Hedging your Bets: a guide to delaying your final choice of faction {SPOILERS}

#1FinneganPosted 10/26/2011 8:22:19 PMmessage detail
Many people have been asking how far you can go in any given faction's plotline without shutting yourself out of any or all of the others, and there has always seemed to be an element of uncertainty about the answers.

Sure, we knew that you could stop all of them very early on (e.g., right after reaching the Strip and getting the Platinum Chip) and play it safe, but what if you don't WANT to play it safe? What about those of us who want to go as far as possible without cutting ourselves off from any options?

Well, I decided to figure that out, and, if you read over my findings below, you should be able to... perhaps not quite have your cake and eat it too, but at least take the longest possible time eating your cake before it's all gone.

Mmmm... cake...

Anyway, back to business. If you're brand new to the game, you may not know which of the many factions in the game are considered the "main" factions -- i.e., the factions among whom you will eventually have to chose a single one to complete the game. The four main factions are the New California Republic (NCR), Caesar's Legion, Mr. House, and Yes Man. If you want more details on any of them, please check them out on the excellent Fallout wiki, the Vault (http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_Wiki).

The tricky part is that factions in New Vegas tend to be jealous. They don't like sharing you with the other major factions, and thus there are points in the game -- what we're going to call "breaking points" -- that will irretrievably ruin your chance to work with a particular faction any more, permanently cutting you off from their questline and ending.

What makes things even MORE confusing is that the breaking point for each faction is different. As such, what follows is a description of each faction's breaking points, followed by a final summary of exactly how far you can go in the game without breaking ANY major faction's quests. We'll go through the factions from least to most complicated.
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#2Finnegan(Topic Creator)Posted 10/26/2011 8:22:50 PMmessage detail
YES MAN

Yes Man is by far the easiest to discuss because, put simply, you just can't break his questline. Do whatever you want, whenever you want, to whomever you want, and this plucky little sycophant will just keep on smiling. Even if you shoot him right in the face-screen, he'll just hop into another Securitron and roll on over to you for more abuse.

Doing HIS storyline CAN break other factions, though, so pay attention to those summaries below before charging ahead with Yes Man.

MR. HOUSE

Mr. House's breaking points are the most straightforward of all the breakable factions. He only has two, and both are pretty obvious.

Actually, one is extremely obvious. Don't kill him. Every other faction eventually comes to the point where they will ask you to kill good old Housey, but, if you want to actually keep working with him, fight that urge. Yes Man asks you to do it during "Wild Card: Change in Management", Caesar asks during the second part of "Render unto Caesar", and the NCR will ask it during the third part of "For the Republic, Part 2" (after dealing with the Omertas). You can accept those missions -- just don't complete them.

The other is also pretty straightforward. During the first part of "Render unto Caesar", while going into the bunker under the Fort, Caesar will ask you to detonate the generators, while Mr. House has likely already asked you to activate his Securitron army with the Platinum Chip for the second part of "The House Always Wins". If you don't want to break the House questline, DON'T blow up the generators. You can activate the army with the chip and lie to Caesar about the generators with no bad consequences. Mr. House stays pleased and Caesar is none the wiser.
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#3Finnegan(Topic Creator)Posted 10/26/2011 8:23:22 PMmessage detail
CAESAR'S LEGION

For Caesar, you'll get a handy warning quest called "Beware the Wrath of Caesar!" if you're on the verge of breaking his questline. This quest pops up when you trigger the first of the points discussed below, and any further actions (either further quests for that same faction or hitting another of the points below from another faction) will fail "Beware the Wrath of Caesar" and break Caesar's questline. As such, once you trigger "Beware", make sure you don't complete any more of the quests listed below.

The trigger quests for Caesar are as follows:

For Yes Man: Completing any of the Wild Card quests except the first one will trigger "Beware", and doing another will fail it. That is to say "Ace in the Hole" is okay, but "Side Bets", "Change in Management", or "You and What Army?" will trigger "Beware", or fail it if you have previously triggered it.

For Mr. House: Completing Part III of "The House Always Wins" (dealing with the Boomers) will trigger "Beware". Completing Part IV (dealing with the Omertas) or doing any of the triggers in this section will fail it and break Caesar's questline.

