Before You Start

Before you get started installing or playing Masterstroke, it’s important to note a few things:

General Disclaimers

  • You are not required to have Nexus Premium to install Masterstroke, however, it is highly recommended. Nexus Premium will cut your install time to a fraction of what it would be by automating both the mod download and mod install processes of installing the list.
  • As of v1.0.0, Masterstroke requires 279GB of hard drive space on top of the ~11GB Skyrim: Special Edition base files. Installing to an SSD/NVMe is not required, but also highly recommended. Download and installation times vary based on your computer and internet speeds, but expect the entire process to take a few hours. If you are installing the list without Nexus Premium, expect the process to take a couple of days of 8+ hour sessions downloading mods.
  • To maximize performance, Masterstroke should be installed on an SSD drive. While this is not necessary, installing on an HDD will result in extremely long load and startup times aswell as potential performace and stability issues.
  • If you are not familiar with the contents of this modlist, a complete documentation of every mod in the list including links to the mods is available on the Masterstroke Modlist Spreadsheet.
  • If you instead only wish for a brief overview of the major changes this modlist makes, you should refer to the Important Mods You Need to Know About of this document.
  • Autosaves for Masterstroke are disabled. You should make your quicksave button your best friend (usually, the F5 key).
  • Continuing the last point, it is always better to save before entering a loading screen instead of after. After a loading screen it is very likely that scripts will be running for at least 30 seconds, so if you must save after a loading screen, at least wait that long before doing so.
  • Wabbajack does support updating an existing installation of a modlist. However, as part of this process, it does delete files that don’t match with what it is installing. This includes RaceMenu presets, mods you’ve added/changed, and possibly even save files. It is a good practice to keep backups of your save files so that you can update safely. Saves are stored within the folder you install Masterstroke to.
  • In Masterstroke, NPCs and player characters are nude while wearing no armor/clothing.
  • Adding to, changing, or removing from Masterstroke is not supported. See the Adding to Masterstroke section of this document for more details.
  • As many common issues as I could find have been documented in the Common Issues section of this document. Refer to this before asking for support.
  • If you want some tips related to getting started playing the list, refer to the Beginner’s Tips on the Character Creation & MCMs section of this document.
  • By default, Masterstroke has the game running in exclusive fullscreen mode to assist with game performance.

System Specifications

The following system is ForgottenGlory’s personal computer and is able to run the list at a constant 60FPS including ENB at 1440p monitor resolution. Use it as a guide to determine how your own computer might run the list.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X @ 4.2GHz
  • RAM: G.Skill TridentZ Neo 32GB DDR4 3600MHz CL16
  • GPU: nVidia RTX 2080 Super 8GB (8192MB actual)
  • Monitor: Dell S2716DGR 2560x1440 @ 144hz
  • Storage: Sabrent Rocket 2TB M.2 NVMe 2280; Samsung EVO 860 250GB; SeaGate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM

In general, it is recommended that you have a processor with a clock speed of at least 3GHz and a graphics card with at least 6GB of VRAM. 4GB graphics cards may be able to run the list if you do not use ENB, but it is not guaranteed.

As for RAM, 16GB is the minimum recommended specification for running the list. 32GB is the ideal amount, and anything more than that is honestly overkill for this list.

Important Mods You Need To Know About

Core Gameplay

Almost every facet of vanilla Skyrim has been overhauled in such a way that is still true to the original game but also refreshes everything for a new experience. This is accomplished through the suite of SimonMagus’s mods, detailed below:

  • Adamant: The perk overhaul.
  • Hand to Hand: An addon to Adamant that combines Pickpocketing and Lockpicking into one skill tree and replaces Lockpicking with a specific unarmed/hand-to-hand combat skill tree.
  • Scion: The vampire overhaul.
  • Manbeast: The werewolf overhaul.
  • Mysticism: The magic overhaul.
  • Apothecary: The alchemy overhaul.
  • Thaumaturgy: The enchanting overhaul.
  • Arena: An encounter zone overhaul.
  • Aetherius: The race bonuses overhaul.
  • Mundus: The standing stone overhaul.
  • Pilgrim: The religion overhaul.

