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The Barter skill is used in the buying and selling of items, such as when trading with a merchant or scavenger. In general, the higher this skill level is, the lower prices will be when purchasing items. It is the primary factor in price determination, and is also offset by the Barter skill of the NPC.
Initial Level: Starting Barter skill is equal to 20% + (2% x Charisma). Average characters will have a 30% skill.
The Barter skill in Fallout 1 and 2 are extremely useful, if you have no money at all. With a low barter skill, item prices may range from 700 for Rad-X, and also ranging toward 32500 for Combat Armor.
S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Statistic: Charisma
Initial Level: 2 + (Charisma x 2) + (Luck/2).
Percent of Value Discount/Surcharge: 55 - ( Barter x 0.45 ).
|Score||Sell %||Buy %|
Formula for sale price: Round( (0.45 + Barter x .0045) x Value x Modifier )
Formula for buy price: Round( (1.55 - Barter x .0045) x Value x Modifier )
Modifier is normally 1, but can go up or down in 10% increments. For example, if you're nice to Gob he'll pay 1.2x for items and sell for 0.8x.
|Master Trader||60||14||Charisma 6|
A Barter skill of 12 allows the player to sell at 50% of the rated value of an item. Each 5 point increase in score only increases sale prices by approximately 2.25 percent. A barter skill of 86 is required to buy ammo costing 3 caps at value from a normal merchant, while if you have a 10% discount (eg in Rivet City) only 57 skill is needed, or with a 20% discount (possible with Seagrave Holmes & Bannon) a measly 21 skill works. The Barter skill does not reduce the charge for having merchants Repair items, however.
A high barter is a good choice for players with low Strength, since they do not have much room to carry many items (and, subsequently, have less things to sell). However, having a companion partially negates this, since you can put around 200 pounds of weight on him or her.
Several items also increase the player's Barter skill and can be picked up from fellow wastelanders. For example, the Roving Trader Outfit, Roving Trader Hat and Button's Wig each add 5 points to the skill.
The skill book Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor, 23 of which are found scattered throughout the wastelands each provide one point to Barter when read. With the Comprehension perk, each book will provide two points.
In addition, some quests, such as Moira's Rivet City History quest for the The Wasteland Survival Guide, will give the player a 10% discount in Rivet City (and a 10% increase in what these merchants pay for items).
It should be noted that in Fallout 3, the player will eventually have more bottlecaps than is possible to spend, so deciding whether or not to put points into Barter during character development might be viewed as a strategic decision. Barter is best taken early on to more effectively sell off or acquire better equipment.
In Van Buren, as in Fallout and Fallout 2, Barter did indeed have an effect on store prices. However, it also represented a certain level of knowledge about the caravan houses and trading in general, giving it a small role in dialogue. The intended depth to Barter development came in the perks available at higher skill ranks.