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About this mod

Character creation overhaul. Choose how old your character is and how they spent their life up to this point in order to generate starting stats, skills, gear, bonuses, drawbacks and level. Optionally return later to simulate your character aging.

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How is this different from other character creation mods?

DwB offers 4 main things that other character creation mods do not have:

Firstly, it provides a backstory for your character. Other mods let you pick a class to choose who your character IS, but don't let you choose where your character has come from and how they got here, which are critical for establishing where they are going. DwB lets you choose whether you were born with good genetics, which god your family worshipped, what your favourite childhood games and adolescent interests were and what your driving desires are, among other things. This makes the character feel like less of a "drop-in" who materialised the moment you hit new game.

Secondly, it allows you to choose your character's age. In most other character creations mods, character age is purely a cosmetic thing you choose with the racemenu sliders that has no ingame effects. A 20 year old and a 60 year old both start with the same stats and skills. DwB differentiates between the ages, for example: younger characters have less skills and money, but older characters are less physically robust and slower to learn new tricks.

Thirdly, it allows you to start above level 1 with level and backstory appropriate starting gear in an immersive fashion. Older characters choose their career path, based on age and choices you can start at almost level 20 with expert level skills and a solid assortment of appropriate gear, eg. an old-aged could wizard is already an expert enchanter who starts with a number of enchanting templates they learned over the years.

Fourthly, it provides a means to simulate the passage of time "offscreen". Useful when, for example, your character becomes a guild master or starts a family and in-character they would stop adventuring for a while. Without passage of time mode your choices would be to retire the character and start a new game or break roleplay and just go do something else anyway. Also useful to "spread out" the world ending crises that all happen within a few days of each other.

This all means that DwB is aimed more at roleplayers than rollplayers, but minmaxing the custom class system could still give you a fresh spin on character creation.

With Alternate start, character creation and race mods:
DwB should generally be compatible with all alternate start and character creation overhauls, though place it after them in your load order. To use with alternate start mods, simply wait until you "properly" start the game before using the "Remember your past" power (ie. when you leave the realm of lorkhan, after using the live another life bed, after spawning with unbound etc.). To use with other character creation mods, use the other mod first and then remember your past. This will wipe all stats and skill changes from the other mod to start you fresh, but retain other effects (eg. CCO's dynamic skill progression).
With other mods:
Experience: Complete the backstory process before enabling experience or you will be locked at level 1
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul/Skyrim Unbound/Bring Meeko to Lod: Patch available
With vampire mods: Vampirism itself is not affected, but using Fate: Undeath may not transform you correctly. Use at your own risk.

How to Start:
When you start the game you will have 3 new powers, "Forget your past", "Let Time Pass" and "Remember your past". Forget will clear the powers, remember will start the character overhaul and Let Time Pass will skip you directly into passage of time mode. Forgetting your past will also give the player flames and healing, which you no longer start with. WARNING, starting the overhaul will nuke your skills and stats as well as completely empty your inventory, store anything you care about in a container first because you won't get it back. This ONLY applies to "remember your past", "let time pass" does not affect your inventory or starting stats. Once you start you will be teleported to a cell where you can write your autobiography. Once you finish writing your life story, the door will teleport you back to where you cast the power and give you your starting stats/gear etc. This power should be used as early as possible in a playthrough.

Age Brackets:
Now starting as a teenager vs an old man actually has gameplay effects. Older character get more starting gold, gear, experience and levels at the cost of health/stamina recovery rate and xp gain. The youngest characters have less total stats and skills than with a vanilla Skyrim start but with better regen and higher xp gain. Higher age brackets also get more assorted traits and quirks to add flavour to the build. The playable age brackets are: Coming of Age, Adulthood, Middle Age and Old Age.
Check the mod images for detailed breakdown of ages.

Skill and Stats:
In DwB, your skills and stats are dependent upon your choice of race, birthsign, childhood games, number of siblings, parent's careers, your adolescent interests and career path. All characters will start with their race, birthsign, childhood and adolescence options, with each subsequent bracket getting a career choice. Can choose to dabble in multiple different careers instead of mastering one. Race, birthsign, childhood and adolescence options will SET your skills, thus NOT contributing to levelups. Career choices will ADVANCE your skills, which WILL contribute to leveling up.
Check the mod images for detailed breakdown of the various skill and stat increases.

