Base Effect

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Link to TES4 Construction Set Wiki: Magic Effect

A Base Effect is a fundamental "magic effect" in Fallout 3 that defines a particular way of modifying an actor's stats or starting a script whenever they consume an Ingestible (food item, drug, or chemical) or is affected by an Actor Effect ("spell") or Object Effect ("enchantment").

Unlike in Oblivion, Fallout 3's base effects are very versatile, including the ability to add new effects and delete existing effects. Fallout 3 gives the developer near-total freedom over which stats are modified by an effect.

Base Effects Dialog

  • Name: The name of the effect. Note that a base effect cannot be added to an effect item if it has no name.
  • Effect Archetype: An effect must be based on one of the archetypes listed below.
  • Assoc. Item: Many of they archetypes have an associated item. For example, Value Modifier uses the associated item to define which value it's modifying.
  • Resist value: The type of resistance used for this effect. When such an hostile effect is applied, the actor's resistance will lower its magnitude, or its duration if the 'No Magnitude' flag is used.

List of Existing Archetypes:

Archetypes are hard-coded types that define the basic behavior of the Base Effect. You may select an archetype from the drop-down list.

Archetype Assoc. Item Description
Bound Item Yes Should theoretically call an associated Armor or Weapon item, automatically equipping it on the actor. Unused in the default game.
Chameleon No Applies a stealth field refraction shader to the affected actor proportional to the magnitude. Also raises the Chameleon actor value by the magnitude, making him harder to detect by other actors. This is not dissimilar to a Value Modifier archetype using Chameleon, but that doesn't apply the refraction shader.
Concussion No Only works on the player character. Plays the concussion visuals and tinnitus sound periodically while the PerceptionCondition actor value is 0 (i.e. a crippled head). The GenericScript continually applies an actor effect to the player with this effect.
Cure Addiction No Removes any and all addictions. Unused in the default game.
Cure Disease No Removes any and all diseases. Unused in the default game. Because radiation poisoning effects are defined as a disease, this may have undesired repercussions if used.
Cure Paralysis No Cancels any active effects with the Paralysis archetype. Unused in the default game.
Cure Poison No Cancels any active Poison-type effects. Unused in the default game.
Dispel No Should theoretically cancel all effects affecting the actor with a cost less than the magnitude. Unused in the default game. Because no effects have any cost in Fallout 3, the behavior may be undefined.
Invisibility No Should theoretically render the actor entirely invisible and immune to detection until the actor activates something. Unused in the default game.
Light No Emits an associated light, with its radius adjusted proportionally to the magnitude. Used only by the Pip-Boy light in the default game.
Limb Condition No Alters the condition of all limbs at once. The magnitude of the active effect is distributed among them. Used by Doctor Bags and Hydra in Fallout: New Vegas
Lock No Should theoretically lock a container, setting its Lock Level equal to the magnitude. Unused in the default game.
Open No Should theoretically unlock a container if its Lock Level is less than the magnitude. Unused in the default game.
Paralysis No Sets the Paralysis actor value to 1, which freezes the affected actor's animation and makes them go into a semi-rigid ragdoll state, causing the actor to topple over. This is not dissimilar to a Value Modifier archetype using the Paralysis actor value, but this archetype is preferred for this purpose. The No Magnitude and Recover flags should be used unless a cure paralysis effect will be cast.
Script Yes Attaches the Assoc. Item script (which must be an effect script) to this base effect.
Summon Creature Yes Should theoretically spawn a copy of an associated creature or NPC. Unused in the default game.
Turbo No Fallout: New Vegas only, apparently non-functional. The "Turbo" ingestibles base effect actually uses a Value Modifier archetype with the Turbo actor value instead.
Value and Parts Yes Modifies an associated actor value while simultaneously modifying all of the various body parts' condition ratings by the same value. Used to give stimpaks their ability to heal limbs broadly or target specific limbs. Only used with an Assoc. Item of Health in the default game, for stimpaks, but can work with other actor values.
Value Modifier Yes Modifies an associated actor value without affecting the body parts. Well tested in the default game with a wide range of associated values.


  • Hostile: Effect is treated as an attack. Only effects checked as Hostile can be resisted.
  • Detrimental: Effect is applied as a negative to the pool for the actor value.
  • Recover: When the effect expires, the actor value return to their previous state, i.e it affects the Temporary instead of the Damage pool of the actor value.
  • FX Persist: If checked, the visual effect on the target persists for the entire duration. Otherwise it only plays once.
  • No Hit Effect: No visual effect is played on the target of this effect.
  • No Death Dispel: Effect can be applied, and persist, on dead actors. Otherwise the effect is automatically dispelled when the actor dies.
  • Self: Effect can be defined with 'Self' range in items. For use by ingestibles, abilities, apparel effects...
  • Touch: Effect can be defined with 'Touch' range in items. For use by weapon effects, creature unarmed effects...
  • Target: Effect can be defined with 'Target' range in items. Is of no apparent use.
  • No Duration: The effect is instantaneous. The Duration field is not available for objects with this effect.
  • No Magnitude: The effect is "all or nothing." The Magnitude field is not available for objects with this effect.
  • No Area: The Area field is not available for objects with this effect.
  • Use Skill: Allows the editor to display the skill pull down to associate a skill with that use of the effect. Deprecated and working erratically.
  • Use Attribute: Allows the editor to display the attribute pull down to associate an attribute with that use of the effect. Deprecated and working erratically.
  • Painless: Disables the hit effects and pain vocalization for Hostile effects (used primarily for radiation).
  • Gory Visuals: Allows blood effects on the actor in the No Gore version of the game.
  • Display Name Only: Certain effect archetypes will display a hard-coded expression identifying what they do when the user hovers over the item in their inventory (e.g., a Value Modifier Health base effect will display HP+[value] in the game engine for any ingestible that includes it); if this checkbox is marked, the effect will display its name instead. Note that by default, script effects do not display any expression, but will display their name if this checkbox is marked. If multiple script effects all have the checkbox marked, their names will be concatenated when displayed (e.g., an ingestible with an "Morale" script effect and a "Satiation" script effect will include "MoraleSatiation" in its displayed effects).


The sound associated with this effect. Only one sound will play if there is more than one effect in the spell. For the most part these are leftovers from Oblivion, since in Fallout it's not possible to cast effects as "spells"

  • Effect Sound: The sound played at the caster when he initiates the spell.
  • Bolt Sound: The sound that travels with the effect object as it moves through the world.
  • Hit Sound: The sound played when the effect hits a target.
  • Area Sound:

Visual Effects

NOTE: If an object has multiple effects, only the visual effects for the most expensive effect is played. Since all effects have a cost of 0, the first effect defined in the object will be used.

  • Effects NIF: The file name of the graphic effect played on the caster.
  • Effect shader: Shader used on spell target.
  • Object Display Effect: The effect shader played on the item if the effect is an object effect on a weapon or piece of armor.
    • Note: The two Effect Shader options above seem to be nonfunctional. Existing Base Effects apply all shaders via script.
  • Projectile type: The shape of the projectile for target effects.
  • Projectile speed: A multiplier of the base speed for the projectile.
  • Light: The light object that is carried with the projectile as it moves through the world.


Brief summary of the effect. Not displayed anywhere in game, but can be used to comment what the effect does in the editor.

Specific Base Effects

See Also