Fallout: Van Buren
One major difference between the computer Fallout games and the SPECIAL system introduced here is the inclusion of skill families and slightly different skills. Weapons especially are now organized differently, to reflect a more realistic approach to weapons knowledge – if you are good with a regular pistol, you are equally as good with an Energy pistol, for example. Also, the formulas for determining initial skill levels have been changed to reflect the latest SPECIAL changes. Everything else remains basically the same, with the exception of skills added for a more complete role-playing experience, such as Climbing and Swimming.
Every character gets three tag skills to start out with. These skills could best be described as the character’s “gifted” areas, or areas of study in youth. Every character must take three tag skills, and only three, no more, no less (unless the character gets an extra tag skill because of a trait). Each tagged skill gains an increase to its base value by 20 points. They also raise twice as fast as other skills (see advancement)
This is a complete description of skills, and how one finds the base skill percentage. Base percentage is figured before ANY other skill adjustments are made – from tag skill adjustments, to traits, to addition of skill points. Skill points are added only after a character goes up a level (see Advancement: Experience in Chapter V: Advancement).
Simple Weapons skills cover the most basic of attack tools – bare fists, claws, teeth. It also covers more advanced versions of simple weapons, and the ability to throw weapons and other objects accurately. Factors such as strength levels and the ability to quickly land blows affect Simple Weapons skills.
This is the skill of beating people up with your fists and feet, from boxing to brawling to the martial arts. The better you are at this skill, the more likely you are going to hit them in combat. This skill also covers the use of weapons that enhance unarmed combat such as brass knuckles, spiked knuckles, and the legendary Power Fist. At higher skill levels, you will learn new techniques of fighting. See the Special Unarmed Attacks section directly below for a guide to the advanced martial arts techniques skilled users can learn. A standard unarmed fighter does [roll=1d4+MD] damage for 3 AP. This can be modified with weapons such as brass knuckles. Initial level:
This covers the use of melee weapons – basically, any weapon used in close combat to bludgeon, stab, slash, or wallop a target. Knives, spears, hammers, and crowbars are all melee weapons.
This covers throwing weapons, most of which are primitive. When you think of throwing weapons you think of throwing knives, shurikens hand grenades, nuka-cola grenades, and rocks.
When facing an opponent with a gigantic curved knife, it’s usually better to shoot them from afar rather than run up and see how close you can get. Ranged Weapons cover the art of plinking a target from a distance, whether the method of missile delivery be a hunting bow or a personal grenade launcher. Factors such as speed in combat, eyesight and targeting, understanding complex parts, and dealing with recoil all affect Ranged Weapons skills.
This skill covers the use of any wepon that uses conventional ammo…such as .45, .308, 9mm, 50 cal, etc. higher your Guns skill, the easier it will be for you to hit your target, and the longer the effective range you will have in combat.
The use of energy weapons is not a very common skill in the post-nuclear world. Energy weapons were just coming into actual 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.
The ability to protect life can be just as important in Fallout as the ability to take life. These skills represent a character’s medical training as well as basic biological intuition and the ability to properly diagnose causes of illness and wounds that are not immediately apparent.
The skill of minor healing. You will be able to heal 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. You can use it on yourself, or anyone you are feeling particularly nice to at the time. Each use of this skill takes 1d10 minutes and heals 1d10 Hit Points. In addition, a character can use a successful First Aid roll to prevent someone from taking damage from bleeding in combat. You can only use this skill 3 times a day regardless of how it is used.
A more advanced form of healing. You can heal serious damage and crippled limbs but not poison or radiation damage. Using this skill on crippled limbs takes a while to perform. Every crippled limb will add to the time required to use the Doctor skill. You can play Doctor with yourself (except if you are Blind), or any other person / critter you choose to be kind to. In addition, a character can prevent hit point loss from bleeding by successfully using the Doctor skill in combat, or restore those lost hit points by using the Doctor skill for 1d10 minutes after combat. You can only use the Doctor skill twice a day, regardless of how it is used.
