What is Masterstroke?

A brief overview of what Masterstroke is.

Masterstroke is, first and foremost, a modlist for Skyrim: Special Edition that can be installed using Wabbajack. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, a modlist is a list of mods that have been hand-selected and patched to work together. Wabbajack, meanwhile, is a tool that can replicate a modlist from the creator’s PC onto yours. This means you can install hundreds of mods in just a few short hours and expect them to work with very minimal effort on your part.

The pursuit of a fun, challenging, and sexy modlist is something that some might say is a madman’s journey. Good thing I’m that madman. Inside Masterstroke, you’ll find all of the above: fun, challenge, and sexy. Where previous endeavors pitted the modlist against the player, instead Masterstroke is designed to work with the player to accomplish similar goals. If you want to ramp up the difficulty, you can. If you want to scale it back or tone down certain aspects, you can also do that.

That said - what is Masterstroke? It’s a NSFW Skyrim SE modlist with a few key pillars that guide its development. The first is survival, and in this list, you’ll find a host of mods that transform Skyrim into a place where you must work to survive. The very environment is out to get you. The second is skill. Instead of punishing the player just for getting unlucky, instead Masterstroke seeks to make sure that skillful play can avoid the worst of any situation. From the combat to the trapped chests and containers, you’ll find that carefully and skillfully navigating your way through the gameplay will make for a rewarding experience. Last, but certainly not least, is flexibility. It is a core tenet of Masterstroke that you be able to play whatever character you want, within the confines of whatever gameplay you want. Masterstroke has an entire segment of its documentation dedicated to customizing its gameplay - even if this means overwriting some of its pillars.

As for everything else, Masterstroke has been carefully tailored to provide what some might call a “Vanilla++” experience. Almost every system in the base gameplay has been overhauled, but not so much that it’s unrecognizable from Skyrim as Todd intended. Most systems have simply been expanded instead of completely gutted and redone. For example, in combat, you’ll find that it functions much the same as normal with the added challenges of dodging and blocking being required instead of encouraged. The magic system has been rebalanced and tweaked to make more sense. There are expansions to the religion system, shouts, alchemy, and enchanting, and more. Masterstroke uses almost the entire Simonrim package of mods to accomplish this.

And as for the sexy part - you’ll find a tasteful and not-overbearing set of mods that encourage and allow for sexy encounters almost on demand. Rather than trying to bog the player down with another set of chains (both metaphorical and physical) at every turn, Masterstroke seeks to integrate the sexy parts of its mod list into the game in a way that’s more fun than frustrating.