Fallout New Vegas
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Forces the Honest Hearts workbench crates (the only source of skill books in the Honest Hearts DLC) to obey the player character's Luck as opposed to generating random loot. This eliminates New Vegas's only random factor in handcrafting a character build.

The lone bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum now also obeys the player character's Luck.

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Honest Hearts Workbench Crate Luck

This mod forces the Honest Hearts workbench crates to obey the player character's Luck.

v1.1: The crate which has a small chance of holding the only bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum in the game will now also obey the player character's Luck.  (Lonesome Road is required.)

Do you recall how Luck plays a very tangible mechanical factor in winning at casinos?  Did you ever wonder why this didn't work with the far more important workbench crates?  This is the mod which finally fixes that.

Some background: Every major New Vegas DLC offers at least a dozen extra skill books.  Honest Hearts is no exception -- it offers a whopping sixteen.  But for whatever reason, it was decided that all 16 books would be subject to a random number generator, rather than being a guaranteed reward for owning the DLC.  The books are hidden in four "storage crates" that are found throughout Zion Valley, but they will only appear if the random number generator says they will; the storage crates generate random loot, and the skill books are a very small part of that random loot pool.

The Wiki calculates that you have a less than 10% chance of seeing a single book from any given crate, let alone the four that have a chance to appear each time a crate is opened for the first time.  This means that the most likely outcome from the entire DLC is that you won't see a single book.  Meanwhile, if you visit a casino with high Luck, you will consistently beat the odds at every game.

This is so patently unfair that the traditional approach of many players is to "save scum" -- reload saves over and over -- until they get at least one or two books from each crate.  This can be accomplished by reloading just outside the locations where the crates appear.  It is a tedious process, not to mention immersion-breaking, and players traditionally stop trying after getting just two books from a crate, due to the extreme unlikelihood of seeing more than that.

Here are the odds, as quoted from the Wiki:

  • 84.64%: No skill books.
  • 9.79%: One skill book.
  • 7.92%: Two skill books.
  • 0.16%: Four skill books.

As you can see, the appearance of even a single skill book requires some uncommon Luck (if we're talking about a guaranteed roll).

Given this fact, plus my examination of how Luck affects casinos, I have situated the influence of Luck in this manner:

  • 1 through 7 Luck: No change.
  • 8 Luck: One or two skill books.
  • 9 Luck: Three skill books.
  • 10 Luck: Four skill books.

Luck values of 1 through 7 are unremarkable in the grand scheme of things -- you need better luck than that in real life for the random number generator to award you a skill book on the first try.  And on the other end of the spectrum, it goes without saying that the grand prize for being the luckiest person on the planet should be nothing less than the secure knowledge that you will get the best those crates have to offer.  So if you want to get all 16 books legitimately, you may need to track down some gear, invest in an upgrade, or do some Intense Training.  Nobody said this was going to be easy!  Unless, of course, your character already possesses the ability to do a Two-Headed Coin Flip.

The important thing is that it is now possible to handcraft a character build without having to concede 30+ skill points to bad luck in Honest Hearts.  For anyone who intends to eventually play the jsawyer mod, or perhaps work on a Logan's Loophole build which halts leveling at 30, skill points are suddenly a big deal again.  In the vanilla game, one can comfortably cap every skill by level 50 without taking the Educated or Comprehension perks, or indeed without even stealing any books from anyone.  With jsawyer's level 35 cap, or the level 30 cap of Logan's Loophole, it's not so simple.

Still not convinced?  Remember these points:

  • The skill books from the Honest Hearts storage crates represent the ONLY wildcard in one's final character build.
  • Luck does have other non-combat effects in New Vegas - specifically the literally unrealistic advantage it grants in casinos - so there is precedent.
  • Recall how New Vegas handles speech challenges?  You either have the requisite attributes or you don't; there is no save scum option.
  • Last but not least, this mod doesn't give you anything that you could not, with time and patience, earn without the mod... But reloading your game a thousand times is immersion-killing, whereas this mod, I argue, fits in nicely with the established lore and mechanics.

As of version 1.1, the one and only crate in the game which has a small (10%) chance of holding a bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum will also obey the player character's Luck.  A Luck of 9+ ensures the bottle will appear.  Otherwise it's up to random chance as usual.

Some technical details:
  • While the crate's initial contents are spawned when the player enters the crate's given location, the Luck-influenced redraw (if any) only occurs at the moment the box is opened.  It is therefore safe to wait until then before taking any extra steps to improve Luck.
  • The "no change" for Luck values below 8 means precisely that: The crate's contents remain untouched.
  • If the crate's initial contents includes books, these books DO NOT get deleted.  The rest of the contents are exchanged for additional books, if necessary, to reach the mandated total.
  • The emergence of Luck-spawned books PRECISELY follows the rules laid out by the original crate contents' reckoning.  Therefore you will, for example, tend to get more Science books under most circumstances.  (Just not the four book circumstance.)


Other New Vegas mods I made:



Redacted or redundant due to subsequent osmosis into mods from other authors: