Researching your own recipes

I’m sure this isn’t a new idea, but I was having trouble finding certain skill books and thought it could be nice if there were some way for my character to figure out book-only recipes through trial and error.

In this specific case, I couldn’t find a copy of the Handloader’s Helper which seems to be the only source for many of the reloaded ammo recipes. So I threw together an extremely bare-bones mod, consisting of one new item and two recipes.

The new item is called “research notes - ammo”. The first recipe allows you to craft one research note from one unit of paper and takes 15 minutes to complete. The second recipe crafts The Handloader’s Helper from 250 research notes.

This is just a super fast thing I threw together. No consideration was put into balance, it seemed like 250 paper and 62 hours of work was a non-trivial investment and not completely unrealistic.

I can think of some obvious ways to improve it; for one thing, it shouldn’t craft an actual skill book. Ideally you would craft a research-specific book with only a few closely related recipes (like all the .38 and 9mm recipes together). It might also be better if you had something like a “blank notebook” that you would craft into a new recipe book over a very long duration, since the game now handles partially completed projects as items. (I had this idea before that feature was added, and crafting a couple hundred pages individually seemed like the simplest way to handle it)

I’m not too experienced with modding CDDA but I’ll probably keep working on this for a bit. One of the main challenges seems to be that recipes are assigned to books rather than books containing a set of recipes. I think this means that each “research book” I add would also need to modify each of the recipes in that book. If anybody knows an easier way to handle that, please let me know!

So anybody have any thoughts on this idea? Has it already been done better, and I just never noticed? Are recipes learned in other ways that I don’t know about? Whatever, let me know what you guys think ^^.


Interesting idea, there would have to be limits of course but a lot of stuff IRL can be learned via trial and error. Cooking comes to mind.

Yeah, and I figured the reloaded ammo recipes made sense as well. With enough casings, primers, powder, and lead plus some manufactured ammo to compare against you could eventually figure out how to put together something close.

Continuing the ammo example, maybe the “research recipe” should consume lead, primers, and powder while requiring casings and live ammo as tools? I dunno, there are a lot of different ways this could be handled which is why I started this thread.

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That would make sense, coming up with something new would be hard but having an example right there would make most things easier. I dunno much about guns so it’s hard for me to comment on it but with a basic understanding of cooking you can usually recreate a similar example of something just by seeing it and eating it. If you can make a madeira cake then making a fruit cake is pretty easy too.
I imagine it’s similar with bullets, if you can already make one type then figuring out another with examples to draw upon shouldn’t be too difficult, but again I’m far from an expert on that.

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I like this concept of research notes a lot, balance might be an issue like you say and i know nothing about guns either, i’m sure the gun-nut crowd will be happy to help out on what is and isn’t realistic though. :slight_smile:

Very nice idea I will say and one that I would love to see! This is especially helpful if some one desides to make a world where there are no cities or they are so far apart,finding a book can be trivial. Makes it a literal challenge to look for a book especially that ONE book you need.

The gun example is great but as you can see not Alot of people know of firearms so depending on WHAT you are trying to make “research note” on, the item takes longer or shorter, would be easier to make a dish of your own compared to trying to re-reaload a whole pice of metal that throws lead. Maybe the recipe (like you said) has live amno and a case as tools but aswell! It takes less time depending on your skill.

Example with cooking and firearm:
Maybe you have cooking at 2. “Research note- food” takes, let’s say, 10 minutes, but like you have cooking skill it’s 6 minutes instead!
Unlike with ammo it takes like 20 minutes and like you have no skill in “marksmanship” (or “rifle”,“pistol” and such depending on the ammo type and have “research note-small ammo” and such)
it doesn’t lower BUT you have in fabrication so it lowers atleast to 18 minutes. Like you can craft the “research note” without any skill needed but takes longer, But if you have skills corresponding to what you are trying to make research note on: it lowers how long it takes! Then you can turn those notes in to a book you need and POOF ya got what you need a bit faster.

I don’t know just throwing some things out there really like this idea!

For bullets

You would need a way to measure the amount of powder in the bullet,cut the projectile in half to study it’s structural integrity and materials

Some way to reverse enginier tracer rounds

A random chance to the experiment cause an acident if you aren’t using a bullet puller but some pliers and a screwdriver to open the bullets

I always thought you should be able to eventually invent and make everything. Someone had to invent it in the first place, so it’s logical to assume that it could be invented again.

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Very very cool idea. Puts me in mind of the Thaumcraft mod by Azanor for Minecraft, if anyone’s tinkered with it. One of the best mods I’ve ever seen across the board.

It’s gone through several iterations of discovery based gameplay where you learn new recipes by gradually researching things in the world. Makes finding every new thing very fun, because you wonder what it may help unlock when you’re able to get back to base and study. : ]