I've got a question, do the combat knife and spiked knuckles benefit from the one hander optional trait. I want to make a melee character for my next go through in fallout 1 and i would like to use those weapons for a challenge. Im wondering if its possible.
I always took it for granted that one-hander applied to guns only.
As for a melee character, they're actually really good. Put Luck, Strength, Endurance and Agility really high. Intelligence should be kept as high as you can, lower Charisma all the way down. I think I also lowered Perception the same way. I picked Finesse as a trait - you do 25% less damage but have a 10% higher critical chance. Combined with your Luck bonus (1% per 1 Luck point) you'll crit often. The other starting trait I chose was the one that gives you an extra stat point for each stat but lowers your skill points. It's fine for a melee character since you'll only really need to put stuff into melee - whatever else you chose is just a bonus (I chose Sneak and Gamble - I now have an endless supply of money since I almost always win at roulette).
Then choose the level up perks of Bonus HtH Damage (several times) and the ones that raise critical chance and lower how many AP a melee attack takes. You'll be able to punch for only 2AP and do a targeted attack for only 3AP. When you get the power fist you'll be doing some crazy damage. At the start of the game I would frequently only do about 2-4 damage with the brass knuckles - just now I critically hit a Deathclaw in the eye for 120 damage. Dogmeat can't even damage it at all. Spiked knuckles aren't that much worse than the power fist, they're certainly on a far higher tier than the knife or brass knuckles. Edit
Just realised how old that post is - I'm sure this thread was highlighted as having new responses in... Edit 2
Damn, I meant to write "I only did 2-4 damage" but ended up writing "204 damage". Corrected it now.