Before the Great War, Vernon Dodge was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He took a job bagging groceries once his service was finished, describing himself as burned out, with no family or friends. After the bombs dropped, he survived but began to suffer from alcoholism. Years later, a recruiter for the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel found Dodge and convinced him to join, giving him a "second lease on life, and maybe even civilization."
At some point, Dodge (who had achieved the rank of Initiate) developed a friendship with a younger member of the Appalachian Brotherhood. However, the kid had "a lot more stick than carrot," suffering a nervous breakdown and going AWOL in the night. Initiate Dodge saw it as his duty to track him down, before anyone like Senior Knight Wilson would notice that the kid had gone missing. By the time Dodge caught up with him, they were both completely lost, a day's distance away from Appalachia and unable to gather their bearings. While they were lost, the two were attacked and captured by a group of raiders practicing slavery. Dodge spent the next decade enslaved, fighting in arenas and killing opponents without mercy, so that he would not end up as a corpse on a cold floor. Over that decade, he lost an eye (and now wears an eyepatch), and his young friend died.
Dodge was eventually brought to the Watoga Civic Center, another arena run by Sargento's gang. Because he was so close to home, Dodge's anger boiled over. He strangled his handler with a slave collar and "ran like hell" to escape. A search party was sent to recapture Dodge, but he managed to escape, albeit with a bullet in his leg, giving him a limp.
Because of his unwitting desertion, Initiate Dodge was ultimately one of the few surviving members of the Appalachian Brotherhood, who were virtually wiped out by the Scorched. Once he was free, he returned to find almost all of his comrades dead. He went back into hiding, taking residence in Watoga Towers, and documenting his accounts for approximately three weeks, taking note of certain occurences on a terminal. He has only recently re-emerged with the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force's arrival from New California, seeking to establish a groundwork to support them.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
|This character offers miscellaneous services.||
- After completing the quest, the Vault Dweller can ask Dodge about his past. Inquiring about his desertion requires Strength 12+, Intelligence 12+, or Luck 10+ by pointing out his scars, the inconsistencies in his story, and sarcasm, respectively.
- With the release of Steel Dawn, one can now inform him that the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force has arrived at Fort Atlas. Dodge will be reluctant to join them due to his status as a deserter, insisting on redeeming himself in exile. One can use Strength 15+ or Charisma 10+ to convince him, either by calling him out on cowardice or convincing him that they need the help of a veteran. Dodge will relent, collect his personal items, and move to Fort Atlas to reconvene with the group. Upon arriving, he will don the special operations suit and be greeted with a variety of reactions. Talking to Shin will reveal that the knight is dismissive of him as a "slovenly deserter", but doesn't mind his presence if he keeps up with his daily ops (or playing with his radios, as Shin calls it) and bathroom detail. Scribe Valdez, on the other hand, will be ecstatic for two reasons: One, showing compassion to a fellow veteran, and two, gaining access to a font of knowledge on the Appalachian Brotherhood's proprietary technologies.
Initiate Dodge is the main point of contact for the Daily Ops feature, guiding the player character through missions. He maintains communication with the player character throughout the Daily Op, occasionally appearing via a transmission on the righthand side of the HUD.
Although Dodge will equip a special ops suit when he arrives at Fort Atlas, his transmission image during Daily Ops will not change to reflect this.
Behind the scenes
Lead level designer and product owner of Daily Ops Steve Massey created the initial concept for Dodge, though a different quest designer crafted Dodge's appearance and wrote his character. Massey asked for a "badass grizzled chain smoker" in the design, and later joked that he may have mentioned the 1996 film Escape from L.A., whose protagonist, Snake Plissken, bears a strong resemblance to Dodge.
- Vault Dweller: "Why did you join the Brotherhood?"
Initiate Vernon Dodge: " "
- Vault Dweller: "Sounds pretty rough."
Initiate Vernon Dodge: " "
Vault Dweller (Fallout 76): "You were just trying to help that recruit. That's hardly deserting."
Initiate Vernon Dodge: " Center fight pits. looking for any Brotherhood tech I can fix. "
- Vault Dweller: "What's the real story behind you 'deserting?'"
Initiate Vernon Dodge: "Real story is that I was a naïve fool. I left my post, let the Brotherhood down. Came back to more fallen comrades than I can count."
- Initiate Vernon Dodge: "I'm Initiate Vernon Dodge with the Appalachian chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel. "
- BGS_Steve on Bethesda Game Studios' official Discord