Van Buren skills
|This page lists all skills in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.|
Skills started at 0 with Tag Skills starting at 20. They would not have a % symbol behind them, as this concept was ruled generally frivolous, seeing as players could go far beyond 100% in previous games. Point weighing was to be implemented sooner in order to make skills more difficult to get good at.
The cost on a per-rank basis was:
- 1 for 1-50
- 2 for 51-100
- 3 for 101-150
- 4 for 151-200 (Max skill)
Each rank bought for a tag! skill was doubled. If you had a 55 Medic, it would cost you two points to increase it one rank—but you would get an additional rank for free.
Each skill had a bonus applied to all rolls that was equal to three ability score values (AG*3 or CH*2 + IN or ST + AG + PE, etc.). Perks that require skill values only looked at the rank, not the rank + bonus. For example: you wanted to take Advanced Research; the prerequisites were IN 8, PE 6, science 175. If the character's science only has 168 ranks, but it's effectively 182 because of his high IN and PE, he wouldn't qualify.
It was possible that the tag bonus would be 24, since that would have made the bonus equally divisible into 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, +20 was considered a rather hefty bonus on top of what was already accelerated points to rank ratio. A tag bonus of 12 was considered as well because it would fit the first pre-requisite (Being equally divisible), but it ultimately still didn't solve the bonus problem if the skill rank "crossed the barrier" during the increase. Unspent fractions would probably be lost in this scenario.
List of skills
There were to be 13 skills in Van Buren (originally 14, one "stealth" skill was cut).
There were several ideas for broader application of archetypes that are often called "Charisma Boy" or "Diplomacy Boy" skills. In Fallout and Fallout 2, such characters could focus on two skills with good, but fairly limited applications: Barter and Speech. Barter affected buy and sell prices, Speech affected dialogue options (along with certain attributes).
"Combat Boys" by contrast, not only have skills but tools that helped define their characters. Three characters who focus on Melee can all use different weapon sets for different purposes. This gives a level of depth to match or exceed that character type's skill breadth.
It was generally held by J.E. Sawyer (though he noted many might or would disagree) that the "Charisma Boy" had neither depth or nor breadth in character development as; "He's got two skills, one with no depth, one with slight depth. Barter is pretty flat. It's just a score that goes up and changes store prices. A player can't do much with it to change his or her gameplay experience other than dump points into it and save money. Even the perks available for Barter don't really allow the player to do anything new with the skill."
He went on to explain that Speech opened up a lot of dialogue options, but that was in the end, its whole point. It did not go beyond that. "Attributes can be checked with Speech in dialogue, but ultimately those static checks are just pass/fail. Randomized checks in speech are easily overcome by the ol' "uncontested reload", so there's not much point to them—they need to be static checks because of the environment in which they appear."
For these reasons he wanted to keep Barter, but divide Speech into two skills: Deception and Persuasion. However, this division was potentially harmful unless the Deception and Persuasion skills had a broader application in the game outside of standard dialogue and, objectively, one could argue that this would not solve the issue of depth that Sawyer had with speech, but possible introduce two newer, shallower skills.