Trading and BarterEdit
“Everywhere the atom bombs are dropping, it’s the end of all humanity, no more time for last-minute shopping, it’s time to face your final destiny!” - Weird Al Yankovic, Christmas at Ground Zero
Much of the Fallout universe uses a system of bartering due to the lack of money backed by a bank. Money is used only in large cities and casinos, and generally consists of rudimentary gold coins for slot machines and gambling. Otherwise, bartering for goods is done on a value-per-value system. Notice that the items at the end of this book have different values. If a character wanted to buy a gun worth 1000, and had a pistol worth 600 and some ammo worth 500, the merchant would be glad to make the deal – the merchant is getting the better part of the bargain. But the merchant might just throw in that knife worth 100 to even out the deal, or add 100 gold coins to make things right.
Sounds easy, right? Not really. A character's Barter skill influences what he or she can buy something for, or get for something. Barter skill works like this: the character compares his or her Barter skill to the merchant's. Whoever has the higher Barter skill has the advantage. Take the higher skill number and deduct the lower skill, and then add that percentage to the value of all that person's goods. If the character has a Barter skill of 50%, and is dealing with a tribal leader whose Barter skill is 25%, the character's goods gain a 25% value. A knife worth 100 would then be worth 125. Of course, the GM could roleplay this situation without all these numbers for a more realistic game experience.
“Write the bad things done to you in sand, but write the good things done to you in marble.” - Islamic Proverb
As previously mentioned, Karma in Fallout is a numerical measure of how “good” or “evil” a person is. Usually, the GM determines what actions will earn or lose a character Karma points, although adventures may outline changes in Karma points for performing specific actions or quests. Some examples of actions that might earn or lose a character Karma points are:
- Help a person in trouble: +10
- Attack an innocent person: -10
- Kill an innocent person: -30
- Steal from an honest merchant: -10
- Steal from a crooked merchant: +5
- Run over someone’s dog: -5
- Kill a notorious bandit: +50
- Join a notorious bandit: -40
- Disable a ticking nuclear bomb: +100
- Detonate a nuclear bomb: -500
And so on. GMs are encouraged to be as creative as they want when doling out Karma points, but not to use them to corral adventurers into performing certain actions. Remember that evil characters can have just as much fun as good characters.
In the Fallout universe, certain actions will earn the character Karmic "Perks." These perks can be good or bad, depending on how you look at them. Below is a list of Karmic Perks, with the actions required to earn them (although most of them should be obvious). Most Karmic perks affect reactions with different kinds of people; sometimes, some groups will not deal with someone who either has or lacks a certain Karmic perk (like Slavers).
This dubious title is bestowed upon a character (or party) that manages to take out an entire town of people. If a village or small town disappears or ends up dead one day, someone is bound to notice and search for clues. For a mercenary looking for work in some warlord's army, this may be just the thing they want on their resume. For a person looking for honest work in a small town, you can bet that the bullets will be flying as soon as they aren't looking. Of course, taking out a city of a million is damn near impossible (a GM that would allow that ought to have their head examined, in addition to the combat taking over a year), but people will still hear about the person who exterminated a village of 100 tribals.
If a character has done many good things for people, he or she is considered a Champion. The character’s war against evil and villainy is the subject of whispered speculation in bars and bedtime stories for children. Champions are respected by any NPC or character with positive Karma. If a character has the Berserker, Grave Digger, or Childkiller Karmic Perks, or if he or she earns one of those perks, he or she cannot be a Champion (if already a Champion, he or she immediately loses this perk if he or she gains one of the others.)
A character earns this perk after they have slain their first child. Whether a person is the purest good or the darkest evil, they realize that children are the most important thing in the wastes, as they represent the final hope for human survival. Characters who kill children are almost instantly recognized (word manages to get out fast) and hated. Storekeepers won't deal with Childkillers, and they can only find solace in the most evil or insane of places, because other people tend to spit on them, throw things at them, or attack them on sight.
