Piper grew up in a small community on the outskirts of the Commonwealth with her sister Nat, and their father, a member of the local militia. After her father was found dead under suspicious circumstances, Piper learned that he had discovered a raider plot to sack the town. His superior, Captain Mayburn, arranged to leave the main gate open and unguarded one night to allow raiders access in exchange for a cut of the loot.
Piper's father was murdered by Mayburn to keep him silent. The local authorities did not believe her claims and refused to investigate. Piper then made and circulated wanted posters featuring the captain and a list of his crimes. The settlers, outraged by the story, exiled Mayburn. When the raiders eventually showed up expecting the gate to be wide open, they instead met the aware citizens who drove them away.
Eventually Piper and Nat saved enough money to relocate to Diamond City where she began her career as an investigative journalist. Her fervor for discovering the truth made her popular for a while, but eventually public opinion turned against her because her articles were seen as being too negative. Piper's work yields results often at the expense of her own safety:
One of Piper's first articles exposed a caravan cartel for driving up food prices in Diamond City. The cartel retaliated by poisoning her drink at the Dugout Inn, but she managed to purge the poison by drinking moonshine and had several members of the cartel arrested.
Piper's investigation into irradiated drinking water at Bunker Hill led her to discover that the culprits were Children of Atom cultists. Threatened with execution, Piper tricked the cultists into believing she had a vision from Atom. After the cult inducted her as a member, she managed to sneak away and send Bunker Hill security to deal with the cultists.
Despite multiple death threats, assassination attempts and a near-execution, finding herself in sticky situations is a point of pride for Piper, who feels getting into trouble is just part of chasing the truth.
When the Sole Survivor first encounters Piper she is on the verge of exile from Diamond City for writing an article suggesting (truthfully) that Mayor McDonough is a synth. While arguing with the gate guard to be let back in, she asks for the Survivor's assistance in bluffing past security. Once inside, Piper gets into an argument with the mayor who accuses her of spreading lies. When the dialogue is complete Piper asks the Sole Survivor to stop by her office. Completing an interview with her leads to Piper offering to travel with the player character and watch their back as they adjust to life in the wasteland.
When conferring with Honest Dan after gathering evidence during Human Error, choosing to respond with "Maybe" and then "That's fair" when he tells the Sole Survivor they work as equal partners or not at all.
Persuading Jacob Orden to communicate ahead to The Compound that the Sole Survivor is coming during Human Error.
Subverting the quest giver's intended goal during Children of Atom quests on the Island. Note that she dislikes accepting the quest in the first place, but working against the CoA usually results in a net gain of affinity in the long run.
Killing Virgil in self-defense after giving him the serum and visiting again some days later. (Virgil turning hostile, however, is not supposed to happen. Not destroying any of his defence systems during your first visit and not wearing power armor for your return usually prevents this.)
If the Sole Survivor has found Nick Valentine before traveling to Diamond City the gate will already be open and the mayor will be interacting with Piper inside.
Diamond City guards will tell the player character to be careful about having her as a companion because of the trouble between her and the mayor.
If the Sole Survivor didn't do her interview yet, exits Diamond City and enters again later, Piper can be found in Mayor McDonough's office accusing his secretary of sleeping with him.
As the Sole Survivor's companion she will often offer aid in the form of "sweet" food and drink (bubblegum, gumdrops, Nuka-Cola, Sugar Bombs or sweet rolls). This is similar to Strong who offers food as well, but in the form of meats.
Bringing Piper back to Diamond City may cause Nat to run up to her and relate a story about being given detention at school. Piper may then tell her she is grounded, much to Nat's chagrin; however, another conversation has Piper congratulate Nat on getting detention (due to punching a boy who was annoying her), telling her never to change.
She also has an interaction with the Sole Survivor about how she believes Nat idolizes her too much, hoping that time apart will prevent Nat from growing up to be like her. The Sole Survivor can choose to offer advice on how to deal with the situation.
Occasionally, when passing Takahashi, Piper will tell the Sole Survivor she wants to introduce them to her informant. She will jokingly interrogate Takahashi, finishing by saying that Takahashi 'spilled the beans, I bet your name isn't even really Blue.'
Visiting the upper levels with Piper will cause Wellingham to pretend to loudly throw her out, while secretly sharing a bit of gossip and intrigue with her.
If the player character ends the main quest by siding with the Institute and then talks to Piper, she might be distraught and angry at the player character for the world thus created, though the player character can still have her travel with them as a companion. However, if the player character's affinity with Piper is high enough (or grows high enough), she will write an article titled Fear the Future? where she is revealed to be more optimistic, though still wary, of the future.
Piper will call the player character "Blue," referring to the Sole Survivor's blue jumpsuit. If the Survivor is not wearing the jumpsuit, Piper will simply say "I know you're not wearing the jumpsuit right now but the Pip-Boy and the 'fish out of water' look? Dead giveaways."
