Arwen's Fallout 3 Journal
(Mods for better role-playing . . . that is often also more challenging.)
Realism mods have always greatly enhanced my role-playing experience. Some of these mods in this section do not make the game any harder - they just more it a bit more realistic. But others listed here (like Marts Mutant Mod) are what I call Extreme Realism mods, because they also make the game much more challenging.
"significantly speeds up the character creation process
(skips the birth and entire vault tutorial area) and aims to change
up the first few levels of the game a bit by adding new history
choices. These choices can, and will impact the entire game as
you play through. They will permanently modify your SPECIAL, Perks,
and/or Skills. Each History also possesses a unique starting
location, along with unique gear. There is a history called No
Significant Background for those that don't wish to have their stats
modified. You start off with the same equipment as the Vault Dweller
but no bonuses or penalties are applied to SPECIAL, Skills, Perks,
or anything else.
WARNING: "Certain history choices will add the player to a new faction. In some cases this can make certain areas inaccessible, the main quest unplayable (or even side quests) and carry a very significant impact on the game!"
Changes in newest version (released 3/06/10, but still labeled as v.3.0):
Arwen Note: The original start is rather clever and was fun to play through a couple of times, but by my forth new game it had become quite tedious. This mod makes it much faster to get into the main game. I've only tried the "Vault Dweller" history. When a history adds your character to faction, the faction is listed under "Other Bonuses" (this is to clarify the above warning).
Compatibility: My Realism Tweaks (since v.5.5) should now be fully compatible, even if you are using my Hard-Core module (your stats and tagged skills will be reset once the module kicks in).
Updated 04/13/11: The above Alternate Start - Roleplayers mod has not been available for a while. As an alternative, you might try Alternate Start - Roleplayers plus Grognak The Barbarian, or the Alternate Start mod. I have not tested these with my Realism Tweaks, but they should probably compatible.
"This mod adds some weight to the ammo. Different ammo types weights differently. There also 2 minor weight mod's in the archive (WeightMedMod - add weight to all the medicine, WeightMiscMod - add weight to the money and caps)."
"This Mod doesn't change the base objects, so you can use it with
other ammo related mod's (like re texturing or price change)."
Arwen Note: This mod makes the game more realistic by adding weight to ammo. Now you have to actually think about picking up ammo that you might not immediately need. I'm not using the optional esps, as I'm using other mods that affect the weights of those items. But I am using the add-on mod (the next mod).
Displayed Ammo Weight[requires FOSE] v.11.09.2009 (11/10/09) - by OnmyojiOmn:
"Ammunition in Fallout 3 has no weight. The AmmoWeight mod
fudges it by adding an invisible item to your inventory in order to
represent the weight of carried ammo, but the weight of the ammo itself
is not shown to the player. DAV Weighted AmmoWeight puts the weight in
the item name, but I find that it makes the item list look more
Arwen Note: Previously I was using DAV Weighted Ammo, but I never liked the way that weight was just tacked onto the ammo name. This mod finally displays the ammo weight just the same as any other item (but you do need to have both DarNified UI F3 and FOSE installed to use this mod).
Note that this is an add-on for the above Ammo Weight mod. So you need to also install Ammo Weight and load it before this mod. If you don't, the weight of all ammo will be still be displayed, but ammo will not actually add any weight to your load.
Arwen Note: This next one is not so much an extreme realism mod as a realism/frustration-fixing mod:
"This mod does two things:
This mod allows you to do the following:
Arwen Note: When I first began shooting my gun, I thought that I was doing something wrong, as I couldn't seem to hit where I was aiming. It turns out that most of my missies were the result of the auto aim "feature."
Compatibility: This is NOT compatible with my Skill Based Accuracy (one of my Realism Tweaks' options).
... an attempt to
standardize the ammunition used by different weapon addons and
modifications. Two mods that add weapons in the same caliber will not
otherwise be able to use each other ammunition (assuming they do not use
existing FO3 ammunition), leading to conflicts or duplicated but
Arwen Note: You should add this mod if you install any CALIBR compatible weapon.
... aiming at improving and tweaking companion behaviour to be more realistic and useful.
The Companion Behaviour Overhaul Menu, accessible by talking to your followers, lets you customize nearly every aspect of this mod. You'll be able to set essential state, healing rate, Stimpak usage threshold, turn on/off radiation effects and water source usage, make unique follower equipment available and choose between several combat style variants for every single companion.
- You can now contact your follower on CBO Radio - but they have to be
fairly close by, and even then this does not always work, as they are
often "unavailable" (as in too busy?).