Additionally, there are other mods included to provide you with additional bonuses and change how things work.

  • Experience: Changes how leveling up works, making exploration, clearing dungeons, killing enemies, and completing quests the primary ways to get XP.
  • Perks from Questing: Provides unique perks upon completing certain questlines.
  • Reading is Good: Changes how gaining XP from skill books happen. Instead of increasing the related skill, you’ll learn the related skill faster.
  • Sets of Skills: Allows you to select and master classes as you level up, providing bonuses as you master the class.
  • At Your Own Pace: Allows you to progress questlines as you’re ready to progress them.
  • Leadership: Provides a skill tree that allows you to bring more followers with you as you invest in it.
  • Smart Cast: Allows you to set conditions for spells to be automatically cast, and lets you hotkey spells to cast with a single key press.
  • True Directional Movement & SmoothCam: Combined, these make playing in third-person a joy.

Survival & Immersion

Masterstroke uses a multitude of mods that allow for a survival experience that will challenge you without being overbearing or intrusive. Most things “just work” and doesn’t require constant micromanaging of stats and bars. Additionally, many mods are included to enhance what some might call “immersion”. In the context of Masterstroke, immersion refers to systems that improve realism and balance the game.

  • Sunhelm Survival: The core survival and needs mod. Requires management of hunger, thirst, fatigue, and cold weather.
  • Trade & Barter: Overhauls the game’s economy to make items expensive to buy and worth little when sold.
  • IRIS: Removes many of the free-floating items in the world to encourage seeking out chests and containers.
  • Open World Loot: Provides a framework for distributing and changing loot found on enemies.
  • GIST: Changes how soul gems work and the progression for using them.
  • Improved Traps: Makes traps found in dungeons more deadly.
  • Lock Overhaul: Adds options to open locked chests and doors inclusing smashing locks and opening them with magic.
  • Realistic AI Detection, Suspicious City Guards, Harder Lock Picking, and Better Stealing: Makes stealth and being a thief harder in general.
  • Carriage & Ferry Travel Overhaul: Adds destinations to carriages and rebalances the cost of traveling.
  • Disable Fast Travel: As it says, fast travel is disabled.
  • Extended Stay: Allows you to book a 3, 5, and 7 day stay at an inn.
  • Simply Knock: Allows you to knock on doors to ask for a place to stay for the evening or speak to NPCs behind locked house doors.
  • Perseid’s Inns and Taverns: Rebalances the cost of purchasing an inn stay.
  • Take Notes: Gives you a journal to chronicle your adventure.
  • Locked City Gates: leaving or entering a city between 10pm and 6am requires bypassing a locked main gate.
  • Campfire: Adds a full camping system for extended journeys.
  • Hunterborn: Overhauls hunting and collecting loot from killed animals.
  • Voidgate: Provides a town portal scroll/spell you can use at higher levels.
  • Helps to Have a Map: Requires you to purchase/find a map to use it.
  • Item Durability: Weapons and armor will degrade over time and require repairs periodically.
  • Spellforge: Changes how spells are acquired to allow for better pacing to mages.
  • Simply Balanced: Allows every aspect of the game to be tweaked to increase or decrease difficulty.

The Combat & Enemy Mods

Combat in Masterstroke is difficult without being on the level of Dark Souls or similar games - it rewards skillful play and knowledge of enemies and their equipment and capabilities. Enemies are more varied and challenging.

  • Valahalla Combat: A new, modern take on combat with many features such as timed block, executions, and more.
  • TK Dodge RE: A scriptless remake of TK Dodge, allowing you to dodge while your weapons are out.
  • Archery and Archery Locational Damage: Overhauls the archery system to require more skill and precision.
  • Arena: Rebalances encounter zones to make them more varied and challenging.
  • Heritage Enemies 2: Adds a simply insane amount of variety to enemies you encounter.
  • Administer Potions & Poisons to Friendly NPCs: Allows you to give potions to allies and they will use them.
  • Dragon War: Overhauls dragon fights to make them significantly more “boss” like.
  • Enemy Releveler: Changes the levels of enemies to make them able to scale higher and start a bit more challenging.
  • True Directional Movement: Adds a lock-on feature and changes the movement system to make combat more dynamic.

