Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SkyrimVR Player Home Mods

The most interesting Skyrim real estate is not from the vanilla game but from the endless creativity of talented modders. Many of these mods are worth exploring as places in their own right if not for inhabiting and is often vastly superior to vanilla.

Portable  Homes 

Modding allows for a different paradigm of callable homes encapsulated in an item in your inventory a la "I Dream of Jeannie".  Some would consider this cheating but consider it essential for a true hoarder-never leave any dragon bones behind. Portable homes can be construed as lore friendly for a mage character. 
  • Staff of Shalidor(++) upside down fun, this innovative home on the ball of a staff has a  well-lighted yet cosy interior making it a pleasant escape after the trauma of melee combat in a dark dungeon.  This mod really helped ease the dreariness of Alfthand during the long slog to Blackreach.  Also you can hear the rain and weather from your last location giving you a lovely immersive connection the the outside. My husband was quite catty- "What- your staff just hangs out rigid while you disappear". Hrrmmf.  It enters a magical plane if you must know.
  • HavenBag - Dwemer conversion (+++)- Call at your whim a deluxe spacious bachelor pad with ample weapons racks, hot tub, all the usual amenities for smithing and enchanting, oven for baking replete with a fully loaded pantry.  Dwemer architecture does make it feel more like a museum and lacks the coziness of the Staff of Shalidor but the spaciousness is calming after combat in dreary dungeons and caves. I am able to bring Meeko here and hence this is my main portable home. (The original Haven Bag is an interior of a leather bag but I chose the Dwemer version so home does not feel too crammed and cluttered.)
  • Campfire Cabin - craft and plunk down a cabin anywhere.  Allows you to also craft a portable enchanting station so I can do most of my stuff outside.  (Requires Campfire another fine mod.)

Castles, Megahomes, Villages

  • Tel Nalta II (+++)  my all time favorite SSE mod which lets you build a full fledged Tel Vanni mushroom village. The mod comes with an optional cheat chest with materials needed to build out the village. I didn't know this and it was great fun running around Skyrim gathering materials for the first few pods. This merits a post all it's own. TBD  
  • Antennaria - enough magical feels to satisfy any fantasy nerd. Artistically this is probably the loveliest bedroom in all of Tamriel nestled in a ferny overgrown grotto.
  • Aemer’s refuge  - tremendous castle with a double dragon fight to win the right to enter. Mod also places rune passage ways which can be activated from vanilla homes.
  • Leveler’s Tower - it's a massive cheat castle but way too fun not to explore to behold sights not in vanilla- a massive basement farm worked by dwemer spiders, a fight arena where you can spawn battles, the list goes on.

Functional Useful Homes

Quiet smithy with a lake view
Ruska in Riften (+++)

Placed conveniently near Honeyside's back door. I use Ruska as my base to do my smithing outdoors overlooking Riften lake. Balimund is a nice guy and all but Khajit needs quiet space to create the best armor and weapons. Ruska is an Elianora house and as such has all her signature facilities of named storage.  I actually use Hearth Craft to make a portable enchanting station which I've hid(troll skull) next to the ore chest so I can do smithing and enchanting all outside. When I had knee surgery, I did all my smithing and enchanting sitting here enjoying the great outdoors.

Mammoth Manor near Lake Ilinalta (+++)

The two story manor is spacious enough for a gang of followers and the open two story living room layout allows you to keep ready tabs on everyone. There is an ample armory downstairs. 
Also this property comes with  a separate Nord sauna down the hill by the lake's edge. Be careful, it auto strips you and anyone else if you enter the sauna inside the cabin. You do have to prove your worth to own this abandoned piece of real estate.
Mammoth tusks thematically everywhere

Hermit's Stump A hidden retreat on the way to Ivarstead, it's worth visiting at least once. This is where I do my mushroom farming as this mod has more Hearthfire plantable spots than anywhere. Probably one could mix this with Cannabis Skyrim for that Humboldt feeling.

AirBNB - casual stays when near the area

  • Telmos mushroom house on the way to Ivarstead, I love the look of the skyline near the waterfall with this house.
  • Wind Path - remote refuge next to a waterfall. You can stroll up the mountain path to the troll cave for some rather decent loot. Don't try to wash your hands or play the lute yourself in VR as this goes to black screen.
  • Viking Long House - across the docks in Windhelm when I am forced to quest in that overly Nord Nord land

Hobbit Homes
  • Island Hobbit Home - this is probably the most hobbity of the bunch. Warning If you don't have SKSE, you will get a weird green blank mesh in the alchemy room instead of the potting station.
  • Hobbiton - exterior and the foundry are beautifully done and others rooms could do with a little more work. The layout is spacious with a lot of bookshelves making the open floor plan useful if you have an army of followers.
  • Marnya - little ho hum exactly as the author intended and shares the world space with Hobbiton, I'd rather have Hobbiton than Marnya

Improvements to Vanilla Homes, Hearthfire Homes

Riften Honeyside is my home base and I keep it unmodded just to have a completely vanilla home to do clean saves. However most of the vanilla homes lack a loving home touch as Bethesda did the bare minimum.  It's almost as if the guy that does bandit camps also did the homes and just perfunctorily put few items on each surface and called it a day.
  • Breezehome by Lupus - not too over the top
  • Breezehome Porch- make use of the front unused space
  • Lakeview Extended- builds a full fortified compound out of this Falkreath Hearthfire home.  Made by the same author as the excellent Tel Nalta.
  • Lakeview Extended Basement
  • Proudspire - I had to slay so many necromancers to get this ugly uncomfortable home.  Figures Bethesda would make the most expensive home in Skyrim the worst. This mod makes Proudspire at least a little more livable but Solitude is my least favorite city and I'd rather not have to overnight in Proudspire.

Rejected Homes

Skyrim modded real estate is vast and I've downloaded 30+ more home mods and removed them for one reason or another and will note them here at least to remind myself.

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