About the mods on this site

Just a general note, in case you were curious: my habit of prefixing a lot of mod names with “Princess” is simply to differentiate them from other similarly-titled mods that do the same thing. It also helps me find my own mods quickly.

Some of the mods on this site were knocked up in hours – or even minutes – and as such there is little emotional investment in them from me. They were simply made to satisfy a small need and whether you love them (great!) or hate them, it doesn’t make much difference to me. In most cases, there are no updates planned. They’re just there for you to use if you want to.

These “low stakes” mods would be things like Fewer Foes or Better Tiber Septim Suite for Oblivion; More Dagoth Minions or Got The Time for Morrowind; or Top of the World or Hole in the Wall for Fallout 3.

Then there are the ones that took weeks, months or even years of painstaking effort. Sure – I made them for me in the first instance and they’re almost entirely for my own benefit, but if you are curious as to which of my own mods I’d recommend, I’d really like to draw your attention to these:

Morrowind

meresort7

Mournhold Expanded

This is my “magnum opus” of modding (she says, tongue-in-cheek) – the result of literally years of tinkering and chiseling, and it’s still not entirely “there”. Released is version 1.51 (the COM NC version); though I’m still picking away at version 2.0.

It offers a large city, exponentially bigger than the Mournhold that appears in the Tribunal expansion. Although to date there is no “main quest”, there are many hours of side quests and activities to keep you occupied. It is, to me, a holiday destination. Somewhere to go to relax and unwind. There’s something for almost every mood or time of year, and I do enjoy the rides in the gloriously lore-stretching theme park – and yes, there’s a good explanation for it being there, that will be revealed in version 2.0!

Despite its striking appearance – and some have objected to (of all things!) the more modern appearance of some of the furniture – a great deal of attention was paid to lore and setting. I could literally point to the expansion on a map of Tamriel – it is on the north-east edge of the city, straddling both sides of the river.

Mournhold Expanded is one of the very few – possibly only – of my mods that truly merits a 10/10, which sounds hubristic especially in light of its flaws, but reflects something of the skill of the many people who helped me bring it together – from Nemon who built the original beta of the striking (and FPS-demolishing) Docks cell to Henkbein whose remarkable Dwemer Cyborg mod provided the basis of the ride scripts.

If you only ever download one of my mods, make it Mournhold Expanded.

Dance of the Three-Legged Guar

arnand2

I blame Kateri for this. Basically, I had fallen in pixel-lust with Sorcha Ravenlock’s Breton Hunk mod, and thought he’d make a nice companion. I knocked up Breton Hunk Companion Lite and then set to work on a ‘full’ version, which would basically give him a quest and somewhere to live – a male version of Laura Craft, if you like. As I started to write the quest, I sent the early iterations to Kateri, who would make little suggestions here and there for corrections. Eventually, I just said to her, “Look, do you want to help me make it?” and thus it became the first “team project” lasting more than a week or two that ever actually resulted in a complete-able (if not complete!) mod.

The basic idea was that Morrowind was a roleplaying game in which you get to “live another life”, but where was the “real life” in this place? What would happen if you just dated some ordinary local chap, and went to his fairly nice but cramped apartment, hung out with his friends and met his family? I’d felt since making Balmora Council Club that I wanted the idea of people being rooted in this world – of having friends and families and ties – and of being able to pop over to borrow the proverbial bag of sugar. You know, if you’re really there and really living it, then why can’t you be dragged along someone’s house for a game of cards and a lot of beer?

So Arnand – the Breton Hunk Companion – acquires a sister and two best friends, and then they get their own apartments, and parents, and jobs and issues … and soon instead of being about one person it’s this whole … big … thing. I couldn’t call it that ludicrous name any more, and the long-defunct Adult Games Forum helped me out with the name “Dance of the Three-Legged Guar” as a reference to Crassius Curio’s absurd stage comedy.

Before we knew it, we had a full quest, and then after going to a friend’s wonderfully-disastrous wedding (it all ended happily, of course!) I got the idea of recreating it in the game. Granted, of course, there were no zombies or pirates. We needed a location (thanks, Lore forum!) so I rebuilt part of Anticlere and tried to make it somewhere you could feasibly live … and now you can download what was supposed to be just a companion with a bit of a quest and his own apartment and is now something like 100 NPCs, 40 cells, 2000 lines of dialogue and a small town thrown in for good measure. The Evie questline (written by the awesome Kateri) is currently incomplete, but you should be able to play the full Arnie questline through from the latest beta.

