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Starry Sky

You are Nuka Cola and whiskey

the hand and the glove

You are the rolling fog

blanketing the night

and the tick tick tick

of the Geiger Counter

vault dwellers often wear.

You are the cry of the trader

selling goods

and the ferals stirred into action

by blood in the air --

But you are not

the soothing rain on the crops.

T.J. Oliver, Immersive Stories Mod

*Opening lines of a holotape recording voice acted by Caroline Cabal Coniglio. Three holotapes in all. Collectables offered through the Immersive Stories Mod for Fallout 4.

  • Writer's pictureTomson Jane Oliver

As of today, this small mod (and work in progress) has had over 2,900 total downloads, where 1,781 are unique.

One of the best things about being part of the modding community is that I've had a chance to work on various sized projects. My first release on is this fun little WIP entitled "Commonwealth Families". This reveals a ravenous gaming community who crave to play Fallout 4 with unique and recruitable NPCs beyond those featured in the base game.

A young woman smiling while sitting at a pc game console
Playing modded Fallout 4 from a woman's perspective.

People ask if I have an audience in mind when designing a game mod.

My answer is definitely "Yes". I think of women, much like myself, who love the Fallout 4 gaming universe but deplore the lack of women's perspectives within it. I created Commonwealth Families for gamers who want different perspectives. I couple this with a realistic alternative experience when recruiting settlers and interacting with them once they reach a settlement. Why should mothers be weak or fathers act insensitive? These are some of the questions I probed while developing the first family unit for Commonwealth Families.

People ask if I will introduce more family units into this mod.

My answer is "Yes" to this question. An introduction to the Miller and Booth families will provide phase 2 of the Commonwealth Families mod. The Millers showcase a father and his fraternal twin children: a boy and a girl. The Booth family features a ghoul grandfather, and his human wife, along with their granddaughter.

People ask where they can download this mod.

I appreciate the question! So far, my mods are all designed using the Creation Kit which Bethesda released to the Fallout 4 modding community. My forte is PC gaming, so for the time being I'm offering my designs for that platform alone. If you happen to be the kind of tech wiz who can help make mods work on consoles, please get in touch and let's make some magic happen. Meanwhile, if you do a quick search for Fallout 4 Nexus Mods, you will find a list of my current releases.

Casting Call: Voice Actors Needed

Dialog writing is nearing completion for both families and each of the 6 new NPCs will need voice overs. I'll put together a casting call when that part of the project is ready. If you are a voice actor and wish to be the first to know when a casting call launches, subscribe to my newsletter!

  • Writer's pictureTomson Jane Oliver

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Pip-Boy Display Screen: "Fare Thee Well" quest is highlighted.
Pip-Boy Display Screen: "Fare Thee Well" quest from the Immersive Stories mod is highlighted.

There are new quest lines added to the Immersive Stories mod to help flesh out Gwen Dillinger, a romanceable companion we bring to the Fallout 4 universe. She is a friend of the Abernathys where you can meet her as she’s hanging out at their trailer (just north of their farm). Upon meeting her you earn the first quest: “Fare Thee Well”. Upon completion of that quest, you learn about her next personal quest: “The World’s Your Oyster”.

These two personal quests are just part of the overall story of Gwen Dillinger and her life in the Commonwealth. Along the way, players get to determine how much they wish to know Gwen. All a player has to do is park Gwen on a settlement (she boosts settlement happiness wherever she’s placed), or travel the Commonwealth with her. As a travel companion, she will fight hard, react to the world around her, and respond to player choices. She’s got specific pet peeves, favorite things to do or see, people she enjoys hanging around, people she tries to avoid, and personal vendettas she’d love to settle.

Unlike many companions in the Fallout 4 universe, including other modded companions, Gwen is not a solitary figure that is friendless and isolated from the community. She’s an important part of Dillinger Place, a distillery and safe-house with a full staff and plenty of customers who think of it as their home away from home. As an example, her long-time friend is Maggie Carter, and Gwen thinks of Maggie’s daughter as her niece.

Adding Immersive Stories mod to a player’s lexicon of mods will help enrich and enliven the Fallout 4 game for any new play through. While Immersive Stories mod revolves around Gwen and her friends, it includes a few additional NPCs which are sprinkled around the Commonwealth, some that are recruitable as settlers, some that are vendors, and some that are both. There’s even a quest to open up a vendor NPC which provides a unique reaction from Gwen if the player brings her along for the ride called “Jim’s Just Desserts”.