“They’re dead, they don’t care.” They might not, but their relatives will. Your character earns this Karmic Perk after looting his first grave. Decent people will find it harder to accept someone who desecrates corpses for profit, although evil NPCs likely won’t care.
Made Man (Woman)Edit
Remember, Donnie, a wise man always carries his money in a roll. This, and other nuggets of organized crime wisdom, are yours to dispense as you have been named a Made Man (or Woman) by a powerful criminal family. Mafias are alive and well in the Wastes, especially in traditional mob hangouts like Vegas and Reno, and should a character endear himself to the mob boss, he becomes a made man. This means you get discounts at mob-run stores and bars, can go places no one else can go, and have access to unique arsenals. It also means that you effectively become a target for opposing crime families. Better start practicing your Jimmy Cagney impression.
The character becomes known by reputation as a boxer, and a good boxer too. After a certain number of wins in the boxing ring, the character earns the Prizefighter perk. People who respect boxers will treat the character better; people who disdain boxing will treat the character with a little contempt. Prizefighters also gain a +20% bonus to their Unarmed skill and get +2 to DT for Normal damage.
"Slavery, it gets s**t done." A character earns this perk after voluntarily joining the Slaver's Guild. Since the bombs fell, slavery has become a profitable enterprise in lesser-civilized (and sometimes the "most civilized") parts of the wastes. In the 100 years since the War, a kind of coalition grew among slavers. They identify themselves with a tattoo that covers most of the face. Of course, that makes their profession obvious to anyone looking at them. Characters with the Slaver tattoo will be treated well by those who respect (and earn money from) slavery, and hated by those who refuse to partake.
Renown is how people recognise a persons achievements in the Wasteland. While Karma shows a modicum of how players get these things done, Renown shows they're pretty good at it. Renown is a two way street. While being famous amongst one people for doing great things for them, another group may take offense at your deeds. thus, renown is both a benefit and a curse. Renown can also show if characters lack in certain areas. You could be known for all of your mighty deeds, the slaughter of Bandit ted and the rescue of pretty minnie, but some people might remember you as as the guy that can't hold onto his ammo.
Renown perks should be given out when players do something extraordianry. They can be rewards, sure, but don't give them out for every crawl through the wastes.
One has travelled for hundreds of miles, worn through so many boot-heels, all in the name of plain wanderlust. The wanderer is known for taking long hikes through the lands, visiting tens of places a day, and coming back alive and well enough to tell about it.
Stay put, sit down, and make sure they pile up around you. You are known for being heavily defense oriented, staying behind one sand-bag pile, sitting on top of one bridge, and taking out your enemies from there. People know when they hire this guy, he's gonna stay put and take care of it.
You've Been around the block, if you know what I mean. You've, entered through that persons back door, as they say. You've played a little Tete a tete, in whatever language that is. People know you can Beat around the bush very well.
You run in to their midst, and make sure it's not their midst anymore. You're known to take a lot of wounds in one battle, as long as the enemy takes more.
Guess you did lead your friends into that ambush by accident, and I guess that duct-tape couldn't repair that bomb as well as you thought. People think that you are so fricking dumb, they couldn't trust you with saying your own name backwards.
Last Man Standing
You went, you conquered, and your friends didn't come back to talk about it. You're good at killing stuff, sure. It's just the people that go with you don't live as long as you do, you know?
You know what you did, and you will never live it down. people run and shut their doors to you for the sick things you did. You body-snatching murderer!
“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.”
Despite what some people think, learning in the wastes is not entirely dead. Occasionally, a character will come across a book. Assuming the character knows how to read, he or she can gain some knowledge from reading the book. Books will generally affect one skill and the increase is equal to 100, subtracting the current skill level, and divided by 10 (rounded down). Thus, the maximum level a book can increase a skill by is 9%. Gamemasters are invited to create their own unique books to affect any of the skills.
From One Place to AnotherEdit
“There'll be no shelter here – the front line is everywhere.”
