A FAQ for the Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for the XBox Console

This is an ASCII art-less walkthrough by David Riley
(Dave [at] frontbeat.com).

**********
CHARACTERS
**********

Nadia
-----

Nadia is probably your best bet if you have trouble listening to Cyrus's 
profanity or are playing two player (with one person as Cyrus). With the right 
skill tweaking she's a 
machine with non-explosive weapons (and she can't use the only one of those 
worth using, so don't bother) and is able to stack on damage like nobody's 
business. It's an expensive habit, unfortunately, but a good one. Also, while 
playing as Nadia, you can access more juvenile humor by having her sleep with 
Ruby. FUNNY!

Nadia can not use the Meat Cannon or Shredder (both of which are good). That's 
too bad. She also can not use the Incendiary Mortar, Home-Made Rocket Launcher, 
Rocket Launcher and Plasma Cannon (those aren't a big deal). She's a whiz with 
the Double Laser Pistols, though.

Cain
----

Cain's strength seems to be that he can use pretty much anything. This isn't 
really too much of a strength, because the stuff that Nadia/Cyrus can't use 
isn't really anything big. So Cain can use dual guns and whatnot, but he 
suffers because he has only 300 max HP as opposed to 400 with no really 
appreciable benefits to counteract this. Probably want to avoid. His "Rad 
Child" perk seems useful, but quickly loses effectiveness. By the time you can 
get it you probably won't even want it anymore, there really isn't that much 
radiation in the game after the beginning and you'd be better off putting those 
points towards Slayer or something else that's actually good.

Since when did the brotherhood start admitting Ghouls, again?

Cyrus
-----

Ah, nothing like including a stereotypical black guy in a game. Never saw that 
before! Cyrus grunts and profanes with nearly every swing, thus reinforcing to 
young gamers that all people of the black persuation are bloodthirsty giants 
who don't have a polite word to say. All the same, Cyrus is probably your guy 
of choice. The inability to use akimbo guns isn't really a disadvantage, 
because you'll always have something almost as good anyway. Big deal, I'm 
crying here.

**************
For Two Player
**************

The best combo, the ONLY combo is Cyrus and Nadia. There is no viable reason to 
play as Cain when you have Cyrus and Nadia available. For later playthroughs 
(though I can't find a reason why you'd want to inflict that on yourself) the 
best team would, obviously, be the Vault Dweller and the (very white) Rhombus.

<<SECRET CHARACTERS>>

All secret characters have the same skill set as the character they were cloned 
for. There's no Cain clone, but that's probably for the better. Information 
about inherent skills comes directly from Interplay's forums 
(forums.interplay.com)

Patty (Nadia clone):
Unlocked by: Beating Chapter 1 (What the hell? You don't meet Patty until 
Chapter 3)
+20% Bargaining 
+80% Gun Damage 
Desert Soldier and Future Woman start at 25% instead of 0
Base Armor of 10(?) 

Rhombus (Cyrus Clone):
Unlocked by: Beating Chapter 2 
2xMelee Damage base 
+50% Explosive Damage 
Heavy Hitter and Wastelander start at 50% 
Base Armor of 30

Vault Dweller (Cyrus Clone): 
Unlocked by: Beating the game
Melee, Gun and Explosive Damage start at 2x normal 
Slayer starts at 20% 
+20% Fortune Finder 
Heavy Hitter and Wastelander start at 100%
Base Armor of 20


***********************
SO WHO SHOULD I CHOOSE?
***********************

Cyrus: Big guy and probably your best all-around character. He can be 
specialized towards Melee, but it's really just a matter of what you spend your 
skills on. He can use all the big guns at the end of the game, which is nice, 
but can't use the Double pistol weapons. This is not as huge a deal as it could 
be. The Double Laser Pistols are pretty nice, everything else is easy to pass 
on. It only ends up prohibiting him from using three guns, two of which have 
extremely limited usefulness anyway. Cyrus has weaker perks (Heavy Handed is 
okay, the rest aren't worth mentioning), but he is able to use a few choice 
heavy weapons that Nadia can't. That makes all the difference. Cyrus's only 
real downfall is his wanton need to shout "S***!" at the top of his lungs every 
other melee swing. Just like a good, stereotypical black character should. 
Thanks Interplay!

