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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Blackfoot Tribe design document/1
VB design document.png
AuthorSean K. Reynolds & Jeff Husges
PublisherInterplay (leaked internal document)
Release DateNovember 25, 2005
Downloadsee main page of document
Blackfoot Tribe design document
Part 2
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 1 of the Blackfoot Tribe design document for Van Buren, the cancelled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.


1 Main page of document
2 Part 1
3 Part 2
4 Part 3
5 Part 4
6 Part 5
Document start icon.png The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.


Blackfoot Tribe
Version 1.0


The Blackfoot tribe is a community of primitives who make slave raids on other tribals and pay tribute in slaves to Caesar's Legion. Within the tribe is a smaller group, the Hangdogs, who revere dogs and train them to help in hunting and guarding.


The tribe consists of 300 members (most of which are offscreen at any particular time); all are considered siblings to each other regardless of actual family ties (not in an incest sort of way, but in a "we must support each other" sort of way). About half of the tribe are children, women, or the infirm who tend to domestic issues (such as raising children, tending domesticated Brahmin, minding gardens, and gathering wild plants), the other half are male of female hunters (whether for slaves or for food). They normally use spears, bows, and knives, as they have few technological weapons (mainly a few pipe rifles and zip guns), relying on stealth and their outdoorsy knowledge to allow them to get their prey. Their village is a collection of tents over a small cave network.


Some of the slaves the tribe keeps for themselves, some are given to Caesar's Legion in tribute, the others are sold. Tribe slaves are treated fairly well, and skilled slaves can earn some status in the tribe and even their freedom.

Because they steal children and adopt them into the tribe, and because slaves can earn their freedom, their culture is very mishmash, and you'll find people with "conventional" American names next to those with tribal names.

The current leader is Kurisu, the sister of Sulik from FO2 and a former slave of the tribe. She proved her worth as a skilled fighter and won her freedom, and when the old leader died suddenly she took over as leader. With the escape of the prisoners, the younger brother of the old leader (a man called Chagas) has returned to the tribe and is trying to establish a place for himself among his people again, hoping for the leadership position. While he has been in prison for several years and is a little out of touch with his people, he does have pretty good mechanical skills and knows how to make simple one-shot guns.

Most of the tribe lives in an old Utah town that was originally a mining town (mainly silver, a little coal) and then became a resort town for casual skiers and spelunkers interested in the natural caves and interesting mineral formations within them. There are many cabins in the area, a large section of the mountainside that was cleared of the big trees, a few small comfy hotels (run down now, of course), a superstore (like Wal-Mart), a few smaller shops, and a field full of bungalos. Some old mining shafts dot the hillside, some of which were roped or boarded off during the tourist invasion (others were used to access the natural caves) but since reopened to be used by the tribe. Most of the tribesfolk live in the cabins or the hotels. The smaller shops are used by merchant-types, and sections of the superstore have been converted into slave pens. Some of the larger caves are big enough to hold the entire tribe comfortably, and there are some stockpiles of food and other supplies. This part of Utah gets a lot of rainfall every year, and the Blackfoots store as much of it as they can, which they use for themselves, their Brahmin, and for trade.

The bungalos and the surrounding plot of land is the home to the Hangdogs, an elite group of dog-worshippers within the Blackfoots. The Hangdogs revere their dogs, treating them as friends, hunting companions, and when necessary, food (they only eat dog if they have to, and they justify it as a "consume their strength" sort of thing). The Hangdogs get their name from the fact that they hang dogskins on the outside of the drive-in fence, on the village wall, and on poles near the village in the belief that the spirits of the dogs will protect the village from harm.


There are roughly 25 Hangdogs (men and women) in the main village at any given time, with an equal number of dogs. All of the men are wearing piecemeal armor, and they all carry at least a knife. The Hangdogs are an accepted (if oddly-considered) part of the Blackfoots, and children who wish to train with the Hangdogs (rather than some other profession in the village, including slaving through the main force of the Blackfoots) are allowed to do so.

VB DD04 map Blackfoot flowchart.jpg

Black areas are main maps, Grey areas are daughter maps of the black map they connect to. Red and orange arrows indicate map transitions. The exits to the world map from North Hillside and West Hillside are one-way (you always enter the town from the Blackfoot Village map).


