Render Unto Caesar

A bleak future for humanity.

At the end of her surprisingly long campaign, Murderous Mabel delivered one final gift to the Mojave Wasteland and its people which ushered in a new era of oppression and slavery. No faction was left unscathed (even Caesar’s Legion) as disharmony became the foundation for future generations. Her actions won’t soon be forgotten should anyone be alive to remember them. No-one can be entirely sure of what the future holds, but the recently promoted Legate Lanius, who became Caesar following his predecessor’s untimely death, minted a coin in her honour and that’s neat.

Sure to be worth the hundreds of lives that it cost.

Of the many builds that I’ve attempted in Fallout: New Vegas, Murderous Mabel is definitely one of my favourites. Being unable to rely on Speech to resolve quests, the (most convenient) answer was usually violence, and that often meant aligning with factions that I don’t usually align with.

Of her achievements, of which there are a few, successfully completing Return to Sender was arguably her finest moment, and perfectly illustrates how diverse her approach to things had to be at times. Which is especially true of her time with Old World Blues, where scrounging and crafting ammunition was the only way for her to successfully complete its campaign with her conventional weaponry. Dead Money was (oddly) less challenging for similar reasons. Despite the opposition being super-absorbent bullet sponges, the abundance of Police Pistols (and varied ammunition) meant that I was able to avoid using Knife Spears. Using weapons adjusted by Guns or Explosives was always preferable, even if they weren’t affected by her perks, as her middling investment into Melee Weapons offered few viable alternatives.

Ensure that the mistakes of the past aren’t repeated in the future.

This is also the first time that I’ve experienced Dead Money in its entirety. It’s certainly an interesting concept, but one that feels absurdly convoluted as you haphazardly dash through hallways haunted by the ever-present beeping of your bomb collar. Searching for radios or speakers only to discover that the majority of them are shielded or otherwise inaccessible. Wondering why anyone would construct this elaborate scheme, when a single mistake would result in the deaths of those that they’ve brought together for this specific purpose thus nullifying their efforts.

It was a truly perplexing expedition.

Given that one of the reasons that I conceived this build was to see things that I’d not seen before and do things that I’d not done before, I’m quite pleased with how this build has developed. I don’t tend to stringently adhere to the ideas that I had at their conception and this is why.

I like to see how builds adapt to the challenges that they face and Murderous Mabel has faced many. I was most impressed at her ability to effortlessly complete numerous Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges, while being a walking arsenal ensured that she always had a weapon suited to the situation at hand. Whether it was the explosive fury of Thump-Thump or the deadly accuracy of La Longue Carabine. The versatility of All-American or the thundering shells of the lever-action shotgun. There was always an answer. I didn’t intend for these posts to form a short series, but I’m glad that they did as I wouldn’t be able to express everything that I enjoy about Fallout: New Vegas in a single post. Nor would I want to. Even ten years after its release it’s still one of the most engrossing post-apocalyptic RPGs that I’ve ever played.

Have a nice week, all!


Return to Sender

A trek across the Mojave.

In what could be considered Murderous Mabel’s finest hour, she infiltrated the NCR by wearing a disguise that fooled very few NPCs, to complete a quest that she shouldn’t be able to complete, and earn an achievement that she shouldn’t be able to earn. Wearing the disguise allowed me to accept the quest and roam their camps, but the majority of named NCR NPCs saw through it and immediately became hostile. Which, surprisingly, wasn’t a problem. As I was able to complete the Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenge to murder named NCR NPCs with certain weapons while upgrading radio equipment.

I strive for efficiency in all things- even murder!

I hadn’t really considered Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges when conceiving this build, but it’s oddly capable of completing them. These challenges along with certain quests (such as Talent Pool and Arizona Killer) have allowed me to earn achievements that I’d missed with other builds.

