Ron Staples is a traveling bartender that can be found in a random encounter. If the one settlement, or network of settlements linked by supply lines, has a population of over twenty, he can be recruited and function as a legendary trader.
If assigned to a restaurant in a settlement, it becomes a level 4 Restaurant with special items.
Ron has two store containers associated with his character: the items he carries when you encounter him, and a special container meant to activate when assigned to a tier 3 vendor stand. However, Ron's file incorrectly checks to see if he's been assigned to a trading emporium, and not a restaurant. This error was also carried into Parker Quinn's character file.
pcps4xboxone After you assign him to a settlement, he continues to sit at the campfire rather than walking towards the settlement, and he will never show up there.[verified]
A possible solution is to head to the settlement where he is wanted after recruitment, then opening the console and selecting him using the mouse or the prid command, and then using the commands disable, enable and finally moveto player.
Another solution is to use the disable function on Ron at the campfire location, then fast travel away and back so as to allow another random merchant to spawn/trigger at that location. Then, re-enable Ron. Since the new merchant will be occupying the campfire site, Ron won't be able to, and will travel to the assigned location once recruited.
Fixed as of Patch 1.4
pc Ron is unable to be recruited. When encountered as part of his random event or when moveto'ed using console commands he won't present the player character with the option to recruit him. This can occur when the player character meets the minimum requirement for his recruitment in at least one settlement. Type Prid 00192357, enable, Moveto Player while inside a settlement, setpv bAllowMove 1, setpv bAllowCaravan 1, setpv bCommandable 1, fast travel far away and back, hit move and set a settlement than hit move again and send him to the settlement you want him at. then you should be able to issue commands. [verification overdue]
pc After successfully recruiting him and he shows up in your settlement, assigning him to a bar does not unlock the tier 4 inventory (or even tier 3). He will still hold the same inventory he had when initially found and, even though already recruited, will still have the dialogue option to recruit him. After several days of in-game play time he will eventually disappear and need to be recruited again, just to have the same thing happen. To fix this, simply go into command mode, and hit R to move Ron Staples. Send him somewhere else other than the settlement you are at/want him at. Then as he starts to walk away, hit R on him again and tell him to go back to wherever it was you wanted him, then assign him to the bar. It appears the issue may be that his WorkshopID value never gets set to the proper variable, and thus he is unable to be "assigned" to the bar (Note: He will still claim to have a "limited selection" despite this fix, and actually having an expanded selection).[verification overdue]
xboxone When attempting to trade with Ron, the player's inventory does not display on the left side of the interface.[verification overdue]
ps4xboxone After recruiting Ron and assigning him to a workshop, he may show up in a subsequent random encounter. He will disappear from the previous settlement, though he still counts under that settlement's population.[verified]
pc If the Automatron (add-on) has been installed, then Ron Staples may become permanently disabled, and you will be unable to find him for recruitment. [verification overdue]
Using prid 00192357, disable, enable, and moveto player resolves the problem.