There's an entire Skyrim mod dedicated to making you feel bad and weird about killing anybody, adding over 200 handwritten letters detailing their rich, inner lives

An editied image of a scene from Austin Powers, wherein the mother of a Henchman's son breaks the bad news to him that his father has passed away.
(Image credit: Bethesda / Valve / Warner Bros. Pictures (New Line Cinema))

An old trick that any D&D Dungeon master knows well has snuck its way into Skyrim—thanks to modder Frib on Nexus Mods

Picture this: It's TTRPG night with your mates. You encounter some bandits on the road. You hurl a broad variety of spells, weapons, and arrows at the poor sods—one of them watches their friend get turned into a cow before the barbarian swings in and cleaves his head off. In the aftermath, the DM unfurls a crumpled, tea-stained note they painstakingly prepared: That bandit was Jeff. He had a wife, a family, and a bright spotted dog. Shame on you. Shame!

Well, now you can have a very similar experience in Skyrim. Shame of Skyrim adds over 200 personalised notes to enemies in the game—though they won't all cast them in a sympathetic light: "Reading some of these notes will make you feel ashamed for killing the holder. Other notes may make you feel ashamed that those people existed in the first place. Or maybe you're just dead inside and this doesn't affect you at all. Shame!"

In case you were worried that your Dragonborn might grow encumbered with tear-soaked letters, Frib reassures players that there's only around a 10% chance of getting your heart torn out of your chest. "But if you want more or less, you can simply edit the distribution ini file." Flicking through the .esp itself, there's some doozies in here: 

"Your brother has fallen in a battle with the Stormcloaks. I know you two have grown apart over the last few years, but I figured you should know. I hope you're doing well, wherever you are. Please know that we will always love you."

"My sweetroll, I will endure. Just a few more days and I will finally be done with these pigs. Then you will be let go as well, and we can finally leave this horrible mess behind us. Until then, you are always in my thoughts, and I love you."

"Hello, I'm in a bit of a mess. Could you help me out? I got tossed into a group of bandits and I don't like it. They seem to think I'm one of their peers. Probably a mix-up with someone else.  Could you please inform the Jarl? Would be great to have this place cleared out, but please tell the Jarl to spare me!"

… Oh no. Maybe we just burn that one.

Of course, as Frib promises, not every letter is going to pull on your heartstrings—some of them might make you feel retroactively justified. Here's a cultist with orders to go capture a Dibella worshipper: "Their beauty will fade, their skin will scar by repeated burnings, their screams will trigger a reaction from Dibella." Yeesh.

All of these notes are genuinely pretty fun, adding a dash of character and humanity to places you'd least expect—vampires, for example, talk a lot about how evil they are and how much they'd like to drain cattle. But there are some who want to escape their "skeever-infested shithole[s]". Until you came along and staked them, I guess. Shame!

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.