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Minor spoilers for the Silver Shroud series of quests; larger spoilers for events at Pickman’s Gallery; possibly spoilery references to Bobbi No-Nose and the Big Dig, the bounty hunter looking for Henry Cooke, and the Lynn Woods and Parson Asylum locations


I ACTUALLY PLAYED! And just when I thought the combat was getting easy…..

I grabbed Cait and went to GN to join the Big Dig, got into a fight with some hard assed mirelurks, died lot, finally killed them only to find I had accidentally shot the person that I had to talk to to do the quest, had to try again, and again, and again, but did it. Then went to DC to do the next bit of it, decided I might not WANT to do that, so I grabbed Nick, went back to GN and Silver Shrouded it up. Did it all the way through to Milton General Hospital. Have you been that far? If not, I shan’t spoil. But that ended with about nineteen tries as well. Much fighty.

The Silver Shroud voice is pretty awesome. I refuse to break character.

But, in the end, Nick loved it and I started getting some Nick story. I like Nick. He’s interesting. ANOTHER interesting character!


Yeah, I’ve been getting into a lot of pretty tough combat too. I just hit level 45 last night, and maybe it’s scaling up to keep pace with me? Or I’m just getting into tougher situations again.

Nick likes the Silver Shroud stuff? Makes sense…I’ll have to take him along next time I do one of those missions. I’m on “kill Kendra” right now, so I think that’s not as far as Milton General Hospital? But I’ll get there…especially if Nick likes it. Your cheesy Shroud voice is pretty awesome. Also peoples’ reactions: what the hell is this?

I played too…quite a bit, actually. Let’s see, what did I do?

OK, first I went to Pickman Gallery. Ew. Killed a bunch of raiders, didn’t kill Pickman even though ew, because he wasn’t attacking me at the time…so I let a serial killer wander free to kill again, on the theory that it was “just raiders.” And, I mean, I do hate raiders, but do even they deserve Pickman’s treatment? Probably not? Dubious moral decision there, Frances. I should have just shot him. I was kind of thinking “well, is it my place to judge him guilty without a trial? I’m more a kill-in-self-defense person than an executioner” but…um…I don’t know who else’s responsibility it would be. The justice system I, as a non-practicing lawyer, am accustomed to is long gone. And it’s not as if he even denied guilt or anything. Dude totally did it, isn’t repentant, will totally do it again. I just felt weird killing him when he wasn’t attacking me first.

It’s a thought-provoking decision, because Pickman is basically Junior from The Witcher 3 (pretty much exactly Junior, in fact), except with less sympathetic victims. Interesting how that apparently made all the difference to me. If Junior’s house had been full of chopped-up pirates and bandits instead of women, would I have shrugged and let it slide?

Hmmm…maybe? I mean, it’s all about the innocent victims, I guess. If Pickman’s Gallery had been full of settlers instead of raiders, I think I would have killed him too…it’s like my key Moral Law of Gaming is “don’t pick on people who aren’t picking on you,” and so you’re KIND OF off the hook for picking on people whose job it is to pick on other people (i.e. raiders–who, as Pickman pointed out, I myself will kill without a second thought: even, sometimes, without giving them a chance to prove they’re hostile by attacking me first), but if you mess with random villagers, or settlers, or prostitutes, or basically anyone who’s just minding their own business and whose business isn’t picking on people, you’ve crossed the line.

So that was my ethical quandary for the weekend.

Then I went to Safe House Augusta, forgetting to don power armor first, and as you said wandered cheerfully through it, killing off raiders and collecting loot with minimal issue, and then just as I was about to leave OMG DEATHCLAW!

It killed me twice and then on the third respawn it turned Legendary (thanks, game: THAT’S the motivation I needed!), but I was able to defeat it with heavy use of mines, running behind random fallen objects, and the Wounding Combat Shotgun. I cannot stress enough how key this gun is to my continued success. Wounding. Combat. Shotgun.

