from the manual, on making a new character:
STEP #1: SPEND CHARACTER POINTS ON STATISTICS
All characters have seven primary statistics:
Strength. Raw physical strength. The ability to lift weights, have stronger punches, carry more equipment and use larger weapons. Stronger characters will be able to lug around more items,
do more damage in combat and so on. If you want to play a big, physical character, choose a high Strength.
Perception. The ability to notice things. A combination of your senses, including touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing. Perception affects your ranged weapon distances, small details that you have a chance to notice and other sense related tasks. Perceptive characters will get more information about the world. If want to play a character that can shoot guns at targets really far away, buy up your Perception.
Endurance. The ability to withstand punishment and physical exertion. A high Endurance will let you survive and carry on where other, weaker people would have to stop. It affects your hit points, and your resistances. A character with a high Endurance will be able to fight longer, and be less likely to die in combat.
Charisma. A combination of looks and charm. The higher your Charisma, the better you are able to communicate with other people. Highly Charismatic characters are more likely to be able to get their way without resorting to violence, and to be able to get better deals in trading. Characters who like to talk to people should buy up their Charisma.
Intelligence. Your mental strength and abilities. The higher your Intelligence, the more skills you will excel in, and the more options you will have in dialogue. A high Intelligence is important to any character. Characters who want lots of choices in dialogue should pick a higher Intelligence statistic.
Agility. Your speed and dexterity. Physical manipulation ability. Your Agility will affect many skills requiring fine coordination. It will also adjust many combat related statistics. Agility is important
to any type of character. Combat and thief characters should have a higher Agility than diplomatic or scientific characters.
Luck. Luck is the odd statistic. It is a combination of fate, karma and, in general, how the universe views you. Luck will modify many things... All characters will benefit from a high Luck, and will suffer a little more with a lower Luck
In order to make the best possible decision regarding your character choice, we have developed an easy to use method of determining your derived statistics. We call this method, the “look-it-up-below” method. And we think it works pretty darn well.
Hit Points. Your hit points determine how much damage you can take before you succumb to the long dirt nap. The more hit points you have, the longer you can survive outside. The less hit points you have, the more healing you will need to do. The number of hit points you have will grow when your character earns experience and advances in levels. The number of hit points are displayed as current/maximum. If you ever get to 1/30 hit points, for example, you need some serious medical attention. And soon, brother.
Starting hit points are equal to 15 + (2 x Endurance) + Strength. Average characters will have 30 hit points.
Armor Class. Your natural armor class is how good you are at avoiding being hit in combat. The higher your armor class statistic, the worse your opponent’s to hit number. Your natural armor class
may be augmented and improved by wearing armor. See Armor (page 5—12) and the sample armors in the Equipment List (page 5—15) for more information about armor and armor class. Starting armor class is equal to your Agility. Average characters will have an armor class of 5.
Action Points. The number of action points your character has will determine how many different actions you can take during a combat turn. Every action will have a different action point cost, which is subtracted from your total action points. When you run out of action points, you cannot perform another maneuver until the next combat turn.
Action points are only used during combat. Action points are not cumulative,but instead roll into armor class on a 1 for 1 basis. If you have 4 action points remaining when you end your combat turn, you will get a +4 bonus to your armor class until the start of your next turn. See Actions in Combat
(page 5—2) for more details on action points.
Initial Level. Starting action points are equal to ½ Agility + 5. Average characters will have 7 action points.
Carry Weight. The total amount of equipment that you can lug around the post-nuclear world is represented by your carry weight. The higher your carry weight the more equipment you can carry. You can carry a total amount of equipment in pounds equal to your carry weight, and no more.
Initial Level. Starting carry weight is equal to 25 lbs. + (your Strength x 25 lbs.). Average characters will have 150 lbs.
Melee Damage. Your melee damage is the amount of bonus, or extra, damage you do with unarmed and hand-to-hand weapon damage in combat. Using your fists, a knife, or a sledgehammer, in combat would do the basic amount of damage for those weapons plus your melee damage. If you want to do more melee damage, take a higher Strength.
Initial Level. Starting melee damage is equal to Strength - 5, with a minimum of 1 point. Average characters will have a melee damage of 1.
Damage Resistance. The ability to shrug off some amount of damage in combat is attributed to your damage resistance derived stat. This statistic is a percentage, meaning that it will subtract an
amount of damage from every blow based on a percentage of the damage. If your damage resistance is 10%, and you take 20 points of damage from a single attack, you will end up taking 18 points of damage after your damage resistance. You will need to equip armor to see your damage resistance increase.
Initial Level. Starting damage resistance is equal to 0%.
Poison Resistance. Getting poisoned is an unfortunate possibility that must be taken into account. Fortunately, most people have a hardy poison resistance compared to the small animals that are the usual prey for most poisonous snakes. Poison resistance is a percentage that will reduce the amount of poison damage you take.
