Here's the scenario: I'm going after the neutral achievements for Fallout 3. I'm currently about halfway to leveling up again -- this time to 20, which would get me the next achievement.

I'm trying to avoid gaining or losing karma at least until I level up again. I haven't done too many quests, oddly, mostly for fear of the karma gain/loss. Also, oddly, I haven't really explored much of the world. (I haven't even been to Minefield! I lied to Moira ... )

It looks like I'll need < 500 XP to get this next level and its corresponding achievement. After that, I can be good (or evil) as needed until I'm close to level 30.

What are some places I can go, or quests I can do, which will have no effect on karma, but gain me enough XP so I can get this achievement and get on with the game?

In order to help with this a bit, here are the quests (off the top of my head) that I've completed:

  • Wasteland Survival Guide
  • Power of the Atom
  • Main storyline until I'm told to go find Dad in a vault
  • Operation: Anchorage
  • Mothership Zeta
  • Reilly's Rangers
  • Blood Ties
  • Stealing Independence
  • The Replicated Man

Aside from locations needed for those quests, here are some of the other places I've already visited (and in most cases, cleared, if they were hostile):

  • Museum of History (including Underworld and all other levels, all Lincoln artifacts retrieved)
  • Rivet City
  • Megaton (which is still standing)
  • Arlington Library
  • "Enough" of the metro to have gotten me through the portions of the storyline I've completed
  • Only a few places in DC proper (those needed for the missions above)
  • MDPL-13 power station (but not cleared, just "en route" to Mothership Zeta)

Like I said, I just need a few hundred XP until I feel safe and comfortable continuing to do the real missions. :) I do have all the DLC, but don't feel like doing The Pitt nor Point Lookout just yet.

Edit: To clarify, I'm either looking for side quests which have no karmic ramifications, or I'm looking for other sources of non-karmic XP. (In the latter case, most likely places to go clear of already-hostile creatures, such as feral ghouls or super mutants.) Anything that can non-karmically take me up a few thousand XP fairly rapidly to get me to level 20 where the achievement is. At that point, I can go back to doing whatever I want, because I already know how to balance it all out. (EG, I have a stockpile of scrap metal to hand Walter for free, a bunch of caps for church donations, a bunch of purified water for Carlos, and am not at all above breaking & entering & looting people's homes. :)

  • I've added an answer, but I'm not clear how much it will help...you say you already know how to balance your Karma out (and give examples for it)...so why are you worried about gaining only non-karmic XP, when you could just gain whatever XP/Karma you want, and then rebalance right before you level?
    – Beska
    Jul 20, 2010 at 18:23
  • BTW, I'm jealous. I want to forget all about this game so I can play it all again!
    – Beska
    Jul 20, 2010 at 18:24
  • @Beska: Because I am, essentially, right about to level ... Yes, I'm a "couple thousand" away, but I'm close enough that I feel uncomfortable karmic questing ...
    – John Rudy
    Jul 20, 2010 at 18:53
  • Gotcha. Okay...will add a bit of info about good xp areas that I know of...
    – Beska
    Jul 20, 2010 at 21:38
  • And I was wrong. Now that I'm back in my game, I see that I'm < 500 away ... :)
    – John Rudy
    Jul 20, 2010 at 21:58

3 Answers 3


This problem has different solutions depending on how you want to play.

If you're just looking for the achievement, one solution to your problem is to do whatever missions you want, choosing the side of good, until you get relatively close to your level point. Then go into a town and steal (for minor karmic reduction) or lay waste to entire towns (for major karmic reduction). You can quickly lower your karma this way. Then, once you're neutral, go kill some random creatures until you level.

(If you're looking to steal, a good place to do it is at Dukov's place… he's got stuff everywhere.)

The "nice" thing about this system is that if you stay on the path of "good" the whole time, you can do this at each achievement point: be bad until you get to the right karmic level, level up, get your achievement, and then restore a save to get back to your good self. You can quickly get "good", "neutral", and "evil" achievements for all levels on one playthrough this way.

(I did this, because I don't really enjoy long-term playing as an evil character… but I do like my achievements!)

You could also do this as an evil or neutral character, but it's much easier to quickly drop from "good" down to your new goal, than to work your way up.

If you find that you're close to leveling, and you're at the right karmic level, and don't want to take a chance on changing your Karma by doing a story-type adventure, you can always go wandering looking for random bad people to take out. Going near the Washington Mall can get you some XP fairly quickly, and you can go inside the capitol building and clear out large areas without picking up any Karma, positive or negative.

  • I've actually found the opposite, that it's a lot harder to lose 'good' karma than it is bad. You can be completely evil, give away a few bottles of purified water to beggars, and be back at good in no time. I steal all the time and barely make it to neutral.
    – Robotnik
    Apr 29, 2013 at 4:29

As long as you don't complete a quest with significant positive/negative karma ramifications, you should be able to balance your karma with some simpler, non-quest activities:

Positive balance:

  1. giving caps to the church in Megaton
  2. giving purified water to the beggar outside of Megaton
  3. for a serious positive balancer - you can donate scrap metal to Walter after completing the unmarked water treatment pipe leaks quest in Megaton.

Negative balance:

  1. stealing :) Any item described in red will result in negative karma if taken. However, if you steal something in front of another person, they may begin treating you as hostile which can lead to option (2)...
  2. killing a townsperson. (this can be tricky as killing one usually leads to a mob assault, which usually leads to the whole town being wiped out)

Once your experience starts getting close - visit Megaton or any other settlement and try to balance yourself out.

  • Way ahead of you there. Been using that tactic all along. It's just at the achievement points that I want to avoid questing (or at least karma questing) altogether. The currently-assigned quest I know will result in some karmic change (the simulation in Vault 112, I believe?), so I want to be level 20 before that even begins. :)
    – John Rudy
    Jul 20, 2010 at 16:19
  • yeah, the Vault 112 simulation should definitely be postponed in your situation. Have you gone to the Supermarket near Megaton? I recall there being a good number of raiders and things to hack/lockpick there - but no substantial karmic changes...
    – dls
    Jul 20, 2010 at 17:14
  • I didn't consider revisiting that ... Good call. Also thinking of trying to find (again) Dunwich ... Ghouls are a good slaughter for non-karmic XP. Too bad I'm so high up I'll start getting those darned Reavers ...
    – John Rudy
    Jul 20, 2010 at 18:55

You guys are going of being neutral too stratiegically. My main character is neutral and the best way to be neutral IS doing the quests that alter karma. Being neutral doesn't mean gain experience as carefully as possible. It means playing the game YOUR way, making the choices YOU want. Sure you will hit the good and evil marks sometimes. But the beauty is that you can do more quests to balance it out! But if you need to know there are some things that give you neutral karma off the bat.(Gaining neutral Karama results in a vault-boy with a beard to appear. Rather than one with a halo or horns.)

During Growing Up Fast! When Amata is being harassed by Butch.Simply run up and punch Butch. This grants neutral karma. While its relitavely useless so early in the game.

During Trainquilaty Lane do all of the girls task except the last one, go activate the failsafe. And youll get neutral karma.

  • 1
    Hmm. Interesting. When I play the game "MY way, making the choices I want", I end up very Good. I think this may mean that your way is very different from my way.
    – Beska
    Jul 2, 2015 at 11:27

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