This is the most important part of the game so don't rush through it to jump right into the game. How you construct your character will determine what quests are available to you, what your playing style is, and how your character operates in combat (if at all). The game offers you three different pre-made characters or you can make your own. The three pre-made characters represent the three main approaches to solving problems: The violent way, the thiefly way, and the charismatic way. I will go through each of the three characters first, list their stats and explain their basic playing styles. Then I will go over all of the possible statistics involved in character creation and their pros and cons. Remember, your character should be a unique individual that fits YOUR playing style, this is merely a guide, choose whatever you want.
Max Stone: Max Stone is big, dumb and strong. When I refer to doing something the Max Stone way, it will usually involve killing everything that moves. You may want to modify Max, especially his traits.
Tagged Skills: Small Guns, Big Guns, Unarmed
Traits: Bruiser, Heavy Handed
Natalia: Natalia is the thief character, when I refer to doing something the Natalia way I generally mean moving without being seen, picking locks, and stealing. Natalia's stats could use a little tweaking, her unarmed skill will not be very useful with a strength of four, and her charisma is a little higher than she probably needs.
Tagged Skills: Sneak, Steal, Unarmed
Traits: Night Person, Gifted
Albert: This is my favorite type of character, the diplomat. When I refer to doing something the Albert way I mean talking your way out of a situation. You may wish to modify Albert, especially his traits and agility.
Tagged Skills: Small Guns, Speech, Barter
Traits: Skilled, Good Natured.
Now, the nitty gritty of creating your own character from scratch. Now that you are familiar with a few of the basic player archetypes I will go over all the different statistics and their pro's and con's whether you with to pick them up or not is up to you.
Raise or lower your statistics as you see fit, but keep in mind, once a statistic drops below a rating of four, you will suffer severe penalties. Think carefully before lowering any stat that much, as it will handicap your character in that area
Strength: Strength is your raw physical power, it's used for unarmed, melee, and throwing attacks, maximum carry weight, and strength checks for using weapons (weapons have a minimum strength requirement). Your strength can be increased by 3 once you find a set of power armor, and can also be increased by one if you take the BOS's strength operation, so raising this to a high level can seem like a bit of a waste. On the other hand, you don't get power armor until very late in the game. It's up to you whether you want to buff this up, but unless you are a melee fighter you probably don't want to raise this above 6.
Perception: This is your ability to notice sights, sounds, and smells. It's used for determining range modifiers, and noticing small details. This can be increased by one using the brotherhood operations. Generally you want to keep this stat near an average level. Sniper type characters will need more perception, while close range bursters will need less.
Endurance: How long you can last before you drop. Endurance affects how many hit points you can per level, and your resistances. This can be increased by one using the brotherhood operations. This is a stat whose impact is difficult to see, but a high endurance will give you a ridiculous amount of hit points near the end game. The more hits you think you are going to take, the more you should raise your endurance.
Charisma: Basically Charisma is how attractive and charming your character is. This stat can be increased by one if you encounter Patrick the Celt and sing with him. Charisma is not for everybody, and the affects of this stat are the most difficult to see. When in a conversation if you are attempting to convince someone of something, or perhaps get away with a lie. A roll is made on your charisma and speech skills. If they are high enough the character will likely agree with or believe you, if not the person may become angry and/or violent. A high speech score can somewhat make up for a low charisma. The more diplomacy you are involved in the higher a Charisma stat you will need.
Intelligence: Arguably the most important statistic. A high intelligence will give you more options in dialogue and increase your available skill points per level. If this is lowered below four, you will not have any options in dialogue aside from various grunts, and most people will not talk to you. This can be increased by one using the brotherhood operations. This stat is important for almost every type of character, and the higher the better.
Agility: This represents your speed and dexterity. It is important for your AC and action points. Your action points are probably the most important derived statistic from this stat. You will gain one action point for every two points you sink into this skill, so the only time you would want an odd number of agility points is if you plan to raise this stat by one with the BOS operations. A Max Stone, or Natalia type character will require more agility than an Albert type character.
Luck: The affects of Luck quite difficult to see. Your luck can be raised by up to two from the fortuneteller in Adytum. Luck affects your critical hit chance and chance of getting special random encounters. A low luck will start getting you critical failures, such as exploding weapons. Obviously the higher this stat is the better; a high luck will make most situations run a little smoother. I would not suggest raising this above 8 however due to the fortunetellers bonus.
Derived statistics are raised and lowered depending on their corresponding Statistic. You don't need to carefully scrutinize these, just be aware of them, and watch how they change as you raise or lower your statistics. Most derived statistics can only be raised using Perks.