Traits and Quirks:
In addition to your general stats and skills, you can flavour your playthrough will a variety of buffs and maluses through the choice of various quirks and traits. Older age brackets unlock additional trait and quirk options. All characters get 6 genetics choices, 4 desires and 1 talent choice, adults gain an additional vice, middle age gain 2 focuses and old age get 2 neglects. Additionally, each age bracket unlocks an OPTONAL Fate, which are difficulty enhancers.
Check the mod images for detailed breakdown of the various traits and quirks.

Starting Gear:
The starting spells and all your items will be removed on Remembering Your Past, with a fresh set of starting gear given to you when you leave the mind palace based on age bracket and career choice. As with the skills and stats, making a custom career will allow you to choose your starting gear.
Check the mod images for detailed breakdown of the various sets of starting gear.

"Game Options":
When you first start the character creation process you are given 3 general "game options". These change your skill/stat gains. The option marked "(default)" is the one reflected in the overview images.
1: Career skills are linear or career skills have diminishing returns (default). Makes careers either have the same increment for apprentice/adept/expert or makes them give more skill-ups at apprentice level and less at expert. 
2: Intelligence affects XP (default) or Intelligence affects careers. Makes intelligence/career focus choices and the age bracket multipliers affect either your "in-game" xp gains or your "career" gains. 
3: Stats are balanced or stats are minmaxed (default). Balanced stats raise your base health/stamina/magicka but substantially reduce the stat increases from the various choices. 

Passage of time mode:
This is not exclusively for character creation. It can also be used to simulate slower periods of your character's life in between their exploits. Eg. after you get married and adopt a child in your hearthfire home you may want to simulate a few years as a family-man before your next dungeon crawl. Every time you leave the mind palace (unless you are max age) you get 2 powers similar to the "remember/forget my past", one of which removes them from your powers menu and the other which teleports you back to the mind palace to fill in the next chapter of your story. Your items will not be removed on subsequent visits. The mind palace is NOT a portable storage, your character menu (and thus your ability to drop items from your inventory) will be disabled while you are here. Cannot be used when in combat, probably safest to dismiss your follower as well. Passage of time will open the character customization menu to allow the player to add new scars and grey out their hair etc. If you CTD on using passage of time mode you have too many hair mods installed. Does NOT actually manipulate the in-game clock for compatibility reasons.

Retiring your characters:
When you leave the mind palace in the old age bracket, instead of the normal progression of time powers you gain 2 new ones, one removing the powers and one teleporting to the mind palace. Returning to the mind palace this final time allows you to write your characters' memoirs, write a will and choose how and where they want to be buried. Finally, you can use the coffin, the game will play your character's eulogy based on which quests and choices they made. Allows you to give your old characters a grand send-off when you are done with them, instead of simply never loading their save again.

A note on balance:
This mod provides trillions of possible starting combinations in the coming of age bracket alone. It was impossible to fully playtest, let alone maintain perfect balance. Certain builds are objectively better or worse than others and will result in a much easier or harder start. Life isn't fair in Skyrim either. With that said, I made an effort to ensure that no amount of minmaxing would result in a character that was unplayably bad or game-breakingly overpowered.

Example Builds:
Examples of the sort of diverse roleplay character builds DwB creates. One descriptive example for each age bracket.
Check the mod images for detailed breakdown of stats/skills/starting gear of these example builds (note, these were built with 1.0 not 2.0. Slightly outdated).

Bjarthe of the River is a Nordic girl who has just come of age. She is quite petite and prone to falling ill, her looks are plain and she is fairly average athletically, she is quite smart and bears the spark of natural magical ability. She was born in the month of Hearthfire, under the sign of the Lady. Her family were the practical sort and never had much place for the gods in their life. She spent her childhood playing with her dolls and exploring the world of imagination, when she wasn't being teased by the local boys. As she reached her formative years the nature of the teasing changed and she started to spend a lot more time with them. She also started to spend her allowance building herself a small library of fantasy novels and learning how to cook, finding that she had a real talent for it. The time has come for her to start to find her way in the world, she longs for adventure, fame, magic power and maybe, just maybe, some forbidden secrets.

