|For an overview of plastic explosives in the various Fallout games, see Plastic explosives.|
C-4 plastic explosive
Plastic explosives is a generic term referring to a brick of high explosive material which can be hand-molded into any shape. Primarily used by engineers, both civilian and military, for applications requiring precision and measured blasting, after the nuclear holocaust various brands of plastic explosives became used as tools and weapons. They are a fairly rare sight, at least compared to good old dynamite, its brother also invented by Alfred Nobel in the 19th century.
Another military variant of plastic explosives, Composition C-4 was the primary type of explosives used by the United States Army. 91% RDX ("Research Department Explosive", an explosive nitroamine), mixed with 5.3% dioctyl sebacate (DOS) or dioctyl adipate (DOA) as the plasticizer, 2.1% polyisobutylene (PIB, a synthetic rubber) as the binder, and 1.6% of a mineral oil results in a stable plastic explosive that won't detonate if dropped, exposed to fire, or shot. Detonation can only be initiated by a combination of extreme heat and a shockwave, such as when a detonator inserted into it is fired. The most common form of C-4 found in the wastes as the M112 1.25 lbs demolition block, bound in olive protective film and provided with a remote detonator.
Standard issue military explosives are one of the most powerful tools for a Sneak-based character or assassin. The detonator allows for remotely detonating the explosives from any kind of distance and coupled with the fact that the explosive can be smuggled into weapons-free areas with a Sneak of 50, makes them invaluable for eliminating people without putting blame on the player.
While it has a smaller explosive radius, at 8 yards (7.31 meters),) they can be planted in the inventory of the target without them automatically arming and going off, like with regular grenades and mines. Instead, they will remain there, waiting for the detonation signal. In fact, there's no need to plant them at all - simply dropping them near the character will suffice. While they may react to the C-4 being placed with the general reaction to a mine being dropped, they won't become hostile.
As long as the player is Hidden when they detonate the explosives, no one will hold it against the player. Note that all placed charges go off at once when the detonator is activated, no matter the distance. Given that actors are only affected if they are rendered (exterior cells only, interior cells always render all actors), there's no practical purpose to detonating them at extended ranges.
Note that the explosives can technically be detonated with gunfire, due to the underlying mechanics, at a 50% reduction in area of effect, 90% reduction in the push force of the blast, and dealing 70% less damage.
- Black Mountain Storage Room: Three as part of Tabitha's Treasure Hunt.
- Colorado River: Two bricks in floating explosives crates, near an unmarked cave with four lakelurks. The cave is south of Hoover Dam, beyond the major bend in the river.
- Dead Wind Cavern: One brick.
- Freeside: During Birds of a Feather, one brick found on the body of the suicide bomber (if he's shot).
- Freeside: Four can be looted at Mick & Ralph's.
- Lucky 38: Three in the Hard-locked briefcase. Apparently, someone tried to bomb the casino.
- Morning Star Cavern: One brick.
- Nipton: Two bricks and a detonator are in a footlocker at the NCR roadblock, near Ranger Milo.
- Nopah Cave: Three bricks.
- Ruby Hill Mine: Random spawn in the explosives box.
- Silver Peak Mine: total of six in the explosives crates, near the Remnants power armor helmet.
- Vault 19: Four can be found:
- Under the coach in the southwest room of the Blue section in the Living Quarters area.
- Between the filing cabinets in the Infirmary.
- Between the two vending machines in the cafeteria, left side of the Nuka-Cola machine.
- Outside the entrance to the Overseer's office.
- Vault 34: Three in the armory.
- Police station: Inside an average-locked locker in the northern rooms.
- 188 trading post: Arms merchant
- Freeside: Mick at Mick & Ralph's (secret inventory).
- Gun Runners: Vendortron
- Goodsprings: High level spawn in Chet's inventory.
- Miguel's Pawn Shop: Random spawn in Muguel's inventory, up to 8 bricks.
- Mojave Outpost: Lacey carries detonators and up to 8 bricks.
- Novac: High level spawn in Cliff Briscoe's inventory.
- Primm: Johnson Nash.
- Non-player characters
- Ranger station Charlie: On a supermutant master southwest of the station, near the pile of cazador eggs.
- Legionary assassins may spawn with them.
- Vault 19 bricks may fail to render in the game, but can still be looted.
- 512 unit radius, 128 units = 2 yards.