Hit Points: Most RPG veterans know what these are, these are a basic barometer for your characters health, if they run out you die. Raise them by using stimpacks, resting, using first aid or doctor skills, or visiting a doctor. These will go up as you gain levels; just how many you gain per level depends on your endurance. Starting Hit Points equals 15+ (2x Endurance) + Strength.
Armor Class: This is how good you are at avoiding being hit, the higher the better. Using armor can increase this. A high Armor Class does not decrease damage taken, only your chance of actually being hit. Starting AC equals your agility.
Action Points: This is how many action points your character will receive per combat turn. Action points are used to move, fire weapons, and use items. Combat characters will want a lot of these to enable multiple actions per turn. If you have AP left over at the end of your turn, any extra will be converted to additional AC until your next turn. Starting AP equals 1/2 Agility + 5.
Carry Weight: This is the total amount of weight your character can carry around. A low carry weight will necessitate a lot of annoying rearrangement of items between your NPC's and yourself it you play as a packrat. Starting carry weight equals 25 + Strength X 25.
Melee Damage: This is the amount of extra damage that is added to your attacks when using an unarmed or HtH weapon in combat. This should obviously only matter to melee characters. Starting melee damage equals Strength - 5, minimum of 1.
Damage Resistance: Your Damage Resistance is your basic ability to resist damage. If your damage resistance is 10% and you take 100 points of damage, you will take 90 damage after applying your damage resistance. Starting Damage Resistance equals 0%
Poison Resistance: Poison Resistance: Poison Resistance will reduce the amount of poison damage you take. Some animals such as radscorpions will poison you, but you won't need to worry too much about poison. Starting poison resistance equals Endurance X 5.
Radiation Resistance: Whenever you are exposed to radiation, your Radiation Resistance will reduce the number of rads you take. Radiation Resistance can be raised with Rad-X. Starting Radiation Resistance equals Endurance X 2.
Sequence: This determines who will act first in combat, the higher your sequence, the sooner it will be your turn. Starting Sequence equals Perception X 2.
Healing Rate: How fast you can heal wounds and bruises. If you rest for a long period of time, you will recover hit points every three hours, how many hit points you recover is equal to your healing rate. Starting Healing Rate equals 1/3 Endurance (Minimum 1).
Critical Chance: A critical hit in combat will have spectacular affects such as, crippling limbs, ignoring armor, or just doing tons of extra damage. Your critical chance is the percentage applied to your attacks to determine whether or not you get a critical hit. Starting Critical Chance equals your luck.
Skills are your learned abilities and unlike Statistics, they will increase as you gain levels or read books. A new character gets to choose three tag skills. Tag skills represent your characters natural affinity with a skill. A skill that is tagged will instantly go up 20%, and for each skill point you sink into it; it will gain 2% instead of 1%. Unless your character is a total and complete pacifist, you will probably want at least one of the six combat skills. Remember, the combat skills do NOT affect damage dealt in combat, they only affect chance to hit.
Small Guns: The use of pistols, rifles, shotguns, and sub machineguns. The better your Small Guns skill, the better chance you have of hitting your opponent with a weapon in the Small Guns category. Starting Small Guns equals 35% + 1% X Agility. This is a great skill, and one I highly suggest for tagging. Small Guns will probably be your best weapons for most of the game, until you begin finding large energy weapons. You can complete the game with only Small Guns from your starting pistol to the sniper rifle.
Big Guns: This is your skill in using miniguns, flamers, or rocket launchers. The better your skill, the more likely you will hit your target when using a Big Gun. Starting Big Guns equal 10% + 1 X Agility. I don't highly suggest the Big Guns skill, you won't acquire Big Guns until fairly late in the game, and the ammo is atrociously heavy and expensive. I would not suggest tagging this.
Energy Weapons: Your skill in using laser or plasma weapons. Any ranged weapon that uses a power pack instead of ammo will fall under this skill. Starting Energy Weapons equals 10% + 1% X Agility. This is a great skill; Energy Weapons are probably the most powerful in the game. However you may want to not tag this, as you will not need Energy Weapons until late in the game. This is still a good choice though.
Unarmed: Your skill at various martial arts. The higher your unarmed rating the better chance to hit if you attack someone without a weapon or while wearing a glove type weapon (such as Brass Knuckles). Starting Unarmed equals 65% + 1% X (Strength + Agility)/2 You can tag this if you want, but it will take a high strength to do any damage with it, and I hate wasting points on Strength which will be automatically raised with power armor. It starts at a very high level so it's easy to raise to a skilled level.