Nadia: A little restricted by her inability to use some big guns, but her 
"Future Woman" skill is probably the best out of the bunch when it comes to the 
unique perks. But then again, what's it going up against? Rad Child and 
Berserker. Woo. Anyway, combined with Slayer this should give Nadia a pretty 
nice +50% critical chance with Energy Weapons. She can't use some of the bigger 
guns, but it's only a little more of a concern than Cyrus's inability to use 
smaller ones. Sure, being able to use the Shredder would be nice, and it sucks 
that she can't use the Meat Cannon (sucks a LOT), but pump up Future Woman or 
Desert Soldier and equip the Turbo Plasma Rifle or Minigun on the last boss and 
watch the damage fly! A very expensive habit, but a satisfying one. Still, 
Nadia should probably be restricted to two player games where Cyrus (or one of 
his clones, if you have the constitution to play through it more than once) has 
already been chosen.

Cain: Cain has no benefits at all, unless you count the ability to use every 
weapon in the game. This is not a benefit, so stop counting it. The absolutely 
only reason to Cain is if you're playing with young children around, or 
something and can't be bothered to listen to Cyrus shout profanities every two 
seconds.

***********
LEVELING UP
***********

For pretty much any character you'll want to alternate Slayer and First Aid, 
that'll probably get you through the first eight levels and give you some 
pretty nice bonuses (+25% to Criticals, +100% to healing items). Maybe not so 
much Cain, who gets much less of a bonus for First Aid (but it's pointless to 
play as Cain anyway). 

Melee characters will want Melee Skill, Cat-Like and Heavy Hitter (If you're 
Cyrus or one of his many clones). 

Ranged characters will want Gun Skill (or Explosive Skill, if you intend to use 
the Meat Cannon) and probably Future Woman (if you're Nadia). Desert Soldier 
seems like a viable alternative, but Future Woman has the best payoff. 

By the end of the game, with Nadia, you should be able to max out Slayer, Gun 
Skill, Future Woman AND Desert Soldier, and have four levels in First Aid with 
points left over. This is more than enough. With Cyrus, I would follow a 
similar pattern with Slayer, Gun Skill, Heavy Handed, Cat-Like and four levels 
of First Aid. Get the first level of Special Attack too, 'cause that's a good 
one for a melee character. You might question my logic here, but I think the 
bonus to Gun damage is gonna help you out more in the end than the melee bonus 
would. If you're playing as Cain, just put the controller down right now and 
let yourself die. It's okay.

**********
PERKS LIST
**********

Slayer (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
------
Increased chance of critical hit. This is one of the main skills you'll be 
levelling up.
Who?: All characters, +5% per level
RANK: ***** (Essential)

Die Hard (4, 8, 16, 32, 64)
--------
More max HP. Pretty good at the end of the game if you've got plenty of points 
to spend. There's not really much else to raise, but Die Hard does cost twice 
as much as 
other skills.
Who?: All characters. Max Bonus is +200 (Required Level: 3)
RANK: ** (400 HP, 600 HPs, what's the difference, really?)

Artful Dodger (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
-------------
More AC. Better than Die Hard, as the 25 armor you'll get at the end game will 
end up saving you stimpacks, instead of making you use more like Die Hard does 
(more HP = more to heal)
Who?: All characters. +5 AC per (Required Level: 6)
RANK: *** (If you've got spare points at the end, why not?)

Bargaining Power (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
----------------
One of those negotiation skills, never bothered to raise it. Money is plentiful 
enough anyway, but if its your thing... You'll probably have scads of points at 
the end of the game you don't know what to do with though.

