Fallout Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Farmer's Wife (FO4)

Tags: #LeBlanc Build  #Fallout 4 Build  #Character Build Gunslinger  #Character Build Craftsman 
  • March 13, 2017

    So with my Lady Death build I was specifically looking to go with an evil twist yet get away from the main quest and the linear progression most builds seem to take.  During that playthrough I begin taking some notes on a new build idea that morphed into this one.  Then there was a discussion by Mercurias that pushed me a little further down the thought path I was on. 

    So I'm going to show my geekness right now.  One of my guilty pleasures is watching Fixer Upper with my wife.  If you've seen it you know Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Her specialty is design and layout which fits perfectly with FO4's settlement building process.  So how could I actually design this character to fit into the world of Fallout 4 beyond the simple settlement building as the main focus?  And then how could I make that fit in with my goal for this build based on the Mercurias article?  Well, the first thing I realized was the need for building materials.  If you aren't questing then you have to buy materials from traders and that, my friends, takes caps.  So it seems most of the money making ways in the game revolve around farming so there it was, the logical answer.  Jo-Jo, as I named my character (in honor of Mrs. Gaines), was a long time resident of Sanctuary Hills.  She had a small garden in her backyard and, with the help of her Mr. Handy, had the best posies in the neighborhood.  Well, after the tragedy in Vault 111 she emerges as the Lone Survivor of that vault and really has no way to progress in this world without some serious help. 

    History tells us that "hell hath no fury as a woman scorned".  Well, Jo-Jo has seen her child kidnapped and her mate gunned down in cold blood.  She may not have the militia skills but she definitely has the guts and gall to stand up for herself.  So she has to begin making a life and a living in the Wastes and then begin looking for her son.  This build also delves into the direction of Mercurias' discussion as we really perk just one SPECIAL skill leaving the others lagging behind. 

    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. PERKS

    So this build setup is designed if you want to do the settlement playthrough AND do some questing on the side as well. 

    STR: 3 (6).  We want Armorer to help with defense when we do go verturing out on occasion.  Since we are centering on settlement building, Strong Back will be Huge (only if you will be doing questing).  Use the SPECIAL book in your house to bump this to 4 and then use two level points to cap out at 6.

    PERC: 3 (4).  Use the Perception Bobblehead in Concord to bump this and take Locksmith.

    END: 1

    CHAR: 10.  We cap this from the beginning as our primary statistic.  Cap Collector helps make ends meet and Local Leader gets settlements rolling.  Inspirational helps with your companion while Wasteland Whisperer and Intimidation will be taken to reflect your growing martial skills and the "hell hath no fury" status you invoke.  This makes all opposing you cower in fear on occasion.  We also take Black Widow as we'll need some serious damage buffs. 

    INT: 5 (8).  Scrapper is what we're after here but also look at Medic and Gun Nut.  You can choose to add points here, up to 8, in order to take Robotics Expert as you endeavor to use every means at your disposal to meet your goals. 

    AGIL: 1.  All we take here is Gunslinger.  Without sneak and ninja you are reliant solely on the weapons and your skill giving a truer baseline for a non-military trained person.

    LUCK: 5.  Idiot Savant helps leveling, Bloody mess is a damage boost.  Fortune Finder adds caps as well which are much needed.  You likely won't need to max out FF once you get farms rolling however.

    If you want to rely more on the "Farming Only" aspect of the build then here are some adjustments to consider:

    STR: Leave this at 3.  If you are only buying goods then you likely won't need Strong Back.  I would consider still placing stores in every settlement for convenience.

    INT: Leave at 5 for Scrapper.  You will still be defending your settlements from attack and breaking down gear with the Scrapper perk will help you gain some of the rarer materials. 

    You are a simple woman looking to survive and, hopefully, eventually find your son although when you find out you have been frozen for over 200 years you simply assume that he has died since he was removed from the cryogenic chamber within the Vault.  (I know from the Wiki when this event happened but I feel that our character would not know how much time has passed since that event in Vault 111.)   How to survive?  That is the first question that you face upon exiting the Vault.  Imagine your surprise when you find your Mr. Handy still puttering around your old house in Sanctuary Hills.  In your initial conversation with him, the answer comes to you.  You and Codsworth spent many hours together gardening around the house and to that end your main skill is your green thumb.  You set out farming in Sanctuary.  Realizing that you do need some help, you take Codsworth's advice to travel to Concord where you find your first "migrant farmers". 

