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Burham Springs design document/2
VB design document.png
AuthorJ.E. Sawyer
PublisherInterplay (leaked internal document)
Release DateNovember 25, 2005
Downloadsee main page of document
Burham Springs design document
Part 1
Part 3
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 2 of the Burham Springs 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
Document start icon.png The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.

Cast of Characters

Generic NPCs


VB DD11 npc Phil.gif

Phil is a tall, lanky white man in his late 30s. He wears a safety helmet and metal armor. Under his helmet, he has short, salt-and-pepper gray and black hair. He carries a pump-action shotgun and has absolutely no reservations about using it. Phil has a very terse attitude, and tends to be short with people. The first time he sees the Protagonist, he will fire a "warning shot" near them and tell them to "PUT YOUR FUCKING WEAPONS AWAY AND DON'T TRY ANYTHING STUPID, ASSHOLE!" Phil will respond without much hostility if people do as he asks. The Hanged Man, however, might incite Phil to open fire on the party.

Phil used to be a railway worker until NCR shut the operation down. He never spent time in a powder gang, but he spent plenty of time as a bounty hunter tracking down his old comrades (a not-too-endearing aspect of his history). Sparky, his companion, was one of those he tracked down. Sparky was one of the few survivors of the explosions in the Burham Springs mine, and a former railway worker with Phil.


VB DD11 npc Sparky.gif

Sparky is a short man with an average build in his mid-30s. He wears a ballistic vest and a safety helmet. He carries an arc welder, a fire axe, three grenades and six sticks of dynamite. He is a twitchy guy, but usually only responds to Phil or to extremely loud noises (which cause him to attack, erratically). Sparky can't talk well, and stutters a lot. He also mis-hears things a lot. His hearing range is dramatically reduced from what it should be, given his PE. He more than a little frazzled, often unable to think about what he's saying.

Sparky is a former railway worker who blasted away rocks with powerful explosives. He earned his name from the arc welder he carried around to light fuses. Sparky joined a powder gang after the railway operations shut down. He did well in the group, making plenty of raw explosive traps for their use. However, that all ended when the 5th Engineering Company blew the Burham Springs mines. Sparky survived, but only barely. His hearing was almost entirely destroyed, and his mind was shaken pretty badly. He's clear-headed enough to work with Phil and to recognize Frank, but not much else. He doesn't look like he'd be much of a threat in combat, but he is pretty handy with his arc welder and with his thrown explosives. He also has two Bonus Move perks, allowing him to close on opponents startlingly fast.

Frank LaFrancis

VB DD11 npc Frank LaFrancis.gif

Frank is a ghoul of average shape and size, wearing leather armor and a motorcycle helmet. He carries the most accurate weapon of the trio: a laser rifle. He also has a .45 submachinegun just in case people get too close. Most importantly, however, Frank carries the detonators for a large number of explosives all around the surface of Burham Springs. Frank is the smartest person in Burham Springs, and the other two are well aware of that fact.

Frank was quiet about his background with Phil and Sparky, and he has no intention of telling the PC where he came from. Frank does, however, like to do business in his highly trapped shop. When he's not in his shop, he can be found salvaging in the mines. He usually salvages during the day, when Phil and Sparky are on the surface. If trouble starts, though, he will emerge to deal with troublemakers.


There are no CNPCs available in Burham Springs.

Monster Roster

The majority of monsters found in Burham Springs are found inside the mines and caves. There are a finite number of monsters, so the PC can clear out an area and feel satisfied that it is no longer a problem.

Geckos (16) - The ever-lovable geckos make an appearance near the front of the mine and around the edges of the surface of Burham Springs. They go towards creatures with food before others.