Piper's interactions with Mayor McDonough seem to be inspired by Bob Woodward's and Carl Bernstein's reporting of the Watergate scandal which eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon. This is further lampshaded by Mayor McDonough's "I Am Not a Synth" speech.
Piper's article The Synthetic Truth, which correctly identifies Mayor McDonough as a synth, causes Alana Secord of the Synth Retention Bureau to disavow him. This is likely the cause of the quest In Sheep's Clothing.
If Piper is present when the player character talks to Magnolia, she will clumsily compliment her, saying "Nice set this evening, ma'am... of songs that is. Is it warm in here?"
In the quest The Secret of Cabot House it's best to dismiss Piper before choosing the outcome of Lorenzo Cabot. She dislikes both choices, so it's a lose/lose situation with her. This can be avoided by choosing neither, and instead letting Lorenzo break free due to inaction. Successfully siding with the family through speech checks later in the quest also prevents her from disliking the player character.
If taken to Nate/Nora's corpse in Vault 111, she will say "Is, is that who I think it is? You okay?"
Despite being essential, Piper has a death quote. Upon being killed, she will utter "Blue..."
Piper may become hostile if the player character assaults a traveling doctor or their brahmin, even when romanced.
She will become instantly hostile toward the player character if one has killed a Diamond City security officer. Escaping the area and waiting three days should cease hostilities.
When asked about her thoughts directly after accepting the quest Blind Betrayal, Piper will react as if the quest has already been completed, thus delivering a massive spoiler.
If the player character has Strong as a follower, and then decides to travel with Piper, Strong will comment "This human weak, soft, not live long" to which Piper responds "Not so fast big boy, I know a few of your brothers that would disagree."
As a journalist, Piper can be found interviewing other NPCs about various subjects, such as life in the Commonwealth, their opinions about the Institute and hope for the future.
"Look, I gotta go get settled in, but, um, stop by my office later. I have an idea for an article that you would be perfect for."
"I wonder if this is normal for other journalists..."
"What I wouldn't give for the biggest rolled up newspaper..." – when engaging insectoid enemies
"Now, now. Don't start what you can't finish."
"Watch your digits, Blue! Ferals!" – when engaging feral ghouls
"Catch!" – when throwing a grenade
"You really do have a talent for finding trouble, don't you."
"Come on, Nicky. I'm just asking for your opinion. It'd be a great quote." to Nick Valentine if the Sole Survivor is romancing someone other than her, to which he replies with "S/he's my client Piper. Why don't you learn not to snoop on a woman's/man's private affairs?"
"Is, is that who I think it is? You okay?" – If taken to Nate/Nora's corpse in Vault 111.
After romancing her:
"I'm with the person I love, helping those in need. I couldn't imagine a better life."
"What did I ever do to deserve you?"
"Nat always said I was the lucky one. Seems Sis was right."
"Hey doll." – Female Sole Survivor
"Hey handsome." – Male Sole Survivor
Comments on locations:
"A real shame. They still had a lot more rounds of musical chairs left." – When seeing what's left of the support group meeting in Vault 95.
"Looks like we have found the secret lair of the Silver Shroud." – On the top floor of Hubris Comics.
"Goodneighbor, huh? You lookin' to get stoned or stabbed?" – When Piper arrives for the first time in Goodneighbor.
"Ah, the Combat Zone. No finer place to get murdered in all Commonwealth." – When arrive at the Combat Zone
"I'm so confused. This didn't sail up here... right?" – Upon seeing the USS Constitution.
"Place reminds me of Diamond City. Rich folks up top, everyone else down below." – Upon entering the Wildwood Cemetery.
"Goodness, Blue, do you have a death wish? Let's get out of here!" – When approaching the Cambridge crater.
When swapping Piper with:
Danse: "You two play nice out there.", to which Danse replies: "Only if it "plays nice" back, citizen."
Hancock: "If it isn't my second least favorite Mayor in the Commonwealth".
Codsworth: "Hey Codsworth. You sure you're up for this?", to which Codsworth replies: "Ms. Piper, I can think of no greater honor."
Preston Garvey: "Well, if it ain't the pride of the Minutemen. Be safe, you two.", to which Preston replies: "We'll do our best, Piper."
Curie: "Have fun you two. Don't pick any fights I wouldn't.", to which Curie replies: "Well I hope to not pick any at all."
Cait: "So, no one's managed to put you in the ground yet, Cait?", to which Cait replies: "Not yet, though it isn't for a lack of tryin'."
Deacon: "You two are heading out together? Not sure the Commonwealth's ready for that.", to which Deacon replies: "What's there to worry about? How much trouble could two people really get into?"
Strong: "Jeez, you Mutants are not much prettier up close.", to which Strong replies: "Strong say same about little lady."
Valentine: "So, any stories you two come across out there, I get the exclusive, right?", to which Valentine replies: "Piper, I wouldn't know who else to tell."
MacCready: "Maybe just try not to get each other killed out there?", to which MacCready replies: "Getting us killed is the farthest thing from my mind, angel."
