Stealthy Absorbs and Drains

Requires OBSE v 14+

This mod makes Absorb and Drain Attribute and Skill spells non-hostile if your skill in the corresponding school AND your sneak skill are both higher than the casting cost of the spell. This makes it possible to do things like absorb a merchant's mercantile skill to get better deals when buying equipment or a passing NPC's luck to get better odds at the arena without alerting anyone and causing them to go on the offensive.

This is a small mod intended to add a little bit of variety and usefulness to some otherwise pretty useless spells, and to make quests in the city a little more interesting for stealth-type characters who use magic. Because the power of the spells that the player can employ discreetly is limited by at least two skills, it does so without affecting the balance of the game significantly. These are the kinds of effects I would expect any competent occult swindler to be able to employ as a routine part of their trade and I added them primarily because I find them more realistic and immersive than the vanilla variants.

Note that this mod does not affect Absorb or Drain Fatigue, Health or Magicka which will continue to behave like ordinary attacks.


This mod adds one script and one quest which runs every 5 seconds and should not noticeably impact your framerate. The script only updates when you change spells, so if one of your skills has changed that will affect your ability to cast one of these spells undetected you may have to change your spell to update the script. (Done intentionally to reduce the processing overhead.) If the spell you equip can be cast without detection, you will be given notice via a message on screen; so if you don't see a message, don't cast the spell!

The script is set to test your lowest skill score against the actual magicka cost of the spell. If you want to adjust this amount you can tweak it in-game via the console command 'aaStealthyAbDr.detectMult' where '' is the multiplier you would like to use. The default is 1.0. Setting it to 2.0 will double the skill requirement; setting it to 0.5 will halve it. Once you have a number you like, you can open the mod in the CS and change the line 'set detectMult to 1.0' to the new number. (Sorry, no .ini file for a single variable. :P ) If you don't change the number in the plugin you will have to set the value via the console command every time you play, but 1.0 should work for most people.


Place the StealthyAbsorbsAndDrains.esp in your data directory and select it in your mod list.


Delete the StealthyAbsorbsAndDrains.esp from your data directory and deselect it from your mod list.

Known Conflicts

OBME: The original version of this mod is incompatible with OBME. If you are using the OBME script extension, please use the OBME version of SAaD, kindly provided for you by migck who discovered the incompatibility and created the solution. (Bug inquiries should still be directed to me, though. :) )


None known, but please contact me via the official forum post at the Bethesda Game Studio Forums if you encounter any. This is version 1.0, so it hasn't been tested very thoroughly.

Possible Extensions

I may make the disposition of NPCs go down a little after you covertly cast a spell on them. Even if they don't consciously detect your action, your presence may make them feel uncomfortable for reasons they 'can't quite put their finger on'.


Version History

Screenshots - In-Game

Stealing the merchant's mojo

Official Thread

Bethsoft Forums


TES Nexus

Last updated July 17, 2011

© 2009-2011 Dave Finch