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NOTE: VDSG is short for the book: Vault Dweller's Survival Guide
These are separated into different types of encounters:
- Static encounters - which occur in a large area of the map
- Fluid encounters - which occur on the roads
- General encounters - occur almost anywhere in the Commonwealth
- Campsite encounters - which only occur at a campsite (e.g. east of Concord in the parking lot)
- Choke point encounters - which occur in "areas with limited maneuverability", such as a bridge crossing
- Animosity encounters - which involve two factions fighting each other
- Treasure hunt encounters - which start with finding a dead person
- Companion encounters - where, if you have a particular companion with you, you could expect one related to the companion to occur
"These usually occur in a specific area, which could be anywhere in the Commonwealth" - Vault Dweller's Survival Guide.
Raider versus FarmersEdit
Mole Rat AmbushEdit
Wild Pack of DogsEdit
Gene and his DogEdit
While traversing the wasteland, the Sole Survivor may encounter a man named Gene. He will offer to sell his dog for 250 caps, but is then hesitant. Convincing him to sell the dog will allow it to be sent to a settlement, granting that settlement +5 to Defense. Gene can be encountered multiple times, and a new dog can be purchased from him each time.
Super Mutants and PrisonerEdit
If the super mutants are killed, the freed prisoner will sprint off and, if followed, he will eventually end up in Sanctuary Hills. If talked to, he will only answer with generic NPC dialogue. As a settler, he does not add to the settlement population number and can not be traded with, like normal settlers. He seems to lack the scripting to assign him to jobs like farming or defence. If commanded using the workshop, he will obey but as soon as the workshop is closed, he will run back towards the same fixed spot he stopped at when first reaching Sanctuary Hills.
There is a chance that two deathclaws will spawn and begin fighting one another until one of their health runs low and the losing deathclaw retreats. Be careful, because once the fight ends, both deathclaws will turn hostile and attack.
Raiders and the Pink PasteEdit
While wandering the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may come across three dead raiders in what appears to be a failed intervention. On one is a note, in which one unnamed raider attempts to stop their friend Hank from eating food paste, which is making him act more and more harsh and insane. This encounter is repeatable. Upon reading the note, Suffolk County charter school is marked on the map.
You've Got CrabsEdit
The Dead PostmanEdit
|The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
This encounter may be a reference to the post-apocalyptic novel The Postman, by David Brin, in which the main character acquires a postman's uniform and begins traveling the former United States posing as a representative of the reformed government.
|End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.|
Super Mutants Raiding PartyEdit
Up to four super mutants (all wielding missile launchers) can be encountered. Upon seeing the Sole Survivor, the super mutants will all start wildly firing their missiles at them with horrible accuracy. The leader of the group carries supermutant's orders.
If the Institute is still active and the Railroad quest Boston After Dark has not been completed, the Sole Survivor may spot a male synth, Timothy, who is wearing an Institute jumper. He will ask the Sole Survivor to provide him the location of Bunker Hill. Should the Sole Survivor previously have visited Bunker Hill, they have the option to point him in the right direction, or ask for caps.
Occasionally, the Sole Survivor may find a bar set up in random places which belongs to a man named Mac. The Sole Survivor can purchase drinks and initiate a conversation with him about the bar location.
All below are fluid encounters
While walking along a road the Sole Survivor may encounter a trader named Smiling Larry who, when interacted with, will sell some items. The trader can be recruited if the level 3 Weapons emporium have been unlocked, and more than 30 settlers are in the settlement (includes those living in settlements connected to the one you are sending him to). Once He is assigned to the emporium, he will sell the legendary Ripper, Reckoning.
One of the places Smiling Larry can be encountered is on roads that cross over Doc Weathers' trade route. As well as the railroad tracks just south of Tenpines Bluff (pictured at right) also the east-west Bering road just north of Drumlin Diner is a Fluid random encounter spot.