    Quickly realizing the need for some self preservation, you use semi-auto pistols, as you've never handled a gun in your previous life.  Your trip to Concord forces you to begin learning weapon skills and also gains you some valuable allies.  While you can respect Preston Garvey you are not a militaristic person so will not follow him with the Minutemen although you certainly don't think what they are doing is in any way, a bad thing.  Instead, roleplaying with Preston, he's putting you in contact with other settlements that can form a Farmer's Cooperative and begin providing abundant food for the entire Commonwealth.  Take his first quest (you really can't avoid this) but from here you will be following his other bit of advice and that is "to offer help to anyone that needs it".  In doing so you will do periodic quests to gain access to the farm/settlement workbench and begin expanding your "Cropp Co-Op". 

    As you gain control of these new settlement locations, add them to your growing Co-Op by ensuring that every available settler is involved in crop growing.  Harvesting and selling these crops will gain you caps in order to buy materials from various traders to fascilitate your settlement expansion.  Also add Water Farming production to your farms as this is where you can garner big caps.

    Locksmith should be your first point followed by Local Leader to open Supply Lines.  Then get into Gunslinger for weapon damage as you will have to do quests to open us your first few settlements.  While your gameplay will likely vary as there is no optimal path for the character, for me at Level 20 I had seven settlements up and running.  After running one quest to generate time passage I then made a pass through all seven settlements.  My haul for that was 502 Purified Water, 466 Tatos, 1 Mutfruit, 119 Corn, 37 Melons and 2 Carrots.  With base Charisma (11, wearing glasses) I sold this for 8521 caps.  When adding other gear (hat and dress) and a Grape Mentat I upped my base Charisma to 20 and sold the same quantity for 11618 caps.  I was able to buy out one vendor (Carla) of all her Shipments and then hit up the Vault Tec rep for one piece of Legendary gear plus most of his Shipments.  Basically this makes you viable and we've got a lot more settlements to add.  Given time, your venture of Cropp Co-Op can become huge with an astounding outlay of water and crops. 

    Here's where you control the build.  You can stay as a simple farmer and doing basic quests just to free up the settlements and expand that way.  Doing this you can avoid just about every faction quest.  I did do the quest to free Nick Valentine but at Lv. 20 I have yet to go back to his office to meet him.  I'm not talking to Garvey so I am avoiding his Minutemen quest line.  On the assumption that Shaun is dead after 200 years I'm not concerned about looking for him (although some answers require you to venture in that direction).  Alternatively, you can get your Co-Op up and running and then leave the day to day operations to your underlings.  You can then turn more adventuresome and begin branching out into faction and radial quests or just exploring.  Again, I'd avoid becoming the General of the Minutemen but you are technically helping them by getting the same settlements up and running.  The Railroad is viable as it's embracing her "mama bear" side and helping those in need...even if they are synths.  They also provide the Deliverer which is a pretty sweet gun for a pistol based character. 

    The Freedom Radio does help fascilitate in defending attacks on settlements so it might be a positive option to help Garvey retake the Castle.  Technically you'd be the "General" but you could role play that off as the Minutemen still advancing their cause and you happen to be supporting it through your setting up/defending the settlements.  This is not required but notices of attack are nice.

    I'd also recommend going after all the Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor books to get an added 3% discount on all vendor transactions. 

    So, the big question is: Is the build really viable if I only want to do Settlement Building and limited questing?  Well, let the video answer that question for you.

