Skyrim Special Edition

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Matthew Harper

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About this mod

Complete overhaul of all the in-game dialogue to match Khajiit speech patterns. For Skyrim Special Edition

Permissions and credits

IMPORTANT: This is the Skyrim Special Edition version! For the original version, go here :)

LOAD ORDER: I strongly recommend you use LOOT to organize your load order. Several of the files have been edited with LOOT in mind.

INSTALLATION: If you are using NMM, the installer will automatically select the Khajiit Speak files needed to work with your game. Mod Organizer uses should follow the instructions on the download tab.


1. WTF?
2. Latest Major Version / Status Overview
3. What does the mod cover, exactly?
4. Examples
...4.1. Brynjolf
...4.2. Dirge
...4.3. The Book of Love questline
5: FAQ
...5.1: Will you be doing this for other races?
...5.2: Will you add automatic detection of whether I'm playing as a Khajiit?
...5.3: Is this mod lore-friendly?
...5.4: But not all Khajiit speak like that! Why does yours?
...5.5: Will you upload this mod to the Steam Workshop?
...5.6: When I have this mod and the Unofficial Skyrim Patch installed, I receive a message saying that Falion's Secret has been completed. What gives?
...5.7: I'm getting a Malkavian vibe from this...
...5.8: Do you plan to adapt Interesting NPCs and Vilja in Skyrim?
...5.9: When I try to disable the plugin for NPC Bartering (for example), I receive a warning that doing so will cause game instability. Will it?
6: Merging esps
7: Names
8: Credits
9: My Other Mods

1. WTF?

I was always a little annoyed that most of the Khajiit you meet in the game seem to have a particular way of speaking, but if you decide to play as a Khajiit character, you still talk like an Imperial. That's natural enough, given that the in-game dialogues are meant to fit ten difference races and two sexes. But this mod aims to edit the dialogues for a Khajiit player, which will hopefully boost immersion.

The most obvious change is that Khajiit often refer to themselves in the third person, saying their name, or calling themselves "Khajiit" or "This one" instead of using "I". But that is not the only thing I have changed.

Using the third person also entails using pronouns much more than usual; thankfully the Creation Kit allows you to add sex-specific variables to dialogue, meaning that your character will correctly be referred to as 'he' or 'she', 'his' and 'her' and so on. That allows some flexibility, which is then limited by the fact that text fields can contain only 80 characters (EDIT: no longer!), and the variable for 'his' takes up 29. Interested parties can find a list of variables here.

I have also tried to capture some of the slightly stilted feel that Khajiit speakers often have, at the lowest level by avoiding contractions such as "can't", but sometimes rewriting the sentence completely. Bear in mind that Khajiit can often be ironically pompous.

2. Latest Major Version / Status Overview

I'm fairly certain that with version 5.0.10 the mod works properly now: I've been through every line of the mod and the unofficial patch to make sure everything matches up. I've been playing through and only noticed a couple of issues, which should now be solved. Thanks must go to NukuNookee for helping out with the trainers!

I've also added plugins for a number of new mods. None of these are big plugins, and some only have a single line, so don't expect anything fancy ;)

(I'm awaiting permission from Arthmoor for the Castle Volkihar, Storefront, Kynesgrove and Storefront plugins - naturally, they will be removed if permission is not granted.)

3. What does the mod cover, exactly?


  • Special Edition

Unofficial Patches


In the case of mods marked with (*), I have asked for permission but the author has not yet replied. I will remove the plugins if asked to do so.

There is also a plugin for Shezrie Old Hroldan, which was available for the SSE for a while, then removed. You'll need to install the plugin manually if you still have the mod installed. When the mod is reuploaded to the nexus, I'll add it back into the main installer (also, I planned to expand the dialogue considerably).

I also have permission to adapt Elvenwood, but I think it will work without a plugin. Will test...

4. Examples

4.1. Brynjolf

A good example of this rewriting would be the occasion (shown in one of the screenshots) where Brynjolf approaches the player for the first time in Riften, and suggests that you have too much or too little money in your pockets. In the vanilla game, the player can respond,
I'm sorry, what?
In contrast, my version is:
Khajiit is not sure her ears heard correctly.
(In this case, "her" is dependant on the sex of the character, and "Khajiit" could just as easily have been the character's name, but I've tried to reserve that for later in conversations, or conversations with more familiarity.)

4.2. Dirge

Here's a an example of more complicated rewrite, based around Dirge and his name. In the vanilla game, the dialogue goes like this:
Player: Why do they call you Dirge?
Dirge: They call me Dirge, 'cause I'm the last thing you hear before they put you in the ground. Why? You think it's funny or something?

