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So tonight, as we break bread together, let us forge together something new. Something strong. Something we can be proud of. Something we can build upon. We'll preserve what's best of what's come before and use it. And one day, we will reclaim what was lost. Let us forge a Brotherhood of Steel.Formation of the Brotherhood of Steel

High Elder[2] Roger Maxson (service number 072389) was a captain in the United States Army and the founder of the Brotherhood of Steel, serving as its first high elder after the Great War.[3]


Prior to the Great War, Captain Roger Maxson was a member of the United States Armed Forces. He served during the Resource Wars, at one point fighting alongside Army Rangers Lieutenant Elizabeth Taggerdy, with whom he eventually became close friends.[4]

In 2076, the NBC Division of West Tek achieved breakthrough results in the Pan-Immunity Virion Project. The United States Department of Defense, in fear of international espionage, moved a military team under the command of Colonel Robert Spindel and Captain Roger Maxson onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.[5] On January 7, 2077, all FEV research was moved to the newly constructed Mariposa Military Base to commence testing of the virus on human subjects.[6][7] The security team was transferred to the newly constructed base as well, to provide protection for the research going on within the facility. They were not informed of the nature of the research.[3]

The mutiny[]

The secrecy backfired shortly before October 10, 2077, when soldiers stationed at the base discovered the human testing that was going on at the base, made worse by the fact that the scientists were using military prisoners as test subjects. Colonel Spindel suffered a nervous breakdown, locking himself in his office, leaving Captain Maxson to handle the deteriorating situation at the base. The soldiers were screaming for blood and became increasingly aggressive. When two days later, on October 12, the captain stopped a soldier from murdering a scientist, he ordered the scientists to be interrogated.[3]

The first scientist to be interrogated by Captain Maxson was Robert Anderson, the chief of the research team at Mariposa. Anderson explained that the testing at the facility was sanctioned and, in fact, ordered by the government, as he outlined the experiments to the captain. When Maxson refused to believe him, the scientist lost his nerve and started screaming how he was just following orders and that he was also a military man. In response, Captain Maxson murdered him.[3]

This established Maxson as the leader of the rebellion. His position was further reinforced on October 15, when Colonel Spindel committed suicide as his men broke into his office. Subsequent scientist interrogations invariably ended in executions. By October 18, most of the scientists on the project were dead, murdered by Captain Maxson. Of the dead, Erin Shellman held out the longest, almost convincing the captain that the experiments were really ordered by the government.[3] On October 20, 2077, Captain Maxson declared his unit in full secession from the United States, attempting to force the government to respond to the situation at Mariposa. No response came, but news of the mutiny spread through the wider United States Army.[4] A day later, he ordered the families of soldiers under his command to take shelter within the facility.[3]

The Great War[]

The Great War struck on October 23, 2077. As Maxson was halfway through prying details from Leon Von Felden at West Tek, he was cut off by the nuclear detonation at the West Tek research facility. Spared the nuclear devastation, Mariposa protected the inhabitants from nuclear fallout and the wild FEV flooding the wasteland. Fearing that China would soon make up for the oversight, on October 24, Maxson ordered his soldiers and their families to prepare to vacate the base the next day.[8]

On October 25, Sgt. Platner volunteered to take atmospheric readings outside the base. Reporting no significant amounts of radiation in the atmosphere, final preparations for the Exodus (an event later referred to by that single word) were undertaken. On October 26, Maxson ordered the remains of the scientists to be buried in the wastes outside the base. A day later, on October 27, former U.S. servicemen and their families left the base under the leadership of Captain Roger Maxson, heading for the Lost Hills government bunker in the south.[3]

In November, a few weeks later, the refugees arrived at the bunker. The people suffered casualties along the way, as while the soldiers enjoyed the protection afforded by their T-51b power armor, their families did not. Marauders that attacked the caravan on its route quickly learned to target the unprotected civilians. Although for every lost civilian two raiders fell, many lives were lost,[9] Fallout Bible including Roger Maxson's wife.[Non-game 1] Several soldiers broke off during the Exodus as well, under Sergeant Allen.[10] He demanded the leadership to allow him and his group to explore the ruins of the West Tek research facility for advanced technologies left behind. Ignoring warnings from Captain Maxson, Allen's faction separated from the main caravan and ventured southeast to the Glow, taking their power armor with them. They were never heard from again.[11]

The remaining Exodus survivors claimed the bunker as their own. The soldiers established it as a headquarters for their organization while the refugees expanded and adapted it to fit their own needs, transforming the bunker into a bastion of technology in a world that had lost centuries of technological development overnight.[12] Shortly afterward, Maxson and his men used a communications satellite to contact other Army units across the country. One such unit, based in Appalachia, was led by Elizabeth Taggerdy, an old acquaintance of Maxson's.