The area is composed of 9 maps:

Map area Transition Map name Map size Complexity
Blackfoot Village Full party BF001 Medium Scrub plain, many wood-and-brick buildings
West Hillside Full party BF002 Medium Scrub hillside, cabins, caves, streams and pools,
North Hillside Full party BF003 Medium Scrub hillside, cabins, caves, streams and pools
Furnace Cave Full party BF004 Small Basic caverns, a blacksmith's forge, stockpiled metal & junk
Storage Cave Full Party BF005 Medium A sprawling cave complex with storage crates and barrels, stalagmites and stalactites
Spelunking Cave 1 Full Party BF006 Medium A sprawling cave complex with stalagmites and stalactites. Home to radscorpions and coyotes.
Spelunking Cave 2 Full Party BF007 Small A sprawling cave complex with stalagmites and stalactites. Home to a big mutant dog known as the Devil Dog.
Mining Cave 1 Full Party BF008 Small An old silver mine, pretty much mined out. Support timbers, remnants of a rail system for mining carts, etc. Lots of bat guano everywhere. Home to mutant giant bats.
Mining Cave 2 Full Party BF009 Medium An old coal mine. Pretty much mined out. Support timbers, remnants of a rail system for mining carts, etc. Home to rats of many sizes.

Blackfoot Village connects to West Hillside and North Hillside openly with a smooth transition (it's just another section of town). Cave maps connect to those three outside maps with full-party transitions (you go inside); all of the caves are subsidiary maps.

Blackfoot Village: A rundown tourist town in a box canyon, now reoccupied by tribal villagers. Wood and brick buildings, a Save-Mart, a group of bungalos, a large Brahmin pen (formerly a small park), and a few large gardens. Most homes have barrels under the drainage points of the roofs to catch rainwater. Some of the city streets are large, but most of them are small one-lane roads. A large fence made of earth, scrap and debris closes off the non-mountainous side of the box canyon; the asphalt road loads up to a small gate-opening, which is blocked by an armored Greyhound bus (like the armored school bus used as a gate by the refinery tribe in The Road Warrior, except this one doesn't have a working engine, they just push it). The gate flanks are guarded from the inside.

West Hillside: This is the western face of the box canyon. There are a couple of roads zigzagging up the side of the mountain, some cabins on terraced paths (cabins typically hold 2-3 4-person families), and a couple of cave entrances.

North Hillside: Like the West Hillside, but with shacks.

Furnace Caves: A small set of natural caves where the Blackfoots melt down junk (and rail ties) into slag iron and hammer it into chains and collars. Two large furnaces handle the remelting, and two rooms hold accumulated scrap. We might have an area here that would serve as a mechanics lab if it were fixed up, but since the departure of Chagas their ability to make mechanical stuff has declined and that part isn't used. The tribe does this stuff in a cave because of the heat, smoke, and risk of fire to nearby buildings, plus the smoke tends to diffuse a lot more and doesn't draw as much attention to the location of the village. The entrance is guarded. There is an Outdoorsman Camp/Lab here that you can use to make simple weapons, tribal drugs, and so on.

The furnaces/smelters are of post-War manufacture, not very high-tech.

Storage Cave: A large and somewhat boring (both in terms of fights—there are none—and in terms of appearance—the interior is pretty drab) set of caves with stalagmites, stalactites, and a few small pools of runoff trickled in from the ceiling. The tribe uses this place to store water, ice (when they save some from the winter), firewood, jerky, and other durable goods. They also can retreat into here if they're attacked by an overwhelming force or extreme weather, though they've never had the need to do so yet. The entrance is guarded. There's a section in the back that a high-PE and high-[SKILL] character can notice that would be easy to open up with some explosives, and behind it is another place where you can do some silver mining.

Spelunking Cave 1: Another set of natural caves, but unlike the Storage Cave it looks really neat and has a lot of places to explore (it was one of the caves the spelunking-loving tourists came here for). It also has some animal inhabitants, some of which have been here a while, some of which are recent arrivals. "Monsters" include small radscorpions and coyotes (the coyotes have been ranging in this direction for a while, following packs of mole rats, pig rats, and common rats, which they eat). Unfortunately, the Hangdogs consider coyotes a bastard offshoot of the true dog and want them driven out of the Blackfoot territory, not knowing that it's only the presence of the coyotes that has kept the recently-arrived rat population (now living in Mining Cave 2) to a reasonable level. Plus, the coyotes are omnivorous, and have the right combination of skills, instincts, & physique to easily kill spore plants, which they enjoy eating.

Spelunking Cave 2: Like Spelunking Cave 1, but instead of being home to coyotes, it's recently been taken over by the Devil Dog, a vicious and large feral hound that refuses to run with the rest of the Hangdog pets. The Hangdogs consider the Devil Dog a spirit creature and a bad omen. None have been able to tame it, and those who have tried have been severely mauled. The Devil Dog also isn't afraid to chase off or kill any local dog that gets in its way, and though it doesn't like the coyotes, the coyotes give it a WIDE berth so fights between them are rare. The Devil Dog can also be found in random encounters near the Blackfoot village.

