Fallout New Vegas
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About this mod

JIP LN brought back Big Guns from FO3. I'm just messing stuff up to better play it in New Vegas.

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This mod uses the JIP LN plugin feature enabling back the functionality of the Big Guns skill, and implements it into the game mechanics in as a complete fashion as I can figure out.
Weapons have been changed to use the Big Guns skill using external configuration text files, with no weapon edited directly whatsoever. While my discretion of what constitutes a Big Gun is of course arguable, their change to a new skill has no compatibility issues whatsoever with other mods altering them to give them textures, weapon mods, you name it. Rest assured, compatibility IS possible!

The Big Guns skill will be enabled in the level-up menu. Big Guns receives bonus points from the Endurance and Luck attributes, you can take it as a Tag skill and put points into it just like any regular skill. It was in fact still in the game, all JIP LN did was make it visible in the menus again.
To accommodate it a bit better, I've taken the liberty of altering the descriptions of the Energy Weapons, Explosives and Guns skills, in English. Guns is now renamed to Small Guns.

And of course, what you really want to know is the list of weapons, and the skill tier I've put them under:

Skill 0:
  • Incinerator: slow, heavy, and no good up close, but you can still give some hell to enemies behind cover with it.
  • Automatic Rifle (Dead Money): a WWI piece of junk, there are other mods beefing it up a bit which I'd also recommend, but still the idea is that a Big Guns player gets something mildly useful to shred Ghost people up close and nothing more.

Skill 25:
  • Flamer, Cleansing Flame (GRA): the staple of the Big Guns skill! Note: Cleansing Flame's burning damage still scales with your Energy Weapons skill by default, use this mod so it scales with whatever skill the weapon uses.
  • Heavy Incinerator: whatever his little brother did, he does better.
  • Arc Welder (Lonesome Road): Mike Pence's choice.
  • Shoulder-Mounted Machine Gun (Lonesome Road): the most expensive way to waste 10mm ammo is now the easiest to use minigun-wannabe.

Skill 50:
  • Light Machine Gun, Bozar (GRA): compact and effective weapons.
  • Grenade Machine Gun, Mercy: frankly I never viewed them as tier 100 weapons, too little damage for how heavy their ammo is. I think they're better here.
  • K9000 and FIDO cyberdog miniguns (OWB): they have more initial DPS than standard miniguns, but much lower clip capacity and ammo features. Plus they're supposed to be easier to use. FIDO, and the recipe to build it, is at skill level 60.

Skill 75:
  • Missile Launcher, Annabelle: blow shit up.
  • Anti-Materiel Rifle: an expert in Big Guns gets to handle the ultimate head-buster.
  • Red Glare (Lonesome Road): I think it's kinda meh compared to the standard missile launcher, but still good enough to be here.

Skill 100: the HEAVY stuff
  • Minigun, Avenger: DUH
  • Gatling Laser, Sprtl-Wood (GRA): see above.
  • Plasma Caster, Smitty's Special (GRA): gooify all the peoples.
  • Fatman, Esther (GRA): no kill like OMNI-kill.

Note that the weapon skill requirement for the most part does pretty much nothing under vanilla rules, but still, if you feel like this classification is UNACCEPTABLE, you can change it on your end. These vanilla weapons are in the file "Data\config\Big Guns Skill\New vegas + DLC.ini".

You can add text files with the weapons AND recipes which you feel should be Big Guns there. Files will be read if they are correctly formatted, such that each line has text like:
$weapon or recipe EditorIDskillLevel
With the ID and the number separated by a TAB, not a space!

And what use would be a new skill with no cool perks to go with it?... ok so maybe my idea of 'cool' is kinda lacking, but still, I've made some new Big Guns-related perks for you to enjoy taking at level up:
  • Size Matters: level 8, Big Guns 45, 2 ranks.
  • "You are obsessed with really big weapons. With each rank of this perk, you gain +10% to damage, reload and equip speed with all Big Guns."
  • Blast Conditioning: level 12, Big Guns 70, 1 rank.
  • "You've become so used to things blowing up and blowing up things right beside you, you'll only suffer minimal damage from your own weapons' collateral."
  • Born to Burn: level 16, Big Guns 90 OR Pyromaniac, 1 rank.
  • "When there's fire involved, you're always up to the task. You gain +25% to both your Fire Resistance and damage dealt to enemies while they are on fire."

There's also a new damage challenge, Boomer's Pride. Nothing special about it, just do enough damage with Big Guns to earn 50XP.

A few NPC classes from the base game and Lonesome Road have been changed to also be proficient with any Big Guns the NPCs using them might have. Turns out that FNVedit does allow defining up to 4 tag skills for NPCs, so none of the classes edited have had to sacrifice any of their previous tag skills to also get Big Guns.
The Tremble poison and Flash Bangs from Lonesome Road also drain the Big Guns skill while in effect. Fixes by YUP are included so that Flash bangs won't permanently damage your stats.
The Good Natured and Skilled traits will also affect the Big Guns skill. Text descriptions in load screens, challenges and perks was changed in some cases to reflect the existence of the Big Guns skill.
And the ugly change, Milsurp Review magazines will now increase your Big Guns skill instead of your (Small) Guns. True Police Stories now increase your Small Guns skill instead of your critical chance. It's a lot easier than having to edit everything everywhere to place a new magazine type I've no idea what would be like.
There are no copies to be found of the old "30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes" skill book for Big Guns either. I know people like min-maxing their junk, but I'm not a fan of the skill book way and again I'd need to think up of weird places to hide them... meh.

And finally, you may remember a little fact about the old Fallout Games... having Big Guns as a tag skill was a BAD idea. Well, not (so much) the case in New Vegas! After your medical checkup, Doc Mitchell will magically pull a big ass Incinerator from his hammerspace, making you wonder what the hell were you doing travelling with one or how could Benny and his goons have the balls to mess with you... anyways, it won't be in good condition and you'll only get some homemade flamer fuel to go with it, which will make it decay even faster. Use it to make some Joe Cobb kebab, or some Goodsprings kebab, or some Coyote kebab, or just dump it, you're unlikely to have much use left for it after your first few battles.

This starting gear is granted from one of Doc Mitchell's responses which only one mod may alter, but this mod draws the items to grant from the function at "Data\nvse\user_defined_functions\Big Guns starting equipment.txt", which you can alter to your linking. I've made an optional replacement of it following the choices by Starting Gear Overhaul, so that the Incinerator is still given if you have Big Guns tagged. That's as much as I've covered.

As previously said, compatibility with mods altering the base game's weapons should be ensured. There may still be other situations where conflicts of some kind could arise, for instance Big Guns is not used in any of the game's speech challenges and I don't really know of any that would reference this kind of weapons explicitly. Feel free to note anything you want in the comments and I might get around to implementing it.
The mod makes changes to descriptions of challenges and perks, so it's best to load it relatively early since many mods alter those with expanded functions, and descriptions are just words.
Best to install this mod in savegames where you hadn't taken the Skilled or Good Natured traits, and best to remove those traits from your character before uninstalling. Other than that, you should be good to go.