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General Character Guide

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DoctorSticks

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Post Sun May 20, 2018 1:10 am

General Character Guide

Since I don't see anything like this, I guess I will go ahead and start one, for anyone who is less familiar with the mod (assuming all you guys didn't already beat the game like 10 times :) )

Keep in mind that there is no "best" build. This is meant more as a general guideline than anything.

Here is what I like to go with:

Stats:

Strength 7 - Enough to handle all weapons. You can set this to 5 and be just fine, since 5 is enough for most weapons (Kriss), and Power Armor will let you handle any weapon anyway. I mostly like the extra Carry weight.
Perception 9 - Getting out-sequenced, and thus double-turned is the cause of roughly 75% of my deaths in combat. This helps prevent it, and lets you fight effectively at night, at long range. You can reduce as desired, this is just my personal preference. I wouldn't go below 6 though.
Endurance 8 - For Hit Points. Early on, you are kind of vulnerable, and a high END gets you out of trouble faster. More HP gives you a better chance to survive a turn of being shot. Given that I had spare points, this is a good stat to put them in. 6 is fine, but I wouldn't go lower.
Charisma 4 - Enough for two party members (or 3, if you take Mentats). Mostly a dump stat otherwise. Alternatively, go for 6 and pick Leader Perk
Intelligence 8 - For skill points. Granted, skill points are not that important actually, and the Tag Perk lets you gets tons of skills anyways. I am not sure as to what kind of INT checks there are in the game, but I tend to follow Per Jorner's general Fallout advice "Good INT, good Speech, and a way to deal damage efficiently".
Agility 9 - or 10, if I don't intend to undergo the operation in Dead Quarter. Action Points are extremely useful in combat, and 10 is the magic number, letting you take two 5-action point shots, for example.
Luck 2 - Dump stat. The only use is for the Sniper perk, but that is hardly needed. Rebirth is the only place where it might even matter, but mopping up everyone without it, with good weapons and companions should not be at all a problem. It does make the Savior fight extremely easy though (if you don't just Speech him to death).

Traits:
Gifted - The best trait, no doubt. Skills are not that important, and seven extra stat points are very nice.
Fast shot - Burst > Aimed, this is just a cold hard truth in Fallout. This is part due to how the numbers break down. A regular shot costs 5 ap, so an aimed one costs 6. That means one aimed shot per turn, unless you are using a "fast" weapon (one that costs 4ap to fire). With Fast Shot, you can burst twice per turn if you have 10AP.

Tags:

Small Guns - You need this early on for fightning. The earliest you can get a decent energy weapon is Sedit (raider encounter), and for a big gun, maybe a Light Grenade Launcher (but ammo is limited). Small guns is available early, and can serve you all the way to the end.
Speech - In the world of Fallout, this is the most universally useful skill, giving you more ways to solve quests, and get information out of people.
Big Guns/Lockpick/Unarmed - The third tag if flexible. I usually go with Big Guns for the fun of it, but Lockpick is convenient too. Though, a Crowbar and good Strength gets you past most locks anyways, so it is less good than in Fallout 2. Unarmed is handy for your Prizefighting adventures, but not recommended for taking on enemies with Assault Rifles.

Other skills you might want:
First Aid/Outdoorsman/Repair/Science - these can be raised with books. The only use for Repair and Science beyond that is Progema, but all that nets you is a Ray Gun (which isn't even that powerful)
Energy Weapons - You could tag this if you want, or use the Tag Trick (discussed below).

Perks:
Lvl 3 : Awareness - Really useful to be able to know what gun you are being shot with, and who is low oh HP so you can kill them.
Lvl 6: Bonus Move - For a Burst enthusiast like myself, being able to run around faster is good. Also good in unarmed. Also good for running from Deathclaws. Pretty much good always.
Lvl 9: Bonus move (2) - What's better than one bonus move? Two of them. OR, Leader if you are going for 6CH.
Lvl 12: Tag (for the Tag Trick)/Action Boy - More action points are always welcome, and getting to 12 means even more attacks per turn. Tag is useful if you want to accumulate obscene amounts of skill points.
Lvl 15: Bonus Rate of Fire - Lets you shot more often. That means more damage. That is very, very good.
Lvl 18: Action Boy (2) - If I picked the first Action Boy, I will want the second too. If I go with Tag, then this is a flex spot.

