- 1 Brotherhood of Steel
- 2 Caesar’s Legion
- 3 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- 4 Commonwealths
- 5 Daughters of Hecate
- 6 80s
- 7 Enclave
- 8 Followers of the Apocalypse
- 9 Hangdogs
- 10 Iron Lines
- 11 NCR Rangers
- 12 New California Republic
- 13 Poseidon Energy
- 14 Powder Gangs
- 15 Unity
- 16 Van Graffs
- 17 Vault-Tec
- 18 Vipers
- 19 Wrights
Brotherhood of Steel
The Brotherhood of Steel has a very mixed reputation across the wasteland. Reverent and protective of technology, the Brotherhood has many scattered bunkers filled with treasures of the Old World and inventions of post-apocalyptic societies. Stubborn, paranoid, and often in turmoil, the Brotherhood has not prospered as it could have were it united under a respected leader. The symbol of the Brotherhood is a winged sword imposed over three interlocked gears.
Comprised mostly of reconditioned tribals and their offspring, Caesar’s Legion is a huge slaving organization that used to operate east of the Grand Canyon. Led by the charismatic and cunning “Caesar”, the legionnaires are a well-organized fighting force and absolutely merciless in their slavery. Mimicking the ancient traditions of the Roman Empire, the legionnaires dress in segmented football pad armor and decorated football helmets. Caesar attempted to destroy NCR’s presence in the east, and actually succeeded in destroying one of their major fortifications, Fort Aradesh. When Caesar attempted to take Hoover Dam, however, the legion was badly defeated. Since that time, Caesar has moved east of Texas, past the legendary cyclones that rage for most of the months of the year. Despite this, packs of his legionnaires still operate in the southwest, collecting tribute from tribes in the form of goods and slaves.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Groups of Mormons still survive in the wasteland, mostly in the area that used to be known as the state of Utah. Though truly brutal groups like Caesar’s Legion will not hesitate to enslave or kill Mormons, most tribals and other organizations leave the Mormons alone, knowing that they often will voluntarily give medical or other aid to groups who need it. The people tolerate the Mormons’ preaching because finding help with relatively benign conditions is rare.
Prior to the Great War, the United States had an intermediate level of government between the state and federal powers. In the early 21st century, the nation was divided into thirteen commonwealths. It was believed that such divisions would help create legislation broad enough to affect states with common concerns, but narrow enough to leave dissimilar states alone. In reality, it created even more strife, as commonwealths typically did everything they could to promote their own interests at the expense of other commonwealths. The thirteen commonwealths were:
- Columbia - Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia
- East Central – Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee
- Eastern – West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York
- Four States – Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico
- Gulf – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida
- Midwest – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
- New England – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
- North – Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota
- Northwest – Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska
- Plains – Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma
- Southeast – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina
- Southwest – Southern California, Nevada, Hawaii
- Texas – Texas, Arkansas
Daughters of Hecate
The most powerful tribals in the American Southwest are the feared Daughters of Hecate and their slave tribe, the Vipers. Led by an aging, possibly insane woman of fearsome presence, the masked Daughters of Hecate collect tribute from almost all other tribes in the regions they control. Failure to obey the mandates of Hecate often results in crop failure, poor hunting, disease, and barren wombs. For an unknown reason, the Daughters of Hecate reserve a special hatred for Caesar’s Legion.
The 80s are a gang of bandits that operate along the Northern California 80 Freeway, mostly in the region northeast of the lawless, uncontrolled city of Sacramento. They are easily recognized by the "80" signs they wear strapped across their chests. High-ranking members usually have the Interstate 80 red and blue signs. Lower-ranking members wear green Highway 80 signs and the ordinary grunts make do with what is left over. The 80s are known for their tireless pursuit of enemies and for their occasional use of motorcycles.
One of the few old world organizations to survive the Great War, the Enclave was once the shadow government of the United States. Members of the Enclave were hardliners who both embraced the idea of a nuclear war and knew that the common man could not survive it. They believed that as long as the “important people” of the United States survived, they could regroup quickly and wipe out communism once and for all. Though not technically part of the Enclave, many powerful corporations benefited from the Enclave’s actions and their research facilities were protected during the firestorm of 2077. Chief among these was Poseidon Energy, whose facilities continue to be used by the broken remnants of the Enclave following the Chosen One’s assassination of the Enclave’s U.S. President and the destruction of their Poseidon oil tanker headquarters off of the California coast. Their symbol is a ring of twelve stars with a bold E at the center.
Followers of the Apocalypse
Dedicated to reeducating and rebuilding the wasteland, the Followers are a group that originally sprung up in the Boneyards of Adytum (former Los Angeles) around the time of the Vault Dweller. The Followers are generally liked where they go, since they teach people valuable medical and agricultural knowledge. However, some governments dislike the Followers, as they are generally liberal thinkers who occasionally plant seditious thoughts in the heads of oppressed citizens. The Followers are also touchy about their connection with Caesar’s Legion, a powerful slaver group of the east. It is from their ranks that the original Caesar came.
