A modder has put Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’s genius Nemesis System into Skyrim, which means you can now set yourself up for revenge against dragons (or mudcrabs, or anything else) that kill you.
Syclonix’s Shadow of Skyrim: Nemesis and Alternative Death System mod turns almost any enemy that defeats you into a nemesis. This nemesis gains a unique name, grows in stength, steals your weapons (and may even use them), and inflicts a debuff on you. The only way to remove that debuff and gain back your equipment is to seek your nemesis out and kill them. Handily, the mod creates a quest in your log so that you can easily track your revenge.
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The mod’s design attempts to thread together situational stories with your nemesis. For instance, if you’re killed by an Argonian Vampire he may become known as “Breaks-Many-Shields” and be given the Shield-Breaker buff as part of his stats upgrade. The debuff inflicted on you from the encounter may force you to be unable to use shields, too. And then, as part of your revenge quest, your nemesis may be found in a vampire lair, since Breaks-Many-Shields is a vampire.
As the title suggests, the system requires Skyrim to use an alternate approach to death. Rather than being killed and forcing you to reload, death instead respawns you in the world. This means the data on your nemesis isn’t lost, and helps keep the system flowing.
You can have up to five nemeses at any one time, although Syclonix has wisely restricted them to enemies within 25 levels of you to prevent you from gaining a nemesis you have no chance of defeating. You also can’t turn a quest-related or essential character into a nemesis.
Syclonix notes that Shadow of Skyrim is a “nod” to Shadow of Mordor, rather than a copy of the actual Nemesis system. Their inspiration also includes roguelikes, Crusader Kings, and trait sytems in more modern RPGs. They note that it does not infringe on Warner Bros.’ patent for the Nemesis system.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.