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For the Wasteland and Wasteland 2 faction, see Rail Nomads.

Desert Nomads is a location in Wasteland and the headquarters of the Rail Nomads faction.


The Desert Nomads are a large group of wastelanders who make use of an old, dilapidated freight train to travel through the nuked-out Nevada. While at first sight it might seem they are quite advanced technologically, in reality, they became a borderline tribal community, forming a clan-based society with a polytheistic religion, the train becoming an arcane item, an idol. Their basic source of sustenance are herds of longhorn cattle that are also used to pull the train. They also possess the astonishing hobo oracle.

In 2087, the Nomads set up camp to the north of camp Highpool. Their train is sitting on a sideline and by this time it became a ramshackle collection of railroad cars, patched with wood, hide, and an odd piece of corrugated aluminum with only the engine and the caboose in better condition. The clans' asbestos tents are set up on the other side of the railway.

The settlement includes a well equipped trading car (including an engine), a car with gambling machines and a small sidequest to be taken from the Brakeman. And, of course, a tent where you can face pistol packing babies. Ahh, humanity.

The Clans[]


They are a trustworthy and hard working lot, as described by the Engineer, who is an Atchison himself. The Brakeman is also an Atchison, although he's suspected to be part-Topekan.


The richest and most powerful of the clans, the Topekans are also the least trustworthy. Their scheming and intrigues have earned them little regard.

Sante Fes[]

The poorest, but generally honest clan.


  • You can talk to the Engineer in the locomotive of the train to gain some information about the Nomads.
  • There is a slot machine in the first wagon of the train.
  • In the Trading Car you can buy an engine which is needed for the water purifier in Highpool.
  • Visit the Brakeman in the last wagon. He gives you a Visa Card and asks you to deliver it to Head Crusher in Quartz.
  • The tent to the east belongs to the Santa Fe clan. You can't enter the tent. All you can do is asking the guard about the Atchisons in which case the guard points you the tent in the west. If you tell him Head Crusher's password (CATERPILLAR) then the guard disappears into the tent to ask someone about it. He returns enlightened but ignores you.
  • The middle tent belongs to the Topekan clan. If you ask them about the Atchisons or give the guard Head Crusher's password (CATERPILLAR) then the guard will lure you into the tent and you will be attacked by numerous Topekans.
  • The west tent houses the Atchisons. If you give them the password, their guard directs you to a secret cache (found in the paragraphs) which you can dig up. And be ambushed at.
  • In one of the wagons lives the Hobo Oracle. Give him Snake squeezin and he reads your future.
  • One of the Topeka you kill in the tent drops a Broken toaster.

Random encounters[]

Name Type Exp. Pts. Maxcon AC Skill Damage Weapon type Range Group
Pic-1-10.png Dire Coyote Animal 45 3-18 2 2 2d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-10.png Nuke Pooch Animal 200 12-62 3 1 2d6 Melee Melee 1-3
Pic-1-54.png Gila Monitor Animal 240 15-75 3 1 1d6 Melee Melee 1-3
Pic-1-44.png Rail Raider Humanoid 75 6-31 2 1 3d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-6.png Rail Raider Humanoid 75 6-31 2 18 3d6 Semi-auto Short 1-3
Pic-1-44.png Rail Thief Humanoid 60 5-25 2 1 1d6 Melee Melee 1-5

Fixed encounters[]

Name Type Exp. Pts. Maxcon AC Skill Damage Weapon type Range Group
Pic-1-44.png Topekan Man Humanoid 60 5-25 2 1 2d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-13.png Topekan Woman Humanoid 15 3-18 0 1 1d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-56.png Topekan Child Humanoid 10 2-12 0 1 1d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-44.png Topekan Elder Humanoid 15 3-18 0 1 1d6 Melee Melee 1-5
Pic-1-56.png Baby Topeka Humanoid 5 1-6 0 25 1d6+1 Semi-auto Short 1