The second half of an analysis on SPECIAL in the Fallout ‘verse; you can click here for Part I and further details. I’ll try to link each post and use the same tags on them so they’re easier to find.. anyways, here goes!
This stat is an overall generalization of your brainpower, measured in a single number. In the wastes it has two primary functions: your language skills and how many skill points you obtain upon a level up. The whole concept of levels is rather abstract and doesn’t apply in every universe, but for argument’s sake, let’s say it does and you believe in it. The smarter you are, the more points you can allocate, even to skills that aren’t directly related to thinking.
And while Charisma is the ‘social’ statistic, Intelligence comes into play for the words themselves. Lower Intelligence individuals are unable to understand the very structure of language itself, and speak in “Me am good at fight!”-style sentences. Again, this doesn’t mean they’re incapable of functioning normally, it just means they’re a bit slow. Of course, bias also comes into play here, and if you or your simulated self has a very low INT, expect pandering or outright refusal to deal with “a moron” when others speak to you.
This is obviously an important value in both reality and fiction, and personally, it’s one of the things that seperates us.. both ponies and humans.. from mindless animals. There are many things I’d sacrifice for the greater good, but losing your mind? Very little in life is worth that, especially since your judgment on everything after that point would also be impaired..
This is another number that’s become far more important in the post-apocalyptic days then before.. everything wasn’t blown up. Agility is how quick your reflexes are, affecting your ability to draw, holster and reload a weapon, as well as the Action Points you have for targeting systems like S.A.T.S. Simply put, AP is the most you can do in a short period of time under ideal conditions; optimizing the calculations your PipBuck uses can squeeze a few more points in, but it’s mostly based on you, the one wearing it.
Before the War, this was only really of use to royal guards or those whose occupations required exceptional speed & control (like the Wonderbolts). But nowadays, how fast you can ready your weapon, ANY weapon; doesn’t have to be a gun, could even be your bare hooves (or hands or claws..), is extremely important.
If you’re smaller then the norm for your species, then you get an inherent bonus to this, but you also suffer more from injuries as a result. Given what’s happened to me in my story and my size, you’d guess correctly in that I’d fit the definition for that advantage as well as it’s opposing downside. Broken bones suck, but dying by being unable to react fast enough is worse!
I wouldn’t advise dropping this below average, since being clumsy isn’t good even in non-life-threatening situations. If you’ve got a PipBuck and absolutely love to use it’s targeting functions, or you just have a need for speed, then you can’t go wrong with Agility.
And finally we come down to that most mysterious of the SPECIAL system, Luck. Unlike the other numbers, which you can clearly see the physical and mental effects of, Luck is more subtle. It not only influences how “lucky” you are, improving your critical hit rate (in layman’s terms, a critical is when you hit a target exceptionally well, typically by virtue of landing an attack in just the right spot), and ALL of your skills very slightly.
It’s also been said that those with exceptional Luck have even been able to somehow influence the world around them merely by being present. Things like beating statistical odds in games of chance, or your enemies fumbling their weapon repeatedly far more often then they should.
If your Luck is impaired or simply below average, you’re literally gambling your life, while at the same time screwing over the probability. Not a good combination; and while even the most Luck in the world won’t prevent bad things from happening to you, it might at least soften the blow.
And that concludes this part of my introduction to the SPECIAL system which underlies the Fallout world, and thus my particular Equestria. At this point in time I’ve pretty much accepted that my reality has far too many things in common with that one to be a mere coincidence.. which is somewhat comforting in that we weren’t the only ones to do what we did; but also frightening for the same exact reasons.
Anyways, I’ll cover skills next, then the really fun part, perks and traits. I’ll also try and point out the applications of the various abilities; what is useless to one pony is a Goddess-send to another. Not to mention just how important some of these are when your life is on the line; unlike you folks in other worlds merely reading about this (or messing around in your simulations where you’re not personally indanger..).