Terrors of the Wastes

Unfortunately the wasteland is an inherently hostile place. Put aside for a moment from the background radiation, the radioactive storms and acid rains, the spoiled food and foul water, and often barren and difficult landscape. Despite all these difficulties that plague humankind, all manner of creatures have adapted and thrived within these environmental conditions, becoming powerful mutant predators a far cry from their original form before the bombs fell. In addition to these mutant humanoids and beasts which can be found almost anywhere, the robots of the old world lurk in abandoned buildings throughout city ruins, and occasionally wander out into the wilds. Perhaps the most dangerous places of all are the abandoned subways, maintenance tunnels, nuclear bunkers, and natural cave networks where many powerful creatures lurk undisturbed, and from which there are few ways out when the inhabitants are roused.

This section of Fifth Edition Fallout presents a catalogue of creatures which can act either as direct threats or as problems to overcome for your player’s characters. And although the wasteland is far more often threatening than it is friendly, you can also use some of the intelligent creatures within this list as allies or potential allies to your party.

Knowledge Checks

For some creatures in this bestiary, tables are provided that reveal some information that a character might know based on the skills in which they are proficient. Depending on the type of creature, the required skills might be different. For instance, knowledge of animals requires Nature, knowledge of a wasteland faction typically requires History, and knowledge of a robot might require Science. Often, more than one type of skill can be rolled to learn different types of information. Sometimes, proficiency in two skills is required. For instance, Science would be rolled to learn the latin name of a wasteland creature's pre-War ancestor, but the character must also be proficient in Nature to have that kind of specialist knowledge. Similarly, a Science buff might know a lot about how a Robot works and could certainly divine its intended purpose, but they need to be proficient in History as well to be able to geek out about things like who made the robot, how it was marked before the Great War, and the differences between various models.

The GM should note that Knowledge DCs are not set in stone and can be reduced, increased, or ignored completely depending on the background of the character rolling.

For instance, inhabitants of the West Coast might have lower DCs when it comes to creatures native to the West Coast, such as the Bighorner. On the other hand, they'd probably have a harder time recalling useful information about something only native to the East Coast like the Mutant Hound.

At other times, a character's past experience plays into their knowledge. If a player character is a former member of the Enclave, they probably know all they need to know about the Enclave without any need for a roll, unless the organisation has seen some changes since they escaped. Similarly, a character who grew up on a West Coast ranch likely knows anything a Nature check could tell anyone else about Brahmin, Brahmiluffs, and Bighorners. You might also see fit to decrease the required DC to learn about local predators that might have plagued their ranch.

Not all Knowledge tables are necessarily affected. Take the example of the former rancher. Their past experience should give them access to the knowledge on the Nature Knowledge table for any ranch animal. Unless Science is one of that character's trained skills, however, there's no reason they would know anything from the Science Knowledge table.

You can refer to the following table when deciding what modifiers should apply to a given character's Knowledge Check (if any).

Knowledge Likelihood Knowledge Check Modifier
Should know No roll required, all appropriate knowledge gained.
Likely to know -5 to DC
Unlikely to know +5 to DC
Highly improbable they'd know +10 to DC
No reason to know No roll required, no knowledge gained.
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