Duppo at the Stockmen's Association in NCR can be asked for work, and he will offer the Chosen One a job as a caravan guard on a route to Redding. Hal, the caravan master, shows up in NCR Downtown outside the gate to Roger Westin's estate the next time the clock hits 08:00 and waits there until 14:00, although the caravan will not leave while the player character remains on the map. On the way to Redding, the player character will face 1-4 random encounters of varying difficulty. The quest will take more than a month to complete, the amount of time it would take to walk from NCR to Redding. Those who have acquired the Highwayman must either walk back or wait for a Redding to NCR caravan, as there is no way to take the vehicle on the trip.
En route, the player character can face any of several different hostile encounters including:
- Remnants of the Master's Army fighting against a different caravan.
- Thugs attacking farmers.
- NCR Rangers attacking slavers.
- An ambush set up by claim jumpers.
- A group of wanamingos.
As well as some common friendly encounters such as:
- A merchant, accompanied by guards, selling wares.
- Fleeing farmers who can be bartered with.
Some caravan encounters are better armed than others. The encounters with super mutants can be extremely frustrating as the miniguns they commonly carry will often kill brahmin, lowering the received reward.
Caravans have a number of guards per party member. Compared with other caravan routes, this one has one fewer guard per party member. Regardless of the number of guards left remaining, the quest can still be completed.
After the final encounter has been dealt with, the player character will be taken to the world map near Redding. The player character must manually move to Redding and collect their reward money from the caravan master in the middle of the tents outside the caravan office in the Mining Camp. The player character will receive the standard pay of $2,000 and either a bonus for doing a good job or a wage cut for saving too few brahmin.
Upon arrival the Chosen One will earn, depending on how many brahmin survived:
- $0 (0 brahmin survive)
- $1,000 (1-3 brahmin survive)
- $2,000 (4-5 brahmin survive)
- $3,000 (6-10 brahmin survive)
Caravans give no quest XP.
This is the only work Duppo will ever offer, despite him saying to "come back in a few months."
There are several known issues with this caravan route including:
- Hostiles may stand around and not attack. The player will have to initiate combat. [verified]
- Typically friendly non-player characters (including New Reno mobsters, NCR Rangers and caravan guards) will be considered hostile and must be eliminated to proceed the quest (note that this will only happen on encounters with at least some hostiles. Encounters where all non-player characters are friendly, such as merchant encounters, will not require you to kill anyone to complete). [verified]
- Slaves do not add to the "hostiles on map" tally when created, but decrease it when killed. Thus if you kill all of them (and it's hard to stop your fellow guards from doing so) the hostiles counter will actually drop below zero. The caravan master is a stickler for details, and will accept only zero hostiles; unfortunately also a little slow on the uptake, and not necessarily noticing when the counter reaches zero hostiles on its way to negative hostiles. The encounter becomes stuck.[verified]
- Running off the map before the all-clear signal is given counts as abandoning the caravan and will put you on the world map. The caravan leader will effectively be dead, so you won't get any pay or more caravan jobs from him. This problem is exacerbated in the NCR–Redding caravan by the fact that the caravan leader does not give the all clear signal audibly. [verified]
- Only the squares where encounters occur light up "explored" on the world map. [verified]
- Death is no obstacle to caravan leaders carrying out their appointed duties; they will return from the grave to invisibly give the all-clear signal. [verified]
- Stealing from or attacking caravan drivers or guards won't make the others attack. [verified]
- You can occasionally be returned to a previous map, although running off an encounter map a second time if returned to it will usually fix this. [verified]
- The caravan disappears on the world map despite there being no obvious threat. [verified]
- The Caravan master will not appear in the Mining Camp upon completion. [verified]
- The Caravan master will not talk to the player upon completion. [verified]
- Clicking on Hal, the head caravan guard, in caravan encounters resets the "encounter counter" (as well as every other caravan variable such as the number of guards and brahmin), meaning you can literally get infinite encounters. [verified]
- Sometimes, after successfully dealing with an encounter, the all-clear signal will not be given. When walking out of the area, you will leave the caravan, making it impossible to complete the quest. [verification needed]