Mining Cave 1: A small cave entrance that was expanded into three tunnels in the search for silver. While the silver supply was meager and eventually ran out, it was enough of a draw to keep people here long enough to realize there was coal in the hills and this was a decent place to live as well. Now what lives here are some big mutant bats that generally avoid humans but have a strange attraction to ghouls. The bats make bat guano, which can be used to make gunpowder. If you kill off the bats, the guano will not respawn. Also, closed off behind an area of rubble is a metal door. Behind it is a cache of military gear, placed here by a nearby army base for use by units separated from their base during an invasion. The founders of this town (see History, below) knew of the cache but it had already been buried by the time they got here and they lacked the means to move the rock and didn't have the codes to open the door (or the dynamite to blow it open).

Mining Cave 2: A small cave with a coal mine built into it. Recently some rats, pig rats, and a couple of mole rats moved into this cave and have begun breeding. Only the predation of nearby coyotes has kept them in check and (so far) unnoticed by the Blackfoots. If the coyotes are killed off, rat damage will become more common, and the pig rats and mole rats will have young and start to attack people on the hillside and town.

Does the town's geometry ever change? We may have some changes to the perimeter fence and some of the buildings, and maybe convert a section of the furnace caves to a place where they make guns and bullets. Theoretically you could use explosives to close most of the cave openings, leaving them nothing but collapsed rubble.

Area Background


The Blackfoots are unrelated to the native American tribe of the same name. They were "founded" by a former military group (led by a Captain John Bloch) which was left stranded after its HQ and transport vehicles were destroyed in the War. Skilled with weapons but lacking the knowledge of how to farm, Bloch's group fell into raiding. During a standoff in one raid on a small ranching community the ranchers called a truce and offered to pay the raiders "protection money" to keep them from raiding. The raiders agreed and that became the start of a successful relationship. As the raiders had few places to spend the money they ended up spending it on equipment, food, and liquor from the ranchers , and the two groups became intermingled over the next decade as disaffected rancher sons went to join the raiders and older raiders "retired" to start ranching. During this time several wandering groups of Native Americans (who left their reservations after the American government collapsed and there was no longer anything to stop them from claiming nearby land) established a relationship with the raiders/ranchers and the two groups joined together for greater strength; the tribes gain access to some technology and a fortified home, while the raiders/ranchers gained access to skilled outdoorsmen who knew the area very well. A great fire destroyed much of their original settlement and they ended up relocating to a small tourist trap in the hills. They continued to raise their Brahmin and make extensive raids into other communities for livestock and supplies. Their firearms succumbed to dirt and wear and over time they forgot how to repair and maintain them, becoming much like any other tribe.

About 20 years later a sickness depleted their available number of younger people, so they took to raiding other tribes for children and teens in order to replenish their numbers. Eventually this scope broadened into slaving for laborers as well as adoptees, and slaving for profit soon followed. Now they are slave-raiders with a fixed base, despised by all others near them for their predation.

Path Synopsis

Encounter Blackfoot and/or Hangdog raiders (you might have the opportunity to speak before they attack if you have an appropriate rep, they know you, they're low on ammo, they're already traveling with as many slaves/animals as they can handle, or you look really dangerous). Eventually figure out where the raiders are coming from, head to their village. You can attack them, barter with them, or try to earn a place for yourself in the tribe. Help them win over some of their enemies, possibly help them free themselves from the yoke of Caesar's tribute. Possibly acquire Sulik's sister Kurisu as a CNPC. Possibly acquire Chagas as a prisoner.


Brahmin and slaves. With the protagonist's help, maybe bullets and simple guns as well, which would also increase their need for junk and slag parts.

Interactions With Other Locations

The Blackfoots are mostly parasitic, taking things from other tribes and settlements. However, they export slaves to Caesar's Legion and other tribes and when their herds are doing well they sell Brahmin products to nearby communities (including places they don't sell slaves to, or to caravans). If the player can revitalize their weapon production, they might start exporting pipe rifles, zip guns, bullets, or even actual simple firearms if things go well.

The Blackfoots have no interest in ghouls (they consider them walking dead and bad spirits!) or super mutants (demons in the flesh of men!) and will be very unwelcoming of such beings within their town, requiring a lot of diplomacy or gifts so win them over.

Timeline Event
2070 The War
2073 Military group makes peace-protection pact with local ranchers
2078 first rancher kid joins raiders
2087 first raider retires to become a rancher
2095 First groups of Native Americans join the raider/ranchers
2105 First child of a rancher-raider marriage becomes an adult
2124 Last of the military squadron's original weapons becomes inoperative
??? First tribute (in slaves) given to Caesar's Legion
??? Establishment of Hangdog subgroup
2241 Sulik's sister Kurisu taken by slavers
2241, July Start of FO2
FO3-5 Sulik's sister Kurisu becomes leader of Blackfoot tribe
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