Gehennas (18) - These horrible monsters are slightly larger than humans and appear to be made of black tar and shiny oil. They are vaguely human-shaped, but their features are hard to analyze through the flames that constantly sputter across their bodies. Their eyes are bulbous glowing orange spheres that seem stuck into their ovoid heads. The Gehennas are dangerous both for their fiery melee attacks and the toxic fumes they breathe onto enemies. When they die, they collapse into a disgusting pile of smoking black goo. Gehennas are fairly mindless monsters, usually attacking anyone they see who moves too quickly. They have very poor senses, and can sometimes overlook creatures that stand still.

Molechs (6) - These are huge, hulking, heavily irradiated Gehennas that exist primarily in the toxic caves. They are similar in appearance to the Gehennas, but less humanoid and more monstrous. They do not have identifiable eyes, but small glowing green spheres of various sizes poke out from the skin all over their bodies. Their long, serpentine necks have a head that is essentially a huge, fanged mouth. Molechs spray streams of toxic bile from their green spheres and bite with their disgusting mouths. Molechs are more likely to spot immobile creatures than their Gehenna cousins.

Agricola MRs (12) - Manufactured to handle toxic waste in uranium mines and near blast sites, the Agricola MRs use vacuum-tubes only, no integrated circuits. As such, they are impervious to EMPs but are rather bulky and slow. Agricolas are motivator (jet) driven, like Floating Eye Bots, a necessity considering their operational environment. The Agricola robots are found inside of the AGRICOLA Lab adjacent to the toxic caves. The robots respond to the presence of intruders with hostility. However, this can be avoided if a sneaky character makes his or her way to the central computer of the AGRICOLA Lab.

Random Encounters Surrounding the Area

Encounter 1: New Canaanites (Unique) - The player encounters a group of New Canaanite merchant-missionaries. There are only four of them: one man, one woman, and two children. They are walking with two brahmin. They are friendly folks, and are willing to trade with people who don't have a horrible reputation. The player can trade with them, escort them to their destination (randomly chosen between Hoover Dam, Fort Abandon, and the Ciphers) for karma, bully them into turning over all of their goods, or outright murder them (big karma loss).

Encounter 2: NCR/Powder Gang Standoff (Unique) - Somewhere in the wilderness of Utah, members of the 5th Engineering Company spotted power gang members prowling for merchant caravans. They followed the group to this ramshackle gang hideout, where a shootout began. By the time the player arrives, they are having a standoff. Dead brahmin, rangers, dogs, gangers, and overturned carts are everywhere. The powder gangers are up against a cliff wall and the NCR soldiers are trying, in vain, to flank them. Unfortunately, since this actually is a gang hideout, traps are everywhere and snipers are just waiting to pop brave NCR heroes. The PC can talk to the powder gang, sneak around and disarm the majority of the traps, fix a bunch of damaged NCR 9mm submachineguns (the guy carrying them was blown up by a mine), or storm in and kill the gangers. If the player wants to support the gangers, he or she can rally the powder gangers to attack the soldiers, sneak up to the NCR munitions wagon and blow it up (causing huge damage to the soldiers), volunteer to heal up the gangers, or just attack the soldiers outright.

Encounter 3: Geckos (5 times, maximum) - Your average, everyday encounter with a group of hostile geckos. PCs with good Outdoorsman will be able to avoid the encounter entirely or set up favorable conditions. Geckos are a good source of skins for crafting leather armor and a few other items.

Encounter 4: Radscorpions (5 times, maximum) - Your average, everyday encounter with a group of hostile radscorpions. PCs with good Outdoorsman will be able to avoid the encounter entirely or set up favorable conditions. Radscorpions are a good source of poison for drugs and antidotes.

Encounter 5: Electro-beetles (4 times, maximum) - Your average, everyday encounter with a group of hostile electro-beetles. PCs with good Outdoorsman will be able to avoid the encounter entirely or set up favorable conditions. Electro-beetles are a good source of bio-cells for small energy cells.


