Character Creation FAQ by Haeravon
Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition on SuperCheats.com
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o======================================================================o
|								       |
|		  Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition		       |
|			     					       |
o======================================================================o
Version 1.01
Written by: Nathan Garvin
Email: Theendbringer (at) Hotmail (dot) com.
If you're going to email me about this guide, make sure you put
"FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS" in the title, or I'll probably end up deleting it
as junk.

Guide Information
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
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<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
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Table of Contents
o======================================================================o
I. Introduction				{INT001}
	1. The DLCs			{INT002}
II. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Attributes		{SPC001}
	1. Implants			{SPC002}
	2. Why Get the Monocyte Breeder {SPC003}
	   Implant?	
	3. Lonesome Road DLC Bonus	{SPC004}
	   Attribute
	4. Strength			{SPC005}
	5. Perception			{SPC006}
	6. Endurance			{SPC007}
	7. Charisma			{SPC008}
	8. Intelligence			{SPC009}
	9. Agility			{SPC010}
	10. Luck			{SPC011}
	11. My Personal Build,		{SPC012}
	    Attributes
III. Skills				{SKL001}
	1. Base				{SKL002}
	2. Tag!				{SKL003}
	3. Leveling			{SKL004}
	4. Books			{SKL005}
	5. Magazines			{SKL006}
	6. Breakdown of Skill Points	{SKL007}
	7. Barter			{SKL008}
	8. Energy Weapons		{SKL009}
	9. Explosives			{SKL010}
	10. Guns			{SKL011}
	11. Lockpick			{SKL012}
	12. Medicine			{SKL013}
	13. Melee Weapons		{SKL014}
	14. Repair			{SKL015}
	15. Science			{SKL016}
	16. Sneak			{SKL017}
	17. Speech			{SKL018}
	18. Survival			{SKL029}
	19. Unarmed			{SKL020}
	20. Skills I Tag! (and why)	{SKL021}
	21. Skill Point Allocation 	{SKL022}
IV. Traits				{TRT001}
	1. The Sink Psychiatric		{TRT002}
	   Evaluation	
	2. Built to Destroy		{TRT003}
	3. Claustrophobia		{TRT004}
	4. Early Bird			{TRT005}
	5. Fast Shot			{TRT006}
	6. Four Eyes			{TRT007}
	7. Good Natured			{TRT008}
	8. Heavy Handed			{TRT009}
	9. Hoarder			{TRT010}
	10. Hot Blooded			{TRT011}
	11. Kamikaze			{TRT012}
	12. Logan's Loophole		{TRT013}
	13. Loose Cannon		{TRT014}
	14. Skilled			{TRT015}
	15. Small Frame			{TRT016}
	16. Trigger Discipline		{TRT017}
	17. Wild Wasteland		{TRT018}
	18. My Personal Build, Traits	{TRT019}
V. Perks				{PRK001}
	1. Level 2 Perks		{PRK002}
	2. Level 4 Perks		{PRK003}
	3. Level 6 Perks		{PRK004}
	4. Level 8 Perks		{PRK005}
	5. Level 10 Perks		{PRK006}
	6. Level 12 Perks		{PRK007}
	7. Level 14 Perks		{PRK008}
	8. Level 16 Perks		{PRK009}
	9. Level 18 Perks		{PRK010}
	10. Level 20 Perks		{PRK011}
	11. Level 22-28 Perks		{PRK012}
	12. Level 30+ Perks		{PRK013}
	13. Additional Perks		{PRK014}
	14. My Personal Build, Perks	{PRK015}
VI. Getting Started in the Mohave 	{MOH001}
	1. The New Vegas 		{MOH002}
	   Medical Clinic Run
	2. Alternate Routes		{MOH003}
	3. Jackpot Winner!		{MOH004}
	4. Infinite Experience 		{MOH005}
	   Exploit
	5. "Free" Repairs		{MOH006}
	6. Elite Riot Gear		{MOH007}
	7. Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle	{MOH008}
	8. Pew-Pew			{MOH009}
	9. Q-35 Matter Modulator	{MOH010}
	10. Joshua Graham's Armor	{MOH011}
	11. Remnant Power Armor		{MOH012}
	12. Remnant Power Helmet	{MOH013}
	13. This Machine		{MOH014}
	14. Ulysses' Duster		{MOH015}
	14. YCS/186 -or- Alien Blaster	{MOH016}
VII. Hardcore Mode Blues		{HMB001}
	1. Survival of the Skilled	{HMB002}
	2. H20				{HMB003}
	3. Food				{HMB004}
	4. Sleep			{HMB005}
	5. 'Tis But a Flesh Wound..	{HMB006}
	6. Ammo Weight Hate		{HMB007}
	7. And Then There Was One..	{HMB008}
	8. First Do No Harm		{HMB009}
	9. Don't Mind the Grind		{HMB010}
VIII. Expansion Info			{EXP001}
	1. Dead Money			{EXP002}
	2. Honest Hearts		{EXP003}
	3. Old World Blues		{EXP004}
	4. Lonesome Road		{EXP005}
IX. Books				{BOK001}
	1. Big Book of Science		{BOK002}
	2. Chinese Army: Spec. Ops.	{BOK003}
	   Training Manual
	3. D.C. Journal of Internal	{BOK004}
	   Medicine
	4. Dean's Electronics		{BOK005}
	5. Duck and Cover!		{BOK006}
	6. Grognak the Barbarian	{BOK007}
	7. Guns and Bullets		{BOK008}
	8. Lying, Congressional Style	{BOK009}
	9. Nikola Tesla and You		{BOK010}
	10. Pugilism Illustrated	{BOK011}
	11. Tales of a Junktown Jerky	{BOK012}
	    Vendor
	12. Tumblers Today		{BOK013}
	13. Wasteland Survival Guide	{BOK014}
	14. Workbench Crates		{BOK015}
	15. Skill Book Recipes		{BOK016}
X. Updates/Thanks			{UPD001}
	Special Thanks/Credits		{UPD002}

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			Introduction {INT001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
Hello, kiddies! Another Fallout game, another Fallout Character Creation
FAQ. If you read my previous FAQ for Fallout 3 you'll have a good
understanding of how this FAQ will be laid out, and what it'll try to
do. If not, then read on. This FAQ is designed to help you create a
characters with the best chances of surviving in the Wasteland, or at
least to give you an idea of how the SPECIAL stats, perks, and skills
work so you can make an informed decision on how to best build the
character you want. It's mostly informational, but I do have my own
opinion on the best way to do things and what works best. Follow it or
not, but most of all, I hope you come out with a better idea of how you
want to play the game. If that's the case, Whether you do things my way
or not is irrelevant. I'm fairly power-gamey, and I focus more on a
general build, rather than specialization.. or rather, I try to focus
on making the most powerful character I can. After all, a character who
is good at talking his way out of a fight is fine, and a gunslinger has
its uses.. but a character who can do both is obviously better. Right?

This version of the guide is for the Ultimate Edition of Fallout: New
Vegas. If you don't have all the DLCs, the full level cap, and all that
good stuff, this guide probably isn't going to help you all that much.
I've left my old Character Creation FAQ for the original game intact on
Gamefaqs.com. Just make sure the title doesn't have 'Ultimate Edition'
in it, and you'll be fine. Some people who have played the original game
and read the original FAQ can rightly view this as an unspoken v1.04 of
my previous Character Creation FAQ-with all the juicy DLC stuff you've
been waiting for.

The DLCs							{INT002}
o======================================================================o
With the Ultimate Edition you get all the DLCs and all the pre-order
bonuses.. the pre-order bonuses are mostly nothing special (although
I love the Vault 13 gear, for nostalgia purposes!), just some junky
weapons and medicore armor to making the early-going easier. The deck
of cards I got for buying this on day one is still the best side-bonus
that came with the game, as far as I'm concerned. Anyways, the real
deal is that all the major DLCs increase your level cap by five-four
DLCs, base level 30, the new level cap is 50, with all new perks and
twenty more levels of skill points to make the old build well and
truly obsolete. The new gear you'll start out with thanks to the
'Courier's Stash' DLC is listed below:

Classic Pack

  Sturdy Caravan Shotgun
  20 Gauge Round x40
  Binoculars
  Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit (I love this!)
  Vault 13 Canteen (again, nostalgia love..)

Tribal Pack

  Weathered 10mm Pistol
  10mm Round x50
  Stimpak x5
  Tribal Raiding Armor
  Throwing Spear x10
  Broad Machete
  Bleak Venom x5

Mercenary Pack

  Lightweight Leather Armor
  Lightweight Metal Armor
  Mercenary's Grenade Rifle
  40mm Grenade x24
  Doctor's Bag x3
  Super Stimpak x3

Of these items, the only real standout is the Vault 13 Canteen. It
contains an endless supply of water that will mitigate (not eliminate)
your H20 level in Hardcore Mode. It cannot be activated, it's
automatically used once every so often, lowering your H20 level a bit.
It's handy, if not necessary.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|		S.P.E.C.I.A.L Attributes {SPC001}		       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
Your seven attributes are cleverly formed into the acronym 'SPECIAL',
which stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma,
Intelligence, Agility, Luck.

Attributes do a number of things for you-depending on what the actual
attribute is, but they all give a 2 point bonus to their related skills
for each point in that attribute. For example, if your Strength was 5
your base Melee Weapons skill would get a 10 point bonus. Luck is the
exception, which gives a 1 point bonus for each two points in Luck to
all your skills. This also means that when determining your skill
points, each skill starts out with at least a +2 bonus (for your
minimum of 1 in each attribute.) But.. more on that later.

I will give you a brief description of each attribute, as well as list
what bonuses it gives. Below the chart listing the nuances of the
effects of that attribute will be my build choice when it comes to that
attribute, and a rating following it. The grade is somewhat arbitrary,
as it 'rates' the attribute in measure of importance. You can get a feel
for the rating an attribute will get just by looking at the number of
points my build requires.

Implants							{SPC002}
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Instead of Bobbleheads, in New Vegas you have Implants. Again, anybody
who played Fallout 1 or 2 shouldn't be surprised by the concept of
shelling out caps to have your character surgically augmented. You can
get one Implant per point of Endurance you have (not counting points
gained from gear worn or from getting an Endurance-boosting Implant).
Naturally, this means you shouldn't use Endurance as a dump stat, at
least, and at most, if you're a power gamer, you should strive to have
a high Endurance to get as many Implants as possible. The Implants are
listed below, along with the Caps they cost, and the bonuses they give.
Note that buying an Implant rewards you with a perk corresponding to
that Implant, which is how I will identify the Implants listed below.
Also, to my knowledge there is no significant down-time associated with
these surgeries. You shouldn't starve to death or dehydrate from having
a surgery, even though it does fast-forward time by three hours.

	o====================o======o=====================o
	|      Implant       | Cost |       Effect        |
	o====================o======o=====================o
	|Agility Implant     | 4,000|     +1 Agility      |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Charisma Implant    | 4,000|    +1 Charisma      |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Endurance Implant   | 4,000|    +1 Endurance     |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Intelligence Implant| 4,000|   +1 Intelligence   |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Monocyte Breeder    |12,000|Regenerate Hit Points|
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Luck Implant	     | 4,000|      +1 Luck        |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Perception Implant  | 4,000|   +1 Perception     |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Strength Implant    | 4,000|    +1 Strength      |
	|--------------------|------|---------------------|
	|Sub-Dermal Armor    | 8,000| +4 Damage Threshold |
	o====================o======o=====================o

Obviously these Implants differ in potency.. the Sub-Dermal Armor
Implant is better than a Toughness perk, and for Hardcore players, how
can life get much better than health regeneration? On the other hand,
for a build like mine that uses Charisma as a dump stat it might seem
mindless to bother getting enough Endurance in order to boost Charisma.

You can buy the Implants from Doctor Usanagi at the New Vegas Medical
Clinic. Check the {MOH002} section to see how to reach this area with a
new, low-level character.

Why Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant?				{SPC003}
<----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Monocyte Breeder is NOT a combat implant. It heals too slow to make
any difference in a fight. Why bother with it then? Well, two reasons,
one good, one bad. First the bad reason-save a few essential
considerations, such as meeting perk requirements, weapon requirements,
and having enough Intelligence (and hence skill points) to max out all
your skills, there are few good reasons to invest more or less into
many of the attributes. Simply put, the health and extra implant we can
get with a point of Endurance is worth more than what the other SPECIAL
attributes offer. Now for the good reason-in Hardcore mode, the Monocyte
Breeder is not a lackluster implant, as it will allow you to heal by
resting, waiting, or even fast travelling. Sure as hell beats having to
snarf food, constantly drink from a water source, or make yourself a
Stimpak pin-cusion.

Lonesome Road DLC Bonus Attribute				{SPC004}
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
At the end of the 'Lonesome Road' DLC you'll get one of four perks,
depending upon your actions... the only intersting thing we need to
focus on here is the fact that all these perks will give you one
SPECIAL point to allocate-just like picking an Intensive Training perk,
but for free! It's something to keep in mind, but since it happens so
late in the game, I wouldn't really consider it a 'build' consideration.
I'm just as happy putting it in Luck and getting the 1% critical hit
chance.

Strength 							{SPC005}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Melee Weapons

Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much
you can carry, the power of all melee attacks, and your effectiveness
with many heavy weapons.

"Strength'll tell you how easily a cowboy totes his saddle, and those
bigger firearms, or how much help he's gonna be for ya in a saloon
brawl."

Strength has a more important role in New Vegas than it previously had.
If you played Fallout 1 or 2, you'll remember that weapons in those
games also had a minimum Strength requirement. So too, for New Vegas.
Strength also increases your melee damage, carrying capacity, and gives
a bonus to your Melee Weapons skill. In my mind, however, the most
important thing it does is it effectively limits what weapons you can
use. If you don't have enough Strength to use a weapon, your aim will
wobble, and you'll have a laughable to hit rate in VATS. For melee
weapons, it may slow down your rate of attack. Now, as far as unarmed,
melee, and explosives are concerned this is only so much of a
handicap. Most of the time you don't need a great deal of accuracy
with, say, a Fat Man. The increased spread hurts, but with an
explosive weapon or a Minigun, some inherent inaccuracy is built into
the weapon anyways. With a Sniper Rifle, however, accuracy is a much
greater concern, and considering that higher damage weapons give a much
better damage return over high Damage Threshold than lower damage
weapons, you're going to want to use the bigger, badder guns. That said,
the 'bigger, badder' category really starts at a Strength of six,
especially if you use ranged weapons. With the Weapon Handling perk you
can lower this requirement by two points, meaning that most characters
really only need four Strength.. or three, with the Implant. With the
DLCs installed, however, the build changes a bit. First, we have twenty
more levels and many more books to boost our skill points with-meaning
we need less Intelligence. These SPECIAL points have to go somewhere,
and Strength isn't a bad place to put them. Also, in the Old World Blues
DLC you'll get one of two "perks" to choose from (they can be switched
out at will); 

o=====o============o=================o======o==========================o
|Score|Melee Damage|Carrying Capacity|Skills|       Description	       |
o=====o============o=================o======o==========================o
|  1  |      .5    |       160       |  +2  |Wet Noodle 	       |
|  2  |     1.0    |       170       |  +4  |Beached Jellyfish         |
|  3  |     1.5    |       180       |  +6  |Doughy Baby               |
|  4  |     2.0    |       190       |  +8  |Lightweight               |
|  5  |     2.5    |       200       | +10  |Average Joe               |
|  6  |     3.0    |       210       | +12  |Barrel Chested            |
|  7  |     3.5    |       220       | +14  |Beach Bully               |
|  8  |     4.0    |       230       | +16  |Circus Strongman          |
|  9  |     4.5    |       240       | +18  |Doomsday Pecs             |
| 10  |     5.0    |       250       | +20  |Hercules' Bigger Cousin   |
o=====o============o========================o==========================o

You can increase your Strength by one point by getting the Strength
Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

You can increase your Strength by one point by getting the Spineless
perk in the 'Old World Blues' DLC. This perk replaces Reinforce Spine,
they do not stack.

You can increase your Strength by two points by getting the Reinforced
Spine perk in the 'Old World Blues' DLC. This perk replaces the
Spineless perk, they do not stack.

My Build: I put *FIVE* points into Strength. The Implant will raise
my Strength to six-which is all I'll need for most of the game. Once
I complete the Old World Blues DLC, I'll pick the Reinforced Spine 
"perk" and raise my Strength up to eight. This is enough to use pretty
much any weapon in the game, and it allows me to dispense with Weapon
Handling entirely. If for some reason I need more Strength.. well,
there's always Power Armor.

Rating: ***

Perception							{SPC006}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Explosives, Lockpick, and Energy Weapons

A high Perception grants a bonus to the Explosives, Lockpick and Energy
Weapons skills, and determines when red compass markings appear (which
indicate threats).

"A perceptive cowboy always knows when there's a lit stick of dynamite
nearby... or when a varmint's sneakin' up on him."

Perception's big draw is that it increases the distance as which you
notice threats-red marks on your compass. Granted this is only useful
for avoiding said threats, or ambushing/sneaking up on them. Still, if
you are a ranged fighter, this is useful for letting you know where your
enemies are before you engage. Yep, that's right out of the old FAQ, and
it holds true in New Vegas. There are, however, a few changes in New
Vegas that diminishes.. or rather, replaces.. the use of Perception in
New Vegas. First, you can just toggle VATS to spot enemies far outside
of your range to locate them, so long as you have a line of sight. With
one side kick you get a perk that highlights enemies when you aim, and
with another you get a perk that vastly increases your detection range.
Both of these perks make having a high personal Perception score rather
moot. Add into this the fact that with the new iron sights you can
effectively snipe outside of VATS much easier.. you don't need a high
Perception to find-and kill-enemies. It still has its tactical uses to
be sure, and more importantly it is a requirement for some perks, but
you don't need nearly as much Perception this time around. In fact,
with the larger range of Perception you'll get from one companion, you
will see enemies on the compass much earlier than is useful. It doesn't
really do you much good to know that there are hostiles on the far side
of a mountain, does it? Especially not until you find a way to reach
that side of the mountain, in any case. The best thing Perception does
is it allows you to get the Better Criticals perk. Without this you can
really use it as a dump stat. That said, I can't see why anybody would
ignore +50% critical damage. Keep your Perception up at six (or five
plus the Implant) to have access to this perk.

		o=====o======o====================o
		|Score|Skills|    Description     |
		o=====o======o====================o
		|  1  |  +2  |Deaf Bat		  |
		|  2  |  +4  |Senile Mole	  |
		|  3  |  +6  |Squinting Newt	  |
		|  4  |  +8  |Unsuspecting Trout  |
		|  5  | +10  |Wary Trout	  |
		|  6  | +12  |Alert Coyote	  |
		|  7  | +14  |Big-eyed Tiger	  |
		|  8  | +16  |Monocled Falcon	  |
		|  9  | +18  |Sniper Hawk	  |
		| 10  | +20  |Eagle with Telescope|
		o=====o======o====================o

You can increase your Perception by one point by getting the Perecption
Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build: I start out with a base of *FIVE* Perception.

Rating: **

Endurance 							{SPC007}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Survival and Unarmed

Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. A high
Endurance gives bonuses to health, environmental resistances, and the
Survival and Unarmed skills.

"You can't keep a good cowboy down, not if he's the endurin' type...
and not if he's got a six-shooter the size of all tarnation."

As the description says, Endurance increases your Health and some
resistances. Presumably your resistance to poison is the same as in
Fallout 3, as your radiation resistance remains unchanged. Since you
only receive five Hit Points per level in New Vegas (as opposed to 10
in Fallout 3) Endurance plays a more crucial role. Most importantly,
however, in New Vegas your Endurance determines how many stat-boosting
Implants you can receive. There are a total of nine Implants, and you
can get one for each point of Endurance you have.. not including an
extra Endurance you may get from an Implant. If you want as many
Implants as possible, you're going to want a high starting Endurance.
Since this attribute also boosts your Survival, it's a good pick for
people playing in Hardcore mode.

o=====o=========o=====================o======o================o
|Score|Hitpoints|Poison/Rad Resistance|Skills|  Description   |
o=====o=========o=====================o======o================o
|  1  |   120   |        0%/0%        |  +2  |Basically Dead  |
|  2  |   140   |        5%/2%        |  +4  |Crumbly         |
|  3  |   160   |       10%/4%        |  +6  |Do Not Bend     |
|  4  |   180   |       15%/6%        |  +8  |Handle with Care|
|  5  |   200   |       20%/8%        | +10  |Stain-resistant |
|  6  |   220   |       25%/10%       | +12  |Hardy           |
|  7  |   240   |       30%/12%       | +14  |Tough-as-nails  |
|  8  |   260   |       35%/14%       | +16  |Flame Retardant |
|  9  |   280   |       40%/16%       | +18  |Bulletproof     |
| 10  |   300   |       45%/18%       | +20  |Unstoppable     |
o=====o=========o=====================o======o================o

You can increase your Endurance by one point by getting the Endurance
Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build: The more the merrier in Endurance, I start out with a whopping
*EIGHT* Endurance. This allows me to get all the Implants in the game,
save the Charisma Implant.

Rating: *****

Charisma 							{SPC008}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Barter and Speech

Having a high Charisma will improve people's disposition of you, and
give bonuses to both the Barter and Speech skills.

"You'll find there are some smooth-talkin' cowboys out there that got
themselves a voice that sounds like an angel's harmonica."

Charisma isn't any better in New Vegas than it was in Fallout 3, with
the exception of the bonuses it gives to your companions' nerve, which
significantly increases their Damage Threshold and Damage. Still, this
is a character creation guide aimed at making the strongest character
for this game as possible.. not for making the strongest companions. At
the end of the day I'd rather have a strong main character than a strong
side-kick. Keep the benefits in mind, sure, but realize that a high 
Charisma is going to cost you in other areas. I use it as a dump stat
and let Speech and Barter get me through the conversations in the game.

		o=====o======o==================o
		|Score|Skills|   Description    |
		o=====o======o==================o
		|  1  |  +2  |Misanthrope       |
		|  2  |  +4  |Old Hermit        |
		|  3  |  +6  |Creepy Undertaker |
		|  4  |  +8  |Peevish Librarian |
		|  5  | +10  |Substitute Teacher|
		|  6  | +12  |Cheery Salesman   |
		|  7  | +14  |Diplomat          |
		|  8  | +16  |Movie Star        |
		|  9  | +18  |Casanova          |
		| 10  | +20  |Cult Leader       |
		o=====o======o==================o

You can increase your Charisma by one point by getting the Charisma
Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build: I start out with *ONE* point in Charisma. There's really no
great reason to start out with more. If you want to be a silver-tongued
devil, get a high Intelligence and just use Speech instead.

Rating: *

Intelligence 							{SPC009}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Science, Repair, and Medicine

Intelligence affects the Science, Repair and Medicine skills. The
higher your Intelligence, the more Skill Points you'll be able to
distribute when you level up.

"A smart cowboy's good at most anything, from suckin' the poison out of
your rattler bit to fixin' your broken wagon axle."

Intelligence is again a solid attribute.. and even though it has been
reduced in potency, the fact remains that a character with higher
Intelligence will have higher skills, which does all kinds of good
things. Not only will you pass more [Intelligence] checks, but more
skills means you'll pass more skill checks, too, and in New Vegas,
there are alot of them. Simply put, a more Intelligent character is
a more versatile, stronger character. And yes, half-points do carry
over to next level, so with a 9 Intelligence, you'd get 16 skill
points to distribute on one level, and 17 on the next. With all the
new DLCs, Intelligence has become somewhat less useful. Sure, with
more levels you stand to gain more benefit from each point of
Intelligence.. but there are so many new levels, so many new books,
that we just don't need as much Intelligence to max out all our
skills. Having a high Intelligence is still nice for some dialogue
options.. but it's nothing a well-timed Mentat can't get us.

On a mindless tangent, does anybody else find it odd that you move from
'Knucklehead' at four Intelligence, to 'Knowledgable' at five? Isn't
5.5 the average result of a 1-10 system? So shouldn't five denote a
(slightly-less-than) average intelligence? And why the huge upgrade?
Knucklehead is an insult, and Knowledgable is what you call somebody
when.. well, they display competence in a field.

	o=====o=====================o======o=============o
	|Score|Skill Point per Level|Skills| Description |
	o=====o=====================o======o=============o
	|  1  |         10.5        |  +2  |Sub-brick    |
	|  2  |         11          |  +4  |Vegetable    |
	|  3  |         11.5        |  +6  |Cretin       |
	|  4  |         12          |  +8  |Knucklehead  |
	|  5  |         12.5        | +10  |Knowledgeable|
	|  6  |         13          | +12  |Gifted       |
	|  7  |         13.5        | +14  |Smartypants  |
	|  8  |         14          | +16  |Know-it-all  |
	|  9  |         14.5        | +18  |Genius       |
	| 10  |         15          | +20  |Omniscient   |
	o=====o=====================o======o=============o

You can increase your Intelligenceby one point by getting the
Intelligence Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build: I start out with *SIX* Intelligence. My first priority, as
in Fallout: New Vegas is to get the Intelligence Implant from the
New Vegas Medical Clinic so as to ensure I'm gaining as many skill
points per level as possible.. hence the 'Getting Started in the
Mohave' section. Again, we don't need quite as much Intelligence with
the expansions installed, so an end total of seven is more than
enough.

Rating: ***

Agility 							{SPC010}
o======================================================================o
Skills: Guns and Sneak

Agility affects your Small Guns and Sneak skills, and the number of
Action Points available for V.A.T.S.

"When a fella's in a gunfight and shoots the other guy six times before
they can get off a shot, it's cause that fella is agile."

Agility is more of a mixed bag in New Vegas than it was in Fallout 3.
Action Points are still good and all, but since VATS doesn't make you
more-or-less invincible anymore, it can be a liability. It's often
better to use VATS sparingly, when you have time to pull off some safe
shots, rather than spam VATS relentlessly. Being able to use VATS more
often is better than taking more shots in VATS. Also with the new iron
sights, you can kill enemies more effectively at a distance.. again,
lessening the need for VATS this time around. Still, you should keep a
minimum of six points (or five plus the Implant) if you intend to get
the Silent Running perk.

	o=====o=============o======o================o
	|Score|Action Points|Skills|  Description   |
	o=====o=============o======o================o
	|  1  |      67     |  +2  |Walking Disaster|
	|  2  |      69     |  +4  |Accident Prone  |
	|  3  |      71     |  +6  |Oaf             |
	|  4  |      73     |  +8  |Butterfingers   |
	|  5  |      75     | +10  |Under Control   |
	|  6  |      77     | +12  |Catlike         |
	|  7  |      79     | +14  |Knife Thrower   |
	|  8  |      81     | +16  |Knife Catcher   |
	|  9  |      83     | +18  |Acrobatic Marvel|
	| 10  |      85     | +20  |Walks on Water  |
	o=====o=============o======o================o

You can increase your Agility by one point by getting the Agility
Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

You can increase your Agility by one point by selecting the Small Frame
Trait.

My Build: I grab *SEVEN* point of Agility to start with, raising it to
eight with the Small Frame trait. It will eventually reach nine when
I get the Implant, which is plenty as far as Action Points and reload
speed is concerned.

Rating: ***

Luck								{SPC011}
o======================================================================o
Skills: All skills

"Some folks claim not to believe in luck, but when they lose in a duel
you'll hear them say, 'That lucky son-of-a-gun!'"

Doesn't the loser of a duel often die? Anyways.. Luck is a great skill,
especially with poor Intelligence suffering. From Luck you will get a
half-point bonus to all your skills (rounded up), which tops out at +5
once you have nine Luck, making nine really the terminal score for Luck.
Considering this, Luck can potentially give you the highest skill bonus
of any attribute, and the fact that each point also translates to your
critical hit chance makes it a very nice attribute indeed.

	o====o===============o======o====================o
	|Luck|Critical Chance|Skills|    Description     |
	o====o===============o======o====================o
	|  1 |       1%      |  +1  |13 Pitch-black Coats|
	|  2 |       2%      |  +1  |Broken Gypsy Mirror |
	|  3 |       3%      |  +2  |Sickly Albatross    |
	|  4 |       4%      |  +2  |Spilled Salt        |
	|  5 |       5%      |  +3  |Coin Flip           |
	|  6 |       6%      |  +3  |Stacked Deck        |
	|  7 |       7%      |  +4  |Lucky 7             |
	|  8 |       8%      |  +4  |Leprechaun's Foot   |
	|  9 |       9%      |  +5  |21-Leaf Clover      |
	| 10 |	     10%     |  +5  |Two-headed Coin Flip|
	o====o===============o======o====================o

You can increase your Luck by one point by getting the Luck Implant perk
from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build: I start out with *EIGHT* Luck, and with the Implant I bring
it up to nine, which is as high as it needs to be. Even the critical-
hit happy builds should be satisfied with this, and I really canít see
stripping a point from another S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Attribute for one measly
point of critical hit percentage.