For the NCR: Completing the first part of "For the Republic, Part 2" (dealing with the Great Khans) will trigger "Beware", or fail it if you've previously completed any other triggers. If not, completing the next part (dealing with the Omertas) or any other trigger will fail it.

Basically, once you see "Beware the Wrath of Caesar" show up in your questlog, you need to be very careful about completing quests for any other faction, as one more is likely to permanently break your ability to work with him.

Also, there comes a point in Caesar's questline, after dealing with the Boomers, where you are given the opportunity to confess any transgressions against the Legion (saving Nelson, killing Vulpes, breaking the allegiance with the Great Khans, etc.) in exchange for clemency. This is a one-time deal, though -- confess everything when you have the chance, and don't commit any of these acts afterwards, or Caesar and his guards will turn hostile and you will break his questline.

Finally, and most obviously, don’t kill any of the questgivers mentioned above -- although you CAN kill Caesar during his operation as part of “Et Tumor, Brute?”, provided you have a high Legion reputation, 50 Speech, or 50 Medicine to talk your way out of it. Otherwise, though, thou shalt not kill.
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#4Finnegan(Topic Creator)Posted 10/26/2011 8:23:54 PMmessage detail
The NCR

The NCR is the most complicated faction, because they actually keep track of your actions with each of the other factions separately. The NCR has a warning quest like Caesar's legion -- theirs is called "Don't Tread on the Bear!" Unlike Caesar, however, you can actually trigger "Don't Tread on the Bear" and then switch allegiances until you trigger it again. As long as you don't keep working with the specific faction that caused your first trigger, you'll be fine.

It's worth pointing out, by the way, that only the Caesar triggers will actually turn the NCR hostile -- the House and Yes Man triggers will break your ability to complete the NCR's questline, but you can still interact with their NPCs, use their merchants, and complete their sidequests.

The trigger points for the NCR are as follows:

First, as always, don’t kill any quest givers.

For Yes Man: Any of the "Wild Card" quests has the possibility of triggering "Don't Tread" (unless you've already triggered it through House -- in that case, you won't get a separate warning for Yes Man, even though the two ARE separate), but the one you need to worry about is "Wild Card: Finishing Touches" (installing the override chip at the El Dorado substation. That's the breaking point. Anything with Yes Man up to that point is fine, but turning in "Finishing Touches" will cut off your ability to work with the NCR any further. NOTE: In one of my tests, Yes Man’s quests actually NEVER broke the NCR questline, but I couldn’t ever replicate that. As such, use “Finishing Touches” as your reliable breaking point.

For Mr. House: Completing part III of "The House Always Wins" (dealing with the Boomers) will trigger "Don't Tread". Turning in the next part, dealing with the Omertas, will fail "Don't Tread" and permanently break the NCR questline.

For Caesar's Legion: Completing the third part of "Render unto Caesar" (dealing with the Boomers) will trigger "Don't Tread", and turning in the next part (dealing with the White Gloves, even if you cured their cannibalism problem) will fail it and break the NCR questline.

Basically, stop doing quests for other factions after you complete the Boomers portion, and don't install the chip at El Dorado for Yes Man, and you'll be fine.

That's it for the individual factions' breaking points. If you only care about one or two of the factions, just use the above points as a guide and you'll be fine. If you want to take every single faction questline as far as possible without breaking any of them, read on!
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#5Finnegan(Topic Creator)Posted 10/26/2011 8:24:25 PMmessage detail
PUSHING YOUR LUCK: Taking Every Plotline as Far as It Will Go Without Breaking Any

(Note: this is my opinion on the easiest way to accomplish this, but it's not the only way or only order to do it -- just keep the above-listed breaking points in mind if you want to try a different method.)

Okay, folks, here we go. I'm assuming you've already made it to the Strip. Once there, check in with Mr. House and get the rundown on Benny and the Platinum Chip, starting "The House Always Wins".

As you exit the Lucky 38, you'll be approached by an NCR trooper who tells you to report to Crocker for "Things that Go Boom". Ignore this for now. Instead, head to the Tops and complete "Ring a Ding Ding" any way you like (killing Benny and getting the chip now is simplest, so let's assume you'll do that).

