The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Game of the Year Edition

Imagination, not intelligence, made us human.

In his Foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, the late Sir Terry Pratchett writes, "Imagination, not intelligence, made us human."

Most people know Pratchett as the author of Discworld, the famous fantasy series about a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants. However, what many people don't know is that the knighted author was also a massive fan of video games - so much so that he actually worked on mods for Oblivion, most of which were spearheaded by a Morrowind modder named Emma.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There's a dragon near Bethesda - dubbed "the Dragon of Bethesda" by its creator - and it's causing a bit of bother.

No, not that Bethesda. The Bethesda in Wales, the one on the River Ogwen and the A5 road on the edge of Snowdonia, in Gwynedd.

The Draig Dderw (oak Dragon) stands 6ft tall and 12ft wide, and guards the A5, presumably from misguided Skyrim fans. It's quite the sight - perhaps too good a sight, because motorists are apparently slowing down, or even stopping, to gawk at it.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim’s NPC companions aren’t very useful, but if you still want company on your mountain hikes and dragon-slaying adventures, Skyrim Together might scratch the itch. Following the announcement earlier this month, a closed beta is now available for Patreon backers. It’s expected to run for a week or two, building up to an open beta. 

In the closed beta, players will be able to invite friends into their game and start private sessions, fight each other, travel wherever they want—separately or together—and join each other in quests. You can read the list of features on the subreddit. And here's a list of planned features.

Bethesda’s official multiplayer spin-offs have left a lot to be desired. The Elder Scrolls Online has grown into a solid if slightly bland MMO, but it was a complete mess at launch, while Fallout 76 has been a bit of a disaster. Hopefully the mod will fare better. 

A separate launcher is required to use the mod, as well as an account on the Skyrim Together site and a linked Patreon account. It’s out now for Patreon backers.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

An impressive Skyrim multiplayer mod enters closed beta soon, with an open beta to follow.

The eye-catching Skyrim Together mod is more than someone's pipedream - it's a functional mod that currently lets up to eight players play together in Bethesda's hugely popular fantasy game.

The mod is the work of a group of talented software engineers who have spent some time tinkering with Skyrim in order to get multiplayer working. The closed beta is for those who back the project on Patreon. The open beta launches immediately after the closed beta, which the modders said wouldn't last long in an announcement post on the Skyrim Together subreddit.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

You know what the problem with a horse is? It only has one horsepower. One! It's pathetic. That's why you should upgrade to a hog—by which I mean a motorcycle. This mod for Skyrim and Skyrim Special Edition adds a Dwarven motorcyle so you can cruise around the world in style, full throttle.

The mod even lets you choose how you'd like it to sound: it can make standard Dwarven machinery noises, or sound like a real motorcycle. The gif above, by the way, is made from this video by Arctic Scrolls, which is pretty funny if you watch the whole thing.

The motorcycle is 'essential', meaning it can't be destroyed. From the animation of the rider, and the fact that that the motorcycle attempts to attack hostile wolves in this video, it appears the bike still has the brains of a common horse. No matter, though! It looks cool and I'm sure some Skyrim fan out there can probably somehow make the case for it being lore-friendly.

Here's the mod's page for plain old Skyrim, and here's the one for the Special Edition. Ride safe.

For loads more mods, check out our collection of the best Skyrim mods and best Skyrim Special Edition mods.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

Here’s one to put on your Fus Ra-Dar. A Skyrim multiplayer mod is about to enter closed beta, and will soon offer you and up to seven friends the chance to explore the snowy bit of Tamriel together. The devs say the closed beta won’t last long, and an open one will be hot on its heels.

It is worth bearing in mind that they said the mod was almost ready back in 2017. You’d be forgiven for thinking it would (Duh) Neh Viir come out, but if you Lis Slen Nuz your doubts should be set to rest.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda taking the Fallout series online with Fallout 76 was met with, shall we say, mixed results. Modders, meanwhile, have been trying to take Skyrim online for years, and now it's almost a reality. Skyrim Together is a co-op mod that lets you play Skyrim with your pals, and after a few false starts it appears to finally be ready for a closed beta trial.

