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Caravan Merchant (Capital Wasteland): Misc

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Fallout

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Caravan merchants are roving salesmen that carry goods across the wasteland. They travel accompanied with a single armed Caravan Guard (equipped with an assault rifle and leather armor) and a pack brahmin.

Contents


In the Capital Wasteland, Crazy Wolfgang, Crow, Doc Hoff, and Lucky Harith can be found along their trade routes, peddling their wares at various settlements and lone residents. Each merchant specializes in a specific category of item and offers repair services (initial Repair skill 15, more after an investment - see below). Attacking any caravan merchant will result in all caravan merchants refusing to trade with you.

Merchant Overview

"Max Repair skill" and "Repairs to a max of" refer to abilities of merchants after full investment (see "Caravan Investing" below).

Merchant Goods sold Schematics sold Base Repair skill Max Repair skill Repairs to a max of:
Crazy Wolfgang Junk Schematics - Rock-It Launcher 15 75 85%
Crow Armor - 15 65 79%
Doc Hoff Chems Schematics - Nuka Grenade 15 65 79%
Lucky Harith Weapons & Ammo Schematics - Shishkebab 15 + 5 from outfit 65 + 5 from outfit 82%

Caravan Guard Overview

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Caravan Guard
Biography
race: Human,
Asian (Crow's guard)
Caucasian(Hoff's and Harith's Guard)
African American (Wolfgang's Guard)
affiliation: Caravan Merchants
role: Guard
location: Following the merchants
Gameplay
appearances: Fallout 3
quests: none
Statistics
SPECIAL: 5 ST 6 PE 6 EN 5 CH 5 IN 7 AG 5 LK
derived stats: Hit Points: 295
tag skills: Big Guns: 100
Small Guns: 100
Speech: 100
level: 15
Technical
actor:
base id: 69c45 (Wolfgang's Guard)
69c43 (Crow's Guard)
69c49 (Hoff's Guard)
69c47 (Harith's Guard)
ref id: 52bc2 (Wolfgang's Guard)
52bc3 (Crow's Guard)
52bbf (Hoff's Guard)
52bc1 (Harith's Guard)

All Caravan Guards are equipped with R91 Assault Rifles and Leather Armor. They are significantly better combatants than most other human NPCs, and are roughly on par with an NPC Companion or Super Mutant Master in terms of durability.

Caravan Investment

Main article: Merchant Empire

Uncle Roe, in Canterbury Commons, offers the player a map showing the paths of the merchants and their various trade stops. He also offers the option of investing (200 and 500 caps, 100 and 250 with Master Trader perk)) into any of the caravans. Investing in a caravan allows that merchant to sell a wider variety and higher quality of items. It also raises their repair skill (to a maximum of Repair skill 75 with the second investment), allowing them to restore your gear to near perfect condition, and increases the number of caps they have available.

Caravan Routes

in-game map
Caravans' route

Each caravan follows the same route across the wastelands. They often use roads even though the roads are in dilapidated conditions. In order of travel, the merchants stop just outside each of the following areas:

The merchants cycle through the caravan waypoints in the same order: Doc Hoff, Crazy Wolfgang, Crow, then Lucky Harith. They move around the game world at different rates depending on whether time passes in real(game)-time or wait-time. For example, if you're looking at Doc Hoff and use the Wait feature to jump ahead 2-3 hours, Crazy Wolfgang will be there instead. However, if you don't use the Wait feature and actually stand there, in real(game)-time, no one will appear for the next 5+ hours.

If you are outside one of the regular stop points (Megaton, Rivet City, etc.) and the merchant you want is not there, use the Wait feature to jump ahead 1-2 hours. This will force the next merchant in line to appear.

Even if the caravan owner and bodyguard are dead the pack brahmin will still follow the trade route. Though this doesn't help you at all unless you looted the key to the brahmin from the dead merchant and even then it only allows you to take whatever was being carried at the time of the merchants death because when the merchant is dead the inventory won't restock.

If you like a certain Caravan Merchant, you can wait for three days for the merchant to re-stock their inventory, and that same merchant will still be there (excludes Sundays).

Caravan Death and Injury

Caravan Merchants have somewhat more health than standard NPCs, and their Caravan Guard bodyguards are significantly tougher than normal, with durability almost on par with a Super Mutant Master even wearing their basic leather armor. Both the merchants and their guards also carry a couple Stimpaks for healing wounds in combat. Pack Brahmin have a unique amount of health considerably more than a regular brahmin.

Nonetheless, Caravan Merchants are still susceptible to death due to the danger of their routes: Deathclaws, Yao Guai, Enclave Soldiers, Raiders and Super Mutants. Although the merchants usually slip by the danger if the PC is not in the area, Caravans may be attacked any time they are in the same area or cell as the player--regardless of whether they are visible or not. Certain areas of the route are extremely dangerous, for example the route from Megaton to Rivet City goes past Arlington Library and the Citadel, through Central DC, and across the Super Mutant-infested bridge across the pipes leading into Jefferson Memorial. As the player progresses along the main quest and achieves higher levels, the more powerful monsters will take a toll on the caravan merchants. The Enclave will establish camps directly on the caravan route or near enough to produce an encounter, which will pose a problem if the Merchant approaches the camp while you are in the area. Late in the game, it is not uncommon to see a lone merchant without either their pack brahmin or guard. Caravan merchants do not recover health and once they or their guards die, they do not respawn.

