We’re never short of new Skyrim mods to check out, thanks to the decade-old RPG’s ever-dedicated and talented community. But, every now and then, a new mod rolls around that knocks our socks off – and Netherworks’ new Follower Framework mod looks like it could well be one of these. It’s a hugely impressive and “resource-friendly” add-on that lets you bring up to ten companions with you on your adventures, adding some real immersive depth to the experience through lots of customisation options.
There’s a lot to Nether’s mod, and it’s impressively far-reaching and deep in its scope. The framework is essentially a “multi-follower framework that is easy on game resources and gives you the choice between animal or humanoid companions”, as the modder explains, that folds in a wide range of adjustable and tailorable features.
It has a “robust” MCM menu that lets you tweak options across various gameplay areas, like sandboxing, mount and riding support, combat, movement, control, actions, and – well, you get the drift.
Here are some examples. You can create and manage up to ten “home bases” for your many battle buddies – places they’ll head back to when you dismiss them, where you can set up “work and relax locations” for them, and which you can rename and move (many) followers between. You can set companions up with their own (customisable) horses which the mod spawns for them. You can assign healer or tank roles to your companions and one of ten combat styles. You can opt to revive them with healing potions, reduce the infighting between your group, and disable “bleedout recovery” during fights.
Then there are things like putting a stop to “idle chatter” on whichever followers you like, improving their stealth AI when out of combat, meaning they won’t start fights or talk, and they’ll stay close. You can learn skills from them – as you can with non-follower NPCs around Skyrim – and reciprocate by teaching them things like spells. You can change their behaviours in terms of morality and crime, issue commands to them, and even set their outfits and gear.
Perhaps most impressively among these features, the framework adds a “regard system” – a relationship-based mechanic that it seems earns you your followers’ respect as you adventure with them, which “awards some abilities and benefits”.
As you can probably glean, this framework is designed to “provide companion features that are familiar and useful but also engaging and interesting”, but the modder explains that it’s also designed to “be compatible with as many other mods out there as possible, so that you can use it alongside your favourites.” So, you should be able to get it up and running alongside other mods you’re partial to. Lovely stuff.
There’s a whole lot to read up on in the way of the framework’s features so do head over to Nexus Mods (here for Special Edition; here for the base game version) if you’re keen to find out more about the mod and maybe grab it for yourself. Be sure to check out the modder’s instructions and notes thoroughly to get it running smoothly, and enjoy building your band of merry men and women.