[NB: Patrick Gartner, avid reader, makes the valid point that skills like this 
and Fortune Finder provide an excellent chance for your character to get a leg 
up when importing them to higher difficulties. While I wouldn't go out of my 
way to get them, I suppose by the time you start the next difficulty you've got 
all the important skills anyway. As such, feel free to spend your next few 
points (should only take about three levels or so) to max out both of these 
skills. It could help! For what it's worth, it only seems logical to me that 
Bargaining Power is more important than Fortune Finder, as the money you get 
from guys in the beginning is a pitiful 1-10 caps, whereas items quickly start 
going for 400-500 caps]

Who?: All characters. +15% to sold items, -5% to bought items per level
RANK: ** (Money isn't all that uncommon. You could probably spend your points 
better than this)

Fortune Finder (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
--------------
Worthless. This skill is either broken or only affects how much caps you find 
from each enemy. Waste of points.
Who?: All characters. +20% treasure value per level (Required Level: 5)

[NB: Patrick Gartner, avid reader, makes the valid point that skills like this 
and Fortune Finder provide an excellent chance for your character to get a leg 
up when importing them to higher difficulties. While I wouldn't go out of my 
way to get them, I suppose by the time you start the next difficulty you've got 
all the important skills anyway. As such, feel free to spend your next few 
points (should only take about three levels or so) to max out both of these 
skills. It could help! For what it's worth, it only seems logical to me that 
Bargaining Power is more important than Fortune Finder, as the money you get 
from guys in the beginning is a pitiful 1-10 caps, whereas items quickly start 
going for 400-500 caps]

RANK: * (Exactly my kind of skill, too bad it's broken)

Cat-Like (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
--------
Good for the hammer swinger in your bunch. The bonus to melee is good, the 
bonus to dodge is useless.
Who?: All characters. +5% Melee and Dodge speed per level
RANK: **** (Melee characters will probably see a difference, don't get it if 
you're not a swinger though)

Eagle-Eye (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
---------
Alright, but even with just one or two levels of this you'll be able to target 
guys that are further than you can see. Not worth it.
Who?: All characters. Addition of lockon range varies between characters.
RANK: * (Wow. Like, it's so totally hard to lock onto guys without this too)

First Aid (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
---------
One of the best skills in the game for everyone but Cain. Adds how much a 
stimpack heals you. GREAT!
Who?: All characters. +20% per level for everyone but Cain, who gets a pathetic
+5% per level.
RANK: ***** (Poor Cain though, he gets the shaft)

Melee Skill (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
-----------
If you're focusing on melee weapons, then this is for you. You'll have the 
points to raise it relatively quickly
Who?: All characters. +5% per level
RANK: **** (Gotta spend those points somewhere)

Gun Skill (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
---------
The gun version of melee skill. Nothing else to say that I already haven't
Who?: All characters. +5% per level
RANK: **** (Gotta spend those points somewhere)

Explosive Skill (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
---------------
Don't get anywhere near this unless you're using the Meat Cannon secret weapon
Who?: All characters. +5% per level
RANK: * (Only good if you're using the Meat Cannon, then it's awesome)

Special Attack (8, 16)
--------------
Two levels. The first gives you a longer melee combo (3 hits) and the second 
allows you to charge up for a special attack. The first level is fairly 
useful, the charge up is not. 
Who?: All characters.
RANK: *** (The first level's pretty worthwhile, anyway)

Explosive Traps (10)
---------------
Allows you to lay grenades and such as traps for the enemy. Explosives are bad 
enough as it is and this doesn't help them. Don't bother.
Who?: All characters (Required level 10)
RANK: * (Even this ain't saving grenades)

Energy Charge (16)
-------------
Potentially useful. Allows you to charge up your energy weapons to do more 
damage (3x the ammo per shot). Does quite a bit more damage, but takes WAY 
longer to fire. Probably not worth getting.
Who?: All characters. (Required Level: 12)
RANK: ** (Lots of damage, way too long to charge up, way too many points)

Berserker (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
---------
Not worth it. It grants a damage bonus when your health is below 30%. 
Unfortunately, by the end of the game it's very possible that a hit when you're 
below 30% will kill you. If anything, it's just bad business to let your health 
fall that low. I raised this on Apocalyptic just because I had a ridiculous 
amount of points to spend by the end.
Who?: Cyrus. +10% damage per level when life is below 30% 
RANK * (Are you kidding me?)

