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REF-SKYRIM CONSOLE: It was suggested on another page that one could use the help function to search for a follower's base ID. However I clicked 'help' and found only a menu of topics, all static (no search/query option),. So, how DOES a tyro like myself find the base ID so I can use it to make my follower essential? I know the command but I lack the Base ID, not the Ref ID

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When it comes to the console there are three types of commands:

The help command is an untargeted command but requires a "parameter" to be entered as an argument. Like most commands, help can take multiple parameters, but we're only interested in the first one: "filter". This is text used to filter the search, and so the command you enter looks like this: help "<filter text>". So if you wanted to find Lydia you can type help "Lydia" (for single word filters the parentheses/braces are optional).

That works well in game, but there is another way using the fantastic online resource: UESP (Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages). This website has just about every piece of information available on every Elder Scrolls game, this includes a list of followers in Skyrim. You can find your follower in this list or use the search box on the left to find them (every person in Skyrim has their own info page). Go to the followers individual page and the infobox on the right will show their "base id" and their "ref id". The base id can be used to create a new copy of the follower, the ref id can be used to manipulate a reference of the NPC that is already in the world (recommended).

Since you want to set a follower as essential you'll need to use the base id along with the setessential targeted command. This command uses two arguments; "baseId" and 0/1 (where 0 is mortal and 1 is essential). So, for Lydia, we can take her baseId from the help command or from the UESP and use the command setessential 000A2C8E 1 to make her essential.

Is there and easier way to do this? - Of course, mods!

Since you have access to the console then you're on PC and also have access to mods. There are lots of great follower mods that do many things included setting a follower as essential, examples include Ultimate Follower Overhaul (no SE version available) and Amazing Follower Tweaks (SE version).

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