I could’ve completed Return to Sender earlier and more conveniently but that would’ve been too easy. Murderous Mabel is quickly becoming one of my favourite builds due to the adversity that she faces, and to neatly conclude my business with the NCR before moving forward with Caeser’s Legion would’ve been unexciting. I could’ve murdered Benny and retrieved the Platinum Chip at The Tops, but decided to let him escape to The Fort because I wanted to meet Caeser before meeting Mr. House. Yet, despite orchestrating these events, I let Caesar die during the surgery, because I’m exploiting Caesar’s Legion as much as any other faction. I can’t think of any other build that I’ve done which has been this interesting or diverse. It’s been a wholly unique way to approach Fallout: New Vegas and its various DLC.

Light that gives us the strength to continue through unending hardship.

I doubt that I’ve ever completed Old World Blues in such a way before, either. Nor will I ever do so again. You’re required to remain at Big MT until its conclusion, which, given the immediate access to The Sink and the crafting facilities found therein, is not usually a problem. But Murderous Mabel relies on explosives and conventional weaponry. Old World Blues is brimming with science-y weaponry. Which is terrible when you’ve never invested in Energy Weapons. So I had to scavenge, scrounge, and craft every form of ammunition that I required. Even raw meat was scarcely available.

It truly felt like surviving in a foreign land.

I’m incredibly fond of how this build continues to develop and evolve. I’ve invested in the majority of the aforementioned Perks, and I’ve been increasingly diverse with my choices since then. They’re mostly true to my original intentions but some are opening up entirely new opportunities.

Following the completion of Old World Blues, Honest Hearts, numerous Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges, and the majority of the main campaign I’m now adequately prepared for Dead Money. I’ve no idea what I’m going to encounter in that hellish domain, but I’m looking forward to seeing content that I’ve never experienced before. I’ve got a vague recollection of certain events but that’s it. I know that my investment in Melee Weapons will serve me well. I also know that I’m going to be stripped of my equipment once there, and that I’ll be surviving with limited supplies, but I don’t know whether I get any equipment back prior to its completion. Or how long this expedition is expected to take. So I’m not sure what (if anything) I should take with me and how much I’ll be able to bring back to the Mojave.

Have a nice week, all!


Bringer of Sorrow

An entirely apt description.

One who wished to travel to Novac but instead discovered new routes to Scorpion Gulch, which (as you might expect) is brimming with scorpions, then discovered Primm Pass, which (as you might not expect) is home to a blind deathclaw. One who then tirelessly searched for a Scientist Outfit to conclude Come Fly With Me in the most fiendish way possible. Mostly as penance for having to endure that awful quest, which I’d usually avoid by simply going to New Vegas but I needed the Stealth Boys to infiltrate the Gun Runners. Not that I’m convinced Stealth Boys are actually stealthy.

NPCs are ludicrously perceptive of invisible couriers.

But the Gun Runners were blissfully unaware of my presence and that’s what matters. Even when I opened the gate in view of the guards, who never questioned it opening and closing by itself. Stealth Boys are odd. Things that shouldn’t be possible are, and things that should be aren’t.

The misadventures of Murderous Mabel are partly due to her unconventional build, but mostly due to how I’m approaching and completing quests. I’m working with certain factions for certain reasons, such as the Boomers, to acquire Thump-Thump, but I’m not actually aligning myself with them unless they’re required by Caesar’s Legion. I’ve previously worked with both the NCR and Yes Man as there are valuable experience points to be had, but I’m avoiding decisive quests and I’m still working towards the Caesar’s Legion ending. I’m just exploiting different factions for personal and financial gain. As any truly soulless abomination would. I’ve also been purposefully avoiding investing in Speech, which (sadly) means that I’ve been unable to complete every quest in the most distasteful way possible.

Fantastic by name. Fantastic by nature.

It’s definitely an interesting build, though. I was aware that lever-action shotguns were affected by the Cowboy perk, but forgot, and so didn’t consider the Shotgun Surgeon perk, which I’m now considering. The steady investment into Guns would exponentially increase its damage, and it would become devastating were I to invest in the Finesse and Better Criticals perks. Those would serve conventional weaponry such as All-American well, too. But it’s these decisions which make this build so fascinating, because I’m rapidly discovering new strengths as I continue to develop it.

Eventually turning Murderous Mabel into a walking arsenal.

