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Having a party member (NPC) isn't that easy, as like in Fallout 2. It is more complicate to trade with them, to say to them that they should use a certain weapon and more. Artificial intelligence is not at it's best. This is a list of available NPCs in Fallout 1 for you, it could help you decide which one is worth the effort.
One frequently asked question and some tips:
"How do I get my NPC's to improve their armor class?"
You can't. My personal opinion is that they seem to improve slightly as you go up in level, but you don't see any sign of it.
NPC Inventory: NPC's are great for carrying stuff. Use your "steal" skill to swap stuff from your inventory to theirs. The only items they will use for themselves are weapons and stimpaks. The weapon of choice is described below. They will normally use regular stimpaks before Super Stimpaks,unless they take a lot of damage in one blow.
NPC weapons: This is another topic that generates a lot of questions.
In general, watch the weapon that they are carrying and also talk to them to
see which they are familiar with. Do they seem most often to prefer a two handed
weapon in combat like Tycho with his shotgun? Pistols or SMG's like Ian? Refer
to the list below for details. Another point: it seems that if they
run outof ammo they may drop the empty weapon. That's a hint, folks! One
way to force them to use a different weapon(within their preferences) is to
take away the one they have to start with. This forces them to use something
else. I recommend that you provide them with a melee weapon and a gun as a minimum, and if possible don't load their inventory with too many other weapons. I
always tell my NPC's to use their best weapon before combat. Just in
Burst weapons: I hate to sound sexist, but it seems that the two female NPC's are terrible with burst weapons. Maybe the game designers gave them lower strength or something, but almost everyone will tell you: "Don't give them burst weapons!" The two male NPC's area bit better, but another piece of hard-earned advice is: " Don't stand between any NPC's and their target!" To tell the truth, I never had the courage to give anyone really powerful weapons like a chain gun...
NPC Interference: One thing I have to watch for is the NPC's crowding so close that neither they nor I can move. This is especially bad in close quarters. One fix is to talk to each of them and move them out to a longer range. If there is enough room they will (eventually) move away if they can. This sometimes also happens with encountered characters, which is another reason I stress SAVE OFTEN! (Example: There is a narrow footbridge going to the Gunrunner Fortress. I was stuck ther at night for many wasted hours of game time because the stupid guard would not move away from the bridge on the Fortress side.)
NPC's in Combat: NPC's usually fight rather well(although many will
disagree with me) on their own. As mentioned above, stay out of their line of
fire -- which requires a bit of careful attentionon your part. Make sure
that they have at least a few StimPaks,more at higher levels. They will use
them if their HP falls below 50%. At the higher levels I recommend that you also
give them at least one SuperStimpak. They will use the small ones first (as
you should also) but it can be an NPC lifesaver. My personal suggestion in high-level
combats is to have the Awareness Perk. You can check on the status of both opponents
(during combat) and NPC's (During combat, or outside combat by selecting a weapon
to "target" them -- just don't forget and actually attack them by mistake!)
Dose anyone who needs it with a Stimpak or healing skills. Remember, they won't
do it themselves unless they are in combat and below 50%. Pay special attention
to Dogmeat - you are his only source of treatment. If no further combat is in
the offing, let time heal all wounds where you can. (You can't just rest anywhere
you feel like it, you know!)
Ian will beyour first Npc. When you find him in Shady Sands you can get him if yougive him 100 caps. If have about 6 in charisma he will join you free.
Note: Ian is very good with SMGs, but sometimes when he brusts he can be very dangerous for you and your other NPC. When you meet him for the first time Sady Sands he can put new locations onyour pipe boy and they are Hub and Junktown.
Actually Tandi can be used as NPC just for the time while you're doing her quest. That way, don't finish her quest, and she'll follow you like a loyal companion. She can bevery useful if you give her a ripper or a 14mm. pistol.
Note: When you go back with Tandi to Shady Sands, she will stay there, thus you loosing a (un)valuable party member.
This is everyones favorite Npc in Fallout 1. Bites four times per round and serious damage per bite. I have personally seen him take out a Super Mutant by himself.He is fiercely loyal to you and will usually not move away in combat. (Although I have seen him move off to "lick his wounds" when he got seriously damaged!) If anyone attacks you, Dogmeat is right there at your side savaging your opponents kneecaps! To keep him happy, keep him Stimpaked! Even during combat! I think he's worth it.
He is the best NPC in Fallout 1. He has the most hit points (even if it isn't very much more, than the other Npc's hit points) and he can use better weapones than the other NPC's, like combat shotgun and sniper rifle. He looks exactly like Cassidy in Fallout 2 and they can wear the same sorts of weapones.
Note: You can find Tycho in the Skum Pitt in Junktown,about 5 o'clock. He can also teach some survial skills. Tycho will only join you, if you have taken the quest to kill Gizmo for Killian.
Many don't like her and I can't understand it. She is excellent with the 14mm. pistol, because all criticaly hits she's doing with it. One time she hit the the master for 90 hit points (!!) with that pistol. She is also very good at trowing granades and taking the locks on the doors.
Miscellaneous NPC staff: In the Children of the Cathedral,
if you don't attack them first there are some Follower Scouts (In metal or leather
armor,I think) who will join you. They HATE the CofC and will melee them up
for serious damage. Unfortunately, they end up mostly as chaingun
From the Brotherhood of Steel there are some Paladins who will join you, but may not go everywhere with you. Although they were recruited by convincing the BoS head man that the Military Base was a threat, they won't go into the base itself.
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