No one ever said life in the Wastes would be easy. Some characters tend forego hard work in favor of the dishonest route to wealth and fame. The Thieving skills cover all the ways a character can pilfer, purloin, and place painful things on her rise to the top. These skills are derived from a character’s ability to move quickly, notice surroundings, and to use brains instead of brawn.
The skill of being able to move quietly or out of sight. When you are sneaking, other people will be less likely to notice you – at a distance. If you get too close to a dangerous creature, no matter how good you are at sneaking, they will notice you. Of course, whether someone notices you is based on what direction they are facing, the amount of light in the area, the amount of cover you have, and a hell of a lot of luck. Such is the life of a thief. Successfully sneaking up on a person means you get a bonus should you want to try to steal from them. Your sneak skill is rolled when you start sneaking, and once a minute while still sneaking.
If you need to open locks without the proper key, this is the skill for you. Use it to get what you want, but other people don’t want you to have. Having an actual lockpick will improve your chances, but it is not necessary. There are two types of locks in the Fallout world: normal and electronic. Lockpicks work against normal locks, but to even attempt an electronic lock, you need an electronic lockpick. Certain locks can be harder to pick than others, and certain locks require that the picker has a lockpick.
This skill covers not only arming or disarming explosive weapons such as mines; C4-explosives; dynamite; IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), but also the use of other traps.
The Fallout universe is still a fairly technical place. Machines are everywhere, some in working condition, some just pieces of junk, and others waiting for the right repairperson to come along to make them work again. Technical skills cover everything from computers to cars, and the scientific ability to reason logically and solve problems. A character’s ability to examine a problem, solve it using reason, and to manipulate small parts all influence Technical skills.
Science is the skill of working with electronic devices such as computers. It also covers how intuitive a character is. Characters with a high Science skill will notice things that others might miss, and characters who actively apply their Science skill to tasks can intuit answers to problems. Science skills are used when rolling to use (or break into) computers, determine what part a vehicle might need to run properly again, or to notice a vein of silver in an otherwise unremarkable rock. Science skill can also be used like First Aid to repair robots.
Repair is the practical application of the Science skill. As things are constantly breaking in the wastes, and there aren’t customer service hotlines anymore, a person with a high Repair skill is always good to have around. Repair covers fixing all manner of mechanical things, from guns to vehicles, arming and disarming traps, and can also be used to intentionally sabotage or disable mechanical things. The Repair skill can also be used like Doctor to repair robots.
This skill is how well a character can drive land-based vehicles (from Brahmin-driven carts to tanks), sea-based vehicles (from canoes to oil tankers), and air-based vehicles (from hang-gliders to vertibirds).
Social skills cover everything characters use in social situations. While combat may be a fun part of the Fallout world, most of the time characters will deal with NPCs on a more personable level, and a certain amount of social grace and tact will be necessary to successfully interact with most NPCs. The Social skills take into account a character’s witty nature, his general likableness, the ability to read another person, and plain dumb luck when choosing what another person wants to hear.
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 an NPC might take your word, believe your lie, or just follow your instructions, this is the skill that is used.
Speech can be divided into:Persuasion Intimidation Deception Seduction
The skill of trading. In the post-nuclear world, currency is not always commonly used. 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. Initial Level:
Everyone has a built-in survival instinct, but how well those skills are honed is another story. Survival skills cover everything your character learned at summer camp: how to hunt, fish, build shelters, and survive in adverse and unusual conditions. They also include swimming and climbing, two of the most important skills when a character is out in the wilderness and cannot, for whatever reason, travel by road. A character’s stamina, resourcefulness, and pure physical prowess all contribute to his Survival skills.
This is the skill of outdoor living and survival in hostile environments. Basically, what they teach in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, modified for the post-nuclear world. Outdoorsman has many uses, from finding food and water in the middle of a vast wasteland to avoiding hostile creatures to knowledge about what plants and animals will help you or kill you. It’s always good to have someone in the party who’s an avid outdoorsman.
Run, climb and jump. If you need to do something physical this is the skill.
Optimal Skill Levels: Optimal skill levels is a rating of when almost any roll against that particular skill will succeed, along with some hints on it. This opinion does not calculate in gear (like a field kit (+20%) reduces the need for first aid by 20%, course you may not always have proper equipment.