Fallout 2 "Trapping Theory" (How to trap with success) By Aaron Wieland

Discussion in 'Fallout RPG Gameplay & Tech' started by Aaron Wieland, Dec 18, 2021.

  1. Aaron Wieland

    Aaron Wieland First time out of the vault

    Aug 4, 2021
    Modern Trapping Theory. Fallout 2 Combat Tactics
    By Aaron Wieland

    What is "Trapping Theory", why do we need it, what does it change, and how does it work?

    Trapping Theory fixes nearly every problem associated with the Traps skill, and allows the player to use traps in combat -a totally unheard of idea-. The theory sprouted from nothing, and was based on exhaustive experimentation, observation of countless hours of LIVE recorded gameplay, and practice I conducted in secret.

    We needed to re-work traps in general to make Fallout 2 a more complete, and viable game. I had a lot of challenges to overcome to make a completed theory. First, The programming, and development team who actually built the game, completely screwed up the "Trap" skill. They literally entirely failed. For example, using the pre-existing ideas, the player cannot dare to set traps during missions, because doing so crashes the game! That much is a coding problem. Second, Trapping rarely comes up in the game. Sure, you will come across hidden traps the developers left on maps to slow you down, and with a high enough Trap Skill you can disarm them, but you'll need to pump points into your Trap Skill just to do it, and the higher your trap skill becomes the more the game punishes your ability to use traps against your enemies! This is all very strange, but true. Thirdly, it was simply impossible to set, and use traps in combat, because of coding issues, and the paradoxical nature of a high Traps skill actually spoiling your efforts to use traps at all.

    There simply was no pre-existing models for using traps in Fallout 2. But there were a lot of complaints about the skill in general. That is likely the reason nobody has ever studied the topic, or written about it. Whatever the case, we did not have a viable way to use traps at all. And for everyone that meant the Traps skill was a waste. But not anymore. We now have a perfect solution for traps that allows us to use them in combat to tremendous effect, and the reliability is nearly 100%.

    Originally the Trap skill was abandoned by everyone, because of game crashes, inconsistencies associated with it, and countless other problems. For sure the common wisdom was to NOT use the skill at all, for to risk it at all could ruin your game from crashing. Another reason traps were abandoned was because, "disarming" traps rarely comes up in actual gameplay, and repeat players already know where all the traps are, so they walk around them. Another things to consider is that by the time most builds encounter a trap that packs a punch, the player already has good armor, and lots of Hit Points, so the player simply walks through the trap without even attempting to disarm it.

    So how does Modern "Trapping" work? It works because, as observation shows us the lower your trap skill is, the higher your chance to be successful using traps in combat becomes! This is all thanks to traps detonating "prematurely" on maps, and in combat. But how could premature detonations be good!? Observation indicates that no matter how long you set a trap for the trap could prematurely detonate, whether you are in combat, or not. Observation also indicates that no matter how long you set the timer for on a trap, the minimum time that passes BEFORE a premature detonation is no less than 5 seconds**. With that we know the exact minimum time that a trap could go off. And we know that a very low trap skill, virtually always causes pre-detonation. Another thing. Though a set trap may prematurely detonate in only 5 seconds, the minimum time that the player can set a trap to explode is only 10 seconds! Which means that a premature detonation occurs faster than you can actually set one to go off, even if you had 300% traps skill. This discovery was monumental, because as the Game Manual points out, a combat turn last for only 5 seconds no matter how many enemies are actively engaged in it*. This breakthrough led to me combining what I knew about premature detonations, and in game timers, to create the backbone of this great theory. Now I could deduce that any trap set for its minimum time (10 seconds) WOULD prematurely detonate at 5 seconds virtually every time, so long as the Trap Skill was low enough. Testing proved this to be true, and it nearly worked 100% of the time, Eureka! Armed with this information I was ready to test traps in actual combat. What I found astounded me. In combat I discovered that so long as I set all my traps for only 10 seconds, that they would ALL "prematurely" detonate, but only ever once per turn***. Observation proves this to be a rule. With that I had only discover when, and where to set a trap. The solution came easily enough. I would guess how many turns it would take for an enemy to get to my trap position. So if I retreated from an enemy by going around a corner, or through a doorway for example, and if I knew how close an enemy could get to my position by the end of his turn, then I would know approximately where to plant the explosive trap! The beauty of it is that since explosives do area of effect damage, even if I'm a bit off with the placement of the trap, the enemies still get hit by it. It's perfect! And since my trap skill was so low, the explosive would prematurely detonate right on cue at the 5 second mark****, and since a combat turn can only last 5 seconds, the trap would go off right where the enemy was standing. It was perfect, and it worked virtually 100% of the time too! I would go on to expand the theory to observe, and cover the setting of multiple traps as well. From my experimentation I would observe that whenever you set multiple traps to detonate at the same time, only one could ever go off per turn -regardless of Trap Skill-. Then, having taken in all relevant pieces of the puzzle I could start combining all the pieces together to form a finished theory of ALL trapping for Fallout 2. That is when I discovered the "Defibrillator", "Claymore", "Daisy Chain", "Trout Line", "Fragging in" and the infamous "Bear Trap" (ideas I'll cover in more detail later), all of which are extremely effective at dispatching threats. And each owes thanks to my primary discovery about premature detonations, the 5 second minimum for premature detonations, each turn lasting only 5 seconds, and the discovered fact that only one trap can ever detonate per turn.

    In conclusion, a Fallout 2 player must never Tag the Trap skill, nor must he ever put a single point into the skill, because doing so causes tremendous inconsistencies with a trap's detonation time. And all the player needs to be aware of in combat as far as setting traps is concerned, is an educated guess of how many turns it would take for the enemy to end his turn near-enough to the trap to get hurt by it. And sure, having a low Traps skill makes defusing traps almost impossible, but after your first playthrough the player knows all the trap locations anyways, and will simply walk around them, or through them assuming they have the Hit Points, and armor to absorb the blast. So repeat players can expect tremendous extra value on their next playthrough, because this theory actually works, and they can start trapping right away!

    -Never Tag the Trap skill
    -Never put a single point into Traps, unless its a first time playthrough.
    -Only one trap can explode per turn.
    -A combat turn lasts exactly 5 seconds according to the Game Manual
    -Premature detonations go off on the 5 second mark
    -Set the trap WHERE your enemy will be WHEN his turn ends.
    -Set all traps to 10 seconds.
    -If an opponents is two turns away from the trap site, set two traps for 10 seconds each. Or wait 1 turn.

    * "Each turn of combat is five seconds of game time. It might take longer of actual time to play out that turn. When it is your turn, you can think about your actions for as long as you like. There are no time limits here." -Game Manual, page 120, paragraph 3/4

    ** If you are not in "Combat", and you fail a traps check, which you will with a low trap skill, sometimes the bomb blows up in your face instantly without any buffer. To prevent this simply set traps in "Combat".

    *** About 95% of the time everything goes perfect. Which is ideal, because that approximate "95%" success rate is the ceiling for every other skill in the game., making the new theory fit like a glove.

    **** 95% everything is perfect. But occasionally you will miraculously pass a traps check, and the detonation will happen late, thus two turns would pass before detonation, instead of just on..

    The "Bear Trap"
    The "The Defibrillator"
    "Crouching Tiger Hidden Sploder"
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  2. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Antediluvian as Feck

    Sep 14, 2009
    Aaron your autism is to be saluted!

  3. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    My eyes got very tired reading that big block of text jeez. "-Premature detonations go off on the 5 second mark " I thought that said " Premature ejeculation go off on the 5 second wank "
  4. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    I have no issues with the Traps skill. Traps are appropriately rare; deadly traps in one's own house are exceedingly rare. How many traps does the OP (or any readers here) have in their own house?
    It would be lunacy to have the need—much less the opportunity, of disarming traps every few meters explored in residential areas. It negates the novelty of finding them when they are guaranteed to be there.

    Also...The Traps skill is Fallout Demolitions skill; it allows the PC to handle explosives more reliably. Rarity of mechanical traps is only partial use for this skill. The rest of the time it's for skillfully setting explosives.

    "Not being able to set traps in combat" is absurd... I have the PC place explosive during fights when & wherever it's useful; sometimes even before starting those fights.

    Try it some time; set some (reasonably) timed dynamite or other near a door before the battle, and retreat behind the door during the fight. The opponent chases you to the threshold, usually ending their turn before or after opening the door. Next round go BOOM.

    A developed Traps skill, helps ensure those explosives do not trigger prematurely, or too late to be effective.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
  5. william dempsey

    william dempsey Veteran of the psychic wars. [REDACTED]

    Jan 23, 2022
    Did someone mention BOOM BOOM

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