5821 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Fallout 3 raider

Generic Capital Wasteland Raiders


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay – see our video games writeups FAQ for more
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics – see our video games writeups FAQ for more

Context

The Fallout video games series (1997-present) takes place in an over-the-top post-apocalyptic setting. It mixes a Mad Max aspect, 1950s atomic horror conventions and various “after the Bomb” influences.

For a primer, see our sample Vault Dweller (the Player Character  in the first Fallout game). DC Heroes players can also refer to the generic deathclaw entry for scale explanations.

This profile is abut Fallout 3 NPCs. The game stats, descriptions and screen shots capture a heavily-modded game (see our sample Fallout 3 Lone Wanderer for more) at a low level (4-to-6 or so). The mods result in a larger raider population and their weapons are much more dangerous – they also add pit dogs.


Advertisement


Overview

“Raider” is a generic name in the Capital Wastelands for those more-or-less human savages who derive most of their living from preying on others.

Raiders seem to subsist through scavenging, hunting, attacking travellers (particularly trade caravans), attacking insufficiently protected settlements, and racketeering.

Raiders live in squalor and callousness, tend to be radiation-damaged and slightly mutated and most of them heavily abuse chemicals such as jet, psycho, alcohol, cocaine, etc. They take whatever they want, torture and murder are their idea of fun, and it’s not unusual for them to be brain-damaged.

As can be expected their lives are nasty, brutish and short, and death can easily came from another raider in a fit of rage or substance abuse.

Two raiders patrol a gloomy corridor at the Springvale Elementary School

Raiders patrolling the ruins of the Springvale Elementary School.

Dismembered, mutilated human corpses are usually hoisted around a raider encampment using chains, hook, ropes, etc. This may be meant as intimidation, but in practice it chiefly serves to warn onlookers that they are approaching raider turf.

From observing raider dwellings, one gets the impression that most raiders are cannibals and eat their victims – the corpses may simply be kept around as meat. Cannibals are not a rare thing in the Wastelands.

Some raiders have an unusual skin colour, and many raiders have something unusual about their eyes – often a reddish eyeball colour. Their armour is chiefly leather with scavenged bits of metal and plastic as reinforcement, and many wear scary helmets and masks such as welding masks or executioner-like cowls.

Their hygiene is terrible, and they favour punk-ish hairstyles. The aesthetics Fallout raiders are generally derived from the gangs in Mad Max movies.

Two raiders patrol a gloomy corridor at the Springvale Elementary School

Raiders patrolling the ruins of the Springvale Elementary School.

Raiders can take a surprising amount of damage, especially if attacks hit the best-armoured parts of their attire. A lot of this resilience is presumably the result of being under the effect of combat drugs when encountered – this is already factored into our game stats.

A raider charging you with a tyre iron may not seem too dangerous if you have a gun, but one medium- or small-calibre bullet probably isn’t going to stop them and they have friends. Well, allies. And you probably haven’t got a lot of bullets.

Organisation

Raiders who can conquer and fortify a robust building tend to be the strongest communities, especially if the building gives them access to some resources even after the scavenging is done. Such a “settled” community might have 12-15 individuals or more.

Unusually strong communities, like in Bethesda or Fairfax, can control a few small blocks of still-standing ruins, which they will fortify and patrol. In the Capital Wasteland, the largest raider stronghold is the Evergreen Mills factory, with more raiders living in the caves underneath.

Raiders and the ruins of Kaelyn's Bed & Breakfast

Kaelyn’s Bed & Breakfast near Arefu, now the HQ of a raider gang.

In contrast, small communities with just a few raiders might live in the middle of nowhere with a “hideout” that is a literal hole in the ground with random sheets of corrugated iron and pieces of wood and metal to turn that into a mediocre shelter.

Most raiders seem to share a symbol — a spray-painted yellow, red and green tag on the walls of their building(s) — and it doesn’t seem that they habitually attack other raider turf. They also speak fluent English, and some of them can somehow read and write.

This may mean that the Capital Wasteland raiders share an origin, much like the Khan raiders and others in California originally come from Vault 15.
A raider patrol in the Wasteland

Raiders react very aggressively to any intrusion on their turf, charging and firing recklessly – one gets the impression that part of the loot and food rights is on a first come, first served basis.

