Skyrim Special Edition
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Created by

Kevin Lewis

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kevin009

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About this mod

Lore friendly levels takes the arbitrary levels and level scaling assigned in the base game and replaces them with manually determined static levels that match the NPC and their backstory. This mod does not touch leveled lists and therefore should play nicely with mods that focus on modifying encounter zones.

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Lore Friendly Levels
Lore friendly levels takes the arbitrary levels and level scaling assigned in the base game and replaces them with manually determined static levels that match the NPC and their backstory. This mod does not touch leveled lists and therefore should play nicely with mods that focus on modifying encounter zones.

FEATURES
  • No More Leveling With The Player - NPCs now each have a static level assigned based on a combination of lore and logic roughly based on the scale posted below. No longer will a level 4 seasoned war veteran exist in the same world that a random priest surpasses Alduin in strength.
  • No More Health Offsets - Many NPCs in vanilla Skyrim have health offsets assigned to them. These were likely added in part to make certain NPCs seem stronger than their level but often resulted in spongy combat instead. Because NPC levels are now being manually assigned, these offsets are no longer needed. NPC strength is determined by level and class, not hidden bonuses.
  • Balanced ClassesIn the base game, certain classes will favor one stat (health, stamina, magicka) to the extreme resulting in them being deficient in both of the others. While I didn't focus on classes extensively, I did try to standardize the weights assigned so that human characters are more consistent in which stats they increase by level.

BALANCE
  • This mod focuses on immersion rather than gameplay balance. The way levels are assigned will result in a much more difficult early game, followed by a substantially easier mid game, and then finally a challenging end game. The reason it plays out this way is due to the nature of your Dragonborn character. Because this mod intends to be lore friendly and because the Dragonborn must eventually face threats like Alduin, Harkon, and Miraak, it makes sense that your character will eventually have to significantly surpass the strength of the average human. The Last Dragonborn is an incredibly strong character in lore and this mod attempts to reflect that. So while you will likely get to a point mid game where human characters no longer pose much of a threat, dragons, vampires, and other strong creatures should continue to give you a challenge.
  • I posted the below scale to help provide a rough idea of what you can expect to find in game. Keep in mind, that this scale was just a starting point in my decision making process to help me maintain consistency. For every single NPC I assigned a level to, I also read their USEP page or on occasion read lore based forum discussions to help me reach a conclusion. Even with this process, it's unavoidable that my own opinions will be reflected in how I ranked NPCs. Even so, I did my best to create a much more believable world than the gameplay oriented one Bethesda provided us with.
 
WARRIOR SCALE
8  -  9: Low End Soldier/Guard
10 - 14: Average Soldier/Guard
15 - 20: Above Average Solider 
21 - 25: Elite Soldier
26 - 32: Warrior Level
33 - 37: Elite Warrior Level
38 - 45: Hero Level
46 - 50: Legendary Hero Level

MAGE SCALE
8 - 13: Novice Level
14 - 19: Apprentice Level
20 - 27: Adept Level
28 - 36: Expert Level
37 - 45: Master Level
46 - 50: Renowned Master Level
51 - 60+: Legendary Master Level

CREATURE SCALE
1 - 5: Non-Threat Level
6 - 12: Low Threat Level
13 - 19: Average Threat Level
20 - 29: High Threat Level
30 - 39: Rare Beast Level/[Low-End Volkihar Vampire Level]
40 - 49: Low End Dragon/[Mid-Tier Volkihar Vampire Level]
50 - 59: Dragon/[Ancient or Pure-Blooded Vampire Level]
60 - 69: Ancient Dragon/[Vampire Lord Level]
70 - 79: Legendary Dragon/[Ancient Vampire Lord Level]
80+: God Level


RECOMMENDED MODS
  • MorrowLoot Ultimate - I built this mod around MLU and highly recommend it as the statically placed items it adds works really well with the static NPCs I created.
  • Enhanced Enemy AI - I like this mod for its simplicity but mods like Wildcat should also work well.
  • Combat Damage Multiplier - If your combat mod already has a similar feature, you can skip this but otherwise I find the x3 damage option works very well with my mod.

INSTALLATION
Ideally, I recommend starting a new game to ensure all the changes take effect but you can definitely install it mid play through as well. It just may take some time for already loaded NPCs to reset before their new level gets applied.
COMPATIBILITY
This mod should be compatible with any mod that does not alter existing NPC records. If you do use another mod that alters those records, whichever one is loaded last will take priority. This means that if you load another mod after mine that edits 5 NPC records, those 5 NPCs will ignore my assigned levels. I have a few compatibility patches already created and will likely add more in the future. MorrowLoot Ultimate,  Immersive PatrolsImmersive College of Winterhold, Cutting Room Floor, and RSChildren are all compatible if you install the related patch.