Building the Brotherhood of Steel[]

Sometime later, in a proclamation to his men, Maxson declared that the United States had failed to protect its citizens and serve their needs during the years leading up to the War, and stated that they must form a new order to preserve civilization: a "Brotherhood of Steel."

The beliefs of the Brotherhood were shaped by the experiences of Captain Maxson. At first, the Brotherhood focused on aiding survivors to the best of its ability, acting as an armed fighting force, rather than a military order it would become. The change came with the realization that the collective knowledge of humanity was in danger of being lost for generations to come. To keep the secrets of the past alive, Maxson decided to dedicate the Brotherhood to the preservation of technology and human knowledge, collecting it so that the Brotherhood might become the catalyst for humanity's rebirth. As the guardians of civilization, the Brotherhood would focus on the big picture, with direct aid considered a secondary concern.[13] While scribes were originally considered second-rate members, merely tools to protect knights and maintain the Brotherhood's bases, this change in priorities placed them on equal footing with soldiers of the Brotherhood, tasked with preserving and developing technologies recovered from the field by the knights.[13]

Maxson's intention was to maintain the Brotherhood as an organization that worked closely with people outside of its ranks, as protectors of civilization rather than its gatekeepers. His idea of an open Brotherhood put him at odds with isolationist members of the Brotherhood, including his own son and Paladin Taggerdy. Although nobody confronted him openly on the issue, out of respect for his role as founder, Roger Maxson was in the minority.[14]

Maxson remained in frequent contact with the Appalachian chapter, often broadcasting speeches about specific elements of his philosophy in creating the Brotherhood. Maxson was deeply troubled by the sudden appearance of the Scorched Plague and accompanying Scorched and Scorchbeasts, advising Taggerdy on setting up kill zones to lure the Scorched into. Elizabeth pleaded with Maxson to grant her team permission to use nuclear weapons against the scorchbeasts but was forbidden by him because he found the concept of using nuclear weapons, even to help fight the scorchbeasts, to be too morally abhorrent after their world was destroyed by nukes.[15] He maintained communications until the satellite burned in the atmosphere, as no one was left to correct its orbit. In his last transmission, he assured Taggerdy of his complete trust in her leadership and promised to send help as soon as he could.

Sometime before 2103, High Elder Maxson and his Council of Elders approved Paladin Rahmani's request to form an expedition to journey to Appalachia, and discover the fate of the MIA, presumed KIA, chapter.[16][17] Although the trip took many months, with the Council of Elders having doubts about Rahmani's faith in the Brotherhood, Maxson remained adamant in his belief of her, but also urged her to reestablish communications with the Lost Hills chapter as soon as possible.[18][19] However, Rahmani has effectively delayed going through with this order, as she is more focused on establishing a positive presence in Appalachia, further deepening the rift between her and Knight Daniel Shin.[20]

Death and legacy[]

Maxson died of cancer in 2135.[21] Already a legendary figure to the Brotherhood, the subsequent decades saw him elevated to borderline deific status as "the Great Deliverer."[22] His son, Maxson II, replaced him as the high elder, while his grandson, John Maxson, joined the paladin caste, showing great promise.[1][Non-game 2]

In the years afterwards, the Brotherhood saw a shift away from Maxson's altruistic ideals, instead moving towards isolationism and the hoarding of advanced technology. The most noticeable effect of this change in leadership was the cessation of outside recruitment by 2141, relying solely on natural growth.[23] By 2161, his name and the exact nature of his deeds had been all but forgotten by many younger members of the Brotherhood.[24] Despite this, his legacy endured and spread beyond the confines of the Brotherhood, and by 2241 he had been immortalized as the namesake of Maxson, one of the five contiguous states of the New California Republic.[25][26]

The last known living descendant of Roger Maxson is Arthur Maxson, who spent his childhood inside the Citadel in the Capital Wasteland, under the care of Owyn Lyons and the Capital Wasteland chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel.[Non-game 3] By 2287, he had ascended to the position of elder within the chapter, commanding from aboard the Prydwen in the Commonwealth.

Related holotapes[]


Fallout 76[]

Fallout Shelter Online[]

For the sake of justice in my heart, I seized power through mutiny

Guardians of attempts to restore human civilization

Raise the flag of the Brotherhood of Steel high

——Invincible in battle, invincible in attack!
— Announcement quote

Roger Maxson is a playable character in Fallout Shelter Online, the Asia-exclusive version of Fallout Shelter. He is an UR-grade hero, and as the founder of the Brotherhood, possesses undoubted excellent leadership skills and good personal combat skills. He has an excellent intuition and understanding of war, and he will step up to lead in time of crisis.

