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About this blog

Greetings everyone! This page contains my various Bethesda blogs. At the time of this update, it contains my troubleshooting playthrough series, my Skyrim modding diary, my mod cleanup case study series, and my Shout Like a Virgin beta test blog. You can access all the entries from the sidebar on the right side of your screen.



I've recently exceeded the 1000 mod threshold, and it's time to start periodically doing brief playthroughs to ferret out hidden conflicts and other bugs. In this series, we'll do shorter, more focused adventures where we try to tell an interesting story and also talk about what problems we ran into them and how we addressed them.


  • Charley's Story: Charlotte Ellison survived a nuclear war by spending more than two hundred years in stasis. Now she has to survive in a very new world, facing very new threats. A Fallout 4 playthrough.
  • The Spider's Web: Kirstia's search for answers has taken her to the island of Solstheim. Now she must uncover the secret of The Teacher - also known as Mephala - and continue the journey to master her powerful magical heritage. But can she survive as her enemies, new and old, close in? 
  • The Curious Case of Forrien Hlaalu: A year after she returned to Northpoint, Kirstia is back in Skyrim and looking for answers. The strange events that occured during her search for Sybil Fjotra continue to trouble her, as does the ongoing influence of the strange gods of the Forsworn. After a chance encounter over drinks, a wizard from the College of Winterhold sets her on the trail of a scholar who may have the answers she needs...
  • The Search for the Sybil: Exiled from Skyrim to the remote land of Northpoint, Kirstia Bjissen has fallen on hard times. Just as she hits rock bottom, a voice speaks to her and charges her with a sacred quest that will take her back to her native land - and likely into danger. Can Kirstia find the new Sybil of Dibella before her past catches up with her?
  • Shout Like a Virgin: Miraculously saved from death, Monilee of High Rock finds herself in Skyrim, a land riven by civil war and harboring dark secrets. While she tries to build a new life in this foreign land, she's haunted by half-remembered dreams, and in chasing them she discovers her role in the turning of the ages. However, Monilee has not gone unnoticed by powers outside the mortal realm. Used as a pawn in the struggle between Nocturnal and Dibella, it will take all her wits, endurance, bravery, and stubbornness to reclaim sovereignty over her body and her soul.


Modding Diary

This series tracks my modding projects in-between playthroughs and case studies. The main focus will be on the technical processes of cleaning, editing, and integrating mods into a large load order configuration, including managing emergent multi-mod interactions. 


Modding Case Studies

This blog reviews the tools and techniques that authors and end users can apply to make their mods as stable and compatible as possible, as well as how end users can integrate complicated mods into a large load order setup. In addition to coverage of well known techniques such as automatic mod cleaning, this blog delves into more complicated issues such as navmesh repair. 


Entries in this blog

Bethesda Modding Diary - 03 July 2022

Welcome back, everyone! Today we're going to customize a mod that normally wouldn't be a great fit so that it meshes better with the game world. We're also going to add some more defensive options to Fallout in anticipation of the next chapter in Charley's story nope, ran out of time  . Fallout 4 already picked up another mod when I installed Guard Posts and Spotlights while I was writing Chapter 42, though it didn't make it into the final cut of the chapter. Here's our starting mod counts:

Shock Therapy (Charley's Adventure, Chapter 42)

By now we'd learned through long experience that the grip we wanted for Concord started with walls. After a rather lively debate, where I had to throw cold water on the idea of fortifying all of Concord - and even building an Athenian style long wall down Route 62 all the way to the Red Rocket or even to Sanctuary - we settled on starting by walling off the city blocks immediately adjoining Route 62. This would give us more than enough space to start our work in, and ensure we controlled the cit


gregaaz in Charley's Story II

Bethesda Modding Diary - 01 July 2022

Welcome back, everyone. Today we're going to take on a few different goals - installing a couple new quality of life mods, fixing a few glitched interactions I've discovered over the last couple weeks, and integrating some Khajiit themed mods. I've also got a new Fallout 4 mod to add. Since we haven't reviewed the Fallout 4 mod count for a while, let's look at where both games stand going into today:   Skyrim Mods installed: 1735 Plugins active: 1680


gregaaz in Modding Diary - July 2022

PSA - Racemenu Memory Leak Fixed on SSE

Hi folks, I realized that I had forgotten to cover something in today's modding diary. If you've been in the hobby for a while, you probably know that for some time there have been suspicions that Racemenu contained a memory leak in its DLL file. This was recently confirmed by the community and it was subsequently fixed in the version of Racemenu for version 1.6. However, the author did not provide an update for the 1.5.97 runtime.    There is now a community developed hotfix you can d