If they outnumber and outmuscle the opposition they are not concerned about tactics or ammunition conservation, with melee fighters rushing in while those with guns open up. Presumably the expect outmatched victims to run rather than open fire.

Raiders do not seem to be generally capable of sophisticated reasoning or long-term planning, but this is seems more due to impulsiveness and lack of long-term perspective than a genuine lack of intelligence.

A raider dog near a ruined building

Typical raider war dog

Some raider communities have a member whom the others call a pit dog. These are always men, wearing a robust metal armour and wielding a large sword. Though the weapon and armour are made of welded scrap metal, the general design is always the same and these men seem to all have the same general training in swordsmanship.

Pit dogs clearly share a common origin, and their name evokes some sort of gladiatorial melee deathmatch circuit, which would explain the standardised armour, weapon and training. Though they eschew firearms, pit dogs are quite dangerous as their armour will usually defeat small-calibre gunfire.

Encounters

The two most likely first encounters with entrenched raiders for the Lone Wanderer are in the ruins of the Springvale elementary school, and the ruins of a Super-Duper Mart west of Megaton, close to the Potomac.

A raider in front of a truck wreck on a ruined overpass

The Springvale elementary settlement is dangerously close to Megaton, but attempts at raiding the fortified village were bloody failures.

The raiders then attempted to dig their way into Vault 101, but their use of explosives angered a colony of giant ants who invaded their tunnels and forced them back to the basement of school, which they could defend against the ants. Without these setbacks and the death of their leader, they would presumably control the whole of the Springvale ruins.

The raiders at the Super-Duper Mart use the small supermarket as a base, though the shelves have been practically empty for centuries. The key asset is the pharmacy room, whose stout walls and locked steel door are completely intact. They use this strong room to store their loot, and have set planks atop the supermarket shelves to patrol within their building.

They seem to be chiefly scavengers working across the Potomac. Their loot are typical wasteland riches – alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, scrap metal, reasonably intact machine parts, grocery crates of Nuka-Cola bottles, non-perishable food, etc.

The Springvale Elementary School under a grey sky

A view of Springvale Elementary. Click for a larger version.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Generic raider

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Raider
Inf: 02 Aur: 01 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Sealed systems: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Sealed Systems only vs. radiation.

Skills:
Military science (Survival): 03, Weaponry: 03

Advantages
Iron Nerves.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Rage.

Equipment:
Typically one or two among the following :

  • Tyre iron [BODY 04, EV 04].
  • Large knife [BODY 03, EV 03 (04 w/STR)].
  • Pool cue [BODY 01, EV 02 (04 w/STR)].
  • Shoddy .32 revolver [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 03, Ammo: 06; R#05].
  • Battered .32 hunting rifle [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 04, Range: 05, Ammo: 05, R#04, Limitations: Projectile weapons has no Range, use the listed Range instead ; must spend an Automatic Action to work the bolt action between shots].
  • Old .45 Colt M1911 [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 07, R#03].
  • Antiquated Skorpion machine pistol [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 05, R#05, Advantage: Autofire].
  • Frag grenade [BODY 01, Bomb: 06, R#04, Grenade drawback].
  • Some raiders may be better armed – such specimens can sport such things as a sniper rifle, a magnum handgun, an assault rifle, etc. though these are often in bad condition.
  • Combat Drugs effects and wearing some MAKESHIFT ARMOUR are already factored into the BODY score of the generic raiders for simplicity’s sake.

Generic pit dog

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Raider
Inf: 02 Aur: 01 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Sealed systems: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Sealed Systems only vs. radiation.

Skills:
Military science (Survival): 02, Weaponry (Melee): 04

Advantages
Iron Nerves.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Rage.

Equipment:

  • Bastard sword [BODY 04, EV 04].
  • METAL ARMOUR [BODY 06, Skin armour: 02, Bonus: Skin Armour also protects against most energy attacks (+2)].

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Fallout 3

Helper(s): Roy Cowan

Writeup completed on the 6th of August, 2013.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .