SPECIAL System and How to make it better

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Slaughter Manslaught, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    I love the SPECIAL system, I really do. It has a... well... It's so complete that it amazes me. It's a very good and fitting system for Fallout.

    However, I find that many skills and atributtes have medium to little or even almost no use. I think those things could be enhanced in a future Fallout game or mod to FIFE or something. Discuss what is good in SPECIAL, what's bad, what could be enhanced, what should be cut, etecetera!
  2. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    So, basically, you're saying "I think something is wrong with SPECIAL, fix it for me!"

    You could at least put some kind of effort into a post like this and give some examples or a start.
  3. Josan12

    Josan12 Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 15, 2007
    Well i was thinking about this only recently.
    Although not really part of the SPECIAL system
    I was thinking about AC.

    It makes sense to me
    that when you put on bigger, bulkier armour you
    should actually be much EASIER to hit compared to
    when you were jumping around in your vault-suit.
    So, i think it figures that the players AC should start
    out much higher when unarmoured and go
    DOWN when putting on progressively heavier suits
    of armour.

  4. Pretentious

    Pretentious First time out of the vault

    Feb 3, 2008
    I thought AC just changed what was the likelyhood of a hit doing damage. Im thinking that with huge bulky power armor, there are many places that it could recieve a shot from and it not lead to your body underneath. Sort of like, the hit would damage the suit but wouldnt affect you whether or not the armor absorbed the damage.
  5. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    I always wondered that myself, too!

    Also, why is Sequence even there? There's no use in getting to start first in a turn!
  6. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    Well, some more benefits from skills would be nice.

    For example, high Outdoorsman gives bonus to damage\defense\both when fighting in the wilderness or against animals. Plus, it can make you move faster on the world map.

    I'd have to launch one of the Fallouts and look for something particular, no other thoughts for now.
  7. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    I'll tell you.
    Armor Class is the chance of an attack not hitting you in terms of
    1) arrows sliding off or bouncing off the armor, hits not connecting because of the special angle of the metal (this is why the Germans made Gothic plates with fluting - the complex surface of the metal allowed for no place for proper impact, thus making most projectile attacks unusable) That wouldn't be a 'no damage hit' it would be a 'miss', even though a hit does connect. That's why you have a higher AC with a Leather Armor MK II than with ordinary metal plate.
    So it does make sense. And it's not broken. And if you tinker with it, you'll break it.

    2) Sequence is extremely important if you're in a gunfight and your character has low HP. Before you've tried to play the game with Kamikaze don't knock it off. It's awesome. Especially against more and more powerful enemies.
    Not to mention, that the whole Western movie genre is based on sequence. :lol: :lol:

    About the Special System - there's this old, and tried rule: If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

    And I, for myself, don't understand the mechanics of the system well enough to be able to tinker with it. Did you know, for example, that when you burst-fire a weapon, the trajectory and critical chance of every single bullet is calculated?
  8. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    My main problem with special is that there were far too many skills. Most of them have massive overlaps with other skills and in my opinion it would be better if they were trimmed down.

    My suggestions(some or all can probably be credited J.E. Sawyer suggested Van Buren changes):

    Combine the gun skills into Marksman.
    Combine unarmed, melee and throwing into Hand to Hand
    Combine First Aid and Doctor into Medic
    Combine Lockpick and Steal into Thieving
    Combine Repair and Traps into Mechanical
    Cut Gambling

    Change Barter to Charm

    Charm is the measure of how you can convince people to see things your way. Affects store prices but not as much as Barter does, have it be equal to things like your reputation around town and if the NPC likes you

    Change Speech to Logic

    Logic is about finding contradiction and examining the how and why with what the NPC are saying and asking.

    So my skill page would be:

    Marksman(includes grenades)
    Hand to Hand(Includes throwing spears)

    Skills points per level would have to be cut down a little, perhaps instead of 5 + (2* Intelligence) it’s 5 + intelligence.

    That's pretty good.

    As for the SPECIAL system, just at first glance I'd say that Luck, Charisma and Endurance are under represented. Luck is grossly under represented - you don't really suffer much for having crappy luck and you don't really benefit that much from having great luck. Charisma and Endurance do effect you much more than Luck but they don't effect you as much as Strength, Perception, Intelligence, and Agility IMO.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  9. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charm sounds alot like a Speech and Barter combo and any logic skills you have should really be tied to your intelligence for it to make sense.
  10. Aldin

    Aldin First time out of the vault

    Mar 31, 2008
    Well...I dont think there are too many skills...Maybe I am just hardcore, but you really cant have enough skills. Some thieves are good liars with fumbling fingers....(high speech, low steal)...I mean it just adds to the experience. I love the Perks, I love SPECIAL, I love the skill system. I probably mention this in all my posts...but when you've played a game over 10 years....apparently you dont have to many issues with it....actually the in-depth skilling system makes it very replayable. Do a stealing runthrough, do a small gun runthrough, do a melee runthrough...etc.... so many choices, so much to do. Like in regards to mixing....like doctor and first aid.....not alot of paramedics can do heart surgery. I say keep it as it is. Mixing them would work in another game, but just wouldn't be right for fallout....just wouldnt be right.
  11. [PCE]el_Prez

    [PCE]el_Prez Vault Fossil

    Apr 25, 2003
    That's pretty good.

