Chris Avellone on Van Buren Podcast Interview

Episode 48 of videogame podcast Gamer's Tavern had Chris Avellone as a special guest. During the episode, the chief creative officer at Obsidian Entertainment talked at length about his experience with the pen and paper campaign that would serve as the basis for the first iteration of project Van Buren, Interplay's internally developed Fallout 3. The podcast is a treasure trove for Fallout fans as it provides some interesting information on designs that didn't make it into the design documents of the game that ended up leaking on the net.

Here's an example from the show notes, the description of Elijah, a companion formerly of the Brotherhood of Steel that would serve as the basis for the antagonist of Fallout: New Vegas' DLC Dead Money:

Elijah (the villain in Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money) was supposed to be one of the companions in the first iteration of Fallout: Van Buren (along with Sulik's sister, who ironically enough, was a slaver). Elijah was a genius-level BoS member who deserted the organization, which was becoming increasing xenophobic due to faction politics, rigid adherence to tech over community, and continual, dangerous use of Stealth Boy tech despite numerous warning signs. Like the Nightkin, the Stealth Boy was beginning to fray some BoS personalities, causing paranoia and psychosis. Overall, Elijah felt the BoS had been poisoned by wrapping itself within a tech shell. (Veronica did not exist.)

Elijah was also a bit more physically fit than his Dead Money counterpart and was skilled in not just high-tech weapons, but also had trained himself extensively in bows, spears, and more (old school) weapons that many BoS members disdained as being (tribal.)

Before Elijah deserted, however, he sabotaged the BoS Power Armor so they could do no more aggression/harm to other communities in the wastes, including NCR (and he sabotaged their armor as a lesson who are you without these shells that distance you from the world). After this, he went to live with the Cipher tribals. One of the arcs of the game is to convince him to resurrect the Power Armor so the BoS isn't wiped out (or activate it for a new group of BoS, including the player), or follow the Ciphers, who understand tech better than the BoS due (they worship schematics of the old world).