- Rage Against the Machine, No Shelter
Opening and Breaking Down DoorsEdit
Sometimes, a character will find him-or-herself in a situation where he or she needs to get through a door but it is either jammed or locked. If picking the lock doesn’t work (see below), the character can attempt to break the door down.
Doors (and other items, like bookshelves, walls, etc.) have a certain amount of hit points. After beating on it enough, or rigging it with enough explosives, the door’s hit points will be reduced to 0 and the door breaks open.
Noticing, Setting, Disarming, and Setting Off TrapsEdit
Traps are a basic part of life in the wastes. Tribals use them to keep animals and raiders at bay, evil genius’ use them to keep intrepid adventurers out of their compounds, and clever people can use them to get the drop on an enemy.
When walking into an area with traps, the GM should make a secret roll against each character’s Perception statistic. Those who succeed, notice the traps. Those who don’t are going to run into some problems.
Remember that the characters can only see traps (or mines, see below) that are within their line of sight. If a character has no way of seeing a tripwire, the roll against Perception isn’t going to matter. However, if another part of the trap’s mechanism is visible, they character could detect the trap from that. For more information on detecting mines, see Mines, below.
After a character has seen a trap, he or she can attempt to disarm it. This requires another roll against the Traps skill. If the roll fails, then the trap goes off in the character’s face. It takes approximately 1 round of combat (10 seconds) to disarm a trap.
Wily characters can also use their Trap skill to set a trap or a snare. If they are attempting to set up a complicated mechanism, such as a needle-gun that fires when someone walks across a pressure plate, they need a little bit of time. If it is a simple rope animal trap, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. When setting a trap, the character must have the proper materials. The GM can determine the amount of time required to set a trap. At the end of that time, the GM makes a secret roll against Traps. Success means that the character has set the trap correctly. Failure means that the character messed up somehow, and the trap will either misfire or not go off at all. The character will always assume he or she set the trap correctly.
If a character does not notice a trap and walks into the area, he or she is allowed to roll against Agility to avoid setting it off. The GM should not tell the players why they are rolling, but a clever player should catch on quickly that something is amiss. Unfortunately, if a character fails the roll against Agility, it means the trap was sprung that that character and anyone else in the trap’s range is subject to the trap’s nasty effects, be that damage, poison, or worse.
There are examples of some kinds of traps in the Equipment section, below.
Setting and Disarming ExplosivesEdit
Explosives are a lot like traps, except that they use a timer and are usually much more destructive. Setting explosives can be very useful: you can open doors, destroy or heavily damage vehicles, and even plant them on unsuspecting people.
Setting an explosive device takes 1 round (10 seconds). It requires a roll against the Traps skill, made in secret by the GM. Before the roll is made, the character should declare how he or she is going to set the timer – in other words, when they want the bomb to go off. Should the roll fail, the explosives are still set, but will not detonate when the character thinks they will detonate. It is up to the GM to determine if the explosives are going to go off early, late, or not at all. If the roll against Traps critically fails - a roll of 98, 99, or 100 that results in a failure – then the explosives go off in the character’s face. Oops.
Disarming explosives works the same way that disarming a trap does. It takes 10 seconds, but if the character fails, the explosive doesn’t necessarily go off right away. Like setting an explosive, only a critical failure – 98, 99, or 100 – will make the bomb explode. A disarmed explosive device can still be used, if the character finds another timer for it.
Characters who are hit by an explosive device are going to take damage; there is no roll against Agility to try to move out of the way.
Detecting, Laying, and Disarming MinesEdit
Mines are a cowardly way to fight a battle, but have become quite common in the wastes both as a weapon of fear and a practical way to defend an area when manpower is low. Detecting mines works in exactly the same way as detecting a trap, except that the character can only see mines in a hex-radius equal to their Perception. Once the GM makes a secret roll against Perception, and the character succeeds, they can only detect mines within their range that are not obscured by anything. Perceptive characters had better tell their friends about mines as quickly as possible.