Man's Best Friend (20)
-----------------
Gives you a dog companion who is worthless (save for running into mines and 
blowing them up). The dog does reasonable damage, but will steal your XP if he 
kills the enemy. Don't get it.
Who?: Cyrus, Nadia (Required Level: 5)
RANK: * (Hey dog: STOP STEALING MY EXPERIENCE)

Heavy Hitter (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
------------
Sort of an addition to "Slayer" if you're using Blunt Weapons. The best melee 
weapon in the game is a blunt weapon, so there's some use for this.
Who?: Cyrus. +5% to blunt weapon critical chance per level.
RANK: ***** (That Turbo Super Sledge has gotta be good for something)

Wastelander (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
-----------
A weird skill. Gives you a better critical chance per level when using Home-
Made weapons. Unfortunately, unless you're playing as the Vault Dweller (who 
starts with this at 100% anyway) there's no reason to use this one at all. 
Probably better not to bother, as Home-Made weapons are quite bad.
Who?: Cyrus. +10% critical chance for Home-Made weaponry.
RANK: * (So maxing this would give you almost normal damage with the Home-Made 
weapons, but only with 50% of your shots? Sign me up!)

Rad Child (48)
---------
An interesting skill that has no real value. It heals you when you're radiated, 
but after Chapter 2 there's almost no radiation worth mentioning and the point 
cost is extremely prohibative.
Who?: Cain
RANK: * (Are you kidding me?)

Sadist (16, doubling every level(?))
------
Heals you when you kill an enemy. It's just a shame that your character starts 
with 300 or 400 HP and the thing only heals you a pittiance of HP for each 
kill. Don't get it, as it's insanely expensive per level. I have never raised 
this. Points are common, not THAT common. 
Who?: Cain, Nadia. Heals 2 HP per kill per level, 5 HP for Nadia. (Required 
Level: 10)
RANK: * (Don't bother)

Pyromaniac (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
----------
This might be good if it affects the Meat Cannon (if you're using it), 
otherwise it seems like it's pretty trashy. Fire weapons are bad throughout the 
whole game. If it doesn't affect explosives (still not sure) then... well, 
you're using it for one weapon... from the beginning of the game... and it 
sucks.
Who?: Cain. +5% critical chance with fire weapons per level
RANK: ** (Maybe if it helps the Meat Cannon)

Butcher (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
-------
The opposite of Heavy Handed, this affects your critical chance with bladed 
weapons. The Plasma Saw is pretty significantly worse that the Turbo Super 
Sledge, though, and that's the best edged weapon in the game. I wouldn't really 
waste your time with it. There are better skills to raise.
Who?:Cain. +5% critical chance with bladed weapons per level.
RANK: * (Edged Weapons don't do it for me)

Desert Soldier (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
--------------
Aids in critical hit for "conventional weapons". I'm not sure what these are, 
but I'm guessing they're standard, bullet based weapons. If so, this is a 
pretty good skill and possibly worth pumping your Nadia points into after you 
get Slayer.
Who?:Nadia. +5% critical chance with conventional weapons per level. (Required 
Level: 5)
RANK: *** (Good, but outclassed by Future Woman. Equipping Nadia with the 
Minigun can provide quite the good time, and it'll serve you the whole game, as 
opposed to Future Woman, which doesn't come into its own until the end)

Future Woman (2, 4, 8, 16, 32)
------------
Aids with energy weapon critical hits. In the end of the game this'll probably 
help you out tremendously when you get those Double Laser Pistol. Consider it.
Who?: Nadia. +5% critical chance with energy weapons per level. (Required 
Level: 12)
RANK: ***** (Practically a must where Double Laser Pistols are concerned)

In Closing
----------

Don't play Cain. You'll get herpes. And not the good kind.

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