|Side quest: Human Error|
|Go to Covenant and talk to Honest Dan.|
|Search for clues around Covenant.|
|Attack the Covenant Compound with Dan.|
|Kill Dr. Chambers and rescue Amelia.||Kill Honest Dan.|
|Find Old Man Stockton||Return to Jacob|
|Reward: 350+ XP|
Covenant as settlement
The Sole Survivor might hear about Covenant from settlers or a passing trader, which will put its marker on the map and a quest entry to "Investigate Covenant." Upon approaching the gate, the Sole Survivor is greeted by Swanson. He explains that, to enter Covenant, visitors have to pass a test to filter out "undesirables." By pressuring for information and successfully passing increasingly difficult speech checks, details about synths and The Institute can be learned. Swanson will be adamant about administering the SAFE test (an adapted Vault-Tec G.O.A.T.) to make sure the Sole Survivor is not a synth. After taking a seat at the table and answering all the questions, the gate to the settlement will open up.
Unlike other settlements around the Commonwealth, Covenant is surrounded by tall concrete walls sprinkled with defensive turrets, and the houses and the yard are in pristine condition. The Sole Survivor even mentions how everything looks almost pre-War. Several companions will voice suspicions that the village is hiding something, although none of them seem aware of its true nature. Speak to Honest Dan. He will explain he has been hired to investigate a missing caravan and find Amelia Stockton, the missing daughter of the prominent Stockton family. He also suggests the inhabitants of Covenant might be involved in both cases. He also offers to split the reward in exchange for help in the investigation. After doing so, Dan will give the player character what he knows in the form of a note, caravan details. Passing speech checks with him may net more caps and info.
Exit Covenant and head northeast along the road, then go east at the junction to find the bodies of Fred O'Connell, his guards and the remains of the missing caravan. Recover Deezer's lemonade (if the quest has not begun, the cooler box will not be accessible yet). With a Perception of 6 or higher, a blood trail on the road close to the scene can be investigated to reveal that "the blood trail leads roughly in the direction of Covenant." Questioning the inhabitants of Covenant yields little info as they are adamant about having nothing to do with it. They are also oddly nice, almost saccharine.
To find more clues, enter the house on the far end of the settlement to discover a holding cell, a bookcase with self-help material, a locked terminal, and a non-functional radio. With Luck of at least 9, the player character can "fiddle" with the radio and briefly pick up a voice broadcast referencing the remains of Stockton's caravan. Outside one of the houses is a bedroll left by the caravan staff, which can be investigated, but it isn't clear enough who it belonged to.
Hack the terminal when no one is looking to find out Covenant's real purpose. Hacking the terminal when not sneaking will turn the whole town hostile. It is also possible to gather information by speaking to one of the settlers, Talia McGovern, and convincing her that Honest Dan is a synth after passing a few Charisma checks. Alternatively, enter the shop and take the piece of paper from the trash can or pass increasingly harder speech checks with Penny Fitzgerald to reveal the clues. Another alternative is to either pickpocket the key from Jacob Orden (the most optimal way is to steal this from him while he is asleep in the guest house) or pick the lock to the house directly left of the gate and find the piece of paper near the door. If pickpocket is too risky, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the doors to the first house on the left when entering Covenant will be open (in general, all of the buildings in Covenant can eventually be entered without the need to pick a lock, through the expedient of following the residents around until they open the doors on their daily schedule). On the table is a key and a paper that has Jacob's password. Residents may become hostile if they see stealing. One can also find the location of the compound at the office terminal. The door and the terminal are both Master locks.
Once learning about the existence of the compound, the Sole Survivor can either talk to Dan or go alone. When they try to exit Covenant, Jacob Orden will be at the gate and will try to convince the Sole Survivor to drop the case, even going as far as offering a bribe. If they succeed at a speech check seeking "compromise", Jacob will send word ahead to the compound, and the player character will be able to attempt to negotiate with Manny more easily once inside the compound.
To find the compound, head to the fishing spot east and below of Mystic Pines - an inlet with three outflow pipes, directly west of Covenant on the exact opposite side of the lake - and enter the middle outflow pipe (expect some rad exposure when entering and leaving). If the Sole Survivor told Honest Dan about the compound, he will be waiting inside and will follow. Continue along the pipe to face Manny, armed guards and a turret. Successfully passing a speech check with Manny will allow the Sole Survivor to be escorted deep inside the complex to meet Dr. Chambers. This check is easier if Orden sent word ahead about a compromise. Honest Dan has unique dialog if he is also being escorted. Otherwise, fighting through the complex becomes necessary. On the way there, clues about people being held captive and ongoing experiments/torture can be found, whether fighting or being escorted.
