That confirms it. This isn't a random kidnapping. Whoever took your kid had an agenda. Hmm... There's a lot of groups in the Commonwealth that take people. Raiders, super mutants, the Gunners, and of course, there's the Institute.”— Nick Valentine
|Main quest: Getting a Clue|
|Tell Nick Valentine the story.|
|Follow Nick to Kellogg's house.|
|Find a way to open the door.|
|Open the secret room inside the house.|
|Search for clues.|
|Meet Nick outside.|
|Show the cigar to Dogmeat.|
|Reward: 200+ XP|
Nick Valentine as a companion
|Leads to: Reunions|
Far From Home Far Harbor (add-on)
At Valentine Detective Agency, Nick Valentine will question the Sole Survivor about their missing son. The conversation eventually leads to Nick suspecting a certain notorious mercenary named Conrad Kellogg as the kidnapper. Kellogg was recently seen living in Diamond City with a young boy, but has since disappeared. To confirm his suspicions and search for clues, Nick suggests investigating Kellogg's house. The door is locked with a Master lock, but the door can either be picked, by the player character (if they have reached Level 18 and unlocked the third rank of the Lockpick perk) or a companion such as Cait. Alternatively, the door can be unlocked with a copy of Kellogg's house key.
There are six ways to obtain a copy of the key:
- Persuade Geneva, the mayor's secretary (medium Charisma check, hard Charisma check, or bribe of 250 caps)
- Persuade Mayor McDonough (medium Charisma check)
- Pickpocket McDonough
- Steal from Geneva's desk (Novice lock)
- Steal from McDonough's safe (Advanced lock, or unlock with Novice terminal)
- Give chems to Mama Murphy (unlocks an option to search the stadium chairs beneath Kellogg's house, which instantly yields a copy of the key)
Once inside, pressing the button underneath the desk reveals Kellogg's secret room behind a wall, which Nick suggests searching for clues. After the Sole Survivor picks up the San Francisco Sunlights, the duo agree to use Dogmeat to track Kellogg's scent from the cigar. Nick becomes available as a companion and offers to accompany the Sole Survivor on this mission. Interacting with Dogmeat to give him the scent completes this quest and starts Reunions.
- When Nick explains how the Institute built him like all the other synths, certain characters will dislike the player character selecting the "You're one of them" dialogue option, namely Piper and Deacon.
- If she is not the active companion, Piper will be encountered arguing with Geneva. The player character can pass an easy Charisma check to find out what she's up to. If she is the active companion, Mayor McDonough will refuse to speak until Piper is dismissed or commanded to wait in the reception area.
- Piper will like the player character attempting to persuade either Mayor McDonough (medium Charisma check) or Geneva (medium and/or hard Charisma checks) to hand over the key, whether they succeed or fail. If they fail with one, they can attempt the other(s) and obtain a second and possibly a third like. Piper does not have to be the active companion, she simply has to be already unlocked as a companion and in the reception area for the like(s) to register.
- If the player character fails all persuasion attempts, they can bribe Geneva, pickpocket McDonough, or wait until everyone goes to bed and pick either the Novice lock on Geneva's desk or the Advanced lock on the safe in the mayor's office. Except for the bribe, Piper will dislike all of these actions, with a double dislike for picking the owned lock on the safe or drawer and stealing the key from within. She has no problem with using the terminal to unlock McDonough's safe, so taking it this way will only yield one dislike.
- If successfully persuaded, McDonough will hand the key directly (thus locking the player character out of persuasion attempts with Geneva), whereas Geneva will simply leave the key on her desk, allowing one to persuade McDonough for his key and pick up her key afterwards.
- The option to search the stadium chairs won't appear unless Mama Murphy has the prerequisite vision. The option to search will remain even if a different copy of the key is obtained after the vision.
- The keys yielded via persuasion are independent of the ones held in the drawer, safe, and on McDonough's person. They will remain where they are if either (or both) of these keys are obtained. When one obtains any copy of the key (or pick the Master lock on Kellogg's house), one will be locked out of all remaining persuasion attempts, and Mama Murphy will not provide the vision to search the stadium chairs.
- Therefore, collectors can get all six copies of the key, by receiving Mama Murphy's vision but waiting to search the chairs until after persuading Geneva, then persuading McDonough, collecting the copy on Geneva's desk, stealing and pickpocketing the other three and finally searching the stadium chairs.
- The dialogue option to propose using Dogmeat will make the Sole Survivor mention his name even if they had not learned it yet (for example, if Out of Time was skipped or was completed while Dogmeat was not a companion).
- If the player character doesn't have Dogmeat as a companion, the dog will wait outside Kellogg's house when upon exiting, saving the trouble of actually having to "fetch him" as Nick requests.
- If Dogmeat has not yet been encountered, by avoiding the Red Rocket truck stop earlier in the main questline, Nick will call him with a high-pitch frequency whistle and introduce him here, apparently having worked with him in the past.
- [platforms tag needed] If the office is exited through the 2nd floor door, Nick will only say "Kellogg's house is this way" and will not move. Entering the office again and exiting through the main door will fix this.[verification needed]