Rating: *****

My Personal Build, Attributes					{SPC012}
o======================================================================o
The numbers below are the starting attributes I pick, and the numbers in
parentheses are what they'll be when I get the Implants, complete the
'Old World Blues' DLC, and select the 'Small Frame' Trait. This does not
include any boosts I might get from worn items (temporary boosts) or
the free SPECIAL point you'll get to allocate at the end of the
'Lonesome Road' DLC.

Now, for some notes about the build. I've been conflicted about a few
alternatives, so I feel it's best to mention them than pretend this
build is absolute. First, Intelligence has been reduced by the DLCs a
bit-but it could stand to suffer more. This has everything to do with
perks-so if you're not familiar with the perks.. well, bear with me.
By my math (which isn't anything I'm proud of, by the way), this build
will-if you get all the skill books-end up with surplus skill points.
This doesn't even include the random books you can get in 'Honest
Hearts' (I try to count randomness out of the build somewhat). You can
really even ignore all skill books that require explosives, console
codes, and other tricks and still have enough skill points to max
everything at 100 (although we'll admitably be cutting it rather close).
Ultimately, however, I like having an intelligent character (a few
dialogue options will be unlocked, and having seven allows us to pop
Mentats and pretty much get them all-but it's really a vanity thing).
Also.. the benefits of raising the other attributes at the expense of
Intelligence is rather minute. A few points of Health from Endurance,
an extra 1% critical hit chance from Luck, a paltry amount of Action
Points from Agility? These are negligible benefits. At the end of the
day, I'd rather just be lazy and not have to uncover every book in the
game, and give myself a large surplus. People who don't play in Hardcore
mode can safely ignore Survival, however, and save themselves a great
bit of skill points, which in turn allows you to safely drop
Intelligence even further.

Strength	5 (8) +1 Implant, +2 Reinforced Spine
Perception	5 (6) +1 Implant
Endurance	8 (9) +1 Implant
Charisma	1
Intelligence	6 (7) +1 Implant
Agility		7 (9) +1 Implant, +1 Small Frame
Luck		8 (9) +1 Implant

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			    Skills {SKL001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
Skills determine how good you are at various activities, anything from
picking locks, hacking computers, attacking with various weapons,
sneaking, interacting with NPCs and so forth. Your skills are every bit
as important as your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes and your perks.

Base 								{SKL002}
o======================================================================o
You start out with two points in each skill, and get an additional two
points per S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute in related skills with the
exception of Luck, which gives .5 point for each point of Luck
(rounded up).

Tag! 								{SKL003}
o======================================================================o
You select three skills to tag after being tested early in the game.
Unlike the first two Fallout games, this doesn't double your rate of
skill point increase, it merely adds a 15 point bonus to those skills.

Leveling 							{SKL004}
o======================================================================o
You gain 10 skill points per level plus half your Intelligence score.
The sooner you get to the New Vegas Medical Center and buy yourself a
shiny new Intelligence Implant, the more skill points you'll have in
the long run.

Books								{SKL005}
o======================================================================o
In addition to perks, leveling, and intelligence, you can get skill
bonuses from books throughout the game. Unlike in Fallout 3, you no
longer gain one point for each book, you now get three (or four, with
the Comprehension perk). Of course, with bonuses like this you can't
expect to find quite as many of them.. but even if you find three or
four, that's a significant number of skill points.

Magazines							{SKL006}
o======================================================================o
Magazines, like books, exist only to boost your skill points, albeit
temporarily. Magazines normally boost your skill points by +10, but with
the Comprehension perk this bonus increases to +20. For most skill this
is not a huge deal, although the benefits of popping a Milsurp Review
to boost your Guns before a big fight is obvious enough. For some
'checked' skills, however, a temporary boost can be just as good as a
permanent one. For example, the Speech skill is really only used in
conversation. If you reach certain benchmarks you can succeed at Speech
checks, which greatly helps with questing, improves rewards, etc.
However, you don't ALWAYS need a 100 Speech. In fact, most of the time
you're not even using that skill. This is where magazines shine, as with
Comprehension you can leave Speech at 80 and just read a magazine before
you need to make a check. The Barter, Lockpick, and Science skills all
fall into this category as well.

Breakdown of Skills Points					{SKL007}
o======================================================================o
There are 13 skills in the game, each of which can be raised to a score
of 100, for a grand total of 1300 possible points in the game. With the
inclusion of a whopping 20 more levels to the game, maxing out all your
skills at 100 is now pretty easy to do-so much so that the Comprehension
Perks and the Intelligence Attribute are now less interesting to power-
gamers like myself. On the other hand, Educated now gives 46 levels
worth of skill points-or a total of 92 points over the game, and the
increased number of books means Comprehension will go further, too.

The breakdown of skill points below shows how my skill points are
allocated at level one, with their projected totals once I have the
implants purchased. If your SPECIAL Attributes don't match mine, you'll
have different numbers. Remember, you start out with a base of two
points in each skill, plus two for every point in the governing
SPECIAL Attribute for that skill. Also, Luck adds one point to each
skill for every odd point of Luck (1 = +1, 3 = +2, etc, up to +5 with a
Luck score of 9). When we get our Impants, naturally every SPECIAL
Attribute (save Charisma) will increase by one, making the related
skills increase by +2.. and since my Luck is raising from 8 to 9, I
get another bonus to every skill. Hence, all skills will recieve a +3
bonus save Barter and Speech, which get +1. What follows, then, are my
base skills after the New Vegas run*. In the 'Perks/Traits' section I
account for three things-the bonus to Agility from having the 'Small
Frame' Trait, the whopping +5 bonus to each skill that Skilled gives
me (it's an absolute must-have Trait) and the bonus Strength I'll
recieve (much later) from completing the 'Old World Blues' expansion
and getting the 'Reinforced Spine' perk.

	o=======================================================o
	|		      Base Skill Points			|
	o===============o=======o=======o=======o=======o=======o
	|    Skills	| Base	|SPECIAL|Implant|Perks/	| Total	|
	|		|	| Bonus	|Adjust.|Traits |	|
	o===============o=======o=======o=======o=======o=======o
	|Barter		|   2	|   6   |   1   |   5   |  14   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Energy Weapons	|   2   |  14	|   3   |   5   |  24   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Explosives	|   2   |  14	|   3   |   5   |  24   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Guns		|   2   |  18	|   3   |   7   |  30   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Lockpick	|   2   |  14	|   3   |   5   |  24   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Medicine	|   2   |  16	|   3   |   5   |  26   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Melee Weapons	|   2   |  14	|   3   |   9   |  28   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Repair		|   2   |  16	|   3   |   5   |  26   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Science	|   2   |  16	|   3   |   5   |  26   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Sneak		|   2   |  18	|   3   |   7   |  30   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Speech		|   2	|   6   |   1   |   5   |  14   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Survival	|   2   |  20	|   3   |   5   |  30   |
	|---------------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
	|Unarmed	|   2   |  20	|   3   |   5   |  30   |
	o===============o=======o=======o=======o=======o=======o
							|  346	|
							o=======o

*See the 'Getting Started in the Mohave' section of the guide for more
information on the New Vegas run [MOH001].

Now that we've got that, lets figure out how many points we can expect
to get from leveling and Tag! skills, and see where that leaves us.

		346 Base Skill Points
	       + 45 Tag!
	       +661 13.5 Skill Points/49 Levels (w/7 Intelligence)
              ------
	       1052 Skill Points distributed by level 50

With 1052 skill points we can get an average of 80~ in each skill..
Which honestly, is pretty damn good already. But why settle for good
when perfect is within reach? The previously mentioned books weigh in
at three skill points per copy (or four, with the Comprehension perk).
There are, on average, between five and six skill books per skill in
the game that can be found-not including the extra skill book per skill
that can be made via recipe holotapes found in 'Old World Blues' 
(see [BOK016]), and not counting the random Workbench Crate books in
'Honest Hearts' (see [BOK017]). In total, that's at least seven skill
books per skill that can be found, or 21 bonus skill points per skill
(28 with Comprehension). Still, I don't tend to work that hard, so my
simplified maxing tips are as follows:

  -->	Pick Skilled as one of your traits at the beginning of the
	game. You can survive the experience hit, trust me, and the
	85 Skill Points you'll get in return are well worth it. If
	you reset your traits at the Auto-Doc in The Sink (Old World
	Blues) and pick Skilled again, you can score another 85 points!

  --> 	Get either 'Comprehension' or 'Educated' at level four. This
	will allow you to be lazier with hunting down skill books.

  --> 	Get all your skills up to a base of 80 (Sneak and Science need
    	fewer points).

  --> 	Find as many skill books as possible-you'll need about seven
	per skill to raise your scores to 100. Educated will allow you
	to add more points to skills where you find fewer skill books,
    	Comprehension will allow you to max your skills with only five
    	skill books.

  --> 	In the meantime, use skill magazines to boost your skills to
    	succeed at skill checks, when necessary.

With this approach you won't need to complete all the expansions and
find every book. Get your skills to a base score of 80, then just use
skill books as you find them. If you get all the skill books in the
Mohave, most of your skills should be doing pretty good. 'Old World
Blues' is a great expansion to do, as it includes two Sneak skill books
(Chinese Spec. Ops. Training Manual) , a Science skill book (Big Book
of Science) and a recipe from which you can make one skill book per
skill, for a total of 48 skill points (64 with Comprehension). I was
able to max out all my skills by level 45 with this method, and only
completed 'Old World Blues' and 'Honest Hearts' (and only bothered to
get two skill books from the latter expansion).

Barter (Charisma)						{SKL009}
o======================================================================o
The Barter skill affects the prices you get for buying and selling
items. In general, the higher your Barter skill, the lower your prices
on purchased items.

The higher your Barter, the more Caps you'll get when you sell things,
and the less Caps items will cost when you buy them. In addition to
this useful bonus, Barter often acts as a Speech substitute.. allowing
you to haggle for better deals and rewards. However, Barter will not
cover all your Speech checks (and vise versa), and Repair may actually
do better at saving you money. In Hardcore mode you typically have to
find things to sell to make Barter effective.. which means exploring or
hunting/killing enemies, which takes time, and hence, resources. It's a
fine skill if you have the points to spend, but it's usually one of my
later concerns.

Energy Weapons (Perception)					{SKL010}
o======================================================================o
The Energy Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any weapon
that uses Small Energy Cells, Micro Fusion Cells, EC Packs, or Flamer
Fuel as ammunition.

A bit of a weapon shakeup here, Flamers now belong to Energy Weapons,
and not to the now-defunct Big Guns category. Still, Energy Weapons are
in direct competition with Guns as a primary arms. Explosives might
have their own niche, but if you're using a ranged weapon, it's either
Guns or Energy Weapons. The most conventional Energy Weapons are either
Laser Pistols, Laser Rifles, Plasma Pistols, or Plasma Rifles, which
are by default short to mid-ranged weapons. There are weapons that
function like shotguns, the Gauss Rifle takes the place of a Sniper
Rifle, and there's even a cannon-type weapon. There are fewer types of
ammo.. which is a blessing and a curse. You won't get Armor-Piercing
ammo, and more powerful weapons tend to burn through their ammo quickly
(the Gauss Rifle, for example, takes five 'rounds' of ammunition per
shot.) Overall I prefer to go with Guns, which just seem to have a
better selection of ammo and higher relative damage. Not to mention
the fact that they are more readily available. Still, I can't argue with
the fact that YCS/186 is a superior long-ranged weapon, outperforming
the Gauss Rifle in both damage, weight, proficiency requirements, and
ammo consumption, and a Multiplas Rifle kills enemies with satisfying
speed. Seriously, take a Multiplas Rifle out with Maximum Charge ammo
and go shoot up some Deathclaws. It's effective, I'll give it that.

Explosives (Perception)						{SKL009}
o======================================================================o
The Explosives skill determines the ease of disarming any hostile mines
and the effectiveness of any explosive weapon (all mines, all grenades,
Missile Launcher, Fat Man, etc.)

You will certainly notice the delay you get when it comes to disarming
mines, but that's not a reason to raise a skill, right? No, it's the
fact that Explosives now govern all weapons that.. you know.. cause
explosions? Now it's a skill worth considering, since Explosives are a
wide and often powerful variety of weapons, easily able to overcome the
Damage Thresholds of enemies. Of course, it is still a limited-use and
often expensive collection of weapons.. and certainly not one for use
against most enemies. Frankly, I'd rather shoot a Deathclaw with an
Sniper Rifle, rather than stock up on heavy and expensive Explosives.
In fact, I'd rather use Guns to do everything Explosives can do, which
is why I have no inclination to endorse it as an essential skill. In
fact, it's one of the last skills I tend to raise.

Guns (Agility)							{SKL010}
o======================================================================o
Guns determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses
conventional ammunition (.22 LR, .357 Magnum, 5mm, 10mm, 5.56mm, .308,
.45-70 Gov't etc.).

The Guns skill consists of a stupidly wide variety of weapons with an
equally stupidly wide variety of ammunition. Including such mainstays
as the 9mm Pistol, Hunting Rifle, Assault Carbine, Light Machine Gun,
Riot Shotgun, Sniper Rifle and.. Anti-Material Rifle?.. It is a truly
diverse and powerful weapon skill set. It is in direct competition with
Energy Weapons for your primary ranged arms, and in my mind, Guns win
out. Guns typically deal more damage (especially with Hand Loader) and
settle at a comfortable Strength requirement of six.. even for the
Sniper Rifle. If anything, Guns might suffer from having too many
options. Do you go with the Brush Gun for its low Action Point costs,
get the Cowboy perk, and get your Repair skill up to 90 in order to
make 45-70 Gov't Hand Load ammo, or stick with the Sniper Rifle, Gobi
Rifle, or The Machine and use .308 Hand Load ammo? Or do you do both?
Heck, you can even decide to play with revolvers and stick with the
Ranger Sequoia. No matter what you decide to do, you can expect to deal
a lot of damage with Guns, at close range, long range or from even
beyond the Perception range of your enemy. It's a lot of power and
versatility for one skill, and in my mind everybody who really wants to
kill things, and kill them well, should get at least 75 points in Guns.

Lockpick (Perception)						{SKL011}
o======================================================================o
The Lockpick skill is used to open locked doors and containers.

It's a brief description for a rather straight-forward skill. You'll
find locked boxes, doors, crates, etc. of various degrees of difficulty.
Obviously you're going to want to get into them, and this requires
your Lockpick skill to be at different levels. This is a pretty useful,
if not obligatory skill for everybody to have. Thankfully, however, if
you get Comprehension you can just get your score up to 80 and just
use a Locksmith's Reader Magazine for when you encounter a [Very Hard]
lock.

		o==============o===============o
		|Lockpick SKill|Lock Difficulty|
		o==============o===============o
		|       0      |   Very Easy   |
		|      25      |      Easy     |
		|      50      |     Average   |
		|      75      |      Hard     |
		|     100      |   Very Hard   |
		o==============o===============o

Medicine (Intelligence)						{SKL012}
o======================================================================o
The Medicine skill determines how many Hit Points you'll replenish upon
using a Stimpak, and the effectiveness of Rad-X and RadAway.

This skill, for all its apparent worth, can be ignored. There is always
another way of handling a situation, from donning an Environmental Suit,
to visiting a doctor, to just using more Caps. It's more useful in
Hardcore mode to be able to ignore these inconveniences, but in a normal
game you don't really need a high Medicine score. That said, there are
a good number of Medicine challenges in this game, so from a story
aspect it's not entirely bad to splurge a little extra.

Melee Weapons (Strength)					{SKL013}
o======================================================================o
The Melee Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any melee
weapon, from the simple lead pipe all the way up to the high-tech Super
Sledge.

Melee Weapons is again in competition with Unarmed, and it again loses.
Paralyzing Palm might not be as awesome in New Vegas as it was in
Fallout 3, but it does give Unarmed an edge. Also, many of the better
perks the two share (Piercing Strike, Slayer) require you to have a
large number of points in Unarmed. To its credit, Melee Weapons does
control the Ninja, Unstoppable Force, and Super Slam perks, but it does
seem to be the loser in this competition, nonetheless. It's also hard
to compare a Super Sledge to a Displacer Glove or Ballistic Fist. Your
natural inclination is to specialize in one or the other, but
unfortunately New Vegas requires you to pay attention to both, whereas
with Guns and Energy Weapons you can get by just fine with one or the
other.

Repair (Intelligence)						{SKL014}
o======================================================================o
The Repair skill allows you to maintain any weapons and apparel. In
addition, Repair allows you to create items and Guns ammunition at
reloading benches.

Repair is still good in New Vegas, for many of the same reasons. There
has, however, been one significant change to how the skill works. You
no longer need to get your Repair skill up to 100 to repair an items
condition to 100.. the higher your skill the more you repair when you
combine an item, but if you have enough of them you'll be able to fix
an item to your heart's content. Also, some weapons and armor are
prohibitively rare, making fixes with Repair difficult (unless you have
the Jury Rigging perk). You need a whopping 90 Repair Skill score for
this, but there are other considerations, too. You'll need 50 Repair to
make Weapon Repair Kits (restores 25% of an equipped weapon's condition,
which is just great for fixing all that rare expansion gear you bring
into the Mohave, or vise-versa), and you'll need a 70 Repair score to
get the Hand Load perk.. which you can use to make .308 JSP ammo, which
turns the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle into the Finger of God. I'd suggest
getting up to 70 once your Survival and questing skills are up to
snuff (like Speech, Lockpick, Science), but the last points can wait
a while.

Science (Intelligence)						{SKL015}
o======================================================================o
The Science skill represents your combined scientific knowledge, and is
primarily used to hack restricted computer terminals. It can also be
used to recycle Energy Weapons and ammunition at workbenches.

Again, like Lockpick, you'll encounter terminals with varying
difficulties which you'll typically want to hack. Also like Lockpick
you will be able to get your Science skill up to 80 and just fill in
the last 20 points with a Programmer's Digest for the [Very Hard]
hacks.. provided you have Comprehension, of course. The crafting is
somewhat moot, as Stimpaks require a score of 70 and components that are
more annoying to find than simply paying the Caps for the Stimpak.
Everything else that's useful, like ammo recycling or Doctor's Bags,
typically have a much lower requirement.

		o=============o===============o
		|Science SKill|Hack Difficulty|
		o=============o===============o
		|       0     |   Very Easy   |
		|      25     |      Easy     |
		|      50     |     Average   |
		|      75     |      Hard     |
		|     100     |   Very Hard   |
		o=============o===============o

Sneak (Agility)							{SKL016}
o======================================================================o
The higher your Sneak skill, the easier it is to remain undetected,
steal and item, or pick someone's pocket. Successfully attack while
undetected grants an automatic critical hit.

Sneak is a nice skill that allows you to steal loot, score sneak attack
criticals, and move past enemies when you'd rather avoid (or at least
delay) a fight. Most items can be stolen by being patient and waiting
for potential witnesses to leave, and sneak attack criticals are more
easy to score than ever, now that you have iron sights and don't need
to approach as close. Both of these factors mean you really don't need
a Sneak score that's terribly high, although if you want to sneak
anywhere near an enemy, much less past one, you're going to want the
Silent Running perk.. which requires an obligatory minimum investment of
50 Sneak. I tend to wait a bit to invest in Sneak, since I don't bother
sneaking much (in combat at least, where a high skill matters) until
I have the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle, which requires at least an 80
Lockpick score (plus a magazine with Comprehension) to get, and a 75
Guns skill to use, and a 70 Repair score to make good ammo for. You can
see, then, why I wait to invest into Sneak.

Speech (Charisma)						{SKL017}
o======================================================================o
The Speech skill governs how much you can influence someone through
dialogue, and gain access to information they might otherwise not want
to share.

There are many quests that can only be solved-or that can be more easily
solved-through Speech. This skill largely eliminates the need for
Charisma, so long as you're willing to invest points into it. Your
ability to get alternative solutions to quests is priceless and
frequent, and a character build that doesn't include at least 80 points
of Speech is really missing the point of a Fallout game, in my opinion.
It's not really a priority, however, if you're fine with exploring
and grinding for a few levels. If you want to get right into questing,
however, you might want to fast-track this skill.

Survival (Endurance)						{SKL018}
o======================================================================o
The Survival skill increases the Hit Points you receive from food and
drink. It also helps you created consumable items at campfires.

The usefulness of this skill depends wholly on one thing; are you
playing in Hardcore mode? If so, you might want this skill, as it will
increase the usefulness of consumables and allow you to create better,
more wholesome consumables at campfires. If you don't play on Hardcore
mode, you don't need to eat or drink anyhow and might as well just use a
Stimpak to heal. Seriously, 15 points of Survival makes Purified Water
restore 15 more H20, so 100 points of Survival.. well, it makes you need
half as much food and water, which is a good thing indeed. As far as I
am concerned, if you're playing in Hardcore you absolutely must get this
skill up to 50 as soon as possible so that you can prepare Bighorner
Steaks, which should take care of all your food.. I mean, FOD needs.

Unarmed (Endurance)						{SKL019}
o======================================================================o
The Unarmed skill is used for fighting without a weapon, or with weapons
designed for hand-to-hand combat, like Brass Knuckles, Power Fists, and
Displacer Gloves.

The other melee skill, Unarmed has a bit more going for it than Melee
Weapons. For one, a high Unarmed skill is required for both the Slayer
and Piercing Strike perks, both of which are obligatory for melee-type
characters. Power Fists can be found pretty readily at Camp Golf, and
even Spiked Knuckles tend to out-perform low-end Melee Weapons. Also,
the fact that most builds call for high Endurance plays into the
Unarmed skill right from the start. On the other hand, this skill will
start pretty high for my build, and since I choose to grind Bighorners
early, I don't see a real need to raise it until after I've boosted
Survival, my questing skills, and the myriad of skills it takes to make
Gobi the Finger of God. I pay more attention to Melee Weapons and
Unarmed when I start (or am about to start) 'Old World Blues'.

Skills I Tag! (and why)						{SKL020}
o======================================================================o
Now that Repair isn't as vital, I generally decide to Tag! Science,
Lockpick, and Speech to start out, which allows me to complete quests
and explore places right from the get-go. If I'm playing in Hardcore
Mode, I substitute Speech for Survival, which has the added bonus of
allowing me to pick the 'Light Touch' perk at level two if I wanted to
dispense with 'Black Widow'.. which I have considered doing.

Skill Point Allocation						{SKL021}
o======================================================================o
First things first, if you're playing in Hardcore Mode, get Survival up
to 50 ASAP. If you're playing in normal mode, don't touch Survival until
you've got everything else up to 80 (sans books). Otherwise, I prefer to
start out with Lockpick and Science in the early levels, just so I have
access to more areas and have to do as little back-tracking as possible.
Companions can, for the meantime, pick up the combat slack (Veronica
at the 188 Trading Post can smash Bighorners admirably. I typically
get Lockpick and Science up to 75 before switching off to Speech,
Repair, and Guns. My goal here is to get Speech up to 80 (for questing),
Repair high enough for Hand Loader (70), and Guns high enough for the
Gobi Scout Campaign Rifle (75). Make it a priority to find some Tumblers
Today books to raise Lockpick, and use some skill points to cover what
books can't. Your goal is to get a Lockpick score of 90, use a skill
magazine, and finally get our hands on Gobi (80 will suffice, if you
have Comprehension). Now I bring Sneak up to 50 to get Silent Running.
Once this is done, you can start raising your other skills-Melee Weapons
and Unarmed are great for the 'Old World Blues' expansion. Start with
Melee weapons and get it up to 45 for 'Super Slam', then switch to
Unarmed. With the aid of skill books, get it up to 90 for Slayer (and
get Piercing Strike along the way). Now that you're a melee and ranged
phenom, you can start getting all the previously mentioned skills up to
at least 80 (sans books), then start working on the less interesting
skills. Medicine starts having more significant dialogue checks, and
Barter will also show up fairly often. Explosives and Energy Weapons
are the last two skills I raise.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			    Traits {TRT001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
Traits are back in Fallout: New Vegas after a brief absence in the last
Fallout title. They are essentially bonus perks that have both
positive and negative effects on your character. You may choose up to
two when you create your character, but you can choose to pick less if
you prefer. Of course.. the expansions have added a few new traits, some
of which are really, really great.. This makes all the perks that were
formerly mediocore seem downright detrimental-ratings have been
adjusted, harshly.

The Sink Psychiatric Evaluation					{TRT002}
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
During the expansion 'Old World Blues', you'll be able to consult the
Auto-Doc in The Sink... once its personality matrix is back online,
anyways. One of the many tasks it can perform is to give you a
'psychiatric evalution'. While this is synonymous with bullshit in
reality, in New Vegas, it allows you to repick your Traits. So.. if you
were starting to regret picking/not picking something earlier, you get
a second chance at it! And in case you're wondering, no, you cannot
level up past level 30 and pick the trait-that-shall-not-be-named, nor
can you pick 'Wild Wasteland' and score both the YCS and the Alien
Blaster. You can, however, drop skilled and pick up another trait
without dropping your Skill Points. Score! Built to Destroy seems like
a good replacement.. I love me some critical hits.. Or, if your Skill
Points are somewhat lacking you can pick SKilled again and get ANOTHER
five points to each skill! Seriously.

Built to Destroy						{TRT003}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

The Flamer that burns twice as bright burns half as long. All weapons
have +3% chance to Critically Hit, but equipment condition decays 15%
faster.

Three percent critical rate doesn't sound that great at first, but it
is equal to three points of Luck, and over the course of the game you
will be scoring lots of hits.. On the other hand, 15% weapon
degradation kind of sucks. Here's the rub, however. Early weapons will
be relatively plentiful, allowing you to just recombine them and fix
them at will. More expensive weapons, like the Riot Shotgun, Brush Gun,
Sniper Rifle, etc., could end up costing several thousand Caps to fix..
which is not a good thing. You can, however, create Weapon Repair Kits
at a Workbench, allowing you to repair weapons for a handful of Caps
using a variety of items that can be purchased from most any merchant.
This will save you thousands of Caps, and makes the downside of this
trait negligible. Still, it's a mediocore trait, you can pick better.

Rating: ***

Claustrophobia							{TRT004}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

You have a fear of enclosed spaces (probably because of the mutants that
live there). You have +1 to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes when outside, but
suffer -1 when indoors.

The first of a trend of give/take traits, which give you bonuses half
the time, and penalties the other half of the time (or give you a 
bonus all the time to one statistic, but a penality to another).
Normally I'd make a snarky comment about them sucking and you being
able to pick better.. and since I'd normally do that, I'll do it here,
too. Why suffer during half the game for a benefit that's not really
going to give you most of what you'll want from S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
attributes, like perk selections? Also, once you max all your skills at
100, the skill point bonuses from your boosted attributes won't count,
so in the long-run, this trait is more detrimental than useful.

Rating: *

Early Bird							{TRT005}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

Hey early risers! Enjoy a +2 to each of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes
from 6 am to 12 pm, but suffer a -1 from 6 pm to 6 am when you're not
at your best.

Seriously? Didn't I just.. okay, so it's Claustrophobia, with a time
factor. I suppose if you weren't playing on Hardcore morde you could
manipulate the time so you're almost always playing at your best.. but
come on, this is lousy.

Rating: *

Fast Shot							{TRT006}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

While using Guns and Energy Weapons, you fire 20% more quickly but your
shots are 20% less accurate.

Accuracy and shooting speed are both important factors, and I canít see
myself happily sacrificing either. There are better traits out there.

Rating: *

Four Eyes							{TRT007}
o======================================================================o
Req: PER < 10
Ranks: 1

While wearing any type of glasses, you have +1 PER. Without glasses you
have -1 PER.

Glasses are plentiful and cheap.. but the fact that you can also just
wear a hat for the same bonus makes this trait less useful. Oh, and the
fact that Perception isn't terribly useful in this game. Also note that
this is an equipment bonus to your Perception-not a permanent one. In
fact, picking Four Eyes permanently lowers your base Perception-which
is then supposedly made up by recieving an extra point to Perception
from glasses. There are lots of stupid traits out there, but this is
the only one that makes your character weaker just so you can break
even by wearing some clothes.

