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Characters files format

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Last Updated: 06-Feb-2000. Fallout2 premade player characters files format.

This doc describes the format of the premade PC files (the premade characters which are used by the player), which are located in master.dat\\premade\ .

There are only 3 premade characters, each character has 3 corresponding files, which contain its image (*.frm), characteristics(*.gcd) and story (*.bio). These files have different extensions, but their names are, as follows:

   combat.* - for Narg
   stealth.* - for Mingan
   diplomat.* - for Chitsa


  • .bio files, as we can understand from the extension, contain the biography of the characters ;) They're just usual text files, the single problem is that there is neither auto-linefeed, nor scrolling, that's why you shood look out for the string length not to exceed 26 symbols (30 is possible, but the picture will look ugly), and for the number of strings not to exceed 22 (it will look better if you leave one empty string before the headline and one after).


  • .gcd files contain the hero's characteristics.

There are also blank.gcd and demo.gcd - looks like they're identical and contain the default characteristics used when creating new character.

Now, let's talk about their conents - it seems to be clear there the name is stored :). Starting from the 8th byte and after each 3 blank bytes (except the 18th byte) you can see the basic statistics of the hero.

You can change them between 0x0 and 0xA . Actually, you can make them bigger, but you won't be able to play with such a character :(. And if you want to change them using the game's character editor, then just edit the last byte in the file - now you have a number of unused character points. It's clear, that this value shouldn't be too big as well.

The 5th and the 9th (from thhe end of file!) bytes represent traits (their hexadecimal numbers in the list).

Tag skills (their hexadecimal numbers, also starting from 0) are placed even more close to the beginning of the file (after 4 bytes wich contain the dividing value 0xFF).

You can add the fourth tag skill here (just write it's number to the empty byte)! Actually, there's also the byte(which is located even earlier in the file), which represents the number of unused tags, but you won't be able to choose more than three(!) in the game.

Three *.frm files in master.dat\\art\intrface\ contain the heroes' pictures. The most creative part starts here, especially if you have the new version of frm2bmp and any graphics editor ;))))) of course, you shouldn't change the image size and the color depth.


Also the file master.dat\\text\english\game\stat.msg contains the names of characteristics (strength, perception...) and the descriptions of all skills, if you change them, their names in the game will also change. This matters when editing the character and when just viewing its statistics as well.


Credits

Originally by MadSurfer Redocumented by Serge, TeamX R&D veteran Translated by Dr. W95

Found in TeamX's offline docs

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