Oh, and check out my little “shrine” in the hidden room at Charborne Hall. *evil grin*

Leyawiin

leyawiin

This was something I made for the cancelled Cyrodiil: Dawn of Oblivion project and released as a self-contained mod. It’s all in interiors, but the idea is to recreate as far as possible the world of Oblivion within Morrowind. It’s set just before the start of Oblivion, so those familiar with TES IV should find plenty to recognise within a slightly new experience – the Blackwood Company is not yet a full-fledged guild, and Mazoga is not yet a knight – but there are plenty of quests along with five player-homes and a whole bunch of things to see and do.

It took something like seven months to make the city, which I based on pre-Oblivion lore and concept art rather than on the finished game – so the city is lush and tropical instead of the temperate rainforest of Oblivion. It’s based on three bridged islands instead of a single walled city, so it has an exotic appearance I’m terribly proud of.

I put a lot of effort into scripting it, and there are some things which haven’t been done very often – like being able to sit on stools in several places, and LCV-style complex scheduling – as well as adaptations of quite rare scripts like the scrib racing one.

There are new not-used-before resources like the animated trees by Vality and a new cathedral model.

I’ll concede the mod is on the buggy-and-unstable side – not through errors, but because it’s really pushing the engine about as hard as it will physically go, so you just have to accept that you might have to wait a few seconds after leaving a cell. It’s a trade-off you basically have to make when making and using mods like this.

I still maintain that cell-for-cell it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Other mods

  • I’m not sure which of my mods was actually my first mod. Princess Lokken Main Quest Improvements was technically the first mod I worked on, but I deleted it because it went horribly wrong. Heard of doubling doors? I had four of everything! The version I released was done again from scratch. I then worked on Fairytales of Vvardenfell and Nerevar’s Magic Tent. Fairytales was, I think, the first one complete, and the Magic Tent was the first one actually released. Thanks to Emma and Kagz for all their help with those
  • Balmora Council Club was something I started on and was then also going to be part of Cyrodiil: Dawn of Oblivion, as a sort of prequel. To make it fit in, because the quest-lines overlapped, I actually stripped out the middle and end of the main quest. It is painfully obvious where the cuts were made. Version 2.0 is in the works, restoring the original quest
  • Homes to Let was knocked up in 10 days for the Morrowind Summit modding competition. I love some of the houses (I use the Balmora one a lot) but think some of the others are a bit crap (if you’re in Caldera, use Monica’s Ghorak Manor instead!)
  • Rings of Level Playing was a response to a post Grumpy made in the CS forum, in which he wrote a script that could be called from the console function. I thought it would be easier to use the script if it was attached to a ring, so I wrote to Grumpy and asked if I could release it. He said that was fine, but the ring was specifically for guard characters – what about mage and thief characters? One ring became three became nine, to cater to different character types. So typical of Grumpy to combine generosity with encouragement to raise the bar that bit higher and go that extra mile
  • I made a mod called Crate Manor in just 45 minutes for Morrowind once, in response to a suggestion by Pseron Wyrd that “mod users are so demanding, they expect to find a manor in a barrel in Seyda Neen”. I was so drunk that I left out an entire wall! I remade the mod for Oblivion.

Oblivion

Silorn Manor

silorn-sleeping

This was my (hooray! winning!) entry to ORE’s modding competition, and it’s one of my favourites among my own mods. It actually took a lot less time than something like that typically would – but that’s just because I put more hours in per day – so it was only about 6-7 weeks’ work but two or three times as many hours within that time than I’d ever normally put in.

One of my big criticisms of Oblivion, which to be fair they addressed in Shivering Isles, was the lack of “culture”. You weren’t a stranger in a strange land any more, and the people all just seemed too “normal”.

I wanted to meet the Ayleids, and there seemed more than a fair suggestion that they were actually still around. My Ayleids are based on Lochnarus’s race for Morrowind – so they’re green-haired and pale-skinned, in contrast to the Ayleids actually in the game (living among the Elves), who are bronze-skinned brunettes.

I started off by writing the lore books for my mods – just ten hours of straight writing, establishing exactly who they were, where they’d come from, and how they’d “evolved” separately from their blended-in cousins. I wanted them to be very alien – very “other” – so they’re descended from an Ayleid father and Golden Saint mother. There are strong aspects of Aureal culture within the mod. I found out as much as possible about the Ayleids and about the Golden Saints before starting the mod, and then got to work. Intriguingly there were other references to Daedra-Elven hybrids in lore, so I wasn’t doing anything too out-there with my ideas.

Really, though, what I aimed for (and hope I succeeded with) was in creating a very tranquil home and village. A sort of refuge that’s very pleasant to come home to. It’s one of the key mods I won’t play without myself, and I hope very much that you like it half as much as I do.

Princess Cheydinal House for Sale

cheydhousekitchen2

I had the strangest dream in which I was looking around a really beautiful mock-Tudor house with the intention of buying it. I didn’t want to lose the memory of this house, so I set about making it.

