Fallout 3 is annoying

No, it’s not. it’s actually a massive change from previous Fallout games, and apparently occured because the designers just didn’t bother to think about it, as they themselves admitted.

That’s not an answer. Or at least, not a good one. A setting, no matter how weird, must have some things which are and are not possible. if something is in fact physically impossible, then it doesn’t really matter what any other character (playing by the rules of the game and setting) can do.

I believe ACM is the one imposing the realistic rules, and the players he hates are the ones denying that’s possible in a setting with people with fire shooting out of people’s hands.

Nuclear-powered cars that have been rusting away for two centuries.

Muties are really tough. The 10 mm is a gun you get literally at the start of the game. Also, what condition is the gun in? Is it on the verge of breaking or in maxed out condition? What is your small arms skill?

Another thing, since you mentioned that you are not using VATS but trying to shoot from the hip. Unless you are shooting at literally point blank, remember that the game is set deliberately so that the bullets don’t necessarily go where the cross hairs are. This game isn’t really a first person shooter, for all it looks like one. No magic bullets here that automatically track exactly where the cross hairs are targeted (it’s been a while, but I think with the 10 mm they generally track up and to the right, depending on your SA skill level).

After I found the hunting rifle I almost never used the 10 mm again…especially after I found sub-machine guns to use all the 10 mm ammo I had. If you want a decent hand gun get the .44 (especially the named one from the old lady looking for classic music).

And seriously…if the fight matters, use VATS. If you are just busting some caps into one of the small rad scorpions while running about in your Tesla armor with your Gauss rifle then that’s one thing…but if you are trying to face down super mutants with a pop gun I’d definitely be using VATS and selecting my targets based on percentage of hit, or what’s likely to slow them down so I could keep out of range…or both.


It just goes to show how tabletop games still have advantages over computer games. In a tabletop game this issue could be solved by narration.

Hitpoints should not represent someone’s ability to survive getting shot in the head. They should represent the ability to not get shot in the head in the first place. Successful attacks deplete the target’s hitpoints but don’t necessarily connect and cause injury. The final attack that depletes the last of the target’s hitpoints is the one that hits them right between the eyes and makes their skull explode.

Only in games that use abstract Hit Point systems (e.g. D&D).

Some tabletops use literal hit point systems (e.g. GURPS, Call of Cthulhu, Cortex) or a combo of abstract and literal (e.g. D20 modern and it’s offshoots).

And many of the literal hit point systems give penalties to actions the more damage one takes, just as the more physical damage you take the less you will be able to accomplish some actions.

But in most literal systems, a shot to the head pretty much will instantly kill someone (or at least render them unconcious and dying) unless they have some massive protection there.

Oh, and D&D, which as I mentioned above uses abstract HP, doesn’t even support called shots in 3rd edition. And I don’t believe any of the other D20-based systems do either.

Agreed. A FPRPG that has support for vehicles that can carry extra passengers and extra loot would be awesome.

Yes, I’m saying that abstract hitpoints are the way to go. Literal hitpoint systems, particularly those with called shots, generally get very silly. I can’t decide whether Fallout 3 is a particularly bad literal hitpoint system, or if it just seems that way because it animates every unrealistic called shot.

Yes, Fallout 3 does that too, albeit poorly. I remember when I did that quest for Moira to get injured. I stood next to a car and shot it until its engine exploded. My head was “crippled”, so I my character was dazed and couldn’t see straight. The devs actually programmed an interface screw for it. Because they apparently thought it would be more realistic for bullets and frag grenades to give you a concussion.

As for instant-kill shots, I’m not convinced they belong in any RPG that uses hitpoints.

This is why I want to see a proper MMO of AutoDuel SE. Brotherhood-affiliated gangs patrolling the wastes in ten-wheel buses!

Well, depends on what you mean by “instant-kill”. In most cases, the instant-kill from a head shot isn’t really instant-kill. It’s just that the multiplier for damage to the head is so high that you can wipe out the hitpoints in one shot. Fallout 3 (and for that matter all the Fallouts) is a bit ridiculous in this respect in that you can actually critical someone with a head shot when their head is not protected and if they have enough hit points it won’t kill them. (Though, it can blind them. That’s always fun.)

GURPS handles called shots by giving each called location on the body it’s own armor class rating.

But most non-abstract systems don’t actually have instant-kill shots in the rules. They just tend to have lower hit point totals overall, so one well-placed shot can kill, just like real life.

And D&D does have quasi-instant kill with system shock rolls. In the pre-3E days, if you lost half your maximum total HP in one round, you had to roll a fortitude save or instantly fall unconcious, regardless of how many HP you had remaining. In 3E, if you lost 50 or more of your HP in one individual attack, you made the system shock roll.

Wow, did this thread get nerdy in a hurry. Simply put, the game is no longer fun if you blast everything in the dome from long range with a weak weapon and make the biggest bad guys die in that manner.