Initial Level. Starting poison resistance is equal to Endurance x 5. Average characters will have 25% poison resistance.
Radiation Resistance. Radiation is something that any vault-dweller must be concerned with. While it is normal for a small amount of roentgens, or rads, to enter the normal person during the normal year of activity (more if activities include mountain expeditions and/or high altitude ballooning), a large amount of rad poisoning is a reason for concern. The average person receives about ½
to 1 rad a year. After a nuclear fallout, you would expect more. See Damage (page 5—12) for more information. With any exposure to radiation, your radiation resistance will reduce the total amount of
rads you take by it’s percentage. It is very similar to damage or poison resistance.
Initial Level. Starting radiation resistance is equal to your Endurance x 2. Average characters will have a 10% radiation resistance.
Sequence. This statistic will help determine who will go first in combat, and in which order people and critters will get to act. See Combat (page 5—2) for more information. The higher the sequence
value, the more likely you will act before your opponent.
Initial Level. Starting sequence is equal to your Perception x 2. Average characters will have a 10 sequence.
Healing Rate. People do not heal wounds at the same rate over the same amount of time. Your healing rate will tell you how fast you can bounce back from that near-fatal encounter, and continue with your important work of holding off the end of the world. If you have taken damage, you will get a number of hit points back at the end of each day equal to your healing rate. If you rest, you will
get a number of hit points back every six hours equal to your healing rate. In no case, can you get more current hit points than your maximum number of hit points.
Initial Level. Starting healing rate is equal to ⅓ Endurance, with a minimum of 1. Average characters will have a healing rate of 1.
Critical Chance. Critical hits in combat are special attacks that cause extra damage or some special effect. The chance to cause a critical hit is partially based on this stat. The higher your critical chance, the more likely you are to cause one of these powerful hits. It is expressed in a percentage, adding directly as a bonus to the chance to cause a critical hit.
Initial Level. Starting critical chance is equal to your Luck. Average characters will have a +5% critical chance.
STEP #2: SELECT THREE TAG SKILLS
Skills are learned abilities. As you gain experience, your skills will improve, unlike your basic statistics. All skills have a skill level, expressed as a percentage. The higher the skill level, the more likely you are to succeed at using that skill. Tag Skills define what skills you are especially good at. They are your specializations, if you will. Every new vault-dweller must select three Tag Skills to specialize in. You cannot leave the charac ter editor without selecting all three. You will get an immediate +20% in all three of your Tag Skills, but even more importantly, they will grow faster from experience than a normal skill. You will get twice the improvement when you spend skill points in them (see Experience, page 5—21).
Click on the skill name to display the information card.
Click on the small button to the left of the skill name to Tag that skill. If you wish to deselect a Tag Skill, simply click the button again. Tag skills are highlighted in a different color to remind you of their status.Some skills are automatically used when you do something. Other skills require that you actively use them. Those skills can be used from the Skilldex (see page 4—16).
To help you choose your Tag Skills, we now present the complete skill list.
Complete Skill List
Small Guns, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Unarmed, Melee Weapons, and Throwing are all combat skills. They govern the use of weapons and attacks in combat. They are also used automatically when you attack an opponent.
Small Guns. This skill covers the use of pistols, sub-machine guns, rifles and shotguns. The higher your Small Guns skill the easier it will be for you to hit your target, and the longer effective range
you will have in combat.
Initial Level. Starting Small Guns skill is equal to 35% + (1% x Agility). Average characters will have a 40%.
Big Guns. This is the skill of flamers, miniguns, rocket launchers and other large support weapons. If it’s a large weapon, you can count on Big Guns being the skill rolled against. Like Small Guns, the better your skill, the easier it will be to hit your target, and the longer range you can really hit people at.
Initial Level. Starting Big Guns skill is equal to 10% + (1% x Agility). Average characters have a 15% skill.
Energy Weapons. The use of energy weapons is not a very common skill in the Vault. Energy weapons had just started to come into actual use in warfare, when the world blew up. Lasers and Plasma weapons are covered by the Energy Weapons skill. Basically, if it uses an energy cell or power pack, and not cartridge ammunition, it falls under this skill.
Initial Level. Starting Energy Weapons skill is equal to 10% + (1% x Agility). Average characters will have a 15% skill.
Unarmed. This is the skill of beating people up with your fists and feet. The better you are at this skill, the more likely you are going to hit them in combat. At very high skill levels, you can succeed at those targeted shots easier, inflicting terrible damage. Everyone starts with a pretty good Unarmed skill, since the basic concept is pretty simple.
Initial Level. Starting Unarmed skill is equal to 40% + (1% x the average of your Agility and Strength). Average characters will have a 45% in Unarmed combat.
This is the skill of dialogue. The better your Speech skill, the more likely you will be able to get your way when talking to people. When there is a chance that the NPC might take your word, believe your lie, or just follow your word, this is the skill that is used. Automatic use.
Initial Level. Starting Speech skill is equal to 25% + (2% x Charisma). Average characters will have a 35% skill.
