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Fallout and Fallout 2
One receives +4 points to Melee Damage, but critical hits have a -30% modifier to the critical hit tables.
Fallout: New Vegas
Melee and Unarmed attacks do more damage, but less critical hit damage. Melee and Unarmed damage is increased by 20%, but Critical Hit damage is reduced by 60%, but only for those two weapon types. However, since one inflicts more damage consistently with Heavy Handed, Critical Hits are less of an issue, unless one relies on sneak attack criticals as a major source of damage or if the character criticals often due to perks, Luck, and high weapon modifier.
- Weapons most useful with Heavy Handed
- Thermic lance: Only 10 critical hit damage.
- Chainsaw: Only 8 critical hit damage.
- Ripper: Only 5 critical hit damage.
- Rebar club: Extremely low critical hit chance (maximum critical chance of 33%).
- Nailboard: x0 critical hit multiplier.
- Pool cue: x0 critical hit multiplier.
- Rolling pin: x0 critical hit multiplier.
- Cattle prod: Only 5 critical hit damage.
- Two-Step Goodbye (GRA): Only 10 critical damage
Heavy Handed with Criticals
Assuming a Critical Hit chance of 7.5% (base 5%, multiplied by a machete's x1.5 Critical Hit chance), a player character will be able to utilize a Critical Hit once out of 13 to 14 swings on average. A machete's damage with and without Heavy Handed works out to the following:
- Without Heavy Handed: 13 swings * 11 damage + 1 crit (+11 damage) = 154 damage
- With Heavy Handed: 13 swings * 13.2 damage + 1 crit (+4.5 damage) = 175 damage
Example: Using a cattle prod.
As with most percentages in Fallout: New Vegas, the penalty functions as a multiplier instead of subtracting from the base. Therefore, when combined with perks such as Better Criticals, Elijah's Ramblings or Just Lucky I'm Alive, the final critical damage dealt will be 40% * 150% = 60 rather than 90% or 72%. Since critical hits are considered before Damage Threshold as opposed to damage buffs such as this perk are considered afterward, the benefit will be lower in practice.
One receives +4 points to Melee Damage, but critical hits have a -20% modifier to the critical hit tables.