- No way. That name would scare anyone. (Persuade)
- I think it's hilarious. You got a problem? (Intimidate)
- Forget I mentioned it.

The edited version currently goes like this:
Player: "Dirge" is a curious name, no?

Dirge: (same as before)

- It is a good name. And if a name can scare people, this one definitely will, no? (Persuade)
- <Player Name> has not laughed so hard in many phases. Is that a problem, hmm? (Intimidate)
- Khajiit had no wish to offend the incomparable Dirge. Forget this exchange, yes?

The aim here was to capture not only Khajiit-style speech patterns, but also their attitude. Instead of the vanilla 'be nice / be scary / back off' dialogue options, all three responses are basically insults, although Dirge doesn't have the wit to see that. (NOTE: prior to verison 2.5, I had removed the markers (Intimidate) and (Pesuade) as well. But they are now back in, thanks to Eliorim's work on this - first, finding a way around the 80 character text limit, and then going through the whole mod to re-insert them. Many thanks!)

4.3. The Book of Love questine

Another example of what this mod is trying to do can be found in the Book of Love quest, which can be acquired in the Temple of Mara in Riften. It always struck me as a little odd that the dialogue options seem to assume no knowledge of the deities of Tamriel whatsoever. It makes no sense that a Nord would ask who Talos is, for example. The player (you) might have no idea, but your character, in a role-playing sense, probably does. A well-written exchange should allow the player to ask about something without breaking character.

Similarly, many races have their own pantheon of gods which may or may not overlap with the Eight/Nine. A newly-arrived Khajiit may have little idea of who Talos is, or why there is such a problem with him being struck from the pantheon, and I've tried to write the dialogue to reflect that. With Mara, the issue is slightly different: Mara approximately correlates to the Mother Cat, and again I've tried to write dialogue which reflects that. So here, instead of being completely clueless about Mara, your Khajiit will ask about how similar Mara is to the Mother Cat. The option accepting the Book of Love quest suggests that the Khajiit has decided that Mara and the Mother Cat are basically the same, but with different names; refusal is meant to imply that they are too different for the Khajiit to reconcile.

To be sure, I'm taking considerable liberties with how that scene plays out, even though I'm constrained by the need to make the two sides of the exchange fit together. But I feel it helps with the idea that you are playing as a Khajiit who has a history and a culture, even if you don't get to see them directly in the game.

The Book of Love quest is also a good example of what I'm trying to do with Khajiit attitude. What Khajiit is likely to be sincere when playing at being a divine matchmaker? Not mine, that's for sure. In the end, I'm pretty happy with the way that quest line turned out, although some people may think I've gone too far. Feedback, as always, is appreciated.

5. FAQ

5.1: Will you be doing this for other races?

UPDATE: Check out Immersive Player Dialogue by JeremeW5257 if you want improved dialogue without the Khajiit flavour!

It is high unlikely I'll be doing a complete dialogue overhaul for the other races in Skyrim, and for a number of reasons:

  • Need. The other races diverge less from standard language than the Khajiit. Sure, the Orcs may be gruff, and the Altmer aloof, but those attitudes don't translate into speech patterns so well. It would simply be overkill to do a 'Complete Dunmer Dialogue Overhaul', whereas it makes some sense for Khajiit.
  • Interest. To be honest, the only way I have enough energy, or foolishness, to embark on such a ridiculously vast project is because I really really really care how a Khajiit sounds. My favourite Skyrim character was a Khajiit, and I was frustrated with every step she took that the words just weren't right. I don't have that feeling or passion or plain insanity with regard to Bretons, for example.
  • Time. Even though I reached the 1.0 stage, where everything has been gone over once, rather faster than anticipated, it still took over a month of hard work. So logically, it would take about a year to do all ten races. That's a year of sleeping, real job, and this mod. And nothing else. Not. Going. To. Happen.
  • Quality. I want to make this mod as good as I can. That is going to mean a lot of post 1.0 work, tidying up mistakes, fine-tuning sentences, removing repetition, and replacing garbage that I wrote when I could barely keep my eyes open. I want to make one good mod, not several mediocre ones.
That being said, I may be tempted, at some point, to carry over some other things from this mod into smaller mods for other races. For example, in the screenshots you'll see that Khajiit Speak has some custom dialogue for dog followers, and includes a number of lore references, such as the relation between Mara and the Mother Cat. Once I know where such things are located in the CK, it might not be too much work to do something similar for other races. You aren't going to get a 'Complete Orc Dialogue Overhaul' mod, but you MAY (I stress may) get to see an 'Improved Orc Dialogue' mod at some point.

