Playing Fallout 4 with a non-lethal knockout mod, Part 2

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  

I've just spent the morning getting the shit kicked out of me at the Abernathy farm. As a quick recap, I'm playing Fallout 4 with the non-lethal (and great) Knockout Framework mod, which allows you to knock out NPCs and creatures, and even stuff them into a sack and carry their unconscious bodies around. The non-lethal part is going well, except for when it comes to myself. While I haven't killed anyone, the Abernathys have killed me about six times in the last 30 minutes.

The problem is, I'm not simply trying to play non-lethally, but also trying to prevent anyone else from killing things, too. And, with Codsworth hanging out in Sanctuary eager to kill anything that attacks me, and with molerats infesting Red Rocket Truck Stop attacking me each time they wake up from being knocked out, I don't have an unoccupied settlement where I can craft in peace. My idea was: knock out the Abernathy clan and relocate them in my sack—I don't know where, exactly—and then take over their farm. Thing is, these farmers just won't go down. Last week I knocked out a raider with two hits of my baton, but these rustic farmers, who I am beating on repeatedly with a tire iron, simply won't drop.

Me? I drop. A lot.

Sometimes they shoot me to death, sometimes they pistol-whip or baseball-bat me to the ground, and usually it's a mixture of the two. Even when I manage to disarm Blake, the other two farmers overwhelm me.

After my umpteenth pathetic death, I decide to give up. I want to fight some easier targets than the surprisingly indestructible Abernathy farmhands. Maybe I should actually do a quest, then? I'm supposed to be playing through Fallout 4, after all, not obsessing over settlements and getting schooled by melon-farmers.

Blake Abernathy has a quest: to retrieve a stolen locket from the raiders who murdered his daughter, who are holed-up in USAF Satellite Station Olivia. I accept the mission, though after witnessing the durability and brutality of these farmers, I'm left puzzled why they don't just get the locket and kill the raiders themselves.

After my repeated humblings at the hands of a small collection of peaceful settlers, the quest perks me up immediately. I run into a group of raiders along the way, knock them all out, and leave them unconscious. At the satellite base, I dash up to the first raider and put his lights out with one swing, then take down the next two, before heading into the bowels of the base and bashing my way through four or five more. I do take some damage and have to hide and heal for a minute, but I'm having much more luck, and fun, fighting heavily armed psychopaths than those three quiet farmers.

Even the lead raider, named Ack-Ack, who is armed with a minigun, falls quickly before my fearsome tire iron. After I retrieve Blake's daughter's locket and do some more looting, I find myself stuffing the unconscious body of Ack-Ack into my sack. 

An idea is formulating. It's not exactly a non-lethal idea, I'm afraid, but I think I'm going to do it anyway. I carry Ack-Ack back to the Abernathy Farm along with the locket. I've completed the quest, but brought along a bonus for the farmer.

I dump Ack-Ack on the ground next to Blake Abernathy. Let's face it: knocking out people is fun. Carrying around people in a sack is fun. Trying to make sure nobody dies: not so much fun. It's time to make a small adjustment.

I figure the sight of the raider responsible for killing his daughter will make Blake crazy with rage. It, uh, doesn't. Even after waking up Ack-Ack, Blake continues with his peaceful melon-tending. Ack-Ack, meanwhile, begins yelling and punching me in the face. I can't say I blame her.

Finally, Blake notices his daughter's murderer punching the helpful stranger in the head, and actually does something.

Okay. That was way more satisfying. I've delivered a murderer to the father of her victim, and allowed him to dole out true justice. I mean, eventual true justice, after he finally took a break from his damn melons and casually shot his daughter's murderer in the back after she spent a minute punching me in the mouth.

I've finally found a good use for my sack, and a stronger purpose than just punching random people unconscious. I will still attempt to play non-lethally myself, but I will, on occasion, become an agent of sack-based revenge killings by others.

Next week: Heroes wear a sack!

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

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.