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A mod for the hunter who has nothing.

- by unuroboros (dragonsong)
- ongoing development by Teabag86

V1.5 readme, last updated March 13 2016


1. Introduction
2. Uses for Hunterborn
3. Requirements, compatibility, and patches
4. Alternative and recommended mods
5. MCM options
6. Field dressing
7. Skinning
8. Harvesting
9. Butchering
10. Foraging
11. Crafted items
12. Scrimshaw
13. Primitive cooking
14. Hunting knives
15. Monster Hunter
16. Credits, modder's will

Hunterborn changes the simple routine of kill-and-loot on animals into something more immersive. This mod has its origins in Realistic Wildlife Loot, but I wanted something more in-depth for the actual process of dressing down a kill, skinning it for its pelt, taking material from it for alchemy, and finally butchering its meat - based on the animal's weight, not just a single cut of venison.

Hunterborn is much more than just an "animal meats and recipes" mod, though. It is highly configurable (thanks to the awesomeness of the MCM), and is particularly suited to work with Frostfall and Realistic Needs & Diseases, for a primitive survival style of gameplay.

The most significant change Hunterborn makes to the game is taking away the loot window from most wildlife. Instead, you must first choose whether to dress it (clean the carcass and prepare it for processing) where it lies, or pick up the carcass and take it back to your camp / lair / nearest vendor. When you drop the "carcass" from your inventory, the original animal's body will appear at your feet, where again you have the choice to dress it, or pick it back up.

Note: Carcasses are (realistically) heavy. While you can easily pick up several rabbits, foxes, skeevers and the like, you will struggle to carry more than just one elk carcass, and you may not be able to lift a bear or a cow at all. See the MCM options section for more information.

After dressing a carcass, you're able to skin it, harvest it for ingredients like antlers, eyes, teeth, even hearts, and also butcher it for meat.

By default each of these actions takes time, and requires practice to improve proficiency. Again, there are options to customize these requirements in the MCM.

You can optionally smith (or buy) a hunting knife for yourself to get better results when skinning, harvesting, and butchering. The hunting knife is meant to represent a tool specific to the job - not a replacement for a combat dagger - and some of the higher quality knives also give bonuses or... other effects. By default a hunting knife isn't required since it puts a little more load on the scripting system. See the hunting knives section for more information.

Hunterborn includes two other notable features: Monster Hunter, and Foraging. With Monster Hunter, you can apply the same process for animals to monster-type creatures, like trolls and even dragons. For monsters, you have the additional options to sometimes extract blood or venom, and search the corpse for treasure. Forage is a skill (ability) that can provide useful materials from your surroundings, depending on the kind of terrain you're in; you may forage up some edible wild plants, or local alchemy ingredients, or firewood, and so on. You can even gain proficiency in foraging and choose to search for specific resources, for a truly nomadic style of play: Carry only the essentials with you, and find or hunt whatever else you need, wherever your adventures may take you.

Uses for Hunterborn
Besides changing animals from meat fridges into immersive resources, Hunterborn adds a lot to the game. If you'd like a high-level overview of how Hunterborn will change your game, rather than reading through the whole guide about every single feature, then this section is for you.

A more challenging, atmospheric Skyrim: Use this mod together with Frostfall, Realistic Needs & Diseases, and either SkyRe or Requiem. The combination of these mods gives you a very different game than what came in the box. (Or, well, from Steam.) You can choose to hunt for your own food and furs if you don't buy them, you can die of exposure and starvation, and the pace of the game in general slows down from action-adventure to something more like a true RPG.

As an alchemy overhaul: Combine Hunterborn with a mod such as Harvest Overhaul. There are 47 new ingredients added by this mod - all of them come from animal or monster carcasses - as well as a monster venom / blood system, several unique potions, and even a few custom alchemical effects. If your character is closer to druid than hunter, or scientist than mage, Hunterborn will give you a lot to discover and create.

To play as a primitive nomad: Want a real challenge? Combine Hunterborn with Random Alternate Start or Live Another Life, along with FF and RND. Pick or wait for a starting location that's out in the middle of nowhere. Strip all of your gear. Now try to survive as long as you can: You'll need to find shelter and food immediately, will have to craft crude weapons out of just what you can find, and find a way to make it back to civilization - if you so choose.

Requirements, compatibility, and patches
Starting with Hunterborn 1.4, the Dawnguard and Dragonborn DLC are required. (You can still grab 1.3.1 from the Nexus and it won't require any DLC, though it will be missing many of features from 1.4 onwards.) Also, SKSE and the (SkyUI) MCM are required. Make sure you have the latest version of SKSE for Skyrim from SkyUI on its own is a must-have; if you don't already have it, get it here:

Hunterborn uses a "FOMod" package-style installer that requires the Nexus Mod Manager, although you can install Hunterborn manually if you have experience with Skyrim's Data folder structure already. The installer will prompt you for any extra patches you want to include: RND, Campfire, CACO, Requiem, Wearable Lantern, and Lanterns and Candles. If you have Hearthfire, Hunterborn will detect it and automatically provide goat horns and mudcrab legs, no patch needed. If you have SkyRe or PerMa, Hunterborn will detect it and give you an alternative to the Gatherer perk.

Hunterborn has limited support for any other mods that add custom pelts, or animal ingredients, or meat. See the MCM options section for more information.

And what about conflicts? Hunterborn doesn't change any leveled lists or NPC's, so it needs no bashed patch / merging. However, because Hunterborn does change *how* you loot animals and *what* loot they have, it is functionally incompatible with other mods that change animal loot; see the MCM options section for suggestions on combining Hunterborn with such mods as SkyTEST, Immersive Creatures, Harvest Overhaul, and the like.

Hunterborn and Campfire
Hunterborn works great with Campfire and Frostfall, has been designed with FF in mind since the first version, and I couldn't even consider playing my own game without Frostfall (or Hunterborn, of course)

As of version 1.5 Hunterborn has a lot of Campfire compatibility built directly into the mod.
* Animal Fat campfire tinder recipe is included.
* Hunterborn meats can be cooked with Campfire Cooking. You now have the choice of using either cooking method. Hunterborn's Primitive Cooking can be used at any heat source. Campfire Cooking can be used only at the campfires you have created. Recipes will only appear if you have the appropriate meat in your inventory.
* Campfire campfires are automatically detected as a heat source and can be used for Primitive Cooking.
* Campfire is automatically recognised in the Hunterborn MCM and will enable the Fur Plate Recipe MCM toggle.