Arwen Note: This mod that makes a LOT of changes to companions, along with full animation. There are also a number of compatibility patches to use with some of the popular user-made companions. I've only used this mod with the Dogmeat companion and it seems to work well. I did have to set it so that Dogmeat wasn't affected by radiation, as drinking water kept killing him (this is perhaps due to Real Injuries, which removes the healing effects from water). One feature that I really like is that Dogmeat won't follow you when you are in sneak mod - which works like an automatic "stay" command (and he will run to you just as soon as exit sneak mod).
"Bullet time is the ability to slow down the world around you,
allowing you more time, to aim, make decisions, and shoot. While time is
slowed, you will burn Action Points. When your action points reach 0
normal time will resume. While you are in Bullet Time you can turn it
off, saving those precious Actions for VATS, or another burst of Bullet
Using BulletTime (FOSE): If you are
using the FOSE version of BulletTime, you can choose a key to turn on
and off BulletTime. See configuration below
Arwen Note: On the surface BulletTime might not seem much at all like an "Extreme Realism" mod, since most would say there is nothing realistic about being able to slow down time around you. But if you've ever been involved in any intense activities, such as intense sports, you would understand that at the most intensive levels, it can feel like everything around you is moving in slow motion. Besides, BulletTime is much more realistic than VATS (which I no longer even use), and this mod does fit my Extreme Realism definition in that it does "make your game world much more realistic, immersive, and challenging." In my own game, I use BulletTime for emergencies . . . when I would likely be killed without it. This mod works great (with its default settings) with my Realism Tweaks mod, and seems to be quite balanced with my reduced Action Points.
"Ever Wished that you could go out into the wasteland with Dogmeat without worrying about him going and getting himself killed? Well with this simple mod all you have to do is fast travel to the scrap yard (I've added in a map marker you can automatically fast travel to), save Dogmeat and go on normally."
Arwen Note: Dogmeat is my favorite companion, but my furry friend has a really bad habit of getting himself killed, often by drinking too much radiated water (he loves drinking from toilets and fire hydrants). CBO adds radiation effects for companions (which is realistic), and it gives me a message when Dogmeat has gotten exposed to a large amount of radiation - but, even when I'm carrying RadAway (and the necessary CPR drugs), I don't always get to him in time. And there's nothing sadder than a dog dying.
Ok, so dying is part of reality. So why did I put this mod with reality if it cheats death? We, when my character dies, I'm automatically transported back in time to my last save (which isn't exactly realistic). When Dogmeat died I pretty much did the same thing manually - by loading my last saved game, which really breaks immersion. With this mod I just figure that Dogmeat was hurt and couldn't find me, so he returned to his former home. And it's much more immersive to have to retrieve him, rather than just load a saved game - even though it is a bit of a pain to retrieve him (since I don't use fast travel, it can sometimes be a very long walk).
Load Order: Load before Companion Behaviour Overhaul
"This will make you start using energy weapons. If you already use them, this will make you think Christmas came early. ... One thing (of the countless) that always bothered me in FO3 was the fact that all laser beams were the same strength. A laser rifle is supposed to be the most focused and intense, so why does a laser gatling shoot the SAME beam? In EVE, ALL lasers have an appropriate beam intensity that matches the laser's strength."
Arwen Note: Being that Eve is my middle name, I sort of had to give this one a try . . . and I'm very happy that I did. I'm really impressed with the unique visual effects that this mod adds to energy weapons. The name implies that this mod only changes visuals, but this mod also makes some weapons more deadly, by adding critical effects that cause damage to continue for a few seconds (as a burn really does), and it adds some blinding effect with headshots (affect both PC and NPCs, but not robots).
WARNING: this mod is graphically VERY demanding, so you need a pretty good system to run it without getting a major bog down in your FPS.
Installation: This mod has an extra folder that is not part of EVE . . . but you have to look for it, as it will not install with FOMM, because of the way it was packaged (you'll just und up with a BONUS MATERIAL folder in your FO3 Data directory, which you have to manually move to the correct file locations). What this is is ERROR - Extreme Robot OverHaul, which is a preview of a mod that Jiesen is also working on. "These are quick meshes and textures to replace the BORING dull original ones. Mister Gutsy, Sentrybot, and Sentry Turret." The final mod will apparently be much more of an overhaul, but I really like these new textures, so I'm using them in my game.
This mod is a port of MMM from Oblivion to Fallout 3. It focuses on
adding a huge range of diversity to creatures and NPCs in the Fallout 3
world as well as adding new and unique creatures and NPCs to encounter.
