A good place to begin understanding Fallout: New Vegas is to quite simply delve into the game's statistical background. Like many RPGs, just about everything that happens in Fallout: New Vegas is determined by numerical statistics, behind-the-scenes dice rolling, and how various numbers match up with one another in order to give advantages or disadvantages to just about every person, action and scenario in the entire game.
Near the beginning of the game, you'll be introduced to the outlying, basic statistical system in New Vegas, which is called S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Obviously, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is an acronym, and it stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. While there are a more complicated and more expansive set of statistics that live within S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (which we will discuss shortly), S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is, for now, what we will concentrate exclusively on. The brief explanations below are ripped from the game itself, allowing you to understand better just what each statistic directly affects. We'll then discuss the skills in more depth, and talk about why or why not a skill may or may not be important for you.