5.2: Will you make it so that the mod automatically detects whether I'm playing as a Khajiit and then, and only then, gives me the Khajiit Speak dialogue?

Short answer: Not at the moment. If I can find a way for the game to detect that and then load/unload the entire mod, maybe. But the standard way for the game to check for race and then give you appropriate dialogue has to be specified for every single line of dialogue which you change. I change one word, and I have to pull up a separate window (two actually) and feed in the conditions. And because of the way the CK works, loading those windows would make the whole editing process about three times as long. You know, like instead of editing a word, closing the window and moving onto the next, you edit a word, open a window, make yourself a cup of tea, open another window, enter conditions, close window, close window, close window, finally move one. Ew.

In principle, this automatic loading is something I want to happen, but it isn't going to if the method described above is the only solution. Sorry.

5.3: Is this mod lore-friendly?

That rather depends on what you mean by lore-friendly. If you mean, "Does this mod contain anything which is not in the official lore, as sanctioned by Bethesda?" then the answer is no, it isn't lore-friendly. But then, nothing which is not already included in Skyrim is actually lore-friendly. On that definition, pretty much everything you can find on the Nexus is not lore-friendly.

On the other hand, if you mean to ask, "Does this mod stick to the establish lore whenever possible, and never contradict the lore, or introduce things which do not make sense according to the lore?" then hopefully, the answer is yes. I'm trying to create a richer Khajiit experience: it makes sense to me that a Khajiit would complain about how much dogs smell, or about the noise nirnroot makes; or that a Khajiit would be aware of their own traditions regarding marriage, or have a number of idioms ready for common situations. If I can find confirmed lore about these things, I'll include them. But if I can't, I feel it's within the limits of being 'lore-friendly' to make something up - so long as it remains plausible.

As such, it makes sense to me that Khajiit would be harder on beggars more than the other people of Tamriel. Where a Nord might see a beggar as someone who is down on their luck, I could easily imagine a Khajiit seeing a beggar as someone who does not have the wit to do anything about it. Hence the line: "Why beg, if you can steal?" It might not be officially sanctioned lore, but I feel it makes sense in the light of the lore, and I hope you do too.

5.4: But not all Khajiit speak like that! Why does yours?

Because there are Khajiit who do. Indeed, there are about 20 known species of Khajiit, some of which can barely talk at all. At the other end of the spectrum, there are the Ohmes, who resemble Bosmer closely, and the Ohmes-raht, who are hardly distinguishable from humans at a distance, and who have to use warpaint to mimic the markings typical of other Khajiit.

In the end, this mod offers a Khajiit with a heavy dialect and cultural mannerisms. If you wish to play a Khajiit who has seamlessly integrated into the Imperial world, this mod is not for you.

5.5: Will you upload this mod to the Steam Workshop?

Probably not. I haven't downloaded a single mod from there. I have not used it once. I realize that seems narrow-minded, but I like the Nexus. I appreciate that SW gives the Nexus competition, and that's a good thing, but it's a good thing because the Nexus has to respond by being better. Regardless of that, there are a couple of things which would concern me about SW:

  • Would I get a significant increase in users of my mod by uploading it to Steam Workshop?
  • Would the increase in users justify the extra effort involved in maintaining two versions?
  • Would I just be taking users away from the Nexus, as some people stop using the Nexus version, and move to the Steam version?
Having one version, in one place, with one community, seems like a good thing to me, given that I value the place and community. Having two versions, in two places, with two communities seems like a not-so-good thing, especially when I have no attachment to the second place and community, and when they might directly detract from the original place / community which I do care about. If you see what I mean...Also, I don't think SW handles plug-ins very well, and that is a direction I've begun to go in.

So no, I have no plans to upload to the Steam Workshop at the moment.

5.6: When I have this mod and the Unofficial Skyrim Patch installed, I receive a message saying that Falion's Secret has been completed. What gives?

Hopefully this has been fixed with 1.13. If it's still playing up for you, you may like to try opening the console and resetting the quest, as follows:

resetquest FreeformMorthalA

You don't need to worry about capitalization, by the way. If you then want to check whether that has worked, type the following into the console:

getstage FreeformMorthalA

and you should see that the stage is set to 0.00.

5.7: I'm getting a Malkavian vibe from this...

A few people have mentioned Vampire: The Masquerade, and specifically the Malkavians. But honesty, I have never played any of the games. I was a staunch Mac user until Dragon Age: Origins came out on Mac and I figured out what I was missing, and although I've checked out Bloodlines on Steam, it comes under Germany's ridiculous censorship laws and I can only get hold of a 'low violence' version - so no sale.