In terms of design ideas, the developers made Maxson into a more active use hero in a combat encounter, departing from the previous Brotherhood heroes, who were focused on continuous damage flows.


Before the outbreak of the Great War, Roger Maxson belonged to the United States Army. He was a captain at the time, appointed as the commander of the military team to protect the FEV virus test, supervising and protecting the virus test at the Mariposa military base. Horrified by the human testing, Roger Maxson mutinied and seized control of the military base. This led to the formation of the original Brotherhood of Steel.

Notable quotes[]

Fallout holotapes[]

  • "I finally replied to the outside world over our radio. I don't know why they never sent anyone here to see what was happening when we stopped responding to their transmissions. It doesn't make any sense. Well, they'll come now. I declared ourselves seceded from the union. They remember Jefferson Davis. What will history say about me?"
  • "We're leaving this godforsaken place today. I'm leading the exodus to the old government bunker at Lost Hills. I'm leaving this log behind to be buried when this place goes in the next exchange. Who knows, maybe someone will find it someday....."

Fallout 76 holotapes[]


Roger Maxson is mentioned in Fallout, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout: The Roleplaying Game, as well as Fallout 76 (which introduced his recorded voice) and its updates Steel Dawn and Steel Reign. He was added as a playable character in late 2021 to Fallout Shelter Online which gives him the first visual depiction in the series.

Behind the scenes[]

The cut radio request to find Belmonte and Kerry.

