About This File
You can configure how easily your enemies should surrender, and you can choose to knock them out rather than killing them. You can also knock people out in other ways, even if they don't surrender. Lightweight, compatible with everything, no 'cloak spells' nor attaching scripts to actors, everything configurable in MCM.
Basically you don't have to just murder everyone in your path anymore, Dragonborn. Unless you want to, like Miraak.
See the 90-second video that explains most everything:
You can knock someone out in any of these ways:
- Wait until he surrenders, then bash him
- Sneak up behind him, then bash him
- Hurt him until he's in 'bleed out' (on his knees, bleeding), then bash him
- Hurt him until his health is low enough, then bash him
- Reverse-pickpocket a knockout poison on him (if you have the Toxic Touch perk from the Pickpocket skill tree)
- Hit him with an arrow or bolt that has knockout poison applied on it (you can make the poison with Alchemy, or buy it from vendors, find it in loot, etc.)
- Enable the "any attack" option, set the minimum health and random chance to your liking, and simply hit your enemies any way you like
- Cast a knockout spell at him (from the Illusion school; you can find Spell Tomes in all the usual places)
Any bash will do, no matter if it's with a shield, or unarmed, etc. (works great with Simple Dual Wield And Unarmed Block). Sometimes they'll drop their weapon. If you're using Quick Loot you can also rob them blind while they're knocked-out, and since they're in ragdoll, you can drag them around as if they were dead. But they're alive, and after about 5 minutes they'll wake up. If you don't want to wait, just bash them again and they'll wake up. If you're concerned about your bash attack killing them off, then you can reduce your own bash damage in the MCM.
In fact, all of the above is configurable in the MCM (see image), and you can also add a random chance factor if you wish.
NPCs cannot knock you out, nor each other. You can craft knockout poisons using Alchemy (Canis Root plus Imp Stools) or you can find them in ordinary loot and vendors. You can find the Knockout Spell Tome books in all the same places where you usually find Illusion Spell Tome books.
When deciding whether to surrender or not, an enemy considers:
- His skills and health (warrior types go by whichever skill corresponds to their equipped weapon -One-Handed, Two-Handed or Archery, while mage types go by their Destruction skill)
- Your skills and health (same as above)
- How many others are also fighting you (even if they belong to other factions, as long as they are hostile to you)
- How many of your followers are still fighting alongside you (guards don't count nor do other neutral parties even if they get involved)
- The settings in the MCM
So, as their health winds down and their buddies start to fall around them left and right, baddies will be more and more likely to call it quits. Likewise, if your health drops and your followers die, maybe someone who had already surrendered can change his mind and start taking swings at you again!
In order to judge you and figure out their chances they first to need to see how you attack. The most important factor (after the MCM slider of course) is HP. After all, if you're very low on HP you really don't care if the entire army is backing you up -you just want to survive the next ten seconds. But remember fear can spread -if one guy calls it quits, that slightly demoralizes everyone around him and maybe now someone else quits, and then another, and then you get a snowball effect. Sell-sell-sell like a market panic. It can go the other way too -one guy who had already surrendered eventually recovering enough HP to feel gutsy again and standing up can cause his buddy to also rise again, and so on. These snowball scenarios are somewhat rare (because everyone needs to be more or less close to the edge between quitting and not quitting) but entirely possible.
Importantly, your followers (vanilla and modded) will try their best not to kill people who already surrendered, or who are knocked-out.
Should be compatible with everything. I notice no performance/FPS issues -everything wraps up cleanly even if you leave the cell and come back, resurrect people in the console, or whatever other shenanigans I could think of.
It uses perks to trigger the knockout effect -I tested with Ordinator and found it is compatible. It also uses a bunch of obsolete variables that Bethesda coded in for every actor, but never actually implemented (such as "FavorPointsBonus" whatever that was supposed to be!) so if any other mod uses those too there could be a conflict, but I'm not aware of any.
It works beautifully with my other mod, Melee Power Knockback, which adds a cinematic oomph to your power attacks.
The knockout portion is incompatible with Racial Body Morphs SE because that mod uses skeletons that are a bit old. Instead, use that mod's more modern replacement, FK's Diverse Racial Skeletons -knockout works just fine with that one. Not compatible with Tyrannical Trolls nor Sinister Spriggans -their nif skeletons don't react well to ragdoll.
Why am I not like the other girls
There are other yield mods out there, but they don't do knock-out, and they use cloak spells to attach scripts to every actor around you. Now, not all cloak spell scripts are bad things, but many bad things are cloak spell scripts, so I went the extra mile to avoid them. Then there's the follower issue: in those mods even if you accept the baddies' surrender your follower may still finish them off anyway. This was a hard nut to crack because I didn't want to mess around with AI packages (because doing so then messes around with custom followers' AI and now you need a patch for Inigo, yadda yadda -it just gets bigger). Instead I found a decent compromise: your followers will still give chase for a few seconds for flavor, but after that they'll let them live. Everything I did is meant to be as unobtrusive/reversible/light as possible.
Also, there are other knockout mods out there, but they don't do yield, and in addition to the cloak spell issue above, they rely on the paralysis magic effect to simulate knockout -this makes the NPCs stiff. I wanted ragdoll instead, and I got it. Lastly, some other mods are limited to only certain weapons (maces) and I wanted more flexibility.