Rating: *

Good Natured							{TRT008}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

You're Good Natured at heart, more prone to solving problems with your
mind than violence. You gain +5 to Barter, Medicine, Repair, Science,
and Speech, but have -5 to Energy Weapons, Explosives, Guns, Melee
Weapons, and Unarmed.

It's not worth considering anymore. You'll get all your skill up to
100 with any smart build, so any skill point traits are useless.

Rating: *

Heavy Handed							{TRT009}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

Your melee and unarmed attacks do more damage, but less critical hit
damage.

If you want to use this trait.. well, you have to get Unarmed and
Melee Weapons, which seems bad enough to me. You also have to choose
between damage per hit, and critical hit damage. It seems pretty simple
to me that you're going to score more normal hits than critical hits,
so that's probably not a bad option. However, if you then go ahead and
get Finesse, Better Criticals, and Ninja, you're just gimping yourself.

Rating: **

Hoarder								{TRT010}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

You gain +25 lbs. to your carrying capacity, but suffer a -1 to all
attributes any time the weight you're carrying drops below 160 lbs.

Seriously, this games are going to kill me. Who thought of this? The
extra carry weight you'll get will be offset by the fact that you can
take advantage of the ability to travel light without gimping your
character. Die please.

Rating: *

Hot Blooded							{TRT011}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

When your health drops below 50% you gain +10% more damage, but you also
suffer -2 to your Agility and Perception attributes.

Finally, a new trait that I won't give a one-star rating to. The health
requirement isn't so low that you're unlikely to ever reach it, and +10%
damage is.. okay. In the midst of combat, a few Action Points and
Perception aren't going to hurt you, so I'd at least say this trait is
potentially more beneficial than harmful.

Rating: **

Kamikaze							{TRT012}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

You have +10 Action Points but your reckless nature causes you to have
-2 Damage Threshold.

In the grand scheme of things, two points of Damage Threshold isn't a
huge deal. With Power Armor and Toughness you'll easily gloss over this
deficiency. On the surface it might seem like it's saying you're taking
two more points of damage per hit.. but if your Damage Threshold is
still higher than the enemies' damage with Kamikaze slowing you down,
you're really not suffering at all. That said, many enemies like
Cazadors and Deathclaws will easily surpass your Damage Threshold. At
the end of the day the two-point penalty is fairly unnoticeable later on
in the game, but the ten point bonus to your Action Points boosts a
VATS system that is nowhere near as strong as it was in Fallout 3.

Rating: ***

Logan's Loophole						{TRT013}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

No one's going to put you out to pasture 'cause you're going to stay
young (and level 30) forever! You'll never again become addicted to
chems, and they'll last twice as long... but after level 30 you can kiss
experience, perks, and skill points goodbye!

...

Rating: ...

Loose Cannon							{TRT014}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

From Frag Grenades to Throwing Spears, you can throw weapons 30% faster
at the cost of 25% less range.

What do Frag Grenades and Throwing Spears have in common? They're not
decisively powerful. This trait allows you to waste more of them, while
sacrificing range. Granted, you'll still lob thrown weapons pretty far,
but this whole trait just stinks of who-gives-a-crap.

Rating: *

Skilled								{TRT015}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

You're skilled, but not experienced. You gain +5 points to every skill,
but you suffer -10% from experience gained from now on.

Now that I've recovered from my stroke after dealing with the trait-
that-shall-not-be-named, let's get back into the swing of things with
what is-hands down-the best trait in the game. Five skill points per
skill? That's 85 skill points! Almost as good as the Educated Perk-one
of the best skill point boosting perks in the game. And you get to pick
it-for free! The downside is a -10% experience penalty.. which if
anything just extends the game. Experience is everywhere, you can glitch
it, you can kill another Deathclaw, whatever, but 85 skill points is a
HUGE bonus. Pick this trait. Don't argue. Just.. pick it..

Rating: *****

Small Frame							{TRT016}
o======================================================================o
Req: AGL < 10
Ranks: 1

Due to your small size, you have +1 AGL but your limbs are more easily
crippled.

First letís look at the bonus. Agility is a fairly useful attribute,
governing two skills and influencing your Action Points, draw speed,
and reload speed. And what is the downside? More frequently crippled
limbs? If you're not playing in Hardcore mode, this is a no-brainer.
Who cares about crippled limbs? Beds and Stimpaks are plentiful. If
you're playing in Hardcore mode.. who cares about crippled limbs? You
can buy Doctor's Bags at every doctor in the game. It seems like a
small price to pay for a better SPECIAL stat. Still.. it's not as good
as Skilled, so out of respect for the heirarchy, I've taken it down a
notch. (You should still pick it, though.)

Rating: ****

Trigger Discipline						{TRT017}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

While using Guns and Energy Weapons, you fire 20% more slowly but are
20% more accurate.

Accuracy and shooting speed are both important factors, and I canít see
myself happily sacrificing either. There are better traits out there.

Rating: *

Wild Wasteland							{TRT018}
o======================================================================o
Req: --
Ranks: 1

Wild Wasteland unleashes the most bizarre and silly elements of post-
apocalyptic America. Not for the faint of heart or the serious of
temperament.

Seriously. What good fallout game doesn't have abundant references to
Monty Python and alien encounters? This perk might not do anything for
your build, but it should read "Remember the old Fallout games? Pick
this trait to make New Vegas more like them." Nostalgia makes this an
interesting choice, indeed.

Rating: ***

My Personal Build, Traits					{TRT019}
o======================================================================o
Okay, be prepared to be surprised.. I pick Skilled and Small Frame as
my traits. See? You're surprised now because I said there would be a
surprise.. and there wasn't! They're the best traits, period. I happily
take the 85 Skill Points and +1 Agility boost, and laugh away the limb
crippling and experience penalty. Laugh! Oh, Built to Destroy is pretty
nifty, too. It can easily substitute for Small Frame.

Once you get to 'Old World Blues' and get the Auto-Doc back online, you
can have it perform a psychiatric evaluation on you, like I mentioned
earler. This allows you to reset your Traits. The best exploit to take
advantage of here is with the Skilled Trait. Since it gives us a one-
time permanent boost to our skills when we pick it, we won't lose it's
bonses if we drop it now. My ideal options? At this point switch to
Built to Destroy and Small Frame, or pick Skilled again and get another
+5 bonus to all your skills. Awesome.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|				Perks {PRK001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
In Fallout: New Vegas you gain a perk every even level (starting at
level 2). Perks are separated by their level prerequisite, with every
even level opening up more perks. Prerequisites for perks may also
include S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes or skill points. (For example, the
Entomologist perk requires that you be level 4, have Intelligence 4, and
Survival 45.) Since there are fewer perks you can pick in New Vegas,
you should probably be more conscious of what Perks you pick. I have
retained my rating system from the old FAQ for this one, although there
are less useless perks in New Vegas (getting rid of all the skill
perks will do that). Your perk choices should follow your build, and
should help you specialize in certain areas depending on your skills.
I will note where the grade of a perk varies from normal mode to
Hardcore mode.

Note that some perks are also rated by availability.. for example,
Lady Killer isn't a very good perk. But the fact that it's one of the
very few perks that actually do anything worth mentioning at level 2,
it is rated a bit higher than it otherwise would be. And yes, if the
same values applied to perks in Fallout 3 that apply to them in New
Vegas, I copied the description right from my old FAQ. Some perks,
like Night Person, are just as horrible and for the same reasons,
there's really no need for me to restate the information arbitrarily.

Overall, with the expansions installed and the level cap raised, we can
gain ten extra perks for a grand total of 25. This.. actually eases the
selection pressure a good deal, and thus, some perks have been given an
increase in rank. New perks were added, but save a few standouts, most
are garbage. This means that some of the previous perks that were
decent, but not great, now become viable options. Also, since we can
max out all our skills, we no longer have to worry about picking one
weapon type and 'build' our character around it.. now we can afford to
invest perks into melee AND ranged options, and still end up with
plenty of perks left over. Also note that some new perks have no level
requirement. These are listed under the 'Level 2 Perks' heading, since
you can't get any perks until level two anyways.

*	Horrible	Nobody should pick this perk.
**	Bad		Generally this is a low-end perk. Sometimes
			they provide just enough of a benefit specific
			to a character to be worth it, but most
			characters will not find this perk useful.
***	Average		This perk is good simply because of the
			lack of competition, or there is a good, but
			not overwhelmingly good reason to pick it. It
			might look good on its own merit, but compared
			to truly great perks, it doesn't measure up.
****	Good		A good perk for anybody to pick, or a perk
			that is absolutely essential to a specific
			build.
*****	Great		A perk everybody should get. Period.

Level 2 Perks 							{PRK002}
o======================================================================o
Black Widow/Cherchez La Femme/Lady Killer
Req: Level 2
Ranks: 1

In combat you do +10% damage against male/female opponents. Outside of
combat, you'll sometimes have access to unique dialogue options when
dealing with the opposite sex.

You wonít use this perk much in dialogue.. it just doesn't have all that
many uses. And what few it has, you can get the same results from other
methods. Still, the +10% damage to the opposite gender is.. well,
something, which is more than can be said for the other level 2 perks.
Note that only 'human' enemies have a gender. This does not include
Feral Ghouls, Animals, Insects, Robots, or Abominations. Since most of
the affected enemies are either NCR Troopers, Caesar's Legion Soldiers,
Raiders, or Gang Members, it should be noted that there is a clear
plurality of male-gender enemies that will be affected by this.

Rating: ** (vs. females)
Rating: *** (vs. males)
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Friend of the Night
Req: Level 2, Perception 6, Sneak 30
Ranks: 1

You are a true friend of the night. Your eyes adapt quickly to low-
light conditions indoors and when darkness falls across the wasteland.

First, you can use Cateye to duplicate this effect. Second, you have a
Pip-Boy light. Third, it never gets too dark to really need night
vision, three, you have allies that can illuminate enemies for you.
Useless perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Heave, Ho!
Req: Level 2, Explosives 30, Strength 5
Ranks: 1

Quite an arm you've got there. All thrown weapons fly farther and
faster for you.

Or you could just use a Grenade Gun or Missile Launcher. Seriously.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Hunter
Req: Level 2, Survival 30
Ranks: 1

In combat, you do +75% Critical Damage against animals and mutated
animals.

Note that this category doesn't include Ghouls, Insects, or
Abominations. But if Big Hornerís and Geckos are kicking your ass..
well, quit playing. Once you get decent guns you'll pop off Golden
Geckos before they get anywhere near you, +75% critical damage or not.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In Shining Armor
Req: Repair 20, Science 70
Ranks: 1

Beams reflect off the mirror-like finish of your gleaming armor! You
gain an additional +5 Damage Threshold against energy weapons while
wearing any metal armor, +2 while wearing reflective eyewear.

The concession perk for heavy armor characters, this perk is pretty
good too-although about half of all attacks in the game are melee
attacks, and of ranged attacks, half of those (generously) are from
Energy Weapons. Also, the +5 Damage Threshold just isn't as good as the
5% Critical Hit Chance from Light Touch. Still, if you're married to
heavy armor.. well.. eh..

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Intense Training
Req: Level 2
Ranks: 10

With the Intense Training perk, you can put a single point into any of
your S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes.

Beyond equipment and Implants, this is the only way to raise an
attribute, and it is arguably a worthy choice for a level 2 perk. If
you don't care for a gender-perk, get this instead.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Junk Rounds
Req: Repair 45, Luck 6
Ranks: 1

Survival is the mother of invention! Craft ammo at the Reloading Bench
using alternate materials (Scrap Metal and Tin Cans).

This perk allows you to replace the components of ammo you're trying to
create (save the ammo casings) with Scrap Metal and Tin Cans. So, say
you take .308 ammo, which normally requires .308 cases, lead, rifle
powder, and large rifle primer, with this perk you'd instead need .308
cases, scrap metal, and tin cans. There are a few problems, however.
First, you can just buy or find ammo. No need to create any. Second,
it takes five Tin Cans perk round you want to make.. are you going to
bother harvesting that many Tin Cans, and lugging them around to a
Reloading Bench? And if so.. why? I wipe my ass with this perk. Next.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Light Touch
Req: Repair 45, Agility 6
Ranks: 1

Heavy armor just isn't your thing, so you've learned to customize light
armor for maximum benefit. While wearing light armor you gain a +5
Critical Hit Chance and your enemies suffer a -25% Critical Hit Chance.

This perk gives you a +5% Critical Hit Chance and imposes a -25%
Critical Hit Chance on your foes while wearing Light Armor. Sure, when
we hit level 50 the reduction of critical hits will be eclipsed by
whatever level 50 perk we pick.. but the +5% Critical Hit Chance is
still as good as Finesse. Of course, the issue here isn't whether a +5%
Critical Hit Chance is a good thing-I think most of us can agree that it
is, and we can also agree that those who didn't agree with us are
morons, and we shouldn't care too much about their opinion. The real 
issue is whether Light Armor-with the aid of this perk-is worth
anything. An easy candidate for best armor in the game is Medium Armor-
Elite Riot Gear, which has a max Damage Threshold of 22 and +5% Critical
Hit Chance (among other bonuses which aren't interesting). The best
Light Armor challenge to this is-in my mind-Joshua Graham's Armor, which
has a max Damage Threshold of 15, and a +3% Critical Hit Chance. So the
trade-off with this perk is +3% Critical Hit Chance, faster movement,
cheaper repairs (especially with Jury Rigging, almost everything can be
used to Repair Joshua Graham's Armor) and this armor weighs 1/4th as
much as Elite Riot Gear. Elite Riot Gear, on the other hand, has 7
points of Damage Threshold over Joshua Graham's Armor. It's pretty
close-you'll never have enough Damage Threshold to block everything, and
as long as you get up near 30, you can ensure that weaker foes and high
DPS weapons won't affect you too much.. but it's really hard to argue
with the look of Elite Riot Armor.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Old World Gourmet
Req: Survival 45, Endurance 6
Ranks: 1

Thanks to unclean living you've learned the secrets of the lounge
lizards! +25% Addiction Resistance. +50% Health bonus from Snack Foods.
Scotch, Vodka, and Wine now give you Health in addition to their normal
effects.

Save/load and you won't get addicted, and there are better ways to
restore health than by resorting to snack food. This perk sucks.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Rapid Reload
Req: Level 2, Guns 30, Agility 5
Ranks: 1

Rapid Reload makes all of your weapon reloads 25% faster than normal.

This.. well, it's mostly junk, but weapon reloads can be a problem.
The faster you reload, the faster you're firing, and it might be a
consideration if your Agility is a flat 5. If you have a higher Agility,
like, say you were actually following my build advice, you'll reload
fast enough.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Retention
Req: Level 2, Intelligence 5
Ranks: 1

With the Retention perk, the bonuses granted by skill magazines last
three times as long.

As far as I'm concerned, skill magazines are meant to be used in order
to pick a lock, hack a computer, or succeed at a skill check. This can
typically be done just before interacting with the object or character
that requires the check. There is absolutely no reason to require your
skill magazines to last three times longer. They weigh nothing, and they
are pretty cheap to buy, too.. and, with the expansions installed,
you'll get a score of 100 in every skill, making magazines obsolete. You
don't need this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Swift Learner
Req: Level 2, Intelligence 4
Ranks: 3

With each rank in the Swift Learner perk, you gain an additional 10% to
total Experience Points whenever Experience Points are earned.

In New Vegas there are tons of quests, and many enemies give 50 XP,
which was reasonably rare in Fallout 3. Add in the challenges, which
give you bundles of experience, and you'll find that you're leveling up
even faster in New Vegas than you were in Fallout 3! You don't need to
speed up the process and in so doing waste one of your precious perks.

Rating: *

Level 4 Perks 							{PRK003}
o======================================================================o
Cannibal
Req: Level 4
Ranks: 1

With the Cannibal perk, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the option
to eat a corpse to regain Health. But every time you feed, you lose
Karma, and if the act is witnessed, it is considered a crime against
nature.

If you want to be truly despicable, you can go ahead and get this
perk. I would deride this perk more.. but in Hardcore mode it just
might come in handy. You'll apparently heal points of [FOD] for every
corpse you eat.. which isn't much, but if you kill a batch of Viper
Gang Members, you can get a good bit of.. you know what, this perk
sucks, food is plentiful and cheap, you'll never need to eat corpses.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Comprehension
Req: Level 4, Intelligence 4
Ranks: 1

With the Comprehension perk, you gain double the bonus from reading
magazines and one additional skill point whenever a skill book is read.

Few perks have been hit by the expansions as hard as Comprehension, and
for an obvious reason. If you can get all your skills up to 100, you
don't need magazines, and with twenty extra levels, its very easy to
get your skills up high enough without needing the extra point from each
skill book. Still, there are even more skill books in the game now, and
if you find them all (or most of them) you'll end up getting more
skill points than Educated gives.. and the magazines help in the
early-to-mid phases of the build. I typically get all my skills up to
80~, and use skill books to max them out-using magazines in the interim
until I find enough skill books. Honestly, if you're absolutely
commited to getting all the skill books in the game, you don't need
this perk.. but level four perks aren't great, and I prefer the
convenience. Get Educated or Comprehension, but not both.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Educated
Req: Level 4, Intelligence 4
Ranks: 1

With the Educated perk, you gain two more skill points every time you
advance in level. This perk is best taken early on, to maximize its
effectiveness.

This was already a great perk before the DLCs-it's just that much more
useful now that it gives us an extra 40 skill points over the extra
twenty levels.. but with all the new skill books and levels, it's just
not necessary to max out all skills. It's more convenient than
Comprehension-you don't need to hunt down books, you just need to
level up-but Comprehension can end up giving more skill points if you're
vigilant about hunting down skill books. Also, Comprehension allows
you to get scores to 80, then use magazines every time a [Very Hard]
lock or computer rears its ugly head. With Educated you'd have to boost
such skills to 90.. which really isn't that much more work. Honestly, if
you're absolutely commited to getting all the skill books in the game,
you don't need this perk.. but level four perks aren't great, and I
prefer the convenience. Get Educated or Comprehension, but not both.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Entomologist
Req: Level 4, Survival 45, Intelligence 4
Ranks: 1

With the Entomologist perk, you do an extra 50% damage every time you
attack a mutated insect, like the Radroach, Giant Mantis, or
Radscorpian.

Giant Radscorpians suck in this game, but not enough that I can really
suggest picking this perk. Later on you'll have weapons that can handle
their Damage Threshold, and they're just never become the same level of
threat that Deathclaws become, although the extra damage against
Cazadors is somewhat welcome. It doesn't come high on my list of
potential perks, but if you're just getting wasted by bugs later in the
game.. and you have good weapons and armor, maybe it's worth a look.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Rad Child
Req: Level 4, Survival 70
Ranks: 1

You truly are a rad child. As you go through the increasingly
devastating stages of radiation sickness, you will regenerate more and
more health.

Yeah, there's an Implant for that now, and frankly, it's better to
avoid becoming heavily irradiated.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Run 'n Gun
Req: Level 4, Guns 45 OR Energy Weapons 45
Ranks: 1

The Run 'n Gun perk reduces accuracy penalties with one-handed Guns and
Energy Weapons while walking or running.

Letís think about this critically, shall we? Most one-handed guns aren't
very strong, at least not against armor, and certainly not compared to
rifle-grip guns. And there's another way we can negate this penalty..
by stopping and aiming. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of the whole
thing, but if you are running around shooting wildly at an enemy with a
one-handed gun, then there's something you did wrong at some point in
the encounter.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Travel Light
Req: Level 4, Survival 45
Ranks: 1

While wearing light armor or no armor, you run 10% faster.

10% isn't a huge speed boost. I gotta say, even for Hardcore mode
folks, I wouldn't pick this perk.

Rating: *

Level 6 Perks 							{PRK004}
o======================================================================o
Bloody Mess
Req: Level 6
Ranks: 1

With the Bloody Mess perk, characters and creatures you kill will often
explode into a red, gut-ridden, eyeball-strewn paste. Fun! Oh, and
you'll do 5% extra damage with all weapons.

Okay, the aesthetics are cool, but that's no reason to get a perk. 5%
damage against everything is nice, though. Considering the fact that
other damage increasing perks only affect certain weapon types, or
certain enemies, a pure, honest, damage boost is special. There's also
the nostalgia factor, for us old school Fallout players.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Demolition Expert
Req: Level 6, Explosives 50
Ranks: 3

With each rank of this perk, all of your explosive weapons do an
additional 20% damage.

Guess what? This perk isn't so useless anymore. Explosives now
encompasses all the weapon types it originally should have, and 20% is a
huge damage bonus, that goes a long way. Make your Explosives even more
spectacular or.. if I may.. get more bang for your buck with the
Demolition Expert perk. That said, if you don't consider Explosives a
big part of your build, you shouldn't consider this perk a priority.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ferocious Loyalty
Req: Level 6, Charisma 6
Ranks: 1

The power of your personality inspires die-hard loyalty from your
followers. When you drop below 50% Health, your companions temporarily
gain much greater resistance to damage.

Three problems with this, well, four, really. First, you have to rely
on your companions to make the most of this perk. Second, if you drop
below 50% of your health, the enemies are clearly attacking you, and
not your companions. Third, it's a duration effect, so you can't even
strategically keep your health below 50% so your allies reap the
benefits. Fourth, it requires six points of Charisma, which is just
about a waste of five S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points, as far as I'm concerned.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Fortune Finder
Req: Level 6, Luck 5
Ranks: 1

With the Fortune Finder perk, you'll find considerably more Nuka-Cola
caps in containers than you normally would.

More caps. Yay. You'll get plenty of caps killing things and selling
their loot.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Gunslinger
Req: Level 6
Ranks: 1

While using a pistol (or similar one-handed weapon), your accuracy in
V.A.T.S. is significantly increased.

If you plan to use one-handed ranged weapons-and V.A.T.S.-you should
definitely pick up this perk. Now that V.A.T.S. is less useful and
perks are more precious, I just can't bring myself to buy this perk.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Hand Loader
Req: Level 6, Repair 70
Ranks: 1

You know your way around a reloading bench and don't let good brass and
hulls go to waste. When you use guns you are more likely to recover
cases and hulls. You also have all hand load recipes unlocked at the
Reloading Bench.

Okay, I can admit when I was wrong.. grudgingly. This perk allows you to
recover ammo cases in hulls, which in and of itself isn't worth much. It
does, however, unlock all the ammo recipes for guns, which includes the
hand load ammo recipes. These, in turn, do wonderful things, typically
giving a damage boost as well as altering the ammo in some other
wonderful way. For instance, the 50mg rounds you can build with this
perk deal x1.2 damage and increase spread. Now, if you buy plenty of
ammo and break it down, and convert it to the better, hand load ammo
recipes you'll reap the benefits. It sounds like a lot of work, and you
tend to take a loss on the ammo in the process (breaking down 100 rounds
of ammo will not allow you to rebuild 100 rounds of ammo), but how can
you really argue with a damage bonus on EVERY shot? If you specialize
with Guns, you can't. Note that to actually make some of the ammo this
perk gives you access to, you may need a significantly higher Repair
score. For example, .45-70 Gov't, SWC Hand Load ammo requires a Repair
score of 90, and .50MG, Match Hand Load ammo requires a whopping 100
Repair score. Getting up to 75 and using magazines and wearing a Utility
Jumpsuit comes highly recommended, in this case. Also note that most
Guns don't have Hand Load ammo recipes.. and some of the few that do
aren't really worth making. You're really looking at three types of ammo
when it comes to the Hand Load recipes; .308 rounds, 50mg rounds, and
45-50 Gov't rounds, all of which have excellent Hand Load recipes.
Fortunately, they are the ammo used by pretty much all the good Guns in
the game.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Lead Belly
Req: Level 6, Survival 40 OR Endurance 5
Ranks: 1

With the Lead Belly perk, you take 50% less radiation every time you
drink from an irradiated water source.

There's plenty of clean water around. You can buy Purified Water
cheaply. You can get your Rads cured from doctors and by using chems.
Nobody needs this perk. Ever.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Mad Bomber
Req: Level 6, Repair 45, Explosives 45
Ranks: 1

Your intimate knowledge of gadgets and explosives have combined to make
you... the Mad Bomber! At Workbenches, you have special Explosives
recipes unlocked for use.

Mad Bomber is for Explosives nuts what Hand Loader is for Gun nuts-
albeit, if you think grenades make up the entirity of the Explosives.
This perk will allow you to make a slew of different Grenade types you'd
otherwise not be able to make, from the potent Nuka-Grenade to simple
and cheap grenades that allow you to convert Microfusion Cells to
grenades.. it's honestly the only way you can expect to use Explosives
as a primary weapon (as clunky as that would be, at best). If you're
a fan of Explosives, and plan to pick perks like Demolition Expert, you
should get this perk, too.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Shotgun Surgeon
Req: Level 6, Guns 45
Ranks: 1

Your precision with a scattergun is something to behold. When using
shotguns, regardless of ammunition used, you ignore an additional 10
points of a target's Damage Threshold.

If you use Shotguns, you need this perk, period. Shotguns function
something like automatic weapons, firing numerous, low-damage shots
at a time. This makes the Damage Threshold reduction absolutely
crucial for Shotguns, and the fact that SMGs and Assault Rifles
don't have a perk like this really argues for the supremacy of the
Shotgun. Combine this with Slugs, and you've got a good combination.
I've managed to kill a Deathclaw in three shots with this perk and a
Riot Shotgun, which is a pretty nice feat. That said, there are plenty
of weapons out there that are simply stronger than Shotguns. A Sniper
Rifle will punch through an enemies Damage Threshold just fine-no perks
required.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
The Professional
Req: Level 6, Sneak 70
Ranks: 1

Up close and personal, that's how you like it. Your Sneak Attack
Criticals with pistols, revolvers, and submachine guns, whether Guns or
Energy Weapons, all inflict an additional 20% damage.

The high Sneak requirement on this is somewhat accounted for by the fact
that you'd need a decent Sneak to get within range for these weapons. I
have to be honest, this isn't a great perk. It's a 20% damage bonus that
only applies to sneak attack criticals, and only to a variety of guns
that aren't really suited for sniping (or for doling out huge amounts of
damage, in any event).. and the guns that are most useful for this-the
Ranger Sequioa or the .44 Magnum will already do loads of damage if you
perform a sneak attack with them. And by loads I mean, they'll probably
make whatever you're firing at dead. Surely perks like Finesse and
Better Criticals put this to shame.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Toughness
Req: Level 6, Endurance 5
Ranks: 2

With the Toughness perk, you gain +3 to overall Damage Threshold. This
perk may be taken twice, with the second rank granting an additional +3.

Here's how Damage Threshold works. If an enemies weapon can't overcome
your Damage Threshold, you only take a small fraction of that weapons'
damage. Many enemies use fairly typical weapons and thus do fairly low
damage. A suit of Power Armor (typically granting you 20 some Damage
Threshold) is about the best you can shoot for. With two of these perks,
the Implant, and Remnant Power Armor and Helmet, you can aspire to the
upper 30's. Many enemies, however, will do much more damage than this.
A Deathclaw, Cazador, Giant Radscorpian, or an enemy with a high-end
gun will still do plenty of damage to you, regardless of your Damage
Threshold. This perk will help you mitigate a bit of damage from
every attack, but three points off a 50 damage attack is less impressive
than Fallout 3's base 10% damage resistance.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Vigilant Recycler
Req: Level 6, Science 70
Ranks: 1

Waste not, want not. When you use Energy Weapons, you are more likely to
recover drained ammunition. You also have more efficient recycling
recipes available at the Workbench.

Just like the Hand Loader perk, but for Energy Weapons. Eh. There's a
quest you can do which will net you a good bit of free Energy Weapon
ammunition that respawns over time. Also, there are fewer types of
Energy Weapon ammunition, and less need to convert such ammo. I don't
suggest picking this perk, even if you love Energy Weapons. You can
create Maximum Charge ammo just fine without this perk, which makes me
wonder.. why bother with this perk? If you're an adamantly die-hard
Energy Weapons user, perhaps, but this perk mostly just saves you
money.. if that's your goal, why not pick Jury Rigging instead?

Rating: *

Level 8 Perks 							{PRK005}
o======================================================================o
Commando
Req: Level 8
Ranks: 1

While using a rifle (or similar one-handed weapon), your accuracy in
V.A.T.S. is significantly increased.