Main Quests

Repair the Water Pump

  • Initiator: Frank LaFrancis, Burham Springs
  • Importance: Medium
  • Brief: The PC has the ability to repair a water pump at two points: the pump itself in Burham Springs and a section of broken hose inside the first level of the mines. This lowers the liquid level in the toxic caves. Repairing the pump lowers it significantly. Fixing the hose lowers it even more. After the pump is fixed, almost all of the water is gone except for the water covering the AGRICOLA lab. Once the hose is fixed, the water covering the AGRICOLA lab is also removed.
  • Combat Boy, Diplomacy Boy, Stealth Boy: The PC can purchase or steal replacement parts (Water Pump Impeller, Water Pump Hose) from the Jericho Water Plant and simply use the items on the pump and the damaged hose. This is an automatic success.
  • Science Boy: The PC can use Mechanics (Hard) to repair the pump and Mechanics (Easy) to fix the hose.
  • Quest Flags:
0 = Unaware of quest
1 = Frank told PC about quest
2 = Frank rewarded PC for fixing pump and hose
0 = Pump is not fixed
1 = Pump is fixed
0 = Hose is not fixed
1 = Hose is fixed
  • Normal Journal: Frank LaFrancis told me that the water pump in Burham Springs used to pump water out of the lower caves. Since the impeller broke and the lower hose were damaged, it hasn't worked very well. If the pump were fixed, it would make exploration of the lower caves much safer.
  • Dumb Journal: Frank is ghoul. He told me pump broken and pump makes water go away from caves. If water go away we can walk around cave no get wet and sick.
  • Normal Journal: Frank LaFrancis was pleased that I fixed the water pump and the lower hose. He gave me some items for my trouble and wished me well.
  • Dumb Journal: Frank happy about pump. Gave me nice things.
  • Normal Journal: I fixed the impeller on the water pump, and it started running much better.
  • Dumb Journal: Pump fix. Quiet now. Like wind.
  • Normal Journal: I fixed the hose for the water pump inside the mine. It should be able to actually carry water now.
  • Dumb Journal: Hose fix. Suck good.

Get Rid of Lingering Geckos

  • Initiator: Phil
  • Importance: Small
  • Brief: Phil and Sparky are damned tired of all the geckos creeping around the edges of Burham Springs. They don't want to waste time and ammo going after the creeps, but they're afraid the small beasts will eventually attack them en masse. Phil and Sparky want them dead or gone.
  • Combat Boy: The PC can simply attack the geckos and lay waste to every last one of the bastards. This is a pretty simple option, but effective.
  • Diplomacy Boy: No method to solve, but can use Persuasion to convince Phil to let him or her use Phil's traps on the geckos.
  • Science Boy: At the Outdoorsman Camp at Phil and Sparky's place, characters with high Medic, Science, or a good Outdoorsman can create Poisoned Sowat Fruit (using Radscorpion Poison and Sowat Fruit from the Nursery or elsewhere). Dropping this anywhere near the geckos will draw them. One fruit will easily kill a gecko in less than a minute.
  • Stealth Boy: Phil has a bunch of heavy bear traps that can be placed in the midst of the gecko prowling grounds. Walking over a bear trap causes serious damage and usually breaks the creature's leg. Geckos with broken legs are much easier to deal with than healthy geckos, since speed is their one great advantage.
  • Quest Flags:
0 = Unaware of quest
1 = Phil told PC about quest
2 = Phil rewarded the PC for the quest
Number indicates how many Geckos have been killed in Burham Springs.
0 = PC hasn't asked Phil about traps
1 = Phil said it was okay to use the traps
2 = Phil said that the PC couldn't use the traps
  • Normal Journal: Phil complained to me about the geckos wandering around near Burham Springs. He says he'd go out with Sparky to kill them himself, but he doesn't want to waste the time or the ammo. If I can do it, he promised me nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, and some dynamite.
  • Dumb Journal: Phil wants me kill geckos. He promise booms!
  • Normal Journal: Phil was glad I got rid of the geckos, so he handed over some explosives for a job well done.
  • Dumb Journal: Phil happy about geckos. Gave me booms.
  • Normal Journal: I talked to Phil about using the big bear traps for taking out the geckos. He had no problem with it.
  • Dumb Journal: I ask Phil to use traps for geckos. He say okay.
  • Normal Journal: I talked to Phil about using the big bear traps for taking out the geckos. I must have rubbed him the wrong way, because he said I couldn't use them.
  • Dumb Journal: Phil no let me use traps for geckos. He hate me.

