Surviving the Night¶
Money is a rare commodity in Librum, and there are several new mechanics to familiarize yourself with before we start:
Money weighs you down. Each coin weighs 0.01 unit, so you won’t be able to save up too much of it. This couples poorly with the new carry weight penalties catalogued in the next section.
You have to pay your followers to maintain their services. They need 500 Septims per week. This does not apply to certain mod-added followers like Lucien who are not incorporated into the follower framework.
Barter prices depend greatly on you, your reputation, and the person you’re trading with. Buying directly from producers and craftsmen will save you money, while trading with fences or general goods merchants will cost you. Merchants in bigger cities will have more gold to trade with. Prices will depend on your race, your faction memberships, your relationship with the merchant, as well as how covered in blood and dirt you are. Rain and swimming will clean you up a little, but you can also use the Wash and Rinse ability to clean yourself fully.
Loot is generally much rarer. It won’t be uncommon for you to unlock a chest and find nothing useful inside.
Many more things are considered crimes, and you’ll be fined appropriately. This includes waiting in cities (“vagrancy”), using crafting apparatuses without permission, using loud crafting apparatuses at night (“disturbing the peace”), hunting without a license, looting friendly corpses, and sitting in the Jarl’s throne. If you want to make money, be sure to follow the rules.
With that out of the way, there are a few good strategies to get money early on.
There is a follower in Falkreath who actually pays you to tag along
Since dungeon diving can be much more dangerous, don’t ignore the smaller quests just helping people around towns. These can give you a few hundred Septims for simple tasks. Every hold has some of these, so this can add up quickly. Check the notice boards and look for easy ones!
Alchemy and Smithing can make some money, but it’s going to be much more difficult. Since your early creations will probably sell for a mere handful of Septims, you might even come out at a loss after renting a workstation to make them. Enchanting is not actually even available until you take at least one perk in it.
Chopping wood and picking crops can net you some cash, but it’s a pretty low rate of return for the work, so make sure you’re selling it to someone who will buy for at least one or two Septims. That is, unless you’re in VR, where chopping wood is broken, so… avoid that.
Since buying and selling is going to be tough at a low speech level, don’t forget that giving alms to the poor grants the Gift of Charity bonus, which can help a little!
While armor and weapons don’t have a great value/weight ratio, the dead won’t miss it. Remember, though: looting friendlies is a crime.
On the topic of crime, steal it! Just remember that if you’re stealing goods, people generally get upset, and you’ll need a fence…
also if you come up with any, feel free to share because we’re also poor
Carry Weight Penalties¶
Your carry weight now becomes a factor before you hit the vanilla limit for over-encumbered. This is controlled by Cobb Encumbrance, and the specific settings can be found in the MCM. In short, the heavier your pack, the slower you move, starting when you are carrying half of your maximum. The movement speed penalty increases as more weight is added, until ultimately the weight of your pack will start to crush you to death. On the flip side, being below one fourth of your max weight will give you a slight speed bonus. Notifications will let you know as you pass through stages of encumbrance. Since being crushed to death is generally undesirable and being slow can get you killed, you’ll probably want to keep your pack light and your maximum carry weight high.
Just like vanilla Skyrim, having a home base is always a great way to hang on to all that iron ore.
Followers can carry a lot as well. NFF provides additional follower inventory separate from where you should give them equipment to use.
Some vendors have backpacks you can purchase to increase your total carry weight. Backpacks can also be crafted.
Enchanted items to increase carry weight are not only harder to find, but also unusable until you put a perk or two into enchanting. Don’t count on these in the early game.
Food, Water, and Fatigue¶
Through Sunhelm Survival and Needs, your character now needs food, water, and sleep to survive. In addition, diseases are more dangerous. For longer sojourns into the wilds of Tamriel, you will want to pack adequate supplies. Getting too hungry, thirsty, or tired will incrementally debuff your health, stamina, and magicka, as well as their regeneration rates. Go too long without tending to your needs can lead to your death.
Food can be gathered in all the usual ways: buying it, cooking it yourself, or just pulling it out of the ground. Stealing, too, if you’re the type. Hunterborn also makes hunting an excellent source of food. Be warned, however, that like crafting stations, you have to pay a fee to whomever owns the cooking station you’re trying to use if it’s owned. Furthermore, eating raw meat can be deleterious to the health of most races. Luckily, the camping mechanics allow you some basic cooking.
For the truly desperate or those so inclined, fresh humanoid bodies can be cannibalised. Just don’t let anyone catch you.
Water abounds in Skyrim, and you can use the Drink and Fill power to drink directly from clean water sources as well as fill any waterskins you are carrying. You can also find other items to slake your thirst, so keep your eyes open, and when necessary, salt water can be boiled at a campfire to make fresh water. Soup helps for hunger and thirst.
Werewolves recover both hunger and thirst when feeding, but changing back increases fatigue. Vampires get thirst back from drinking blood, too.
Diseases now progress through worsening stages, and several more have been added. Shrines will no longer cure you, either. Wise adventurers will buy or craft potions of cure disease, but you may be able to find Vigilants to cure you in the name of Stendarr.
Sleeping recovers fatigue (in addition to being necessary to level up), but you have to be careful where you sleep! You can craft or purchase bedrolls to sleep anywhere, but most places will leave you vulnerable to attack. If you must sleep in the wild, be sure to set up traps for protection. Sleeping at inns is a much better option, despite the small fee. Joining a faction, like the Companions, is also a great option for early game. No place is 100% safe from attack, though.
Weather and Camping¶
Frostfall makes the cold weather of Skyrim something to be truly feared, but it also gives you the tools to survive. The details are too much for this guide, but the website is thorough. Pay attention to the plethora of powers added by this mod, as knowing how and when to use them can save your life. Some tips:
Be careful in snowy places! Bad weather can increase your exposure very quickly, including reducing your movement speed, making it even harder to find shelter. Swimming or otherwise letting your gear get wet just makes it worse. Dying is very easy. Come prepared.
Campfires need wood, which can be gathered in wooded areas.
At a campfire, you have lots of options for your survival needs, including a whole set of skill trees as you get better at enduring the harsh environments you will face in your travels. Don’t ignore them!
You can and should also bring a tent with you any time you might face being stranded in some frozen wasteland. This isn’t quite as bad in the low-level areas, thankfully.