Once in the presence of the doctor, she explains her motivations, and her intentions of trying to reveal hidden synths who infiltrated the populace by creating and perfecting the SAFE test, a sort of psychological test involving studying reactions of the subject to several situational questions. Improving the test involves establishing a "baseline" and then requires various forms of psychological and physical torture to incite reactions from the subject. She may also explain that the reason for refusing to release Amelia is, that they believe she is a synth infiltrator. She will offer to pay the same caps reward offered by Honest Dan, to be allowed to dispose of Dan. Accepting her offer will result in obtaining Covenant as a settlement.
An alternative path to reach this quest stage is to bypass both Dan and Covenant entirely, and simply proceed into the compound. Then one has to either pass the hard speech check with Manny or fight off all residents except for Dr. Chambers, which will stay friendly. Talking with her will then start the quest. Another option it so simply ignore the doctor altogether and moving up to Amelia's prison cell to speak with her, which will also start the quest.
Another way to start the quest is to peacefully gain entrance to Covenant, then gaining access to Jacob's terminal unseen (e.g. without the inhabitants becoming hostile), which will trigger his dialogue with him upon attempting to leave the settlement. One can then move to and enter the compound through the sewage pipe, initiating the quest.
At the point of reaching Dr. Chambers and Amelia, the Sole Survivor has several choices:
- Deciding to side with the doctor. If accompanied by Honest Dan, this will cause him to become hostile, and killing him will be necessary. It is not possible to kill Dan earlier as he is marked essential until the final part of the dialog is completed. Amelia will be killed by the doctor if she is not killed by the player character. Inspecting Amelia's body after death reveals that she was indeed a synth. Return to Jacob to win Covenant as a usable settlement. There is also a reward of 300 caps from Dr. Chambers at the completion of this quest.
- Deciding to side with Honest Dan and free Amelia will turn the doctor, Manny (who may be present) and the rest of the compound hostile (apart from the heavy machinegun turret at the entrance), making it necessary to kill them all. Amelia is in one of the cells up the stairs which can be opened by using the terminal or by picking the lock. Afterwards speak to Dan to receive a reward. By passing increasingly harder speech checks, more rewards can be earned. Choosing this option will also turn all inhabitants of Covenant hostile, except for Deezer and Dora (the cat). Kill all hostiles to win Covenant as a usable settlement.
- A third option will make itself available if the Sole Survivor does not bring Honest Dan to the compound. After freeing Amelia, as they would when siding with Dan, they can turn the quest in to Old Man Stockton, who can be found at Bunker Hill. He will give the same 300 bottlecap reward offered by the doctor and Honest Dan, although there is no way to increase the reward through speech checks. If the player character has already completed Boston After Dark, the Sole Survivor can remark about making a habit out of helping him. The quest cannot be turned in to him if Honest Dan accompanies the player character, however; he will simply say that he already contracted someone to find the missing caravan. Upon returning to Covenant, all inhabitants will be hostile, and it will be necessary to kill them all except Deezer to receive Covenant as a settlement. If choosing this option, almost everything inside the compound will be considered stolen, making it very complicated to use this settlement. Old Man Stockton is a nonessential character and can be killed. If he has already been killed and the Sole Survivor chooses to save Amelia, without bringing Dan to the compound, the quest will say "Failed" immediately after the "Find Old Man Stockton" objective appears and it becomes impossible to complete.
- A "fourth" option is also available to the player character. If they arrive at the compound without Honest Dan, they can engage Amelia in conversation before freeing her or letting her be killed by the doctor and she will direct the player character to Old Man Stockton, claiming he will give a reward for freeing her. The quest will update as though the player character has freed Amelia and the quest marker will lead them to Old Man Stockton. If the player character leaves Amelia in her cell and turns in the quest to Old Man Stockton, the quest will complete, only in this case, upon return to Covenant, all inhabitants will be friendly to the player character. If the player character has passed the speech check at the compound, all inhabitants there will remain friendly as well. Although everyone is still alive, this option offers the least amount of rewards, as there is no way to obtain Covenant as a settlement.
- Releasing Amelia after agreeing to do the deal with Dr. Chambers causes the Compound to go hostile, and Covenant does not ally freely as a settlement.
- When Dr. Chambers presents the Sole Survivor the choice to side with her or not, choosing "You're threatening me, Dan?" will allow another dialogue option to appear afterwards to replace it: "What is Covenant?"
- Dr. Chambers will say that the Sole Survivor has "cut a bloody path through our people" even if a totally non-violent approach has been used.
- After releasing Amelia from her cell, talking to Honest Dan and selecting any of four available dialogue options will prompt him to pay the Sole Survivor. One can then walk out of the conversation, repeat the process and Honest Dan will pay the Sole Survivor again. This can be repeated infinite number of times to gain as many caps as you want.