V.A.T.S. might not be the prime-and-only combat solution in this game,
in fact, as often as it's a godsend it's a liability, but it does have
its uses. In New Vegas, rifle-grip guns are by far the dominant branch
of weapons. One-handed weapons typically lose the damage battle by a
wide margin. While this was excusable to some extent in Fallout 3, you
really need that damage this time around, and no, being able to run
faster with a one-handed gun doesn't make up for their lack of power
(especially not with the Agility this build calls for.) The bottom line,
V.A.T.S. may not be king, but it has its uses, and if you use V.A.T.S.,
and use two-handed weapons, this perk is calling to you. It's better
than Gunslinger, in any event.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Cowboy
Req: Level 8, Guns 45, Melee Weapons 45
Ranks: 1

You do 25% more damage when using any revolver, lever-action firearm,
dynamite, knife, or hatchet.

Promising on paper, as 25% is a big chunk of damage, there's just one
catch. Most of the weapons this applies to are rather weak, with the
exception of the Brush Gun and Ranger Sequoia. The Brush Gun is good at
short to mid range combat, and is easily a better choice for close
encounters than the AM Rifle or Sniper Rifle. If you've got a good
handle on sniping (especially when it comes to the stronger enemies,
like Deathclaws), you may not even give this perk a second glance. On
the other hand, the Brush Gun has some excellent utility it when comes
to slaying Cazadors, or swarms of moderately powerful enemies (many
human enemies come to mind). In fact, if something isn't far enough away
to bother shooting at with a Sniper Rifle, you might as well be using
a Brush Gun, and this gives a hefty 25% damage bonus to that weapon,
making it a useful-although not vital-addition to any Guns build.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Grunt
Req: Level 8, Guns 45, Explosives 20
Ranks: 1

Just good, honest infantry work! You do 25% more damage with 9mm and
.45 Auto Pistols and SMGs, Service Rifles, Assault and Marksman 
Carbines, Light Machine Guns, Frag Grenades, Grenade Rifles and
Launches, and Combat Knives.

Most of the weapons on this list are low-to-mid damage auto-fire
weapons.. or failing that, are so useless they're not worth considering.
It's a decent damage bonus, but it's a shame most of the weapons it
affects aren't worth using. I say just grab a powerful, single-shot
rifle and punish critters that way, and ignore this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Home on the Range
Req: Level 8, Survival 70
Ranks: 1

Whenever you interact with a campfire, you have the option of sleeping,
with all the benefits that sleep brings.

When would you EVER need this perk? If you're not playing in Hardcore
mode.. well, if you can sleep, you can fast travel. If you can fast
travel, you cand find somewhere to sleep. If you are playing Hardcore
mode.. same thing, except if your sleep deprevation meter is in the
900's.. well, then you're an idiot and should have slept earlier.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Living Anatomy
Req: Level 8, Medicine 70
Ranks: 1

Living Anatomy allows you to see the Health and Damage Threshold of any
target. It also gives you a +5% bonus to damage against Humans and non-
Feral Ghouls.

Ah, another pre-Fallout 3 perk that makes its return in New Vegas. First
lets discuss the damage. 5% isn't much, and the fact that it applies
only to humans and non-feral Ghouls means you can safely ignore it, as
it's only as effective as, say, Black Widow. On the other hand, being
able to see an enemies Health and, more importantly, their Damage
Threshold is a huge advantage, especially on your first playthrough.
When you see a that a Super Mutant Master has a 20 Damage Threshold, or
a Giant Radscorpian has a 36, you begin to understand why your Cowboy
Repeater wasn't hurting it. Once you've played the game a bit, however,
you start to understand this intuitively, especially after playing with
this perk. Anybody knows that a Deathclaw is going to have a high Damage
Threshold, and even without knowing the exact number of hit points, you
can always see an enemies health bar in V.A.T.S. For veteran players,
this perk becomes much less useful, although anomalies exist, and once
you have played the game more you'll realize that getting a bigger,
stronger gun is always the answer.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Pack Rat
Req: Level 8, Intelligence 5, Barter 70
Ranks: 1

You have learned the value of careful packing. Items with a weight of 2
or less weigh half as much for you.

At first this perk almost seems silly, and it does have some flaws. For
one, if you're not playing in Hardcore mode, it's a complete waste of a
perk. If you are playing in Hardcore mode, however, it still requires
what can be a brutal and potentially wasteful amount of points in
Barter. On the other hand, anything that weighs less than a pound will
weigh, well, half as much. This comes with an important implication for
Hardcore mode players; most of your vital food, ammo, and crafting
components will weigh half as much, allowing you to stock up and carry
around twice as many, which is worth its weight in gold. Worth more,
really, gold isn't very good for drinking. Right Crassus? With this
benefit you have to weigh it against the Strong Back perk.. if you're
not going to carry more than fifty pounds of supplies, you might as
well get that perk instead. Also if you have some allies, you can just
load them up full of gear. So, this perk does have its issues, but if
you just want to be sure you are carrying as much gear as possible..
Well, I'd still say pick Strong Back, if you've got the Strength and
Endurance. I'd take a flat 50 pounds over carry weight over this any day.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Quick Draw
Req: Level 8, Agility 5
Ranks: 1

Quick Draw makes all of your weapon equipping and holstering 50% faster.

With the base of five Agility this perk calls for.. maybe.. but with
anything higher you're going to be doing just fine on your own. And,
since this game allows you to be the sniper more successfully and from
a safer distance, chances are you'll have your gun out before the enemy
anyways. Don't waste your perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Rad Resistance
Req: Level 8, Survival 40, Endurance 5
Ranks: 1

Rad Resistance allows you to -- what else? -- resist radiation. This
perk grants an additional 25% to Radiation Resistance.

25% is a fairly large amount of radiation resistance, but there are
plenty of environmental suits in the game, and of course.. Rad-X. You
can take a perk to permanently gain resistance, or take a pill to get
the resistance when you need it. Even if you get irradiated, it only
costs 100 Caps or some RadAway to fix you up. If you're the Hardcore
mode survival type, just wait for Rad Absorption.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Scrounger
Req: Level 8, Luck 5
Ranks: 1

With the Scrounger perk, you'll find considerably more ammunition in
containers than you normally would.

Buy your ammo, instead. Problem solved.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Sneering Imperialist
Req: Level 8
Ranks: 1

You don't take kindly to raiders, junkies, or tribals trying to "settle"
or "stay alive" in civilized lands. Against dirty raider and junkie
types as well as Zion's tribals you do +15% Damage and have a bonus to
hit in V.A.T.S.

..or you could get something like Black Widow, which does +10% damage
to every male character in the game-NCR, Great Khans, Fiends, Caesar's
Legion, or whatever other politics they have. Not to say that Black
Widow is a great perk, but more to put this perk up for comparison.
Plus, most raiders and tribals aren't terribly strong (compared to
Cazadors, Death Claws, etc.) There are just better damage-dealing
perks to pick, and many that help you kill stronger creatures, or give
bonuses when fighting.. well, anything.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Stonewall
Req: Level 8, Endurance 6, Strength 6
Ranks: 1

You gain +5 Damage Threshold against all Melee Weapons and Unarmed
attacks and cannot be knocked down in combat.

Sure, +5 isn't a big deal when it applies to only melee attacks.. but
honestly most of the enemies that will blast through your Damage
Threshold are things like Cazadors, Deathclaws, Radscorpians, and to
some extent Nightstalkers and Geckos, all of which use.. you guessed it,
melee attacks. Still, Deathclaws routinely hit for over 100 points of
damage (even with a modest Damage Threshold of 20), so five points
probably isn't going to save you. On the other hand, I've started to
view this a bit like Toughness.. but only applying to-for argument's
sake-half the attacks in the game. With that math, it doesn't seem like
a terrible perk.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Strong Back
Req: Level 8, Strength 5, Endurance 5
Ranks: 1

With the Strong Back perk, you can carry 50 more pounds of equipment.

It was in my build for Fallout 3, but with only 15 perks in the vanilla
version of New Vegas, it just didn't make the cut. Now, with ten more
perks, I'm somewhat more inclined towards it. Carrying extra stuff is
nice, even nicer in Hardcore Mode, and very, very nice during the
expansions. After hitting level 40~ I had every perk that was remotely
interesting to me, so I was warmer to the idea of returning it to my
build.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Super Slam
Req: Level 8, Strength 6, Melee Weapons 45
Ranks: 1

All Melee Weapons (except thrown) and Unarmed attacks have a chance of
knocking your target down.

In the original guide, I was rather dismissive of this perk-it wasn't
easy to do both melee and ranged with a limited number of skill points,
after all. In the Ultimate Edition, however, we can-and will-become
great at everything. It's simple enough to gun everything down with the
Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle and .308 JSP Ammo, and it's still my prefered
method of dealing with most things. Still, in some of the expansions,
you're rather limited by what you can carry with you. Intead of getting
Pack Rat to carry twice as much ammo, I opt for a full melee build. It
kills the critters that are too weak to bother wasting precious ammo
on, and it allows me to be more versatile. This perk shines with a
melee build-it's much better that Paralyzing Palm, since it always has
a chance to work, and it works very often. Many times you can risk
going toe-to-toe with foes somewhat secure in the knowledge that there's
a decent chance you'll simply knock them down. It's a great melee perk.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Terrifying Presence
Req: Level 8, Speech 70
Ranks: 1

In some conversations, you gain the ability to initiate combat while
terrifying a mob of opponents, sending them fleeing for safety.

Seriously? Do I even have to discuss this one? Ah, I guess there are..
uh.. some second generation mutants out there who might not understand
when suck rears its ugly head. Okay, how often will this help you
against Cazadors, Super Mutants, and Deathclaws? What's that? Never?
Okay then. You don't need to scare off NPCs, they tend to be weak
enough.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Tribal Wisdom
Req: Level 8, Survival 70
Ranks: 1

Your limbs take 50% less damage from Animals, Mutated Animals, and
Mutated Insects, you gain +25% resistance to Poison Damage, and can eat
Mutated Insects when you're in Sneak mode.

Who really cares about limb damage? Seriously? Poison Resistance also
sucks, since you'll get the Cardiac Arrest or Heartless "perks" for
free. Finally, eating dead bugs is the equivilent of the Cannibal perk..
which also sucks. It doesn't heal much. If you want to eat crap from
dead enemies, get the 'Them's Good Eatin' perk, instead.

Rating: *

Level 10 Perks 							{PRK006}
o======================================================================o
And Stay Back
Req: Level 10, Guns 70
Ranks: 1

You've discovered a Shotgun technique that has a chance to knock an
enemy back.

This perk causes enemies to get knocked down when you shoot them with a
shotgun. Its usefulness varies on what you shoot with it-Death Claws and
Super Mutants seem to be all but helpless against this perk, but other
critters I tested it on-humans, for example-were very rarely affected..
not that it mattered, since they're too weak to care about. This is a
good helping perk if you love shotguns, and if you got the Shotgun
Surgeon perk, you should definitely get this one, too. Me, I'd rather
just go with Super Slam. It works on ALL unarmed and melee attacks, not
just a subset of one weapon category.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Animal Friend
Req: Level 10, Charisma 6, Survival 45
Ranks 2

At the first rank of this perk, animals simply won't attack. At the
second rank, they will eventually come to your aid in combat, but never
against another animal.

Even though Yao Guai make their New Vegas appearance in the 'Honest
Hearts' expansion, I still maintain that getting a perk to pacify
wasteland critters is less effective than just putting a few bullets
through them. Still, now that there are some strong foes that might be
affected by it, it's a little less useless. Not less useless enough to
make me give it two stars, but still. Plus, where are you going to get
five more SPECIAL points to put into Charisma for this perk?

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Fight the Power!
Req: Level 10
Ranks: 1

You've had enough of the so-called "authorities" pushing poor folks
around! You gain +2 Damage Threshold and +5% Critical Hit Chance
against anyone wearing the faction armro of the NCR, Legion, or
Brotherhood.

I'd make a direct comparison to Sneering Imperialist, save the fact
that this perk just give better bonuses, even though it's just as
selective with its affected foes. The Damage Threshold and Critical
Chance certainly outshines the accuracy and damage of Sneering
Imperialist, and some of these faction folks can actually be somewhat
strong.. nothing strong enough to survive a well-placed Sniper Rifle
round, but still, pretty strong. I'd still suggest picking perks that
are a little less discriminating.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Finesse
Req: Level 10
Ranks: 1

With the Finesse perk you have a higher chance to score a critical hit
on an opponent in combat, equivalent to 5 extra points of Luck.

An extra 5% chance to critically hit sure fits into my game plan.
Actually, I can't imagine anybody not having a use for an extra 5%
chance to critical. I'd rather take a sure damage increase any day, but
this is still a good perk. Think of it this way, taking Strong Back is
good because it gives you the best part of having five points of
Strength. Finesse does pretty much the same thing, but with Luck, a far
superior attribute. Again, if you get perks like Better Criticals, this
perk becomes that much more useful.

Rating: *****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Here and Now
Req: Level 10
Ranks: 1

The Here and Now perk immediately grants an additional experience level,
complete with all the advantages that brings.

Or you could just level up like normal. If you're like me, you hit level
50 well before you finished the game. This is a waste of a perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Math Wrath
Req: Level 10, Science 70
Ranks: 1

You are able to optimize your Pip-Boy's V.A.T.S. logic, reducing all AP
costs by 10%

In Fallout 3 this would have been a killer perk. In New Vegas, V.A.T.S.
is less important.. However, it seems that I was wrong about the
relative usefulness of this perk. Originally I had pointed out that with
Action Boy you'll get 15 extra Action Points.. which is almost certainly
better than the 10% reduction in Action Points. Except for one thing-it
takes longer for you to regenerate those 15 points from Action Boy,
whereas with Math Wrath, you get a reduction to Action Point costs
(which is just as good as an increase in Action Points) but with no
actual overall increase in Action Points-and hence, no more points that
you actually have to regenerate. I'll directly quote an email I recieved
from one John Mickey, who pull this information off fallout.wikia.com:

"Action Boy gives +15 AP, true, but the advantage of Math Wrath is that
it still takes the same amount of time to fully recover AP; wouldn't the
larger number of AP given by Action Boy result in a longer recharge?
According to fallout.wikia.com: "A character will take 16.66 seconds to
recover their AP bar to full regardless of their AP total, unless their
AP is modified by perks. It should be noted that AP gained through perks
do NOT count towards regeneration rate. Therefore a player with 115 AP,
30 of which were gained through Action Boy perks, would actually take
over 23 seconds to fully recover their AP bar. Furthermore, the perk
Nerves of Steel decreases this regeneration period by 20%, to a
potential minimumrecovery period of 13.33 seconds." So while Math Wrath
provides fewer APs, it allows the player to use VATS more often by
waiting less after a drain. So with Action Boy you get basically get to
use the perk once per encounter, at the beginning, since it's unlikely
that you'll be able to wait enough for your AP to recharge into that
extra amount; with Math Wrath it's possible to utilize the perk's
advantage more than once per encounter because it increases the amount
of actions within the base recharge time. Anyway, just thought I'd
throw out a counterargument."

So.. long story short, I was wrong about Math Wrath-it's still not a
great perk, but it is better than Action Boy, and with the Ultimate
Edition.. it's actually worth considering.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Miss Fortune
Req: Level 10, Luck 6
Ranks: 1

Just when your enemies think they have the upper hand, Miss Fortune
appears to turn their world upside down. Appearing only in V.A.T.S., she
has the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Two things about this, and it applies to Mysterious Stranger, too; the
only 'luck' I want to rely on in this game is critical hits. And the
fact that this perk only works in V.A.T.S., and then, unpredictably at
that, makes me pass on it for something more certain.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Mister Sandman
Req: Level 10, Sneak 60%
Ranks: 1

With the Mister Sandman perk, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the
option to silently kill any human or Ghoul while they're sleeping. And,
all Mister Sandman kills earn bonus XP.

First, if they're sleeping, you can probably just shoot them from a
distance anyways. Second, when enemies are sleeping, they seem to have
a greater ability to detect you. Hell, half the time I get detected it's
by sleeping characters. Third, most enemies you'll want to kill wonít be
caught sleeping, so this is mostly useful for assassinating NPCs. And
finally-how much XP are you really going to be getting from this in the
long run? Don't waste your perks.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Mysterious Stranger
Req: Level 10, Luck 6
Ranks: 1

You've gained your own personal guardian angel... armed with a fully
loaded .44 Magnum. With this perk, the Mysterious Stranger will appear
occasionally in V.A.T.S. mode to lend a hand, with deadly efficiency.

For the same reason that I won't use Miss Fortune, I won't use
Mysterious Stranger. Sure, the extra damage in V.A.T.S. might be nice,
but it can be done other, more reliable ways.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Nerd Rage!
Req: Level 10, Science 50, Intelligence 5
Ranks: 1

You've been pushed around long enough! With the Nerd Rage! perk, your
Strength is raised to 10 and you gain +15 Damage Threshold whenever
your Health drops to 20% or below.

I've actually used this perk before in New Vegas.. more for novelties'
sake than for any good reason. It was fun to mess around with a
character who stuck to mid-strength weapons, but once they got injured
whipped out a Minigun. It wasn't horribly effective, mind you, just
amusing for a spell. +15 Damage Threshold is pretty nice, but falling
under 20% of your health is cutting it awful close.. I wouldn't bother
with this perk, especially with the new luxuries in the Strength
department afforded to us with the higher level cap and the perks from
'Old World Blues'.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Night Person
Req: Level 10
Ranks: 1

When the sun is down, a Night Person gains +2 to both Intelligence and
Perception (up to a maximum of 10). This perk directly affects your
"internal clock" and remains active both inside and outside.

The best part of this perk is the skill bonuses you'd receive from the
stat increases. If you get the extra skill points from the Intelligence
when you level up at night.. maybe. But still, having a bonus half of
the time.. eh. I mean, it's not like it adds to your combat abilities,
it lets you see threats further (at night) and gives you some extra
skill points. There's better out there.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Plasma Spaz
Req: Level 10, Energy Weapons 70
Ranks: 1

You're just so excited about plasma that you can't (magnetically)
contain yourself! The AP costs for all plasma weapons (including Plasma
Grenades) are reduced by 10%.

You remember Math Wrath? Yeah, it worked for all weapons, and it was
mediocore. How is a perk that only works for plasma weapons going to
fare? Not so well.

Rating: *

Level 12 Perks 							{PRK007}
o======================================================================o
Alertness
Req: Level 12, Perception < 10, Perception 6
Ranks: 1

You've learned to keep your senses alert to any danager. When crouched
and not moving you gain a +2 to your Perception attribute to help you
find enemies before they find you.

To get this perk, you need to have a Perception score of between six
and ten, and it allows you to sense enemies as if you had two more
points of Perception when you're crouched and not moving.

...

Why not get a point of Intensive Training, instead, so you'll have a
point of Perception ALL the time, that gives bonuses to skills, too?
Or, just drag ED-E around with you.

Ranks: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Fast Metabolism
Req: Level 12
Ranks: 1

With the Fast Metabolism perk, you gain a 20% Health bonus when using
Stimpaks.

Stimpaks are cheap enough to buy, you don't need this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ghastly Scavenger
Req: Level 12, Cannibal
Ranks: 1

With Ghastly Scavenger, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the option
to eat a Super Mutant or Feral Ghoul corpse to regain Health. Every time
you feed, you lose Karma, and if the act is witnessed, it is considered
a crime against nature.

Much like the Cannibal perk, this perk is only remotely useful if you're
playing in Hardcore mode. Even then, this perk requires you to have
Cannibal-a perk with arguable value as it is-and only works on Super
Mutants and Feral Ghouls. Humans are more plentiful, and unless you're
just starving away on Black Mountain, Camp Searchlight, or Vault 34,
there's not really any widespread use for this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Heavyweight
Req: Level 12, Strength 7
Ranks: 1

Have you been working out? Weapons heavier than 10 lbs. now weigh half
as much for you. (Modified weapons that drop below 10 lbs. will not gain
this benefit.)

I don't know about you, but I almost never use weapons that weigh
10 lbs. or more, and in any event, how many of these weapons would you
even have on you at once? One, two? Unless it were loot you grabbed
from Super Mutants. In that case, doesn't have Strong Back, to give you
50 lbs. extra carrying capacity all the time, for everything, help more
in the long run? I think so, and so should you.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Hit the Deck
Req: Level 12, Explosives 70
Ranks: 1

Your extensive familiarity with Explosives allows you to ignore a
portion of their damage. Your Damage Threshold is increased by 50%
against any and all Explosives--even your own.

I don't suppose this applies to the explosive corona caused by the
Meltdown perk? Ah well. I can actually see this perk having its uses,
albeit dependent upon your love of Explosives and your base Damage
Threshold. If you use nothing but Explosives, and wear enough armor to
give you.. about 30 Damage Threshold, then the frequency of friendly
fire and the Damage Threshold bonus may well be worth the perk. If not,
you can ignore this perk.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Hobbler
Req: Level 12, Perecpetion 7
Ranks: 1

With the Hobbler perk, your chance to hit an opponent's legs in V.A.T.S.
is significantly increased.

Like Sniper, but for retards. Really. I can't be nicer than that. Going
for headshots kills. Killing is better than slowing-the only benefit of
which would be to kill later. The only time I shot at something's legs
was when I was erroneously trying to do the 'Deathclaw Pro Hunter'
'Gun Runner's Arsenal' challenge by using Boxing Tape. I thought that
with Super Slam.. anyways, it works better with a Silenced .22 Pistol..
or at least it would if stupid Obsidian would stop breaking things with
their 'patches'.. Oh, uh, anyways, this perks sucks, you never need to
shoot anything in the legs.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Life Giver
Req: Level 12, Endurance 6
Ranks: 1

With the Life Giver perk, you gain an additional 30 Hit Points.

Considering that you gain 20 hit points for a point of Endurance, this
perk is pretty much on the same level as an Intensive Training perk
spent on Endurance-minus the bonuses to resistances and the skills, and
the ability to grab another Implant. The fact that Implants call for us
to have such a high starting Endurance makes 30 extra hit points
dispensable, and although it's nice, I can't see it fitting into most
builds.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Long Haul
Req: Level 12, Barter 70, Endurance 6
Ranks: 1

You have learned how to pack mountains of gear for the Long Haul. Being
over-encumbered no longer prevents you from using Fast Travel.

Sure, you might think this is nifty. After all, how wonderful would it
be to just grab up all the loot you can carry and fast travel back to
town? What about the implications for Hardcore mode? Hogwash. Crawling
around scavenging the last few items in a room or on some corpses and
then having to inch your way outside to fast travel is not a time
saver. Just drop the excess and come back. Or store it on a companion.
This is an illusory time saver, and unless you stored an ungodly amount
of loot in a container, picked it all up, and then waddled outside to
fast travel, you wouldn't be doing anything. This isn't a good perk,
it's just procrastination disguised as convenience.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Piercing Strike
Req: Level 12, Unarmed 70
Ranks: 1

Piercing Strike makes all of your Unarmed and Melee Weapons (including
thrown) negate 15 points of Damage Threshold on the target.

Ignoring 15 points of Damage Threshold is huge, even ridiculous,
especially considering that many Unarmed and Melee Weapons already do
good damage. Combine this with the Purifier perk and you will be able
to deal with Deathclaws and Super Mutants as well as any weapon-bearing
character in the game. Frankly, however, against those enemies I'd
rather keep my distance. If you go melee, however, you're going to want
this perk.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Pyromaniac
Req: Level 12, Explosives 60
Ranks: 1

With the Pyromaniac perk, you do +50% damage with fire-based weapons,
like the Flamer and Shishkebab.

This is a huge damage boost that effects a small variety of weapons.
Still, the Heavy Incinerator can be fun. If you use Energy Weapons, and
really have the desire to use a fire-based weapon.. well, you might as
well get this perk. If you don't fall into this narrow niche, ignore it.
This perk is especially useful for boosting the Shiskebab melee weapon.
With this perk it becomes a viable weapon for late game use.. well, as
much as any melee weapon becomes, anyways. It might not be as powerful
as the Super Sledge, but it is much faster. Or you could just go Unarmed
and use a Displacer Glove or something. Either way.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Robotics Expert
Req: Level 12, Science 50
Ranks: 1

With the Robotics perk, you do an additional 25% damage to any robot.
But, even better, sneaking up on a hostile robot undetected and
activating it will put that robot into a permanent shutdown state.

This is still as good of a perk in Fallout: New Vegas as it was in
Fallout 3, but with a few notes on the gameplay. First, it's much
harder to sneak to within melee range of enemies in New Vegas. Second,
there aren't nearly as many robots in the Mohave as there were in D.C.,
which makes this a less useful perk. Oh, also there's the Pulse Gun,
which pretty much wastes robots on its own.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Silent Running
Req: Level 12, Agility 6, Sneak 50
Ranks: 1

With the Silent Running perk, running no longer factors into a
successful sneak attempt.

Alright, letís be honest here. In order to Sneak effectively, you need
a fairly high Sneak score. However, in Fallout: New Vegas, you don't
need to get within most enemies' perception range to snipe them, making
Sneak less obligatory. However, if you want to sneak near an enemy,
much less sneak up to them, you're going to need to be quick about it,
as enemies wander around more regularly. To this end, you'll want
Silent Running. If all you want Sneak for is to get within the generous
sniping range, or to grab an item off a shelf, you probably don't need
this perk. If you want to get closer to enemies, or to sneak past them
at any decent speed, you need this perk.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Sniper
Req: Level 12, Perception 6, Agility 6
Ranks: 1

With the Sniper perk, your chance to hit an opponent's head in V.A.T.s.
is significantly increased.

If it has a head, you probably want to shoot it there for the bonus
damage. If you only stick to melee attacks, or never use V.A.T.S., you
can ignore this perk. If you play realistically however, this is a
pretty good perk. Mind you it doesn't just cover 'sniping'. Popping a
Super Mutant in the face with a few rounds of Shotgun Shells at mid
range is also a good use of the Sniper perk.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Splash Damage
Req: Level 12, Explosives 70
Ranks: 1

When you're deep in enemy territory, you just start chucking grenades
and hope for the best. All Explosives have a 25% larger area of effect.

I'm rather skeptical of all these area of effect perks.. first, it seems
just as likely to hurt you as not, and second, just how many enemies are
going to find clustered together? Three, or four at the most? I don't
know, I'd rather just take Demolition Expert instead.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Unstoppable Force
Req: Level 12, Strength 7, Melee Weapons 90
Ranks: 1

Your martial might is truly legendary. You do a large amount of
additional damage through enemy blocks with all Melee Weapons and
Unarmed attacks.

Just how many enemies actually block in this game? Human enemies that
use melee weapons, which are, as a rule of thumb, usually easy to kill.
Super Mutants, Cazadors, and Deathclaws won't be blocking your attacks,
so what use is this perk? And 90 Melee Weapons? Even a dedicated melee
fighter can ignore this perk.

Rating: *

Level 14 Perks 							{PRK008}
o======================================================================o
Adamantium Skeleton
Req: Level 14
Ranks: 1

With the Adamantium Skeleton perk, your limbs only receive 50% of the
damage they normally would.

If you are playing in normal mode, laugh at this perk-laugh at it and
stick yourself with a Stimpak, you lucky bastard. On the other hand, 
this perk started to seem slightly less useless in Hardcore Mode, during
the expansions, with my Small Frame build.. And then I remembered I
wasn't retarded, made some Healing Poultices, and forgot about this perk
again.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Center of Mass
Req: Level 16, Guns 70
Ranks: 1

You don't fool around with fancy trick shots. Straight to the midsection
and down they go. In V.A.T.S., you do an extra 15% damage with attacks
targeting the torso.

15% is nice and all, but note the 'in V.A.T.S.' line. Also keep in mind
that headshots tend to deal more damage.. if you're close enough to
pull off a V.A.T.S. shot with some expectation of success, you're
probably close enough to go for the head.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Chemist
Req: Level 14, Medicine 60
Ranks: 1

With the Chemist perk, any chems you take last twice as long.

First, it should be stated that the 'any chems' here is bogus. In
Hardcore Mode, all restoratives work over time-and this perk will NOT
make Super Stimpaks, Stimpaks, and RadAway work 'twice as long'. So if
you're hoping it'll double the healing, you're hoping in vain. Once we
realise that, there's seemingly only one use for this perk-extending the
coverage of Rad-X. Rad-X is the only chem I tend to use with any
regularity, but it's not so rare that I can't just pop another one to
keep me from glowing, and there are always Radiation Suits for when we
have to walk into the fire. There is, however, one instance when this
perk might be handy-if you plan to invest in the Implant GRX perk, you
should consider Chemist, as it'll double the duration of the effect.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Jury Rigging
Req: Level 14, Repair 90
Ranks: 1

You possess the amazing ability to repair any item using a roughly
similar item. Fix a Trail Carbine with a Hunting Rifle, a Plasma
Defender with a Laser Pistol, or even Power Armor with Metal Armor. How
does it work? Nobody knows... except you.