Barter.* The skill of trading. In the post-nuclear world, currency is not used commonly. Barter will allow you to get more for less when trading equipment, weapons and other items. A high Barter skill will lower the prices you pay for items you purchase, and increase the money you get for selling excess equipment. A good Barter skill isn’t important if you’re killing everyone, but it certainly is a valuable skill for the non-berserkers out there. Automatic use.
Initial Level. Starting Barter skill is equal to 20% + (2% x Charisma). Average characters will have a 30% skill.
*NOTE: Speech and Barter are the domain of the diplomatic character.
Gambling. The skill of Gambling lets you play games of chance, and win more often. As compared to playing games of chance, and losing more often. When the world comes to an end, and all that is left is a can of soup, some dweeb will bet it on a cockroach race. Automatic use.
Initial Level. Starting Gambling skill is equal to 20% + (3% x Luck). Average characters will have a 35% skill.
Outdoorsman. This is the skill of outdoor living, and survival in a hostile environment. Not many people from the Vault are skilled in Outdoorsman! Automatic use.
Initial Level. Starting Outdoorsman skill is equal to 5% + (1% x the average of your Intelligence and Endurance). Average characters will have a 10% skill.
The following four skills are not approved by Vault-Tec
Sneak. The skill of being able to move quietly and out of sight. When you are Sneaking, and doing it successfully, other people will be less likely to notice you – at a distance. If you get too close to a dangerous mutant, no matter how good you are at Sneaking, they will notice you. Active use. Use Sneak to toggle it on and off. You automatically stop Sneaking when you run. While Sneaking, you will see this: (shows an image of a black box with the word 'Sneak' inside) In the display, just above the interface bar. This doesn’t tell you if you are Sneaking successfully. The reactions from hostile, or inquisitive, creatures will tell you that. Your Sneak skill is rolled when you start to Sneak, and every minute after that.
Initial Level. Starting Sneak skill is equal to 25% + (1% x Agility). Average characters will have a 30% Sneak.
Lockpick. If you need to open locks without the proper key, then this is the skill for you. Having an actual lockpick will improve your chances, but it is not necessary. There are two types of locks in the Fallout world: primitive and electronic. Lockpicks work against primitive locks, and electronic lockpicks work on electronic locks. A particular lock may be more difficult to pick than other locks. Active use. Select a target to lockpick.
Initial Level. Starting Lockpick skill is equal to 20% + (1% x the average of your Perception and Agility). Average characters will have a 25% skill.
Steal. This is the art of removing things from a person or object, without being noticed. Even if you succeed, there is a chance that a critter might notice you. Larger objects are more difficult to steal than smaller objects. The more objects you attempt to steal, the more likely you are to be noticed. You cannot steal objects that a person has equipped. If you steal from a person, it might be a good idea to go behind them so they can’t see you as easily. Active use. You will need to pick a target to steal from.
Initial Level. Starting Steal skill is equal to 20% + (1% x Agility). The average character will have a 25% Steal skill.
Traps. The skill of disarming bad things that will hurt you. Your Perception will find them for you. If you decide to set bad things for other people (like explosives), then this is the skill that is used to set them. A critical failure while setting an explosive will detonate it prematurely. Active use, but sometimes used automatically. You will need to pick a target to attempt the disarming.
Initial Level. Starting Traps skill is equal to 20% + (1% x the average of your Perception and Agility). Average characters will have a 25% skill.
First Aid.* The skill of minor healing. You will be able to cure minor wounds, cuts and bruises with this skill. You can only use it three times a day, and it takes a little while to work. Active use. Select a target to heal, but this is most likely going to be you! Starting First Aid skill is equal to 30% + (1% x the average of your Perception + Intelligence). Average characters will have a 35% skill.
Doctor.* A more advanced skill of healing. You can heal serious damage and crippled limbs but not poison or radiation damage. Using this skill will take a while to perform. Every crippled limb will add to the time required to use the Doctor skill. You can only use this skill three times a day, but you can combine it with First Aid. Active use. You need to pick a target to play Doctor with.
Initial Level. Starting Doctor skill is equal to 15% + (1% x the average of your Perception and Intelligence). Average characters will have a 20% skill.
*NOTE: First Aid and Doctor are healing skills. They will be very useful to all sorts of personnel.
The last two skills are the scientific skills.
Science. The skill of knowledge and learning. It covers computers, electronics, mechanical and other brain hurting tasks. Active use, but sometimes used automatically. You will need to pick a target to sciencetize.
Initial Level. Starting Science skill is equal to 25% + (2% x Intelligence). Average characters will have a 35% Science skill.
Repair. This is the physical use of Science. Repair will let you fix things, and in a world of broken stuff, this is a good thing. Active use. You will need to fix a target.
Initial Level. Starting Repair skill is equal to 20% + (1% x Intelligence). Average characters will have a 25% skill.
Whew~! That took a lot of formatting!