- If Amelia, after being released, steps on a mine laid by the player character (e.g. one originally intended to take out compound guards), it will detonate and kill her, triggering a sudden and violent deterioration in relations with Honest Dan.
- Pickpocketing Amelia quickly after she escapes or looting her body if sided with the doctor shows she carries a synth component revealing she was, in fact, a synth. It is not possible to pickpocket her through the cell door.
- Talking to Old Man Stockton to finish the quest (if siding against Covenant and skipping the optional "talk to Honest Dan" part of the quest), if the Sole Survivor is part of the Railroad, reveals that Amelia is not his daughter (or an Institute synth replacement of his daughter) but a synth that the Railroad had freed. He also muses that she may now suspect she is a synth because of what has happened to her.
- Killing both Dr. Chambers and Amelia and having left Dan behind will fail the quest and Covenant will remain hostile.
- There is a railsign above the entrance pipe to the compound indicating 'danger,' implying the Railroad is aware of the compound.
- If entering Covenant late in the game after one has destroyed the Railroad or sided with the Institute, the residents of Covenant will be immediately hostile - but not until after taking and passing the S.A.F.E. test and walking through the gate. If Curie is a companion in this situation, she will also become hostile.
- It is possible to start the quest by just speaking with Dr. Chambers or with Amelia in the compound straight away, shortening the quest greatly, leaving basically only the final choice and the reward pick up to completion.
- The player character will not be able to interact with the cooler containing Deezer's Lemonade near the missing caravan unless the quest is active.
- If The Nuclear Option is completed, this quest will fail.
- When obtaining Covenant as a settlement (by combat) after siding against the compound, some beds and items will still remain "owned." The owned flag on beds can be dropped if a settler is assigned to it. Junk items and plants can also be safely stored or scrapped. Trading a stolen item with a settler then retrieving it will also remove the owned flag on item. PC users can also use the command setownership to manually remove the flags.
- If the player character sides against the compound and obtains Covenant as a settlement, any turrets surviving the fight will turn friendly but cannot be scrapped or moved. Destroyed turrets will not disappear after a set period of time and can only be removed via the console commands disable or markfordelete.
- After siding with the compound and receiving Covenant as a settlement, trying to pick the lock on a door, even though it's not marked as hostile action, will turn all residents hostile.
- After releasing Amelia, guards inside the compound will not attack her.
- After agreeing to side with the compound and Amelia has been killed, all compound personnel will be friendly, even if attacked and killed, and even if they witness others being killed. Only if they are attacked many times and are still alive is it possible that they may go hostile, similar to a companion. Killing them will not affect Covenant being awarded as a settlement by Orden.
- Amelia's synth component will be found on her corpse, even if she was previously pickpocketed before she was killed.
- Paladin Danse's responses to the player character's decision during the last choice presented by Dr. Roslyn Chambers are inconsistent. If choosing to spare Amelia, Danse will disapprove of the decision, although his voice lines will be to demand the doctor hand the girl over. If choosing to refuse the offer, Danse will dislike the decision, but have no voice lines. If choosing to accept the offer, Danse will be neutral towards the decision yet claim that Dr. Chamber's work "was a threat".
- If the Sole Survivor has previously stumbled into the Compound and passed the speech check to leave peacefully, the inhabitants will turn hostile when approached or spoken to - even if the speech check for Jacob Orden to send word ahead allowing safe passage has been passed.
Behind the scenes
- The SAFE test is actually the G.O.A.T. from Fallout 3, with all references to vaults (and the 10th question) removed.
- The development of the SAFE test to detect and remove synths (machines physically indistinguishable from humans) from the populace and many parts of this mission and dialogues, are a direct reference to the movie Blade Runner (based on the Phillip. K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"). The SAFE test is a direct reference to the Voight-Kampff test, which tests the subject's responses to situational questions by measuring preconscious empathetic reflexes and childhood memories that are usually absent from synthetic people.
Honest Dan may disappear after completing the main quest line, making this quest impossible to start. He might also be transported to Bunker Hill for no reason during the quest.[verified]
- For potential workarounds using console commands, see this Steam User Forums thread.
- It might not be possible to sneakily do anything in Covenant or even far away from it with their property because they will notice right away wherever you are and wherever they are, making it impossible to use unowned terminal or take password\keys from the table making the only way to progress the quest - by stealing map to Compound from settlers inventory.
- After talking to Dr. Chambers and agreeing with her, one can quickly run up to Amelia and tell her everything will be okay. By doing this one can complete both the main quest and also the optional quest to free her.[verified]
After fighting one's way into the compound and reaching Dr. Chambers, a dialogue takes place. If the Sole Survivor sides with Honest Dan and Amelia, Dr. Chambers will say "you'll just have to kill me". But she won't become hostile. [verified]
- This bug can be exploited to gain an additional like from Strong, making three possible consecutive likes for him. Simply kill Dr. Chambers, as Strong approves of killing non-hostiles.
