All character's have a maximum (although they may distribute less if they prefer) of 40 SPECIAL points to divide up as they wish. SPECIAL stats form the core backbone of what the character is physically and mentally. While their experiences and personality fill out their blank slate, so to speak, it is their SPECIAL statistics that determine the shape of that slate.
Strength (S) is a measure of a character's raw physical power. If you have high strength, you were probably a dominant personality in the Wastelands during childhood. If you have low strength, you were probably pushed around by the kids with high strength.
Perception (P) is your character's general awareness and senses. In essence, Perception is your character's connection to the outside world. Touch, taste, vision, hearing, and smell are all controlled by perception. High perception characters will be alert and aware of the world around them, reacting swiftly and effectively. Low perception characters live in their own little world, and the worst of them seem to be totally oblivious of the world around them, not noticing the Yao Guai till it literally bites them in the face.
Endurance (E) is a measure of your character's physical and mental grit. It is a direct measure of your character's general vitality and constitution. High endurance means a tough, healthy character who is rarely ill and does not tire easily, for whom everything is a flesh wound unless it hit bone and they can usually exert themselves for a long time. Low endurance characters will be the soft types, often sickly or easily hurt. These ones will tire more easily and will whine about their cuts and bruises.
Charisma © controls the basic likability of your character, from your character's charm to their attractiveness. That twinkle in the eye and the sparkling ping in their smile. High charisma makes for a charming character who is easy to talk to and who can more easily influence people. Conversely, a low charisma character will be blunt, abrupt, aloof and untouchable - having trouble finding leadership positions, good deals, and friends.
Intelligence (I) is your character's brainpower. High intelligence characters will be competent, mentally skilled and rational, and often will often be knowledgeable about a number of subjects. Low intelligence puts a character on the opposite end of the scale. The worst will struggle to form words, much less full sentences and know little about fighting other than "The pointy end goes in the other guy". Best steer clear of them if they have explosives.
Agility (A) is a character's speed, agility (duh) and dexterity. High agility characters are swift and dexterous, able to react quicker than clumsier characters, able to strike several times before a foe can make return attacks. High Agility will also often produce a naturally more stealthy and flexible character. A low agility character, conversely, will be clumsy and relatively slow in their actions and reactions.
Luck (L) governs everything and nothing. It is a measure of how well life, fate, karma, god or whatever higher power your character believes in treats them. In general, it's safe to say luck plays some part in everything a character may do. A lucky character will find themselves in favorable positions, with random instances often working together to help you. The opposite, of course, happens to an unlucky character, who will be the one constantly finding gravelly patches of ground to sneak through or Brahmin shit to slip in.
Traits, of which your character can have up to three, are specific personal, physical, or lifestyle quirks. These unique personal oddities are the subtle things that can help separate two closely related characters, and they often come with both benefits and downsides.
Whatever the case may be, some curiosities are too unique to have other versions or other variations. Oneshot traits are of their own breed, and often work interestingly well with other traits, or, well, just as well on their own.
Maybe it's the way you skulk, maybe the way you look, but whatever the reason, your presence tends to disturb people. You're going to have a tough time negotiating with anyone, but you've gotten used to avoiding others by blending into the wallpaper. Your sneaking abilities go up, although your charisma goes down.
Spongey! (Previously Fast Metabolism)
For some reason, your body acts like a sponge for all things toxic and helpful alike. You take in much more radiation and are effected more powerfully by toxins and poisons in the environment, but fresh air and some sunlight does you just as well. In essence, you are far more effected by environmental ills, but you heal up more quickly as well.
Your physical attacks show a lot of finesse. Although your style isn't apt to deal large amounts of damage every hit, but it does do large amounts of damage when it counts. While normal damage is lessened, your chance of critically harming a target is increased.
Your life is one that is better lived in the limelight! Because of your center of attention lifestyle, when your reputation becomes positive, all of your basic skills increase. Of course, your ability to function outside of others attention is lacking, so all of your skills are lessened when you aren't at a positive reputation.
You're a generally friendly person and are hesitant to employ violence to solve problems. Your skills as both a medic and a speaker is increased, as well as most pursuits that generally help others. However, when your actions seem to harm others, specifically in combat, you often stand in your own way - doing less damage and racking less kills.
Some people might say you're big boned, others might say you just like to plant your feet. Whatever the case is, you aren't someone that's easy to knock over or push back, and you can stand your ground. and take some hits. The downside of your firmly rooted movements is a slowed speed in both battle and travel, and less maneuverability to boot.
You have hams for hands, or perhaps just a disposition that encourages forcing the square peg into the round hole. In combat, both in hand-to-hand and when using melee, you are a straight up smasher. In life, you have a tendency of forcing things until they work. While you don't bother with getting as many critically damaging hits, or with issues of precision, your rough style does larger chunks of damage with each hit, and can often overpower issues with brute strength.
