Whoops, forgot a few things in Doc's office. This is a Skill Magazine, a handy wieghtless item that acts like a temporary version of the coveted skill books, giving +10 to the skill for a minute. Since this game uses threshold numbers for checks rather than the random chance of Fallout 3, this makes them incredibly useful for passing important checks. Even better, you can take a perk to double this bonus, which I did with my last character, to incredible effect. Latooni probably won't, she has to focus on her stealthing and gunwielding perks.
Theres also this chemistry set that you can use to make drugs if you have high enough science. Thanks to the Skilled Trait, I just make the threshold, so I get myself some all-important stimpaks.
|Thats the medical supply for the entire town! How could one person need that much medication?!?|
|You really have no imagination, do you?|
Granted, I'll likely be swimming in stimpaks later on, owing to the slight thieving streak I've noticed so far, but this early on I like to have every advantage I can get.
With nothing more for me here, I head out into the light. Once my eyes adjust, I find that theres nothing but a dusty old town, barely a dozen houses, and a population more Brahmin than human.
I'd show you a pic, but as I hit screencap all the DLC announcements started to pop up. I'm not sure if I'll be doing any DLC this playthrough, since none of it really fits what I'm going for here. Old World Blues is very long and kinda wacky, Honest Hearts is interesting but I doubt Latooni would be in a rush to go to the middle of Utah for a few caps, and Lonesome Road requires a real high level we might not get to this time through. Dead Money might work, but its hell in Hardcore mode. If you'd like to kindly disagree, let me know in the comments
Having access to the Gun Runners Arsenal weapons might be handy, however, once we amass a few thousand caps to splurge on big weapons and mods.
I soon find the robot the old man mentioned, a wierd blue version I haven't seen before, who greets me with a exxagerated pre-war 'cow-boy' accent. Uh. Robots with personalities. The dumbest idea ever.
Now the whole selfless heroism makes a lot more sense, this tin can imagines itself a bit of a hero, so he decided to help me out to prove to himself he still had ro-balls. Ugh....Better just leave it here to rust into pieces, like the rest of the pre-war wastes of electricity.
I'm just going to get out of this shithole.
Now, the game pushes you to do the tutorial quest in the local saloon, which gives you a starting gun, some XP, and leads into another quest which is the first major good/evil decision of the game. However, I'm going to ignore it this time, both to save time and because I don't think Latooni would care to be lectured about which end of the gun is which by the local tough girl.
I don't have much in the way of clues, and I doubt these yokels have either, so I'll have to backtrack back to Primm, the local Courier station, and see what info they had on the package. Hopefully that'll give me a starting point.
But first, I got some junk to get rid of.
Like the rest of Goodsprings, Chet is kinda a mini-tutorial, as he gives the lowdown on special ammo and weapon mods, which are some of the games biggest new features. I won't bore you with it though. Basically, I could buy hollow-point or armor-piercing ammo for a few guns, or bigger magazines for the starting pistol, but with the Couriers Stash 10mm pistol, I don't really need it, and by the time I'd need to consider the 9mm I'll likely have an assortment of different pistols with more useful mod options.
Guess this guy knows something after all. I'll keep his advice in mind, if Primm comes up cold.
One big issue people have with New Vegas is that the game simultaneously points north to New Vegas and south to the lower-level areas in the starting town. The issue here is, unlike in Fallout 3 where you can skip to finding Dad if you know where to go and are willing to risk using up loads of ammo and medkits getting there, in New Vegas the direct route has no less than 3 kinds of deadly high-level enemy bumming around in it. You have little choice but to go south, so I have to carefully interpret any advice I get sending me straight there, because Latooni isn't likely to respond well to 'that way is too tough for you'.
Wait, what's this? That robot belongs to someone? This wierd Mr. House guy...That doesn't sound good. I don't like owing people debts. Maybe I'll go see him, once I'm done with Checkers. Square the deal.
We can earn a far bit of starting cash by selling off the bonus items I got. Its kinda cheating, but hey, it helps make me more confident at the start, and confidence will be essential to roleplay Latooni correctly. If I was more of a metagamer, I'd keep ahold of the Vault 21 Jumpsuit for a later miniquest, but I'll play fair this time and get rid of it.
Meanwhile I get some essentials, like this silenced pistol, a vital tool for any stealth character, and especially useful when we get to Vegas.
Time to blow this popsicle stand. So long, whatevers-ville.
The game offers one final chance to edit our character as we walk past the spring, but I'm happy enough with what I got. Usually by now you're level 2 and this would be handy if you'd taken the wrong perk, but I'm cool with the traits I got.
Down the road, I find an old shack, with no-one in it or guarding it. Probably not being lived in, and if it is its their own fault.
Not much on the table but this fancy bottlecap with a blue star on it. Maybe I'll find some idiot who thinks its worth more than a regular cap.
I also find a key for the storage lockers in the corner.
Wait, a silenced pistol like the one I just spent 50 caps on? Bah!
And another one? Bah!
Well, the one I has already is in better condition, I can just use them for spare parts.
One change I like from Fallout 3 is that rather than the repairability of a weapon being capped by your skill, you can repair as much as you like but the amount repaired per cannabilised gun is skill-dependent. My previous character abused this with the Jury-rigging perk and was able to use the most frail weapon in the game almost constantly.
I also find this casual outfit. It's okay...if you're a brahmin herder.
I find this faded number in another ruined house. Its getting better, but its all faded, and feels unembellished. Eh. I'll make do with the leather jacket.
