds amounts to skills, you don't need to use a new save file or be level 1
You can now select any ability for a custom class - in the OG mod you can't pick a class ability, you just get a +20 point bonus to an attribute and an extra major skill.
Made the text in the menus use less lines. I use Sovngarde, and text was running off the end. This is now fixed.

Custom classes are fully in line with classic classes. Everyone gets a specialization (+20 attribute), 6 major skills, and an ability (and customs get to choose any of these).
All bonuses have been re-done. My philosophy with this was that the more specific the bonus is, the stronger. So Ruthless affects all melee weapons a bit. Smite affects only one weapon type, so it's a little stronger.
I've said it a few times already, but I'll explain it properly here; this now uses ModAV instead of SetAV. The mod previously did SetAV("Skill", 5(base level) + 20(if majored) + racial bonus(if applicable)). Say I majored in Heavy Armor and didn't get a racial, this would directly set my Heavy Armor to 25, as if I'd levelled it to that. This means if I decided to stop using heavy armor and start using light, it could theoretically overtake heavy and then what was the point of even majoring in heavy armor? Does my life-long warrior soldier's years of Heavy Armor usage mean nothing because I wore Light Armor for a few days? Phooey. Now, the mod does ModAV("Skill", 20). It adds a flat 20 bonus to the skill, which shows up green in your menu as if you had a potion or enchantment affecting it. The actual skill is still at 5, and will level as such, but in any calculation it's being treated as 25. This means if (to use the Heavy Armor example from before) I increased my Heavy Armor to 100, and then my Light Armor to 100 - my Heavy Armor would still have an advantage, because it's being treated as if it were 120. Your major skills will now always have an advantage over your non-majored ones, because they have a higher maximum potential, and are technically easier to level to get to the same benefit. I've not really done a good job of explaining this, but just trust me, I think it works a bit better. (As stated above, overriding scripts that still use SetAV to simply set the skill 20 points higher (as if leveled by the player) is now available, in the optional files).

Rolled secondary and class abilities from the OG mod together. You get less effects/benefits, but it is more streamlined and allows for picking any ability in custom class creation.
Took out the 4th era birthsigns (i.e. choose a standing stone at start) - to me these seemed pointless; when you have the choice between a permanent 3rd Era buff (that also stacks with stones) or just picking a standing stone, it just makes way more sense to pick the 3rd Era ones. This also means standing stone mods are compatible right out of the box.
No powers - This is just a personal thing to me, but anything that gives me a once a day power is pointless to me. There's no way to integrate a once a day power into a strategy unless you plan to wait 24 hours after every combat encounter. To me it's much nicer to have permanent passive buffs that will actually impact on my moment to moment gameplay and overall character build. None of the birthstones/abilities give any powers.

Recommended Mods:
Skyrim Unbound Reborn - Lets you really customise your start (location, equipment, spells, werewolf/vampire) to go along with your class to make a really great RP experience!
Skyrim Skill Uncapper - Necessary to get any benefit from your skills being over 100. I recommend setting the limits to 200.
Automatic Attribute Advancement - Makes your attributes scale to your stats, and takes the levelling out of your hands. You'll need to update the base level global variable included with AAA in SSEEdit or with a console command to make them really work together.
Experience - Ties your level to questing and exploring, and decouples it from your skills. Also enforces max levels on skills at low levels, which I like.
You are not special - Lowers starting skills to 1. I use the version that keeps a very slight racial bonus.
All of SimonMagus16's V+ Overhauls, they're nice streamlined updates without adding a lot of bloat.

Adamant Hand to Hand patch:
Requested by a user, and I actually got really into it. I love unarmed combat in everything, so this is great. The patch mostly just changes menus to say the right things, but it also includes some script changes to re-jigger two classes - Acrobat (which now has Block and Security) and Witchhunter (which did have Lockpicking, which would have become Hand to Hand, so switched for Security to keep the lockpicking aspect).

Now, in Oblivion, Hand to Hand was a combat skill dictated by Strength, and some of the Combat classes like Warrior and Barbarian had it, but in SimonMagus' addon it comes under the thief skills. In light of that, and mainly because most of the Stealth classes didn't have any other good skills I could give them (Skyrim took away a lot of skills), all the classes that did have Lockpicking/Pickpocket now have Hand to Hand/Security. There's some logic to these - Monk is obvious, Agent mentions being trained in self-defence in the flavour text, and a Thief could reasonably be expected to have got in a few tavern brawls. The combat classes are more focused on weapons anyway. It is what it is. Other than that, Assassin is the only other change, and that's Pickpocket -> Security, which makes perfect sense.

Possible future improvements:
Majoring in enchantment gives you a couple of basic enchantments; This is weirdly difficult. I'm probably going to ask the person who made the enchantment spell tomes mod how they managed it.

SPID addon that distributes the birthsigns randomly and the class abilities to relevant people. This would be a big undertaking, so don't expect it for a long time (if at all).

Let me know if you find any bugs - this is my first go at modding, and I think everything works, but I'm expecting some bugs. Mostly perks/effects not working like they should. Also hit me up if you notice any typos, I fucking hate typos.

This is built off of version 1.53 of Classic Classes and Birthsigns. All credits to the author of that mod and the kind soul who ported it to SSE. I just modified it the way I like it - this is not an improvement, just a change. Go check out the original before you download this.

The new improved version was cleaned up and converted to an ESM/ESL by this kind soul (without me even asking! What a guy!), so many thanks to bobbyclue for taking the time to do that.

A Spanish translation of the mod exists here, made by NintendoChris on his own time. Thanks, NintendoChris!