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Some minor spoilers for companion actions


Well, that was frustrating. About as frustrating as an hour of video game can be.

Let’s see:

So I decided to go do the Preston bit. Ok. So off to Sanctuary to talk to Preston. He immediately AT THAT POINT charged off. Ok. So there was Curie, and you like Curie, so I said “I’ll run with Curie, get her to like me, catch up to Femmy.” So off we went.

But the Castle is far from Sanctuary, so I fast traveled to something near it, sorta. Ok. Fine. Off to the east…..boom. Super mutant with missile launcher. Died many times. Said fuck it, tried fast traveling to ANOTHER place, going to the castle from there. Ok. Some progress, but raiders EVERYWHERE, then mutants. Finally find a building (nowhere near the castle) that is “such and such science center.” SCIENCE! Curie will love it! There will be supplies! Nope. Mutants. Die die die. Say fuck it. Keep going to the castle. Die. Finally find a technical high school. Killed a legendary raider. That was good. Went into the school, cuz supplies are low. Did ok for a while. Found a cache of supplies! And a mine. Died. Tried and tried and tried again to get to the good stuff. Finally ran out of ammo for, like, everything. Gave up. Ran away. Went to Diamond City to buy supplies. Remember that “I have money” thing from yesterday? Yeah. Now I don’t. Decided to do some other quest. Help a settlement! Curie would like that. She’ll love it. Start going that way. Find a cemetery with a cool magazine. Cheered me up. Stopped at a place called Covenant (have you found that?) which made me answer a bunch of questions to get in. So I did. And Curie disliked it. So I said fuck it and went to have dinner.

So an hour and change cost me like half my caps, a great deal of frustration, and not only does Curie not admire me yet, she slightly dislikes me.

But I got a magazine. So that’s ok.

I’m in covenant. Have you been there?


Preston, you weirdo! What are you charging off for!? I suppose he was so excited that you were finally ready to do his thing that he couldn’t wait another minute, and had to run off to make sure everything was ready. I think that’s what he did when I told him “sure, let’s do it.” Said “I’ll assemble a force!” or something and ran off.

And left me there saying, “well, I didn’t really mean I was going to do it right this minute…I mean, I totally want to do it, but I was going to check on this other thing first…help a settlement…find a private eye…you know. But I’ll definitely be along soon! Keep that force assembled!”

Still, a magazine! Magazines are amazing. Except for ‘Taboo Tattoo’…I really don’t see myself getting facial tattoos, so I’d rather have the ones that give you perks or skills or things. Oh well.

I have not been to Covenant, but thanks for the warning that Curie doesn’t like it. I’ll try to make sure she’s not with me when I find it.

Me, I didn’t play last night, so…I got nothin’.


Yeah! That’s what he did. See, I was all “Maybe” cuz I thought that when I said yes the quest would, you know, start. Not that he’d disappear to the other side of supermutant valley. He could have HELPED me get across supermutant valley but no. Off he went. Ah, well. At least Piper’s still here. Though I can’t find Dogmeat.

Preston can wait. He is a patient man.

This magazine was “You now have the code to hack turrets.” Which sounds awesome! I think. Not if it means I have to sneak up on them.

I’m not sure what she disliked. You have to take a test to get in, which is a series of questions of “What would you do if….” like 15 of them. At the end, she was all “Curie disliked that.” No idea which one. Annoying.


I visited the school in Diamond City with Curie and they asked a series of questions and she had opinions about my answers. I got Curie’s feedback after each answer, though, so I could tell which ones she liked. She seems to like sensitive, nurturing responses like “love is the most important thing for children.” She has a gentle, caring soul. Program.


Oh I did that! Was that the one where you could convince the robot to get married to the dude? Or declare her love? Those French robots. So silly. But I was with Piper, so no Curie approval.


No, this wasn’t about robot marriage, it was something about raising children. Although they might have asked different questions depending on when you got there? Maybe if I go back there will be more…


Hmm. I had the robot asking me if love between two….things…that are so different is bad…. if love conquers all.

And then I saw her marrying the guy. Funny.


Oh, right! I did see that “love conquers all” response to the question about…different things…in love. Actually, I even picked that one. Which came out as “I think if they love each other, they’ll find a way to work it out,” or something. Man, how soon we forget. Yeah, Curie liked that. I should have remembered, since it was so obviously a precursor to “by the way, you could romance Curie…one of these days.” Which I totally will! Because she’s so smart and curious and also tender-hearted and sensitive and has an adorable accent!