gregaaz in Miscellaneous

Bethesda Modding Diary - 30 June 2022

OK, I'm back. Yesterday we started going through some mods that covered LGBT themes. We got to the "G" and "T" parts, but we ran out of time before getting to the rest of the content. We'll wrap up that series of mods today.   Our starting counts in Skyrim are:   Mods installed: 1728 Plugins active: 1673 Last load order index: E9   Those Naval Contracts   Alternatives to the Amulet of Mara   Romantic Correspondence  


gregaaz in Modding Diary - June 2022

Bethesda Modding Diary - 29 June 2022

Hi folks, hard to believe we're already at the end of June! Since this is Pride Month and we're wrapping up, I figured I'd revisit a few LGBT themed mods that have been on my to-do list for a while so they can get some exposure. I think I've mentioned in the past that while I'm a fairly boring cis/hetero guy, I think it's important for immersive world building to reflect a diverse world, and since this is a NSFW setup that includes sexual orientation and gender expression. That, and I won't lie


gregaaz in Modding Diary - June 2022

Bethesda Modding Diary - 28 June 2022

Welcome back, everyone. Anyone curious what this mysterious new evidence that's going to be revealed this afternoon is all about? It'll be interesting to find out. In the meanwhile, let's finish integrating Immersive Jewelry and The Gemstone Collector. As you might recall from a while back, we've gone through and addressed several specific conflicts between the two mods and also between these mods and Legacy of the Dragonborn. Now we want to address some of the more straightforward conflicts suc


gregaaz in Modding Diary - June 2022

Bethesda Modding Diary - 27 June 2022

Hi folks, welcome to another new week  I was pleased to see Westworld Season 4 managed to survive HBO's culling of sci-fi that caused the premature death of Raised By Wolves. Hopefully their management will come to see reason and stop killing their good content. As for modding, I kind of got an itch today to check a specific item off my Skyrim to-do list: Missives and The Notice Board. Both of these mods add more radiant quests to the game, outside the faction system, which allows for more adven

Concord Hymn (Charley's Story, Chapter 41)

In the end, taking over Concord was an anticlimax. A week had passed since we seized the quarry, and our outposts did their job well: they intercepted several raider groups of different sizes, all making their way towards the city. I'm told that nowadays the historians call it Operation Concord Hymn and make it sound like a well-oiled military operation, but the reality is we just walked in and set up shop. True, Preston and his folks had to go through some of the buildings to clear out feral Gh

Bethesda Modding Diary - 23 June 2022

Welcome back, folks. Today we'll be installing a couple of Fallout 4 mods that will soon be needed for Charley's story. I've also got a few Skyrim mods, including some monsters, that I need to get up and running. We're starting out with the following mod counts:   Skyrim Mods installed: 1709 Plugins active: 1658 Last load order index: E7 Fallout Mods installed: 488 Plugins active: 547 Last load

Anxiety Relief (Charley's Story, Chapter 40)

The next morning, the heat of the moment had worn off and I felt like crap. In the time since I'd escaped the vault, I'd killed people, sure. But it was always in self-defense. Even when Jake and I attacked the raiders in Concord, there was no question that it was us or them. But this time, I'd killed three helpless people. And I'd done it in a way that was designed to humiliate them. I'd stripped them naked, tied them up, and made them watch as I hanged them one by one. I even made sure to kill

Rough Justice (Charley's Story, Chapter 39)

The process of building up Drumlin Diner into a more defensible position proceeded at a good pace. Seth pretty quickly concluded that the pond out back wasn't a good candidate for a full-scale water purifier, but he did manage to run a pipe down to the pond that he hooked up to a mechanical pump to draw water back up to the Diner for purification on site. When he was done, we buried the pipe and finished walling up that side of the Diner's parking lot.   Two days later, Preston's guard

Bethesda Modding Diary - 22 June 2022

Welcome back, folks. It's been a little while since I've been able to put in some serious modding time, and today is mostly going to be a catch up session on some of the lower effort items that have been accumulating in my backlog. In the days ahead we are going to finish up integrating immersive jewelry and then we'll be doing some cleanup in our script environment. For now however, let's stick to the easy stuff. Going into today, here are our mod counts:   Skyrim Mods

Hard Sell (Charley's Story, Chapter 38)

The next morning, I made my way back to Sanctuary to get ready for my meeting with Trudy. On the way, I ran into Preston, who was wearing some body armor I hadn't seen before. Or rather, body armor that I hadn't seen in a long time.   "Last time I saw that was on the security at the vault," I said.   He nodded, "that's exactly what it is - genuine Vault-Tec security armor. It's not quite as good as I'd like, but it'll give us an extra edge against any raiders we encounter. At

Security Concerns (Charley's Story, Chapter 37)

