Last Updated 3/27/2008

NOTE: some of the plugins listed in this FAQ are no longer used in FCOM 9.1 and later. 

This page is outdated. See the most recent version here: UESP Wiki FCOM FAQ.

FAQ by StarX and dev_akm

Important Notes:

  • This FAQ generally does not cover any issues related to the separate mods.
  • It is written under the assumption that you can install and use Oblivion Mod Manager and especially Wrye Bash., although some guidance will be given of course.
  • The FCOM beta release is not for the faint of heart. It may chew your game up into tiny bits and spit it back in your face!

Q. Using the new Mark Levelers feature in Wrye Bash (0.98 or later) gives me a much longer list of Leveler plugins, but not everything is listed. Is this correct?

Yes, it's correct. The list of Levelers is now much longer than with previous versions of Wrye Bash. The main reason for this is that Mark Levelers needs to work for everyone, not just FCOM users. Also, list merging is improved now to support a wider variety of Levelers. The step-by-step FCOM guide for creating your Bashed Patch now includes an expanded sample of what it might look like. See the main FCOM page.

Many plugins that you might expect to appear in the list do not. This is also correct. Plugins that just add new things should not be listed as Levelers. Nor should plugins that just tweak creatures or NPCs without changing existing leveled list entries. Levelers are very specific plugins that move existing things around in the leveled lists (Relevs) and/or remove existing things from leveled lists (Delevs). 

Let's review once more for good measure: plugins that just add new things should not be listed as Levelers. The new things they add will get merged into the Bashed Patch automatically even though they are not listed as Levelers.

Q. I've installed everything according to the instructions but Oblivion crashes immediately when I try to launch the game. What did I do wrong?

Missing a master dependency.
This is a common mistake. Generally, crashes when loading Oblivion indicate that you're missing a required master dependency file from your load list. You almost certainly forgot to install one of the required source mods, or installed the wrong version of OOO. You can easily figure out which master dependency is missing by looking to see if any of your FCOM plugins are highlighted pink in Wrye Bash (actually it often looks like a sort of peach color). If so, then select the pink plugin(s) and examine the Masters list displayed in the lower-right corner. If you see any masters listed there that are unchecked (the checkbox will be pink, too), then you have your answer.

This problem is frequently caused by failing to get the correct version of Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. FCOM 7.6 and up require a Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esm, which did not exist prior to OOO 1.32. So, if you installed OOO 1.31c, then you'll only have a single ESP file for OOO. This works fine with FCOM 7.5, but FCOM 7.6 and up switched to the latest version of OOO, so it requires the OOO.esm file instead. See the screenshot above for an example of this problem.

Install the missing master files, activate them, and update your Bashed Patch. If you did this correctly, then the game will not crash when launching.

Q. I tried that, but I'm still getting a CTD on launch. WTF?

Another common problem that can cause CTD on launch is if your Oblivion is not patched to version 1.2. This prevents Fran's mod from loading, which in turn causes a missing master dependency crash as described above. Many times people think they have installed the official 1.2 patch, but for some reason the patch install did not work properly. To find out for sure if you're running 1.2 or not, start the game and check the version number displayed in the lower-left corner of the main menu. It should say 1.2.0416. If it says anything else, then that's why you're crashing.

If your attempts to install the patch fail, here's the process for getting it to work. First, make sure you downloaded the correct patch for your version and make sure you downloaded the correct one for the location where you live (US, UK, etc.). You do not need to install the 1.1 patch since it is included in the 1.2 patch. Once you have the correct files, you must install everything in this order:

Oblivion
Oblivion Patch 1.2.0416
DLC mods
PC mods
--- or ----
Oblivion
Shivering Isles Cd
Shiviering Isles Patch 1.2.0416
DLC mods
PC mods

Q. Help! I have invisible NPCs and huge yellow exclamation marks running around in my game! How did that happen?

This means that the game can’t find certain meshes (3d models) and/or textures. You probably didn’t install them correctly or forgot to install them. Many people forget to download the base OOO 1.3 file (400Mb) and/or the Francesco optional new items file (500Mb).

Also make sure you use the latest fixes for the mods you are using. The official Bethesda 1.2 patch caused many problems like this for Fran's mod.

If you're not sure which files you're missing and/or where to find the missing files, you should check the OOO Quick Start Guide to make sure you got all the required files for Oscuro's. For Francesco's, you'll need to get the optional items file, which is a huge BSA that can usually be downloaded from the same place you downloaded Francesco's base file.

