On the checklist of things you’d like to see become even more immersive in Skyrim, sleeping is probably not high up. And yet, there are some things, immersion-wise, that don’t really add up. Why is the high-and-mighty Jarl Balgruuf the Greater not apoplectic when woken mid-snooze by an out-of-bounds Dragonborn? Why do perfectly healthy NPCs take an eternity (well, nine seconds) to get out of their beds? Why do they all look like they’ve perished the second their heads have hit their pillows? Who knows. But, a new mod has come along to transform slumbering Skyrim-style into a whole new experience.
Esteemed modder JaySerpa, whose body of work includes creations that let you pet dogs, make interactions way more immersive, and expand famous quests, is behind the new sleeping overhaul. Inspired by a playthrough that saw his Dragonborn ambushed by bandits while rousing from slumber, the mod has three key features: NPCs will now acknowledge being woken up mid-nap, they’ll now actually breathe while they sleep, and you can adjust the speed at which they get up from their beds.
The first new feature adds around 50 voice lines used either whole or spliced from the base game, which NPCs will bleat at you if you bother them while they’re catching their ZZZs. This is “just for fun”, mind, so you won’t see any effects to relationships or quests beyond their shouting.
These responses can vary from person to person, too. Some will be more confused, while others – we’re looking at you, Jarl Balgruuf – will be grumpier:
Sleeping NPCs get new animations (two for beds; three for bed rolls) that adds “100% more breathing than in vanilla”. It’s worth noting these are pretty minor changes, but they do make things that bit more realistic.
Finally, the mod lets you pick between three different waking speeds, with the fastest letting your Dragonborn leap out of bed and get battling fast if they’re caught off-guard. On the new animations, JaySerpa explains that “these different get in/get out of bed animations are context aware and will play based on fitting conditions dynamically. Most of the vanilla animations are sped up about 33%. This ensures they (hopefully) still look realistic and natural, but do not get in the way of your gameplay”.
Top image credit: JaySerpa / Nexus Mods