This page lists all perks 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 perks in other Fallout games, please see "Perk".
  • For an overview of Van Buren content, please refer to "Van Buren."

Changes from previous games


In Van Buren, perks were no longer tied to your player 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. In consequence, a skill generalist would get more bang for his or her buck by spreading points around. He or she would make less overall progress, but would have access to more perks that make him or her even more formidable with a skill than the rank alone would indicate.[citation needed]

Perks should be more than skill increases

The concept that tended to run through 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]

J.E. Sawyer said in another statement that he wanted to move past many perks that were just skill additions as he found that they didn't allow characters to do anything conceptually new. He noted that there were many skill-up perks, such as (Ghost, Thief, Harmless, Master Thief, Medic!, Mr. Fixit) that were under this category. He posited it may be a better idea to turn these perks into sub-perks of general skill perks. (E.g.: the player hits level 6 and picks skill++ perk, then is given another list showing all the skills. He or she picks one. On the character record screen, it shows Skill++: Computer Ops.)[citation needed]

Balancing perk distribution across skills

A large number of perks were also either directly related to combat skills or were completely unrelated to any skills (Strong Back, Quick Pockets, etc.), Sawyer 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. In this capacity "manufacturing perks" were there that would allow "Science Boy" characters to create equipment from otherwise useless items that they would find in their travels. The items could range from drugs to explosives to medical kits and so on.

Perks replicating the function of skills

He noted that Master Trader (25% reduction in cost, which is the basic function of the barter skill essentially), Salesman (+20% Barter) , and Negotiator (+20% to Barter) did not need to exist and may have been able to have been creatively replaced by concepts that were more involving.[citation needed] In light of this, he suggested some changes:

  • Bulk Trader: The higher the volume of items you buy and sell, the better the deals (players start to orient their inventory management and purchasing around getting the highest count of a single item).
  • Junk Merchant: All items worth 1-3 "dollars" are worth twice as much when you sell them (players store assorted odds and ends in their locker/trunk waiting for a rainy day to cash them all in).

Regular perks

Name Level req Other requirements Ranks Benefit
Action Boy/Action Girl X X X X
Adrenaline Rush X X X X
Advanced Research X X X X
Ayyyyyy! 1 Luck 5
Lockpick 125
1 When failing to pick a lock, punch or kick the object with a bonus to the pass/fail check. Opens the object if check is successful and may alert enemies.
Animal Friend X X X Can enter feral dog lair to get a pup without being attacked, Devil Dog has slightly greater chance of liking you
Better Criticals X X X X
Banzai X X X Not much is known about the perk save its name and the fact that the non-player character Measles would have it.[1]
Body Snatcher X Deception 100 X When critters with outfits die near you, you will often be able to salvage a piece of their outfit for use with a disguise kit.
Bonus Move X X X X
Bonus HtH Damage X X X X
Bonus Ranged Damage X X X X
Born Killer X X X Davidson would have had this perk, making him a lot more deadly.[2]
Born Leader X X X X
Bulk Trader X X X X
Bone Head X X X X
Cult of Personality X X X X
Detect Lies X X X Coleridge would have had this perk. It would have allowed him to see through most of the Prisoner's Deception, regardless of how well they might have been disguised.[3]
Die Hard X X X When your Hit Points get below 25%, you get an additional 10% to Damage Resistances. Davidson would have had this perk.
Duck and Cover X X X Robert Briggs would have this perk. It enabled him to spam grenades a little more effectively. Ironically, he didn't have as many grenades as other soldiers, like Davidson.[4]
Eye on the Prize X Perception 7
Steal 125
X See inventory of character or container (even locked) on examine.
Forced March 1 X 1 Doubles the fatigue level a character has i.e. it gives them more stamina.[5]
Gain X X X X
Gunsmith X X X X
In Your Face! 1 Melee 75
Unarmed 75
1 Opponents can't make called shots and suffer a -10% penalty to hit with thrown weapons or firearms when you are within 1 hex, and are only holding melee weapons or are unarmed.
Inventor X X X This perk gives Victor Presper +25% to all his Invention rolls.
Junk Merchant 1 Barter 75 1 All items with a base value of 1-5 caps are worth three times as much when you trade them.
Living Anatomy X X X X
Medic X X X X
Mental Catalogue 1 Perception 4
Barter 150
1 Get the identified name and description of any item you examine.
Master of Sciences X X X Little is known about this perk. All we know is that Victor Presper had it.[6]
More Criticals X X X X
Nemean X X X Several projects were planned to appear, one of them being the Nemean implants. These were available for science-oriented characters to complete.
Pharmacist X X X X
Rad Child X X X X
Suicide King 1 Charisma 8
Persuasion 150
1 When standing within your area of influence, CNPC allies always ignore how wounded they are when you attempt to control them in combat.
Sharpshooter X X X X
Strong Back X X X X
Tag! X X X X
Thief X X X X
Tough Hide X X X X
Toughness X X X Even tougher than the old Toughness! No longer just bullets and punches, now you can resist fire, plasma, and grenades!
Triage 1 Perception 7
Medic 100
1 You see the exact hit points, fatigue, natural damage thresholds, primary statistics, and special health status (broken limbs, using chems, etc.) of any living creature you examine.
Unbreakable X X X You see dead people, swing away, and no one calls you Mr. Glass. How's that for a pop-culture reference, jackass? Critical hits against your head, arms, legs, torso, and groin have to do 50% of your total hit points to achieve a break.

Special perks

Name Requirements/cost Location(s) Benefit
Devil's Tongue Gives the Prisoner +5% to their Deception skill
Guidance Counselor Gives give the Prisoner +5% to their Persuasion skill.
Flexible Can use this to slip between the bars of the cells.
Hangdog Fighting Style
Living Toolset Otto Steed only perk Does not require a toolset to perform mechanics
Phoenix (implant)
Smartest Man on Earth Victor Presper only perk Presper is the smartest man on Earth, with the possible exception of the Prisoner
Sting Like a Bee Gives the Prisoner a +5% critical with the Unarmed skill.
Visual Standard Allows dumb character to learn basic machine language

See also


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