I wrote about my inspiration for a traveling merchant character within Fallout 4 in my character article Scribe Michael – pt 1: Brotherhood without the steel. In today’s article I’ll be discussing the development of my character Michael, and the process I went through in defining his playstyle.
- Science – Michael will expand upon his engineering skill with the knowledge he gains from his explorations of the wasteland to improve upon his laser rifle’s design and make it into the ultimate symbol of Brotherhood weaponry.
- Intimidation – Michael believes so strongly in the Brotherhood’s ideal of protecting human life that he would rather use his words to end conflict with other humans. Using all of his intellect and charm, he intimidates enemies into submission whenever possible.
- Hacker – Michael feels like he is constantly playing catch up after being in cryosleep for 200 years. He uses his hacking skills to not only obtain pertinent information on technology for the Brotherhood, but also to learn how the world has changed in his absence.
- Rifleman – After receiving his laser rifle, Righteous Authority, from Paladin Danse, Michael commits himself to becoming a proficient rifleman. He cherishes his laser rifle and uses it as his primary weapon while serving as a scribe for the Brotherhood. Michael sees it as a divine tool for defending the ideals of the Brotherhood.
Personality Quirks & Habits
- Habitual use of mentats – For Michael, mentats are to psycho, as coffee is to cocaine; although both are drugs one is seen as a staple of the intellectual, while the others is a mere narcotic used by people seeking a rush.
- Purified water & radaway obsession – Michael becomes obsessed with maintaining his pure blood after emerging from the vault. He only eats fresh produce and drinks purified water and religiously uses radaway to stay safe from the radiation.
- Staying in uniform & with a Paladin – His gear and identity are those of a scholar. As such, he forgoes the use of power armor and wears the garb of the scribe, staying close to Paladin Danse for protection.
- From tactical to trigger happy – He prefers to scope out danger from a great distance and avoid combat whenever possible. He hates interior locations and stays close to the Paladin when exploring them. When discovered or surrounded he tends to fire frantically, using a beam splitter modification on his laser rifle to spray and pray the enemies he counters.
- Fear of Ghouls – He has sympathy for those unfortunate souls known as ghouls, who have sustained such immense amounts of radiation damage that their visages have been deformed beyond repair. However, he is ever wary of their eventual degradation of a sentient ghoul into a feral ghoul.
He lives in constant fear of them and hates them more than any other abomination of mankind, more than the supermutants and synths. To Michael feral ghouls are monstrosities that cannot be reasoned with, have lost all of their humanity, and exist only to terrorize the people of the Commonwealth. He sees supermutants as beings of pure radiation, and synths as mere machines; it is the grey area that ghouls fall under that makes him uneasy. Secretly, he harbors disdain for those he deems as less intelligent than him, making his hatred of feral ghouls and their extremely limited cognitive functions that much greater.
Gaining a leader and righteous authority
After his first successful mission aiding the Brotherhood of Steel, Michael becomes infatuated with Paladin Danse as a leader, and inspired by his dedication to the Brotherhood. Michael receives the gift of Paladin Danse’s personally modified laser rifle, warmly referred to as the Righteous Authority, along with an invitation to formally join the Brotherhood. This is enough to convince Michael that this is his calling, and he takes it upon himself to become a stellar representation of the Brotherhood’s ideals.
Upon returning to the command post at the Cambridge Police Station, Michael is sent into a panic when he learns that to prove his worth as an initiate he must complete a few missions for the Brotherhood solo. He approaches Scribe Haylen and states he is ready for his first mission. Although he is afraid of what he will face he knows that he must show his team and Paladin Danse what he is made of in order to secure a position within the Brotherhood.
Mission prep, recon, and the humanity of ghouls
In preparation for his first mission retrieving a Haptic Drive, Michael seeks out the friends he made at the Drumlin Dinner when peacefully settling a dispute between traders Trudy and Wolfgang. He decides to pay them a visit and pick up some supplies to help him on his mission: ammo from Trudy to fight off the enemies he may face, and mentats from Wolfgang to increase the rate at which he gains experience.
After purchasing copious amounts of both, Michael still finds himself a little fearful of starting his mission and instead decides to do some “recon” in the areas near his mission site. Under the guise of reconnaissance work, Michael hopes that his explorations will help him grow in confidence and help sharpen his dulled combat skills, before starting his primary mission.
Along the way he comes upon raiders and pacifies them with a command to lay down their weapons by order of the Brotherhood. He believes in the Brotherhood’s cause to protect all humans and attempts to abstain from killing human combatants.
In an attempt to uphold his moral code, his protection of human life, he comes to a difficult impass upon meeting ghouls, specifically feral ghouls. They exist as hollowed out husks of men and women, so badly irradiated that they have lost their bodies, minds, and, in Michael’s view, their souls. It was so easy to kill them in defense of Paladin Danse’s recon team, but when faced with them in the wild, in the shells of houses where they once lived, as corpses reanimating at the sight of Michael, it becomes much harder.
He hates ghouls for making him question beliefs in the Brotherhood’s doctrine, but understands he must kill them in order to protect others. He instead turns his hatred into a passion for securing the technology and warfare that made these people into the creatures he sees before him today. Michael decides to dedicate himself evermore to the Brotherhood’s cause of preventing such atrocities from happening again.
Protectron on duty
It’s been a few days since Michael left the Cambridge Police Station on his mission to retrieve the Haptic Drive for Scribe Haylen. He grows concerned that if he keeps the Brotherhood waiting much longer they will lose confidence in his capabilities, or worse, complete the job for him. In order to compensate for the inordinate amount of time needed for his mission, Michael has been collecting additional resources along the way, and hurries to complete his task.
Upon reaching the Wicked Shipping Fleet Lockup Michael surveys the area, and determines it is little more than an abandoned shipping facility. He proceeds with caution, noting a few corpses lying around which Michael suspects may be feral ghouls in waiting. He notices a Utility Protectron unit in a charging pod and decides to hack the adjacent terminal, in hopes of powering on a combat assistant.
Michael manages to crack the code and reprograms the Utility bot with the demeanor of a Law Enforcement protectron so that it will engage any hostile forces. With a powerful robotic ally, Michael confidently walks through the buildings in search of a key to the lockup containing the Haptic Drive. Sure enough a swarm of feral ghouls emerge from the woodworks, Michael frantically fires in all directions as his protectron maintains its composure and finishes off the last of the ferals.
Michael quickly grabs the Haptic Drive, shuts down the protectron and returns him to his charge pod out of respect for his service. With prize in hand, he heads back to Scribe Haylen; if he manages to impress the scribe then perhaps this will mean the start of a new life for him. A combination of excitement and anxiety course through his veins at the thought of earning a place among the ranks of the Brotherhood, an army that will be able to protect him and allow him to protect others through order, technology, and the power of human ingenuity.
This is the second installment in my character series titled Scribe Michael, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series: Part 1. 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: email@example.com, Facebook, Twitter.
Play Professor is the blog of ludologist and video game journalist Andrew Mantilla. You can check out more of his content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.