That and you ALWAYS find the weirdest thing to romance in games and do it. Always. You’ll probably go for a robot/ghoul threesome.


I do seem to have an affinity for the weirdos lately. I mean, DAI was Alistair. You can’t get much more conventional than Alistair. The handsome prince, for pity’s sake! But he broke my heart, and ever since it’s been all aliens and Benny and moody fake wardens and making sorceresses angry. My in-game romantic history is definitely rocky. I don’t see how a robot/ghoul threesome wouldn’t be a calming influence, honestly.


And bugs. Garrus was, really, a bug. And you had a thing for Garrus.

We can’t all be charming the sorceresses. I’ve had practice.


Well, it’s hard to change who you are. Me and my interesting in-game relationship choices…that defines me, man! I’m supposed to try to romance someone normal and conventionally attractive NOW? At this point in my life? After everything I’ve seen and done? (Don’t ask.)


I…..won’t ask. Nor will I note that in a game in which your existing husband gets shot you instantly start a relationship with a faceless floating robot. Because…well….um…..

Moving on.


I need someone to distract me from my cripplingly painful yearning for my murdered husband! Robots are very distracting! Plus she cares about children and love, and would probably help me raise Shaun. It makes perfect sense. Stop judging me.


Hey, Piper already HAS a kid sister. She’s already shown her maternal tendencies. And she’s cute.


That’s true, I saw her little sister hawking papers there. Good point, she would be good to help raise Shaun. Although would the little sister be OK with adding Shaun to the family? Do you really want to ruin that poor kid’s life by bringing another kid into it when she’s used to having Piper all to herself? Assuming Shaun’s not already grown up at this point.

I dunno, though, something about the way Piper’s mouth moves kind of freaked me out. In the limited conversation I had with her outside Diamond City, anyway. I suspect she’s a synth. Not that that would rule her out as a romantic prospect.


Ah, but, see, as I have charmed her, I have more backstory. It’s cool. Soon, lovely house that smells of fresh baked cakes. I’m on a roll. Cakes with Triss, holding hands looking at the sunset with Sera, it’s all good.


I will charm her. It’s what I do. Well, I try. The yellow/orange/red conversation options don’t really come up with companions, do they? So with them it’s more about what you do, like make drugs or express support for robot/human romance. Garvey likes it when you tinker with guns, Nick Valentine, the PI, likes it when you hack terminals…I may not be able to pull off the immediate bonus of a tough conversation option, but I still try to figure out what people like and then do it to impress them.

Which is actually, again, rather exploitative and self-serving, since the focus is on doing a thing you know someone will like to get their approval, rather than necessarily because it’s what you believe to be right. Although I let us off the hook somewhat since usually you don’t know someone disapproves of making drugs until they tell you, and then, well, it’s just common courtesy not to make drugs anymore unless they’re not around. “It’s not that I won’t make drugs, but I’ll wait until you’re not home, OK? That’s cool, right?”

There was an interesting bit near the end of Life is Strange that called the player/character out for this sort of thing: “you’re just using your powers to say what you know people want to hear, showing them a fake person they’ll like or think is cool, rather than being honest about who you really are.”

Which was a somewhat different matter because in that game your powers were specifically about saying something, seeing what happened, and then rewinding and trying something else, but it did feel kind of as if the game had accused me of cheating. “You reloaded a previous save because you didn’t like what happened, instead of owning the result!” Well, yeah, I did…because that’s my special power…is doing that…and you’re now pointing out that my powers may not have been used purely for the good of humanity…stop judging me!

We’re not doing anything that manipulates others at that level in most games, but still, there’s an inherently manipulative aspect to figuring out what people approve of and then making sure to do it when they’re watching.


Piper likes lock picking.

You WILL get a challenge one once you get to “flirt.” Flirt is a persuasion challenge. Which makes sense. FAR easier to get your groove on in a sequin dress than military fatigues. So I’ve heard.

Speaking of picking locks, finally found that shelter/cellar in Sanctuary. There is was. Behind a BLUE house. But got gold bars, and I’m storing my shit in that safe.

And I was going to pick the locks anyway. If it gets me in a cutie’s good graces, so much the better.

Re Life is Strange, well, yeah. Use the powers for the good of humanity, dammit! Not to kiss Chloe!