Laying mines counts as setting explosives, except that the mine has no timer, and therefore will not go off improperly – it just won’t function correctly (or it will hurt the minelayer). The same goes for disarming mines – but the character needs to know if a mine is there in the first place. Unfortunately, unless a character is looking for mines, that usually means someone will have to walk over one first. A defused mine is useless and cannot be reused.
When a mine detonates, it damages everything in a certain radius, depending on the device (see the descriptions in the Equipment section, below, for details). In addition, any other mine within the blast radius has a 80% chance of detonating, and any mine within the concussion radius has a 40% chance of detonating. Intelligent raiders have been known to rig elaborate – and devastating - traps with mines.
Should a mine go off, anyone in the blast radius is affected; there is no roll against Agility to avoid damage.
Energy, Gas (Petrol), and PowerEdit
Energy weapons and most vehicles run off of Energy Cells in the Fallout universe. There are two kinds of cells: Small Energy Cells, which look a little like tiny batteries, and Micro Fusion Cells, which look like bigger batteries. Each cell holds a certain amount of charges, and each weapon or vehicle takes a certain amount of these charges to recharge completely.
Thankfully, there are certain areas in the wastes where characters can recharge their Micro Fusion Cells (Small Energy Cells are like alkaline batteries, and cannot recharge). These recharging machines are extremely rare and are often only found in old military installations. The charger will only work if it has power running to it, and takes approximately 1 hour to recharge a Micro Fusion Cell completely. If the recharger happens to be in the hands of a person or organization, be prepared to pay a lot for this service.
There are still a few rare vehicles and pieces of equipment that run off of gasoline (or petrol, to my European readers). Gasoline is one of the rarest substances in the wastes, and can be very difficult to come by. There will be stores in large cities that sell it, but only in exchange for something very valuable – like everything you own. It all depends on how badly you need that go-juice.
Much of the world has fallen into a state of complete disrepair in the years since the War, and safe travel is never guaranteed in the wastes. When traveling between locations, there is a chance for random encounters. Random encounters can break up the monotony of long travel, provide combat and experience points (and, of course, loot), and even serve as comic relief.
The specific adventure modules will instruct the GM on how often to roll for an encounter, and what chance the party has to meet one. In general, random encounters are usually terrain-specific; a party isn’t going to meet a bunch of desert lizards in the middle of a jungle.
If the party does meet a random encounter, then they have a chance to avoid the encounter. The “leader” of the party – the character who is first in marching order, or at the front of the party – must make a roll against Outdoorsman. If the roll succeeds, the character has spotted whatever the party will encounter and can decide whether or not to avoid it.
Parties that meet random encounters will start at a position of 5 hexes multiplied by the “leader’s” Perception from the middle of the group the party is encountering. This means that if the leader’s perception is 6, the party starts 30 hexes from the center of the encounter (the middle of a caravan, for example). If the group the party encounters is big enough, this can still plant them right in the middle of everything. Starting position in random encounters doesn’t matter as much when encountering peaceful things, but it matters a lot if you wandered into a radscorpion nest.
Some sample random encounters
- A merchant caravan selling basic items.
- A group of slavers on the way back from a successful run.
- A pack of wild wolves (or lizards, or whatevers).
- A crashed vehicle, with the pilots dead behind the controls.
- Some farmers trying to eke out a meager life.
- Another wandering party of adventurers.
- Cowboys on a Brahmin drive.
- A group of tribals out hunting.
- An Enclave bot patrol (You can help or kill them).
- Communist ghouls.
The GM and the adventure writers are encouraged to create any kind of encounter that will add the right flavor to the adventure.
Detecting Sneaking CharactersEdit
Sometimes, the party will have to worry about enemies and critters sneaking up on them. Each character has a base chance equal to (8 X PERCEPTION) to detect a sneaking enemy. Characters with 5 Perception have a 40% chance of detecting someone trying to get the drop on them.