Melee Weapons: Your skill in beating up people with a close range weapon. This skill covers knives, clubs, spears, and sledgehammers. The higher your skill the more likely you are to hit your opponent. Starting Melee Weapons equals 55% + (Agility +Strength)/2. This skill has the same drawbacks as unarmed, due to its need for a high Strength stat. I like this skill a little better than unarmed though, and I suggest this as the HtH skill of choice.
Throwing: Muscle propelled ranged weapons such as spears, knives, and grenades. This skill will affect your accuracy, but your Strength will determine the range. Starting Throwing equals 40% + 1% X Agility. I don't recommend this skill at all for tagging. Grenades are just too rare to be used as a main weapon. You may want to sink a few points into this and use throwing weapons occasionally, since you can effectively use throwing weapons at only average skill levels.
First Aid: The ability to heal minor wounds, cuts, and bruises. If you use first aid on yourself you have a chance of healing a few hit points, but you can only use first aid three times a day. Starting First Aid equals 30% + (Perception + Intelligence)/2. I highly suggest against tagging this or putting any skill points whatsoever into this. You will find First Aid books that can raise your skill level. If you want a healing skill, choose Doctor.
Doctor: This is the ability to heal major wounds and crippled limbs. You can heal way more hit points with this than with first aid. You can only use this three times a day. Starting Doctor equals 15% + (Perception +Agility)/2. This skill is far more useful than First Aid, but I still don't recommend it for tagging, heavy combat characters might want to raise it a bit to heal crippled limbs, but for healing hit points you can use stimpacks, rest, or go visit a doctor.
Sneak: The skill at moving quietly without being seen. While in Sneak mode, the higher your sneak skill is, the more likely you will be noticed, this is a good way to avoid potentially hostile baddies. If you run, Sneak will automatically turn off. Starting Sneak equals 25% + 1% X Agility.
Lockpick: The skill at opening locked doors without a key. Lockpicks can increase this skill but you must use the proper pick on its corresponding lock or it won't work. Starting Lockpick equals 20% + (Perception + Agility)/2. This is a great skill, and you will find yourself using it quite often. Despite this, I still don't suggest tagging it, sink a few points into it every once and a while, but with the right pick you can open all the locks you need with about 70% or 80%.
Steal: The skill at taking things from other people without being noticed. Stealing large items will be much more difficult. Make sure you stand behind someone as you steal. Starting Steal equals 20% + 1% X Agility. Steal is quite the useful skill, if you decide to put points into this make sure you steal diligently from EVERYONE. You will have all the ammo and stimpacks you will ever need.
Traps: This is the skill of disarming traps and setting explosives. If you mess up while using this skill you will suffer some explosive penalties. Starting Traps equals 20% + (Perception + Agility)/2. This skill is almost worthless don't put a single skill point into this, traps will only do a couple of hit points of damage to you, and setting dynamite is easy, just put a few extra seconds on it in case it explodes prematurely.
Science: Your knowledge of computers, electronics, and other scientific fields. You will mainly use this for operating and hacking into computer systems. Starting Science equals 25% + 2 X Intelligence. This skill is used somewhat very late in the game, but I wouldn't suggest tagging it. You can read books to increase this, but they are quite rare so you may want to sink the occasional point into this.
Repair: This is the practical side of science. Repair will allow you to fix broken things and work with all things mechanical. Starting Repair equals 20% + 1% X Intelligence. This skill is similar to Science, it is used occasionally late in the game but I still wouldn't tag it. You can read repair manuals to increase this skill, but you should occasionally put a few points in it.
Speech: The skill of dialogue. When talking to an NPC the higher your speech skill, the more likely the NPC will believe what you are saying, or agree with you. This skill is used automatically. Starting Speech equals 25% + 2 X Charisma. This is a great skill and I highly recommend tagging it. This skill will help make up for low Charisma scores, and is the most vital skill for an Albert type character.
Barter: How good you are at haggling. When making a trade, the higher your barter skill, the lower the price you pay will be. Starting Barter equals 20% + 2X Charisma. This skill isn't that important, you should be able to find more than enough equipment to sell, and by the end you should have thousands of extra caps you don't need, pass this skill up.
Gambling: This is your skill at playing games of chance and winning. The higher your gambling skill the more likely you will win at any casino games. This skill is all or nothing, either put no points into it, or raise it to very high levels and break the bank at casinos. Starting Gambling equals 20% + 3 X Luck.
