Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
This page describes the SPECIAL implementation in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For SPECIAL implementations in other Fallout games, please see "SPECIAL."
  • For an overview of Van Buren content, please refer to "Van Buren."

General information[edit | edit source]

Black Isle's canceled Fallout 3 project, codenamed Van Buren, was to feature a highly modified version of the SPECIAL character system, made by J.E. Sawyer. Bethesda's version of SPECIAL in Fallout 3 is something of a combination of the original SPECIAL, the Van Buren SPECIAL, as well as their own changes.

Primary statistics[edit | edit source]

SPECIAL is an acronym of Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. These were the seven basic attributes of every character in the game. They were used to determine the skills and available perks of the given character.

Primary statistic Description Derived statistics and effects Associated skills
Strength A measure of your raw physical strength. Carry Weight
Melee Damage
Melee Weapons
Perception How well you use your five senses and notice unusual things. - Mechanics
Endurance Your health and overall physical fitness. Healing rate, Hit Points Outdoorsman
Charisma Your overall attractiveness and likeability. - Barter
Intelligence Your basic intellect, curiosity in the world and adeptness at critical thinking. - Deception
Agility A combination of the character's reflexes, balance, and coordination Action Points
Luck A combination of fate, karma, and general good fortune. Critical Chance -

Derived statistics[edit | edit source]

Derived statistics were attributes of a character that were based on (or derived from) the character's primary statistics or attributes that the player could not influence directly.

The following derived statistics existed in Van Buren:

Skills[edit | edit source]

Main article: Van Buren skills

In Van Buren, there were 13 skills:

Combat skills[edit | edit source]

  • Firearms: Effects damage done with firearms, governed by Perception. Also known as Marksmanship, the armor is meant to replace and combine the classic Small Guns, Big Guns and Energy Weapons skills.
  • Melee
  • Unarmed

Diplomacy skills[edit | edit source]

Science skills[edit | edit source]

Stealth skills[edit | edit source]

Skills started at 0, with Tag Skills starting at 20. Point cost increases were to be steeper in order to make high skills more difficult to achieve.

Traits[edit | edit source]

Main article: Van Buren traits

The following traits were to be added or renamed:

Other traits were to be removed in comparison to previous games:

Perks[edit | edit source]

Main article: Van Buren perks

In Van Buren, perks were no longer tied to your character's level but depended solely on your character's statistics and skills. Only high-level characters would have high skills anyway, and powerful perks being dependent on very high skills would be more of an incentive to specialize in a given skill.

The concept that tended to run through all perks was that the developers were seeking to make perks that would allow players to actually play differently. "If a player can take a perk for their character and it makes them think differently about how they are playing, that seems more interesting to me than just jacking the skill value up."[citation needed] In addition, he was attempting to make more perks that were directly connected to having high non-combat skills, like Healer, in order to balance and flesh out the other dimensions of gameplay.

New perks[edit | edit source]

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