Install this mod first, then let MPK's knockbackViaRace.zip (latest version) overwrite the script files.
Sort to the bottom of the load order, below MPK.
Or seriously, do yourself a favor and just install Mod Organizer 2 or Vortex already; it's not 2012 anymore.
As soon as the game launches you'll get a little notification saying "Knockout and Surrender installed. Don't forget to enable Surrender in the MCM menu!." -if you see that, it means the mod is installed and should work. Don't forget to enable Surrender in the MCM menu. You also have a new minor power to toggle the knockout effect on and off.
Upgrading from previous versions: Basically you need a clean save. If you already know what that means, then just do that, carry on soldier. If you don't know what a clean save means then here is an explanation: uninstall knockout.esp or esl and clean your save file using Fallrim tools. Then launch the game without the mod, and in the console enter setstage SKI_ConfigManagerInstance 1 . This will remove the MCM menu -do confirm that it's gone. Save again: now you have a clean save (or as clean as it gets in Skyrim). Now you can install this mod again, normally, and enjoy the new options in the MCM menu (and this is true for any mod with an MCM: if it takes too long to show up after installing, you can always enter the code above in the console and wait a minute. It will come).
Upgrading from an ESP version: just overwrite the file, everything should work fine.
Remove the esp and the scripts -or turn off in MO2. Nothing much should be left behind in your savegame, but you can clean it up with Fallrim tools -which is another must-have if you're into modding.
- Can I configure how long the enemies stay surrendered or stay knocked-out?
It's not easy; unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to dynamically modify a magic effect's duration other than typing it in the Creation Kit. As of now, surrendering lasts an hour, and knockout lasts five minutes. Remember: you can bash them again to wake them up from a knockout, and if circumstances change anytime (if you take too much damage, or if they suddenly get healed or if they get new allies to fight you, etc.) they may decide to come out of their surrendered state and fight you again.
- Can enemies take other factors into consideration when deciding whether to surrender or not? Such the enchantments in my sword, or my Daedric armor, or my awesome sneak skill, etc?
All technically possible, but I want to keep the algorithm really light, so for now the only thing that matters is the skill related to the weapon you and they are using (or Destruction if you or they are mages), everyone's health, and how many other people are in either side of the fight. You can always play with the slider in the MCM to find a balance that works for you.
- Okay, what if I have a sword in one hand and a spell in the other? Which one counts for intimidation purposes?
Whichever is greater between your One-Handed and Destruction skills. Other magical schools don't count for surrender purposes.
- The enemies keep dying when I bash them! Or I killmove them with the shield!
Your bash probably does a ton of damage -this can happen with certain perks. Use Violens to turn off shield killmoves, and/or use this mod's MCM to tone down your bash damage to something more pacifist if you'd like.
- The enemies have their hands up in surrender, or are crouching in fear, but in their idle dialog they don't sound panicked!
I don't think I can mess with their idle dialog without involving package shenanigans, and I'm trying hard to stay very lightweight and avoid package shenanigans... but there might be no other way. I'm thinking about it...
- I knocked out / cowered everyone in the room, then I left to some other cell (through a loading door) and when I came back they had all woken up / weren't afraid anymore!
This is by design -I don't want to make permanent changes to any NPC. I want the mod to be safe to install/uninstall anytime and don't leave too many footprints behind.
- How does this handle the infamous Brawl bug? How about that part of the Companions questline where you need to punch Vilkas?
- Can you make it so that instead of killing someone to meet an objective you can just knock him out instead? For example, can you change it so that "Kill the leader of Serpent's Bluff Redoubt" becomes "Knock-out the leader of Serpent's Bluff Redoubt"?
I admire your pacifism, but sadly no -I don't know how to accomplish that in any lightweight way that would also work for mods. Just have your followers kill them off -followers will still chase and attack enemies for a few seconds after they surrender. We can't Undertale 100% of Skyrim, just the in-between parts.
- Can you knock out a dragon, or make him surrender?
Nope. Dragons and Dwemer automatons will never surrender. And there's a bunch of creatures that it doesn't make sense to knock out, realistically. The list includes: Undead (Draugrs and Skeletons), Lurkers, Chaurus, Ash Guardians, Werebears or Werewolves, Gargoyles, Vampire Lords, Dragon Priests, and Atronachs. You can still cower and knockout vampires and dremora though, as well as spiders, trolls, spriggans, bears, tigers, rieklings, dogs (you monster), and pretty much any other creature. Just let them see you swing your weapon and they'll decide what to do.
- Something terrible happened! Nazeem turned into a dremora! The Bannered Mare caught on fire! Ulfric is lollygagging!
Unlikely to be from this mod -I don't attach scripts to actors -I don't even give them perks. Knockout is classed as a magicaleffect with a finite duration, and so is surrender. Experienced modders: please feel free to review my source code; I always welcome all feedback!
- Seriously, you made your other mod a requirement dude?
Listen, I need to deliver the knockout spell somehow. When it was just bash, I could attach it a Perk entry point and be done with it, but to have *every* attack I needed a way into *every* attack and conveniently that's what MPK does. If I had just replicated MPK here I would have had to build a patch instead and that would be three files in your load order instead of two. But listen: if you don't want to knockback enemies all you have to do is use the MCM of MPK to reduce the chances to zero, and it'll be like it's not even there. Of course, I do hope you give it a try though -I think it's actually fun but I'm biased of course.