Thanks Kristaok. As you’ve requested further thoughts and details in a mature way, which was the dialogue I was initially seeking, I’m happy to provide more info to back my suggestion, courtesy for the most part of my wife (a dietician) supplemented by some online research of my own.
You and others seem aware of this, but for the benefit of any other readers, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) deficiency is marked by a condition referred to as scurvy. This includes anemia, fatigue, depression, reduced iron absorption, bleeding gums, bruising, poor wound healing, all of which would sap one’s condition in this in-game situation.
There is only one current in-game source that would theoretically provide a bit of vitamin C: rose hips. I calculate based on approx in game fresh weight of rose hips (gathered at or near sea level) is that one cup of rose hip tea (prepared from approx 250 g of prepared) should contain approx 450 mg of vitamin C. The RDA for Ascorbic Acid for an adult male is 90mg/day, which means you become deficient and experience these conditions within 5 in-game days without drinking 1 cup of rosehip tea (given rosehip scarcity I don’t think this is tenable in the long term). Factors I think would result from deficiency in TLD would be increased fatigue, reduced carrying capacity, more blood loss/more bandage use for wounds. There is some higher range of Vit C concentration dep on varieties, but I went with 450 mg. IRL although higher altitude rose hips tend to have a higher ascorbic acid concentration, given proximity to the ocean coast, I assumed the low end of dosage. And since rose hips do not intentionally respawn IG, and they are the only natural source of pain relief, ultimately a second more reliable long term source of ascorbic acid is necessary to preserve immersiveness. Hence, my suggestion of harvestable pine needles for tea(no shortage of trees here), which from my hazy recollection of grade 6 social studies informed me was an indigenous solution to provide vitamin C, shared with the European colonists in early North America. But that's all I know about it.
Generally, the inability to manage IG condition as a result of growing nutritional deficiencies is I think one of the very few minor hiccups in an otherwise very realistic game. This game assumes one to be a full-on carnivore, whereas humans are omnivores and actually primarily vegetable eaters, supplemented by meat, rather than vice versa. Some may argue there are cultures who’ve evolved to endure a more heavily animal-based diet with few veg (ie Inuit/Yupik/Eskimo). Typical RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowance, per day) are scientifically determined for European descendants, which I assume is our TLD character. This does not discount the possibility that some indigenous groups have adaptive traits designed by their traditional diet, and perhaps a reduced need for AA, that may result in a different set of RDAs for them. To support that theory, some other research may also actually show other physical adaptations in these ethnic groups to manage (ie naturally larger livers to handle the increased protein of a meat heavy diet). But again that's not the case here; therefore one could postulate that for this character, a diet consisting entirely of meat for longer than, say, beyond 50 days (which is a number I readily admit is just a guess, but anyone who's been on the BBQ for a 3 day camping weekend and just felt like crap on Tuesday will attest) and not be virtually bedridden may be untenable. Some suggest the white, Caucasian or European liver would begin to fail due simply to protein poisoning by eating this much meat, particularly without vitamin C to increase absorption. The simplest solution would of course be introducing discoverable multivitamins in every house cabinet and first aid kit, but that to me would be a cop-out for gamedev, particularly since science also shows the human body does not absorb manufactured vitamins as well as it does for natural sources. There should be natural long term sources of necessary vitamins and minerals. To me the point is how to live on the land, not scrounge garbage.
There are of course many nutrient deficiency-related conditions that could be introduced besides vitamin C to increase difficulty. Some vits & mins can be covered by organ meat consumption (which can be assumed but is not explicit in meat consumption in TLD), but for others there are simply no alternatives but to consume via plants, with corresponding deficiencies that would be equally disastrous to one’s health. I think the low hanging fruit (PTP!) here is Vitamin A (deficiency causes night blindness, dry skin, chest and throat infections; btw, how does one live on Great Bear and not get the occasional cold or flu?) and potassium (hypokalemia causes weakness, fatigue, digestive problems, breathing difficulties, and mood changes). As another aside, since the condition Vitamin C impacts wound healing, new relevant wishlist oppties (worthy of separate threads, which I will not be starting, TYVM) that could also be explored related to this subject include cuts/wounds/tetanus not resulting from animal attacks (accidental cut by axe or knife, puncture wounds, step on a nail or rusted metal, even a hangnail can cause infection).
Ergo, scurvy, and pine needle tea is my wishlist case for consideration. Apologies for length of this post, but in terms of effective communication, I do not believe in initially not providing more info than necessary, and leave the door open for questions (if needed) and positive discussion and debate. That’s all the info I have to provide so if a dev is seeking further info on the topic, google can likely inform better than I. Regardless I won't be responding further. I created an account to post on this forum some ideas worthy of adult discourse, but my experience upon arrival is to have my only two threads immediately pounced upon and derailed by a self appointed forum policetroll. It is not fun to be talked down to so rudely with such tone, and I now have no further interest in participating here. Best of luck to the rest of you nice ppl. and enjoy TLD, as will I continue to. If the forum community, as this individual mentioned, is now running out of discussions, perhaps the how ideas are responded to and new posters are treated may be considered as a reason why. Everyone else here seems nice, but as the old adage goes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil a barrel.
PS Kristaok I also like the rabbit starvation idea. Just too simple to just camp out with a dozen traps, trap and subsist; there needs to be risk. Good luck with promoting it!