    And I'll be honest, I found myself WANTING to quest after a while.  To help that I efforted to keep my settlements light on defenses to encourage attacks which was another way to gather gear and armaments for my farmer's and also for scrapping to try and get some of the rarer materials.  Make sure you don't begin scrapping anything until you grab the second point of Scrapper in the INT tree.  All in all it was a fun build.  You do need to wrap your head around this build in a roleplaying manner to get through some parts of the game.  As with the Shaun dialogue that crops up from time to time, you can play this off as (a) questions arising from your interview with Piper or (b) whispers and rumors from the Institute are filtering out and this is likely how you discover that your son may still be alive and this is what sets you down that path of finally hunting for him.  There is no right or wrong way to play the character.  At the end of the day I wanted to take an idea and see if a character could be viable without following the path the game seems to force upon you.  The answer to that was, happily, yes.  So I hope you take the time to check out the build and maybe fire it up.  If nothing else it's a good "gathering" build that you can do every once in a while when you only have time for a quick gaming session or just need a break from the monotony of questing in the game.  And a big thank you to Golden Fool for his dedication in the Art Group.  Without him all of us character builders would be utterly lost.  Sincere thanks Golden.


  • Member
    March 13, 2017
    I like this a lot John, a really unique build concept and I always love me some settlement building.
  • March 13, 2017

    Amornar said: I like this a lot John, a really unique build concept and I always love me some settlement building.
    Thank you Amornar.

  • Member
    March 15, 2017

    Oh I didn't see this make its way over from the workshop! Nice job John. Real unique take and I too am a fan of settlement building. Great call on avoiding talking to Preston. I really like how that gives you options for each settlement without minuteman interference. One small RP addition you could talk about if you want is adding a mini-not-really-quest of collecting Wasteland Survival Guides (issue 1 is called "Farming the Wastes" for example) and maybe even the Picket Fences Magazine too which add some fun little decorations while prodiving a little non-questing guidance to the build. 

    As to your question of when crops start to overflow into workshop inventory...check Oxhorn's "efficiency" build videos. He talks about it at some point though I couldn't find the exact video. (there's 50!) 


  • March 15, 2017
    Thanks Motty. Cool. I watch some of his stuff so I'll try to find it.
  • Member
    March 16, 2017

    Instant 'like' from me for this one John

    I'm so pleased to see this one out of Workshop state into completion. The build answers so many questions that I've long pondered. Is a 'settler' build actually viable? Can you make a go of life in the Commonwealth without questing? Does the economy in Faloout 4 actually work?

    I watched the Farmer's Wife video this morning, and it's really cool to see just how much produce comes with just a handful of settlements. One can only surmise how much cash would be rolling in with an inter-connected and fully upgraded netowrk of 30 settlements across the map!

    I do agree with you that there would come a point when you'd want to go and do a bit of questing. Certainly I've found when experimenting with settlement mode that you can only do it for so long before you get the urge to go out and explore the world and get involved with questing. I like that you've shyed away from getting wedded to any of the factions - unfortunately the game doesn't make that at all easy, there is the constant pressure to go with the factions (not least from Preston Garvey!)

    Great stuff - and thanks for the ever increasing video library. I'm a bit behind, but I will get to watching all of them in due course.

  • March 16, 2017

    Thanks Paul.  Yeah, I like tossing out the little video vigrettes for a little spice.  You're right, if you play this further along and get 30 settlements...jeez you'd have a ton of caps in all likelihood.  Still not sure why the beer/grape mentats were not helping me on sale prices but that's ok since we're maxed on CHAR in this build for that very reason.  And if you focus on just one or two settlements at a time when buying materials you shouldn't have any problem.

    I could see this becoming a "secondary" playthrough for a lot of people where they do their settlement building in this game but then have a "main character" where they pursue the quests and don't build at all. 

  • Member
    March 17, 2017

    Saw this in the workshop but I never opened it, but it's pretty awesome!

    It's a unique build. A character that settles down and enjoys life. It's a rare thing in the Wasteland.

  • March 23, 2017

    D3LTAFOX said:

    Saw this in the workshop but I never opened it, but it's pretty awesome!

    It's a unique build. A character that settles down and enjoys life. It's a rare thing in the Wasteland.

    Thanks Fox.  It actually was pretty fun but you can get bored with it.  I did end up questing with the build but now I've kind of settled in where this is my "downtime" build that I can spend 20-30 minutes just going around to settlements and farming when I don't have a lot of time to play and do quests.  It's also become my primary settlement builder. 

  • Member
    March 23, 2017

    I'd never think to find a farming build to be so...intriguing! I really enjoyed reading this and love the concept. Crazy how much money you made with some high charisma and lots of natural resources. Maybe I'll have to try a build similar to this for a nice break from shooting up supermutants. Excellent work John :)