  • Fallout 76 may have given Maxson an even more prominent appearance, though this idea appears to have been scrapped early in development. There are several voice lines for Maxson that are not used anywhere, and can only be found by searching through all audio files. Most cut dialogue files have internal "scenes" attached to them, though these lines do not. At one point, direct contact was intended to have been established between Maxson and the Vault Dwellers of Vault 76. He would have asked the player character to find the bodies of Squires Belmonte and Kerry, and to report their cause of death in the "Brotherhood Terminal."[Non-canon 1] Technical data in the quest Forbidden Knowledge would also likely have been sent directly to Maxson and the Lost Hills team via uplink.
  • In the canceled Van Buren, the Maxson bunker would have been a Brotherhood of Steel outpost somewhere to the east of California. It was stated to have been named after Roger Maxson by his descendent, Jeremy Maxson.[Non-canon 2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Citadel terminal entries; Maxson archive terminal, Roger Maxson
  2. Vault Dweller: "Who leads the Brotherhood?"
    Scribe Valdez: "The Council of Elders, chief among them High Elder Maxson, our founder. He proclaimed our mission and set us on the path we follow today. Our expedition leader is Paladin Rahmani. She's an aggressive and daring commander who's taken us through many trials."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Captain Maxson's diary
  4. 4.0 4.1 Radio log: Aug 29 2077
  5. GPWRTERM.MSG: "{242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}"
    "{243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  6. GPWRTERM.MSG: "{236}{}{2077. FEV nears completion. Test on lab animals are at a near 100% success rate. Size and muscle density increase approximately 60%, and the protentialIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar intelligence increase by 200%. }"
    "{237}{}{Effects upon human subjects remain unknown; although they are theoretically promising. }"
    "{238}{}{The military, wishing to continue further testing, builds a large facility at the Mariposa military installation in central California. At this new facility, testing of the FEV virus continues on volunteer subjects from the military.}"
  7. FEV experiment disk: "Log Date January 7, 2077: Major Barnett has ordered transfer of all FEV research to the Mariposa Military Base. He plans to continue the project experiments on volunteer subjects. I am against this, and would like it noted here that research on human subjects is not recommended by myself or my staff."
  8. Maxson log
  9. Sophia's tape: "The Exodus from the accursed base was a trying time for the men and their families. While there was no radioactive fallout to contend with, they were frequently beset by the fallout of humanity. Roving bands of psychotic marauders attempted several attacks on that noble group.
    The company itself was in no danger, for they wore the Armor of Power. Members of their families were not so lucky. Once the vermin found out they were easily repelled, they began to fire on the unarmed civilians from a distance.
    They took a great many casualties, yet for every member of the Exodus that was struck down in this way, our noble brethren took two lives from the wasteland."
  10. Cabbot: The Vault Dweller: "{1012}{}{Exodus}"
    Cabbot: "{1111}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and went southwest. About ten years ago, we sent out knights to look for them, but all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
  11. Sophia's tape: "Yet there were those who sought still more. These restless souls demanded we look to the southeast for the advanced technology that was supposedly housed there.
    Capt. Maxson warned these impetuous youths that the research facility was doubtlessly destroyed when we were spared, but they would not hear his words. They took their sanctified armor and headed off to find their Holy Grail, but not before they spoke the Deliverer's name in vain, questioning his very bravery!
    These men were never heard from again."
  12. Sophia's tape: "In the fullness of time the bunker became our home, our temple and our salvation from the terrors of the outside world. We began to build and shape our fortress into something glorious, the beauty of which the technologically bereft world had never seen before."
  13. 13.0 13.1 Preservation of technology
  14. Elder Maxson's final conversation
  15. The nuclear option
  16. See Leila Rahmani for details.
  17. Vault Dweller: "Why did you come to Appalachia?"
    Scribe Valdez: "We're here to help the people of Appalachia, and to catalog any technological discoveries we find. We set up Fort Atlas to that end. This old observatory has a wealth of technology to discover, and is a good staging point for future operations. We also want to learn the fate of the old Appalachian chapter of our order. MIA, presumed KIA."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  18. Encrypted broadcasts
  19. Vault Dweller: "Who's Elder Maxson?"
    Scribe Valdez: "Oh, have we not explained that to you yet? It should have been part of your Initiation... Guess we just haven't had a chance to slow down. Sorry about that. Above the Paladins are the Elders. And leading the Elders is High Elder Maxson. He's the one who founded the Brotherhood, and decided to send us on our mission here."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  20. Vault Dweller: "Why is Shin so concerned with contacting Elder Maxson?"
    Scribe Valdez: "It was one of our orders. After setting up in Appalachia, we were to re-establish contact, make a report, and receive our next assignment. It's not that the Paladin has directly disobeyed that order, but... she's been more focused on helping Appalachia. Being in that position, as the leader of this whole operation, I can't even imagine how much she has to think about. I'm just trying to support both her and the Knight as much as I can. And hopefully get them back on the same page."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  21. Citadel terminal entries; Maxson archive terminal, Maxson II
  22. Sophia's tape: Finally, the forefathers came to the safety of the bunker. Capt. Maxson, the great deliverer, decreed this to be our new home, and all was well.
  23. John Maxson: "{106}{Gen_1}{Hello, youngster. Cabbot said you wanted to talk. Look I'm uh . . . I'm pretty stacked up right now, so I'll uh . . . I'll help you out as long as you don't start flappin' your gums too much. You know, outsiders are like that, always jawin' . . . Hehehe. Kinda like me, huh?}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{107}{}{Outsiders? What do you mean by that?}"
    John Maxson: "{113}{Gen_3}{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. }"
  24. The Vault Dweller: "{325}{}{You don't consider the Brotherhood's weaponry to be important?}"
    Sophia: "{337}{}{Vree seems to think that the research of new weaponry and the information gathered from Mutant autopsies is more important than our history. She has forgotten that our history is a vital part of our lives. It has gotten so bad that many of the new initiates don't even know who Roger Maxson is or what exactly he did for us.}"
  25. NCR history holodisk
  26. Citadel terminal entries; Maxson archive terminal, State of Maxson


  1. Fallout Bible 0 Timeline repair: Second strike:
    "2077 Nov Captain Maxson, his men, and their families, arrive at the Lost Hills bunker a few weeks later, suffering many casualties along the way, including Maxson's wife (but not his teenage son). The Lost Hills bunker becomes the HQ of the Brotherhood of Steel the Vault Dweller finds in Fallout 1."
  2. Fallout Bible 0 Timeline repair: Second strike:
    "2135 Elder Roger Maxson dies of cancer, and his son, already an accomplished soldier, takes up the role of "General" (Elder) within the Brotherhood of Steel. John Maxson becomes a member of the Paladins, showing tremendous promise as a soldier."
  3. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.98: "Squire Arthur Maxson
    Squire Maxson is a descendant of the legendary Roger Maxson, founder of the Brotherhood of Steel. His father, a high-ranking Paladin serving just outside the N.C.R. (New California Republic), was recently killed in battle, and his mother, the Lady Maxson, sent the boy east to be raised under the tutelage of the respected Elder Lyons. Squire Maxson tends toward timidity, which is the main reason his mother sent him to the Citadel."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)


  1. Cut contentFO76CC MaxsonMissionBrief.ogg
  2. Van Buren Maxson bunker design document p. 3: "In the year 2242, Jeremy Maxson renamed the bunker after his famous ancestor, Roger Maxson. He then sent a full compliment of troops for occupation."