Ultra niche Skyrim mod lets you become the most potent mage of all: the fist wizard

Somewhere in a filing cabinet is a contract. On that contract is my name and the name of my employer—PC Gamer's publisher Future PLC—and a job title: "news writer". And look, if someone assassinates the JFK of videogames* I'll be there to break it down for you, but personally? I think my true job is telling you about tiny, mini, minute, trifling little mods that I find very amusing and intensely niche. And guess what, friends? I've got another one for ya.

ELAF Left Hand Shield Bash is a mod from a creator named—get this—ELAF, and it rectifies one of the venerable RPG's most glaring oversights: that players and NPCs cannot use their unarmed left fist to absolutely batter interlopers who get within punching distance. In Todd Howard's world, the left hand is a purely auxiliary extremity: you can use it to wield a shield, a spell, or a second weapon, but if you have nothing in it while you're wielding something in your right hand, you can't use it as a weapon unto itself. Attempting to use an unarmed left hand (while the right is armed) just makes you block.

What kind of world is it that lets you be half a wizard but not half a boxer? A bad one, I reckon, and that's presumably why dear old ELAF has set out to fix it. Using their mod, you'll be able to restore your left fist to its rightful place as a Mack truck full of justice addressed to your enemies' faces, capable of staggering them and knocking them flat. You're still a wizard, really, but a wizard of a new type. The fist wizard, whose grimoire is more of a pamphlet, consisting as it does of one very effective spell delivered fast and repeatedly. No verbal or material components necessary.

It might seem like a minor change. That's because it is. But like all these hyper-particular mods, ELAF's effort has earned its fair share of plaudits from Skyrim players with big, specific dreams. "I always wanted to do this!" squees a user named tinaslynn in the mod's comments section, "You, my dear, are a genius!" Another, Norman46spear, says "Now I can punch bandits without my bow. Knuckle sandwiches for everyone. Thanks."

If you're interested in the closed left fist lifestyle, you can find ELAF Left Hand Shield Bash on Nexus Mods. It has a couple of prerequisite mods: the Nemesis Unlimited Behaviour Engine and Spell Perk Item Distributor. Once you've got those, it's just a matter of dropping ELAF's opus into your Skyrim Data Files folder and ticking the .esp on in your mod manager of choice. Happy hitting.



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Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.