Originally I gave this perk a mediocore three-star rating, despite how
useful it is (and despite how ardently people advocated for it). In a
15 perk game, it's just not a priority.. not when I can wait a few days,
kill some Super Mutants, and pay for repairs.. and then steal the Caps
back later. In the Ultimate Edition, however, there are fewer perk
pressures, and more need for this perk. There are plenty of new items
in the expansions that won't be found in the Mohave.. and unique
versions of those items that you might want to use. Also, the expansions
tend to force you to travel light, and restrict you from going back to
the Mohave.. and lets just say that they tend to be light on merchants
who will repair your stuff, and who wants to sell off all that new
expansion loot simply to repair your gear? This perk saves you money,
and eliminates hassle in a big way-it's comparable to the Them's Good
Eatin' perk, especially for Hardcore Mode players.. and it's not an
exaggeration to say that keeping your arms and armor in good condition
is just as good as healing. Repair Joshua Graham's Armor with any old
Pre-War clothes you find, or keep the Gobi in shape by fixing it with
parts from various-less godly-guns.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Light Step
Req: Level 14, Perception 6, Agility 6
Ranks: 1

With the Light Step perk, you'll never set off an enemy's mines or
floor-based traps.

Land mines are pretty common. Fortunately, they're also obvious, they
don't do a huge amount of damage-in the grand scheme of things, and you
can disarm them with a simple button click. Not only that, you get
experience and the mine itself when you do! Be observant, and you wont
need this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Purifier
Req: Level 14
Ranks: 1

As a purifier of the wasteland, you do +50% damage with Melee and
Unarmed weapons against Centaurs, Nightstalkers, Spore Plants, Spore
Carriers, Deathclaws, Super Mutants, and Feral Ghouls.

This perk seems somewhat obvious-after all, +50% is a huge damage boost,
and the enemies this effects are bad news. On the other hand, most of
these critters are such bad news, that I still suggest-with Piercing
Strike, Super Slam, Slayer, and this perk, that you don't go toe-to-toe
with a Deathclaw. They can still kill you in several hits, regardless
of how fast you can kill them, and if there's more than one of them,
you will probably get hit a few times. Why fight fire with fire when you
have.. say.. the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle (aka, the Finger of God)?
Also, Centaurs are always weak, Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls are
managable without this perk, and when you become immune to poison
(courtesy of 'Old World Blues') you'll laugh at Nightstalkers. That
really only leaves Deathclaws as worthy of consideration (Spore critters
are too rare to care about) and.. well, don't fisticuffs with something
called a Deathclaw seems a good rule of thumb. You have guns for that.

Rating: **

Level 16 Perks 							{PRK009}
o======================================================================o
Action Boy/Girl
Req: Level 16, Agility 6
Ranks: 2

With the Action Boy/Girl perk, you gain an additional 15 Action Points
to use in V.A.T.S.

Action Boy/Girl has been split into two ranks, radically diminishing
the effectiveness of this perk. On top of that, you have LESS perks
with which to choose from, further exacerbating the situation. If that
wasn't enough, having a high Action Point total isn't as useful in New
Vegas. All of these conditions add up to one conclusion: you can look
elsewhere for your V.A.T.S. perks.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Better Criticals
Req: Level 16, Perception 6, Luck 6
Ranks: 1

With the Better Criticals perk, you gain a 50% damage bonus every time
a critical hit is scored on an opponent.

Your critical chance is determined by your Luck-1 point of Luck equals
a 1% chance of landing a critical hit. This doesn't increase your chance
of landing a critical hit, instead Better Criticals improves the
damage you deal when you do land a critical hit. Therefore the
usefulness of this perk is directly related to how high your luck is.
With sneak attack criticals, the Sniper perk, or the Finesse perk,
Better Criticals becomes greatly useful, but it really depends on your
build. No character is hurt by having high luck however, so it stands
to suggest that most characters could benefit greatly from this perk..
And since you need a Luck score of 6 for this perk, if you can get it,
you might as well. This perk is especially useful for players who have
the Laser Commander perk, for obvious reasons.

Rating: *****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Chem Resistant
Req: Level 16, Medicine 60
Ranks: 1

Having the Chem Resistant perk means you're 50% less likely to
develop an addiction to chems, like Psycho or Jet.

First, why you would ever need to use Psycho or Jet is beyond me.
Secondly, addiction isn't a big deal. You can always get your
addiction cured at a hospital, or you could just reload. If doubling
the duration of chems didn't appeal to you, this shouldn't either.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Meltdown
Req: Level 16, Energy Weapon 90
Ranks: 1

Meltdown causes foes killed by your Energy Weapons to give off a corona
of harmful energy. Note: this can cause a chain reaction.

Another Energy Weapons perk, this one is more of a general perk, as it
applies to all Energy Weapons, rather than either lasers or plasma
weapons. I can't question the power of Energy Weapons, but I can and
will question the usefulness of this perk. Seeing enemies explode into
a corona of energy when they die is awful fun, but the explosion has a
fairly short radius, although it can do good damage. The bad part is
that you can catch yourself in this blast, making it a hassle any time
an enemy gets close to you in combat. Sure "Don't let them get close",
yeah, whatever. In any event, blowing yourself up is not fun, and this
perk doesn't make energy weapons exceptionally more powerful. On top of
that, there's not all that many situations in which you'll find enough
enemies close together to cause a useful explosion, much less a chain
reaction. It's slight usefulness is offset by the hassle of having to
keep away from enemies to avoid catching yourself in the blast.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Tag!
Req: Level 16
Ranks: 1

The Tag! perk allows you to select a fourth Skill to be a Tag skill,
which instantly raises it by 15 points.

Skill points are good, I think we can all agree with that. But there is
a limit. A 15 point skill perk is arguably less useful than
Comprehension.. even if you don't find 15 skill books, and it is
certainly less useful than Educated, which can give up to 92 skill
points. Sure, I like skill points, but I won't sacrifice a perk for
such a small return.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Weapon Handling
Req: Level 16, Strength < 10
Ranks: 1

Weapon Strength Requirements are now 2 points lower than normal for you.

Strength isn't a great attribute.. in fact, the only reason I bother
with it at all is because you NEED to have Strength to use weapons
effectively. This perk gives you, essentially, two points of Strength.
Or at least the better benefits of having two Strength. In the Ultimate
Edition, the 'Old World Blues' expansion increases your Strength by
one or two points, and since you have more levels-hence more skill
points, Intelligence is less useful.. a few points from Intelligence
can (and in my build, does) boost your Strength score.. since I'll
hit a natural eight Strength anyways, what do I ever need this perk
for?

Rating: **

Level 18 Perks 							{PRK010}
o======================================================================o
Computer Whiz
Req: Level 18, Intelligence 7, Science 70
Ranks: 1

Fail a hack attempt and get locked out of a computer? Not if you're a
Computer Whiz! With this perk, you can attempt to re-hack any computer
you were previously locked out of.

Words can hardly describe how useless this perk is. Okay, yes they can.
This perk is damn near worthless. A 10 skill point perk seems fantastic
by comparison. Here's a way to get the benefits of this perk without
wasting your perk pick on it: before you hack a computer, save. If you
get locked out, reload. Bam, no need for this perk. And considering
90% of the computers you encounter in this game lock a door (which you
can pick) or disable turrets (which you can destroy) there's no great
fear of getting locked out of a terminal in any case. Donít waste your
perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Concentrated Fire
Req: Level 18, Energy Weapons 60, Guns 60
Ranks: 1

With Concentrated Fire, your accuracy to hit any body part in V.A.T.S.
increases slightly with each subsequent hit on that body part.

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that most of the time
taking more shots in V.A.T.S. at one time is a bad thing. You know, the
sitting duck thing? This isn't an issue if you're up on a ledge sniping,
but then again, you don't really need that much accuracy in that case.
Point is, you won't be taking as many consecutive shots in V.A.T.S. in
this game, meaning you don't need this perk, even if you use a fast
weapon. Also, the accuracy percentage in V.A.T.S. is a filthy stinking
liar in this game. I've become accustomed to sniping enemies from long
distances and popping their heads with a 20%~ or lower accuracy. It
works so often, I EXPECT it to hit, almost regardless of the percentage
I see.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Infiltrator
Req: Level 18, Perception 7, Lockpick 70
Ranks: 1

With Infiltrator, if a lock is broken, and can't normally be picked
again, you can attempt to pick it again one more time. This includes
locks previously broken by a "Force Lock" attempt.

This perk sucks for the same reason Computer Whiz sucks. Why anybody
would be forcing locks in the first place is a mystery, and if you
are going to bother forcing locks, why wouldn't you save first? Save
and reload, and save a perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Paralyzing Palm
Req: Level 18, Unarmed 70
Ranks: 1

With Paralyzing Palm, you will sometimes perform a S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
V.A.T.S. palm strike for 30 seconds. Note that in order to perform the
Paralyzing Palm, you must be completely unarmed.

Paralyzing Palm was the great unequalizer in Fallout 3.. but that was
back when V.A.T.S. kept you safe from reprisal. In Fallout: New Vegas,
running into a pack of Deathclaws and hoping for a Paralyzing Palm to
even the odds is tantamount to committing suicide. Also, in New Vegas,
enemies just don't have as much health.. most critters you'll fight
won't take that much abuse, unlike the absurdly strong Super Mutant
Overlords from the last game. In the end.. I just don't think it's
necessary, even if you are going for a melee-strong build.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Walker Instinct
Req: Level 18, Survival 50
Ranks: 1

Your sense have become so keen that you can feel the slightest
vibration in the ground. You gain +1 Perception and Agility attributes
while outside.

..Or you can pick Intensive Training and have one of those attributes
all the time. Perception and Agility aren't hugely important SPECIAL
Attributes, and my build started out with as much as I'll ever need.
I'm not enticed by a few bonus points half the time.

Rating: *

Level 20 Perks 							{PRK011}
o======================================================================o
Atomic!
Req: Level 20, Endurance 6
Ranks: 1

With the Atomic! perk, you are 25% faster and strong whenever you are
basking in the warm glow of radiation. Outside irradiated areas, your
Action Points (AP) regenerate faster and faster the higher your level
of radiation sickness becomes.

I generally try to avoid getting irradiated, personally, so these
perks have very low appeal for me. Nerves of Steel regenerates your
Action Points faster all the time, and as for the hot-zone bonuses..
well, radiation isn't as common as you might think. Most fights will
take place outside of irradiated areas, so why bother?

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Explorer
Req: Level 20
Ranks: 1

When you choose the Explorer perk, every location in the world is
revealed on your map. So get out there and explore!

You can find all the areas on the map by yourself. You even get little
icons that will guide you to them when you're close. Along the way,
you'll get to explore the wasteland, which is the meat of the game.
You'll find skill books, get experience, and find loot. Also, it must
be noted that this perk doesn't make your character stronger in any way.
Download a world map and search for places yourself, save yourself a
perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Eye For Eye
Req: Level 20
Ranks: 1

For each crippled limb you have, you do an additional 10% damage.

A flat 10% damage bonus is pretty nice, and with Small Frame, I'm
somewhat prone to having crippled limbs. Still, it's something I
generally try to avoid, and the slow movement from having crippled legs,
the loss of accuracy from crippled arms, and the loss of vision from
having a crippled head offset the damage bonus, as far as I'm
concerned. Plus, some of the better 'perks' in 'Old World Blues' make
your head and torso immune to crippling, reducing the potential of this
perk by a great bit.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Grim Reaper's Sprint
Req: Level 20
Ranks: 1

If you kill a target in V.A.T.S., 20 Action Points are restored upon
exiting V.A.T.S.

V.A.T.S. has been reduced in this game, and so has Grim Reaper's Sprint.
Still, it's not abysmal. In the grand scheme of things it's better to
take fewer, safer, smarter shots in V.A.T.S. With this perk you can
finish off an enemy in V.A.T.S. and recharge your AP a bit. You'll do
most of your fighting outside of V.A.T.S., certainly, but popping an
enemy in the head with a Brush Gun at the right time can be a very
effective way to exterminate threats and thin the crowd.. and with
Grim Reaper's Sprint you can manage to do this somewhat often.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Mile in Their Shoes
Req: Level 20, Survival 25
Ranks: 1

You have come to understand Nightstalkers. Consuming Nighstalker
Squeezin's now grants bonuses to Perception (+1 PER), Poison Resistance
(+5) and stealth (+5 Sneak) in addition to the normal benefits.

Night Stalkers are uncommon outside of the the 'Old World Blues' DLC,
so having a constant supply of.. heh.. Squeezin's.. is probably not
going to be likely. Also, Perception isn't great, Poison Resistance is
useless (due to the Cardiac Arrest/Heartless "perks"), and you should be
able to max your Sneak skill, making the ..heh.. Squeezin's.. redundant
in any case.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ninja
Req: Level 20, Sneak 80, Melee Weapons 80
Ranks: 1

The Ninja perk grants you the power of the fabled shadow warriors. When
attacking with either Melee or Unarmed, you gain a +15% critical chance
on every strike. Sneak attack criticals do 25% more damage than normal.

This perk seems like it's golden if you look at what it promises..
However, it only really shines if you're a melee character, whether
Unarmed or Melee Weapons, as the sneak attack critical damage only works
for melee attacks. In Fallout 3, this was great (even if the critical
hit rate is buggy) but in New Vegas.. it's very hard to sneak up on
something to be able to attack it in melee. As for the bug mentioned
earlier-according to contributors (and confirmed by the wiki), the
+15% critical chance isn't added to your base critical hit chance, 
instead what you get is a 1.15 multiplier to your current critical hit
chance. So, with a critical hit chance of 20% (say 10 Luck, Finesse,
and Light Touch, not counting any V.A.T.S. or weapons bonuses) you'd
end up with a 23% critical chance with this perk-not nearly as good as
the promised +15%. While it aspires to be an epic perk, it just falls
laughably short.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Solar Powered
Req: Level 20, Endurance 7
Ranks: 1

With the Solar Powered perk, you gain an additional 2 points to
Strength when in direct sunlight, and slowly regenerate lost Health.

As tempting as two points of Strength are, I'd rather have two points
all the time from Weapon Handling, and just buy the regeneration
Implant.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Them's Good Eatin'
Req: Level 20, Survival 55
Ranks: 1

Any living creature you kill has a 50% chance to have the potent healing
items Thin Red Paste or Blood Sausage when looted.

Alright, first off, if you're not playing in Hardcore mode, ignore this
perk. You have Stimpaks, you don't need it. Now that we've got that out
of the way.. this perk is actually fairly interesting for Hardcore
gamers. The drop rates are fairly generous-it says 50%, but there's a
chance that enemies will drop two or three of one of the items, and the
healing from both items is pretty damn significant-for Blood Sausage
it's HP +15(20s) and for Thin Red Paste it's HP +7(30s). Compare that
to a Stimpak's HP +15(6s) and.. well.. it's pretty good healing, even
if you have to wait a bit to get the full effects (which we're used to
doing in Hardcore mode anyways). The end result? If you're not
completely incompetent at combat and fighting living creatures, there's
a good chance you'll get full-healing after each fight. These items can
also be used as crafting components to make even more powerful healing
items, but other components aren't as easy to get, so I'm just fine
using them as I find them. They also sell for a good bit-125 Caps for
the Thin Red Paste and 175 Caps for the Blood Sausage, although money is
never a good reason to select a perk. Overall? It's an interesting and
often useful healing perk for Hardcore players, although with a high
Medicine score you'll do just fine with Stimpaks-especially by level 20,
when you can finally get this perk.

Rating: ***

Level 22-28 Perks 						{PRK012}
o======================================================================o
Irradiated Beauty
Req: Level 22, Endurance 8,
Ranks: 1

Any time you sleep, you remove all of your Rads in addition to regaining
all of your Health. (In Hardcore Mode, you still don't regain health,
but you lose 100 Rads.)

This seems fairly intriguing for Hardcore Mode.. until you remember that
you have RadAway. And Doctors. And the Auto-Doc in the Sink. The only
time this is ever really an issue is in the Dead Money expansion, and
the radiation there is entirely managable without spending a perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Laser Commander
Req: Level 22, Energy Weapons 90

From the humble Laser Pistol to the might Gatling Laser, you do 15% more
damage and have +10% chance to critically hit with any laser weapon.

If you decided to use Energy Weapons, you might want this perk. Lasers
are generally weaker than plasma weapons, but the bonuses from this perk
do a good bit to close the gap. Turn your Tri-Beam Laser Rifle into a
destructive force! Okay, seriously, no laser weapon will become so
strong from this perk that it will easily overcome the Damage Thresholds
of stronger enemies, but the bonuses are nice, nonetheless. Especially
with Gatling Lasers, which do little damage per hit, but fire fast..
the more chances you have of each little laser dealing critical damage,
the better off you're going to be. Still, seriously think about the
damage that most laser weapons are doing before getting this perk. At
15%, you're looking at an increase of a couple of points, at best. Pick
it for the crits, not for the damage boost.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Nuka Chemist
Req: Level 22, Science 90
Ranks: 1

You have unraveled some of the greatest mysteries of Pre-War masters:
formulas for developing special Nuka-Colas! This perk unlocks special
Nuka-Cola recipes at the Workbench.

I've not been impressed by workbench-related perks yet, so why would I
be impressed by this? Simply put, I wouldn't. You can make Nuka-Cola
Quartz, Nuka-Cola Victory, and Ice-Cold Nuka-Cola.. all of which are
novelties, but not great items in their own right. There simply aren't
enough perks for this kind of profligacy.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Spray and Pray
Req: Level 22
Ranks: 1

Your attacks do much less damage to companions, allowing you to
liberally spray an area with reckless abandon.

I've frankly never had a problem with killing my own companions. Maybe
I'm just more careful? Or maybe I use long-ranged weapons that call for
precision, and not reckless abandon? If you're in Hardcore mode, there
is more call for this perk.. If you use temperamental weapons, anyways.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Voracious Reader
Req: Level 22, Intelligence 7
Ranks: 1

You don't just read books, you tear into them. Damaged books you pick up
become blank magazines, which you can use to copy your existing skill
books at a workbence (or convert blank magazines back to books).

Alright, you pick up useless books, and they become Blank Magazines.
Sure. Then you take whatever skill magazines you have to a Workbench and
with these Blank Magazines (and some Wonderglue!) turn them into new
skill magazines. The only problem? I plan to max all my skills out at
100, hence, I won't need any more magazines ever. And by the time I'm
level 22, I already 1) have plenty of skill magazines ready for when
I need them and 2) have most of the more important skills up to decent
levels already. Nobody needs this perk, and only because Nobody is
notoriously stupid.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Slayer
Req: Level 24, Unarmed 90, Agility 7
Ranks: 1

The slayer walks the earth! The speed of all Melee Weapons and Unarmed
attacks is increased by 30%.

Ah.. Good old Slayer, returned to us in a different form in New Vegas.
If you use Melee Weapons or Unarmed, you must pick this perk. It
increases your damage output by 30%. What more is there to say? If you
don't use Melee Weapons or Unarmed attacks, ignore this perk.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Lessons Learned
Req: Level 26, Intelligence 6
Ranks: 1

The wasteland has taught you some hard lessons, but you've remembered
them all. You gain +1% to earned experience per level gained. (For
example, +25% experience at level 25.)

Yeah, I love how they give an example of the perk in action at a level
where you can't possibly have this perk. Let that set the stage for the
butt-nuttery of this perk. It's like Swift Learner, except you have to
wait until there is much more perk competition to pick it, and you're
already halfway done leveling. What's more fun is the absolute stupidity
of the fact that the stronger this perk gets, the less you need it.
I wipe my ass with this perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Nerves of Steel
Req: Level 26, Agility 7
Ranks: 1

With the Nerves of Steel perk, you regenerate Action Points much more
quickly than you normally would.

As I've already stated, the best defense in New Vegas is a good offense.
Or failing that, high ground the enemy can't reach and a superior ranged
weapon. When using V.A.T.S. it's often better to take fewer shots as the
situation presents itself. To this end, regenerating more Action Point
is better than having more to spend at once, which makes Nerves of
Steel a better perk choice than, say, Action Boy.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Tunnel Runner
Req: Level 26, Agility 8
Ranks: 1

The warrens of The Divide have taught you to keep your head down. Your
movement speed is greatly increased while sneaking in light armor.

If you have the Stealth Armor MK II from the 'Old World Blues'
expansion, don't you already move pretty fast while sneaking? Also,
doesn't the Travel Light perk allow you to move faster in light armor
all of the time? Am I missing something here? Oh no, wait, there it is-
it sucks.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Rad Absorption
Req: Level 28, Endurance 7
Ranks: 1

With the Rad Absorption perk, your radiation level slowly decreases on
its own over time.

You always have RadAway and Rad-X to deal with high radiation, and when
minor exposure finally starts to wear on you, you can always take a trip
to see a doctor. 100 Caps is much easier than wasting a perk.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Roughin' It
Req: Level 28, Survival 100
Ranks: 1

You're more at home under the open stars than under a roof. Any time you
sleep outside, you gain the benefits of being Well Rested, even if you
don't own the bed.

I would hit this perk with a righteous torrent of vicious name-calling
that so many perks deserve, but there actually is a use for this perk..
albeit in Hardcore Mode, and it's more of a matter of convenience than
anything else. There are two types of beds in the game-beds you 'own'
that give the Well-Rested bonus (hotel rooms, safehouse beds, the bed
in the Sink, etc.) These heal you fully-no bullshit. Limb condition and
everything. The fact that they give the Well-Rested bonus is
inconsequential. The other types of beds are unowned beds, which pretty
much covers the majority of sleeping opportunities. These beds are no
better for you that simply waiting-you'll only heal if you have the
Monocyte Breeder Implant, and a small amount at that, and you will
recover no limb condition what-so-ever. For Hardcore Mode gamers, this
perk changes EVERY bed out in the wastelands into an 'owned' bed. Every
time you find a place to sleep, you can instantly recover all your lost
Health and limb condition for a mere hour of time. Still, it's not too
much work to find a doctor to patch you up in most cases, and failing
that, bring Doctor's Bags and/or Healing Poultices. Also, there is
obviously no combat value to this perk whatsoever. For normal mode
characters, this perk is absolutely useless. For not being entirely
worthless.. I'll put this perk in the two-star category.

Rating: **

Level 30+ Perks							{PRK013}
o======================================================================o
Implant GRX
Req: Level 30, Endurance 8
Ranks: 2

You gain a non-addictive subdermal Turbo (chem) injector. This perk may
be taken twice, with the second rank increasing the effect from 2 to 3
seconds and the uses per day from 5 to 10. [Activated in the Pip-Boy
inventory.]

Implant GRX is NOT a bad perk, it just has bad interface. Turbo is a
pretty handy chem, and although you could simply carry some around, it's
much more convenient to have this perk. If you get this perk, however,
you should plan to exploit it fully-get both ranks, and get the
'Chemist' perk. The duration of 2-3 seconds means 2-3 seconds of real
time, which will be slowed down. Your actual effects will be greater.
It can make some tough fights easier, but it's not entirely without
fault. First, it takes three perks to get the best out of it. Second,
I prefer sniping as my primary means of expressing death-don't really
need to slow down time to pull off a quick V.A.T.S. assisted head-shot.
Third, and most damningly as far as I'm concered, you can only activate
this implant via your Pip-Boy. You can't hotkey the effect, which makes
using this perk as a combat aid very tedious. For me, the game already
crashes enough that I don't need to tempt it further by bringing up the
Pip-Boy screen every fight.

Rating: ***
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Broad Daylight
Req: Level 36
Ranks: 1

You're so sneaky that you can sneak even with your Pip-Boy light on!
Any time the Pip-Boy light is on, you gain a sneak bonus to offset the
light's sneak penalty.

So.. you can see in the immediate area around you and keep your stealth
the same as if you were in darkness? As one awesome guy to another
somewhat less awesome guy or gal, let me inform you that you can find a
helmet that give you night vision in the 'Old World Blues' expansion.
Also let me inform you that it doesn't matter-this perk would still be
full of folly. You'll be fine, sneak in the darkness.

Rating: *
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Certified Tech
Req: Level 40
Ranks: 1

Your knowledge of robotic components allows you to break them more
easily and salvage their mechanical corpses. You have a +25% chance to
score critical hits against robots, and you'll also find more useful
components on robots you destroy.

More components are good, but it's no reason to get a perk. On the other
hand, the +25% chance to score critical hits is pretty nice.. but I'd
rather have the brute +25% damage from Robotics Expert. Also, outside of
'Old World Blues' robotic foes are uncommon.

Rating: **
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ain't Like That Now
Req: Level 50
Ranks: 1

Maybe you were bad once, but you ain't like that now. Your Karma has
been reset to 0, you regenerate AP 25% faster, and your attack speed is
increased by 20%. You are also immune to critical hits. (Requries Bad
Karma.)

What can you say about this perk? It's like Nerves of Steel with some
Slayer added in, and immunity to critical hits for good measure. I'll
admit, I'm rather offensive-minded in this game, and this satisfies
both my melee needs (attack speed) and sniping needs (faster Action
Point regeneration = more shots in V.A.T.S.) I purposefully stole
until I tanked my Karma to get this perk.

Rating: *****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Just Lucky I'm Alive
Req: Level 50
Ranks: 1

You've had lots of close calls. Whenever you finish a fight with less
than 25% Health, your Luck increases by +4 for 3 minutes. You are also
immune to critical hits, and your own critical hits inflict +50%
damage.

Although this is probably the least impressive of the three level 50
perks, the fact that it gives you +50% critical damage (equal to
Better Criticals) is win enough. The Luck bonus sucks-first, my Luck is
high already, and I generally try to AVOID getting that injured. Being
immune to critical hits is just a staple of level 50 perks. Even though
Better Criticals got itself a five-star rating, it wasn't competing with
two other perks that had merit over it. Also.. there's only so much
critical damage you need. Very few things survive the critical touch of
Gobi. That's why it's the Finger of God.. and by God I mean Zeus,
because he's cooler.

Rating: ****
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Thought You Died
Req: level 50
Ranks: 1

Your storied past has fallen from memory 'cause everybody thought you
died. Your Karma is reset, you inflict +10% damage, and for every 100
points of Karma, you gain 10 Health. You are also immune to critical
hits.

First, a brute +10% damage bonus is pretty awesome. Second, be sure to
boost your Karma to the max before getting this perk-the 10 Health per
100 points of Karma is apparently a permanent boost you get when you
pick this perk-view it as trading Karma for Health. Since you can get a
maximum of 1000 Karma, that's 100 points of Health, which is no lean
bit of Health. The critical hit immunity is obligatory for these perks.

This is a balanced offense/defense perk, and really, it's twice as good
as Bloody Mess, and three times better than Life Giver.. with immunity
to critical hits thrown in. I prefer the all-out, all the time offense
of 'Ain't Like That Now', but I can't ignore goodness when I see it.

Rating: *****

Additional Perks						{PRK014}
o======================================================================o
Additional perks are quest-based or challenge-base perks that you get
for completing specific quests and challenges. Some quest-based perks
may be missable, and obviously if you don't buy a certain Implant, you
won't get the related perk. Challenge-based perks unlock automatically
when you meet the conditions.. usually killing so many of a certain
type of enemy, or inflicting a certain amount of damage with a certain
weapon.

