The Elder Scrolls

Mod idea: Real College (with exams, assignments, textbook, thesis etc)

Hi, I'm the creator of the DLC mods Shezarrine and Death Consumes All, and the functional Immersive Speech Dialogues and Stock Market of Skyrim.

To start this topic, I'll make the controversial claim that the College of Winterhold is the worst faction in the game. It has boring quests, boring story, boring characters, with labyrinthian being the only redeeming point of the College of Winterhold. The Companions are pretty bad too but at least it has a few cool characters.

But narrative aside, two of the worst parts of the College of Winterhold is that you don't need to be a mage to complete it, and that the college is just a dungeon guild ultimately.

Some of the mods already tackle these by adding

  1. more stuff to the college
  2. skill requirement for the questline to progress

I don't use many college mods so please let me know if other mods already include the following functions.

What I might add to the college would be

  1. entry test – it should be an aptitude test to see if you have enough magicka and some understanding of magical lore. You're there to learn, you shouldn't be expected to know spells already
  2. assignments – every week, the professor would give out assignments to the students, some might be to cast a newly learnt spell on the professor, some might be field studies, some might be paper-writing, some might be reading tasks that the professor will ask question of
  3. teaching – every week, the professor should teach you a new spell if you attend the lecture, or if there are no spells to teach, the lectures would raise your skill level; the lectures are held at specific time, if you miss the lectures, you might miss the answers of a few exam questions
  4. major/minor – you're required to choose a major/minor, you can only attend lectures of the major/minor, but you can always pay for the other professors' private classes
  5. tuition – you're required to pay tuition to Mirabelle or Tolfdir every semester (3 months) until you become the Arch-Mage, but you can also apply for scholarship if you have higher skill than the requirement
  6. exams – every semester's end, there would be an exam; you need to answer the exam questions by choosing the options, and you can only apply for scholarship if your exam results are above a certain level; you can only take the exams if your skill level meet the requirement, the lectures are enough to raise your skill level to there, but you can always pay for private classes
  7. semester – you need to pass the exam to advance to the next level, it is only possible to accept the master spell quest by completing four semesters, each semester representing one level (apprentice, adept, expert, master); if you didn't pass the exam, you need to stay at that level for another semester
  8. level – higher levels come with their perks, in the form of the jobs available, apprentice are only allowed to do basic work for the library or do some errand for the professors, adept are allowed to help participate in researches, and so on; higher level jobs pay more
  9. textbook – you're allowed to not buy textbooks, but you won't be able to answer the exam questions unless you've studied them; but some other students may have bought the books, you could try to ask them to share it with you or resort to a less… graceful option
  10. quest requirement – the questline is locked behind level requirement, you must be an apprentice before you can go to Saarthal, adept before you can find the Augur, expert before you can find the staff, master before you can become the Arch-Mage
  11. thesis – the master spell quest, but more sophisticated, with a bit more story
  12. arch-mage benefits – collect the tuition, invest in the schools; you will now face competition from the Synods and the High University of Alinor, however… If you make the wrong decision for the college, the students will choose the Synods or the High University, and you'll receive less tuition

The ideas will likely be implemented in my quest mod, Shezarrine, which introduces Alinor City as a dystopian metropolis in a fantasy setting. We've made the High University of Alinor, where the Thalmor educate and potentially brainwash the younger. The player may choose to apply for the High University if they have high reputation in Alinor and enough money.

I may or may not make the Real College mod because I need to work on Shezarrine's quests too, but if some quest designers or people familiar with package or scripts want to join, we can work together to complete the Real College mod.

Otherwise, let these ideas be known to a modder who has time and is interested 🙂

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