Gwen has a backstory that is revealed the more the player travels with her and completes her personal quests. There is even a hidden THIRD personal quest that folds neatly into the quest lines offered by vanilla game NPCs to open up Bunker Hill.

As the player explores the Commonwealth, they will undoubtably visit both Diamond City and Goodneighbor along the way. Gwen loves both towns, and the player will gain more from them with various goodies and opportunities added to each via this mod. For example, unique food items, recruitable NPCs, clothing items, loot, and 2 bounty hunting quests: “Polly Wanna Glowing One” and “Diner to Die For”.

As Gwen travels with the player, she changes too. What she becomes depends on how she feels about her experiences. She’s as likely to go her own way as she is to be romanceable, all dependent on player choices. Much as with vanilla game companions, she provides opportunities to forgive and forget and keep the friendship alive. If the player prefers to keep things friendly but doesn’t wish to romance Gwen, she won’t accidentally speak romantically to players who choose this preference.

If the player makes the choice to gain the “Lover’s Embrace” perk from romancing Gwen, there’s a new series of chats that will pop up, with opportunities to gain special items. There are also special chats opened up during holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.

Immersive Stories mod attempts to provide an entertaining layer of game play to Fallout 4. But it is the start of something bigger. I’m considering adding extensions to this mod that will allow Gwen to have a home away from Dillinger Place (closer to Faneuil Hall), after the release of Immersive Stories. In the meantime, I’m scheduling the release of Immersive Stories mod with the release of my new radio station mod, Dillinger Place Radio. Ideally, the player will have both during their next play through of Fallout 4.

In addition, there are extension mods in production such as Settler Hunt, which brings unique quests and recruitable NPCs, and Undercover Claire, which provides needed enrichment to the under-developed Railroad Faction. Last but not least, there is an extension mod in development with an entirely unique and fully voiced follower companion (Kyla, the Atom Cat) who has her own bunker-style workshop just northwest of Lexington.

  • Writer's pictureTomson Jane Oliver

I've seen a lot of "story idea" lists out there. Some are more useful than others. As a queer writer myself, I know what it is like to be annoyed and creatively stuck. Whether you are getting ready to write a comedy, romance, perhaps a mystery or thriller, maybe even some fantasy or science fiction, I've put together this list to get your creative juices flowing.

No matter what genre you feel like writing in, have a little fun! And as always, if you like this sort of content, please share it and let me know!

  1. You're preoccupied with serious troubles but someone's got their eye on you -- and they seem lovesick. Is this a good or bad thing? The timing couldn't be worse!

  2. An animal familiar seeks out its human companion, a queer witch, warlock, priest, etc. What does this story look like from the point of view of the animal? What about from the point of view of the human?

  3. An historical queer icon travels through time, ends up in your living room. What do you do besides drool?

  4. A drug allows you to travel down paths of your ancestral line, where you discover various other queer people from long ago that you've never heard your family mention before. What if this is a horror story? What if it is fantasy?

  5. An alien species (that breeds asexually) ends up coming to earth. They've captured you and a handful of your friends for further study.

  6. You're a queer detective, medical inspector, or local busy body. An art collector in the neighborhood has been murdered. Weird thing is, the scene looks a lot like a painting within the collection.

  7. A world where 50% of the human population is queer.

  8. You have an incestuous circle of friends. One just broke up with you and is dating another. Then they both end up missing. Now people are giving you the side-eye. What do you do when people start believing you've got something to do with their disappearance?

  9. You've just become the main "person of interest" for the murder of your current lover but you cannot recall the event or any reason why you'd do that. But you woke up that morning covered in their blood. Your lover is a well-known political activist. What happens next?

  10. A queer teen dreams of a long-term relationship with an alien. The parents would rather die than see their kid date outside the species.

  11. You've just discovered a famous queer musical icon is now re-created as an AI. Do you pepper this digital being with specific questions, ask if you two can date, or do you just wanna make wonderful music together?

  12. A couple's therapist undermines the protagonist during a session. What's the motive? How does the protagonist react? Will this eventually bias a judge in court?

  13. A magical object teleports you into queer "heaven". What does it look like? What can you do there?

  14. You've woken from a comma. You feel bizarre in your body. You feel even more bizarre around family and friends. No one will tell you how long it's been and they've started acting really odd. It is almost like they think you're not really you. As if you've been possessed by a spirit or demon.

  15. Exoarcheologists discover the ruins of an ancient alien temple. The figures depicted within the temple clearly indicate queer love existed for that species but no human has ever met a living representative.

  16. Breathing air on an alien world causes some humans to exhibit unusual sexual behaviors. Almost like they are evolving into something more compatible/symbiotic with life on that planet. Is this a good or bad thing?