If the sneaker is concealed in partial or semi-darkness, that chance drops to (5 X PERCEPTION). If the sneaker is in total darkness, the chance to detect a sneaking enemy drops to (2 X PERCEPTION).
The GM should ask the characters to make this roll at once, and only tell those who succeed what is going on. If no one succeeds, then the characters may realize something fishy is going on, but won’t know what that something is exactly.
Swimming and WadingEdit
It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and then the party may find itself neck-deep in the wet-stuff – literally. Whether it’s because their boat capsized or they are forced to cross a large river or lake without a floatation device, swimming is a fairly simple concept. Water presents some problems, however. The first is that most things in the post-nuclear universe aren’t really designed to float, including weapons, armors, food, and robots. The second is that these things can weigh a character down or sink him in a matter of seconds.
A character can safely hold approximately 10 lbs. X STR of weight and safely stay afloat. This includes shoes and clothes. In addition, the character must have at least one hand free. If the character is encumbered any more, he begins to sink along with his precious gear.
Staying afloat requires Swimming checks every 10 minutes. Swimming requires a roll against Swimming every minute. Movement in the water is restricted to one hex for every 3 action points spent moving; this applies to any amount of water knee-deep or above.
The wasteland isn’t flat. In fact, a good deal of it is varying degrees of up and down. Most of the time, characters can walk, run, or drive up steep inclines. Every now and then, however, the party might find itself at the bottom of a canyon with no recourse but to make it to the top the hard way – by climbing.
For ascending or descending steep inclines, or attempting to move laterally while stuck to the middle of such an incline, characters roll against their Climbing skill. For each successful roll, a character can move one meter in any direction. An unsuccessful roll means the character either didn’t find a foothold, slipped downwards and took a little damage, or fell off and is hurtling towards the ground. The difficulty of the roll against Climbing is affected by the following penalties. Note that some gear in the Wastes can give characters a bonus to their Climb skill. Also note that more than one penalty can apply in any given situation.
- Incline between 50º and 75º -20%
- Incline between 75º and 90º -40%
- Incline 90º or greater -75%
- Damp climbing surface -10%
- Wet climbing surface -25%
- Icy climbing surface -50%
The percentage by which the character missed the Climbing Roll determines whether he slips or falls completely:
Missed Roll by... Result
- 1%-10% No handholds; don’t move
- 11%-25% Slip 1 meter, take 2 HP damage
- 26%+ Oops, you fell!
Either your Climbing roll failed, you got knocked off of a ladder, or your parachute didn’t open. Now you’re sailing towards the ground. It isn’t the falling that’s the hard part, it’s the sudden stop at the end most characters need to be concerned with.
Falling happens at a constant rate in the Fallout Universe – 10 meters per second. This means that a character will fall 100 meters in one ten-second round of combat. This also means the sudden stop is going to hurt.
For every ten meters (or every second, depending on point of view) a character falls, that character takes 1d10 of damage when he or she smacks the ground. In addition, the character has a chance (percentage) equal to the number of meters he or she dropped to incur a broken limb. Therefore, if Maxine slipped off a cliff and fell 25 meters, she would take 2d10 points of damage and has a 25% chance of breaking a limb.
The Art of the ThiefEdit
“Pledge allegiance to the flag, whatever flag they offer, never tell them what you really feel.”
- Mike and the Mechanics, Silent Running
Sneaking around takes a certain amount of concentration, planning, and luck. When a character wants to sneak, he or she should announce their intentions. The Gamemaster should then roll the character's sneak skill, and re-roll every minute thereafter. The interesting thing about sneaking is that the character always thinks he or she is successful at it, whether or not they truly are successful (more accurately, the character hopes that they are successful). Only the GM knows for sure if the character is successfully keeping to the shadows. Sometimes a character will be tipped off to an unsuccessful sneak when an NPC gives them a funny look and asks them what they are doing. Things like amount of cover, light, and Perception of people or critters around the sneaker affect the chances to sneak, at the Gamemaster's discretion. Characters who are sneaking successfully get a +40% bonus to their Steal skill while sneaking, and always get to attack first in combat (and sometimes can avoid combat by getting the drop on an enemy and killing him outright). Note that a character cannot normally sneak and run at the same time. Also note that some armors will greatly reduce a character’s chances of sneaking around.
