Another kind of useless character creation guide for Fallout 2. I know there is a lot of them already, and the game is 10 years old, and nobody is going to read it, but just couldn’t help it.
Okay, here it is. There is a lot of ways to play Fallout 2, but these advices help to create a decent character that doesn’t suck much. It is in no way the only good way to create a character, but then again there’s a lot of ways to make a bad character.
Primary stats. They are abbreviated SPECIAL, so it’s easy to remember. This is the most tricky part of character creation, since you can increase some stats in the game, while others you can not. This way you can end up wasting 5 points of stats simply because you have started with ST 10 AG 5. If you start with ST 5 AG 10, you have ST 10 AG 10 by the end of the game, but it doesn’t work the other way around. That’s because you can increase your ST by 5, can’t increase your AG at all and the maximum value of any stat is 10. Go figure. Oh well, you can actually increase any stat by 1 point one time by getting a special bonus (perk), but you don’t get that many perks and there are better ones to get. Possibilities to increase stats listed below don’t include those perks.
Strength should be 5. This is what you need to use most of the small guns, and you’ll get ST +5 late in the game. If you want to have fun with big or energy guns (which is not necessary), you may wish to have ST 6 or take a perk at level 12 (and you are unlikely to get yourself a big gun earlier).
Perception should be at least 6, the more the better, up to 9. Affects your accuracy using guns and some quests. You’ll get PE +1 late in the game, so it’s rather pointless to start with PE 10.
Endurance is rather unimportant. Should be decent, however. EN 4 is fine. You may wish to have EN 6 in order to get some protection perks, which is good but that is not strictly necessary and there are better things to do. You can also temporarily boost EN with drugs in the rare cases when you really need it. You can’t increase it permanently.
Charisma affects some quests and maximum followers count. Followers can be annoying and can be useful. Your call. The game is freely playable wich CH from 1 to 10 inclusive. However, you can get CH +1 in the mid-game and +1 more by the end, so starting CH more than 8 is a kind of waste. Leave it at 5 if unsure.
Intelligence is arguably your best stat. Affects a lot of quests and all skills progression. You’ll get IN +1 late in the game, so you may wish to start with IN 9. Lowest reasonable IN is 4, if you have less you will be stupid, saying things like «Urgh? Me strong. Me kill you.» all the time. It is fun, but not for the first time.
Agility is another best stat, you can decide which is the best yourself. Basically, it affects how many action points you have. With AG 10 you have 10 AP. With AG 9 you have less. Most of the small guns require 5 AP to fire. So with AG 9 you fire one time a turn and waste 4 more AP, with AG 10 you fire two times, which means you deal twice as much damage. Okay, you can get AP +2 in the mid-game, but then again — with AP 12 you can fire twice and reload your gun, which is good. And when you learn to fire faster (4 AP), you can fire 3 times per round. And no, you cannot increase AG during the game.
Luck is not much useful, like endurance. But slightly better, since it affects critical hit chance. But you can live without it. It also gives you the chance to found some special places in the middle of nowhere, which can be useful, not even remotely important. It can be fun to play high LK character at least once, but other than that you can start with any LK from 2 to 8. You’ll get a chance to increase LK by 2 points in the mid-game.
Traits. That’s simple. Avoid anything that decreases your AP, prefer anything that increases your stats (in that order).
Gifted and small frame are probably the best ones. They give you stat points. Stat points are good. Gifted takes skill points away, but you can always earn more of them, unlike stats. Finesse is good for snipers (with high LK), but at level 24 it gets obsoleted by an excellent perk. You can, however, take another perk to get rid of finesse, say, at level 27.
Fast shot is good, but you miss the fun of shooting enemies in their heads and eyes. Not for the first time.
Avoid one hander (the best weapons are two-handed), jinxed (you are stronger than enemies, so you hurt yourself more than them), good natured (useless trade-off), bruiser (AP -2), kamikaze (armour is good, sequence is unimportant). You may also wish to avoid skilled, since you get less perks which are fun. But it can compensate for the skill loss if you have picked up gifted, so it’s your call.
One fun thing to do for snipers is to take finesse and replace it at level 27 by something else. Say, small frame, fast shot or even jinxed (by that time you almost never miss, so your enemies will probably suffer more than you). But I haven’t tried it yet.
Everything else is up to you. Most of the other traits are marginally useful, some even do nothing.
Some skills can be raised with books you find in the game, but only if the skill is low enough. Thus you may wish to wait until you raise the skill to a certain level with books before putting points in it. These skills include small guns, first aid, repair and outdoorsman. You probably want to raise small guns early with points, otherwise the game will be pretty hard.
Small guns and speech you must tag. Speech gives you all the quest fun and small guns keeps your battles from getting difficult or boring (you may also alternate between sniping and burst-firing). This leaves you one skill to tag and I’d advise either science or lockpick. Of these, lockpick is absolutely necessary and science is somewhat optional, but if you are going to take science then you should tag it because you need it at about 126% while lockpick 100% is usually enough. Other useful skills include doctor (used for healing and quests), repair (need for some quests), steal (can be fun) and sneak (can help to steal and in some quests). But those are mostly optional. If you want to add some variety to the combat, use big guns or energy weapons. If you want to have some close combat fun, use unarmed, since it also helps with some quests and the best unarmed weapon is better than the best melee weapon. If you seriously want unarmed, then you should also have sneak for backstabbing purpose.
Skills to avoid include first aid, barter, gambling and throwing. I can remember maybe two places where throwing can be useful, but you can get away with low skill (or other weapons). Barter and gambling are mostly useless. First aid is just worse than doctor and completely useless in any quests.
You should have speech at about 126%, this will make quests much more fun. If you decide to put some points in outdoorsman for some reason (but after raising it with books!), stop at 100%. The same goes about repair. As for combat skills, stop as soon as your chance to hit with your favourite weapon in your favourite mode reaches 95% (this is different from skill value), with the exception of unarmed which you can take up to 160% if you want to punch and kick better.
That’s it. Whatever the first character you decide to create now, it shouldn’t get screwed up.
But let me give some stupid game-playing advices as well. First off, never throw away anything in the random locations. Either put it on some shell in some place you can easily remember (if that’s a lot of stuff), or just throw it in somewhere it can be clearly seen like in the middle of a road (if it’s just one possibly useless item). Never sell extremely rare or unique items — you may need them for some crazy quest. Well, unless that’s useless ammo. But also don’t bring too many different items with you — this causes a dangerous bug which can break your game. Save often in one slot and save rarely in another slot — this way you can still go back when you know you’ve screwed yourself up somewhere. Save in a different slot when you arrive to some place. Save in a different slot when you leave. Save in a special slot when you’ve achieved something important. Better be safe than sorry.
Oh, and when you choose a weapon, either consult manual to understand both weapon stats and ammo stats, or just try to use it for a while. Sometimes a weapon with less damage does actually more because of good ammo. Weapons using .223 calibre are usually better than shotguns, for example.