I’ve been wondering how best to approach the content and I’ve (mostly) decided to work through the DLC before the conclusion of the main campaign. That’s how I’d usually approach Fallout: New Vegas, and I should be able to see any new dialogue related to Caesar’s Legion this way.

Old World Blues is arguably the most beneficial to begin with, as it offers access to The Sink and (through horrific experimentation) unlocks various perks following its completion. While Lonesome Road is arguably best experienced last. Honest Hearts does offer some weaponry which could be useful, but doesn’t confer any other significant benefits. And Dead Money is a nightmarish expedition through the ruins of the Sierra Madre and the only DLC I’ve yet to fully complete. That one’s going to be painful. Very, very painful. However, there are many more things to experience in the Mojave Wasteland and my indecisiveness will likely cause these plans to go awry. As my plans tend to. Which is why, regardless of how many times they ask at job interviews, I don’t know where I see myself in five years. Five years is a long time.

Have a nice week, all!


Murderous Mabel

An utterly detestable soul.

No-one would’ve believed that young Mabel could grow into such a cantankerous psychopath. Born in a settlement on the fringes of the Mojave Wasteland, Mabel’s ambitions were to be a courier delivering hope (amongst other things) to those in need. However, after one client demanded her life as payment, she became addicted to a cocktail of chems, and decided that the Mojave could only thrive if it were cleansed of human life. All human life. Barbarism such as this was readily expressed by the odious soldiers of Caesar’s Legion, and thus her journey across the Mojave began.

Her expertise with explosives led her to the Powder Gangers.

But their ambitions to claim Goodsprings for themselves weren’t grandiose enough. Not that she isn’t going to help Joe Cobb and his men, but he, like Caesar, is going to outlive his usefulness sooner or later. Mabel will sow discord and despair across the entire Mojave or die trying.

I’ve found it difficult to revisit Fallout: New Vegas in recent years. I’ve built around Guns, Energy Weapons, Melee Weapons, and even (to a lesser extent) Unarmed. I’ve aligned myself with Mr. House, Yes Man, and the NCR. But I’ve never built around Explosives, nor have I aligned myself with Caesar’s Legion. Hence the birth of this character. It’s an unconventional build that utilises both the Cowboy and Grunt perks, rather than either one individually, allowing me to use numerous weapons, and experience the Mojave Wasteland from a new perspective. An explosive perspective peppered with conventional weaponry. Through this build I’ll also be embracing the zaniness of Wild Wasteland. I’m not entirely sure how much will change as a result, but this is a good opportunity given her (thematic) dependency on chems.

Thanks, Victor. Now I’m envisaging buttery robot cheeks…

I’ve taken a fairly standard approach to the S.P.E.C.I.A.L distribution, though. Favouring high Agility and high Intelligence, while completely ignoring Charisma. As most do. Not that I could justify high Charisma with a character whose sole ambition is murder. I’ve also taken Kamikaze to further increase her action points, while (slightly) lowering her Damage Threshold. Which is easily countered with the Sub-Dermal Armor implant or the Reinforced Spine perk. Or both. Regardless of Damage Threshold, the latter is required to make use of the heaviest weapons affected by the Grunt perk.

I had considered the Weapon Handling perk.

But I’ll be visiting Old World Blues first (for various reasons) and I’m unlikely to require the extra Strength until after its completion. Perks that affect critical hits (such as Better Criticals) may be worth taking, too. But I’m not sure how (or even if) explosive damage is affected by critical hits.

It’s been quite a while since I last experienced the joy of Fallout: New Vegas, so this is going to be a nostalgic trek across the Mojave Wasteland and possibly one of my last. It’s going to be interesting to see how my approach to things has changed in that time, too. I’ve never been known to comb through the sands of the Mojave looking to uncover all of its secrets, but with Wild Wasteland making the wastes wackier than ever I may want to. Or maybe they’ll be painfully obvious differences. Or maybe it’s aliens. It’s probably aliens. It has, however, been such a refreshing experience conceiving this character, as I’m able to consider many different possibilities and outcomes. Possibilities that, despite having played Fallout: New Vegas for nearly three-hundred hours, I’ve not encountered or considered with other characters.

Have a nice week, all!