Extinguish the Fires of Burham Springs

  • Initiator: Lt. Gov. Dodge (Hoover Dam)
  • Importance: Large
  • Brief: Burham Springs has been on fire for years, with no sign of going out. Unknown to pretty much anyone, the Agricola Robots actually do possess fire suppression capabilities. Lt. Gov. Dodge tells the PC that the only way he'd ever consider making an alliance with New Canaan that didn't involve their annexation is if Burham Springs stopped burning. He means this both figuratively and literally. He needs an outpost in the northeast, and Burham Springs is currently unsuitable, as is Salt Lake City. If Burham Springs were "fixed", mining operations could resume and the small town could rebuild.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: The PC needs to install the Agricola Fire Suppression Module on the central computer in the AGRICOLA Lab. The Agricola Fire Suppression Module can be recovered from the Grand Canyon.
  • Science Boy: The PC needs to either manually modify the Agricola MRs by using the Agricola Fire Suppression Manual Override Instructions (Mechanics/Average), or hack the unfinished Agricola Fire Suppression Program located in the central computer (Science/Hard).
  • Quest Flags:
0 = Unaware of quest
1 = Lt. Gov. Dodge told PC about quest
2 = Lt. Gov. Dodge knows that the quest was completed, and has rewarded the PC.
0 = Module has not been installed
1 = Module has been installed
0 = None of the Agricola MRs have had the manual override activated
1 = All of the Agricola MRs have had their manual overrides activated (once one robot is modified, they all become modified)
0 = PC has not hacked the planet
1 = PC has hacked the Agricola Fire Suppression Program
0 = The fires of Burham Springs have not been extinguished
1 = The fires of Burham Springs have been extinguished
  • Rewards: 2,500 XP, $1,000 from Lt. Gov. Dodge, +10 Rep in Hoover Dam, +5 Rep in New Canaan.
  • Normal Journal: Lt. Gov. Dodge told me that the only way he would ever make a treaty with New Canaan is if Burham Springs stopped burning.
  • Dumb Journal: Dodge make treaty with New Canaans if Burham Springs get cold again.
  • Normal Journal: The Agricola Lab computer apparently has an unfinished program that will make the Agricola MRs put out the mine fires. The program also references a guide somewhere in the lab for manually putting the Agricola MRs into fire suppression mode.
  • Dumb Journal: Computer make robots put out fire... but broken! How to fix is mystery. Computer say man-u-al can make robots put out fire, too.
  • Normal Journal: I installed the Agricola Fire Suppression Module in the Agricola Lab computer and the robots started to move around the mines, extinguishing the fires.
  • Dumb Journal: Put fancy computer thingy on other computer. Robots start moving around. They put out fires.
  • Normal Journal: I used the override guide to manually activate the Agricola MRs' fire suppression mode. They immediately started to move around the mines, extinguishing the fires.
  • Dumb Journal: Use book to make robots put out fires. They are good robots. They listen to me and go put out fires.
  • Normal Journal: I completed the prototype fire suppression program that was floating around in the Agricola lab computer. Once it was finished, the computer transmitted the program to the robots and they started to extinguish fires all over the mines.
  • Dumb Journal: Computer think it smarter than me. I show computer. Ha, ha, computer program! Now make robots put out fires! Stupid computer program.
  • Normal Journal: Lt. Gov. Dodge was surprised but pleased that the fires at Burham Springs were extinguished. He rewarded me for my efforts and told me that I would be a household name in Hoover Dam.
  • Dumb Journal: Dodge happy that Burham fires go out. He give me moneys and say everyone like me now! I big hero.

