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An Initiate not born here. You're the first Outsider we've let join in a long, long time. Well, near on twenty years now.

General John Maxson[3][4] is the grandson of Roger Maxson, and the high elder of the Brotherhood of Steel in the year 2161.


John Maxson was born into the Brotherhood in 2097 and is a part of the Maxson bloodline. He showed much skill as an initiate, knight and then master knight, traveling the wastes far and wide and forming lasting relations with various people in the wasteland, including Butch Harris.[5][6][7] By the time he was inducted into the paladin caste in 2135, at 38, he was a skilled man. His reputation and skills were further shown when he rose to the rank of head paladin, the best commander within the Brotherhood of Steel.[Non-game 1]

His last promotion came at the cost of tragedy, as in 2155 his father was killed in a skirmish with the Vipers. Four years later in 2159, the Council of Elders convinced him to accept the position of high elder,[8] becoming the third Maxson to hold the rank. However, he was not aware of the volume of politics while in office. By the time the Vault Dweller meets him in 2161, he is 64. He ages, but he remains knowledged, wanting to fight the enemies of the Brotherhood, rather than remain underground.[Non-game 1]

Maxson is not too popular among the elders, as he is considered a bit crazy. He claims there is an army massing in the north, but these claims are met with incredulity and all motions to send an expedition there are voted down as risky. Sending tens of troops into the irradiated wastes can be dangerous and risk the Brotherhood's very existence.

Interactions with the player character[]

Interactions overview[]

Icon talkinghead
This character has a talking head.
Icon quest starter
This character starts quests.
33 Protector
This character is allied with the following faction(s).


Tell me about[]


Apparel Weapon Other items
Elder robes (non-lootable) Laser pistol Small energy cell x80
Stimpak x4


Maxson appears only in Fallout as a talking head. In the game, he is referred to only as General Maxson. Maxson is also mentioned in the Citadel terminal entries in Fallout 3.



  1. Sampled from the talking head
  2. Citadel terminal entries; Maxson archive terminal, John Maxson
  3. Examine: "You see General Maxson."
  4. SCRIPTS.LST (Fallout): "Maxson.int  ; General John Maxson, High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel # local_vars=21"
  5. The Vault Dweller: "Elder"
    Cabbot: "General Maxson used to be Master Knight. I don't think he likes being High Elder much."
    (Cabbot's dialogue)
  6. The Vault Dweller: "Hub"
    John Maxson: "The Hub's down to the southeast. They trade us food and things for the weapons we make here. Now if you're ever down there, you talk to Butch Harris."
    (John Maxson's dialogue)
  7. The Vault Dweller: "Butch"
    John Maxson: "Butch is the head of the Far Go Traders. He's a little slimy, but he's not a total waste. Unlike those Water Merchants. Bunch of damn vultures, all of 'em."
    (John Maxson's dialogue)
  8. The Vault Dweller: "Elder"
    John Maxson: "Hehehe. A fine, handsome, upstanding man. The High Elder position is to mediate the meetings between the Elders. You see, two years ago I got talked into it. If I'd of known then..."
    (John Maxson's dialogue)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout Official Survival Guide p.101-102: "General Maxson: High Elder of the Brotherhood
    Maxson is the leader of the Brotherhood tough, old, and confident. He was born about twenty years after the apocalypse, and knows a little about the war from stories told by his father and grandfather. He can give the player a book describing the history of the order. Last in a long line of generals, he would rather be outside fighting enemies than tied down by the politics of his office. He is busy, direct, and honest. He can tell the player much about the order and the people within it.
    Maxson responds well to directness, and has no patience for characters who beat around the bush or waste his time. By warning him of the mutant threat, the player can get the Brotherhood's help against the mutants."