The Campfire patch included with Hunterborn does a few things:
* Campfire's Deadwood, Branches and Kindling added to the list of items found when foraging for Firewood.
* Added Scrimshaw recipe to create Campfire's Mortar and Pestle with Hunterborn's Animal Bones.
* Added Scrimshaw recipe to craft Hunterborn arrows with Campfire's Deadwood.

Note that foraging for firewood is meant as a replacement for using Campfire's harvest wood. This is because your forage level goes up with experience and provides more firewood based on your own character's progression. You still get varying results based on your environment, similar to Campfire's system. However, you're free to use either system or even both, as you prefer. Or for a completely different take on wood-gathering, try the mod Dynamic Things:

Hunterborn and Frostfall
No patch is required for Frostfall. "FrostfallWarmFoodDrink" Keyword has been added to 35 Hunterborn teas, soups and stews. When consumed these will grant you a warmth bonus against the environment. Note: Frostfall is not required as a master file.

There are just a couple gotchas to consider with FF + HB.

Firstly, Skyrim animations may get stuck when two different scripts are trying to control animation at the same time. If you are working on a carcass near a heat source (like a campfire), Frostfall may try to run the hand-warming animation while you're in the middle of the Hunterborn carcass animation. This could cause you to get stuck in an odd pose, and be unable to attack or sheathe / unsheathe. Turn off either the Frostfall animation, or the Hunterborn animation (on the Tweaks page; see below).

Secondly, Frostfall may sometimes tell you the scripting system is running too slowly. This usually happens when you dress, then skin, then harvest in quick succession, which hogs the Papyrus scripting system for longer than FF likes. It may sometimes happen if one operation (like harvest) takes just a little too long. If you're getting the script warning often, there are several things you can try: Turn off Hunterborn's animations; turn off the hunting knife requirement; use "process" on carcasses instead of each individual action; turn off the Frostfall notification; or give Papyrus more power by editing Skyrim.ini - see Frostfall's own Troubleshooting webpage for advice on how to do this.

Hunterborn and Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul


A NEW game is required for this patch to work correctly. Several Hunterborn scripts are run on the creation of a new game. If you use this patch on an existing save with Hunterborn installed it simply won’t work.

CACO is highly recommended to be used as a companion mod to HB. The goal of this patch is to make Hunterborn a seamless experience when used with CACO. As much compatibility as possible has been built directly into the Hunterborn main file. This reduces conflicts with other patches and allows for mixing and matching patches without issue. The patch is designed to incorporate the best elements of both mods for an even better playing experience.

* All alchemy ingredients have been balanced with CACO incorporating many new effects. Magnitudes and durations have changed for full compatibility.
* Butchering animals will yield CACO’s animal meats; thereby utilizing CACO’s new portion sizes, textures, meshes and recipes.
* The remaining HB only meats (dragon, rabbit meat, mudcrab meat and spider) are all fully compatible with CACO recipes and cooking.
* Portions (steaks) have been added to Dragon Meat.
* Added Rabbit Jerky and Dragon steaks to non-spoil and food FormLists.
* Primitive Cooking expanded to use all meats (CACO & HB) including steak portions.
* New CACO cooking ingredients added to some Hunterborn recipes for better balance.
* Tweaked some food recipes so they create more meals for better balance with CACO.
* New CACO textures applied to some HB meats and meals.
* All raw meats use the CACO weight measures, and I highly recommend setting the meat yield to conservative or even use the custom setting at 5-6%.
* CACO compatibility added for HB foraged edible plants, teas, meals and cooking recipes.
* 28 CACO Ingredients added to Hunterborn Forage. These have been carefully distributed by region across Skyrim and Solstheim. This will assist in gathering some of the rarer CACO ingredients that may presently be difficult to harvest.
* All poisons checked for compatibility with CACO.
* Increased magnitude and adjusted duration of the Deadly, Potent, and Virulent Spider Venoms to match the CACO changes to Frostbite Venom.
* Increased Chaurus Venom magnitudes to be in-line with the spider venom changes.
* Changed workbench for all Hunterborn potions and poisons that were using the Cooking Pot to now use the Alchemy Retort.
* HB Animal Fat will drop regardless of whether Wearable Lanterns or Lanterns and Candles are installed.
* Added Poultice Antiseptic recipe made with Animal Fat.
* Included recipe to convert Animal Fat to CACO’s Animal Tallow.
* Added numerous conditions to declutter the cooking pot on some existing HB recipes.

Some Hunterborn animal items and ingredients have been swapped with CACO equivalents for better compatibility.
* Bear Heart swapped with Bear Bile (same effects).
* Bears no longer drop animal fat, instead they will drop Bear Fat.
* Bull Horns (ingredient) removed and cows will now drop Horns (non-ingredient).
* Ox Heart (ingestible) replaced with Oxgall (ingredient)(same effect as Bull Horns).
* Dragon Hearts replaced with Dragon Teeth (same effects).
* Added Fox Fat to fox material drop list.
* Eye of Fox effects changed to (Discerning, Fortify Stamina, Restore Health, Thrill).
* Added Horn to Goats.
* Goat Heart swapped with Goat Eye (same effects).
* Added new ingredient; Polished Goat Eye (Poison Aversion, Lingering Dmg Health, Ineptitude, Dmg Stamina).
* Wolf Heart swapped with Wolf Liver (same effects).
* Added Spider Silk to all Spider drops.
* Added Chicken Feathers to Chickens.
* HB Recipes requiring any of the above swapped out items have been updated with the equivalent CACO items; namely the potions Blood of the Hunt and Hircine's Cloak.

