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Working on a Fallout base PnP... Please help

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Joined: 10/25/2014

During the character creation process the players will be required to choose a background for their character from the list below.

The backgrounds give bonuses and penalties to skills. The purpose of the background is to provide a base from which to build the character.

Each background should have both negatives and positives related to growing up in the lifestyle provided in each background.

I am having trouble deciding which skills should be effected by each background.

Below the backgrounds is a list of the skills character will have.

Any advise is greatly appreciated.


1.)City Slicker

You’re as cosmopolitan as they come in the Wastelands. You’ve lived most, if not all, of your life in a large city and for your troubles you enjoyed decent medical care, the benefits of technology, like air conditioning and electricity, and might have even attended an organized school with classes taught by professional educators.
There are a fair number of large cities in the Wasteland especially as more and more settlements take tentative steps back towards becoming a civilization. Cities have technology above and beyond the rest of the Wastes although they bring their own problems as well such as organized crime and drugs. City Slickers tend to be proud of their status and the privileges it has afforded them; and, although this pride can lead them to mistrust or hatred of outsiders, it could just as easily result in a mission to help those far less fortunate then themselves.


You are or were a member of one of the many religious cults formed before the Great War or one of the many that have sprung up after. Whether you were born into it or inducted at a later date. Being a member has had certain benefits and it has certainly gives you a unique insight into how people operate in the Wasteland.
All the basic pre-War religions and belief systems are still active after the Great War. The entire spectrum of Christianity still exists, and has scattered into even more splinter groups, such as the Catholicism-derived Saint Monica's Church based in Rivet City, and the Abbey of the Road, a Christian monastery west of the Commonwealth. The Mormon Church still exists as well. The Hubologists (scientology) are even more active than before the war.
Predictably, many new religions also came into being. Just before the War, and soon after it, many doomsday cults were created, one of which eventually became the Children of the Cathedral who were situated near Los Angeles. The Children of the Atom in Megaton have a warped view of nuclear weapons, viewing them as a sort of deliverance, but are a peaceful group. Some of the post-War factions might also be considered "religious" even if they do not worship any specific deity, such as the Followers of the Apocalypse and the Brotherhood of Steel.
There are also as many tribal religions - some worship fragments of forgotten knowledge about the world before the Great War; some, like Arroyo, worship their ancestors, and many others deify the Nature, or particular plants or animals. Caesar's Legion, composed of reconditioned tribals, believes in the divinity of Caesar as the son of Mars.

3.)Feral Child

You spent most or all of your childhood in the wild. While the Wasteland is a dangerous place the maternal instincts of many species there remain strong. Miraculously you survived your abandonment, whether it was intentional or accidental, and through some unusual circumstance you have now returned to civilization.

4.)Freed Slave

You are a free slave after having escaped or been released by your former master. Most, if not all, of your life has been spent in servitude and you have been treated as little more than a beast of burden.
Without laws to protect the exploitation of people, slavery is alive and well in most corners of the world. In some places it is called by more civilized terms such as indentured servitude but the net effect is the same: the buying, selling, and trading of other human beings is not only accepted among many communities but often encouraged. Slaves are, in general, poorly educated laborers working in utterly inhumane conditions. On rare occasions, however, a master will provide training in literacy and math to have an educated servant. Invariably, most slaves carry some kind of brand identifying them as a piece of property; the only way to remove this brand is to cut or burn it off, resulting in a large amount of scar tissue.

5.)Mutant Defector

Super Mutant only.

After the fall of The Master several Super Mutants have walked away from their more militant brethren to find their own path in the Wastelands. Like other Mutant Defectors before you, you have sought the human controlled realms. One day your decision to leave your brethren may come back to bite you in the ass, but such is life in the Wasteland.


You spent your formative years in or around an organized crime syndicate or roving band of raiders. Here you learned several important life lessons: intimidation can be the greatest form of negotiation; bullets speak louder than words; and, family and loyalty means everything even when all else has failed.
Gangs are a way of life anywhere there is disorder and lawlessness. Even in the Wasteland organized crime still exists and in some cases controls entire cities.