When someone else is the current companion and Piper is chosen:
Danse: "Excercise extreme caution out there, Piper. The Commonwealth is hazardous for civilians.", to which Piper replies: "I can handle myself, soldier boy."
Dogmeat: "(sad whimper)", to which Piper replies: "Sorry, boy. Time for you to head home."
Hancock: "Taking up with lil' miss reporter, huh? I'm jealous.", to which Piper replies: "I can't tell if this is a compliment or a pick-up line or both, so I think we're just gonna go."
Codsworth: "Miss Wright. I trust you’ll do your best to put the safety of my master/mistress before your own personal gain?", to which Piper replies: "Of course, Codsworth... Jesus. Lucky for me, those two things go hand in hand."
Preston Garvey: "Piper. You listen to him/her now. He/She'll keep you out of trouble." to which Piper replies: "Outta trouble? Pfft. Where's the fun in that?"
Curie: "You know, your Publick Occurences should have scientific articles.", to which Piper replies: "You've never met our readers, have you?"
Cait: "You two have fun together, Piper. Too bad we can't make it a threesome.", to which Piper replies: "Never gonna happen, Cait."
Deacon: "Oh God, it's Piper. Hi, I'll be going.", to which Piper replies: "Oh, save your breathe, Deacon. I know exactly what you're going to say. "No comment"."
Strong: "Bah! This human soft. Weak. Won't live long.", to which Piper replies: "Hey, now, big boy. I know a couple of your brothers that'd say different."
Nick Valentine: "Traveling with Piper isn't for the faint of heart. I'd know.", to which Piper replies: "Nick. You always know just what to say."
MacCready: "So when are we going to have that one-on-one interview, Piper?", to which Piper replies: "Oh, MacCready. Never in a million years."
X6-88: "Our files indicate that you have a tendency to get into trouble, Piper. Try to stay out of it from now on.", to which Piper replies: "And who's gonna stop me? You?"
The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
"Blue" (Piper's nickname for the Sole Survivor) may also be a subtle baseball reference. "Blue" is a slang term for the umpire.
In the Creation Kit, the road goggles have the Editor ID ClothesPiperGoggles. As this is the same naming convention used in the rest of her outfit red leather trench coat and press cap it's possible she was initially meant to wear the goggles with the rest of her outfit. Some concept art supports this, although she is only ever seen wearing them pushed up on her forehead.
In her concept art it appears Piper would have had shorter hair. She also would have worn a fedora rather than her reporter cap. One other concept design shows her with what appears to be an aviator's cap and camera equipment on her.
End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.
pcps4xboxone Piper will not move even if she is standing, near an enemy, shot at or interacted with at all. She can still be spoken to. She may be locked in a single position and just slide around. Fast travelling fixes this.[verified]
pcps4xboxone Cannot romance Piper after she idolizes you (max affinity), even if player character's charisma is maxed. The dialogue action for "romance" appears blank and is an non-selectable/unresponsive option.[verification overdue]
pcps4xboxone Piper will mysteriously disappear from the game completely. However starting the quest In Sheep's Clothing will seemingly fix this.[verified]
ps4xboxone Piper will randomly dislike something out of nowhere, such as fast traveling, killing hostile enemies, picking unowned locks, and simply exploring. It is quite rare, but frequency increases after fast traveling to an area populated with enemies, and especially when the player is in power armor (specifically the X-01 Power Armor), although these messages take an unusually long time to appear.[verification overdue]
ps4 When entering Poseidon Energy through the water entrance, Piper may become stuck in a swimming animation and will not be able to shoot enemies or sneak. Dismissing her does not fix the bug but fast traveling does.[verification overdue]
ps4 Piper's facial expression may stop working, meaning she won't show any more emotions, and her eyes may stop tracking other when in conversation as well. This may be fixed temporarily by reloading a save.[verification overdue]
pc After equipping Piper with the Minutemen general's hat, she will always stand at attention when idle, even if the hat is removed from her inventory.[verification overdue]
pcps4 Sometimes when heavily injured, Piper will remain in the downed position indefinitely. She can still be spoken to, and will teleport with the Sole Survivor when traveling, via a load zone or fast travel, but will not get up or walk. (Possibly caused by fall damage outside of combat, encountered at the Garden Terrace) Depleting her health (tested using the PC Kill command) then stimpaking her seems to fix the problem. Alternatively, loading a save prior to her injury solves this.[verified]
pcps4 Piper may become stuck in the falling animation, with her hands in the air; she can be spoken to but will not attack enemies. Leaving the area she is in may fix this. Using the game console, disable then enable Piper will fix the problem. [verification overdue]
pcps4 If Piper is your romantic partner and is your companion and is wearing power armor when your are sleeping, her power armor sometimes have dissapeared when you wake up. This seems to happen when you sleep in a narrow location where there is not enough space for her to step out of the armor. If you make her leave the armor before you sleep, the problem will not occur. [verified]