Another Level 4 merchant that you could send to one of your settlements. Like Larry, you will have to stick to the roads to spot him, but unlike other settlers you might come across, he is easy to spot since he wears a BOS uniform. To recruit him, you need at least 10 settlers in a settlement & a level 3 armor emporium.
Preston Garvey ImpersonatorEdit
While wandering, the Sole Survivor may come across a smooth talking man claiming to be Preston Garvey. He will request a donation of 100 caps for the Minutemen. If the Sole Survivor tells the impostor that they know Preston, or that they are the general of the Minutemen, the impersonator will run away.
A Girl and Her RobotEdit
While wandering, the Sole Survivor may come across a little girl, Kat, and her sentry bot guardian, Gus. She can be found at various locations, one of the places to find her early on in the game, and the nearest place to Sanctuary Hills is the east-west orientated road just north of Drumlin Diner. Although the east-west orientated railroad tracks south of Tenpines is possible too but less likely due to the need to have already done the Minutemen Quest of Taking Point at Tenpines Bluff. Which involves having completed the assignment of killing the head commanding Raider and escaping or for more daring players to attempt to clear the entire Corvega assembly plant. However, at the Drumlin Diner location, all is needed is to complete the Sanctuary Quest then follow Trashcan Carla to the Drumlin Diner and then Completing the Order Up quest.
At the Drumlin Diner she will wander repeatedly again and again from just north of the Diner in the far east of her route then to as far west as just past the road and off into the woods going near a campsite in the woods and then a little bit passed the Campsite until coming near a cliff wall just before the Gorski cabin before turning back and then proceeding to repeat the tiny trade route that only includes the small 2 person community of Drumlin Diner. Also her robot Gus is capable of basic defense as well basic offense against some of the local monsters and enemies. Gus is able to kill all three of the ghouls that are right next to the Gorski cabin without any help from the Sole Survivor if they are aggravated and led over to Kat and her robot. The Robot is also capable at killing the raiders that sometimes randomly spawn once a week in front of the Drumlin Diner during their route to Drumlin Diner as well. Although Kat and her sentry bot are relatively safe on the route to Drumlin Diner, their route near Tenpines Bluff is more dangerous due to a higher chance of a random Super Mutant Encounter.
The settler may or may not be under attack, but once the settler is safe, the player can assign the settler to a settlement, where they will relocate to. An example is the bridge on top of the Coastal hideout, where several settlers are running from a group of raiders, it's depending on the player's actions whether or not any settler would survive.
- If dressed as the Silver Shroud, he'll refer to the character as such and talks similar to how the Sole Survivor could talk in-character.
The Sole Survivor will hear an explosion in a nearby shack. Inside they will find a chemistry station with several bottles of alcohol on it and a dead moonshiner. This is a possible reference to the "Exploding Scientist" random encounter in Fallout 3.
Two Faces. One SynthEdit
The Sole Survivor can come across two men, identical in appearance and both named Art. One Art is a human and the other is an identical synth. One Art has the other on his knees and is preparing to execute him with a shotgun. Both Arts will claim to be the real one and state the other is an Institute synth sent to kill the other and take their place. If the Sole Survivor decides not to interfere, the human Art will execute the synth and walk away. A very difficult speech check can convince the kneeling Art to admit to being a synth, at which point he will encourage the Sole Survivor to assist him in killing the real Art. A simple speech check can convince the standing Art to lower his weapon, at which point the kneeling Art will draw a weapon and attack him. Alternatively, the Sole Survivor can simply attack one of the Arts. The synth Art will have a synth component on their body, indicating whether or not the Sole Survivor has chosen correctly. If the standoff is interrupted, the two Arts will begin shooting at each other, turning the event into normal combat. If the Sole Survivor has the Awareness perk, the synth will have significantly higher resistances compared to Art. This encounter is a possible reference to a movie called "The Island" where a clone is held at gunpoint by the person he is a clone of and the man hunting the clone has to figure out which one is which. Oddly, this encounter is repeatable regardless of the outcome; if the Sole Survivor has previously attacked one of the Arts, that Art will be hostile in all subsequent encounters (as a result, the two Arts will immediately engage in a firefight instead of the normal dialogue).