Once you're done, track down Yes Man in Benny's suite and start the Wild Card quests. This is as far as you're going to go with Yes Man, thanks to how sensitive Caesar is. You're generally going to complete these quests anyway while following the other questlines, but DON'T turn them in until you have decided with whom you intend to ally, and even then pay very careful attention to the Yes Man triggers, above. As we don't want to cross anyone out, we're not going to complete any of them. So long, Yes Man!

As you leave the Tops, you'll be given "Render unto Caesar" by Vulpes Inculta (or Alerio, if you've previously killed the Vulpster). This will give you clemency for prior bad rep with the Legion, but DON'T get any more after this point -- it's a one-time deal.

Return to the Lucky 38 and report in to House. He'll ask you to head to the Fort, so it's time to kill two birds with one stone and do just that. Hoof it to Cottonwood Cove (leaving Boone behind if you have him with you), then take the raft.

This, by the way, is an excellent time to do some quests at the cove (like the repeatable explosives option with Severus Decanus) to raise your Legion rep to Liked to nab the safehouse key if you're interested, but that's up to you.
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#6Finnegan(Topic Creator)Posted 10/26/2011 8:24:59 PMmessage detail
Once you reach the Fort, go check in with Caesar. He wants you to go down into the bunker under the Fort and blow it up good. REAL good. Hey, that's where we were going already, right? Head on down, but don't blow anything up -- instead, use the platinum chip to upgrade the Securitron army and head back to the Cae Guy.

Baldy must not be as smart as he thinks he is, because he believes it when you tell him the job is done and gives you your next mission: kill Mr. House. Okay, Caesar, this is where we leave you, because, obviously, doing this mission would wipe out the House option.

Now you're done with both Yes Man and Caesar's quests, for those of you keeping track at home.

Head back to the Strip and report in at the NCR embassy with Ambassador Crocker, picking up the quest to go see the Boomers. Now go tell House the good news about his shiny new army, and he's so thrilled he gives you the same assignment: recruit the Boomers to your cause.

Head to Nellis and complete Volare to cozy up to the Boomers. Contrary to popular opinion, the Boomers pledge their allegiance to YOU, not to the faction(s) for whom you're doing the quest. As such, you can tell everyone that you have the Boomers' support -- the Boomers only pick their targets after you've picked a final questline.

Now head back to the Strip and tell House about the Boomers. He'll dish out some very restrained praise and ask you to look into the Omertas at Gomorrah. Unfortunately, this is as far as we go with Mr. House, as anything further will break multiple questlines, and even turning in the Boomers quest will trigger the warning quests for NCR and Caesar's Legion.

You can still do "How Little We Know" at this point if you like -- just don't tell House about it.

It's NCR only from this point out, so head on back to Crocker and tell him about the Boomers too. He'll then ask you to look into violence against NCR citizens through "King's Gambit".

Resolve "King's Gambit" successfully or otherwise (you can fail it without breaking the possibility of continuing to work for the NCR), and Crocker will send you to see Moore at Hoover Dam to pick up "For the Republic, Part 2". She'll ask you to go look into the Great Khan/Legion alliance.

You can go now and complete "Oh My Papa", but you can't turn this part in without breaking the Legion questline, so we're officially as far we can get without breaking anything.

Now go forth into the Mojave and do all the sidequests and DLC you like, confident in your ability to come back and still finish any endgame run you like.

Thanks for hanging in there and reading this until the end! I hope it's helpful to some folks.
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#7pkmnpkmnPosted 10/26/2011 8:28:01 PMmessage detail
sticky requested
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A neutron walks into a bar and asks the bartender, "How much for a drink?" To which the bartender replies, "For you, no charge! ~wadsworth
#8RampagingwalrusPosted 10/26/2011 8:30:04 PMmessage detail
Finnegan posted...
Thanks for hanging in there and reading this until the end! I hope it's helpful to some folks.

Stopped reading there.

<insert random nonsensical trolling post>
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
#9StrykeBlaydePosted 10/26/2011 8:49:55 PMmessage detail
If this topic doesn't get sticky'd, I've lost all faith.
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#10LambentEarachePosted 10/26/2011 9:32:27 PMmessage detail
They're not called "NCR". They're called "Profligates".
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A stubborn enough person can survive just about anything. -Zaeed Massani
Ave, true to Caesar.