Hunterborn and RND
There aren't any gotchas for these two mods. The RND patch included with Hunterborn does the following:
* All of Hunterborn's raw and cooked foods (including teas) gain RND satiety effects.
* And gain the ability to rot using RND's spoilage system.
* Several cooking recipes are adjusted to require water, milk, or honey (instead of honeycomb).
* The engraved bones (from Scrimshaw) will correctly cure the RND versions of the game's diseases.
* Adds animal bladders as a harvesting result for deer, cow, elk, and goat.
* Adds an *alternative* recipe for the waterskin, using the animal bladders.
* Provides a much higher chance to gather snow when you forage for edibles. You can melt snow into water at a cookpot.
* Added "FrostfallWarmFoodDrink" Keyword to 35 Hunterborn teas, soups and stews. When consumed these will grant you a warmth bonus against the environment. Note: Frostfall is not required as a master file.

Hunterborn and Requiem
As of Hunterborn 1.4 and Requiem 1.8+, this patch has been slimmed down and does almost nothing, because adjustments to damage values no longer need a patch and use the ReProccer instead. Mod author UnmeiX has put together a very comprehensive patch for Requiem and HB (and many others) which should provide more updated support. You can find it here:

Hunterborn and SkyRe / PerMa
Hunterborn automatically detects if you're running SkyRe, or PerMa and supplies some extra options and functionality if so - there's no extra patch to add, during installation. The added logic is specifically for the Wayfarer tree, which is hugely useful if you're already playing a hunter style character.

The new options are on the Compatibility page of the MCM for Hunterborn. They're on by default: The first option will add "quality leather" to your skinning results automatically once you've reached skinning level 4. (For SkyRe specifically, it will also add recipes to craft the quality leather armor at the tanning rack, which normally require the Gatherer perk to craft.) This is meant to replace the Gatherer perk. The second option will help - just a little - level up your Wayfarer skill by using Hunterborn on animal carcasses.

The Gatherer perk (from either mod) changes animal loot, so it isn't compatible with Hunterborn and taking that perk will actually start giving you an extra loot window "behind" the Hunterborn prompt. You do not need to take this perk since Hunterborn can provide "quality leather" on its own. If you do take or have the Gatherer perk, you can use the Compatibility page to actually remove it and refund the perk point(s).

Hunterborn and Lanterns and Candles
Lanterns and Candles is a mod that adds craftable, moveable light sources to the game. I was so impressed with the mod and being able to set out a few wine bottle candles around my camp (and then pick them up and move them when I do) that I felt compelled to add a way for animal fat to be rendered into tallow for crafting candles. So that is what this patch does! Harvesting most animals will now yield animal fat. Take it to a cookpot to do the rest.

Hunterborn and Wearable Lantern
This is a patch for Chesko's mod that adds a craftable, wearable lantern as a light source. The Hunterborn patch is very simple: It adds animal fat as a new harvestable item, and the fat can be converted into lamp oil at a cookpot. It also adds a new recipe for lantern oil using dwarven oil combined with bone meal. A Scrimshaw recipe has been added to craft Travel Lantern for those times when you don't have access to a tanning rack.

Hunterborn and Hunting in Skyrim
Built into 1.4.4, there is automatic support for Hunting in Skyrim's (by B1gBadDaddy) retextured skinned animals. This is enabled by default and can be disabled in the Hunterborn MCM, on the Compatibility page. This feature requires HiS version 1.3.7 or higher.

Alternative and recommended mods
For a different approach to hunting and skinning and harvesting animals in Skyrim, here are two other mods I recommend:
Hunting in Skyrim by B1gBadDaddy. High quality, comprehensive overhaul for the entire hunting experience!
Harvest Overhaul by Omeletter and Xubarku. Total ingredient overhaul with a module for animals.

Hunterborn pairs especially well with RND (by perseid9) and Frostfall (by Chesko). I would also recommend:
Perkus Maximus (PerMa) by T3nd0; PerMa replaces SkyRe. For the Wayfarer tree. Hunterborn has limited compatibility with Gatherer, see the note above.
Requiem by Xarrian and Ogerboss. An overhaul for a hard-edged, pen-and-paper style of Skyrim.
Fishing in Skyrim by Arodicus Snaux. So you can hunt AND fish!

And in no particular order, several other mods I recommend for a more immersive experience:
Craftable Moveable Containers by Zaria.
Dynamic Things by dominoid.
Equipping Overhaul by DragonDude1029.
Fighting Fatigue by Matthiaswagg.
iHUD by Gopher.
Immersive Armors by hothtrooper44.
Living Takes Time by Akezhar.
Random Alternate Start by Syclonix.
Realistic Room Rental by perseid9.
Skyrim Community Uncapper by Elys.
Wet and Cold by isoku.
Winter is Coming by Nivea.

Screenshots for Hunterborn use these mods:
ENB by Boris Vorontsov.
Requiem's game font.
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack by wrig675.
Climates of Tamriel by JJC71.
Enhanced Lights and FX by anamorfus.
Skyrim Flora Overhaul by vurt.
Skyrim HD by NebuLa.
Static Mesh Improvement Mod by Brumbek.
Tamriel Reloaded HD by 32cm
WATER by SparrowPrince.

MCM options
Hunterborn is designed to be highly configurable, but you can also run it without having to configure anything. Just open the MCM, start Hunterborn, and go hunting.

Want less meat? Want the material drops from a different mod? Want your pelts to sell for more with Economics of Skyrim configured for Inconceivable? Read on...

[ Features ]

By default when you field dress, skin, harvest, or butcher an animal, it will take time to complete. How much time is determined by a formula and you do get faster with experience (see the sections below), but if you'd rather that one or more of these actions never takes any time at all, you can toggle each of them with these options. Foraging can also be toggled; when on, using the Forage ability takes 1 game hour.

Small game
You can take away the Hunterborn interface for various small animals, here. For example, if you consider it more of a hassle than a feature to pluck and butcher a chicken, just uncheck that option. Note however that, with the exception of chickens, Hunterborn does add new processed goods to each of these animals - and some of them could be quite useful.

[ Tweaks ]

Default actions
When clicking on ("activating") a carcass, Hunterborn by default shows you a menu of options. You can change this default behavior, and use a different default behavior when you're sneaking, with these options. The first two control the default action for a newly-slain, "fresh" carcass. The second two options control the default action for a carcass you have "cleaned" by field dressing it.

