written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Sure you can traverse the Commonwealth as a paragon of truth, justice, and the (post-apocalyptic) American way. Or… you could be the type of Sole Survivor who will go the extra mile to make a band of roving bandits look like radroaches at the receiving end of your baseball bat.
Enter the Maniac, a build I nicknamed “The American Psycho” with the build’s penchant for killing in some of the most visceral ways. A versatile way to play, giving the player the option to go in guns-a-blazing or bats-a-swinging. Key perks involve building your Commonwealth American Psycho around high levels of damage output with passive skills that get the denizens of the Commonwealth to do what you want regardless of wether they want to or not.
The first step is setting your initial “SPECIAL” stats to the following:
S (2) P (6) E (1) C (10) I (1) A (7) L (1)
Charisma, Agility, and Perception are your three most paramount stats in building the maniac. With a fairly low Endurance, Intelligence, and Luck you are at a considerable disadvantage at the start of the game. Your high Charisma stat will help you to get out of a few jams by charming the pants off of your aggressors. With a high Agility and Perception stat, your number of action points will be fairly high and your weapon accuracy will have a nice little boost.
So let’s get into building it, just like my last build “the Glen” I will be sharing the first 20 levels of this character. After level 20 I leave it to your discretion to continue to building it, but a strong base will make for a strong character throughout your journey.
Level 1 to 5
LVL2: Sneak rank 1 (A) should be your first perk grabbed for your Commonwealth American Psycho. With such a low level character with lower endurance, you’ll need to be able to sneak around without being seen. Tossing one point into Sneak ups your ability to hide by 20%.
LVL3: Big Leagues rank 1 (S) will make your sneaky psycho 20% more deadly with melee weapons. Sure you could be the type of character who firmly plants a bullet into your enemy’s brain, but why not sneak up on them with a tire iron in hand and deliver all kinds of deadly battery. With that 20% boost in damage output it should help keep you swinging if you choose to get up close and personal rather than killing from a distance.
LVL4: Intimidation rank 1 (C) will solidify you in the eyes of the Commonwealth’s denizens as someone to be feared. If you draw your gun on an NPC at a lower level than you, you have a chance to pacify them. This could be useful when you get into a jam.
LVL5: One point in Strength should round out these first five levels. With Strength sitting at only 2 points, bumping it up to 3 helps our Commonwealth Psycho out… especially if you decide to go more melee centric.
Level 6 to 10
LVL6: Ninja rank 1 (A) Is super useful for the early parts of the game. Increasing your damage output while sneaking. Ranged sneak attacks output 2.5X the damage with melee sneak attacks outputting 4X the damage. If you decide to take your psycho down the melee route, you will be deadly sneaking around and bashing your enemy’s skulls.
LVL7: Big Leagues 2 (S) adds another 20% to your melee damage output (bumping it to 40%). As an added bonus you also add a chance to disarm your opponent. Useful when trying to melee your way around a crowd of angry bandits.
LVL8 and 9: You need some skill with guns, so grabbing rank 1 and 2 in Gunslinger (A) will be useful for any budding Wasteland psychopath, giving you an added 40% bump in your damage output with guns. Sure you can be intimate with your death dealing means, but sometimes you just gotta pop a couple shots off!
LVL10: Night Person rank 1 (P) rounds out the first ten levels of the American Psycho build. Like any Wasteland Psycho, you operate best at night… so why not use the cloak of night to better make minced meat of your enemies? Your Intelligence and Perception are each increased by +2 between 6PM and 6AM.
Level 11 to 15
LVL11: Mister Sandman rank 1 (A) acts as the perfect companion to the last perk we added (Night Person). What better way to thin out a base than to sneak into where people are sleeping… and gutting them before they wake up. You also modify your sneak damage by 15%.
LVL12 and 13: 1 point each in Endurance and Strength. Bumping strength up to 4 and increasing Endurance to 2 will further help you survive.
LVL14: Sneak rank 2 (A) helps any budding psycho. 30% harder to detect and also no longer triggering floor traps. An excellent use of a skill point, donchathink?
LVL15: Big Leagues rank 3 (S) will increase your melee damage by 60% and further increase the likelihood that you can disarm your opponent. Not a bad perk as you further power up your build.
Level 16 to 20
LVL16: Ninja rank 2 (A) will further give you more for your arsenal. Like we did about ten levels ago, we plug another point into the Ninja perk. This time, bumping the damage bonus up to 3X ranged and 5X melee when sneaking.
LVL17: Mister Sandman rank 2 (A) adds more to your stealth repertoire, bolstering sneak attack damage with a silenced weapon up by 30%. Who says your psycho has to be loud? This gives you options… I love options!
LVL18 thru 20: The remaining three levels will focus on bolstering SPECIAL further. How you go about it is up to you but plug 2 points into Endurance with 1 point into Strength. I suggest going END, STR, END but you can pick your way. By the time you reach level 20 you will be stronger with a higher endurance… now to tackle the Wasteland.
You have options with how you tackle each encounter. You have the ability to sneak and shoot or run in and chop your enemies up. The heavy emphasis on melee weapons lets you survive battles when you are up close and personal.
By the time you hit the Night Person perk, make sure you spend a good amount of your traversal at night. The bonus you receive from that perk is well worth the limited view. With a bit of stealth and if you happen to come across a a group of sleeping Raiders, you can easily thin the herd a bit by killing them as they sleep. If a few of them wake up, take them out swiftly and violently… preferably at the hands of a bat or sledgehammer.
Your main weapon is your charm, with such a high Charisma, very few people would dare be able to deny whatever request your American Psycho asks. Be loud, be violent, be sneaky, or just be sickeningly charming… the choice is yours and there is no wrong answer.
You are going to want to arm yourself with a variety of melee weapons and handguns. Baseball bats will be your best friends when it comes to getting up close and personal. They offer the perfect reach, high damage output, and are less ungainly to swing around than a sledgehammer or super sledge. An assortment of knives would do well to diversify your options, especially when you start stacking the high sneak bonuses you’ll get as you reach level 20.
Handguns will be your best option when you decide to take the fight from the distance. You’ll want to find a weapon with a suppressor. It will be invaluable for all those moments you need to infiltrate bases and stay quiet while doing it. Make sure to follow the Railroad to get your hands on the Deliverer… hands down the best silenced handgun in the game.
Like with any other build, you’ll want to build up your affections with all of your companions. You’ll want to work on Preston Garvey and Piper first. Preston Garvey gives you the United We Stand perk; this bolsters your ability to deal damage and keep standing when you face down 3 or more enemies with a 20% boost to both damage and damage resistance.
To make sure you level up faster, you may also want to prioritize building your affections with Piper. Her companion perk gives you 2X EXP boost to conversations and location discovery, something you absolutely want to have before you discover too many new locations.
With low Intelligence and Luck ratings which (if you follow the guide perfectly to level 20) will stay lay throughout this guide. If you want to push it a bit, try moving everything I do in the level guide between 11 to 20 to 21-30. This frees up 10 whole levels to bolster your SPECIAL or grab any other perks you may find useful.
A few notable perks you may want to invest in if you go the level 30 route would be Local Leader to better manage your settlements and the Commando perk to diversify you gun choices (Commando grants a bonus to automatic weapons). As far as bolstering SPECIAL. Make sure to dump at least four points into Intelligence and throw perhaps an extra point or two into Luck.
Go forth and ravage the Wasteland with all manner of deadly force. The American Psycho build is quite versatile and one you could have quite a bit of fun with… especially if you enjoy how delicious it feels to take down an entire enclave with a baseball bat or one of those Shishkebabs.