Outdoorsman: This is the skill of surviving in the wild. The higher your outdoorsman skill the more likely you are to survive traveling and avoid random encounters. Starting Outdoorsman equals 5% + (Intelligence + Endurance)/2. The higher this skill is the less random encounters you will run into. Some people may want more random encounters to raise their levels. You can also raise this with books so I do not suggest putting any points in this unless you are having serious trouble moving around the world map.
Traits have good and bad effects and you should think carefully before choosing one, as some traits will change your entire playing style. Traits are optional and you may have zero, one, or two traits.
Fast Metabolism: Your healing rate increases by +2 but your poison and radiation resistances are reduced to 0%. This isn't too bad, radiation and poison resistances are largely useless, but on the other hand you won't heal wounds with resting that often. Not a bad choice of a trait.
Bruiser: You gain +2 Strength but lose 2 action points. This looks horrible at first glance but think about it, how often do you use those couple of extra action points? Usually at the end of a combat turn you have a few extra AP anyway. I've played a game with this and it is not as bad as it seems, but I still wouldn't recommend it.
Small Frame: You gain +1 Agility but your carry weight is only 15 X Strength. I really dislike this perk, I like a character that can carry half a store on his back and this trait requires a lot of inventory rearrangement. Choose this if you like to travel light.
One Hander: You get a +20% chance to hit with all; one handed weapons and a -40% chance to hit with all two handed weapons. I don't suggest this at all, all the best weapons are two handed and a -40% chance will kill you. Don't get this.
Finesse: All your attacks do -30% damage but your critical chance is +10%. This is a risky perk, -30% is a big ol' chunk of damage, but by the endgame most of your kills will be from critical hits. This perk isn't bad but think carefully before choosing it.
Kamikaze: Your natural armor class is reduced to zero but you get a +5 bonus to sequence. I don't endorse this trait. Sequence is of little importance, everyone goes once per round, and Sequence only determines the order. This isn't worth giving up your AC.
Heavy Handed: You gain a +4 bonus to your melee damage, but your critical hits get a -30% modifier. This does not mean you gain less critical hits, it means the critical hits you do get are far less impressive. Ugh don't get this, only four points of damage will seem like nothing by the end and the -30% bonus to critical hits will make it nigh impossible to cripple limbs, pass this up.
Fast Shot: It costs 1 less AP to use a weapon but you can never perform a targeted shot. This is a great trait, but the cost is pretty steep. Still, with this and a good amount of AP's you can perform multiple attacks in one turn. A great choice.
Bloody Mess: Any time you kill someone in combat they will die a horrifically graphic death. Mice will explode when punched, BB guns will tear holes through people, and grenades will turn people into tiny chunks. This trait has no practical bearing on the game; it's merely for you violent types out there. It will also change the ending slightly.
Jinxed: You will get far more critical failures in combat, but luckily so does everyone around you. Weapons will be dropped, jam up, or explode frequently. Pick this perk if you want, it's pretty amusing but it's a bit too unreliable for my tastes. It's just not good to have your weapon explode as a squad of mutants charges at you.
Good Natured: All your combat skills get a -10% penalty at the start, and you get a +20% bonus to First Aid, Doctor, Speech, and Barter. I'm not a big fan of this; all the skills gaining bonuses besides the Speech skill are not particularly useful. A non-combat character wouldn't need to heal himself anyway.
Chem Reliant: Your chance to be addicted to a chem is twice normal, but you recover faster. No, being addicted is horrible; any trait that increases the chance of it happening should be avoided. If you take a lot of drugs take Chem Resistant
Chem Resistant: Chems only affect you half as long as normal, but you are 50% less likely to be addicted. This is good if you are a frequent drug user. You can almost always finish all your tasks before a drugs high wears off so this traits penalty is very small.
Night Person: You gain a +1 bonus to Intelligence and Perception during the night, and a -1 Penalty during the day. I tend to avoid this trait, it's nice if you do everything at night, but I prefer to operate during the day (easier to see, people aren't asleep, etc.).
Skilled: You will gain an extra 5 skill points per level but will only gain perks every four levels. I would suggest against this, perks give some of the most impressive affects in the game, and the skill checks in this game aren't too brutal.
Gifted: All your Statistics gain +1 but all your skills lost -10% and you receive 5 less skill points per level. This is a GREAT trait, I highly recommend this, skills are far easier to raise than statistics. Users of this trait should read frequently.
Age: Your age can be between 16 and 35. Age is mostly preference and will have little bearing on the game at large.
Sex: You can choose between male or female. Your sex will influence only a few situations (Males can flirt with Keri, females will be hit on by Ton), and occasionally characters will react differently based on your sex.
Name: You're on your own for this.
If you want to preserve your character select Save or Print to file so all can bask in his/her glory.