Fallout Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Preacher (FO4)

Tags: #Fallout 4 Build  #Character Build Commando  #Character Build Grenadier 
  • April 15, 2016

    I don’t pretend to be a philosopher. I don’t know what was the cause, and what was the effect; God abandoning Heaven, or Nuclear Armageddon. Nor do I care, for that matter.

    What I know is this; there was another force in the air the morning of October 23, 2077; Genesis. The latent force spawned from the unholy coupling of an angel and a demon. As we descended into Vault 111, as the shock wave from the nuclear blast passed over us, Genesis fell into me. I didn’t recognize what had happened to me at the time. All things considered, how could I know?

    Now, 210 years later; my wife, Tulip, dead before me, my son stolen, and the power of Genesis whispering inside of me, I venture forth into the wasteland. I seek answers. I seek my son. Most of all I seek vengeance; vengeance on those who killed my wife, on those who stole my son; vengeance on the God who abandoned us.

    My name is Jesse Custer. They call me, “The Preacher.”

    Let me start off by saying this is entirely a role-playing build. It was by far the hardest play through I have tried. Oddly enough, that made it the most enjoyable. I couldn’t just go rushing headlong into a den of raiders, or sneak right under the nose of a super mutant. I had to plan, strategize, and use cover to survive.

    The inspiration for a religious theme build started to form when I purchased what I believe to be the most overpowered gun in the game, The Spray ‘n Pray, from the wasteland’s favorite little tweaker, Cricket. Once I got familiar with the perks available in the game, the Idea began to flesh out. And once I played around with the “intimidation” perk, I knew where I wanted to take the character.

    I selected stats in anticipation of Perks I wanted to achieve for the sake of roll playing, and when I could reach the appropriate bobblehead. I used the “You’re Special” boost on Charisma as one of the aforementioned level ups. The only exception was taking 4 points in Luck. The luck bobblehead is not easily reached early game, and I wanted The Mysterious Stranger early.


    Gear: (armored) Pastor’s Vestments, sunglasses. (where’s my eye patch, Bethesda?)

    Weapons: The Spray ‘n Pray, Frag Mines, Frag Grenades.

    Companion: My best friend is a 200 year old chem using scoundrel with a heart of gold. You know him as Handcock. I know him as Cassidy.

    Cassidy’s Gear: flannel shirt and jeans, pompadour wig, sunglasses.

    Offensive Perks:

     Demolition Expert, Commando, Bloody Mess: The unholy trinity of the Spray ‘n Pray.  The splash damage of Level 3 Bloody Mess, combined with the explosive rounds, can give me a chain reaction of popping ghouls.





    Action Boy: The Spray ‘n Pray is not exactly a VATS friendly gun. It has a high AP cost, and low accuracy. The primary use of VATS is to try to trigger the Mysterious Stranger. And once Party Boy is fully leveled, and different alcoholic beverages are stacked, he starts showing up fairly often.



    Defensive Perks:

    Armorer: Playing the Railroad storyline simply made sense to the character. Not just for the sake of his honor, but due to the fact that a hidden organization with a leader named Father was just to close to the Grail/All-Father from the comics. And of course there is the access to Ballistic Weave; vital if I am going to run around getting shot while not wearing armor.



    Life Giver
    : I chose this over Toughness, simply because the Vault Boy Jesus symbol was more in keeping with my overall theme.




    Medic: I doubt if it needs to be explained how often an unarmored run ‘n gunner needs to heal.




    Utility Perks:

    Locksmith: At one point in his life, Jesse boosted cars for a living. It didn’t feel like a violation to the theme for him to have some proficiency in lock picking. I invested one point.




    Inspirational: Playing with a splash damage weapon, and running with a companion can be a chore. In addition, when your best friend is a vampire who once survived decapitation, dying by a little explosion doesn’t make sense.




    Role Playing Perks:

    Local Leader: Jesse Custer found leadership; often, when he didn’t want or seek it. It came naturally to him.





    Party Boy: Jesse liked to drink. A lot. The +3 to luck also helps in triggering the Mysterious Stranger.





    Mysterious Stranger: He may be a mystery to you. Jesse Custer knew exactly who he was. A civil war veteran reanimated by the angel of death, armed with twin colts fashioned by the devil reforging death’s sword. He is The Saint of Killers.




    Wasteland Whisperer,  Intimidation: aka, the Word of God; the power of Genesis, the ability to command. I played Wasteland Whisperer with the self-restriction that it only be used on Super Mutants. After encountering Virgil and Strong, I came to realize that the Word of God should work on super mutants as well. Based on the comics, a person or creature should be able to understand you for the power to work. Based on Theodore Croup’s journal, I made the conclusion that feral ghouls is what happens when ghouls lose their souls. Thus, I restricted myself from using the power on them.



    Night Person: Although the game does not have the vampire mechanic that the Elder Scrolls series does, I forced myself to play with the restriction. When you run with a vampire, you run at night.




    Beyond 50.