If you've already got all the files, then you may be suffering from the official Bethesda 1.2 patch. The patch itself is great and provides a lot of added stability to the game, but Bethesda removed the ability to have an ESM file automatically load an associated BSA (BSAs that are associated with ESP files still autoload correctly). Since Fran's optional items is an ESM and it uses a BSA for its artwork, many users got burned by this change.

The typical solution is to register the Fran optional items BSA in your Oblivion.ini file so it always gets loaded when the game starts. To do this, add the Fran optional items BSA filename to the SArchiveList entry in your Oblivion.ini (\My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\Oblivion.ini). If you do this, however, you should make sure the Fran optional items BSA has a nice short filename -- like FraNewItems.bsa -- because the SArchiveList cannot be more than 255 characters long.

There is one other way to solve this for Fran's mod (and any other problem BSAs). It's slightly more involved, but probably more elegant since it doesn't involve editing your Oblivion.ini (which can be a big help if you frequently recreate your ini file). The trick is to create a standard placeholder ESP that doesn't really do anything except autoload BSA files. For example, if you create a new plugin (or rename one that has a few simple game tweaks in it) to something like:

BSAloader.esp

then you can rename the Fran optional items BSA to be called something like:

BSAloader - Fran New Items.bsa

and as long as the BSA starts with the same name as the (active) dummy ESP file, the BSA will load automatically without needing to be registered in your Oblivion.ini.

Q. Why can’t you make a self-extracting installer so I won’t have to spend all day figuring out how to get this to work?

FCOM merges several huge mods, some of which are updated frequently and usually followed by several patches and fixes. Bundling all of the files would not only result in forcing people into gigantic downloads, but also in a tremendous amount of work to keep updating the whole file with patches or fixes. But the main reason is that FCOM uses the other mod as a resource and we will not redistribute their spiritual property, period.

Q. Why don’t you release a pre-bashed Bashed Patch?

It is important to understand that the modularity of the whole package is important to us. We don’t want to force people into making choices they don’t want to make. Also it would need to be updated very often, so we would much rather spend our time bringing FCOM to a higher standard.

Q. Do I have to download and install all of the mods to get FCOM working?

The three base mods will always be Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul, Fransesco’s Leveled Creatures and Items and Martigens Monster Mod. Those three are essential to install, as FCOM was initially an attempt to get these three mods to work together. Oblivion WarCry and Bob’s Armory are optional, but will drastically increase the variety in the game. When installing Fransesco’s there is no need to install the creatures add-on, as creatures will come from OOO, MMM and WarCry.

Q. What options should I pick when installing Fransesco’s?

Our recommendation is that you choose MOBS, separate files, and hardcore loot (any other loot setting will simply have no effect) and choose none of the optional files, as most of them will have almost no impact on the game (although a few of them can be used in the Expanded Load Order for Shivering Isles). Do not install Fransesco’s optional creatures, because it will have no effect and all of the same creatures are included in MMM anyway. More detailed instructions for installing various Francesco options are included in the Installation section of the main FCOM page.

Q. I have downloaded and installed the mods, what do I have to do now?

FCOM acts as the glue between the different mods. It prevents unwanted faction wars and rebalances a lot of items to be in line with the FCOM world, which is mainly dominated by OOO. To get the whole thing going there are a few very important steps that must be followed. As stated before, some fair knowledge about OBMM and Wrye Bash is required. We’ll go through this process step by step.

First, make sure that you copy the Bashed Patch,0.esp from Wrye Bash (located in the Extras folder) to your Data folder. With that done, read through the following Questions and Answers.

Q. What is the load order of all these files?

Note that you can adjust your load order in either OBMM or in Wrye Bash (by changing the date or using CTRL + arrow up or down). If you want to adjust the load order in OBMM, make sure you disable the Lock Times feature in Wyre Bash first. See the Oblivion Mods FAQ section on Setting the Load Order for more details.

When using all of the supported mods, the standard load order should look like this:

Francesco's leveled creatures-items mod.esm
Francesco's optional new items add-on.esm

Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esm
(only with FCOM 7.6 or later)
Mart's Monster Mod.esm
Other baseline plugins like UOP, etc.
Bob's Armory Oblivion.esp
(optional)
Oblivion WarCry EV.esp (optional)
Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esp
Mart's Monster Mod for FCOM.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - Official Patch 1.2 compatibility fix.esp
(only with MMM 2.01 -- not MMM 3.0)
Mart's Monster Mod - Looting NPCs & Creatures.esp
(optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - More Wilderness Life.esp (optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - Diverse Creature Skins.esp (optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - City Defences.esp (optional)
FCOM_BobItemReleveler.esp (only if you use Bob's Armory option)
FCOM_FranItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_OOOItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_WarCryItemReleveler.esp
(only if you use WarCry option)
FCOM_OOOSpawnReleveler.esp
FCOM_MMMSpawnReleveler.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - Spawn Rates - Increased.esp* (optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - No Giants.esp*
(optional)
FCOM_WarcryFactions.esp
(only if you use WarCry option)
Quest plugins like Knights of the Nine and overrides like GFX_Initial_Glow-all.esp, etc.

