This Skyrim mod is a whole new, standalone DLC with unique NPCs

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Skyrim is the gift that keeps on giving, over a decade and 60 million copies later, the Bethesda RPG game has so many incredible Skyrim mods that it can be difficult to find ones that stand out. With the Elder Scrolls 6 release date still a ways off, I’m always fascinated by the mods that add entirely new locales, NPCs, and quests to the game, sort of like mini DLCs, and this new Skyrim mod is exactly that.

Called Harthstone Isles and developed by Arcane University, a group of student modders being helped by the team behind Beyond Skyrim, this Skyrim mod is all about custom assets, NPCs, quests, and more.

A new land archipelago now sits between Skyrim and Roscrea, and it’s filled with original game writing, concept art, and 3D level design, using Skyrim as a vehicle for a completely original project. There are “14 weird and wacky residents – and two well-traveled hot springs enthusiasts,” five quests, multiple original locations, multiple dungeons, and custom music too.

“This small archipelago might’ve remained undiscovered for all time, if the East Empire Company hadn’t stumbled over it when a drunk captain took a wrong turn starboard on their way to Roscrea,” reads the Skyrim mod description. “Whilst humble in size, this spa-to-be is home to a small community of unique individuals (for better or worse) and is a shining beacon of Imperial expansion that doesn’t butt heads with Solitude.”

Once you’ve got the mod installed just go to Windhelm docks and take a ship to the archipelago and you’ll have a delightfully humorous mini-adventure, which is absolutely perfect for Skyrim.

I’ve got to say, I love that after a decade Skyrim is being used as a teaching and teamworking tool for aspiring developers. Not only does it give us players really cool new content, it lets these people stretch their creative muscles in an environment they already know, instead of starting completely from scratch.

If you want more, don’t worry, we’ve got all the best games like Skyrim you should be trying out, alongside all the essential open-world games you need to revisit or add to your ever-expanding backlog.

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