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Goddamn, I knew Cooke's gang passed through these parts 'bout that frequently, but I didn't know they holed up here. Be a rude awakening, to find fifteen of those merciless bastards looking down at me snoozing on my bedroll!

Ranger Dobson is an NCR Ranger scouting out in Hidden Valley in 2281.


A Redding native,[1] Dobson has seen plenty of action against slavers in his Ranger career.[2] As of 2281, he is stationed at Camp McCarran, but has recently gone off on his own to assess and scout out the NCR Correctional Facility that was lost to the Powder Gangers. He set up shop in a Hidden Valley bunker, intending to use it as a safehouse.[1][3] His main target has been the terrorist Samuel Cooke and his gang of roamers which he considers to be the most dangerous out of any other Powder Gangers.[4] Though he is after Cooke's gang, he considers all Powder Gangers the lowest of the low for preying on caravans and civilians, and will shoot any Powder Ganger on sight that he finds.[5]

His stay at the bunker has been fairly problematic, as Dobson has had trouble bringing his radio to broadcast properly. However, the area's "natural phenomena" sandstorms and the bunker's remote location still make it worth the hassle, as it keeps him relatively safe from any predators or troublemakers topside... At least that is what Dobson thinks.[6]

Dobson is a confident individual and takes pride in his work protecting the innocent of the Mojave Wasteland, but like any good Ranger; he is not headstrong and knows his limits.[4][5] Other than the love of his job, Dobson loves to josh around with anyone he can, even if they are a complete stranger.[7][8][9] He is even been known to do so over the radio to HQ at McCarran, which has made the radio operators take his reports less seriously.[10] Although he shows his kindly side more, Dobson will become deadly serious when he suspects he is in danger or being played.[11][12][13] However, if the perpetrator admits to their wrongdoing, Dobson is willing to forgive them at the moment unless they persist.[14]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Icon quest starter.png
This character starts quests.


  • Still in the Dark: McNamara wants Dobson gone from the area. He can be killed or tricked into leaving (requires Speech 50). However, one cannot speak to him if their reputation with the NCR is bad. Alternatively, he can be warned about the Brotherhood of Steel; however, this will cause the quest to fail. Dobson will remove the collar from the Courier's neck and the Brotherhood will attack. If he survives, he returns to the base and the Courier will gain fame with the NCR.


Apparel Weapon Other items On death
NCR Ranger patrol armor
Ranger hat
Hunting rifle


  • If one elects to smash the broken ham radio while Dobson is looking, he will become hostile and attack. However, if one can make him leave the bunker after stealing the supplies and then smash the radio, the quest should complete and Dobson will not attack.
  • If one chooses the Speech check to complete the objectives, one can still find him there about to depart, upon returning to the bunker at a later point in time. There are a lot of grenade bouquets, which if detonated will engulf the entire bunker upon explosion. Dobson will also have left an accompanying note.
  • His journal in his hide-out can be read in two stages. Entry one before having met McNamara and starting Still in the Dark, the other three entries after starting this quest.
  • Dobson usually leaves the bunker at around 9 AM. If one fights the Brotherhood after Dobson removes the collar and keeps him alive, Dobson has additional dialogue if he witnesses this event.
  • If the player character has a high enough Explosives skill, Dobson's radio can be rigged to explode, instantly killing him.

Notable quotes


Dobson appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.


  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Dobson may appear in the southern Hidden Valley Bunker, although he will be invisible. The "talk" button will still appear but it will do nothing. Shooting near him in this state will make him say things like, "Watch where you're shooting." [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes, if Dobson survives the encounter with the Brotherhood, the player character may still not gain any reputation from the NCR. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 He sometimes may be found just outside of Hidden Valley, although everything else is the same except his position. You can still talk to him about leaving the bunker. [verified]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Courier: "Who are you?"
    Dobson: "Dobson's my name. I'm an NCR Ranger, operating out of Camp McCarran north of here. Redding man by birth, though."
    The Courier: "What are you doing here?"
    Dobson: "Well, I was thinking I might set this bunker up as a safehouse. Between the remote location and the dust storms, I figured it was ideal. Course, seems a lot less remote since you showed up. Plus I haven't been able to get my radio working, and a safehouse's no good without one. I reckon I'll stick around awhile, patrol for troublemakers, see if I can get that radio working."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "The Brotherhood of Steel has a base inside one of the bunkers here. They sent me after you."
    Dobson: "A Brotherhood base? Here? Are you shitting me? No one's seen them for years. I don't suppose you've got a scrap of evidence to support this wild-eyed claim of yours?"
    The Courier: "How about this explosive collar around my neck?"
    Dobson: "I'll be. Let me take a look at that. All this is, is a slave collar. Seen plenty of these infernal contraptions in my day, and I know just how to spring 'em. Hold still. There, it's off. Now thing is, a slave collar seems a little too basic for the Brotherhood. That's not to say I don't believe you, bu- did you just hear something?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "So no one knows you're here?"
    Dobson: "Standard practice. Rangers operate on our own most of the time. And that's how we like it. Usually we call in our positions to McCarran to be relayed to other rangers, but I can handle myself. I'm sure as hell not going to lose any sleep on account of a goddamn broken down radio. But it will shorten my stay if I can't fix it."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Courier: "This seems like a bad location for a safehouse."
    Dobson: "Oh? And in your expert opinion, why would that be?"
    The Courier: "(Lie) Powder gangers use these bunkers as hideouts once or twice a month."
    Dobson: "[SUCCEEDED] You've seen that with your own two eyes? Goddamn, I knew Cooke's gang passed through these parts 'bout that frequently, but I didn't know they holed up here. Be a rude awakening, to find fifteen of those merciless bastards looking down at me snoozing on my bedroll! Yep, I'd be better off setting up an ambush along one of their routes to catch stragglers. Thanks for the information. You may've saved my life."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Courier: "What are Powder Gangers?"
    Dobson: "Criminal scum that've infested this region, attacking caravans and regular folk just passing through. The dangerous ones are roamers, though there's another group that mostly stays put, over at the prison southwest of here. So far the brass haven't mustered up enough men to take the prison back. Long overdue if you ask me. But I'm just one man."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  6. Dobson's journal
  7. The Courier: "I'm not a powder ganger."
    Dobson: "Exactly what powder ganger scum would say! Any last words before I pull this trigger?"
    The Courier: "I'm not a powder ganger!"
    Dobson: "Relax, son/little lady. Just pulling your leg. What can I do for you?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  8. Dobson: "Thought you'd sneak up on me, you filthy powder ganger?"
    The Courier: "Keep pointing that gun at me and I'll stick it up your ass."
    Dobson: "[SUCCEEDED] Ha! Got some stones on you, son. I like that. What can I do for you?"/
    Dobson: "[SUCCEEDED] Ha! Got some claws on you, little lady. I like that. What can I do for you?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "Nothing, I swear."
    Dobson: "Didn't look like nothing to me. Draw! Just kidding. You weren't doing any harm that I could see. So what do you think? Can it be fixed?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  10. Dobson: "Okay, so you weren't kidding about there being a Brotherhood base here. I'll need to report back to base about this. They'll think I'm playing a prank if I try to radio it in, so I'll need some face time with the brass. Thanks for the heads up. I mean it. I'll be sure to mention you in my report."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "[Lie] I just fixed it."
    Dobson: "[FAILED] The hell you did. I know enough about electronics to know that what you were doing wasn't fixing it. So I'll give you one more chance to tell me what you were doing."
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  12. Dobson: "You mess with a man's radio, and he might take it personal like, you hear?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  13. The Courier: "Nothing, I swear."
    Dobson: "Okay, but if I find you messing with it again, there'll be hell to pay, you hear me?"
    (Dobson's dialogue)
  14. The Courier: "Actually, I rigged your radio with a bomb."
    Dobson: "Well, at least you're man enough to admit it. Now get the hell out of here. If I see you again, it'll be through my rifle's sight."
    (Dobson's dialogue)