Are you playing on PC?
Yeah. Is there no way to back up saves on consoles?
There is, but I'm stupid and never learn my lesson, no matter how many times I get burnt. I'm 20 hrs in now and I keep telling myself to back the save file up... but I R lazy.
I emerged from a tunnel the other day into the bright sunlight to see lasers and bullets whizzing across the screen. Upon closer inspection I found that two Brotherhood Paladin's were trying to take down a super mutant. I considered using the distraction to just run away and not get involved, but then decided to use a sneak critical attack.
After I'd taken the mutie down I ran over to the paladin's to see what was what, they thanked me and told me one of their initiates was trapped in a nearby building, would I mind helping? I love those kinds of quests, that just come along naturally as you happen to be wandering the wastes.