The HUD & UI Mods

The HUD and UI is going to be different in Masterstroke, even if you’re coming from other modlists and especially if you’re coming from vanilla Skyrim. All of the HUD elements have been condensed to the lower-left corner of the screen. The mods that affect the HUD and UI are as follows:

  • Nordic UI: The primary UI overhaul. Retextures almost every UI interface and object.
  • Atlas Map Markers: Adds more map markers.
  • Immersive HUD & SkyHUD: Allows the HUD to be repositioned and hidden if needed.
  • Sovngarde Font: A replacement for the main font in the game.
  • Flat World Map Framework: Allows for replacement maps, and in Masterstroke, the maps are paper themed.
  • Interesting Loading Screens: Adds more loading screens with useful tips and reminders.
  • A Matter of Time: Adds a clock widget to the HUD.
  • moreHUD and moreHUD Inventory Edition: Allows for longer descriptions and more information to be shown on items.
  • TrueHUD: Adds health bars to enemies, bosses, and a widget that appears when your shouts are on cooldown.
  • Sunhelm Survival: Adds widgets to the HUD for hunger, thirst, fatigue, and the current temperature.
  • SL Widgets: Adds an arousal widget to track arousal status.
  • Custom Masterstroke Main Menu: A combination of a few different mods to change the main menu and its music.
  • Extended UI: Changes the skill tree page to give an overview of all of your skills at once.
  • RaceMenu: Overhauls the character creation screen to provide more options in character customization.

New Quests and Dungeons

Masterstroke ships with several new questlines and dungeon mods to increase variety and options as well as provide quality additions to the main questlines of the game.

  • Hammet’s Dungeon Pack: Many high quality and extensive dungeons found throughout Skyrim.
  • Land of Vominheim: An entire new land filled with new dungeons.
  • Faction - Pit Fighter: A new faction to join focused on gladiator-esque battles.
  • Clockwork: A spooky new questline themed around the dwemer.
  • The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal: A thief-themed questline
  • Vigilant: Roughly inspired by Dark Souls and focused on the Vigilants of Stendarr.
  • Wyrmstooth: A new land and quest mod focused on dragons.
  • Maids 2: Deception: A somewhat NSFW themed and lighthearted questline.
  • The Forgotten City: The critically acclaimed quest that was recently turned into its own standalone game.
  • The Trappings of Fate: Devious Devices meets Escape Room.


Masterstroke includes a number of new followers for you to find and recruit.

  • Interesting NPCs
  • Cerri Steelfist
  • Kaidan 2
  • Azuk the Hammer
  • Shandar
  • Recorder
  • Rosa Round-Bottom
  • Pandorable’s Heroines
  • Nord Brother Followers
  • Miri the Half-Khajiit
  • Kak’Thu Nyr
  • Valmilia
  • Vimar Ice-Blood
  • Juliada, Breton Necromancer

It also includes some minimal mods to facilitate multiple followers and interacting with them.

  • Leadership: Adds a skill tree requiring you to invest perks to be able to have more than one follower.
  • Quick Inventory: Allows easy and quick access to follower inventory.
  • Minimalistic Follower Framework: A minimal framework to facilitate multiple followers.
  • Simple Outfit System: Allows setting outfits for followers.
  • Quick Mass Follower Commands Hotkey: Adds a hotkey to issue mass commands to your followers.

Player Homes

Masterstroke also has a few new player homes scattered throughout the world for you to acquire and inhabit.

