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Is it possible to create a Character in Fallout 3 that has maxed out S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (10 each) and maxed out skills (100 each)?

If it is possible, what are the critical perks to get and are there other important points in skill point distribution?

I do have Broken Steel (as this raises the level-cap to 30, and adds more perks), but I'm also interested if this is possible without Broken Steel.

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

It's only possible for S.P.E.C.I.A.L. with Broken Steel. You need 70 points to max out stats. Without Broken Steel, there's a total of 40 points baseline, plus another 10 available through 10 ranks of Intense Training, and another 3-6 points from quest perks and gear typically. You could squeeze out another 4 points only at night with the Night Person perk, but that still leaves you 10 short, and that's with a specific equipment setup.

Skills are easy, and should be possible to max out in vanilla - just read books, find all the bobbleheads, start with 10 Int, and take all the early skill growth perks like Educated and Comprehension. You don't even really need any specific skill growth plan. If you're diligent about getting Books and Bobbles, you'll find yourself at 100 in all skills well before level 30. In particular, take note of the potentially infinite copies of Big Guns and Science books, which can make things a little bit easier as you'll have to hunt down fewer of the others.

With Comprehension and bobbleheads, 60 points are available for every skill, but you don't even need that many. With Educated and 10 Int, you'll receive 20 skill points for 4 levels, and 23 for your next 16, giving you far more skill points than you'll need. Just remember to never increase a skill past 90 before you've found it's bobblehead (80 for Speech thanks to Yew's Bear Charm, and plan ahead for any perks you'll be taking later that will increase skills (i.e. don't max Energy Weapons before taking Cyborg if you intend to).

As for getting 10 in all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, you'll need to avoid picking up the 7 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. bobbleheads until you reach level 30. At level 30, take the "Almost Perfect" perk, which will set all your stats to 9. Then go pick up the 7 bobbles. Voila, you have 10's across the board.

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Personally, I like setting INT to 9 to start with and just go grab the bobblehead from rivet city ASAP. It doesn't prevent you from maxing stats later, and you get 10 INT at level 2. – Raven Dreamer Sep 7 '10 at 18:49
@Raven Dreamer - It's ben a while since I've played but isn't it tricky to get to Rivet City that early on? – David Sep 8 '10 at 0:29
It's a little tricky, but eminently doable, and a perfectly valid way to play the game. For some reason I had gotten it into my head that the Almost Perfect perk would reduce 10's back to 9's, which isn't the case, so starting at 9 and grabbing the Bobble at level 2 is a perfectly valid (even optimal) choice, though it's hardly required to max all skills. The biggest problem with going to Rivet City so early is that you need to avoid Dr. Li to avoid jumpstarting the plot, and missing a ton of XP. – LessPop_MoreFizz Sep 8 '10 at 0:47
It is actually pretty easy to go to rivet city very early in the game. Just grab some radiation protection and go swimming (enter the river at the super duper mart and swim down and around the purifier building). – EricSchaefer Dec 30 '11 at 12:41

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