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payl0ad - BabyBearington

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About this mod

A radiation gameplay mechanic overhaul for survival mode.

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# A radiation game mechanic overhaul for survival mode #
# Current version: 0.9.9a #

$ motivation

PIRAD was made from the realization that the radiation mechanic Fallout 4 employs is a good step up from how it was done in FO3 and FNV but still pretty boring in a different way. As we are fans of both FNV Hardcore mode and Skyrims Frostfall and Fallout 4 survival mode was still too easy and one-dimensional without extensive modding, we knew something needed to be done about that.

PIRAD tries to make the game more challenging on several different angles that all blend in with vanilla survival gameplay. It also wants to make everything about radiation and nuclear technology behave at least a little more realistic - perfect realism does not usually result in fun gameplay. A little realism often provides interesting gameplay angles.

$ description - functionality overview

  • I. Radiation comes twofold: Tissue damage caused by radiation exposure and radioactive particulate entering the players body.
  • II. Radiation poisoning: Comes in disease-like effects technically similar to those already found in survival mode.
  • III. Protective gear is more important: Gas Masks and Hazmat Suits are necessary to protect yourself but can break and need repair.
  • IV. Nuclear Technology plausibility overhaul: Nuclear explosions have different characteristics depending on their source.
  • V. More Complex Radiation management: Due to the split of values, PIRAD introduces new chems to combat radiation.
  • VI. Hazard overhaul: More sources of radiation - conflict-free weather rads, dynamic hazards
  • VII. Treasure Hunt: Find all of the Hot Rodder Hazmat Suits and a new set of magazines!

$ gameplay changes and additions

[Rad Management: Exposure]

Exposure (Short handle: Rads/RAD) is what you know as "vanilla" radiation. PIRAD treats this as gamma radiation and/or intensive beta radiation. It damages living tissue by killing cells and causes radiation poisoning. Most sources of radiation emit at least a little of this.

Exposure, like vanilla radiation, causes the red part of the HP bar to grow, limiting the players maximum HP. It can regenerate by simply staying healthy (eat/drink/not have a disease) and not accumulating more exposure. For actual treatment, RadAway is not very useful anymore. Instead, PIRAD introduces the all-new MutAway, a prototype drug that was engineered from bonobo and chimpanzee stem cells by MedTek. Doctors can heal tissue damage but their cost has been raised considerably.

[Rad Management: Ingested Rads]

Ingested radioactive particles (Short handle: IRA) enter the players body from the environment through various ways. Eating and drinking will cause the player to soak up particles, as well as running through radioactive fog without a gas mask or playing in radioactive fallout without a Hazmat Suit or Power Armor. It doesn't do anything at first but will cause the player to periodically receive some exposure damage if too much is accumulated, then leading to radiation poisoning and eventually death. Use your best judgement when to use protective equipment - if your geiger counter starts ticking it might be smart to equip a gas mask.

Ingested particles can be purged naturally by always staying well-hydrated but that takes time, a fallout shelter and a well-stocked supply of clean food and drink. More efficient ways are using a dose of RadAway, which purges a lot of particles. Food that previously restored rads now purges IRAs.

[Rad Management: Rad Boy]

PIRAD installs the "Rad Boy" radiation management system into your Pip-Boy. It also includes a manual scanner device that is used to display current radiation values. Rad Boy will alert the player periodically if its alert threshold has been exceeded. This is mostly a workaround for not having a HUDFramework widget.

[Rad Management: Radiation Poisoning]

Most effects mimic actual symptoms of acute radiation syndrome. There are 2 severity levels in radiation poisoning. The normal ones are nuisances more or less while the lethal ones can and will kill the player. The higher the players exposure the more likely it is to get a lethal poisoning symptom.

Radiation poisoning can be treated by using a dose of RadAway or visiting a doctor.

[Hazard Overhaul: Protective Equipment]

Gas Masks and Hazmat Suits can protect against the various environmental sources of radioactive particles but only hazmat suits protect against all of them.

They can also both break. Getting hit has a chance to break your equipment, replacing it with one that lacks any protective quality. Equipment can be repaired at the AWKCR workbench after finding the right magazine or picking Blacksmith 2.

Power Armor has the same protective qualities as a Hazmat Suit.

[Hazard Overhaul: Hostile Environment]

Most unpleasant weather conditions now are rad-infused. Most fogs and rain will be very lightly radioactive with some amount of particles. See compatibility section for details.

Swimming in water while wounded and not wearing a Hazmat Suit will cause the player to ingest particles. After swimming, the water soaked in clothes and gear will stick to the player for a while and still emit radiation.

Explosions will generally leave behind small patches of stirred up radioactive dust.

[Misc: Nuclear Technology Plausibility]

Fusion-powered machines like Sentry Bots and Cars do not leave radiation hazards as fusion fuel is not usually radioactive.

Fission-powered machines (non-sentry Robots) do leave powerful hazards after exploding. Robots can also have their battery fail on death, causing a grenade-sized explosion with a powerful hazard left behind. These explosions can cause chain reactions.

Actual nuclear ordnance like Mini-Nukes and Nuka Grenades cause powerful gamma flashes as well as thermobaric bursts, setting actors on fire, in addition to the explosion itself. Those were also made more powerful.

