In order to determine which of these factions is better karma to side with, let's take a look at the radiant quests available. TLDR at bottom.
The Importance of Communication/Retirement Plan vs. Vital Equipment
With both of the Crater Raider options, a peaceful solution is possible – if not actually the better outcome.
In Importance of Communication, the goal is to retrieve broken radio tubes – from a location which generally have Scorched, Super Mutants, or Feral Ghouls. Once retrieved, you fix them, and give it to Crater. You're literally taking something irreperably broken from the wasteland, and giving it new life.
With Retirement Plan, you can convince the former Raider to take residence at Foundation, and tell Rocksy that it's done – and both parties (Crater and Foundation) will gain reputation with you. Hell, if you've spoken to the hunters, it's probable that you've prevented what would have been a one-sided assasination. Good karma all round, ye?
Let's look at Foundation and their quest, Vital Equipment.
Ward claims that this equipment is absolutely 100% needed. So, like a good soldier, you go trudging off. Once you find it, there are 3 options. First, the wasteland has claimed the thief. This is probably the best karma option, because now you're just a corpse robber. That's actually a step up from the other options.
Next option is that Blood Eagles have it. They're a pretty defensive organisation that don't want to speak with outsiders, and defend their right to do so. At least that's how I always see it when I go sneaking up to one of their camps. Anyways, if the Blood Eagles have it, you end up going full murderhobo on them, and rip this equipment out of their hands as they lay dying.
If a Raider has it, instead of going all-out Rambo on them, you get to have a little chat. This chat boils down to an armed mugging in an alley.
"Either give me caps, or I'll kill you for that water-cooled bonesaw."
Keep in mind that this is the result if you have decent reputation with them already. So you're a friend of theirs, and this is the kind of robbery you're pulling off on them. You can ask them why they need it, and the answer is always heartbreaking. They need water to get purified – the adults are okay with drinking irradiated water, but the children can't.
And it's not as if the caps makes Foundation satisfied with justice. No, you lose reputation for only being a mugger instead of a murderer. They want this raider dead, that will make them happy.
So you threaten them with death. They doubt your sincerity, obviously, since you're a good friend of their faction. You're family to them.
Once you choose the
Upon return to Ward, he notices that you have it – much in the same way a Lich can sense a trail of death behind you. You can at this point ask what this equipment is used for, and you'll get a your answer.
"Oh, we've never actually needed to use this water-cooled bonesaw, it's just good to have around".
ARE. YOU. SERIOUS.
I just had to kill 8 people or a close ally to get this stupid item, and you've never needed it yet?
"People had to die for this.."
"See you again tomorrow."
tldr; Foundation makes you kill innocents for items they don't need and steal it from their corpses. Crater either helps people flee, or repairs broken parts. Who's the real raider here?
Edit: !delta given regarding Blood Eagles https://www.reddit.com/r/fo76/comments/hefget/cmv_siding_with_foundation_makes_you_more_of_a/fvqwxq7/
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