Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fallout: New Vegas: The Shakezy Chronicles - Part 1: The Rules

Welcome to Part 1 of my new ongoing series of New Vegas: The Shakezy Chronicles.

What is this?
So kind of you to ask! Essentially, this is a documented blog-through of Fallout: New Vegas. Unlike the other games I've blogged through in the past (Ultima 7, Wolfenstein), this run is going to be done completely in character. Join Shakezy as he makes his way through the Mojave desert and tackles both the inspired and not so inspired game design that Fallout: New Vegas offers.

Why should you join Shakezy?
Out of the kindness of your gamer hearts, for one. For another, Shakezy is a quirky chap and I think you'll find his exploits entertaining enough for your reading pleasure.

So what are the ground rules:
I will be playing in Hardcore mode with the following mods installed:
Blackcompany Mojave Rebalance Overhaul Pack - This Tweaks the hardcore mode gameplay to make it more... Well, more hardcore. You get hungry and thirsty faster, you die faster, tough random enemy encounters are more common (but the rewards for surviving them are likewise greater). Baddies are also smarter, plus various other tweaks to make things rough for me.
Skill Based Perks - This mod automatically unlocks certain combat perks when my skills reach high enough levels. This is to help me out.
Tag Skills Improved - This gives the primary skills I pick in the character creation a little shot in the arm.
Perk Every Level - This unlocks a perk for every level I gain, instead of every 3 levels or so in the normal game.
Fellout NV - This is a graphical mod. It makes things pretty. No gameplay change.
Companion Sandbox Mode V2 - This mod is mostly cosmetic as well. It gives me the option to put my NPC companions in chill mode, where they walk around and do stuff like sit in chairs and talk to each other.

For the uninitiated, Hardcore mode changes the game in that ammo now has weight to it and is scarce, limb damage needs to be specially treated, and you have to worry about hunger and thirst. All of this is done not only to add a bit of difficulty to the experience, but to also heighten the roleplaying. Or something. Mostly it means you can't avoid crafting and drinking out of the toilet will become an unpleasant survival necessity.

Now without further ado, it is time to meet our hero: Shakezy The Courier.

Shakezy is a Mojave Courier. Think postman, only post-apocalyptic and therefore much cooler and probably a lot less efficient. He was tasked with bringing a package of... Umm... Something or other to the New Vegas Strip. Along the way he is kidnapped by a hipster in a checkered suit and a bunch of bikers. They take Shakezy's package and shoot him point blank in the face for good measure.

But it takes more than a bullet in the brain to keep this postman down! Shakezy is rescued by a robot, brought to a doctor's office in a small town and revived. It is at this point where Shakezy is given a psych evaluation to determine his stats.

I hate this. You have to answer a series of word association questions and some Rorschach tests, and the game determines what your skills ought to be. I realize they are doing the age old RPG thing where the gypsy asks you personality questions to decide what your class is... But the entire reason that works as a roleplaying class test is that the questions and answered make sense.

For instance, in the gypsy test if you are asked if you engage in a bar fight or slip out the back door, you can reasonably infer that the question decides whether you are a brawler or a sneaker. But what does it mean if the word my character associates with "Mother" is "Regret"? That goes double for the ink blot test, where none of the answers I get to choose are anything that come to my mind when I see the image.

But, I digress. Shakezy is born anew, and he only has one thing on his mind: Vengeance... And where is the nearest toilet to quench his thirst.

Stay tuned for the next installation, when Shakezy takes his first steps out into the harsh world of Fallout: New Vegas.

Note: I will have *plenty* of screenshots for this playthrough. I know there is only one in this installment, but that is only because this post was more about going over the ground rules. In my next post I will get into the game proper, and I will make a conscious effort to take screenshots whenever it makes sense to do so.


  1. nice idea Shakey...look forward to the installments.

  2. I haven't seen your earlier blogs, but I think this is a really cool idea. I've beaten New Vegas already (on my second playthrough), and it's an awesome game, so I expect that this should be quite interesting.