The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
This page lists all perks in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For perks in other Fallout games, please see "Perk".
  • For an overview of Van Buren content, please refer to "Portal:Van Buren".

General information

The known details about perks in Van Buren are largely derived from forum discussions of fans with J.E. Sawyer.

Changes from previous games


In Van Buren, perks were no longer tied to your character's level, but depended solely on your character's statistics and skills. Only high-level characters would have high skills anyway, and powerful perks being dependent on very high skills would be more of an incentive to specialize in a given skill.

In consequence, a skill generalist would get more bang for his or her buck by spreading points around. He or she would make less overall progress, but would have access to more perks that make him or her even more formidable with a skill than the rank alone would indicate.

Perks should be more than skill increases

The concept that tended to run through perks was that the developers were seeking to make perks that would allow players to actually play differently. "If a player can take a perk for their character and it makes them think differently about how they are playing, that seems more interesting to me than just jacking the skill value up."

J.E. Sawyer said in another statement that he wanted to move past many perks that were just skill additions as he found that they didn't allow characters to do anything conceptually new. He noted that there were many skill-up perks, such as (Ghost, Thief, Harmless, Master Thief, Medic!, Mr. Fixit) that were under this category. He posited it may be a better idea to turn these perks into sub-perks of general skill perks. (E.g.: the player hits level 6 and picks skill++ perk, then is given another list showing all the skills. He or she picks one. On the character record screen, it shows Skill++: Computer Ops.)

Balancing perk distribution across skills

A large number of perks were also either directly related to combat skills or were completely unrelated to any skills (Strong Back, Quick Pockets, etc.), Sawyer was attempting to make more perks that were directly connected to having high non-combat skills, like Healer, in order to balance and flesh out the other dimensions of gameplay. In this capacity "manufacturing perks" were there that would allow "Science Boy" characters to create equipment from otherwise useless items that they would find in their travels. The items could range from drugs to explosives to medical kits and so on.

Perks replicating the function of skills

He noted that Master Trader (25% reduction in cost, which is the basic function of the barter skill essentially), Salesman (+20% Barter), and Negotiator (+20% to Barter) did not need to exist and may have been able to have been creatively replaced by concepts that were more involving. In light of this, he suggested some changes:

  • Bulk Trader: The higher the volume of items you buy and sell, the better the deals (players start to orient their inventory management and purchasing around getting the highest count of a single item).
  • Junk Merchant: All items worth 1-3 "dollars" are worth twice as much when you sell them (players store assorted odds and ends in their locker/trunk waiting for a rainy day to cash them all in).

Regular perks

Name Level req Other requirements Ranks Benefit
Action Boy/ Action Girl
Adrenaline Rush
Advanced Research
Animal Friend Can enter feral dog lair to get a pup without being attacked, Devil Dog has slightly greater chance of liking you
Better Criticals
Body Snatcher
Bonus Move
Bonus HtH Damage
Bonus Ranged Damage
Born Killer
Born Leader
Bulk Trader
Bone Head
Cult of Personality
Detect Lies
Die Hard
Duck and Cover
Eye on the Prize
Forced March
In Your Face!
Junk Merchant
Living Anatomy
Mental Catalogue
Master of Sciences
More Criticals
Rad Child
Suicide King
Strong Back
Tough Hide

Special perks

Name Requirements/cost Location(s) Benefit
Devil's Tongue
Guidance Counselor
Flexible Can use this to slip between the bars of the cells.
Hangdog Fighting Style
Living toolset Otto Steed only perk Does not require a toolset to perform mechanics
Smartest Man on Earth Victor Presper only perk Presper is the smartest man on Earth, with the possible exception of the Prisoner
Sting Like a Bee
Mad Scientist Victor Presper only perk Allows Presper direct input from the GM to perform his twisted actions.
Visual Standard Allows dumb character to learn basic machine language