And Triss likes NOT telling Yen you love her. So there.


A blue house? Damn, I could have sworn it was yellow. I mean, I DID swear it was yellow, but apparently I perjured myself. Damn it! Well, I couldn’t find it last time I looked either, so next time I’ll try the blue houses.

But at least I didn’t totally imagine it, right? Gold bars! Which are not very useful for trade (ha ha, gold hoarders are suckers!), but which is probably a valuable component in some generator or something. Plus, as you say, there’s a safe.

Good point, we WERE going to pick those locks anyway, so we might as well get some approval for it. Man, it would be tough traveling with a real law-abiding paladin type who disapproved every time we picked a lock or hacked a terminal or looted a body.

Ah, so there’s a dedicated ‘flirt’ option. I was wondering about that. Nice. I haven’t gotten to that point with any of my companions yet. I guess I’m too busy picking locks, hacking terminals and looting bodies. What if you’re not dressed for it: can you ‘dismiss’ and get changed and then start the conversation over again? Or is it one of those “sorry, the flirtatious moment has passed” things?


Was it Jessica’s house? Cuz Jessica’s house was blue. And, if so, what’s with the bars?

Ah, shit, no one wants the gold? Damn! I was figuring that would replace the lack of caps. I should have known. If I have it, it’s worthless.

I did like that Curie told me to wash my hands after looting a body. That was cool.

I don’t know about the flirting. I only got one, once, and I was ready. But yes. “Flirt,” triangle, orange. And I succeeded, so…. she was all “Wow…um…thanks. That was…nice…and, unexpected.” And she was all flustered. Cutie.


Honestly, I don’t know what happened to the gold bars. Maybe you CAN sell them for a good price, but I think I left them stored in a workshop somewhere because they were heavy. Story of my life.

Maybe I’ll start just putting on a nice dress anytime I talk to a companion. I mean, to say more than “here, carry my loot.” Just in case flirting comes up. Although I have succeeded at orange persuasion checks before while wearing just my regular crappy armor, so maybe I’m too charming to have to worry about looking good.

I do like Curie’s helpful science/medical tips. Although, like everyone else, she doesn’t get looting. They all seem to have some variation on “why on earth are you picking up THAT?”

Surely I can’t be the only person in the world who appreciates the value of a good desk fan or a hot plate for construction purposes? Or maybe I am, considering how many of them are still lying around after 200 years.


At this point, any caps are good. Though I’m noticing some Skyrim money issues: merchants only have like 140 caps. Gotta find the rich merchants.

There’s probably something that triggers the flirt option, like getting to a level of ‘like ‘or hearing a story. I bet we’ll be able to flirt with Preston after we get to the castle. Which we’ll never do. Unless we go all power armor. I tell you, I am not using that enough.

Looting…I know! I certainly think these poor settlers are looking at me going “Shit why didn’t I think of that? Fishing rods being turned into machine guns? Brilliant!”


Yeah, I have seen that with merchants. Although I never have enough to sell to even clean out the 140-cap ones, due to my obsessive hoarding of fans and coffee pots, so it hasn’t been a problem for me yet.

We’re going to educate the entire Commonwealth on the value of scavenging. There won’t be a pre-war artifact left unscrapped when I’m done with these settlers. “Go forth and tear everything to pieces! I mean EVERYTHING!!!!”

Although they seem to have plenty of guns: it’s things like turning fishing rods into generators that they haven’t mastered.


I’m also getting terribly shitty prices. I mean, they have a gun on sale for like 220 caps. Same gun? They’ll buy it for like 25. What?

I gotta fix that. Gotta find a bobblehead. Or there are magazines (“Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor”) that lower prices/help barter. Need.


One of the flavors of mentats helps, but that is definitely also a problem. Even when I deign to sell it, no one wants to spend good money for my random junk! The contrast between the listed value and what someone will actually pay is sometimes too large to bear. “You know what, never mind. I’ll just hang onto this until maybe a more discerning merchant comes along, or I get a perk.”


It’s crazy! And so disappointing. Cuz I’m all “Dude! I found one of these? I’m rich! That dude wanted like 800 caps for that!” and then you get there and he’s all “I’ll give you 14.” And you’re not rich.

Bobbleheads. Need. There’s such a joy to finding those. And magazines.


