This guide will cover the Melee and Unarmed damage derived statistic in Fallout: New Vegas. Derived statistics are a second set of values based on your characters primary S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes. There are additional ways of modifying these statistics beyond just increasing your primary attributes and these ways will be covered here, along with information on everything you need to know about Melee and Unarmed damage. These attributes such as Melee and Unarmed damage are noticed more often in the mechanics of the game, usually having large impacts on how the game is played.
Close combat in Fallout New Vegas is divided into two groups Melee and Unarmed. Melee attacks are considered those performed with Melee weapons such as swords, sledge hammers and golf clubs. Melee is considered to be weapons used by the character that are meant to directly strike the target. Unarmed damage on the other hand, will include close combat damage sources that more directly involve the use of your fists, such as striking with your hands or certain unarmed weapons such as Brass Knuckles.
Your Base unarmed damage is determined to be 25% of your unarmed skill, therefore a skill of 80 translates to 20 base Unarmed damage. Each point of Strength will add an extra .5 base damage to unarmed attacks, in addition to +2 to Melee Skill. This translates to +.5 unarmed damage and +2 Melee Weapons at Strength 1, then up to +5.0 unarmed damage and +20 Melee Weapons at Strength 20. Each point of Endurance will grant +2 to the Unarmed skill, starting at +2 at Endurance 1, then up to +20 Unarmed at Endurance 10.
Melee and Unarmed Modifiers
Does not include the plethora of food items that exist within the game that modify Strength. These are categorized separately.
Good Natured: -5 Unarmed and -5 Melee damage.
Heavy Handed: +20% Melee and Unarmed damage, -60% Melee and Unarmed critical damage
Piercing Strike: Ignores 15 DT for Melee and Unarmed damage
Purifier: +50% Melee and Unarmed damage versus Abominations.
Ninja: +15% critical chance with Melee and Unarmed, +25% sneak critical damage to the same attacks
Slayer: +30% Melee and Unarmed attack speed
Super Slam: Can cause your Melee and Unarmed attacks to knock down opponents.
Unstoppable Force: Reduces effectiveness of enemy block attempts.