The option to "Process" is available for a dressed kill. This conveniently combines skinning, harvesting, and butchering; but be cautious with this option at lower levels, since a large amount of game time may pass when processing bigger carcasses. If your default action is Process and you click / activate a carcass that has been completely processed, the carcass will be disposed.

Note that for monsters (see Monster Hunter, below), most of these options have no effect. The Process action can be used as a substitute for Search.

Here you can change options for the goods that animals yield, as well as one for hunting knives:
* Pelt values: If you have a mod that boosts or reduces merchant trading prices, it may help to configure pelt values accordingly.
* Material yield: If you want more or less miscellaneous materials from animals, like teeth and claws and bones, change this option to suit.
* Meat yield: Hunterborn can give you a realistic amount of meat from a carcass, down to just a single cut of meat. You can even pick a custom %, based on animal weight.
* Knives at merchants: If you want to buy hunting knives from various merchants, you can adjust how easy they are to find (including the more powerful versions).

Several options that are intended to make Hunterborn more 'realistic'. They may just be more hassle than they're worth for some players, though, so Hunterborn lets you toggle each on or off.

* Re-weight vanilla meat: Sets the weights of default raw meats, like beef, to something more realistic. (Beef goes from 0.2 to 2.0.) Naturally, this affects how many individual cuts of meat you receive when butchering.

* Remove Manual Loot option: Normally when you first activate an animal carcass (before cleaning it) you'll have an option on the menu to manually loot it - this is a safeguard in case there's a quest item on the animal or you just want a way to access loot in case of problems with the mod. You can remove this option from the menu for immersion purposes, here. Note that you do not need to use manual loot to retrieve spent arrows from a carcass; field dressing the carcass does this automatically.

* Prevent oversize stashing: When this option is checked, you cannot "stash" a carcass (put it into any container) if the animal is bigger than a certain size. Hunterborn can't determine the size of a container, so it's still possible to store a fox inside a jewelbox, if you wished.

* Prevent overburden pickup: This option does two things, both affecting when you can "pick up" an animal carcass. First, if you are already overburdened you will not be able to pick up any carcasses. This is different from Skyrim's own default burden rules, which allow you to keep piling on loot with no limit, only at the cost of limited speed. Second, you will never be able to pick up any carcass that weighs more than your burden limit x 1.5. So for example, if your carry limit is 200, you cannot pick up a carcass weighing more than 300.

* Prevent use in combat: Normally Hunterborn will not present its menu if Skyrim detects you are in combat or enemies are nearby. This prevents an unexpected loophole: Since time passes when you dress / skin / harvest / butcher (if you have those options configured), you can escape combat by using these actions on a carcass. You may need to turn this option off temporarily if you are "stuck" in a combat state, though. This option also controls the Forage and Scrimshaw menus.

* Require cookbook for obscure recipes: This option removes the requirement to find and read a certain book to gain access to a set of unusual recipes. (See the spoiler readme if you want full disclosure!)

* Require hunting knife: This option is off by default to improve script performance. Turning it on and using higher level hunting knives will definitely improve your results (as well as immersion!) so it's recommended if you have a machine powerful enough to run the game on its high settings. See the special notes for Frostfall near the top of this guide for advice on scripting performance, and see the section on hunting knives below for more information on how they work.

* Claws work as hunting knife: If you've got the above option checked, you can also instruct Hunterborn to treat Khajiit and Argonian claws as a crude form of hunting knife. This can be very useful for a starting character of these races, since you can begin skinning and harvesting immediately without having to buy or forage for a tool.

* Show screen blood: Certain actions on a carcass will throw a little blood onto the screen with this option on. Tidy hunters may toggle it off.

* Use animation for actions: On by default, this option causes your character to run a short 3rd-person animation whenever dressing, skinning, etc. Also applies to Monster Hunter. Note that Skyrim's animation system can get "stuck" when two different scripts (or mods) are trying to control animation at the same time. Try turning this option off if your character can't attack or sheathe / unsheathe after working on a carcass. Turning this option off may also slightly improve scripting performance.

* Enable bounty perk of foraging: At foraging level 5 and higher, this built-in perk provides a chance at extra ingredients from flora (like flowers and mushrooms, but also nests, hanging rabbits, and so on). This option is disabled by default since many other mods also provide similar functionality, but it's a recommended feature otherwise!

A note on "stashing": When you store an animal carcass inside of a container - for example, if you put a rabbit carcass into a chest at your camp - Hunterborn will no longer link that carcass to its original slain animal. Most of the time this won't matter and you shouldn't worry about storing small carcasses for later processing or sale. However, you will not be able to retrieve arrows from that carcass or use "manual loot" on it for any other custom loot that it had; it will revert to having the default loot for its species.

[ Hotkeys ]

These should be self-explanatory. Note that you'll need to be close enough to and targeting a carcass to activate it like you would normally. In Skyrim hotkeys also sometimes behave "sticky", especially if you try using a hotkey immediately after a spell, or another hotkey. Try sweeping your camera off and back onto the carcass, or just hit the hotkey again after waiting a couple seconds.

The Sense Direction hotkey is especially handy instead of using the corresponding power. Use it if you've turned off the compass entirely (such as with Immersive HUD) but still want to be able to tell direction without a lot of guesswork. Sense Direction starts as a very crude approximation ("I'm facing roughly north") but gets better with experience foraging, until your character is neatly able to distinguish 16 compass points ("I'm facing north-northwest"). Sense Direction won't work indoors because of game limitations.

The options for hotkeys are:

* Hide abilities in spellbook: Toggling this on will remove Forage, Primitive Cooking, Scrimshaw, Sense Direction, and Taxonomy from your spellbook. There's no sanity check if you've actually assigned hotkeys to those abilities, so make sure you do if you intend to use them. You can toggle this option off to add them back to your spellbook.