    As for the SPECIAL system, just at first glance I'd say that Luck, Chraisma and Endurance are under represented. Luck is grossly underrepresnted - you don't really suffer much for having crappy luck and you don't really benefit that much from having great luck. Chrasima and Endurance do effect you much more than Luck but they don't effect you as much as Strength, Perception, Intellignece, and Agility IMO.
  12. Snowguy

    Snowguy First time out of the vault

    Dec 12, 2005
    I can see maybe combining First Aid and Doctor, and perhaps Lockpick and Steal, but the difference between a pistol and a rocket launcher are too big to be overlooked. Hand to Hand also wouldn't work for the same reason.

    As for gambling, however, I didn't see much point to it.

    I'd say combine Big Guns and Energy Weapons that whay maybe you could have 2 categories (simple guns and complex guns).

    I definitely think unarmed and Melee should be combined but throwing "throwing" into the mix seems a little much. Perhaps "throwing" could be combined with small guns.
  13. Lord 342

    Lord 342 Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 21, 2004
    SPECIAL itself is very good, my only complaint being that the system of 1-10 allows for very little variety. With no way to go over 10 and with stat points being so very valuable, except in a few cases (such as odd points of AG giving you just a couple skill points but even ones giving you another action point) that the game mechanic could be made a bit deeper by going 1-20 or even 1-100, with big changes comming only every 10 points. The base mechanics stay the same but it allows for more options and interactions... like consistantly walking around near max carry weight would up your strength just a few points, as would freqently fighting in melee, etc. Spending lots of time addicted to drugs could drop stats a few points too, as could other things. Simply adding a zero makes many more things possible. Also, if you are at max strength, etc. powered armor or the like should still raise it, even though you can't get it up any more by training, perks, etc. 100 strenght assumes a Charles Atlas like physique and stregth on the level of "Strongest Man" competitors; the limits of our particular species biology, basically.
  14. RPGenius

    RPGenius Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 10, 2005
    I feel that SPECIAL is perfect. My copy of Fallout 2 was recently damaged, and much as I love the original Fallout, I have played it to death recently. I've ordered a new copy through Amazon, and I've been entertaining myself on dog walks/walks to and from places with character concepts, and how I'll build them.

    Any system which keeps me entertained by thinking about them can't get much better in my mind.
  15. Josan12

    Josan12 Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 15, 2007
    Going back to this: yeah - This is a fair argument - and no
    doubt what the Dev's would argue. But one aspect of FO
    that i never thought was balanced, is the way armour just
    gets better without any kind of drawback to balance it. I
    believe there should be a trade-off between manuverability
    (ability to dodge damage) and toughness (ability to absorb
    damage) so you could actually go through the whole game in
    your vault suit (with some luck and some damn good refelxes!)

    If i were to modify the SPECIAL system this would be a
    fundamental concept.

    I wouldn't say this - but i do agree that the SPECIAL system is damn near perfect. And how many RPG's these days can claim that?
  16. Lord 342

    Lord 342 Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 21, 2004
    Well you can't say that armor just keeps getting better without anything to balance it, but the fact that metal armor gives much lower AC than leather doesn't really matter when you consider how much higher its resistances are. One thing that I think doesn't come through clearly in a lot of RPGs, both tabletop and computer, is that AC represents the ability to defend against blows, not just dodge them. It's very hard to land an effective hit on someone in fullplate or powered armor because while you can *hit* them, unless you hit a vital place or make your blow in such a fashion as to transfer a very large amount of kinetic force, you're not going to do much. Games like D&D only have two places you can go -either the blow was innefective or it did full damage. Fallout has the luxury of having a computer to track all the figures and can split the blow up so that you can have a blow that "missed" i.e. failed to make the AC and did nothing (which the game represents by having the shot or blow actually MISS, or it could hit and the armor still takes some of it. A critical can even bypass armor entireley -I guess you hit him in the face. This still isn't entirely realistic, but it's better than simple hit/miss mechanics.
  17. RPGenius

    RPGenius Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 10, 2005
    I always took that as that the armor has seen a lot of use, and there's a part where it's just been worn down and doesn't work as well as it should. Not broken, and might not even be noticed, but in a world with miniguns, laser and guass weapons, bound to happen. So the shot/strike hits that location, and just passes through like butter.

    Always how I justified it.
  18. strange_eons

    strange_eons First time out of the vault

    Jun 18, 2007
    the AC thing has always bugged me too, i had to re-work that in the pnp version so theres some benefits from wearing either leather or power armor. when your wearing power armor your slow to react, not likely to duck that punch or move out of the way of that stream of bullets, but then those things will have reduced damage or glance off completely if it doesnt do enough damage. but for someone wearing the leather, your gonna be able to move when your life depends on it! you might not get out of the way every time but your mobility is much less restricted and your much less weighed down. the draw back to this is that when you are hit, you feel it and it hurts! think of mad max's leg in part 1.
  19. Josan12

    Josan12 Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 15, 2007
    Right on - i agree. At one point i even suggested
    the heavier armour types such as PA & Combat
    should reduce your action points by 1 or 2 AND
    reduce your AC.
  20. strange_eons

    strange_eons First time out of the vault

    Jun 18, 2007
    yes i like the sound of this, i'll look at adding some adjustments to the armor stats. having your AP reduced might make someone reconsider donning that heavy armor. i think its good to have some drawbacks in combat.

    i can imagine perk a that might allow someone to slightly reduce some of these kinds of drawbacks, to illustrate someone who has grown accustomed to living in heavy armor.