Traits are special circumstances you choose for your character upon creation, and they typically consist of a
benefit and a drawback. Up to two traits can be chosen for any character, or none at all. Despite the mixed nature of
optional traits, some are clearly better than others. Those marked with an (*) are ones that I
recommend. Of course, if you are playing a themed character with realistic traits, such as an addict with a way with words (chem reliant and good natured) or a hulking brute (heavy handed, bruiser), it's best to take the traits and play through the ups and downs.
- Bloody Mess - Causes all enemies to die in the most violent way possible, but has no real in-game impact. I suppose the drawback is that you never get to see a simple death? I never take this because elaborate deaths seem like a reward for using excessive force. The violence setting in options over-rides this trait.
- Bruiser - Gives a +2 to strength, but subtracts 2 action points. Generally speaking, since it's possible to increase strength so much within the game (+5 safely, +9 with drugs), this trait isn't worth it.
- Chem Reliant - You are more likely to become addicted, but you get over it faster. I would not reccomend this trait, as I usually reserve drugs for a last-minute stat boost, and the last thing I would want would be a stat-ruining addiction
- (*) Chem Resistant - Drugs only effect you for half as long, but the risk of addiction is halved as well. The way I play, this is a generally good trait, as I rarely need the boost for more than a moment. Only if drugs fit your play style will this be a worthwhile trait.
- Fast Metabolism - Increases your healing rate at the cost of radiation and poison resistance. I wouldn't reccomend this as healing rate does very little, once you have a safe spot to rest it doesn't matter how long you sit there.
- (*) Fast Shot - This trait reduces the action point cost for ranged weapons (firearms and thrown) by 1, but no longer allows you to make aimed shots. Without aimed shots, criticals are much more rare. It's not uncommon (nor is it a bad idea) to use the Mutate! perk to switch to this trait once you've gained the sniper perk, which dramatically increases your ranged critical rate.
- (*) Finesse - Attacks will cause less damage, but will have a higher chance for criticals hits. While this is a decent trait, it is over-ridden by the Slayer and Sniper perks if you take them later on (of course you could mutate it into fast shot).
- (*) Gifted - All your SPECIAL stats receive +1 (which can be redistributed any way you please), but your skills all lose 10%, and you gain 5 fewer skill points per level. This is generally regarded as the best trait, especially since skill points become plentiful as you advance in levels, and it is very difficult to improve SPECIAL statistics.
- (*) Good Natured - All your combat skills suffer a 10% penalty, but doctor, first aid, speech, and barter get +15%. Seeing as characters tend to specialize in one weapon type, but use many of the boosted skills, this isn't a bad trait. The drawback is surviving the early game with impaired combat skills.
- Heavy Handed - You cause more melee damage, but have less spectacular criticals. While it looks decent at first, it can actually ruin an otherwise good end-game character by robbing him of decent criticals.
- Jinxed - Everyone, the player included, has more critical failures in combat. This can be interesting as it effects both sides equally, but it probably wouldn't be the best trait for a character with poor luck to begin with.
- Kamikaze - You always get the first sequence, but lose all of your natural armor class. This isn't that great, a decent perception will allow you to get early sequence, and armor is the only thing keeping you alive.
- (*) One Hander - You get a bonus while using one-handed weapons, but suffer a penalty for using two-handed weapons. The drawback is that many of the top-tier weapons are two-handed, however all hand-to-hand weapons are single handed, meaning that unarmed specialists can take this trait for a little extra damage and accuracy and lose nothing.
- (*) Sex Appeal - This trait causes members of the opposite sex to have better reaction to you, and members of the same sex to have a more negative reaction. The practical application of this would be for female characters, as the majority of merchants are male, and this causes them to lower their prices.
- Skilled - You gain five additional skill points each level, but get to choose a perk every four levels, rather than every three. This is a poor choice as skill points are fairly common, while perks are extremely rare and often powerful.
- (*) Small Frame - You gain +1 agility at the cost of 50 pounds of carry weight. Between NPC and your car trunk, carry weight isn't that big of a deal, though it can get annoying. The +1 agility yields armor class, weapon skill, and, if it pops agility to an even number, more action points.