* Hide Hunterborn menu completely: With this option toggled on, activating an animal carcass should do nothing. No Hunterborn menu and no loot window will appear. (If another mod, such as SkyRe's Gatherer perk, would still show you the loot window or do something else, then it still will.) This could be useful if you've assigned hotkeys to every action and don't want the menu to come up accidentally, but isn't generally recommended since it becomes impossible to tell what's been done yet to a carcass. Also, because of a necessary difference in design, this option does not turn off the Monster Hunter menu from appearing.

[ Stats ]

Hunterborn has three different "skills" which you can level up: Skinning, Harvesting, and Foraging. (There is a fourth, "hidden" system for Strange Brew, you can find details about it in the spoiler readme if you so choose!) Your current level in each is listed here, as well as how many total animals you have cleaned (with field dress). More cleans mean you work faster (dressing / skinning / harvesting / butchering), simply because of hands-on experience. Your Skinning level also makes you faster at skinning, and gives you a better chance at a higher quality pelt. Your Harvesting level makes you faster at harvesting, and gives you a better chance at higher quality materials - it is also used as a requirement in several Scrimshaw recipes (see below). Your Foraging level does not make you faster at foraging (you will always spend 1 hour of time foraging), but does increase your chances of finding any materials (even in harsh terrain) and allows you to forage for specific resources, like firewood or alchemy ingredients from local flora. If you use Sense Direction, your sense gets more accurate with levels in foraging, as well.

This shows an example of how long it would take your character to dress, skin, harvest and butcher an average-size carcass - a deer. As noted above, these times go down as you accrue cleans and levels; see the sections below for more information. These estimates take into account your current hunting knife, if you've turned that requirement on.

Use this feature if you've decided your character has a background in hunting and should have several levels in Skinning / Harvesting / Foraging already. You can also use this feature to experiment, then reset yourself back to zero with the "Novice" choice.

[ Monster Hunter ]

Monster list
If you want to use Monster Hunter but only for certain monster types, toggle them on and off here. Dragons in particular may be troublesome with Monster Hunter, depending on other mods you have installed.

Tweaks for Monster Hunter. Currently there's only one:

* Corporeal dragons: When toggled on (requiring that you have dragons enabled on the monster list), you can extract blood, butcher meat, and harvest fleshy parts (eyes, heart) from dead dragons. This may seem a little unusual in the default game, where dragons are reduced to skeletons when slain - though there is at least one mod which keep the dragon's original appearance, named Dragon Remains. These additional components, particularly Dragon's Blood, can be fairly powerful: They are balanced with high-risk mods like Deadly Dragons in mind.

[ Compatibility ]

Hunterborn can be configured to work with other mods that modify animals and animal loot by using these options. It may not be a perfect fit; some mods would require a patch to work perfectly with Hunterborn. Those mods with patches (like RND, Frostfall) don't require any further configuration here. These options are simply to make Hunterborn more adaptable, without a hundred different patches.

* Add Taxonomy: This is an ability that will show up in your spellbook. Use it when looking at a carcass (not a living creature) from up close. This presents a menu that lets you loosely identify what kind of creature it is. Hunterborn will only be able to classify based on the animals it is meant to be compatible with, so this option isn't intended for use with other mods that add completely new animals. Taxonomy could also be useful if you find an "empty" carcass in the wilderness that Hunterborn isn't giving you a menu for (though this won't always work for certain set-pieces that are not truly animal carcasses), or if you installed and started Hunterborn after you already took down an animal, and Hunterborn doesn't recognize the kill. Taxonomy integrates with Monster Hunter if it is enabled.

* (SkyRe) Add SkyRe leather when skinning: This option is only displayed when Hunterborn detects that you have SkyRe installed. With SkyRe, the Gatherer perk (in the Wayfarer tree) changes what pelts you can receive from animals. This can include a quality pelt, used to craft the Quality Leather set included with SkyRe. This option will be checked by default if Hunterborn detects SkyRe, and you will have a chance to receive SkyRe's quality pelts once you reach skinning level 4. This option means you do NOT have to take the Gatherer perk, which has a conflict with Hunterborn (see note below). Since the Gatherer perk also gives you access to the quality leather armor recipes, this option will install a new set of recipes that you can access at the tanning rack; boots and helmet require skinning level 4, cuirass and gauntlets at level 5.

* (SkyRe) Hunterborn levels up Wayfarer: This option is only displayed when Hunterborn detects that you have SkyRe installed. With this option enabled, you can accrue a small amount of experience in SkyRe's Wayfarer tree when working on animal carcasses. Wayfarer already levels up pretty fast, so this feature has been designed not to contribute too much.

* Use custom pelts: With this option checked, when you skin an animal you will get only whatever hide / pelt items were on the animal when it died. You will not get any of the Hunterborn pelts, and your results won't depend on your Hunterborn skinning level or knife. In other words, use this option to REPLACE Hunterborn's pelts with another mod's pelts, or to use ONLY VANILLA pelts.
* Combine with Hunterborn pelts: With this option (and the above option) checked, when you skin an animal you will get both the hide / pelt items that were on the animal when it died, and a Hunterborn pelt - which will depend on your skinning level and knife. In other words, use this option to COMBINE Hunterborn's pelts with another mod's pelts.

* Use custom materials: With this option checked, when you harvest an animal you will get only whatever materials (alchemy ingredients) were on the animal when it died. You will not get any of the Hunterborn materials, and your results won't depend on your Hunterborn harvesting level or knife. In other words, use this option to REPLACE Hunterborn's materials with another mod's materials, or to use ONLY VANILLA materials.
* Combine with Hunterborn materials: With this option (and the above option) checked, when you harvest an animal you will get both the materials that were on the animal when it died, and Hunterborn's custom materials - which will depend on your harvesting level and knife. In other words, use this option to COMBINE Hunterborn's materials with another mod's materials.

* Use custom meats: With this option checked, when you butcher an animal you will get only whatever meats (technically, "potions") were on the animal when it died. You will not get any of the Hunterborn custom meat, and the amount / time required will not depend on Hunterborn settings. In other words, use this option to REPLACE Hunterborn's meats with another mod's meats, or to use ONLY VANILLA meats.
* Combine with Hunterborn meats: With this option (and the above option) checked, when you butcher an animal you will get both the meat that was on the animal when it died, and Hunterborn's custom meats - the amount of which depends on your Hunterborn settings. In other words, use this option to COMBINE Hunterborn's meats with another mod's meats.