In the Fallout universe, there are still many people keeping things under lock and key. Therefore, it sometimes becomes necessary to relieve them of their items. Characters can attempt to steal from anyone or anything with goods, from people to stores. Sneaking successfully can increase the chances that a character successfully steals an object. If a character fails a roll to steal, it isn't necessarily obvious. The character still may get the item (GM's discretion) but the target will notice. Whether or not the target rips the character's throat out depends on what kind of person they are. If a character fails the Steal roll, and their target wants to initiate combat, their target automatically sequences first in the opening round. Note that when the "target" is looking away (kind of a "picking the pocket" sort of crime), the success rate may increase.
At times, it becomes necessary for the thief to plant an item on another person or critter, or in a bookshelf or cabinet. Perhaps the thief is carrying some incriminating evidence and needs to get rid of it fast. Perhaps the thief has just pulled the pin out of a grenade and wants to slip it in the pocket of an uncooperative guard. Either way, planting an item works in exactly the same way as stealing, except something goes from the thief’s possession to the target’s possession. When the thief fails her roll against Steal, it means that the thief is caught; like Stealing (see above), the target might not want the thief to know that he or she is aware of the plant. The thief always assumes she has succeeded, until the target gives the reason to assume otherwise.
Generally, locks exist to keep people out of places (or in places, in the case of a cage). Characters can make rolls to break through these defenses, from simple padlocks on lockers in high schools to top-notch safes in corporate offices.
There are two types of locks: regular and electronic. Electronic locks require either a key or an item called an electronic lockpick. Electronic lockpicks are generally only available from a Thief’s Guild or a very well-connected source. Regular locks can be picked without a regular lockpick, although lockpicks can greatly enhance the chances of cracking the lock. The chances of cracking a safe can be increased with safe cracking tools.
Lockpicking takes 1 minute to attempt. If the player rolls 95% or more, and that roll results in a failure, then the lock is broken and can only be opened with explosives, which might result in damaging whatever is on the other side of the lock. See Opening and Breaking Down Doors, above.
Food and WaterEdit
Unless your character is a Robot, he needs to eat and drink.
Basically, you need to keep your Strength and Endurance up. Each type of food has number of calories in it - and you need (STR+END) x 50 of them each day
You can use this as a guide:
|Sand or land||6|
- ↑ Humans and ghouls should make a Outdoorsman check to detect whether this food is poisonous. However, the GM can substitute this for the Luck check.
- ↑ -1 Karma each time you eat THAT.
Also your character needs (STR/2, rounded up) litres of water per day.
Successful Outdoorsman check (two per day, per character allowed)should help finding a day ration of food and water.
Each day without food gives you temporary -1 to Strength and Endurance.And when your STR and END both drop to minimum, you're dead.
Each day without water takes -5 HP. It's not required to point out that you die when your HP drops below 0, is it?
As much as knives and bullets, characters are likely to harmed by the fallout (See where they got the name?) of the great war, leaking storage containers, and other sources of the glowing stuff. Under normal circumstances all characters start with 0 rads (ghouls start with 100 rads) but this number can be adjusted depending on the character's background and Overseer's decision. Should a character be exposed to radiation, either through consuming irradiated food, water, drugs and other consumables, or by being near radiation sources (including irradiated people!) (to calculate the amount of rads given by being near someone take the number of rads they have and divide by 20 this is the number of rads given if in close contact for a week) rads begin to build up in their system and radiation burns are caused, which can be problematic for most people in the wastes. For every 3 rads that enter a person's system they take 1 energy damage which can be healed normally, both ghouls and mutants are immune to radiation burns and non-ultra-letal radiation sickness. Should 1000 rads build up in a human character's system they must take an endurance test every day at a -1 penality or die from radiation sickness (should 1500 rads build up the character succumbs to the radiation sickness immediately, seriously noone can take that much), if 5000 rads build up in a ghoul's or mutant's system they go feral or die respectively. In addition to damage and death radiation also causes penalties to statistics.