Yeah, my eyes tend to start to glaze over when folks start geeking out about various game mechanics. I just want to know if it’s fun to play or not. And I agree…it wouldn’t be very fun if you could kill a SM every time with a head shot using a 10 mm pop gun from extreme range…or even point blank. As it is, my own character (max level, buffed up, with every weapon and high level armor in the game) can’t kill super mutants every time with head shots using VATS and the Gauss rifle…let alone a pistol. I think my hit percentage is over 95% with the weapon within a reasonable range, and granted, when it hits it almost always blows their heads off…but it doesn’t always hit, and it doesn’t always instantly kill them. Which makes the game at least a bit more interesting, even at this point when I’ve pretty much finished the main game and all the DLC’s currently out, as well as a bunch of the mods.


I’ve always been a fan of the “is it fun” rule for realism. Popping any enemy, no matter how tough, in the head to instakill? Not fun. No challenge. Being popped in the head with one shot from a raider you didn’t see a half mile away, then dropping over dead? Not fun by a long shot. I get ambushed all the time – robots and raiders with rifles shoot over very long distances, as do, as I found to my displeasure, Talon Company guys with missile launchers…

Fallout 3 is fun. I’m playing it through again now. I pondered going for Big Guns or Energy Weapons first, I can’t not do small guns/stealth. I just love that combo. I loves me some Hunter Rifles, though I do like the Sniper Rifle too to soften up groups.

I do use 10mm submachine / Chinese Assault Rifle / Laser Pistol / Laser Rifle to use up other ammo on big stuff. A Super Mutant Behemoth I stumbled upon in the wasteland (at level 8 - it was weird) got stuck, and I sat there for several minutes unloading tons and tons of rounds of every weapon type into his face. Can’t hit me with that fire hydrant, buddy? Ho ho ho!

I’ve just now discovered the awesome hilarity of grenades in VATS, too. Not sure why but I never thought to use them there.

Super Mutant in super-slow-mo: “Iiiiiiiiimgonnnnaaaaaaaaaaaa<KABOOM>”

Heh, that’s the only way I’ve ever used them :slight_smile:
Grenades in FPS games have always bugged me, because while angling a lob and giving it just the right amount of strength is intuitively easy in real life, doing it on a screen with a timed key press is… problematic. And by that I mean “I always throw them either at my feet or at the Moon”.

But moving back to the topic at hand : you want killer headshots ? Then the key is Stealth, not Small Arms. Sneaking damage multiplier + headshot multiplier = CRUNCH. And if you do it within the space of one VATS, it doesn’t even pop you out of stealth (even if you just used a shotgun. OK, so stealth is a bit overpowered - I blame Oblivion :D)

True. I hadn’t messed with them much the first couple of times (preferring the stealthy jerk route, with a healthy addition of “luring things backward into mines”).

But, grenades are handy when stuff is grouped up… like when I stumbled on three raiders sleeping in the back of a truck. Wakey wakey! (All that was left was… parts.)

But yeah, stealth is too handy to pass up. For animals or most people (e.g. raiders), headshot instakills are easy enough from stealth. Robots and Super Mutants tend to be a bit more resilient.

But really, Super Mutants are not too hard to kill. Their arms are huuuuge and usually the biggest multiplier in VATS anyway, so I usually just hit one until it’s crippled. Then they spend awhile picking up their weapon, while I repeatedly shoot them in the face. Sometimes you’ll even get lucky and they’ll drop the weapon in a spot they can’t easily get to, and they’ll pick up whatever’s handy (e.g. a hunting rifle, instead of a minigun). Super Mutants, despite their size, are reluctant to close if they have a gun, so using cover is usually the way to go.

Wait until you get to high level… small arms and stealth plus Grim Reaper’s Sprint (and Bloody Mess, and all that) = unstoppable killing machine.

…plus the Chinese Stealth Suit (and there is a stealth hat that looks funky but adds even more to stealth), and the 5.56 silenced semi-automatic rifle you get in the Pitt. Stealthing into a raider base and assassinating everyone is still one of the more fun things to do in the game…

(personally, I don’t use the grenades that often, though I’ll drop mines from time to time, especially in the path of something like a death claw. One of the coolest things I’ve seen in VATS though was when I attempted to use the MIRV in a court yard that had a bunch of super mutants and behemoth. I didn’t survive the encounter, sadly, but it was a riot watching it all play out.


Behemoths aren’t tied to your level - they’re limited, unique encounters. There are only 5 in the game.

I’m the opposite. Although the finesse game has it’s charms(and who doesn’t love Crit popping a Deathclaw in the head with the reservists rifle) I always find myself back with the simple charms of unloading a Predator-style metal storm(or laser storm) into Supermutant ass at close range.

Either you have the right tools to do the job and not enough ammo, or conversely you increase the amount of enemies that are about to befall you. I think for this game right now , I would have gone with more of a puzzle type game, find, building, recovering and minimize the violence
I’ve never played any of the other fallout games, but this game did remind me a lot of kotor. I’ll let this game gather a bit of dust before I go back to it.


Well, you’ve already bought the game. The developers already won that round with you.