April 12, 2017

An attempt at content

Note: if you are one of the few individuals left who are afraid of Skyrim spoilers - a game released six years ago - skip this.

Undertook another play-thru of Skyrim as something to unwind with of an evening.

Arrived at one of the more irritating points of the "Get all the Daedric Artifacts" portion - Boethiah's Calling.

You have to lure a companion and kill them at an altar and that's something I've always found hard to do1. Generally, I settle on, Eola, as she becomes a companion at the conclusion of the other Daedric quest I hate doing - "I ate a priest and all I got was this lousy ring".

She has one eye and her hobby is eating dead people. Not exactly someone a thinking person would want behind them in a dungeon hurling fireballs, okay?

On this play-thru, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to sacrifice Amaund Motierre.

Amaund is a smarmy, social-climbing politician who plays a pivotal role in The Dark Brotherhood quest line's apogee - The assassination of the Emperor.

Without going into verbose detail, it leads to the Dark Brotherhood's near extermination due to a betrayal and drags your butt all over Skyrim. Eventually, you fulfill the contract. As you do, the Emperor makes one final request - Please kill the smarmy, social-climbing traitor who's paying you to do this - A request I typically honor via a dagger to Amaund's throat.

This lacks a certain panache though. Betrayal deserves betrayal in return. Why not simply gain Amaund's trust then lead him to his death?

You can't. He isn't a companion NPC. He isn't coded to behave that way.

Normally, on PC, this is not an issue. You can "reprogram" NPC behavior via the debug console..

NPCID.setfac 5C84D 1
NPCID.setrelationshiprank player 4
player.setrelationshiprank NPCID 4

.. and you are off to the races.

But not in Amaund's case.

Amaund is not a normal NPC. He does not exist in the game world before his part in the quest line starts2. He isn't even the same NPC, by reference ID, each time he appears. He only assumes the one listed by the wiki at the conclusion of the quest. Attempts to toggle companion behavior via the console do not produce the requisite dialog option.

I tried every trick I could think of to get this behavior to happen and failed.

This left me with the following options..

  1. Hit the nexus and find a followers mod that can facilitate this.
  2. Fire up the creation kit and write the mod myself.

So..I stabbed him in the throat again and moved on.

Get your affairs in order, Eola.

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  1. I am cognitively aware that this is a game and these are not real people. Even so, it is difficult for me to step over that particular moral boundary. I do it, of course, but there's always that part of me that thinks, "What a dickheaded thing to do", afterward.
  2. He can be spawned into the world at any point via console commands but wanders aimlessly, gives stock responses in a voice not his own (as his voice actor obviously never recorded the defaut dialog) and cannot be conversed with.