Here's the situation:

  • I finished Cass's quest (Heartache by the Numbers) peacefully, with stealth. I was not caught by the Crimson Caravan nor the Van Graffs with my sneaking around for their secrets, and Cass and I reported them both to NCR.
  • I am idolized by both NCR and (I'm not sure how this happened) Crimson Caravan.

I popped into Freeside to go looking for Rex, because I thought I needed him for Jimmy's Well (oops, didn't), and the Silver Rush Crier started shooting at me. I took him down, and as I approached the Atomic Wrangler, a bunch of Van Graff thugs appeared outside the Silver Rush. I dispatched them, went inside, and Gloria, Jean-Baptiste and their thugs were all trying to kill me. Well, being an NCR guy (erm, this run) through and through, I wiped them all out.

But my question is why. They didn't catch me when I was stealthy (I was using a stealth boy and showed [HIDDEN] the entire time), they didn't catch me stealing (why not, I was using a stealth boy already), and I got away clean with Cass. So why were they hostile the next time I entered Freeside?

  • maybe they smelled you? hygiene doesn't seem like a big thing in the wastes
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 5:04
  • Was Cass with you? I just had this same thing happen last night. She was with me, and I think she may have shot first...
    – Zoredache
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 9:01
  • @Zoredache Han shot first: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_shot_first
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 16:06

6 Answers 6


The Van Graffs and their thugs are set to become hostile as soon as you complete the quest in a negative way for them.

If you need an in-game explanation, they might have an informer in the NCR army.

  • 2
    That's it. Seems like this was changed in Patch 1.2.0: fallout.wikia.com/wiki/…
    – Wilerson
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 13:12
  • It's possible to get both perks this way actually. Completing the quest the peaceful way, and ending the quest, locks it in and she gets that perk. Then, if/when they attack you, you get the Hand of Vengance. I saw on, I believe it was the wiki, that you actually get both this way, despite that the first no longer shows up in the perk list.
    – Selonianth
    Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 3:36
  • Am unsure what ending you get out of it though.
    – Selonianth
    Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 3:36

As of patch 1.2 taking the non-violent path to "Heartache by the Number" makes the Van Graffs hostile to you even if you weren't caught during the mission.

Be careful because killing Gloria will result in Rose of Sharon Cassidy wanting to complete the quest the "violent" way. On the upside it is possible to get the Hand of Vengeance perk if you have changed your mind.


Is it possible you were dressed as the NCR or some other faction?


Yes, they are automatically set to become hostile after the patch. Just kill Gloria first and Cass will want to kill the Van Graffs. Choose to loot them. You can then wipe them out and steal all their stuff without penalties. Plus you get both of Cass' perks if you do peaceful first. That may be a bug, but it is proven you keep both. Not sure what will happen if you go back to the outpost. About to check it out, but by the looks of it, nothing, since it didn't give me any NCR infamy.


The Van Graffs get hostile after ratting them out to the NCR, and that's fine with me, it's pretty logical really.

The thing is that the quest to peacefully "take down" the Van Graffs and the Crimson Caravan (Birds of a Feather) fails as you enter the part of Freeside that has the Kings, the Wrangler, the entrance to The Strip and the Van Graffs (kind of hard to avoid for the rest of the game), even if you don't shoot back since the Van Graff thugs will get attacked by every other Freeside NPC after they attack you.

This means that you can't really finish the game with the peaceful Cass quest, since it will fail forever if you even enter the above mentioned part of Freeside. Basically they patched the game to automatically break one quest, or at least that's how it looks to me, taking all things into account. Am I wrong?


I know this question is old, but it appears as the most relevant result on Google when it comes to this issue and thought I might be able to help out with anyone else having this problem.

Unfortunately as stated before, they become hostile upon completion of "Heartache by the Number".

However, if you have a silenced weapon and a decent enough Sneak modifier (or a Stealth Boy), taking down Simon and the Silver Rush Crier outside with stealth will prevent the Van Graffs and Silver Rush guards from being alerted and harassing you outside, allowing you to pass through Freeside without having to finish the questline the 'violent' way.

Albeit, this still prevents you from entering Silver Rush and purchasing anything, since everyone inside still remains hostile. But if you're going for a more pacifist playthrough, this may be a decent alternative.

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