Then I went to Diamond City, picked up Piper, did the “give Travis the DJ some confidence” bit, talked to Nelson the chem dealer’s dad (I lied and denied killing Nelson: another dubious moral decision since I should really just own my actions. Yeah, I killed him. Sorry, but we were kind of in the middle of a gunfight…based on the fact that I was trying to rob him…). I investigated Earl Sterling’s disappearance, cleared that up, failed an unrelated quest in the process, but whatever, I didn’t care about facial reconstruction surgery anyway (although possibly it would have had information relevant to some other thing…maybe Deacon….)

I talked to the bounty hunter Colette about Henry Cooke (whom I would have liked to have told Nelson’s father was responsible for Nelson’s death, since it was true, but for some reason my only options were to try to pin it on Marowski or Paul Pembroke, and I didn’t want to lie…again). I didn’t have any conversation option to tell her what actually happened, or I would have: my only choices were “I don’t know” or evasion or “I wish I could help you,” so I said I wished I could help her but didn’t know where he was (which is true, I don’t), and the conversation ended.

And I too talked to Bobbi No-Nose about the Big Dig, but then decided I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate in the next part of her scheme, so…I don’t know if I’m going to get around to breaking that guy out of jail or not.

Then I bought Home Plate from the mayor’s office, so now I have an actual apartment, as well as a room in Vault 81 and a bunk on the Prydwen. None of which I ever visit, but, you know, I could if I wanted.

Then I did some Brotherhood missions: escorted a couple of scribes to collect some information, convinced some settlements to ‘donate’ food to the cause, tried to balance out their resulting unhappiness by giving them drink stands and patio tables (there’s a sweet outdoor bar area on Abernathy Farm now!), and picked up 3000 caps by turning in Technical Documents and Viable Blood Samples. THAT’S where the money is!

Then, trying to clear a ‘miscellaneous’ quest line, I went up north to check out the Parsons Asylum, which I had a note saying “investigate”, but then when I got there and, with difficulty, killed several very tough mercenaries guarding it, it turns out to be locked and to require a key I don’t have, so…why did you tell me to come here again, whatever message I got this map location from?

Then I wandered around in that general area, found Lynn Woods, ho hum, devastated settlement, lighthouse-like tower, interesting, OMG two glowing deathclaws!!!! One of them Legendary! After numerous attempts, killed them, killed some raiders who showed up immediately afterwards, wandered on down by the water, OMG, glowing deathclaw!!! After numerous attempts, killed it (Wounding. Combat. Shotgun.) but running low on shotgun ammunition by now.

Wandered a little further, found Dunwich Borers, which sounds like an awesome HP Lovecraft reference, but it was full of tough guards including some guy in power armor, and…you know what? I’m going back to the middle of the map to deal with some of the quests there, because everything up here is kicking my ass and I’m not even completing quests on it.

So that’s where I stand at the moment.


I like that people go along with it. “Heh. Cute, dude. Ok…uh…Shroud….” Hancock going “Hey…you stay you.”

Nick was totally down with the shroud.

But did you find the bobblehead in Pickman’s Gallery? It’s really about the bobblehead.

And yeah. Ew.

I, too, let Pickman go. And did you get his reward? With the card that says “Thanks, killer?” Hmm.

I also thing it’s a mirror kind of quandary. I mean, sure, we can put ourselves in the shoes of our characters, but also, let’s face it, what are WE doing when we play? We’re killing raiders for fun. Right? So much of video games, which we enjoy, which we find fun, involves killing the hell out of everyone. And, shit, here we are, talking about it as art. Whether you think Frances and Jessica are like Pickman, what about us? Aren’t video games painting art with pixelated blood? Is his “Thanks, Killer” not to Frances and Jessica or to you and me?

Good stuff.

DUDE how much did I have to warn you about that deathclaw? I TOLD you there was a fucking deathclaw in there! I WARNED you!

I’d love me some wounding combat shotgun. I have looked for a wounding combat shotgun. I do not have a wounding combat shotgun. It DOES sound handy.

Legendary. Great. Good to know. I’M taking my fucking armor. That thing killed me enough already.

Ok, I did all of that Diamond City stuff, too. Poor, poor lonely Miles. Poor Miles.

I had trouble with that because Piper kept getting carried away and kept killing the dudes that were supposed to be a set up. Piper. Calm down, girlfriend.

Ah. Ok. More on that Nelson thing later. Cuz I talked to her again. And then she said something that I didn’t expect. So go back to DC soon.

