Skyrim players may notice their companions taking damage more quickly than would normally be expected at their level. Symptoms include companions dying or dropping out of fights after only a couple swings.
It turns out there’s a bug that will cause companion NPCs to rack up a huge negative damage modifier. If the player hits the companion with Marked for Death (not unusual due to friendly fire), the NPC may retain with the effect permanently, making the msusceptible to taking massive damage in every fight.
For PC players who suspect their companion may be afflicted with this issue, there’s a simple way to check using the in-game console. With the companion in front of you, hit the ~ key on the keyboard. This should bring up the interactive text console. Type the following while facing the companion:
If the result is a negative number, your companion is probably affected. (Mine was -20000!) Fortunately, the fix is simple:
restoreav damageresist 9999999999
This should reset the character’s damage resistance to a positive value. No more fragile companions! You may also want to check out the Unofficial Skyrim Patch mods to help avoid bugs like this from recurring in the future.