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Mesa Verde design document/3

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Mesa Verde design document/3
VB design document.png
AuthorJeff Husges
PublisherInterplay (leaked internal document)
Release DateSeptember 9, 2005
Downloadsee main page of document
Mesa Verde design document
Part 2
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 3 of the Mesa Verde design document for Van Buren, the cancelled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.


1 Main page of document
2 Part 1
3 Part 2
4 Part 3
Document start icon.png The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.



If the PC poisons the Viper food supply, most of them will be dead a day later. The leader and a couple of other guys will survive.

If there is a Brotherhood-Cipher alliance, then a few Brotherhood soldiers will show up and hang around the Cipher village. They're not necessarily Power Armor guys – just regular soldiers.

There will need to be a script where the Viper leader becomes aware that not all is right when the PC kills a certain number of Vipers without being caught.

Once the PC completes the "Restock the Molerat Caves" quest, there should be a bunch of molerats running around in the caves.


Cool Shit

Cool Epithets

Personal Number

The Nemonik, using some obscure formula and any number of factors, has determined that the number 13 is your personal number - what a coincidence. In any case, you can have your face and body painted accordingly for luck and protection. PC gets a new, Cipher skin-texture for his avatar if he chooses.

Cool Hooks

New Electronics

If the PC isn't skilled in Mechanics, he can bring Trig uncommon parts he finds in the wasteland to see if she can do anything with it. With the parts (and Isaac's help), Trig can put together some rare stuff which she'll trade to the PC once she's done building it.

Brotherhood Equipment

If an alliance is forged between the Ciphers and Brotherhood, Trig will eventually have a lot of Brotherhood equipment lying around her shop. A larcenous PC could swipe some of the stuff, or a persuasive PC could convince Trig to declare some of the fixed items "irreparable".

Task List

Sound Requirements

Area Sound requirements
Something reflective the mix of primitive tribal tools with the sophisticated knowledge the tribals have in their heads. Perhaps something like "Metallic Monks" from FO1 with a more tribal beat to it.
Creaking of the rope suspension bridges as they sway in the breeze.
Occasional murmured conversations between small groups of Ciphers. Laughter of children if they're running around playing. (If the food supply has been poisoned, or if it's night, then this walla stops)
Something reflective the mix of primitive tribal tools with the sophisticated knowledge the tribals have in their heads. Perhaps something like "Metallic Monks" from FO1 with a more tribal beat to it.
Tattered plastic from the greenhouses flapping in the occasional breeze.

The steady whoosh-whoosh-whoosh from the propeller of the wind turbine. (This stops if the PC breaks the turbine)

Quiet whirring of the turbine's gears. (Stops if the turbine is broken).

Scrapping and clicking of gardening tools as the Ciphers work the crops. (Stops at night when no one's around)

Ciphers calling to each other as they work the field. They also hum short tunes and bits of songs. (Stops at night, or if the food has been poisoned)
Lonely wilderness music.
Small rocks falling from above, cracking and tumbling down the sides of the cliffs
Chuckling and guffawing when the Viper camp is onscreen. The bits of chatter should sound something like a platoon of roughnecks grumbling and muttering.
Gloomy underground music.
Occasional hissing of a rattlesnake (stops when they're all dead)

The rattling of a rattlesnake tail (stops when they're all dead)