LOVE the bobbleheads and the magazines. And that, really, is why we need to wander and explore and not just fast-travel everywhere. It’s often off the beaten trail that you find bobbleheads and magazines.


It’s true. And at the end of quests. Whenever I get that “completed,” look around. Usually something juicy. Like the medicine one in the room with Curie, etc.

Really curious what the turret one does.


Yeah, I am curious about the turrets. Because if you do have to sneak up on them, that’s not incredibly helpful given many of them are out of reach on the ceiling. And sometimes I find control terminals for them, but usually only after I’ve already shot them to pieces (and gathered up their precious circuitry-containing parts). Maybe it gives you a plus to hacking their terminals? But that doesn’t make sense because you can either try to hack them or not based on your perks. I got nothing. Keep me informed!


Well, I did get this SWEET chestpiece off some legendary something (glowing one I think) that automatically cloaks (like a stealth boy) if you stand still while sneaking. It’s glorious. I’m sneaking up on everyone. You come out of it when you move, but still.

Though on that: when you’re cloaked, the Pipboy interface changes and gets all “cloaky” and becomes absolutely impossible to read. I mean, impossible. Boo.


I have a leg piece that does that! I got it from a legendary radroach. (Which, by the way, I love. For many generations, people have told tales around the campfire about this radroach!)

It’s pretty sweet, although as you say, it makes the Pip-boy screen unreadable so I always have to stop and stand up if I want to look at my inventory. I quit wearing it because it didn’t have pockets and I NEED THE EXTRA FIVE POUNDS OF DESK FANS SO BAD, but I saved it somewhere. Someday I’d like to stick pockets on it, or perhaps become confident enough in my settlements that I can trust them to survive without that extra fan blade, but we’ll have to see. Also, I’ll have to remember where I put it.

Damn it. It’s gone forever, isn’t it?


You know, you can take mods off things and put them on other things, even if you don’t know how to make them yourself. Pockets? Strip them from that and put them on this. Boom.

I have the problem where I want to switch guns while stealthy, and can’t read the damn list and wind up with a baseball bat.

I saw a “legendary radstag” but ran away. The only radstag I fought killed the hell out of me, and it was just plain.


Ooh, really? Sweet. I did not know that, but now I’ll have to do it pretty much all the time. Thanks!

Ha–yes. Trying to pick from the aid list while being stealthy and winding up eating something that gave me radiation was also a problem.

Mr. O’ changed the difficulty to ‘hard’, and it seems to have changed it for the whole game (i.e., my character too), so now when we fight legendary things they tend to mutate mid-battle, which gives them all their hit points back and then makes them explode when they finally die. I’m newly leery of legendary things lately.


Yeah. Another inventory thing to manage! Great.

At least it wasn’t grape mentats. That would probably have cost you the chance of robot sex.

On that, isn’t it great that wine increases charisma?

Nah, legendary things do that on normal. I figured that out against the glowing one, which came the fuck out of nowhere. The thing was like “Hey, man, a few ghouls” and then BOOM! Fucker. Piper held her own, though. And then this weird thing started happening where the room was glowing and I got MAD radiation and Piper was all “Um….something’s happening here….” and I was torn between curiosity and wanting to keep my loot without that fight again so I ran. It was probably really themey.


Oh, they start mutating anyway? OK, I guess I won’t blame him for changing the settings. But yeah, it’s kind of alarming. Running for it was almost certainly the right call. Those themes will be there later. Somewhere. Lots of radiation is never good.

Speaking of which, I’ve been through a couple more radstorms. Haven’t found a cellar to hide in, but did find an underground refrigeration room in a blood bank, which didn’t block the radiation. So the storm cellar might not work anyway. But at least it has a safe you can store your loot in.


I’m seriously thinking Covenant’s gonna give me something to talk about. Has that “place of story” vibe I used to get in FO3.

I DID find a hazmat suit that gave something like 1000 rad resistance. Then lost it. Sigh.

Though Rad-X is the bomb. That stuff works, man. And non addictive!


Gotta have Rad-X. Fortunately you find it in half the bathrooms of the world, so I haven’t had any problem with running low on it or anything so far.

Now I want to go find Covenant! But I have other things to do. Leads to follow. Companions to mollify by pretending some interesting in their castle-related problems.


How did you get east enough to find the USS Constitution without finding covenant? The way you wander….


My wandering is largely directed by bands of super mutants that I have to run away from. There’s no real pattern involved.