What is the Tag Trick?

When you take the Tag perk, than you get a bonus to the skill you pick, equal to the number of points you already spent on it. Example, if you start out at 40 Unarmed, and you raise it to 100, then Tagging it will bump that up another 60 (plus the 20 you normally get). Why does this matter? Because you can the remove these excess points. If a skill ends up at 180 points, removing one point will give you 5 back. The bottom line is that, for a skill that started at 13 points, after I raised it to 101, tagging it (and taking off the extra points) netted me something like 130 extra skill points.
This is also useful even if you don't want to take off the points. If you want to use Energy Weapons or Big guns, don't tag them, and just raise them normally, then Tag at lvl 12 to catapult them to 180 or something.


Companions and Leader Perk

The Leader Perk, which requires 6CH, offers +1AP to your companions (and some Armor Class). This mostly matters for companions who would gain an extra attack thanks to this. Keri does not, but Gabriel and Lystra do. This would be a fair alternative to my 4CH, if you don't mind giving up Bonus Move.

Keri - Give her a Desert Eagle, then the Magnum Revoler, which gives her two shots per turn.
Gabriel - Evil Characters only. Either Annihilator, or the .223 Pistol. If you are not taking Leader, then Anti-material Rifle. Sometimes asks for caps, but its not so much that it matters.
Lystra - Good Characters only. Her starting Plasma Pistol is decent. Give her a Light Plasma Rifle when you find it, then a Plasma Rifle at Rebirth. If you are not using Leader, then Plasma Cannon actually works better (since you get one shot anyways).

Mutt - He dies sooner or later when you start going up against automatic weapons and flamethrowers. Nice to start with, but don't feel sand when he dies.
Floater - Tougher than Mutt, but otherwise has the same issues. Dumb Characters only.



Most veterans will probably not find this helpful, but maybe someone starting out will be able to benefit. Cheers.
Last edited by DoctorSticks on Sat May 26, 2018 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Muttie

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Post Fri May 25, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: General Character Guide

Nice summary. :)

Especially EN and Sequence are two factors a first-timer may not want to ignore (as usually suggested in FO guides). Both can help to survive some of the more deadly encounters, and this is even more true for a player who doesn't know what to expect. So it really may be doing oneself a favour to have high PE and EN on the first run.

And here are a few additions, based on my experiences so far:

The character build above suggests AG 9 or 10. I assume the best stats to reduce for AG 10 are either ST or EN then.

CH is not an important skill but it has some advantages and unlocks content (mostly relationships, but it should be noted that those are often fairly elaborate, and sometimes even small quests in themself). I also had an encounter were I believe CH reduced the sum I had to bribe a guard with from 1000 to 800. So there are small perks too.
Anyway, I would suggest to play a high CH character (8 should be enough, I think) at least once, as you may discover a few new things (male and female). (EDIT: Actually it seems to be CH7+Sex Appeal for all encounters)
However you may also consider CH 6 which allows a full group of companions (without using Mentats) and to select the Leader perk. (Or use Mentats when on lvl 9 which should work, too?)

Im not sure if other stats unlock new content too? It may be possible, but I'm not aware of anything significant. So far it was mostly smaller options and alternatives.

Skills
I spend some time thinking about which skills are the most useful ones. This is not a final verdict but my current ranking:
Tier I: Speech (main skill with many uses) (but (so far) I'm doing fine without it, which may also be interesting to know. Only the ring fights in Corath may need a bit more preparation and planning ahead).
Steal (universally useful, but never particularly, as far as I can tell).
Tier II: Science and Repair (you can use books, but eventually you may want 131% in each skill (perhaps even more, I don't know yet), especially at the Rebirth Base, so books alone may not be enough. In fact I'm wondering if Tech Wizard doesn't start to look interesting as a final perk (lvl 18) (especially when one is about to finish the game anyway)).
Tier III: Sneak, Lockpick, Traps, Doctor (they all have their quest uses at one point or another and I think each may work as a third skill. At the moment I would prefer Sneak and Doctor (new content and options) over Lockpick (use the crowbar, otherwise it's optional) & Traps (no crucial uses really).
Tier IV: Gambling, Barter, Outdoorsman (I don't think they have crucial uses, but they do have uses, and riding them once is not a complete waste. Although books may be enough for Outdoorsman, especially if investing in a Motion Sensor).
Tier V: First Aid (I have not found use for this one yet, other than healing oneself, but personally I don't mind paying a doctor 100 caps for a heal).