Blow Up the Mines for CoS

  • Initiator: Traci Niels
  • Importance: Medium
  • Brief: The Brotherhood of Steel is aware that there's a bunch of good technology lying around in the Burham Springs mines. They want to prevent it from being distributed throughout the wastes by Phil, Sparky, and Frank. The core BoS does not want anything done to those three, but they do want to reclaim as much of the old tech as they can. However, the CoS has different plans. Even if you recover all tech from BoS, the CoS wants Phil, Sparky, and Frank dead. They also want to see the mines blown up via the placement of charges at specific locations in the mines.
  • Combat, Stealth: This is a fairly straightforward quest. The PC simply has to kill Phil, Sparky, and Frank, then set two charges at the entrance to the mines (next to two clearly marked supports). Destroying the supports causes the cave complex to collapse. If the PC is inside, it's game over. Otherwise, the screen shakes and a huge cloud of smoke emerges from the mine. After the smoke clears, there's only rubble in the entrance (any quest items inside are at the edge of the rubble).
  • Diplomacy, Science: There is no completion path specifically for these character types.
  • Quest Flags:
0 = Unaware of quest
1 = Tracy Neils told PC about quest
2 = PC accepted quest, was given radio bombs
3 = Tracy Neils has rewarded the PC, quest over
"11_Phil_Dead", "11_Sparky_Dead", "11_Frank_Dead"
0 = Alive
1 = Dead
"11_Support_1_Blown", "11_Support_2_Blown"
0 = Not destroyed
1 = Destroyed
0 = Mines have not been blown
1 = Mines have been blown
  • Rewards: 2,000 XP, HERMES Light Armor component, HERMES Light Helmet component
  • Normal Journal: Tracy Neils indicated that she wanted Burham Springs taken care of. And by taken care of, she meant that its three squatter residents should be killed and the mines should be destroyed by taking out the supports at the mineshaft entrance.
  • Dumb Journal: Tracy tell me blow up Burham Springs kill all people in it.
  • Normal Journal: The Burham Springs Mines are now officially out of business. I destroyed the supports and a rockslide sealed the tunnel.
  • Dumb Journal: Me blow up Burham Springs Mines. CRASH! Support-thingy fall down, mines collapse.
  • Normal Journal: Tracy was satisfied at the news of Burham Spring's collapse and zero population. She gave me a few items and thanked me for protecting the Circle of Steel.
  • Dumb Journal: Tracy so happy that Burham Springs dead. She gave me nice things and said thank you.

