Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

A zEdit Patcher that randomizes the effects of all your alchemical ingredients. Supports different randomization options based on your preferred randomness!

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A little Wheat and Blisterwort makes a healing potion, if you didn't know...

And what if I don't want to know? What if it was some Human Flesh with a pinch of Fire Salts instead? What if healing potions can't even be made with the ingredients in Skyrim? Start experimenting and find out!

This patcher randomizes the alchemy effects of your alchemical ingredients, so you might not know what to expect when you start mixing ingredients on that Alchemy Lab!

AFAIK, this patcher supports any ingredient with any effects from any mod! As long as you load mods that affects/adds alchemy ingredients when building the patch, this patcher will be able to randomize it.

Using this randomizer means that game balance is more or less thrown out of the window. The patcher provides different randomization settings based on how random (and how relatively balanced) the patch will be, but the end result can get wacky anyway, especially if you are using mods. While using Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul, for example, you might get an ingredient that has multiple high-magnitude effects, and another ingredient with subpar effects, due to the extent of which that mod changes alchemy ingredients.

Installation & Usage
Standard zEdit UPF patcher installation & usage. Refer to Google/YouTube, or follow Steps 5 & 6 of this link for an example of installing and running a zEdit patcher. This patcher also has a few settings, which will be explained in the next section.

Note that zEdit has a 254 plugin limit, so if your load order exceeds it, merge your plugins or selectively load mods that affects alchemy ingredients.

Patcher Settings

Aside from the self-explanatory settings, the different randomization type you select will affect how random the resulting patch will be.

1. Keep Effect Groups (Least random):
This option forces the randomizer to keep the grouping of effects of ingredients, effectively only swapping around the effect groups between different ingredients.

For example, Vampire Dust (Invisibility, Restore Magicka, Regenerate Health, Cure Disease) and Namira's Rot (Damage Magicka, Fortify Lockpicking, Fear, Regenerate Health) might get swapped around, with each getting the other's effect group.

This option has the least interesting results, but is also a lot more balanced, relatively speaking. If you like to keep some semblance of balance, it is recommended to use this option, especially if you are using mods that significantly alter alchemy ingredients like CACO.

2. Keep Effect Distribution (More random):

This option allows the randomizer to randomly assign effects to ingredients, but will force it to follow the current effect distribution.

"Effect distribution" refers to the different quantities of each individual effect that are being used by ingredients. The vanilla effect distribution can be found on this UESP page. Using the vanilla effect distribution as an example, Damage Health is present in 18 different ingredients, and Fortify Alteration is present in only 4 ingredients. This option will ensure that only 18 random ingredients can have the Damage Health effect, and only 4 random ingredients can have the Fortify Alteration effect.

This option is a good middle ground between balance and randomness.

3. Ensure Effect Inclusion (Even more random):
This option allows the randomizer to randomly assign effects to ingredients, but will ensure every effect will be included at least once.

This option is suitable for those who likes chaos but still wants every alchemy effect to be available.

4. Ignore Effect Inclusion (Most random):
This option will allow the randomizer to ALWAYS randomly assign effects to ingredients.

Using this option means that the randomizer has free rein over what random effects to assign. This also means that the randomizer may exclude certain effects altogether, if RNG decides not to assign those effects.

This option introduces the most chaos out of all the other options.

Ignore Effect Distribution:
This option is only available and used when selecting either Ensure Effect Inclusion or Ignore Effect Inclusion randomization types.

Normally, the randomly selected effects are weighted based on the loaded effect distribution. Effects with higher effect distribution will have a higher chance of being selected.

Enabling this option will remove these weights, allowing each effect to have the same probability of being selected.

Prevent Paralysis from being first effect [v1.1.0]:
Skyrim has a camera bug when the player is affected by Paralysis, which can happen when eating an ingredient with Paralysis as the first effect (refer to this Reddit post). Enabling this option will force the randomizer to never place Paralysis as the first effect.

This option is disabled by default as it influences RNG, and is not available/used when the Keep Effect Groups randomization type is selected.

As far as I'm aware, this patcher is compatible with any mod that adds/edits/changes alchemy ingredients and effects (whether or not the end result will be balanced is another story). [size=3]Remember to load these mods into zEdit before running the patcher to include them into the patch!

Mods that lets you learn from alchemical recipe/formula notes such as CACO or Jebbalon's Reagent Revealing Recipes may have unintended side effects. More details in FAQ.

Of course, if you do find any incompatibilities, let me know and I'll look into it.

Q: Does this patcher randomize the magnitude/area/duration of the alchemy ingredients' effects?

The magnitude, area and duration values of different alchemy effects can behave differently depending on which effect is being modified. It would be far too complicated to figure out the range of values that would be safe to randomize for each value in every vanilla effect, not to mention any mod-introduced effects.

During randomization, the magnitude/area/duration values of an effect are grouped together with their respective effects. This ensures that when a random effect is being assigned, the proper values for the effect will be set as well.

Q: Are alchemical recipe/formula notes patched? / What are the side effects you mentioned?

If it's just for vanilla Skyrim, then this is very much doable. However, after taking into consideration mods like CACO that extensively modifies these notes and adds various notes of different varieties, I've decided that it is not feasible to support this feature. I would have to make cases for every different mod out there that adds/changes these notes, which just sounds like a nightmare to me.

A side effect, however, is present if you are using mods that lets you learn from these notes. Since I do not patch them, the notes will attempt to learn effects on the ingredients before they were randomized, which of course will be incorrect.

My suggestion is to ignore recipe/formula notes if you do use these types of mods. While I definitely agree that patching these notes will make them A LOT more useful when using this randomizer, it would take even more effort to make this feature compatible with mods out there.

Q: Can I install this patch mid-save? / Can I re-run the patcher mid-save?
As a rule of thumb, you should never install/uninstall mods mid-save other than for a few exceptions.

This is not one of these exceptions.

Theoretically it should be fine if you have never discovered any alchemy effects in your save, but I will not be responsible for, nor support, any issues that occur if you install/uninstall/remake this patch mid-save.

Q: Can I check the results of the randomization without manually checking every alchemy ingredient in-game?

Two log files are saved to the patcher folder every time you successfully run the patcher:
  • logByIngredients.txt lists each ingredient that's edited, what original effects they have and what random effects have been assigned.
  • logByEffects.txt lists each effect and their corresponding randomized ingredients, similar to this UESP page.

If you enabled the "Show logs at completion (Spoiler Warning!)" option at the patcher settings, the log files will open automatically when the patcher is complete.

Alternatively, you can click either of the "Show Most Recent Logs" buttons on the patcher settings to open either of the currently saved log files.

Q: Is this patcher on GitHub? Can you explain a bit more about the inner workings of the patcher?

Here is the link to the GitHub repository.

The README also includes a section on the technical information of the patcher.

Q: Can you make a Synthesis patcher version?
Eventually, yes.

Right now I'm mainly keeping to zEdit due to its relative popularity, maturity and its extensive documentation.

I'm still working on some other randomizer ideas, and my final goal is to release an all-in-one randomizer type of thing. By then I'll definitely look into making a Synthesis version.

Or perhaps one day I'll get bored and start making Synthesis versions for my individual patchers. Who knows?

Thank you to Mator and all the contributors of zEdit for making this patcher even possible at the first place. Special thanks to Mator's Modding Tools discord for answering any questions I had about zEdit.

My Other Randomizers

Word Walls Randomizer

More coming soon!