One armed bandit! (Previously One Hander)
One of your hands is very dominant, whether you happen to be a righty or a south paw. Because of this, of course, your other hand is far less trained, and because of that it can bring you down. This generally means you can handle one handed weapons and equipment with ease, but two-handed weapons cause a problem.
You could make a crossbow from a bendy straw and three tic-tacs, you could rig up a generator with just scrap and elbow grease. You have an intimate knowledge of your own creations and when using something that you made, your abilities increase. However, when using something someone else made, your abilities decrease.
You've grown up with a gun in your hands and an animal in your sights. When fighting or hunting animals you've got years of knowledge and experience on your side therefore, lowering your chances of injury and giving you higher chance of success. However, against human opponents, you are much less efficient.
You are not quite as big as other people, but that never slowed you down. Slime and lithe, although you don't have the strong back and ability to carry as much as others, you're better at sneaking, slipping, sliding, and generally being more agile.
A little slower, but a little bigger. You've never been the fastest in any pursuit, your make every hit count attitude means you pack a strong punch. You may not hit as often as most, but they will feel it when you do!
It may be the adrenaline of battle or even just a lack of even-headedness. Whatever it is, you tend to not have time to waste, and are known for your ability to speedily lob attacks at your enemies. In summary - you don't have time to aim for a targeted attack, because you attack faster than normal people.
Lady luck is as fickle as any in your case. Whether you're generally lucky or not, she has a tendency to intervene and deliver large negative events, often. The good thing is that everyone around you has more critical failures in combat, the bad thing is - so do you!
You don't pay attention to threats as trivial as 'bullets'. You charge in faster then most do, well renowned for your ability to get a rush on the job, whatever the circumstance. The downside, of course, is the fact that charging in rarely leaves room to cover yourself, and your resistance to damage plummets.
Denizen of the dark (Formerly night person)
As a night-time person, you are more awake when the sun goes down. Your Intelligence and Perception are improved at night, and your skills are better honed in the cloak of the dark. When the sun comes up however, it's little more then a glare on the screen you use to view life. Sluggish, the same things that improve during the night go the opposite direction during the day. Don't even get me started on what happens at dusk!
Some people have it, and you're one of those people. Whatever gender you're attracted to, well, they're attracted to you too, and dealing with them is much easier then it would be normally. Of course, people of the opposite gender have the opposite problem. Men don't tend to take kindly to competition, and neither do women.
You will not stop until everything is perfect, every detail meticulously covered and every plan has a back-up plan. Hell, your back-up plans probably have back up plans. As a result, you never just jump into action, you work much slower, and never leave a job half-finished. However, when you do something you have a higher chance of success and your quality is better.
Twin sides of a coin
Because o their delicately balanced nature, often there are personality and physical traits that have what could only be described as complete opposites. These opposing traits are always interesting to see, although it would be impossible to see both in a single character.
You where born lucky. Although you found the simpler things easy, and have already mastered most basic skills, learning new things or even improving on what you already have prove to be quite difficult.
You where born unlucky. You don't have much ability with basic skills, but your ineptitude forced you to try hard. You have an easy time learning new things, but you don't have much skill to start with.
Some call it a chem high, you call it a chem enhancement! The positive effects of chems effected you much harder then they do the normal person, and as a result you often stay in the twilight of chemical bliss for nearly twice as long as others! Of course, with such great results, becoming addicted is far easier.
Mental or physical, for some reason chems never quite managed to do it for you. The bottom line is, for one reason or another, chems effects on you are weaker, and your highs are shorter. Of course, the lack of an appeal or strong effect is the reason becoming addicted is almost half as likely.
You prefer automatic weaponry, and for good reason. You're much better with an automatic weapon, specifically when dealing with reloads and with jams and other mechanical issues, then you are with other styles of firearm, where you fall behind.
You prefer revolver or crackopen style weapons. Reloading and dealing with jams and other issues is easier for you then it is to most. While you may be less effective with automatic weaponry, you have more skill in all weapons that have these slower load methods. Even better, you have the ability to never be bogged down in revolving doors!
You specialize at ranged warfare. When using a projectile weapon, such as a bow or firearm at long range, your accuracy increases. However, you get shaken when enemies close in, reducing your accuracy with projectile weapons at close range.
You excel at close combat with projectile weapons. While you're unlikely to hit anything past short range, you're a master of the poker table shootout, able to draw very quickly and fire accurately but only at dueling range.
You've got a mind that works like a tornado, lots of things blowing around in one frantic vortex. This makes you a good multi-tasker but you easily forget things and are often distracted. However, you're also able to deal with multiple issues at once, making you a good tactician. In general, the more happening, the better you do, and, well, the opposite is also true.
You've got tunnel vision, you've got blinders. Call it what you will but we call it focus. You're not a multi-tasker, you have one thing on your mind but you'll stop at nothing until you get it. As a result, you're not likely to pursue other objectives, and therefore miss out on other opportunities. The less issues you have to deal with, the more confidence you bring.