Imagine this: it’s your first-time playing Fallout 76 and you’re just exiting your vault, entering the vast open wasteland. Your mind wanders with the possibilities of what lies in store for you, when out of nowhere a group of players wearing bunny heads stage an ambush, showering you with stimpaks and carrots. For some, this bizarre scenario became a reality when they encountered the Bunnyhood of Steel, a 11-person strong photo mob and roleplaying group that exists within Fallout 76.
Their mission statement is simple: the recovery and preservation of technology and carrots, and the elimination of any group who stands in their way.
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The group initially began life as a throwaway joke for Easter, riffing off the austere and authoritarian Brotherhood of Steel faction from the earlier Fallout games. However, it has since grown into its own identity.
“I’ve been a die-hard Fallout fan since Fallout 3 and I even went back and played the originals,” says CMDRLlama, one of the co-founders of the Bunnyhood. “The one group that’s always stood out to me was the Brotherhood of Steel. So, one day shortly after Easter, we were all playing and it hit me like a sack of bricks. I said, ‘We are now The Bunnyhood of Steel.’ From that moment on, we donned the bunny masks and started serving our higher calling to protect Appalachia from the threat of abominations. We diligently maintain peace and order, for democracy is non-negotiable!”
The Bunnyhood is a great example of the type of creativity and ingenuity that exists within the Fallout 76 community. When Fallout 76 released, two of the areas that drew the most criticism were its lack of living human NPCs and meaningful player alignments. Players could make a point of joining both the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel, despite their ideological differences, with minimal narrative importance or crossover resulting from either event. In the absence of this cross-faction interaction, it’s been left to players to fill the void and they haven’t been short on ideas. From churches dedicated to space-faring cats to cannibal gangs and homeowner’s associations, they’ve populated Appalachia with their own weird and wonderful communities.
The Bunnyhood fits into this phenomenon, taking advantage of Fallout 76’s ridiculous wardrobe options in order to create their own unique faction.
What’s Up, Wasteland?
To get the support of their fellow wastelanders, the Bunnyhood have made a habit of helping others — protecting workshops, sharing resources, and assisting new players in levelling up. So far, it’s been a pretty effective method of getting people onside, with many of these individuals later joining the Bunnyhood to help out where possible.
CMDRLlama elaborates, “The main thing we look for in a recruit is someone willing to help the community and willing to do their part, not because they get anything out of it, but because they love Fallout, the community, and this crazy idea Bethesda had to give us this sandbox. That’s all we ask, is to be willing to do their part!”
The Bunnyhood member Derby322, for instance, joined the group shortly after they helped him grind to level 100. In return for this favour, he’s since built the group a secure headquarters, situated high above Appalachia where they can keep an eye on their enemies from a distance.
But it hasn’t all been friendships and Nukashines. The Bunnyhood have found themselves embroiled in a rivalry with those who are opposed to their mission statement. This includes the rival group known as the Bearclave, who take their name from another well-known Fallout faction, the Enclave, who claim to be the continuation of the pre-war government from before the nukes dropped.
The conflict between the two sides has mostly taken place inside of Fallout 76’s adventure mode, with the two parties butting heads over the possession of workshops. Like all good feuds, though, it has also occasionally spilled over onto Twitter, represented in a series of increasingly ridiculous photoshoots and propaganda tweets.
“The Bearclave made their presence known when they abducted one of our officers and proceeded to post about it on Twitter,” CmdrLlama tells me. Ever since then we’ve been in a fierce battle! We retaliated by capturing one of the Bearclave’s members, stripping them of all that they own, and giving them a stern note describing what we would do to the Bearclave if we ever caught them again!
“Shortly thereafter, we noticed Bearclave members popping up in Nuclear Winter so we made it our mission to make sure these Appalachian abominations never make it to the status of vault overseer! We’ve even went as far as tampering with nukes, so the Bearclave can’t launch any more further destroying Appalachia for their benefit!”
But the Bearclave tell a somewhat different story, painting the carrot-chomping Bunnyhood as the true aggressors.
“The Bearclave are focused on protecting and living up to the pre-war values of America as well as preserving the forests regions of Appalachia,” a representative for the Bearclave tells me. “We are tired of the Bunnyhood’s constant interference and their damaging of natural surroundings in their quest for carrots. A Bunnyhood member tried to overtake the ammunition factory we had claimed. We also suspect a few members orchestrated a nuclear strike on us while we were engaged with a Scorchbeast Queen.”
Of Course You Realize, This Means War
Behind the scenes, both the Bunnyhood and the Bearclave were started by the same players. Nothing spices things up like a little rivalry, after all, and with these two organizations, players are picking up where Bethesda left off and trying to create a genuine inter-faction struggle in the wasteland. They have big plans, too.
“We’re all excited for private servers,” says CMDRLlama. “We actually have a location at Pleasant Valley Cabins where we will be hosting Friday night fights when private servers roll out! There’s a raider arena located there. We have also been throwing around a few other ideas too, like trying to fill a server of all Bunnyhood and Bearclave members to have an all-out war.”
Additionally, the two groups are also hoping for a few additions to the existing factions within Fallout 76. In particular, they’re eager for more faction-based rewards and activities in order to better showcase player alignments and enhance their own roleplaying experiences.
CMDRLlama explains, “As far as factions go, we would love to see more things added like faction-based events with faction-based rewards, even maybe expanding on the hunter/hunted gameplay a little.”
Fallout 76 may have fallen short of many people’s expectations at launch, but its passionate fan community have embraced it regardless and come up with a myriad of new ways to play. The battles between the Bunnyhood and the Bearclave are just one example, demonstrating what can happen when players get together and collaborate to create their own stories within the game’s world.