Playing Fallout 4 with a non-lethal knockout mod, Part 5

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

Using mods can get messy, especially when a mod changes a major aspect of a game system, like the knockout mod does. There can come a point where the game simply doesn't know how to respond to the alterations the mod is making. A lot of quests in Fallout 4 can only be marked as complete if you kill certain NPCs or monsters, and considering that I'm trying to avoid doing that, it's no simple matter to progress.

Last time, I tackled Preston Garvey's Museum of Freedom quest, which resulted in me leaving Concord with an unconscious deathclaw stuffed in my backpack. Since Garvey will only be satisfied if the deathclaw is dead, the quest remains incomplete.

I want to keep my pet deathclaw, though: it could come in handy. I figure that if I just remove it from Concord for a period of time, Preston might decide I've killed it and let me progress through the story. So, I head to Red Rocket Truck Stop, where I'd previously built a prison for some mole rats, and I drop the deathclaw inside. Sort of. It kind of flops half-in and half-out.

I'm not sure what'll happen if I leave it dangling like this, so I wake it up with a stimpack. Thankfully, after regaining consciousness on the edge of the pen, it sort of hops inside. My pet! My lovely pet!

Naturally, it's not really my pet, it completely hates me. It starts roaring and stomping around and swiping at me with its tail and claws, so I quickly close the door (as if it could fit through that doorway, and even if it could, like a closed wooden door would stop it) and spend some time trying to admire it from the staircase. It manages to hit me, only once, which breaks my leg and sends me limping away with only a shred of health remaining.

I tell ya, playing non-lethally is bad for your health.

After crafting a water pump back in Sanctuary to heal myself (the game won't let me using the crafting bench at Red Rocket since there's a furious deathclaw a few feet away), I head to Concord, and sure enough, the quest still isn't complete. Preston wants that D-claw dead and there seems to be no fooling him.

The only other quest I currently have available is one from Tenpines Bluff, where a couple of farmers want me to take care of the raiders at the Corvega Assembly Plant. Since I've had no trouble knocking out raiders with my cane and my non-lethal shotgun, I figure I can handle that.

I can't handle that.

This isn't some little band of shaggy, stinky raiders like the ones I've encountered so far: there are over a dozen of them outside, including on the roof, and almost twice as many inside. While I do pretty well clonking them unconscious around the perimeter, I'm being constantly sniped from the ones on the roof of the plant, who are too far away for me to hit with my non-lethal shotgun. Inside, I'm immediately and repeatedly scorched by molotovs and grenades. I'm not going to be able to manage this alone.

Well, I do have my own deathclaw. After several deaths and reloads, I return to Red Rocket, zip my deathclaw up in my backpack, and return. With my pocket monster, I figure, I can handle the factory.

I can't handle the factory.

Really, there are three problems. The deathclaw, when awakened, only has one stimpack's worth of health, and though it's still fearsome it's not exactly an irresistible force in its weakened state. The assembly plant, meanwhile, consists of a lot of stairways and catwalks and narrow areas, not ideal for a monster the size of a car. And finally, I'm a weakling in fight with a dozen enemies armed with guns and lobbing grenades. Even if my deathclaw can survive long enough to take out the raiders, I can't. And if the raiders kill the deathclaw, thus completing my Concord mission for me, I can't survive long enough to enjoy it. I die again and again.

Finally, I give up. After some deliberation, I decide to simply take the deathclaw back to Concord, drop it in front of the Minutemen, and let them finish it off.

They don't finish it off.

It's definitely enjoyable watching the deathclaw rampage around the office, but it's too much for the Minutemen and Mama Murphy, quickly knocking them all out (the mod allows NPCs to bash each other unconscious as well). Now the deathclaw I don't want to kill but need to kill refuses to be killed. You suck, Minutemen.

I manage to slip out onto the balcony to see if Preston can be persuaded to come inside and finish the job, but I discover Garvey is, well, a bit broken:

He's alive and conscious, but lying face-down on the balcony. Preston wriggles around, he speaks, he occasionally teleports a bit, but he won't get up. The guy with a fetish for settlements appears to have permanently settled here.

After hitting him, shooting him, and otherwise trying and failing to get him to stand up, I decide to enlist the help of the unconscious raiders in the street below. Maybe if I haul them into the office, they'll kill the deathclaw and I can finally complete this mission.


When I return with the first raider, I find the deathclaw finally, mercifully dead. A few of the Minutemen are awake and acting as if everything is normal, like there isn't a giant dead monster on the ground and their boss isn't outside dry-humping the balcony. What's worse, when I dump the raiders (who now also need to die to complete the mission), their bodies vanish. I drag in all of them, one by one, and they all disappear. You can see above that the hovering red squares on my HUD indicate their positions in the office, but they can't be seen, revived, killed, or hauled back outside.

And so, with Preston doing the eternal worm outside and a pile of unconscious invisible raiders no one can kill, I think it may be time to put a pin in my non-lethal knockout adventures in Fallout 4. I didn't get far, but at least my personal body count is zero. A few raiders died due to my actions and I blew up a few turrets, but the only thing I wound up killing was the game itself.

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.