|Radiation Sickness Severity||Rads||Penalty|
|Minor||200||-1 to all SPECIAL (except luck), -10% to all skills|
|Moderate||400||-2 to all SPECIAL (except luck), -30% to all skills|
|Severe||600||-3 SPECIAL (except luck), -60% to all skills|
|Critical||800||-4 SPECIAL (except luck), -120% to all skills, organ failure begins (poison and toxin effect doubled, resistance halved and natual radiation dissappation done at a rate of 2 rads a week)|
|Lethal||1000||-6 SPECIAL (except luck), -200% to all skills, humans begin to make END checks to survive|
|Instantly Lethal||1500||Humans die instantly|
|Ultra-Lethal||5000||Ghouls become feral (can revert to "normal" state), Mutants die instantly|
Recovering From RadiationEdit
Although in the wastes there are few who survive even minor radiation exposure due to the inability of the body to function properly, there is some hope (very, very little), extremely expensive and rare drugs, certain mysterious fruits and time can all reduce the amount of rads and radiation damage in a individual's body, there are even rumors of a miracle medical cure that can remove most of the rads in even the most irradated person, with common materials, but there is no proof of this procedure anywhere in the wastes. Certain drugs and consumables will have their own rules to remove rads, but rest will also help, for every week after exposure, the individual loses 5 rads; in completely unirradated settings the individual removes 10 rads a week (ghouls and mutants remove 10 rads a week regardless of setting or activities, tripled if in unirradiated settings) and can revert radiation sickness into a lesser form or lose the sickness entirely.
Heat and ColdEdit
The human body can withstand some pretty extreme conditions, and human innovation makes up for lack of natural fur and cooling systems. That being said, the Wastes can be a harsh place, and heat and cold are always a concern. When temperatures climb, characters must find ways to keep cool or suffer the effects of heatstroke. When temperatures climb above 40 Celsius (about 104 Fahrenheit), characters must begin making Endurance checks (at a –2 penalty, if the character is doing anything other than resting). Characters wearing Power Armor, Environmental Armor, or taking other precautions, such as driving with the windows down, do not have to worry about making these checks. If a character is wearing leather armor, however, add another –1 penalty; if the character is wearing metal armor, add a –2 penalty.
Failing an Endurance check means a character suffers 3 points of damage from heatstroke. Note that these hit points will not recover, even with medical/chemical attention, until the character can cool off and get out of the heat. Regardless of success or failure, Endurance checks against the heat must be made every ten minutes.
Cold works in much the same way: when temperatures fall below 5 Celsius (about 36 Fahrenheit), characters must begin making Endurance checks every ten minutes. Again, Power Armor and other isolated environmental suits negate the need for this check, as well as the proper kind of parka, furs, or other winter garb. If a character is engaged in some kind of activity, the check gets a +1 bonus; likewise, if the character is wearing leather armor, they get another +1 bonus. Metal armor, because it retains cold as well as heat, means a –1 penalty to the Endurance check.
Failure of this roll means the character suffers 3 points of damage from frostbite or hypothermia. If the character takes more than 7 damage in this way without first getting warm (in other words, if the character fails three Endurance checks in one outdoor session), then that character suffers frostbite and loses a finger or a toe. For every 3 damage beyond the initial digit loss (or for each failed roll beyond the third, depending on your point of view), the character loses another finger or toe. These digits must be amputated; doing so without medical knowledge can result in more HP loss, and allowing the dead digits to remain will result in diseases like gangrene. It’s not a good idea to go tromping around in the cold for very long without protection.
