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

Skill advancement

Skills started at 0 with Tag Skills starting at 20. They would not have a % symbol behind them, as this concept was ruled generally frivolous, seeing as players could go far beyond 100% in previous games. Point weighing was to be implemented sooner in order to make skills more difficult to get good at.

The cost on a per-rank basis was:

  • 1 for 1-50
  • 2 for 51-100
  • 3 for 101-150
  • 4 for 151-200 (Max skill)

Each rank bought for a tag! skill was doubled. If you had a 55 Medic, it would cost you two points to increase it one rank—but you would get an additional rank for free.

Each skill had a bonus applied to all rolls that was equal to three ability score values (AG*3 or CH*2 + IN or ST + AG + PE, etc.). Perks that require skill values only looked at the rank, not the rank + bonus. For example: you wanted to take Advanced Research; the prerequisites were IN 8, PE 6, science 175. If the character's science only has 168 ranks, but it's effectively 182 because of his high IN and PE, he wouldn't qualify.

Tag bonus

It was possible that the tag bonus would be 24, since that would have made the bonus equally divisible into 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, +20 was considered a rather hefty bonus on top of what was already accelerated points to rank ratio. A tag bonus of 12 was considered as well because it would fit the first pre-requisite (Being equally divisible), but it ultimately still didn't solve the bonus problem if the skill rank "crossed the barrier" during the increase. Unspent fractions would probably be lost in this scenario.

List of skills

There were to be 13 skills in Van Buren (originally 14, one "stealth" skill was cut).[1]

Combat skills

  • 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.[2]
  • Melee
  • Unarmed

Diplomacy skills

  • Barter
  • Persuasion: The Speech skill was divided into Deception and Persuasion.[3]
  • Deception: The Speech skill was divided into Deception and Persuasion.[4]

Science skills

Stealth skills

Speech skills

There were several ideas for broader application of archetypes that are often called "Charisma Boy" or "Diplomacy Boy" skills. In Fallout and Fallout 2, such characters could focus on two skills with good, but fairly limited applications: Barter and Speech. Barter affected buy and sell prices, Speech affected dialogue options (along with certain attributes).

"Combat Boys" by contrast, not only have skills but tools that helped define their characters. Three characters who focus on Melee can all use different weapon sets for different purposes. This gives a level of depth to match or exceed that character type's skill breadth.

It was generally held by J.E. Sawyer (though he noted many might or would disagree) that the "Charisma Boy" had neither depth or nor breadth in character development as; "He's got two skills, one with no depth, one with slight depth. Barter is pretty flat. It's just a score that goes up and changes store prices. A player can't do much with it to change his or her gameplay experience other than dump points into it and save money. Even the perks available for Barter don't really allow the player to do anything new with the skill."[citation needed]

He went on to explain that Speech opened up a lot of dialogue options, but that was in the end, its whole point. It did not go beyond that. "Attributes can be checked with Speech in dialogue, but ultimately those static checks are just pass/fail. Randomized checks in speech are easily overcome by the ol' "uncontested reload", so there's not much point to them—they need to be static checks because of the environment in which they appear."[citation needed] For these reasons he wanted to keep Barter, but divide Speech into two skills: Deception and Persuasion.

References

  1. J.E. Sawyer: "I'm now more in favor of marksmanship than having two firearm skills. If Small Guns, Big Guns and Energy Weapons are combined into one, won't it make being a dedicated combat specialist too easy? A dedicated combat specialist in Fallout 1 or 2 could put all his or her skill points into one or two combat skills, too (Small Guns/Energy Weapons, for instance). Of course, since (with the exception of the beginning of Fallout 2) ammo grew on trees and fell out of the sky, Unarmed and Melee were only useful as amusing alternatives. That's why I keep talking about having lower amounts of ammo and fewer firearm-using opponents.
    (No Mutants Allowed) [verification needed]
  2. J.E. Sawyer: "I'm now more in favor of marksmanship than having two firearm skills. If Small Guns, Big Guns and Energy Weapons are combined into one, won't it make being a dedicated combat specialist too easy? A dedicated combat specialist in Fallout 1 or 2 could put all his or her skill points into one or two combat skills, too (Small Guns/Energy Weapons, for instance). Of course, since (with the exception of the beginning of Fallout 2) ammo grew on trees and fell out of the sky, Unarmed and Melee were only useful as amusing alternatives. That's why I keep talking about having lower amounts of ammo and fewer firearm-using opponents.
    (No Mutants Allowed)[clarification needed]
  3. Joshua Sawyer: "This skill is the other half of what Speech encompassed. It is used for friendly diplomacy, subtle manipulation, and outright intimidation. Also, as previously discussed, I believe it could be used to good effect for attempting to control CNPCs (companion NPCs) during combat. Though CNPCs would be computer-controlled by default, I believe that giving the high-Persuasion character a chance to control their followers is sensible and good for the purposes of expanding Persuasion's usefulness throughout the game. Some CNPCs are really agreeable, and some are belligerent jackasses who don't listen to anything. Some also go crazy when they see certain types of creatures or otherwise are annoyed by local behavior. A wounded CNPC can also be extremely difficult to control, as their life tends to take precedence over your desire to be a big winner. Persuasion can be used to offset a CNPC's tendencies to do exactly what they want, when they want. The higher the Persuasion, the more likely it is that the CNPC will allow the player to control them, even under duress."[clarification needed]
  4. Joshua Sawyer: "This skill is used in dialogue, but it is also used as a limited building skill as means to an "alternate" stealth route. As with Speech in Fallout, Deception is checked in dialogue along with stats. But Deception's dialogue options all take the form of bluffing, misleading, or otherwise flat out lying to the other person in the conversation. Deception can also be used to "sneak in plain sight" through the use of disguises. Disguises can be either found or created with a Disguise Kit. A disguise is a single item that a character wears, though it may occupy several equipped slots when necessary. Disguises may include things like: NCR Ranger Outfit, Hubologist Outfit, Viper Raider Outfit, etc. When a character uses a disguise, the character's effective reputation and identity become invisible. As far as AI is concerned, the character is part of that disguise's "team" as long as the NPC's PE doesn't see through the character's Deception skill (affected by range, lighting, etc.). Of course, for practical/gameplay purposes, a character's disguise does not hold up once he or she enters combat or attempts to initiate dialogue. And some disguises just don't work for some characters (no super mutants in BoS Scribe disguises, no humans in Night Kin disguises). Characters can also manufacture disguises from individual disguise elements through the use of a disguise kit. Placing all the elements of the intended disguise into the kit creates the disguise if the character's Deception skill is high enough. E.g.: Joe wants an NCR Ranger Outfit. This requires an NCR Ranger uniform, NCR Ranger boots, and an NCR Ranger pin (I love that pin). He finds the uniform on a dead Ranger, buys the boots at a surplus store, and trades for the pin with a group of unpleasant but businesslike raiders. Dump them in the kit and -- voila -- NCR Ranger Outfit.[clarification needed]
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