These tribals have a mixed reputation across the wasteland. Neither known for being particularly brutal or kind, the Hangdogs mostly keep to themselves, living in northeastern Colorado, near Denver – or, as NCR calls it, “Dog Town”. The Hangdogs run with packs of dogs that have been taken from the hordes that reportedly infest Denver.
A group of fairly primitive, nomadic tribals, the Iron Lines patrol and chart the railways of the pre-war world. They collect and often use handcarts to make their way across the wilderness. When they travel, they usually form handcart caravans for mutual safety. The Iron Lines resist the Daughters of Hecate and have remained largely immune to the plagues that haunt other tribes who go against Hecate’s wishes. However, the Vipers never pass up an opportunity to butcher any Iron Lines they discover. The Iron Lines decorate their bodies with paintings of parallel lines.
Technically part of the NCR military, the Rangers are practically a force unto themselves. The Rangers are given exceptional leeway and flexibility to deal with both the intrusion of organized crime and the operation of slavers near the borders of NCR territory. NCR Rangers typically have bounties on their head, even in NCR states.
New California Republic
NCR was founded after the passing of the Vault Dweller. Its solid basis was the fair-dealing community of Shady Sands in central California. NCR gathered together friendly states into a relatively democratic assembly. Once regular commerce was established, caravan houses were formed to transport goods between the member states. Unfortunately for NCR, caravan houses have become organized crime guilds. The corrupting and violent influence of the houses has destabilized NCR in the years following the passing of the Chosen One.
Easily the most powerful energy company in the world prior to the Great War, Poseidon Energy had its fingers in virtually all forms of renewable and non-renewable power sources. Though most of the public knew that Poseidon was a huge corporation and didn’t particularly trust them, very few people were aware that several companies owned by Poseidon were given lucrative defense contracts by the U.S. government – or rather, by Enclave members working as lobbyists for their contracts. Most of Poseidon’s most promising projects never reached their final stages. In their paranoid dreams for a coup against the real U.S. government, the Enclave kept their special toys out of military consciousness until it was too late to actually use them. Now, Poseidon does not exist as a “real” force in the world. However, tech scavengers like the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave still try in vain to decipher Poseidon plans and either confiscate them or turn them into working models, respectively.
When NCR attempted to expand east, they needed railways to carry supplies to distant locations, especially places ripe for colonization. For this task, NCR used criminals from their Black Canyon prison who were approaching the end of their sentences. Unfortunately, when NCR started to have financial problems, payments to the workers started coming up late or short. Eventually, the workers decided to take matters into the own hands, seizing the work stations and all the blasting powder they could find. These packs of criminals became powder gangs, blowing up any and all caravans and railways they came across.
The Unity consists of remnants of the Master’s supermutant army. Supermutants are hated by most people who live in areas of the Core Region that were threatened by the Master’s army. Most members of the Unity are “first generation” supermutants: those created by the Master in his vats. Very few “second generation” supermutants join the ranks of the Unity. Created long after the major attempts at exterminating the supermutants, the creations of the Enclave’s foolish Mariposa experiments see little to no reason to band together, especially with the “old fogies”.
A powerful caravan family operating out of Redding, the van Graffs are one of the primary reasons why NCR has difficulty expanding north. While the Wright family of New Reno trades in drugs and prostitution (the spoils of their successful bid for power in the wake of the Chosen One’s passing), the van Graffs trade gold and weapons. Much like the Wrights, the van Graffs are a huge family. The mother, Tiaret van Graff, has ten children, all from different fathers. All of her children are intensely loyal to both her and each other. The caravan’s symbol is a lion’s head.
Vault-Tec was the most successful of the companies to make private survival vaults before the Great War. Prior to privatization, the creation of vaults was first a local (commonwealth) responsibility, then a federal responsibility. As with so many things near the end, however, the governments could never agree on how to handle the vault issue. Post-privatization, Vault-Tec and a few other companies manufactured vaults for private citizens and for communities.
A tribe of males who serve the all-female Daughters of Hecate. The Vipers are feared warriors, mostly for their uncommonly excellent health and large numbers. The Vipers often travel with Daughters of Hecate, protecting them from outsiders or foolish tribes who choose to stand up to Hecate.
The Wright family is the survivor of a bloody turf war that shook the city of New Reno at the time of the Chosen One. After wiping out both the Bishop family and the Mordinos, the Wrights took control of the Mordino drug operation and prostitution all over the town. Though they controlled weapon trade in the northern Core Region for a few years, they were violently knocked out of that trade by a series of brutal attacks from the van Graff family. Neither the van Graffs nor the Wrights are willing to fight each other now, as they know that NCR would almost assuredly try to finish off the victor. The symbol of the Wright family is a bold W in a half-circle sun (as though rising over the horizon.