The mod is broken down into a core base and a range of optional modules.
Arwen Note: This mod does a LOT more than I can cover here (see the full description at the download site). I'm also currently using the following optional esps:
Version 6.2 Hotfix:
Load Order: load after most other esps - see my Mod Load Order section
Compatibility: MMM is fully compatible with my My Realism Tweaks as long as you also install my MMM Compatibility Patch. But you MUST have MMM v.1.0.RC.6.1 installed and updated with the v.6.2 Hotfix (use link below).
"It modifies animations of equip, unequip (sneak too ), holster. Moreover it adds one holster to the game which can hold many, maybe, all handguns."
Choose the holster that doesn't conflict with your addons ( in the
name of the holster b2 means body addon 2).
Version 1.2 changes:
Arwen Note: In the unmodded game, your character's pistol (and other small hand guns) just sort of stick to their side . . . sort of like they are Velcroed to your hip. This mod gives you two cool new semi-universal thigh holster (one for all the smaller guns and another for all the larger ones).
Compatibility: works fine with Fallout 3 Re-Animated, since this changes different animation files.
"This was inspired by Strategy Master's excellent SM Plugin Refurbish mod for Oblivion which made the Oblivion DLC's really feel as though they were always part of the game rather than add-ons. It delays PL by stopping the initial message and quest addition that the DLC content will introduce itself more naturally like the rest of the quests in the game. The dock will be in the gameworld initially, but the ship will not appear until the player has spoken with the appropriate NPC who will also add the quest allowing things to progress normally (see pics above). In similar manners, the other plugins forestall the other DLC quests and/or or eliminate their pesky 'Your content is actually working!' messages."
Arwen Note: This works perfectly for me and makes the DLC mesh so much better! Something like this should really have been GOTY version of the game, as immersion really suffers without it. I'm using the All Refurbishes Merged esp in my own game.
RH_IronSights - FOSE [requires FOSE] v.Beta Update 1 (11/11/12) - by Rogue Hallow Media:
"RH_IronSights is a comprehensive model, texture, and animation replacement package meant to "unlock" iron sights aiming in Fallout 3. Being able to look directly down the sights of a gun in-game is very immersive. Unfortunately, though Bethesda put the framework for an iron sights system in place, it wasn't finished by the time the game was released. So Fallout 3 players miss out on this traditional FPS gameplay mechanic. The aim of RH_IronSights (forgive the pun) is to adjust the .nif model of every vanilla weapon and the .kf file of every animation necessary to allow true, perfectly centered iron sights. This is a difficult process, and the result causes a few conflicts. It is recommended that you have at least an average degree of modeling and game modding experience if you want to run RH_IronSights alongside other major weapon mods."
Current Progress (0.87 alpha) RH_IronSights has the following features:
Arwen Note: This mod adds immersion by changing the first person view when aiming a ranged weapon. Instead of having the weapon off to the side, you'll now look right down the barrel (just like you would when aiming a gun in real life).
"I got the idea from discussions in the Shoutbox at Fookunity,
Megaton Common Room not having beds you can sleep on was commented on as
being bloody stupid.
1)Which Bed: Just makes the Megaton common Room, some Big Town Beds and
Zimmers bed at Rivet City usable.
Arwen Note: It always really annoyed me that there were like no beds that my character could sleep in, so as soon as I saw this mod, I grabbed it . . . and it made it to this mod list in record time. I'm using the "Which Bed" version in my game.
Zumbs Overhauled Real-Time Security [requires FOSE] v.2.2 (9/25/10) - by Zumbs:
"This mod introduces real-time lockpicking, hacking, and lock
smashing (a.k.a. lockbashing) with melee weapons, guns and explosives.
The player also gain the ability to try to pry open a lock. It is highly
configurable, as discussed in section 5."
Advanced Configuration: This mod
is highly configurable, as most parts of it is controlled by Globals.
The settings are described in more detail in ZORTS.ini, but include:
Difficulty of different tasks; The option to disable parts of the
mod; The option to pick; key only locks (use with caution);
Reassinging keys; Crime toggle.
Arwen Note: I loved Zumb's Lockpicking Mod for Oblivion, so I couldn't wait to give his Fallout version a try. This is sooo much better than the default lockpicking. Now you have to pick locks in real time (instead of having time stand still for the rest of the world while you are free to take all the time you want to open a lock) . . . while people might be watching. One little tip: using explosives to blast open a lock is based on your Explosives skill . . . so there is a good chance of it blowing yourself up if your skills are low.
Compatible with Explosive Entry by Lap and Menu Based Hacking and Picking by Angleae.