Huh? Who are these two jokers, standing around at the side of the road? They don't even seem to notice me, I wonder what the-
Bastards....setting down landmines....Legs busted....and they're not even coming over to make sure I'm dead. I think they're just laughing....Laughing at me. Me.
Just for that, motherfuckers. Just for that.
The second guy doesn't even realise his buddy is dead before I cap him too.
My Small Frame begins to bite me in the ass as just brushing past the mines was enough to cripple some limbs, and force me to use a doctors bag and some food. Powder Gangers are unusually annoying as enemies go, because despite being easier to kill than a lame chicken they come armed with dynamite at very early levels, meaning crippled limbs for all.
Oddly, I actually get karma for killing these guys. No point in having it be ambigous that any of the local gangers might not be terrible human beings. Then I immediately undo this karma gain by looting their stuff, because they're a potential ally faction and thus their equipment is marked as owned. Not that I'm worried about keeping my karma levels up, just wondering how low it'll go by the end.
Their clothes are a wierd mix of formal and utilarian, with 'NCRCF' written on the back. Maybe the NCR's finally started bombing random passersby? Or they're deserters or something? Either way, I'll keep this, but only wear it if I have to.
Actually I quickly found a set of armor with the same markings, so I'll keep that instead. Faction Armor allows you to disguise yourself from enemies who might otherwise attack you on sight, but also means their enemies consider you a valid target. If we decided to go to one of the two Powder Ganger bases in the game, this disguise would be handy, but walking through NCR territory with it on is a no-no.
Anyway, the leather armors better.
A few miles and some wandering Geckos later, I make it to Primm, a gaudy town with neon signs everywhere and what looks like a suspended train track hovering over the back of the largest building. At least its got a decent iron fence for defense, so I can't fault them there. I go around, looking for an entrance.
I'm barely past the corner when I realise I'm at the edge of a small NCR camp, and a soldier is running up to me, telling me to turn tail.
|Bitch, please. I just took a landmine to the face, then killed two guys and walked 5 miles to get here. I'm not going to stop for a few lousy bandits or spear-chucking raiders.|
The nerve of some people.
It's not a huge camp, maybe a squad or two camping the ridge and watching the road. I could take them, if I wanted, but I don't think I really want the NCR up in my grille right now.
...Whats that in the background? A statue? Looks fairly far off...
In any case, I head around the camp, and head into the town itself. I spot the Mojave Express outpost, but also some of those same bandits from before.
Not a problem. The first one is dead before he knows it. The second one spots me and returns fire, and my jacket has to soak a few hits, but I pull out a heavier pistol and he's soon down.
The Varmint Rifle might be a handy early rifle with good accuracy and some useful mods...but its damage sucks, to the point that even the leather armor we use could soak it without much trouble. Definitely not one we want to keep around in the late game, but I'll take one for picking off geckos and the like.
That business taken care of, I head to the Express outpost, where I find that the gangers took at least one victim. This guy...he was one of the other courier, Danny or something...He's got a note saying he delivered some fuzzy dice to the same place I was supposed to hand in the Chip, but it looks like he didn't get to collect his payment.
I guess I'm already one up on him. He wasn't even shot in the head, pussy.
Inside it looks like a nice family house. Some food, barely drinkable water in the fridge, some guns in a closet. All kinda nice, but no sign of any documentation about the darned Chip.
This is the first time I legitimately stole from someone other than a dead murderer, where it wasn't just a mistake on the designers part. I was tempted to try it in Goodsprings but didn't want to risk being caught that early. Here, I find a bunch of risk-free supplies, including some special casserole cakes that are some of the best hunger-beaters in the game, and I take them, property laws be damned. Its a wierd feeling, given how I've never stolen before on this scale. I'm not sure I'll get to like it.
One thing I am sure though, I'll be overencumbered very quickly at this rate. I'm a magpie at the best of times, if I also start stealing? Maybe Str 4 was a bad plan.
The only other thing of interested is this busted-up robot, but I don't have the patience to go bumbling around in that things gubbins. Chances of it having useful info are non-existant, its just junk.
Playing through Primm without the ability to Science my way out of trouble is a wierd feeling. My last character could fix ED-E instantly, by using a Science mazagine she'd found, and made the other quest in town trivial. But I guess Latooni just isn't a companions kinda person, and will have to use bullets to make her problems easier instead.
I leave and head to the next building, 'Vikki and Vance Casino', and finally I find someone useful.
|Finally! I need you to tell me about this delivery order. It needs to get finished.|
|Okay...But did you or any of these....other people see anyone in a stupid jacket who stole the damned thing?|
...Son of a bitch. So the only person who can help me is in the middle of a gangster hideout that looks like an octopus fucked a train station. Wonderful. Can you at least tell me something more about the damned chip?
Wait...It was that Robot, the one in Goodsprings, that hired us? So he is connected to all this...And Mr House as well.
And Checkers knew exactly which of the Couriers he was after....And the first guy who would have had the chip cancelled...This is all getting mightyyyy peculiar.
I think I've been set up.
And I don't think I like that one bit.
Next time on this bat-channel....er, well, we'll prooobably be finishing out the Primm quest, perhaps with a loose end or two that Latooni doesn't care about. That assuming we don't get a flood of requests for other things to happen, side adventures in murder and/or looting, or things we missed from before. I'm curious if you guys are interested in any particular things. Let me know if you are!