- In V.A.T.S. both Art's names will always show in green so you cannot use V.A.T.S. to tell them apart.
Self Admitted SynthEdit
The Sole Survivor may happen upon a man, Fred, and a woman, Angie, holding a third man and self-admitted synth, Jules, at gunpoint. Jules claims he ran away from the Institute and only wants to get to Bunker Hill. The Sole Survivor has four choices on how to resolve the issue. Saving him using any of the three possible medium speech checks results in him fleeing away in gratitude. This encounter does not add Bunker Hill's icon to the Pip-Boy map, but if you catch up to Jules after saving him and talk to him twice, he'll give you a variable, but small, amount of caps.
- If coming upon on this encounter with Jules already dead, Fred and Angie will be hostile to the Sole Survivor.
- The Quest: The Nuclear Option must not be completed.
The Sole Survivor can sometimes happen across a few assaultrons spouting random nonsense. Upon noticing the Sole Survivor, they will all charge, screaming, "WHAT A PRETTY BOY".
Named Feral GhoulsEdit
The Sole Survivor can sometimes stumble across a pack of named feral ghouls. Their names are Mr. Donoghue, Mrs. Donoghue, Mr. Sumner, Mrs. Sumner, Mr. Parker, Mrs. Parker, Rosa and Rosa's son. These are all the names of the Sole Survivor's neighbors in pre-War Sanctuary Hills. Strangely, this is a repeatable encounter and can be seen many times, even if the ghouls have been killed.
The Farmer and the Vicious DogsEdit
Occasionally, the Sole Survivor will come across a farmer being attacked by three dogs. If the Sole Survivor kills the dogs in time to save the farmer, he will reward them with 250 caps. This encounter can occur multiple times.
The Farmer and the RaidersEdit
Like with the vicious dog encounter, the Sole Survivor can find a farmer being assaulted by up to three raiders. If the Sole Survivor interferes and kills the raiders before the farmer is killed, they will be rewarded 250 caps.
A member of the Atom Cats wearing a full suit of power armor will be scouring a wrecked car for parts. If spoken to, he will helpfully mark the Atom Cats garage on the Sole Survivor's map, then walk off. In addition, if you are able to pickpocket his fusion core, he will exit the power armor and walk off, and you can take the armor after he walks out of range.
A woman named Kelly can be found traveling the wasteland with a brahmin. She will offer to sell the brahmin for 100 caps. It can be sent to a settlement to improve the efficiency of farming at that settlement. If asked whether the brahmin is stolen, Kelly will become evasive, with her tone ambiguous as to whether she's feeling guilty or merely thinks it's a stupid question.
The brahmin may be a synth once sent to a settlement. Once it has caused trouble and been killed a synth component can be found on its body.
Additionally, the brahmin may drop dead a few seconds after sending it to a settlement.
Upon exploring the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may run into a small pack of mole rats, one of which has a few fragmentation mines strapped to its back. As evidenced by the mines, these mole rats may have come from Kendall Parking.
An unnamed settler is found in random locations in the Commonwealth using a cooking station during the encounter. As the Sole Survivor approaches, they are warned not to come any closer. Upon further questioning the settler will announce that they are gassy from eating some bad cans of meat they got from a man named Lukowski, and will mark the location Longneck Lukowski's Cannery on the Sole Survivor's Pip-Boy.
Vault 81 PrisonerEdit
A Vault 81 prisoner can be encountered in the wasteland being held by 2 raiders. Freeing the prisoner will mark the location of Vault 81 on the Sole Survivor's Pip-Boy. You will also get the miscellaneous quest to investigate Vault 81. When talking to the freed prisoner they will state that they should never have left the vault and that they would never go out on exploring missions again.
Settlers in TroubleEdit
One may come across three or four settlers fighting a group of hostiles (most likely raiders). If the Sole Survivor assists and keeps them from being killed, the survivors will join you and you may send them to any settlement you choose.
Settlers recruited from this event act oddly. If reassigned to a different settlement, they may still be involved in radiant quests from the original settlement, hiking back so they can be talked to, to pick up the quest. If one or more of the settlers are killed during the encounter but the remaining settlers are recruited, the dead settlers are also treated as having been recruited, and a radiant quest may require speaking to the dead settler.
The Seven Frag MinesEdit
At various locations, one will sometimes find a group of seven live fragmentation mines.
A group of three raiders can be seen trying to shake down a pair of farmers for money. After some back and forth between the two groups in which the farmers state they have nothing of value, the raiders will decide to just kill the farmers and turn hostile. If the Sole Survivor kills the raiders and saves the farmers, they will thank the Sole Survivor. If the Sole Survivor approaches too closely while the raiders and farmers are talking, the raiders will immediately turn hostile and attack.
A non-hostile Triggerman will appear asking if you would be interested in making some "scrap" by taking on a job. When questioned about the job the Triggerman will reply that any questions are to be directed to Bobbi No-Nose in Goodneighbor. Your map will then be updated with the Goodneighbor location and a miscellaneous quest to talk to Bobbi No-Nose.
UFO Crash SiteEdit
(Not a random encounter as it happens at level 20-24, south-east of Oberland Station & south of the Beantown brewery. The UFO flying overhead is only to show the player the general direction of the crash site, relative to the player's current location)
Three Dead RaidersEdit
Joined with the article; "Raiders and the Pink Paste"
A Scavenger and a RefrigeratorEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter a scavenger attempting to open a novice-locked refrigerator. If approached, they will become hostile. Inside the refrigerator is a random gun, some caps, and matching ammo. This is possibly a reference to an identical encounter in Fallout 3.
With the Intimidation perk, it is possible to pacify the scavenger, open the refrigerator and leave. Once far enough away, he will take the gun from the fridge and will use it if approached again. However, this seems related to the AI always picking nearby weapons, as he will not leave and act as if it's still locked, additionally, any caps inside will remain there.
Scavenger and the HatchEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter a hatch and a scavenger in the wasteland. Upon talking to the scavenger, he will state that the hatch is "his". Putting the cursor on the hatch will prompt "detonate", and doing so will result in a mini nuke-like explosion, after which the player character can enter the bunker to find a skeleton and some minor loot in what seems to be a collapsed fallout shelter.
Alternatively, the Sole Survivor can wait for the scavenger to detonate the hatch. After which, the scavenger will excitedly shout that it worked and enter the shelter. He will become hostile if the player follows him into the bunker.
The Water BeggarEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter a settler kneeling by the side of the road. If talked to, she/he will claim they are tired and ask for water. If the Sole Survivor is currently carrying any purified water, they may offer it to the settler. They will thank them, and if talked to again, will say that they just need to rest for a bit longer before moving on. There is no option to send them to an owned settlement after giving them the water.
Similar to the water beggar, the Sole Survivor may encounter a woman who claims to be dying from radiation and asks for RadAway. It's even possible for this woman to be generated as a ghoul, who are supposed to be immune to radiation. If you give her some, she thanks you and says she needs to rest before continuing. There is no further option for interaction. If one returns to the location at a later date she will be smashed by a safe.
- If you refuse to give RadAway to the woman and return later, she will be replaced with a dead ghoul.
Blasted Away SafeEdit
One can sometimes come across a locked chest (from novice to master) in a small crater, suggesting it was probably thrown away by a rather powerful explosion.
Half Buried SafeEdit
One can sometimes come across a half-buried safe with no door. Inside will be some minor loot i.e.: caps, 10mm gun, RadAway, etc.