You are from a community that places value on survival above all else. Typically this means a distrust of outsiders and something resembling military training; it can also mean utter isolation in an underground cave or behind enormous town walls. In either case, you can survive on your own, and large towns or organizations are to be trusted only when absolutely necessary.
Many of the smaller communities in the Wasteland can trace their origin back to various paramilitary and survivalist groups from before the Great War. These communities tend to be extremely xenophobic and self-sufficient. They turn away traders and those seeking help and make contact the outside world only in the most dire of circumstances. Unlike Tribals, Survivalists cling to the old way of life, even though they view the past's governments and wars as responsible for the current state of their affairs.


You come from one of the countless tribal societies that have come to exist in the years since the war. Sometimes avoiding technology by choice, and sometimes forced to abandon it because no one in the settlement remembers how to use it, your society has instead learned how to live off the land and created a new way of life for itself.
Tribals are far more self-sufficient than city dwellers as they have forced themselves to stand on their own rather than using the ruins of civilization as a crutch. They have developed their own societies, often based around a single elder or chief, and many of them practice sophisticated animist or mystic traditions. Ancestor worship or veneration is common as are the practices of tattooing and piercing. Tribals often speak a pidgin form of the local pre-War language because of their relative isolation from the rest of the post-War world, though they do trade with other tribal communities and occasionally outsiders. Although many of these outsiders treat them as primitives, Tribals often know more about the world at large than they let on.

9.)Urban Survivor

You grew up among the scum of society while living on the streets. Whether located in a small town or the gutters of a more glamorous city you did what you needed to do to survive with the hand that was dealt to you.

10.)Vault Dweller

Your family was one of the fortunate individuals that made it to one of the great underground fallout shelters called vaults created by the United States Government and Vault-Tec just before the Great War, when the bombs began to fall. Your vault either remained closed until recently or is still closed. You and your fellow Vault Dwellers have little or no contact with the outside world; you have no idea what to expect as you venture into the Wasteland but seeking civilization should be one of your top priorities. These vaults number in the hundreds and were scattered across the entire United States. While some of them failed or were victims of the government and Vault-Tec experiments, just as many of them remained intact, and the people inside these vaults were protected from the harshest effects of the Great War.
Vault Dwellers have spent entire generations in isolation and many of them view their existence as a mission to keep the flames of civilization alive. They have access to books, music, and art from the pre-War world, and their technology is often the envy of the entire Wasteland. Characters with this background are not especially suited to life in the Wasteland but often have valuable technical know-how that convinces others to keep them around.

11.)Wasteland Wanderer

You have felt the pull of wanderlust for most of your years and have not fought against it. Perhaps your family was traveling merchants or members of a carnival, or maybe you just left home at an early age and have not settled down yet. Either way, you have a lot of experience with life on the road and you would not have it any other way.
Many inhabitants of the wasteland never see much of the world beyond the walls of their town. Some, however, just cannot seem to settle down. They might be mercenaries offering their military skills to the highest bidder, merchants aiming for bargains, or just vagabonds looking for a place to fit in and never finding it. Whatever the reason for their travels, Wanderers have seen more in their lives than ten “normal” people and tend to be well-rounded individuals.



The Barter skill is primarily used in the buying and selling of items, such as trading with a merchant or scavenger. In general, the higher this skill level is, the lower prices will be when purchasing items. It is the primary factor in price determination, and is also offset by the Barter skill of the NPC in question.

2.)Energy Weapons

The use of energy weapons is not a very common skill in the post-nuclear world. Energy weapons were just coming into actual warfare when the world blew up. The Energy Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses small energy cells, micro fusion cells, electron charge packs, or flamer fuel as ammunition.


This skill covers not only arming or disarming explosive weapons such as mines; C4-explosives; dynamite; IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), but also the use of explosives weapons from grenades, to grenade rifles, and even the Fatman mini nuke launcher.


This skill increases the odds of winning at games of chance such as roulette, slots, cards, craps and even the "Mole-Rat Mambo".


This skill covers the use of any weapon that uses conventional ammo...such as .45, .308, 9mm, 50 cal., etc. higher your Guns skill, the easier it will be for you to hit your target, and the longer the effective range you will have in combat.


