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Read in a different thread that you can't assign a named settler to a Supply Line. (Can't remember her name right off, but the gripey/crabby one.) However, I tried to assign a different, named one to a Guard Post and that didn't work either.

Can you assign 'named settlers' to anything specific?

  • Nothing concrete enough, but definetly. There is a particular settler I am specifically aware of, as they can be assigned to harvest crop, and will harvest more then an unnamed settler. – user106385 Jan 6 '16 at 12:11
  • Odd that you couldn't assign them to a guard post... named settlers seem to usually be ok with being assigned to basically anything in the same settlement. I even have Mama Murphy assigned to a scavenging workbench. – Broots Waymb Jan 6 '16 at 14:28
  • @Timelord64 elaborate? – user131854 Jan 6 '16 at 14:31
  • Usually you can assign them to tasks, however I had some troubles with people in Covenant and guard posts. The assignation worked, but he never walked to it. – Pierre-Luc Pineault Jan 6 '16 at 14:42
  • @tubes, IIRC it is the Vault Tec rep; however, I could be mistaking this for a different unique I had 'enlisted'. I could not say how reliable my sourve was, either. I was more concerned with plot then harvesting. – user106385 Jan 6 '16 at 15:16
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From personal experience, I can tell you that it is possible to assign at least some of the named settlers to at least some duties.

For example, here's a few assignments I have done before. A couple of these are still in place on my current game:

  • Marcy Long: Farming (By the way, she's probably the "gripey one" you're talking about.)
  • Jun Long: Defense
  • Preston Garvey: Scavenging
  • Sheffield: Farming

- Vault-Tec Representative: Trading Emporium (This is actually recommended, as he will become a "Tier 4" vendor here.)

Personally, I haven't encountered (or just cannot recall) a case where I've been unable to assign any settler to a duty of my choosing. But, I haven't really experimented much with it either.

It is conceivable that there may be some rules in place, affecting certain critical NPCs, in order to protect the story flow. But it would take a good deal of thorough playtesting to enumerate all those rules (determining which named NPCs can or cannot do which jobs).

The first case you give seems to be one of the most likely ones to get blocked in general though. You're trying to assigned a named NPC as a Provisioner (that's what people running the Supply Lines are called - more on that shortly). That's something you generally wouldn't want to do to a named NPC - both in gaming terms and in programming terms - for two reasons:

  1. Provisioners are unavailable to the player, or at least difficult to locate, most of the time as they are constantly physically traveling between the endpoints of their assigned Supply Line. This is fine for generic NPCs, but most named NPCs need to be readily accessible to the player (and at a player-predictable - sometimes even mission-specific - location) at certain points in the game.
  2. Provisioners actually get renamed to "Provisioner". That's okay for generic NPCs who would just be named "Settler" to begin with. Not so much for named NPCs. It may just be easier or more efficient to program named NPCs so that they're excepted from selection for the job role, rather than to program their exception from the rename. Or this may not have even come into consideration, given that #1 above is a pretty strong reason to block them from the role on its own.

At this point though, I'm just speculating. I have not yet tested assigning a named NPC to a Supply Line. If I get the chance, I'll update this answer. (Or someone else who already has is welcome to.)

Tip: If you can, you probably want to avoid assigning named NPCs (especially companions) to stores unless they're "Tier 4" vendors. Otherwise, their normal dialog options tend to get in the way of trading a bit. Even some of the "Tier 4" vendors have this problem (The one mentioned in spoiler text above still makes me wait through his rather long ambient ramblings before I can actually Barter with him.) but at least they make it worthwhile.

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    +1. I usually have Marcy assigned to guard duty. She constantly complains about security, might as well have her deal with it herself. – DCShannon Jan 6 '16 at 23:54
  • @DCShannon exactly – Dpeif Jan 7 '16 at 5:02
  • You can assign Codsworth to scavenging aswell – Lyrion Jan 7 '16 at 9:41
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    @DCShannon One of my favorites is when she says I'd better not be telling anybody about this place... while she's surrounded by over a dozen other NPCs that have joined the settlement after her. – Iszi Jan 7 '16 at 20:59
  • @Iszi Well that wasn't me. That was the recruitment beacon. Yell at the recruitment beacon. Or Preston. Yeah, yell at Preston. – DCShannon Jan 7 '16 at 21:04

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