Since there are all 'free' perks that can be earned, I won't bother
rating them-there's no real selection pressure for most of these, hence,
there's no such thing as a 'bad' additional perk. There are, however,
some that are quite fantastic, which can affect real perks, and even our
build as a whole. For example, Reinforced Spine gives you a +2 bonus
to Strength, meaning you'll never need more than a base of eight
Strength (or seven, if you get the implant). Also, Heartless makes you
immune to poison-which significantly reduces the threat you'll face from
Cazadors and Nightstalkers. It's almost unfair to get such great "perks"
for free.. but you don't hear me not complaining.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Abominable

Kill 50/100/150 Abominations (Deathclaws, Centaurs, etc.) and you'll
get this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy.
There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Agility Implant

Buy the Agility Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1
bonus to your Agility (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Animal Control

Kill 50/100/150 Animals (Bighorners, Coyotes, Geckos, etc.) and you'll
get this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy.
There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Beautiful Beatdown

Inflict 10,000 damage with Unarmed weapons to obtain this perk, which
reduces the AP Cost of Unarmed attacks in V.A.T.S.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Better Healing

While Arcade is a companion, the player gains more health from all
sources.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Big Brained [Old World Blues]

Complete the quest 'Old World Blues' and reunite with your brain to get
this "perk". Your head cannot be crippled anymore, you are 10% more
resistant to chem addiction, and your have an improved Damage Threshold
of +10% (minimum of +1). This "perk" replaces Brainless.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Brainless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old World Blues' expansion to get this 'perk'. While you have
it, it'll prevent your head from getting crippled, give you +25%
resistance to chem addiction and a +5% bonus to Damage Threshold
(minimum of 1).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Bug Stomper

Kill 50/100/150 Animals (Giant Ants, Radscorpians, etc.) and you'll get
this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy.
There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Camarader-E [Lonesome Road]

As you find 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Boards' in the Divide, ED-E's
capabilities will upgrade, giving you higher ranks in this perk. The
bonuses provided by each rank are as follows:

Rank 1-Weapon Condition Bonus (daily 25% weapon condition repair
       dialogue)
Rank 2-Energy Cell Manufacture (daily Energy or Microfusion Cell
       creation dialogue option)
Rank 3-Increased DT (+2 DT)
Rank 4-Damage Bonus (+5 beam weapon damage)
Rank 5-V.A.T.S. Attack Bonus (+5% V.A.T.S. targeting)

The locations of these upgrades are as follows:

[ ]	Hopetown - Hopeville Missile Silo
	From the entrance, head east into a large room. Go into the
	hallway to the north (through a door with a 'REACTOR' sign
	near it) and on the ground near the 'Hydraulics Access Level
	Three' terminal you'll find a 'Destroyed Eyebot', upon which
	you'll find an 'Eyebot Upgrade Circult Board'.

[ ]	Hopetown - Hopeville Missile Base HQ
	From the entrance, head north into a hallway, then enter the
	first northern room to the east. There's a 'Destroyed Eyebot'
	under a desk in the north-eastern corner of the room.

[ ]	The High Road - Ashton Missile Silo
	At the 'Ashton Silo Control Station' area, take the lift down to
	the Ashton Control Silo. Go through a door to the south-east
	and into the launch-deck level one room-the huge hole in the
	center of the room should be a dead-giveaway. Head across the
	catwalks to the south-eastern side of the room and hack a
	terminal [Hard] to open the nearby door. In the room beyond, on
	the floor, you'll find another 'Destroyed Eyebot'. Loot it for
	another 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Board'.

[ ]	The Divide
	From the Cave of the Abaddon, turn south and explore in that
	direction. Between two ruined buildings to the east you'll see
	a warhead that can be detonated. Blow it up and explore the
	rubble where it was to find a 'Destroyed Eyebot', which contains
	another 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Board'.

[ ]	The Divide - Municiple Sewers
	Reach the Municiple Sewers by head north-west across some
	scaffolding connecting the 'Third Street Municiple Building'
	to a sewer pipe. You'll find a 'Destroyed Eyebot' at the mouth
	of a tunnel heading east. Search it for an 'Eyebot Upgrade
	Circuit Board.'
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Camel of the Mohave

Drink 100 bottles of Purified Water to get this perk, which slightly
increases the H20 restoration provided.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Cardiac Arrest [Old World Blues]

During (or after) the quest 'Old World Blues', once you've reunited with
your brain you'll be able to use the Auto-Doc in the Sink to recover
your heart, which grants this "perk". While you have this "perk" you'll
you'll recieve a 50% resistance to poison and robots suffer a -25%
critical hit chance against you. Healing chems are also more effective.
This "perk" replaces the Spineless "perk".
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Charisma Implant

Buy the Charisma Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1
bonus to your Charisma (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Coin Operator [Dead Money]

Talk to Christine and ask 'Do you know what those machines around the
Villa are?', then say 'Here's a Sierra Madre Chip. I'll need that back.'
Succeed at a [Perception 6] check and an [Intelligence 6] check and
you'll get this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Day Tripper

Use addictive chems (Jet, Psycho, etc) 25 times to get this perk, which
slightly extends the duration of such chems.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Dead Man's Burden [Lonesome Road]

Launch nukes at both the NCR and the Legion during the quest 'The
Apocalypse' to get this perk, which gives you one bonus SPECIAL point
to spend. It also lowers your reputation with the NCR and Caesar's
Legion, but boosts your reputation with the Boomers and the Powder
Gangers. You'll gain access to both the Long 15 and Dry Wells.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Divide Survivor [Lonesome Road]

Stop the missile launch during the quest 'The End'. This will get you
fame with the Brotherhood of Steel and the Followers of the Apocalypse,
as well as the obligatory SPECIAL point to spend.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
DNAgent [Old World Blues]

Complete the quest 'X-8 Data Retrieval Test' to get this perk, which
will give you a +10% damage bonus versus Nightstalkers.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
DNAvenger [Old World Blues]

Kill two/five/ten Cazadors (cumulatively) to recieve a +10%/+20%/+30%
bonus to damage against them.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Elijah's Last Words [Dead Money]

After completing the Dead Money expansion, return to the furnished
room to the south in the Abandoned BoS Bunker and activate the terminal
on the desk. Select the 'Download Holomessage' option and go pay
Veronica a visit (she is, by default at the 188 Trading Post). Talk to
her about Father Elijah until you get the option to say "I found
Elijah'. Say it and go through the dialogue until you get a few
options. Say 'You should watch it' and she'll get this perk, which
improves her attack speed by 150% and gives her a 25% chance to knock
down foes.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Elijah's Ramblings [Dead Money]

After completing the Dead Money expansion, return to the furnished
room to the south in the Abandoned BoS Bunker and activate the terminal
on the desk. Select the 'Download Holomessage' option and go pay
Veronica a visit (she is, by default at the 188 Trading Post). Talk to
her about Father Elijah until you get the option to say "I found
Elijah'. Say it and go through the dialogue until you get a few
options. Say 'Can you unlock it for me first? He was... vague on that
point.' then say 'Yes. It was entrusted to me, not you.' to get this
perk, which increases the critical hit damage you do with melee weapons
by 150%. Score.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Endurance Implant

Buy the Endurance Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1
bonus to your Endurance (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Enhanced Sensors

While ED-E is a companion, the player can detect enemies at an increased
range. Additionally, enemies will appear on the player's compass and can
be targeted in V.A.T.S. even when cloaked.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Fast Times

uSe Turbo twenty times to get this perk, which will give any further
uses of Turbo a duration boost.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Free Radical

Use twenty doses of Rad Away and you'll get this perk, which triples
your Rad Away effectiveness. No, seriously, I went from Rads -15(10s)
to Rads -45(10s).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ghost Hunter [Dead Money]

Talk to Dog after he's eaten a fallen ghost person and select the
dialogue option "I watched you devour one of the ghost people", which
will eventually lead to you getting this perk... which only helps keep
ghost people down.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Heartless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old world Blues' expansion to get this 'perk', which will
make you immune to poison, improve all chems, and reduce chance that a
robot will land a critical hit by 50%. 
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Implant C-13 [Old World Blues]

Find the C-13 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing
People'. This implant scores you a +10% damage bonus versus Cazadores.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Implant M-5 [Old World Blues]

Find the M-5 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing
People'. This implant will increase your sneaking (crouching) speed by
20%. (10,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Implant Y-3 [Old World Blues]

Find the Y-3 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing
People'. This perk removes all radiation from liquid consumed. In other
words, you can drink Dirty Water, Nuka Cola, Sunset Sarsaparilla, etc.,
without getting any Rads. This does not protect you from Rads gained
from water sources external to your inventory (dirty water fountains,
puddles, etc.) (12,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Implant Y-7 [Old World Blues]

Find the Y-7 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing
People'. This perk supposedly increases the Health gained from foods,
although if it actually does, it's not reflected in the item's
description, or in the perk description. Testing with a Bighorner Steak
healed me from 221 HP to 296 HP-75 points-whereas a normal Bighorner
Steak has a healing rate of HP +5(10s), or 50 Hit Points, so this perk
apparently increases the healing value of food by 50%. It also restores
Action Points when you eat food. (20,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In My Footsteps [Dead Money]

When God is a companion, he grants you increased Stealth as well as the
ability to step lightly around placed traps.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Intelligence Implant

Buy the Intelligence Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a
+1 bonus to your Intelligence (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Khan Trick

Complete the quest 'Aba Daba Honeymoon' and you'll be taught this trick
by Diane.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Legion Assault

Talk to Lucius at Caesar's fort and-if you have a good enough
reputation with Caesar's Legion and an Unarmed skill of 50 or higher,
he'll teach you this maneuver.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Lonesome Road [Lonesome Road]

In the Maintenance and Storage Area, right before entering Ulysses'
Temple, you'll get a chance to free Ed-E. If you do NOT free him, you'll
get this perk, which gives you a +10% damage and +10% VATS accuracy
bonus while you're traveling solo.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Lord Death

Kill anything. Alot of anything. You'll get a damage bonus against
everything. There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Luck Implant

Buy the Luck Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus
to your Luck (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Machine Head

Kill 50/100/150 robots and you'll get this perk, which gives you a
damage bonus against robots. There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Marked [Lonesome Road]

Kill enough Marked Men in The Divide and you'll get this perk, which
gives +10% Damage Resistance and +10% Damage versus Marked Men.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Melee Hacker

Inflict 10,000 damage with melee weapons and you'll get this perk, which
increases your attack speed with melee weapons. There are multiple ranks
of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Monocyte Breeder

Buy the Health Regeneration Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to
get this perk (12,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Mutant Massacrer

Kill 50/100/150 Super Mutants and you'll get this perk, which increases
your damage against them. There are multiple ranks of this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Perception Implant

Buy the Perception Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1
bonus to your Perception (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Power Armor Training

Complete the quest 'Eyesight to the Blind' and you'll get this perk,
which allows you to wear all forms of Power Armor.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Quiet as the Waters [Honest Hearts]

While Walking Cloud is in your party, it is much easier to sneak by the
White Legs (their PER is decreased).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ranger Takedown

In Novac you can find Ranger Andy, a retired NCR Ranger who is a down
on himself. Succeed at a Speech challenge and convince him he doesnít
suck and he'll teach you this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Ravenous Hunger [Dead Money]

When Dog is a companion, he'll make sure fallen ghost people stay
down... in gruesome fashion.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Regular Maintenance

While Raul is a companion, the Condition of weapons and armor decays
more slowly.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Reinforced Spine [Old World Blues]

During (or after) the quest 'Old World Blues', once you've reunited with
your brain you'll be able to use the Auto-Doc in the Sink to reattached
your spine, which grants this "perk". While you have this "perk" you'll
get a +2 bonus to Strength and a +2 bonus to Damage Threshold. This
"perk" replaces the Spineless "perk".
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Scribe Assistant

While Veronica is a companion, the player can craft Workbench items
through Veronica's dialogue.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Scribe Counter

Give Veronica some Formal Wear or White Glove Society attire and she'll
offer to teach you this perk.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Scourge of the East [Lonesome ROad]

Launch nukes at the Legion during the quest 'The Apocalypse' to get
this perk, which gives you NCR fame, Legion infamy, one SPECIAL point
to spend, and opens the path to Dry Wells.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Search and Mark

When Rex is a companion, various types of loot (including ammo, chems,
weapons, aid, and some containers) will be highlighted when you aim.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Set Lasers for Fun

Ack, what an awful pun... for shame, Obsidian, for shame... anyways,
you'll get this perk for dealing 16,000 damage with pistol-grip laser
weapons (use Pew-Pew and you'll get this in no time). This perk gives
a small bonus to critical hit chance with all laser weapons.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Sierra Madre Martini [Dead Money]

Talk to Dean Domino to get this perk, which allows you to create said
item.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Signal Interference [Dead Money]

When Christine is a companion, she grants you a short period of time
near a speaker before your bomb collar starts to activate as well as
increasing the amount of time before your bomb collar detonates by 50%.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Spineless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old World Blues' expansion to get this 'perk', which makes
your torso immune to crippling, and gives you a one point bonus to
Strength and Damage Threshold.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Spotter

While Boone is a companion, hostile targets are highlighted whenever the
player is actively aiming.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Stealth Girl

While Lily is a companion, the duration of Stealth Boys is increased by
200% and all Sneak Attack Critical Hits do an additional 10% damage.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Strength Implant

Buy the Strength Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1
bonus to your Strength (4,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Sub-Dermal Armor

Buy the Sub-Dermal Armor Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to
get a +4 bonus to your Damage Threshold (8,000 Caps).
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
The Bear Slayer [Lonesome ROad]

Launch nukes at the NCR during the quest 'The Apocalypse' to get this
perk, which gives you NCR infamy, Legion fame, one SPECIAL point to
spend, and opens the path to the Long 15.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
The Way of the Canaanite [Honest Hearts]

When you have Joshua Graham as a companion, .45 Auto Pistols have less
spread and are twice as likely to score a critical hit.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Tough Guy

I got this perk while messing around, trying to get achievements.
Jumping off cliffs and using Stimpaks is fun! Anyways, you'll get this
for injuring limbs, which is paradoxically easier to do with Small
Frame. That's right, Small Frame, which makes it easier to injure limbs,
make it easier to get Tough Guy, which makes it more difficult to injure
limbs.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Unclean Living [Dead Money]

While Dean Domino is your companion, you'll take less damage from toxic
clouds, and you'll even have a short grace period when you enter them
before taking any damage at all.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Way of the Canaanite [Honest Hearts]

While Joshua Graham is a companion all .45 Auto Pistols have less spread
and are twice as likely to inflict critical hits.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Well-Stacked Cairns [Honest Hearts]

While Follows-Chalk is in your party, reaching any summit in Zion Valley
(such as ranger stations) will reveal all nearby map markers and inspire
a heightened state of awareness (+3 PER) for three minutes.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Whiskey Rose

While Cass is a companion, she and the player gain Damage Threshold when
they drink Whiskey. Additionally, the player does not suffer
Intelligence loss from consuming alcohol and ignores the negative
effects of alcohol addiction.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->

My Personal Build, Perks					{PRK015}
o======================================================================o
These are the perks I choose for my character.. hence the name of the
section. Perks are now more flexible than they ever were before.. having
ten more of them will do that. Anyways, you no longer need both
Comprehension AND Educated. If you get Educated, get it at level four to
maximize its usefulness. If you are playing in Hardcore mode, get
Them's Good Eatin' at level 20 so you can start stocking up on healing
items as soon as possible-having a stockpile of them will make your life
easier. Otherwise.. get perks as you want them, the order is somewhat
unimportant. Also, there is no more 'builds'. With the Ultimate edition
we can max all skills and get.. well, all the great perks, and most of
the useful ones. The character I play is now equally skilled at using
melee/unarmed, energy weapons, and guns, as well as simply talking their
way out of (or into) trouble.. and all the obligatory questing and
exploring skills like Science and Lockpicking are easily maxed. This
character is also designed to handle Hardcore mode, which isn't really
that hard, and doesn't take too many build considerations so much as it
takes a bit of smart playing.. see the Hardcore Mode Blues [HMB001] for
more information. Still, I've left a bit of variability in the guide..
more or less because by the time I hit level 30 I was having serious
trouble picking perks. Really, there's only so many great perks out
there. Below the following list you'll find some perk suggestions.. or
rather, ideas, of how to pick the last few perks. Lastly, don't take
the levels or order too seriously. If you want to boost your Repair
faster to get Jury Rigging, by all means. Still, I had to put them in
an order, even if it's not set in stone. It's more reflective of how
you want to play the game, than anything else.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Level
2	Black Widow/Certified Bachelor
4	Comprehension
6	Toughness (1)	
8	Super Slam
10	Finesse
12	Sniper
14	Hand Loader
16	Better Criticals
18	Commando
20	Them's Good Eatin'
22	Piercing Strike
24	Slayer
26	Nerves of Steel
28	Toughness (2)
30	Jury Rigging
32	Math Wrath
34	Silent Running
36	Grim Reaper's Sprint
38	Bloody Mess
40	Living Anatomy
42	Stonewall
44	***
46	***
48	***
50	Ain't Like That Now/Thought You Died

Agile Assassin: Pick 'Light Touch', 'Cowboy', and 'The Professional',
		to make a badass critical hit junky. Using revolvers
		(like the Ranger Sequoia) when at close-range and
		undetected will murder anything. Not like the Gobi
		already doesn't do this, and at a better range, but
		a +25% damage Brush Gun is nothing to laugh at, either.
		This is for those Pistoleros out there.

Chrono-Crusher:	Get two ranks of the 'Implant GRX' perk and 'Chemist'.
		This will essentially allow you to use a built-in, self-
		replenishing stock of Turbo up to ten times per day.
		It's pretty handy in tough fights to be able to slow
		down time for fairly good stretches of time.. the only
		real downside (besides the whopping three perks) is
		that you have to go into your Pip-Boy to activate each
		dose of the implant. Every. Time. You. Use. It. And

		in case anybody out there is getting clever ideas in
		their heads about amplifying this build with the trait-
		that-shall-not-be-named.. no. Twenty levels and all
		the Hit Points, Perks, and Skill Points that entails is
		NOT worth it. And for those really clever folks out
		there, you cannot use the Auto-Doc in The Sink to pick
		the trait-that-shall-not-be-named after you hit level
		50. Worth a try though, right?

Duke Destructo:	Pick 'Mad Bomber' and as many ranks of 'Demolition
		Expert' as you can.. and/or get 'Hit the Deck'. Granted,
		this approach could take as many as five perks to do
		correctly, depending on your love of Explosives.. and
		your poor accuracy.

Energy Elitist:	Take the 'Laser Commander', 'Plasma Spaz' and 
		'Meltdown' perks. They're not great, but if you're
		dead-set on playing with Energy Weapons all the time,
		you might as well beef them up some.

Shotgun Smiter: Take the 'Shotgun Surgeon' and 'And Stay Down' perks if
		you want to destroy everything with shotguns. Pick up a
		Riot Shotgun, and have fun.

Ultima Utility: Pick 'Burden to Bear', 'Strong Back', and 'Pack Rat'.
		This will allow you to carry all kinds of loot, and in
		Hardcore Mode, 'Pack Rat' will allow you to carry twice
		as much ammo and food.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|		Getting Started in the Mohave {MOH001}		       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
This little section of the FAQ is less character creation and more
character establishment. Since obtaining the Implants from the New
Vegas Medical Clinic greatly affects your character build, it is fairly
essential for a guide of this sort. The early loot locations, unique
weapons, and various exploits are thrown in-just because I like you.

New Vegas Medical Clinic Run					{MOH002}
o======================================================================o
My first goal is to make it all the way to the New Vegas Medical Clinic
as quickly as possible. This is in every way reminiscent of the Rivet
City run from Fallout 3.. except this time around we can score our bonus
Intelligence before we hit level two. We'll do our best to do so, at
least, and since this is a fairly important part of the guide, I'll help
you get there as best as I can. For Hardcore players, you may as well
postpone this journey and try to reach the New Vegas area by questing
your way there.

Save your game before you head off. You never know what might happen,
so play it safe and keep a save of your character before you go
running out into the Mohave.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
1) First step, follow the road south east out of Goodsprings until you
find Jean Sky Diving. From here head east along I-15 until you find
some railroad tracks. You may want to get off I-15 sooner to avoid any
hostile Powder Gangers you see. The Bloatflies in the desert will mostly
leave you alone unless you get too close.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
2) Get on the railroad tracks and follow it south past the Powder Ganger
Camp South area until you reach the Emergency Service Railyard. You now
have to follow the railroad south past Nipton until it connects with a
road running east-west. Don't follow along the road, as there are Viper
Gangers set up in ambush, instead head through the hills to the north of
the road. This will let you bypass the enemies. Once you reach the road
continue east until you find a road sign that directs you to turn north
to find Novac. You now want to continue north up these roads for the
foreseeable future.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
3) You SHOULD find a merchant caravan heading north here. They'll be
attacked by Caesar's Legion Recruits. Stay nearby but don't get
involved in the fight. Once the fight is over, loot the bodies. It
doesn't matter who wins, and none of this gear is going to be all
that useful, but it will sell for enough to earn you a handful of
Caps with which you can gamble yourself a small fortune later. If
you want to play it safe, you can follow the caravan up to Novac,
letting them handle whatever baddies you may find. You will pass near
Ranger Station Charlie on your way north, which can (like all locations)
be avoided if you wish to forgo gaining experience.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
4) Either way, follow the road with the railroad tracks running next
to it to find Novac. North of here you can find the Gibson Scrap Yard
and the HELIOS One power plant. Cross the desert to the east of the
HELIOS One plant and avoid any Fire Ants you find until you find another
road running north-south.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
5) You'll find yourself on I-95, near the El Dorado Gas & Service
station. The road will will run north and connect to I-93 at a site
wisely called the 188 Trading Post. Our journey is, surprisingly, mostly
over. Continue past the 188 Trading Post and follow I-95 west, then
north into the outskirts of New Vegas. When you're getting close you'll
pass under a few underpasses and start seeing billboard signs promoting
the casinos on the strip.
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
6) Once you start find numerous standing buildings.. well, you've
found the outskirts of New Vegas. Visual confirmation can be obtained
by checking to the west to locate the lights of New Vegas in the
not-so-distant distance. The New Vegas Medical Clinic is between the
Crimson Caravan Company to the west, and the Mole Rat Ranch to the
east. I managed to reach this area with a total of 60 experience.

Now that you're here you just need.. oh.. 4,000 Caps to get yourself
a shiny new Implant. There are two feasible ways of doing this.
Scavenging.. I mean, 'prospecting' and selling any and all loot you
find. This route seems the most sensible, but since you will most
likely have to discover new areas and/or kill things, it might be
somewhat counter-productive. The second way is to head west to
Freeside's East Gate. Enter Freeside and find the Atomic Wrangler.
If you are attacked by thugs, just run back to the entrance of
Freeside and let the Bodyguards for Hire kill them. At the Atomic
Wrangler, save your game and play some slots, blackjack, or roulette
to get money.. what else? If you win, save, if you lose, reload. Is
there a better way to make money in a game called Fallout: New Vegas?
I didn't think so. Sure, there's a wait period for reloads..
anti-cheating measure indeed.. but it's a painless way to make money
without leveling up.. so long as you don't accidently complete too
many challenges, anyways. Within 20 minutes I was 4,200 Caps richer,
and off to get my Intelligence Implant.

You can also visit Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan and loot the dead
Van Graff guys there for some Combat Armor, which sells very well if
you're tight on experience. Durable Dunn's is south west of New Vegas,
and can easily be found during your trip there.

			***ALTERNATE ROUTES***			{MOH003}
o======================================================================o
Status: Tested/Dubious Results

My suggestion for how to reach New Vegas is certainly not the quickest
route, but it might just be the safest. I have received several other
route suggestions, which I have tried to duplicate myself with varying
degrees of success. First there's the option to head north of
Goodsprings and run past the Radscorpians and Cazadors.. letís just say
that didn't end well. Between not being able to outpace Cazadors and
hitting invisible walls while trying to climb up rocks, it was just
more trouble than it was worth. Then there is Primm Pass, which was
previously mentioned in this FAQ but removed on the basis of the fact
that there's almost always a Deathclaw in the pass. Lastly there's the
suggestion to head to Hidden Valley, find Neil's Shack, and make your
way along the cliffs there to avoid both Super Mutants and Deathclaws
while heading east, which is actually possible and a good bit quicker.
My way, the worst you'll face are some Bark Scorpions, Coyotes, Mole
Rats, and, if you fail to avoid them, some gangers, most of which aren't
too aggressive and are territorial, so they can be fairly easily
avoided.

			***JACKPOT WINNER***			{MOH004}
o======================================================================o
Status: Tested/Nerfed (Xbox 360, Ultimate Edition)

This 'exploit' has been nerfed a bit by Obsidian, but it still works-
albeit in a more humble, less Cap-ful manner. The winning ceilings for
the casinos are still a bit too low for my liking, and those implants
aren't getting any cheaper. Since you can't really win that much money
at the Atomic Wrangler and stay under the cap.. why not just blow the
winnings cap all to hell? Play Black Jack and win nine times, saving
after every win, and loading after every loss. After nine wins you
should have at least 1800 Caps if you were betting max every time.

Now, if you're level 1, you want to avoid the experience you'll get if
you play a casino game ten times. If you were very conservative on your
way up to New Vegas, there's a chance you'll be able to complete one of
these challenges without leveling up. The idea is to get the
Intelligence implant as early as possible. You know, max skill points
and all that (although with the Ultimate Edition's level cap, you
probably don't need to worry about this as much, I'm just a mindlessly
obsessive perfectionist.) If you're like me, your goal will be to score
2,000 Caps at the Atomic Wrangler, then use those Caps to gain access
to New Vegas-where you can seek much higher winnings at the Ultra-Lux.
Once you have 4,000 Caps (plus extra for future gambling), buy the
Intelligence implant so you can game with impunity..

Once done, get near the caps for every casino by playing Black Jack.
Any game will do, I just score chips fastest with Black Jack. Once you
are as close to the cap as possible, switch to Roulette. In the previous
version of the guide, we'd play slots for its awesome jackpot, but
Obsidian reduced the bets and the payouts on slots, so Roulette is now
a better option. Anyhow, place a bet on any number (27 is my lucky
number, and it comes up often enough for me that I'm bothering to
specifically mention it). With any luck, you'll eventually win and score
that juicy 35:1 payoff-or 7,000 Caps. If you lose too many games, reload
and try again. I typically reload after losing ten games, so when I do
when, I'm break the casino's winnings ceiling by over 5,000 Caps. It's
not nearly as good as we were able to do previously, but it's still
enough to fund pretty much all the implants.

		  	INFINITE EXPERIENCE			{MOH005}
o======================================================================o
Status:	Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, Ultimate Edition)

Another infinite experience glitch, pretty much the same thing as the
one above, but more rewarding, simpler to accomplish, and easier to
reach. Find Deputy Beagle in the Bison Steve in Primm. Don't free him,
instead ask him about the man in the checkered suit who passed through
town. He'll try to negotiate to get himself free. Succeed at a Speech
challenge [Speech 40] and he'll agree to tell you what he knows, without
actually doing so. You'll then get the option to ask him about the
people who came through town again.. which will lead to the Speech
challenge again. Simply continue to succeed at the Speech challenge for
40 EXP a pop to get as much experience as you wish.

Note: This option becomes unavailable after you update the quest 'They
Went That-a-Way', with the information to head to Boulder City.

		          ***"FREE" REPAIRS***			{MOH006}
o======================================================================o
Status: Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)

Get your gear repaired by Paladin Sato (Brotherhood Safehouse), Major
Knight (Mohave Outpost), or your sidekick Raul (Black Mountain/Raul's
Shack), then pick-pocket your Caps back. Talk about a money saver-this
little trick makes perks like Vigilant Recycler and Jury Rigging even
more obsolete! It'll take a few tries-and hence some patience, even
with a fairly high Sneak score, but it is possible. I imagine this is
possible with most any character who will repair stuff for you, but I
have the uncanny knack of failing to pick-pocket people even with (or
I should say, especially with) a Sneak score of 100.

Elite Riot Gear	[Lonesome Road]					{MOH007}
o======================================================================o
After going through the Ashton Silo Control Station and down the
Sunstone Tower Roof you'll be able to find the Third Street Municiple
Building to the south-west. Climb up the debris into the building and
head into the Municipal Sewers. Head through the sewers and take an
alternative exit back to the Divide to the east, where you'll find
yourself on an upper floor. To the north, near a hole in the wall
you'll find a dead NCR Riot Control Ghouls, who can be looted for this
armor. It's one of the strongest suits of Medium Armor in the game,
and it gives several bonuses-the most impressive of which is a +5%
Critical Hit Chance boost. The helmet is kind of assy, though.

Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle					{MOH008}
o======================================================================o
This wonderful weapon is a must if you're a Guns user. To get it, just
head over to the Sniper's Nest area, where you'll find a locked
[Very Hard] footlocker. This gun is inside. Sure, you need a 100
Lockpick skill to get it, but it's slightly more damaging than a normal
Sniper Rifle, carries an extra round per clip, weighs almost half as
much, and has the same skill and strength requirements (75/6,
respectively.)