Combat skills
I think all three (small, big & energy) are workable.
Small Guns may be the best choice for the first play-through, but if you know the mod you may actually choose a different one (Big Guns or Energy Weapons) and use tricks to make it through the early game (which works well enough) and eventually books to raise Small Guns :).
Between Unarmed and Melee Weapons I would say Unarmed seems better. More uses in game (quest options), and it's easier to get weapons for it. Almost all melee weapons are somewhat restricted. The Cattle Prod can be found early, but offers no ammo for it, and others are complicated to obtain (Slugger, Wakizashi, Ripper), at which point one can already buy the Super Sledge.
Throwing seems again not really worth it. Although chucking grenades may allow some strategies (but it's probably more work than result (aka “playing the hard way”)) and using a grenade launcher (big guns) may be the better alternative.

Perks
Lvl 9 may select Leader instead (see below), or save this perk until lvl 12 (which is possible) and then take both Action Boy and Gain Agility. Especially if starting with only 9 AG and not wanting to do the operation. (However, this may make AG10 a bit late game, and starting with 10 AG may be more enjoyable.)
Lvl 18: As this is possibly your end game Lvl, you may spend it on anything, including perks like Speaker (+20% speech), Mr. Fixit or Tech Wizard (+20% on science, repair and lockpick) to get your skills up (if needed).

Leader.
Needs CH6 and Lvl 9. Leader gives companions +1 AP and +10 AC. Especially the additional AP should usually make a difference. (In theory it's one more attack each). However, when I used it they liked to walk around a lot (wasting AP) rather than laying the suppressive fire. The “on your won” command can help with that though. Other times it works well (Gabriel & Annihilator), sometimes it doesn't (Lystra doesn't seem very accurate, at least on her first levels), but it's potentially great.
Summary: Gabriel & Lystra would gain 10 AP (two single shots), Keri 9 AP (3 melee attacks). Mutt 11 AP (and eventually/possibly 12, which should be four attacks). I haven't played stupid yet.


And I tried to put together a “best weapon” list. (This kind of list is inspired by Per Jorner's guide).

BB's: Red Ryder BB Gun (haven't found the LE version yet?)
10mm: 10mm SMG (I believe the AP ammo is actually good, but no 10mm weapon in 1.5 does enough damage to take advantage of it. So it's always JHP.)
.44 magnum: .44 Magnum Revolver (Speed Load) (JHP is always better than FMJ)
12 ga. Shotgun Shells: Annihilator Shotgun, H&K CAWS (I assume you would suggest to remove the CAWS, despite the 5 shots burst?)
14mm AP: Kriss Super V SMG
7.62mm: Anti-material Rifle
9mm ball: HK P90c
5mm: Gatling Destroyer, Assault Rifle (Exp. Mag.) (AP is always better than JHP (except vs naked), the downside is that this is not true vs power armour as 5mm weapons can't beat the armour's DT without JHP.) (The Assault Rifle is added as it's the best 5mm using small guns. Otherwise I'm not sure how good it actually is (hurts when getting hit by it though).)
.223 FMJ: DKS-501 Pistol/Sniper Rifle, .233 Pistol (Here I'm not sure if the DKS is as good as the Sniper Rifle. But I guess, one AP less for less accuracy is eventually good? And I wasn't sure about the .223 Pistol (haven't used it much) but I included it now.)
2mm EC: M72 Gauss Rifle
Small Energy Cell: Mega Power Fist, YK32 Pulse Pistol
Micro Fusion Cell: P95/Turbo Plasma Rifle, Plasma Cannon
Flamethrower Fuel: (Improved) Flamer (MKII is preferable)
40mm: Heavy Grenade Launcher (armour-piercing is preferable)
Rocket: Rocket Launcher (AP is preferable)
Muscle: Super Sledge

Guns I'm not sure about:
Gatling Plasma (technically yes, practically very short usage time). Browning Rifle (acceptable substitute until the Kriss?). Sawed-off Shotgun (I would like to mention it, but even though the damage looks good early game, the window to use it seems rather small). M249 SAW (worth mentioning?). Light Plasma Rifle & Raygun (good until the pulse pistol I guess?). Shuriken (probably not, but I'm wondering?)

