The most important aspect of any role-playing game, whether in video game form or with classic pencil and paper, is your character. No point going off adventuring if your character is as dull as dish water and unfortunately vanilla Skyrim’s stock character choices are a little on the plain side. Given the more colourful and vibrant look of my game I went with a character that reflected this. She’s not exactly ‘Lore friendly’, but her look suits my game perfectly.

 

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Character Customisation & Creation:

To begin install Show Race Menu, ( a more in-depth version of the character creation screen which you can access via the console at any time by typing in showracemenu), then follow up with Show Race Menu Precache Killer Patch which stops the game crashing to desktop. (Don’t use that woman in the Thieves den to edit your character as the game will  crash nearly every time. That’s Bugethesda for you!).

Now I use the pre-set custom race Temptress, so Show Race Menu with a few additional add-ons installed is all I need to make alterations. There is, however, a mod called Advanced Character Edit which is a highly detailed editor that you can really go to town with. If you’re not using a pre-set custom race then I’d go for this.

There are quite a few mods available for character customisation and creation and it really comes down to what direction you wish to take. For example there are many new body mods to choose from, (Calientes Beautiful Bodies and Dimonized UNP Base Main Body being the most popular), but there are also a few new races available. For my game I have chosen the “Temptress” Race combined with UNP Base Main Body which adds not just a new body and selection of face types, (which you can edit in Show Race Menu to your hearts content), but new abilities and skills including resistance to poison & disease. Using the Nexus search engine will reveal pretty much anything you need. For the sake of ease I’m just going to share some invaluable mods that I used for my own character – which is handy if you’re looking to create a female character of your own.

Many of the mods listed below have several choices therein which you’ll be prompted to select during installation.

Animations:

Dimonized UNP Base Main Body – A new body mod
HDT Physics Extensions – An SKSE plugin that applies the existing Havok physics engine to other uses in Skyrim. Swishing hair, flowing skirts and so on
XP32 Maximum Skeleton – XPMS – A multi purpose skeleton for animation in Skyrim which include a new skeleton structure. This mod also applies to male characters
Female Animation Pack – This makes many animations for female characters more effeminate
Female Running and Dash Animation – As above, but for running and dashing
Jump Animation – This gives you a selection of jump animations, including a one handed plant back spring
Lifelike Idle Animations For Females – Overwrites the default idle animation, again for something more effeminate
Pretty Combat Animations – This gives both female and male characters more attractive combat animations and stances, including new stances and animations for bows and magic
Pretty Jump Animations – This makes landing from a jump more elegant as opposed to the default falling-like-a-rock like animation
Victoria’s High Heel Walk Animation – This gives female characters a more effeminate walk as opposed to stomping around like an ogre as found in the vanilla version of Skyrim

 

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Makeovers:

The next group of mods are entirely optional, but all will vastly improve the look of your character by opening up hundreds of possibilities for any kind of look you’re after. I’ve also incldued a few mods I’m not using due to my pre-set race already incorporating them, but you might find them useful.

Coverwomen – A hi-rez re-texture for all default female races in the game
Detailed Faces v2– This increases the face detail of all default races
Fair Skin Complexion – This is an overhaul for female character creation. Includes skin, eyes, brows, teeth, freckles and make-up tint masks.Covers all the vanilla races except for Argonian, Khajiit, and Old races.
No More Blocky Faces – This mod smooths over those blocky finishing lines on faces
Better Make-up for SKSE – This gives you hi-rez make-up for females
Eyes of Aber – This installs 150 different eye variations for both male and female characters
Seductive Lips – Does what it say on the tin!

Following is a list of different hair mods for both male and female characters which you can swap and change as often as you like via Show Race Menu. Once installed you’ll have hundreds of styles to choose from:

Apachii Sky Hair
Dart Hair Colours
Hair Pack
KS Hairdos
Lovely Hairstyles
Superior Lore-Friendly Hair

 

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Finishing Touches: 

KJ Tattoos – Overlay Tattoo Plugins for Race Menu
Elewin Jewellery Piercings for UNP – Earrings, nose rings etc
SC Jewellery – Necklaces, rings, braclets etc

For weapons, armour and clothing just search the Nexus or Steam Community. There are literally thousands to choose from and is continually updated. If you choose to have heeled footwear then you’ll need the HDT High Heels System to avoid clipping. http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/36213/?

That’s it for Part 2. In the third and final part I’ll cover improved NPCs, wildlife, dragons & monsters, immersion, dialogue, music, multiple followers, new quests, new islands and lots of other neat little touches to bring your Skyrim to life.