Pew-Pew								{MOH009}
o======================================================================o
At the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters, cash in your Star Sunset
Sarsaparilla Caps to Festus, then make your way to the southern end of
the level and loot the body of Allen Marks for this interesting little
gun. If you ever wanted to use a pistol Energy Weapon, but didn't want
to sacrifice the YCS/186.. well, this is as good as it gets. It deals
out a whopping 119 damage and has no real requirements. The catch? It
eats up a whopping 15 Energy Cells per shot, and only gets two shots
off per clip. You might not want to use it against groups of enemies,
and against singular foes.. make sure they die in two shots.

Q-35 Matter Modulator						{MOH010}
o======================================================================o
A unique version of the Plasma Rifle, this weapon has the same damage
as a normal Plasma Rifle-but double the DPS. Why? It fires much faster.
Too bad it has half the ammo-but huzzah!-it uses half the ammo per shot.
The skinny? It's requirements for strength are lower and it pumps out
damage faster. To get your hands on it, you'll need to visit the
REPCONN Headquarters. It's on the first level, behind a locked
[Very Hard] door-but you can also use a [Very Hard] terminal! That, or
go up to the second level, then take another door down to the first
level, go through a hole in the floor and bypass all those nasty locks
entirely.

Joshua Graham's Armor [Honest Hearts]				{MOH011}
o======================================================================o
Complete the 'Honest Hearts' expansion and you'll find this armor (along
with every other bit of unique loot worn by NPCs) in a footlocker. This
armor is just great-it gives one less point of Damage Threshold than
Vault 34 Security Armor, but it weighs half as much and it gives a +3%
critical hit chance while you wear it. It's a great suit of light armor.

Remnant Power Armor						{MOH012}
o======================================================================o
One of the most interesting items in the game to find-in part because
it's the most protective armor in the game, but mostly because of the
fighting involved. Head east from the Techatticup Mine across the
Colorado River to find a beach with a slope leading up through the
cliffs. You'll find that this side of the river is infested with Death
Claws. Kill them and search to the south east. Once the first wave is
dead, another pack of Death Claws will spawn, including a Mother Death
Claw and an Alpha Male Death Claw. So long as you stay on cliffs, you
can simply snipe the Death Claws at will. Once they're dead, go search
near where they were walking to find two rather dead people-on one of
which you'll find this armor.

Remnant Power Helmet						{MOH013}
o======================================================================o
Enter the Silver Peak Mine and enter the actual mine through the mine
house. Inside you'll find swarms of Cazedors. Make your way through the
mine to find a tunnel leading up to a ledge in a large room. You'll find
plenty of loot here, including the Remant Power Helmet. Unfortunately,
once you're up on the ledge you'll more Cazedors will spawn, including a
Legendary Cazedor. On the bright side, you just need to make it out
alive to keep your prize.

This Machine							{MOH014}
o======================================================================o
To get ahold of this gun, do errands for Sgt. Daniel Contreras (found
at Camp McCarran Supply Shack). What you'll get us a weapon that does
more damage (per shot, at least) than Gobi. It uses the same .308 ammo,
and hence gets the same wonderful damage boosts from using JSP Hand
Load ammo. With the same strength and skill requirements, it seems like
a pretty obvious compliment for the Gobi, too. If that's not good
enough, it's got an eight round clip and fires twice as fast in
V.A.T.S., making it an ideal short to mid-ranged weapon for when trouble
gets too close. Sure, the Brush Gun out-performs it, but This Machine
is cheaper to use, and doesn't force you to hunt for 45-70 Gov't ammo.

Ulysses' Duster/Ulysses' Mask					{MOH015}
o======================================================================o
Complete the quest 'The End' or 'The Apocalypse' and you'll find a
footlocker with this armor and mask in it back in the Mohave. Or... you
could just kill and loot Ulysses for it. Or both. The armor has decent
Damage Threshold, but more importantly, it's light-weight light armor
that gives a +5% bonus to Critical Hit Chance. The mask that comes with
it isn't too bad, either.

YCS/186 -or- Alien Blaster					{MOH016}
o======================================================================o
Head over to Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, which is north west of New Vegas.
From the Tumbleweed Ranch, head east over some hills. If you have the
Wild Wasteland Trait you'll find a group of Aliens just hanging around.
If you don't, you'll encounter some Mercenaries. Kill them and you'll
obtain the Alien Blaster (in the former case) or the YCS/186, a unique
version of the Gauss Rifle. Sure, the Alien Blaster has a ridiculous
critical hit rate, but since the YCS/186 is the best long-ranged Energy
Weapon in the game, and quite possibly the best sniper weapon overall
(certainly the most damaging), we'll consider it the real prize.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|		      Hardcore Mode Blues {HMB001}		       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
When I picked up the Ultimate Edition for Fallout: New Vegas, I knew I
would have to start a whole new character to write an update to this
guide.. so I figured I'd just do the whole next playthrough in Hardcore
mode, instead of just dabbling in it like I did in the original versions
of the guide. This section will give some pointers to new players, or
old players who haven't tackled hardcore mode yet. But first, a word of
encouragement; Hardcore mode isn't very hardcore. Certainly having the
Ultimate Edition to give us the ability to max all our skill points
helps, but that's besides the point. The mere fact that I don't have any
real seperate build suggestions (save the odd, optional, convenience
perk or two) for Hardcore mode gamers and normal gamers should say
plenty.

Survival of the Skilled						{HMB002}
o======================================================================o
If you're playing in Hardcore mode, an obvious move to make is to boost
your Survival skill score. Tag! it, and boost it to 80 as soon as 
possible. This will make the restorative effects of food and water more
potent, as well as allowing you to make superior meals at campfires.

H20								{HMB003}
o======================================================================o
Water is a constant concern in Hardcore mode, as it's the status that
degrades the fastest. If you have the Ultimate Edition installed, then
you'll start out with a Vault 13 Canteen, which you'll automatically
drink from occassionally. This mitigates-but doesn't eliminate-the need
for water. Fortunately there exist plenty of sources of clean water you
can drink-for free! In pretty much every casino in New Vegas (even the
Atomic Wrangler in Freeside) has free water, as well as the troths at
Goodsprings Source, and.. well, the whole freaking Colorado River. I
never had to worry about dehydration, and neither will you.

Food								{HMB004}
o======================================================================o
Keeping yourself fed is a secondary concern in Hardcore mode, as you'll
need food less often than water. Fortunately, getting plentiful food is
quite easy to do. There are several locations where you can find herds
of Bighorners, which can be killed by even low-level characters wielding
melee weapons. Bighorner Meat can be turned into Bighorner Steak at any
campfire, which becomes a great source of food, and healing, in a pinch.
Places to find Bighorners include; along the railroad south-east of
Goodsprings, north of Bonnie Springs, in the mountains west of New
Vegas (around Ruby Hill Mine), and around the Wrecked Highwayman south
of Novac. These aren't the only places where they can be found, and
they aren't guaranteed to be free of risk (poke around the mountains
too much and you'll certainly find Cazadors, for example), but with a
little caution Bighorners will provide for all your food needs. A
Bighorner Bull gives 50 EXP, and will often drop 3-5 pieces of meat.

Sleep								{HMB005}
o======================================================================o
Sleep is the least of our concerns, and if you find that you're failing
in Hardcore mode because of sleep deprevation.. well, then you really
just need to quit now. There are beds all over the place. The only
concern with sleeping is that passing the time raises your other needs.
So.. sleep in a hotel, a safehouse, or near the Goodsprings Source,
somewhere near water.

'Tis But a Flesh Wound..					{HMB006}
o======================================================================o
Healing in Hardcore mode is another, more serious problem. You have
plenty of ways to get food, water, and kip, but healing takes time, and
resources. You'll have to use a variety of methods to keep your health
up. These methods aren't exclusive-you'll have to be a lot more careful
when you're lower level and have fewer resources, and over time
'graduate' to simpler methods. 

  -->	First, for low level characters, just drink from a clean water
    	source. Each sip will heal you.. a tiny amount. The downsides
	are obvious, it's annoying to sit there and click fifty times
	until you're healed, and most of the safe sources of clean water
	are in towns. Cutting short your exploration is a bother.

  --> 	As you accumulate resources and levels, Bighorner Steak becomes
	a decent source of healing, as well as food. Ignore your hunger
	until you get hurt, and chow down on some steak. It'll heal
	about 50 Hit Points per steak. Not great, but a hell of a lot
	more convenient than finding water, and cheaper than a Stimpak.

  --> 	Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant. This will cause you to slowly
    	regenerate. It won't save you in a fight, but it will allow you to
    	wait and heal a bit. Also, just fast-travelling from place to
    	place will heal you. It's great supplemental healing.. if you're
    	not shot up going into a fight, chances are you won't need
	healing to stay alive.

  --> 	When you hit level 20, get the perk 'Them's Good Eatin'', which
    	will cause living enemies to drop Blood Sausage or Thin Red
	Paste 50% of the time. Most enemies in the game are living, and
	they don't have to be particularly strong-a Bloatfly will drop
	you these great healing items as often as a Deathclaw. Plus,
	you'll often get multiple drops when an enemy has these items on
	them. Both these items heal more Hit Points than a Stimpak, and
	you'll be able to get your hands on far, far more without
	spending a single cap. Sure, they have weight, but Thin Red
	Paste only weighs 1/10th of a pound. You can spare five pounds
	of carry weight to drag fifty of these around.. and there's a
	good chance you'll constantly replenish your stock as you go.

Ammo Weight Hate						{HMB007}
o======================================================================o
One of the biggest pains of Hardcore mode is ammo weight. This is
especially damning if you use Energy Weapons, as Energy Weapon ammo just
weighs too damn much (save Electron Charge Packs). Still, how many
ranged weapons do you tend to carry around at once? Personally, I only
tend to have one-the Gobi gets everything done. The fewer different
weapons you have, the less different types of ammo you need. Just be
frugal, only take one good ranged weapon, and a moderate supply of its
ammo. This works better with the Ultimate Edition build, since we can
now freely invest in Melee Weapons and Unarmed-they don't require ammo,
and they can deal with any enemy that gets too close, eliminating any
need for a short-to-mid range alternative.

And Then There Was One..					{HMB008}
o======================================================================o
When your allies bite the dust, they die for good in Hardcore Mode.
Easily one of the most annoying aspects of Hardcore Mode, there are a
few ways to mitigate ally deaths.

--> Keep healing items on your allies. It's not always convenient in a
    gun fight to run up to your buddy and tell them to heal themselves.

--> Give them the best armor. Lets face it, Enclave Armor looks stupid,
    they'll be able to wear it before you will, and nobody wants to walk
    around that slowly. Plus, unless you have the worst gaming reflexes
    ever, you'll avoid damage better than any ally will.

--> Most importantly, if you're going into a fight where you just can't
    babysit them the whole time, make them wait somewhere out of the
    fire. Hordes of Cazadors and packs of Deathclaws are usually where
    I draw the line, especially since I tend to rely on long-range
    sniping to deal with them.. or at least thin the herd.

--> Use weapons that don't inflinct collateral damage. This should be
    pretty easy, since most dangerous auto-fire weapons are low-damage,
    high DPS affairs.. which is to say, they suck against anything that
    is armored and dangerous.

First Do No Harm						{HMB009}
o======================================================================o
Doctors are an obvious source of health in the wasteland. Do not be
afraid to visit a doctor to cure your Rads or heal you. Early on, it's
easier to just pay the 50 Caps for a full healing at Goodsprings (limbs
and all) than it is to use healing items. And if you wait until your
Rad count is high (600+) it'll probably be cheaper to just pay 100 Caps
to get rid of your Rads than it is to use RadAway.

Don't Mind the Grind						{HMB010}
o======================================================================o
The higher your level, the more resources you'll have to deal with your
needs. Get your Survival skill high, and you'll need to eat less. Get
your Lockpick score high and you'll be able to get the godly Gobi. Once
you can obliterate Super Mutants, you can scourge Black Mountain for
valuable weapons. It's all got to start somewhere. Don't be afraid to
take your time, visit familiar locales for water and rest, and grind
Bighorners for food and experience.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			  Expansion Info {EXP001}		       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
People have been pestering me to do a full walkthrough for Fallout: New
Vegas for a while now. Perhaps they don't realise how much time and work
guides like that take, or perhaps they do, and they're just selfish
assholes. Just because I wrote a huge guide for Fallout 3.. anyways, in
this section I'll inch ever-so-slightly closer to a walkthrough.. by
providing some more information that probably doesn't belong in a
character creation guide. Eventually, such nonsense additions might
prompt me to make a full guide around this character creation guide
(it's how the Fallout 3 guide got started).. or it might not. In either
event, that doesn't mean I won't try and justify this addition. In this
section I'll talk briefly about the different expansions for the game,
what foes you can expect, what weapons can be found, and so forth. This
will allow you to know a bit before you step foot into an expansion
(one-way trips suck).

Dead Money
o======================================================================o
This expansion is horrible. I hate it, but don't just take me at face
value-I've got reasons! First, the enemies-there are three different
types of the same enemy-they look the same, they just have slightly
different weapons and move around differently. That's it. Radroaches
don't count, and neither due the invincible holograms, since you can't
fight them in any meaningful way. They're more puzzle elements than
foes..

..Yeah, that's right, this expansion is more of a puzzle-game than an
RPG-shooter. Puzzles in RPGs are fine, but here, they predominate
gameplay, and they are the loathesome trial-and-error instant death
kind of puzzles. Without giving too much away, you'll have to spend
quite a bit of time looking for radios. Stay near one too long-you die.
Sometimes they're simple radios you can just turn off-if you find them,
which isn't always simple, since you can be killed by their effects
through walls, floors, and if the damn thing isn't in an obvious place,
you really don't have too much time to go searching behind or under
objects to find them. If that's not bad enough, sometimes you have to
find speaker systems on the walls-again, take too long, you die. Looking
for an obscure little blue light indicating a speaker as an indicator
beeps signaling your impending doom is no fun. If you do spot them,
however, you can just shoot them and get on with your life. Unless
they're shielded. Then you can't shoot them, you need to find a terminal
to shut them off. So, keep an eye out for radios, speakers, and
terminals-sometimes in overlapping combinations. And if that fails? You
just need to make a run of faith and hope that you can get through the
area without dying.

But, maybe I'm just an unobservant loser? Probably. But it doesn't
help that you're forced to look for these stupid things while the game
constantly is draining your life in all outdoor areas. Albeit slowly,
but surely. Also, fogs of toxin exist that drain your life quite
quickly. On top of that, the enemies you fight aren't terrible
slouches in combat-many of them have as many Hit Points (or more) as
my level 50 character did. On top of that, the weapons native to this
expansion almost exclusively suck (save the Police Pistol, which is a
thankfully decent ranged weapon). Sure, that works both ways, the
critters you'll be fighting are using the same crappy weapons, but they
don't have to endure dozens of fights like we do, and they are immune
to all the environmental hazards. And in case you're wondering-you
don't get to bring anything, ANYTHING, with you. No food, no guns, no
ammo, no armor.

In the end, it's a frustrating expansion that focuses on stealth,
survival, and puzzle-solving. None of its parts are fun, however. To
summarize, if you like having to sneak past invincible holograms while
taking environmental damage constantly and unavoidably, facing strong
foes that can seldom be avoided, and searching for proximity-based
instant-death objects with none of the gear from the rest of the game,
then this is your expansion. Oh, plus a number of escort missions.
Yeah. They really took everything that sucks about video games and
heaped them into this expansion. This is even more brutal in Hardcore
mode. Them's Good Eats' is the only reason I survived. You'll be
using melee weapons alot, if for no other reason than because ammo is
pretty scarce.

On the very, very minor plus side, you can score Sierra Madre Armor,
Reinforced, and Sierra Madre Helmet, Reinforced. Both of which are
light armor with absolutely magnificent Damage Thresholds-18 for the
armor, 5 for the helemt, which out-competes even Vault 34 Security
Armor.. making it one of the best suits of light armor you can wear.
I can honestly say this was the worst part of this game-besides the
armor, the only redeeming quality was Christine trying to communicate
with you. It reminded me of Planescape: Torment, for some reason..

Honest Hearts
o======================================================================o
The second expansion for Fallout: New Vegas.. eh.. I don't find this one
very appealing. First, the two main characters here are both religious
nuts, which I have little tolerance for, even in a video game. This
expansion is like all the boring parts of Fallout 2-magnified. Dealing
with idiot tribals.. ah well. There's just very little of interest in
this expansion. Between a conflict that's hard to really give a crap
about, and a poor selection of lame enemies, or idiot tribals absurdly
armed with Anti-Material Rifles, it's got some flaws.

You should try to stick to ranged weapons in this expansion. Many foes
exist here that are pretty brutal in melee combat. Giant Green Geckos,
Giant Yao Guai, Giant Cazadors.. yeesh.. this place just sucks. It's
nothing the Gobi can't handle.. unfortunately, you have a weight
restriction before you can journey here, meaning you can only carry so
much crap. Also, there's not a single owned bed you can get a full
night's rest in, so in Hardcore Mode you'll have to provide for healing.
Them's Good Eatin' comes in very handy here, but you can also blow
through Stimpaks, or spend minutes mindlessly clicking away at sources
of water. On that note, water is not an issue here, there's plenty of
it all over, so drink to your heart's content. Crippled limbs, however,
are another story. In Hardcore Mode, your best bet is just to make
Healing Poultices (which also heal for a phenomonal amount) to cure
limb condition. Harvestable plants are quite numerous here.

Since a good portion of your foes will be tribals, you'd think that
they'd be somewhat light on weapons.. but apparently not. There's a
weak excuse for why your foes will have so many weapons, but it still
seems absurd that half of them have 12.7mm Submachine Guns and Anti-
Material Rifles. Failing that, they have Shiskebabs and Fire Axes, both
of which are fairly potent in melee. I did, however, bring 300~ rounds
of .308 JSP for my Gobi, and that was able to blast through Zion pretty
well.. at least against foes I didn't want to melee. For critters that
weren't so intimidating, I just used an upgraded War Club. Its damage
was mediocore, but with Slayer and the War Club Honors upgrade, it
swung so fast it looked like I was simply waving the stick in front of
me. This meant I could hit most foes 3-4 times for every hit they could
get on me-and Super Slam did its work murderously well. On the allied
side, there are also .45 Auto Pistols, which are the favored weapon of
the Dead Horse tribe. If you've been dying for pistol play.. well,
these are pretty good. I used them simply because the ammo was
plentiful. If you are a fan of high DPS weapons, rejoice-this expansion
is unusually populated with low Damage Theshold foes.. of course, it's
also very restrictive with what you can bring, so you probably won't
be able to bring enough ammo to make the most of high DPS weapons.
Ah hell, high DPS weapons just suck no matter what.

To summarise, it's a short and not terribly interesting expansion with
some decent weapons. I used the Gobi a good bit here, as half the damn
foes could deal over 100 damage in melee, and brought a supply of
Brahmin Steak. Food is fairly easy to get, given that there are Geckos
here, but it never hurts to have a surplus. There are three companions
you can get for a while, although two of them suck hard. The real treat
here are the unique items you'll get at the end. Joshua Graham's Armor
is probably my favorite, as it has a Damage Threshold of 15 (nearly as
much as Vault 34 Security Armor), is Light Armor, gives a +3% bonus
critical chance, and weighs half as much as Vault 34 Security Armor.
You can also get Salt-Upon-Wounds' Helmet, which gives a Damage
Threshold bonus of 5, is Light Armor, and gives a +2% critical chance
bonus as well as an (unnecessary) +5 bonus to Sneak. Even with the
Damage Threshold, however, I still prefer the 1st Recon Beret. Looks
less stupid, and.. well, I'd take 3% more critical chance over 5 Damage
Threshold. Seems less important when most foes are hitting you for
chunks of your life bar. It's got some good gear, but it's not a trip
you'll mind returning home from-for all the wrong reasons. Grab some
ammo and some food, and put down your good book. God isn't going to save
Zion, as usual.

Old World Blues
o======================================================================o
The third expansion is perhaps my favorite of the bunch, and certainly
the most lucrative.. those two are probably connected somehow. Anyways,
for you Hardcore Mode gamers, know that this expansion is VERY generous.
You'll have a bed and plenty of storage space, so you can easily
recover health and heal crippled limbs. Also, with a little searching
you can gain access to an Auto-Doc (which can heal your rads, as well
as anything else that might be wrong with you) and a sink that'll give
you as much clean water as you want. Food, however, you'll have to
provide yourself, as the food you can find in the expansion just isn't
enough to sustain you indefinately. Still, if you bring a score of
Bighorner Steaks, you should have enough food for all the exploring you
could hope to do.

This expansion heavily favors melee weapons, unarmed, and energy
weapons. You'll find guns on human foes (even Brush Guns, which are
pretty rare in the Mohave), but nothing will top the Gobi, if you bring
it. Most of the time I relied on Protonic Inversal Axes and Super-Heated
Saturnite Fists, the former for machines, and the latter for everything
else. I'd say bring the Gobi, and leave everything else behind-it's a
very easy expansion to beat by just going with the native weaponry.

Half the foes are robots, half are organic.. eh, roughly. More or less.
Anyways, having Robotics Expert and Certified Tech will get more use in
this expansion than anywhere else, but the organic enemies aren't
push-overs. They included crazed Lobotomites, suped up Cazadors and
Nightstalkers. Don't worry about poison, however. You'll get a perk at
the beginning of the expansion that makes you immune to poison-one you
can keep for the rest of the game.

To sum it up, there are lots of robots, but new weapons allow you to
deal with robots more effectively than ever. Travel light, even if you
are in Hardcore Mode-not because you need to, but because this expansion
is very generous. Take your Gobi, some .308 JSP ammo, and some food..
and all the weightless crap you normally bring. Once done, pick up some
of the expansion's excellent new melee weapons and unarmed weapons,
enjoy a few great perks, and smash some heads-for science!

Lonesome Road
o======================================================================o
The last expansion is.. well, it's pretty good, I'd put it right behind
Old World Blues. It's not funny, but at least it involves your 
protagonist alot more than Honest Hearts and Dead Money did. The
enemies have never been stronger, and there's not much in the way of
native healing.. but you can come and go as you please, and bring any
gear with you that you want, making it very accessible. Bring whatever
you'd normally bring with you while you were traveling around in the
Mohave.

Since you can return to the Mohave at any time, there's really no need
to immerse yourself in the expansion-specific weaponry.. which is fine,
because save for a few new melee weapons most of your foes will use
high-end weapons like Riot Shotguns, Anti-Material Rifles, Heavy
Incinerators, and the like. Besides the 'Marked Men', which are just
Ghouls flavored with NCR and Legion symbols, you'll face Tunnelers
and Deathclaws-both of which appear in decent numbers and are
absolutely wretched in melee combat. Going toe-to-toe with foes is
not a good survival technique in this expansion. So like with most
things.. Gobi rules supreme. Most foes are living save a few robots and
turrets you'll fight irregularly.

I bring the Gobi, a modest supply of .308 JSP Hand Load ammo, a few
bits of Blood Sausage, and I'm good to go. Some areas, like the 
Courier's Mile will test your build to the max-Irradiated Death Claws
are no joke, and their sheer melee badness drives home the absurdity
of relying on Damage Threshold against high-damage foes. You'll really,
really be glad you are a competent sniper if any of these hit you..
although if you were more competent, they would be able to, right?
The extraneous areas also feature huge doses of radiation, so come to
them prepared with plenty of Rad-X and RadAway. Take a trip down
memory lane.. a Lonesome Road, indeed.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			      Books {BOK001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
In this section I will list the books I have found so far in this game.
If they're not listed here, it doesn't mean they don't exist, it just
mean I have not personally found them, and hence, have no business
commenting on their locations. As a rule of thumb there are about four
of each type of book in the game, save Big Books of Science.

Big Book of Science (7)						{BOK002}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Brewer's Beer Bootlegging
	In the cellar, in the back room. The book is on a table next to
	a chemistry set.

[ ]	Camp Forlorn Hope - Camp Forlorn Hope Command Center
	In the south eastern corner of the command tent, on a table.

[ ] 	HELIOS One - HELIOS One Power Plant
	In order to get this you'll need to side with Ignacio Rivas
	during the quest 'That Lucky Old Sun' and distribute power
	evenly to all the settlements. Since the alternatives-pissing
	off the NCR or helping Fantastic-are both unsavory, this isn't
	too terrible of an option, anyways.

[ ]	Nipton - Town Hall Steyn's Office
	This book is in Steyn's Office (the room, not just the level),
	on the desk near 'Mayor Steyn's Terminal.'

[ ] 	REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Offices Main Level
	In the first room of the REPCONN tour you'll find a door to the
	east that leads to the Gift Shop. Inside the Gift Shop there is
	a locked [Hard] door to the north. The book is inside, on a
	metal shelf.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Executive Suites
	In Vera's room (the south-eastern-most room of the level), on
	a bookshelf full of Pre-War Books.

[ ]	[Old World Blues] Y-0 Research Center
	South of the Y-0 Research center there are a number of crashed
	trucks. South-east of these trucks, near the cliff face, you'll
	find this book on the ground, near a skeleton and a duffle bag.

Chinese Army: Spec. Ops. Training Manual (7)			{BOK003}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Camp Searchlight - Searchlight Church Basement
	You can find this basement within a chapel on the eastern end of
	Searchlight. The book is on the floor near some metal shelves.

[ ]	Goodsprings - Goodsprings Home
	In the house east of the Goodsprings Schoolhouse, this book is
	in the living room (in the north east corner of the area map).
	It's on a bookshelf amongst a bunch of other, mundane, books.

[ ]	NCR Sharecropper Farms - Sharecropper Barracks
	This book is in the south eastern corner of the barracks, on
	the floor near a desk, on top of some papers.

[ ]	Vault 3 - Vault 3 Living Quarters
	When entering from the Vault 3 Entrance you'll find a locked
	door [Average] at the bottom of the staircase. Get inside and
	you'll find this book on a bookshelf near the door.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Puesta del Sol North -
		     Puesta del Sol Switching Station
	From the 'Remote Maintenance Terminal' (Christine's post for
	triggering the Gala)-in the south-western corner of the
	eastern-most room-head east, then north out onto the catwalks.
	Just before the turret there's a broken section of catwalk to
	the west. Jump there and explore the catwalks to the south,
	near the electronics. You'll find this book on the floor of the
	catwalk.

[ ]	[Old World Blues] X-13 Testing Facility
	In the room with the torso armor of the Stealth Suit Mk II, on
	the floor between two damaged prototypes.

[ ]	[Old World Blues] X-13 Stealth Testing Facility -
			  X-13 Stealth Testing Lab
	Complete all three Infitration Tests (Basic, Advanced, and
	Expert) to upgrade the Stealth Suit Mk II, then complete the
	Robot Compliance Test. Once you succeed, this book will be in
	the 'Reward Safe' near the 'Test Terminal'.

D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine (5)				{BOK004}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	HELIOS One - HELIOS One Power Plant
	In the upstairs bedroom, on the bed.

[ ] 	Mesquite Mountains Crater - Hell's Motel
	In the first room, this book is on a counter along the northern
	wall, behind a globe, harmonica, and an ashtray.

[ ]	Novac - Ranger Andy's Bungalow
	This book is on the bed in Ranger Andy's house.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Villa - Clinic Basement
	Unlock the door to the basement [Hard] and head downstairs into
	the room with the 'Clinic Power Status Terminal'. The book is on
	the shelf of a doorless metal locker along the northern wall.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Buried Buildings
	Enter the Cave of the Abaddon and travel through it to reach
	the Buried Buildings. You'll find this book in the room right
	before you can enter into the Divide again, on the floor
	under/near a chair and a nightstand in the southern corner of
	the room.
	
Dean's Electronics (6)						{BOK005}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Abandoned BoS Bunker - Brotherhood of Steel Bunker
	Go down the stairs and head down the tunnel to the west, taking
	the first left (south). The book is in the room at the end of
	the hall, on a shelf near a bunch of books. You will need to
	hack a terminal [Average] to gain access to the room this book
	is in.

	(Note: The Abandoned BoS Bunker is part of the Dead Money
	expansion. You must have this expansion installed to be able
	to get this book, although technically you can get the book
	without really starting the Dead Money questline. Alternatively,
	if you have the unpatched version of the original Fallout: New
	Vegas you can get this book, as the developers apparently forgot
	to lock the Abandoned BoS Bunker. If you do not have the Dead
	Money expansion installed, and you are playing a patched version
	of the game, you cannot get this book.. legitimately, anyways.)

[ ]	Nellis Air Force Base - Loyal's House
	You can find this book on the table along the southern side of
	the room, near a broken computer.

[ ]	Sloan - Worker Barracks
	In the Worker Barracks, on a shelf in the eastern corner. The
	book is near a radio. There is also a Duck and Cover! in the
	same room.