The Sole Survivor can find a fairly unique van in a quite good shape, but empty. On its right side is a skeleton in rags and a torn note that reads: "M. Henderson. I hate to remind you again, but you failed to meet your quota last month. We still have spots to fill in Vault 95 and you have not been pulling" The rest is torn and the other side reads: "...are making people uncomfortable. This is your last warning. If you don't reach your target this month, you're out. Ralph Jones." Part of the signature is torn, but the last part reads: "... Manager, Vault-Tec"
Occasionally, the Sole Survivor will witness a preacher and three settlers gathered around a fourth buried settler. Upon approaching, the preacher will say a short eulogy, followed by the settlers. First (male) one mourns a good friend, second (female) one mourns the person she loved, third (male) one declares it's not fair, that he is "the asshole of the group" and should have "bitten it" in his place. Then follow a few more words from the others.
- None of the four can be talked to, they just answer with the generic greeting for dialogue-less NPCs.
- The preacher wears the Pastor's vestments.
Some encounters only occur at night time.
The Walking WoundedEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter another level 4 workshop trader called Doc Anderson having just patched up a settler.
That's Not a SandwichEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter two men, Mikey and Moss, debating what the definition of a sandwich is. This is a long-standing debate in epistemology. It might also be a reference to the decision of the Massachusetts Superior Court White City Shopping Ctr., LP v. PR Rests. LLC, 21 Mass. L. Rep. 565 (Mass. Super. Ct. 200), where the court ruled that a sandwich consisted of at least two slices of bread, and therefore "under this definition, this court finds that the term 'sandwich' is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans".
The Sole Survivor may encounter a man named Clinton and his daughter Charlie talking about a variety of topics. These topics can vary from the duo getting a dog, the death of his wife, and if Charlie can sleep with a light on that night.
Choke point encountersEdit
Often happens in places where there is limited movement, like underneath a bridge.
Mr. Gutsy's Mandatory CurfewEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter a Mr. Gutsy attempting to enforce a mandatory curfew created by Provisional Governor Graham. If the Sole Survivor agrees to return home but remains in the area, the Mr. Gutsy will become hostile, stating that you have broken curfew. If one persuades him by claiming to be on military business, the Mr. Gutsy will state you are 60% confident and let the Sole Survivor pass. Also, if you have luck 7 or more, you get an additional option labeled:"Will you comply" by repeating the "Will you comply?" phrase enough times, he will be forced to initiate a self-destruct sequence due to looping error, or he will simply attack.
Mr. Gutsy's Chinese InfiltratorsEdit
The Sole Survivor may encounter a Mr. Gutsy attempting to enforce an identity check by Provisional Governor Graham. Out of the four dialog options, if you choose anything other than the offensive retort, the Mr. Gutsy will state that you have failed to identify yourself properly and will become hostile. Choosing the offensive retort will confirm your citizenship and he will tell you that if you happen to come across any communists to report them immediately. He will then leave the area.
None Shall Pass!Edit
A trio of Gunners/Raiders will approach the Sole Survivor and demand a "toll fee" of either 100, 250, 500, 1000, or 2000 caps. Saving just before they talk to you and reloading can result in a different start price of those three. Refusing to pay up or sprinting past them will cause the Raiders/Gunners to turn hostile and attack. The Sole Survivor can use persuasion to attempt to lower the toll fee.
Starting at 2000, you can persuade them down to 1000, 500 and 400.
Starting at 1000, you can persuade them down to 500, 400 and 350.
Starting at 500, you can persuade them down to 400, 350 and 250.
Starting at 250, you can persuade them down to 200, 150 and 100.
Starting at 100, you can persuade them down to 75, 50 and also let you go for free by the Raider saying "God, You know what? Just go already. This ain't worth my time" (after letting you go for free, the three raiders will remain neutral).
As the Raiders/Gunners will follow the Sole Survivor in order to speak to them, they can be lured into an ambush with nearby monsters or other hostiles. If you have enough luck, you get the option to "fake it" and the Raider (or Gunner) will take whatever caps you claim to have.
Synth Relay AmbushEdit
Kicked out of the Institute? You may get attacked by teleporting synths and a Courser you while you are near a chokepoint.
