The Outer Worlds

The Amateur Alchemist

Nathan Garvin
Quest Information .
Location: Terra 2 - Roseway
How to Start: Talk to Vaughn Cortes

During the quest Passage to Anywhere, talk to Gladys on Groundbreaker to start the quest The Distress Signal, which will allow you to access the Rosewater location on Terra 2. Land there, then make your way to the town of Rosewater and talk to Vaughn Cortes to start this quest. He was in the middle of an experiment - extracting Raptidon musk for use in an aphrodisiac, to be precise - when the lab was attacked, and… well, the stuff is valuable enough for him to ask you to recover it.

To advance this quest you’ll need to make your way to the Covert Lab near the southern end of the map, which is where the quest The Doom that Came to Roseway also occurs. Suffice to say, there’s a good bit of overlap between the two quests, and instructions for making your way through the lab can be found in greater detail in the page for that quest.

(1 of 3) Talk to Vaughn and he’ll ask you to secure some Raptidon Musk .

Make your way to the Cover Lab by following the road south from the town of Roseway, past the Auntie-Biotics Lab, avoiding groups of marauders and raptidons as you go. Near the southeastern end of the map you’ll reach a fork which is heavily populated by marauders. Take the southern branch in the road to reach an entrance to the Covert Lab, near which Lillian stands guard. If you talk to her you can pick up the quest Journey Into Smoke, although this quest isn’t relevant to your current objective.

From the door Lillian guards head uphill to the south to find another entrance to the Cover Lab, via a ventilation duct in the ground. Enter the Covert Lab and make your way east along a walkway, pass through a barred door, then turn south and go through another doorway. Ahead of you is the only major complication in this quest, a patrolling Outlaw Sniper. If you can, pick him off with a sneak attack or sneak past him, but be warned that if you fail to dispatch him in one shot a nearby Outlaw Squad Leader and a Tamed Canid will join the fray.

(1 of 2) Pick up the Rapti-Prod weapon

Pick up the Rapti-Prod weapon (left), then interact with the terminal and either recalibrate the experiment to get double the doses of musk, extra a single dose if your skill isn’t sufficient to recalibrate, or destroy the samples if you’re stung by morality. (right)

Once past the outlaws, turn east down another ramp and ignore a woman - Cassandra O’Malley - who will call out from behind some bars to the north. Instead go through a door to the south to reach Vaughn’s Lab. Search a table in the depressed area in the middle of the lab to find the unique Rapti-prod weapon, a two-handed tossball stick modified with a Mag-2-Zap mod.

Loot the lab, and when you’re ready to advance this quest examine a terminal to the west to get a variety of options:

– The ideal choice, if you can pull it off, is picking the [Science 50] [Recalibrate Experiment] option, as it will get you two doses of Raptidon Musk. If you can’t pass this check you’ll only gain one dose, which leads to some compromises when it comes time to cash in… specifically that you can’t give a dose to both Vaughn and Gladys, and if you choose to give a dose to Gladys you’ll fail The Amateur Alchemist unless you first talk to the Vaughn and pass a [Lie 100] check. Not ideal.

With both doses in hand, return to Vaughn and you can give him both doses for… the same reward you’d get for offering him a single dose, 1,875 Bits. Not a good deal, there. If you turn both samples in to Gladys you’ll likewise only get the standard reward - 1,875 Bits. On the other hand you can pass a [Lie 45] check while talking to Vaughn, which will allow you to only give him half the Raptidon Musk you extracted for the standard reward for this quest - XP, 1,875 Bits and some positive Auntie Cleo reputation - after which you can sell the other dose to Gladys for another 1,875 Bits.

– The best choice for the scientifically disinclined is to simply pick [Complete Experiment], which will get you a dose of Raptidon Musk. Yum. Return to Vaughn to get the option to hand over the musk for 1,875 Bits or to pass a [Lie 100] check and say the lab was trashed. Why this should be so much more difficult of a lie if you don’t purge the sample (see below) is a bit odd, but if you want to keep the musk and complete Vaughn’s quest without passing the aforementioned [Science 50] check, this is the way to do it. This lie will decrease your reputation with Auntie Cleo, as well, as if they bought the lie… oh whatever.

Of course, you can also sell the musk to Gladys, who will pay you a cool 1,875 Bits for it. If you sell the musk to Gladys before you talk to Vaughn, the quest The Amateur Alchemist will fail. That’s right, without a [Science 50] check, the only way to sell the musk to Gladys and complete the quest is via a [Lie 100] check.

– If you pick the [Emergency Sample Purge] you’ll void the experiment, wiping out whatever extract Vaughn hoped to get from the poor raptidons. You’ll get XP for the task, but the objective for The Distress Signal will be failed. You can then return to Vaughn and make a [Lie 30] check to tell him the lab was trashed when you got there or you can just tell him you sabotaged the experiment. Either way, you’ll gain more XP, gain negative Auntie Cleo reputation, and get no other reward.

(1 of 2) Either give the musk sample to Vaughn,

Either give the musk sample to Vaughn, (left), or to Gladys. The reward is the same either way. If you got two samples, give one sample to Vaughn, pass a Lie check, then give the second to Gladys. (right)

The only benefit you’ll get from purging the samples is… well, some sort of useless moral feel-good moment about helping pixel animals? If that’s good enough for you, so be it, but if you actually want some return from this quest (besides XP, anyways), you’ll need to complete the experiment to get some Raptidon Musk or better yet, use your brain to pass the [Science 50] check, sell one dose to Vaughn, pass a [Lie 45] check while talking to him to keep the other dose, then sell said second dose to Gladys for another batch of Bits. At a grand total of 3,750 Bits, it’s a significant reward for passing a few skill checks.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Private Division
  • Platforms
    PC, PS4, XB1
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    25 October 2019
  • Last Updated
    28 May 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author

Share this free guide:

Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later than you expected only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony.

As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.

Inside this comprehensive strategy guide for the latest RPG from Obsidian Entertainment you will find:

  • Character creation guide.
  • Companions guide.
  • Full walkthrough of all main quests, side quests, companion quests.
  • Strategies for completing Supernova difficulty
  • Trophy guide.
  • And much, much more!

This guide will be initially released on December 6th 2019 and will be updated regularly with future updates over the following weeks.

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: