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The Dawn Reserve: Magic Enhanced

the dawn reserve enhanced magic harder redone skyrim quest training new content

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Hi, recently I've had a few ideas that I'd like combine into one huge mod. Of course, to do this, I'll need help. I'll start by telling you all what my ideas are -- with the preface that none of them are final or even fully fleshed out. Some of them I've been stewing over for a few days, but I'm sure I'll also come up with a few new ones as I write this. The point is that these ideas are not concrete; even if you can't help me bring them about any ideas or advice would be welcome.


Without further ado -- the mod. The idea is that it is simply too easy to be an accomplished mage in Skyrim. First, there’s the fact that all you need to do is cast Muffle a few times to be the best (and only) illusionist in the realm. And the magic system itself is even more unrealistic. Despite almost all of the inhabitants of Skyrim being distrustful of mages, the player can shoot spells out of his hands at the start of the game. It creates an idea that anyone in the game can shoot flaming balls or spears of ice out of their hands just by reading a book. It doesn't make sense!


My idea would be to add in a specialized group, called the Dawn Reserve.


Some background:


The Dawn Reserve was established in the Interregnum, a period of time at the end of the Second Era, where war broke out across the entire realm after the assassination of the entire royal family. The important event of the Interregnum was the rise of the High King in Hammerfell. He moved his capital to a prosperous location and his fortune grew, for a short time anyway. The Dawn Reserve, was an elite group of soldiers, assassins, scholars, and mages all dedicated to the study of knowledge and skill. While they are mostly impartial in the wars of the current time, they have interfered mainly during the end of the Second Era, setting Hammerfell up as a safe haven for them to conduct their research. The Dawn Reserve doesn't "worship" any Aedra, Daedra, or Divines, however they do consider Hermaeus Mora (Daedric Prince of Knowledge) to be their "Patron". Unfortunately, through the erosion of time, much of the most powerful knowledge in the world has been lost to the mortals of modern day Skyrim. But the mages of the Dawn Reserve have endured, seeking the powerful Lost Knowledge. They know many advanced techniques of magic, but keep to the shadows, interfering only with a hand so light and subtle it is undetectable.




The player can join in a few ways. First, he can seek them out at their headquarters (for those who are too impatient to complete any quest lines). However, the main way to join up with the Dawn Reserve is to complete any of the 5 main quest lines (not including the Civil War questline). It should go without saying, that if a player simply tries to skip completing a quest line, it will be far harder for them to join up: there will be some sort of quest to prove their worth that I haven't thought of yet. Otherwise, sometime after completing the quest, the player will be sent a note by courier with a text that points them to a hidden location. Once the player arrives, they will be told of the existence of the Dawn Reserve and how to join.




One of the major aspects of the Dawn Reserve quest line would be the opening of some major new skills and talents. Each major class would have a few unique subsets opened up to it. This part is long, but I think it is the most interesting. Feel free to skip it though.




An idea much like the Bartimaeus Trilogy where you can summon Demons using special rituals. Every Demon has a unique name that, when inscribed on a scroll and invoked in the right ritual, will drag them into the circle. Then the player has a few options.


  1. They persuade the demon to follow them. Each demon has it's own unique conversation where only one long and arduous conversation task can successfully convince the demon to join.

  2. The player uses brute force. Each demon will have its own percentage chance of having this work, based on the skill of the demon and the skill of the conjurer.

  3. The player attempts to dismiss them.


Each of these has two outcomes: it works or it doesn't. If it doesn't work, the demon will be "freed" and will attack the player, resulting in one of their deaths. If it works, the demon will now obey the player's commands. The player can do a few things:


  1. Order them to complete a task. Typically getting some reward or item, the demon will return in a few moments, with the items. Warning, sometimes the demon will resist, causing a fight.

  2. Order the Demon to “accompany” you. It will act like a follower for the most part, however it cannot be asked to carry items.