  • The Raven’s Breezehome: A gorgeous overhaul of Breezehome.
  • JK’s Riverfall Cottage: A large home near Riverwood.
  • Routa: A snowy and warrior themed home near Windhelm.
  • Riverside Shack: A quaint shack you can rebuild into a small home near the hot springs south of Windhelm.
  • Dovahkiin’s Vault: Legacy of the Dragonborn lite, a home to store and display all your items.
  • Windyridge: A pleasant home in Winterhold.
  • Redspire Manor: An on-theme home in Solstheim.
  • Millwater Retreat: A large home on the north coast of Lake Ilnalta.
  • The Hideaway: A buildable cavern home for nature-types.
  • Thur’s Retreat: A small and interactive home near Winterhold.

The NSFW Mods

Of course, Masterstroke is designed around sexy elements and interactions. The core NSFW package is as follows.

  • SexLab: Makes the whole NSFW world go around.
  • OSL Aroused: Makes your character and NPCs have arousal to affect various other things.
  • SexLab Defeat Baka Edition: The defeat mod of choice. Adds surrender and defeat mechanics to combat.
  • SexLab Separate Orgasms: Adds a minigame to NSFW scenes.
  • ZaZ Animation Pack: Adds animations for various scenes.
  • Devious Devices: A framework for NSFW equipment and managing of that equipment.
  • SexLab Fame: A framework for characters to gain NSFW fame in areas across the land.
  • State of Dress: A framework for determining your character’s level of dress, used by other mods.
  • Scrappies Matchmaker: A matchmaking framework that allows NPCs to get busy with each other.
  • Milk Mod Economy: Adds a new layer to the Skyrim economy focused around the production and sale of milk.
  • Simple Slavery: A framework to allow the player character to be sold into slavery.
  • Public Whore: An alternative to being sent to jail, instead your character might need to become the Public Whore of a city.
  • SexLab Eager NPCs: Makes NPCs eager and allows for NSFW interactions with your followers.

Some fun additions that expand on the frameworks defined above:

  • OBody Standalone: Allows you to change your character’s (or NPC’s) Bodyslide preset on demand in game.
  • Deviously Enchanted Chests: Traps containers such that you might get equipped with some devious devices.
  • Milk Addict: Allows you to get addicted to milk and its friends.
  • Furniture Marker Sex: Expands on the furniture options available and makes scenes line up with existing furniture in the world.
  • SexLab Solutions: Provides alternative endings to some quests.
  • Amorous Adventures: Adds new questlines focused around romance and sex.
  • SexLab Drunk Redux: Allows your character to experience loss of control when drunk.
  • Fill Her Up: Adds events for being filled with fluids.
  • Transformative Elixirs: Adds elixirs that can be found that modify a character’s body when consumed.
  • Gender Bender: Allows your character to swap genders on a whim. (Only works for female characters)
  • Skooma Whore: Your character can get addicted to various drugs/concoctions.
  • Submissive Lola Resubmission: Allows your character to consensually enter a dom/sub relationship with a follower.
  • Devious Device Helpers: Adds additional options for removing devious devices.

Quality of Life Mods

No modlist would be complete without an entire suite of mods to improve the quality of life of playing Skyrim.