What do you think? Any comments?
Last edited by Muttie on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DoctorSticks

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Post Sat May 26, 2018 1:46 am

Re: General Character Guide

Fair point about CHarisma, one could make a character with 10 CH and Kama Sutra MAster or something, just for kicks. But Speech generally gets you there. And saving a few caps is meaningless.

You were pretty generous regarding skills. I didn't cover most of them, because they aren't worth the time. Anyways, following your order"

Speech - Yep, pretty good.
Steal - Completely useless. Seems good in theory, but you will soon realize that when you have a good weapon, you can kill Rebirth Patrols and loot thousands of caps worth of weaponry.
Science/Repair - The main use of these is Progema. That's basically it. Well, Science also helps in Rebirth. You can use books for Science to get to 70-80, then finish off with a few skill points if needed. Keep in mind that the Tag Trick can net you 100+ skill points.
Sneak - Never used it, never needed to.
Lockpick - Decent. But 7 Strength and a crowbar works just as well. Still, you can't crowbar doors (only lockers etc..), so its not a bad skill. Definitely should be higher than Repair (Tier 2).
Traps - Never used it, never needed to.
Doctor - Not sure if this helps in areas like Dead Quarter, but for unlocking new content, it is a fair Tag skill. Also, self healing is nice when resting is not allowed.
Gambling - Same problem as Steal.
Bater - Ditto. Even with terrible Barter and 2 CH, money stops being a problem once you aquire a decent weapon and start killing raiders and such. Also, quests start paying in the thousands, and I usually end the game with 50,000+ caps (which get used on operations).
Outdoorsman - Raise with books.
First Aid - Raise with Books. Extra healing if you use up doctor.

Small Guns - Kriss is love. Kriss is life.
Big Guns - Nothing like sending a rocket or a grenade into a think group of enemies and watching them all die. Or the Gatling Destroyer to mow down multiple enemies in one go. :twisted:
Energy Weapons - Laser Weapons suck ass. Plasma Cannon has short range and is very heavy, though admittedly good single-shot damage (worse than Heavy Grenade Launcher though). The P95 is pretty awesome, but you find it after killing the last boss :( . Gatling Plasma is great but again, only after killing the last boss.
Unarmed is better than Melee because it is useful in quests too (the ring), and has +10% higher base hit chance.
Throwing is useless.


I will update my guide to include companions, since this is a useful topic.
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Muttie

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Post Mon May 28, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: General Character Guide

Well, I guess I'm a bit generous :). But it's also because I'm not a power-gamer :wink:. However, I'm not blind to the concept. And I agree with everything you say. Especially for a beginner who looks for a strong build.

However, I probably should have explained better how I rated the skills. I only looked at “how often I was able to use a skill”, and second, “how often was that use quest related” and last “how often was it the only option”. And last bonus points for “when the option was special and cool” (that's why I like doctor).
Based on those criteria I rated the skills.
However, as I also said, it's not final. I have hardly discovered everything yet. And in hindsight I was probably a bit unfair to lockpick (it has more uses than I remembered). However, I don't find it more useful than doctor, repair or sneak. In fact repair and doctor allow otherwise not accessible XP (as far as I'm aware) and sneak has a few interesting quest uses. Lockpick, is only an alternative option so far. Which makes it useful during some quests. But I don't see it rated hire than those other skills. For example if you go without speech, you may never need lockpick, but you may get stuck without sneak.

And, it occurred to me that I probably made the mistake to rate skills, while you were talking about tags, which is quite different actually. Just because a skill can be useful, does not mean you have to tag it. (my bad). I think tags are a discussion boiling down to how important a skill is (i.e. needs to be above 100%) and how early a skill can be used, and how much a character can struggle to bump up the % without the skill being tagged. From that angle I would actually mention doctor and sneak. Both have a few minor uses in Rat Hole, and using those may suck up too many skill points when the character doesn't have that many to spare. However, I would not say that that is a reason to tag those skills, but it may be noteworthy.