  3. Bind the Demon in a ritual. While some objects have magic by themselves or through enchantments, there will now be some objects that you can create by binding a certain type of demon into them. For example, magic mirrors, staves, magical items of all varieties.

  4. Dismiss the Demon. This requires a specific incantation which can be found randomly. If dismissed, the Demon will vanish with no trouble.




Something that’s been missing for a while with illusion is the ability to create actual illusions. There are two main things that this mod adds:


  1. More illusions that work on other people. Among these would be things like blindness, phantom pain, and lure. Like normal illusion spells, they could be cast in area of effect, normal, or constant style.

  2. The ability to create “fake” objects. For example, a spell that creates an image of the player that all other npcs will react to normally. So an enemy would attack that instead of the caster. Another option is the ability to create objects like walls that can be walked through, but that other people won’t walk through.




Rather than focus on actual destructive magic, which has been more than overdone (in my opinion), this mod would add more of a druid type system. At its core, Destruction is just another way of saying elemental magic. So this mod adds a few unique ideas.


  1. More summonable creatures. It’s a very simple thing to do, but this mod will add summonable creatures like bears and wolves, to make for a more diverse play style.

  2. Some form of plant magic. One example of this would be the ability to communicate with some trees who have a bit of the old magic left in them. These special trees can grant magical abilities, if the correct offerings are made.

  3. The ability to open a cavernous hollow in the middle of a forest, where old magic is at it’s strongest, and strange powers can be gained.


More than any other, this skill is the one that still needs some idea fleshing out before we begin building it. However, I think it’s a good start.




This idea actually comes from the Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan, but I thought it was fantastic and found a way to incorporate it here. Basically, a player specializing in restoration can call the spirit of a god into their body. In this case, it would be one of the divines (I don’t think Daedric Princes would be very kind to a poor unsuspecting Nord). The mage would then gain some abilities that are always in effect, some powers that can be used once a day, and some new spell abilities based on the Divine that was called.




I had touched on it earlier in Conjuration, but this mod would add some ritual magic to Alteration. With certain spells, incantations, and objects, the player can achieve a wide variety of things. Some of them are mundane, such as curing a disease, but some of them are much more powerful and sinister, such as creating a talking… mudcrab follower! The possibilities are endless.


Things I need:


  • A system of writing things down in game, preferably in scrolls but books are fine too.

  • A host of new summonable creatures, including unique demons (This part I can handle).

  • Many unique npcs and characters to be used in this mod (Me).

  • A written plot of how the mod will play out (Me).

  • New spells!

  • A system of performing the rituals…

  • A location for the faction to exist in.

  • A location for the grove of Destructive Magic.


Send me a PM please if you’re interested or post if you have any ideas! Sorry it was so long!





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Well, sorry for disregarding your ideas on magic, but it's quite rare to see people willing to tinker with the basis of the magic system, and I've had a few ideas of my own, and I think you may like them or give useful feedback.


First, it would be to disassemble the skills under the mage aspect, so that the skill-tree slots would be free, and the spell archetypes could be reassigned. Then, make new spell schools, each with it's own skill-tree. These would include:


* Spellbinding(mostly like enchanting, but also "unstable" quick enchants to use on the fly, with a limited duration, and other things associated with binding spells to physical objects, including oneself, or creating golems by placing a crafted Core into a compatible mineral or wooden body);


* Dimensional(would cover teleportation, portals, summons and time-warping); 


* Mindbending(basically Illusion, but with some differences. the effects would be "on the mind" of the target, like making someone ignore your very existence, enhancing your mental capabilities, "reading minds"[get a boost from the target's highest skill], mental links[those that the conjurer uses to control the summon, there would be Mindbending perks to have the summon automatically serve you, while normally you would need to subjugate it], mind control, and mind blanking[maybe deplete all magicka, or basically Calm, or even outright killing them, or three different levels, each unlocking one of these]). Invisibility and muffle would be on Elemental magic. Also perks and spells to control the summoned creatures, and Charms to raise the target's disposition, or lower the difficulty of Persuade or Intimidate checks; 


