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Skyrim: War Mod

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I've been a big fan of Mount & Blade the past few months and there are a lot of things I like about the game design. A lot of the ideas for this mod have been taken directly from Mount & Blade. One of the things that really peeved me with Skyrim is that there is a civil war, but it can be completely unnoticed. On top of that, a majority of the game is static and it does not feel like the world is actually alive unless the player interacts with it. This mod aims to make the world and factions feel more alive, making Skyrim feel like an actual war zone. I don't know what is possible with the creation kit, but these are some of the things that the mod will try to accomplish.

I realize the scope of this mod is pretty massive, so the first step will be to determine what is possible and then broken into three phases of development. The first phase being the faction overhaul, the second being armies, and the third being kingdoms.

Faction Overhaul

Certain factions will be declared major or minor factions. Major factions will have a stronger presence in the world, have bigger armies, and will control the major cities. Minor factions will have smaller armies and may not control anything. More on the kingdom and army system below.

Major Factions

  • Imperial Legion
  • Thalmor
  • Stormcloaks

Minor Factions

  • Bandits
  • Necromancer
  • Daedric Cult
  • Vampire Coven
  • Adventure Company

More to be decided, just a sample list to give you an idea.


The player and special units (army leaders for major factions) will have reputations with major and minor factions. These reputations will adjust based on battles and attacking cities. For example, if necromancer's are fighting a group of imperials, then you get involved and kill the imperials, you will gain reputation with the necromancer faction. If you attack a city owned by Stormcloak's (even if you win or lose), then you will lose reputation with them.

If your reputation is +25 with a faction, you will be able to recruit units from that faction. If your reputation is -5 or lower with a faction, you will be attacked on sight by them.

Kingdom Overhaul

In order for factions to really have a presence in Skyrim, they should be able to control towns and have to defend them. All of the major cities, towns, and forts will be able to be owned by factions. These towns will mostly be controlled by major factions due to the upkeep cost and amount of guards that will be defending them, but they will be raided by minor factions on occasion. Eventually towers, caves, ruins, and mines will be controllable and will be the preferred locations for minor factions.

In order for players to know who owns what location, there will be faction flags next to each location.

Cost and Upgrades

Every location will come with a monthly upkeep cost and will have upgrade options. Players will be able to interact with a steward who will have dialogue options for purchasing a variety of guards (archers, warriors, casters) and also upgrades for the location.

The player will leave gold and items in a coffer that will be taken from each month. If the coffer is empty, it will attempt to take it directly from the player. If the player cannot afford it, then guards will abandon their post allowing the location to be taken by anyone.

City Sieging

All of these locations can be taken if everyone in said location is killed. There will be an indicator letting the player know how many defenders are left in the city. Depending on how many guards there are, there may be a limit to how many are active at a single time. Because of that, some battles may involve multiple waves of defenders.

Army and Prison System


The major factions will have armies that are led by a special leader which will determine the type of units in the army, the size of the army, and their wealth. Minor factions cannot be led by a special leader, but they can still band together. There are limitations on the size of the army depending on who is leading them, therefore the minor armies will be much smaller due to army size restrictions.


You will be able to recruit units by finding them in the wild or by going to cities controlled by factions. Not all unit's will be available at all times, so you will have to go out and find them!


Every unit that is recruited to an army will have a weekly upkeep cost. If you cannot afford to pay your army, they will start to abandon.

Units and Upgrading

Every unit has stats and skills depending on their tier level. Their level is dictated by experience and the player manually upgrading them. Every time a unit gains a level, they will have the option of upgrading to a higher tier of that unit or branching off to another type of unit if applicable. When they reach the highest tier of that unit type, they will still upgrade their stats/skills every time they gain levels.

This is just an example, the unit tiers will have to be given much thought:

Tier 1: Stormcloak Militia
> Tier 2: Stormcloak Mage
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Conjuror
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Healer
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Elementalist
> Tier 2: Stormcloak Infantry
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Swordsman
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Calvary
> Tier 2: Stormcloak Archer
> Tier 3: Stormcloak Sharpshooter

Every time a unit is upgraded, they will gain additional skill, better gear, and also have a higher upkeep cost.

Death & Morale

Every unit has a morale stat. If the unit sees someone in your army die, they will lose morale. If they lose too much morale, they will abandon you. They will gain morale every time they see or kill an enemy or you win a battle. If the unit dies, they will be dead for good.


