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About this mod

Health, Magicka, Stamina, and Carry Weight will naturally grow according to your playstyle independent of level or skills. However, critical injuries or even just the passage of time can cause them to decay.

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Natural Character Growth and Decay

* What's New In 2.0 *

The entire Decay system has been redone, and I'm fairly pleased with the results.  Under the new system, decay-proper only occurs over time, causing you to lose 1% rounded up of your attribute gains after the specified number of in-game hours has passed.  Since this is dependent on in-game time rather than real time, it means decay is affected by the timescale, and also occurs while resting or waiting.  Decay is also attribute-specific now, and can be adjusted or disable for attributes individually.

Taking over part of the old decay system is the new Stress and Injury system.  Breakpoints have been renamed to Stress Limits.  If an attribute drops below the stress limit, you'll begin accumulating stress for that attribute.  Once you reach a certain amount, you'll sustain an injury that reduces your attributes.  The effects of stress injuries can be pretty nasty; by default, a health injury will reduce your health by 5% (rounded up) of your health gained (not your total health), as well as your magicka, stamina, and carry weight by 2% each.

To make matters worse, upon sustaining an injury, your stress doesn't just drop to 0, instead it cuts in half, putting you at risk of sustaining another injury if you don't address the cause of the stress.  However, unlike decay, which is an unstoppable force you can only keep ahead of, stress can be fought off.  After 24 in- game hours (adjustable), your stress will be reduced by 1%.  If you go to sleep, you'll lose 8% (also adjustable) of your stress per hour of rest (multiplicative, not cumulative).  After 8 hours of sleep, your stress will cut in half!

When a stress injury occurs, an immersive notification will pop up in the corner of your screen letting you know you done goofed up.  Each type of stress injury has three different messages, one of which will be chosen randomly.

Also new is that you can choose whether to allow attribute growth when you drop below the stress limit.  Previously you would not get attribute XP while below the breakpoints/stress limits.  Now you have a choice in the matter.

On the growth side of things, not much has changed.  Health should increase slightly faster by default, but you could already change that if you wanted to.

If you've already been using NCGD, it's highly reccomended that you either stick with the old version or start a new game.  If you must update, make sure to clean your save first.

Note: v2.1 removes a debug message when initiating sleep.  You'd have thought I would have caught that.  D'oh!
Also modified the stress decay formula to round up, insuring that you always lose at least one stress point per decay, even when stress is very low.  Since stress decay only took off 1%, without rounding you probably wouldn't lose any points otherwise when stress was below 100.

0. Introduction

Tired of having to choose which attribute to increase at a level up?  Afraid you might choose poorly and be stuck with a character not built for the job you need them to do?  Want a more immersive experience where your attributes increase based on how you play rather than arbitrary choices?

Natural Character Growth and Decay removes this burden from you by allowing your attributes to automatically grow (and decay!) based on how you play the game.  This is completely independent of skills and level (for now, future version might contain more options!), so your attributes will adapt to whatever playstyle you choose.

Credit goes to Uoud, the creator of Usage-Based Attributes Leveling, the mod this one was built off of.  Check out his mod here:

1. Requirements

SkyUI (for MCM)

Note:  Uoud's Usage-Based Attributes Leveling is NOT required, and is incompatible with this mod.

2. Installation

Back up your save first, just in case you decide to remove NCGD later.

Download and install through your favorite mod manager, or drag and drop the contents of the archive into \Steam\SteamApps\common\Skyrim\Data.  That's it!

I can't predict what effect it will have to upgrade to a newer version of this mod on an existing save.  Either start a new game or back up your save and try it at your own risk.  Otherwise, you may prefer not to upgrade and continue using an older version.

To upgrade:
1. Use the "player.setav [number]" command to reset your attributes as they would be without NCGD.  Usually this means setting them back to 100, or 300 for carry weight, but this may vary depending on what other mods you have.  (Not doing this may make decay/stress behave oddly.)
2. Disable and delete NCGD in your mod load order.
3. Clean your save.  This is not optional.
4. Install the newest version of NCGD and activate it.
5. Set your attributes to grow as fast as they can and grind back up to your previous totals.
6. Reset your growth rates to what they were before.

I can't by any means guaranty that this will work.  I advise either sticking with your current version, reloading a save from before NCGD was installed, or starting a new game if you wish to upgrade.

3. Uninstallation

If you installed using a mod manager, use that managers built-in tools to remove the mod.  If you installed manually, then just delete these files:

\Data\Natural Character Growth and Decay.esp

It's highly advised you clean your save after removing this mod, and any mod with scripts.

4. Compatibility

This mod should be compatible with all other mods, except for Uoud's Usage-Based Attributes Leveling, as that mod served as the base for this one, and thus replaces it.  You can use this with other mods that change how you gain attributes, although the results might be unbalanced.  Use the MCM to adjust the values in Natural Character Growth and Decay as necessary.

