I'm concerned that the fanon is trending a little post-post apocalyptic. The trend most likely has its origins in the canon lore going back to Fallout 2 but really came into fruition with Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 3 went too far in the opposite direction with completely unsustainable "villages," of 2-6 people who's industry was "milling about aimlessly."
My preferred take on the setting draws from the first two games: small villages radiating outward from a regional city-state, connected by caravans endangered by raiders and dangerous creatures at every turn. Of course the problem with having preferences is that this is a shared setting for fanon writing; I wouldn't want to make it a rule because everyone would want to be the one making the regional city-state, myself definitely included!
We also find ourselves with less cross-pollination between authors' contributions than before the reboot. Of course the "pre-boot" fanon had its own problems; mainly absurd factions that made the excesses of Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel look reasonable, along with a menagerie of Gary Stu characters assembled in near circle-jerk cults centered around a few Alpha Stus.
I'm not about to suggest another reboot. That was an extreme solution the first time around and we haven't truly recovered from that. I'm not going to make any demands even, this is strictly based on my hangups and the fanon isn't my personal playground nor are the other users my employees or servants. Instead, what I would like to suggest is in the future, when areas that haven't seen much coverage come up; multiple authors work together to flesh them out.
Things that would be needed to make a proper Fallout region, in a rambling list:
- A Hub: The city-state where most regional trade passes or originates. It has the highest population in the area and has some advantage that allows it to excel over the villages such as command over a vital resource or a good location. It can weather attack better than a village and may even approach (but never quite reach) self-sufficiency.
- Villages: Villages are naturally smaller than the Hub. They can be more extreme in character than a Hub, especially if this is the reason it is not as successful as the Hub (xenophobia, extreme corruption, mutation, bizarre faction, etc.). The village has something that either makes it valuable to the Hub (surplus cabbage, the most convenient well between the Hub X and Hub Y, the only source of giant green bat guano in the land, etc.) or to the raiders (tribute, source of willing sexual congress, a willing doctor, etc.), or it is in danger of destruction and/or dissolution.
- Locales: Interesting places. Some are landmarks where caravans and travelers camp down; even if they have a few permanent residents they never quite make it to Village level. Others are places that attract the adventurous or the desperate: caves, ruins, Pre-War facilities, raider hideouts, etc. that are just full of traps, dangerous, dangerous enemies, and (hopefully) loot.
- Raiders: These people live outside the rules of the Hub and most of the villages. Perhaps they are a breed of mutants that are not tolerated, or have religious or political differences with the rest of the region, usually they have an aversion to honest work, and sometimes they're just plain crazy. They can have all kinds of hats and flavors but basically come in 4 varieties on two axes, Settled/Nomadic and Working Stiff/Fanatic.
- Settled-Working Stiff: These guys are fairly reasonable, they set out from their hideout and collect tribute from weaker villages and caravans. They don't go around murdering everyone because then they would run out of people to rob and they would have to move, or because they have friends in the Hub or villages. The ideal Settled-Working Stiff raid has no casualties on either side. Sometimes these raiders would have been a part of polite society except for some grievance or misunderstanding ("My boys were run off their land, and the no-good sheriff looked the other way!")
- Settled-Fanatic: These guys are frequently mutants or cultists (or mutant cultists). A cult doesn't have to be religious in nature, it can be a simple cult of personality ("The Captain says everyone in Townsville has got to be burned alive and the Captain is never wrong!"). They're far more murderous than the Working Stiff raiders, who may even oppose them . Where the Hub and the Villages generally have a working relationship with the Working Stiffs, they would desperately love to wipe out these guys, except they don't know where their hideout is or they don't have the means to mount an assault. A band of Settled Fanatics who meet with runaway success will eventually be forced to become Nomadic Fanatics, as is any band who has their fastness destroyed or denied to them without being completely wiped out.
- Nomadic-Working Stiff: These guys might be mercenaries fallen on hard times, but they're frequently just people doing a job like any farmer or merchant. If they can get your money without killing you, great; if they have to kill you, well that's just the cost of doing business. Unlike Fanatics, they can mix with civilized types. Unlike their more settled brethren, they're not robbing their own neighbors. These guys might be public enemy #1 in the region surrounding Hub X and Hub Y for their pillaging ways, but they can hide out and spend their loot in Hub Z.
- Nomadic-Fanatic: These guys are a nightmare. When they have their way, they swoop in and destroy the village and pick what they want from the wreckage before moving on. They're unwelcome everywhere, especially among other raiders, because they tend to have a long list of vengeful enemies.
This blog will probably be expanded upon as I think of more to add.