Multiple survivor factions formed in Appalachia after the Great War, some effectively disbanded, with their human members being wiped out by the Scorched Plague and others comprised of those newly arriving to the region.
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These are different types of actor factions which are used in the game for technical purposes and to enable complex functionality during combat encounters. Most factions are hostile to player characters and creatures not in their faction (example; deathclaws attack super mutants).