The next objective in your rapidly shrinking to-do list is to meet up with the Powder Gangers, namely the ones who left with Cooke and headed north, to Vault 19. If you want to arrive at a safe place that’s reasonably nearby fast-travel to Chance’s Map and follow the road south past Nopah Cave and Spring Mt. Ranch State Park and into some ruins, a town formerly known as Bonnie Springs. The place is now inhabited by a handful of particularly tough Viper Gunslingers… or at least their leaders are nasty specimens; one sports Combat Armor and the unique Spiked Knuckles, Love and Hate while the other possesses some Metal Armor, Reinforced.
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Not much to say about these things… not because they’re not good, but they’re essentially clones of normal Spiked Knuckles that deal more damage. If you like Spiked Knuckles, you’ll like these.
Leave Bonnie Springs behind and continue following the road south, then east as the road turns. Be wary of a pass to the south as you go, as there may be a Young Deathclaw stalking about at the mouth of it near the road, and more further uphill. Follow the road east of this mountain pass and you’ll see a fenced-in area to the north, which just so happens to be Vault 19. Enter the small security station and climb down a manhole to reach the vault.
Open the vault door and head west through a more humble door to reach the occupied interior, where the more motivated Powder Gangers under the leadership of the radical Samuel Cooke have congregated, idle after their escape from the NCRCF. There are two characters of interest here in this odd vault, one in each of the two Overseer’s offices to the north and south. Samuel Cooke lurks in the northern office, and to the south you’ll find Philip Lem, both of which have opposing directions they’d like to take the Powder Gangers.
Before you run off and start any quests, however, go give this area a search; start off by heading south, go through a doorway to the west to reach a cafeteria, in which you’ll find a First Aid Box behind a counter in the south-western corner of the room. Once it’s looted, head north through a door, then follow a tunnel west to reach a north-south running tunnel at the western end of the vault. Here you’ll find three doors; the ones to the west lead to a pair of bathrooms, each of which have a First Aid Box inside, and the eastern door leads to a clinic. In the first room of the clinic you’ll find another First Aid Box, and in the larger, second room you’ll find two more, as well as a pair of Stimpaks on a metal shelf and near a bed in the north-western corner of the room sits another Stimpak on a metal cart, near which is a Doctor’s Bag.
Grab that mundane loot, then explore the room in detail to find several Patient Notes. The note “Patient 3905698” can be found under the metal shelf, “Patient 5498465” lies under a cart in the south-western corner of the room, near a medical bed. By the desk you’ll find “Patient 1648654” under a chair, “Patient 6585645” under the desk, “Patient 1687865” hides under a Paperweight on the desk, near a copy of Today’s Physician and another Doctor’s Bag can be found on the floor behind the desk. From all these notes you should be able to gather that Vault 19 didn’t service the best and the brightest.
Once you’re done looting, return to the eastern part of the vault and enter the Overseer’s offices and talk to both Samuel Cooke and Philip Lem, who both have a task they’ll give you, if you offer to make yourself helpful. Samuel Cooke is the brains behind the Powder Gangers, although his anti-NCR ideologies go beyond what most Powder Gangers seem to want, which is merely survival and freedom. Philip Lem, in the interests of those said desires, want to surrender to the NCR; freedom is nice and all, but picking a fight with the NCR is a good way to end up dead. In the interests of furthering their goals, Samuel Cooke wants
you to exterminate some Fire Geckos in the lower levels, while Philip Lem wants you to sabotage Cooke’s attempt to secure more sulfur. Both will give you a keycard to give you access to the lower vault, Cooke grants a Red Sector Key Card and Lem will bestow the Blue Sector Key Card. No need to pick a side just yet, just clear the lower levels, then make up your mind.
Make your way to the northern end of the level to find two locked doors, one leading to the Red Sector and the other to the Blue Sector. Which route you take doesn’t really matter, both link up further on, and along the way you’ll find mundane vault loot (clothes, chems, ammo and the odd Carton of Cigarettes) and some Terminals with the ravings of Vault 19’s former residents. Not that it’s not worth looting both sectors, if you’re so inclined.
Vault 19 - Living Quarters¶
Either way you go you’ll end up in the Vault 19 - Living Quarters. If you took the blue path you’ll end up along the west end of the level, where a pair of Fire Geckos prowl around some Frag Mine littered hallways. Kill the Geckos and disable the mines before proceeding down the hallway to the east, where you’ll find another door that requires a keycard to open. In some rooms along the way you can score more mundane loot, but nothing of note.
Alternatively, if you followed the red path you will find yourself on the eastern end of the level, where more Frag Mines and Fire Geckos lurk. Just venture west to find a door that requires a keycard to open, beyond which is your destination, but there’s extraneous looting that can be done to the south.
Both keycard doors lead to the same room, albeit opposite sides of said room. Kill the Fire Geckos in this room, then search behind a counter in the south-eastern corner to score a First Aid Box. Once done, find the smoking tunnel in the north-western corner of the room that leads to The Sulfur Caves.
The Sulfur Caves¶
This mess of caverns is crawling with Fire Geckos and filled with sulfur. You’ll need to kill the former so the Powder Gangers can harvest the latter… or just fight your way through to the Geckos so you can sabotage the sulfur. From the entrance to this area continue south until the path forks, at which point you can go down a tunnel to the south-west to reach a chamber in which you’ll find a Microline Rock formation. It’s this you need to destroy to satisfy Lem, which can be done with an
If you destroyed the caves, return to Lem (you’ll automatically be evicted from the caves) and tell him the news. Samuel Cooke is less than pleased, and won’t reward you even if you killed all the Geckos, but he won’t turn hostile, either. You can now let Lem and company turn themselves in, or - if you pass a
|For destroying the sulfur for Lem||50 XP 50 Caps Powder Ganger Fame|
|For letting Lem turn himself in||250 XP Powder Ganger Fame|
Assuming you didn’t bother wasting expensive explosives to blow the whole damn vault up - and you still want to explore even if you satisfied Lem - continue exploring the caves in order to sweep out the Geckos. Fortunately the caves are one big loop, so it shouldn’t be hard to navigate. If you circle around the caverns to the south along the western end of the map, then east along the southern end of the map you should clear out most of the Geckos in the otherwise uninteresting tunnels. Along the eastern end of the caves the Geckos will be supplanted by Nightstalkers; the two vermin are clearly unwilling to share living space.
In a large cavern along the eastern end of the level you’ll find a ladder leading out to the Mojave, although it doesn’t lead anywhere immediately interesting. From here if you continue north you’ll find some stairs leading to an elevated metal room, and you can follow the vault structures back west to the beginning of the caves if you wish. The last few Fire Geckos lurk in these tunnels, as does a locked door
The Powder Khans¶
If you sided with Samuel Cooke or if you convince Lem to seek out the Great Khans, you’ll need to pay Papa Khan a visit to discuss the potential alliance between the Powder Gangers and the Great Khans. Fast-travel to Red Rock Canyon and enter the Longhouse, where you’ll either find Papa Khan sitting at his table, or sleeping in his room
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So ends your involvement with the Powder Gangers. In fact, you’ve now explored almost the entirety of the Mojave, with a few exceptions… exceptions that will be the focus of the next few sections of the guide. Namely, you have yet to explore the south-eastern (Cottonwood Cove) and north-western (Jacobstown) corners of the map. There are also some areas outside of New Vegas worth exploring, particularly south, west and north of New Vegas. The next section will start from Vault 19, and from here you’ll work your way around New Vegas and to the edges of the Mojave.