[ ]	Southern Nevada Wind Farm - Wind Farm Maintenance Shack
	This book is on the tables in the middle of the room.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Puesta del Sol North -
		     Puesta del Sol Switching Station
	Make your way east from the entrance, shooting speakers as
	necessary to progress. Eventually you'll come to a large,
	multi-leveled room with catwalks. You'll have to cross through
	some toxin on the ground level and go up some stairs to reach
	the catwalks on the eastern side of the room. On top of the
	stairs you should see some electronics on the eastern wall with
	a black arrow pointing south. Save your game. Follow the
	catwalk south and your collar will start beeping. Continue
	following the catwalk-quickly-into a room. At the northern end
	of the room you'll find a corpse, near which is this book.
	You'll need to disarm the terminal [Easy] to shut off the
	speakers and keep your head, but be wary-there's a tripwire
	in front of the terminal that'll drop grenades on you. It's
	possible-if you're careful-to hack the computer and turn off
	the speakers without disturbing the tripwire. Christine's 
	'Signal Interference' perk makes this easier, but isn't strictly
	necessary.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville Missile Silo
	From where you find the first Destroyed Eyebot head east to
	enter a room with a missile in it. On the eastern side of the
	room, on the floor near the wall by some desbris you'll find
	this book.

Duck and Cover! (5)						{BOK006}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Mohave Outpost - Mohave Outpost Barracks
	You'll find this guy behind the bar in the first room. It's in
	a cupboard built into the bar counter facing the door, near the
	floor.

[ ]	Nellis Air Force Base - Pearl's Barracks
	In the room with two couches you'll find a bookshelf along the
	wall to the south, south-east. The book is standing between a
	bunch of Pre-War Books. Note that this is also the shelf with
	some 40mm Grenades and a Grenade Rifle on it.

[ ]	Ranger Station Foxtrot
	This book is in the tent, on the table next to the radio.

[ ]	Sloan - Worker Barracks
	On the metal locker to the left (the unlocked one), on a shelf
	near some ruined Pre-War Books.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Collapsed Overpass Tunnel
	From the exit to The High Road head south until you find a
	sandbag barrier, behind which is a small camp. In a metal box
	you'll find a Teddy Bear, underneath which is this book.

Grognak the Barbarian (6)					{BOK007}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Cannibal Johnson's Cave
	On the corner of the mattress near the fire.

[ ]	Cottonwood Cove - Office of Aurelius of Phoenix
	In the south western corner of the room, on a bedside table.

[ ]	Hidden Supply Cave
	On top of a crate south of the first aid box.

[ ]	Jacobstown - Jacobstown Bungalow
	In front of the Jacobstown Lodge is a lake, to the east of which
	lie several bungalows. In the southern-most bungalow you'll find
	this book. It's on the floor in front of the stove.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Villa - Police Station Basement
	In the north-western room, on the floor in front of some filing
	cabinets.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Women's Barracks
	In the smaller, southern room, on a small desk against the
	southern wall. This book is on top of a Small Scorched Book.

Guns and Bullets (6)						{BOK008}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Gomorrah Main Level
	In Big Sal's office, on a bookshelf along the south-western
	wall.

[ ]	Nevada Highway Patrol Station
	Inside the station, on top of the southwestern most desk in the
	first room.

[ ]	Raul's Home
	This book is inside a wooden crate on the floor near the
	entrance.

[ ]	Vault 34 - Armory
	In the room with the couches and pool table in the north
	eastern corner of the level. The book is on a metal object.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Sierra Madre Casino
	Head up to the bar on the second floor and turn west. Jump on
	a support beam and follow it west until you see the cashier's
	cage to the south. From the support beam, jump over the barrier
	and into the cashier's cage. This book is on the floor, near
	some filing cabinets.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Armory
	In the north-eastern corner of the room, on the floor under a
	desk.

Lying, Congressional Style (6)					{BOK009}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch - Tumbleweed Ranch House
	On the second floor on the shelf of a locker.

[ ]	Cerulean Robotics
	In Freeside you'll find the Cerulean Robotics building, inside
	of which you can nab this book. It's in the north-eastern room
	(the room with the rows of desks and the conveyor belt) on the
	floor near a chair.

[ ]	Lucky Jim Mine - Lucky Jim Mine House
	You can find this book in the southern corner of the house, on
	a metal shelf near the floor.

[ ]	NCR Correctional Facility - NCRCF Administration
	On the second level, in the room across from the Warden's Office
	(the room in the north eastern corner of the level.) The book is
	on a desk near a broken computer terminal.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Sierra Madre - The Tampico
	In the theatre, go up the stairs in the north-eastern corner of
	the room and you'll reach the projection room. This book is on
	a metal shelf, near a fan.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Third Street Municipal Building
	Head up into the building, through the Municipal Sewers, and
	onto the upper floor. This book is on the floor under a desk
	on the eastern side of this level. Note that this is the
	same level of the building where you can score the Elite Riot
	Gear.

Nikola Tesla and You (6)					{BOK010}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Hidden Valley - Hidden Valley Bunker L1
	In the Surgery room where Scribe Schuler spends most of her
	time, in a plastic bin next to the desk.

[ ]	Old Nuclear Test Site - Nuclear Test Shack
	This book is on a table along the south eastern wall of the
	shack, under another book near a Hunting Shotgun.

[ ]	REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Office 2nd Floor
	In the north eastern corner of the level, on a desk next to a
	terminal [Very Easy] from which you can add your facial data to
	the database for the 2nd floor.

[ ]	REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Office Main Floor
	In the north western corner of the level, behind a locked door
	[Very Hard]. This book is on top of a safe, amidst numerous
	Microfusion Cells. Note that it's possible to reach this room
	by going through a locked door [Hard] on the REPCONN Office 2nd
	Floor.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Sierra Madre Vault
	When you reach the vault door, turn south and jump on some
	pipes below the floor (you should see a skeleton on them, and
	yes, you'll have to endure toxin.) You can find this book in
	'Sinclair's Bag', which is between the two pipes, near the
	skeleton. To get out of the poison, head east along the pipe,
	jump up onto a pipe valve, then onto an elbow pipe. Note that
	this is one of the few books in the game that you can actually
	miss.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville Missile Base HQ
	From the entrance head south to immediately find some
	bookshelves. This book is located under a 'Large Burned Book'	
	on the lowest shelf of the southernmost bookshelf.

Pugilism Illustrated (6)					{BOK011}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Fisherman's Pride Shack
	This book is in the eastern corner of the shack, on a table near
	the bed.

[ ] 	Nipton Road Reststop - Nipton Road General Store
	This book is on a wooden shelf along the southern wall.

[ ]	The Tops Casino - The Tops Presidential Suite
	In the first room you enter after taking the elevator, on a
	table in the north western corner of the room. You can get
	access to this room by being a high-roller (win 7500 or so
	Caps at casino games) or by hearing Benny out.

[ ]	Vault 11 - Vault 11 Living Quarters
	From the door leading to Vault 11, head down the stairs into
	the first room. Head through a door to the south and go down
	some more stairs. At the bottom turn west where you'll find four
	rooms. The book is in the second room on the right, on the floor
	near an overturned dresser.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Villa
	As soon as you start the expansion, you'll talk to Father
	Elijah, who will project an image of himself over a fountain.
	You can find this book immediately after talking to him, by
	searching the floor along the northern end of the fountain.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Wastewater Treatment Plant
	From the entrance, head south-west, then south-east to find a
	room occupied by some Marked Men. Kill them and head up some
	stairs to the north. In this room jump behind the lockers in
	the northeastern corner to find this book on the floor.

Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (6)				{BOK012}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Allied Technologies Offices
	In the south west corner of the level, on the floor just north
	of the Nuka-Cola Vending Machines.

[ ]	Cap Counterfeiting Shack
	Enter the Cap Counterfeiting Shack and go through a cellar door
	to reach.. well, the cellar. Go down some stairs and search the
	suitcases near the bed along the south eastern wall. This book
	is on top of one of the suitcases.

[ ]	Primm - The Bison Steve Hotel
	In the north eastern corner of the level you'll find the Gift
	Shop. The book is behind the counter, on top of a lock safe
	[Hard].

[ ]	Vault 22 - Pest Control
	Take the Elevator down from any level to Pest Control. From
	where you arrive head east and take the first left, which will
	take you up two flights of stairs and ultimately into a lab.
	The book is inside the lab, on a counter near a chemistry set
	along the northern end of the room.

[ ]	[Dead Money] Salida del Sol South
	From the exit leading to Salida del Sol North, head south over
	a railing, onto a balcony, through a ruined wall and into a
	room. You'll find this book on a shelf below a terminal.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Basement
	On a gore-strewn counter in the north-western corner of the
	basement. This book is tastefully nestled in amongst some
	bloody bits.

Tumblers Today (5)						{BOK013}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Bitter Springs Recreation Area - Bitter Springs Recreation
					 Office
	In the room to the south, on a desk near a paperweight and a
	broken terminal. Note that Bitter Springs and Bonne Springs are
	not the same area, and that Bitter Springs Recreation Area is
	not a sub-area of Bitter Springs. It's got its own map marker
	and everything.

[ ]	Silver Peak Mine - Silver Peak Mine Shack
	Along the northeastern wall of the shack you'll find some
	lockers. This book is inside one of the bottom lockers, near
	the floor. Note that the Silver Peak Mine itself contains the
	Remnant Helmet, which is yours for the taking.. if you're up to
	fighting some Cazadors, that is.

[ ]	The Prospector's Den
	Inside the actual den, in the middle room. The book is on the
	floor by the bed in the north eastern corner of the room.

[ ]	Wolfhorn Ranch
	Inside the ranch you you'll find this book, on the floor near
	the fridge.

[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Men's Barracks
	In the southern corner of this v-shaped building, in the
	south-western-most bathroom stall. This book is on the floor,
	under a wooden crate.

Wasteland Survival Guide (5)					{BOK014}
o======================================================================o
[ ]	Lone Wolf Radio
	The books is on the floor near a metal box in the back of the
	trailer, by the bed.

[ ]	Matthews Animal Husbandry Farm
	In one of the barns, on the upper level. The book is on the
	ground near some metal boxes and a crate.

[ ]	Mosquite Mountain Camp Site
	You'll find this book inside the southern most tent, on the
	ground behind a Toolbox.

[ ]	Scavenger Platform
	In one of the shacks there is are some fallen metal shelves.
	This book is on the floor in between some of the shelves.


[ ]	[Lonesome Road] Waste Disposal Station
	From the entrance head north into a mass of radioactive
	barrels. On top of one you'll find a skeleton. You'll find this
	book on the floor just north of this skeleton-adorned barrel.

Workbench Crates [Honest Hearts]				{BOK015}
o======================================================================o
During the 'Honest Hearts' expansion, you'll find several Workbench
Crates throughout the game. These innocuous containers hide a bit of a
secret-they randomly spawn skill books. According to the wiki, each one
can spawn up to four of them per crate, although the most I've ever seen
is two.. I only had so much patience for reloading the game. Most of the
time they spawn random junk. To get them to (potentially) spawn skill
books, you'll need to save the game before entering the area they are
in for the first time, run up to the crate, open it, and if it doesn't
have what you want, reload and try again. This can.. take a while, and
since the number and type of books found are random, they're not
included in the list of books, above. Note that only non-combat related
books can be found in these crates-you will not find any copies of
Duck and Cover!, Grognak the Barbarian, Guns and Bullets, Nikola Tesla
and You, or Pugilism Illustrated. There are four such crates in the
game, their locations are given below. Again, you can supposedly get
four books per crate, but it's really not necessary. Don't kill yourself
trying to get four-I'm more than happy settling for a modest two per
crate.

Angel Cave
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
This Workbench Crate is in the north-western room, where Joshua Graham
resides. On your first visit you'll be bothered by a Dead Horse Disciple
of Canaan (unless you're fast enough to run past) and you'll have to
talk to Joshua Graham, as well, making this a somewhat tedious effort.

Cueva Guarache
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the formerly occupied chamber along the eastern edge of the level.
You'll have to go through a booby-trapped, brush-filled tunnel to get
here, or through a chamber occupied by spore creatures. Either way, it's
another annoying one to reach.

Fallen Rock Cave
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the middle of the level, in the lowest chamber, you'll find signs of
a previous inhabitant of the caves-as the journal on the terminal
indicates, this cave was occupied shortly after the bombs dropped in
2077. There are no enemies in this cave, but plenty of traps to dodge/
disarm, making this Workbench Crate a pain in the ass to run to.

Stone Bones Cave
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the previously-occupied chamber to the north-west. You'll have to
bypass some traps to get here.

Skill Book Recipes [Old World Blues]				{BOK016}
o======================================================================o
During the 'Old World Blues' expansion, you'll find various holotapes
that are recipes for skill books. You can use these recipes to create
said skill books at a Workbench. What this boils down to is you can
create one of each type of skill book (only one since the recipe
holotapes are ingredients in these recipes themselves). The locations of
the recipe holotapes are listed below. You will need Blank Books and
Wonderglue to create each book.. twenty-five Blank Books, in fact, so
collect books to process via the Book Chute in the Sink.

Barter Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the Signal Hills Transmitter building, under the metal shelves near
the door.

Energy Weapons Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the Z-38 Lightwave Dynamics Research building, on top of the catwalk
in the north-eastern corner of the level. The book is under a large
monitor, just south-east of the upper-level door to the Big MT.

Explosives Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
You'll find this recipe in the X-7a "Left Field" Artillery Launch, in
the Artillery Command Center. The recipe is on the shelf of a large
machine, on the northern side of the room.

Guns Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
This one is a bit tricky.. fire the artillery guns at the X-7a "Left
Field" Artillery Launch area, which will create a crater at the X-7b
"Boom Town" Target Zone. Fast travel to said location and from where you
appear head east, over a ruined car, and into the ruins of a white
house.  To the north is a metal ramp running over the fence, go up it,
and into the crater below. Inside is a footlocker, which contains this
recipe.

Lockpick
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Well, this one is absurd, and I'll be honest, I didn't find this without
help. Head into the X-13 Testing Facility - X-13 Stealth Testing Labs
area. Head across the bridge to the east and once across, go through the
northern door (the door has a terminal on the wall near it and may be
locked [Hard] if this is your first time here.) Enter a hallway with a
glowing floor and enter the first room to the north, with the "Reception
Observation Area" sign near it. In this room, head across another metal
bridge to the west until you reach a wall-terminal with a security
camera over it. Along the wall to the south is a vent. Jump onto the
ledge along the western wall, hugging the wall as you go. There's a
'ledge' that can be navigated. Carefully walk south from the bridge to
the vent and open the vent to find this recipe.

Medicine Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Find this recipe in Higgs Village, house #103. The recipe is upstairs,
in the bedroom, on a shelf on a desk.

Melee Weapons Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
You can find this recipe on the roof of the Y-0 Research Center. Jump up
on the trucks near the building, then onto the roof. The disk is near
the cliff face, by a duffle bag.

Repair Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In Higgs Village - house #00. Go upstairs and head into the room
adjoining the three rooms to the north-west. Along the south-western
end of this room you'll find a terminal on the wall. Go to the terminal,
crouch, and turn to face the doorway to the north-west. You should see
the recipe sitting between some of the electronics before the doorway.

Science Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
This recipe is in Higgs Village, in house #102, upstairs in the bedroom,
in the northern corner of the room on some electronics.

Sneak Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the X-13 Stealth Testing Lab, on the lower floor, in the room in the
south-eastern corner of the level. The book is on the ground between
two refrigerators.

Speech Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
You'll find this recipe in Higgs Village, house #104. It's upstairs, in
a room full of Teddy Bears and broken mirrors, on top of a radio.

Survival Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In Little Yangtze. When you enter via the eastern gate, in the first
tent to the north. This recipe is under a bed.

Unarmed Skill Book
<---------------------------------------------------------------------->
In the Big MT West Tunnel, in a locked [Easy] room north-west of the
entrance.

o======================================================================o
|								       |
|			Updates/Thanks {UPD001}			       |
|								       |
o======================================================================o
Version 1.01 Information: Completed 11/13/2010, (139,306 bytes)

o======================================================================o
To all you crazy gamers who gave me such great advice and righteously
chastised me for being ignorant, this is where you get yours. Credit
where credit is due, right? I can't pretend that I found out everything
in this guide on my own-well, I could, but then I'd be some kind of
jerk.. Anyways, this is where I thank the people who helped bring this
FAQ up to snuff, and where I make notes of the changes over the versions
so we can all see just exactly how things have changed.

Version 1.02 Notes						{UPD002}
o======================================================================o
Immediately after GameFAQs got off of its lazy ass and posted this FAQ
(seriously, how long does it take to add a 150kb FAQ?) I was met with a
swarm of E-mails. The sheer fact that this FAQ received 13,000 hits in
two days should say enough. Sure, it might not be a viral Youtube
video, but it's certainly a faster pace than the rest of my FAQs hit.
I guess it pays to post near the game launch, eh? Some were critical,
most were complimentary, and all containing a few things I missed,
alternative ways of doing things, or simply contrary opinions. I have
read and responded to all the E-Mails I received (at least, to my
knowledge anyways) and made a host of changes depending on the input
you guys gave me. After all, the point of this FAQ isn't to necessarily
have my ideas and my builds pushed on everybody-it is, to a large
extent-to be accurate. Mistakes have been changed, alternative
viewpoints considered (and added to the FAQ when they seemed to have
merit.) However, keep in mind that the goal of this FAQ is to create a
strong character, and even if you don't follow my advice, I hope to give
you enough facts that you can make your informed decisions. Builds and
play styles are pretty personal, and you can really make arguments for
most any build. I try to be fairly neutral, but there are just some
things this guide is tailored for-which is optimal efficiency. A
character with a lot of skills, a strong combat presence and overall
the ability to solve nearly every quest and get into nearly every
area. For this reason I tend to exclude 'niche' builds that sacrifice
playability in exchange for role-playing, or higher SPECIAL stats, or
something else that I just don't feel coincide with the goals of this
FAQ. If you wrote me a lovely E-mail and gave me a build idea or some
other advice, that's great. The more ideas thrown at me, the better
this guide will be. If I didn't put your ideas in here, that doesn't
mean they weren't valid.. they just might not have been a good fit for
this particular FAQ and the goals set out herein. Also, when multiple
people E-mailed me about a problem, I typically credited the first
person who pointed it out.. the rest of you will just have to be
satisfied with the fact that you're in the (and many others) category.

version 1.03 Notes						{UPD003}
o======================================================================o
Version 1.03 is less essential of a change than Version 1.02 was.
Honestly, V1.01 was horrible in a lot of ways. Mostly, V1.03 was adding
IssacFrosts Energy Weapons build, putting in the locations of some of
the more useful loot in the game (or at least some of the more easily
obtained loot), and correcting some information. I had lots of school
between the V1.02 and V1.03 FAQs, (being one semester away from
graduating with a BA with two minors will do that) and there were lots
of changes and errors I just didn't have time to make.. that and the
fact that I hate releasing 'minor' updates, when possible. The V1.03
FAQ just contains a lot more information on how to get your character
off the ground, and few build 'revelations', something we can all be
thankful for, I think.

5/28/2011:

It's after school, and I finally went back to pay this FAQ some
attention. I found a few problems, changed the rating of Strong Back
and Pack Rat, and added the Tough Guy earnable Perk. It's not quite
enough of a change to warrant V1.04 (I'm saving that for when I get
around to buying some of the DLCs), but it's not insignificant enough
to ignore.

Ultimate Edition v1.01 Notes					{UPD004}
o======================================================================o
Well, it's been over a year since I touched this-arguably the most
successful and popular of my FAQs, mostly at the request of the readers
of the original guide. It's been.. a busy year. Since the last update
of the original guide I've graduated from college and started on my
Master's degree, and in all honesty.. I just needed the time away from
the game to get back in the mood to play it again. Also.. I was waiting
for the Ultimate Edition to launch so I wouldn't have to bother buying
all the DLCs (CDProjekt has it right-I have yet to pay for a single DLC
that wasn't on a disc).. then I was being cheap and waiting for it to
drop in price. Being a poor college student, however, my idea of 'cheap'
is apparently lower than the market. Anyways, after some goading I
eventually just paid the $30 for it off of Amazon.com. (Btw, sorry
Bethesda/Obsidian, but I'm not buying a game new if the PC version has
retarded DRM on it. If you want to force me to jump through hoops to buy
your game, I'll buy the damn thing second-hand to ensure you don't see a
dime of profit off of it. Forcing me to spend extra money on the
Xbox 360 version just because I refuse to go through your online crap..
jackasses..) Anyways, I bought it, played it, and fixed the guide around
the new level cap, Perks, Traits, and gear. Aside from some (hopefully)
minor tweaks, additions of things I still have yet to find, and other
corrections.. I should be done with this guide and this game.

o======================================================================o
Version 1.01 to 1.02 changes (11/27/2010) (170,216 bytes)	{UPD005}

  o=o	Fixed some bad math in the skill point section.

  o=o	Added Book information to skill point builds.

  o=o	Added some text on the effects of Charisma on companion's
	Nerve.

  o=o 	Added some generic information regarding the use of skill
	point boosting apparel.

  o=o	Changed the description and/or ratings of the Good Natured
	trait, and the Hand Loader, Ninja, and Pyromaniac perks.

  o=o 	Fixed some typos and dinosaurs.

  o=o	Vastly increased the number of books found, improved vague
	directions to books, and edited the skills section by adding
	the possible number of skill points obtained by books into
	consideration.

o======================================================================o
Version 1.02 to 1.03 changes (3/15/2011) (218,493 bytes)	{UPD006}

  o=o	Removed the Respec exploit.

  o=o	Confirmed various exploits and glitches, hoping to avoid posting
	false info (see above.)

  o=o	Added IssacFrost's exhaustive Energy Weapons build.

  o=o   Reorganised the "Implant" section (formerly {IMPxxx} and made
	the "Getting Started in the Mohave" section {MOHxxx} in its
	place.

  o=o	Added numerous weapon and armor locations, for those of you who
	hear of all the weapons the various builds talk about, but have
	no clue have to find them.

  o=o   Added the 'Tough Guy' Perk.

  o=o	Removed the Intensive Training (Luck) pick as the first Perk.
	I've long since been using Black Widow, instead. Also, with a
	starting Luck of 9, an implant, and Intensive Training, how do
	I end up with 10 Luck? That's right, the max is 10, and 9 + 2
	doesn't equal 10. (Note: Intensive Training is still a decent
	Perk pick at level 2, but with a starting Luck of 9, it's not
	what I'm looking for.)

  o=o	Re-rated the Strong Back and Pack Rat perks, due to their
	helpfulness in Hardcore mode games where the goal is to actually
	play-not just beat-the game.

  o=o	Edited the 'Four Eyes' trait, due to user feedback revealing
	that it is really not a good idea to pick with this build.

o======================================================================o
Ultimate Edition Version 1.01 Changes (11/22/2012), 		{UPD007}
				      (286,065 bytes)

  o=o	Revamped the build (and hence, the entire guide) to present my
	personal power-gamey build with the DLCs installed.

  o=o   Changed the word 'grade' with 'rating', as it makes me seem like
	less of a professor-douche. Grades seem more objective, ratings
	seems more subjective, and all that.

  o=o	Re-rated Attributes, Traits, and Perks as necessary. Skills are
	no longer rated, since we can (and should) max them all at 100.

  o=o	Added new Traits and Perks into the guide.

  o=o	Added the 'Hardcore Mode Blues' section, to give some pointers
	on surviving in Hardcore mode.

  o=o	Added the 'Why Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant' subsection to
	(belatedly) defend my decision to get that implant.

  o=o	Added the 'Workbench Crates' subsection to the guide.

  o=o	Added the 'Skill Book Recipes' subsection to the guide.

  o=o	Deleted the 'Suggested Scores' from the Skills section, as it's
	just not necessary for a build that intends to get all Skills up
	to 100.

  o=o	Deleted the 'Apparel and Skills' entry from the Skills
	section. Again, if you max all your skills, you don't need to
	worry about what to wear to boost your skills.

  o=o	Deleted IssacFrost's Energy Weapons build, as it's patently
	out-dated in the Ultimate Edition. If I can get him to send me
	an updated version of his build, it will be added again.

  o=o	Replaced the builds in the 'My Personal Build, Perks' section.
	This power-gamey build is not so specialized as to bother
	discussing separate builds anymore. Instead, the section has
	been replaced by some suggestions for how to spend the last few
	perks.. when all the great, general perks have long since been
	picked.

  o=o	Added many new skill books, both ones I just didn't find in the
	original game, and new skill books found within the expansions.

  o=o	Added index headings to the individual book types, for ease of
	browsing.

  o=o	Expanded the search tags for the Updates/Thanks section of the
	guide, as it's actually getting to be quite big. The community
	for this game was absolutely awesome.. just look at how many
	people helped with this guide!

  o=o	Checked and revised all the glitches/exploits, to ensure that
	they were still valid for the Ultimate Edition. The infinite
	experience exploit with Keith at the Aerotech Office Park and
	the Vault 11 exploit have been fixed (and thus, removed from
	this guide), and gambling has been severely nerfed.

o======================================================================o
Special Thanks to:						{UPD008}

  o=o	My fiancť, for dutifully hovering around as I wrote this FAQ,
	created build after build, and always told her 'this is the
	last one'. She really helped morale by telling me she was going
	to wait 'until I figured it out' before she made a character.
	She has, as of yet, to bother playing the game.

  o=o 	Shimagami, (and many others) for pointing out that the Good
	Natured trait can be exploited to score some extra skill
	points.

  o=o	David Streitman (and many others) for pointing out the fact
	that I left a reference to Rivet City in the guide.

  o=o	Sean Johnson, for pointing out that I was a moron for making a
	Guns build without the Hand Loader perk, and for pointing out
	that the Sniper Rifle owns the Anti-Material Rifle.

  o=o	Adam Lowe, for pointing out a problem with my Charisma score
	in the build.

  o=o	Keith Causin, for pointing out exactly what Charisma does in
	regards to companion's nerve. Also for putting forward the idea
	of wearing clothes to boost checked skills, grabbing the
	Pyromaniac perk to boost the Shishkebab-melee build, and for
	pointing out some problems with the Ninja perk.

  o=o	Leon Kennedy, for saying that my guide was "more helpful" than
	the official guide, and for giving me the locations of all the
	books in the game. What a great guy!

  o=o	Mark, for pointing out a infinite experience glitch.
	Hey, it never hurts to stay informed, right?

  o=o	Paul Williamson, for also showing me where all the books were
	located. Sometimes it just helps getting two descriptions of
	where something is to find it.

  o=o   Roberto Moutran, for telling me that you can grab some Combat
	Armor at Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan on your way to New
	Vegas.

  o=o   Mr. Galindo, for pointing out a contradiction with the Luck
	attribute in the build and in the descriptive paragraph for
	Luck.

  o=o	Mr. J. Kelemen, for letting me know that the 'Four Eyes' trait
	is really not a good investment with my build. To be fair,
	there's a reason it was given a two-star rating (as compared to
	Small Frame, which *originally* a five-star), but for not
	checking myself and warning the rest of you that picking 'Four
	Eyes' is essentially choosing to lower your Perception by one
	point for determining what perks you can choose, I apologize.

  o=o	John Mickey, for looking at fallout.wikia.com and finding out
	that Math Wrath is slightly better than Action Boy. Most
	importantly, the correct functioning of Action Point
	regeneration has now been noted in this FAQ.

  o=o	DarthTwitch and the rest of the HaeravonFAQs Facebook company,
	for harassing me until I bought the Ultimate Edition and made
	this much-needed update. Hope I didn't disappoint.

  o=o	Ken Egervari, for valiantly defending the Brush Gun, Jury
	Rigging, and for doing stellar statistical work breaking down
	the damage of the better weapons in the game to show which ones
	were up to snuff. For more information than my guide offers on
	weapons, check out his FAQ on Gamefaqs.com. My FAQ will tell
	you what weapons to build your character around, but his tells
	you why.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/959557-fallout-new-vegas/faqs/61255

  o=o	IssacFrost, for his continued correspondance following from
	Fallout 3 to Fallout: New Vegas. Both of our tentative
	pre-release builds for this game weren't able to hold water in
	the end, but it was still extremely valuable to have somebody
	to bounce ideas off of. Although his Energy Weapons build might
	be gone, he still deserves special recognition for how much he
	helped get this guide off the ground.

			   ***END OF FILE***