Ah yes, breaking the guy out of jail. That’s the bush I was beating around, but you probably figured that out. Yeah, I’m not so sure I feel ok about that…. She seems sketchy, and do I want to alienate DC just yet? There’s too much shit I’m not privy to to begin bridge burning. I hemmed and hawed my way out of that, too. We shall see.

Ooo! I was thinking of buying Home Plate! Is it worth it?

But patio tables? This game rewards patio tables?

The tiki bar is open. THAT’S really what Abernathy farm needed. (Actually, as a Concord resident, this town COULD benefit from someplace with cold beer and a disco ball.)

Technical documents are the WAY man.

As for the asylum, related quest. Go back to Cabot House. Talk to dudes. All will become clear. As will a key.

GLOWING deathclaws? Fuck that shit. I need me a Wounding. Combat. Shotgun.

But yeah, I DO have a pretty good non wounding combat shotgun (if that can be a thing) that I use quite a bit and I have been noticing that shotgun shells are at a premium. I’m usually pretty low on shotgun shells. I’ve even run out of shotgun shells.

Damn, man, that’s productive.

But yeah, I’m getting the sense that the game REALLY doesn’t want us going some places. No sense wasting them shells for non questy shit.

Me, my next move…I might magpie around Milton a while. There were some places I ran by on the way to the hospital, as there was some time sensitive shit I needed to take care of, and then either the Cabot House bit that you tried to do out of order or schlep back down to the castle to help Garvey with his shit. Again. Cuz hopefully that will shut him up. For a while.


All right, all right, I’ll go to Cabot House. That was also a possibility I considered when I was looking at my quest list thinking “what shall I try to check off here?” but I assumed that since the Asylum was under “miscellaneous,” it would be a sort of sideline, and more quickly disposed of. My bad. But in my defense, there’s no obvious connection between the two.

I did get the bobblehead in the Pickman quest! And the magazine. I agree: that’s really what it’s all about. Kill the murderer, don’t kill the murderer, reflect on the ethical questions of murder/gameplay as art or don’t: the key thing is, you have to get the bobblehead.

And yes, I went back to get the treasure and his nice ‘thank you’ note. Uh…yeah, no problem, dude. I’ll most likely kill you if I ever see you again…just so you know.

Ooh, on a completely random note, have you run into Art and Art? Two identical guys (one presumably a synth copy) who are trying to kill each other? I’ve seen them twice, and both times just kind of backed away like “this is clearly something between the two of you…I’ll just leave you to it…” I mean, I tried talking to them first, but they’re actively engaged in shooting at each other, and neither of them will say anything, and they’re both green in VATS and not shooting at me, so, as I said, I’ve left them to it. Interfering when I have no idea what’s going on, and neither of them seems to be causing any trouble for anyone else (or, no more trouble than gunfire in the streets usually causes, which in the post-apocalypse is like mildly inclement weather), so…maybe I’ll get a quest about it at some point.

You should totally buy Home Plate, if for no other reason than that the 2,000-cap price is laughable at this point. At least it was for me. We haven’t talked about money lately, but I’m up around 25,000. Why WOULDN’T I buy an apartment with an insignificant portion of that? Someplace to dump loot, if nothing else.

There’s a workshop in it, but you can only build certain things, like furniture and artwork (so no setting up a food and drink stand in your own basement to bring in extra money…alas). I stuck some rugs on the floor, some pictures on the walls, etc. It’ll be a cozy place to come hang out with my lover, should I ever progress to that point with any of my companions. Ooh, I didn’t specifically check, but it would be awesome if the furniture options for this place included scented candles and potpourri dishes and gauzy curtains and stuff, to set the mood! (In fact, it would be awesome if it just included sheets for the damn bed…)

Ha. I think really it’s just the usual assortment of crappy stuff, though.


Take your time with Cabot House. Might be a crappy quest. I just stumbled on it, talked to dudes, got the quest, cheerfully have been ignoring it ever since. I kind of forget the details. You can remind me.

Art and Art: Weird. Nope, haven’t bumped into them yet. Sounds like good themeage, though.

