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Vault 52
Vault 52.jpeg
General Information
Establishment: 2060
Disestablishment: 2258 (original inhabitants)
Status: Derelict, used as bait by cannibalistic raiders
Location Information
Location: Rapid City, South Dakota
Societal Information
Population: 16
Factions: Carnists
Notable Events: Great War (2077), Opening (2258), Battle of Vault 52 (2276)

Vault 52 is an abandoned vault in Rapid City, South Dakota. Its experiment was to test out a new type of pill that would make the vault dwellers work harder, stay awake longer, and eat less. This worked well enough until 2258 when the vault's pill supply ran out, and the inhabitants went through severe withdrawal symptoms, such as paranoia, hysteria, and psychosis, causing them to leave and ravage Rapid City. After that, Vault 52 was occupied a few other times by other groups, most recently a group of cannibals known as the Carnists who use the vault as bait.


Vault 52 was built in 2060 by Vault-Tec in Rapid City, South Dakota outside of a suburb. However, since the vault was not used for a few years, an Army Surplus store was built on top of the vault's entrance but did not wall it off, keeping it in the basement. The people of the nearby neighborhood were put through repeated drills by their future Overseer, to the annoyance of the Army Surplus store owner.

When the bombs started falling on the West Coast and the Great War began in full swing, the people of the suburb decided to enter Vault 52 early on October 23, 2077. However, their way was blocked by the heavily armed Army Surplus store owner, who demanded to enter Vault 52 as well. The Overseer, unarmed and pressed for time, complied and allowed the store owner to enter the vault as well. After all the suburb residents (and the store owner) entered vault, the door swung shut and sealed itself behind them. About an hour later, the vault dwellers could hear the explosions above them and felt the ground shake from nuclear detonations. That had passed by the next day.

For the next few days, the Overseer began putting down some ground rules and showing people around the vault. Food was distributed as well as a new type of pill that the Overseer assured them would improve efficiency, focus, and libido. They had to take it three times a day, before every meal. A few vault dwellers tried to abstain from taking the pills, but the Overseer pressured them. By 2079, everyone in the vault was taking the pills except for the Army Surplus store owner and his new family, who were armed and extremely paranoid about the Overseer.

Within a generation, though, the store owner had died, and the entire vault was on the pill. This continued on for years and years without incident. Vault 52 actually prospered and its population ballooned in the next century or so. Most of the vault was unaware of what was to come, though.

The Overseer and some of the vault's science division were well-informed on the vault experiment and carried it out to the letter. The experiment was simple: give the test pills to the vault dwellers and come out in fifty years. The only catch was that the vault did not open after fifty years as originally planned since the scouts sent topside only returned with stories of raiders, mutants, and other horrors. However, by the mid-2200s, twin disasters were looming on the horizon: overpopulation and running out of the titular pills. The Overseer and his scientists were more concerned about overpopulation, though, so they started taking measures to alleviate the problem such as forced sterilization and hot bunking beginning in 2252. Not even the Overseer would not expect what happened next.

On June 3, 2258, the Overseer and Vault Security went into the storage room only to find there pill dispenser only regurgitates a little more than half of the pills needed that day. Surprised and frustrated, the Overseer simply had to make do, instituting a "pill ration".

This did not overly concern many people, as the pills were a necessary but not well-liked part of life in the vault that they had always known. Some even were happy about not having to take it. This changed about two days later. The first symptoms of pill withdrawal began. Paranoia, hysteria, and ultimately psychosis were the primary symptoms that popped up, especially among young developing people. As the week went on, the number of people going through withdrawal only increased. This worried the Overseer, who knew the supply was low, so he decided to horde the last of the pills among him, the scientists, and Vault Security and leave Vault 52 to its fate.

This did not go over well with many in Security, and several told their relatives. By that time, Vault 52 was already falling apart with knifings become increasingly common. However, when word that they were being abandoned inside the vault reached the regular vault dwellers, it turned into something much worse.

Already chem addled and mad as hell, the vault dwellers exploded after hearing they were being abandoned. The hydroponics wing was burned, and the armory was sacked, with the Overseer abandoning the command center to make a dash for the vault door with his allies so they could quickly close it behind them while turning the vault's turrets against his own people. This almost succeeded.