* Use custom textures: Specifically designed for the Automatic Variants mod, toggling this option prevents a bug when field dressing that resets an animal's texture to default. This happens because field dress removes extraneous items from the carcass, and mods like Automatic Variants use a trick with armor items to re-skin a model dynamically. The drawback of enabling this option is that field dress may take a few more seconds to run, since the script is more complex.

* Use Hunting in Skyrim textures: This option appears when Hunting in Skyrim is detected. On by default, it will change the appearance of an carcass after you use Hunterborn to skin it. This feature requires Hunting in Skyrim version 1.3.7 or higher.

* Reapply templates: Checking this options, then exiting MCM, will run most of the same startup routine that Hunterborn will when first activated. One of the most important functions of this startup routine is to "initialize" animals so that Hunterborn recognizes them and gives you its own menu instead of the default loot menu. If you've installed another mod that seems to have broken the Hunterborn menu, try using this option. It's less hassle than a clean save, but won't fix all problems. It can also help if Frostfall is not giving you a Hearty Meal buff for Hunterborn's food.

* Debug mode: A lot of extra information will be added to your Papyrus.0.log file with this option checked. This could be useful for troubleshooting a difficult problem, but normally it isn't necessary.

The (grayed-out) toggles on the other side of this page will tell you which other mods and DLC Hunterborn has detected. This is just meant for troubleshooting, they aren't configurable options.

Note for DLC and patches: When you install Hunterborn (using Nexus Mod Manager or similar) you'll have the choice of which patches to install with it; such as the RND patch, the Frostfall patch, and the Dawnguard patch. These patches are optional but strongly recommended. If you later install one of these mods or some DLC, you should re-install Hunterborn to add these patches.

Note for SkyRe's Gatherer perk: Unfortunately, this perk is not compatible with Hunterborn, since it forces the animal loot window to display. You can get the same benefit as this perk by checking the "SkyRe leather" option (explained above). If you do have or take the Gatherer perk, you'll see a new option show up on the right side of this page: (SkyRe) Remove Gatherer perk. Use it to remove the perk (both ranks if you have them), and refund your perk point(s).

Note for Hearthfire: No patch is needed for Hearthfire, Hunterborn will automatically detect that you have it installed and provide goat horns when harvesting goats, and mudcrab legs when butchering mudcrabs. (A patch isn't needed because no new animals are added. SKSE does the rest.)

Note for Dragonborn: Hunterborn will note that it detects this DLC, but there is currently no patch or support for Dragonborn's bristleback boars.

IMCN, SkyRealism, others: Hunterborn is missing patches for various other 'needs' mods out there, but some do have optional patches included on their own mod pages. Work on Hunterborn has slowed down (it's pretty much "done"), so I'm not taking requests to make any new patches. However, if you are a mod author and you'd like to make a patch for Hunterborn, send me a private message on Nexus and I'll do what I can to help - I may not be able to reply swiftly though!

SkyTEST, Immersive Creatures, Harvest Overhaul: The options on this page should go a long way to making Hunterborn compatible when you run these mods. Turn on Taxonomy and then carefully read the notes above for all of the 'Use custom ...' options.

Field dressing
The first step in rendering down an animal for its goods is to "dress", or "clean", the carcass. This is a simple process that eliminates the most common causes of meat spoilage, and usually involves exsanguination. When first started, Hunterborn assumes that you are a novice hunter with no experience, so the first time you field dress a carcass, it will take a lot of time, especially if it's a larger carcass.

You'll get faster at dressing every single time you complete the action, until after a couple dozen repetitions it will take only minutes (of game time) to get it done on even an elk.

The other variable that affects how long it takes to dress is your knife, although hunting knives became optional in Hunterborn version 1.2. If you have turned on the requirement for hunting knives:
- With no knife at all, it will take much longer to dress a carcass, even with experience.
- If you are a Khajiit or Argonian, you can use your claws to defer this penalty, by turning on another option in the MCM.
- A dagger in your inventory will not work as a substitute hunting knife; this was also changed in version 1.2.
- Crafting or buying a hunting knife is your best option, since these knives also assist with skinning, harvesting, and butchering.

As a last resort (or as a "bootstrap" option), if you are stranded in the wilderness with no supplies, use Forage until you discover a sharp rock. This will be your "knife" until you can get something better.

See the hunting knives section for more information.

After dressing the carcass, usually the next step is to skin it - though you can choose these actions in any order, and skip any of them as well.

Skinning will also take time, and again you will get faster as you dress more animals. You will also gain experience that Hunterborn tracks as your "skinning level" (shown in the MCM), and your skinning level also makes you faster at skinning. Additionally, it improves your chances of getting a better quality pelt. At levels 9 and 10, if you are using a very high quality hunting knife, you have a chance to skin a flawless pelt. These can have *very* high values, meant as trophy merchandise rather than crafting fodder.

The same caveats apply with hunting knives, as noted above for field dressing.

Use the tanning rack to turn poor quality pelts into leather straps. Fine pelts can be turned into two of the standard quality pelt - this is mainly for compatibility with quests and other mods (especially Frostfall) where you may need the pelt specifically, not leather, to craft certain goods. With the Frostfall patch, you can also render pelts (of any quality) into cleaned hides, using Survival Skills.

If you've got Hunting in Skyrim version 1.3.7 or higher installed, skinning an animal will change the appearance of the carcass. You can toggle this feature in the MCM, on the Compatibility page.

Besides the pelt and the meat of the carcass, all animals will have valuable materials that you can harvest from them. Most of these materials are alchemy ingredients, and Hunterborn adds many new custom ingredients for you to harvest and use in the creation of poisons and potions - and the effects on these custom ingredients have been designed to be specifically useful for hunter-style play. Some of them are even unique to Hunterborn; you can get all the information on these new effects in the tips and spoilers readme.

Just like skinning, harvesting takes less time after you have dressed down more carcasses, and you will get better (higher quality, and more) results as your harvesting level increases. Again, a hunting knife can also make a difference if you've turned that feature on.