Bashed Patch, 0.esp (called "Bashed Lists, 0.esp" in older versions of Wrye Bash)

(*) Note that MMM plugins like Spawn Rates - Increased, Spawn Rates - Reduced, No Spiders, No Werewolves can be used here. Load spawnrate changers before the "no" options! Also note that the names of these plugins changed in MMM 3.1 RC (previously they were called Increased Spawn Rate, Reduced Spawn Rate, etc.). The MMM option files for No Carrion Rats, No Undead Rise, and More Wilderness Life are not based on spawn list changes, so they should not be specified as Relevelers. 

You may also want to read the FCOM Expanded Load-Order Guide.

Q. What do I do with the Bashed Patch in Wrye Bash?

Copy the Bashed Patch, 0.esp into your \Oblivion\Data\ directory and make sure it's set to load last in Wrye Bash. Next, right-click on the Bashed Patch, 0.esp and select Rebuild Patch. (There are separate instructions for older versions of Bash on the Old Bash page.) This will give you a menu with a bunch of patch options. Configure any options you want and click OK. Let it process for a bit and you're done! The Bashed Patch section of the main FCOM page has a step-by-step walkthrough of the procedure.

Q. Can I use the optional files of MMM in my FCOM set up?

Yes, of course. For example, if you don't want to see any of MMM's giants or spiders, but you want increased spawn rates for everything else, then you have to put those optional plugins after the MMMSpawnReleveler so you'll end up with a load order that looks like this partial list:

Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esp
Mart's Monster Mod for FCOM.esp
FCOM_BobItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_FranItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_OOOItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_WarCryItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_OOOSpawnReleveler.esp
FCOM_MMMSpawnReleveler.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - Spawn Rates - Increased.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - No Giants.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - No Spiders.esp


This also works with the MMM optional plugins for Spawn Rates - Reduced (SRR), Spawn Rates - Reduced Reduced (SRRR), and Spawn Rates - Increased (SRI) -- in other words, you can use these if they come after the SpawnRelevelers . Note that the names of these plugins changed in MMM 3.1 RC (previously they were called Increased Spawn Rate, Reduced Spawn Rate, etc.).

Other option modules for MMM that should also be loaded in the same position as No Giants in the example -- if you want to use them -- include: No Spiders, Safer Roads and No Werewolves.

If you are using an old version of Wrye Bash, you may need to add the {{BASH:Relev}} tag into the mod description field for each of these Releveler plugin files. You don't need to worry about this with Wrye Bash 0.98 or later as long as you use the Mark Levelers process described in the FCOM install instructions.

Other MMM modules that are recommended for use with FCOM include: Looting NPCs & Creatures.esp, More Wilderness Life.esp, Diverse Creature Skins.esp, and City Defences.esp. These should be loaded directly after Mart’s Monster Mod for FCOM.esp and before the first FCOM Releveler.

Important: Do not use the optional Diverse Imperial Armor plugin for MMM, unless you want to see duplicated guards shoving each other around! Also, do not use the Fran's Leveled Quests plugin.

Q. Why do the city guards keep pushing each other away?

You are probably using Mart’s Monster Mod – Diverse Imperial Armor, remove this mod and wait a few days for respawn to solve this issue.

Q. Where in the load order do I put all my other mods?

Well, here comes some common sense into play. As long as you keep in mind that if two mods alter the same thing, the one last loaded will be dominant, you should generally be fine. Some specific mods may need to be moved up or down in the list to minimize conflicts -- usually related to OOO because it touches so many areas of the game.

See General Load-Order Guidelines for more detail.