New Canaan Connection

  • Initiator: Jeremiah Rigdon
  • Importance: Medium
  • Brief: Jeremiah Rigdon, the living prophet of New Canaan, wishes to enter into a trade agreement with Phil, Sparky, and Frank at Burham Springs. In exchange for a regular supply of coal, Jeremiah will trade corn, brahmin milk, brahmin beef, and water. However, he is concerned that the trio at Burham Springs may fire at will on the New Canaanites if they approach. He would like the PC to go negotiate with them and establish a trade caravan.
  • Diplomacy: The PC needs to do one of the following a) Use Persuasion to convince Phil to trade with the New Canaanites, then return to Jeremiah and tell him or b) Get the quest, wait two weeks, then lie to Jeremiah about how much the trio are looking forward to trading with the New Canaanites. The latter will later have repercussions with Jeremiah, but the trio won't actually attack the New Canaanites if they come down (though it will cause an initial confrontation). c) Use Barter to explain to Frank that this is a good trade relationship that they will be unable to reproduce with any surrounding communities.
  • Combat, Science, Stealth: There is no completion path specifically for these character types.
  • Quest Flags:
0 = Unaware of quest
1 = Jeremiah Rigdon told the PC about the quest
2 = Jeremiah Rigdon has rewarded the PC for completing the quest
3 = Jeremiah Rigdon has chastised the PC for lying to him
0 = Phil has not been convinced
1 = Phil has been convinced to trade with New Canaan
0 = Frank has not been convinced
1 = Frank has been convinced to trade with New Canaan
0 = PC has not lied to Jeremiah about trading
1 = PC has lied to Jeremiah about trading
0 = New Canaan has not started trading with Burham Springs
1 = New Canaan has started trading with Burham Springs
  • Rewards: 1,500 XP, $500, Healing Kit
  • Normal Journal: Jeremiah Rigdon asked me to negotiate a trade agreement with the three salvagers at Burham Springs. He wants to make sure that the trio have no hostility towards the residents of New Canaan.
  • Dumb Journal: Jeremiah ask me go talk to guys at Burham Springs. Want to trade but is afraid. HA HA I MADE POEM!
  • Normal Journal: I appealed to Phil's good side and convinced him to trade with the New Canaanites. Now I just have to tell Jeremiah.
  • Dumb Journal: Talk to Phil. Tell him New Canaanananananites are good. He okay with trade now. Must tell Jeremiah.
  • Normal Journal: I talked to Frank and explained to him how he simply wasn't going to get a better trade deal from any other community around Burham Springs. That convinced him to trade with New Canaan. Now I just have to tell Jeremiah.
  • Dumb Journal: Talk to Frank. Tell him trade is only good with New Canaan. Frank understand. He okay with trade now. Must tell Jeremiah.
  • Normal Journal: Jeremiah wanted to know about the progress I've made with Burham Springs. I fed him a line about how the guys at Burham Springs had no problem with trading, and the chump bought it.
  • Dumb Journal: Jeremiah ask me about Burham Spring talking. Lie to him, ha ha. Tell him Burham Spring guys like New Canaan. Jeremiah so gulli... gulilblelel.. Jeremiah so dumb.
  • Normal Journal: I guess Jeremiah doesn't like people lying to him. He kicked me out of town because one of their merchants got wounded when they went down and surprised the guys at Burham Springs.
  • Dumb Journal: Jeremiah kick me out of town because I lie to him about Burham Springs. Merchant went down there got shot by Frank. Uh oh. Bye bye Mormons.
Area Quest Name Designer DStatus Script SStatus Log Stat Passable QA 100%
Map 1/3: Burham Springs, Toxic Caves Repair the Water Pump Sawyer Done
Map 1: Burham Springs Get Rid of Lingering Geckos Sawyer Done
Map 3: Toxic Caves Extinguish Fires of Burham Springs Sawyer Done
Map 1: Burham Springs Blow Up the Mines for CoS Sawyer Done
Map 1: Burham Springs New Canaan Connection Sawyer Done

Area: The area of the game and the map in the area where the quest is initiated.

Quest Name: The name of the quest.

Designer: The designer responsible for the quest so people know who to contact.

Dstatus: The status of the design.

Script: The programmer in charge of programming the location.

Dscript: The status of the coding for the quest.

LogStat: What's the status of the log for these quests? Do you get the unsolved version, do you get the solved version, and do you get a good/bad karma and a stupid one, if appropriate?

Passable: Is the quest passable in some form?

QA 100%: Is the quest completable in ALL forms?

Note that quests should reinforce the "feel" of a location. As an example, Redding in Fallout 2 was set up to be a frontier, rough-and-tumble Western mining town, with a "Gold Rush" kind of ambiance about it. Quests in the town involved becoming the sheriff (a career move that, in classic Western style, no one wants), dealing with drunken brawls in the local saloon, dealing with dirty infighting between the two mining companies, trying to help out the local country doctor, cleaning out an infested mine, dealing with a band of robbers, and so on – the nature of the quests made you feel like you were in a Old West movie.

Also, if there is a companion in town, make sure you indicate how to get him in your party, and set up the conditions as a quest. ("To get Cassidy in your party, you need to find him in his tavern, ask him about his recent rash of troubles, then invite him to come with you. You will gain +500 XP, +1 Reputation, and Cassidy comes with a Shotgun, leather armor, several shells, and a lot of whiskey.")

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