Scribe Michael – pt 1: Brotherhood without the steel

I have been playing Fallout 4 ever since its release and have become obsessed with creating unique characters, as I tend to do with Bethesda games. Similar to my character builds in Skyrim; Pom Pom the Illusionist, Puck the Prospector,  Sandora the Shieldmaiden, Nicole the Traveling Merchant, & Bael the Thief,  my Fallout 4 character builds will be exploring obtuse archetypes and roles typically reserved for NPCs instead of hero characters. These builds concentrate on mechanics and narratives that often go ignored in favor of more viable or powerful strategies.

This is the first of many character articles I will be producing based on my own personal character builds in Fallout 4; today I’m introducing Scribe Michael.

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Brotherhood without the steel

The real reason to join the Brotherhood of Steel is in their name, the steel,those beautiful suits of armor that make them an imposing presence on the battlefield.  Power armor and its use are hallmarks of any Brotherhood of Steel playthrough, but after several playthroughs of being the super soldier I began to wonder about the rest of the Brotherhood of Steel as an organization.

The Brotherhood’s primary objective is to retrieve and control vital technology, in order to prevent people from using it to further destroy humankind.  In essence their goal is to protect mankind from itself. With the politics and moral discussions of the humanity of super mutants, ghouls and synths aside their cause is, at heart, a noble one.

Within the Brotherhood there are the knights, the poster boys clad in power armor, the initiates who remain at base and do the grunt work, and the scribes. Often overlooked yet pivotal to the goal of the Brotherhood, the scribes collect and catalogue the documents, scientific discoveries, and technological advancements of the era before the Great War.

With the research the scribes collect, the Brotherhood develops their technology and use it to further their cause.  So in the end the true heroes of the Brotherhood are not the knights but the scribes, not the warriors donning the relics of war, but the educators collecting the information and technology for posterity.

I was intrigued by the scribe missions from my previous playthroughs with the Brotherhood and decided to dedicate a playthrough to focusing on a character that would fulfill their role, use their gear, win with their tactics, and use their mind and diplomacy to gain information.

Michael the meek but brave

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As soon as Michael, a former military scientist with a penchant for chemistry and computers leaves Vault 111, he realizes the world has changed.  There exists no refuge from the fallout, no sanctuary from the violent creatures, only a wasteland which he now inhabits. In sheer terror he runs from the vault and keeps running, past his old house, past the familiar, and into the unknown. He realizes he must find powerful allies as soon as possible lest he perish, becoming simply another corpse among the rubble.


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Searching for signs of a stronghold, of people willing to help him, he heads into the city. Along the way he encounters a distress signal, echoing the syntax of a military radio broadcast, Michael finds hope in the possibility of discovering an army he can join, offering his support skills for protection in return.

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Michael proves himself a trustworthy ally to Paladin Danse and his team, Recon Squad Gladius, by valiantly helping to fight off a swarm of feral ghouls armed with only a rickety pipe rifle. During the conversation that follows the encounter, Michael learns of the purpose of the Brotherhood. Already impressed with the technology and structure of their organization, Michael eagerly offers to join.

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Scribe Haylen serves as the inspiration for Michael to take on the role himself.

During his first mission with the Brotherhood, retrieving a deep range transmitter, a piece of technology vital to restoring the recon team’s line of communication with the Prydwen, the Brotherhood’s flying base of operations, Michael gladly falls into his old habits of studying and developing technology.  In a bleak and dangerous world he finds solace in being an expert on the technology of the past and in the fraternal bonds he hopes to forge with his Brotherhood allies.

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This is the first installment in my character series titled Scribe Michael, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series. I welcome discussion on the design of this character, if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please respond to the thread for this article, or talk to me through my email or any of my social media:, FacebookTwitter.

Play Professor is the blog of ludologist and video game journalist Andrew Mantilla. You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Youtube.

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