Apollodown's Simple Magic Overhaul (and the Epic Gameplay Overhaul that includes it) will make things quite difficult for those wishing to play as mages.  That mod drastically reduces your initial magicka (to negative values), and this mod requires you to have magicka in order to get more.  You can enable vanilla level ups in order to increase your magicka, use another mod that allows your magicka to increase, open the console and type "player.setav magicka 10" to reset your magicka to 10 (or any other value), or embark on an arduous quest in order to attain the secret to casting spells.  :)

Look for gear and potions that have a Fortify Magicka effect, and use them to boost your magicka to positive values so you may practice spellcasting.  Some survival and needs mods like Frostfall may give buffs to the player that fortify your magicka if you satisfy your needs.  During the escape from
Helgen, one of the cells you can lockpick has a dead mage inside with a hood that gives you +30 magicka.  Fortify Magicka potions can be made from ingredients found around Riverwood and Whiterun.  It won't be easy, but overcoming the severe magicka debuff imposed by Simple Magic Overhaul is not impossible.

Or you could play as an altmer and start slinging spells right off the bat.

This gets even more fun when using a mod like Chasing the Dragon.  Potion addiction, ftw!

5. Features

Natural Character Growth and Decay disables the attribute gains on a normal level up (you can re-enable them in the MCM if you wish), although due to limitations you'll still be prompted to pick an attribute to increase.  Choose whatever you like, as it won't make a difference.

Instead, your health, magicka, stamina, and carry weight will increase as you use them.  If you get hit with a powerful attack, you'll gain "experience" toward increasing your health.  If you walk around with a full inventory, you'll gradually be able to carry more.  At the same time, however, if you become critically injured or expend all your magicka, it will cause your attributes to begin to degrade.  Attributes will naturally decay over time as well, so make sure to get some periodic exercise.

6. How It Works

Health, magicka, and stamina work on the same system, and thus will be used interchangeably in this document.  A script will periodically check how much e.g. health you have, and compare it to how much you had the last time it checked.  If you have a lower health now than you did last time, the
difference determines your base XP gain.  So, for example, if you lost 40% of your health since the last check, then your base health XP gain would be 40 XP.  This value is then multiplied by an amount that depends only on your current health.  At full health, that multiplier is x0, at 0% health that
multiplier will be x4 (default, you can change it in the MCM).  The quickest growth happens when you lose a lot of e.g. health that brings your current health very low.  If you drop from 100% to 25% between script checks, then you'll gain 75*3 = 225 health XP.

Note that you gain more XP while at low e.g. health, but you only get XP if you lost health.

Carry weight works a little differently.  Every time the script checks, it will award carry XP based on how much you are currently carrying.  It does not care about loss or gain.  You must be carrying at least 50% of your carry weight to get any XP.

Health, magicka, and stamina each have a "stress limit" value adjustable in the MCM.  If those attributes drop below the stress limit, then you will NOT get XP, and will instead get stress. Stress is attribute-specific and tracked individually for each attribute.  When you have enough stress, it will degrade health, magicka, stamina, or carry weight by a small percentage, but only if they have grown by at least 1 point.

Decay also accumulates very slowly over time, and will periodically decrease an attribute by 1%.

7. Mod Configuration Menu

If you have SkyUI installed, you can adjust nearly every aspect of this mod to your heart's content.

This includes:

Enabling or disabling individual attributes for growth or decay
The XP required for each attribute to grow
How long it takes for an attribute to decay
The amount of stress required to injure yourself
The stress limit below which an attribute builds up stress
How much attribute damage an injury does, and which attributes are damaged
How quickly stress decays over time and while resting
Whether or not you can gain XP while below the stress limit
The XP multiplier as your health, magicka, or stamina get low

You may also view your growth progress for each attribute, your attribute stress, how much each attribute has grown, and how many injuries you've had.

8. Credit

Credit goes to Uoud, the creator of Usage-Based Attributes Leveling, the mod this one is built on.  Natural Character Growth and Decay would not have been possible without him.  He has generously given me permission to upload this edit of his original mod.

9. Changelog

 - Removed a debug message when the player begins sleeping
 - Stress decay over time now rounds up, insuring the player loses at least 1 point of decay

 - Completely reworked the decay system
 - Decay now depends on in-game time, and as such is affected by timescale and waiting/sleeping
 - Decay now reduces attributes by 1% instead of a flat amount
 - Decay may now be adjusted individually for each attribute
 - Breakpoints renamed to Stress Limits
 - Stress and Injury system has replaced parts of the old decay system
 - Toggle added that allows gaining XP while below the stress limits

 - Renamed the MCM menu to refer to NCGD instead of Usage-Based Attributes Leveling by Uoud
 - Split the "Options" page in the MCM into "Growth" and "Decay"
 - You can now adjust how quickly decay is accumulated for individual attributes when they fall below their breakpoint
 - Along with the above, the default setting now make decay more aggressive for low health

 - Initial release