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|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
The Salvagers are a group of former prisoners from the New California Republic on a special work release program in Denver, salvaging things of value for the NCR in exchange for their eventual freedom.
All of the current salvagers were prisoners back in the NCR, and some even have connections with the powder gangers. Most of them were in prison, because they conducted a large raid on an NCR bank, primarily to seize their payroll. The raid was a failure and all the money was somehow destroyed, which only helped to further the destabilization of the eastern part of the NCR. This raid was lead by Porter, who still feels bad about the roll he played in the NCR's problems. The future-salvagers were jailed at the Black Canyon facility. During those years in prison, several members of Porter's gang escaped on different occasions, but they didn't have anywhere to go, so they always got captured or just surrendered. After two years of escapes and imprisonment, Porter's group is put on work-release. This serves two purposes for the NCR: it frees up the overcrowded prison for more dangerous criminals, and the potential for supplies from Denver. Porter and his men spend a year traveling, dealing with tribals, slavers, raiders, and monsters, before finally reaching Denver. Only about half of the original group survived the trip. They set up camp, and set about establishing their goals of scavenging as many building supplies as possible, establishing a track outpost, and paving the way for NCR occupation.
Life and problems in Denver
The scavengers in Denver are like a tribe of blue-collar workers, working 40, 50, 60 hours a week for little or no reward, desperately trying to crank out a life for themselves and their families back West. It’s like a blue-collar colony, and everything in the their camp reinforces this, including the bus that takes them to and from their claims.
They only 2 or 3 really good mechanics, and the rest are just good builders, scavengers, demolishers, and laborers. And there may not be a good electrician among them (except for Wagner, who isn't very good, and Uncle Jim). They're not really skilled, most of them are just laborers, so it's not like they can go anywhere else and make a good living for themselves. Also, the salvagers have been in Denver for two years or more and have a financial investment in what they've been doing. To leave now means throwing away two years of their lives and two years of work. In addition to their other problems, the salvagers have two splits in the group: "traitors", who want to abandon Denver for different reasons, led by Hardin and an "evil" group of former raiders, led by Anton. If all this isn't enough, Denver has been overrun by large packs of savage dogs, and a small group from Caesar's Legion, along with their slaves, is trapped in Denver by storms.
Interactions with player character
What happened at the old campsite? "Well, one moment, we'd just gotten off our shifts, when suddenly, there were dogs all over the 25 tier of the campsite. They were fucking insane - we must have shot dozens of them, but they didn't stop to tear up their own dead, like they usually do. So we had to ditch the crane and the generator. We lost one of our crew getting out Dogbody, figure he's dog food, and a bunch of us took some nasty wounds - Jimmy patched us up. Thing is, even after we fled, they kept coming, and coming, some of them even jumped off the freeway to get after us, and they ain't never been that rabid. We lit the tires on fire, threw grenades, and nothing fucking scared them off. Now, we're just holed up here."
What do you know about Boulder? "We didn't even know there was anyone at Boulder until a couple of months back, when Jimmy T came rolling and was dumped off by Galenski. No idea what he done up there. Galenski told us that we wouldn't be welcome in Boulder. Boulder claims it's a genetic free zone, and the people there are really antsy about anyone who's been spending time in Denver... says we’re all diseased. They've agreed to trade with us, but they've threatened to shoot any scavenger who shows up within the borders... so for now, we just let things lie. As long as the shipments keep coming, no worries. What do you know about Galenski? He somehow got a huge truck working, so we're able to send him supplies of material north in exchange for some new food, medical supplies, and other shit we need to survive."
The Denver salvagers haven’t seen a woman in a very long time, so any females that show up are going to have some trouble. Porter may even assign a guard to watch over the female, maybe Jimmy, since no one in their right mind would fight him, and he might as well not have a dick.
With a high Speech skill, the player character can inquire about past lives and crimes of the salvagers.
- Salvagers get their power from various confiscated generators. They get water from underground tanks, and from the river through Denver, run through several filters, and even boiled with various purification tablets.
- Even though they are sick of dog, the dogs in Denver are a ready source of food. The scavengers in Denver have to make do with dog meat (of which there is plenty, but cook it well) and canned food, if they can find it (which is rarer than they thought). As for trading, the salvagers used to trade with no one until Eddie and his truck made his way south and struck a deal with them.
- Some salvager sites have a stash of ammunition and supplies in case they get trapped there – and one salvager gives up the location of some of them in exchange for info.
- The Denver scavengers talk about what the best buildings to scavenge are – hotels are not worth a lot, but hospitals and some office buildings with high computer connections are great. The following areas are gold mines: post office, construction building, manufacturing building, police station, gun stores, sporting good stores.
- It’s impolite to talk about past crimes or inquire too deeply into a character’s history in Denver.
- Salvagers do not like to be called scavengers – that’s what ghouls are, they’re parasites; they are "doing good work here". Calling someone a "scav" is fighting words in the camp. "Digger" as an acceptable term.
- "Building Crawling" - As a joke, the scavengers might say that "we’re doing a basement crawl, a subway crawl, a skyscraper crawl," basically scav talk for a "dungeon crawl."
- Slang: When solidifying a deal, they may say, "Will you guarantee it?" (Which reinforces the idea of "claims" in Denver) They often call Denver "Dog Town"
- Be careful looting in Denver, or you'll be marked as a Claim Jumper.