Based on that, here's how you might arrange other mods around FCOM:

Francesco's leveled creatures-items mod.esm
Francesco's optional new items add-on.esm

Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esm
(only with FCOM 7.6 or later)
Mart's Monster Mod.esm
Other baseline plugins like UOP, etc.
Bob's Armory Oblivion.esp
(optional)
Oblivion WarCry EV.esp (optional)
Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esp
Mart's Monster Mod for FCOM.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - Official Patch 1.2 compatibility fix.esp
(only with MMM 2.01 -- not MMM 3.0)
Mart's Monster Mod - Looting NPCs & Creatures.esp
(optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - More Wilderness Life.esp (optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - Diverse Creature Skins.esp (optional)
Mart's Monster Mod - City Defences.esp (optional)
FCOM_BobItemReleveler.esp (only if you use Bob's Armory option)
FCOM_FranItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_OOOItemReleveler.esp
FCOM_WarCryItemReleveler.esp
(only if you use WarCry option)
FCOM_OOOSpawnReleveler.esp
FCOM_MMMSpawnReleveler.esp
Mart's Monster Mod - No Giants.esp
(optional)
FCOM_WarcryFactions.esp
(only if you use WarCry option)
Quest plugins like Knights of the Nine and overrides like GFX_Initial_Glow-all.esp, etc.

Bashed Patch, 0.esp
(called "Bashed Lists, 0.esp" in older versions of Wrye Bash)

You may also want to read the FCOM Expanded Load-Order Guide.

Q. Can I use OOO Lite with FCOM and where do the optional files go?

Yes, you can use OOO Lite with FCOM. You can also use the optional modules, as long as they are loaded after OOO Lite. You still have to take the “If two mods change the same thing, the one loaded last will dominate” rule into account.  Be sure to check the Oscuro Install Options for guidance and/or use the OMOD Installation Script to ensure you get a proper configuration for OOO.

Q. Can I use MOBS and Combat Behavior from Francesco’s?

Yes, this is recommended. OOO uses a modified version of MOBS, so picking this option when you install Fran's mod will ensure that Fran's weapon stats are similar to those used for OOO weapons. Bob's Armory has also been rebalanced to include MOBS-style weapon stats. Future updates of FCOM will hopefully include rebalancing for any other source mods that need it.

Q. I see lots of creatures and NPC’s fighting each other, is that normal?

Every faction fight you’ll encounter in the game is intended, so yes, that’s normal. It’s fun not to always be the center of the universe.

Q. Can I use TNR together with FCOM?

Yes, with the help of Wrye Bash you can import TNR faces into your Bashed Patch. Use the Rebuild Patch->NPC Faces config and simply select the TNR faces you want in your Bashed Patch.

Q. Can I use DLC SpellTomes without conflict?

Yes, you can, with Wrye Bash. Just see to it that it’s loaded before your Bashed Patch. You need to update your Bashed Patch in Wrye Bash. SpellTomes will be automatically added to the Bashed Patch.

Q. Do I have to start a new game when using FCOM the first time?

No, you don’t have to. Just use Wrye Bash to update the NPC levels in your savegame. To do this, go to the Saves tab, select your savegame, right-click it to bring up the context menus, and pick Import NCP Levels. Choose the OOO.esp (not the ESM) and click OK. Travel to a safe interior cell (such as one of your homes) and wait/sleep until respawn (by default this is three full days). You can also wait/sleep in an inn or guildhouse if necessary.

Q. Do I really have to worry about waiting for respawn in a safe place after I upgrade from MMM 3.0 to 3.1 or 3.2? And can I use an existing character "template" without fear?

The TestingHall, which you can get to using the console ~coc TestingHall, is by far the best place to rest for respawn when you're ready to upgrade from MMM 3.0 to MMM 3.1 or 3.2. The reason for this is that some of the MMM scripts were changed in a way that could cause very bad things to happen on an existing game if you are near any NPCs or creatures when you do the upgrade. This is not normally something you need to worry about so much when upgrading mods, but in this one case it's potentially a very serious issue. The technical details on the problem can be found here.

If you created a character "template" (i.e., a savegame just before the exit from the starter dungeon) before installing MMM, then you don't have to worry about it. If you created it with MMM 3.0 active and you're now running MMM 3.1 or 3.2, you should probably recreate the template from scratch.

Q. When using the Spawn Rates - Increased option, I started getting audio problems when near heavy spawns. This included odd glitching noises and sounds being cut off. How can I fix this?

Try this setting in your Oblivion.ini file (in \My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\): 

iMaxImpactSoundCount=64

(The default is 32.)

Q. What can I do to help make FCOM even better?

Post your comments, thoughts and critics in the FCOM thread on the official Oblivion Mod Forum. Constructive criticism is always welcome. (Of course you are also welcome to just stop by and tell a story about a hectic or amazing experience your character went through in the FCOM world!)