Most animals will also give you bones, which aren't an alchemy ingredient, but used in Hunterborn's own Scrimshaw crafting system. See the Scrimshaw section below.

Hunterborn adds new custom meat types for all of the hunting game in Skyrim - and even for monstrous creatures like chaurus and dragons, if you have Monster Hunter enabled. Elk will have a distinct kind of venison, foxes and wolves have their own meat, and even mudcrabs and slaughterfish can now be a source of sustenance. These meats are designed primarily for the Realistic Needs & Diseases mod.

Hunterborn also provides you with as much meat as you deem necessary from your kills, which you can configure in the MCM. At the "realistic" setting, you will receive ~50% of the animal's weight in meat. For a deer, that's 100 "pounds" of meat! The realistic setting is definitely worth trying if you'd like to fully immerse yourself in the hunter's experience, since managing all of that extra meat (probably selling off what you don't need) becomes part of that play style.

For animals that yield a lot of meat, Hunterborn will break apart the butchering process into sections. Each section will be a maximum of about two in-game hours, and your butchering results will be however much meat you were able to process in that much time. Again, you get faster as you dress down more animals, and certain hunting knives will also make you faster (but not "better", since there is no "quality" of meat in Hunterborn) at butchering.

If you want to butcher only the first section of the animal, just dispose of the carcass after you're done. In effect, you're leaving the remains for the wolves... wolves have got to eat too, right?

When you start Hunterborn, you will gain a new ability in your spellbook named Forage. Use this ability to search the surrounding terrain for useful materials - which can include edible plants (a "light snack" in RND), local alchemy ingredients, animal bones, and some miscellaneous items such as firewood. The materials you find will be based on the environment - herbs and edibles are plentiful in the south, while north and at higher elevations it will be difficult to find much of anything.

Foraging is a skill in Hunterborn, like skinning and harvesting, so that when you first attempt to forage, your chance of success is pretty low. As your skill rises (to a maximum of level 10), you're more likely to scrounge up useful goods, though your chances are always much lower in harsh (snowy) terrain. Foraging takes one hour of game time, you don't get any faster at it as your level goes up, you just make better use of your time. You cannot forage in cities or indoor locations, though some caves are considered "outdoors" (usually they're open to the sky) and can be foraged.

After you gain your first level in foraging, you'll be prompted for specific resources to look for. At first you won't have many options - just firewood - but you'll have more choices are your forage level goes up. From about level 5 and on, you'll also have a chance to find superior results that can include rare alchemy ingredients, precious animal bones, and edibles that are nourishing enough to completely replace a carnivorous diet!

Note that if your foraging succeeds, there is a fair chance you will also turn up a sharp rock, which will be a necessary (if crude) tool for dressing and skinning, if you are lost in the wilderness without even a dagger or hunting knife.

If you have the RND patch installed, foraging can also provide you with snow (more of it if you're in a snowy region) by choosing to forage for edibles, which becomes an option at forage level 2. Snow can be melted into water (for drinking, or cooking) at a cookpot.

Your skill at foraging also affects your ability to tell direction outdoors with Sense Direction.

There are two additional perks to leveling up foraging: Bounty, and Botany. Bounty is disabled by default but can be enabled in the MCM. It provides a chance for extra ingredients when harvesting from flora in the game world. Botany's effects start at foraging level 6, and work identically to the Experimenter perk: Foraging 6 allows you to learn two effects when consuming an ingredient, foraging 8 is three effects, and foraging 10 is all four effects.

Crafted items
There are a few miscellaneous craftable items added by Hunterborn that can be very useful if you move around often.

Hunter's bedroll: Created at a tanning rack. The bedroll is a substitute for lugging around a full size tent. It won't keep you warm (in terms of Frostfall exposure) but it does allow you to sleep anywhere (in terms of RND fatigue), including places Frostfall considers illegal for tents. To use the bedroll, first drop it from your inventory. This allows you to position the item on the ground where you want it. When you're satisfied with where it is, "crouch" (stealth) next to it and activate it. This will convert the dropped item into a useable bedroll. You can sleep in the bedroll by activating it while standing; if you crouch and activate the bedroll, you'll pick it back up and put it into your inventory.

Hunter's cache: Use Scrimshaw to craft a "cache marker", which is just a bone you're ostensibly using to draw a secret mark on the ground that you'll later recognize. By dropping this item on the ground, then crouching to activate it, the marker is converted into a rock that acts as a permanent container. This container's inventory won't reset when the cell does. You can manage the cache by crouching to activate (it works just like a normal container when activated standing) including options to take everything out of it or destroy the cache. Note that different caches are different containers, they do not share inventory.

This is a crafting system unique to Hunterborn, intended to provide multiple uses for the bones you harvest from animal (or monster) carcasses. Although there are not a great many scrimshaw recipes, the items you can craft can be very useful at low levels, especially in a game configured for less loot and a tough economy. Consequently, most scrimshaw items are not very powerful and won't make you a lot of money, although at higher levels (in your Harvest skill) you will be able to craft a few more potent weapons and arrows.

Using the scrimshaw ability (which should be added to your spellbook when you start Hunterborn) doesn't require any furniture like a forge or tanning rack, but does require that you have one of the Hunterborn hunting knives in your inventory if you've made knives non-optional in the MCM. Thus, the easiest way to get started with scrimshaw is to craft or purchase an iron hunting knife. However, if you're stranded in a remote area or have no access to the materials or septims you'd need for an iron knife, forage until you've found a sharp rock; use this for scrimshaw, with which you can subsequently craft a bone or stone hunting knife.

Which items you can craft depends on your harvesting level, which represents your skill and knowledge with the bones and organs of animals, and to a certain extent your manual dexterity in working with them. There are several categories of items you can craft with scrimshaw: Bone bits, arrows, weapons, hunting knives, engraved bones, bone amulets, and bone rings. Outside of these categories, there are also cache markers, the flute (merely a flavor item in the vanilla game), and Frostfall's own mortar and pestle.