Tyreas Vlinianus in an Imperial who is at the peak of his 20s. He is a fairly average across the board.
He was born in the month of Sun's Dawn, under the sign of the Lover. His family were devout worshippers of Talos, which got them killed during his early teen years. When he was a child he was a little terror, getting into places he didn't belong and taking things that weren't his, never to be found when his mischief was discovered. He also helped his tailor mother work on clothes to his shame, though it taught him to be nimble with his fingers. As he reached his early teen years and his parents were killed, he was forced to fend for himself. He put his skills to use stealing to eat, was forced to learn how to survive without a roof over his head and fight with the other cast-offs to keep what little he had. His experience stealing and talent for running away turned into a career as he became a young man, until eventually he made a mistake and spent some time in the cells. His sentence is finished, and he has decided to start a new life. He wants enough money to never have to worry about stealing to eat again, to be known as something other than the local thief and a wife to love. A healthy dose of revenge against the Thalmor for turning his life upside down wouldn't go amiss either.

Gonis Mjorikson is a Nordic man starting the long, slow march into middle age. He isn't too bright, has a face only a mother could love and never had the spark of magic, but he is strong, healthy and tall. He was born under the sign of the serpent, a poor omen. His family was a simple one, following Zenithar's teaching on hard work. He spent his childhood years playing ball, fighting with sticks and playing "harmless" pranks. During his formative years he often went camping to get away from his boring village, whittling small figures out of wood or bone. Most of all though he enjoying fighting with the boys his age after getting drunk in the tavern, and earned a reputation as having a steel fist and an iron jaw. When he came of age he found work at his village's lumber mill, the pay was poor but he learned to "supplement" when people weren't looking. Over the years his love of the inn soured into a cycle of alcoholism, to distract him from his poverty and tedious life. He fell off a horse while on a particularly bad binge, and hit his head hard enough to dull his wits even further. After a number of years he moved from the lumber yard to the halted-stream mine in Whiterun hold, breaking rocks instead of wood but essentially still the same job. He focused on learning to enjoy the little things, overcoming his alcoholism. He managed to find love, marrying one of the plain local girls and buying a small home for them, though she tragically died too young. Now, alone again and looking back on a dull life, he has decided to strike out and put his skills with the axe to new use. Hoping to find adventure, wealth, fame or just someone else to love.

Guildach Andas is a Breton man with one foot in the grave, sometimes literally in his profession. He is small, even for a Breton, and not very athletic, he is fairly average in looks and health, but is whip-smart and magically active. He was born in the month of Morning Star, under the sign of the Ritual. His family were worshippers of Julianos, and they were thrilled when he displayed magical aptitude. His small size and magical nature made him a constant target of bullying by the local Nords. Hecoped with this by lashing out against the younger children, bullying them in turn. He also discovered the joys of secretly torturing small animals and burning things. As he reached his formative years he was still shunned, so spent much of his time reading, often about things that civilised folk don't speak of. He also discovered the quiet, constructive outlet of painting, which he was quite good at, and for a time his cruelty subsided. As he came of age, he was taken as an apprentice to the local court wizard, finally having his magical affinity recognised as a gift and receiving proper training. The hours were long though and his job demanding, the stress caused him to turn back from art to petty torments. His personality and potential caught the eye of a group of necromancers, and he was tempted away from his old job to join them. Cold, damp crypt air isn't good for your health, he developed serious pneumonia which never truly healed. He bought a small house in which to continue his work instead. He took to necromancy with passion, and his brush with death made him spend more effort maintaining his health. Many more long years were spent studying necromancy, until he advanced to being as old and experienced as the one who once recruited him. At this point he had strayed far from the light of the Divines, openly worshipping Mannimarco. It had also been decades since he concerned himself with women. With his body failing him, he turned to vampirism in desperation to prolong his life. He has abandoned careful study in his crypt and has now turned to searching Skyrim for the information that has eluded him: Immortality, magical power, the lost arts of the dwemer and whatever other Daedric secrets he can get his hands on.