If you need to open locks without the proper key, this is the skill for you. Use it to get what you want, but other people don't want you to have. Having an actual lockpick will improve your chances, but it is not necessary. There are two types of locks in the Fallout world: normal and electronic. Lockpicks work against normal locks, but to even attempt an electronic lock, you need an electronic lockpick. Certain locks can be harder to pick than others, and certain locks require that the picker has a lockpick.


The ability to protect life can be just as important in Fallout as the ability to take life. These skills represent a character’s medical training as well as basic biological intuition and the ability to properly diagnose causes of illness and wounds that are not immediately apparent.

8.)Melee Weapons

This covers the use of melee weapons – basically, any weapon used in close combat to bludgeon, stab, slash, or wallop a target. Knives, spears, hammers, and crowbars are all melee weapons.


This skill allows the driving of vehicles. A higher percentage in this skill increases driving speed, as well as the ability to keep control of the vehicle.


Repair is the practical application of the Science skill. As things are constantly breaking in the wastes, and there aren't customer service hotlines anymore, a person with a high Repair skill is always good to have around. Repair covers fixing all manner of mechanical things, from guns to vehicles, arming and disarming traps, and can also be used to intentionally sabotage or disable mechanical things.


Science is the skill of working with electronic devices such as computers. It also covers how intuitive a character is. Characters with a high Science skill will notice things that others might miss, and characters who actively apply their Science skill to tasks can intuit answers to problems. Science skills are used when rolling to use (or break into) computers, determine what part a vehicle might need to run properly again, or to notice a vein of silver in an otherwise unremarkable rock.


The skill of being able to move quietly or out of sight. When you are sneaking, other people will be less likely to notice you - at a distance. If you get too close to a dangerous creature, no matter how good you are at sneaking, they will notice you. Of course, whether someone notices you is based on what direction they are facing, the amount of light in the area, the amount of cover you have, and a hell of a lot of luck. Such is the life of a thief. Successfully sneaking up on a person means you get a bonus should you want to try to steal from them. Your sneak skill is rolled when you start sneaking, and once a minute while still sneaking.


This is the skill of dialogue. The better your Speech skill, the more likely you will be able to get your way when talking to people. When there is a chance that an NPC might take your word, believe your lie, or just follow your instructions, this is the skill that is used.


This is the skill of outdoor living and survival in hostile environments. Basically, what they teach in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, modified for the post-nuclear world. Survival has many uses, from finding food and water in the middle of a vast wasteland to avoiding hostile creatures to knowledge about what plants and animals will help you or kill you. It's always good to have someone in the party who's an avid outdoorsman.


This is the skill of beating people up with your fists and feet, from boxing to brawling to the martial arts. The better you are at this skill, the more likely you are going to hit them in combat. This skill also covers the use of weapons that enhance unarmed combat such as brass knuckles, spiked knuckles, and the legendary Power Fist. At higher skill levels, you will learn new techniques of fighting. See the Special Unarmed Attacks section for a guide to the advanced martial arts techniques skilled users can learn.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

There are dozens of ways to go about setting up a skills system, and it seems like you're into the "archetype" style of stat generation/advancement. As a solid fan of the franchise, I'll give you one way to go about it, though obviously your mileage may vary.

For each of the classes you've outlined above, I've suggested a "Tagged" skill (offers a +3 relative rating), a "Favored" skill (offers a +1 rating), a Hindered skill (offers a -1 penalty) and an Avoided skill (offers a -3 penalty). Different skills can have multiples (or none) of these, depending on particular.