Some additional crafting recipes only show up in scrimshaw under the right conditions. Check the spoilers readme for full details, or try experimenting!

Bone bits are a material requirement for other scrimshaw items, including most of the metal-based hunting knives at a forge, though with scrimshaw itself you can craft a bone or stone hunting knife as a crude basic necessity. Bone arrows also use bone bits for the heads.

Bone arrows can be created using either firewood or larger animal bones; the latter recipe is specifically for Bosmer characters who have a tabboo against using wood, but it's also suitable if you just don't have any firewood on hand. The first bone arrows you create will be inferior even to iron arrows, but as your harvesting skill rises the quality of your arrows does too, until at a "perfect" level they rival even elven craftsmanship and stopping power.

Bone weapons - axes, swords, and bows - are initially crude, and no more powerful than the Forsworn variety they mimic. The most powerful of them, perhaps, is a massive bludgeon crafted from the bone of a mammoth. These are all apprentice level recipes. However, at higher levels you can craft Masterwork versions of these weapons, which are suitable for mid-level characters. Bone weapons cannot be tempered.

Engraved bones, accessible even to a novice hunter, are crude objects of worship and sacrifice to the gods. In the wilderness, these can be used almost like the shrines you find in cities, capable of bestowing bonuses or removing certain diseases - but the gods are not apt to cure a disease not in their domain of oversight, and even the right god isn't always listening to the prayers of mere mortals!

Bone amulets and rings are similar in purpose to the enchanted amulets and rings you are more likely to encounter at higher levels. These are much weaker and more ordinary, and are bound to be replaced as your gear is upgraded. Apprentice levels in harvesting are needed to gain access to these recipes.

The cache marker is used to create a hunter's cache, see the section above on crafted items.

Finally, if you are using the Frostfall patch, and a few levels in harvesting, you'll be able to craft the mortar and pestle item included in Frostfall; which enables portable alchemy.

Primitive cooking
Like scrimshaw, primitive cooking is a new crafting skill you gain when first starting Hunterborn. It needs no furniture, although you must be standing close to a heat source - almost all of the game's fires should count.

When you're first starting out or if circumstances become particularly dire, you may not have a ready means of cooking food in the wilderness. With Frostfall and RND for example, you need to have a cookpot (crafted at a forge using steel, or purchased from a merchant) before you can feed yourself at all, although you can take your chances with raw meat. Primitive cooking needs only a fire, although you'll be limited mostly to seared meat that isn't as nourishing (or appetizing, after a few days).

If you are not playing with a needs mod, primitive cooking is only useful for added immersion.

Hunting knives
Using a hunting knife for dressing, skinning, harvesting, and butchering is recommended in Hunterborn, but it isn't required. By default, Hunterborn uses a baseline assumption (equivalent to an iron hunting knife) for any operation that uses a hunting knife. The information below only applies if you've turned the hunting knife requirement on, in the MCM.

As a Khajiit or Argonian, you can use your claws as a substitute knife, by checking the relevant option in the MCM. Claws are actually just as good as a steel hunting knife for skinning and harvesting, better than iron, because of the dexterity and experience your character will have with their own claws. However, you can't use claws for scrimshaw.

If you're starting with nothing (and have no claws), you should forage until you find a sharp rock. The rock won't have any bonuses or penalties, though it will require extra time to dress, skin, harvest, and butcher.

Without even a sharp rock, you will incur a heavy penalty for skinning and harvesting, and often end up with useless results. Butchering, though, won't be affected.

You don't need to choose which knife Hunterborn will use - it will automatically pick the best from your inventory.

Note that hunting knives have inferior damage compared to their combat dagger equivalents - they also aren't as valuable, making them inferior as a crafting commodity. The hunting knives range in quality from bone to stone to iron to steel to dwarven / elven to orcish to glass to ebony to daedric to dragonbone. All of these can be crafted (bone and stone with scrimshaw), and require the corresponding smithing perks. They can also usually be purchased from fletchers and most general goods merchants, depending on your "knives at merchants" setting in the MCM.

See the tips and spoilers doc for the specific attributes of each knife.

Monster Hunter
The Monster Hunter feature is an optional module in Hunterborn that extends the same basic idea - you must take time and work on a slain monster's carcass to acquire material components, including meat - to the basic monster types. Monster Hunter is off by default, you can enable it in the MCM as well as toggle on or off each monster type and set some options.

The process for rendering down a monster carcass is different than for animals. There is no need to field dress the creature, and its carcass cannot be picked up and transported. Depending on the creature type, you can still skin / harvest / butcher the carcass, but for some you can additionally extract venom or blood, and you may also "Search" all monster carcasses, which is identical to Manual Loot on animal carcasses, to get at whatever treasure the monster was carrying... or recently ate, perhaps.

Meat from monsters can be cooked in various ways, but generally is not as beneficial as animal meat - with the exception of dragons, whose meat and parts can be prepared in several dishes of almost mythical quality. With the RND patch installed, raw dragon meat will even stay fresh indefinitely, and won't cause disease if eaten "tartare".

Venom and blood from monsters can be prepared into various potions and poisons. These recipes all use the cookpot, usually under the Misc category. Most will require levels in harvesting (since this is your generic "know how to make use of animal parts" skill, in Hunterborn). Venoms can be compounded into more and more powerful poisons, requiring more venom of the same type, and some other equally poisonous ingredient. Blood however can be used either for beneficial or harmful effects, depending on what it is brewed together with. Dragon's Blood has a unique requirement: No harvesting levels or exotic ingredients are required, instead you gain access to different recipes as you learn different dragon shouts.

See the spoiler readme for a complete list of recipes and properties.

Many thanks to:
SKSE team for an indispensable modding tool
Tes5Edit team for another indispensable modding tool
T3nd0 and Chesko, for including their Papyrus source files
B1gBadDaddy for a crucial tip on an important bug
alchmo for the BAIN installer
All the commenters for feedback and feature suggestions!

Modder's Will
If I ever disappear and fail to respond to three consecutive PM's or mails over a period of three months, all rights to this mod revert to the Nexus community and you may all do as you see fit - update it, delete it, fix it, change it, republish it, go nuts.