"Yep, it's finally happening," reads a dev post in the mod's subreddit. "Soon we'll be opening the doors for our loyal patreons for a temporary closed beta - Don't fear, this will shortly available for all."

The closed beta period will be used to test stability and make fixes, and won't last long according to the mod's developers, with an open beta available to everyone following a week or two later. The mod, when released, will feature its own launcher (Bethesda objected to the release of the mod on Steam). The current cap is set at eight players max, though it's possible this may change in the future. Servers for the mod are currently only located in Europe, but again, this may change after launch based on player demand.

The developers haven't given a specific start date for the closed beta beyond "soon", and to be fair, we first heard the mod was nearly ready to launch back in 2017. Stay optimistic, though—your next trip through Skyrim could be with friends at your side.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Is Skyrim’s existing story not epic enough in scope for you? Need more giant, world-ending cataclysmic monsters for the Dragonborn to fight? Have I got the mods for you: Here There Be Monsters and its sequel Here There Be Monsters—The Call of Cthulhu, in works since 2015, are nearly finished as of this year. It’s a big, post-endgame quest chain that sees you taking on (or joining) the eponymous tentacled world-devourer as it awakens to slurp up the people of Tamriel. It’s also fully voiced, so it won’t be too jarring a transition from the regular game world. The update released on the first of this year finalizes much of the mod, adding the last of the dialogue, craftable weapons, new followers, and debugging the main and side quests for the new locations in the game. 

I’m not sure I can convey the ambition of this mod without asking you to take a look. It adds not only new races and models but also large new areas inspired by works of the cosmic horror canon, like the plateau of Leng… and beyond.

You can check out Here There Be Monsters—The Call of Cthulhu at Nexus. Deep Ones! Forbidden books! Ancient temples! Terrible secrets! It’s all there. 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

The Elder Scrolls Online is both an attempt to further the Elder Scrolls formula into something more dynamic and living, and a game that often seems dependent on nostalgia for its continued existence. 2017’s Morrowind expansion took us back to Elder Scrolls’ finest hour, last year’s Summerset was our first return to a land not seen since Arena, the original Scrolls game, and next, here be dragons. Again. And also many, many cat-people.

Pictured above is a photo of my cat wearing a promotional Skyrim hat in 2012. On brand, yeah?

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Beyond Skyrim’s scope would be impressive even if it wasn't a mod. It’s a collaboration between several different Skyrim mod teams, each taking on the challenge of building one of the chilly province’s neighbours. In the last development diary, we got a look at Cyrodiil, Roscrea, Atmora and Elsweyr, and now the Beyond Skyrim: Morrowind team is showing off what it calls the ‘New North’, made up of Morrowind’s northern islands. Check out the new trailer above. 

The New North looks a bit more familiar than some of the other regions, with the islands simultaneously evoking Skyrim and Morrowind. There are big mushrooms, people wandering around in chitinous armour, and imposing wizard towers, but next to them are thatched roofs, wooden halls and longships. The final Skyrim DLC took us to Solstheim, just off the coast of Morrowind, so some assets have been reused, but there’s a great deal of new stuff, too.

We get to see quite a lot, from the threatening, rocky coast to ominous, haunted crypts, accompanied by what sounds like professional voice acting. It bodes well for the future of the project, though it boggles the mind that this is all being created by volunteer enthusiasts. Speaking of which, you can apply to lend a hand yourself.

There’s no release date yet, but some of Beyond Skyrim is available to play now. Beyond Skyrim: Bruma lets you explore Cyrodiil’s northern area once you travel south from Skyrim, and alone it’s still an extremely meaty, polished expansion.

If you’re craving more mods, check out our list of the best Skyrim mods

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