Frostfall is an immersion mod that adds wilderness survival mechanics to the game. The mod tracks the player's warmth and wetness, including the weather and their environment. A Dragonborn that lets themselves get too cold will suffer frostbite and stat penalties, and possibly even pass out and die in the snow. To survive the chill, they can build fires and camp out in tents to survive, with new powers allowing the player to gather firewood in the wild to make a campfire, and they can craft portable tents to bring with them.
Further integrated mechanics include Warmth and Coverage ratings for armor to determine how much it insulates against cold and water, a power to sense the weather and be warned of incoming storms, and an ability to craft some basic gear in the wild like fur armor, makeshift bows, arrows, and hatchets, and more.
Closely related to Frostfall is the mod Realistic Needs, which is a standalone mod that adds the need to eat, drink, and sleep to the game. However the two mods are widely considered complimentary in terms of offering immersion and survival mechanics, and a compatibility patch makes some mechanics and items added by Realistic Needs, such as new food items, offer benefits to users of Frostfall.
Enderal provides examples of:
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- At their worst settings, the mod will cause you to pass out and die from the cold if you're exposed too long, and the same can happen from swimming in frigid water. The player can tone down these settings though, either to pass out and let your follower save you in some way, or to have nothing happen at all.
- Swimming in frigid water drains Stamina from the cold. Aside from this being able to be customized to the player's liking in the mod configuration, they can brew Snowberry Extract, a potion that lets them swim in cold water without penalty for a few minutes.
- The default option for eating and drinking is that, no matter your need for them, you won't go past "sated" to overeating or overdrinking, which incurs stat penalties, so you're always safe to eat and drink as much as you need if the mod says you need them.
- Boring Yet Practical: Soups. They help you manage hunger and thirst at once, warm you up in the cold, and several come with stat benefits on top of that.
- Crazy-Prepared: Planning to venture out into northern Skyrim? Better bring a cloak, a tent, a good supply of firewood, and some sort of fire starter. A woodaxe, some snowberries, and alcohol wouldn't be bad ideas either.
- Exposed to the Elements: Naturally, this is penalized; armor that doesn't do much to cover you will not do much to protect against the snow and rain.
- Mundane Utility: A new Apprentice-level Destruction spell, "Vapor Blast", utilizes a massive blast of high-pressure steam around you to both damage enemies and instantly dry you out of water. Other spells offer temporary relief from the elements, such as a cloak against the weather or boosting your body warmth.
- Reality Ensues: Almost the entire point of the mod.
- Traveling around in light or skimpy armor will leave you at the mercy of a blizzard. Bundle up better if you want to avoid frostbite.
- A fire will help warm you up, but only to the extent it's in an enclosed setting; a fire kindled in the middle of a wide-open snowfield won't offer much heat, bring a tent or build the fire in some sort of enclosure for better effect.
- Drink too much alcohol and you'll start to stumble around and fall over; keep chugging and you're liable to pass out drunk and wake up hung over.
- Unless you're in frigid water, being wet isn't too much of a hindrance on its own, but it does make you more susceptible to the cold as you dry off.
- Over time food will spoil and eating spoiled food can cause you to contract a disease. Of course, not all food is liable to spoil, just ones that logically would like meats, fruits and vegetables. Salted meats and cooked meats will never spoil, but salty meat will increase your thirst level a bit.
- In a more positive manner, drinking a hot beverage or eating a warm meal will boost your warmth a bit.
- Shown Their Work: Alcoholic beverages temporarily reduce exposure, but after the boost wears off your exposure increases by more than what you benefited. Real world research has shown that alcohol dilates the blood and allows heat to more easily reach the extremities, making the drinker feel warmer, but it doesn't actually increase overall body heat and this increased dissipation of body heat will make you get colder faster in the long run.