  17. A group of queer friends discovers something hidden on a planet during what was supposed to be a vacation. Now they are obsessed with unraveling the mystery behind the discovery.

  18. A witch, warlock, or priest casts a spell on a warrior. At first, that warrior feels cursed but gradually that warrior feels blessed. What is the spell? Why does the warrior change opinion?

  19. A queer protagonist goes from total stranger to hero among a group of tourists visiting an alien planet that's about to be invaded by a faction of Imperialists from Earth.

  20. You're a queer spaceship pilot and you've just crashed on a small moon. But the moon has a mysterious and powerful inhabitant. And they've got their eyes fixed on you.

  21. You've fallen through a portal into another realm. This realm is filled with the souls of the dead from your realm. You meet a queer historical icon who takes pity and decides to help you find your way back.

  22. Most crops are dying and this threatens human life within a colony on a newly discovered exoplanet. Funny thing though, a few grape varieties thrive despite this. You are a highly skilled vintner and your life partner(s), children, and friends = your supporting cast, helping you save the colony.

  23. You are genetically modified to have a high aptitude for logic, and organization. You are surrounded by others who are also genetically modified with high aptitudes for linguistics, science, engineering, math, and mechanics. Together you form a team that's formidable. But all of your lives are threatened by an eminent cosmic event. And it is going to take the most creative thinking to figure a way out of this. And that means fixing the bridge your group burnt making the queer artist living among you feel like an outcast.

  24. A wedding planner bears a grudge against the protagonist who is queer and wants to celebrate the upcoming union with their lover(s) in a very unique way. A comedy of manners ensues. Is this set in the past, present, or future? Is everyone human or alien?

  25. A queer writer is trying to get sober after years of alcohol and drug abuse because they've finally found their reason to do so. What is the catalyst? Who stands by their side? Who or what gets in their way? Does this person finally succeed? Is this story a dark comedy, an inspirational tale? Is it set some time in history, the present, or far in the future?

  26. A society that is so devolved that people who stand out, for any reason, good or bad, get singled out for punishment by the society's overlords who (of course) are exempt from this treatment. Our queer protagonist finds a way to escape, taking how many with them? Where do they go? What do they do when they get there?

  27. A queer hacker with incredible skills for forging new identities finds out an underworld assassin desires them for more than just that. Is this a good or bad thing? Is this story taking place in the past, present, or far future?

  28. It's 1000 years in the future and we still haven't found a cure for Alzheimer's disease or cancer. On a colony world, there's a hospice patient who frequently jumps between flashes of memory over the course of their 200+ years of life. This person is famous but doesn't recall why... The memories that crop up are about love, connectedness, what it means to be alive. Not about the particular fluke that made them an icon. But what was the fluke? Why do people care so much? Why does this not really matter to the hospice patient?

  29. A protagonist (who struggles to deal with the loss of their lover in a war) spends light years traveling between worlds. They assist failing human colonies to evacuate and relocate. Something they wish they could have done to save the lost lover in the first place.

  30. A resident in the community seems nice enough but holds a secret, they are always monitoring those they interact with, recording, surveilling, sometimes even invading. And now our queer protagonist moves into town. This resident lives next door.

  31. A corporate-run colony has been working diligently to perform its work and carve out a decent life on an exoplanet. But there are life cycles on this planet that do not adhere to human-scale time frames. A certain fungus bloom is about to sweep the planet's surface with unforeseen consequences on the human body. A Queer biochemist/mycologist fights to figure out what is happening to the human population as some succumb to strange symptoms and die, others exhibit unusual behaviors, and now the biochemist is also showing signs of being affected too.

  32. A self-centered showoff works in a call center along with the protagonist. The showoff is only working there as a stepping stone to a job in law enforcement. The showoff is actually doing harm to the client base as this is a suicide prevention group aimed at supporting queer youth. What will the protagonist do?

  33. For thousands of years, the gods have made intermittent and consequential changes on a particular planet. The residents know this and worship and fear their gods. The residents periodically develop enough tech to start making attempts to reach out to the gods via spaceship, only to be punished and forced to culturally devolve. This happens every few hundred years. The residents blame themselves for being unworthy, carrying a pang of cultural guilt through the centuries, its origins lost to time. Then our queer protagonist (a human and neither a god nor a resident of the planet) crash-lands. But the human knows the gods are not magical beings. They are Artificial Intelligences developed by forgotten ancestors of the planet's residents.