Like heatstroke, hypothermia and frostbite cannot be cured by time, medical attention, or chemicals until the player is brought in from the cold.
Building and Repairing FirearmsEdit
Gun shops and factories are next to nonexistent in the Fallout universe. Small operations exist in technologically advanced locations like Brotherhood bunkers and Enclave bases, but in general, many people rely on themselves for basic weapon construction and maintenance.
Uh oh! Looks like that last critical miss caused your hunting rifle to break on you. Luckily, if you have a few of the necessary requirements, there is a good chance you can bring it back to working order.
The first thing you'd need to repair any firearm is parts. These can either be scavenged from another weapon of a similar type (assuming the replacement parts needed are operational) or found in an abandoned storage facility like those in old gun factories and military installations. Without parts some repair might still be possible, but much more difficult to pull off.
The second things you'd need would be a decent skill corresponding to the type of gun being fixed (Small Guns, Big Guns, or Energy Weapons) and either a decent Repair skill (for Small and Big Guns) or Science skill (for Energy Weapons).
To begin repair, you take the sum of your weapon skill and either the repair or science skill (whichever you're using) and divide the number by 2 (rounding down). The result is your base repair roll. Certain modifiers may come into play as well. Without parts, the player would receive a -45 modifier to this number.
Jim the Raider busted up his assault rifle during his last big firefight and now he wants to repair it. Luckily, he's got a Small Guns skill of 75% and Repair skill of 40%. Together that number is 115%. Divided by two (rounded down) it is 57%. Thankfully Jim has some rifle parts he scavenged from a couple of dead NCR Rangers or otherwise that 57% would look more like 12%. If Jim can roll below 57%, he will successfully repair his assault rifle. Oops! He rolled an 80. His rifle is still broken and while he can try to repair it again, he used up the parts last time so he'd have to roll below 12% on his second try. Might be more worth it to take it to a gunsmith the next time he ventures into town.
Though gunsmiths exist in the Wasteland, they are generally confined to towns with a large population and high technological expertise. They are skilled craftsmen and their services are generally expensive. Some enterprising adventurers have found that building their own firearms is a novel alternative.
The system for building weapons works much the same way as that for repairing weapons. One major difference is that besides just parts and skills, the player will need to have his or her hands on some plans. Weapon-building knowledge is not the kind of thing that comes easily and to build something like a rifle would require schematics. Without schematics, the player would experience a -50% modifier to building a weapon they've never built before. That number could go down as they become familiar with a gun type they've had experience in producing. Say a character has built a hunting rifle from schematics once but doesn't have the plans for a second go at it. That modifier would only be -25%. After a successful second try, that modifier could be reduced even further at the GM's discretion. Without parts, however, it would be impossible to build any type of weapon. The reasons for this should be self explanatory. You can't make a gun appear out of thin air, you know.
The types of parts needed are generally outlined in the schematics for the weapon. The GM is invited to come up with all sorts of bizarre firearms using all sorts of junk as their raw material. If a player is really interested in trying to produce their own weapons, the only limit to their possibilities is the imagination of the GM.
Well Jim the Raider has decided to try his hand at building a gun from scratch. During a successful attack on an NCR Ranger outpost, he came across a set of schematics for a hunting rifle and after some creative scavenging he has all the parts he needs. Once again his Small Guns skill is 75% and his Repair skill is 40%. That gives him a 57% chance of building the weapon. After a successful roll of 22, he has now built his very own hunting rifle.
“Walker is my name and I am the same, Riddley Walker. Walking my riddles where ever they've took me and walking them now on this paper the same.”
- Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker
Well, primitive weapons are - sticks and stones (will break your bones), primitive 'spears', 'axes', or the like.
They do much less damage, and are less durable, but are very common throughout the wastes, and they're also easy to make - to make it, you just have to have the materials, anything else doesn't matter.