- Deezer's Lemonade might not spawn or be interacted with. If this happens, it cannot be acquired.[verified]
At the caravan, for the optional objective,
- setstage 22a08 205. A possible fix is by using the console command
- Another workaround is to pick up "Deezer's Lemonade" by commanding a companion to check the cooler, trade with the companion and one will find the lemonade in the Aid category.[verified].
- It's also possible for Deezer's Lemonade and the cooler to spawn but leaving the player unable to pick up the item or open the cooler. In this case both the console command or companion solution will work.
- It's also possible to enable activation of these items via console: e9285.cf "ObjectReference.BlockActivation" false, e927d.cf "ObjectReference.BlockActivation" false
- If all else fails, reset the quest. Use sqt to get the ID of the Human Error quest and then reset quest <quest_id> to reset it.
- On Xbox One it is possible that neither the can nor the cooler will have mass, despite being spawned and being able to grab the can and lift it, and the companion command will not work. However, there is a possible fix on the console- since it is possible to pick up the lemonade, one can carry it to nearby Taffington Boathouse, drop it, go into crafting mode, and store the item in the workbench. You can then remove the item from the workbench, and the quest step will trigger as it should.
- Dr. Chambers' dialogue won't start if Honest Dan is already dead.[verified]
The gate leading into Covenant might already be open even if it's the first time visiting the place, and all the characters act like the Survivor has already been there and Honest Dan is nowhere to be found, making the quest impossible to complete or even start. This may be caused by completing the main storyline before obtaining the quest. [verified]
- One fix is to kill all residents, thus gaining access to the workbench, then resurrecting residents in order to gain the settlement if the quest can't be started.
- After finishing the quest, Swanson can't be killed unless he is within the borders of the settlement. Since he will rush out to attack the Sole Survivor, it may be necessary to kite him back to the gates.[verified]
- Wearing a power armor helmet with the Targeting mod or using berry mentats makes Dan hostile when inside the sewer, and the rest of the NPCs inside the compound. Need to unequip the helmet before going in. Also, make sure that if the Sole Survivor has a companion equipped with power armor with the Targeting mod that the Sole Survivor has them exit their power armor also.[verified]
- After freeing Amelia, the doctor won't turn hostile and will hang around saying "I will not beg for my life," and "All I did was for the greater good!"[verified]
- Penny Fitzgerald may not talk to the player, only saying "enjoy your stay" when interacted with. Sleeping seems to fix the issue. It's possible there are other simple fixes.[verified]
- If clearing out the compound before finding any clues leading to it or its existence, and freeing Amelia, Honest Dan won't spawn at Covenant, and the quest will stay bugged and impossible to complete. The Sole Survivor may get stuck at "Look for caravan survivors" even after freeing Amelia.[verified]
- Wearing power armor with a Tesla torso mod inside of or around the entrance to Covenant will make nearby inhabitants turn hostile. This occurs before or after finishing the quest "Human Error". The solution is to exit the power armor before entering.[verified]
At the end of the quest, when talking to Honest Dan, if the conversation is interrupted just after getting the reward by walking away, the player can talk to him and claim the reward again. This can be repeated indefinitely.[verified]
- The Charisma checks for more money are not reset with this method.
- resetquest 00022a08, then talking to the mayor of the town, and using the console with setstage 00022a08 200, setstage 00022a08 740 and talking again to the mayor. This will complete the quest having sided with Covenant and allows to unlock it as a settlement. [verified] After completing the main story the quest will not be initiated. It can be solved through the console with
- Entering the house to the immediate left of the gate through the unlocked door by the northwest corner of the town and stealing the key and password on the end table will cause everyone in town to become hostile when leaving the house, even if remaining undetected. [verified]
- When first coming to Covenant, Swanson might not ask the required questions to gain access to the town. Instead, the gate will already be open and Dan will not be available, making the quest unavailable. [verified]
- When you take Jacob's password, it is possible that everyone in Covenant will become immediately hostile regardless of whether or not you are hidden when you steal it.[verified]
- Ted Huntley. [verified] When stealing Jacob's password, Covenant house key, SAFE report, or Covenant office key it is possible the entire town will turn hostile regardless of whether or not you are hidden when you steal them. Sleeping does not seem to help. If this is the case, a map to the compound can be pickpocketed from
- Manny may get stuck after talking to Tach Blythe while escorting you through the compound. One workaround appears to be leaving the sewer and then immediately re-entering. Manny should have somewhat progressed through the compound, and you can catch up to him.[verification overdue]