However my revised order is:
Criteria: “how often I was able to use a skill”, “how often was that use quest related”, “how often was it the only option” and bonus points “when the option was special and cool”.
But please note that I haven't tested everything yet!
Tier I (most uses)
Speech
Note that if you go by power-gaming only it's: small guns, speech and “whatever”. :)
Tier II (uses (not many, but good ones))
Science (a few helpful uses late game, and if not going with another weapon skill, this may be the third skill to pick.)
Repair (could be tier III, but it unlocks Progema and a 2000+ XP option at the Rebirth)
Tier III (some uses (not many, just some))
Doctor (could be tier II, as it may be the only option in one scenario (miner in Corath), otherwise it's only used one other time at Rat Hole (as far as I can tell), but that time it's cool, so thumbs up from me)
Lockpick (some uses (safes and Rebirth), but so far there have been always alternatives)
Sneak (some interesting uses (access desk & rooms), and if you don't use speech there is one scenario (gold nuggets) where it's the only option. EDIT: Error on my part, there is another option. I just forgot about it.)
Traps (could be tier IV, as it only allows access to three containers as far as I know, which is neat, but nothing important)
Tier IV (gimmick (has uses but nothing important))
Outdoorsman (usefull, but books are enough)
Barter (several times it allows to haggle during quests, but it's money only)
Gambling (fun use in Lost Town (slot machines), but it's money only, as far as I know)
Tier V (universal use only)
Steal (sometimes needed, but it seems to work fine with very low %. However, early game it allows access to some interesting items (stimpaks, especially when siding with Julian) and later a Ripper (Corath), which isn't mind blowing, but it's an option.)
First Aid (allows to heal oneself, but stimpaks and doctors work too)

Finally, if talking about a third skill there are a lot that are useable. But all considered I would suggest science (if not selecting Big Guns). I think that's the skill a beginner will get most use out of (help at the Rebirth).


Note on weapon suggestions:
I think you could list more weapon options. Keri seems to do rather well with a Hunting Rifle, Sniper Rifle, or DKS-501 (seems to crit a lot). Shotguns are not entirely out of the question either. At least, I don't think she has to use pistols only. And in power armour she can also go ham with a Super Sledge. Melee may not be “most efficient”, but it's OK. I think it is more important to point out how she fares with Big Guns and Energy Weapons. As she uses both. But only on her last levels does she seem to be proficient with them (at least Energy Weapons) (not sure about Big Guns). Early game it's also not horrible to give her a 10mm SMG. That's how I killed some enemies when my character was incapable of fighting. It's an option.

Also Gabriel prefers the CAWS over the Annihilator (if given the choice). And I could not tell much difference (damage wise) between a full burst (5 shots) or two shoots from the annihilator. It seems fairly even (i.e. if 3 of the CAWS shots hit, it's also 60 points of damage in average). However, I have not looked too deep into that yet (i.e. more hit rolls, DT/DR etc. not sure what comes out on top, but it may be fairly even).
Last edited by Muttie on Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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DoctorSticks

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Post Tue May 29, 2018 4:36 am

Re: General Character Guide

A trick i recall from Fallout 2, is to set a party member who has a burst weapon to "Charge" regarding distance. This causes them to run up right to the enemy before attacking, which, with a burst weapon, works well (Keri + Kriss = LOL). The only catch is that keri has low AP, so without Leader, she has a hard time moving and attacking.
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Muttie

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Post Tue May 29, 2018 10:51 pm

Re: General Character Guide

That may actually work, and I wish I thought of that earlier when playing the RP Mod (Marcus and Bozar :roll:). I took it away from him after the third happy spray through the whole party “bad, mutant!”.
However 1.5 may be too dangerous. I just had an encounter with Nestor and my companions kept rushing in, and once Nestor's gang shifted their fire onto them, they died in one or two turns. (which was a bit frustrating to deal with as they were not set on “charge” they just had a weird way of looking for a target). So in 1.5 you may have to prep your companions for surviving full rounds of fire (Psycho and/or Power Armour).
But that said handing a companion a burst weapon is always a bit of a risk. Even more so with a weapon like the Kriss :). A bit like the Bozar all over again, i.e. you'll probably end up scraping your other companions of the wall as often as it scores a kill.
However, I have to say that Gabriel uses the burst of his CAWS rather carefully. At least when I'm in the line of fire, he doesn't care so much about Mutt though.

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