City Slicker
TAGGED: Pilot, Barter
FAVORED: Energy Weapons, Speech, Guns
HINDERED: Survival

Cultist (I'd suggest one or two different cults, or allow game moderators/referees to develop their own specialized cults. Here's but one suggestion.)
TAGGED: Speech
FAVORED: Medicine, Melee Weapons
HINDERED: Energy Weapons
AVOIDED: Guns, Explosives

Feral Child
TAGGED: Survival, Unarmed
FAVORED: Melee Weapons, Medicine
HINDERED: Speech, Gambling, Guns, Repair
AVOIDED: Energy Weapons, Science, Pilot, Explosives

Freed Slave
TAGGED: Repair, Sneak
FAVORED: Survival, Medicine, Speech, Lockpick
HINDERED: Science, Energy Weapons, Explosives

Mutant Defector
TAGGED: Melee Weapons, Guns, Energy Weapons, Explosives
FAVORED: Unarmed
HINDERED: Science, Medicine, Survival
AVOIDED: Speech, Pilot, Gambling, Repair

TAGGED: Guns, Explosives
FAVORED: Sneak, Energy Weapons, Melee Weapons, Unarmed, Barter, Science

TAGGED: Survival, Unarmed
FAVORED: Medicine, Lockpick, Repair
HINDERED: Speech, Barter

TAGGED: Survival
FAVORED: Medicine, Unarmed, Sneak
HINDERED: Science, Pilot
AVOIDED: Energy Weapons, Explosives

Urban Survivor
TAGGED: Sneak, Survival
FAVORED: Unarmed, Melee Weapons, Lockpick, Repair
HINDERED: Energy Weapons, Explosives
AVOIDED: Speech, Gambling

Vault Dweller
TAGGED: Science, Energy Weapons, Repair
FAVORED: Explosives, Medicine, Lockpick, Pilot
HINDERED: Sneak, Survival, Unarmed, Barter

Wasteland Wanderer
TAGGED: Gambling, Pilot
FAVORED: Sneak, Repair, Lockpick, Medicine, Science, Speech, Survival
AVOIDED: Explosives, Energy Weapons

-Eberhardt-'s picture
Joined: 01/30/2015
:) I hope this helps :)


Happy Super Bowl Commercials. :) Seriously though, I am not a published game designer/developer I am a hopeful but I am working on a few games. The way that I come up with ideas is to move beyond blocks and come back to the point later. I will explain that in a moment.

Here is a site I was given ( that has helped me greatly. I know that it mentions KickStarter; however it contains other information within it that includes 100’s of links and ideas that may help you with prepping the game for launch. I also have some other links that may be of assistance in my off site blog ( if you are interested.

As I digress and may have shamelessly plugged both those links forgive me, I will return to my original thought. I keep a running sheet for each project almost like a rules sheet, but it’s anything but that to start. I break it into a concept and actually put a couple of pictures below it. I even write between a 5-6 line paragraph story (intro) about it.

When I get to any characters or groups I go back to my story and components. I go back to components/cards/tokens as I want to see how these characters/groups can affect the game play by affecting them with skills/abilities. Then I jot down every idea I have good/bad till I run out. When out I research the area, you have a clear cut one (Fallout), and every type of similar area.

I take a different notepad and see what they did and ask could that work for me as a skill? If it can how can I copy the URL or bookmark it to come back to it later. Once I have a few days of research I go back to the sites.

I look over everything and ask myself “can I create something like this without stealing it” as I do not want to be sued. If I can and it’s unique to me I proceed, if I can’t I don’t but by that time I usually have had my own idea.

I’ve learned from there is NO time limit for me to go to market for the most part. I am not racing to beat someone so I don’t need to cheat someone out of their idea. I have my own. :)

If you made it through my long winded banter I congratulate you. :) LOL Seriously though, looking at what you have I’d say look at the potential research links below they should help you pull together what I mentioned above.

Try Googling:

Google: “Fallout Skills”
Google: “Magic the Gathering Skills”
Google: “Role Playing Game”

Also here are some sites that may help you to start off:

Fallout Total Skills Site:
Fallout 1 Skills Site:
Fallout 2 Skills Site:
Fallout 3 Skills Site:
Fallout New Vegas Skills Site:

Potential Similar Area Research Site:
Potential Similar Area Research Site:
Potential Similar Area Research Site:

Note: Similar Area Research Sites sometimes just give me a word that I take to mean something totally different which I create my own skill from. E.g. on the Magic link above “Extort” could be taken out of context for the Raider/Mobster to Extort Caps from other players as a Skill. :) You have used a word but not what the Magic link meant it to be as a skill.

I hope this helps you.

I wish you success in getting your game published! :D

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