Playing Fallout 4 with a non-lethal knockout mod, Part 4

I'm attempting a non-lethal playthrough of Fallout 4 with the Knockout Framework mod, which lets me punch NPCs unconscious and carry them around in a sack on my back.  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

After getting punched by a bandit wearing power armor in Part 3 of my diary, I've decided I want my own set of armor, and so I'm headed to Concord where the settlement-obsessed Preston Garvey awaits. As I approach the Museum of Freedom, I bonk a few raiders unconscious with my cane, and after heading inside I bonk several more.

I'm actually starting to feel pretty confident with my non-lethal head-bashing. My biggest problem is that having put my focus on strength to be a decent melee fighter, I can't sneak worth a damn. Surprise attacks are impossible—raiders always hear me coming and turn around—and I tend to get shot a lot. Still, all the raiders I've encountered have been pretty easy to knock out, taking three hits at the most.

What's a bit harder is convincing Preston Garvey to open the door to his crummy little office for me. He insists that he'll only let me in once I've dealt with the raiders, and despite all the raiders lying concussed on the floor of the museum, the game doesn't consider them officially dealt with since they're still breathing. Which sort of sucks. Preston could easily just shoot their unconscious bodies dead himself, if only he'd open the door. But he won't.

Well, I've still got a big sack in my bag of tricks. I decide to try carrying a raider outside the building, and as I dump the first one in the street, I notice the quest log updates. Now it tells me I only have six raiders to "kill" instead of seven. I guess if they're out of the building, that counts as a kill to dear Preston. Out of sight, out of mind.

I sigh, then get to work. It's a pain, gathering up all the raiders, one by one, putting them in my sack, carrying them back downstairs, leaving the building, and dumping them in the street. But I repeat it until they're all slumbering unconscious on the pavement. Except for the one who suddenly wakes up and punches me as I go back inside. 

But the point is, as you can (sort of) see above, the quest decides I have killed all seven raiders, and I haven't actually killed any of them. I head upstairs for the eighth time, chat with Preston and his pals, and then reach the roof to acquire my very own power armor. I leave the minigun where it is and leap into the street, landing directly on two of the unconscious raiders, instantly killing them. Whoops! I have to reload and do it again—no killing allowed, even by accident.

I jump more carefully this time, land safely, and run down the street brandishing only my armored fists. I punch my way through a few more raiders until it's time for the main event: the deathclaw.

 It, uh, doesn't go so well.

The deathclaw punches me a lot harder than I punch it. Also, it's got the slick move of picking me up and body-slamming me into the pavement. Thankfully, I've got a few stimpacks and a backpack full of food, and I manage a quick retreat to heal before I start wading in again.

I've got something else, too. With all the raiders going down so easily underneath my mighty cane, I've banked a full-ass critical meter. I dash over to the deathclaw, target it in VATS, and unleash a might critical wallop.

The deathclaw goes down. It folds like a house of cards. I drop it like a bad habit. I have punched a deathclaw unconscious.

I'm also excited to see that the enormous sleeping deathclaw does indeed fit into my body sack. Hooray! I'm so thrilled I even jump up and down in the street, even though there's still a raider on a nearby roof taking shots at me. Let him shoot, I'll punch him to sleep after I've celebrated a bit.

Preston, unfortunately, isn't impressed with my unconscious deathclaw: the quest doesn't update to say I've completed it. In the meantime, though, I've got the power armor I was after and my own personal unconscious deathclaw that I suddenly realize I don't know what to do with. I even take it out of the sack back at Sanctuary Hills to have a look at it.

Yup, thats a big unconscious deathclaw I'm not allowed to kill! Well, maybe it'll come in handy somehow. I'll just carry it around with me until I figure out what to do with it.

Next week: I figure out what to do with it.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.