Who are you?
- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Think about what your character will be like. Your character is your alter-ego in the Fallout universe. Will your character be a gun-happy sniper? A dune-buggy racer? A sneaky thief? A fast talker who can squeak past the armed guards with a good excuse? A boxing champ, strong but slow? A beautiful seductress who takes what she wants after the moment? The possibilities are endless. It might be a good time to familiarize yourself with the character sheets at this time, and learn a few terms.
Throughout the character creation process and a good deal of the game explanation, we will be following the examples of Jack and Jane, our unassuming and politically correct friends.
(Before you start creating your own character you might want to download and print one of these character sheets)
Primary Statistics - S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
There are 7 Primary Statistics, or Stats that describe various attributes of a character: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These are the character's strengths and weaknesses, and are the limits by which other aspects of a character are determined. Players determine Stats with a certain number of Character Points, determined by the character’s Race, distributed among the 7 statistics. In general, Primary Statistics are not altered after the game begins. For more information on what specific Statistics mean to the game, see Character Creation Part Four: Statistics.
There are 19 skills a character knows. These represent the knowledge a character learns as he or she travels the highways of life, or knew before starting his or her adventures. Not all of them are covered in the Boy Scout Handbook, either. They are: Melee Weapons(STR), Marksmanship(PER), Explosives(PER), Guns(AGL), Energy Weapons(PER), Medicine(INT), Sneak(AGL), Jump(STR), Lockpick(PER), Science(INT), Repair(INT), Pilot(AGL), Speech(CHA), Barter(CHA), Gamble(LCK), Survival(END), Climb(STR), Swim(STR), and Unarmed(END). Skills can go up all the time, and can sometimes go down. For more information on what specific Skills mean, see Character Creation Part Five- Skills below.
Traits are an optional part of a character. They are usually double-edged swords, giving a bonus as well as a penalty, making your character unique. See Character Creation Part Three: Traits for a list of Traits and their effects.
Perks are special abilities a character gains every few levels, and sometimes just for doing something extra neat in the game. Perks sometimes affect skills, or will make gameplay more interesting. Perks never penalize the character, they just do good things. For a list of perks, see Advancement: Perks in Chapter V: Advancement.
Just like in the real world, the post-nuclear world has a system of morals. Performing certain actions can raise and lower a person's karma. Rather than an abstract idea of morality, punishment, and reward, karma in Fallout is a numerical value of how many good or bad things a character has done. Karma also connotes a person's reputation among the other inhabitants of the wastes. Do enough good things, and word gets around. Do enough bad things, people know about it. Really good people tend not to associate with really bad people, and vice-versa. If a character is really good or really bad, or performs an action that heavily affects their karma one way or another, they can sometimes get a karmic perk. Most of the time, these just describe a usually well-known aspect of a character, but can sometimes give bonuses for being especially good (or evil). Maybe there is something to this karma stuff after all. In addition to normal karmic perks, there are special karmic perks that a character can pick up along the way, and you can bet that they will have some kind of major impact on the character's life. See Chapter IV: Life in the Wastes for a list of karmic perks. A beginning player's karma is always zero.
This is a catchall category for many of the other parts of a character that do not fall under any of the previous slots. Many of these do not change all that often, except for those related to armor. Secondary Stats include Armor Class, Radiation Resistance, Poison Resistance, Electricity Resistance, Healing Rate, Unarmed Damage, Action Points, Carry Weight, Damage Threshold, Sequence, and Critical Chance. For more information on these statistics, see Character Creation Part Four: Statistics.