Location Checklist

Attribute Challenge Reward
Evil Karma Character none none
Good Karma Character none none
Stupid Character The Vipers, seeing your mental inferiority, will let you pass through their camp Can just walk through the Viper camp to enter and leave the Cipher village
Low Reputation Character none none
High Reputation Character none none
Male Character Pose as a Viper Fool the Vipers into leaving
Female Character Pose as a Daughter of Hecate Fool the Vipers into leaving
Strength none none
Perception Notice that Blackjack's "minigun" is nothing more than a bundle of sticks and pipes
Notice Denom's reaction when you tell him that the greenhouses are contaminated
Call his bluff
Can ask him about his odd reaction
Endurance none none
Charisma Deceive the Vipers by posing as a Daughter of Hecate A high Charisma female can promise Drake a special "reward" back at Ouroborus
Intelligence Make the connection between the contaminated greenhouse and the radiation sickness in the Ciphers
Agility none none
Luck Use explosives in an attempt to drop a cliff on the Vipers If your Traps skill isn't sufficient to "aim" the cliff at the Vipers, a high Luck will miraculously drop the cliff on them anyway
Firearms Help or kill the Ciphers Acquire a crude laser pistol/laser rifle
Melee Help or kill the Ciphers Acquire a cattle prod which can be set to various power levels
Unarmed Help or kill the Ciphers Acquire the Electro-Gauntlet
Barter Offer to pay Alexandra if she'll give up Blackjack
Offer to buy Blackjack from Alexandra
Negotiate with one of the Hoover Dam caravans to bring food to Mesa Verde
Purchase the uranium from the Ciphers
Deception Pose as a Daughter of Hecate and trick the Vipers into leaving (female)
Pose as a Viper and trick the Vipers into leaving (male)
Deceive Isaasc by making him believe that the CoS is no longer in charge of the Brotherhood
Recognize that Denom isn't telling you the whole truth
The Vipers leave peacefully.
The Vipers leave peacefully.
Discover that it was he who contaminated the greenhouses.
Persuasion Intimidate the Vipers into leaving
Persuade/intimidate Denom into confessing once you realize he's not telling you everything
Convince Azkee to let you take some Ciphers along when hunting rattlesnakes
Convince Azkee to let you take some Ciphers for backup when you attack the Vipers
No need for fighting.
Learn how the crop contamination happened; bonus XP for being thorough
Support during the fighting.
Support during the fighting.
Medic Diagnose Radian's nerve condition
Concoct a permanent cure for Radian
Concoct a temporary cure for Radian
Diagnose the radiation sickness in the Ciphers
Teach a refresher course in medicine to the Nemonik and his assistants
XP, and the knowledge to formulate a cure
XP and a Cipher rep boost
Can force Radian to do your bidding to complete other quests
XP, and a clue to the source of the problem
XP based on your skill level
Mechanics Complete the construction of the Laser Cannon
Repair the computer
Sabotage the wind turbine so that the Ciphers go thirsty
Zap the Vipers from above
Enable the Ciphers to store their schematics electronically
Weaken the Ciphers with thirst and enable the Vipers to conquer them
Science Determine that the radiation poisoning is coming from the fruits and vegetables at the greenhouses
Develop a molerat pheromone to attract molerats to traps
Alert Azkee and the Ciphers will stop eating the contaminated food
Bait for characters not skilled in Outdoorsman
Outdoorsman Track and trap live molerats
Track the slavers who kidnapped the Ciphers
Teach the Ciphers to be more effective hunters
Restock the caves so the Ciphers have a meat supply
Find out where the kidnapped Ciphers are so you can rescue them
XP based on your skill level
Lockpick Pick the lock on the uranium storage door Access to the uranium.
Sneak Sneak into the Viper camp to poison their food and water
Sneak into the village
Destroy most of the Vipers without having to fight them
Get in if you pissed off the Ciphers.
Steal Steal food and water from the Vipers
Steal the storage shed key
Steal the uranium storage key from the Nemonik
Bring back some of the Viper supplies for the hungry Ciphers for bonus XP
Get into the shed and find proof of Denom's goof
Access to the box of uranium.
Traps Rig the unstable cliff near the Vipers with explosives so that it will crush them when it falls
Build non-lethal molerat traps
Disarm the alarm on the uranium storage door.
Crush most of the Vipers without having to fight them
Trap molerats and restock the caves
Access to the box of uranium.
Easter Egg, Easy 1
Easter Egg, Medium 1
Easter Egg, Hard 1
Economics Limited trading with passing caravans
Power/Infrastructure Electricity generated by the wind turbine powers the water makers
Food Vegetables grown in the crop fields; meat from game animals
Tie to Another Area 1 Denver A potential supplier for Trig can be found there, and the slavers take the captured Ciphers there
Tie to Another Area 2 Hoover Dam Food shipments from Hoover Dam
Tie to Another Area 3 Ouroborus The Ciphers know the location of the Vipers, and they believe Hecate may be there as well.
Tie to Another Area 4
Multiplayer Elements?

Room for Improvement

Prosperity: The Ciphers are pretty poor in general. Nobody has more than a few caps on them, and most of their equipment is cheap, primitive stuff. The electronics are the most valuable items in the village, but there's currently only a few of those available.

Quests: None?