  • Because of this transient nature, it is advisable to consider the caravan a temporary system meant to be used early in the game.
  • Early in the game, Talon Company Mercs may spawn near the Temple of the Union. They can make quick work of the caravans, leading to a very premature caravan end. If you want to keep the caravans alive, you will want to kill the Talon Company Mercs.
  • If you see a caravan near an unsafe place, try fast-traveling away or eliminating the threat. See below for passive techniques to protect these characters.


You can check to see if a Merchant is dead by talking with Uncle Roe and asking to invest. You cannot invest in a dead Merchant. Any surviving bodyguard will hang around Uncle Roe's house in Canterbury Commons. A dead pack Brahmin, however, has been known to respawn.

On the PC you can recover the merchant using the console. See Recovering missing NPC in Fallout 3 for details on how. However the guard and Brahmin seem to exhibit AI-problems when recalled if the merchant has died once before. They will run ahead of the merchant rather then follow him around, and will get themselves killed again in seconds. Alternatively, on the PC you can set the merchants and their party to unkillable using the console command setessential BaseID 1 for each of the three entities in each party. Each merchant's BaseID and those of his followers can be looked up on the Form ID Page.

Increasing caravan survivability

You may be able to stave off the demise of a Caravan Merchant by placing (reverse pickpocket) better armor, weapons, ammunition and Stimpaks on them and their bodyguard. You should have a decent Sneak skill in order to add items without being detected very often, or use a Stealth Boy to help as well as clothing that adds to Agility) to make the process easier. Save before you attempt to place anything, because a pickpocket failure will cause them to turn hostile. Assuming you do this at Megaton, after you place armor or weapons on them you should go into Megaton through the door, turn around and come back out to see whether or not they have equipped the new armor or weapon. The stats and/or condition of the new weapon or armor will likely need to be higher than what they currently have before they will equip it.

  • Karma loss is 'per transaction', so be prepared for a significant karmic disruption if good-aligned.
  • Consider keeping the weapon class the same as what they already have equipped in order to ensure that the weapon will be useful to them. They all seem to use Small Guns class weapons so you can give them a Chinese Assault Rifle that is fully repaired instead of a weapon that uses Big Guns or Energy Weapons because their Small Guns skill may be higher than the other skills.
  • The Railway Rifle works well with it's x3 limb damage and +30 critical. It keeps the enemies at a distance with it's range and increased limb crippling. The unique sound can also lets you know when they are near and could use some backup. Unlike you, they only need one spike for ammo to replenish itself, so availability is not an issue.
  • While Crazy Wolfgang and Crow are only skilled in Small Guns, Lucky Harith is skilled in both Small Guns and Energy Weapons, and can use a Plasma Rifle very effectively. Doc Hoff has no tagged combat skills other than Melee Weapons, but giving him a melee weapon may cause him to rush at enemies, making him more susceptible to damage.
  • While the merchants are generally only skilled in Small Guns, their bodyguards have 100 Big Guns skill, and can effectively use a Minigun or Gatling Laser.
  • Backup weapons can be useful for the times that a weapon is knocked out of their hands. They will still have the one that they were using previously, but remember that their old weapon is in need of repair and not as good as one you can give them.
  • If you place a weapon that uses different ammunition, you must also place 1 round of ammunition for that weapon, but that's all they need because they will never use it up.
  • You will lose some Karma (5 points per item placed), however, it may be worth it; and Karma can be gained easily (you can always give Purified Water to one of the beggers outside of Megaton, Tenpenny Tower or Rivet City).
  • The Caravan Merchants can wear Power Armor.
  • Attempting to place Grenades or Frag Mines will kill them (Pants Exploded).
  • In the case of Lucky Harith, if you place other armor on him his repair skill will decrease by 5 as he gets a bonus from the Red Racer Jumpsuit he is wearing. The other Caravan Merchants have different bonuses that do not affect their repair skill (Crazy Wolfgang's normal clothing confers a +5 to barter).
  • Wolfgang's and Hoff's repair skills can be improved by another 5 points by reverse-pickpocketing a Red Racer Jumpsuit or RobCo Jumpsuit with better than 75% condition. Even better is the Workman's Coveralls, which raises repair by 10.
  • On the PC you can use console commands to give them items. See Fallout 3 console commands. The commands are the same as those for the player, but instead of using player.[command] syntax, simply click on them and type the command.

Bugs

  • In some cases, the Merchants will all stop moving along their routes. This appears to last the entire game, and does not prevent the player from trading with them if they can be found.
    • This bug was fixed at least once, on the 360, by finding the location of every merchant, then fast traveling rapidly between them and then to other areas (as quickly as possible). Eventually the merchants began to rotate through their routes again.
  • After installing the 1.4 patch and starting a new game, the Merchants seem to appear alone without a guard or brahmin escort.
  • When a Caravan Merchant is traveling alone, without a guard or brahmin, it may be a bug where the guard and/or brahmin is too far away from the caravan to spawn with it when the player waits outside of a city. In order to fix this simply run up to the caravan and wait for him to greet you. In the middle of the greeting click wait, then wait for 24 hours or so. The caravan guard and or brahmin should now be with the merchant and will travel and spawn with him. (confirmed Xbox 360)
  • Waiting for small periods of time (1-4 hours) near Caravan stops will sometimes cause the next merchant to immediately spawn in place of the merchant that was previously there. (confirmed Xbox 360, PC)

Videos

Better protect your traders.
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This article uses material from the "Caravan Merchant (Capital Wasteland)" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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