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Have I Broken My Game?

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TL;DR: Started experiencing issues early in the Companions quest line, prompting me to try and replicate the problem both on new saves and with ALL mods disabled. The problem persisted. Went to try and begin a new game, and found I couldn't even do that. CTD while using Skyrim Unbound, game frozen on Imperial Dragon screen after selecting new game without any mods or DLC. I have used LOOT, Wrye Bash, TES5Edit, etc. to try and fix the problem, but to no avail.


Hi everyone, I'm having quite a confusing dilemma with my game.


It started fairly early on into a save on a fairly fresh install of Skyrim, while I was completing "Take Up Arms" to join the Companions. Everything was going swimmingly, until it came to following Farkas to my quarters. He would speak to me, welcome me to the companions, and as the quest overhead began to notify me of completion, the game would CTD.


I first turned to console commands to try and alleviate the issue. Completing "Take Up Arms" via console command did not cause a CTD, implying that the problem is not with the quest itself, but rather with Farkas's dialogue. Entering back into the Jorrvaskr living quarters after console command completing the quest would cause consistent CTDs the moment Farkas had finished saying "Welcome to the Companions."


After getting the same error a few times over, I decided it was time to turn to LOOT and Wrye Bash to see if I could fix my problem. Optimizing my load order and running a Bashed Patch did not fix the issue. Next, I attempted to try things out on a different character who had not yet begun the Companions questline. Still, I experienced a CTD in the same spot.


I moved to TES 5 Edit afterwards to see if any mods I was running were altering Farkas or the "Take Up Arms" quest in any way. Disabling any mods that met this criteria did not fix the problem. I kept chipping away at mods I thought could be the culprit until I disabled everything save for Skyrim itself and a few essentials (e.g. XPMSE), and still, the problem persisted.


My only hope at this point was trying to replicate the problem on a completely fresh, clean save. I fired up Skyrim Unbound, because I wanted to spawn straight in Whiterun and skip the intro, but this caused CTD shortly after "Bethesda Game Studios Presents..." Attempting to start a new game without Skyrim Unbound left me staring at the Imperial Dragon screen, with no signs of a new game actually booting.


I am at a complete loss to what I've done here that could have broken my game. I uninstall and reinstall Skyrim every once in a while, mostly when I get bored or want to try fundamentally different builds. I have never experienced an issue as strange as this before. An issue that could not be fixed by disabling all mods, and an issue that has seemingly robbed me of my ability to begin a new game.


Skyrim will still run fine, I am just seemingly barred from ever doing the Companions questline because of this bug, which is a pretty major flaw.


Load Order is below; I have used all of these mods at some point or another in older builds (excepting ClimatesofTamriel) and have never had a problem such as this.


Unofficial Skyrim Patch.esp=1
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch.esp=1
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch.esp=1
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch.esp=1
Schlongs of Skyrim - Core.esm=1
Unofficial High Resolution Patch.esp=1
Cart in Each Big Town.esp=1
Skyrim Immersive Creatures.esp=1
Skyrim Immersive Creatures - DLC2.esp=1
Immersive Weapons.esp=1
Remodeled Armor.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Vanilla Replacer.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Dawnguard.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Vanilla Replacer - Dawnguard.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Dragonborn.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Vanilla Replacer - Dragonborn.esp=1
Remodeled Armor - Underwear.esp=1
Schlongs of Skyrim.esp=1
SOS - B3lisario UNP Addon.esp=1
SOS - Smurf Average Addon.esp=1
Serana No Hood.esp=1
SexLab Romance.esp=1
AK- Alternate Actors.esp=1
Skyrim Unbound.esp=1
dD - Realistic Ragdoll Force - Realistic.esp=1
Fantasy Soundtrack Project.esp=1
Fantasy Soundtrack Project - Combat.esp=1
The Ordinary Women.esp=1
Bijin Warmaidens.esp=1
Toccata as Elisif.esp=1
Bijin NPCs.esp=1
Bijin Wives.esp=1
Bashed Patch, 0.esp=1


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You didn't mention it, but are you using NMM by chance?  When using NMM, the  mods installed/uninstalled actually alter you game's directory and content.  Based on the behavior you reported, it doesn't sound like an issue with "Take up Arms' but the follow-on quest called "Trouble in Skyrim" which is also given by Farkas.  You could load up TES5Edit with your complete load order and look for any alterations to CR05 quest "Trouble in Skyrim".  That is, if your game works at all, but you're saying you have issues with a vanilla start, with no mods installed.


Which brings me back to NMM... it could very well be that you installed a mod or mods with jacked up the scripts and/or quests associated with the Companions quest line.  That being said, I don't see any obvious contenders in your load order.  


I can think of 2 things to try, but your vanilla game isn't working... so they might be moot.  


1. Remove the Skyrim folder from steam and verify game files to reinstall back vanilla.  Then use Mod Organizer instead of NMM.  MO is a bit of learning curve, but far superior in that it does not alter your vanilla files in anyway. MO creates a virtual Data folder which merges in to your existing Data folder and runs all mods "outside" your install path.

2. If your game does work, it could be an issue with what you included in your bashed patch.  I've seen "weirdness" like this with corrupt or improperly created bashed patches myself.  Try rebuilding the bashed patch, paying attention to which mods are being included and the subsequent options presented before creation.

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