    I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to do after 50. My layout for the sake of role playing was pretty much complete, and so I wanted to be careful not to invest in perks that messed too much with that. I invested in luck to the point that I could pick up Grim Reaper’s Sprint, because the whole Grim Reaper thing just kind of felt like it fit. While not super helpful with the build, it did help summon the Saint of Killers a little more often. After that, I picked up Caps Collector and Toughness. After level 60, I was having a tough time keeping up with the cost of .45 rounds, and the bigger creatures were starting to hand it to me. Also, I Gave Cassidy a break, and ran around for a while with this big Strong guy named Arseface.

    Play Style: I tried to play the character and story in the manner that I envisioned the comic character in this setting. Jesse was never the type to skulk in the shadows, or run from a fight. The lack of significant armor does mean that he had to be played smart; using strategies dependent on the situation. Against gunners, and raiders, I would use cover to get close, throw grenades to root opponents out of cover. For melee characters, retreating while dropping mines works to slow them down. Against ghouls, I would use VATS to target the legs, counting on the explosive rounds of the Spray ‘n Pray to cripple them.

    Speaking of VATS, I mentioned previously that it wasn’t always particularly useful with this build. But by taking advantage of the +3 to Luck with the Party Boy perk, and the ability to stack beverages gave me a better chance of summoning the Saint of Killers, who bailed me out of many a predicament. 

    At later levels, I found myself taking advantage of the fact that I couldn’t kill Cassidy (Handcock). Letting him take the lead worked especially well against melee characters and creatures. I could target him, and the splash damage would devastate everyone around him. And then of course, there is the fun of the Word of God. (“Trust me, little raider, I won’t hurt you. Just run in there and attack that deathclaw with your tire iron. Everything will be all right.”)

    With personal interactions, I would often take advantage of Jesse’s high charisma to influence people. One place I would draw the line is using his charisma to extort for more caps. That just didn’t ring true to his sense of honor.

    One selfish thing he did do, is keep Drinking Buddy for himself. There isn’t really an abundance of booze in the wasteland, and Drinking Buddy, loaded with all of the possible recipes, is an excellent source.

    Jesse was always the type to help someone in need. He is type to stand up to tyranny, and help the helpless; be it a group of settlers surrounded by raiders, or a boy stuck in a fridge.  It made sense, then, for him to assist the minutemen whenever possible. In addition, he made a discovery that affected him deeply. In combat, he used the Word of God on a synth trooper, and it worked. He had always thought of synths as nothing but robots, but the Word of God only works on something with a soul. This led him to contacting the Railroad. If synths have souls, then forcing them back to the institute is slavery. This, plus the Institute’s involvement in the death of Tulip and the kidnapping of Sean, became the main story line for the play through. Also, as previously mentioned, a secret organization invested in control of the Commonwealth, with a leader named Father; well, that’s just too close to the Grail/All-Father of the comics to pass up.

    What I should have done different:

    After playing for a while, it became apparent to me that the Night Person perks were a complete waste. I would have been better served to invest the points in Idiot Savant, as leveling the character up was a real grind. Also, I could have spent the points on Caps Collector earlier, and had a much easier time in keeping up with the cost of bullets.

    I also struggled with playing the Railroad ending on this one. It’s a little too subversive for a character like Jesse Custer. In retrospect, the Minuteman ending would have fit the character better.

    What I loved about the character:

    First of all, I had a blast playing with disadvantages. I have a tendency in most Bethesda games to take advantage of how massively overpowered sneak can be. It gets a little dull, sometimes, and this was never dull. I liked how Handcock found his personal redemption running with the preacher, much like how Cassidy did in the comics. I especially enjoyed playing some of the personal dilemmas from a character’s perspective, letting Jesse’s sense of honor direct how I deal with situations. Pickman, for instance, was a good one. He is obviously a serial killer, but in reality he is doing the exact same thing I do; killing raiders. He takes pleasure in hurting people, which is a little creepy, but Jesse once forced a man to literally fuck himself. Let he who is without sin...

  • Mr.
    April 15, 2016

     Loved the theme you got going here, with the comic book images and the presentation. I love Role Playing, it's the main thing I look for in a build, and I can see this one is not lacking in that aspect. I'll give it a more careful read later, but I can tell it's some ace work you did here!

  • Member
    April 15, 2016
    Like it! But I loved the "What I should have done different" cause you give the player some insights of the RP and for someone like me "who try to play every build like the creator means because otherwise I think im not playing it good" Its a fresh idea. Thanks awesome job.
  • Member
    April 16, 2016

    A really nice example of a crosswords build. Very good Fallout-ized version of the Preacher. I also like the addition of the "what I would do differently" section.

    A couple of typos - for example: "Wasteland Wanderer" (instead of whisperer) in the perk descriptions, and an errant "I" in this sentence, "personal redemption I running with the preacher".

    But otherwise quite nice!

  • April 18, 2016


    Thanks for that.

  • Member
    April 21, 2016

    What a nice build  and post

  • Member
    April 22, 2016

  • Member
    April 22, 2016
    Nice. I plan on doing a preacher style build, too, though not based in the graphic novel. Very well represented (and handy closing notes).
  • Member
    December 26, 2016

    Build restored! Welcome to Social Engine - The Preacher! 

    (Ps - this is one of my favorites on the vault)!

  • Member
    December 26, 2016

    Looking good! :D