It’s one of the few mods (along with my Apartment for Seedy Almalexia District for Morrowind) where I’m really paying absolutely no attention to lore. However, out of respect for anyone else wanting to use the mod (or – truthfully – me if I’m so inclined) I’ve put the most jarringly lore-breaking items such as the laptop computer and television in an out-of-the-way hidden cell in the attic.

Of the mods I’ve made for Oblivion, I like to think they’re all release-worthy but only CHfS and Silorn Manor are mods I’m really proud of.

Other mods

Princess Battlehorn Castle

pbchallupper

I’d heard of the mythical Fighter’s Stronghold, but it really was reaching the point where it was thought to be some sort of cruel myth or hoax. Then, suddenly, Bethesda announced they would make the mod available for free download – just before my birthday!

I knew that I would have to personalise it to my own particular tastes, but what I hadn’t anticipated was just how much I would love the finished castle. It really was just gorgeous – as functional as Solstheim Castle (by Korana for Morrowind) and as majestic as any other home I’d seen, it far exceeded my every hope and expectation, and is one of only two DLCs (the other was Wizard’s Tower) I bought again on the 360. Really, all I thought it needed was a “woman’s touch” and some spare beds for guests. It was fine on its own, but I wanted to make it mine.

This mod was a complete PITA to make, even with Bash. Seriously, I do not recommend making mods of mods. It’s one of those ones I’d probably do more work on if I didn’t groan inwardly at the mere thought of it, but I think it’s OK as it is. My favourite feature is a picture of Pete Hines as an Elf. I thought it wasn’t fair that Todd was getting all the mod-love. He makes a very cute Elf, I think.

  • Prettier Saints and Seducers is one of the mods that makes me wince as soon as I think about it. I think they look better than they did before, but that’s not saying much. The difference between my mod and others doing the same was my intention of keeping the “ethnic features” of Bethesda’s daedric races. I’d certainly be happy if anyone with similar intentions wanted to improve on what I’d done
  • Fewer Foes is the only levelled list changer I’ll use. I don’t even want to think about level scaling – I just want to walk from Leyawiin to the Imperial City without being eaten by bears
  • Sexier Sheogorath started out just because like everyone else I thought that Wes Johnson’s voice acting on Shivering Isles was awesome, and that Sheo sounded … well, sexy. He didn’t really look it, though, and I noticed that he could look a lot better with just a few minor changes – like, his chin was weak, so I brought that out a bit, reduced his lips a little bit, that sort of thing. Then I thought, “Why not make a Daggerfall version?”, so I made one that looked a bit more like the redheaded madgod from TES II. After that had been out a while, I don’t even know what made me think of it, but I figured that the impish god of mischief could be ably represented by Bethesda’s Executive Producer, the very cute Todd Howard. By that point, I was also starting to feel rather sorry for Pete Hines, who seemed to be zapped off to the back of beyond almost every week, as though on a whim. Who else could possibly represent Haskill? Unfortunately, the limitations of the Facegen meshes didn’t cater exactly to the shape of these two delightful characters, but I did the best I could. It makes me giggle every time I use the mod, so if it raises a smile with you too, tant mieux. I’ll let you into a secret, though – I use the “Daggerfall Version”.
  • Passwall Home was very deliberately made in the style of Korana. It’s one of my favourites of my own mods, so I suppose I should impersonate her more often.

Fallout 3

big blue house

Big Blue House is my first “major release” for Fallout 3. It’s not a big or particularly exceptional mod, but it’s the one that to date I’ve put the most time and effort into. I wanted a sort of equivalent to my Cheydinhal House for Sale, so I’m hoping it works as a sort of equivalent.

Other mods

  • Underworld Underground came about because I thought it was odd that characters talk about a “city” being “down here”, when it’s neither a city, nor underground. It was originally just going to turn the doors into elevator doors (going down), but then I thought about turning it into more of a proper settlement by adding individual apartments. A new version is in progress which adds a huge subterranean cave-city district (along the lines of Orzammer in Dragon Age)
  • Pink Vault: Hole in the Wall is a mod I threatened to make long before the GECK came out – but actually as it turns out isn’t nearly as gaudy and horrible as it should be. In fact, I’m rather proud of it. I got the idea for the self-leveling weapon and armour from the Knights of the Nine expansion for Oblivion.
  • MiniPets is inspired by Guild Wars, which has passive miniature creatures that you can take in and out of your inventory just to look at. I keep getting messages that the fire ant is oversized. I know the fire ant is oversized – I even wrote it under “known issues” in the readme. It uses the same script as the other animals so I have no idea why it does that. If you can fix it, I want to hear from you. Sometimes I leave “in the Morrowind launcher …” in the readme, just to check that people ready the bloody thing. It’s pretty clear that they don’t …
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