[Misc: Treasure Hunt]

PIRAD introduces a new magazine: Raiders Digest. 6 issues have been scattered across the Commonwealth. They unlock crafting recipes and provide a small resistance bonus.

In addition, there is a set of 3 Hazmat Suits with custom Hot Rodder textures. As endgame gear, they are hidden in hard to reach locations, provide a little protection and have all protective qualities of a Hazmat Suit.

$ compatibility notes

PIRAD is primarily script-based. It is self-contained where possible and overrides comparatively few vanilla records. It is designed to work well with other gameplay overhauls. Starting with 0.9.9, PIRAD requires all story-based DLC: Far Harbor, Automatron, Nuka World.

We do not test without survival mode active. If something doesn't work and you are not playing on survival mode we reserve the right to make fun of you.

You do not need to run any other Timescale mod, PIRAD can handle this for you.

PIRAD requires Armor and Weapon Keywords Community Resource (AWKCR) 4.0.2+. It includes standard VIS tags on all items and has linked Instance Naming Rules so there is no need for VIS patches.

PIRAD breaks Armorsmith Extended compatibility on purpose for all Gas Masks and the Hazmat Suit. This is required for the breakable equipment mechanic to work properly, and you actually do not want to mod the masks (or Hazmat Suits) anyway.

The breakable equipment feature does not work with custom gas masks or biosuits without a patch. Custom gas masks or biosuits also do not protect properly without a patch. Instructions on patching can be found in the Forum tab.

The weather radiation system in PIRAD makes it compatible (as in "conflict-free") to all weather overhauls. It does need a tiny bit of patching to "listen" for custom weathers like in True Storms. This is strictly optional though. It does not interact with visual aspects or effects attached by their original author. We made it stupid simple to integrate. Instructions are also in the Forum tab.

The system used to enable radiation ingestion from food and drink does not edit consumables in any way and only "listens" for what the player eats and drinks. In fact, the only consumables PIRAD overrides are Rad-X and RadAway.

Mods that change explosions might conflict with PIRAD on a few records. If you load the conflicting mod below PIRAD, nothing will break. Some hazards from PIRAD will not show up this way.

Cell Conflicts: PIRAD places single references in a certain amount of cells and thus might conflict with mods that change those cells. To make sure this is not an issue, load all location mods after PIRAD. Our cell "edits" are safe to override as long as our placed references can still be accessed by the player.

We provide compatibility patches for these mods:

The mod is released as Creative Commons so you can change anything to your liking and create patches as you see fit, as long as they are also distributed under the same license.

Sample load orders:

General PIRAD / Weather mod

  • some ESMs (possibly NAC.esm or TrueStormsFO4.esm)
  • some ESPs (possibly Vivid Weathers - FO4.esp)
  • Your gameplay/survival overhaul of choice
  • Your loot overhaul of choice
  • PIRAD.esp
  • any PIRAD weather patch
  • Location-changing ESPs, Scrap Everything etc.

Known compatible weather mods: NAC, True Storms, Vivid Weathers, Pilgrim

PIRAD / FROST / Fallout 2287: Gas Masks of the Wasteland
  • some ESMs
  • some ESPs
  • Gas Masks of the Wasteland.esp
  • Gas Masks ArmorKeywords.esp
  • FROST.esp
  • Other FROST patches
  • PIRAD.esp
  • PIRAD_FO2287GMOW.esp
  • Location-changing ESPs, Scrap Everything etc.

PIRAD / Horizon / Weather mod
  • some ESMs
  • Z_Architect.esm
  • some ESPs
  • PIRAD.esp
  • Z_Horizon.esp
  • Z_Horizon_x.esp
  • Other Horizon Patches
  • PIRAD_Horizon.esp
  • any PIRAD weather patch
  • Location-changing ESPs, Scrap Everything etc.

$ known issues

  • Radiation ingest values in the Pipboy are displayed as negatives. It's a display issue only though.
  • The Lithium Lung disease does not prevent the use of Smooth Operator. This is because I refuse to edit vanilla consumables except radiation medicine and Bethesda re-used the Smooth Operator effect on a Vim variant.
  • Broken Gas Masks can be scrapped but don't provide resources.

$ work in progress

  • HUDFramework integration
  • MCM integration

$ installation

Use your favorite mod manager. Select options from installer, hit finish. Yes, it's that simple.

PIRAD will start immediately if loaded mid-playthrough or when the player picks up the Pip-Boy if starting a new game. We recommend starting a new game as PIRAD, like any survival mod, will have its biggest effects in the early game, where the player is still struggling for resources.

People who want to perform a manual installation will probably know how to do that anyway. It's just some ESPs and 2 BA2 archives anyway.

Updating from pre-0.9.9 is not safe in any way or form. Start a new game for that.

There is no uninstall routine.

$ credits

All assets, if not otherwise mentioned, are made from vanilla assets by BabyBearington and payl0ad.

reddit user /u/worgenthal provided the sweet MutAway nif without even getting asked to make it. Kinda forced us to make this.

terzaerian for his seemingly abandoned Perishable Hazmat Suits mod, which inspired the breakable protective gear feature.

StuykGaming for the Poster Resource used to create the Raiders Digest posters.

Fonts used for new assets:

Made with:
  • Creation Kit
  • FO4Edit
  • Notepad++
  • GIMP 2.0
  • BAE
  • Material Editor
  • NifSkope

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.