* Life and Death(not only healing, body enhancements and plant growth, but also the domains of death, disease and decay, each having a branch, of course. Reanimation would be here, but the reanimated corpse would be a hollow husk unless you summon the deceased's spirit, so it wouldn't cast magic, moan or groan. Also rituals to create permanent Undead by embalming a dead body, using its heart to bind the spirit, and that to power its movements);


* Elemental: would cover manipulation of Earth/Metal(including transmutation and magic smelting), Water/Ice, Wind/Thunder, Fire/Light(considering the Ayleid belief that fire is just a lesser and impure form of light), and pure Force. Would also involve rituals to shape Earth, Metal or Ice structures, and spells to manipulate weather. Invisibility(on the caster) would be here as well, since it would be the manipulation of light, as well as Muffle, which would fal under the domain of Force spells;


* Magic Weaving: would be responsible for manipulation of magic itself. Although it wouldn't be the skill responsible by any spell(just powers granted directly by its perks), it would be the most generally important skill. The levels would decrease general spell cost, the perks would be necessary for even setting up a ritual, and would give lesser powers, for things like extracting magic from a ritual-made structure, connecting with nature to replenish magicka, or, in a higher level, "use directly nature's or the star's magic"(no cost for the spells that can be cast in this state), while not moving and preventing the casting of certain attack spells. All effects on spell-casting(like silent casting, dual casting and reduction or nullification of armor penalties) would also be here.


Most, or all, trees would have multiple branches. Life and Death would have a Life branch, a Disease branch, and a Undeath branch. Mindbending would have Perception(changes what target sees), Emotion(changes what target feels, thus would have calm, fury, fear, etc.) and Cognition(changes or hinders the thought process, debuffing skills or difficulty checks) branches. Dimensional would be split into Spatial(teleports on Nirn, portals linking two places, etc.), 4th-dimensional(Manipulation of time, branch off from Spatial at higher levels) and Planar(bring from or banish to other planes, a.k.a. Oblivion). Elemental would be split into those 5 elements. Spellbinding would be split into Armor, Weapon, Self and Object(this would cover the staves, instead of Weapon, because the staff has the spell stored within it, instead of flowing from its strikes). Magic Weaving would be split into Magical Studies(would basically cover the ritual levels, and maybe extra effects), Magical Practice(effects on casting or interferences) and Magicka Manipulation(powers that allow to absorb magicka from objects, enchanted items and enemies, or burn the enemies magicka, thus causing damage). 


Spells WOULD be learned from Spell Books, but only after you learn the perk for its effect, making it so that you DO NEED to look for places to learn the spells, but you also need the experience and ability to actually use them, or else you wouldn't even understand what you're reading.


NOTE: The Rituals mentioned here are no like the ritual spells from Vanilla Skyrim, instead you would spend time preparing yourself and or the environment, and would go through some dialogue boxes to decide the type and objective of the ritual.


Please, if any of this seems interesting to you, but the rest doesn't, disregard the parts that don't interest. Unfortunately I have no idea on how to implement this, although with the help of someone who is used to make new spells and magic effects(like the person who made Midas Magic, or the one who made Apocalypse spells), and the only person I've seen completely rewriting skill trees and names, and reassigning the activities under these skills(T3nd0, maker of SkyRe and PerMa), it should at least give some insights.


Since I don't have all that much experience with modding(got stuck in my first objective before even I could use it), and couldn't find tutorials that actually covered what I was trying to do, I am asking more experienced modders for advice, so if you have any advice on how to do this, or modding in general, I would be very thankful. 


Good luck with this project!




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That is an interesting idea; how do you incorporate the vanilla magic though? Do you just get rid of all the spells and features that already exist? It seems like somewhat of a waste. The other problem I see in this is all the dialogue and College of Winterhold quests. Sometimes in game, people will just come up to you and say something that relates to the type of magic you practice the most (e.g. illusion). I think it may be a lot of work to completely redo all the dialogue and quests so that it fits in with this new vocab.

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