  • Notification Log: Allows you to look back at notifications in case you missed them.
  • Whose Quest Is It Anyway: Allows you to track who gave you a quest.
  • Quick Light: A hotkey-bound, on demand light source.
  • Yes I’m Sure: Removes the confirmation message when crafting.
  • Hide Quest Items in Containers: Prevents you from accidentally dropping quest items.
  • Hide Your Quests: Lets you hide quests from your journal.
  • Dragon Claws Auto-Unlock: Removes the tedium of solving dragon claw doors.
  • Powers Keyring: Lets you hide specific powers and spells that you don’t need or want.
  • Jaxonz Renamer: Lets you rename items and NPCs.
  • Player Rotation in RaceMenu: Lets you rotate your character without the clunky RaceMenu interface.
  • Favorite Misc Items: Lets you favorite miscellaneous items.
  • Essential Favorites: Prevents you from dropping or selling items you’ve favorited.
  • I’m Walkin Here: Encourages NPCs to move out of your way when you move into them.
  • To Your Face Redux: Only allows NPCs to speak to you when you’re facing them.
  • Sometimes Pick Up Books: Allows you to simply pick up books instead of reading them when your weapons are drawn.
  • Mum’s the Word: Prevents low-value items from being marked stolen if no one notices you stole it.
  • Vendor Sale Delay Gone: Speeds up the process of open the buy/sell window.
  • The Choice is Yours: Prevents you from getting quests unless you choose to follow that quest.
  • Vampire Lords Can Activate: As it says.
  • Better Container Controls: Improves the controls of interacting with items in containers.
  • Keep It Breezy: Lets you change from regular armor to its Bikini variant and back on demand.
  • FreeFlyCam: Improves the default free camera in a multitude of ways.
  • Twisted’s Command Binders: Provides a hotkey you can press to immediately go into “screenshot mode”.
  • Equipment Toggle 2: Allows hiding your helmet or other equipment through a hotkey, configurable in the mod’s INI.

Optional Creature Profile

Masterstroke includes an optional creature profile allowing for even more degeneracy. The mods that make this possible are:

  • Creature Framework: The backbone of creature content.
  • More Nasty Critters: A framework that allows creature animations.
  • Baka’s ABC: If you know, you know.
  • Estrus Chaurus: Chaurus spit attacks can put you into a helpless state.
  • Estrus Spider: As above, but for Spiders.
  • Egg Factory: Eggs!
  • Pheromones: Your potions may be laced with something a bit extra.
  • CO More Creatures: As it says, more creatures.
  • SL Parasites: Parasites!

To use the Creature Profile, you should use the Profile dropdown menu in Mod Organizer 2 to switch to the Creature Profile.

Bug Reporting

While we have tried out best to eliminate as many bugs and inconsistencies as possible, it is unfortunately a near certainty that at some point you will come across something that could be considered a bug. Whether it’s duplicate objects overlapping, an imbalanced crafting recipe, or something else entirely, it’s important that you report bugs you find on the Masterstroke Github so that it can be fixed for everyone.

To report a bug, fill out this form: Click Me!

After that, you’ve filed your bug report and the MS dev team will take a look at it as soon as possible.

Adding to Masterstroke

Many Skyrim modders ask the question: “Can I add mods to Masterstroke?” (Or, “Can I remove mods from Masterstroke?”, or, “Can I change the mods included with Masterstroke?”)

If you are asking this question from a perspective of just installing the mod and expecting it to work, then the answer is a resounding, unequivocal NO.

The longer and slightly more technical answer is: “I don’t know, can you?”

To expand on this: nobody knows whether you can add a certain mod or not. Adding to, changing, or removing from the list isn’t a yes/no question. In 99.9% of cases, the answer is, “Yes, but…“

The “but…” part of that answer refers to the process of installing any mod and stems from a deeply rooted belief that mods are either compatible with each other, or they are not. Assuming that any mod is (or is not) compatible with any other mod is absurd. Every mod can be made to work with every other mod, the real questions you should be asking are: “How much work would it take to add this mod?” and “Do I have the knowledge, tools, and skills to add this mod?”

And unfortunately, the answer to those questions is a resounding, unequivocal, “It depends.” And it depends on the answers to these questions, which you, and only you, can answer: Does it require compatibility/consistency patching in xEdit? Does it require modifications in Creation Kit? Does it require that it be loaded in a certain place in the load order? Does it need additional mods (which also require answers to these questions) to function?

Lastly, I (ForgottenGlory) and the Masterstroke development team do not support this in any way, shape, or form. If you’re going to add a mod to Masterstroke, you need to be prepared to do it on your own. I understand this isn’t an ideal answer for people relatively new to modding, but you need to understand that hundreds of hours have been spent putting together Masterstroke, making it as stable as possible with all the mods working in harmony. Adding a bunch of random mods on top of it and then expecting it to “just work” is naive at best.

“Can I add a mod to Masterstroke?”

I don’t know, can you?

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