Whenever an army is defeated or units begin to flee, the player has the choice of rounding up units as prisoners. If they so choose, they can just let the units run away and leave them to their fate. Some of these units can be recruited, especially if found in the wild awhile after defeating them. Prisoners can be put into prisons (an upgrade available to cities, towns, and forts) or sold for gold.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot that can be done with this mod if done right. These are some of the basic concepts that would lay the foundation for something that could be made into something even greater. Skyrim focuses too much on the individual hero, but there is no option to raise an army and lead them into a massive war. Skyrim is such a massive and open game, but there are strict limitations on what there is to do in the game. If I want to improve my faction with necromancers, raise an army of the undead, and lay waste to towns, then this should be an option!

These are ideas that I want the mod to live by:

  • If you go into a cave that is occupied by vampires, clear it out, and take things. Then you go back to that cave a month later, it should be occupied by a different (or same!) faction with new items and units.
  • Who says you are the only one traveling out in the wild? A pack of bandits, an imperial army, or a group of necromancers should not be scripted events, they should be adventuring just the same as you are.
  • Who says you can't be a jarl? Who says you can't be the king or queen of skyrim?! Heck, who says you can't be an imperial general?! You should have the option to decide these things.
  • House? Yeah right, you should be able to own cities. Do you know how many artifacts and gold I have?!
  • If there is a civil war, then why is no one attacking the cities? Bandits should be raiding towns, imperials should be attacking towns controlled by stormcloaks and vise versa.

Edited by ziot, 25 November 2011 - 03:05 AM.




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This mod would be a lot of work. If you want to see it made, I would try to distill it down to the most basic/essential version you can. Like, cut any features that aren't necessary to creating the proper feeling. For instance - leaders. I don't think you really need leaders. If a wave of barbarians/bandits are attacking me, I think I would just assume they have a leader, and also that I wouldn't necessarilly be able to tell which one of them is the leader. I dont think it would look weird for them not to have a designated leader.

Also, the morale system - necessary to creating the feeling of massive armies in Skyrim? I'm not sure. So I would keep distilling your idea down to its most essential parts, because each of these features you're talking about potentially represents weeks if not months of work, so cutting them can make a huge difference - probably the difference between your mod being made and it just being so much work it never gets done.

Anyways, it's a cool idea. It would definitely add a lot to the game.




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I agree with your statements. I am not familiar with the creation tools, so the first step will be figuring out what is even possible and determining how much time it will take to create each part of the mod. A lot of these ideas were adopted from Mount & Blade, so some of the features will definitely be boiled down into something that is more manageable or applicable to Skyrim's engine.

I would love to see the leader system implemented to give more presence to factions. I'm not so sure it is important for the minor faction's to have leaders, but the major factions should have leaders that have bigger armies and are the offensive forces in the war. These leaders are the ones that will siege and control towns.

The morale system isn't really that important - so that's probably something that would be a future addition if it proved to be too much work. In M&B, the morale/hunger/upkeep costs are mostly to balance the game.

Edited by ziot, 25 November 2011 - 03:21 AM.




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well the leader could just have the name Captain/lightenatn or something like that and all factions have maybe one big boss and if you kill that boss you could eather destroy that facton or take it place as a leader. maybe add an option like sending the solders out to raid and thus redusing the aumt of cost they have for the nexxt moth as they raided and then got payment in anything they could like to take. this has a pothencial as this could make you an imperial bastard, a stormcloack or a bandit captain. and give the player helgen as a place to start whit and last line of defence. if you manage to pull this of it would be awesome!




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hmm... making attacks on towns would mess up quests...
and the transition between "wilderness" and the city poses some problem in the fight continuity... ?
what about the forts that are scattered around the land? have necromancers and bandits or imperials and stormcloaks seige those places and put up their flag.
Id loove to see the forts as territory markers, and factions fighting for em.
and have a player faction, where u can hire people to join ur force and u capture forts.
there is wandering traders and stuff walking the roads, so having people/armies walk roads should be easy.
morrowind had towns u could build... so it would be sweet to upgrade a fort with like, blacksmith, archery range, barracks, mage barracks or something like that... to build an army (would be sweet)

Edited by CaoMengde777, 27 November 2011 - 02:27 AM.




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Can't wait to see this :D




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I rlly luv the mod idea... I rlly hope u get to creating this mod cause i wuld luv to download it
Wen thinking about the player's own unit/group, be sure to be able to give the player the choice of the group's equipment.. than it wuld rlly be immersive. A name for the unit wuld be rlly cool too, even if it isnt exactly relevant or necessary. It wuld make all the difference depending on wat the player wants for his unit.




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This sounds really awesome, hope you find the time to do it.
Please add "Mount & Blade: Warbands" combat system to the mix if possible. :woot:



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i'd love to see this mod done!




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you totally stole my idea lol, but thats ok... I would love to see this done.

infact I've been waiting for a game developer to make a game like this.... a true stratagy/sim (like mount and blade warband) and rpg hyprid taking place in a massive open world like skyrim would be truly awesome.

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