Store: Trig – in addition to electronic goodies, she's got things like stimpaks or other basic adventuring supplies acquired from passing traders.

Store Frequency: No restocking occurs while the Vipers are still around. Minimal restocking if the PC clears out the molerat caves (small items get smuggled in). Good restocking every few weeks if the Vipers are gone.

Morale: High morale. The Ciphers will defend their home to the death.

Armament: Mostly melee – spears, knives, and pipes. A few zip guns. Leather armor.

General Health: Poor, and growing worse. Not only have the Ciphers been subsisting on a dwindling supply of fruits and vegetables, but they're becoming more and more radiated from those same vegetables.

Community: Strong defense. There's only one way into the village, and that way lies up a narrow path and long ladder. It's very easy for the Ciphers to repel attacks on the village.

Services: Trig has several electronic items to trade, and her workshop functions as a Mechanics Lab.

Communication: None. No radios.

Technology Level: Low-Medium. The Ciphers have lots of low-tech gear like knives, zip guns, and leather armor, but they also have the occasional tech device, like infrared goggles.

End Movies


The player never entered Mesa Verde. Skip Cinematic
The player didn't deal with the Viper siege. Goto 1
Alliance with BoS, CoS in charge Goto 2
Alliance with BoS, CoS not in charge Goto 3
Ciphers all dead Goto 4
Mesa Verde got nuked. Goto 5
Vipers dealt with, Ciphers left alone Goto 6

1. Vipers not dealt with (WTG)

The Vipers eventually crush the village of Mesa Verde for defying Hecate. The surviving Ciphers are scattered into the wasteland, taking their secrets from the Old World with them. The village at Mesa Verde in ruins, with corpses lying everywhere and black smoke pouring out of the dwellings.

2. Alliance with BoS, CoS in charge (WTG)

The Circle of Steel's paranoia eventually causes them to withdraw all troops to Maxson's bunker. The NCR, learning of the Ciphers' collaboration with the Brotherhood, launch a massive assault on the village. Every Cipher man, woman, and child dies in the siege. The village at Mesa Verde in ruins, with corpses lying everywhere and black smoke pouring out of the dwellings.

3. Alliance with BoS, CoS not in charge (WTG)

The Brotherhood-Cipher alliance allows both groups to prosper. The Ciphers welcome the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge to the test, and in exchange the Brotherhood uses its firepower to shield Mesa Verde from its enemies. A group of Ciphers working on a suit of Power Armor while a Brotherhood soldier looks on.

4. Ciphers defeated/all dead (WTG)

With the Ciphers gone, the carvings and paintings of Old World knowledge on the walls at Mesa Verde fade away, lost forever to the ravages of time. The village at Mesa Verde, crumbling and empty.

5. Mesa Verde got nuked (WTG)

In a flash of nuclear fire, Mesa Verde disappears from the face of the earth, as does all Old World knowledge contained in the village. Big mushroom cloud rising over the place Mesa Verde used to be.

6. Vipers gone, Ciphers alive with no allies (WTG)

With the Vipers gone, life at Mesa Verde returns to the normal routine of surviving from day to day. Most Ciphers remain nomadic, repairing whatever electronics they find and bringing a small measure of civilization back to the wasteland. A snapshot of the village during the day, with children running in the background and an old man with a pile of partially-repaired electronics surrounding him.

Random Notes

Possible schematics:

  1. Ultrasonic Generator: Great against animals. Really great against dogs.
  2. Laser Pistol ("Light Gun")
  3. Geiger Counter ("Invisible Fire Detector")
  4. Infrared Goggles ("Night Helmets")
  5. Motion Sensor
  6. SEC-Powered Lamps
  7. Rail Gun
  8. Cattle Prod ("Lightning Rod")
  9. Gauss Guns


Cipher Language Idiosyncracies

"His numbers are not sound. [He's wrong.]

"Convincing Azkee that he is wrong is quantifying infinity." [It's impossible/It can't be done.]

"We cannot leave this place. The sum of all numbers is here; to move away is to wither and die."

"There is invisible fire in that place. There, men have the flesh cooked from their bones without seeing why."

"We trust in the numbers because they do not lie."

Meditation Ritual: Mathematical formulas are chanted, mathematical problems are posed.

Refer to NCR as the "Bear Soldiers" and the Brotherhood as the "Metal Soldiers"


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