Though I did get a random “Wait…what?” moment last night. I was in DC with Nick, and he stopped some dude on the street and was talking about “Still being able to find Buddy” and the dude didn’t seem to want help from Nick, what Nick being a synth. I wanted to ask, but, you know, limited dialog options.

I’m rich enough to afford Home Plate, though, of course, I’m not as rich as you. I have, maybe, 7000? My real problem is that merchants don’t have enough damn money. I WANT to sell them important things, make some cash, but no. They all have like 179 spare caps.

Yeah, what’s with the sheets? Pre war money breaks down into cloth. I want money sheets. The chicks would SO dig that.

As long as there’s a disco ball. But then, the generator would kinda kill the mood.


Ugh, yeah…there you are, trying to make out on your money sheets under a disco ball (so far so awesome!), with a noisy generator belching smoke next to the bed (and…nope, suddenly I have a headache. No, seriously, those fumes are nasty). Not worth it. Although you could make the ball but not light it up. I mean, it’s still sparkly, right?

You can’t power a disco ball with a pylon? Those are nice and quiet. You can see I haven’t actually made any disco balls myself, so I know nothing about them. No wonder my settlers are unhappy.

Although weirdly enough, a couple of times lately when I’ve checked there have been NO ALERTS. Everyone just sort of chilling. It’s like that point when your kid is old enough to play quietly alone for 5 minutes. So proud. A little alarmed. Do a quick scan to make sure they’re actually still alive.


Dude, no light, no dice. The lights MAKE the disco ball.

Money sheets would be so much cooler than oven mitt sheets, which are also an option in this game.

Ooo! Pylon! But they’re tall. Would they even fit inside?

Disco balls are awesome. They twirl. They make sparkles. It’s actually a nice effect.

I also like ceiling fans.

Wha? I ALWAYS have alerts. And, most of the time, just to mock me, they’re next to “happiness.”

Sadly, I kind of liked Travis’ DJ-ing better before he got cool.

Though I do appreciate that he’s playing Magnolia’s music. Songs in games, man. If you don’t have songs of your own, GTFO. We had one in TW3, we had all the tavern ditties in DAI….good trend.


It’s true, I’m glad Travis “Lonely” Miles is feeling better about himself, but his freaking out on the radio was kind of entertaining to listen to.

Hm…I’m not sure. A pylon might fit in your apartment…or a conduit, at least. There are two floors, so you might be able to fit a pylon into the space where the stairs come down. Go buy Home Plate, give it a try. That much awesomeness is worth a shot. Think of the romance!

I know, I almost always have two or three ‘happiness’ alerts, where there’s nothing specifically wrong, people are just miserable. Probably about the fact that they live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Which, you know…there’s really only so much I can do about that, people.

But a disco ball would undoubtedly help a lot. I’ve made a few jukeboxes: a disco ball might be the perfect next step!

Oven mitt sheets are NOT appropriate for a love nest. Sheets made out of sequin dresses, on the other hand, I could get behind. I mean, they wouldn’t be very comfortable, but they’d look great in the light of the disco ball, and sometimes sacrifices must be made.


All about the romance. Gotta have a couple of love cribs. I mean, there’s Piper, Cait’s so into me, Curie…. Foursome of shame!

Settlers are also probably very tired of corn. I gotta make some Brahmin. Can you do that?

I have a jukebox UNDER the disco ball. And a beer bot. You really, really shouldn’t have sold the beer bot.

It would all be fine if they bring back the “Naughty Nightwear” from FONV. Then BOOM. That would work even on oven mitt sheets.


Siiigh…I will miss the beer bot. Although you can only have it at one settlement, which might make the rest even more unhappy if they ever find out what they’re missing. Maybe I dodged a thorny problem down the line, once the gossip starts spreading along those supply lines about who has disco balls and who doesn’t.

Supply lines: a double-edged sword.


Only one settlement has to get to 100% to get the trophy. Maybe the supply lines will help. Schadenfreude. Sanctuary will bask in the misery of Oberland Station.

I think Mr. O’ GOT that trophy. Ask him how.


I’m sure he did. He was Mr. Settlement for a while. And since he did it, I don’t have to. Think what a prouder achievement it will be for you to get platinum all alone! While I can coast on his settlement maintenance, hack terminals, and bask in the glory.