  34. An ambitious designer scores a lucrative job in an obscure part of the world (or off-world). The location is isolated, lonely, and there are very few people around. The people seem quite odd. Are they afraid of something? The robots and support drones outnumber the people nearly 10 to 1.

  35. Lovers frolic in the woods and discover a brook feeding a gentle waterfall into a small pool. They decide to stay awhile, perhaps eat or make love or both. But something in the woods is watching them. And only one will leave that place alive.

  36. As a young person, the protagonist admires a middle-aged queer person for their creativity in storytelling. They become friends. But the parents think the storyteller is socially beneath them. And eventually, the kid is pulled away from the friendship by the parents. But the kid sometimes sneaks away to hear more of the older person's stories. There is some spark, some beautiful secret, that shines brightly through the eyes of the storyteller. And this kid has tapped into the secret and only shares what it is years later. What triggers the sharing of this memory?

  37. You're doing inventory in the spaceship's cargo bay. Something doesn't add up. There's an extra crate. You examine it. There's a person cryo-frozen, or at least in some sort of stasis pod. This person is not on the crew manifest, nor on the list of known passengers. What do you do? Why is that person in the cargo bay?

  38. Imagine a colony on an asteroid or moon within Earth's solar system that is run entirely by a Queer couple and their Artificially Intelligent minions. What would this look like if it was a comedy? What would it look like if it were part of a horror story?

  39. Forced to marry because your family arranges it for political leverage, you fall in love with your new spouse's cousin, or wizard, or fortuneteller, or champion knight, or captain of the guard, or someone else you run into frequently while at court. Problem is, your spouse can read your mind if your skin touches. What do you do?

  40. Your lover dies and their spirit lingers in your home. You can only see them when you no longer miss them. They think you can't see them because you don't care. They haunt you. How do you turn this terrible misunderstanding around before something kills you?

  41. A bus driver notices one of the passengers is missing. They've just stopped on a short layover and now all but one's returned. What happened to the passenger? And isn't that the same passenger who argued with someone right before departing the original pickup spot? Looked like a lover's quarrel.

  42. A famous architect (and celebrity personality) establishes a colony on a small planet where most (if not all) colonists look up to them as a guru. You're a new hire to help this person keep the circus going. You're a popular and talented interior designer in your own right and have a lot of amazing ideas for upgrades around the place. Personalities clash. Will you write this as a comedy of errors, a romance, a horror story, or a thriller?

  43. Your colony is struggling to survive after mistakes were made by those in power. You have very little power. In fact, you've been conscripted to join a small crew of workers to fix a satellite communication station so that your colony can send out a distress call. Problem is, this planet has all sorts of predatory life, none of which is afraid of you. How do you manage to survive the 10-mile journey between your housing unit and the communication station?

  44. Nothing like being a space explorer, right? Out in your little space hopper, jumping from one little rocklette to the next, searching for prized ore. After years of hitting mild payouts, your tenacity pays off! You've found the jackpot. A rich source of rare metals. The only problem is, a large corporation's eager to snatch your claim. What do you do?

  45. You fall in love with an alien but the alien finds you completely disgusting. Not you in particular, but your species. Apparently, generations of conflict between your two species will do that. Is there any hope for star-crossed love?

  46. You're about to go on a blind date. You've spent a lot of credits to look your best. You want to impress of course. It's been ages since you've been on the dating scene. But when you get there, the date is an alien, a friend of a friend. You've never dated an alien before. You were kind of holding out hope that the blind date was a human acquaintance of yours. Do you show your disappointment? Do you act graciously? Do you give this being a chance?

  47. You've been invited to an alien's house for dinner. You both work for the same intergalactic advertising agency. You're the first human they ever wanted to bring home to meet their mate and ten offspring. They've more than hinted that you are expected to bring a plus-one. What do you do?

  48. A fertility deity wakes from thousands of years of slumber. But not a single worshipper remains. As a matter of fact, only descendants of the species remain--robots, computers, and Artificial Intelligences. Will the deity try to make new worshippers out of them anyway?

  49. An alien child enjoys playing catch-and-release with the little things that fly and buzz near its playpen. What it doesn't realize is that those little things are spaceships, and the humans piloting them have no idea the alien is a child (and one of the few of its kind left in the universe). Will a xenobiology team (headed by a queer scientist) figure out what's going on before the military wing of the human government declare's war?

  50. An eccentric trillionaire loves to play with their toys. Only, these toys are sentient chimera, cobbled together gleefully in a lab this "genius" runs without any government oversight. Our queer protagonist is a guest but doesn't know about the lab. Until something changes.

Shadow on Concrete Wall
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