That being said, I have been watching Gopher's playthrough of Bloodlines recently, and I can see what people mean about Khajiit Speak having that vibe. Although I use less alliteration in the mod, and the dialogue is generally coherent ;-)

5.8: Do you plan to adapt Interesting NPCs and Vilja in Skyrim?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, but not just yet, because...

...neither mod is quite finished at the moment. Emma plans to add a marriage option and other stuff to Vilja, for example. And the latest beta for Interesting NPCs moved all of the follower dialogue out of the vanilla DialogueFollower quest - which would have broken a Khajiit Speak plugin, if one existed. So in both cases I'm waiting for them to reach a state where they are basically complete (that goes for other candidates for adaptation, by the way).

Incidentally, I already have permission to do an adaptation for Interesting NPCs (I haven't asked about Vilja yet) and I'm keeping a close eye on it, since it's a personal favourite / essential mod :-)

5.9: When I try to disable the plugin for NPC Bartering (for example), I receive a warning that doing so will cause game instability. Will it?

Short answer: No. Go ahead and ignore the warning.

Long answer: The installer tries to detect which DLC and mods you have installed, and then recommend which components of Khajiit Speak you should install. There's a couple of good of pretty good reasons for this.

Firstly, it makes your installation simpler, because you don't have to go through the components one at a time and decide which to install. You should get an optimal selection of components with just a couple of clicks, rather than about twenty.

Secondly, installing a component for which you do not have the required mod or DLC will result in a CTD. Install the Khajiit Speak Dragonborn plugin when you don't have Dragonborn installed and you'll be in trouble. Try to install the plugin, and you'll see a warning about game instability. So the the automatic selection process should prevent that kind of issue arising.

But there's a couple of limitations. The main one is that the the warnings you'll see are not quite true. In the example above, installing the plugin when you don't have Dragonborn will indeed lead to game instability. But if you do have Dragonborn installed, and choose not to install the plugin for some reason, that will NOT cause game instability, even though you'll see the same warning saying that it does.

This is also true of NPC Bartering. That plugin has no file dependencies whatsoever, but because it is a recommended component of Khajiit Speak, you'll still see the standard warning if you choose to deactivate it.

Unfortunately, it seems that there is little I can do about this, because it's down to the underlying fomod xml configuration which NMM uses. I could have the plugin deactivated by default, but then it would look like the kind of plugin where activating it would cause CTDs. And I don't think there's a way to customize the warning messages (I'll keep looking for one though).

As a rule of thumb, it's fine to deactivate anything which is automatically recommended for installation, but don't activate anything which is not (except in the case of purely manual install options like Expensive Investments or the Khajiit form plugins).

6. Merging esps

Starting with 3.0BETA2, I've included a merged version of the Khajiit Speak files for Skyrim, the DLC, and the Unoffciial Patches. As always with the installer, you will only be offered the option to install this merged file if you have all the required files installed. If you have fewer than that--say you don't have Hearthfire, or for some reason you're not using an Unofficial Patch--you'll be offered the full modular install instead.

To create the merged file, I used Merge Plugins xEdit Script by matortheeternal, which is itself a script for the amazing TES5Edit. (How amazing is TES5Edit? Look through the comments for all the trouble people were having with the Dawnguard plugin. TES5Edit solved that. This mod wouldn't have got beyond vanilla Skyrim without TES5Edit.)

Of course, much testing is necessary, but it seems that Khajiit Speak files merged in this way should be pretty safe, because only the Dialog Topic records are being edited, and they should be conflict-free. I can't guarantee that you won't run into problems, of course, but if you want to save a bit more esp room by merging files, this may not be a bad solution.

I will not be adding merged files of any of the other mods supported by Khajiit Speak, however. Mods interact in complex ways, and I think you shouldn't go overboard with merging. But the option is there, at least.

7. Names

To use this mod to the best possible effect, you'll need to make sure you have a good name for your character, if possible not too long, and lore-friendly. You're going to be seeing that name a lot.

Here's two possible sources:

8. Credits

  • Bethesda, for some reason, I can't remember what exactly.
  • The Nexus, for being so awesome.
  • T3nd0, for getting the ball rolling.
  • Everybody who takes the time to leave feedback and bug reports. You're awesome!
  • The authors of all the mods I've made plugins for, for granting permission to do so and creating such great mods in the first place.
  • Eliorim, for being prepared to go through the whole mod and re-insert all the missing (Intimidate) and (Persuade) markers, and figuring out how extend the 80-character text limit. If you ever missed those markers, please give him kudos and endorse his guide :-)
9. My Other SSE Mods