Tutorial Creating a Playable Race
Sometimes, you may want to create a custom race, usually for visual reasons. Maybe you have a four-eyed Khajiit model, or a variation of a High Elf who has no magical talents. A player might want a race that looks unique, or has different stats and racial abilities that we wouldn't want to add to the original races of Skyrim.
This page covers the process of creating a playable humanoid race in the Creation Kit. Actual creation of art is not covered, this guide will use stock Skyrim art in the examples. You may want to check out the Race page for a description of fields not covered here.
Creating A New Race
It is easiest to start by duplicating an existing race, there's a lot of important data that we don't actually need to create or edit. In this example, we will create a simple edit that you can easily see in-game: The Red Breton, who has cherry red skin and hair.
Navigate to the Character>Race section in the Object Window, and double-click on BretonRace. Change the ID field to "RedBretonRace" and click Ok in the bottom left of this window. Select Yes to create a new object, which duplicates everything fron BretonRace to RedBretonRace. Duplicating first is a good habit to be in, to ensure you don't accidentally edit the original objects. Now double-click our new RedBretonRace to bring it back up for editing.
Editing The New Race
First, under Copied Data, set BretonRace for Morph Race and Armor Race. Morph Race sets this race to use any face morph and HeadPart assigned to BretonRace. Armor Race automatically flags this race for all armor pieces, otherwise armor or clothing won't be visible later when we check in-game.
Let's also set the Starting Health to 100, Red Bretons are red because they have more blood than anyone else. The Text Data tab is the text shown when creating a character, set the name to "Red Breton", and edit the description to include "Red Bretons have more blood." at the end. It's helpful to click back into the Name field at this point, the automated spell checker will offer suggestions, but we can ignore those.
If you haven't already, check Preview: head at the bottom of this window to see a preview of the face.
At this point, the plugin can be saved, and Red Breton is a completely functional custom race. The rest of the page demonstrates some of the visual options a race can have.
Hair and Skin Color
In the Face Data tab, we can ignore everything but "Available Hair Colors". Right-click and select New, you'll see we only have a limited list of available colors: a FormList is used here, which contains a list of ColorForm entries. So let's head to Miscellaneous>ColorForm in the Object Window, right-click and select New, and set these values:
- ID: HairColorRED
- Name: Red
- Check Playable
I used 255,0,0 which is the reddest color possible.
Now to add this color to the list, head to Miscellaneous>FormList, and double-click on HairColorList to edit it. With this window open, navigate back to HairColorRED in the ColorForm section, drag it into the HairColorList and click ok.
Back in our race window, we can right-click into the Available Hair Colors, select new, and add HairColorRED. We can also set this to be the default hair color via the dropdown below. Also, if you want to restrict non-red hair color options, right-click and delete them from this list.
Moving to the Tinting tab, let's change the skin color to the same bright red. Select Skin Tone.dds to show the list of available preset colors to the right. A Red Breton shouldn't be anything but red, so right-click and delete all the natural skin tones first, then right-click to create a new entry. This section allows us to pick from any ColorForm entry, so we don't need to edit a FormList here. Even though we called it HairColorRed, go ahead and pick that. A Default Value slider below lets you choose how much to blend this color option with the base skin tone, I used 0.70. You will need to tap the Head preview checkbox to see this update in the 3d preview. Note that the rest of the tint mask options won't be visible here, this section is for defining the textures/tint colors only. If you need to preview these, create an NPC using Bethesda_Tutorial_Creating_an_Actor.
Hairstyles and Beards
All head models, hair, beards, etc are found in the Character>HeadPart section. Each is assigned to a race via the "Valid Races" dropdown, which is a FormList that contains race entries, similar to how hair colors are stored in HairColorList. Valid lists are prefixed with HeadParts* or Races*, because we opted to set Morph Race earlier, RedBretonRace is automatically included by proxy to any list that RaceBreton is a part of. Setting new hairstyles for your race to the existing lists is easier, but you may want to create a list that only contains your race.
At this point, we're done editing the race, click ok to close this window. Save your file and check it out in-game! Using the console command ShowRaceMenu, you can quickly test using an existing saved game.