If you have completed the quest: Last Voyage of the U.S.S. Constitution, you might be stopped by some unfriendly looking scavengers who say you jumped their claim of the ship. They immediately turn hostile afterward.
Typically involves two factions with no diplomatic relations to each other, in other words, they are at war.
A hostile sniper wearing full combat armor will attack anyone he comes across, including the Sole Survivor; similar to Sam Warrick from Fallout 3. This may occur at the crash site of a massive airliner southeast of Tenpines Bluff.
Child of Atom vs GunnersEdit
A violent fight occurs between the Children of Atom and the Gunners that you can simply spectate.
Brotherhood Soldiers/Vertibird Fighting EnemiesEdit
Once the Brotherhood arrives in the Commonwealth, you may notice a Brotherhood of Steel Vertibird flying around and suddenly land to drop off forces. The forces dropped off are either field scribes or Brotherhood of Steel knights in T-60 power armor. Often they will come into conflict with raiders, super mutants, deathclaws, or even gunners. You can assist in the fighting or let it go on and let them fight each other. The same can happen with a random patrol you find wandering the wastes. Note: attacking the field scribes will have another pair of Knights in T-60 power armor drop off at your location to defend them.
Minutemen vs EnemyEdit
You will need to be allied with the Minutemen, after which you will see some of them defending a settlement or a specific area against a number of enemies from a certain faction. However, you can only encounter the Minutemen fighting the members of a major faction if the faction attacking is enemies with you.
If the Minutemen were successful defending the area, they will remain in the vicinity, until the Sole Survivor leaves. If engaged in dialogue, any of the members may respond with comments referring to the Sole Survivor's rank of general.
- "Nothing new to report, General"; "All quiet, General"; "Area secured, General".
- "This site's in good hands"; "This site belongs to the Minutemen"; "Got the area covered".
Feral Ghouls vs Super MutantsEdit
Scavengers vs RobotsEdit
Just a bunch of scavengers fighting a losing battle against a few Protectrons with maybe a Mr. Gutsy, who is yelling patriotic insults. If you fire a shot near any of the scavengers or robots, they will turn hostile and attack you.
Gunners versus Behemoth or Mirelurk QueenEdit
Ricky Dalton and the RaidersEdit
Treasure hunt encountersEdit
All starts with you finding a dead corpse with a note on it.
- All below are Treasure Hunt encounters
A Dead Raider's NoteEdit
Gets you Caps.
A Dead Junkie's NoteEdit
Gets you Chems.
A Dead Gunner's NoteEdit
Gets you a gun and a mod.
Three Dead ScavengersEdit
You will find some scrap and some junk.
A Dead Farmer's NoteEdit
You find a synth with a modded gun, junk, and some scrap.
Starts miscellaneous quest; The Treasures of Jamaica Plain
Far Harbor encountersEdit
- Gulpers vs Trappers (assault)
- Trapper vs Atom (assault)
- Children of Atom camp (camp)
- Mirelurk Nest (object)
- Trappers vs Fog Crawler (scene)
- Angler Ambush (scene)
- Wolves vs Fog Crawler (scene)
- Vertibird Land Troops
- Disciples vs Super Mutants
- Operators vs Gunners
- Pack vs Scavengers
- Disciples vs Traitor Operators
- Operators vs Traitor Pack
- Pack vs Traitor Disciples
- Bloodworm Ambush + Corpses
- Cricket + Corpses
- Swarm + Corpses
- Enemy Raiders
- Bloodworm Ambush
- Operator Toll
- Bloodworm Ambush + Corpse
- Crickets + Car
Dead Pack + DeathclawEdit
- Swarm + Corpse
- Raiders vs Ghouls
- Bloodworm vs Trader
- Resting Radgazelles
- Resting Brahmiluffs
- Feeding Radants
- Feeding Rad-Rats
- Opposing Gangs
- Raiders + Prisoners
- Raider patrol
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