SPECIAL is the ruleset that powers all Fallout games.
Development and use
Initially, Fallout was meant to use the GURPS system by Steve Jackson Games. However, there were difficulties in the license that could not be overcome, and so the two companies mutually agreed to end the partnership. Fortunately for the Fallout team, the only element of GURPS in Fallout was the ruleset and the setting was entirely Interplay's, so they could continue development. Chris Taylor, Jesse Heinig and Tim Cain developed the SPECIAL system in 2 weeks. Many elements from it are inspired by GURPS, but it is largely original. Initially, SPECIAL was going to be called ACELIPS, which Tim Cain came up with personally, but was changed within a day when another designer, Jason Swin, pointed out that the letters could be rearranged to spell "SPECIAL".
Characters in SPECIAL are defined through:
Official Fallout games
|Fallout 2 SPECIAL|
|Fallout 3 SPECIAL|
|Fallout 4 SPECIAL|
|Fallout 76 SPECIAL|
|Fallout Tactics SPECIAL|
|Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel SPECIAL|
|Fallout: New Vegas SPECIAL|
|Van Buren SPECIAL|
- GURPS by Steve Jackson Games
- Tim Cain GDC talk, @27:23–28:00: We wanted to name the system as well 'cause at the time, people were not only naming their games, but they were also naming the system you used in the game, and when we lost GURPS, everybody felt like we needed to have a name for the system. And since the system we developed had these seven stats – Agility, Charisma, Endurance, Luck, Intelligence, Perception, and Strength – so I said, 'Well, just put them in that order and it spells ACELIPS; that'll be the name of our system!' That lasted a day until Jason Swin, one of the other designers came in and said, 'Y'know, you can rearrange those letters to make the word "SPECIAL", and everyone liked that a little better. I've never forgiven him for that..."