After dispatching the Overseer and opening the vault door, the raging vault dwellers, now in the full grips of psychosis, burst out onto the wasteland, first killing the group of junkies that had taken up residence in the ruins of the Army Surplus store. From there, with their heightened senses, good weapons, and wealth of Pip-Boys, the vault dwellers wrecked havoc on the rest of Rapid City, only comforted by a needle or the sweet embrace of death.

The vault dwellers' rampage had ended by the winter of 2258, when most had either died, become regular raiders, or been captured by slavers. Several groups of vault dwellers attempted to return to Vault 52 to ride out the winter, but that was stopped by the Dakota Regulators, who leveled the old Army Surplus store and covered up the vault's entrance with debris.

This may have stopped the vault dwellers, but it did not halt scavengers for long. The opportunistic vultures dug another entrance into Vault 52 by 2260 and had picked it clean by later that year.

The vault remained mostly empty aside from squatters for several more years until 2276. That year, Custer's American Army tried to establish an outpost in Vault 52, restoring some of its facilities and fortifying it against attack. This offended the American Northern Army, who sent a covert kill team led by Tom Renner to take them out later that year in 2276.

The Battle of Vault 52 was quick and bloody. Almost all of the troops stationed there were killed, and the ANA torched the place so it could not be reused. Custer abandoned the notion of a base in the city center of Rapid City after that.

Even after the Battle of Vault 52 in 2276, scavengers continued to come to Vault 52 to scrounge for salvage. This attracted the attention of the Carnists, a cannibal raider gang led by a man by the name of Bloodbutt. Bloodbutt, in a rare moment of intelligence, figured that using Vault 52 as bait for scavengers and explorers would provide a steady food supply. With the help of former vault dweller Creeper, the Carnists set up their trap in 2283 and have been exploiting it for years. Most Rapid City residents know the danger of the Carnists as well as the fact most think Vault 52 is haunted, but newcomers and the foolish are always easy prey.


Vault 52 was originally located in the basement of an Army Surplus store, right outside of a ruined suburb. The store was blown apart in 2258 by the Dakota Regulators, so now it stands only in certain places. Some sandbags and barricades set up by Custer's American Army are also present on the surface. The Carnists' camp is just out of sight, ready to pounce on scavengers and explorers as soon as they go in.


The entrance of Vault 52 is closed on the inside by a reinforced high-security door and from the outside by a massive, gear-shaped, four-foot thick vault door. Nowadays, though. Vault 52's door is not locked and is free for anyone to just walk in. Behind the entrance is a series of gangways and the remnants of an Emergency Medical Lab, long ago looted for its medicine and Auto-Doc.

Living Quarters

At the time of its opening, Vault 52 was nearing maximum capacity for its population and begun hot-bunking in 2254. The living quarters of Vault 52 could comfortably seat five hundred people and at a maximum house a little more than a thousand with hot-bunking. An Entertainertron was once used as entertainment but was taken by looters after the vault opened. The living quarters wing of the vault lies between the Command Center and hydroponics wing. It now stands empty and picked clean.

Command Center

The command center of Vault 52 sits at the heart of the vault, with its center being the Overseer's command post. The overseer's command post's dual 5.56mm miniguns now sit empty, devoid of ammunition, but there are still turrets around that have been reactivated.

Besides the command post, the command center also contains an armory, a computer lab, a library, and the common store room, where the vault's supplies of food, equipment, and artifacts were stored. The pill dispenser was also inside the storage room. The vault's school is located between the command center and hydroponics wing.


The hydroponics wing was where much of the fresh food was grown as well as where the water purification system was located in Vault 52. It was torched when the vault was opened when a lone member of vault security tried to defend it from rampaging addicts. Now, it stands empty, and its water purification system is unsalvageable.

Residents of Note


The boss of the Carnists, Bloodbutt is a brutish uncaring killer who will eat you as soon as look at you. He leads his fellow raiders well and collaborates with Creeper to keep the Carnists' operation in the abandoned Vault going. He lives outside the vault in the Carnists' camp and has a "small" harem of sex slaves.


Creeper is a Mentat addict and a former inhabitant of Vault 52 who became a raider after the vault was opened in 2258. Though not a mechanic of any sort, Creeper managed to assist the Carnists in reactivating the automated turrets inside Vault 52 and keeping the vault in order. Creeper, once named Marilyn Harper, is not a cannibal but was desperate to return to the vault and maintain her Mentat fix, so she assisted the Carnists. She also lives outside the vault in the Carnists' camp.

This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.