"I hope your trip went well, Charley," Connie said, "because we're going to need those defenses you've been talking about. We've got problems."   "I can see that," I admitted. "Any idea who those shooters were?"   She nodded slowly. "I'm almost certain those are the Rust Devils. They're a raider gang that operates out of the old army base a ways south of here. We never really had much trouble with them before, but your run-in with them is the second time we've seen them scout

Quick Programming Note

Hi folks, you may have noticed that I never got around to the next volume of my modding diary about Immersive Jewelry compatibility. I've had a little bit of a real life surprise (a moving truck full of furniture is arriving on Wednesday instead of in a few weeks because of a change of plans that wasn't communicated to me earlier  ) and I'm franticly getting ready for this. I don't plan on making any blog posts until Friday, 6/17, as a result.    Just wanted to let everyone know that I

Bethesda Modding Diary - 10 June 2022

Greetings, folks! Today the focus is going to be on finishing up the LOTD vs. TGSC deconfliction patch, and then (if time permits) doing the leveled lists. If I don't run into any big surprises, that might make for a deceptively small blog, since a lot of it is going to to just be repeating the steps I did in yesterday's entry.    Revisiting the Cheongsam   Possible Trouble on the Horizon   Gemstone Patching   Well, that's some good progress for toda

Bethesda Modding Diary - 09 June 2022

Happy Thursday, everyone! Sounds like we've got quite a night of television ahead of us today with new Star Trek, new Orville, and of course the opening of the public-facing portion of the 1/6 inquiry. But before that, we need to start getting my various gems and jewelry mods playing nice. You saw the tip of the iceberg yesterday, when I foolishly thought I could install Immersive Jewelry without doing a huge amount of work.   So what's the issue? It's basically a knot of interlocking

Bethesda Modding Diary - 08 June 2022

Welcome back, everyone. I wonder if that Santa hat is cursed... I just couldn't find the motivation to do more Skyrim modding for the last couple of days (though I did make some good progress on the Fallout playthrough). Let's break that streak of unproductiveness today!   We're starting out with the following mod counts, which includes the mods I installed as part of the "behind the scenes" section of today's installment of Charley's Story.   Skyrim Mods Insta

Metal Shop (Charley's Story, Chapter 36)

"What... is that?" I asked, pointing at the huge metal armature that perched on a concrete pad near the town gate.   Sturges laughed at that. "That's what I said when I saw it too. This is what your robot friend's been building since she showed up. Apparently it's basically a robot factory. I've never seen anything like it."     The sound of clanking metal feet against the pavement gave away Ada's approach, and I turned to wave towards her.   "Ada, this i

Big Box Store (Charley's Story, Chapter 35)

Nate would have laughed and laughed. He loved Wattz, and I gave him shit about it every time he shopped there. I mean, I'm not blind. I understood why he liked it. There's something relaxing about walking the aisles in a big department store, maybe daydreaming a little about all the fun gadgets and all the fancy appliances. And Nate was definitely the kind of guy who liked fun gadgets. I get it.   But the Wattz Consumer Electronics company was a bunch of dirty, union busting, worker ex

Home Improvement (Charley's Story, Chapter 34)

Getting the Abernathy family to put on the vault suits was just the start of the project, of course. Putting aside the fact that I promised Connie to make immediate improvements to their fort, realistically we had to make those improvements anyway. It was only a matter of time before the raiders in the area came to see Sanctuary as their enemy - not jus potential prey, but a genuine threat to them. And because of that, anyone aligned with Sanctuary would become a target.    So I had ba

Bethesda Modding Diary - 05 June 2022

Well, yesterday's session was interesting. After doing some digging I'm pretty confident I isolated the issue and also found a way to fix it. However, in the process I determined that the way the SPID distribution was done could have been accomplished better with a normal plugin-based integration. So we'll be disassembling the SPID elements of the mod and reworking the mod as a traditional item distribution mod.   Here's our starting mod counts:   Skyrim Mods:

Bethesda Modding Diary - 04 June 2022

Well, I was originally planning on saving this for tomorrow, but I'm kind of having writer's block so instead of writing prose I'll install some more mods. Thanks to the case study I did earlier today, our starting mod count has grown a bit.   Skyrim Mods installed: 1,677 Plugins active: 1,638 Last Load Order Index: E5 Fallout Mods Installed: 475 Plugins active: 537 Last Load Order Index: A5

Mini Case Study: ESL Flagging and Legacy of the Dragonborn

Welcome back, and hope you're all having a nice relaxing weekend. Instead of a normal modding diary today, we'll be doing a special mini case study focusing on one objective: cutting down the number of hard load order index reservations in SSE by compacting mods associated with Legacy of the Dragonborn.    So why is this an issue? If you're familiar with ESL flagging, you know that often you have to change the form ID structure of a file to apply the ESL flag. That's because ESL-flagge
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