Ideas for new Fallout threats

Discussion in 'Future Fallout Game Discussion' started by The Dutch Ghost, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    One silly(?) idea I had was that the pre-war IRS (or its Fallout equivalent) had their own AI at some point, made to keep tabs on taxes owned and collect them in any way by whatever means are available. I think I called it some silly name like Taxatron, TAXER or TAX-MAN.

    Anyway, after the war, the thing is re-enabled. It looks at its own internal calendar, sees that it has been over two centuries, starts doing tax calculations... and promptly goes after anyone "in debt". Its intelligent enough to know a nuclear war has happened, but its programming is also strict enough that it can't stop making people pay tax, even through the United States doesn't exist for a long time.

    So there's this AI that simply goes around and tries to collect two hundred years worth of extremely overdue unpaid taxes in current's day currency from everyone, simply because its programmed to. Of course, it has the robotic muscle to back it up.

    The Player Character is The Dodger. He/She is literally the first guy to get a visit from the "Collectors". The (Tax) Collectors are Taxatron's enforcers in the matter of tax collection. They WILL take your money, and if you have no money, they will take your stuff. This makes them stay away for a while, but they WILL come back and take your shit again, unless you can find a way to fight/avoid them.

    The problem is that this is literally destroying the region's economy as Taxatron takes everyone's money and/or goods for its payments and does nothing with it. It won't attack cities brazenly, but that's about it.

    Essentially, the first part of the main quest is to stop getting your lunch money stolen by robots, or pay it off.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. StopSigntheVendingMachine

    StopSigntheVendingMachine narcissistic sociopath

    Jan 28, 2020
    That would be pretty funny as an entire sub-plot with the Wild Wasteland Trait.

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  3. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Hello Hardboiled Android,

    I meant to respond to you much earlier. But one of the things that held me back was that I did not know how to write a proper response

    I have talked with Atomic Postman in the past about not reusing certain elements that have already appeared in Fallout before, such as a republic much similar to the Pre War US republic, instead exploring new ideas that the mostly blank canvas of Fallout offers.

    One such concept is the Lone Star Merchant Republic, a nation run by traders rather than politicians.
    The Cartel, a 'government' run by the descendants of drugs cartels that are now a 'legitimate' leaderships.
    A Confederacy of Native American Tribes (and independent settlements that have joined) in Oklahoma.

    I don't wish to turn the Black Hats into a military version of the NCR, in a way we already have that with the Legion even if it is an ancient world styled dictatorship.
    But I want there to be something more to their ideology of bring law and order to the wasteland.

    The Black Hats' 'cousins'; the Desert Rangers sought to bring law and order to the wasteland by dealing with raiders, hostile tribals, mutants, and rogue robots, and help people to survive by teaching them survival skills.
    The Black Hats have not abandoned those goals or principles, but they feel that people in the wasteland perhaps have to be taught by force when they are not willing to listen when the Black Hats try it in a diplomatic way.

    But how would I avoid to make it sound that the Black Hats seek to create a nation of their own?

    It would require extensive background/lore building for me to give the feeling that it really works.

    The backstory of Fallout 2 in which the Vaults were part of research for off world colonization and the Enclave's planned space program could be used again, but there would also have to be more details where the Enclave intended to go and how they would make this world into a new home for humanity.

    I have been thinking a lot of scaling back my earlier ideas for the Enclave's space program. Rather than wanting to go to another star system and starting over there on an Earth like planet (rather much like Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri) which would be rather difficult, I am thinking that the Enclave instead wanted to go to Mars.
    Much nearer to Earth and it fits the 50s sci-fi idea of the solar system being the next frontier pretty well.

    In reality colonizing Mars would be rather difficult but this is where the Fallout world's different take on science! would get into play.

    I remember BTW that you wrote a post a while back about the role of a hidden party behind events taking place in the wasteland, such as the Master and his Unity in Fallout 1, the Enclave in Fallout 2, and Presper and his NCR army allies in the proposed Fallout 3.
    And that Fallout New Vegas rather diverged from that with its faction system.

    You did not mind that that was used for a campaign once, but you felt it was not a plot concept that should be used over and over again.
  4. Blastwave Dave

    Blastwave Dave First time out of the vault

    Sep 12, 2021
    In my own work I've come up with an idea for a subterranian faction not entirely unlike The Institute. An organization that has technology akin to weather manipulation, they cause massive Dust storms that flood an area with oppressive radiation and scrambles radio signals. They use this to send abduction teams to the surface, scary, fully-suited mystery-men with technology unlike any seen elsewhere in the Wasteland.

    During these storms they raid areas for technological parts, capture people they deem 'of interest', eradicate dissidents/agitators, and run mysterious scientific experiments. They enact their will upon the wasteland through proxy groups and infiltrators, as well as monetary and technological backing.

    Their goal, as I'm workshopping it, is to keep The Wasteland down so that when they've accrued enough technological power they can emerge and seize control with comparatively little resistance. The end goal being to establish a totalitarian government.

    I dunno, I'm dumb and unoriginal, I just want to take The Wasteland Boogeyman concept to an actual conclusion and make it... not shit.
  5. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    A concept I mentioned briefly once to @Atomic Postman is "Rangers gone bad," on an institutional rather than an individual level.

    Basically, the Rangers are a highly trained, extremely well equipped group, one of the very very few 'professional' military organizations in the world, especially pre-NCR expansion. What is the purpose of the Rangers? Obviously we don't have much detail on them in the games, but more or less its to be da good guys, to defend the innocent and help the helpless. Well that's all well and good, but how do they make money? How do they finance their training and their weapons, their organizational structure?

    Well, what makes the most sense to me is that, eventually, the way to Rangers maintaining 'law and order' is to rent themselves out to mayors and merchants. Not mercs per se, they (sometimes) have limitations on what they'll do and generally what they do is focused on 'law and order' rather than just random work. But inherently, this sort of stuff is a corrossive influence, the Rangers stray from their original pure purpose.

    In effect, what I'm trying to get at is that the Rangers essentially become feudal knights or samurai. They are among the only professionally trained or well equipped soldiers around, and end up coming into the service of local leaders to do what militias or poorly trained mercs can't. They have a code of ethics much like the chivalraic code, but of course most of the time this is violated and they spend most of their time putting down peasant rebellions. There is an overarching 'Ranger' organization that attempts to direct all of the chapters and bands, but it is weak, and Rangers end up fighting other bands in the service of other war lords as much as they do bandits and aggressors.

    Now, this isn't exactly right for the Black Hats, but I think there are some ideas here that would be applicable: see them as a military order rather than a state. See them as decentralized tyrants, pettily controlling in a paternalistic manner small towns but uninterested in unifying. Constantly bickering amongst themselves. Unhealthily obsessed with martial prowess and honor, in addition to survivalism.

    I dunno, tell me what you think.

    Yeah, this is definitely more sensical than Alpha Centauri - though it makes the Vault experiments a teensy bit less sensical, since they were mostly psychological experiments because the Enclave wanted to know what life would be like in isolation on a generation ship. Some of that is probably still applicable to Mars, though.

    Ah, happy to hear you remember it. Yeah, doing another campaign that is centered around faction conflict is, in my mind, equivalent to doing another game about Super Mutants or the Enclave - it could work to have those things in the background but the 'main plot' should not be centered on it.

    But it is super super important to have those things in the background, and really be the bulk of what the player actually does.